U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta meets with Afghan Defense Minister Besmillah Khan Mohammadi during a visit to the Pentagon, Jan. 9, 2013 DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
European Vacation? Pentagon Defends Final Panetta Trip To Allies -- E-Ring/Foreign Policy
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta next week will make his final trip abroad, a dream swing through Madrid, Lisbon, Rome and London, prompting reporters to ask: Is there a national security need or is this a junket?
Tony Capaccio, of Bloomberg, invoked Panetta’s Italian-American heritage to press the Pentagon spokesman in Tuesday’s briefing to give a military or strategic reason for the high-cost visit of a defense secretary and his “entourage” to Rome.
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Update: Panetta Plans Visit to 4 European Allies -- Defense News
My Comment: This is a pleasure trip.