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The Air Force plans to spend $400 million in 2014 developing long range bombers suitable for operating over Asia.

The defense budget is more than $50 billion over the cap set by the Budget Control Act. That means when the spending plan goes into effect Oct. 1, it will have to be cut automatically unless a deficit reduction plan is reached or savings elsewhere in the federal budget can be shifted to the Pentagon.

More broadly, the Pentagon is moving away from the emphasis on counterinsurgency warfare that characterized fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.

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Other units will see a reduction in readiness as pilots fly fewer hours and the Navy scales back on deployments, Hagel said.

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MORE: Amid criticism, Obama begins sales pitch on budget plan

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The budget reflects a growing concern over the threat from cyber attacks, increasing the money for cyber warfare to $4.7 billion from $3.9 billion. Recently, South Korea accused the North of launching an attack aimed at banks and television stations in the South.

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"We are living in a world of complete uncertainty," Hagel said.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington on April 3.(Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)

"Our country is fully prepared to deal with any contingency, any action that North Korea may take or any provocation that they may instigate," Hagel said at a news conference releasing the Pentagon's 2014 budget.

WASHINGTON Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released a $526 billion Pentagon budget Wednesday amid a climate of fiscal uncertainty, but he said the United States was prepared to respond if a conflict breaks out on the Korean Peninsula where tensions are running high.

Pentagon officials want to protect the readiness of troops who would have to respond to a contingency in Korea and of troops in Afghanistan or preparing to deploy there.

The Pentagon's budget offers a clearer picture of the administration's strategy as it withdraws forces from Afghanistan and beefs up its presence in Asia.

North Korea has escalated threats in recent weeks, raising concerns that a provocative act or miscalculation could trigger a conflict. The latest alarm came as South Korea said its neighbor to the north was preparing for a mid range missile test.

Hagel says at budget briefing

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forces this year.

Neither option is likely, Harrison says. More likely is that the military will scramble again to make cuts, once again furloughing civilian employees or laying them off permanently. Another option, being used to meet sequestration requirements, is to cut training. That reduces the military's readiness to fight wars, Harrison said.

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significant presence in Asia. The budget provides money to support up to four Navy Littoral Combat ships that would rotate through Singapore.

Obama's budget proposal

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The Pentagon's budget forecasts a .7% decrease in spending over this year, but efforts to plan for the future have been overshadowed by automatic spending cuts eating into the readiness of the armed Converse Shoes Kids

The budget was based on an assumption that the White House and Congress agree to a deficit reduction plan that eliminates automatic cuts known as the sequester. That has led some analysts to question the budget's validity. "That's not a safe assumption," said Todd Harrison, a budget expert at the non partisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The Pentagon is shifting the training and organization of its forces toward "full spectrum" operations, which includes a greater emphasis on conventional combat involving the coordination of tanks, artillery and air support.

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