US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has delayed deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East because of budget uncertainty, hours after warning that congressional inaction on financial matters threatened US security.
US President Barack Obama appeared poised to pick former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as the next US defense secretary and the announcement may come early next week.
Sources on Capitol Hill and in the national security community
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta defended the Obama administration's decision not to arm the Syrian opposition, saying the country risked being pushed into an all-out civil war if efforts to secure a smooth political transition fail.
President Barack Obama unveiled a defense strategy Thursday that would expand the US military presence in Asia but shrink the overall size of the force as the Pentagon seeks to slash spending by nearly half a trillion dollars after a decade of war
The United States is concerned about Iran providing weapons to Iraq militants and will take unilateral action when needed to deal with the threat, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday.
US officials have blamed Shi'ite