Hattiesburg American: Defense budget needs closer look

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates want to cut giant weapons programs that would have an impact on Mississippi’s economy.

Gates on Monday recommended the military quit buying the F-22 Raptor plane beyond the 187 already planned.

That would cost thousands of jobs in several states, including at the Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian, which produces portions of the F-22.

Gates’ budget also limits plans to defend against missile attacks.

Gates’ announcement came a day after North Korea fired a rocket that U.S. and South Korea officials say was a cover for testing long-range missile technology.

Gates said he wants the Pentagon to focus more on smaller, lower-tech battlefields the military currently faces.

Hattiesburg American 4/9/9