GUAM – Secretary Leon Panetta is set this week to reveal a new, trimmed-down vision of the U.S. military that reflects how the Pentagon will do its part to reduce America’s crippling deficit over the next decade.
Mr. Panetta, who must carefully weigh cuts to virtually every key facet of military spending, will likely discuss issues affecting the Guam military buildup over the long term, including America’s strategy for securing Asia in the midst of an ascendant Chinese military, and downsizing the U.S. Marine Corps.
Considerations like these could shed light on the future of the U.S.-Japan alliance agreement to shift 30,000 forward deployed Marines in Asia-Pacific, and the related buildup of a Marine base in Guam.
Mr. Panetta’s new Defense spending blueprint is expected to show how the Pentagon will revamp its strategy for the next five years to achieve the first $260 billion in savings towards meeting the goals of the August debt ceiling deal.
The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (signed by President Obama on Dec. 31) has officially frozen funding for Marine-related construction projects on Guam this year. And Mr. Panetta’s forward-looking assessment could indicate whether Pentagon cuts for next fiscal year — expected to be around $25 billion — will continue to defer resources for the Asia-Pacific realignment and its Guam buildup component.
For more discussion on the wider range of Pentagon considerations in light of the nation’s new fiscal reality, read The New York Times “Panetta to Offer Strategy for Cutting Military Budget.”
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