Gates Announces Big Cuts To Contractor Funding

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in announcing new cost-saving measures for the Pentagon, said the DOD will dramatically cut funding for service support contractors, by 10 percent each year for the next three years.

He cited a “dramatic increase in the use of service support and advisory contractors” over the last 10 years — from 26 percent of workforce spending in 2000 to 39 percent last year. And that’s “not counting contractors supporting the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.”Gates also noted that the department last year said it’d cut the number of contractors by 33,000 by 2015.

“I’m not satisfied with the progress made to reduce our over-reliance on contractors,” he said.

The president’s deficit commission is reportedly wrestling over how to cut the fat from the DOD’s budget.

And as TPMmuckraker has reported, the number of contractors — both support and security — has spiked in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading the Congressional Research Service to ask, “Can contractors undermine U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan?”

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