General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at left, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appear on Face the Nation, Jan. 9, 2012 (CBS)
They both agreed: “All of the above.”
Both Panetta and Dempsey also warned against thinking that the announcement this week of a new U.S. defense strategy with a smaller military would mean the U.S. military is in decline.
“I think that’s what worries me is that, because the conversation that we’re having, this year, about changing strategy and budget problems, that there may be some around the world who see us as a nation in decline, and worse, as a military in decline,” Dempsey said. “And nothing could be further from the truth. And that miscalculation could be troublesome in, particularly in the three areas you describe, but… it could cause even our close partners to wonder what kind of partner are we? So what I’d like to say right now is we’re the same partner we’ve always been, and intend to remain that way.”
Panetta added: “I think the main message that the world needs to understand is: America is the strongest military power and we intend to remain the strongest military power, and nobody ought to mess with that.”
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