Rumsfeld saves taxpayers from paying for a program that isn\’t essential to our future military capabilities.

WASHINGTON – Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld announced that the Department of Defense is terminating its Crusader artillery system for the United States Army. By canceling this program, Secretary Rumsfeld allocates much needed resources to more vital defense avenues, such as the war on terrorism.

"After a good deal of consideration, I have decided to terminate the Crusader program. Even as we continue to prosecute the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, we are learning lessons that are important," Rumsfeld stated May 8th at a Pentagon briefing. He continues, "This decision is not about any one weapon system, but really about a strategy of warfare, a strategy that drives the choices that we must make about how best to prepare our total forces for the future."

In total, the Crusader program would have cost taxpayers $13 billion over the course of its development and procurement. Thus far, the army has spent $2 billion in research and development. This decision will save the Defense Department a further $11 billion in unnecessary spending.

"While national defense is necessary and vital, obviously there are programs being funded through hard earned taxpayer dollars that don\’t need to be developed. I commend Secretary Rumsfeld for ending a program that will not serve our nation\’s defense interests nor the taxpayers that fund these programs," Grover Norquist, president of ATR said.

Due to the evolution of warfare present in the 21st Century, Secretary Rumsfeld is addressing the programs that are insufficient to meeting the needs for today and tomorrow\’s armed forces. Additionally, other already deployed assets could handle the tasks that the Crusader was to be built for.

The Crusader was to begin production in 2006 and enter service beginning in 2008 to replace the Paladin artillery system. This decision, barring approval from Congress, will put the allocated funding to other defense areas.