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Obama: Defense cuts will mean ‘leaner’ U.S. military forces

This news story was published on January 5, 2012.
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By Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington Bureau –

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a new defense strategy that he says will make U.S. military forces “leaner” in the coming years while still maintaining their global superiority.

(PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks about defense budget cuts during a briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia January 5, 2012.)

In an unprecedented appearance before the press corps at the Pentagon, Obama unveiled the broad outlines of a plan that calls for a beefed-up military presence in the Asian-Pacific region and investment in NATO and other international partnerships to go along with U.S. troop withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The tide of war is receding,” Obama said, “but the question that this strategy answers is what kind of military we will need after the long wars of the last decade are over.”

The contours of the plan are not surprising, and follow Obama’s highly public plan to shift military spending away from a combat-troop presence in the Middle East and toward intelligence gathering, surveillance and counter-terrorism efforts.

But as Obama prepares to announce specific plans to trim the growth in defense spending, he is also readying himself for criticism of his commitment to national security.

Republican presidential contenders question the Democratic president’s national-security policies and are likely to go after his budget-cutting plans for the Pentagon.

Obama launched a preemptive strike Thursday with an argument that, with resources so scarce, Congress must streamline the military along with the rest of the government.

Under his plan, Obama said, the U.S. will still have a defense budget larger than those of the next 10 countries combined.

“Some will no doubt say the spending reductions are too big, others will say they’re too small,” Obama said. “But I would encourage all of us to remember what President Eisenhower once said, that each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration — the need to maintain balance in and among national programs.”

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16 Responses to Obama: Defense cuts will mean ‘leaner’ U.S. military forces

  1. Avatar

    Hi there, just changed into aware of your blog via Google,my site is

  2. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Kind of funny to note, people in other countries also feel it is a bad policy for the U.S. Notable were the comments this evening in the U.K. media.

  3. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    It’s funny, in one article, Peter wants to spend, spend, spend, and build more useless layers of government, yet when it comes to National Defense, Peter all but wants it to wither on the vine. And if a private business has to increase it’s rates because of increased costs, well that cannot happen! They are criminals.

    It’s almost laughable.

    • Avatar

      Peter Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      That’s not what I said at all. I said that in an era of one billion dollar a day wars and aid to foreign governments, if we cannot spend money getting our election / voting process fixed, that our system isn’t worth protecting at all. More specifically, if we can’t put time, money and effort into our own democracy, then what business do we have promoting it elsewhere.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      Peter, your suggestion of the SSA to get more money in order to do something the states ALREADY do, is pointless. They cannot and will not regulate it any better than the states.

      That money is better spent defending our country. One that by your own admissions, do not like!

      You do not like that the majority of us do not want your pot or other drugs legalized. You do not like that we don’t give away land so you can build your space ship/hippie commune. You don’t like that an ordered society has rules dealing with land use. Need I go further?

    • Avatar

      Peter Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      You can go as far as you like. It doesn’t affect me in the slightest. None of what you write is correct. There are problems in this country, and if you don’t think so, then you’re either part of the problem or are too rich to care. Voting cards are still needed, despite what you write. Eventually we are going to move towards a system of direct democracy, and for this we will need them.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      January 6, 2012 at 4:13 am

      But Peter, it comes directly from what you have written in the past.

      Sure we have problems in the U.S., no one said it was perfect. The solutions do not need to be complicated or overbearing. Simplicity. Let the States take care of it. They are better suited than the Federal Government.

      And I doubt seriously you will ever see our representative democracy become a direct democracy (read anarchy). It is a style our Founders kept us away from, and for good reason. I’ll let Alexander Hamilton laugh at you for such a suggestion.

  4. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    So in the mean time Peter, we bury our heads in the sand, do not exploit technology to aid in defense, and ignore threats made to us (actually, without some of those defense products, we would not know if a threat existed or not).

    There is a lot more to our Military than guns and airplanes. And those products help keep us just as safe and secure. Personally, it appears as an election year ploy.

  5. Avatar

    Peter Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Thank God! Bring on the era of Peace. It’s long overdue.

    • Avatar

      Peter Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      BTW…if Paul doesn’t win the nomination…I’m OBAMA ALL THE WAY!! Ultimately, I kid you not when I say that an Obama / Paul ticket would be the best thing our country could do for itself. Obama as President and Ron Paul as Vice-President. A stunning victory would occur.

    • Avatar

      Buzz's friend Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Thank God? Don’t you mean thank the Russians, Iranians and Chinese? LOL! These folks are now just drooling at the chops! Keep collecting your free money Peter, you are what they want!! Government hand me outs to keep the people content. You’ll be alright. Getting your foodstamps and SSI check. Save the world Peter, save the world…….from your computer and lofty ideals. We are safe, don’t worry Peter, especially when you have zero responsibility such as yourself. Your opinion doesn’t matter, cause you don’t pay to have an opinion. Peace in the World? Iran, Russia, and China don’t want it. Get with the program, not under the program which you are.

    • Avatar

      Peter Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      You warhawks / chickenhawks raped the budget for enough years. Over a decade. It’s time to bring it back under control…back to Clinton era, when everything was balanced and the economy well. I don’t get food stamps. I don’t get welfare. I reside on my sales activities on EBAY, and family support, until my business models reach fruition. Maybe some day what I write and advocate for will one day benefit you. I’m guessing you’re more of a chicken hawk than a war hawk. Nuclear deterrence is what Obama emphasized as a solid form of National Defense…which is the correct one. The military doesn’t need to keep profiting off of taxpayers running around the world promoting their war games when we have sufficient nuclear arsenal in subs and land based missiles to take care of the China, Russia, threat you speak of.

      Laterz chicken hawk.

    • Avatar

      Peter Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      I just noticed more carefully that you wrote ” I don’t pay so my opinions don’t matter”.

      It probably just pisses you off that I’ve found a way to survive as a philosopher and intellectual outside of your slave driven mule system yourself is subjected under.

      Blue collars hate thinkers. They like to think with their muscles and brawn. Nothing wrong with a good hard days work…but I’m not going to let that trump my ability to think and feel how I want. You keep moving your bags and boxes, and I’ll keep addressing the world as I see fit.

      My views are the correct views. You’ll come to know this in time. I have wisdom. That is a rare thing in this world.

      Peace out fool.

    • Avatar

      Buddha Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Peter is the Anti-Christ. We beseech thee.

    • Avatar

      Buzz's friend Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      No Peter is just a lazy goof ball.

  6. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Leaner? He is gutting the system. Top to bottom, contractors producing essential products for the military are being eliminated. And I am not talking about $400 toilet seats or $300 hammers. They are hitting levels far below pre-Iraq times.

    I cannot see where our Military will be as effective, even in peace-time roles, as they were prior.