Brass: Afghan war shows U.S. can't go it alone
Two former military commanders who oversaw the war in Afghanistan said long-term engagement leveraging multinational alliances is key to global stability, in that country and others from Iraq to the Balkans and China.
Retired Marine Gen. John Allen and retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis spoke Tuesday in San Diego at the West conference hosted by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute.
At a panel session on lessons learned from the U.S. experience in Afghanistan, both cautioned against the isolationist streak in American sentiment emerging in the post-Afghanistan, post-Iraq war era.
“Unilateral action is not a successful strategy for the United States,” said Stavridis, the former NATO supreme allied commander in Europe who is now dean of the Fletcher School.
“There will be times when we need to act immediately, independently and take immediate action. But in general, collaboration with international partners, collaboration with our interagency partners, collaboration between private and public, that sense that no one of us ... is as smart as all of us working together,” is an enduring legacy of the war in Afghanistan, Stavridis said.
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