Deputy Defense nominee warns on big budget cuts

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 13, 2011 10:39 AM
Deputy Defense nominee warns on big budget cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Budget cuts over and above the $350 billion approved by Congress in August would have a "devastating" impact and erode U.S. ability to achieve its national security objectives, the nominee for deputy defense secretary told his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Ashton Carter, the current undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said additional defense cuts of up to $600 billion "would lead us to have to consider truly draconian things," including abandoning major weapons systems and furloughing employees.

Congress approved $350 billion in reductions to national security spending in August and created a panel to look at additional cuts. If the panel fails to reach a compromise on new reductions, the government would face across-the-board cuts of about $600 billion in national security spending.

(Reporting by David Alexander)