tv Capital News Today CSPAN December 21, 2009 11:00pm-2:00am EST
our president's policies and ideology oppose it in favor of marxism? guest: the recovery in 2010 will not have any kind of the vigor we normally would get given the rate of decline from late 2008. in the meantime, however, there are pressures you can put on your representatives. you can still try to get them to delay the healthcare bill. it is amazing that no one has read this. . .
a $700 billion were funding bill that zipped through congress without any real opposition. wage these wars to support our industrial base. we have what i deserved it -- where a few people prospered lse worksew people prospered very hard. but like you to comment on the effect of what i heard is $8 trillion in debt from president obama, who i think is doing his best to work with white ring extremists in both parties. words that will not end, wars they go on and on.
guest: just taking the money side which he preferred -- which you referred to, even though we are spending a lot of money on the fighting in afghanistan and still in iraq, if you add up all that we are spending on those two wars, all that we are spending in our military, procurement and the like, and add it all up, it is less of our economies proportion in the 1980's are in the 1950's and 1960's. in terms of iraq and afghanistan, and i want to be very careful here, what we spent on iraq and afghanistan is proportionally equivalent of what we spend every three weeks in world war ii. we were able to finance that war with government debt that paid 2.5% or 3%, because people
had faith in the dollar. the real problem in afghanistan and iraq is the blood that we're setting of our young people. what our strategy is, those are the real issues. and i want to be careful on this, separating this from our young people on the line -- in terms of the money and financing those wars, and economy of our size can easily do it. we have far greater burdens in the 1950's, 1960's, and the 1980's, and the strategies that we are pursuing is where the real debate is, the money is, and again i do know -- i do not want to sound flip on this, but it is the easiest part of the equation. it is the blood side that we have to focus on. host: the back to your book. you write about this throughout the book.
who believe free markets are based on exploitation and greed to appreciate how the invisible hand work. people and a free-market are mobilized not by greed bye-bybuy self-interests. tellus the difference? guest: you mentioned adam smith's. one of his great observations is that a transaction must be mutually beneficial. both sides have to get something out of it. you go to restaurants, you want the fu, the restaurant one german. it is a mutual exchange. in terms of self-interest you may want money and a big house and all that -- but the essence of free-market says that you do not sell something or get the money unless you provide something, a product or service
that of the people want. -- go to restaurants and you won thefood, and the one your money. you can have your own interest in developing your own talents, but if you do not succeed -- do not succeed unless you provide something that someone else wants. you get these extraordinary webs of cooperation. host: sunnyvale, california . caller: a have been reading a book by john vogel, the founder of the vanguard. he has two concepts when he is talking about the large corporations. he says there is an owner capitalism and then there is management capitalism.
i believe that honor capitalism is what you and most people mean by cabalism. but what he is talking about is management cabalism where the ceo's and other management, and perhaps management all the way down the line in fact operate the corporations not for the owners benefit, but for the management's benefit. it seems to me this is maybe what is actually happening. the problem is that with honor capitalism, but with the group of management. to me, that would explain the perverse incentives you see. i'm afraid you might actually end up with oligarchy if we do
not already have it. host: a response? guest: there is a huge difference between a large corporation employing thousands and traditional small businesses from whence they grew to be what they are. when bill gates began microsoft over 30 years ago it was only a handful of people in a garage. same thing with apple. . .
staggered boofereds elections and things like that. those were put in the 1980's as a result of outsiders coming in against managements. i think a lot of that should be taken away, those poison pills, so management knows that it has to be responsive to the needs of shareholders or somebody's going to come after them, and they won't be able to put artificial barriers to stop them from doing so. host: hasn't the s.e.c. recently made moves to provide for more trance pearns a in the stockholders' position, more trance parents siff management and bonuses and c.e.o. pay? guest: they have, but the challenge is not so much transparency on pay. if you will go in the innards of these filings about the s.e.c., you can pretty well figure out at least 9 % behalf
these people are getting and what the prospect that they're getting if certain performance standards are met. but the problem is that -- and i think, bill, in the 1990's and early part of this decade, in reaction to what some call crony capitalism where the c.e.o. stacks the board with his friends and they give them a large pay increase and the like, outside of the financial industry, there was starting to be a reaction to that, and the s.e.c. has been sympathetic to it, and it's had it real effect. the problem were the egregious pay packages which took place in the financial industry, and that had its origins with the federal reserve printing so much money, and then the s.e.c. allowing these companies, especial investment bankers to leverage up, that is borrow a lot, not as much as fannie and freddie did proportionately, but much more than was sound. and so temporarily it looks great, and then when you got a little bit of a down turn, by golly, that whole thing came crashing down.
again, the government needs sound and stable money, and then you have to have transparency, and management knowing that they're answerable to share holders and they can't erect artificial barriers to stop it. host: about another half-hour with steve forbes and his new book, "how capitalism will save us." we go to john in savannah, georgia. good morning, john, on our republican line. caller: yeah, we've spent trillions in iraq and afghanistan, so i don't know what this three weeks is about, but i want to ask you about per knack eerk the "time" man of the year. then i hear congressmen saying we don't need to de lve into what the feds are doing. isn't it time we did de l very into what they're doing? thank you. guest: on your point on the three weeks, if you -- again, this gets a little arcane, but if you take the size of the u.s. economy and see what it's spending in terms of iraq and
afghanistan, it's thee qui lent in world war ii what we spent on that war, a global war, about three or every four weeks as a proposition of the commesm it's real money, but we've had bigger military financial burdens before. it is amazing this most powerful institution in washington hasçó virtweal no accountability which the u.s. congress which created it. and so a congressman from texas, ron paul, senator from south carolina jim demint and others, including also, i might say, the democrat social frist vermont, bernie saunders, all favor a bill that would have the government audit the federal re, that is, what agreements have they made with other central banks, that ought to be made available. where the money goes, if they put in the market, what criteria they use. that isn't about independence, that's about accountability. and the fed has reacted leak a scald cat on the thing, saying it's the end of civilization.
no, it is not. everyone in government has to be account able. the c.i.a.,s fed has less accountability to congress not that central intelligence agency does, which is ridiculous. so it's a benign bill that congressman paul and others have proposed, and i hope it gets through congress. host: steve forbes, i have a comment for you, one of our to witters users, a twitter from stockmarketscam is his handle, writes that your book title does not make any sense, steve. you should change it "how the rich stole from the poor q. i'll tie that into one your chapters, chapter they're, "aren't the rich getting richer at other people's expense"? if up to the reply to that and tell us what that chapter, how that chapter would answer our twitter comment this morning. guest: well, it gets in, you say, the rap that the rich get rich expert poor get poorer. but the essence of free market is you don't succeed unless you provide something that other people want.
and if you look at how the thing actually works when it's allowed to, you find you have great mobility out there. for example, the i.r.s. did a survey of tax returns from the mid 1990's to the mid part of this decade to see what actually happens to people's well-being, their incomes over that 10-year period. and what the survey found was that people in the bottom quinn tile, starting out with very little, the qu intile mean fifths, so the people on the bottom quintile starting off with very little going in the workforce, they went up. their incomes went up, and their relative standing went up. the majority went up at least one quin active le, many went up two or three. in other words, as they got skills, their well-being improved. you also have people, though, moving down on the thing, so there is mobility in the economy. and in terms of people getting rich in a free economy, the only way they get rich, like a bill gates, again, is if they
create something that is providing something people want or they take something and investigate the capital correctly in a way that it expands. so it's a flute situation, it's not like oligarchs you find in other countries, no chance for entrepreneur toss start independent businesses, and have a chance to succeed. you look at i.b.m. in the 1960's, the government filed an antitrust suit against the company because it seemed to be so powerful. the trust suit went nowhere, but what upended i.b.m. was the rise first of mini computers, and then personal computers so. by the early 1990's, i.b.m. was virtually broke. they brought in new management, have turned it around. today the company is a thriving, vibrant company. but markets are allowed to work, competition will always bring these companies that get big, they won't stay big unless, again, they are providing things that people want. otherwise competitors will come
in and upend them. host: you write a bit about the founder and owner of whole foods and his conversion, his view of capitalism. tell us about that briefly. >> john mackey began whole foods, as you know, originally based on organic foods. he started the business years ago. he looked around at these stores, saw that they weren't very attractive to people, and he figures that if he had an attractive store that brought people in, get customers who normally wouldn't consider organic foods, that the thing could grow. he started out as a very far on the left, but realized in terms of how he made his own business work -- again, serving the needs and wants of others -- all the capital, sweat capital he had to put in, investing, risk taking he had to take to expand his business, he became a convert to entrepreneurial free market capitalism. he read friedman, he read others like adam smith, and he
became a convert and is almost an evangelist on the subject because he's lived the idea of an entrepreneur, somebody starting out with an idea, having a chance to expand and all of the hard work that goes into it, and that's the thing about an entrepreneur, bill, is that the entrepreneur can only -- the entrepreneur is usually the last one to get something he -- he or she puts the money in, then you have to pay the workers, the suppliers, your backers, and then if there's something left over, you can get ahead, and that's why most new businesses don't succeed. but you have to have a system that allows people to keep trying so you get extraordinary successes like whole foods, which introduced the idea of fine foods and organic foods to tens of millions of customers who normally wouldn't have considered buying those kind of foods. host: back to our phone calls. this is spencer, west virginia. jeff, good morning, independent caller. caller: yes, hello. host: good morning. caller: first of all, i want to say it's an honor to speak with
mr. forbes t. the top five guys in history that i admire. he's right there, he's in the top five. guest: thank you. caller: i want to bring a little bit more to grass roots. we've been talking about big business and the economy. i'm a construction worker. i'm living paycheck to paycheck. what advice would you goif a guy like me that probably makes , say, 50% or maybe more of the population, what would you tell me would be a good way to invest in my future, retirement, you know, i got a 10-year-old son who, eight more yeerks he's going to go going off to college. i mean, what would you tell me to do? i.r.a., treasury bonds? i bought a little bit of gold back in the days when gold was like at $320, and now it's almost tripled that, which i go investment for someone that does not own the market at all.
i'm just wondering, someone at the grass roots level. host: jeff, thanks for your causm i'm sure a lot of other people want to ask the same thing. steve forbes? guest: very, very, very basic question, and apropos of gold. every portfolio should have a part of, it not a large part, but a part of it just as an insurance policy. you did well on, it but there are times when the dollar price of gold goes down, when the government gets its act together, which happens occasionally. but you always have it there as an anchor, as an insurance policy in case things do go wrong as manifestly has happened in recent years. now, in terms of long term on things like your youngster's college education, you're probably familiar with a thing called a 529. every state now offers them. you put money in, it grows tax free for your kid's education. take advantage of that. in terms of other kinds of investing, yes, you should have an i.r.a., 401, you should
contribute to that if you can do so. and on those, realize that they are retirement vehicles. you're not trying to hit grand slam home runs. and so on those, don't let your emotions be your enemy. put in a certain amount each month. if you can afford to do so, put in a certain fixed amount each month, make sure that these funds have low expenses. that's a public information, get from forbes and from others so that you don't lose a lot of money to all these expenses they have. look at their long-term record. put a certain amount in each month, and then when up get these down turns, in effect you're buying more shares. and so when the market comes back, which it inevitably always does, you're even better off. it's called dollar-cost averaging. but the tendency is, even though people nod their heads about the need for discipline, investing, and being long term, when their emotions take over, so when the market goes up, they say, well, is it too late to get in? i want to put more in.
or when the market takes a plunge, sickening plunge as we had happen in 2008 and the early part of this>x,eerk the tendency is, oh, my god, is it too late to get out? so if you have flexibility in terms of time, you're not about to retire, then do that monthly cost averaging, certain amount each month. take advantage as much as you can of a 401-t, if you can do a roth i.r.a., you put in tax money, but when you retire, it's tax free, do those things. do the 529 with your son, and you're doing as much as you can. then other thing do you, just to get in a plug on tax reform, the current tax code is really hostile to people trying to accumulate real capital on a salary because of the huge tax rates and the like. that's one reason why i like a simple flat tax. it encourages people to generate real capital instead of being eaten up in the tax code we have today. host: good morning to jackson,
mississippi. good morning, dee, on our independents line. caller: thank you, c-span. thank you for taking my causm i've been listening to mr. forbes as well as a lot of other republicans, and i have one question at this point before i go any further. where were you in the last eight yearsñr when george bush ran -- excuse me -- ran our country's tab up to over a trillion dollars? mr. obama has only been in office less than a year, but you want to accuse and hold him responsible for trillions of dollars, but your voice was not heard when mr. bush was in office. secondly, i have a problem with the republicans who talk against medical reform when we are the ones who pay the insurance for their insurance. they won't allow us to have the public option, but they are the public option.
they are on the public option. again, you speak about 50 years ago in terms of what the budget was in comparison, comparing it to what it is today. we're going back 50 years. there is no comparison. please do not continue to use that. another question i have, you guys talk about mr. reagan all the time, and the good times that we have under mr. reagan. those times were not as great as you want us to believe that they were, and we also must factor in the fact that mr. reagan was in the throes of alzheimer's -- host: dee, lots there. several questions we'll let steve forbes address. thank you. guest: on the past eight years, in terms of mr. bush's economic policies, and i many other republicans were aghast at his spending policies and spoke out against them. they were minor compared to what we see coming out of washington today.
but we did speak out against it, and i believe the biggest domestic mistake of the bush administration, which sadly has been continued by this administration, is its weak dollar policy. weak dollar means weak recovery. you cannot trash the u.s. dollar, let it get weak, and at the present to have a strong economy. that shouldn't be a partisan issue. john kennedy, democrat, said the dollar should be as good as gold. ronald reagan killed the great inflation of the 1970's, and bill clinton had a strong dollar policy. so that was a huge mistake of the bush administration and the federal reserve, which i did speak out against. in terms of healthcare alternatives, there are positive alternatives out there than just simply having more and more government role and having it do to healthcare what it's done to the housing market, and that is simple things like nationwide shopping for health insurance. right now, each state restricts the companies that can compete. why not have nationwide? i live in the state of new jersey.
because of our crazy regulations in healthcare, family policy, if you buy it as an individual, will cost youed sad,000 to $20,000. in pennsylvania, i can get the equivalent policy, virtually the equivalent for $7,000 or $8,000 a year, yet it's illegal for me to buy it in pennsylvania. i can buy a car in pen pernings open a bank account in pennsylvania, but i can't buy health insurance offered to the citizens of pennsylvania. so let's have nationwide shopping. tax treatment, if a business buys health insurance, it gets a tax deduction. why not allow individuals get a tax deduction? unless you're self-employed, you don't. so a lot of people have credit and tax deductions for insurance. tort reform would be huge savings of money. why not allow small businesses to pool together through trade associations to buy affordable health insurance? so if you open up the market to true competition and get rid of some of these artificial barriers, you'll see an healthcare which you see
everywhere else in this economy, and that is entrepreneurs figuring out how to supply more of it at more, affordable cost. just to give one example, the cell phone. 20 years of cell phone, if you look at those old pictures, was as big as a shoe box, clunky, expense simbings not working very well. today, small, you can do anything on them, they're cheap. poor people around the world can all have cell phones. you see it in haiti, you see it in india. four billion of them out there today. why can't we do the same thing on healthcare? government can't do it, entrepreneurs can. in terms of ronald reagan, his performance was very real. what he inherited after the 1970's, high inflation, 18% mortgage rates, 21% somewhere rates, higher unemployment than what we have today. as a result of his policies, inflation plummeted, interest rates came down, the u.s. became a font of innovation, and they created more jobs under his watch and subsequent watches of more jobs in western
europe and japan put together. so overall, not a bad record and one that i think any president today would love to grab on to. host: to our republican line next. steve is from parksville, mfment you're on. caller: yes, good morning, mr. forbes. i've been following up for many, many years. guest: good morning. caller: one of the questions i'd like to you play somewhat of an economic north radio come as for just a minute. the -- an economic north dam us for just a minute. we have situations in iraq and afghanistan, and all the global situations that exist. we also have a congress that is spending more and more money that we don't have and we're borrowing from china, are who at one time was one of our biggest enemies. to the point, with the situation concerning moody's, a.a.a. credit rate where we are in jeopardy of losing that, what do you foresee in the next
two, three, or five years down the road as to what our economic status is going to be? do you foresee some type of economic collapse, a global economic collapse? guest: to answer your question, i don't see a global economic collapse. one of the things you're starting to see emerge now is that countries in asia, even in central and eastern europe, are starting to have more sustained recovery, stronger recoveries, than what we're having here in the united states. to be blunt about it, we and great britain are making the same economic mistakes, weak occurrence success, binge spending, raising taxes, and that's going to hurt the performance we're going to have in 2010, as i compared it to a baseball player who's going to hit about .200 instead of .400. but those kind of things do generate proposals, counterproposals. we saw that in the 1970's, dreadful decade, new ideas came
up, which ronald reagan adopted, got our country back on track. i think we're going see the see the same phenomenon, you saw it in new jersey, candidates who ran on the platform of restraint in spending and cut ago way taxes instead of increasing taxes. i live in i live in new jersey. of berry blue state, but the republican candidate won a major victory. we need to think about the economy's affected at all about -- with events around the world. it is iran. i think the israelis are going to make a decision in 2010. a narrow window of opportunity of delaying that nuclear program is closing. they see it as an existential threat and they are going to make a fundamental threat or they take military action against iran. and if they feel they have to do so, that will have huge
repercussions, certainly short term, on all oil politics around the world. these play a role. we cannot proceed exactly what they are. but we have to be prepared. sometimes you get a huge crisis like that. and i think we will have one with iran in 2010. host: a question here from one of our twitter users. are you interested at all? guest: no, i am an agitator now. i tried twice so i am trying to get out and get reforms like simplifying the tax code moving, helping out the candidates who are pro-growth and pro- opportunity. that is what people should do in 2010, it involves not just in the general election but in the primaries where the parties pick their candidate, get them all with those. it will be an interesting year.
host: you got involved in the new york-23rd specialization, -- special election. why did you make that choice? guest: thought he represented the best of the opportunities. better than the nominal republican candidate. that is why he ended up taking in most of the support and came close to winning. the republican party gave him no help of their when their candidate withdrew. they sat on their hands. the democrat won a narrow victory. but in 2010, when we have the regular election, there is a good chance mr. hoffman or someone of a light you can win the seat back. host: does that endorsement mean that you will see more of those type of endorsements moving into the presidential race? in 2012, are you leaning toward
anyone in particular? guest: i am looking over the field like many are. republican candidate was not chosen by a primary. it was chosen by party leaders because it was a special election. if they had a primary, i don't think you'd have seen this situation crop up. but in 2012, i'm looking at all the candidates, looking for somebody with those optimistic, pro-growth policies and a strong defense for the united states, and who know how to navigate washington. reagan, by the way, and i'll mention him again, even though a caller implied that i was doing it too much, but i will mention him one more time, reagan was one of the few individuals, bill, who could be both a movement leader, which i was in the 1960's and 1970 anticipates, and then become an effective political leader. in politics, you can't just go in a straightline. the world doesn't work where you snap your fingers and congress snaps to.
you have to learn to detour and make compromises, but reagan did those that and never lost sight of his basic goals, which is why even liberals in the historian profession rate him as one of the our most important and he fective presidents. host: atlanta, good morning to will on our independents line. hi there. caller: hi. thanks for c-span. appreciate you taking any call, sir. i agree with your title, capitalism can save us, but the adam smith capitalism the founders had in mind when they created us in covenant with the creator, god, and that has the bearing on truth, justice, freedom, honesty. when we get away from that, when we have crimes committed by what thomas jefferson referred to as the pseudo era -- which your grandfather's work creating the federal reserve, we were not -- we've become fascist, ruled by the rich and serving what thomas jemp son called the anti-crivements i would
recommend everyone read the actual writings of thomas jefferson, who was an obvious prophet of god to know why we have these draft dodgers supporting other war dodgers like reagan, whose line has been cut o. if he was up a good man, why didn't god give him any children? if you're such a good man, why did you not bring justice to people who sent us to vietnam after you dodged it? this is unrighteous. this is a spirit of the age. this is what thomas jefferson called the anti-christ, and you live cross the river and saw the world, done nothing about bringing bush and cheney to justice for doing it. host: will, we'll get a response. guest: well, i don't believe that bush and cheney created the world trade center. i think that's preposterous. as for my grandfather, he did not create the federal reserve. he was an immigrant to this country, came here a little over 100 years ago, was one of 10 children, grade school education, virtually no money. but like millions who came to merks he had an opportunity, had a chance to get ahead and realized the american dream. i'm glad he did so.
but he had nothing to do with the fed. and in terms of the fed, we've talked earlier about congressman ron paul's bill to have an audit of the fed to bring about more disclosure so that people can see what it's doing and what it's not doing. i believe, my own view is in terms of the federal reserve, they should only v only two tasks, one is a strong and stable dollar, tied to gold, as others have ads very indicated, and have the deal with panics that rise up if a crises rises up. but bank regulation, check clearing, the like, i think those are tasks that should be put in another agency. as for in terms of values, yes, free markets must have basic values, which adam smith talked about. and that's why you do have sensible rules of the road. you have james madison, the father of our constitution, pointed out if we were angels, we would not need government. we are not angels, so we do need government, but there's positive government and negative government, and i
think we need more positive government where it creates an environment where free people have a chance to realize their dreams instead of having to dance to the dictates of regulations from washington. host: next up is cocoa beach, florida. jeff, democratic caller. good morning, go ahead. caller: how are you? i just wanted to say, i have no family money and i retired when i was 45, and i considered myself an entrepreneur. but on the same question, i know for a fact if i'm making $1 hundred,000 a day, i can live real comfortable on 5% of that, and most people can. there's a lot of people who cannot afford -- who don't have the ability to become entrepreneurs. and the fellow who sweeps the floor has the right to live as well as far as free time and putting their kids through school having healthcare, as well as any entrepreneur and wealthy fellow. so my point is pre-round reagan, the tax structure was a
hell of a lot better, even though no one realized then. since ronald reagan, energy prices dropped. energy prices is the key for our economy. it's the multiplier for our labor. as far as i've asked myself this question, how can all these people in this world owe out this much money? where is this money that everybody owes out? there can't be this much money that people owe out so. therefore, moan is nothing but debt on poorer people. host: jeff, thanks for the input. last call. steve forbes, your thoughts. guest: well, the call serp right about the debt that we're piling up. go that i don't think many many n washington fully grasp yet is that the average maturity of the national debt now, bill, is 49 weeks, which means when short-term rates go up, as inevitably they're going to go up, that's going blow another big hole in the budget. so we're facing the same kind of situation we did in the late
1970's and early 1980's, and that's why we need pro-growth economic policies, start wag strong and stable dollar, a low tax rate so that people can get ahead, and allow more entrepreneurship in areas like healthcare and do there what we've done elsewhere where you can supply more at a more affordable cost and better and better. we've done it in high-tech and elsewhere. why can't we do it in healthcare? so yes, we do need to make fundamental reforms, or else the debt will kill us. we need to groat asset side of america. we've done it before, and i believe we will do it again, even though we're going through a rough patch right now, are going through a rough time. host: steve forbes, whose new book is "how capitalism will save us," written with elizabeth ames. is it on the bookshelves now, steve forbes? guest: it is, and also you can get it onlnle from
>> tomorrow morning, we will discuss a report on paying for the war in afghanistan with lawrencrom the center for american progress. also, the lettuce on the senate health care debate with two centaurs. following that, a discussion on the future of conservatism with james gilmore, the president of the free congress foundation. and later, the hope now alliance on home foreclosures. washington journal is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. this month, the senate has continued work on a health-care bill. here is how you can follow the debate. watch it live, gavel-to-gavel, uninterrupted and commercial free, only on c-span2. here the highlights on c-span
radio. and go to our health care hub on line 3 complete video archives, including the debate on the bill and the amendments, briefings from the leadership and other key senate doors, and the latest from reporters and editors. and for iphone users, follow it with the new c-span radio iphone app, it is free and you can listen to speeches -- to c-span, c-span2 and c-span radio. >> up next here on c-span, the united nations secretary general bond the moon on the recent climb in summit. and then -- ban ki-moon on the recent climate summit. >> c-span, christmas day, all
looked ahead at 2010 politics. including eric canto and nbc's david gregory. buzz aldrin and fellow astronauts on the legacy of apollo 11. a discussion on the role of muslims in america and the world. later, a former cia intelligence officer when u.s. strategy in afghanistan. and starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, remembering the lives of william f. buckley, jr. and senator ted kennedy. >> today, the united nations secretary general told reporters that climate change agreement reached in copenhagen was "a significant achievement quality his remarks are a little over 20 minutes. -- a significant achievement." his remarks are a little over 20 minutes. >> it is a pleasure to see you. i just came back yesterday afternoon after attending the
u.n. conference on climate change in copenhagen. on saturday morning in copenhagen, i had the first conference with your colleagues. i am pleased to meet with you today to answer some questions which you may have appeared the last time i did not have much time to answer questions. but i also have security council briefings at 10:00, very important on the african nations. let me say that the conference was a success. the copenhagen accord marks a significant step forward. first, it commits countries to work to limit global temperature rise two degrees celsius. that will review this commitment in 2015 to take account of the
scientific evidence. i understand that the ipcc -- they tried to release a report in 2014. second, the accord improves mitigation targets countries and midterm mitigation targets for developing countries. third, countries have agreed on the importance of an acting to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. this means that we have finally found the source of nearly one- fifth of global emissions into the agreement. it will provide comprehensive support to the most affordable cope with climate change. it is backed by money and the
knee -- the means to deliver it. there's nearly $30 billion until 2012, and then $100 billion after 2020. i urge countries to ensure that copenhagen -- a cop and -- the copenhagen on becomes fully operational. i urge all governments to formally sign on to the copenhagen accord with their support through the united nations. the more momentum we can build, [unintelligible] the benchmarks for success that i had laid down at the september 2009 meeting here at u.n. headquarters. admittedly, they do not yet met the scientific bottom line to
achieve above a pre-industry level. but without commitments in the copenhagen accord, we could face the real prospect of temperature rises of up to six degrees celsius. during the coming month i will continue my words with world leaders to increase their level of ambition. i've urged all to implement their commitments as soon as possible. i will encourage them to directly engaged into a legally binding treaty in 2010. their hands on its investment would help to seal the deal in copenhagen. they not only appreciate the a importance of protecting climate change but that they are prepared to back. it is also notable that the country's that had previously
stayed on the periphery of the kyodo process are now at the center of global climate action. as we move forward, we will examine the lessons of the copenhagen conference. we will consider how to streamline the negotiation process. we will also look at how to involve the full context of climate change and develop negotiations institutionally. early next year, i will establish a high-level panel on global climate change to this address such issues. why am satisfied that we have sealed the deal, i am aware that the outcome of the copenhagen conference, including the copenhagen accord, did not go as far as many had hoped. nevertheless this is an essential beginning. we have taken a new step in the
right direction. thank you very much. >> your assessment of the conference is quite different from many who said that it was at the year. they called it a disaster. i would like to ask two prime -- question. the prime minister of britain has made one comment. others have said that the conference was a massive blow to the u.n. framework in that it is clear that these issues could not be agreed to by consensus. only a number of countries came forward with a deal which the others very reluctantly accepted. >> i know there are different assessments on the outcome of this climate change conference in copenhagen. basically, i believe that all the member states agree that it was a success. it was a very significant step forward.
agreeing to a legal binding treaty as soon as possible. copenhagen was about finding a way forward to deal with a huge problem, of very complex, very difficult problem. negotiations took a long time. the positions of many to -- member states are entrenched, and it was quite difficult and a tough process. now we have to wait for that pushes all countries to take action -- now we have a way forward that pushes all countries to take action. it was very important and a very significant step forward. this, as i said, we have been able to achieve all of the elements which we have laid down in september at u.n.
headquarters. and about this -- your second part of the question about the relevance, i believe that this accord represents almost all member states of the country's positions. in to stand all the elements do not meet the full satisfaction of all of the countries. but we did not expect that we would be able to have this legally binding treaty satisfying all the elements for all the member states. i think that we did get what we needed to make this process move on. there were some countries to really expressed reservations,
but on procedural matters and the substantive matters. on procedures, because of the complexity and the very slow process of negotiation, the president of the cop-15 established a small group of 38 member states representing all the difference stakeholders. first of all, the g-77 in china was represented. some developed countries, a small island developing countries, the european union, and the biggest polluting countries, they were all represented. therefore, in terms of representation, i thought that they were fully representative.
of course, i will admit that there was a lack of transparency because we were not able to fully consult with all 192 members at that time. we only had one and a half day for such a very difficult negotiation. on substantive matters, there's more to be done. i am sure that in the course of our negotiations to make this globally acceptable in treaty form, we will be able to build upon this copenhagen accord. >> could you tell us what role you personally played in facilitating the work of the 30 member states that you mentioned, and also behind the scenes, the deal that president
obama helped to broker? it did not have any targets our other commitments concerning verification or financial help. to what extent were you personally involved? >> i think everybody has played important roles. not necessarily myself. of course president obama has played a very important role at the last minute when the negotiation was stuck on important issues like verification issues and other mitigation target issues. he played a very crucially important role. as for me, during the last three years i have been discussing this issue with world leaders, the question about raising political leadership roles,
trying to organize the necessary financing and support for developing countries. during -- particularly during this summit meeting as well as before the summit meeting, i had been very closely consulting with the chair of the copenhagen summit meeting, prime minister rasmussen, and others who are elected as the president. and i have been extending my network of consultation with many world leaders, a major world leaders, as well as major -- the most vulnerable countries. and this negotiation was almost that a deadlock on saturday
morning. i also played a certain role to convince those people who were having strong reservations on first of all the procedural matters as well as some substantive elements -- i emphasize that we have come such a long way iand we did not have any time to lose. if we had to differ through another negotiation process, then we would not be able to immediately open this financial support and technical support. this political court has an immediate operational affect, starting on january of next year, providing financial and technology support the most vulnerable and developing countries.
therefore, even though i understand that there are some different assessments, we should build upon this climate -- this copenhagen accord so that we will be able to have a legally binding trade -- treaty as soon as possible. >> the g-77, the chairman called this the worst deal in history. emphasizing that the smaller countries were bright to come to this last minute agreement, essentially. people have raised issues about conflicts of interest that the president has, through different banks. and this was raised to the parties there. what can be done to make sure that in all of this screen deal, that they're not financial complex as well. some disclosure either from the un or others?
>> many of the g-77 group leaders represented in that negotiation very actively -- therefore when the g-7 is seven -- therefore when the g-77 leader spoke, i am not sure that he represented in an official way the g-77 group members. as you may have seen, there is a debate where there were many deep-77 countries as well as countries from small islands and developing states, least developed states, the vanguard countries, they all supported and express their support for this political accord.
that is what i can tell you at this time. i cannot speak for the position of the g-77. >> there's an article today that brings together the allegations that the top levels of the ipcc, there are benefits -- there are business deals that benefit from the deal. >> this psychology will change and shipped with this accord. the 10 that their business and investment for a green economy and clean energy will be much cheaper than later. therefore, as soon as this copenhagen accord is translated into a legally binding treaty, i
am sure that the business community will have shifted their business operations toward the green growth the economy, and many in the business community have already done that. and this is an encouraging sign. with his political accord, i am sure that this will shift their opinions and psychologies. >> to get the new legally binding treaty, what is the most important factor? and when is your deadline? to get a legal binding treaty? >> this is in the negotiating process, but they have identified key elements, what needs to be done, what needs to be done in a legally binding treaty.
the global temperature rise to within two degrees. there was some discussion, particularly affected by the small island in developing countries, they want to hold down much lower than two degrees. preferably below 1.5 degrees. that has not been decided yet. we will have to wait until 2014, when ipcc -- the assessment report will be released. and then we have an opportunity to review our course in 2015, including the temperature -- global temperature rise issues. and we need to have clear
mitigation target goals agreed by developed countries, and also developing countries. there mitigation action. the member states will have to submit their mitigation targets by january 31 of next year. these mitigation action reports will be added to this political accord. then mitigation actions -- appropriate mitigation actions taken by countries will also be communicated every three years. and there has been quite significant developments and progress in terms of making all of this mitigation action transparent through a measurable, reportable, and
together with the host government so that we will have a successful cop-16 meeting in mexico. about deadlines. we will have to expedite. what i learned from this copenhagen process was that, while we were able to see much heightened political will, and there was a common purpose, a common will to act on this. however, the additional provisions -- they were not yet united. -- the natioannal positions. the leaders were united in purpose, but they were not yet united in action. that is what i observed. it will be very important for the united nations, for me as secretary-general, to really help the leaders' political will to be translated into
action. the negotiations were very tough. their positions were really entrenched. that will be a quite big challenge for the united nations and for world leaders. i appreciate at this time, to all the world leaders who have taken time and patiently participated in all of the negotiations, very tough negotiations. i would really hope and appeal to world leaders and world opinion makers that, while i know that not everybody is satisfied with this result, this was a quite significant achievement, which we were able
to make in copenhagen. considering all the complexity and difficulties of this issue. it is not an easy task. everyone knows that it will not be an easy task. therefore, we should be more proactive. we should be more forthcoming, rather than critical. i would be very willing to discuss on this issue with other world leaders and other opinion makers and civic community leaders how we can do better. how we can change this negotiation process. there are some lessons we have learned. all of these lessons will be very carefully reviewed from
today for a better result next year. thank you very much. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> up next on c-span, all look at the future of afghanistan. following that, a discussion on relations between the u.s. and the muslim world. tomorrow morning on "washington journal", we will discuss a report on paying for the war in afghanistan with the center for american progress. also, the latest on the health care debate with senators mary
landrieu and john barrasso. a discussion on the future of conservatism with james gilmore, president of the free congress foundation. later, the hope now alliance on hold for closure. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> all next week, a rare glimpse into america's highest court threw on the record conversations with 10 supreme court justices about the court, their work, and a history of the supreme court building. five days of interviews with supreme court justices started next monday at eight a putt -- 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> now a look at the future of afghanistan with bruce riedel, senior fellow of the saben center for middle east policy at the brookings institution. he is the author of the book "the search for al qaeda." this is an hour. >> we need to turn our attention to bruce riedel.
we need to close the back doors. thank you. i will not take very long to do my introduction. i am president of the jamestown foundation. i am glad you are here today. we are delighted that we have bruce riedel, who as many of you know from reading "the washington post," has often been referred to as the architect of obama's afghanistan strategy. he is well-suited for all of that, and today, you will be delighted to know that he will not only speak for 10 minutes but he has a 40-minute talk planned. i think it will be an in-depth opportunity to hear his thoughts on a strategy in afghanistan at this critical time in american foreign policy. he is a senior fellow in mideast policy at the brookings institution. he retired in 2006 after 30
years of service in the cia. he is a senior adviser on south asia and the middle east to four presidents and the staff of the national security council. he is a negotiator of several peace summits including camp david and wye river. he was a senior adviser at the north atlantic treaty organization in brussels. in january, 2009, he chaired a review of american policy toward afghanistan and pakistan. the results of which the president announced in his speech on march 27, 2009. he is the author of this book -- "the search for al qaeda," published by brookings press. after his talk today, he will be available for a book signing in the back. he has promised to say a few words to you and to sign the book.
it is coming out in paperback. it is your last chance to get one in hard copy. bruce will be available for that briefly. after his talk, he will take questions and answers. i would like to turn the floor over to bruce. glad to have you with us. >> thank you very much for that kind introduction. it is a special privilege and honor for me to be here today to speak to this audience at the jamestown foundation. they have, over the last several years, consistently provided americans and people around the world with some of the best analysis of what is going on in the terrorism world. for that reason, it is a special pleasure to have this chance to be the keynote speaker
today. [applause] 10 months ago and a few days, i was minding my own business in my home on the eastern shore of maryland when the phone rang and a voice came on and said, please hold for the president. a couple of seconds later, on came the voice, hello, bruce. it's barack. çthen i got an offer you cannot say no to. the offer was to chair the review on american policy towards afghanistan-pakistan and towards al qaeda. ççv:as the president explained then, in his judgment, this is the single-most important foreign-policy and national- security issue he will face as president of united states.
perhaps a little background is in order. i want to help you understand my remarks. i retired from the cia in november, 2006. in march, 2007, two individuals, tony lake and another from the obama campaign came to me and asked if i would like to be an adviser. i agreed on one condition. i did not want a job for myself. i wanted a job for the senior senator from illinois in the federal government. i should also tell you that i went home and told my wife, this will be lots of fun, but it will not last very long. there is no way barack obama is going to become president of united states. bear that prediction in mind as i go forward. what i would like to do over the course of the next 40 minutes is review the key
judgments of the strategic review that i chaired, talk a little bit about what has happened in the interim between closure of that strategic review in march and the president's announcement last week. and then spend a few last minutes looking at the road ahead, where i think we're going. let me be careful and clear. i am speaking as a senior fellow at the brookings institution. i am not here as a spokesman for the united states government or president obama. please do not interpret any of my words as reflecting the views of the united states government in any way whatsoever. i will start with the bottom line right upfront. president obama inherited in january a disaster in afghanistan and pakistan. a war that had begun with a brilliant military success at virtually no cost was squandered. for seven years, the previous administration dithered and did
not act. the insurgency, which should never have been allowed to grow, now threatens the survival of the karzai government in afghanistan and threatens to defeat the north atlantic treaty organization's first ground operation ever. worse than that, a disaster in afghanistan is destabilizing south and central asia as a whole. most particularly, next door in pakistan. the situation the president inherited is bad and it has gotten worse in the 10 months since then. but we have no time machine. we cannot go back and do it over. we can wish for that, but that is not a realistic strategy. so what is the situation today? let me start with al qaeda.
we would not have 70,000 american troops in afghanistan and 35,000 more en route if not for 9/11. we all know that. what is the status of al qaeda today? i will summarize what we have done in one sentence. like any summary, it lacks subtlety. it lacks nuance. if done right, it gets to the point. in eight years, we have succeeded in moving the core leadership, the al qaeda senior operational planners from kandahar, afghanistan, to a location unknown, believed to be about 100 miles away, somewhere and pakistan. that is not to diminish the hard work of our soldiers, our intelligence officers, and our diplomats, and our allies in fighting al qaeda. it is not to diminish the
accomplishments we have made. but the fundamental fact is that al qaeda today remains a deadly enemy of the united states of america and our allies. it is the first truly global terrorist organization in history. its reach and scope in the last eight years is almost breathtaking when you think about it. from algiers to washington to bali to madrid, this organization has struck again and again all around the world. it has developed franchises. it has developed surrogates. it has acquired allies. it increased its reach. it has become more than a terrorist organization. it is become an idea, a narrative which inspires a small minority of muslims. a very small minority to carry
out acts of mass violence. most of its attacks are indiscriminate, but it has also demonstrated a chilling capacity to strike with great discrimination against targets like benazir bhutto, like the u.n. headquarters in baghdad, and a month ago, against the deputy minister of interior in saudi arabia. we see its reach in the united states today, both direct and indirect. the afghan-american arrested by the fbi in colorado demonstrated the direct connection. what happened in fort hood demonstrates the indirect connection of the narrative and ideology of the global islamic jihad. the only sustained significant pressure on the al qaeda core comes from between 30,000 and 60,000 feet in the air -- the drones.
they are a technological marvel. they have proven highly successful against a limited range of targets and a limited piece of geography. they have, to some extent, and it is hard to know if you are not a member of al qaeda how big that extent is, disrupted al qaeda in recent months. but drones are a tactic. they are not a strategy. they are like attacking a beehive one bee at a time. you will never destroy the beehive one bee at a time. osama bin laden is today a voice we hear but an invisible man. we have no idea where this man is, despite the biggest manhunt in history and a $50 million
reward. he could be in the room next door as far as we know. last week, the bbc put out a report, pourly sourced, that he what was notable is how rarely we even get bad reports about where osama bin laden is. second thing i would suggest to you about al qaeda today is that, in afghanistan and pakistan, it is part of a much larger syndicate of terrorist organizations, within which, it is embedded. what do i mean by that? the afghan taliban, the pakistan taliban, they are one taliban in many ways -- a whole bunch of other groups whose names are often interchangeable
but we know are the same basic characters, are a syndicate of terror. they are not a monolith. they do not have a single leader or a single agenda. but they cooperate with each other. individuals within these movements move back and forth between organizations. they do not respect the lanes that we try to impose on them. most of all, none of them in eight years has been willing to turn on al qaeda and give up its core leadership. what is remarkable when you look at it is that, more than any other individual, mullah omar is who the syndicate pledges its allegiance to. and he claims to be commander of the faithful. a title, which if you think
about it, shows a man with a remarkable ego. commander of the faithful. 1.6 billion muslims worldwide? i am very skeptical we can negotiate with the taliban. much less with a man with that sized ego. al qaeda today is embedded in this larger syndicate of terror, which is why it is so hard to go after. within the syndicate of terror, i would suggest that today -- it demonstrated a year ago at mumbai its capacity to strike with awesome fury. its global reach is probably also something to worry about. let me say a few words about afghanistan. you can also summarize what we
have done in afghanistan in one sentence. we are losing the war in afghanistan, but it is not yet lost. parentheses -- i hope. general mcchrystal's report, which, courtesy of bob woodward, all of you have had the chance to read, is an excellent summary. i think he hit the nail on the head. he got it exactly right. if there is one part of their report that i urge you to look at is the detention facilities in afghanistan, in which he says, we no longer control the detention facilities in which we are keeping captured insurgents. they are defacto under the control of al qaeda. more radicalization and recruitment for al qaeda takes place in those detention facilities than anywhere else in afghanistan today. when you have lost control of
the prison camps in which you are putting insurgents in a counterinsurgency, you are in a deep, deep hole. every measure, statistical we have demonstrates the momentum is entirely with the taliban. bob gates reiterated that several times in his statements last week on the hill. but it is not yet lost. because we do not face in afghanistan a nationalist uprising. what we face in afghanistan is a pashtun insurgency, which is confined to that ethnic community. the soviets faced a national uprising. virtually the entire country was in opposition to soviet occupation. soviet behavior reinforced that opposition. we face an insurgency which is, for the most part, confined to
the pashtun community. by definition, the majority of afghans do not favor taliban. we know from reliable polling that the majority of pashtuns do not want to see a return to the islamic emirate of afghanistan. no one in their right mind would want to go back to the medieval hell of mullah omar from the 1990's. it is this self-constraining factor that offers us the most hope to be able to turn this around. thirdly, let me talk about pakistan. it is today the strategic prize in this part of the world as well as the most dangerous country in the world. why do i say that? because all the things that should worry americans about the future of the world in the 21st century come together in pakistan in a unique and
combustible way. nuclear war and peace. proliferation of nuclear technology. terrorism. the future of islam. the future of democracy in the islamic world. the relationship between the military and civil society in the islamic world. all of these issues are alive in pakistan like they are nowhere else in the world. pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world today. it has more terrorists per square kilometer than any other country in the world. it is the world's second largest muslim country. and yet, its government is teetering on the brink of collapse. pakistan is trying to make the transition from a military dictatorship to something pakistanis hope will look like democracy. we should support that effort with everything we do. but this is the fourth time pakistan has tried to make that transition. you have to believe in the
triumph of hope over experience. today the zahari government appears to have a limited shelf-life. he may stay on as a figurehead, but power is slipping away from him every day. the alternatives are not particularly bright, either. we may see a return to nawar al-sharif. but we do not get to choose who the pakistani leaders are. when we have tried to, we have usually had buyer's remorse later on. the second point about pakistan is that pakistan has a dynamic, confusing and complex relationship with the syndicate of terrorism which i talked about earlier. pakistan either created or was
the midwife for many of these terrorist organizations. it retains very close links with some of them, particularly with -- [unintelligible] it has been a passive supporter of mullah omar up until 2001, when richard armitage threatened it with being thrown back into the stone age. it has the capacity to be a patron of terror and a victim of terror, which is very hard for most western minds to put their heads around. it is very much at the war with this frankenstein. the attacks of pashawar demonstrate that this is not going very well. if it spreads further south, it may deal an economic death blow
to pakistan today. why does pakistan have such a complex relationship? because of its obsession with india. the pakistani army believes and has believed for 60 years that asymmetric warfare is part of its tactics for defeating the indians. it has not succeeded. it has not worked. but this view remains deeply entrenched in parts, significant parts of the pakistani officer corps and the pakistani leadership. -- elite. in short, the stakes in afghanistan and pakistan could not be greater. the future of al qaeda, the future of the nato alliance, the possibility of nuclear war and peace in south asia, all of these issues come together here. on march 27, president obama focused the mission of american forces in this combat zone on a
more narrow one -- on disrupting, dismantling and defeating al qaeda and destroying its sanctuary along the afghanistan-pakistan border. if you read his speech carefully, it was clear that while there was a specific mission, to get there, we have to stabilize afghanistan and pakistan. that is a much broader mission. the review i gave to the president had 20 major recommendations and 180 sub- recommendations. i will not go into all of them here today. most of them are outlined in his speech of march 27 or reiterated in a speech to west point. what i want to stress is this -- this is resource-intensive. this is going to come with a big cost. to send one american soldier to
afghanistan, for one soldier costs $1 million. -- for one year costs $1 million. if you think there is an economy of scale, forget it. sending 30,000 will cost more than $30 million. it does not get cheaper by sending more. it gets more expensive. then on the non-military side, it is expensive as well. the president has approved the kerry-lugar legislation which triples economic assistance to pakistan, to $1.5 billion. last fall, we thought that was a lot of money. people look at me now and say, we spent that on general motors in a half an hour. over 10 years, that is $50 billion. -- $15 billion. it will make pakistan the largest single repository of american economic assistance outside of afghanistan and iraq. what happened in the eight
months from march 27 until the speech last week at west point? many things, but two i want to highlight. on the military side, we had an unprecedented event. the strategic review called upon the commander of forces in afghanistan to come up with an operational plan for a counterinsurgency strategy in southern and eastern afghanistan. that task was given to general mckiernan. for reasons i do not know, he was judged to be the wrong man for the job. he was fired by secretary gates. the last time we fired a battlefield commander during wartime was 1951. and the issue then was whether or not to use nuclear weapons against communist china. i do not know what the general did, but if he had as much trouble as douglas macarthur, it must have been something
pretty big. the important thing is this. we lost time. we lost two months of his time, and we had to take three months to get general mcchrystal comfortable with the situation on the ground and to give his recommendations. instead of an operational plan being delivered in may, it was delivered at the end of august. in the interim, the military situation in afghanistan deteriorated sharply. more importantly, from the president's standpoint, support for the war among democrats and the democratic party dropped through the floor. what had been a good war a year ago was now just like every other war -- a bad war. skepticism about the war had become widespread among the president's core supporters. the second thing that happened was on the political front. the expectation in march was that we would be able to work with the then-afghan government
and with the international community to produce something that would look like a legitimate and credible presidential election. instead, we got a fiasco, followed by a disaster. no one can pretend that this afghan presidential election was legitimate or credible. in the first round, president karzai's supporters produced 1 million fraudulent ballots. that is a lot. even by the standards of florida or illinois, this is cheating on a global scale. [laughter] he got caught and he got away with it. i am not sure how illegitimate his government looks in the eyes of afghans, but it looks illegitimate in the eyes of americans and of our european and non-european isaf partners. this administration has to bear some of the responsibility for this.
this did not happen on george bush's watch. its behavior towards the afghan election was a little bit like the famous deer in the headlights. it could see the problem coming. here again, we do not have a time machine. we cannot go back. we will have to work with president karzai. we may find, in retrospect, that this was the fatal blow to our efforts to defeat the taliban. we do not know that yet. and i think we can turn it around. but mrs. clinton now has a date for the next three years. she will be managing mr. karzai. she needs to avoid demonizing. she needs to avoid temper tantrums. she needs to find a way to bring out the best in karzai.
so, where are we going forward from here? let me offer you three observations. first, this is a bold gamble. what the president has embarked upon today has no guaranteed success. there is no assurance this is going to work. they're all kinds of things that may fail. trying to build an afghan army and police force may be a lot harder and i suggest will be a lot harder than we think. trying to reverse the taliban's momentum will be difficult. for sure, casualties will go up -- and significantly. domestic dissent here and in other nato countries over this war will get stronger and harder. there are several potential game changers that could change everything, literally in a matter of minutes.
another 9/11 attack inside the united states, and it does not have to bring down two of the largest buildings in the world to be significant, that comes out of pakistan will be a game changer. obama will not be able to call up islamabad and say, do something about it. he will have to do something about it. another mumbai mass casualty attack in india also coming out of pakistan will also be the game-changer. the indian government's capacity to absorb mass casualty attacks, i suspect, has been reached. the second thing i would say about it is, as hard as it is, it is the best of the bad options we have today. we really only had two other options. one was cutting and running.
we can define cutting and running in a lot of different ways -- downsize the mission, readjust the mission, but all of them come down to cutting and running one way or another. i think the president wisely ruled that out from the beginning. if we are defeated in afghanistan by the taliban, it will also be a global game- changer. this will be the second superpower defeated in afghanistan. the global reverberations of such a defeat will be enormous and nowhere more so than next door in pakistan. thirdly, this issue will now consume this president. which is why it took the 92 days to come to this conclusion. they do not like it.
if i was rahm emanuel, i would not like it, either. this issue is going to be the foreign policy issue upon which this president is judged by the american people in november, 2012, and it will be the foreign policy issue that the congress of the united states is judged upon less than a year from now. other issues may outweigh it -- the economy -- but this will be the foreign policy issue that people look at. it is going to need to be explained to the american people again and again why they are sending their sons and daughters to the other side of the planet to fight a war which has been going on now longer than any war in american history. it is going to have to be explained how we intend to win that war and how we hope to get out of it. that will mean political energy, political capital and the most precious thing at any white house -- the time the president will have to devote to this issue. wars have consumed presidencies.
and this war stands on the verge of consuming this presidency. last thing i would say. my final note. the good news in all of this? i genuinely believe we will know in july, august, 2011, whether this strategy works. why do i say that? by then, we will have had additional forces in for six months -- for more than a year. we will have found out whether we can break the momentum of the taliban and how pakistan reacts to all of this. we will have found out whether we can build an afghan national security force. we will not have achieved a victory. the end will be nowhere in sight, but we will at least know whether we have a strategy that has a promise of success. if it does, i would suggest to
you that there would be very, very few soldiers coming home in september, 2011. -- in summer, 2011. if it does not work, we will face the decision of owning up to that and deciding where to go next. i hope he does not call me that day. thank you very much. [applause] >> we will open the floor. he has time for a few questions and answers. anybody have a question? all right. you are the man. so... sorry. >> robbie. >> why don't you let him? sorry.
>> thanks for this talk, and i would like to ask one question, if we use the strategy of cut and run, do you recommend any psychological tactics to make the enemy feel defeated? because we can still do cut and run as long as we are covering this with proper psychological tactics that can give them a feel of defeat. >> nothing springs to mind immediately as to how we can turn retreat into victory. there are various levels of cut and run. we do not have to completely give up. we can say we are afghanizing the war more quickly. we can hope the government survives as long -- the communist government in
afghanistan outlived the soviet union but only barely. it is not a parallel i think we want to spend time thinking about. i do not think there is a downsizing or mission alternative. there is a view out there, let's go to pure counter-terrorism. it will not work. as an intelligence professional who has spent a deal of time trying to persuade people to commit treason, they will not do it if they do not think you will be all around to give them the check when they come back from their mission. it does not work that way. >> this morning, ambassador benjamin gave an interesting talk. in the course of this 15
minutes, he failed to use three words that you used. which was global islamic jihad. i am curious from your advisory perspective, to what level was this ideological struggle -- how did that resonate with in this current administration? there seem to beat a hesitancy to push back on looking at the problem through that lens. >> well, i have the liberty of saying whenever i want to say. dan is a very good friend and colleague. he is now in the administration. the simplest answer i would give is that i do think this administration understands that this is about ideas and narratives', and that it has to come up with a counter-narrative to the narrative of global islamic jihad. they have more or less created over the course of the last
ñrdecade and the best of of that is the president's speech in cairo. the president's speech, in some ways, was addressed exactly to him. what is the narrative of the global islamic jihad? the short version is that the united states is now in imperialists power, a crusading power which is trying to impose its will on the muslim world by dividing the muslim world into smaller states which he can manipulate, just as the agreement divided our world in the wake of world war i. what does barack obama stay in cairo? what is this opening line? his opening line is, we are not in imperialists, colonial power. we are a revolutionary state. we were borne in a revolution against empire. it was a great speech. i do not think anyone disputes that.
the problem will be following it up, because the counter- narrative does like the narrative has to be punctuated with real things. they have proceeded to do that, in some places, and they are struggling in others. in the central battlefield of the narrative, the arab-israeli battlefield, they are having a difficult time. they do not have partners. and that makes moving forward very hard. i am convinced that they understand the central role of the war ideology there. -- the war of ideology there. >> i am a fulbright student, studying at the university of maryland. i am from afghanistan.
i really enjoyed your speech. i just wanted to make a comment about my country afghanistan. you talked about the elections prepar. i was there during the elections, and was working to read. worst -- i was working through it. we were seeing how things are being or arranged for fraud. everybody was watching that. and we could see that this was the consequence of the election. it is not a big deal in the eyes of afghans, because it was the second elections in the history of our country and were used to an imposed president and kings. that is not a big deal. right now we have to find a way
to work with the president and the administration. the best thing we can do is to push the president to bring the right people on board. secondly, with regard to the engagement of the united states in afghanistan, i should say that we obviously know that people talk about eight years of engagement in afghanistan, but i am telling you that it has not been eight years of engagement of the united states and the rest of the countries, international community. it has been one year and a few months of engagement, beginning in 2002 to 2003, when the united states went to iraq. since then, we were seeing that all the problems, all of the
issues that were taking us -- and were taking us to giving support to the tell a -- taliban, but we were just watching. and i hope -- i wanted to comment. >> could do as the question? we do not have time for statements. >> i wanted to finish my statement by saying that we have the chance to succeed in afghanistan because we've got the will of our people on our side. thank you very much. >> i think i agree with almost everything you have said. karzai's problem is more here than it is there. i agree with everything you said about the impact of the war on iraq -- the war in iraq on this venture in afghanistan.
>> a question over here? no, no. you've already had one question. let's ask people who were not asked a question. >> i will make this fast. you contrasted the situation in afghanistan and facing us now with the situation facing the russians, the soviets. i hate to ask this question. the other comparison is often made -- that is often made is the situation that obama is facing with what johnson faced in vietnam. another question. >> the ghost of vietnam haunts this administration. it walks through the corridors of today's white house every day. it certainly walks through the corridors of the united states congress constantly. çççbutxd afghanistan 2009 ist
vietnam at 1965 or not even 1961. it is a very different situation. we were attacked from afghanistan. the most successful, for an attack on united states of america -- the royal navy's attack on 1814 -- was carried out at -- barç one, the royal çnavy's attack on3ç 1814. the plan the reaperç performane çi]that would haveç been more chilling andw3q devastating that whatçxdççq happensbç on sepç çóup eighpçço[[çt(w2ç udboç g united states and canada. had iti]ç succeeded, more peope september 11.
çthe international airline business would have gone out of business. no oneçç in their right mind d have gone on an airplane to fly anyway. çokas bad asççw3ç the northe were, they hadç noç designs to attack the united states. çóthe specter of the north vietnamese attacking seattle was entirely created by the johnson demonstration. it had no basis in fact. separately, -- secondly, we are not in afghanistan as the colonial and. lost power. -- imperialist power. there is not an american who wants to control afghanistan. to the contrary. we want to get away as quickly as we can. the situation in viet nam, the united states with their -- was there with very little
international support. i think the situations are fundamentally support. i do not think afghanistan today is afghanistan of the soviet union. i do not think it is iraq 2007. let's deal with the situation we have. not with analogies to other places. i understand the question. >> [inaudible] the situation in afghanistan has the potential of along, drawn- out -- [inaudible] >> in terms of domestic american politics there is a great parallel. when the president finds himself in a terrible situation. the critics of the war are nancy pelosi democrats from san francisco, cambridge and new york city. the supporters are sarah palin republicans from alaska and arizona. that is a terrible place for a
democratic president to be. the people he has to convince to support him are his natural constituency. he does not have to convince sarah palin. she is looking for the opportunity to say, you are screwing up. the politics are terrible for the president. yes? >> you mentioned that we do not know where osama bin laden is. there are reports that are very few. there have been reports that he has, if not stay in iran, going back and forth to iran. in 2004, there is a photographic evidence. the iranians had seen osama bin laden there. what are his ties to the islamic republic? >> i want to be absolutely explicit. the last time we had a solid
piece of information about where osama bin laden was was eight years ago. we do not have a clue where he is today. bob gates asked this question on "meet the press," and said it has been a few years. i am a big fan of bob gates. he has been my boss and more organizations than i can remember. i think he was being misleading. it has been eight years, mr. gates, since we had any idea where he is. has he been in iran? i do not rule out that possibility. al qaeda has been able to operate -- operational activity in iran on more than one occasion. we do not know what the relationship between the government of iran and that operational activity was spurred i would suggest to you -- i would suggest to you that if the iranians want to give us trouble in the next few years,
one of the simplest ways for them to do it is to allow a degree of al qaeda operational activity on their territory. since we have no baseline as to what they allow, more of the coming would be hard to judge. is it important or insignificant? the relationship between al qaeda and iran is a black hole. >> another question about this and it -- this in the kit of terrorist organization she referred to. -- the syndicate. as far as i know, not a single afghan was involved in anything that happened in the terrorist field. omar is allowing himself to use -- [unintelligible] he is sending out messages which
say, come and talk to me. we are not threatening anyone. why do we not give it a chance? >> i think there are several questions buried in that one question. first of all, those chosen by osama bin laden to carry out september 11 have chosen -- were chosen carefully. it was very deliberate that 15 of them were saudis. she realized that by putting 15 saudis on the airplane see we create a crisis in u.s.-saudi relations, and he did. it was a brilliant piece of tactical advice. if he had all 19 saudis, he would have had all 19. he could not find enough people who could fly. mullah omar and the taliban and
negotiations. i do not believe that is what he is saying. he is saying, we are prepared to let you leave. more or less gracefully. and then the islamic emirate of afghanistan will be recreated and we will talk to our fellow afghans about what their place will be in it. he is not offering negotiations with the karzai government. to the contrary. he said karzai is a traitor. that all said, i do not believe that all of the tell them is irreconcilable. -- all of the taliban is irreconcilable. parts of them may be able to break with omar. they will not do it now. nobody in their right mind is now -- was now support will break with that movement. he would be dead tomorrow morning and so with his family. if the momentum shifted, and we
can offer security and protection to people who break from the taliban, then we can begin to see a fissures within the movement. if we do something simple, like pay afghan soldiers more money than a taliban pace their soldiers, we may also find that many people will switch over. that is part of what i mean about saying we will know in 18 months. we will see whether fischer's begin to develop in the taliban. -- fissures begin to develop in the taliban. with our resources in the afghan army will bring recruits and. i think we will know that within that definite period of time. i'm skeptical of the notion that the talbian, at least mullah omar, is interested in anything like negotiations with the united states.
if they are, there is a simple way for them to prove their bona fides. give us osama bin laden. >> we have time for two more questions. >> i am with the american conservative magazine. not all the opposition to the war is democrats. we were against iraq were also. what about the defensive strategy? -- fourth generation of warfare, that america is a democracy. we are incapable of fighting a war against guerrillas, as we have been losing consistency -- consistently. we should really be moving to a defensive strategy, which we could do well. as a democracy, we cannot with all conflicting pressures here, have a coherent policy.
the settlements on the west bank. we cannot stop them. >> the short answer to your question is we tried a defensive policy between 1998 when al qaeda declared war on us and september 11, 2001. and we ended up with 9/11. i sat in the situation room of the white house when we lobbed crews missiles -- cruise missiles at what we thought was osama bin laden's next known point of activity. that is a different strategy to carry out, because we have to be lucky in for link every plot they come up with. they only have to be lucky once or twice to have devastating effects. we may get there. let me put a marker down. i said in 18 months we will know. if it is not working, we need to be honest and say, it is not
working. the patient is dead. then we may have to go to that strategy. i would rather try to find out whether there is a better alternative to the one you are suggesting. >> i think we are good. >> i appreciate your remarks. i'm a former intelligence officer like you. there are probably a lot of those types in this room. here is the deal. five years ago, congress rejected a resolution to bring back the draft. we are not willing to have our sons and daughters, friends and neighbors, they're the physical barden. the speaker has said, there will be no more sures. -- taxes. we are not willing to pay for this thing financially.
what does that say about our level of commitment? if we take your proposition at face value, which is we have to find a way to mitigate this threat. i do not think you can completely eliminated. that is a lie that is out there. the politicians on both sides of the aisle are saying. the threat cannot permanently go away. . .
we will not have the option of doing both at once. one great lie that has been exposed in the last decade is this. that the united states military can fight two medium-sized conflicts at the same time. we can't do it. lesson to self. if you're involved in one, don't start another one. that has implications in other places. the notion that the united states today could use military force against iran while it is bogged down in a quagmire in afghanistan and in iraq i think is lunacy. we could not afford to do that. we simply could not afford to do that. that has implications for the future of iran's nuclear development program.
no one is going to take the military option off the table, but many would say to the president if we start a third war, mr. president, you want to do that, it is your nick el. but here's my resignation. i'm not going with you. thank you very much. >> thank you, bruce. bruce will be available -- [applause] bruce will be available to sign combs of his book. we will break for 10 minutes and try to start the next session, but bruce will remain outside signing books. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> while embedded with the u.s. air force in southern afghanistan, freelance video journalist observed how the u.s. uses drones.
>> predators look like giant model airplanes about the size of a small compact car. the reapers look about the same, but they are about twice as big. they look more like honest-to-god fighter jets than they do model airplanes. and you can hang missiles and bombs on these things. in their noses they carry sensors, cameras, radars, things like that. these things can stay in the air a long time. the exact number depends on what you are carrying and where you are applying. but it is not impossible for one of these things to or bit for a day, soaking up data, peering down, taking radar
snapshots of terrain. the dronals, you can think of them as manned aircraft, except that the man in the aircraft is actually sitting on the ground. he is still talking to the ground troops and the air controllers. they use a chat program. it looks like instant messenger, to do a lot of the communication with the guys receiving the support from the drones. and the drones are fairly precise as far as these things go. they don't carry large weapons, and they don't fire a lot of them. so it is a far cry from a b-1 bomber droppinging a 2,000 pound bomb. >> this is the predator. it is about the quarter size of the reaper. we have been flying these since bosnia. it is very efficient for what it does, which is stay airborne for a long time. it has a tusho charged engine.
it can just carry two missiles. typically we don't even fly it with a full load of missiles because weight is fuel, and fuel is time aloft. we would rather have the time aloft, support the roads, support the troops on a con voy or some strategic level mission looking for the big bad twice. the payload is a little smaller, so the picture isn't as nice as the reapers, but at the same time it basically does the exact same mission. >> the drone units in afghanistan don't actually handle many attacks. the reason being, the drone operations are bifurcated. most of the drone operators, the guys who actually steer them, they sit in these trailers, and they steer the drones and see what the drone
sees. most of them are in las vegas. they are work at air force base ns nevada. the guys in afghanistan just launch and recover the drones. they also are responsible for drone operation ns certain small areas usually around the air base. so what happens is, it is like a 24-hour operation. there are air force guys and contractors who are constantly dragging drones out to air strip, launching them with a remote control, and then they pass them off to the guys in las vegas. the guys in las vegas will fly around for a dray or so and return the drone -- return control to the guys on the ground. and those guys get to keep the drone for like an hour. they fly around and look for roadside bombs, rockets or activity. >> they took a plane, and they replaced -- they took the pilot out of the cockpit and put a
satellite dish. but the pilot is still always controlling the aircraft. just because there is nobody in the plane, it is always looking for that human input, that controlling thing. what am i doing? and we did that because one, the missions can be so long, over a day sometimes, that a regular person could just sit up there in a small cramped space, but two, it allows us to do the majority of the work back in the u.s. so there is no need to deploy, no need to have a big footprint here. and you can shift out. sometimes you can be up for four horse, a two-hour break and then four hours. having that kind of flexibility allows to you do that. >> they have video cameras. it looks like a tv camera. and they also have high fidelity radar that takes impressive snapshots of
terrain. what you do is in the morning you take one snapshot. you come back in the evening and take another. if and you compare them. if you see differences. if that corner looks like it has been disturbed like somebody was chopping up the ground there, then you might have spotted a roadside bomb. if you have those two snapshots, they call it change detection. they revisit areas and take radar snapshots, and then they send in the ground teams to dig those things up or disable it. >> this is a reaper. how does different from the predator? >> they basically took the same design and scaled it up. bigger wings, more powerful sync. the significance difference is we get to carry more. so instead of carrying two missiles, we can typically carry four missiles and two bombs, 500-pound bombs, the
payload area is different. they were able to put a telescope there with better optics because you can carry up more weight. it is a much betterer sensor. because they could put a bigger engine on it, it can go higher and faster. it is tough to get the predator over 100 miles per hour. you can push the reaper up over 200 knots and respond faster. >> and you use them to spot roadside bombs? >> correct. the reaper has that radar under the nose. it is another sensor package, and it basically uses radio waves like a regular radar, but you get a nice image of the ground. we fly the same path over and over. we try to keep the roads clear and keeping the i.e.d.'s from
essentially impacting anyone. >> david axe was embedded with the u.s. air force in southern afghanistan in october and november. to watch this program again or to find other programs produced with his material, you can check out our website at cspan.org. go to the search box in the upper right-hand corner and type "axe." >> coming up tonight on c-span, a decision on relations between the u.s. and the muslim world. also, former republican presidential candidate steve forbes talks about how he feels president obama is handling the economy. after that, a hearing on how well the children's television acts has worked.
>> tomorrow morning on "washington journal," we will discuss a report on paying for the war in afghanistan. with lawrence korp from the american center for progress. the latest on the senate health care debate. following that, a discussion on the future of conservatism with james gilmore, president of the free congress foundation. and layer, faith schwartz on home foreclosures. "washington journal" is live each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern hyperor c-span. tomorrow, a look at quinn pack university's latest opinion survey. life coverage from the national press club. >> still in time for the holidays, american icons on d.v.d. c-span's original document's on the homes of the three branches
of the american government. the three-disc collection is only $24.95 plus shipping and handling. for this and other gift-giving ideas, visit cspan.org/store. >> now a discussion between on relations between the u.s. and the muslim worlds. it was hosted by the muslim public affairs council. it is about an hour and five minutes. >> thanks to all of you for hang negligence there. it has been a long day of attending interesting and informative panels, and we hope to leave you with a bang. we are running a few minutes
late as people are trickling in, but we are going to go ahead and get started. i am going to briefly introduce the panelists, and we will do the session. i will try to leave about 15 minutes for questions. we are being webcast, and we are taking written questions from the floor if you hand them to the volunteers. on line you can submit them, and if they meet with my approval, i will ask them. let me introduce our panelists briefly. you can read their full bios in the program. i am going to give you the abbreviated version because it would take most of this session to go through each of these citizen wished panelist's bog reafs. starting to my far right, jonathan morguestern works at the department of defense as global strategic engagement fellow. before that he worked at third
way, a progress quafe think tang. he has worked as a senior program officer for the u.s. institute of peace. he did active tours in bosnia and two tours in iraq. tama widis seat next to me is the department secretary of state for middle eastern affairs. she has in the past directed the middle east democracy project, which is part of the brookings institute, a well-known think tang in washington, d.c. she has served as a specialist at the u.s. institute of peace. she has authored a forthcoming work on democracy in the arab world. >> it is all.
>> leila has served on the impact board in the past. she was a member of the u.s. delegation on women in congress in beijing. she was a member of the commission on international religious freedom. she is the chair person of kinder u.s.a., which is a charity that focuses on children's needs in pipeline did not palestine. she has a day job as an o.b./ g.y.n. our fourth panelist has not joined us. i will introduce him if he makes it to our session. i am going to jump in, and we are going to go for about 45 minutes here with the panelists, and then we will save the last 15 minutes for question and end on time at
6:15. the panel is labeled imimproving u.s.-muslim world regularses. when i was asked to moderate this panel, i said well, does that question even make sense? we can improving u.s. turkish relations, u.s.-iranian relations. does that make sense? are we trying to relate to the government? are we trying to relate to the mass of public opinion or elites in those countries, not necessarily in the government but who dominate those societies. he would like to take that as my first question that i throw open to the panelists, and let's have you all weigh in on that if you could. please go ahead. jonathan? >> i just want to make sure i am moderating the volume properly. i guess i can start with an anecdote. back a few years ago i was
working as a low-ranking marine , and one of the senior marines had proposed something about a terrorist incident, and i said well, extremist muslims, and i understand the discussion we had earlier today about how do you label al qaeda and their ilk? i said extremist muslims would probably say this about the event. and the senior marine turned to me and said do you mean muslims or extremist muslims? i said well, our turkish alleys that we just came back from serving with in bosnia as well as the bass north koreans and kosovars probably would say the extremist muslims. so it brings the point home the
idea of relating to the muslim world as a monolithic group, it just doesn't hold water militarily. from the d.o.t. perspective, the way we -- from the d.o.d. perspective, the way we interact with our alleys, the turkish military is one of our closest alleys in nato and around the world, is clearly something we have to deal with in a very different way than how the u.s. military learns to deal with its relationship with reaks on the ground in iraq, and afghans on the ground in afghanistan and wherever we are in the world. the marine corps does a lot of training exercises with the sen egalese, 98% of whom are muslim. obviously dealing with muslim communities everywhere is a different dynamic based on the
people you are interacting with. and so the idea of dealing with the muslim world as a whole, it is not something that the d.o.d. for the most part thinks of as a monolithic entity. >> speaking from a state department perspective, we actually do speak in terms of the muslim world or a muslim world. pandit, who was a-pounded as our first-ever representative to us muslim communities. it is reaching out to communities of muslims who exist in a diversity of environments. in muslim majority states, as minority communities in other states around the glowed. so it is really -- i think we
are all well past the point where we are talking about monolithic conceptions either of a muslim world or of islam. i think what we are trying to do now in building a new kind of partnership is reach, as you said, well beyond governments, and talk about citizens, talk about communities in a variety of con contexts, and get a perspective of what their differ perspectives and needs are and what different kinds of partner ships we can build. >> it is encouraging to hear that from both of you. that is something we have been arguing for a while. that the muslim state is not monolithic. when you talk about something as port as sharia, it looks very different in pakistan or in parts of africa, for
example. the problem we have had is that there are still elements in american society that want to label islam that way, want to refer to islam as the religion that endorses honor killings as an example in a recent article in u.s.a. today. it gives the sense that creates a certain hysteria and paranoia, the type of which may have led the swiss to vote not to have minorettes because of the islam-aphobic atmosphere. we still are faced with this in terms of our society and what we as muslims have to deal with. one element of that does come from the media as well. >> thank you for those comments. let me introduce our new
panelist. you can read his bio in his indicts. he is the editor of the muslim observer newspaper, director of the islamic society of nevada. he is a trustee of the order of muslims of indian origin. he is very prolific writer. he has spoken often on national and local media and former vice chairman of impact. i would like to welcome you to the panel. >> thank you. >> we were just making some remarks about the framework of discussion, whether it makes sense to speak in terms of u.s. -muslim world relations rather than specific communities and nations. does that framework make sense as a framework of analysis? >> thank you very much.
there was a benny hin show, and they wanted me there, but i decided to come here. it is probably not well founded, because the muslim world is 225 years old. in these 225 years, we have had at least 56 times in war militarily in any part of the world. in these 225 years, we have had at least three major wars for independence. our first war heroes comes from those wars. and the memories of those kinds
of relationships and that very what you call cordial -- happy in the minds of those people who were a part of the policy apparatus. what has happened is that during the last 25 or so years, in terms of a relationship with the muslim world, we have been seen as a country that is not very respectful to human life in the muslim world. almost 12,000 americans have been killed since 1983. but 288,000 us muslims have lost their lives as a result of intervention in those countries. fred thomas last week wrote that the united states has intervened in muslim countries primarily to support the muslim democratic causes.
but one of the journalists stations in the middle east says that if the united states would stop killing muslims, certainly the relationship between the two countries would improve. so we have a lot of tensions, but a lot of potentials also. despite the fact that all these things are happening, the ups was the only country that intervened in bosnia and kosovo. the united states was the only country that led the movement against the soviet union and armed the taliban and freedom fighters and basically gave pakistan the green signal to go ahead. what we can describe, definitely our foreign policy does not make any rational understanding when it comes to muslim, arabs and the middle east. there is confuse. >> all right, aslam.
let me follow up on your -- on what you are saying there because i think that -- one line of argument is that the united states, by engaging in certain wars, obviously afghanistan and iraq are the biggest ones right now, that this has impacted the opinion of the united states throughout the majority of muslim countries all over the world in a negative way, and that certainly during the bush administration, we saw opinions of the united states sink quite low in public opinion polling. but then on the flip side, the united states could argue, or those that support american policy, could argue well, you're not taking into account that the united states did in fact intervene on the behalf of muslims in bosnia, on behalf of muslims in kosovo, in somalia when there was a famine, in
kuwait when it was occupied by saddam hussein's forces. and then of course there was the earthquake in pakistan and the tidal wave and post rescue effort in indonesia. certainly the united states was viewed favorably by the people who benefited from that. so to kind of throw back at you in that sense, is it too narrow to judge the united states only by the worst things that have happened or only by the best things that have happened, or should there be some way of taking all these elements into account? >> that is why i said it was rather confusing. to the muslim it is confusing. if you go back to the early 1950's, we find that the united states was split on the issue of recognition of the state of israel, offense. the state department was opposed, and president truman was basically advocating the
recognition of the state. until 1956 we did not support the state of israel. we were basically opposed of supporting it through arms. we did not enter into any kind of treaty with the state of israel. so it was confusion in that political sense. even in the administration of john f. kennedy, we had a problem with the state of israel, and relations were not always very cordial. what i am saying is that in terms of the united states' relationship with the muslim world, despite the fact that the muslim world accounts for 18% of jobs in the united states through imports and exports. we basically have $500 billion of imports and exports with the muslim world, accounting for 18% of jobs in in this country. even from the perspective of the domestic issues and politics, we have always been
wavering from one end to the other in terms of developing a rational policy towards the muslim world. the question that needs to be asked is why we should have a rational policy. i think the issue is we should be asking is should we have a rational foreign policy. let me move the discussion forward here. >> may i? >> yes, go ahead. >> i think the idea of a rational policy, as you seem to be describing it would not necessarily take into account both different developments through history or, like we were talking about, the broad array of possibilities, whether it is from morocco or indonesia. so what is going on in sudan might change over time. one of the issues that wasn't mentioned, and granted, we didn't take action in darfur, but that is an issue that
president bush did speak out about, and there were a few other leaders throughout the world that mentioned that. just because we don't necessarily do the exact same thing across all countries, i think a lot of time that can be taken into account because our interests might in one area, in terms of economics, be more important, and in other areas, the security interests are more important. and just like every other country in the world, we have to take into account dith balances at different places with different communities and countries. >> i would comment that we understand that. as americans we know that our government is going to be pragmatic. when you look at attitudes abroad. and even though we said muslims are not monolithic, they still as a group share sentiments that are important toward the
united states. it is that ins consistency, and it is that criteria you use to zoo when you are going to intervene and when are not. if you say human rights in one instance, and then you don't say it in another, and there is the sense that it really is not. there is a lack of transparency and not being straight forward with people who clearly can see how things are. this is why the u.s. keeps tripping itself off. one of the most sensitive issues is israel-palestine. a year ago this month there was an assault on gaza. the gold stone report came out and confirmed the kinds of casualties. the u.s. watts basically talent during the attack on lebanon. is there a double standard that undermines or credibility as an american government in that part of the world that people sort of have to take stock
with? it is a reality that affects our community here and muslims throughout the rest of the world. [applause] >> i appreciate what you're saying, and i think there are a couple of points that are important to make here. the first is that this administration, beginning with the president's visit to istanbul, continuing with his speech in cairo and other travel and meetings that have gone on since then is trying to do two things. number one, to speak frankly. we should all agree that the cairo speech, if nothing else, was a very frank discussion of a lot of the issues that have caused tension over the past years. so to speak frankly about issues on which we agree and issues on which there are
differences. to recognize that muslim communities are diverse, that they exist in a variety of different places, that different communities have different issues that are most important to them. different priorities with respect to the united states. what we want to do is pursue relationships that go beyond the high politics, it is things that are at the top of the news every day, and that we understand people often think about first when they think about the united states. so we are engaged on those issues. president obama has been engaged since day one trying to pursue peace in the middle east, trying to get the parties back to negotiations so that we can achieve a two-state solution. and we are continuing to do that work. at the same time, though, to take this relationship beyond high politics, beyond security interests, beyond trade interests, to the people-to-people level and to establish new partnerships that get at local needs and concerns, and to build those
partnerships in a way that is real, meaningful and has meat on the bones. >> tamara, let me follow up. [applause] >> let me follow up on your comments here. i think what i was struck by was the pugh research group did some polling throughout the muslim world, a variety of muslim majority countries and looked at the favorability that the u.s. was viewed by and looking at the numbers general railted under obama and the numbers from the last few years of the prior administration. there has been obviously large dramatic jumps. the numbers are looking much better. let me ask you from the government policy standpoint, is this a goal of the administration to increase the popularity of the united states with the populations of these countries, or is that something that is not all that important in terms of a foreign policy
goal? and number two, do you think, and i would like the other panelists to weigh in, do you think the change in these numbers is due to actual substantive changes between bush and obama, or do you think that it is mostly stylistic changes in the tone and kind of languages that is being used. and i am trying to get you off of message and get fired from the state department. let me clarify that. >> please don't get me fired. let me say first we all like to be liked. of course we are all encouraged when we see shifts in public opinion worldwide that show greater support for the united states. but we spend a lot of time talking about indicators for success. how co-we know if we are following up on the president's words in cairo in a way that is meaningful? how do we know that we are actually putting meat on the bones, as we said. i think if we took public
opinion as our main indicator, we would be making a mistake. public opinion can be affected by a variety of factors, only a portion of which we have any control over, and public opinion can be fickle. we have to go beyond that kind of indicator. what we are trying to do is, as i said, to go local. the program that i manage at the state department, the middle east partnership initiative, is granted just with the middle east. countries from morocco to iraq and the gulf, is a program that is working to go local, to bring u.s. foreign assistance to the local level. about half of the projects we do are proposed by local n.g.o.'s in arab countries to our embassies, and we provide in many cases very small grants to local groups to do work that they see as the priority for their community. that is just a small example of
the kind of substance that we are putting behind this idea of a new kind of partnership. so i don't think it is just tone. i think we are trying to put a lot of substance behind it. i think we are trying to make it visible to average citizens not just on their tv screens, but in the streets of their towns. [applause] >> i guess coming from the department of defense, obviously the kind of relationship is going to be much more security context. in the aftermath of the president's announcement of the refinement of the afghanistan-pakistan strategy, i believe turkey was among the nato alleys that collectively announced in the last couple of days that they are going to be contributing an additional 7,000 with the possibility of increasing i think up to 10,000 more troops for the allied effort in afghanistan.
i was actually just looking at the same pugh poll numbers that you were looking at, and i would like to know that probably because he spent some part of his childhood there, indonesia has a significant large majority of support for the new president. but across the board, i do think public opinion in other parts of the world does matter because i think it is much -- it would be more difficult to get that kind of support, i think, from our alleys, especially a country like turkey, if the president dependent have that kind of increased s&p around the world. and that's a very tangible sign -- not even a sign. it is a very tangible fact that public opinion matters. >> it increases the flexibility the president has in terms of getting policy that he wants. >> getting policy that he
wants, and frankly, it is an increase in our ability to keep our country secure. there has been an increase in terms of intelligence collaboration and law enforcement collaboration in parts of the world explicitly because governments feel more comfortable being seen as close with the united states than under the previous administration. and that is a very tangible reality that helps keep our country secure. >> the polls depend on who is conducting and who is sense soring. the second thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the perceptions in the muslim world change when the policy changes. on the one hand we are supporting more arms, on the one hand we are supporting the violators of human rights, who sendor everything, with no
regard for human rights or dignity. but we want to give the image that we defend democracy and human rights. the people of the streets are not dumb. they understand what is happening. unless we take a strong and bold stand, and we cannot have a rational understand of foreign policy in that respect despite the fact that we stand for the value. our state department's motto is we will stand for democracy and security. and the congress makes that kind of resolution, and the president talks about it. when it comes to down do it, we supported others who is records of human rights is worse. we have to be very careful in terms of where we stand. and certainly here in that particular respect, my understanding is that the state department and the department of defense, despite their huge efforts, spending $459 billion,
and the state department has spent there are 53 billion in its activities, you have not been able to hire people who could understand the culture, the language and the people of the muslim world. you are still in the state department and the defense department, we don't have more than 200 language experts of these muslim countries. we don't have a substantial study of any muslim country that could give us an accurate understanding. we still have problems with the state department and defense department of describing it is middle east. we have that kind of understanding where the policy is based on certain irrational understanding, not on accuracy or facts. rather, it is based on some of the -- what you call medieval writing that has become part of political literature, or biased or discriminatory understanding of the muslim world. and in that particular respect, i feel effort needs to be done, and in that respect, the muslim
community can play a defendant role. but unfortunately, unfortunately, there is still that bridge between muslim and the state department or the white house has not been built that could give muslims the confidence to say clearly these are the interests that the united states should purse as far as foreign policy. it would benefit the country and democracy. it would benefit human rights and things that are served by our constitution. >> did you want to make a comment, laila? >> i think that, as you talked about, the u.s. is trying to move away from high politics where we get into this tricky area where there may be disafwreement. >> and we still do high politics. we haven't quit do that. we have to do that, and we will to do that, but we don't want to only do that.
>> right. my point is from having experienced trying to do humanitarian work in the gaza strip where hamas is considered a terrorist organization, and you can't do any work with them. whether uscid can effect presence on the ground, granted it is a small area, one and a half million people. granted, it is a small area, but it is the small stories that get broadcast around the world that really make a difference. if we are only going to work with some grooms and not others because of the high politics, then it makes it more difficult for the local effort to really have the impact in a major way that the united states may be looking for. so i want to reinforce the importance that if there is a huge gap, you can only go so
far with efforts, especially if you are focusing on certain groups to the exclusion of others because of the politics of that region. >> i am going to move along, jonathan. i do want to get you in on the next point, so be ready with the microphone there. what i'm hearing a lot is, on the one hand, there are points being made about what the united states is doing in terms of a positive sense, in terms of engaging with muslim communities around the world and trying to develop a better understanding of the muslim world and perhaps dealing with some of the long-standing issues that are going on and trying to improve both on a high politics level and local level. and then there is also some very serious concerns about the underlying motivators of american foreign policy, the gap between our ideals and the reality, the gap between what
the united states foreign policy may be at its best and what it may be at its worst. i think this raises one issue that is something that is quite the fodder for political science classrooms for u.s. students. it is what is the legitimate basis of a country's foreign policy? is it strictly a very narrowed focus on what is perceived as national interest, or should it be allegiance of a higher set of moral principles or a mix of both? i am going to leave that to individual audience members to think about. i don't think we need to answer that question here, but i want to get at that topic, and the way i want to get at that topic is this. there are issues out there in foreign policy in relation between the u.s. and afghanistan, the u.s. and iraq and palestinian, issues that are of freight importance to the united states, and issues of great importance to muslims
or populations in other parts of the world. to me, it appears it appears to me, the most important issue to the united states is to prevent another attack. a viable exit from afghanistan and iraq and to make sure there is security of the world's energy supplies and oil supplies. for muslim communities, and we have had several questions on this. one of the issues that is off great concern is justice for the palestinians. another is kashmir. and then aslam has pointed a disconnect between supporting democracy and our alliance with the saudi monarchs or the dictatorships in egypt. those issues team to be of more importance to muslim communities. let me get to the question. to what extent are the goals are issues that are important to the united states and the
issues that are of importance to muslim communities zerget that there is not -- dwirget -- dwirgeent to the point they overlap. >> i think you posed that in a fascinating way for me because i am a political scientist. having taught in classrooms and taught foreign policy and international relations, i can tell you how we con receive of our national sbrs. we have our national values. those are what guide our sense of our is interests. our policies derive from our interests. there is a hierarchy here and at the top of it is values. there has already been a lot of discussion about the values inherent in american civil
culture and the way the muslims sprack with those values. so i don't have to go on about that. the values that are at the center of american national identity and foreign policy are values that we share and indeed values that are shared by other communities around the world. i don't think these are unique to america. i don't think that the aspiration to be an activities panlt in your community and in your government and determining your future is something that is unique to americans. that is a value that is shared around the world. the human rights that we enjoy in the united states that we seek to defend in our courts when we feel they have been infringed. those are the same rights that iranians are out demanding in the streets from their own government, and we are standing up and witnessing and calling for the iranian government to protect and defend those rights. so i think that we have a lot of values in common not just with muslims around the world, but with the citizens of the globe. and secretary clinton has come out and said very clearly that
we are going to pursue our values and other common interests and values with communities around the world through partnership, through the power of our example, and through the empowerment of people. that partnership is going to exist at a lot of levels. sometimes it will be a government-to-government partnership. security instability are values that are vared across some societies, and we will have government-to-government part nerships. we are in the process of building a broader partnership with pakistan so we can pursue security for the pakistani people, who have been some of the most victimized by terrific over the years and just this past week. we seek to pursue our values through our policies. we don't just operate at the
level of high politics as we do that. there are a variety of things we do in our dialogue with governments and at the people to people level through the empowerment of people to try and pursue shows values. it is not always going to happen in an immediate sense that you will see a change. but i think that the values that we hold in common with muslim communities around the world are evident to both of us, and i think what we are seeking is a man that we can manifest that common a lot through our policies and through our programs. >> there is no disconnect between the values of muslims and the constitutional values that every american citizens aspire for. we all believe in those values. the issue is how those values are implemented and projected in the real world.
this is where we find the student of american politics, i find basically a disconnect between our values and what we have been doing. there have been seasons of irrash a lot in terms of supporting regimes that have been detrimental. we have been trying to interfere in certain parts of the world without realizing the implications and without adopting the right policy and understanding. this is where the problem is, that if we really believe in those values that we all believe in, then definitely we must provide some substantial proof for that in terms of what we do. that has not been the case in the last 60 years as far as the muslim world is concerned. certainly as a political
scientist, if studies were conducted, you would realize that many times we have made blunders in parts of the muslim world. iran for ex-. we were afraid of the democratic development of the iranian society. what did we do that? we intervened. we interfered. we basically totally annihilated the democratic process that was going on and that could have basically led to the emergence of a democratic society nl not only in iran but other parts of the world, and now we are paying the price. the same thing is happening basically with egypt. the same thing happened with what we did with saudi arabia. the democratic movements were developing and growing, but we did not pay any attention to that. we did not have that, and we allowed those regimes to suppress the people. >> i want to ask a serious question on this.
the question is, i hear a lot of muslims criticize u.s. alliances with dictatorships wii the muslim world, as being on behalf of dictators and against democracy. do you think the united states should reorient its policy as one of neutrality, and if the dictator ship stays in power, that is the way it is? or should the united states actively try to up to date mine dictator ships and promote democracy? should the united states not interfere at all. >> we have two alternatives. one is a lib tehran point of view. we willles be interfering. we will always be involved in world politics. in that respect what basically we need to do is basically look
at the growth history and the movement of the history. the movement of the history is not on the size of those people who are human rights violators. it is on the side of the people who believe in human dignity. we should align ourselves with those forces, and there are many of those. we don't understand that muslim world. >> jonathan, i want to get you in here. >> well, i think i agree with the notion that very often we don't completely understand a specific place or what specifically is going on. personally again, i served on the ground in iraq with the marine corps, and during my first tour in 2004-2005, it was evident that we really didn't entirely understand a lot of the dynamics that were going on. one of the panelists from earlier in the day had noted that one of the silver linings
of a lot of the events of the past few years is how the muslim-american community has really mobilized in the form of originals like impact. i think one of the silver linings of the american military presence in afghanistan and iraq is that you have literally tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of young american men and women from across the entire country who have been interacting on a daily basis with young iraqi and afghan, mostly men, for years, and that kind of cultural exchange and mutual understanding. a lot of times walking along, having each other's back, literally, unfortunately, bleeding, dying, fighting and
surviving together allows them to build an understanding that is otherwise absolutely impossible. so i think our cultural awareness as a country of muslim communities has grown and is growing. part of the reason why we are here is because -- at least i can speak for the department of defense -- to acknowledge that in recognition of the troubles we have had in afghanistan and iraq, that the department of defense does need to -- i don't want to say reach out because muslim americans are as part and parcel of the department of defense, catholic, jewish and presbyterian americans, but to get a greater expertise and understanding of the environments that we have to operate in. so yes, our understanding is imperfect, and it needs
improvement, and please help us improve is kind of what i am saying. [applause] >> i just have to say, i agree that these are benefits we couldn't have imagined that kids from different parts of the united states that wouldn't even have had a passport to travel. but that it is unfortunate that has to happen in context of war and blood shed. if we mobilize the peace corps, for example, if we put our efforts and energy into supporting jobs and projects overseas that pro involved development, clean water, literacy and economic empowerment, how we could accomplish the same thing with young kids who need jobs, and they might go somewhere elsewhere we have outsourced our jobs to, but still people
living in the streets are suffering. that would take a mental shift. we take advantage of the situation where it is. for better or worse, that is where we are right now, and we should. but it is unfortunate to me as an american to think we couldn't have accomplished that in some other way. [applause] >> i agree. i am not advocating wars as a cultural exchange, and there is a silver lining in those exchange. >> i had you as a war-monger, but maybe not. >> i am glad, laila, thaw raised that. there is not a very strong sense here in the u.s., much less in muslim communities abroad, about what the united states is doing to pursue precisely the goals you just strived as aspirations. since it is cairo speech in june, we have set up a lot of new initiatives to try and pursue some of those ideas. the president is