Military chiefs warn against bigger defense cuts

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army's top general is warning a House committee that if steeper defense spending cuts are imposed by failed congressional budget negotiations, it would mean an "unacceptable" risk to U.S. national security.

Gen. Ray Odierno referred to the possibility of defense cuts of up to $1 trillion over the coming decade, in the absence of a congressional deal on deficit reductions.

Odierno and the chiefs of the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force made an unusual joint appearance before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday to offer their views on the effects of larger-than-expected cuts.

Navy's chief Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert said defense cuts of as much as $1 trillion would cause "irreversible" damage to the military.

Military leaders have said they can manage currently planned cuts of $450 billion.