WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has ordered the Pentagon to slash $487 billion in spending over the next 10 years and another $41 billion in the next six months. Yet, at the same time, lawmakers are forcing the services to keep ships, aircraft, military bases, retiree benefits and other programs that defense leaders insist they don't want, can't afford or simply won't be able to use.

Military officials tell the Associated Press that Congress' refusal to retire ships and aircraft means the Navy and Air Force are spending roughly $5 billion more than they would if they were allowed to make the cuts. Frustrated military leaders say they are being forced to furlough civilians, ground training flights and delay or cancel ship deployments, while Congress refuses to accept savings in other places.