2014-03-04T230317Z_2_CBREA231RF100_RTROPTP_2_USA-MILITARY-CUTS

With 2015 budget, Pentagon looks beyond Afghanistan

U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel makes remarks to the press on looming budget cuts at the PentagonBy David Alexander and Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon unveiled a $496 billion base budget on Tuesday that looks beyond Afghanistan to future U.S. security challenges after a dozen years of war, cutting the military to afford more training and new weapons as it adapts to an era of tighter spending. The spending plan released on Tuesday means the Pentagon’s base budget for the 2015 fiscal year essentially would remain flat for a third consecutive year as the department responds to directions to cut nearly $1 trillion in spending over a decade. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the budget “supports – and is informed by – our updated defense strategy” as outlined in the Quadrennial Defense Review, an examination of strategy and priorities that was released alongside the budget. Representative Buck McKeon, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, expressed dismay at the shrinking security spending and flatly rejected the strategy review, vowing to make the Pentagon rewrite it.

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