Panetta highlights DoD counter-terror role as budget cuts loom
By Daniel Wasserbly
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on 20 November outlined a case for mitigating cuts to defence spending, noting that major wars are winding down but the military remains busy, particularly with counter-terrorism.
The Pentagon may be subject to across-the-board funding cuts due to 'sequestration' if Congress cannot agree a debt reduction deal, and further defence funding cuts may also be part of that deal.
However, Panetta suggested the US Department of Defense (DoD) should not be a budget target just because it is concluding large-scale military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This is not like periods in the past, when we came out of a war ... and then threats diminish," he said during a speech at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC.
"We still are involved in a war on terrorism" against Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, are still at war in Afghanistan, and are also working to meet congressionally mandated fiscal responsibilities while implementing a new defence strategy that includes a 'rebalance' towards the Asia-Pacific region," Panetta said.176 of 519 words
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