Report: Pentagon weighing base closures, military benefits in face of budget cuts

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in an effort to find $450 billion to cut from the Pentagon's budget, is considering wide-ranging measures that could include base closures, hikes in the cost of military health insurance, and possible cuts in retirement pay, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Panetta's comments about budget reductions come nearly three weeks before the so-called congressional super committee reaches a key deadline. The Pentagon stands to see $600 billion in automatic cuts if the committee does not come up with an alternative plan.

"There will be some huge political challenges," Panetta told the Times in an interview that took place Friday. "When you reduce defense spending, there's likely to be base closures, possible reduction in air wings," he said.

The days of a counterinsurgency-focused force might be coming to a close.

The Times reported that Panetta "did not envision maintaining a ground force large enough to conduct a long, bloody war and then stability operations in North Korea or Iran, as the United States did in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Among the proposals he was considering, Panetta told the Times that the Pentagon was considering raising fees for the military's health insurance program. Military retirees and families, who are guaranteed the military benefit for life, pay only $460 a year in fees, the Times said.

He also told the Times he would consider supporting the creation of a "binding commission" that would review military retirement pay. He did not give details of potential pay reductions.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.