Given the world economic slump, the chronic problem of exorbitantly expensive weapons is becoming acute, says The Economist. Western governments are cutting defense spending. "On August 9th Mr Gates announced a new set of money-saving measures: among them cutting at least 50 of the 900-plus generals and admirals; eliminating the joint-forces command, which promotes integration among the services; cutting funds for contractors; and reducing staff in Mr Gates’s own office. There are sound military reasons for this internal cost-cutting, especially the need to redirect money to the war in Afghanistan. But Mr Gates knows that after a decade of ever-rising defence spending, 'the gusher has been turned off'; now his greatest fear is that defence spending will be cut to curb the budget deficit."