Before his work as N.C. transportation secretary, Tony Tata was a career military officer who retired as a brigadier general. Tata relies on that experience to write military-related thrillers and to offer defense-related commentary to news organizations.

While promoting his latest thriller, Foreign And Domestic, in a speech for the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society, Tata offered his assessment of current American policy in the Middle East. In the video clip below, he explains why he believes “we’re in trouble.”

2:10 p.m. update: Click play below to watch the full 42:18 event.

You’ll find other John Locke Foundation video presentations here.