U.S. military cuts budget, pulls one carrier group from Middle EastSpecial to WorldTribune.com
ABU DHABI — In late 2012, the U.S. Navy reduced its presence in the Gulf.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the Navy would operate one rather than two aircraft carrier groups in the region over the next few months.
Panetta, the first U.S. defense secretary to visit Kuwait in nearly five years, has met with sheikdom leaders. He said Washington wanted to enhance defense and security cooperation with Kuwait in an effort to counter regional threats.
Nevertheless, the Obama administration has declared its intention to maintain what officials termed a strong presence in the Gulf in 2013.
Officials said the military presence in the Middle East would mark a priority amid plans to significantly reduce the U.S. defense budget.