S&P 500
1964.58
+13.76 +0.70%
Dow Indu
16805.41
+127.51 +0.76%
Nasdaq
4485.20
+32.41 +0.72%
Crude Oil
81.01
-0.77 -0.95%
Gold
1231.31
+0.86 +0.07%
Euro
1.2671
0.0000 0.00%
US Dollar
85.724
-0.108 -0.14%
Strong

Market Commentary and Intraday News

Hagel outlines US defense priorities after years of war, says Congress faces tough choices

171 days ago

Trading Index Futures
FREE Webinar will assist you in identifying good technical trade setups on the charts and the key components of your entry and risk in this market. Index futures are very technical in nature and are traded by professionals around the globe. Learn the index futures market and understand what you need to know when trading these instruments. Learn the Gap trade strategy to help build consistency in this market.
Click Here For Details

By JASON KEYSER

(AP:CHICAGO) CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Tuesday of painful trade-offs as the nation's military pivots from a 13-year war footing and comes under enormous budgetary constraints, saying there will have to be cuts to military pay, aging weapons systems and the size of the armed forces.

Hagel made the comments in a speech in Chicago aimed in large part at members of Congress who have demanded deep spending cuts while resisting the military's main proposals for making them, including the closure of bases that are popular with lawmakers and their constituents. Hanging in the balance amid that tussle is not just America's military might, but also its global standing, Hagel said.

"Even as Congress has slashed our overall budget, they have so far proven unwilling to accept necessary reforms to curb growth in compensation costs and eliminate (the Department of Defense's) excess infrastructure and unneeded facilities," Hagel said.

His words echoed those of military leaders who were on Capitol Hill Tuesday to tell Congress that they have done all they could to cut costs and it was now up to lawmakers to slow the growth of skyrocketing personnel pay and benefits. Senators expressed reservations about that as well as the Pentagon's efforts to cut the A-10 aircraft, which provides close air support for combat troops.

Hagel spoke in Chicago of the need to abandon those aircraft, which he argued cannot operate in the face of sophisticated air defenses. The same, he said, is true of the U-2 spy plane.

"Continuing to limp along with 50-year-old platforms, no matter how good they were or how effective they were, we don't have that luxury," he said. "We've got to build for the future. ... Congress has to be a partner with us."

Next-generation conventional military equipment is still important, Hagel said. But he added that the nation's security now also depends on new investment in cyber technology, unmanned weapons systems and international partnerships to counter what he called "shadowy" threats from irregular forces. Emphasizing the point, Hagel mentioned the crisis in Ukraine and a continued threat from terrorism.

The speech was Hagel's third on new strategic priorities as the U.S. military and its NATO allies move to end their combat role in Afghanistan by the end of the year.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

INO.com on Facebook INO.com MarketClub on Twitter INO.com on Google+ INO.com YouTube

© Copyright INO.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.