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US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said before presenting his FY2010 budget that the event was special due to the “scope and significance of the changes”. Change was expected, given the arrival of a new administration and the fiscal pressures applied by the economic crisis, but what specifically has changed? Military analyst Miriam Pemberton tells the Real News that while some major steps have been taken to cut back expensive Cold War era weapons systems, the department’s overall budget is $20 B higher than it ever was under President Bush.

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Miriam Pemberton is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She heads a group that produces the annual "Unified Security Budget for the United States" and she is a former Director of the National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament. She is co-editor, with William Hartung, of "Lessons from Iraq: Avoiding the Next War".