ARLINGTON, VA—Officials at the Pentagon announced Monday that they would no longer make the budget of the Defense Department public, explaining that the information would be "extremely disrespectful" to American families at a time of economic turmoil. "Disclosing the cost of even one Patriot missile could seriously damage the morale of a nation just trying to keep food on the table," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said of the new policy. "It would be a slap in the face to all the hardworking citizens who continue to struggle and sacrifice day after day." Gates added that revealing the expense of maintaining America's military presence in more than 150 nations worldwide might also break the spirits of returning veterans unable to obtain adequate health care.