tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg May 9, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: brett is here. he is a special presidential envoy for the global combs to fight isil. he presley held a number of policy roles on both the obama and busch administrationles. he served as a senior viedors to three ambassadors in bag baghdad. a u.s. navy seal was killed by isil fighters in iraq on
tuesday. he was the third american serviceman to die in the country since 2014. meanwhile, in syria is there is a mush to maintain a fragile cease-fire in the wake of recent violence. i am pleased to have brett back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, good to be here. >> give me your sense. this is a huge concern for you, and we are going to talk about many things. where is iraq today? >> charlie, i have been in and out of iraq now the last month, kind of going back and forth to baghdad and beil. not yet in mosul. iraq faces tremendous challenges. let me try it break it down. the president came into office in september of 2014 after eight years of rule by prime minister maliki, his predecessor. it was a democratic transition arcs peaceful transition in the heart of the middle east. at the time the price of oil per barrel was about $100.
every single drop of the price per barrel of oil, iraq loses about $1 billion a year. last month it went down to about $30. you got a sense that the tools with which he had to work were not what he expected. he is trying to implement some strong reforms, electricity tariff, purging the roles of ghost soldiers and employees. it has generated quite a bit of resistance among the political elite. what you have in the country right now in addition to the fight against isil, which we can talk about, is upheaval against the status quo from the bottom up, which is happening in many parts of the world. that is not so much anti-prime minister. they are not protesting him. theriot protesting kind of the political establishment. has he tries to implement
political reforms, he comes up against his rivals. those reforms can't get enangered, and the population continues to go to the streets. then you have some of his rivals now kind of riding that wave. a cleric is riding it. so he is in a very tough spot. but he is trying to do the right thing. we are hopeful that he can get 0 out of this. i think we have great if i dense in him and what he is trying to do. we recognize it is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, what he is trying to do. i think we have to give the process a little time to mature, recognizing that even superman in that job cannot do what is needed. the country now, every month that goes by, the country is taking on of $3 billion to $5 billion i additional debt. we are working with the iraqi government, with the world bank, the coalition that the u.s. leads, 66 members now, to help iraq.
they will need some help. but also he has to keep on the right path. he has to keep doing the right thing. they have to address this popular pressure, but he's going to need some help also from his political challengers. >> you have pointed out the politics of iraq are so crucial. but many people have said over the last year that his essential requirement was beyond philadelphiaing the economy and the confidence of the people of iraq, was to appeal to the susan tribes, who were needed in the battle against eyes -- isis. is that happening? >> good question. one things that makes him different than maliki. maliki was centralized in baghdad and his office. him, ou would meet with he had three phones on his desk, trying to control
everything. frankly that can't work. the days of that overly centralized structure creates pressure cookers around the country and that can't work. abadi has a different philosophy. when he was coming to office, told me either iraq de-centralizes, or it was disintegrate. >> but not to point of breaking up iraq into flee parts? >> no. that gets to the susan tribes. he has been -- to the subey tribes. he has very supportive of getting local actors into the fight. that is central in our campaign against isil. you have seen that come to fruition in aun bar province. abnar proffibs, we have working with iraqi security forces and the tribes, 15,000 tribal fighters are mobilized. they have now cleared from
madi, marched up the euphrates valley, up to a fortress of isil. just three days ago, even in the middle of this political crisis which has been going on, the tribes in anbar and the iraqi security forces broke a isil that has been happening for two years. the tribes are mobilized and fighting with the iraqi security forces. it has been very difficult, but ibadi has been getting resources down to that level. if you go north of baghdad, the iti of decrete, an ike any nni city, former home of zambrano hussein.
they come in and committed assive atrocity, put it on youtube. this caused this psychological collapse in the country. when the iraqis cleared the city, it had almost become totally de-populated. we worked with the local leaders to flush resources down to the local level, to have them identify how do we get people back into their homes. the most important thing here is not just defeating isil, but what comes after eiffel. we wanted to have the people displaced to come back to their homes. we look at how long it takes. it can take years if ever for people to come back to their homes. it is one of the hardest things to do. in did he credit, there are flushing resources to the local legal. identifying what had to be done just to get people back. now almost 95%, according to
the figures from the u.s.a. 95% of the population is back in their homes. it is really quite remarkable. it has happened because the government 6 iraq and the body had an agenda to trust local leaders to bring people back to their homes. now in ramadi we are trying to do the same thing. this gets to the nature of isil and the enemy we are fighting. they are so barbaric. in ramadi, we have found almost every home is wired with i.e.d.'s, land mines. they put them in refrigerators and children's toys. 65,000 people have come back, but since they have come back, about 100 have been killed by i.e.d.'s. we immediately raised $15 million. we got in one of the top companies in the world, and they are now on the streets
clearing i.e.d.'s in ramadi to help people get back to their homes. this only happens because the government supports the de-centralization agenda. this is extremely difficult. we have had a very hard couple of weeks. it is concerning, the protest in the streets, the breach of the green zion. sauder. ergence of >> yes. he has taken on the mantle of non-sectarian, anti-corruption area, which has become his cause. there is irony to that. i don't think anyone particularly trusts him, so we have to see where this goes. charlie: so we lost a navy seal this week? >> terribly sad. i have for then to know a lot of them. charlie: how many do we have? >> a little over 4,000 now.
