Defense Secretary Robert Gates is announcing the latest round of cost-cutting measures for the military, including a plan to do away with a new amphibious vehicle that can ferry troops to shore while under fire. The plan is aimed at staving off potentially deeper cuts by the White House or Congress by showing that the Pentagon is taking seriously a call to rein in the nation's deficit.
The Defense Department is responsible for the biggest piece of discretionary spending in the federal government's annual budget.
The Pentagon budget has been largely protected until now. Newly elected tea party activists, including Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have said that cuts to military spending must be considered if the federal government is to reduce its deficit.