Obama Wants Defense Review, $400 Billion in Cuts
Voice of America
The Pentagon says President Barack Obama’s desire to find $400 billion over the next 12 years in additional defense spending cuts will result in reductions in U.S. military capabilities. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is launching a comprehensive review to develop options for the president to consider.
In his budget speech Wednesday, President Obama praised Secretary Gates for finding $400 billion in cuts based mainly on improved efficiency. Then he said he wants the same amount of cuts again.
"We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world. I intend to work with Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs on this review, and I will make specific decisions about spending after it’s complete." Obama said.
In a fact sheet, the White House specified that the president wants to hold defense spending increases below the inflation level, and save $400 billion between now and 2023. Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell says the cuts would affect the defense department’s base budget, currently $553 billion per year. At the current spending rate that would be a cut of about 6 1/2 per cent per year. The cuts would not affect funding for the current wars.