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Gates Tours MCRD, Talks Military Spending Cuts

United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was in San Diego Friday. The Secretary toured the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and spoke about the spending cuts he's proposing.

Gates is proposing cost savings of more than $100 billion in national defense spending over the next five years. He also wants to reduce private defense contracts.

A recent study by San Diego's Military Advisory Council shows the military and supporting industries have a roughly $26.5 billion annual impact on the San Diego region.

Gates said he doesn't know how the cuts will affect the area. But he said it might not be bad news.

"If it involves ships, readiness, force structure, weapons, programs, future capabilities. Those are all areas that I'd like to see get more money," he said. But he said he wants to cut down on overhead and bureaucracy.

Gates said he wants to make sure the cuts don't make it more difficult for service members to do their jobs.

The SDMAC study shows Department of Defense spending in San Diego has risen from $11 billion to $17 billion in the last six years.

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