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Panetta says bigger defense budget cuts would have "devastating effects" on national security
WASHINGTON (AP) ' Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is predicting that larger military budget cuts triggered by a failure to resolve the debt crisis would have "devastating" effects on the nation's security.
Panetta says the Pentagon is prepared to make $350 billion in cuts over the next 10 years, as agreed by Congress. But he warns of dangers to the national defense if bigger reductions are required.
In a joint appearance at the National Defense University, Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made the case for preserving U.S. influence in the world by limiting budget cuts for defense, diplomacy and development.
Clinton and Panetta were responding to questions posed by Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.