(WASHINGTON) -- It's the strongest warning yet from top Pentagon officials against deep spending cuts in the military budget, which Defense Secretary Robert Gates described as short-sighted. "We still live in a very dangerous and unstable world. Our military must remain strong and agile enough to face a range of threats."
Gates told the House Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon has already cancelled $330 billion in programs, such as the marine amphibious fighting vehicle and closed down an entire command.
Gates says the Pentagon is asking for $553 billion for the budget year starting October 1, plus $118 billion in war costs. The Obama 2012 budget calls for cutting the size of the army and marine corps beginning in 2015. Gates says this could be done with minimal risk. "Drastic reductions in the size and strength of the U.S. military make armed conflict all the more likely, with an unacceptably high cost in American blood and treasure."
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