Budget proposals published by the US Department of Defense on 13 February were pivotal in three ways. They came as America disengaged from two long-running wars; as it sought to shift the strategic balance of its forces away from Europe and towards the Asia-Pacific; and as the Pentagon sought to enact significant spending cuts mandated by Congress. Since the themes had been indicated in previous announcements, the main interest was in the detail of the many cuts proposed for the military and its equipment programmes.

Budget proposals published by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 13 February were pivotal in three ways. They came as America disengaged from two long-running wars; as it sought to shift the strategic balance of its forces away from Europe and towards the Asia-Pacific; and as the Pentagon sought to enact significant spending cuts mandated by Congress. Since the themes had been indicated in previous announcements, the main interest was in the detail of the many cuts proposed for the military and its equipment programmes. However, the budget's publication was the beginning rather than the end of the process: it shifted battles about specific reductions beyond the Pentagon hierarchy and into the political arena.

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Iran nuclear talks approach conclusive deadline

Iran and its interlocutors have until 24 March to reach an agreement on the country's nuclear programme. Failure to do so would not mean an end to diplomacy, but the US Congress would likely enact new sanctions legislation.

France's nuclear conservatism

Those who were hoping that French President François Hollande would use a recent speech to break with France's nuclear traditions will have been disappointed.