SEOUL Oct 27 The Pentagon will unveil a
five-year budget to Congress in February that will include about
$250-$260 billion in cuts, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
said on Thursday.
President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress agreed to a
deal in August that requires as much as $450 billion in cuts to
security-related spending over 10 years, compared with previous
The comments by Panetta during a trip to South Korea suggest
the Pentagon would be assertive in pursuing cuts in the first
half of that period.
"It would involve a 5-year budget, which is normally what we
would present. But that would represent probably somewhere
around $250- or $260 billion of the $450 billion that we're
required to reduce," Panetta said.
Pentagon officials have said the cuts can be made without
jeopardizing national security, though Panetta warned earlier
this month that any cuts in excess of $450 billion would "truly
Noting the defense department's budget has nearly doubled
over the past decade, some analysts say it should be able to
manage $1 trillion in reductions over a decade, an opinion not
shared by Pentagon leaders, who warn it would hollow-out the
Panetta has been on his first trip to Asia since taking over
the Pentagon in July, reassuring worried allies that the U.S.
military presence in the region will remain strong despite
America's fiscal woes. He has said the end of the war in Iraq
and the gradual U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan will allow the
United States to shift more attention to Asia.