“Talking Foreign Affairs” with Adil Cader, which seeks to educate young people on key international issues, has concluded an interview with Secretary Leon Panetta, former US Defense Secretary and CIA Director.
Secretary Panetta offers his unique view of American Diplomacy through the different lenses of intelligence and defense. The two discuss various contemporary issues impacting American foreign policy as well as reflections on the Biden Administration transition. The former Defense Secretary opens up about how administrative transitions take place, the interaction between outgoing and the new administration, and his own experience facilitating one.
He further recounts his time travelling abroad as the CIA Director and Secretary of Defense. On alliances he states the importance of countries sharing concern for intelligence and security threats. “I really believe that our allies and friends are critically important to protect our national security.” Moving forward, Adil Cader asks Secretary Panetta as to how detrimental events like the Capitol Hill riots are to America’s diplomatic conduct and relationships. Mr. Panetta responds that the incident was one of the most tragic events in modern US history that brought its democracy to a 4-hour “halt.” The end result, he adds, is that “it tells the American people how fragile our democracy is and we should not take it for granted.” It created a diplomatic embarrassment for the US, both towards its allies and adversaries, about the strength of the United States’ democracy. Mr. Panetta concludes by stating the importance of a strong US-Australia relationship. He adds, “if we’re together, I have great hope that ultimately the world would be a better place.”
“I sat down with President Xi to justify naval expansion… explaining to him that we are a pacific power like them, with similar concerns.” Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta served as the 23rd US Secretary of Defense from July 2011 to February 2013 and was also Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from February 2009 to June 2011. He is currently Chairman of The Panetta Institute for Public Policy.
“Talking Foreign Affairs” seeks to educate young people on key international issues and analyse key themes of foreign policy and current global affairs. Their offerings include hosting panels, addressing conferences, carrying out research and publishing.
Adil Cader specialises in Global Diplomacy and Australian Foreign Policy. He is the Perth-based Founder and Host of “Talking Foreign Affairs,” in which capacity he has interviewed Prime Ministers, Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Foreign Ministers and a UN Secretary General.