February 6th, 2013
11:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Panetta warns of degraded military readiness from spending cuts

Washington (CNN) - Furloughed workers, reduced combat readiness, shrunken naval operations and cuts to Air Force flying hours and weapons maintenance.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta listed those consequences as he provided a stark warning Wednesday about the effects of impending budget cuts on the military. The result, he said, would be "the most serious readiness crisis" faced by the military in over a decade.

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Filed under: Leon Panetta
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Well, then maybe the GOP/Teatrolls shouldn't have blown up negotiations with their silly ideological rigidity, dogmatic unwillingness to compromise and obstructionist strategy for "making him a one term president."

    The GOP/Teatrolls are the ones who wet this bed...they can choose to either lie in it or bust out some clean sheets and remake it. So far, they'ev insisted on the former.

    February 6, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Sniffit

    What Panetta said (essentially): "This is a problem and Congress needs to come together to fix it."

    What the GOP/Teatrolls just heard, through their hivemind tinfoil-hat reality filters: "The GOP needs to ramp up their messaging efforts to shift the blame for this away from themselves to Obama and the Dems, so that when they obstruct any effort to fix it, they can claim it's not their fault."

    February 6, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Secretary, it's called scaling back two wars. It's your job to make the transition as smooth as possible, not to provide a walking narrative about it. We are withdrawing from Iraq. If their civil war erupts anew, then it is their problem. We are getting out of Afghanistan. We met out objectives there a long time ago. Do not confuse rebuilding Afghanistan with building Afghanistan. There wasn't a lot modern infrsstructure and industrailized industry there in the first place.

    February 6, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. rs

    Dollars are not equal to readiness. The American Defense budget is the biggest in the world, and bigger than the next smallest 10 nations COMBINED. It is nearly 50% of federal outlay every year.
    The war is over in Iraq, we should wash our hands of Afghanistan and call it good. Time to rebuild at home. Use Defense dollars to employ Americans to fix bridges, build schools, highways and hospitals AT HOME.

    February 6, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. DENNA

    If the GOP cut "entitlements", there will be elderly people unable to pay their bills, will have no medical care backup and no agencies to provide any help. The poor will be without resources and will fall further behind. So I guess we have a real problem on all sides. The GOP had better get this right, since they seem to think that only their way will work. I can see layed off military workers joining the elderly and poor in voting these fools our of office.

    February 6, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    I don't get it. The left has been clamoring for defence cuts since... forever. So you're getting it. What more do you want?

    February 6, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Reason

    @rs-do your homework, it's only about 4% of the GDP that we spend on defense. In real dollars, yes, we outspend the next closest nations, but it's not 50%.

    Our military readiness gets hurt when we no longer can fund our weapons/surveillance programs. This puts real people's lives at stake. Yes, we are downsizing to our pre-war levels, but that doesn't mean we need to cut programs that enable us to maintain such a small force. Reality is we have a large target on our back. We need to be correct 100% of the time with our real-time intelligence, whereas our adversaries only need to be correct once and we will have another attack on our soil. No one wants to relive the memories and emotions of 9/11.

    February 6, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Bobthedog

    650 billion dollar defense budget. Give me a break. Slash and burn these department of government in a balanced and slow approach as to not hurt the economy....but cut this department back to 400 billion. We will survive. We do not need to be prepared to fight a land war in Asia every year. The defense department is single handledly making the US broke and taking away the social safety net of the New Deal. This is a fact.

    February 6, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You lose the trust of the American people," he said. "You create an aura of constant uncertainty that pervades every issue and gradually undermines the very credibility of the nation."

    Been there – done that, Mr. Panetta. I can't remember when I've felt such distrust as I do now with this New Republican Tea Party.

    You lay with flies - you get bit. Send in the Calamine lotion, get the scratching under control, and start working towards a better nation. And, yes. Clean sheets will help.

    This endless GOPer bickering amongst themselves and everyone else has got to end. It really has.

    February 6, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    "The defense department is single handledly making the US broke and taking away the social safety net of the New Deal. This is a fact."
    -------
    The defense department is explicitly defined as a federal responsibility in the Constitution. The social safety net of the New Deal is not. This is a fact.

    February 6, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oops. Time to take a break. I should have stated: "If you lay with fleas". Oh, well ... flies bite, too.

    February 6, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Name lynn

    Now the GOP wants to the the military budgets, why dont obama cut the gop money. Instead of cutting the poor an middle class budgts, whats wrong with them white house leaders. they gone crazy.

    February 6, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    I don't get it. The left has been clamoring for defence cuts since... forever. So you're getting it. What more do you want?
    -----------
    I guess that you really don't get it after all. The left is complaining over the cuts. Panetta is probably repeating some of the messages that he's been getting from his inner circle at the Pentagon. No doubt that the most acute problem is the sequestered cuts bite into the operational expenses of sustaining a large fighting force abroad. I think wjhat Panetta is really saying is accelerate withdrawal or restore some money for this extended draw down.

    February 6, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    I guess that you really don't get it after all. The left is complaining over the cuts.
    ------------
    CORRECTION: The left is [ NOT ] complaining over the cuts.

    February 6, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "The defense department is explicitly defined as a federal responsibility in the Constitution. The social safety net of the New Deal is not. This is a fact."

    That's not a fact. If you don't understand 230+ years of SCOTUS precedent interpreting the health and welfare clause, commerce clause, etc., then I suggest you take a REAL law class on the subject instead of mindlessly regurgitating the kind of nonsense taught at "Beck University."

    February 6, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    I don't get it. The left has been clamoring for defence cuts since... forever. So you're getting it. What more do you want?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    With the exception of Defense Secretary Panetta I haven't heard anybody on the left complain about defense cuts, and considering it's his department, I wouldn't expect anything less. In other words, your strawman false equivalency just got the stuffing knocked out of it.

    February 6, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |