Confirming America’s Commitment to Defense

Today, current CIA Director Leon Panetta will go before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is holding hearings on his nomination to be the next Secretary of Defense.  The Heritage Foundation, along with the American Enterprise Institute and the Foreign Policy Initiative, has 10 questions Senators should ask Leon Panetta.

The U.S. Navy has the fewest number of ships since America’s entrance into World War I. Yet the Navy is being tasked with arguably more responsibilities than ever before. Our fleet is undoubtedly the finest ever put to the seas, but quantity has a quality all of its own. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen has said, “You are what you buy.”

  • What steps would you take to bridge the gap between our 285-ship Navy today and 313-ship requirement that the CNO has called a “floor”?
  • Congress has mandated that the Navy have no less than 12 aircraft carriers. Although the Navy currently has 11 carriers, the U.S.S. Enterprise will be decommissioned in 2013, and the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford will not be commissioned until 2015. Do you support a 12-carrier Navy today?

Read the rest of the questions and watch the hearing live at 9:30 AM EST.


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