Former CIA Chief and Defense Secretary Panetta Worried About White House Lack of National Security Preparedness
Leon Panetta, former defense secretary, said he is worried about the apparent chaos in the national security arm of the government, and the seeming lack of preparedness of the Trump administration to handle a crisis if one should arise.
Panetta voiced his concern on the Sunday news interview show “Meet the Press.”
“The thing that you worry about a great deal, particularly now with the loss of a national security adviser, you don’t have somebody in that place,” he said. “The National Security Council hasn’t even met formally.”
Panetta added that the system which is there to alert the President about the state of the country’s national security is “dysfunctional,” adding that the crucial White House system to deal with the nation’s security is broken.
“What happens if there’s a major crisis that faces this country? If Russia engages in a provocation, if Iran does something stupid, if North Korea does something stupid and we have to respond, where is the structure to be able to evaluate that threat, consider it and provide options to the president?”
“Right now, that’s dysfunctional, and that’s what worries me a great deal.”
Panetta also commented on Trump’s strange constant praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“It’s a concern when the president continues to kind of apologize for the Russians and what they’re doing,” Panetta said. Panetta was also the director of the CIA while Barack Obama was president.
Panetta’s answer to the question about whether Russia should be considered a chief US adversary was a resounding “without question.”
“If he listens to the people that are closest to him now, and that are responsible for our foreign policy and our defense policy, he’ll understand that Russia is an adversary, it’s not a friend,” Panetta said. “Their main purpose is to destabilize the United States and Western democracies. And they’ve shown that in everything they’ve done.”