- - Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Framework to manage major spending cuts

The Pentagon is unveiling a strategy designed to manage hundreds of billions in budget cuts without sapping the military’s strength.

The strategy is expected to serve as a framework for shifting the military’s focus from fighting post-9/11 wars in the greater Middle East to preserving America’s dominant position in Asia amid a Chinese military buildup.

In a presidential election year, the strategy also provides the White House a rhetorical tool to defend its Pentagon budget-cutting choices.

The strategy is to be outlined at a news conference Thursday by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and the Joint Chiefs chairman, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey.

It is not expected to mark a radical change in defense priorities. It may set the stage, however, for cutbacks in Europe and big weapons programs.


Geithner planning China, Japan trips

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will travel to Beijing and Tokyo next week for discussions about the global economy and Iran sanctions.

The trip follows the Obama administration decision not to name China a currency manipulator. That upset U.S. manufacturing groups, which contend China is undervaluing its currency for trade advantages.

The Treasury Department said Mr. Geithner will meet on Jan. 10-11 with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Vice President Xi Jinping and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

On Jan. 12, Mr. Geithner will meet in Tokyo with Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Finance Minister Jun Azumi.

Treasury said Mr. Geithner will discuss sanctions on Iran with both nations’ leaders. Last week, President Obama enacted new penalties on Iran’s central bank aimed at hampering Tehran’s ability to fund nuclear enrichment.


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