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Major Budget Decisions Briefing at the Pentagon

U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) - January 26, 2012

Note: This event immediately followed a Major Budget Decisions Briefing presented by Defense Secretary Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey.


I'm not going to try to repeat everything that's been said before. We're really here to answer your questions. I hope you all have a copy of the white paper here which describes the key decisions we've made in connection with the '13 budget and their connection to the strategic guidance, which we released a few -- a few weeks ago.

I'll just comment on one of the questions that was already asked. The -- I -- oh, I should say, by the way, that this is a pretty complete description of the many tens of individual decisions we've made. There's many, many items -- individual items in here. We're happy to answer questions about any of the items that are in the white paper.

We won't be releasing the full budget until the president releases the full budget, and we won't be going into detail on all of these items until we've had a chance to confer with Congress, which will begin next week.

But fundamentally, this -- the detail in here describes the enormity of the adjustments that we were required to make. I think the secretary described it very well. The base budget is not decreasing over the years ahead, but neither is it continuing to rise in real terms as it has over the past few years and as we planned before the Budget Control Act was enacted.

So the difference between the amount that we planned to have and the amount last year and that we now amount to have -- now plan to have, that's where the famous $487 billion comes from. It's that difference over 10 years, $259 billion over five years, so an adjustment of about 7 (percent) to -- or 8 (percent) to 9 percent overall, which is a very substantial amount by any measure. And if you add to that the reduction in overseas contingency operations or OCO spending and consider the entire defense budget, you can see that we needed to make the most consequential adjustments that this department has had to make budgetarily in more than a decade. So it is very large.


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The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.