June 09, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today applauded Leon Panetta’s record of service to our nation and pledged his support for Panetta’s current nomination as U.S. Secretary of Defense during a SASC hearing.
“I had the honor to work with Leon Panetta in the U.S. House of Representatives, and look forward to once again working with him as the next U.S. Secretary of Defense,” said Inhofe. “His long record of public service is impeccable and I have the utmost confidence that he will successfully guide our nation’s military as they continue to fight terror overseas.”
Inhofe continued, “For the past two years, his service as CIA Director has proven imperative to our national security. On his watch, our national security forces found and killed al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden. Per my suggestion, his decision to share the death photos with select Members of Congress allowed Congressional oversight and confirmation of the mission’s success.”
“Now, as President Obama and democrats call for cuts in defense spending and an accelerated withdrawal from Afghanistan, I share his concerns that this will endanger our national security and put our men and women in uniform at great risk. We have made significant progress in Afghanistan, but as our commanders there have told me, that progress is fragile and reversible. In order to continue that success, changes in force structure must be predicated on military commanders’ assessment of the conditions on the ground. We must also modernize our military’s aging fleet of ships, vehicles, and aircraft. We must provide our servicemen and women with the equipment and training to be able to dominate the battlefield, be it fighting a counterinsurgency or a high-end war. In the future, I look forward to working with him to ensure our servicemen and women continue to receive the necessary resources for continued success.”