Advertisement

Leaders say risks manageable

Leaders say risks manageable
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaks to sailors and Marines in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, Jan. 21, 2012. UPI/Scott Pittman/U.S. Navy | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Any risk for the U.S. military resulting from a smaller force have been dealt with in current budget decisions and are manageable, top defense officials said.

In his news briefing Thursday on the budget decisions under the defense strategic guidance and fiscal 2013 priorities, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Army's strength will drop to 490,000 soldiers from 562,000, while the Marine Corps will drop to 182,000 from 202,000 during the next five years.

Advertisement

"The risks come with the fact that ... we will have a smaller force," Panetta said.

Joined by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Panetta said the force will still be larger than during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and will be able to carry out many missions.

RELATED Panetta outlines defense cuts in budget

"We think we've dealt with those risks because the combination of the forces we have in place and the ability, if we have to, to mobilize quickly will give us the capability to deal with any threat," he said.

Panetta said defense strategy will depend "a great deal on being at the technological edge of the future."

Advertisement

"Can we develop the kind of technology we're going to need to confront the future? I'm confident we can, but there are risks associated with that," he said.

"The greater risk would be had we decided that we would just wish away any particular capability or any particular form of conflict," Dempsey said.

Panetta said there are other threats as the United States draws down from Iraq and Afghanistan.

While fighting the war in Afghanistan, he said terrorism threats come from the tribal areas of Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia as well as nuclear-capable Iran and North Korea.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement