CITY OF LONDON, United Kingdom – General David Petraeus, the former CIA director and head of the international forces in Afghanistan (ISAF), has today said that the United States is suffering deeply because of partisanship, and said that the country needs immigration reform.
Gen. Petraeus was speaking on the “After America, What?” panel at the Centre for Policy Studies’ Margaret Thatcher Liberty Conference at the Guildhall in the City of London.
“After America comes North America,” he said, discussing how Canada, the United States and Mexico are set to be a formidable force together, “notwithstanding Mexico’s rule of law issues”.
“Clearly China is gong to continue to grow and develop, he said, but the former CIA chief was optimistic about America’s future.
“The United States does faces challenges, we do have to get immigration reform… our debt-to-GDP ratio… the deadlock in Washington, etcetera etcetera.”
Petraeus, who now works for the KKR Global Institute, spent much of his time discussing how America’s Shale Gas revolution was the most positive thing to happen to the country in a long time. But he noted of the challenges that face America:
“Gerrymandering in the House of Representatives… has [made it] less bipartisan because of the policy divide… what has happened because of the redrawing of districts… there has become a tendency for the red districts to be bright red and the blue districts to be bright blue. This is a real problem.
“The primaries are more important and the general elections are a foregone conclusion. That’s a concern because it does make it more difficult to do what Ronald Reagan cold do with Tip O’Neill… reach across the aisle. It was ultimately what led to the closing of government… to the implementing of sequestration.”
Petraeus said that among the top five threats to U.S. National Security is Washington, D.C. and its current polarisation.
Petraeus refused to be drawn in detail on the situation in Iraq, though he did note that “The United States cannot be the air force for the Shia militias.”
The conference in London was organised by the Centre for Policy Studies in honour of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan sent a message of congratulations to the event organisers, who also attracted keynote speakers such as Niall Ferguson, Roger Scruton, Jonah Goldberg, Daniel Hannan MEP, Dr. Art Laffer, and John O’Sullivan.