Additionally, American military forces are in the process of reconfiguring not only their force strength, but their whole philosophical approach to warfare in accordance with DoD strategy http://www.fas.org/man/doctrine.htm for fighting future wars. Smaller, smarter, faster. (See also this article) The shortfalls he speaks of are about those "cutbacks." Defense money is moving to other venues and high tech industries. The change in DoD philosophy is also causing most defense manufacturers to re-tool and to cut back on manpower. The first is expensive and the unions don't like the latter. Defense is going high-tech these days. You probably wouldn't believe me if I told ya.
The next few years will see the greatest changes since the Scythians invented the laminated recurve bow and cavalry tactics nearly five thousand years ago. (I know, I know. Anthropologists don't call them Scythians in that time period, but that's what they were.)
Next, Ike Skelton gets a lot of money from the defense industry. In order to keep the money comin', he has to show that he done his best to help them out.
He's also the ranking member on the House Armed Services committee.
People like Skelton and Murtha are why the DoD gets money and programs they don't want or need. The defense industry has bought their loyalty and their votes. In turn such men use pork to buy the voter's loyalty. Every time a bill goes through the House and Senate, pork gets added to it. Most of their arguments over bills involve who gets to add what kind of pork...which is normally unrelated to the bill in question.
The upshot is that Skelton and others want to be able to keep the pork coming in...but as the DoD moves to a small, fast lethal force philosophy of warfare, the money they need to operate becomes smaller; but the pork for politicians like Skeleton and Murtha becomes smaller as well. ...and then it's so much for buying the loyalty of their voter base...
This fall, just before the elections, watch the House and Senate and see how much pork goes where...and then listen to which politician is bragging about bringing home the bacon during his campaign for re-election.
(written by Bones)