Sunday, August 7, 2011

Report warns Pentagon of dire cuts

US defence secretary, Leon Panetta (File photo)

Source: Press TV

The US Defense Department officials should be prepared for more budget cuts in case the government fails to approve further savings by the end of year, a new report warns.

“Given the abruptness of the cuts imposed under the trigger and the real possibility that congress may not be able to reach a deficit reduction compromise in time to avoid the trigger , department of defense should immediately begin contingency planning for how to handle such reduction,” the report by Todd Harrison Center for Strategic and Budget Assessment wrote.

The debt ceiling legislation, which was signed into law on Tuesday by US President Barack Obama, contains USD 350 billion in defense cuts.

The bill allows the USD 14.3 trillion borrowing ceiling to rise by up to USD 2.4 trillion and also envisages USD 900 billion in savings, USD 350 billion of it in defense.

The Defense Department could be hit with another round of USD 500 billion in spending cuts if Congress misses the yearend deadline to approve further government savings.

Should the congress fail, the pentagon budget would revert to its 2007 level of around USD 472 billion.

Leon Panetta, the United States Defense Secretary, has already warned that the second round of potential defense cuts were "completely unacceptable" and would damage US security, and the ability to protect the nation.

Many experts agree that there is waste and duplication in the Pentagon's budget - but also say there's not enough slack in the system for sustained cuts over a decade. The Pentagon's budget for fiscal year 2010 was USD 680 billion, a reminder of the vast size and reach of America's global military power.

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