Panetta: Space Investments Among Those to be Protected

Panetta: Space Investments Among Those to be Protected

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said today that while cuts are made to the defense budget, investments in several areas will be protected, including space capabilities.

President Obama, Panetta, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey released the new Defense Strategic Guidance at a press conference today.  Panetta stressed that a new strategy was needed even if the budget situation did not demand it because of changing geopolitical circumstances.    However, the need to reduce defense spending is an important factor in designing the new strategy, he continued.

Although there will be cuts in many areas, Panetta made it clear that some parts of the defense budget — including space activities — will be protected and even augmented:   “Lastly, as we reduce the overall defense budget, we will protect and in some cases increase our investments in special operations forces, in new technologies like ISR and unmanned systems, in space, and in particular in cyberspace capabilities, and also our capacity to quickly mobilize if necessary.”

Specifics on what programs will be cut or increased were not announced today.   That information apparently must wait until the President’s FY2013 budget request is submitted to Congress, which is expected on the first Monday in February.

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