Panetta Sees Half of Defense Cuts from Weapons

November 2, 2011

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expects about half of the $450 billion-plus in defence cuts slated for the next 10 years to come from weapons programs, a senior lawmaker said on Tuesday.

Panetta told lawmakers he remained concerned about the prospect of having to cut defence spending by up to $600 billion more if a special congressional committee does not reach agreement on $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon.

McKeon, speaking after a classified briefing by Panetta and other officials, said Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had reiterated their warning that cutting the U.S. defence budget up to $1 trillion would have a "devastating effect" on the military. 

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