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Panetta

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NEWS
August 1, 2012 | By Robert Burns, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
October 6, 2011 | By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
July 12, 2011 | By Robert Burns, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
July 25, 2012 | By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
January 13, 2012 | CHICAGO TRIBUNE
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.
NEWS
June 11, 2011 | By Kimberly Dozier and Asif Shahzad, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
December 19, 2012 | By Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
September 21, 2011 | By Robert Burns, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
December 18, 2011 | By Lolita Baldor, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
June 4, 2012 | By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
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.
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NEWS
October 17, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Leon Panetta has taken a lot of heat for publicly dumping on Barack Obama's foreign policy while the president is still in the White House. Where's his loyalty? the critics ask, as Panetta makes the publicity rounds for his new memoir, Worthy Fights , which says tough things about Obama's past policies on Syria and Iraq. Shouldn't Panetta, who served as CIA director and defense secretary during Obama's first term, have zipped his lip until his former boss left office? Absolutely not. Panetta - a child of Italian immigrants who believes deeply in America's promise - is trying to nudge Obama to adopt a more engaged style of governing; he rightly believes this is the only way Obama can break through the paralysis in Washington and exert more forceful foreign policy leadership in the future.
NEWS
February 8, 2013 | By Richard Lardner and Donna Cassata, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The United States is at risk of becoming a second-rate power if automatic budget cuts go into effect, plunging the armed forces into the most significant readiness crisis they have faced in more than a decade, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned Thursday. Panetta, who is retiring soon from his post, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that if the reductions are allowed to stand he would have to throw the country's national defense strategy "out the window. " But he also assured lawmakers the Pentagon would take the steps necessary to deal with possible threats in the Persian Gulf region after he approved the Navy's request to halve its aircraft carrier presence in the area.
NEWS
February 4, 2013 | Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said "the political knives" came out when Chuck Hagel faced fellow Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to be Pentagon chief. Panetta said he was disappointed that Thursday's eight-hour hearing focused so much on what Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, had said in the past about Iran, Israel, and other matters instead of what he thinks about today's issues, including the war in Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism, and looming automatic budget cuts and their impact on military readiness.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of frontline positions and potentially elite commando jobs after generations of limits on their service, defense officials said Wednesday. The changes, set to be announced Thursday by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, will not happen overnight. The services must now develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions, a senior military official said. Some jobs may open as soon as this year, while assessments for others - such as special-operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army's Delta Force - may take longer.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Liz Navratil and Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Women have been fighting for the right to serve in combat positions for decades. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta handed them a sudden - and nuanced - victory on Thursday. Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed a memo authorizing the change at the Pentagon. They said the decision was prompted by the valiant efforts of women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of Thursday, 152 women had died and an additional 958 had been wounded. Many received awards for their service.
NEWS
January 19, 2013 | By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
LONDON - As international military operations continued in Algeria and Mali, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged NATO on Friday to be more innovative and flexible so it can keep "relentless pressure" on al-Qaeda and be able to respond to a broad range of future security threats. Panetta was speaking as officials were still trying to sort out details in the kidnapping and possible rescue effort of hostage in Algeria. He said NATO nations must work together to help other countries beef up their security and ensure that terrorists can't establish safe havens anywhere in the world.
NEWS
January 12, 2013 | By Robert Burns, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - In a notably upbeat assessment of war progress, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Thursday that the U.S.-led coalition has advanced to the "last chapter" of an 11-year struggle to ensure that Afghanistan can defend itself. The endgame to which Panetta referred is punctuated with uncertainty, beginning with doubts about whether the Afghan government can build legitimacy by credibly serving its population. Also in question is whether Afghan security forces will be capable of holding off the Taliban after international forces leave in 2014.
NEWS
December 19, 2012 | By Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
December 16, 2012 | By Robert Burns, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - U.S. commanders are offering glowing reviews of their 2012 war campaign, upbeat assessments that could be interpreted as leeway for President Obama to order another round of troop withdrawals this summer. Obama faces tension between calls by Democrats and even some Republicans to wind down the war more quickly and the military's desire to avoid a too-fast pullout that might squander hard-won sacrifices. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has not yet recommended to Obama a specific pace of withdrawals for 2013.
NEWS
December 15, 2012 | By Ernesto Londoño, Washington Post
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey - The United States authorized on Friday the deployment of 400 troops for two Patriot missile-defense batteries along Turkey's border with Syria, a move that could put American forces near the front lines of the Arab country's escalating civil war. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta signed the order authorizing the deployment of the batteries Friday morning while flying from Kabul to this military base in southern Turkey....
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