Defense

April 3, 2012

Panetta blasts Congress for failure to avert sequestration

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta blasted Congress March 30 for threatening the Defense Department with sequestration he said would be devastating to the force.

“Congress did a stupid thing,” he told crewmembers of USS Peleliu during a shipboard visit off the Southern California coast. “What they essentially did was to put a gun to their heads and to the head of the country and basically say that if they did not come up with a plan to reduce the deficit, that this so-called sequester process would go into effect.”

That process, the secretary explained, would cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending across the board – almost $500 billion to come from the defense budget.

The cuts would be implemented across the board, he said, guaranteeing that the force would be hollowed out in the process. “It would guarantee that every area would be cut,” Panetta said. “It would guarantee that it would weaken our defense system for the future.”

Panetta expressed disappointment that a specially appointed congressional deficit-reduction committee hasn’t been able to come up with solutions that will prevent sequestration from triggering in January 2013.

“I’m doing everything possible to tell Congress that it would be irresponsible to let that happen,” he told the crew. “But my biggest concern is that Congress has got to find the strength, the courage and the will to get this done.”

Panetta said he’s pointed to the example of the U.S. military to encourage Congress to do the right thing.

“I told the members of Congress, ‘Look, I’ve got men and women that put their heads, their lives on the line every day to protect this country. I’m just asking you to assume just a little bit of risk here to do what’s right for this country and to solve the problems that we face,'” he told the group.

“‘If my men in women can do this, then you can do it as well,'” Panetta said he told Congress. “So I’m hoping that ultimately they’ll do what’s right and that [sequestration] won’t happen.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
af-spacex

Air Force certifies SpaceX for national security space missions

Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space, has announced the certification of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s Falco...
 
 
Army photograph

Army’s mid-tier radio advances battlefield network

Army photograph The mid-tier networking vehicular radio, or MNVR, is being tested extensively, including a limited user test, which was conducted this month at Network Integration Evaluation 15.2. This soldier is operating the ...
 
 
DARPA photograph

Human-robot teams compete June 5 at DARPA finals

DARPA photograph Team KAIST, from Daejeon, South Korea, and its robot DRC-HUBO negotiate mock rubble at a test site March 6, 2015. DARPA photo   In eight days, 25 human-robot teams will compete on the rubble-strewn field of a...
 

 
af-QF4

QF-4 aerial target program concludes

5/26/2015†-†One of the 82nd Aerial Target Squadronís QF-4s sits on the drone runway prior to takeoff May 12 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. This unmanned QF-4 was used as a full-scale target and shot down by a pilot from t...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>