News / USA

Pentagon Prepares for Deep Budget Cuts

Pentagon Prepares for Deep Budget Cutsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Luis Ramirez
December 18, 2012 10:47 PM
The part of the U.S. government set to be hurt the most if U.S. lawmakers and the White House don't reach a budget deal is the Defense Department, which is set to take about half the budget cuts. Discussions have been going on at the Pentagon on where the U.S. military will have to make nearly 10 percent reductions totaling $500 billion in the next decade. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Pentagon Prepares for Deep Budget Cuts
Luis Ramirez
The part of the U.S. government set to be hurt the most if U.S. lawmakers and the White House don't reach a budget deal is the Defense Department, which is set to take about half the budget cuts. Discussions have been going on at the Pentagon on where the U.S. military will have to make nearly 10 percent reductions totaling $500 billion in the next decade.

The cuts are set to be massive, $50 billion a year for 10 years, and so are the consequences.  

That's the warning from officials including the nation's top military officer, General Martin Dempsey.

"We can't yet say precisely how bad the damage would be, but it is clear that sequestration would risk hollowing out our force and reducing its military options available to the nation. We would go from being unquestionably powerful everywhere to being less visibly globally and presenting less of an overmatch to our adversaries, and that would translate into a different deterrent calculus and potentially, therefore, increase the likelihood of conflict," Dempsey said.

Visibility is a central part of U.S. strategy, which calls for shifting more forces to the Pacific, where the cuts would mean the Navy would have to slash the number of vessels operating in the region.

Other areas to be hit:  research, technology, weapons, and training.  Automatic cuts would not include troop reductions.  The result, commanders say: a large number of people in uniform but insufficient training and equipment to support them.

The cuts would be on top of $487 billion the Pentagon has already slashed.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned sequestration reductions will destroy President Obama's new defense strategy and weaken national defense.

"I can't reduce the budget by half a trillion dollars and frankly not increase risk," Panetta said.

On this, the president's adversaries on Capitol Hill agree.  

Republican Kelly Ayotte is a member of both the Senate Budget and Armed Services Committees. She worries the perception of a weakened military will encourage terrorists and rogue nations to attack U.S. interests.

"The numbers speak for themselves, but the message that it sends in terms of encouraging other people to act further and act badly is not a good one in terms of the safety of America," Ayotte said.  

Nearly 80,000 Defense Department civilian jobs are at risk. Pentagon officials hope to avert layoffs. They are instead considering asking employees to take up to a month off from work without pay.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid