Monday, January 2, 2012

Panetta to present perilous vision of reduced military - defense budget cuts

From the New York Times via the Gainsville Sun:
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is set this week to reveal his strategy that will guide the Pentagon in cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from its budget, and with it the Obama administration’s vision of the military that the United States needs to meet 21st-century threats, according to senior officials...

Mr. Panetta is expected to outline plans for carefully shrinking the military — and in so doing make it clear that the Pentagon will not maintain the ability to fight two sustained ground wars at once..."

However, "there are certain risks with falling off the two-war posture,” said Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., a military expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “You may risk losing the confidence of some allies, and you may risk emboldening your adversaries...

The size of the military is determined not only to win wars, but also to deter adversaries from starting hostilities. That underpins the American rationale for maintaining a combat presence at overseas bases and for conducting regular air and sea patrols around the globe. With austerity looming, those, too, might be curtailed to save money.

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