The US Defense Budget: Repercussions for US Global Commitments

The US Defense Budget: Repercussions for US Global Commitments

  • 22 April 2013

As a part of its Emirates Lecture Series, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) organized a lecture – The US Defense Budget: Repercussions for US Global Commitments – delivered by H.E. Leon Panetta, Former Secretary of Defense, United States of America. The lecture was delivered on Monday (April 22, 2013) at 7.30pm in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall at the ECSSR office complex in Abu Dhabi.

The Director General of the ECSSR His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi delivered a speech welcoming His Excellency Leon Panetta and a distinguished audience, which comprised of foreign envoys and diplomats and senior military and security officials from the UAE, the Arab World and beyond.

In his speech, HE Dr. Jamal  Al-Suwaidi said: “The world is currently witnessing a strong trend toward fiscal consolidation and toward bringing down government expenditure, driven by concerns on mounting government debt levels and their potential impact on future generations. This global trend to make governments more conservative and efficient in public spending will leave an impact on all spheres of government functions, including of course expenditure in defense.

“This lecture gains in importance and urgency on account of these concerns, especially as the world is looking with great attention to the unfolding talks and efforts on reduction of the US federal budget deficit.”

In his lecture, Panetta said that the US faces a fundamental choice about its future and it will either continue to exert global leadership, or focus inward and pull back from the world. Panetta said that the US has had multiple successes, including in the war on terror, in drawing down forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in supporting the NATO operation to remove Col. Gaddafi.

However, he said that threats to the US remain, from terrorism, North Korea, the Iranian nuclear program, ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, from China, and in Afghanistan where US troops retain a presence. Panetta said that the US must defend against cyber attack as the next 9/11 or Pearl Harbor could very likely be a cyber attack that paralyzes American infrastructure. He also said that sequestration is a major threat to US capabilities and could cause a serious readiness crisis in the US military. According to him one of the greatest threats to US national security is a dysfunctional democracy that fails to govern.

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LECTURER

Monday 22 April 2013

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Monday 22 April 2013

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