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Hagel warns of dangers in deep cuts to defense

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ROBERT BURNS | November 5, 2013 08:43 AM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is arguing that projected defense budget cuts of nearly $1 trillion over 10 years is too much, too fast, and will cause a dangerous erosion of U.S. military power.

In a speech about U.S. defense priorities, Hagel said Tuesday that it would be a mistake to let these cuts happen.

But he also said officials are not assuming the government's budget crisis will be resolved soon.

One possible consequence, he said, is that a larger part of the military will lose its combat edge. As a result, it may be inevitable that some forces will be less prepared to act. Hagel said this kind of scenario means that in a crisis the president would have fewer options for protecting the nation's security interests.