Panetta: ‘There May Be That We Could Have a Land War in Korea in the Future’

Defense secretary details the future of terror, cyber, and geopolitical threats at troop townhall


Sec. Leon Panetta described the myriad threats the United States may face and flexibility required to face them–among them a potential land war in Korea–at a town hall with troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Thursday.

“(We’re) still dealing with a very unpredictable regime in North Korea,” Panetta said at the event. “They just launched a missile yesterday. They continue to provoke the United States. They continue to provoke South Korea. And that remains a real threat there. We’re continuing to see threats from Iran. And the kind of instability that they try to promote in that part of the world.”

“In a world in which we’re dealing with millions of threats, we have to be flexible enough to respond to any of those threats,” he went on to say. “There may be that we could have a land war in Korea in the future. We’ve got to have the ability to fight a land war. But at the same time we may have to deal with terrorism in, as I said, in Somalia and Yemen, so we’ve got to have great special forces capability.”

“Never know what the next crisis is going to be,” Panetta said at the event.