By Rebecca Seawell
GCMC Public Affairs
GARMISH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Navy Adm. James Stavridis, Commander of the United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe visited the Marshall Center for the Eastern European Chiefs of Defense Conference on July 20.
While visiting, Admiral Stavridis responded to several questions submitted through U.S. European Command’s social networking channels on Facebook and Twitter. Topics included the war in Afghanistan, challenges facing Europe and narco-terrorism.
Admiral Stavridis said that many conflicts similar to Afghanistan seemed “unwinnable” but proved otherwise. He used the Balkans, the Columbian counterinsurgency in the late 1990s and progress made in Iraq as examples of positive outcomes.
“In Afghanistan today I think we have a very reasonable chance of success,” Admiral Stavridis said. “It is hard, but not hopeless.”
The admiral also said that he believes Europe’s best days are ahead of it: “There are challenges, just like there are for every part of the world, but I think Europe is well-positioned to meet those challenges.”
These challenges include the flow of narcotics and potential missile attacks from a various countries, including Iran, he said.
EUCOM will help in the fight against narcotics and narco-terrorism, Admiral Stavridis said. To help combat the flow of narcotics, EUCOM is opening a dialogue with law enforcement officials in order to provide support in areas such as surveillance, information and logistics capabilities.
Narcotics have caused thousands of deaths in the Americas and Europe. Admiral Stavridis said that heroine from Afghanistan has cost tens of thousands of deaths in Europe alone. In the Americas, the flow of cocaine has caused violence and deaths in Mexico and the United States.