David Petraeus during the event./ Photo: Elcano Royal Institute
Eduardo González. 12/06/2017
The retired general David Petraeus, former director of the CIA, does not seem to have any doubt about the circumstances and prospects surrounding Donald Trump: Vladimir Putin wanted to help him in the election, sure, but this “backfired on the Russian President”. On the other hand, he warns, the US has capacity to keep “leading the world order” and “America First does not mean America Alone”.
Putin “has the intention of creating the Russian Empire again or the new Soviet Union, whatever we want to call it, to have more international influence, because he is not satisfied with being a regional power”, Petraeus affirmed on Friday during a conference with the president of the Elcano Royal Institute, Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, titled The evolution of the US foreign and security policy.
With that purpose, Vladimir Putin “reaches agreements with Bashar al Assad, he invades Georgia or divides Ukraine, promotes separatism, trains and supplies troops, and intimidates the Baltic States”, the retired general, who in the past was commander-in-chief of the Multinational Force in Iraq, the ISAF in Afghanistan and the Central Command of the US, affirmed.
“It has backfired on him, since the NATO had never been given such a raison d’être like now with Putin’s attitude”, he pointed out. Even with his “intrusion into the US election”, through which, “without a doubt”, he wanted to favour Trump or damage the Democratic Party, the situation has backfired on him”, since, due to this interference, “the Congress will not lift sanctions on Russia, which is what Putin wanted”.
The former director of the CIA warns that the US commitment to the NATO is “feasible and real in the long term”
During the same event, Petraeus (president of the KKR Global Institute) affirmed that Trump’s message, “America First, does not mean America Alone” and that “the US commitment to the NATO keeps being feasible and real in the long term”. Washington “keeps being very capable of leading” a “world order that is worth maintaining with a new reasonable approach that takes into account China or other emerging powers”, he pointed out.
In any case, although he considered the fact that Europe aspires to have its own defence to be “reasonable”, he warned that “the capacities of all our partners, together and multiplied by six, do not amount to those of the US”, so he questioned whether a military joint command of the EU “can contribute something that neither the NATO nor the US contribute”.
During his speech, Petraeus paid tribute to the Spanish troops with which he coincided in Afghanistan and Iraq, which, “in all cases, showed great professionalism, great determination and exceptional value”, he declared.