Panetta plays troop card to press DC on budget deal

Fresh off his eighth visit to Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he is frustrated that wherever he goes, U.S. troops are asking him nervous questions about defense spending cuts looming over their heads because of Washington’s inability to make a budget deal.
 
“Whenever I visit our troops, they make clear their concern about what those cuts would mean for them and their families,” he said, in remarks at the National Press Club on Tuesday. “It is unacceptable to me that men and women putting their lives on the line in distant lands have to worry about whether those here in Washington can effectively support them. We're down to the wire here.”
 
Panetta last week spoke to troops at stops in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Turkey.
 

DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

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