Skip to main content

tv   Frontline  PBS  October 14, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

4:00 pm
>> frontline is made possible by contributions to your p station from vwers like you. thank you. with major fundi from the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundati.
4:01 pm
committeto building a more just, verdant and peaceful worl with aitional funding from the park foundation. committed to raising pubc awareness. >> afghistan. ( gunfire ) pastan. ( gunfe ) presidenobama has called it a necessary war. all right, we're good. >> iis ambitious, but it's also important. >> thatreeline down there. >> but now as theituation deteorates... ( gunfire ) ...theebate has just begun. >> you don't have toccupy the country in order to fix th larger problem. >> who tolyou the taliban was going to shootou if you go to e market? >> what is reallyappening on thground? n america win? >> we can do erything right in afghanistan and still lose thi war.
4:02 pm
>> tonighon frontline... >> what's e mission today? >> ...correspondent martin smitreports from the battlefields of bama's war." >> make no mistake. we're expertin the application of violence. 're attacking to seize contr of the pulation from the taliban. the people are our objecti. oupredecessors are watching us. the rld will remember what you do here this summer. 40 or 50 years from now,hen
4:03 pm
you're sitng around with your grandchildren, they'reoing to ask you what you d in the summer of decision in afghanistan. i picked you scifically to be the company that goes the furthest south. and remember, yo measure's not found in h much time you have on this eah, but what you do withhe time that you have. echo company is going to cnge hiory, starting early tomorrow morning. ( gunfire ( yelling ) >> down, down,own. ( gunfir ) >>ait, wait, wait, wait. are you okay, elear? >> smith: on july 2n 2009... >> hey, ke moving, keep mong. we can't, we can'ttop. let's go. keep going, keep going, ke goin. >> smith: ..,000 marines landed in the southe afghanistan provce of helmand.
4:04 pm
( distant exosion ) frlance photojournalist danfung dennis wasmbedded with echo companyf the 2nd battalion, 8th mares for three week he filmed the scenes. ( yelling ) >> smith: the fighting w often heavy. ( gunfire ) ( explosn ) >> is erybody good? fallon, you od? smith: there wasn't much cover and the area was mined with ieds. >> hey! >> what th( bleep ) was that? >> ( blp ) it was a ( bleep ) d. i told you guys do not ( eep ) cross right here. what the ( eep )! crying ) gunfire ) >>ey. stuck, get dn.
4:05 pm
( gunfe ) >> hey, ere's it coming from? >> that gap in the treeso the right of t compound. >> yeah. and they're on t left side. ( nfire ) >> smith: e marines' objective was to seize aey canal crossing and to dre the taliban fr a village market. >> let's g they're hitting the top of that building. ( gunfire >> spring! >> firepow down. >> heyi'm moving', don't shoot me. >> same spot. ( gunfe ) >> smith: onhe first day... >> let's car the ( bleep ) out. >> smith: ...wle they were tryi to hold their ground... >> i need a ( bleep ) damn litter tm! >> litter team, now! smith: ...a marine was shot in the neck by thealiban. >>harp. >> sharp. >> sharp, buy, come on. ( yelling ) >> ce on, sharp. >> srpie! >>ug the ( bleep ) treene. >> sharpie. >> come on, sharp. >>mith: 20-year-old lance corpal charles seth sharp of adairsvie, georgia, had just mailed a letter home sayinhe
4:06 pm
was going toe fighting a bale that his grandchildren would someday sty in school. >> grab a leg. grab a leg. grab one. grabne. come on, let's go,e're taking him. >>atch your back. yelling ) >> ( bleep ) dammit, let's go. >> where's t litter? where's e ( bleep ) litter? >> smith: corpor sharp didn't ma it. heavy fighti has been going on for months now across helman eaier this year, the president gave a stark assessment of t war. >> the situation is incrsingly perilous. ma people in the united states have a sime question: what is our purpose in afgnistan? why do our men and women sti fight and e there?
4:07 pm
they derve a straightforward answer. >> smith: three eks after the manes landed in helmand, we went down to linup with echo compy. just yesterday, a humvee scouting thiroad hit an ied. two more marines were kied, two badly wound. then, word ce that another ied had disabled one of r lead vehicles. our convoy was hald for 12 hours. >> chicken salsa, getable manicott beef stew? beefstew? >> smith: the taliban consids southern ahanistan their hetland. in eight yea of war, the coalition has never he this territory.
4:08 pm
commander of thenternational security aistance force is general stanley chrystal. >> smith: you've clearedelmand three time >> yh. >> smith: nevehold it. >> yeah. and onceou clear something and don't hold it, you probay didn't really ear it. it has no stayg power. in fact, iould argue that it's worse. because you create an expectatn, and then you dash it. and soi think that you're most better to have not gone there at all. >> smith: ho company has now set up camp an old schoolhouse they took fromhe taliban. they've named itombat outpost sharp, aer their fallen brotr, the first marine to die here. there's still taliban grfiti on the walls ( musiplaying ) conditionsre tough.
4:09 pm
there are no cot and daytime temperates can reach 135 grees. but unlike previous missns, the marines an to stay. >>cho main, echo six. okay find out where it's going an keep us fed. all right,et's go. >>mith: but their primary missn is not to hunt and kill the taliban. it is instead to protect t people. it why they picked this spot. you moved into ts old school thatas a taliban stronghold. and it's right next to the market of mian poshteh. at's the thinking behind tha of being right here, next the market? >> right next to the mart will help us toonnect with the ople a little bit more. so over time, wean start develong that relationship with them as somewhat a population cenr. so, you got... you havto be withhe population and close to
4:10 pm
th, so that you can work with them. >> it's all part of a revid military strategy: to fos on serating the people from the taliban. it's easier said than done. since the maris arrived in mian poseh, the people have fled. >> smith: they'rnot coming to yo market. >> that's right. that's right. >> smith: where are they goi? there's a couple other markets farther to theouth. that's where there going, ght now.
4:11 pm
>> smithconnecting with the people sounded a lotasier back in wasngton. >> the central goal th countensurgency to make the population feel secure enoh to engage in peeful politics. >> smi: a few weeks before heading out tofghanistan, i atteed a major security conferce in washington. >> in all counterinsurgey prtice that i'm aware of... >> a trillion dollars in thi global counterinsurgen campaign, ov its first eight ars... invest and endure, invest a endure a long-term comtment to e region... >> smith: some of the coterinsurgency brain trust's st and brightest strategists were there. >> conceivably cld embroil... >> smith: john nagl, who held write the military'sew counterinsurgey manual. >> ...preventing the reemergce a strong al qaeda associate esence... >> smithandrew exum, a former army ranger, who wtes an influentiacounterinsurgency blog. >> we have a conceed effort to protect the popution above all other nsiderations.
4:12 pm
>> smith: and the archect... >> t overriding mission of counterinsurgency has to be sere the people. >> smith: ...geral david petrae. >> what we areoing is what we callull spectrum operations. >>mith: petraeus explained that he means not ju troops living amonghe people. >>rogress has continued in afghanistan. >> smith: but complex array of goals: improng governance, fighting corruion, building inastructure. >> the only way to dthis is to apply l of these tools to it. but at the endf the day, it's all about the folks right he. >> smith: counterinsurgency, revitalized by petraeus anhis advisers... >> salaam aleikum. >> smith: ...haseen policy in afanistan for six months now, embraced back inarch by president obama en he sent the marines in helmand. >> sany. hello. u going with your cows? >> smith: this is what they' beensked to do, lots of foot patrols.
4:13 pm
>> we're in the procesof spending more me on the ground, getting out of o large hicles and out from behind o sunglasses and t... and all this... all this geathat we we, and literally just getting out among the popution. sangay. good morng. w are you? good. >> so they see us asuman beings. and... and we eat them as su, rather than looking like something out of ar wars to them. it helpsumanize the troops, but it does mean assumg more risk. >> wn you're out on trol, one minu you're walking in a pled field that's dry and then yocross an irrigation ditch, and then you gwading knee-deep across field that's just been flooded to grow the crs. yorun the risk of mines and explosives on the ros. u also runhat risk in the elds, as well. so you just ve to play which e makes sense at the time. >> damn, they got the little ones to work. >> how are this been going?
4:14 pm
>> the's nothing. thers no problem sir. >> none at all? >> smith: the marines ho to convince villagers to turn to the mark next to the base. >> what's been gng on with thosloud noises from the north? >> smith: d to gather infoation about the taliban. i'm talking to one of those guys we talked to the mosque. the one who was iling that time, but he was saying everythi you wouldn't say when you smile. talking that guy right now, he's building that house. >> smith: but the ople remain wary >> it is frustrang because the few people that are here a still scared. and they'rstill a little timid about ming out and working with us. >> spread the word, ll your friends who live iother places. tell the taliban to stay awa >>ey! >> hey! >> if you're an afgh and an american commander is aski you, "have you seen any taban? who's comingere?" you knowor sure that whatever you say to thiamerican commander and offici will be knowledgto a taliban commder. >> tell him to lift his ( bleep ) up. lift it up.
4:15 pm
what's this right here >> they've msaged the pulation before leaving, they've sa, "yep, look the americans are coming in. they're going ask you to work th them." >>urn around. >> "if you work with the we are going toome back and we're going to kill you." >>ell these gentlemen, not to be rude, we just ce to search them but when ty see forces like us, don't run, and don't sta stfing stuff in yo pockets. that lks suspicious. >> smith: americanhave brought grand ambitions to helmandnce before. in the '50s and '6, helmand s the site of one of the largest foreign aiprojects ever undertaken inhe developing wor. the same enginrs who built the hoov dam constructed these canals and installed aajor dam upstream to control period flooding. e area developed into afghanistan's breadbaske t, despite the good
4:16 pm
inteions, helmand also became the world's largest hero poppy supplier. >> s the head of the poppy? and they sco it, right before they harvest it, p those littlecore marks in it, and the puss oozesut overnight. and th come back, i don't know if it's the next day or couple of days later, and the ps is all dried uplike a sap. and that's when they scre off, and they use that the base for thr opium production. so as you can see, it's everywhere. >> you've godrug dealers. yove got criminals. obviously you've got eremists, all of whom are survivg off this ppy production, and, in fact, th paying and intimiting the farmers. >> smith: lastear, the taliban derived arnd $100 million from the opm trade. opium-- and marijuana money- so corrupts officials and
4:17 pm
undermin the people's support for government. bufor now the marines turn a blind eye. it's matter of priories. >> drugs happens to be sething that produs a lot of money. but my missi coming down here was to come down here was no specifically agast drugs. likei was asked, point blank, by some of the locals that a farmers,hey, what are you going to do about my dru, because that's theay i make my money? that's the w i make a living. that's the way i feed my famy. what are you gng to do about it >> smi: the marines go on about their business. >> how many pele live here? >> 40. >>4 people live here? >> no. 40, sir. >> 40. four-zero. four-zero. 40. this house? that house right he? and thesones rht here? all of these people of the village. ( gunfire >> that way! thatay! hey,ir, we got to get around the back side. >> smith: skirmies like this happ almost daily. ( gunfire )
4:18 pm
>> that tree lin >> smith: typilly the taliban re small arms from a distanc hey, makeure we're watching this back side here. sobody get o back side. >> smith: they a rarely seen. >> they had aachine position in that tree line. >> i think he has a black rban on, sir. >> we're fighting insuent enemy who refuses to face usn frontal battle bu instead fights with ambushes, wi snipers, with imovised explosive devices that leave the counterinsuent, leave the american soler, the afghan soldier with no ene to hit at, nobo to target. >> one finger right of the lt hay bale. >>eah, the left hay bale. you me about one finger to the right and you go strght back. anhe's hanging out right there in between the tre. >>here are definitely guys in that tree line. and there are definitelyuys deep out the. >> their goal is to attacks ankeep us from the people and try to show thpeople that we n't keep them safe and that we're exchanging fire fights and althat. >> there are stilluys milling about in tt tree line we were tang fire from, copy?
4:19 pm
>> iis their way of distcting me from doing what i'm here to do. >> smith: all e shooting makes it harder for the maris and the people to trust onanother. >>ll right. well, know there's no problems, buyou're still going to see the marinesround here, likeevery day, everyther day. >> smith: and with aranslator who don't speak the local dialec or english, very well. >> say that overgain? >> smith: the simplest communication seems imssible. >> haven't gone ere during fighti? >> in pashto. >> haven't gone where duri the fighting? >> they han't gone to, sir >> gonwhere? you're not tellinge where. where han't they gone? >> ty haven't gone to from here. >> gone from where? gone where from here wher >> sth: frustration steadily grows. >> so noit's over there? ey just said it was over there. >> sth: the marines are here trying to nd out why some locals have moved out their homes. >> why are people raid to come backo their house?
4:20 pm
>> oka well now ey can come back theynow that, right? people c start coming back. we want people to comeack to their homes and start farmg again. hey,as anybody shopped at the market lately? >> s, they've gone to lakari. >> why are you goingo lakari? e market right here is open. he told, sir, taliban told, "if you go to baza, we will kill a of you." so you were told the liban's going shoot you if y go to the market who told you thealiban's going shooyou if you go to the market? ( indiinct talking ) >> who? who told you allou'd be shot if y go to the market? >> smith: how well dyou think your marines underand counterinsurncy doctrine? >> they undersnd how important is to win the population. they understanthat. it's sometes difficult, with marines, to reinhem back.
4:21 pm
>> i'm going to ask this qution for the fifth time. ask him to stop, ask him t stop. i'm going to ask this questi. what i try to tell the marines all the times, the guy at you are nice to today is going to be the guy that dsn't shoot at you or another mari two rotations fr now that comes ck. >> they dn't answer my qution. listen to for a second. lien to me right now. all right. u all are not cooperating. >> this a war about personal relationships. it has to a cultural shift in how we thinkbout what we're ing. thiss how we will win this war. this is how we wilsucceed. >> ieed you all to answer my questions. if not, then i'm gng to believe righnow that the taliban does come here, th talk to you, y talk to them, and you're still otheir side. all righ you need to understand that are hereo keep the taliban out.
4:22 pm
>> we can't gthrough all this open field. they'll see us from click away. >> smiththe next day, a squad of men pushes out find the taliba at's the mission today? >> the mission today is a uple of things. we're trying to get es on a river crossing thawe think the taban are using. thother part is trying to see how aggressive they're goi to be. trying to bait tm a little bit into bei overly aggressive and e if we can catch them in a trap. >> smith: do youxpect them to atck you today? >> i do. ( dog barking ) >> roger, we stl have, now, 200 meters uil we reach that first compound. ( gunfir )
4:23 pm
>> rog, we got contact already, we need you to ve now. move now >> smith: well, before wexpect it, the taban open fire. ( gunfire ) >> it's ming from the same position that twcharlie got hit at yesterday. >> smith: we a pinned down in spot with little cover. >> hey, use taing guns with that saw to save your ammo >> smith: we need to pus forwd up and over a small se, down into an area with better protection. all right, we're good. ( gunfire ) >> smith: ce in place the rines open up. ( gunfire ) >> i s a guy get up. >>here? >> rht in front of me. >> right in front of you? >> rightn front of me. >>hirty mike-mike!
4:24 pm
i see something shiny out there. ( yellg ) >> thirty mike-me! >> take at ( bleep ). >> nice. >> yeah, ( eep )! ( cheers ) >> smith: after thty minutes, the ttle dies down. ( yelling ) go ahead five. >> hey, be advised we're cking up somicom chatter about a possible weapons cache being on the back of a donkey cart. it would be...hey described it as, break. >> they may shoofrom over here so you may wanto ( bleep ) try to ( bleep watch out for this area. >> ah, it sort of woed. we definitelscared them. bui think they knew that other squad was out ther i think they were conducti what we'd call aelaying action. justrying to keep us in ple while they canove away. >> sth: the marines have been holdg ground here since early july. but they don't have engh manpower to exnd their area of operations.
4:25 pm
an unknown number of tiban remain in ple nearby. if t front lines of unterinsurgency are in heand, an even more difficult fronis here inabul, afghanistan's capital. it's the pitical side of coterinsurgency. >> there is a view thathe vernance teat, or the lack of governance, is every bithe threat that the taliban are. and we've... we'veot to, sentially, address that just as effectively as we do e security. >> they derve a chance at a future. they neesome help right now. they need securitygovernance and delopment. governance is by far t most important. >> smith: to work the litical
4:26 pm
front, president obamaas beefed up kal's diplomatic staff, and appoint a special representative, richar holbrooke. >> thereatest friend of the united states miion here in afghanisn, ambassador richard holbrooke. smith: holbrooke is regarde as a kind of foreign picy superstar. he is hereo address political and regional issues. >> we have tremember why we're here. we're re to help the afghan ople stand up on their own feet. we inherited a very diicult situation in afghanistan. it would take a longime to catalog the things that weelt were done wrg. the governnt was weak. and corruption wasife. and we s out to try to take all these issues on atnce. it's a very daunting job >> smith: what we're doing nation building? >> it's naon rebuilding. there is a nation in afghanistan. and until it was wcked by the soviet invasion in978, it was a poorbut proud and futioning country.
4:27 pm
this is not naon building. >> smith: buwhatever you call it, the project is in troubl e government of president hamid karzai, in office r almost eight yrs, has never been willing or le to take on enenched corruption. >> i had hoped that presidt karzai wou embrace the idea of more accountable and just government. instead, what he hasone is, in fact, rebilitated some of the worst actors that haveiven the worst reputationo the afghan govement. just consider karzai's rning mates. on the rht is karim khalili, once a leader of0m a reputation forrutality and torte. on the left is warlord mohmed fahim, whileever convicted, he isidely reputed to be involved in heroin traffickg.
4:28 pm
in afghanist, corruption is the rule not the exction. >> is an enormous challenge. yohave it at the petty local level where a policemawill not carry out his duties witut being paid bwhoever it is he's confronting. you have local ministries whe the bureaucrats, staed for salaries, exact fees from citizens to perform serves that they should performor free. you have rional corruption where goveors, at least poor governors, take reurces intend for the benefit of the population and directhem to their cronies or to their n bank accounts. you have cruption at basically every level of the politic economy. >> smi: what progress has been made in terms of combating corruption in afghanistain this year? >> i don... i think we have been able to begin to gesome arres, some prosecutions.
4:29 pm
but we've ju begun to scratch the surface. th is tough stuff, as you know. i feel that, at least, ware focused on t issues. >> smith: but across the coury corruption hasonsequences. if the government's not providing elecicity, if the government's notroviding justice, ithere is no investment in roads an inastructure, if the population gets fed up with arbitry rule, they get fed up with corruption, then ey turn to the taliban because the taliban prome them some kind of rudimentary, utal order. >> smith: cording to u.s. intelligen sources, 70% of afghanistan lies outsi government control. in most ars, the taliban offe their own shadow government, with tir own administrars and courts. >> they are dispensing jtice at the localevel.
4:30 pm
and th is what a lot of people want in the countrysid they want laand order. that's how t taliban came into power the first time. >> they have developed a ver sophisticated tral engagement pocy. e u.s. and afgha really have deveped nothing. >>mith: this spring the taliban's chief commander, mullah mohmed omar, even issu a 30-page booklet on how to engagthe population. "keep good relatio with the local people," it says, ur missiois to keep people safe." >> in southern afghastan, the talibanow has ombudsmen. so they send peoplout into southernfghanistan and they say, "how are we doing? wh do you think of your local shadow governor? is he just? is he doing a good j? th ask questions like this. and you know whait is, is a dire challenge to the way that nato-isaf and the governnt of afghanistan haveeen doing busine for the past eight years. >> smith: toounter the talibas gains in the
4:31 pm
provinces, the coaliti has made fighting local afgh corruption a mitary priority. >> i understand thato say we're gog after corruption in me comprehensive is a tall order. but corruption, at a lal level, is a mitary necessity. you can't hold the ground d bud if you haven't, at a local level, dealt with is. >> smith: on thiday, the military wasaking several gh-ranking ministers from president karzai's adnistration to kunar province in ntheastern afghanistan, part oan ambitious project to std up local government institutions. >> t u.s. has spent a lot of time trying to build a strg central governnt in afghanista that is completely ahistoral in afghanistan whe the u.s. has not adopted a systematic strategy is deali th local tribal institutions where a lot of pow resides.
4:32 pm
if all pitics is local, well, that is truly thcase in afghanistan. >> smith: , instead of brinng the provinces to kabul, the mitary is bringing kabul to the provinces. >> this is about cnecting the govement to thpeople. and that's wt they are going see today. you got the minister of nance, you've gothe minister of stoms, you've got the minist of agriculre, you got all the key stakeholders. it's very important thathe provincial leadership, andhe locals here, understand at they have a natial government that is here to listen a is here to lve problems. >> smiththe people of kunar have survid for many decades uggling timber and gems into pakistan frothe nearby mountas. they are dply distrustful of kabul.
4:33 pm
many tribesmen sha their profits wi criminal gangs, the taliban, even al qaeda. the military is trying tbreak their habits. under the protecon of an early rning blimp, general bill mayville toured a all tea farm. >> this is the best area f tea. >> smiththe idea is to get locals excited about alternatives to timb smuggling. >> then inhe winter, they just cut these things. >> does it gw back every year? >> smith: ne, was a trout fa. >> maybe this is a frofarm, for chinesfood. >> sth: and finally, an afternoon of speeches. >> smith: kur's tribal elders listened. buthere was no time left for questions.
4:34 pm
in all due respect, it sms enormously ambitious to ok at a society and believe at you can change a its dynamics, and that you as a milita orgazation are charged with that entire task >> it is ambitious, but it also important. and it's one step at time. it's a big job, and it enormously compl. and there will be as many frustrations as there e times when you think y got it right. bui think there's no alternative. >> we have a strong intere in stable afghastan. but i'm t sure that the only way to conduct thamission is througlarge-scale nation building efforts in afghanisn. e problem is it's terribly vague out what exactly it is that you're required to buil and to what poin and hodo i know when i'm done? until you have scified what the end state you' aiming for
4:35 pm
is, then countersurgency is a recipe for psence in perpetui. >> h 3-6, this is 6. 'll be ready to go in a second. >> theation-building project, it seems to metends to assume that tt political culture can be changed. i think it'spectacularly ambitious. >> over. >> roger, 6 out. >> i guesshe piece that bothers me is that, a people, having accepted the propositn of open ended r. i me, the so called long war, w eight years old, has becom the longest war our history. and there's no end in ght. >> smith: w does this end? and how ng is it going to take? >> we're going to ave here under shes of gray. we'll have stabilityat least
4:36 pm
reasonable stabili. wel have a firm understanding th more has to be done. but in thend, you'll have an afgh solution to an afghan problem. and at'll be good enough. >> smith: afghistan is an incribly difficult situation. but you ha to take a deep breath when yolook to the east, where the talibahas its sanctuary and ere al qaeda is headquartered: pakistan. ( cheers ) peshawar is the gateway the lawless tribalreas that border ghanistan. anti-amerin sentiment runs gh here.
4:37 pm
throughouthe summer, fundamentalist rigious parties turned out to prest against u.s. and nato troops in the region. >> u.s.a crush! crus u.s.a.! crush! crush! >> smith: e ruthless leader of the pakistani taliban, baituah mehsudhad just been killed by an americadrone. ç3cfíiz >> smi: in the face these protests, en the pakistani governmenteels compelled to condemn the killing of mehsu >> these attacks have been coming against our wh. whether we like or don'tike, they are connuing. >> smith: yore saying that th was not approved? oh, it was not approved.
4:38 pm
the potion of the government of pakistan remains ther no drones. >> smith: do you suprt or prest the attack that killed baitullah mehsud? >> the governmt and the military stae is very clear on this. we csider it that it does more harm than it helps. and therore, it is seen by the people as a breach of sovereignty. the u.s. partnerip with the pakianis is troubled. but american hands are td. >> we are not in pakisn in the way thate're in afghanistan. weon't have an international security assistancforce helping thpakistanis. we don't have anmerican general and an american my operating in pistan. we're sically working with a partr in pakistan, who doesn't want us to be there. >> smith: t over the last two years, the paktanis have faced a serious taliban problem of their own. hundreds of soldie and civilianhave been lled in ores of taliban bombings and
4:39 pm
assassinations. ( explosion ) but when the taliban tooover the sw valley, just a few urs drive from the capital, the ericans leaned on the vernment. >> there wasn extraordinary effo made by everyone from the president through the seetary of state, secrary of defense, ambassador hbrooke, alleaned hard to convince pakistan at it could not yield to the taliban. and that it had to fig for control of i territory. ( gunfire ) >>mith: the pakistanis respondewith what one officer described toe as an iron-fist. ( gunfire ) the u. military was enuraged. >> i tnk they've got a serious insurgency inside pakistan. d they've taken very energet and aggressivection against it i think they've found it difficult. but i think they've alsoound thresolve, internally, to deal with it. smith: but it's not clear i
4:40 pm
thpakistanis can or will carry the fight forward. >> the pakistas, i believe, now share our interest igoing after some of e insurgent grou that are bent on destabilizing pakistan. but they do not sharour interests,s of yet, in taking an aggressive ance against the groups that are seeking to destabilize afghanisn. >> smith: american commands int to two taliban groups in particular, both witties to al qaeda. they are led by jalaludd haqqani and s son siraj, in north waziristan, and llah omar in quet. over the years, bothroups have received substantial finanal and logistical support fm the pakistani intellence service, the i.s.i.which has historicallyeen the taliban as an asset-- a proxy force f precting paktani interests inside ahanistan. >> therere elements within the pakistani national secury
4:41 pm
establishment that have traditionally regarded extremists, like the talan, as a tool of ternational relaons, and ty can't quite bring themselves to lego of usinthose guys as a tool of reign policy. ( explosion ) >> theeadquarters of the enemy is still in pakistan. ( gunfire it's bad. >> smith: have youone to the i.s.i. and asked for meeting th mullah omar or jalaluddin haqqani? >> yes. >> smith: and the i.s.i. tel you? >> no. smith: you disle pakistan. >> no >> smith: you sound as iyou dislike pakian. >> sur because they are causing a lot ofrouble for this country. >> smith: on t key issue of pastan dropping its
4:42 pm
affiliations with thosthat they have coidered, over time, as their aets, people like the qqanis or mullah omar and th quetta shura, ishere any evidence that they're going go after those pple? >> martin, still todaythey main extraordinarily dangero threats to u.s., nato and ghan forces w are fighting in southern afghastan and southeastern afghanist. >>mith: and what are the pakistanis doing that gis you y confidence that they're channg their approach? >> tre, martin, i'd refer you to the pakistani govnment. >> smi: is the pakistani govement interested in going after the haqqani netwk? >> well, i categorical deny there is nany such operation of hqani group in pakistan. yes, when we tooover the government, therwere allegations. i'll clarify you, sir. and we were ported that they ve some dens. some of the points where the are operatg.
