Hagel: DoD budget focuses on emerging threats

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Senate Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee on Wednesday that the DoD's budget for the coming fiscal year focuses on new and emerging threats.

Hagel said the DoD is proposing significant reductions in the size of the Army and Marines to focus on fighting terrorism and cyber attacks.

"After 13 years of long, large stability operations, we must shift our focus onto future requirements shaped by enduring and emerging threats," Hagel said. "We must be able to defeat terrorist threats and cyberattacks and deter adversaries with increasingly modern weapons and technological capabilities."

The DoD proposed drawing down the active duty Army by 13 percent over the next five years to as few as 440,000 soldiers. The Marine Corps plans to continue its drawdown to 182,000 members while devoting 900 additional Marines to increase security at U.S. embassies worldwide. The Air Force plans to replace its 50-year-old U-2 surveillance plane with the unmanned Global Hawk aircraft.

Hagel warned legislators that further reductions in budget could keep the U.S. from modernizing its current force structure.

"(A lack of funding) will jeopardize the readiness and capability of our armed forces and shortchange America's ability to effectively and decisively respond when global events demand it," Hagel said.

Congress will likely not take final action on a Pentagon budget for several months.