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Army says no to more tanks, but Congress insists

The Army

An Israeli soldier stands on a tank at a staging area near the Israel Gaza Strip Border, southern Israel, early Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Israeli forces and Gaza militants to hold their fire, warning that a further escalation of the seven-day-old conflict would endanger the entire region. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Army's hulking Abrams tank was built to dominate the enemy in combat.

It's proving equally hard to beat in a budget battle.

Republicans and Democrats joined forces to add $436 million to the military's budget over the past two years for dozens of improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams that Army officials say they don't need.

Keeping the Abrams production line rolling protects businesses and good paying jobs in congressional districts that are home to the tank's many suppliers.

Lawmakers also say more tanks are good for national security.

But the boost for additional and unwanted tanks comes as the Pentagon wrestles with billions of dollars in budget reductions over the next decade that were ordered by a Congress determined to rein in runaway government spending.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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