Panetta's agenda: Keep U.S. military strength intact

New defense secretary plans meetings with leadership at all levels

Incoming Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has stated publicly that he will not allow a gutting of the U.S. military by expected budget cuts, reports Agence France-Presse.

"He [Panetta] believes that it is a false choice between fiscal responsibility and national security," spokesman Douglas Wilson told reporters June 30.

Panetta, who takes over as defense secretary July 1, plans to immediately embark on a series of meetings with the military at all levels -- from top brass to mid-level officers, Wilson said.

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