Gen. Petraeus speaks in G.R. about national threats

7:10 PM, Jan 31, 2014   |    comments
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General David Petraeus spoke at Devos Place Friday

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The man who served as commander of America's combat forces during the Iraq War spoke in Grand Rapids Friday.

General David Petraeus says even now there are international issues that keep him up at night. The Iran nuclear program is the first one he listed. General Petraeus held a forum at DeVos Place, and also talked cyber and national security, Syria, and Iraq.

Petraeus says the recent Iran agreement, which limits the nuclear program, is necessary. He says the alternative is military action, which could hurt energy prices in the midst of America's energy revolution. He also wants legislation for cyber security.

He calls Edward Snowden's actions, "the biggest blow to U.S. intelligence in history." Lack of education and immigration reform lead him to point one place for blame.

"One of the biggest threats facing our country is Washington dysfunction. I'm just worried that we won't take the right steps in our own country to enable us to capitalize on these truly historic opportunities that we have," he said.

An anti-war protestor interrupted Gen. Petraeus during his remarks on the Iraq war, saying the war killed thousands of innocent civilians. She was escorted out and Petraeus didn't miss a beat. He says the war succeeded in reducing violence.

After retiring from the military in 2011, Petraeus served as CIA director for 14 months. He was forced to resign from the CIA after admitting to having an affair.

He is now chairman of KKR Global Institute, a visiting professor of public policy at CUNY and a professor at the University of Southern California.

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