The United States has been at war for more than a decade in the Middle East, and last week Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that every day it becomes more likely that the Nation will go to war with North Korea.
“We’re within an inch of war almost every day in that part of the world,” Panetta said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, responding to a question about the threats in the Korean Peninsula. “And we just have to be very careful about what we say and what we do.”
The Defense Secretary also said that charges from Republicans that President Barack Obama has been weak with regard to responding to foreign threats are unwarranted.
“I think it’s pretty clear this administration took a firm stand with regard to provocative behavior North Korea engaged in,” Panetta said. “We made clear they should not do it, and we condemned the action even though it was not successful.”
Panetta promised “worsened” relations between the U.S. and North Korea if the hermit kingdom attempts another nuclear test. The Defense Secretary also told the House Armed Services Committee last week that he believed China was aiding the country in its ballistic missile ambitions through “trade and technology exchanges.”
Along with the potential for conflict with North Korea, the U.S. remains threatened by Iran and Syria, Panetta said.