Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to unveil exactly how he's going to strike $450 billion off the U.S. defense budget today, and it involves cutting an estimated 80,000 troops over the next decade, The New York Times has learned. Panetta's budget outline plans have essentially become a road map to U.S. foreign policy over the next decade -- it signals the country's priorities and a smaller army is one of them. The number Panetta wants is reportedly an army size of 490,000--down from the army's current size of 570,00. The New York Times notes: "A smaller Army would be a clear sign that the Pentagon does not anticipate conducting another expensive, troop-intensive counterinsurgency campaign, like those waged in Afghanistan and Iraq." Panetta has scheduled what The Times describes as an "unusual Defense Department news conference " just before 11:00 a.m. (which we'll update you from here), where he's expected to drop the full details of his plan. Time points out that specific details weren't expected until the President reveals his budget next month.
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