- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Panetta: Army to withdraw 2 brigades from Europe
Question of the Day
FORT BLISS, Texas — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday the Army will withdraw two combat brigades from Europe as part of a broad reorienting of U.S. forces and instead rotate units in and out of the region, presumably from U.S. bases.
Panetta told the Armed Forces Press Service on board his plane that the Army will do more rotational movement of combat forces not only in Europe but also in Africa and Latin America. . “It will keep the ground forces very meaningful in the future,” he was quoted as saying.
Last week, the Pentagon announced a new defense strategy to accommodate hundreds of billions of dollars in budget cuts over the coming decade. At the time, Panetta said that the military will get smaller and that its presence in Europe would “evolve.” But he declined then to discuss what that would mean for the long-standing U.S. presence in Europe.
A combat brigade typically consists of 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers.
Later, Panetta addressed about 500 soldiers and their family members at the sprawling Fort Bliss Army post, ensuring them that their benefits will not be affected by the announced budget cuts to the military.
On the threat posed by Iran, the defense secretary said the country undermines governments in the region and is developing nuclear capabilities.
But in answer to a soldier’s question about the possibility of a military strike on Iran, he said sanctions on Iran “are having an impact on the economy and governance” of the country.
“The world community is unified, but we have to make sure we are ready for any situation and have all options on the table,” Panetta said.
There are two red lines that Tehran cannot cross, he said. “We can’t allow them to develop nuclear capabilities and the other red line is they can’t block the Strait of Hormuz,” the strategic waterway in the Persian Gulf.
“We must keep all capabilities ready in the event those lines are crossed,” he added.
It was Panetta’s first visit to a large military installation since taking office in June.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Inside China: Massive flight woes and a missile test
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq