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17 juin 2011 5 17 /06 /juin /2011 12:40

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16 Jun 2011 By MARCUS WEISGERBER DefenseNews

 

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the $400 billion cut to the national security budget being sought by the White House by 2023 is not minor, but that the Pentagon has been dealing with smaller-than-expected budgets of late.

 

"Well, I don't think it's a minor cut," Gates said June 16 during a briefing at the Pentagon, his last before he retires at the end of the month. "I think it's important to remember, you know, we didn't start this yesterday."

 

Gates was alluding to numerous program cuts he ordered in 2009 and to $78 billion the Pentagon plans to return to the Treasury over the next five years by operating more efficiently.

 

Gates also noted that Congress lopped $20 billion off of DoD's 2011 budget request.

 

President Obama had ordered a major missions and capabilities review that is expected to inform the additional $400 billion in cuts sought between 2013 and 2023.

 

"I think it's our responsibility to lay before the president and before the Congress what the consequences are of cuts at different levels and what changes have to be made in strategy, and what the implications are in terms of capabilities," Gates said.

 

The review is expected to wrap up "later this summer," he said.

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