Leon Panetta Discusses the 2014 Defense Budget Request

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Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to the press at the Pentagon about what the 2014 budget proposal would look like and how the threat of a sequester and budget uncertainty will affect it.

According to a DoD article, the defense budget requests process is behind schedule of where it normally is in February and officials do not expect the budget to go to Congress until late March.

The budget the two men discussed will include $487 billion in cuts discussed in 2011 and a military pay raise of 1 percent.

“No one is getting a pay cut, but we will provide a pay raise that’s smaller than we’ve seen in past years in order to achieve some savings by virtue of what we confront in the compensation area,” Panetta said.

He said personnel costs have grown 80 percent since 2003 and it is critical that the DoD gets this under control.

To account for the major cuts that will take place in 2014 and over the next few years, the Pentagon proposed a round of base closures and realignments and cutting the number of Marines to 182,000 troops and Army troops to 490,000.  

“We have identified $30 billion in new initiatives over the next five years to eliminate overhead and duplication,” Panetta said.

He added that the military will look to technologies for savings and the department will continue to push for growth in special operations capabilities and cyber warfare experts.

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