On January 5 President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, and other high-ranking defense officials previewed the results of the recently completed strategic defense review at a press briefing at the Pentagon. Though short on specific details about which programs and systems will be scaled back or eliminated, the review lays out a blueprint that will inform the more than $450 billion in reductions to projected defense spending increases the administration is planning to implement over the next decade. We’ll find out more about the budget impact of this blueprint when the FY 2013 budget request is released next month.
You can read of copy of the strategy document, entitled “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” here. Our initial take on the review can be found here.
I put together some more detailed observations on the implications of the review for U.S. nuclear policy and budgets over at the mothership. Read them here.
The bottom line? The Pentagon appears to be setting the stage, albeit cautiously, for further reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal and the nuclear weapons budget. How the play ends, however, remains to be seen.