U.S. defence Secretary Leon Panetta urged Congress today to resolve the debt crisis, or risk triggering larger military budget cuts that could be “devastating effects” to national defence.
Panetta, in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the National defence University this morning, said the Pentagon is ready to cut $350 million over 10 years — the amount agreed to in this month’s deficit compromise. But Panetta warned that further cuts could be a threat to national security.
If the supercommittee 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 national security spending cuts.
Both Panetta and Clinton appealed to Congress to limit defence, diplomacy, and development cuts in order to preserve U.S. influence.