Washington: US President Barack Obama has unveiled a new defence strategy that seeks to cut the country's armed forces in a bid to reduce the defence budget by around USD 500 billion.

'Our military will be leaner but the world must know the US is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats,' Obama said Thursday at the Pentagon.

The president said the country would dismiss Cold War-era systems in order to invest into 'intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, countering weapons of mass destruction and the ability to operate in environments where adversaries try to deny us access'.

The defence strategy, however, did not elaborate on the number of troops to be reduced.

US administration officials said that army and marine corps personnel may be reduced by up to 15 percent in the next 10 years.

Obama reiterated that the US will maintain its efforts to ensure stability in the Middle East and halt Iranian and North Korean nuclear programmes.

'US policy will emphasise Gulf security, in collaboration with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries when appropriate, to prevent Iran's development of a nuclear weapon capability and counter its destabilising policies,' he said.

(Agencies)