Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told a conference last week that with $50 billion in spending reductions a year increasingly likely in 2014 and beyond, what the department most needed was a strategy that fit the likely resources available.
“We ... understand that we’re probably not going to get the current level of defense resources,” Hale said. “And so if there are to be substantial additional cuts, what we ask for is time to redo this strategy. We need to reconsider it so that we have a blueprint that’s consistent with whatever level of resources we are likely to get.”
Defense analysts have been urging the Pentagon to reconsider its strategy, noting that efforts to slash the U.S. budget deficits and the huge federal debt meant that further spending cuts were likely, making current strategy unaffordable.
A group of five former deputy defense secretaries urged Hagel in a letter earlier this month to conduct a thorough review of all aspects of Pentagon strategy, capabilities and budget to create a new long-term defense posture.