Constraints on funding available to DoD in the foreseeable future make the spending reforms and savings initiatives announced by Secretary Gates a top priority for DoD, according to Deputy Secretary Of Defense, Bill Lynn.  Lynn told the World Affairs Council of Northern Virginia, that “The Department cannot ask Congress for further increases each year unless we have done everything possible to make the dollars we already have count for more.”  He stated that shifting funding for overhead (“tail”) to forces and modernization (“tooth”) is the way to do this.  Lynn said the Services have been told they must achieve 1/3 of their savings targets from warfighting accounts, i.e., get savings within those accounts.  He cited saving $600 million in the F-18 program with a multi-year buy as an example.  The other 2/3 will come from Service and Defense Agency overhead accounts.  Lynn reiterated Secretary Gates’ explanation that the efficiencies initiative is not meant to reduce the total DoD budget, but as a means of freeing up funds for higher priorities.  He also said that the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) will not dictate across-the-board cuts to achieve savings.  Rather, savings from specific efficiencies initiatives will be shifted from overhead to warfighting programs.  Lynn suggested that as a result of this effort, the Services may actually have more funds to work with as they apply those funds more efficiently in their modernization programs.  He described the four-track approach as he had done with Congress early this month: 1) finding $100 billion in savings over the next five years that can be reallocated to priority wafighting and modernization needs; 2) seeking suggestions from industry and advisory boards on new ideas to achieve efficiencies; 3) reviewing how the department is organized and operated to come up with changes to how DoD does business; and 4) implementing 23 initiatives on defense acquisition and contracting.  He acknowledged that the way ahead will be difficult describing the process as a “marathon” rather than a “sprint.”  He said the cost of failure would be breaking programs, losing capabilities, and eroding taxpayer confidence in DoD’s ability to get the best value for money.