6 Jan 2012

Military cuts announced by Obama

5:20 pm on 6 January 2012

United States President Barack Obama has announced the US military will become "leaner" while maintaining superiority as it switches focus to the Asia-Pacific.

In a rare appearance at the Pentagon, he said the tide of war was receding and the United States needed to renew its economic strength.

The BBC reports the Pentagon faces more than $US450 billion in cuts over the next decade.

The world must know - the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats,'' Mr Obama said on Thursday.

He stressed that the defence budget would still grow, but at a slower pace.

Mr Obama said the US was "turning the page on a decade of war" and faced a "moment of transition".

''Even as our troops continue to fight in Afghanistan, the tide of war is receding,'' he said.

"At the same time,'' he added, ''we have to renew our economic strength here at home, which is the foundation of our strength around the world. That includes putting our fiscal house in order.''

Mr Obama said the United States will continue to invest in critical partnerships, including NATO.