Panetta Warns Bigger Cuts On Defense Budget Could ‘Weaken’ US

The United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta revealed plans to further cut the budget of the Defense department could weaken the status of the United States among its allies and enemies around the world. Panetta said Pentagon is accepting the $350 billion in cuts over the next 10 years, as agreed by Congress but warned that if such cuts would be increased that would be dangerous and detrimental for the US. He made the bold statement after the recent deficit compromise reached between the White House and Congress set up a special bipartisan committee to draft legislation to find more government cuts.

It was learned that if the committee cannot agree on a deficit-reduction plan by year’s end or if Congress rejects its proposal, it would trigger some $500 billion in additional reductions reportedly on national security spending. “This kind of massive cut across the board, which would literally double the number of cuts that we’re confronting, that would have devastating effects on our national defense; it would have devastating effects on certainly the State Department,” Panetta said.

Panetta at the moment there is no need to add more cuts on their budget since the American-led forces are making a headway on fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
He said if their budget will be severely cut their effort against terrorism would also be greatly affected. The defense official asserted that severe new budget cuts would undercut the nation’s role in the world. “Very simply, it would result in hollowing out the force,” he said, alluding to reductions made in the aftermath of the Vietnam War that left Army units undermanned and ill-equipped.

“It would terribly weaken our ability to respond to the threats in the world,” he added. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her part back the opinion of Panetta that further cut on the budget of the defense is very dangerous for the US. Clinton explained Americans should understand that in addition to preserving military strength, it is in the nation’s security interests to maintain the State Department’s role in diplomacy and development. Clinton said the political stalemate over spending cuts has put that in jeopardy. “It does cast a pall over our ability to project the kind of security interests that are in America’s interests,” Clinton said. “This is not about the Defense Department or the State Department,” Clinton added.