News / USA

Pentagon's Warnings Intend to Avert Budget Standoff

Pentagon's Warnings Intend to Avert Budget Standoffi
X
August 02, 2013 8:57 PM
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week unleashed a new campaign to break the U.S. budget impasse that triggered the recent massive automatic cuts known as "sequestration." Hagel had a list of specific areas where U.S. defense will suffer if Congress and the Obama administration do not reach a budget deal soon. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Luis Ramirez
— U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week unleashed a new campaign to break the U.S. budget impasse that triggered the recent massive automatic cuts known as "sequestration." Hagel had a list of specific areas where U.S. defense will suffer if Congress and the Obama administration do not reach a budget deal soon.

Among the things to go could be three of the 11 U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups.

For months, the Defense Department had been issuing dire warnings about the weakening effect that massive, automatic cuts to the defense budget would have on the U.S. armed forces.  

This week, Defense secretary Chuck Hagel laid out some options, with specifics.   

“In the first approach, we would trade away size for high-end capability. This would further shrink the active Army to between 380,000 to 450,000 troops, reduce the number of carrier strike groups from 11 to 8 or 9, draw down the Marine Corps from 182,000 to between 150,000 and 175,000, and retire older Air Force bombers,” said Hagel.

The second option would be to maintain a large force - with the accompanying high costs of health care and other benefits - and put off investing in new weaponry.  

“The basic trade-off is between capacity measured in the number of army brigades, navy ships, air force squadrons, and marine battalions and capability - our ability to modernize weapons systems and maintain our military's technological edge,” said Hagel.

Some Pentagon officials prefer the option of cutting the size of the force and relying more on unmanned aerial vehicles - or drones - and special operations forces.

Defense budget analyst Todd Harrison said regardless of whether the budget crisis is resolved, the Pentagon is due for massive reductions following the end of U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Smaller is not necessarily worse if smaller means that you have better capabilities and you can do more with a smaller force. That is the big question mark here,” said Harrison.

The Pentagon's past warnings about the effects of sequestration went unheeded. The budget crisis continued, and the automatic cuts kicked in. Harrison said Hagel, by offering details of the effects, is trying to get Congress' attention.

“What I think Secretary Hagel was trying to do with this is reestablish some of that credibility by making more specific projections of what would be required under sequestration, rather than painting in broad strokes,” said Harrison.

Defense officials hope the warning pushes Congress and the Obama administration to break their budget impasse.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid