AirTalk for January 5, 2012

Obama presents a new plan to streamline the Pentagon

President Obama Speaks On The Defense Strategic Review At The Pentagon

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks while flanked by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (L), and Chief of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Raymond Odierno (C), at the Pentagon on January 5, 2012 in Washington, DC.

As a pair of long running wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the Pentagon is now facing a new kind of threat - a financial overhaul designed to retain our armed forces’ ability to maintain a strong national defense within the constraints of a leaner Federal budget.

President Obama presented the plan today at a Pentagon briefing saying, “The tide of war is receding. But the question that this strategy answers is what kind of military will we need after the long wars of the last decade are over.” It’s a delicate balance for the Obama administration, as the plan - based on months of study at the Pentagon - will likely provide fodder for hawkish Republicans in an election year.

Will the new measures affect the U.S. military’s long-standing ability to wage as many as two major wars simultaneously? Can advanced military technology offset a smaller, leaner fighting force?

Guests:

Anna Mulrine, Pentagon correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor

John Arquilla, Professor and Chair of the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Author of "Insurgents, Raiders, and Bandits: How Masters of Irregular Warfare Have Shaped Our World."


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