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Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta Statement on Fiscal 2013 Budget

Pentagon Press Briefing Room - Thursday, January 26, 2012

Good afternoon.

As you know, this Department has undertaken a fundamental review of its defense strategy and spending priorities.

The reasons for this review are clear: first, we are at a strategic turning point after a decade of war and substantial growth in defense budgets, and second, the Congress has required that the defense budget be reduced by $487 billion over the next decade.

To accomplish this, we focused first on developing a new strategy for the U.S. military force of the future. That strategy has guided us in making a series of budget choices and establishing a new set of defense priorities.

This ongoing process reached an important milestone last month with the release of new strategic guidance and priorities for 21st century defense, and will be reflected in the decisions that have been made in the President’s budget.

When I announced that new guidance, I highlighted five key elements of this strategy and vision for the military force of the future.

• First, the military will be smaller and leaner, but it will be agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced.
• Second, we will rebalance our global posture and presence to emphasize Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
• Third, we will build innovative partnerships and strengthen key alliances and partnerships elsewhere in the world.
• Fourth, we will ensure that we can quickly confront and defeat aggression from any adversary – anytime, anywhere.
• Fifth, we will protect and prioritize key investments in technology and new capabilities, as well as our capacity to grow, adapt and mobilize as needed.

Given the significant fiscal constraints that have been imposed on this Department, our approach was to use this as an opportunity to maintain the strongest military in the world, to not hollow out the force, to take a balanced approach by putting everything on the table, and to not break faith with the troops or their families.

 

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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.