The Pentagon is challenging lawmakers not to pull apart its $525 billion proposed budget as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta heads to Capitol Hill to make the case for reduced spending linked to a new military strategy/…/

The budget debate may turn into a blame game over who is responsible for cutting the military and may lead to a stalemate that won’t be resolved until after the November election, according to Todd Harrison, a defense-budget analyst.

“There’s no easy answer or ready-made consensus on how to deal with the deficit,” Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington policy group, said yesterday in an interview. Lawmakers and the Obama administration are “going to be in a big fight, and this is going to be part of the campaign.”