Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters at the Pentagon on Feb. 24. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Carolyn Kaster/AP

NPR's Tom Bowman On "All Things Considered"

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters at the Pentagon on Monday. Hagel and President Obama will need to fight through a wall of resistance to their proposed defense budget cuts, say former members of a defense base closing commission. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman talks with host David Greene about the Pentagon's budget problems

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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel attends the International Institute for Strategic Studies Regional Security Summit in the Bahraini capital Manama on Saturday. Mohammed Al-Shaikh /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Concerns over China's air defense claims led Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to call Japan's defense minister Wednesday. Here, a man makes a call near a replica of a Chinese fighter jet displayed in Beijing Wednesday. Ng Han Guan/AP hide caption

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Ng Han Guan/AP