He doesn’t NEED to be threatened. He is a true believer. He is up to his eyeballs in democrat politics, he is the author of the Obama rules of engagement, he supports the Arab spring, supports gays in the military, dislikes Israel, etc.
People see General and think “conservative”. Modern generals are multicultural, gay loving, academics who are a shadow of what a General often was even as recently as the 80s.
I think that's the case, too.
His military missions were essentially nation building, and success on that front does not mean nation building on US terms. The best chance at success in the middle east is to "adopt" middle eastern mores for the task at hand - "when in Rome" and all that. Realpolitik.