The Four Guiding Principles

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday he will apply four guidelines in determining where to make some $450 billion in cuts across the Pentagon over the next decade in order to help reduce the federal deficit. The first is to maintain the finest military in the world that is capable of deterring conflict, projecting power, and winning wars, he told the House Armed Services Committee in testimony. Second is to avoid a hollow force and maintain a military that, even if smaller, is ready, agile, and deployable. Third is to take a balanced approach by looking at all areas of DOD’s budget for potential savings. Fourth, and “most importantly,” is not to break the faith with the all-volunteer force, he said. “If we follow these four principles, I’m confident that we can meet our national security responsibilities and do our part to help this country get its fiscal house in order,” said Panetta. (Panetta’s written statement)