By CHRISTOPHER DREW and ELISABETH BUMILLER Published: April 6, 2009 WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced a major reshaping of the Pentagon budget on Monday, with deep cuts in many traditional weapons systems but new billions of dollars for others, along with more troops and new technology to fight the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The decisions are expected to set off a vigorous round of lobbying over the priorities embroidered into the Defense Department’s half-trillion dollars of annual spending. They represent the first broad rethinking of American military strategy under the Obama administration, which plans to shift more money to counterterrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan while spending less on preparations for conventional warfare against large nations like China and Russia. Mr. Gates announced cuts in missile defense programs, the Army’s expensive Future Combat Systems and Navy shipbuilding operations. He would kill controversial programs to build a new presidential helicopter and a new communications satellite system, delay the development of a new bomber and order only four more of the advanced F-22 fighter jets. But he also said plans to increase the size of the Army and the Marine Corps, while halting reductions in Air Force and Navy personnel, would cost an additional $11 billion. He also announced an extra $2 billion for intelligence and surveillance equipment, including new Predator and Reaper drones, the remote-controlled vehicles currently used in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq for strikes against militants, and more spending on special forces and training foreign military units. More broadly, Mr. Gates signaled that he hoped to impose a new culture on the Pentagon — making the system more flexible and responsive to the needs of the troops in the way it chooses and buys weapons. Even so, he acknowledged that it would be hard, with the economic crisis and concerns in Congress over jobs, to “make tough choices about specific systems and defense priorities based solely on the national interest and then stick to those decisions over time.” Military experts said Mr. Gates seemed to be mounting a determined effort to rein in some of the most troubled programs after years of record military spending and start dealing with the huge cost overruns and delays that have plagued so many programs. But some noted that other presidents and defense secretaries had been stymied in making similar efforts in the past, and they said that leaders of military-related committees in Congress would undoubtedly try to save the F-22, C-17 cargo planes and other systems that Mr. Gates would like to cut. Representative Ike Skelton, the Missouri Democrat who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Monday in a statement that while Mr. Gates’s proposed budget was a “good faith” effort, “the buck stops with Congress, which has the critical constitutional responsibility to decide whether to support these proposals.” And some military analysts reacted to Mr. Gates’s promise of budget revolution with skepticism. Andrew H. Krepinevich Jr., a military expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said that it was hard to tell how much Mr. Gates was reducing spending over all because he was increasing spending in unspecified amounts in some areas and had not put a net dollar amount on his entire proposal. Mr. Krepinevich said he anticipated that Mr. Gates’s reductions would not close the $25 billion to $50 billion Bush-era gap between military programs and the spending for them, and that future cuts would most likely be needed. He noted that some of Mr. Gates’s cuts were less than draconian. While the secretary chose to emphasize smaller, speedy ships for close-in waters, the slower shipbuilding he proposed for the deep-water Navy would not reduce the number of aircraft-carrier battle groups at sea to 10 from 11 until after 2040. While he capped the number of the $150 million combat plane, the Air Force’s F-22, at 187, he promised to speed the testing of another fighter, the F-35, and maintain plans to eventually buy 2,443 of the planes. While he canceled the purchases of eight Army vehicles to allow for more study and a rebidding, he said he would also speed the development of costly electronic sensors for troops. And while he promised to fix the flawed procurement processes that allow weapons prices to soar, he said he wanted to hire tens of thousands of civil servants to do the work, since contracting that out to the private sector has not proven efficient. “The perennial procurement and contracting cycle, going back many decades, of adding layer and layer of cost and complexity onto fewer and fewer platforms that take longer and longer to build, must come to an end,” he said. “There is broad agreement on the need for acquisition and contracting reform in the Department of Defense. There have been enough studies, enough hand-wringing, enough rhetoric. Now is the time for action.” The changes will mean fewer big ships, and a reduction in the number of Army brigades, but with the same number of troops so that the combat forces are not hollowed out, and bolstering the Army’s helicopter forces, Mr. Gates said. He added that he wanted to add 2,800 to the ranks of special forces troops and more cybersecurity experts. Spending on missile defense programs will be scaled back by $1.4 billion over all. Mr. Gates proposed increasing spending to defend against relatively limited attacks by smaller powers with shorter-range missiles, adding interceptors aboard ships but not on land in Alaska. But he would cancel or delay some of the more exotic programs to counter intercontinental ballistic missiles. Mr. Gates also said that while he planned to halt a Navy program to build a new class of stealth destroyers, he would finish constructing the first three ships if the contractors agreed to allow all of them to be built at one shipyard instead of the dividing the work between two yards. Otherwise, he would only build one of the $3 billion ships. This year Mr. Gates made the unusual decision to publicly announce his proposed reductions in the Pentagon budget before the recommendations are sent to the White House. Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told reporters last week that Mr. Gates, a Republican who has worked for eight presidents of both parties, may have been trying to provide some political cover for Mr. Obama over the cuts. Representative Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, reacted strongly against Mr. Gates’s proposal to end spending for the F-22, which employs 25,000 workers in Georgia and across the country. “It’s outrageous that President Obama is willing to bury the country under a mountain of debt with his reckless domestic agenda but refuses to fund programs critical to our national defense,” Mr. Price said in a statement. In addition, a bipartisan group of six senators urged Mr. Gates not to make large cuts in missile defense programs. In a letter to Mr. Obama, they said the reductions “could undermine our emerging missile defense capabilities to protect the United States against a growing threat.” The group included the Republicans Jon Kyl of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma as well as Mark Begich, Democrat of Alaska, and Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut.