Panetta: DoD cyber spending won't be cut

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Defense spending on cyber capabilities won't be subject to cuts as the Pentagon attempts to reduce its budget by $487 billion over the next decade, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters during a Jan. 26 press conference.

Cost cutting measures will include reducing by the end of fiscal 2017 active personnel in the Army down to 490,000 from 562,000 and the Marine Corps to 182,000 from 202,000, Panetta said, as well as the cancelation of some weapons systems.

However, cyber capabilities, special operations, ballistic missile defense, "the ability to project power in denied areas," and anti-weapons of mass destruction efforts will see their budget stay stable or grow, Panetta said.

The Pentagon will request $525 billion for its base budget during the coming fiscal year, Panetta said and $88.4 billion for overseas contingency operations--the latter being money that funds U.S. activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. Defense base funding is $531 billion in the current fiscal year, he added, and overseas contingency operations funding is $115 billion.

"The budget also seeks to retain the most flexible, versatile and technologically advanced platforms that we will need for the future. That involves unmanned systems, satellites, submarines, helicopters, aircraft carriers and fifth-generation aircraft," Panetta said.

For more:
- read a transcript of Panetta's Jan. 26 press conference

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