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Hagel orders review of US defense strategy

In response to the budget cuts that took effect March 1, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a re-evaluation of the underpinnings of the defense strategy that President Barack Obama announced 14 months ago.

Hagel spokesman George Little said Monday that the new defense chief wants to see the results by May 31.

Hagel's predecessor, Leon Panetta, had said repeatedly that if the forced budget cuts took effect the administration would have to redo its defense strategy. Little said Hagel's review will take that 2011 strategy as the "point of departure," and it will examine whether the assumptions underlying it are valid in light of the budget crisis.

The Pentagon faces the deepest cuts in spending in decades and has fewer protectors of the military in Congress.