facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Panetta: 'Fiscal uncertainty' major threat

Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:57 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- With budget issues ahead on a divided Capitol Hill, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said one of the gravest threats to the nation was "fiscal uncertainty."

Panetta, who announced his retirement recently, said he was confident that the Defense Department had a defense strategy for the 21st century that ensures the military is the strongest in the world.

"We face, as you know, a number of adversaries around the world," he said following talks with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "But the most immediate threat to our ability to achieve our mission is fiscal uncertainty, not knowing what our budget will be, not knowing if our budget will be drastically cut and not knowing whether the strategy that we've put in place can survive."

Congress in a New Year's Day vote postponed a series of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration until the end of March. The deal delayed more than $54 billion in military spending reductions.

Panetta said lawmakers avoided the worst possible outcome, though a cloud hangs over defense spending cuts.

If budget matters are left unresolved by March 1, he said, U.S. lawmakers will have seriously harmed the nation's military readiness.

"We have no idea what the hell's going to happen," he said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Destroyers with ballistic missile defense capability heading to Japan Destroyers with ballistic missile defense capability heading to Japan
2
American fighting with Kurds in Syria: Civilians burned in chemical attack American fighting with Kurds in Syria: Civilians burned in chemical attack
3
Woman allegedly sets roommate on fire for throwing out pasta Woman allegedly sets roommate on fire for throwing out pasta
4
Brazil, Argentina to strenghten aerospace cooperation; talk Gripen deal Brazil, Argentina to strenghten aerospace cooperation; talk Gripen deal
5
GOP Rep. Don Young tussles with students over same-sex marriage and suicide GOP Rep. Don Young tussles with students over same-sex marriage and suicide
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback