Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said America “shouldn’t be afraid” to use the word capitalism when encouraging economic growth in emerging democracies in the Middle East because “it’s what gave us all our wealth.”

At a forum on Tuesday sponsored by the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., the retired four-star U.S. Army general discussed the challenges for the United States and Europe in the wake of the Arab Spring.

When asked about how to bring about economic progress in transitioning democracies, Powell, who served as a national security advisor to President Ronald Reagan, defended free markets.

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