Panetta: Pentagon cuts will hit lawmakers at home

By LOLITA C. BALDOR | October 11, 2011 | 1:25 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the Pentagon will need to make difficult budget cuts to find more than $450 billion in savings, and the cuts may include lawmakers' pet projects or weapons programs in their regions.

He says the budget-cutting on military equipment and personnel costs will prove politically sensitive. The Pentagon chief says Congress must be a responsible partner in this process.

Panetta says he hopes to find $60 billion in savings through efficiencies across the department.

He says the military of the 21st century will be smaller and more agile, but must be ready for the possibility of fighting more than one war at a time. Military leaders say that will tough given the shrinking armed forces.

Panetta spoke Tuesday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.