Pentagon laying off 46,000 staff

Pentagon building in Washington, DC on 26 December 2011 The Pentagon building in Washington

Related Stories

The US defence department says it has begun laying off most of its 46,000 temporary employees, as automatic defence budget cuts loom in March.

Deputy Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said the Pentagon was acting "because we're running out of time" to absorb potential changes to their budget.

$50bn (£32bn) in cuts are due this year under the so-called fiscal cliff.

Lawmakers made a last-minute deal on 1 January to put them off for two months, but the ultimate outcome is undecided.

Mr Carter said he was directing each military service to produce detailed plans by 1 February on reducing short-term spending.

He also said the Pentagon could force its 800,000 civilian employees to lose one day of work per week without pay from April, in a move that would save $5bn.

The Pentagon and other parts of the US government face across-the-board cuts on 1 March, with an estimated $500bn decrease in the defence budget over 10 years.

The US defence department unveiled a strategy in early 2012 designed to accommodate at least $450bn in Pentagon cuts over the next decade, as the country winds down the Afghanistan war.

The automatic reductions due in March would be in addition to these savings.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.