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  • Morning Bell: Ten Questions for Leon Panetta

    The war in Afghanistan rages on, as does the conflict in Libya. U.S. troops are still deployed in Iraq. Unrest continues in the Middle East’s Arab Spring. Meanwhile, Iran’s nuclear efforts are accelerating, and the global war against terrorists remains. And yet despite an aging military, President Barack Obama has called for $400 billion in cuts to national security spending over the next 12 years, in addition to the $400 billion in cuts he has already made.

    It is against this backdrop that Leon Panetta, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, will go before the Senate tomorrow for questioning on how he would shepherd the department into the future. The American taxpayers deserve some answers from Panetta.

    Panetta, who is currently director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has already responded to a 79-page set of answers to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, but his responses largely lacked specifics. He says he expects that “difficult choices will have to be made” on defense spending. “If confirmed, I will work to make disciplined decisions in ways that minimize impacts on our national security.” Given what’s at stake—U.S. national security—more substantive responses are sorely needed.

    Defending Defense—a joint project of the American Enterprise Institute, the Foreign Policy Initiative, and The Heritage Foundation—has issued the following 10 questions for Panetta that go to the heart of how he would address defense spending and the state of the U.S. military.

    1. Do you agree with outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s statement that the defense budget “is not the cause of this country’s fiscal woes”? If so, what is the logic for cutting defense spending even further than it already has been so far during wartime? Should defense be given higher priority than other areas of federal spending?

    2. Do you agree that there is an urgent need to recapitalize large parts of America’s forces? If not, why not? How is the modernization challenge to be addressed with a defense budget that is flat or declining?

    3. Secretary Gates stated in a speech on May 24 that “a smaller military, no matter how superb, will be able to go to fewer places and be able to do fewer things.”

    Presuming that President Obama’s additional proposed cuts will include a reduction in the size of America’s armed forces, what “places” would you recommend that we forgo and what “things” would you recommend that the American military stop doing?

    4. Secretary Gates has stated that ill-conceived cuts to defense spending could increase America’s vulnerability in a “complex and unpredictable security environment.” Do you agree with his assessment of the dangers incurred by cuts in military spending and the role of hard power in keeping the peace?

    5. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, recommended that when implementing President Obama’s plan to cut $400 billion from security spending, savings should be identified in military pay and benefits before making cuts to “force structure” (i.e., weapons programs, equipment, and the number of personnel in uniform). Do you agree with his recommendations?

    6. As a chief architect of the defense budget drawdown in the 1990s, you oversaw major reductions in military procurement spending (including a 13.4 percent decline in fiscal year 1994). How have procurement decisions in the 1990s affected our operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere? Given the experience of recent years—and knowing what you know now—would you have supported the same cuts?

    7. China has tripled its military’s budget over the past 15 years, putting at risk our military’s long-standing ability to operate decisively and safely in northeast Asia. How should those developments inform U.S. defense investments?

    Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran is working on a likely nuclear weapons program. How should that inform U.S. missile defense research and development? Is Iran’s program relevant to U.S. force structure and strategic posture in the region?

    8. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz has stated that the present fleet of 187 F-22 fighters creates a high risk for the U.S. military in meeting its operational demands. Given China’s development of a stealth aircraft and Russia’s development and sale of air defense systems, would you support reviewing the previous decision to end procurement of the F-22 Raptor at 187? Do you favor creating an export variant of the F-22 for sale to allied air forces?

    9. The U.S. Navy has the fewest number of ships since America’s entrance into World War I. Yet it is being tasked with arguably more responsibilities than ever before. What steps would you take to bridge the gap between our 285-ship navy today and the 313-ship requirement called for? Do you support a 12-carrier navy today?

    10. Current budget plans—even prior to the latest announced defense cuts—were premised upon a complete withdrawal from Iraq and a dramatic drawdown in Afghanistan by 2014. They did not anticipate the prospect of a continued, residual presence in Iraq or the possibility of a requirement for maintaining a sizeable force in Afghanistan. Do you support Secretary Gates’s proposals to reduce the end-strength of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps?

    The U.S. military is charged with protecting our homeland and defending America’s interests around the world, yet it is increasingly asked to do more with less. Given the President’s call for significant cuts to an already under-funded military, it is vitally important for the American people to know where Panetta stands on defense spending before he is confirmed. And it is up to the Senate to make sure those questions are asked.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    43 Responses to Morning Bell: Ten Questions for Leon Panetta

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      6 – 8 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      Things are GOING to GET BETTER, They always have.

      Clearhead, U.S.S.O. on June 7th, 2011 at 11:39am said:

      Ken Jarvis — How clever!! You’d make a good stand down comic.

      *** Clearhead, USSO – Funny – I got it – stand “down” Thanks

      ===

      By the way, there’s an article entitled “Obama’s Jobless America”, published this morning by The Heritage Foundation. We invite you to read it.

      *** In the LAST Election we were told – elect GOP and Jobs problem would be SOLVED. Guess NOT. WHAT happened? Thanks

      ===

      Lloyd Scallan (New Orleans area) on June 7th, 2011 at 12:02pm said:

      What planet does Kevin H live on. I’ll bet it’s the same as Ken. No one, I mean NO ONE is that stupid to think that Obama is not destroying this economy

      delibertly to force us to accept socialism in desperation. No president could

      not recognize the complete failure of his policies unless it is his intention to

      push failure for the intire nation’s economical system.

      Obama will continue to blame Bush as his usual distraction to divert attention away from his failues. Obama’s blame will continue to be supported by the leftist and the media of this country, because they want the same result as Obama does.

      *** In case you missed it, I did.

      Here is what Kevin posted.

      Kevin H, college park, md on June 7th, 2011 at 10:09am said:

      Seems to me Obama and the Dems turned things around, took the economy from losing 750,000 jobs a month to adding more than 200,000 jobs a month, even more in the private sector. However, once the Republicans and the teaparty driven economic principles started to get pushed through the House and influence economic policy, we’re headed back to the ways of sub-par economic performance. This should wake people up to the anti-spend, cut-more-taxes policy has never worked and never will work. When the economy is slow, we must spend, cutting taxes does nothing to spur job increases when we need them – NOW!

      *** Thanks Kevin.

      ===

      The HF is ONLY about Bad Bad Bad

      Would YOU go see a Movie – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Would YOU Buy a Car – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Would YOU Eat at a Restaurant – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Would YOU Vote for a Candidate – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Would YOU go to a Doctor – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

    2. Wes says:

      This is just another effort from our President to redirect funds from an area he has little interest and apply it to social issues. Sadly, while he's fooling around with our defense spending there isn't anything he's doing that will grow the economy.

    3. Terry Smith, Culver says:

      Leon Panetta having anything to do with the CIA is absurd. The agencies that protect us all deserve people with more substantial backgrounds. But this seems to be typical of Obamas anti-military, anti-biz, anti-Americanism POV. I have been a lifetime avid reader, and I know that the average American has no idea the level of danger facing us all, and that the danger increases daily. It's 910 all over again; just because nothing is happening this minute, people think all is OK.

    4. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Does this author actually believe Panetta will answer questions honestly? Two facts that we must understand. First, Panetta is a Democrat lackey that was taught his craft at the heels of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Second, do you really think Obama would nominate anyone, to any position, without knowing full well he has complete control of every decision that person would make? Do we think that Obama would nominate anyone that would disagree when he proposes cutting defense spending to the bone thus destroy not only the tools of our military, but also the moral and confidence of our men and women now in uniform and those that would join to defend this nation.

      Don't we get it yet? This is what Obama is! He must control every aspect to insure he fulfills his socialist agenda. One key he knows must be in place is

      to disassemble our military. What better way to do that then to have a compliant lackey as it's secretary.

    5. Mike from Long Islan says:

      I would hope that a copy of this report gets to every senator and every representative in Washington.

    6. Scott Smith, S.C. says:

      I agree fully with these questions that you propose in asking with the addition of one more. What are the plans for dealing with our National Security at HOME? With the growing threat of our southern borders and the virtually non-existant patrollling and policing of them, why not reappoint some of the wasted revenue that our Government spends to securing that threat? As the saying goes " We can't help our neighbors clean house till our own porch is swept".

    7. charles labounty mer says:

      Yes, Mr. Panetta will do BHO's bidding to shrink the military.

      Remeber BHO wants a bigger and better financed "civilian army" than the military.

      REMEMBER — he did say that. So he has to get the money from someplace.

      Now I've never understood what the makeup of this force will be — ACORN, SEIU, ACLU, Americorps and whatever commie bunch he can amass.

      Hope and Change !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    8. Don Vander Jagt, Gra says:

      I was foolishly in favor of going to war with the barbarions of the middle east; I actually thought they and could and would be capable of becoming a civil land, its not possible, its not who they are!! The hole effort was a very dumb idea and now going into Lybia is even worse. We should just have used a few carpet bombs to give them an idea of our displeasure in what they did on 9/11. If we would have taken out their training area and their seat of government, and then assured the rest of them we had enough bombs left over for anyone else who was dumb enought to poke us in the eye, its not likely they would be doing what the are doing today.

      If only Reagan only had not turned tail and run back after the Biruit insident.

      Its past time to get out of there, but at the same time through ship and air be in the area to help Isreal if they are attacked.

    9. azwayne says:

      Aren't congressional confirmations a real joke. Sadly it's not funny any more. Our country is at stake and these paybacks are too costly. Wouldn't it be great to appoint people based on abilities> Money can be saved in defense, but not politically.

    10. Robert, North Richla says:

      Great questions! Lots of challenges. Unfortunately, defense is not a bargaining chip. We need to cut the social programs that support over 100 million people, so that some of those people will actually consider working as a lifestyle change. Typically, the left demands funding for their pet social programs as a concession for required (by the Constitution) defense spending. We don't have any more to give, so we need someone that is capable of fighting.

    11. George Colgrove, VA says:

      The very fact we as conservative – who supposingly are in control of the purse strings – are asking these questions shows our weakness. It shoudl be a forgon conclusion that our military should be strengthen and preserved in the same strength or better. This should be done without the waste and the 5 to 10 times markup the Pentagon is so well known for. The Pentagon should be using its funds efficiently and wisely as Adm. Mullen warned a few months ago. The Pentagon needs to prioritize the scarse funds it will end up with.

      Right now according to Mike Mullen this is the priority of the DoD:

      1. Make sure all personnel and programs are in place. (i.e. the federal workforce is safe)

      2. Make sure all weapons purchases are preserved (i.e. defense contractors are safe)

      3. Soldiers (the only identifiable cuts thus far are their pay and benefits)

      Looks kinda upside down to me!

      My only question to Pin-head-a is are you going to use your new position to make the DoD budget as efficient as possible, reduce the bloat, the overlapping and redundant program, the fraud and the waste found in the DoD's Pentagon federal worker network, at the same time keep our forces strong?

    12. Judith in Michigan says:

      Question # 11: Mr Panetta, have you lways wished to see The United States of America weakened and degraded in her abilities to defend herself?

      If "Yes", why? If "No", what happened to change your mind?

    13. G. Hugh Bodell, USA says:

      I do not think that anyone gives enough weight to one of the items you highlight as serious, “Iran's nuclear efforts are accelerating.”

      Iran’s management sees Iran as the unifying force behind a ‘United States of The Middle East/North Africa’, becoming the central supplier of nukes to put all of these nations on a defensive/offensive par with the west. Once that is accomplished, they will move to incorporate all 47 nations with a Muslim majority, including Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia.

      This is not a wild conspiracy theory; it is an appropriate agenda and reasonable plan if viewed from the perspective of Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, etc.

      …and that is the scary part!

      G. Hugh Bodell, Author, Treachery In Turtle Bay Collection
      http://www.ghughbodell.com

    14. Robert A. Hall says:

      I will link to this from my Old Jarhead blog. The “Arab Spring” may well be followed by a “Nuclear Winter.”

      Robert A. Hall

      Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic

      (All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans)

    15. Linda, Vermont says:

      The war in the Middle East is about money, power, minerals and greed! Our US servicemen and women are fighting a war that has no boundaries. This war is a "political" war that involves high crimes with our US President! He knows the US military must serve and obey "him" as the senior commander! He is using our US military for his own personal agenda! Obama is a traitor not only to America but to Israel! He, Rashid Khalidi, Bernadine Dohrn, Bill Ayers and George Soros "hate" the Jews! Obama is using his position to wage war against Israel!

      Not only that, Obama has invested billions of "our" US dollars into hedged foreign accounts for himself and his agenda! In other words, Obama is using the US treasury as his own personal credit card! I truly believe the only reason we're in Afghanistan is for the minerals! Obama is using the US military as a hedge for the Chinese. China desperately want the iron and copper ore that Afghanistan has to offer. It's one of the largest deposits in the "world"! Why do you think so many US companies are taking shop with China including GE and AIG? Almost all US Computers and components are manufactured and assembled in China as well as our automobiles. China will be asking us to pay up soon and if we don't they'll just help themselves to our defaulted real assault… Obama is playing Monopoly and it's no game…

    16. Linda, Fort Worth says:

      I am more and more torn regarding budget cuts. First one piece and then another of the budget is considered for cutting. At home, when I look at parts of my overall expenditures, the "big picture" is playing in the background. With the Federal budget–not so! As long as we consider the pieces without assoication with the whole, we are going to be bogged down and unable to make a decision. When the decision is made for us by circumstances, we are all going to endure unimagined hardship.

      Say what you will about the specifics of Paul Ryan's approach–at least, he related the parts to the whole of federal expesnes.

    17. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      Send the Obama children over there…he will not even send them to a Washington public school where he wants all his fellow African-American people to suffer…Panetta is a career follower and will do what Barry O. tells him to do…

      I'm so happy I have no children that may die protecting such a sorry excuse for President.

    18. toledofan says:

      In a time when we should be investing in upgrading our capabilities and reinvesting in the necessaary changes to modernize our fleets, we're going in the oposite direction so more money can be poured into domestic programs and entittlements allowing the Democrats to be re-elected. I really don't know what Panetta knows about defense, he sure didn't seem to be the best at the C.I.A., so, I guess it's a clever way for Obama to get exactly what he wants. One would think that investing into new planes, boats, and other weapons would be a good kick start to the economy and if you coupled that with an end to the drilling ban, we'd be on the road to recovery. But, it's sad to say the Obama agenda won't allow for that, we're stuck until he's voted out.

    19. Ron W. Smith, Provid says:

      The writer has given us much to mull over, but given the arc of the questions, not much to contest.

      Conflating "National Defense" and "National Security" is a bad start for any discussion of our National Security needs and spending. Eliminating any mention at all of the money we spend annually on National Security is an equally bad start. And failing to bring in the many foreign policy decisions that over the years have been behind our extravagance in overall National Security spending is a mistake, intentional or not.

      The United States spends on National Security more than the rest of the world combined–more than $1 trillion a year. That total has grown over the decades following WWII, where our successes and the rebuilding necessities in Europe and Asia put us in the hegemon's seat. Staying in it has become an ever-escalating effort, first inspired by Cold War realities, then by further foreign policy decisions, made by choice, to project our power everywhere possible. We have more than 700 military installations, large and small, around the world and have found ourselves in intervention after intervention, war after war. Now we find ourselves with a national debt fast approaching $14.5 trillion, and it is not hard to see why when we compare our spending on National Security with what is being spent on it elsewhere. If it is true, and I take it to be, that there are other reasons for our indebtedness–spending deemed "not the role of government"–it is clearly true that not all governments have taken quite so dedicated a path to huge annual expenditures on National Security as we have.

      National Defense is, of course, the biggest part of our National Security spending, but what we do in protecting "our national interests" is behind why WE have such a large Homeland Security budget unmatched anywhere, why WE have extraordinarily large Foreign Aid expenditures that are designed to gain the cooperation of other countries, why Nation Building is an expense we bear that few countries have at all, and why our Veterans Administration is bigger than any other collection of them around the world.

      We have chosen all of this in the form of foreign policy decisions, and we now live with a sad fact: we spend on National Security more than the rest of the world combined and are now doing it on borrowed money. There are other contributing factors behind our national debt as I've said, but the fact is that we've chosen the path regarding National Security at great cost in dollars (and human lives). It is one thing to say we need a strong National Defense, quite another to conflate that idea with an enormous National Security expenditure year after year and, equally as important, to succeed in being the target of anyone anywhere who disagrees that we should dictate international policy as we have regularly done.

      Anyone for asking Leon Panetta different questions at this time?

    20. Skyhawk says:

      We have the most powerful and competent armed services in the history of the world. It has cost trillions to get us to this point after previous adminstratons who have expressed distrust and even hatred for the military. They have done their best to destroy moral, short change our servicemen and destroy our military infrastructure. We now have, at the apex of our leadership, a person who hates capitalism, Christianity, our system of government and our ability to wage war. He has been busy attempting to destroy all of the above. As before, we need a change of leadership. We need, as we have done in the past to consider lessons learned, our possible military enemies and our economic strength to continue to plan for rapid response, highly effective and professional military to keep America from being destroyed. I spent a career fulfilling, as best I could, my oath to uphold and defend the United States from foreign enemies who were desperately trying to conquer the world. That is a provable description. Our weakness is electing politicians who are the internal enemies of the Constitution and allowing them to destroy our system of government and the Constitution.

    21. Victor Barney, LeHig says:

      America! Get used to it because you have not seen anything yet! You verbally endowd women who voted for this "fundamental transformation" of our government into Marxism(Anti-Christ, as Islam)! Watch!

    22. Lynn B. DeSpain, Kei says:

      If one were to remove our entire "Defence Fund" and compare that to the National annual Debt, it would not make a dent.

      The better questions would be, why are we giving Billions to other Nations, that have no means of paying us back, or have prior contracts for any and all materiaals they may have?

      Why are we giving Billion to a World Bank that is answerable to no one? Why do we join our billions with other Nations billion in a seperate World Financial lending fund, that first, answers to none, second loans billions to Nations to build dams for electricity for people that have no use for electricity, except their rulurs and their elite, then the loans are defaulted, and that Fund forcloses and takes all the mineral wealth of that Nation, and the People remain poor?

      Why do we, as a people, allow our so called Leaders to do this?

    23. Renny, Maryland says:

      I'm sorry, but the big "o" needs this money to hire more unioned government employees to protect us while he is "changing" the country.

      "Do not raise the Debt Limit republicians!!" We are doomed if you do!!!!

    24. Geppetto, NC says:

      Obama expects that these cuts will satisfy three of his campaign objectives:

      .

      1) It supports his claim that he is seriously concerned about the budget issue.

      2) It will allow him to discredit Republicans as not being serious knowing they will object.

      3) He has concluded that losing the military vote is an acceptable and manageable risk.

    25. Margaret Go, South B says:

      I hope you are sending this to the senators responsible for his confirmation. These questions need to be answered! If they are answered honestly (another question) I think we will need another nomination.

    26. Nancy says:

      I have a close family member in iraq, 3rd deployment to that '3rd world sand dune'; he is there to train the iraq military, repair and recover US equipment – certainly nothing he was trained for. For the last few weeks they have been under attack day and night and spend many hours in some bunker as they are not prepared to return fire this time – if they had their equipment and fire power, they would take care of the 'creeps' in a nano-second, 'boom your gone' . And 'odrama' said last fall, "the combat war in iraq is OVER" – what the heck does 'odrama' know about the conditions in iraq, nothing as far as I can see. 'odrama' does not give a darn or care about our Great Military anyway.

      The worst thing for us is we have not heard from him in over a week and he has always contacted one of us everyday. Please keep good thoughts and pray for all our brave Military Members in harms way………..

    27. James Daire, Rosevil says:

      Good questions. Who is carrying them into the confirmation hearings? What's being done to assure that Mr. Panetta will be challenged to answer them? I hope Mr. Brownfield isn't posing rhetorical questions for the sake his constituency. JAD

    28. Wayne, La says:

      The truth boils down to our ability to pay. If we continue on the employment downward spiral, support equalization of pay scales for unequal work (unionization) and a debt explosion, then our efforts to modernize our forces is futile. There is no way that one nation will be able to compete with the military options of larger more aggressive nations.

      We can improve our military through intelligent less costly decisions. We need to honor the independent rights of other nations without intruding on their ability to govern themselves. The wars or excursions into Iraq and Afghanistan have served their purpose of eliminating and routing those who may do us harm. It is time to mend the fences and achieve a meaningful dialog to support their governance abilities.

    29. Clearhead, U.S.S.O. says:

      Some screwball wrote this:

      Would YOU go see a Movie – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Would YOU Buy a Car – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Would YOU Eat at a Restaurant – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Would YOU Vote for a Candidate – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Would YOU go to a Doctor – If ALL you heard was BAD BAD BAD?

      Hollywood tells everyone that their MOVIES are GOOD,GOOD,GOOD

      Automakers proclaim their products are GOOD, GOOD, GOOD

      Restauranteurs claim their food is GOOD, GOOD, GOOD

      Candidates portray themselves as GOOD, GOOD, GOOD

      Doctors assess themselves as GOOD, GOOD, GOOD

      When the sheeple listen only to Hollywood, the automakers, restauranteurs, candidates and doctors, their mindset is reduced to what they hear. But thank Heaven for truthful sources such as The Heritage Foundation, who, though they appear to some people to stress only the BAD, BAD, BAD, are a source of awakening and enlightenment to those with sense enouigh to be interested, and who are capable of listening and analyzing what they discover, to the benefit of themselves and their beautiful Country.

      Thanks, Heritage !! You are doing WELL, WELL, WELL.

    30. Robert E. Lee says:

      when is the empty headed prick going to resign?

    31. Ron Hert, CA. says:

      The comments are surprisingly naive. Obama's administration has repeatedly stated that they are in place solely to manage the demise of the USA in every way possible. The only group that is being served are the Facist-Democrats and their wacko accomplices; delivered in the form of waivers on Obamacare, aid for the Muslim Revolutionaries, assistance to this nation's advasaries-START-treaties and loans for drilling oil. When will those that wish to respond to Obama and his thugs in public office see it like it really is-Treason, High Crimes and Misdmeanors is all that Obama is about, simply a problem to the USA, its freedom, and its Constitution.

    32. Doctor Dave, Napa CA says:

      The main goal of the military is to protect the United States. If we spend billions propping up greasy Islamist dictators, and see our money disappearing into their pockets, how does this cause "nation building"? They do not like us, and further more laugh at our easy money to placate them? Our policy in Vietnam was similarly flawed, and all we did was spend money on a cause that politicians really did not want to win, only prolong for their own benefit. (LBJ, McNamara, and the Joint Chiefs of Laughs). We keep repeating history, without learning from it.

    33. Van Peski, Deming, N says:

      Panetta doesn't come across as a liar, considering the present administration he might as well be. Why ask a liar anything?

    34. 2dokie says:

      Obama is our Nero. He has his own priorities with no relevance to reality. His priorities were set during his 20 years as one of Jeremiah Wright's congregants and before…long before. He wants us inferior, at best, to the Muslim cabal. Look at the facts: He wants us destitute of energy even though we set on centuries of supplies of hydrocarbons; he wants to control our healthcare resources; and intimidate every segment of society not directly already controled by the president's chicago political operations. Why should we wait for an election? What does Congress need to at least bring articles of impeachment against this traitor? The ridiculous thing is poor minorities will suffer more from this community organizers plans than anyone else.

    35. Nadeem Juwle says:

      America needs the money badly and it has to come from somewhere…. the Fed cant just print and Obama i dont think has practiced magic to make money appear….so the cuts need to come…. military funding to foreign countries needs to be stopped as its causing bancrupcy of the country….. the US forces are always found flexing their muscle all over the world which is upsetting other countries and their neighbors….. what America needs to invest in is TRUST – diplomatic, financial & military….. as far as Defence Spends are concerned they are actually Offense Spends (majority of tem)… spending on defence is fine but not on Offenses & Wars that are not required…

      Work towards a peaceful world….. a world with no enemy….. it could be achieved only if you try and believe….

    36. Norm LA says:

      Priorities for this poor excuse of a Commander in Chief are all turned around [just as he is himself]. The Naval fleet and air wing is lacking and to cut pay is a travesty. Oh the brave men and women did not volunteer to get rich, but they can see money being spent on frivolous things and wonder why they are not worth as much as some kind of study on rats. So far the only major dept of the Govt to be cut is the military, a favorite target of the left. He did not send fighters to the two countries, but has escalated one and started a third with poor reasoning [although the man child CIC did not tell the American people what victory is] and now he is cutting the budget even deeper that before he dispatched men and women to Libya.

      Where is the cry, as was the case in 2008 – the money for the wars is outside the budget. But the dem senate has not established a budget in three years. And once again for our "things will get better crowd" – you are not on the ground in enemy territory when your company needs equipment that is not available because of cuts. Panetta is a master of deception – he will answer the questions half the way and the Obama standby "I inherited this or that" These people are shameful and the sooner they are gone and replaced by real leaders, the stronger our country will be.

    37. Dinah Garrison Fairb says:

      Good luck asking him anything! If someone asks me how I intend to balance my budget and I answer, very seriously, that I intend to make my budget smaller, what kind of straight talk do you think you would ever get from me? This is a job for the Senate to do thoroughly. Ask the important questions and don't stop asking until specific answers are given. Senators don't have to be rude, but they need to remember 100% of the time for whom they work and just exactly what the job is.

    38. J. Zavisin Cincinnat says:

      Decrease the size of government. Increase the size and effectiveness of the military.

      There is a price for freedom that begins with "being prepared".

    39. Pingback: Iran’s Nuclear Efforts Are Accelerating | Pitts Report

    40. edree, Florida says:

      These questions presume that Panetta will understand them before he can reply. I am not sure that is a warrented assumption.

    41. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Leon Panetta was Secretary of Transportation under both Clinton and Bush. When

      George Tenant resigned, he became DCI. Now he's up for Secretary of Defense.

      One question that should be asked is: "What do we do now?"

    42. Vicki, NY says:

      How one goes from being Secretary of Transportation to Secretary of Homeland Security is a bit of a stretch, but on-the-job-training seems to be the hallmark of this Administration–not unlike others. However, going from Secretary of Homeland Security to Secretary of Defense is an entirely different leap, requiring more than faith in someone's good intentions.

      Surely, there is someone out there with the experience and the expertise to handle the challenges of being Secretary of Defense?

      If Panetta is approved for this position, I will run for Governor. On second thought, I think I want the job.

      Seriously, when you let children run the nursery, what else can you expect?

    43. Vicki, NY says:

      How one goes from being Secretary of Transportation to Secretary of Homeland Security is a bit of a stretch, but on-the-job-training seems to be the hallmark of this Administration–not unlike others. However, going from Secretary of Homeland Security to Secretary of Defense is an entirely different leap, requiring more than faith in someone's good intentions.

      Surely, there is someone out there with the experience and the expertise to handle the challenges of being Secretary of Defense?

      If Panetta is approved for this position, I will run for Governor. On second thought, I don't think I want the job.

      Seriously, when you let children run the nursery, what else can you expect?

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