wired.comBy Spencer Ackerman
The big loser in the Pentagonâ€™s new budget? Ordinary human beings.
About 80,000 Army soldiers and 20,000 Marines are getting downsized. Half of the Armyâ€™s conventional combat presence in Europe is packing up and ending its post-Cold War staycation. Replacing them, according to the $613 billion budget previewed by the Pentagon on Thursday: unconventional special-operations forces; new bombers; new spy tools; new missiles for subs; and a veritable Cylon army of drones.
This is the first of the Pentagonâ€™s new, smaller â€œausterityâ€ budgets: itâ€™s asking Congress for $525 billion (plus $88.4 billion for the Afghanistan war), compared to a $553 billion request (plus $117 billion in war cash) last year. Only the Pentagon is emphasizing (.pdf) what the military is keeping, not what itâ€™s cutting. Thatâ€™s because congressional Republicans donâ€™t like swallowing these cuts â€” and really donâ€™t want to acquiesce to a currently-scheduled law that could tack on another $600 billion-plus to the already-scheduled, decade-long $487 billion in cuts. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is preempting the objections, promising a force thatâ€™s â€œsmaller and leaner, but agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced.â€
Read More: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/humans-robots-budget/