October 6, 2011 |
BRUSSELS, Belgium - New U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned NATO allies Wednesday that they should not rest on any laurels from the success of the ongoing military campaign in Libya and that a cash-strapped America cannot always foot the bill when the alliance falls short. The Libya operation that began in March revealed embarrassing gaps in European military abilities that were mostly filled by the United States, and shortfalls in such basic supplies as ammunition. "There are legitimate questions about whether, if present trends continue, NATO will again be able to sustain the kind of operations that we have seen in Libya and Afghanistan without the United States taking on even more of the burden," Panetta told the Brussels-based organization Carnegie Europe.
August 1, 2012 |
CAIRO - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta left meetings with Egypt's new leaders Tuesday with an optimistic outlook for the valuable American ally emerging from its Arab Spring revolution, saying that he believes President Mohammed Morsi and the country's military chief were committed to democratic rule. Panetta, who later Tuesday flew to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told reporters that Morsi and Egypt's military chief, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, had a "very good relationship," despite the military's recent moves to limit the powers of the presidency.
July 12, 2011 |
BAGHDAD - A blunt, frustrated Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta expressed exasperation Monday with Iraqi indecision on whether it wants U.S. troops to stay next year. He also threatened stronger U.S. action to stop Iranian-supplied weapons from killing Americans as they prepare to depart. To reinforce the message of concern about Iran, the U.S. military gave reporters a rare look at samples of what they described as improvised rockets and other devices that have been used to target Americans in Baghdad.
July 25, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has approved an Air Force plan to begin lifting flight restrictions on the F-22 stealth fighter jet, following the ongoing correction of oxygen-deficit problems that grounded and restricted the fleet for months. Press secretary George Little said Tuesday that the Pentagon had "very high confidence that we've identified the issue" with the mysterious oxygen-depletion problem that caused some F-22 pilots to feel dizzy and experience other symptoms of hypoxia.
January 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Pentagon officials said yesterday they believe that a video showing four Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghans is authentic, and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said those found responsible will be "held accountable to the fullest extent. " Panetta called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to assure him of a thorough investigation, the Pentagon said. Karzai called the behavior on the video "simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms. " The video emerged on Internet sites at a delicate moment, just as the U.S. is trying to continue preliminary talks with Taliban representatives on finding ways to end the war. Like the notorious images of U.S. troops abusing detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the video undermines U.S. efforts to win the support of the civilian population.
June 11, 2011 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - CIA Director Leon E. Panetta met over dinner Friday with Pakistan's spy chief and army leader for talks on how to repair ties between the two countries that were fractured by the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistani and U.S. officials said. Panetta's visit was his first to Pakistan since the unilateral American operation May 2 killed the al-Qaeda leader in a Pakistani army town, triggering an angry backlash by the powerful military. It is likely to be his last before he becomes the next U.S. defense secretary.
December 19, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned Congress on Tuesday that the budget stalemate and lawmakers' spending choices were among the greatest threats to the U.S. military. If the fiscal cliff's automatic cuts are not avoided, the Pentagon could face about $500 billion in across-the-board budget reductions, he said. Speaking as lawmakers try to wrap up negotiations on a defense bill, he said defense officials had built a budget that tries to protect military readiness while also providing needed services to troops who have been involved in wars for more than 11 years.
September 21, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military passed a historic milestone Tuesday with the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in uniform, ending a policy that President Obama said had forced gay and lesbian service members to "lie about who they are. " Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta pledged not to allow other issues of equal opportunity, such as permitting women to serve in combat roles, to be ignored or set aside. "I am committed to removing all of the barriers that would prevent Americans from serving their country and from rising to the highest level of responsibility that their talents and capabilities warrant," he said at a news conference.
December 18, 2011 |
TRIPOLI, Libya - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said "the torch of freedom" has passed to the Libyan people and he pledged during a historic visit Saturday to Tripoli that the United States will do all it can to help the country move toward democracy. But he and his Libyan hosts acknowledged the threat of Islamic militants gaining ground in this period of political uncertainty following the ouster and death of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Panetta and Libyan leaders identified challenges for the government now forming, including how to gain control of the militias that overthrew Gadhafi during an eight-month civil war. "This will be a long and difficult transition, but I have confidence that you will succeed in realizing the dream of a representative government," Panetta said during a news conference with Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib.
June 4, 2012 |
CAM RANH BAY, Vietnam - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta used a visit Sunday to Vietnam to make clear Washington's intent to aid allies in the Asia-Pacific region develop and enforce maritime rights in the South China Sea, which Beijing largely claims. On a historic stop in Cam Ranh Bay, the strategic deep water port that was a U.S. base during the Vietnam War, Panetta could gaze out from the flight deck of the USNS Richard E. Byrd toward the sea and reflect on the significance of the harbor, which represents both a painful past for the American military and a challenging but hopeful future.