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Obama to unveil austere defense strategy at Pentagon

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is scheduled to make a rare visit to the Pentagon today to unveil a strategic review for the U.S. military that will consolidate missions and downsize the ambitions of the armed forces as they adjust to a new era of austerity, officials said.

Obama, who will be joined by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will place his personal imprint on a new military strategy that Pentagon officials have been preparing for months in anticipation of the largest cuts to the defense budget since the end of the Cold War.

The document will call for a greater shift toward Asia in military planning and a move away from big, expensive wars like Iraq and Afghanistan, which have dominated U.S. operations for most of the past decade, according to a senior military official, the Washington Post reports.

In particular, the plan calls on the military to invest in weaponry to defeat efforts by potential adversaries such as China to use long-range missiles and sophisticated radar to deter U.S. forces.

The strategy differs from previous reviews in that it establishes clear priorities for the military, the Post reports the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the plan had not been released.

The strategy review will not spell out potential $480 billion to $1 trillion in spending cuts that the Pentagon faces in the next decade. Details of those reductions will begin to trickle out next month, when the Obama administration releases its proposed federal budget for 2013.

The Pentagon's strategy review was initiated last spring by former defense secretary Robert Gates.

Obama to unveil austere defense strategy at Pentagon 01/04/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 8:45pm]
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