The special guest of the 2019 Warsaw Security Forum (October 2-3, 2019) was Mr. David Petraeus. He served as an American General (ret.), Director of the CIA (2011 – 2012), Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (2010 – 2011) and Commander of the US Central Command (2008 – 2010). The conversation aimed to discuss the key issues that were making headlines all around the world, such as: Brexit, US-China relations, and President Trump’s impeachment. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Ali Aslan, an International Journalist and Presenter.

The first topic was Poland’s involvement in NATO, one of the “most important members” of the Alliance for David Petraeus, based on his experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ali Aslan directed the discussion towards Mr. Ben Hodges’ comments about Sino-American relations, in which he stated that the US would certainly be at war with China in the coming decades. David Petraeus didn’t agree with that statement and said that the US-China relationship “is the most important relationship, not just for our two countries, the USA and China, but for the entire world”.

Other important remarks concerned Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin, called by Mr. Petraeus “the greatest gift” to NATO, because he gives NATO “a new reason for living”. Iran-US relations and the political situation in Iran were also important topics of the conversation. Moreover, David Petraeus and Ali Aslan talked about the removal of troops from Afghanistan. The WSF2019 special guest was opposed to the idea of this removal and argued that the US should “have a strategy for staying rather than a strategy for going”.

Among the last issues discussed was Brexit, which – according to Mr. Petraeus – should not change anything for US-UK relations thanks to, inter alia, the geopolitical and diplomatic importance of the United Kingdom. The panel concluded on the impeachment procedure launched by the US House of Representatives against President Donald Trump, and on the future of the American leadership.