Retired Gen. David Petraeus told Congress on Wednesday that the US shouldn’t take the existing international order for granted.

The former CIA director told the House Armed Services Committee that the post-World War II world order had begun to face an “unprecedented threat from multiple directions.”

“Americans should not take the current international order for granted,” Petraeus said. “It did not will itself into existence. We created it. Likewise, it is not naturally self-sustaining. We have sustained it. If we stop doing so, it will fray and, eventually, collapse.”

The retired four-star general, who commanded forces in Iraq and later headed the CIA before resigning because of a scandal in which he was found to have shared classified information with his biographer and former mistress, was one of President Donald Trump’s picks for secretary of state.

During his testimony to the House committee, he warned against isolationism and protectionism, which the new administration’s policies support, instead advocating the kind of promotion of democracy around the world that the US has engaged in since World War II.

 

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Featured image courtesy of Reuters.