Lawmakers are trying to strong-arm the Pentagon into saving favored programs and pet projects ahead of the release of its 2015 budget next month.
Projects on the do-not-touch list include the Navy's 11-carrier fleet - defended by Rep. Randy Forbes (R) and others in Virginia where carriers are built - and the Air Force's A-10 "Warthog" aircraft, long a favorite of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.).
-snip-Gordon Adams, a defense analyst at the Stimson Center, said that the Pentagon will still manage to get its desired savings by cutting end strength and more mundane procurement programs.
"To get the money, you have to go after the low-hanging fruit, and the low-hanging fruit is how big is the force," Adams said. "But you don't tackle the pet rocks or big systems. It's just not doable."