Decrying partisanship, Panetta says U.S. military 'cannot tolerate' sweeping cuts
October 3rd, 2011
09:59 PM ET
3 years ago

Decrying partisanship, Panetta says U.S. military 'cannot tolerate' sweeping cuts

(CNN) - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warns that excessive partisanship could well "hollow out" the military, saying "we cannot tolerate" if Congress fails to reach an accord on debt reduction and thereby triggers hundreds of billions of dollars in across-the-board cuts.

Speaking with CNN's Erin Burnett in an interview that aired Monday on the first edition of her program "OutFront," Panetta said that he was prepared to slash about $450 billion from the defense budget over the next decade, as currently mandated. But he described as potentially dangerous any deeper cuts, like the $1.2 trillion that would be unavoidable if a bipartisan panel does not reach a debt-reduction accord in the coming weeks that is then passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

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Filed under: Budget • Congress • Leon Panetta
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. cykill

    they if we stopped a war or two. we have spares

    October 3, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. Just a thought

    I absolutely agree! No more military cuts. We are finally on the road to finishing of Al Qaeda.

    Of course all this under a President people would rather disrespect, than support, criticize rather than credit, for killing more of this country's enemy terrorists than any previous administration...... Obama only gets blame and scorn for doing his best – Right GOP/Tea people?

    October 3, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  3. cut, cut, cut some more

    Cut military spending by half, then if that isn't enough to put civilians back to work, cut the defense budget to zero. For years, decades, the rest of the 21st Century.

    October 4, 2011 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  4. NoMoMediaHoes

    They could afford the cuts if they brought our military home. We cannot continue to police the world. We have our own problems to deal with now.
    Ron Paul 2012

    October 4, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Is America aware that the Bush administration basically created another entire defense department? This new DoD is comprised of over 50 separate sub-agencies, though I have heard that figure cited as high as 400. This new DoD has a current annual budget of $60B and has been growing at 10-20% per year for the last decade. The name of this new DoD is Department of Homeland Security. As much as we have a need for such a department, I think America would be shocked to know just how big it really is and how much it actually costs. In a couple of years, it will exceed the current cost of the war in Afghanistan. I can see what the troops are doing, but what are these spies doing that costs so much?

    October 4, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |