Describing Gates' preference for cheaper weapons to expensive, high-tech ones, a senior Pentagon official said, "It is going to be more of a Wal-Mart approach than a Gucci approach."
Pentagon officials, meanwhile, are bracing to see how Gates translates his words into action. Many officials believe that, under President Bush, Gates "punted" on key decisions such as the competition to build a new refueling tanker and whether to halt production of the F-22.Gates also plans to hitch his wagon train to a rising four star general, but he isn't going to bet the whole pot on being able to shoot the moon. Instead, he's counting his chickens for a rainy day.
"Now he is going to be the recipient of those punts, and he won't be calling a fair catch," said Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary. "He is prepared to deal with them head-on.""He wants to get acquisition and procurement back on track," Morrell said. "He is not looking to build a new railway, but he is determined to put them back on the rails."