Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen signaled Thursday that
he won’t let a pay raise for military service members derail this year’s
Defense Authorization Bill.
But Gates said he will “strongly recommend” that President Obama veto the Pentagon budget if it includes an extra engine for the Joint Strike
Fighter program and additional C-17 aircraft.
“I believe the defense budget process should no longer be characterized by business as usual within this building or outside of
it,” Gates said at a press conference, adding later that “We will
strongly resist efforts to impose programs and changes on the department
that the military does not want, cannot afford, and that takes dollars
from programs and endeavors the military services do need.”