WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon
said on Monday automatic spending cuts that could result in a
special congressional committee's failure to reach a deficit
reduction agreement could "tear a seam" in U.S. defense.
The Pentagon was already working on a plan to cut $489
billion from its budget over the next decade.
The so-called super committee's failure to agree on $1.2
trillion in deficit-cutting measures triggers up to $600
billion in additional defense cuts over ten years beginning in
"If Congress fails to act over the next year, the
Department of Defense will face devastating, automatic,
across-the-board cuts that will tear a seam in the nation's
defense," Panetta said in a statement.
"The half-trillion in additional cuts demanded by sequester
would lead to a hollow force incapable of sustaining the
missions it is assigned."
The Pentagon's ability to provide benefits and support for
for U.S. troops and their families also would be jeopardized
if the automatic cuts are allowed to go into effect.
"Our troops deserve better, and our nation demands better,"
(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; editing by Chris Wilson)
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