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Gen. McChrystal on Navigating Threats in a Complex World

General Stanley McChrystal discusses how U.S. forces in the Middle East adapted to changing threats around the world.

Retired general Stanley McChrystal says there’s not much difference between challenges on the battlefield and day-to-day issues in the workplace.

His insight from years of experience – chronicled in his new book, “Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World,” – is “relevant for people who face a complex environment,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd in a PRESS Pass interview.

McChrystal described evolving threats to United States national security, not the least of which is ISIS. He cited the wide usage of cell phones and the internet – both of which ISIS has been relying upon to spread propaganda and reel in new American recruits – as a big reason for the rise of the terrorist group.

McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, also said the U.S. has “built a habit of getting into wars.”

“I think it circles back around to empathy before you go to war with someone or strike someone it’s important to understand how they are going to feel about it,” he told Todd. “We sometimes say if we bomb someone that’s going to scare them or cause them to quit, but that’s not the track record.

In the interview, McChrystal delivered a warning about the dangers of increased unmanned aerial vehicle usage in combat, arguing that the use of drones could desensitize the public to the casualties of war.

“The danger for lowering the threshold for warlike activities and having them antiseptic is a danger they become too easy and too casual,” he said. “If there is not a cost and a risk associated, you might do things that have an unintended cost.”

-- Connor Joseph