Defense budget: A change in direction

April 4, 2009 at 1:00 AM

WASHINGTON, April 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates's budget recommendations will show "a fundamental shift in direction," a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.

Geoff Morrell, the press officer, said Gates will go public with his proposals before sending them to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Los Angeles Times reported. Gates will first discuss his proposals by telephone Monday with congressional leaders and then hold a news conference in the afternoon.

The budget process has included decisions on canceling major programs like the Navy's F-22 fighter plane.

"These aren't changes on the margins," Morrell said. "It is a fundamental shift in direction."

Gates wants to show how decisions on weapons systems fit into his view of the military's future, Morrell said.

"This has been an unusual process from the beginning," Morrell said. "He wants this viewed as a whole."

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