Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Monday that “risk is on the rise” in the world at the same time that the U.S. military is facing deep cutbacks.

“Mayhem is here to stay, but the money is not. In a sense, the deductible on our national insurance policy has just gone up — way up,” Dempsey said at a forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies Monday.

The top U.S. military official said predicted that the U.S. defense strategy — which was rolled out a year ago — will have to change as a result of shrinking budgets.

“As I stand here, I don’t yet know how much our defense strategy will change, but I predict it will,” Dempsey said, according to prepared remarks. “We’ll need to relook our assumptions. We’ll need to adjust our ambitions to match our abilities. That means doing less, but not doing it less well.”

But despite the challenges that scenario poses, Dempsey emphasized that the U.S. military would remain strong even if it’s ultimately doing less. He told the crowd that he came with a “message of assurance.”