This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC.

Story highlights

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sounds the alarm about draconian spending cuts

Budgets and figures small and large provide glimpse into defense spending

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta provided a stark warning on Wednesday about the effects of impending budget cuts on the military unless Congress acts to avert them.

The result, he said, would be “the most serious readiness crisis” faced by the armed services in over a decade.

The outgoing secretary’s address at Georgetown University included the first details of how the Pentagon would deal with the automatic spending cuts – or sequestration in congressional jargon – set to trigger March 1 across federal agencies.

Military pay in play in game of political poker

Here’s a look at recent U.S. defense spending, by the numbers:

3.5 Percentage of the GDP now proposed to be spent for military purposes in 2013.

1/3 Portion of the military budget consisting of military pay and allowances, plus health care.

90 Percentage increase in military pay and allowances since FY2001.

$34,000 Average annual salary of a military mechanic in Waco, Texas.

$34,000 Amount it cost the Department of Defense to have a report prepared about the FY2012 budget.

8.4 – Percentage of GDP spent on the military by Saudi Arabia in 2011. It’s the highest in the world, according to the World Bank.

$48.7 billion Department of Defense Unified Medical Budget that supports the Military Health System

$17.6 billion Amount of money the Department of Defense will save over a five-year period by enacting a proposed annual fee for TRICARE for beneficiaries who are older than 65

46 – Military protection manpower per 1,000 people in North Korea in 2008, the highest in the world.

5 – Military protection manpower per 1,000 people in the United States in 2008.

$12 million Estimated amount the U.S. wasted each day in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a 2011 report by the Commission on Wartime Contracting.

Panetta to recommend pay cut for military

CNN Explains: Sequestration