US Defense Budget: 6 Key Priorities

Posted January 26th, 2012 at 5:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Highlights of the U.S. Defense Department’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013:

-Billions of dollars in cuts:

The Pentagon wants $525 billion for 2013, $6 billion less than this year’s request. For Afghanistan and other overseas operations, the department seeks another $88 billion, down from $115 billion this year. Overall, the plan aims to save $259 billion in the next five years and $487 billion in the next decade.

-A “smaller,” “leaner” military:

The Army would shrink from 562,000 active duty soldiers today to 490,000 by 2017. The force would still be larger than it was when the United States was attacked September 11, 2001. The Marine Corps numbers would fall from 202,000 to 182,000.

-Out with the old, delaying the new:

The Air Force would retire a number of older planes, including about two dozen C-5A cargo aircraft and 65 C-130 cargo planes. The Navy would keep 11 aircraft carriers, but retire seven cruisers earlier than planned, and delay purchase of other vessels, including a submarine. The purchase of F-35 fighter jets also would be slowed.

-Focus on Asia and the Middle East:

The U.S. would maintain its presence in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East and base combat ships in Singapore and patrol craft in Bahrain. The budget would also eliminate two Army brigades in Europe.

-New investments for new challenges:

The military would increase the number of special operations forces and invest in more capability in the cyber world.

-Closing domestic military bases:

To identify additional savings, the Obama administration will ask Congress to consider a new round of domestic base closures.