Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pentagon to trim army by 13%, invest in future

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon on Thursday proposed trimming the Army's size by 13 per cent as the debt-ridden United States winds down a decade of war but vowed new investments to exert power in Asia and the Middle East.

With pressure mounting to balance the US books, President Barack Obama's administration sought a nine per cent cut in the 2013 budget compared with last year's request by retiring older ships and planes and pulling back two brigades from Europe.

But the administration called for investment on new projects including a futuristic floating base for special operations and drones and assigning elite Brigade Combat Teams with language training to each region of the world.

'We are at a strategic turning point after a decade of war and substantial growth in defense budgets,' Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said as he unveiled a preview of the Defence Department's 2013 budget requests.

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