Pentagon: 2015 budget would keep links to Europe

By Robert Burns, Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 4, 2014 at 10:21 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is unveiling a proposed 2015 defense budget that shrinks the armed forces while keeping a commitment to support European allies at a time of tension over Russia's military involvement in Ukraine.

In previewing the budget plan last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said his priority is to reshape the military for what he called a more volatile and unpredictable world, taking into account shrinking budgets.

In announcing details Tuesday, the Pentagon said its 2015 base budget would be $496 billion, unchanged from this year. The Army would shrink from 490,000 active-duty soldiers to 440,000-450,000 over the coming five years — the smallest since 1940, prior to the buildup for World War II.

The budget retains a commitment to NATO and to building a missile defense system in Europe.

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Robert Burns

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