Hagel, speaking at a Pentagon news conference, said the Defense
Department was still facing big spending cuts despite a two-year
budget deal by Congress in January that eased some of the financial
"Will there be cuts across the board? Of course there will. You
can't do it any other way. Are there going to be adjustments across
the board? Of course," Hagel said.
The Pentagon chief said the department would approach the budget
holistically and over the long run, trying to preserve military
readiness and capability while establishing a sustainable path for
modernizing major weapons systems.
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Pentagon is required to
cut nearly a trillion dollars in projected spending over the next
A deal negotiated in Congress in January reduced the size of the
cuts for two years but still left the Pentagon needing to reduce
spending for next year by about $40 billion more than it had
Defense analysts from four think-tanks who looked at the Pentagon's
spending problems said this week the department faced difficult
choices between personnel and readiness in the coming years and that
the cuts could make it hard to execute a global security strategy.
The team unveiled by Hagel on Friday would be responsible for
navigating the difficulties. Hagel said President Barack Obama had
named former Navy Undersecretary Robert Work, a retired Marine
colonel who currently heads the Center for a New American Security
think-tank, as deputy secretary of defense.
Obama last week nominated Michael McCord as the new Pentagon
comptroller to replace Robert Hale, Christine Wormuth as
undersecretary of defense for policy to replace James Miller, and
Brian McKeon as principal deputy undersecretary of defense to
replace Kathleen Hicks.
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The nominees must be confirmed by the Senate before taking their
positions. Hagel hailed the group as "four of the most experienced
national security professionals that DoD (Department of Defense) has
had in these positions at any one time."
McCord currently serves as Hale's deputy, Wormuth has been deputy
undersecretary of defense for strategy, plans and force development,
and McKeon has worked on the White House National Security staff.
Work spent 27 years in the Marine Corps before retiring. He was a
defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary
Assessments think tank before returning to the Defense Department in
2009 as undersecretary of the Navy, a job he left last year to
become head of CNAS.
He has written widely on naval affairs, military transformation and
strategy, including an article for CNAS last month in which he
voiced concern about the U.S. military's technological edge and
urged defense leaders to begin preparing for war in the robotic age.
Work said emerging technologies offered the prospect of a
military-technical revolution by means of increasingly autonomous
aircraft and robots, three-dimensional printing and other new
(Additional reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by Ken Wills)
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