Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told reporters at Camp Lejeune, N.C., that any earmarks, or special interest projects from Congress in the 2010 Pentagon budget could ultimately hurt the military.

Gates visited with Marines who are deploying to Afghanistan. This excerpt speaks for itself:

"This visit and spending some time with these Marines who are about to deploy simply reminds me of one of the basic themes of what I'm trying to do in FY10 budget. One dollar of pork in our budget is a dollar I can't spend to support these Marines. One dollar spent on capabilities we don't need is a dollar that I can't spend in getting ready for future threats. One dollar spent for equipment excess to our military requirements is a dollar that I can't use to help protect the American people. So I am hoping that the Congress will take a careful look at this budget and the change we are trying to make in no small part to provide the necessary support for these men and women who are about to go into combat."

- Roxana Tiron