By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Military officials are reassessing the national defense strategy in light of spending cuts that will force the Pentagon to reduce its budget by $500 billion over the next decade, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says.
The Obama administration is putting attention-getting Pentagon projects on the chopping block in a bid to pressure Congress into making a deal that avoids $46 billion in military budget cuts March 1, analysts and congressional officials say.
The Air Force is canceling all nonessential travel, conferences and research, and is cutting in half its budget for base maintenance to deal with the threat of drastic, automatic spending cuts due to begin March 1, Air Force officials say.
Tuesday's re-election of President Obama triggered immediate speculation about the future of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, who will turn 75 in June. Mr. Panetta, defense secretary since June 2011, has had a long career in government and is said by associates to be ready to return to private life in Northern California, where he frequently visits and owns land.
The layoffs have begun. Defense contractors are bracing themselves for significant downsizing and assembly-line closures as Congress bickers over the federal deficit.
A forthcoming study by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board concludes that an Obama administration plan to shoot down long-range Iranian missiles shortly after launch will not work.