tv Washington Journal Laurel Miller CSPAN July 2, 2018 10:02am-10:31am EDT
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on policy and politics, history and current events. and will feature our visit to alaska. or listenka weekend on the c-span radio app. >> before the discussion we will look at u.s. policy in afghanistan from this weekend's washington journal. we will show as much as we can until the start of the forum. continues -- "washington journal" continues. welcome ourt to guest from the rand corporation. we appreciate you being with us. 17 years in afghanistan. what is our mission there? missionur original there was to deal with the
, whichfrom al qaeda attacks from afghanistan, and then to establish a stable government in afghanistan that its ownke care of security eventually. but the mission has changed over .he years this when senior u.s. officials are questioned on the points. you don't get very clear answers. is unwinnable war, and is it still a war? war.: it is still a the afghan government is engaged in a counterinsurgency against the taliban. government is
undertaking some of its own counterterrorism missions in the country. but the war against the taliban is not unwinnable war on the battlefield. it is a war that is stalemated. stalemated for some years with an ebb and flow and who has the relative advantage, but it is particularly stalemated most of the last decade and it is not likely to be concluded on the battlefield. en route to general testifying before the senate committee, and two takeover new operations in afghanistan. listen to this question by senator elizabeth warren, democrat of massachusetts. [video clip] warren: you come from a long line of military leaders who say the strategy is working. you are not the first commander
to come in here to express -- cautious optimism. i started looking through the old documents. general campbell said, i really do think as people look back, they will say 2010 was the year afghanistan. secretary panetta -- 2011, was a real turning point. it was the first time in five years we saw a drop in the number of enemy attacks. general dempsey in 2014. the election seems to be a turning point and the confidence tothe afghanistan secure forces. general mickelson in 2017. u.s. and afghan forces have turned the corner. general miller, we supposedly turned the corner so many times, it seems we are going in circles. so, let me just ask you. do you envision turning another corner during your tenure as commander? after 17 years of war, what are
you going to do differently to bring this conflict to an end? miller: senator, first of all, i acknowledge the 17 years. that's a generation, and i have experience from 2001 until very young guy- this sitting behind me, i never anticipated his cohort would be in a position to deploy as i sat there in 2001. so, i acknowledge that. i also can't guarantee you a timeline or in end dates. i know going into this position does not offer a turning point is one.here something to report back that something has changed. that is where i anticipate being. the vital national interest of the united states of
america and i do know today, from personal forces there, i know that is having an effect on theents that would affect united states of america. the other piece is, can we harden the afghan security forces to close the distance and change the calculus on the ground now? testimony fromhe lieutenant general austin miller. it's on a website, c-span.org. it gives you a sense of how many deaths we have seen, civilian deaths and injuries afghanistan 2017.009 through as you look at these numbers, the deaths inside that country and what you just heard from lieutenant general miller, what is your take away? pointing outth this number of casualties do not include afghan security forces, which have taken very heavy casualties and increasing
casualties over the years. i think that senator warren's question pointed accurately to a certain repetitiveness in u.s. strategy in afghanistan and a in the promises that have been made, the advances that have not been achieved. and i think that general miller was prudent and not promising a turning point, as has been promised in the past because, as he stated elsewhere in his acknowledged that the is needed in terms of endgame is a political negotiation, a negotiated settlement of the conflict, and he elsewhere characterized the military effort in afghanistan as being in support of the political effort there. -- a and some news
unilateral suicide -- cease-fire with the taliban. what is the significance? guest: he called it for a limited time and in that time expired -- hence his statement yesterday. what was more significant was that when he initially called a cease-fire, the taliban also called a cease-fire for a more limited time, for three days, to with the holiday in afghanistan. during that three days, there were two separate, but overlapping cease-fires that really did show the potential for a hiatus, at least, in the violence in afghanistan, and it showed the potential for leaders on both sides of the conflict to
exercise some control over their fighters, if and when they choose to do so. host: our guest is laura miller miller, rand -- laurel from the rand corporation. you have a long and distinguished career. explain your background. guest: i have not with the military -- i have been dealing with it. i have worked in the state department on a couple of different occasions earlier in my career when the balkans was the hot foreign-policy issue. i worked on that in the state department. and i have worked on the national security staff and more recently, i spent four years at these state department from 2013 until the middle of last year working on afghanistan, pakistan as a deputy special representative and the afghan special representative. 202-748-8000 is the line
for democrats. 748-8001 is the lie for republicans. we have a line for independents -- is the line for republicans. we have a line for independents. what is the mission? in a: there are attacks dutch on u.s. interest that could in theory emanate from afghanistan because there are some terrorist group still active in the region. the challenge is that, in the of the u.s.ng invasion, the bush administration decided not to distinguish between al qaeda, which have attacked the united
states, and the taliban, which had hosted al qaeda leadership in afghanistan. that distinction to not draw a distinction between the two, led the united states to the path of fighting a counterinsurgency in afghanistan against the taliban, which is an afghan nationalist group that does not have ambitions beyond the borders of afghanistan. the strategy that the u.s. adopted in afghanistan of excluding the taliban from the settlement that was put in place in late 2001, early 2002, led to this long-term counterinsurgency in afghanistan. and that is the conflict i referred to earlier. al qaeda has had tremendous success in afghanistan and in pakistan, as well as against
other terrorist groups that have a foothold in the country. a longer-termis needs for the united states to be able to have some capacity to deal with the counterterrorism mission in afghanistan. a different question is, what is the endgame for the insurgency -counterinsurgency in afghanistan, and there, i would advocate that the endgame can only be a negotiated political settlement that will bring the taliban into the fold of normalized afghan politics. it -- if yousearch served in afghanistan -- we have a line. ted poe talked about afghanistan and the taliban. let's watch. [video clip] poe: someone said
afghanistan is where empires go to die. i don't not that's true or not but nobody ever one in afghanistan. states, in united the nationbuilding business of afghanistan, are we building afghanistan into a new nation, democracy.e -- a are we in the nationbuilding business with that $29 billion we spent on civilian programs? trump has been very clear we are not in the nationbuilding business, and i think rather than term the war and indefinite war, what the administration has sought to counter is the idea of having a troop surge and announcing the departure at the same time, along the taliban to wait as out. we are no longer giving the taliban the luxury of knowing when the united states plans to leave.
instead, the united states -- poe: that may be indefinite, because we do not know that has happened. has the situation changed in the last 17 years? are we in the same place we were 17 years ago? we still have pakistan still supporting terrorists, the government is shaky enough -- and afghanistan. but could we say -- and i'm not arguing with the president's policy does we say we will be there indefinitely if need be to make sure we obtain victory? the situation has changed because the afghan security forces are in the league. we are not. the situation has changed because we're putting unprecedented pressure on a pakistan, including the sensation of military assistance . the administration's strategy is being much more proactive in trying to put pressure on those
countries and actors that we think -- oe: i'm out of time. i think we should cut off all aid to pakistan until there is proof they are not harboring terrorists and sending them across the border. thank you, mr. chairman. last wednesday before the house foreign affairs committee. alice wells. reaction tor, your what you heard in that exchange? true the situation is not exactly the same today as it was 17 years ago. the united states has poured a lot of money into afghanistan, as have other countries around the world, and there have been results produced as the consequent of that. there's been a significant increase in development in afghanistan in health care, education. there is a fairly robust afghan security force that has been
of u.s.as a result money and u.s. training. there has been progress along a number of these indicators. .ut there are fundamentals congress pointed to one of them, the dynamic between afghanistan and pakistan. the tension and the relationship there. that has not really changed. it is also a case that the afghan forces are in the lead. they are not capable of withoutng the fight u.s. military support, particularly in the form of air power, which they only have two a minimal degree on the rhône. but especially u.s. financial support. the afghan government only pays
about 10% of its security costs. 90% are paid for by the united states and other donors. if that withdraws, there will be no way for the afghan government to sustain the security force they have today. when you look at the fundamental capabilities of the afghan isernment, it self-sustaining, pays for its security costs, pays for its own government beyond the security costs. if you look at the dynamics of the conflict more broadly in the , there's a lot of continuity from 17 years ago. host: with a new military commanders that to take over, we are looking at afghanistan over the last 17 years. what is next. anna is joining us from philadelphia. thank you for waiting. good morning. caller: good morning.
i have three parts i hope the lady will comment on. host: sure. in 1944, wet, entered into the agreement with the british commonwealth to give them all of our intelligence. were made to take britain's place in the world. i want us to get out of all of these foreign in 10 months -- entitlements. under ased to be protector and that was used to funnel a lot of arms. those were often sold to china. and that -- and i would like the lady to comment on the fact that agreementto p theicot agreement and you had a speaker on last night who covered the betrayal of the british in that area. this is a reinstallation
of the great game. it's going to go on forever. the british triple deal and we have to get rid of all of the -- british, is really in our government and start afresh. i would appreciate her talking about this which is yet to be done. thank you so much. host: a lot on the table. anna, thank you. think the question of a very entanglements is broad brush is difficult to address without separating different issues. agreement you referred to as to do with intelligence sharing, sharing of information. i do not see that as something that draws the united states into foreign entanglements. that is an arrangement among several countries that enables all of those countries to have improved understanding of the
ofuation in a variety countries. that is simply an information sharing agreement that the united states benefits from in improving its capabilities to understand the situation in a variety of countries. you know, the issue of the great game in afghanistan, that at regularreplayed intervals, and i think it can be rather overstated, the parallels situatione current and past situation. however, it is the case that afghanistan has, for a very long time historically, been subject to interference by foreign powers, whether it is russia, the soviet union, britain, in an earlier stage, the united states , some influence by iran.
and it is the case that afghanistan has struggled to maintain its own stability against him foreign interference. but just because there is some termsical continuity in of the stresses and strains on afghanistan, it does not necessarily mean the great game scenario of the 19th century is in any precise way being replayed today. james in south bend, indiana. good morning. caller: first of all, i would like to get some equal time for -- i think it is publicinte grity.org does a great job, a disturbing job of listing all of the defense contractors, the trillions of tax dollars. for would be a challenge c-span. also i saw a bumper sticker the
other day that said "9/11, lest we never forget." with got that were the 19 hijackers saudi and we do not have a military presence to speak of in saudi arabia. think -- ay, so i the cause of all wars is great. i wonder how your guest feels about the biblical teaching. host: it is true there is the sense that defense contractors have been an integral part of operations in afghanistan. we often talk about the number of american troops in afghanistan, which is currently around 15 to 16,000. it was 100,000 of the height. troopsany level of u.s.
in afghanistan, the number of contractors there is several times more than that. it is simply a function of the way the united states conducts war and conducts foreign iserventions that it required to have a very significant number of contractors helping to support the mission. not do the fighting, but supporting the mission in a variety of ways. i don't personally draw a direct line between the fact that contractors are needed and utilized to particular policy with other nations, but it is an objective fact that contracting organizations have made money off of u.s. operations in afghanistan. on the separate question was -- about contractors -- mission.tractors and
i want to put on the screen what the president is saying the goal and afghanistan is -- according to cnn their five points. higher troop levels, more military economy, cut aid to pakistan, victory, but leave the nationbuilding. start talks with the taliban. the president talking about the endgame in afghanistan. your thoughts about this front? host: most of those five pieces are tactics, not really objectives. i think one of the things that was missing from the administration's articulation of its new policy, which was announced last august was a very .lear sense of what the goal is there was passing reference to the idea of negotiated at the time the president announced the strategy
and afghanistan, that was given short shrift. out aary pompeo has put more forward leaning statement indicating that the united states is prepared to negotiate a settlement of the cut in afghanistan, but i think we would be are pressed to say there are signs this is a major foreign-policy initiative being undertaken by the administration. to do something as difficult as negotiating peace in afghanistan -- negotiating an end to a conflict in which the united states is a party -- which means the united states negotiating and putting its own interests on the table and being willing to compromise -- that requires a major foreign-policy initiative. it's not simply one of several pieces of a policy. for our radio audience, including those listening on
serious xm channel one 24, our topic, afghanistan, what is the endgame? our next call is from pennsylvania. good morning to you, sir. caller: good morning. thanks to your speaker there. i have a question. first a statement though. i am a gold star dad. i lost a son in afghanistan in 2010. back and did came another true there. we have a son in the marines and a daughter in the navy -- d to yourt happene son? guest: he died -- [indiscernible] host: so sorry. 1980,: prior to afghanistan was the terrorist of the middle east. touristretty much a
destination. it can't be the people there do not understand this kleptocracy that is running there is relatively new. i mean, they had a royal family. --y had prince ali sure raw he had to be smuggled out when the russians came in. , that was a that vibrant economy. it's the crossroads of the silk road. it would be a centerpiece where they could run trains, pipelines, everything could , but the done kleptocracy. the fact that we need to spend more money, i think much of that money never reaches the people because it is divided up. that would be my point. host: thank you and thank you for your children's service. so sorry for the loss of your son in the military. ownt: first, let me add my
deep simply swear loss and the appreciation of the service of your children and your children and your families sacrificed -- her family's upper price. it is the case in the 1970's extent a to a limited more, shall we say, modern face and afghanistan. it was a country and number of people travel to. afghanistan was then and is today one of the world. it is in th >> join this conversation and find this discussion in its entirety on c-span.org. we take you live to a forum on cell phones and location data privacy. police need lawrence to search cell phones.
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