BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States is set to strengthen its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region despite defense cuts elsewhere. At a press conference on Thursday, US president Barack Obama gave details of his plans for the US military.
Speaking at the Pentagon on Thursday, President Obama unveiled a revised national defense strategy designed for a new era of austerity.
Obama said: "We’ll be strengthening our presence in the Asia-Pacific, and budget reductions will not come at the expense of this critical region, we’re going to continue investing in our critical partnerships and alliances."
Obama added that despite fiscal challenges defense spending will continue to grow, but at a slower pace.
Obama said: "I think it’s important for all Americans to remember, over the past 10 years, since 9/11, our defense budget grew at an extraordinary pace. Over the next 10 years the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this: It will still grow because we have global responsibilities that demand our leadership."
The Defense Strategic Review, ordered by the president, will reset defense priorities.
And Obama has already earmarked defense budget cuts of 489 billion US dollars over 10 years. The defense budget faces an additional 600 billion US dollars in cuts after Congress failed to agree to broad deficit reductions after an August 2011 debt ceiling deal.
The president’s budget proposal for 2013 will be published in early February.
After a decade of conflict, and as he prepares to fight for reelection in November, the President stressed that the end of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan gives the country an opportunity to rebalance national spending priorities.