By Leo Shane III – Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON – Even though Barack Obama has served as commander in chief for the last four years, his re-election Tuesday will mean significant changes for the military in coming months, especially in terms of defense spending.
Where his challenger in the presidential campaign promised big increases in military budgets in coming years, Obama has planned almost $500 billion in spending reductions for the military over the next decade, calling it a responsible post-war plan. Republicans in Congress fiercely oppose the effort, but the president’s re-election blunts their hopes of increasing or even holding steady defense spending.
Those cuts would come on top of the $500 billion in automatic defense spending reductions slated to start in January. The president in recent weeks has stepped up his pressure on Congress to find an alternative plan, declaring in the final presidential debate that the cuts “will not happen.”