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Defense Secretary Panetta Holds News Briefing on Defense Strategic Guidance and Budget Issues

CQ Transcriptions - January 26, 2012

PANETTA:

Good afternoon, everybody.

As all of you know, this department has undertaken a very fundamental review of its defense strategy and of our spending priorities.

The reasons for the review are clear.

First of all, we are at a strategic turning point after a decade of war and after a very substantial growth in the defense budget.

And second, the Congress of the United States, through the passage of the Budget Control Act, has required that the defense budget be reduced by $487 billion over 10 years.

To accomplish this effort we decided that it was important to make this an opportunity to develop a new defense strategy for the United States and for the U.S. military force that we wanted for the future.

That strategy has guided us in making a series of tough budget choices and establishing a new set of defense priorities.

The ongoing process reached an important milestone earlier this month with the release of the new strategic guidance and the priorities for a 21st-century defense.

PANETTA:

And it will be reflected in the decisions that have been made and will be presented in the president's budget.

When I announced the new guidance, I highlighted five key elements of the strategy and five key elements of the vision that we have for a military force of the future. And let me just summarize each of those.

First, the military will be smaller and leaner, but it will be agile, flexible, rapidly deployable and technologically advanced. It will be a cutting-edge force.

Second, we will rebalance our global posture and presence to emphasize where we think the potential problems will be in the world, and that means emphasizing Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Third, we will maintain our presence elsewhere in the world and will do that by building innovative partnerships and strengthening our key alliances and develop new partnerships elsewhere in the world in Europe and Africa and Latin America and elsewhere.

Fourth, we will ensure that we can quickly confront and defeat aggression from any adversary any time, any place.

 

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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.