Panetta starts work as defense secretary
Leon Panetta arrives at the Pentagon on Friday to be sworn in and get to work.
July 1st, 2011
09:55 AM ET

Panetta starts work as defense secretary

Leon Panetta was sworn in Friday as U.S. defense secretary, replacing Robert Gates.

The Senate confirmed Panetta, the former CIA director, in a rare 100-0 vote last week.

After his confirmation vote, Panetta pledged to "work to ensure that we continue to have the strongest, best-trained and best-equipped military in the world."

Among Panetta's top priorities: overseeing the completion of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq this year and beginning the process of winding down the unpopular war in Afghanistan.

About 33,000 U.S. "surge" troops are expected to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by next summer, with the remaining 68,000 leaving by the end of 2014.

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Filed under: Military • Pentagon
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Jazzzzzzzz

    Ok bloggers. The weekend doesn't begin for another 7 hours. He he. LOL

    July 1, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. michaelfury

    Why do you look so sad, Mr. Secretary?

    July 1, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    Are the 'Blackwater' types of corporate military going to be recalled as well? I haven't heard any discussions about this. I would imagine that, even though your tax dollars pay for these soldiers of fortune, if the issue ever did arise, we would be told that it wouldn't be right for Uncle Sam to go ordering corporate employees around. Uncle Sam didn't construct the largest foreign embassy in history in Iraq because he knew that he'd just be there a little while. Iraq and Afghanistan will remain occupied into the forseeable future no doubt.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. CIA Think Tank

    Ok. We've got 'Shell Shock' staged down from 'Battle Fatigue' to 'Post-traumatic Stess Disorder PTSD'. Good job fella's. Now we need to figure out a way to make 'Torture' into to something else too. "Sir, that's already done. It's called 'Enhanced Interogation' now". Good. Good. But we can do better than that boy's. Hmmm, what say we call it 'Suspect Encouragement', that sound's a little too friendly, so nobody'll buy that. Help me out here boy's.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      "Blue Water Persuasion".

      July 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    @Scottish Mama:

    'Crystal Blue Persuasion'
    I'm showing my age.

    Anyhow, every time I see Panetta's name, I think of bread.
    Why is that, I wonder?

    July 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      And I have shown mine, my exact thoughts Banasy.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    He he...I was gonna say Crystal Blue Persuasion too, but they probably use plain-old tapwater. (sigh) What gives me the heebie-jeebies is the nonchalant way they go about discussing torturing humans. If they were discussing house pets, everyone would be up in arms. Probably because we spend about 5 billion dollars per year on toys for our housecats. If kitty-cat were to be 'enhanced'...

    July 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |