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January 6, 2012

U.S. to cut armed forces – Obama

The U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled on Thursday a new defense strategy that seeks to cut the country’s armed forces as a part of major cuts to the U.S. defense budget by almost $500 billion, RIA Novosti reported.
"Our military will be leaner but the world must know – the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with Armed Forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats," Obama told a press conference at the Pentagon.
The U.S president said that the country would dismiss Cold War-era systems in order to invest into “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, counterterrorism, countering weapons of mass destruction and the ability to operate in environments where adversaries try to deny us access.”
The defense strategy, released on Thursday, however neither elaborates on the number of troops to be reduced nor explains any budgetary issues of the reform.
Speaking before the press conference at the Pentagon, administration officials said that Army and Marine Corps personnel may be reduced by up to 15 percent in the next ten years what means the reduction of tens of thousands of troops.
The United States may also cut the number of ground forces in Europe by another combat brigade, a group of about 4,000 people.
The document also puts focus on Asia since Pentagon has already voiced concerns about China's rapidly growing military potential that could make it harder for the United States Navy and Air Force to project power to the Far East.
Obama also reiterated that the United States will maintain its efforts to ensure stability in the Middle East and halt Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.
"U.S. policy will emphasize Gulf security, in collaboration with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries when appropriate, to prevent Iran's development of a nuclear weapon capability and counter its destabilizing policies," the document reads.

RIANovosti

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