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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  January 11, 2017 4:30am-5:01am GMT

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before thousands of supporters in chicago, where his political career began. to sustained applause and cheers, the president said he was leaving the united states a better, stronger country after eight years in the white house. donald trump has complained of a political witch hunt against him, over unconfirmed reports emerged in the us media that russian intelligence had gathered compromising information about him. —— and had briefed him and president obama about him. the president—elect denounced the reports as fake news. he's due to give a press conference on wednesday. the us senate has begun confirmation hearings for key nominees to his cabinet of. first to appear was the republican senatorjeff sessions. he's mr trump's choice for attorney—general. democrats say he has an extremely conservative agenda. now on bbc news, hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk.
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i'm stephen sackur. the waiting is almost over. we're about to see what kind of impact president donald trump will have on the us and the world beyond. today my focus is the international arena. my guest has been close to the centre of us foreign policy—making for three decades. richard haass was a senior adviser to both bush presidents and has offered his insights to the president—elect, too. from big power diplomacy, with russia and china, to global trade and climate policy, how different, how unpredictable is trump going to be? richard haass, in new york city, welcome to hardtalk.
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thank you, stephen. you've just written a book with the cheery title a world in disarray. in your opinion, does the election of donald trump to the presidency add to that sense of a world in disarray? it's more the world the 45th president of the united states will be inheriting. it's the result, in part, of things the united states has done but also failed to do. it's in part simply a result of the end of the cold war, the loosening up our international relations, the rise of certain countries like china and so forth. this is the world he's inheriting. where i think he may have added to it slightly, and notjust him, but first
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in the american political campaign. candidates including him were saying things and endorsing positions which, shall we say, were untraditional. the fact that, for example, senator sanders, secretary clinton and donald trump, all three rejected the major pending trade agreement, the so—called trans—pacific partnership, that itself was a major departure from things. obviously, during the transition, some of the things he's said and done have added to it. but i would put the lion's share of the explanation, if you will, for the disarray he'll inherit and this daunting inbox he's going to inherit more from things the united states and others have done orfailed to do. right, so what you're laying out then is a proposition that the preconditions are there for disarray and that the us president, whoever he or she may be incoming, can only do, and you just used your finger and thumb there, can only do a little bit to change that sense of disarray. so, to me, that is a recognition from you that actually
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the united states of america and its commander—in—chief have much less agency and leverage in the world than they used to have? perhaps, but i wouldn't drive it too far. i think what we've learned is that when the united states stays aloof from the world, the world is not self organising. the centrifugal forces tend to get much stronger, and when the united states does engage in the world, we still have more capacity to act and to lead than anybody else. we can't control it, we can't determine it, but we can shape it more than any other single actor. let's talk a little bit about trump, because we're going to get the big picture, believe me, but it is important to tease out what we've learned from the weeks of transition that we've all witnessed. donald trump has a very particular style. you're a guy who's steeped in foreign policy—making, you're a systems, a machines sort of guy. because you know the machine really well. donald trump doesn't seem to operate inside the machine,
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he operates, well, primarily through messages on twitter. do you worry about the style that's he's bringing to washington? he's certainly different, as you say. this isn't exactly the style of diplomacy i studied when i was a student at oxford a0 years ago. i grant you that, stephen. i worry a little bit. i worry that twitter is all too easy a form of communication. look, i do it myself, as i expect you do. you've got to think once or twice before you press send. i think the united states, as a country, has to think more than once or twice because so many others are counting on us and twitter can be something that you don't — you're not doing it in a careful enough way, and if others are basing their security and their calculations on america, then we've got to be very careful with what messages we send. and it's notjust about twitter in itself, it's also about the degree to which the united states‘ incoming president actually listens and actively seeks advice. there have been a few sort
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of symbolic moments, if you like. one was when asked on fox news whether he was reading the presidential daily brief, the intelligence brief, he said, "yeah, but i'm only sort of reading it once a week. i get it when i need it, he said. i don't have to be told because, you know, i'm like a smart person. i don't have to be told the same thing in words every single day". again, speaking as a guy who's been inside the system, that isn't really the way things have worked. do you think it's the way things should work, that a guy operates on his gut? i hope not. there's that old expression, i think it was the former governor of new york, that you campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose. my own experience, from having worked with four presidents, is when you govern, you're dealing at a level of detail that outsiders really can't imagine. i myself found the daily intelligence briefings quite valuable, quite important.
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they actually do change quite a bit from day—to—day, particularly when they give you the broader brush, sets of analyses, as the cia and others do. so, to be perfectly honest, i hope that mr trump establishes a better working relationship with the intelligence community, and, if he does, i think he'll actually find it to be a valuable resource that will help him govern. but we've already seen one important episode. you know, when it came to the allegations which have emerged and which have been verified as far as the us intelligence community is concerned, from cia, fbi, director of national intelligence, all of them adamant that there is compelling proof that the kremlin authorised a hack of the democratic national committee, because they wanted to influence the us presidential election. donald trump chose to side with putin's message, rather than the message coming out of his own intelligence chiefs. now, that's something that's happened, it's not something
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we have to speculate about. how damaging is that? i think it's raised questions about his relationship with the intelligence community. again, i'm hopeful, i'm not predicting, but i hope it's repaired. i think it raises questions also about us policy towards russia. i would simply say that this hacking was not an exception, it wasn't a one—off. we've seen russia do what it did to ukraine and crimea as well as eastern ukraine. we saw russian intervention in syria, which was a war crime, i would argue, by any measure and standard. there's all sorts of evidence that the sort of political machinations they did in the united states were not an exception. i expect we're going to see an awful lot of that in places like germany, as we approach the elections there. what we need is a comprehensive policy towards russia that, among other things, would say, you'll only get sanctions relief if we see measurable changes and improvements in your behaviour. i would also argue that we need to look very hard at
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re—militarising nato. after the end of the cold war, the united states and european allies essentially stripped nato of a lot of its military and its land components, and i would think they need to be reintroduced in places like the baltic states. not so long ago you were in trump tower talking about, i wasn't there and privy to it, but i imagine russia came up. what you've just said runs diametrically in opposition to, again, referring to twitter, to the opinions of donald] trump. quote, "i always knew he was very smart", talking of vladimir putin. "having a good relationship with russia is a good "thing not a bad thing, only stupid people or fools "would think it is bad". so tell me a little bit about this private conversation you had with donald trump. did you try to put him right, as far as you're concerned, on russia? in our conversations russia actually didn't figure all that prominently,
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it was more about developments in the middle east, developments in asia. we did — it was about trade, it was about immigration. we haven't spoken in the context of the hacking report by the intelligence community. what i've been saying publicly on that does disagree somewhat. our goal should not be a better relationship with russia, per se. what our policy should be is that we want a better relationship, but only on a basis of russian behaviour that takes into account our interests and what we think are the norms of the international system. so we don't want to have, if you will, a cosmetically improved relationship, we want to have a substantially improved relationship, and that's really up to mr putin. yeah, well, it's sort of up to mr putin, but it's also up to the united states. for example, the degree to which in response to the intelligence community's conclusions about hacking, whether there's mileage in more sanctions. for example, senatorjohn mccain and a bunch of other republican congress people have said
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that they now want to seek extra sanctions on russia. what would your view of that be? sanctions are one of the possible responses. i might be more interested in certain types of cyber related responses. as ijust mentioned, i'd be more interested in strengthening our military capability, both outside ukraine and the nato countries. i'd also be more interested in providing certain types of defensive military help to ukraine. there's already a lot of sanctions on russia. i'd have to be persuaded that additional sanctions would make a significant difference. i'm not interested in symbols, i'm interested in substance of things that will send a message to mr putin that he will receive. but i'm not fighting your point. does donald trump agree with me? i don't know. the evidence, at least on the surface, would suggest not. but again, we'll have to wait and see what he actually does when he governs. at the moment you are an independent observer, a commentator on what we're seeing from trump.
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but politico, for example, which gets some stories right and some wrong, it said in mid—december you were one of the top tips for the number two job at the state department, and that trump was actively considering you. any news on that? would you take the job? given everything we've discussed so far, could you conceivably work for a trump administration? well, i think the answer is, when asked if i could work for any president, and i've worked for four, you can only do it if, one, you have a similar conception of thejob, what it actually would entail, and even more important, that you're in sufficient alignment on the major policies. you don't have to agree on everything, stephen, but you've got to agree on enough of the big things that you can faithfully and effectively represent them. i think in my case we would need to talk about it, because there's areas that i've written about... look, i'vejust come out with a new book, i've written a dozen books before, so my views are not a big, dark secret. it wouldn't make sense for me to be there, unless i thought i could have a real chance to affect policy, to influence it and that we were sufficiently
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in sync, so i could be an effective representative of this president and this administration, and those would be issues that we would have to resolve to their satisfaction and to my satisfaction. let mejust say, i don't know if i'm seriously being considered for anything. i don't know if i'll be asked to do anything. obviously we'd have you back if you do know that. as you say, your analysis of a world in disarray seems to me to have several conclusions. i'm going to be very shorthand about them, but you say that the united states needs to be realistic in its ambition, it needs to match its vision of ends with means, rather than having very ambitious ends but not the will and the means to enforce them. i'm just wondering, let's talk about some other key areas. for example, nato, which of course i think 70% of the burden for spending in nato comes from the united states. does the united states, in your view, have an obligation to maintain that level
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of commitment to nato? and what would happen if, according to donald trump and some of his advisers, if the united states got much tougher with allies and said if you don't front up more money, we're going to back out? well, i wouldn't recommend that. i think the europeans need to do more, not so much spend more, though that would be welcome, they need to spend what they spend more intelligently. the problem with european defence spending is not so much the level, but that it's not co—ordinated, so you have tremendous areas of replication and you have large areas of shortfalls. but sure, i think the united states and europe both have to spend more on defence, simply because the threat environment going forward is a lot more robust than we imagined it would be ten or 20 years ago. that's simply a fact of life. you began, though, with a larger point, and i take it — which is that any time in foreign policy you have a gap between your rhetoric and your actual capacity, you run into trouble. we've had that in the middle east
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lots of times in recent years, where we said certain people must go and we didn't have policies to back it up, or when the syrians used chemical weapons, we didn't respond forcefully. so i think that ought to be a lesson. we've got to narrow the gap between american commitments and rhetoric, and american capabilities and actions. but the danger, and again i'm referring to stuff you've written in the book, the danger is that at times that looks like america abandons key values and principles. for example, just to pluck a couple out of the air, you're suggesting america needs to talk less loudly about human rights inside china or inside russia. america needs to push less hard to expand the nato family, to countries like georgia and ukraine. now to some people around the world, you might call it realism, they might call appeasement. well, they can call it whatever they want. they would also be dead wrong. in the case of a country like china, look, the priority, what we need to focus on for the next couple of years is not trying
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to make china democratic, no matter how hard we press, it's not going to happen. what we can perhaps do is get china to work with us to deal with the pressing north korean nuclear ballistic missile threat. in foreign policy, as in policy of any sort, you have to choose your priorities where your interests are greatest and your capacity to make a difference is greater. in the case of ukraine and georgia, bringing them into nato, i would say they don't meet the qualifications. in the meantime, we've got our hands full meeting the commitments we already have in nato. so, just going back to the guy who may or may not be your future boss, donald trump, and the issue of china... when he tweeted out that he saw no reason to be bound by the one china policy, and he was absolutely thrilled that the president of taiwan had given him a phone call, in your view that was not representing america's national interests very cleverly, yeah? no, and i made it very clear in what i said and wrote in the aftermath of those comments
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of his, that i thought it was counter—productive. that we finessed this problem with china and taiwan quite successfully for decades, and what that has allowed us to do, is to go ahead and forge a respectable relationship with china. and by the way, it's been good for taiwan as well. it's flourished economically, it represents a democratic model that's something of an alternative, to say the least, to what we see on the mainland. so my sense of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", so i disagree with the idea of questioning the one china policy. the more we talk and the more we run round some of the key issues facing the globe today, the more i'm thinking, despite your caution about declaring trump a major addition to the uncertainty and disarray in the world, that's precisely what, in substance, you do seem to be saying, on a whole raft of issues. well again, i never assume there is a correlation between what was said during a campaign, and how people govern. the purpose of campaigning, shockingly enough, is to get elected.
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the purpose of governing is something very different. so we'll have to see. but assuming i continue to be on the outside of things, and i think that's a pretty good assumption, where i see areas of policy i agree with, i will stand up and say fantastic, and when i see policies i disagree with, i will criticise them. that's been my stance during the last eight years of mr obama, and that will be my position going forward, again assuming i continue to be here at the council on foreign relations. i'm interested in this concept you developed, correct me if i'm paraphrasing it wrongly, but this idea of sovereign obligation. that is the idea that nation states these days do have obligations that run far beyond their own borders, in terms of collective action on key issues facing the world community, whether it be trade issues, global trade issues, or the huge challenge of climate policy. do you believe the united states...
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go on, what were going to say? no, you go ahead. i want to know if you believe the united states, looking forward, is going to be meeting its sovereign obligations? i don't know. my role here is to fight for it. this is what i think is smart and necessary. we're living in a global world. nothing stays local for long any more. what goes on inside countries is no longer simply their business alone, whether it's a coal burning electricity plant, whether it's a virus that comes out like zika or ebola that can affect everybody, whether it's terrorists or hackers, what we've learned is nothing as local, everything's potentially global. i believe this ought to become the intellectual compass, so to speak, of american foreign policy and that we ought to be consulting and talking with other countries, and also companies and ngos and others about how we deal with this global world, in which all these challenges you mention are far ahead of their responses. will the trump administration do this?
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i have no idea. i'm going to... the clue is in the mantra "put america first". that doesn't seem to be recognising collective obligations in the sense you've just talked about them? obviously not, but again that was a campaign slogan. whether that's a governing slogan we will have to see, and even if it remains a slogan, what will it actually mean in the way of policy? for example, does the united states change the basis of its regulatory framework when it comes to where we are on climate related issues? does the united states actually pull out of paris? i hope we don't pull out of paris, indeed the paris agreement is a model of an international agreement, where countries retain the ability to decide for themselves what it is they want to do or don't want to do when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, and they simply pledge to do their best, but they set their standards for themselves. it's not being imposed on them. so it is fully consistent with american sovereignty. i'm hoping that the trump administration comes to see it this way.
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it's the argument i've made to people around mr trump privately already, that people should think twice before they see the paris agreement as a problem. let me tap into your personal experience to something we touched on early on in the interview, but i would like to get a direct thought from you on it. it's about the way in which people acquire policy—making powers in the national security and foreign policy arena. i mean, you worked at the coal face for 30 years, you served a number of different presidents, you worked as an official in the state department and you took, in the end, some of the top jobs in national security and state, but you sort of paid your dues. what we see in the trump administration is a secretary of state, rex tillerson, who has come straight from the ceo position in big business, as we know, with an oil company with major ties in russia. we see a defence secretary who has almost literally come straight out of uniform,
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who has not had any sort of political experience. we see, for example, a son—in—law of the president, with absolutely no foreign policy making experience at all, who is now, it seems, in a post where he is expected to make middle east peace. what do you make of it all? laughter nominee rex tillerson, this is someone with an awful lot of experience around the world. i'm not worried at all about him. i'd say the same thing about general mattis, who is going to be running the pentagon. the real question is whether you can get a national security council process that works. there i think there's some grounds for concern, because you have so many people with positions of power at the white house. you've got a president, a vice president, a chief of staff, a chief strategist, a national security adviser, now you've got a special adviser, so it's a lot of people. the question is — how are you going to orchestrate this? how are you going to make sure that the policy
