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US plans $450b in defense cutbacks

01-05-2012 08:56 BJT

WASHINGTON - The US Defense Department will unveil the Pentagon's overarching war-fighting strategy on Thursday, a set of guidelines that will lead to the trimming of more than $450 billion from the Defense Department's budget over the next decade.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and US Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will present the strategy during a briefing at the Pentagon.

The review is expected to propose keeping fewer troops in Europe and abandoning the goal of maintaining a force that can fight and win two wars simultaneously, said administration officials.

Instead, the US should aim to fight and win one major war while being able to meet and "spoil" any aggressive designs by a second adversary, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

It is also expected to propose the removal of another brigade of army combat troops from Europe, leaving two brigades on the continent, an administration official said. A brigade consists of some 3,000 to 4,000 troops depending on its configuration.

The review was initiated by former defense secretary Robert Gates after President Barack Obama asked defense officials to cut some $400 billion in planned spending over 12 years without jeopardizing the country's strategic interests.

The spending reductions, while not yet set in stone, are expected to trim the number of military and civilian defense personnel, delay or cut back on some high-profile weapons systems like the radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and take steps to control spiraling healthcare costs.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the strategy recognized "that we are at a turning point after a decade of war, with new challenges and opportunities that call for a reshaping of our defense priorities".

The review indicated that US military would combine their resources to thwart any efforts by countries to block the US' access to the Gulf and other strategic regions, Bloomberg quoted an administration official familiar with details of the review.


Editor:Wang Xi |Source: China Daily

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