News / USA

    Pentagon to Cut Workforce, Weapons Systems

    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) listens as Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey (R) speaks during a briefing on the Defense Department's FY2014 budget at the Pentagon, Apr. 10, 2013. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) listens as Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey (R) speaks during a briefing on the Defense Department's FY2014 budget at the Pentagon, Apr. 10, 2013.
    x
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) listens as Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey (R) speaks during a briefing on the Defense Department's FY2014 budget at the Pentagon, Apr. 10, 2013.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) listens as Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey (R) speaks during a briefing on the Defense Department's FY2014 budget at the Pentagon, Apr. 10, 2013.
    Luis Ramirez
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has unveiled a new budget that includes deep cuts in weapons programs, the civilian workforce and infrastructure.  
     
    Only hours after President Barack Obama announced his budget plan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled his own spending blueprint, which he says reflects a state of financial uncertainty for the Pentagon. 
     
    Hagel said the new $526 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year will include cuts in the civilian workforce, poorly performing weapons systems, and possible base closings. 
     
    “Fiscal realities demand that we make tough decisions that have been deferred in the past.  The longer we put this off, the harder it’s going to be, particularly given the uncertainty that still exists about future levels of defense spending," he said. 
     
    With cuts that mean tens of thousands of lost jobs across the department and in areas where bases would be closed or consolidated, analysts say the plan is not likely to pass in Congress.  But they say it may provide the Pentagon leverage to break a budgetary impasse that exists between the Obama administration and Congress because it provides lawmakers a clear plan of direction. 
     
    While cutting spending in some areas, the plan includes boosting expenditures in things like attack submarines and cyber security - both key components of the administration’s plan to rebalance its focus to the Asia-Pacific region. 
     
    Some analysts warn the continuing news about money problems at the Pentagon are eroding American credibility overseas.
     
    Travis Sharp is a defense analyst with the Center for a New American Security, a Washington research organization with ties to the Obama administration.
     
    “I think the reductions in defense spending are going to make some of our allies and potential adversaries question whether or not we can actually do what we say we’re going to do," he said. 
     
    The budget announcement came as tensions continue to rise on the Korean peninsula, where the U.S. and its allies are watching for an expected missile launch by the North Koreans. 
     
    In his remarks Wednesday, Secretary Hagel said North Korea is “skating very close to a dangerous line” by continuing its threats.  He said Pyongyang should ratchet down its rhetoric, but added that if it does not, the U.S. is fully prepared to deal with “any contingency.”

    You May Like

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    City could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters

    Turkey Aims New Crackdown at Journalists, Academics, Airline Workers

    Ankara continues targeting people allegedly linked to exiled cleric, who it says led the failed military coup

    Pakistan Ready to Inaugurate Rebuilt Afghan Border Crossing

    Construction of Torkham Gate triggered deadly clashes between Pakistani and Afghan military forces

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora