Leon Panetta Outlining Pentagon Budget Cuts
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is considering reductions in spending in major categories under orders to cut the Pentagon budget by more than $450 billion over the next decade.
Meeting deficit-reduction targets might require another round of base closings, which could be highly contentious as members of Congress routinely fight to protect military deployments and jobs in their communities, he said, as reported by the Seattle Times.
Among other steps, Panetta said, Pentagon strategists were looking at additional cuts in the nuclear arsenal, with an eye toward determining how many warheads the military needed to deter attacks, the Seattle Times reports.
He added that trimming Pentagon spending by eliminating waste and increasing productivity remains a goal, but he acknowledged that would not be enough, according to the Seattle Times.
"There will be some huge political challenges," he said, as reported by the Seattle Times. "When you reduce defense spending, there's likely to be base closures, possible reduction in air wings."
Panetta cited North Korea and Iran as persistent threats and said the military had to maintain "the ability to deter and defeat them," the Seattle Times reports.