Defense Secretary Dick Cheney Tuesday outlined $10 billion in Pentagon budget cuts and said the "hard choices" included reductions in dozens of weapons systems and a $1 billion slash in Star Wars research money.
Cheney, making his first appearance as defense secretary before his former colleagues in the House, told the Armed Services Committee that only the Marine Corps had been spared manpower cuts."No program was excluded from consideration during the budget adjustment process," Cheney told the House panel at the start of what was expected to be a daylong hearing.
"But my top priorities are quality people, forward strategy, readiness and sustainability, efficient procurement and strategic modernization. The adjustments we made to the budget were implemented within this context."
Under the budget agreement reached earlier this spring between the Bush administration and Congress, the Pentagon is required to cut future spending plans by $10 billion for the next fiscal year.
Cheney said that in making the budget changes, "not only did we have to make hard choices, but we also had to make sure that they were the right choices."
Cheney, who took office a month ago, said he had ordered a cut in active military strength totaling 16,800 positions, down to 2,121,500.
A request for a 3.6 percent pay raise in fiscal 1990 for armed services personnel has been left intact.