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General Petraeus Warns Against Excessive U.S. Defense Cuts

U.S. General David Petraeus
General David Petraeus has warned against sacrificing U.S. military capabilities to ease America's budget troubles, as he retired from the army ahead of becoming CIA director.

"As our nation contemplates difficult budget decisions, I know that our leaders will remember that our people, our men and women in uniform, are our military, and that taking care of them and their families must be our paramount objective," Petraeus said.

"Beyond that, it will be imperative to maintain a force that not only capitalizes on the extraordinary experience and expertise in our ranks today, but also maintains the versatility and flexibility that have been developed over the past decade in particular."

Petraeus rose through the ranks to become arguably the U.S. military's brightest star, credited for helping to turn around the Iraq war and for helping to halt the momentum of Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

He led U.S. troops in both conflicts and briefly oversaw the entire the region as head of the U.S. military's Central Command.

compiled from agency reports