News / USA

Obama Wants Defense Review, $400 Billion in Cuts

Defense Secretary Robert Gates (file photo)
Defense Secretary Robert Gates (file photo)

The Pentagon says President Barack Obama’s desire to find $400 billion over the next 12 years in additional defense spending cuts will result in reductions in U.S. military capabilities.  U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is launching a comprehensive review to develop options for the president to consider.  

In his budget speech Wednesday, President Obama praised Secretary Gates for finding $400 billion in cuts based mainly on improved efficiency.  Then he said he wants the same amount of cuts again.

"We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world.  I intend to work with Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs on this review, and I will make specific decisions about spending after it’s complete." Obama said.

In a fact sheet, the White House specified that the president wants to hold defense spending increases below the inflation level, and save $400 billion between now and 2023.  Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell says the cuts would affect the defense department’s base budget, currently $553 billion per year.  At the current spending rate that would be a cut of about 6 1/2 per cent per year.  The cuts would not affect funding for the current wars.  

Still, Morrell says reductions of that magnitude will have a real impact on U.S. defense capabilities, and will be considered carefully during the review the president ordered.

"The secretary has been clear that further significant defense cuts can not be accomplished without reducing force structure and military capability.  The comprehensive review of missions, capabilities and America’s role in the world will identify alternatives for the president’s consideration.  The secretary believes this process must be about managing risk associated with future threats and national security challenges, and identifying missions that the country is willing to have the military forego." Morrell said.

Morrell says Secretary Gates was not aware the president wanted the review until Tuesday, and is still putting together a plan with other senior officials.  The secretary did not speak in public Wednesday, but at a news conference in February he urged members of congress not to make defense cuts based on fixed amounts, but rather only based on the strategic and operational realities of today’s world.

"Suggestions to cut defense by this or that large number have largely become exercises in simple math, divorced from serious considerations of capabilities, risk, and the level of resources needed to protect this country's security and vital interests around the world," Gates said.

The press secretary, Geoff Morrell, says the Pentagon’s review of threats and capabilities will not be finished in time to impact the coming debate over the budget for next year.  Rather, he says, any strategy-based reductions will be part of the president’s budget proposal for 2013.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid