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China US Panetta_Star.jpg

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, meets with China's Vice President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. Panetta met Wednesday with Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi, who just days ago reappeared after a puzzling two-week disappearance. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (left) listens Sept. 17, 2012, to a question from U.S. military personnel stationed at Yokota in Japan. Panetta, who is on the first official stop of a three nation tour to Japan, China and New Zealand, says that U.S. and Japanese officials have agreed to put a second missile defense system in Japan. The exact location has not yet been determined. (Associated Press)

japan-us-asia-panetta_live_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

japan-us-asia-panetta_live_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (left) listens Sept. 17, 2012, to a question from U.S. military personnel stationed at Yokota in Japan. Panetta, who is on the first official stop of a three nation tour to Japan, China and New Zealand, says that U.S. and Japanese officials have agreed to put a second missile defense system in Japan. The exact location has not yet been determined. (Associated Press)

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Japan US Asia Panetta_Live.jpg

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (left) listens Sept. 17, 2012, to a question from U.S. military personnel stationed at Yokota in Japan. Panetta, who is on the first official stop of a three nation tour to Japan, China and New Zealand, says that U.S. and Japanese officials have agreed to put a second missile defense system in Japan. The exact location has not yet been determined. (Associated Press)

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20120607-193839-pic-788685710_2_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

**FILE** U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (center) speaks June 7, 2012, with Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and Gen. John Allen (left center), the head of NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan, upon arriving at Kabul International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (center) speaks June 7, 2012, with Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and Gen. John Allen (left center), the head of NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan, upon arriving at Kabul International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks to reporters in Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 10, 2012, after visiting the Flight 93 National Memorial ahead of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (Associated Press)

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Panetta 911_Live.jpg

** FILE ** Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks to reporters in Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 10, 2012, after visiting the Flight 93 National Memorial ahead of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (Associated Press)

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gay-troops_live_3_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

** FILE ** Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies June 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, seen here with his golden retriever dog Bravo at the Pentagon, conducts an interview with the Associated Press on Aug. 13, 2012. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, seen here with his golden retriever dog Bravo at the Pentagon, conducts an interview with the Associated Press on Aug. 13, 2012. (Associated Press)

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Panetta AP Interview_Live.jpg

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, seen here with his golden retriever dog Bravo at the Pentagon, conducts an interview with the Associated Press on Aug. 13, 2012. (Associated Press)

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Israeli Defense minister Ehud Barak (left) and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meet Aug. 1, 2012, in Tel Aviv. Israel's threats to attack Iran and the violence convulsing Syria top the agenda of Panetta's meetings Wednesday with Israeli government leaders. (Associated Press)

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Israeli Defense minister Ehud Barak (left) and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meet Aug. 1, 2012, in Tel Aviv. Israel's threats to attack Iran and the violence convulsing Syria top the agenda of Panetta's meetings Wednesday with Israeli government leaders. (Associated Press)

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Mideast Israel Panett_Live.jpg

Israeli Defense minister Ehud Barak (left) and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meet Aug. 1, 2012, in Tel Aviv. Israel's threats to attack Iran and the violence convulsing Syria top the agenda of Panetta's meetings Wednesday with Israeli government leaders. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies July 25, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington before the joint House Armed Services-Veterans Affairs "Back from the Battlefield" hearing. (Associated Press)

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Coming Home Becoming _Live.jpg

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies July 25, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington before the joint House Armed Services-Veterans Affairs "Back from the Battlefield" hearing. (Associated Press)

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gay-troops_live_2_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies June 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

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Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaks June 22, 2012, about suicide prevention at the annual Suicide Prevention Conference held by the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration in Washington. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies June 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)