Defense Secretary Warns Against Budget Cuts

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The Defense Secretary says cuts to defense spending would harm the country.The United States Secretary of Defense said that cuts to the Pentagon’s budget would present grave risks to the nation’s security.

White House officials estimate that the $1 trillion in cuts that are to happen immediately will take about $350 billion from the Pentagon over the next 10 years, according to The New York Times. In addition, the bipartisan committee that is charged with cutting an additional $1.5 trillion from the budget could cut defense spending, although a senior Pentagon official told the newspaper that he thought that was unlikely.

“I would expect them to focus on entitlements and taxes,” the official said.

However, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote a letter to personnel in the Department of Defense saying that if the committee could not agree on cuts, “it could trigger a round of dangerous across-the-board defense cuts that would do real damage to our security, our troops and their families, and our ability to protect the nation.”

The newspaper reports that the coming months will be full of disagreements about cuts to defense spending.

The Defense Department’s budget was $680 billion in fiscal 2010, according to MarketWatch.

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