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Aug 1, 2012 11:15 AM by Matt Stafford

Defense official: Cuts hit warfighters, weapons

WASHINGTON (AP) - A top Pentagon official says automatic cuts in defense spending would force the military to reduce training for warfighters and trim the number of weapons purchased.

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter outlined the impact of the $55 billion in across-the-board reductions that would hit Jan. 2 if Congress fails to produce a budget plan.

He testified Wednesday before a House panel along with the White House's acting budget chief, Jeff Zients.

Zients said domestic programs would suffer too, with $55 billion in cuts to education, FBI agents, Head Start.

Zients called the cuts a "blunt, indiscriminate instrument" and urged Congress to reach a compromise.

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