10 Aug 2010

US plans major defence cuts

2:06 pm on 10 August 2010

The United States government is announcing big defence cuts aimed at saving billions of dolllars.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates said one of America's ten major military commands, the Joint Forces Command, is to be axed.

The Joint Forces Command, based in Virginia, employs 5,000 people and trains troops from the different services to work together, the BBC reports.

Mr Gates said he wanted to free up spending for frontline requirements.

In a Pentagon news conference, he said the military had grown unwieldy and costly following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

He said the use of outside contractors will be reduced by 10% and the number of generals and admirals would be reduced.

He says the cuts are necessary to ensure the military has enough money to repair itself after years of war.