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By John E. Mulligan, The Providence Journal, R.I. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 8--WASHINGTON -- President Bush's $419.3-billion Pentagon budget for next year would speed ambitious plans to restructure the combat forces of the Army and Marine Corps, largely at the expense of Navy shipbuilding and construction of planes for the Air Force.
Mr. Bush's budget would indefinitely shelve plans to boost Electric Boat's production of a new attack submarine, perhaps calling into question the Defense Department's long-term commitment to a fleet that currently numbers more than 50.
The defense budget is part of a $2.5-trillion spending blueprint for fiscal year 2006 that Mr. Bush sent to Capitol Hill yesterday.
The overhaul of Army deployments is the centerpiece of the new Pentagon budget. The most visible shift is a planned increase in the number of combat brigades, from 33 to 43. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said that this represents a change in the Army's traditional organization …