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Officials: Belt-Tightening Will Cut One Command

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By ANNE GEARAN AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) Officials briefed on the decision say Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to eliminate a major military command in Norfolk, Va., and try to cut the Pentagon's use of outside contractors by 10 percent next year.

The plan was to be announced at a Pentagon press conference on Monday. It is part of a broader effort to trim $100 billion from the military's mammoth budget in the next five years, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan begin to wind down and Congress turns its attention more to domestic priorities.

The Associated Press has learned that Joint Forces Command will be eliminated and its role absorbed elsewhere within the Defense Department. Gates has long said the Pentagon needs to reduce waste and duplication.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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