U.S. budget woes send 'wrong message' to potential foes: Defense Secretary

Carter holds a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, VirginiaBy Andrea Shalal NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday warned that continued uncertainty about U.S. military spending levels would send “the wrong message at the wrong time” when Russia and China are rapidly advancing their technologies. Carter told the annual meeting of the Air Force Association that failure by the U.S. Congress to pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 could trigger a return to difficult spending cuts and a $38 billion shortfall in funds needed for new weapons, training and operations. The Pentagon has already made many tough choices and trade-offs about the size of its armed forces, new capabilities and readiness levels as a result of mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration in recent years, Carter said.

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