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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Panetta to Reveal Approach to Guide Budget Cuts This Week

  • January 3, 2012
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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to disclose the Pentagon’s plan for cutting $450 billion in spending over 10 years when he outlines the results of the department’s strategic review of its roles and missions on Thursday, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Panetta, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, will describe “how we posture the U.S. military to address current and future challenges,” DOD spokesman George Little said Tuesday. While this week’s announcement will cover the overall approach for guiding the Pentagon’s long-term budget, specific cuts most likely will not be unveiled until President Obama submits the fiscal 2013 budget request to Congress.

The new strategy will call for a smaller force structure that may not have the capability to fight two major conflicts simultaneously, reported the New York Times. Instead, the military will be strong enough to win one sustained ground war while maintaining the ability to thwart a second enemy’s aims elsewhere.

Along with figuring out how much to shrink the nation’s ground forces, officials are finishing discussions over potential spending reductions in weapons systems, salaries, and retirement and health benefits.

Obama has met with Panetta six times about the strategic review since September and was scheduled to meet with him again Tuesday, according to the Chronicle story.

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