General David Petraeus, at his military retirement ceremony, said "that the nation’s leaders, faced with tough budget decisions, should be careful not to cut the military’s budget too deeply in the years ahead," the Washington Post reports.

Petraeus is retiring as the wars that have defined his career as a general and dominated U.S. foreign policy are winding down. He also leaves amid an economic crisis and looming defense reductions that probably will cut $400 billion to $1 trillion from military budgets over the next decade. The near certainty of deep reductions is clearly on Petraeus’s mind as he takes off his uniform and prepares to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

“I do believe we have relearned since 9/11 the timeless lesson that we don’t always get to fight the wars for which we are most prepared or most inclined,” Petraeus said, according to the Post. “Given that reality, we will need to maintain the full-spectrum capability that we have developed over this last decade of conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

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