The Pentagon is preparing major changes, including an effort to limit the growth of military pay, as it adjusts to sharp budget cuts and the conclusion of combat operations in Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday. The defense secretary warned of dangers created by the political deadlock, including the prospect of almost $500 billion defense cuts over 10 years as a result of the forced budget reductions known as sequestration. He noted that the cuts would be in addition to $487 billion in cuts already planned. "These cuts are too fast, to abrupt, and too irresponsible," Hagel said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in Wasahington. He cited the danger that the budget crisis "will cause an unnecessary, strategically unsound, and dangerous degradation in military readiness and capability."