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• Increase unmanned aerial vehicles, including the Predator and Reaper, used against militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr. Gates said that “fielding and sustaining 50 Predator class unmanned aerial vehicle orbits” by fiscal 2011 “will now be permanently funded in the base budget” and represents a 62 percent increase over current levels and a 127 percent rise from a year ago.
Mr. Gates said 10 percent of his budget would focus on “irregular warfare,” 50 percent on conventional conflicts and 40 percent on “hybrid warfare,” which he described as the biggest need in the future.
Mr. Gates said that the new budget also would help U.S. allies in counterinsurgency operations.
“The most important military component of the long war against radical extremism may not be the fighting we do ourselves, but how well we enable and empower our friends to fight against our common enemies,” he said.
• Donald Lambro and Sean Lengell contributed to this report.
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