Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will run a three-day gantlet in Congress starting Tuesday morning as they face Republican critics of President Obama’s new military strategy.
Panetta and Dempsey will testify on the president’s defense budget in back-to-back-to-back hearings, beginning with the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Obama’s budget request, released Monday, cuts absolute defense spending for the first time in a decade and slashes more than 100,000 troops. Those reductions are in line with the president’s strategy revamp, which drops a requirement that the military stand ready to fight two large-scale ground wars at once.
Panetta defended Obama’s proposed cuts in opening remarks on Tuesday and reminded lawmakers that the $487 billion reduction in Pentagon spending the president is implementing is their own handiwork.