New Market Research Report: United States Defence & Security Report Q4 2013

New Defense research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research

[USPRwire, Tue Nov 05 2013] The United States is planning to withdraw from its decade-long military presence in Afghanistan from 2014. As the US reduces its footprint in the country, it will hand over an increasing share of the security burden to the Afghan National Army and police force.

The eventual withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan is expected to yield significant savings to the Department of Defense budget. During the next decade, the Pentagon is expected to make budget savings of up to US$487bn, which will be achieved, in part, by the cessation of military operations in Afghanistan.

That said, the defence budget is also threatened with significant contraction via a process known as sequestration which has already cut this year's budget by US$46bn, and is set to trigger a further US$500bn of reductions over the next decade.

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Over the long term, the US will make a major reduction in the size of its strategic nuclear weapons inventory. Currently, around 5,000 operational and reserve nuclear warheads are in the possession of the US armed forces, including around 200 tactical nuclear weapons. The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement between Russia and the US will see the Department of Defense reduce its air-launched and sea-launched nuclear weapons delivery systems.

Although ballistic missile defence efforts proved highly controversial during the administration of President George W. Bush, they have continued, albeit in a different form, under President Obama's administration. The Missile Defence Agency, the branch of the Pentagon supervising ballistic missile defence initiatives, is currently pursuing several programmes aimed at destroying ballistic missiles during their boost, ascent, midcourse and terminal phases of flight. However, these missile defence programmes' status were somewhat reduced in size and scope during the Bush administration.

Missile defence technology is only one area that the Pentagon is pouring significant funds. The Department of Defense continues to pursue several major defence acquisition projects, not least of which is the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning-II Joint Strike Fighter family of combat aircraft. This is in addition to scores of other programmes across all five US armed services. The abiding raison d'etre of many of these initiatives is to make the force more agile and deployable, while at the same time improving the connectivity between soldiers, vehicles, weapons and command and control systems.

Since Q313, BMI has made some changes to the United States Defence and Security Report. These include An update regarding the likely effects of the election of Hassan Rouhani as the new president of Iran and the possible implications of this on the ongoing diplomatic stand-off between the United States and Iran over the latter country's controversial nuclear programme.

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