US Defense 2 Billion Iraq

January 29, 2012 by staff 

US Defense 2 Billion Iraq, The Pentagon has unveiled a 2013 budget plan that would eliminate nearly 100,000 ground troops, mothball ships, and trim air squadrons in an effort to reduce spending by $US487 billion ($458 billion) over the next decade.

The funding request, which includes painful cuts that will be felt across the country, sets the stage for a new struggle between president Barack Obama’s administration and Congress over how much the Pentagon should spend on national security.

The cuts come as the US ends a decade of war and tries to curb trillion-dollar budget deficits.

“Make no mistake, the savings that we are proposing will impact all 50 states and many districts, congressional districts across America,” defence secretary Leon Panetta told reporters.

“This will be a test of whether reducing the deficit is about talk or action.”

Mr Panetta, previewing plans that will be detailed next month, said he would ask for a $US525 billion base budget for the 2013 fiscal year.

That compares with $US531 billion approved this year.

It is the first time since before the September 11, 2001, attacks that the Pentagon has asked for less than the previous year.

Mr Panetta said he would seek $US88.4 billion to support overseas combat operations, primarily in Afghanistan, down from $US115 billion in 2012, largely due to the end of the war in Iraq and the withdrawal of US forces there at the end of last year.

Congress ultimately controls the Pentagon’s purse strings and regularly intervenes to change the size and detail of military spending as it sees fit.

The Defence Department’s budget accounts for about 20 per cent of total federal spending.

Republican politicians who oversee military affairs on Capitol Hill sharply criticised the plan.

Senator John McCain said it “ignored the lessons of history” while Representative Buck McKeon said it reflected “Obama’s vision of an America that is weakened, not strengthened, by our men and women in uniform”.

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