Fiscal crisis, budget battle mark Leon Panetta's tenure


During speeches in the last week, as he set the table for his legacy, Panetta talked repeatedly of the war on al-Qaida. The man behind the raid that killed bin Laden wants to ensure that the targeting continues, and that it blocks the terror network from gaining footholds in North Africa, Somalia and Yemen, and from returning to its bases in Afghanistan.

Panetta insists that al-Qaida's leadership has been decimated. But he acknowledges the fight is far from over and victory not yet in reach. In fact, he spent much of his last trip dealing with the hostage crisis in Algeria, where Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida attacked a natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert.

Sometime next month, Panetta will leave the Pentagon, finally returning home to his beloved walnut farm in Carmel, Calif. In the farewell ceremony on board his military plane, the son of Italy thanked his staff for working to protect America, saying he believes they made the world safer.

In turn, they presented him with a cake. Across the top was written: Arrivederci.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.