Senate Confirms Panetta as Pentagon Chief

Tuesday, 21 Jun 2011 05:46 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to confirm outgoing Central Intelligence Agency chief Leon Panetta as the new secretary of defense, replacing the retiring Robert Gates.

Panetta, who has held a variety of senior posts in Washington dating back decades, was nominated by President Barack Obama to head the Pentagon. Panetta is expected to start his new job on July 1.

The rare 100-0 vote followed a debate that saw praise for Panetta and anxiety about the challenges he will face to push defense budgets lower and oversee the start of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The troop pullout is due to begin next month and Obama is expected to present a blueprint for it in a prime-time speech to Americans on Wednesday.

"The next secretary of defense will have to struggle with the competing demands on our forces while Washington struggles with an extremely challenging fiscal environment," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said.

He said Panetta's lengthy experience made him the right man for the job. As CIA director since February 2009, Panetta had been "intimately" involved in the most pressing national security issues, Levin said -- personally overseeing the manhunt that ended in last month's covert operation to kill Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida.

Panetta, a long-standing Democrat, also had been budget director for former President Bill Clinton and helped shape decisions that led to budget surpluses of the late 1990s, Levin said.

Panetta told Congress this month that he would ensure fiscal discipline in the U.S. military, saying the days of "unlimited" defense budgets were over.

During his confirmation hearing, Panetta broadly signaled his alignment with Gates, saying they tended to "walk hand in hand" on many issues. Gates has warned against hasty drawdowns in Afghanistan.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Sony Hackers Taunt FBI, 'Congratulate' Its Success

Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 20:06 PM

A new message claiming to be from the group responsible for the Sony Pictures hack appears to mock the FBI, which named  . . .

US Turns to China to Help Stop NKorean Hackers

Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 19:42 PM

The Obama administration is seeking China's help in stopping North Korea from launching future cyber-attacks, the New Yo . . .

RNC to Theaters: 'We Cannot Be Bullied,' Show 'Interview'

Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 19:20 PM

The Republican National Committee is urging theater owners to play the The Interview following Sony's decision to pull . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved