Former Secretary of Defense Panetta Worried About American “Isolantionism”
Says an attack may be necessary despite ongoing negotiations between U.S. and Iran
November 2, 2013
Former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, told the annual conference of the Anti-Defamation League he is worried about a “growing sense of isolationism in this country” following more than a decade of war.
“The fact remains that we live in a very dangerous world,” he said. “We continue to have threats from North Korea as they test nuclear weapons. We have instability and fragility in the Middle East. All of this happens at a time when we are imperiled by gridlock in Washington.”
Panetta said the national security state is threatened by political activity challenging the establishment. “If you ask me what biggest threat to national security is today, it is fact that our political leaders cannot come together to deal with this nation’s problems. This is time when must maintain military strength and our role in the world as a world leader. We cannot retreat from the responsibilities that US has in the world today.”
One such responsibility is to vigorously confront Iran over its nuclear program. “We are testing Iranian intentions for diplomatic solutions,” he said. “When we engage Iran along with our partners, we are clear-eyed about the reality in the Middle East. Iran is a state sponsor of terror.”