For months, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been warning in the starkest possible terms that the $600 billion in defense spending cuts will be catastrophic. He has said they will do irreversable damage to America's defenses, even invite aggression. Which makes it all the more curious that Panetta has also fully endorsed President Obama's commitment to veto any effort to prevent those cuts from occurring.
Panetta attempted to explain the contradiction by suggesting the problem isn't the cuts themselves, but the process by which they are to be determined: "When there's a mechanism like sequestration, which is this kind of blind meat-ax approach to putting that in place if you don't do the right thing, there's something wrong ... if it happens, it could do lasting damage, obviously, to defense policy in this country. And it will."