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US Defense Secretary Calls for Dramatic Changes to Improve National Security


U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the United States needs to overhaul its approach to national security.

Gates told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday there needs to be what he called a "fairly dramatic change" to better protect the U.S. from terrorists and other threats. He said the United States is operating under an outdated security model designed 60 years ago to fight and win the Cold War.

Gates, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, testified before the House Armed Services Committee about the need for better coordination between the Pentagon and the State Department. They said this is especially important in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, where military gains must be supported by improvements to local infrastructure.

They also said that the departments need more funding and more staff.

Rice and Gates warned lawmakers the changes need to be made gradually, and not with sweeping legislation.

Rice said she could see the State Department eventually becoming the lead agency, although both said most of the funding should go through the Defense Department since many of the joint missions have a larger military component.

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