4:43 pm
and mullah tamaci, maulvi namdar d we struck against them. >> smith: the americanand the afghans, they sathat you know where haqqani is, and that y know where mulh omar is, and that you couldif you chose to, after them. >> no, that's not correc there iso truth in the mullah omar, and siraj haqqani remaing in pakistan side of the border. >> smith: why dohey say that th operate from here, if that's nothe case? are they lying? who's... who's lying, who said that? >> smithstanley mcchrystal, other generals in e eastern part of afghantan, u.s. generals. amrullah saleh, the ad of intelligen. >> they have their bases >> smith: neral flynn, who's head of army intelligence. >> i... i... i refutthat. no o has shown any inlligence to the pakistani. >> smith: la year, admiral mullen and a senior c.i. offici traveled to islamabad with evidence that the i.s. was continng to support the taliban, in this case, intercepted mmunications between i.s.i. offics and militants.
4:44 pm
>> we laid o some very specific areas thawe thought neededo be addressed to both the military, the telligence, and e political leadership. we had a serieof meetings. >> smith: you laid out the i.s.i.'s involvement with e militants that werbased inside pakian? >> we spoke to clearlyhe i.s.i.'s relatiohip with various militant gups, that they've had fosome time. >> smith: hodo i understand is? the defense intelligencegency, the c.i.a., u.s. mility intelligence andfghan intelligen all points to i.s.i. and pistani cooperation and suppt for segments of the taliban. >> i think, sir, ty... >> smith: arthey all lying? >> i think it's ouated intelligence. they must be talkingf the past. we are cooperating. we will contin to cooperate because we believe safe afghanistan is safe pastan. >> smith: you've been frtrated in the past duri the bush administration with how ft the policy wasn pakistan. >> right.
4:45 pm
>> smith: you think thathere's a major chge in the approach to pakistan under this administration? >> no. >> smi: no? >> no. >> smith: in oer words, you're ill frustrated that the administrati is soft on pakian. >> you see, here is th fundamental probm. th say, "pakistan is not a helpful country. let us help them to come helpful." i disagree with that princip. >> smith: so how would you d it? >> let's put pressure on theto help. >> sth: what kind of pressure? >> you cnot incentivize d behavior. else this is going to be a vicious circle. >> smith: for years, the pakistanis have struckeace als with the taliban in the tribal areas. the last was signed in february 2008, with e tribes of north wazistan in what is laluddin haqqani's stronghol gettg results from the
4:46 pm
pakistanis is the reonsibility of u.s. speciarepresentative riard holbrooke. >> it n't be washable offable this time? >> smith: is pakistan onoard with going aer haqqani? >> yes. >> smith: what evidence ishere of that? just let me leave it at tha >> smithwe know that they've gone aer those who are reatening their state. t yet therdoesn't seem to convincing evidence that there willing to go afr the haqqani network or mullaomar and the quet shura. >> they are quite clr in their own minds that haqqani pos a threat to both ahanistan and pakian. >> smith: prately, several administration offials told frontline they worriedbout the duplicitof pakistani officials and hoto develop a clear policy towards paktan. >>e're not really sure what to do. i ink that the outlines of the new administrati's pakistan policyre a lot harder to discern th the afghan policy. there hasn't been an equalent
4:47 pm
tohe new strategy on the ground that general mcrystal is advocatg. i'm confident th we're going to start tsee at over time, but i juston't think we've seen it yet. >>his could not be a more complicated war. ( gunfir ) ( yellg ) you think about it the unit statess essentially waging a war against its own ally the taliban are proxy of the govement of pakistan. we are an ally of thgovernment of paktan. we are fightg the taliban. in the end, the taliban ll be defeated, strategically,hen the government of pakistan mes strategic decision that its future does not liin partnership with islic extremists. >> sth: the united states continueto pour money into pakist, $2 billion to $3 billion in milary assistance and $7 billion in civilian a
4:48 pm
over the next ve years. >> smith: es it give you pause to hand them billionof dollars? >> i aolutely have to hold my nose when i work wh the pakistani vernment. but i don't have aetter alternative than continuing work wh this pakistani government andontinuing to nudge it forwa toward taking more efftive action against the taliban. >> smith: on august 20th, afghans went to the pos to choose a newresident. thobama administration had high hopes that whoevethe winner, the election wld validate the ahan government. dr. abdullah aullah, president karzai's main challeng, ran on an anti-rruption platform.
4:49 pm
( cheering smith: but the election results re tainted by clear evidence of fraud. it was a disaster r the american pject. >> the unitestates is investg blood and treasure to support the governmentf afghanistan. and ifhat government engaged fraud in order to perpetuat itself in power lls into question the vy basis of these american investments and sacrifices. i think it appalling. >> smith: e u.n. has overseen a recount. a time when afghanistan mos needs a governme, the nation is paryzed. >> we ha to have an afghan government that is functning in kabul. but if the taliban hav strategic depth in pakisn, they can continue tohreaten afghanistan. anif they threaten
4:50 pm
afghanistan, then terrorism of one form oanother will be back. >> smith: so what does arica do now? are more troops the answer or shoulthe focus shift eastward to the ibal areas of pastan? >> there seems to some presumption at afghanistan is jihad central. that if we c simply succeed in pacifying afghanistan,hat the problem of violent islic radicalism goeaway. iton't. all care about is that al qaeda not use the place a sanctuary. and u don't have to occupy the country in order to prevt that from happening. >> smithproponents of a counterinsurgencwar, on the other ha, argue for a much larger deployment. >> by clsic counterinsurgency
4:51 pm
measures, success infghanistan wod require 600,000 counterinsurgents. we're ll below half that right now. >> smith: are you ying there have to be more americ troops on the gund? >> initially, there ne to be more arican troops on the ground. the longerm answer, and our exit strategy,s more afghan trps on the ground. >> smith: inate august, general mcchrystalubmitted a grim assesent to president obama, warning that amica is in dangeof losing the war if more troops are not sent. he requested as ny as 40,000. >> theran somewhere in between you and me. >>mith: president obama put the troop request onold. his ministration is split over the way forward. >> all right, justbout three minuteago i heard a boat taking o, sounded like aoss the river. so, they mayave gotten away if that's what they're using. >> smith: mcchrystalays he welcomes t debate. >> any war or confli you enter where u are likely to lose re americans is something
4:52 pm
worthy of very dailed debate. i know before an amerin ldier is put in harm's way, pe that not just the politic leaderip, but the american people give it a lot othought. >> great god in heaven, ar jesu we pray for our leadership, from every corral all the way up thrgh the presiden that you'll allow em to make wise decisions an have wise discernment on wt to do at each tn. we pray for those families. >> if weo indeed have a full court prs application of countensurgency in afghanistan, cerinly more americanoldiers are going to die. and i think it's very,ery imrtant to be absolutely certain at there... that no alternive exists. and i think the peop who insi that it has to be done through counrinsurgency have not seriously examed all the alternives.
4:53 pm
>> ♪ i'm gng where the cold wind blows. ♪ >> the predent has said, correctly in my eyes, th this is a necesry war. what we lened on september 11th was that pers can grow in governed spaces. anthat in a globalized wld, theyan harm us. this is a war that americaeeds to win. but there e no guarantees re. >> rad check. here youo, sir. >> y good? >> yep, wee good. >> from mianoshteh, helmand, echoompany reports that they are making some headwa ey've taken more ground and are slowly buildin relationships with the loc villagers. >> sangay. >> smith: bupeople have not yet returned to the market nt door. attas come regularly. and ere have been more casualties. the liban still hold 100 miles of tritory between the border with pakistan and comb outpost
4:54 pm
sharp. >> this report ntinues on frontline's wesite, where you can watch the prograagain. >> the taliban are proxy of the gornment of pakistan. >> readhe extended interviews, plus alysis with top generals, diplomats and government officials >>t's a very daunting job. >>overnance is, by far, the most important. >> ambushes th snipers, with provised explosive devices. >> ery bit the threat that the taliban are. >> has become thlongest war in ouhistory. >> explore a map of the region, a tiline of our involvement thersince 9/11 and then join the discussion at pbs.or
4:55 pm
>> next te on frontline. long before the onomic meltdo... >> the market was doing eat, and the country seem to be doing great. >> ...one woman sound an alarm. she could see the crises coming down the road >> that made her the emy of a very lar number of people. >> who kn, and who ignored? >> they were all part a very concerted effort to ut her up and to shut her down. >> the warning, watch frontline. captied by media access group at wgb accs.wgbh.org >> frontline is me possible
4:56 pm
>> frontline is made poible byontributions to your pbs station from viewers like u. thank you. with mor funding from the john d. and caerine t. macahur foundation. committed to buildg a more justverdant and peaceful world. with additional fundinfrom the parkoundation. >> this is pbs.
4:57 pm
4:58 pm
4:59 pm

394 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on