EU referendum: Brexit 'would make world even more dangerous and difficult to manage', says David Petraeus

General David Petraeus says leaving the EU 'deal a significant blow to [it’s] strength and resilience at exactly the moment when the West is under attack from multiple directions'

A former top US general has warned a potential Brexit would weaken the West in the war on terror. 

General David Petraeus said that Britain leaving the EU would "deal a significant blow to [it’s] strength and resilience at exactly the moment when the West is under attack from multiple directions".

He said that none of the UK’s security problems would become easier to solve if they left the union and said he feared "that a 'Brexit' would only make our world even more dangerous and difficult to manage".

The former CIA director said: "In a time of such challenges, when our adversaries seek to sow division in our ranks and undermine the world order that we have sacrificed so much to build and defend, it is critical for the West to stand strong and united.

"And that, in turn, requires strong and principled American and British leadership inside the West.

"A Brexit would also reduce considerably Great Britain's ability to influence and guide the future of Europe, still the world's largest economic bloc; it would undoubtedly reduce British influence on the world stage, as well".

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he urged voters to "think twice before withdrawing from one of the most important institutions that undergirds Western strength: the European Union".

He understood the appeal of isolationism in both the UK and the US but said history shows it is "a strategic dead end". 

The retired four-star army general, who commanded forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, said "Some have suggested that leaving the EU would reduce the risk of terrorism in the UK. That is mistaken. The terrorist threat, unfortunately, will be with all of us for the foreseeable future, as the recent events in Belgium have just shown.

"In fact, the best way to defend ourselves is precisely by deepening military, intelligence, and diplomatic co-operation across the Western world, by working together with our partners on the continent and elsewhere to strike at the terrorists in their sanctuaries and tackle the underlying drivers of radicalisation.

"The EU, for all its imperfections, is a vital player in this effort."

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