Obama outlines new plan for U.S. defense priorities, spending

Here and Now

President Barack Obama appeared at the Pentagon Thursday to unveil his plan for reducing the budget of the United States military by some $450 billion over the next decade.

In what historians believe is the first briefing by a sitting president at the Pentagon, Obama unveiled a new national defense policy that assumes the United States will no longer participate in long, involved county-insurgencies like has been seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, the New York Times reported.

Under the new plan, the United States Army would shrink by some 10 percent — to a point where it would no longer be an American goal to fight and win two wars simultaneously. Instead, the American goal will be to fight and win one war and “spoil the military aspirations of another adversary in a different region of the world.” Plus, the U.S. military would still be expected to do both of those things while supporting humanitarian missons around the world.

“We must put our fiscal house in order here at home and renew our long-term economic strength,” Obama said in a letter he sent along with the formal strategy.

The new strategy formally reorients America’s military orientation toward Iran and China. According to officials speaking anonymously to the Times, it keeps support for the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers and makes smaller reductions in the U.S. Marines. It also delays, but doesn’t cancel, some key new weapons systems, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“The defense secretary will not advocate cuts in financing for defense and offense in cyberspace, for Special Operations forces or for the broad area of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,” the Times reported.

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