Gen. John Allen, the former commander of American forces in Afghanistan and former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS under the Obama administration, added to his criticism of President Trump’s handling of the unrest and protests across the country.
“Instead of debating whether to commit federal troops against American citizens, let’s debate how we can pursue real reform,” Allen told CNN Thursday night.
Allen said Washington should “partner with governors and with mayors rather than upbraid them, to see how we can take this moment and rather than treat the American people as a potential enemy, treat the American people as a population with guaranteed rights under the Constitution who are in enormous pain right now, pain from the pandemic and pain from the realities of what was ultimately at the heart of the death of George Floyd.”
Some context: On Wednesday, Allen joined former Defense Secretary James Mattis and a chorus of other former military leaders in condemning the President.
He penned a blistering op-ed in Foreign Policy writing that change will “have to come from the bottom up. For at the White House, there is no one home.”
Allen told CNN the American people are looking for “leadership at the most senior level and this is a chance for the president to truly unite the country.”
“It’s a moment, an incredible moment for us in a context of we can take this as an opportunity to look at those factors that have brought hundreds of thousands of Americans into the streets to protest massive social injustice, centuries of racism and discrimination. Or we can make this a security problem and ultimately treat those individuals as a security problem themselves as they are seeking to exercise their first amendment rights, of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” Allen said.