A former defense secretary for President Barack Obama told CNN Sunday that worldwide terrorism is getting worse — not better, and that the war on terror has now entered “a much more dangerous chapter.”
Leon Panetta, a Democrat who served as Obama’s secretary of defense from 2011 to 2013, said he sees an imminent threat of an act of terror being directed on American soil.
“I don’t think there’s any question,” Panerra told liberal commentator Fareed Zakaria on “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “I think what we’re seeing, as I said, is a much more aggressive chapter and a much more dangerous chapter in terms of the war on terrorism.”
He listed recent events in Ottawa, Paris and Belgium as a precursor of events to come in the United States.
“They [the terrorists] are engaged in a much more aggressive effort to conduct violence, not only in Europe, but I think it’s a matter of time before they direct it at the United States as well,” Panetta added. “This is a real threat, and we’ve got to be prepared to confront them:”
It’s not the first time he has distanced himself publicly from his former boss.
Panetta, who also served as Obama’s CIA director, blasted the president’s leadership in his memoir, “Worthy Fights,” according to Newsweek, which reported:
One of Panetta’s biggest criticisms concerns Obama’s handling of the war in Iraq. In 2011, Panetta, along with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and military commanders, advocated for leaving a modest American presence to help preserve stability in a country that was on the brink of falling apart. Panetta voiced his fear “that if the country split apart or slid back into the violence that we’d seen in the years immediately following the U.S. invasion, it could become a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S.” But the administration was so eager to rid itself of the unpopular war that Obama did not actively advocate for a deal with then-Iraqi prime minister Nuri Kamal-al-Maliki to keep a small number of troops there. The last American troops left at the end of 2011. Panetta believes that “ a small, focused U.S. troop presence in Iraq could have effectively advised the Iraqi military on how to deal with Al Qaeda’s resurgence and the sectarian violence that has engulfed the country.”
Watch the interview, via the The Daily Caller.
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