The former top commander of NATO said “there is nothing we cannot overcome as Americans” as he urged unity amid the country’s political divisions in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and tense relations between Washington and Beijing.
“There is nothing we cannot overcome as Americans. We just have to pull together as Americans,” retired Admiral James Stavridis told John Catsimatidis on his WABC 770 AM radio show in an interview that aired Sunday.
“We’ve got political divisions in the country. We need to pull together. If we do, we can overcome all of these challenges,” he said.
Russia has been pressing a new military offensive in eastern Ukraine more than a year into the war, launching an all-out assault on the strategic city of Bakhmut that Ukrainian troops and civilians called “hell on earth.”
The area around Bakhmut, in the Donbas region, has been ground zero for intense clashes for months between Ukrainian forces and the Russian Army and Wagner Group, a mercenary group largely made up of convicts from Russian prisons.
At the same time, the US relationship with China has deteriorated to its lowest point in decades, because of the Chinese spy balloon that flew over much of the US in February, China hindering efforts to pinpoint the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the US’ warning that Beijing is considering providing lethal weapons to Russia in its war against Ukraine.
Stavridis said despite the rapidly changing global state of affairs, Americans need to show resolve.
“It’s perfectly understandable that people open up a newspaper, turn on the television, and they see very concerning situations,” Stavridis said. “The war in Ukraine; China on the march in the South China Sea, Iran and North Korea. … It’s very concerning.”
“But I think strategically the long throw of history is marching along towards a more integrated global economy, toward cooperation,” Stavridis said.
“And certainly, we will see competition from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, but they don’t have the global economic throw weight to really disrupt the world,” he added.