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is made in the right way, and more importantly, implemented in a way that is consistent with the decisions? i think that's an enormous challenge for this administration, whether they can get that right. you rather diplomatically didn't address the one name i put to you, that some regard as most controversial of all. mr trump's son—in—law, jared kushner. you've been around the middle east diplomacy and peacemaking effort, does it seem to you credible in any way that he should be given a key role like that? i'd say we'll see exactly what his role is and how it fits in with everybody else. i don't know mr kushner, but i would simply say the idea of trying to re—establish a degree of strategic trust between the united states and israel is essential and if he could help do that, bully for him. i would say great. right now you can imagine scenarios the us and israel could face over the next couple of years; the collapse of jordan, some problems with iran, another war with hezbollah in lebanon. so anyone who could help bring these
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two governments together, i would say that would be good. in terms of the israeli—palestinian "peace process", quite honestly i don't think it much matters who works on it. i think the prospects for advancing that, at the moment, are close to nil. the parties are so far apart and the essential prerequisites... i've been involved in northern ireland, i've been involved in cyprus, i've been involved in middle east peacemaking, and you've got to have protagonists that are both willing and able to make serious compromises. i simply don't see that between israelis and palestinians right now. so i wouldn't think this is an area that deserves an awful lot of focus. we're out of time, so it's a brief one. on the eve of the trump presidency, are you optimistic about the next four years of foreign policy—making, yes or no? in a word i am worried, given what the inheritance is. i think anyone has got to be worried. richard haass, thank you very much indeed forjoining me on hardtalk. thanks for having me.
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hello. before our weather turns increasingly wintry, it turns wild and windy. a particularly lively day across the northern half of the uk today. some travel disruption is possible as wee see wind gusts in excess of 60mph. strongest winds through northern scotland as this weather feature pushes east, introducing cold winds across the country and keeping the wind lively and gusty for the morning rush—hour. gusts in excess of 60mph across parts of scotland. frequent showers turning frequently to sleet and snow notjust over the hills. rain showers for northern ireland accompanies the strong to gale force winds, gales if not severe gales for some parts of northern and western england,
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as well as western wales. not a great morning rush hour across the pennines. to go with showers, the winds particularly lively. further south and east, the wind isn't as strong, but picking up through the day, introducing some sunshine but dropping the temperature. feeling colder for all in the afternoon. showers most frequent in the north—west of england and ireland, and they turn increasingly to snow across scotland with afternoon temperatures at three or four degrees at best. we continue with those winds, strong, gusty and increasingly icy through the night and into thursday. the showers get increasingly wintry too. scotland, northern ireland and northern england have a covering of snow for some into the morning, certainly icy conditions around. further south, even here a cold start to thursday. here is the set up for thursday, with the north—westerly winds bringing increasingly cold and arctic air our way. notice the weather feature pushing south, this could complicate things, the forecast for the south for sure. uncertainty at the moment but it looks like for southern areas outbreaks of rain with the wind coming from the south—west, but the rain turning to snow for a time across the welsh
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mountains, the moors, the south—west and the other high ground, moving to the other parts of southern england as we go through the afternoon, giving a covering here and there, maybe some flakes to low levels, certainly one to watch. further north we go, though, it's a case of some avoiding the showers altogether, others frequent snow showers. a good covering over the high ground in scotland, 10—20 centimetres if not more for the highlands and grampians. covering of snow to lower levels at times. even if you miss the showers, some of you will completely, all of you will notice the wind, it is going to be a day where the wind chill makes it feel much more like subzero for almost all. and the icy winds continue through thursday night and into friday. strengthening in fact across southern areas. showers for a time dying back to the coast through friday itself but the rain, sleet and snow flurries across eastern parts of england are only part of the story. here we will see severe gales on friday, some rough seas and the risk of some
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minor coastal flooding. stay tuned to the forecast. hello, you're watching bbc news. i'm adnan nawaz. our top story this hour: president obama gives his farewell address. in an emotional speech, he defended his record, thanked his supporters and repeated his continuing messages of hope and change. yes we can. yes we did! yes we can! thank you, god bless you. and god continue to bless the united states of america. welcome to the programme. our other main stories this hour: as fresh allegations are made about donald trump, the president—elect says he's the victim of a political witch—hunt. talks continue over the future of cyprus, the leader of the turkish
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