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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs