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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  March 23, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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let your freak flag fly. don't miss the grooviest trip at sea. ♪ >> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." thelie: we begin with attack in brussels. two explosions at an international airport. a third stuck in train -- a third struck a train. this came four days after the capture of terrorist suspect abdeslam joining me is john
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miller, deputy of counterterrorism at the nypd. tell me what you know about this. john: we are looking at a , whichs-based network had been planning attacks prior to january, around the time of the charlie hebdo attacks. i think we are seeing eight wework node of fire lit -- are seeing at a network node of isis. what we are seeing is very good intelligence that led them to shootout, and, a capture, a police officer wounded. but they were certainly on the right track. then i think what you saw was the results of parts of that network were able to regroup.
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charlie: do you think they struck because of the caps on -- because of the captive, because what he may have told police coming up? john: that could be possible. or it could be simply what we refer to as a punishment operation for the capture of their cellular leader. charlie: do we know he was the cellular leader and they may have been connected to him or were likely connected to him? john: i think the operating theory is the people who were struck today were part of the network he was running in an external operation for isis. that is a matter under investigation. that investigation is being led by the belgian authorities. we have american citizens among the casualties. the fbi and the nypd joint
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terrorist attacks -- joint terrorist task force will be involved in that investigation. all the information is not out and you have to take a couple of days to understand and appreciate what is going on. what questions are you asking? john: i would be asking what is the amount and type of explosives? those bombs seem to be quite large. and there is a lot of early reporting that changes over time. i would be cautious on that. want to know what was ?he preoperational surveillance what did they do to choose those targets? is we want to look at every attack overseas, reverse engineer it, and then try to build that into our plans.
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how did they execute on that attempt? what did we learn before or during the week and put into planning? be that goode to to kill people. all kinds of idiots have learned how to do that. it doesn't require a lot of talent to walk into a crowded nightclub with a 30 round magazine and a machine gun. not about how good they are, it's about how committed they are. saw again today they are committed in this process to die. feature in a new terrorism, it is just a frightening one. charlie: we saw pictures from the attack at the airport. us more about the manhunt and how do you find someone like that? john: a can of beer they are
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walking together in a line -- it can appear they are walking together in a line. it could be he was doing the same way or is he a part of fat? we have to figure out who he is -- part of that? we had to figure out who he is. with them or passing through? charlie: new york city police and other cities have to be fearful of the kind of attack in terms of transit, in terms of anywhere there is a large gathering of people or places like outdoor cafes where a lot of people are easily accessible. john: what we see, as we saw once again today, is a concept of returning to mass transit targets. what we saw in paris was a number of random target.
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wrote a longn tsu time ago once you protect everything you protect nothing, you spread yourself too thin. we put together a plan and say aree her the 40 or -- these the 40 or 50 places we are going to place our resources. the other thing we do is we move that around based on the threat stream and predictability. and weare a terrorist, learned this from the planner of , if you are aacks planner and you see heavy security one day and then and is back to days later, it is very hard to know what planet is -- there is. also the response piece, which is the forces are out there every day.
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when you blow that whistle and tell them to respond, they are going to be there very quickly. charlie: if police were able to abdeslam,slam -- find was because of somebody turning him in, wasn't because of communication, giving himself john: it can be you can conduct a surveillance with eyes on the scene or technical surveillance. it can bring you to the right door at the right time, which happened through the hard work of the belgium authorities a few days ago. we also can't have these conversations were out of one side of the mouth -- i heard critics on television saying this was the result of an intelligent alien.
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i heard other critics, some of the same critic saying apples shouldn't have to -- apple shouldn't have to open this phone. these applications that have end end encryption -- have end to end encryption, that is the kind of thing where it would have been yesterday's intelligence failure. today's intelligence lockout. they seem to be aware of encryption data and how to use encryption. john: that is right. part of this is tradecraft. discipline,equires it requires planning, it requires being thoughtful, that it also requires having the facilities to do that. commercially, we as a global --iety are so supplying them are supplying them with more
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impenetrable facilities. it is hard to have a discussion about what is an intelligence failure and what is not, when slowly the aperture that these authorities are allowed to look for is closing. charlie: could you speak to the issue of the fbi saying we may have found a way to open up the san bernardino iphone? john: yes, i think with the department of justice, the position they are taking is they have tried to force that issue through the courts and apple has fought that issue, and even indicated that if the court rules against them, their engineer may still not comply. so it -- so what i think the justice department is doing is saying if there is another technical way that they can execute the search against this phone, without forcing that issue, and that is a better part in this case. thelie: summit he came to fbi and said i know how to do this, and said it has enough
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logic to it to believe that they should try it. john: i think it is going to require some testing on other devices. work, i thinkld it should work. i have read through the science and it seems to be viable. isrlie: one question remains these are not the people who have gotten some message online and decided to go for that terrorist attack. they were trained in iraq or syria. and they were coming pack -- coming back because they have passport. is there enough scrutiny or is there possible task to -- john: one of the big advantages we have is this big tease of water between us and these cases. one of these boehner abilities -- one of these boehner abilities -- one of these
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vulnerabilities -- excuse me -- socialood for their society. it is good for their vulnerability. when you have a known terrorist that managed to make his way from brussels into paris to do the attacks that occurred earlier this year, for someone who had already been in paris before and back to brussels, then back to syria, then back to , that comes with a certain cost. this is an old tug-of-war in the argument against terrorism. part of the goal is to cause the government to limit people's freedom, to cause people to question whether the government can protect them, to cause people to be distrustful of their government.
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charlie: to cause people to change their way of living. john: exactly. we have the ability duke scrutinize people when they come here, when they arrive here. we have a vast intelligence network and we have great partnerships with our european partners where they provide that information. wantie: what is it you your message to be to the itizens of new york tonight? john: we have one of the most complex, layered, and -- complex and layered counterterrorism machines of any municipal police department in the world. i would put us on the level of scotland yard and the london lice. we have built honest, we have enhanced it. something happens we have studied that and add something to the mix. drills ind numerous
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physical places, followed by tabletop exercises. this is something we think about every minute of every day. the greatest asset is the public. charlie: is it fair to say as you have gotten smarter and buttressed your own activities, the people who wish to engage in terrorist attacks, because of isis and because of syria they are getting better and they are getting tougher and more committed. john: i think they are very committed. also in the course of june, we had one plot where people were coming from austin to behead somebody in new york city. we had another plan where a group of individuals here were supposed to build pressure cooker bombs that may have been unleashed on the crowds during the fourth of july fireworks.
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the joint through terrorism task force, through our foreign partners, through tells -- through technology, through our intelligence, we have managed to prevent four of those plots in the last few .onths, 20 since 9/11 and the number before 9/11, going back to 1993. we understand it is a able adversary, and we are not going to give any ground if we can help it. miller, of the new york police department, head of counterterrorism intelligence.
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charlie: we are with mike morel, he is a correspondent who has served as deputy and accu did -- and active director of the -- how do wetion, determine and is it likely is a connection between these attacks and the recently captured apt abdeslam?aptured i think in brussels he was with a group of individuals that were planning a series of attacks. this was one of them. i think this particular target was one of them. whether this was the timing or not, we don't know.
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i think what happened was he was captured. the group he was working with was concerned under interrogation he would give the plot away. so they moved it up and accelerated it. it is a likely scenario to me. charlie: what are the near-term considerations? think the near-term consideration is the threat profile for the next 78 hours over the next two weeks. if we are right about the acceleration of a particular plot, what else might accelerate in the days or weeks ahead? tot is something you have worry about primarily in europe. think you are going to see a high state of alert as a result of that.
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second you have to worry about copycat attacks. whenever there is a terrorist attack it leads others to think maybe i should do something to join the effort. this wasdo we assume directed from isis headquarters? mike: paris certainly was. we know paris was conceived, planned, directed, and we know paris is connected to brussels in some way. whether these guys were told to do something similar or told to do this specific thing, or left to their own devices, not so sure. sure that matters anymore at the end of the day. if you are conducting these large-scale attacks on your own, you have been to syria and iraq, you are conducting attacks on your own now that look like paris, it doesn't make any difference whether you are directed to do it or not. charlie: my understanding is these bombs can be made from
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readily accessible materials. mike: think about the plan to airliners.15 it was an al qaeda plot. they were going to mix chemicals on the plane, those were all ready lee available -- all available chemicals. let's talk about the defense and then talk about the offense. the defense, i think, has two pieces to it. al qaeda was always focused on the symbolic target, which tended to be a hard target, which was on the secure side of security. getting through to an airplane, for an example. these guys have learned how to go after soft targets. where a lot of people are. we need tothings think about is pushing a security perimeter out further. they have adjusted to what we do
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on security, we mean that -- security, we now need to adjust what they are doing on security. there are two days you disrupt a plot like this. in iraq or syria at the leadership level, where they do the planning and plotting. and you can disrupt it. the other places at the local level. that usually happens is by picking up communications, or having somebody in the neighborhood saying somebody is -- saying something is going on. in and to do better intelligent sense and both of those areas. charlie: we do get the idea -- are very sophisticated about understanding technology, throwing away cell phones and a whole range of things that they to their capture. mike: in the case of paris and the investigation we have throw
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away cell phones, we have jury,nted or sophisticated documented forgery. we have the ability to move money around. we have a lot of things like that, which gives you a sense of sophistication, which gives you a sense of training. and with that sophistication you ,ut a very large number of guys 5000 people went from western europe to iraq and syria to fight. many of them are still there. many of them died on the battlefield. some of those who come home will do nothing. some of those will conduct an attack. and just coming home because they can. they don't need to come through the migration flow. so you have a very large number. coronation isuch
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there between all the various intelligence agencies? mike: it was great when i was in government. there was an information sharing problem. i really don't know the extent to which european countries, i assume it is pretty good. that is thek problem. i don't think information sharing is the problem. gettingthe problem is information to share, going back to that intelligence perspective. you gatherw would the intelligence, what is the probable means? mike: it is the cheney's picked up on the right way, and any documents they have. the other is the old-fashioned way where you in crude -- where
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you recruit spies. that is the job of the central intelligence agency. charlie: there are professionals about the strategy that gives argument was made that they lost 20% of their ground. the argument is some of the financial sources are trying up. strong -- isis less strong? does that impact whether strategy is? that i heard on cbs radio the terrorists are winning and that has spread all over the place. charlie: is that against conventional wisdom at the time? mike: i don't know why it is spreading through the media. about what i meant, think what the terrorists want, what
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isis wants, and what we want. and look at it objectively whether we a getting those things. what isis wants is to maintain their palisade in iraq and syria, and they want to spread their ideology to other parts in the world. as their ideology spreads they want their groups to create their own palisades. and they want to attack us to create fear, to create political division in the west. we are losing ground in iraq, clearly. want,that is what they -- we want is to take away what we want is to take away their territory and prevent those attacks. let's take a look at how we are doing. we are squeezing them in iraq and syria. so inobably increasingly
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several months. at the same time we are doing that, what are we doing outside of iraq and syria? grounde gaining elsewhere. up along the coast where they are continuing to gain ground that down in southern. squeezing them in iraq and syria. problem lee not enough. they are growing like wildfire elsewhere. -- probably not enough. they are growing like wildfire elsewhere. they are largely focused on gaining territory, possibly conducting attacks. time they will develop the
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same external focus on europe and the united states that isis and iraq and syria have. they will start sending those people to western europe. the biggest flow of foreign fighters is into libya. the same problem we had in iraq and syria now playing out in europe. we are eventually going to see it come out of libya. that is the story on the safe haven and their territory and their movement. on terrorist attacks, think about it this way, in the last october,s, since late they have brought down a russian airliner over one of their groups. they directed an attack in paris. , a connection.
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if somebody thought they were doing it in their name. four attacks within the west and 4.5 months. al qaeda never achieved that. charlie: so isis is the greatest national security threat to the united states? mike: absolutely, no doubt in my mind. inrlie: the president says thatticle you and i read they are not a national security threat to the united states, and climate change is a greater long-term national security threat. he said isis is not an existential threat. charlie: that the united states can beat isis. mike: absolutely we can't. if we do the right things. they can changes in fundamental ways.
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objectiveear-term a -- near-term objective is to maintain -- expanded, part of pressure on us because they see us as attacking them. come after us in the west until we went after them right after they beheaded people. i don't think this is a case of any one of them wanting to draw sin. they want to create fear, political division, trying to drive us out of the middle east. , those individuals at the center of this movement believe they are preparing for -- islamic safe year preparing a world for the islamic savior, and their job is to convert as many people of the world to islam, and those they can't convert they kill. we are in the way of that.
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charlie: you said this morning we are losing and we are not doing enough. which begs the question, what should we do? a simple answer that i would be telling it to the president right now. i can give you the brought answer. the brought answer i only know of two ways to degrade a terrorist organization. is removed their leadership from the battlefield. not rapidng that, but enough and not senior enough in my view. thethen you have to take territory away from them. it is two things. ares a place where they safe and secure and able to plan and conduct operations. and it is a great recruiting
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tool. great recruiting tool to say we have the palisade. think 100 u.s. troops is the way to take it away. it was an successful and iraq and it wasn't successful in afghanistan. we are more than capable of taking it away but we are not capable of holding it. it has always been a problem. get local people to hold it who are accepted. the on way this works is a sunni air force -- the only way this works is a sunni air force to take the territory and hold it. the only way that happens is if sunnisnni's and iraq and and syria believe they have -- charlie: and isis is sunni.
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mike: and this is sunni territory. charlie: the question is, in syria we have an increase, the president increasing the number of special forces on the ground. we have 3000 people on the ground now. mike:. happened. significantly change the strategy but we did intensify it. say we to look again and are still not the grading these guys. we are not the grading them to a point where they are not able to conduct attacks. the way you have to measure whether you are defeating them or not is their ability to take and hold territory. to conductbility attacks. john: and our ability to prevent attacks. mike: we have to measure it. one there are four attacks in -- when there are for
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tax and 4.5 months -- when there in 4.5 monthsks -- charlie: in terms of understanding the elements to conduct and attack -- mike: there is no better training for somebody to be a terrorist than military training on the battlefield by actually fighting. charlie: thank you for coming. , deputy director for the cia and deat -- and director of --
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charlie: we continue our coverage with richard haass, president of the council of foreign relations. nicolas burns was previously leads thetarymini callimachi isis coverage. joining us from brussels, peter spiegel, he is the bureau chief from the financial times. peter, may i begin with you. tell us exactly what is the status of the investigation today in brussels? peter: a lot of raids have happened. it surely when the bombs went off in the airport and the metro raids in aw several neighborhood. they covered bomb making -- they
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recovered from making materials, isis flags. they recovered bomb making they recovered bomb making materials, isis flags. that is why those rates are going on. -- those raids are going on. how extensive this cell is -- like periods, a very sophisticated operation. -- like paris, a very sophisticated operation. that's a speculation. literally 24 and 48 hours ago belgian authorities were saying they were nervous because the arrest made on friday, the last remaining at lawrence haverty paris, because he was arrested -- last remaining at-large
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terrorist from paris, because he was arrested, they thought they were connected. that is the suspicion. charlie: is their understanding whether he is talking or not? peter: they were talking about plotting something else. whatoreign minister said he was telling police is there was something else coming. is a lotgain why there of speculation that perhaps this terrorist cell that had been planning this for sometime in the future felt they had to move this up. he felt off to islam -- they felt off islam -- they felt abdeslam was -- charlie: what do you know about the photographs of these two bombers?
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>> among the interesting things is two of the men are shown wearing a black glove on the left hand. at the same time afp was leaving the office and hour ago and reported officials believed the bomb was inside the suitcase. the detonator in the hand would not make sense, the court would have to go to the trolley cart, which would not be logical. cord would have to go to the trolley cart, which would not be logical. at the preliminary images of the blast site, and what she says is the difference between paris and here is the amount of -- a suicide belt has around one pound of -- what she saw from the damage was something she estimates between 30 to 100 pounds. it would have to have been in the suitcase.
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torlie thing any connection -- charlie: any connection to abdeslam? >> starting with their official news agency to the press they do on their channels, i really have no doubt that it is isis. beyond that, no. charlie: what do we to? what is the strategy -- what to begin? what is the strategy? nicholas: i think the government understands we have a common problem with the europeans. we both experienced major catastrophic character -- catastrophic terrorist attacks. have learned two things. serious daily plotting work of intelligence cooperation, of law-enforcement
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cooperation, of security services and our judiciary's working together slowly in this --g war to try to compare us try to compress these groups. here is where the europeans have not been as strong and forthcoming as washington would have liked, we need more european participation in the air campaign. now you see that threat metastasize. now you see the islamic state control us of them at her -- southern mediterranean sea. we need more help. and i think the biggest dimension of it geographically is from west africa to molly to -- you have across the like-minded groups. boko haram saying we are part of islamic terrorism. this long war, not my term, that was going 10 years ago, you're going to have to have that military cooperation.
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of the british in iraq and syria, we need more of it from them at the point of attack. charlie: they have learned how to do this on the battlefield. what can we to do stop them from coming back? >> this is the graduate school for terrorists. there are three venues here. flynn was putting more pressure on these guys, to the extent there on the defensive, they are not on the offensive. do we do a better job of stopping these people before they get in? do a better job of targeting individuals, having better security? there is an internal problem, and that gets at the issue of these cells. finding places to plug into. why are these people still so us -- still so alienated? why aren't they working closely
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with law enforcement? i think that is the biggest gap between europe and the united states. they have done a poor job of simulating the communities. the relationship is not nearly as close. that is one of the lessons i take. you have to get it to write in these three venues come at the region, and also at -- three is -- three venues, at the border, in the region, and locally. the feelingt is about brussels as the hotbed of isa support? -- hotbed of crisis support. -- hotbed of isis support. >> you say we have to stop guys at the border, what happens when they are nationals. most of the guys in paris were not isis fighters who came from syria. most of thets --
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guys were petty thugs doing crime in the streets. these guys were picked up and recruited by the bigger organizers that came from syria. it is a big problem. say, it is not as bad as many of the parisians or frenchmen. if you look at some of the -- outside of paris, it is a much more integrated society. part of the issue also is there they dorative here -- not where they eat. -- they do not poop where they eat. about 18 months ago after charlie hebdo, we saw the government put more money and effort into the intelligence and the security apparatus. underent a decade investing in those resources and they are having a hard time
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getting better at it. as nick said, it is part of the issue. a betterum have done job. they have been dealing with these issues cap. africa, and north really only doing it in the last 18 months. this where we should worry about more and more than anything else? >> will be no is -- what we know is isis has an external operation branch within it. people were intercepted on the way back. i think the mistake has been, and it goes with the way we have underestimated the group we thought of isis as territory holding. a story in the next couple of days, looking at the fact that they have been sending people back since february of 2014. the reason they haven't noticed it is because every other attack
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failed. every single one was taken in isolation. people would say this is just an -- just a random act. when you start piecing it together, when you look at the single one -- the fact that it was used in every ingle one, their interest governing and holding a territory very much goes hand-in-hand with wanting to attack the west. i think we have blinded ourselves to this reality. attack thenting to west has risen as a motivating factor for isis as much as holding territory. >> you go back to september 2014, with the first statement threatening the west. if you look at that statement it is very clear that their intention is to hit the west, but we didn't take them seriously. towne bank is this the biggest national security issue for the -- charlie: is
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this the biggest national security issue for the united states? >> is it bigger then north korea putting a nuclear warhead on a missile that can reach california? probably not. of gettingsibility into a conventional war with china in the south china sea? i would say no. but this is the new normal. this has been with us for some time, it is going to be with us for some time, and the real question is how do we go after it comprehensively the ways that we do not tie ourselves in knots, we do not close down the essential openness of our society. and answer your question in a different way, we do not allow it to become this big national security challenge. charlie: does that mean we do not have -- does that mean we have not gone at it in the right way? demo will we did -- barrel what we did and didn't do in -- >> what we did and didn't do in libya --
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they are doing things in the region. i'm worried about what they can do against saudi arabia. these guys now have global reach. the chicks will come home to roost. charlie: not in terms of being able to overthrow the government. >> i think the saudi government's phone or a bull. -- saudi government is vulnerable. these guys have been pushed back, the terrorists in syria and iraq. they got a foothold in libya. why would we assume they would not see their principal target in the region as the government that controls that's -- controls -- there is another place called the islamic state. if isis wants to get amazing credibility, it would be posing serious challenge to the house of a sod. sod -- house of
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assad> is our trade partner, it is home to our largest military alliance. alliance.mportant now you have a rolling crisis there. you have the eurozone crisis, which weakens their sense of integration. you have the refugee crisis which has upset the politics of europe. takesaying they will refugees. most of the eastern european countries, saying and no muslims in our christian societies. there is a disagreement about that. it is kind of a foundation of the european union. now have border controls going up. you have doors being shut from one european country to the next. lest we forget, vladimir putin has occupied crimea, put a lot of pressure on lithuania and
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poland. it is in the united states interest to help the europeans face this series of crisis. worryr thought i would about the integration of europe, the success of the european union. there has been a lot of talk about the put -- about the pivot to asia. i think what the united states has to do is get with angela merkel. she is the key leader. can we help you across all of these different crisis is? three state elections did not go well with her. >> there is a lot of history at stake. one of the greatest accomplishments over the last 60 years in history was the idea that major geopolitical confrontation seemed to be something historical. i was then, not now. but suddenly the european
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project has lost all of its forward gnome -- forward momentum. the very accomplishment that was europe, i think it is now under threatened in ways that we have never imagined. if we had this conversation two years ago we would talk about every part of the world except europe. the fact that europe is in play historically, that is a major deterioration of the global situation. mean we need that to see more leadership from the united states? >> everybody is talking about jeff goldberg's article, this in-depth torture of president obama. and to see a sitting american president call our allies free riders, when you have to work with britain and france, and to defend the syrian redlined decision from 2013, that you draw a red line and tell a sod useell assad he can't
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chemical weapons, he has a great record of foreign policy except this integration of diplomacy in our foreign military. most prevus secretaries of state have understood this. >> you have to pay attention to it, he was to get the united states out of the middle east and wants to make a pivot to china and latin america. in a sense of saying we can't make a difference there in part. >> you don't want to turn a moment to people reading -- what we have seen his people -- what we have seen is things going wrong in the middle east -- we need to do more in asia and in others. the option.e and one of the things right now,
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the biggest threat to our position in asia is trade. the missing piece of american policy is the tpp, the trade negotiation. the problem is the for leaning candidates for president to not. we have to do certain things in the middle east but we can't walk away from europe. charlie: i want to come back to isis. i asked the question earlier and we will see after this part here of mike morell, former deputy director of the cia and active to the director, he said isis is winning, isis is not losing, yet they have lost ground, they have not -- they have lost individual personnel. hassis gaining because it tactics? >> they have had major hits. they had the most devastating soil and european brussels. even at territory strength, they
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have a position among their recruits that they are ever powerful, they are threatening the infidel west in all of its heartland. the territory they have lost -- i was in syria and i was in the city of -- when it fell to the white pg, which is an allied group to the u.s.. pg -- to the ypg , which is an allied group to the u.s.. we have yet to really bear down. charlie: you are there on the ground, tell me what the most important question there is this evening, including the conversation you participated in here. what are the core questions to be asking tonight? i think it is how deep and extensive these networks are. thatealization only now
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some of these attacks were much more sophisticated, with the networks that were much broader and much more in depth than we knew before. there was an intelligence report that came back as far as january 2015. in which it said this looks like isis is now trying to create a europe to attack consistently and rapidly. to be able to move up this attack and be so successful -- the question that is going to be asked here is how far does this go? it is multiple people in multiple capitals, using networks that go back to syria. that is the thing they have to come to grips with. the important questions we have to answer. in a police report we have regarding the paris attacks, there was a witness who said --
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was the planner of the attack. interaction with him, she is considered credible. and in that interaction -- i entered in the migrant flow along with the refugees with 90 .ther opportunists that could be an exaggeration, but let's added up now. we have 10 attackers in paris, and we know 20 other people have been arrested in direct connection with those attacks that came from syria one third. charlie: what is the united states not doing? >> we have to work short-term long-term. we have to remember we are part of the fabric of europe. sometimes our vocabulary, the obama administration, nato is them, nato is us. we have to reinforce our support in the short term, may be in the law-enforcement intelligence, to help the europeans cope with the
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fires breaking out in the continent. long-term, hope that europe can make the same leap that it took us so long to. pot, they are a mosaic society. they have large collections of people that don't feel part of the society. charlie: thank you. thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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>> if donald wants a character fight, he better stick with me, because heidi is out of his league. ♪ john: props where they are due. thanks for pointing out ted cruz' homage to the "american president."


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