Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has stressed that the Pentagon needs âflexibility and timeâ to manage its financial resources in line with the governmentâs targets for the next 10 years, Reuters reported Thursday.
David Alexander writes the senior DoD officialâs comments on Thursday came as he briefed the Armed Services Committee on the outcome of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s Strategic Choices and Management Review.
The article says Carter emphasized the need for careful analysis of action plans as the SCMR highlighted the potential risk of compromising national security if the department follows the $500 billion spending cut.
âIt takes time to downsize forces, to cut employees, to close bases, to reap savings from reforms,â the defense secretary told the House committee as quoted in the report.
âThese strategic adjustments take time,” he added.
Alexander reports defense analysts have acknowledged the Pentagonâs efforts to adjust in compliance to a budget law that currently requires $487 billion in cuts as well as prepare for the additional $500 billion sequestration.
“(DoD) is taking some steps I think in the right direction, but it still has a long way to go,” Jim Thomas, a Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments vice president, was quoted to have said in the write-up.
Reuters notes Mackenzie Eaglen from the American Enterprise Institute suggested that the department consider reducing its civilian staff, which he said had increased in four years.
According to the report, Hagelâs review had focused on the effects of sequestration and budget cuts to the capacity and capabilities of the armed forces as well as security programs and initiatives.