One war is over, another is winding down amid loud calls to cut the deficit. The military has had robust budgets for more than a decade and now is coming to grips with a new reality — fewer dollars.

The election accelerated an already shifting political dynamic. The next year will pair a second-term Democratic president searching for spending cuts with tea partyers and conservatives intent on preserving lower tax rates above all else, even if it means once unheard of reductions in defense.

President Barack Obama and Congress have just a few weeks to figure out how to avert the automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs totaling $110 billion next year.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.