Thursday, June 30, 2011

Next US defense chief will not gut military: Pentagon

Robert Gates' Armed Services Farewell Ceremony
© AFP/Getty Images Chip Somodevilla

Incoming US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is determined to avoid gutting the American military despite the prospect of difficult budget decisions looming, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday.

"He (Panetta) believes that it is a false choice between fiscal responsibility and national security," spokesman Douglas Wilson told reporters.

Amid mounting fiscal pressure, the defense budget "will be an important item on his agenda," Wilson said.

"He will take that very seriously. He knows there are difficult decisions to be made," he said.

Panetta "has said publicly, and he will say again, that he intends that there will be no hollow force on his watch."

Panetta, 73, who is stepping down as head of the CIA, is due to take over Friday at 8:45 am (1245 GMT) from Robert Gates, who is retiring after more than four years on the job.

The new Pentagon chief takes the helm against the backdrop of mounting political calls to rein in government spending, including the country's massive defense budget.

The vast defense budget for 2010 stood at $663 billion, accounting for more than 40 percent of the world's military spending, and a growing number of lawmakers say the Pentagon can no longer be excluded from cutbacks.

As secretary, Panetta will also be focusing on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and "is committed to succeeding and achieving America's goals on his watch," said Wilson, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

Panetta planned to begin his tenure by holding meetings with the military "at all levels," from the top brass to mid-level officers, Wilson added.

© AFP -- Published at Activist Post with license

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Anonymous said...

Of course we cannot gut the profits of the Military Industrial Complex. That is what has made immense profits for the NWO while killing the rest of the once hard-working population who have no jobs.

Great job MIC and NWO. I hope to see you devour yourselves.

All done in the name of national security that you invented.

Great job you scum!

Richard William Posner said...

Aside from Bernie Sanders, I haven't heard anyone talking about "gutting" the military and even he only made the most minimal and completely logical suggestions.

All the corporate-owned "government" is interested in gutting is the american middle class; the working people.

US military spending is more than the rest of the world combined. In 2009 it was more than 50% of the national budget. The figures claimed by the government are as bogus as everything else they tell us.

By now, it's a lot worse I'm sure. The proposed budget for 2012 of $553 billion is an increase from $549 billion in 2011. And that does not include Iraq and Afghanistan or billions that are not included in the "official" disclosure that are spent nonetheless for military purposes.

Any words that may be uttered regarding serious cuts to the military budget are nothing but totally disingenuous sound bites used in an attempt to create the illusion that the people of america will not bear alone the financial burden of the catastrophic failure of the capitalist system.

Political Athiest said...

OF COURSE he isn't going to? Are the neocons so stupid to think that Panetta would make cuts? (rhetorical. don't answer) The dimocraps know can make just as much from the military industrial complex as the repugnants. My GOD. How many times are the sheeple going to get played?!! It's the same pro wresting/fakery/acting EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Gaaahhhh!!!!!! Stop the world. I want to get off.

Anonymous said...

Panetta is just a clown and has been a parasite sucking off the taxpayer his entire life. How this guy is qualified to be Secretary of Defense is beyond me, but that can be said of almost all political appointees.

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