U.S. defense chief says spending cuts may shrink military

08:41, May 25, 2011      

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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday said as the federal government begins spending cuts, the Pentagon faces more restraints in its spending, and maybe forced to cut the size of the military.

"I've said repeatedly that I'd rather have a smaller, superbly capable military then a larger, hollow, less capable one. However . .. a smaller military, no matter how superb, will be able to go fewer places and be able to do fewer things," Gates said while delivering his last major policy speech in his tenure as defense secretary.

In the speech delivered at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Gates laid out the department's cost saving initiatives over the past few years, and outlined what he expects from a comprehensive review he launched last week.

"The overarching goal will be to preserve a U.S. military capable of meeting crucial national security priorities even if fiscal pressure requires reductions in that force's size," Gates said.

"If we are going to reduce the resources and the size of the U. S. military, people need to make conscious choices about what the implications are for the security of the country, as well as for the variety of military operations we have around the world if lower priority missions are scaled back or eliminated," Gates said.

He said people need to understand that a smaller pool of forces could mean greater impacts on troops and families, should the United States find itself in another protracted war, but he acknowledged that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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