Saying what no one else wants to…..

Retired Gen. David Petraeus told lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the situation in Syria is a “geopolitical Chernobyl” that will continue to pose a terrorist threat around the globe “for decades.”

“Syria today, Mr. Chairman, is a geopolitical Chernobyl spewing instability and extremism over the region and around the world,” said Petraeus, whose stellar career included directing the U.S. military worldwide and directing the Central Intelligence Agency before an extra-marital affair forced his resignation in 2012.

“Like a nuclear disaster, the fallout from the meltdown of Syria threatens to be with us for decades, and the longer it is permitted to continue, the more severe the damage will be,” he said.

Petraeus also said that there are things that the United States can do in Syria without having American “boots on the ground,” including pressuring the Bashar al Assad regime to stop dropping barrel bombs on Syrians. He noted that the terrorist group ISIS doesn’t have an air force and that more than 200,000 Syrians have been killed since the conflict began four years ago.

In his testimony at the hearing, entitled “U.S. Policy in the Middle East,” Petraeus also weighed in on the Iran nuclear agreement.

“The United States should make absolutely clear that we will never allow Iran to possess highly enriched uranium and that any move in that direction will be met with military force,” he said, a point he repeated several times during his testimony.

Petraeus also apologized for his mistakes, without providing the details about those mistakes.

“Four years ago, I made a serious mistake – one that brought discredit on me and pain to those closest to me,” Petraeus said. “It was a violation of the trust placed in me and a breach of the values to which I had been committed throughout my life.”