Panetta Warns of Severe Reductions in Operations if March Sequester Occurs

January 10, 2013

The U.S. Defense Department is preparing to ground military aircraft and call ships back to port should the Pentagon get hit with nearly $50 billion in budget cuts in March.

Senior defense officials appear to be losing hope that congressional leaders and the White House will be able to come up with a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan before the spending cuts are enacted.

“[W]e have no idea what the hell’s going to happen,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta bluntly said during a Jan. 10 briefing at the Pentagon. “All told, this uncertainty, if left unresolved by the Congress, will seriously harm our military readiness.”

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