While President-elect Donald Trump's national security advisor pick, Ret. Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, is smart and quick on his feet, he is also a very "hard-line actor" when it comes to reacting to Islam, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis told CNBC on Friday.
And that, he believes, is counterproductive.
"I think he will play to the darker angels of this administration in terms of adopting very, very aggressive stance, very hard power, very anti-Islam," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."
Stavridis, who said Flynn used to work for him in Afghanistan, believes the United States has to find ways to make connections with the Islamic World.
"We're not going to be able to kill our way to victory here. You need hard power, certainly, to deal with the Islamic State, for example, but the long game is that mix of hard and smart power that allows you to make connections."