Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., said Sunday he has long been frustrated over the number of weapons systems approved by Congress but noted it will be difficult to cut those systems to bring down the defense budget.
Nunn, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" the government made a fundamental error in building the B-1 bomber, the Stealth bomber and two new aircraft carriers."Instead of having the efficiency of production on one production line, building, let's say, 150 of one type bomber, we are trying to build a hundred of each type," Nunn said. "And, that is a very, very inefficient way to spend the taxpayers' money."
The Georgia Democrat said he would like to see the Pentagon cut the B-1 bomber, which has been plagued by problems, including two crashes within a week of each other earlier this month.
But he said it was too late for Congress or the Defense Department to drop the B-1 in favor of the Stealth bomber, unveiled last week.
"The only thing you could do now is cancel the bomber we really need (the Stealth) and keep the one that we didn't need," Nunn said. "And that's the terrible dilemma that we have now.
"The one we really need is the one that we haven't spent the money on," he said. "The one we didn't need is the one we've already paid for. So you can't cancel anything but the Stealth. You don't have the option of cancelling the B-1."
When asked if he was angry about Pentagon spending, Nunn replied: "I've been frustrated for a long time. I've gotten accustomed to it, because I've been saying for about five years now that we were starting too many weapons systems.
"If you get angry in this town, you have to know something to do with your anger," he said. "But I am frustrated because we've started far too many programs to complete and we've had a presidential campaign that did not really get down to that debate. And now we have to deal with it."