U.S. to cut Pentagon budget

25/01/2012

Pentagon officials announced yesterday that the U.S. defense budget for 2013 will cut military spending by five percent to $525 million, marking the first decrease in the Pentagon’s base budget since Sept. 11. The base proposal does however exclude operations in conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan which amounted to $118 billion last year in addition to the main Pentagon operations. The budget proposal is set to be unveiled as President Barack Obama shifts US military focus away from counter-insurgency towards South East Asia.

The US defence department is preparing for $487 billion in cuts over the next 10 years. If automatic cuts are imposed under a budget deal between the White House and Congress, which calls for procedures to trim the deficit if no agreement is reached, the cuts could be as high as $600 billion. President Barack Obama demanded a decrease of nearly half a trillion dollars in his State of the Union address yesterday, and told an audience that he sent legislation to Congress that will boost cyber-defences.

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke at an SDA conference last July focusing on budget pressures in the US and their impact on the transatlantic alliance. To read the full report click here.