- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2011

DENTON, Texas (AP) — Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Wednesday said the $400 billion in cuts that the Pentagon is facing over the next 10 years should be manageable — but anything more would threaten national security.

Some lawmakers have suggested doubling those budget cuts, which Mr. Gates said would have a “catastrophic effect.” He warned that the U.S. “must not diminish its ability to reply to threats.”

Mr. Gates discussed the cuts in a wide-ranging speech Wednesday night at the University of North Texas in Denton as part of the school’s events commemorating the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.

Mr. Gates, a former director of the CIA, said there was an understanding of a terrorist threat but no urgency in the years leading up to the attacks, as budget cuts and no increases hurt the intelligence community.

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