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Bolton: U.S. Is 'Barely a Bystander' as Russia, France Strike Syria

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday that France had just suffered “the equivalent of their 9/11,” calling on NATO to join the fight against the Islamic State.

The former CIA director said the U.S. now has “a responsibility” to increase the number of special operations troops in both Syria and Iraq, as well as work with other countries.

“I think this is an opportunity, I really do, to unite the civilized world against the barbarism of ISIS,” Panetta told Neil Cavuto.

“This is war, and we’re going to have to unify under one command to conduct this war,” he continued. “It was the equivalent of their 9/11.”

Panetta echoed the growing calls among political leaders that Article 5 of the NATO Treaty be invoked, as “they did… when 9/11 hit this country.”

Doing so would signify that the Paris terror attacks were attacks on all NATO countries.

“NATO represents, obviously, the security of Europe. Europe is clearly a target for ISIS,” said Panetta.

 “I think if there’s anything that we ought to understand from these last events, it’s that we have to go to war against this brutal enemy.”

But the U.S. requires “greater leadership here to bring the world together,” he added.

Watch Panetta’s full interview above.

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