Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Marines in Hawaii Thursday that despite deep budget and force cuts, the U.S. military will remain the world’s best, and argued the cuts will enable the military to "come out stronger than we went in":
CHUCK HAGEL: We're not whining about it. It's -- it's what it is. And what the Strategic Choice Management Review was all about when I directed that a few months ago, let's get on with it. These are the realities. Life's tough. I wish I controlled more things than I do. So do you. But I don't.
And so I'm living in a world of reality. I'm not living in a world like you all, either. You're not living in any -- any world but what is the real world, not the world that you wish it would be, not the world that you hope it would be, or not the world that maybe you think will be. It's the world of what it is.
So we have to plan for that. And I -- and I think this is going to make you stronger. I have tremendous faith in our people, in our culture, in the commitment of all of you, and people all over the world to our values and who we are as a people and as a nation. So we'll come out of this stronger than we went in.