the people are doing what we call an advise and assist mission. let's talk about what this young navy seal is doing. at they do in advise and assist operations in iraq has been a bit of a game changer. when ramani fell about a year ago, a very daunting time. we met with the national security team in the situation room. the general was presented a very good play to set up an advise and assist facility just east of the city. help mobilize the tribes and forces and retake ramadi. at the time it looked like a very daughtering challenge, and the seals took that mission. in the kurdistan region we have special forces doing an advise
and assist mission with the peshmerga. nd also grim tear doing direct raids against targets. >> so they have been going out and doing direct offensive missions along with others? >> yes. they usually have the iraqi counterterrorism service with them. it is what secretary carter called raids. if we seen an isil leader, and we are tracking these people and there is anti-opportunity to capture them and find out what they know, they are the best in world at this and what they do. charlie: i want to come back to the effectiveness of our strategy and how you see it. part of the argument by the pent zpwon is we are taking out in a significant way a level of isil leadership? >> about every three days now
we are taking out a significant leader. iraqi counterterrorism forces, and also some of the syrian kurdish forces we work with in particular. to give you an example of the effectiveness and why we have to do this, about a year ago now -- we know more about isil now than we could have imagined two years ago. and we know that because of this painstaking intelligence work we have done. but that comes by the real herism of the people out there. it is important for the american people to know what they are doing out there. about a year ago we identify a deputy of baghdad. he was the financier of isil. e knew where everything was. you could either target him from the air or go and try to capture him. he was deep inside syria in a town named shadadi, which we have taken back from eiffel.
but back then it was a heartland. our special forces went into he heart of shadadi. abu shaeff resied and was killed. but the amount of information they took off was more than any other thing. thumb drives, computers, documents, all about isil is structured, financed, how they are getting oil out of the ground and what they are doing with it. we put that in a sergeanting process. we have since -- we learned that isil was making about $1 billion every year. about $500 million from oil and as and $500 million from extortion, taxes and trade. we have now reduced their ability to resource themselves dramatically. the numbers vary, but it is down by at least 30% if they
won to. in mows you will, and they are under tremendous pressure in learned mosul, we where they were keeping all this cash. it is a tremendous work by our interagency team. treasurely is a part, intelligence and d.o.d., all working together. we found out where the catch was, and we have targeted it. i think we have taken out now about $1 billion of their cash, and they can't regenerate that cash. it has had a significant impact. >> leadership in syria, both the leadership that has influenced what has happened in iraq and in syria. that is where the top leadership is said to be? >> we think they are around raca, the top leaders. what has happened in the last six months and why the
situation is not going particularly well for them in iraq and syria. they used to travel freely between rac a&m osul. they had the highways. rac a&m osul were their two capitals and they could travel freely. t dwrim, and importantly and critically with a coalition of syrian and arab fighters pushing down into eastern syria and cutting off the roads. we have basically isolated raca and mosul now. r them to get from raca to mosul, they have to take these pack roads. we think emotion of their eaders are probably in raca. we are inside the network. that is how we are picking up and killing so many of their
leaders. we also recognize isil -- the irector called it a phenomenon . how do you make sense of something like this? we analyzed it in really three dimensions. there is the core in rack and syria, which we are talking about. you have to shrink the amount of territory they control. really strategic land in syria. so there is a core in iraq and syria. there has been the global networks, the foreign fighter network, the propaganda recruiting and other networks. the one we are most concerned about is libya. it is the core, the networks and the affiliates. it is really a global challenge. hat is why we built the global coalition. charlie: how much success has there been in recruiting al
qaeda and other groups, to pay allegiance to them? i am using al qaeda or some spin off. they have tried to establish principal as the terrific location. look at syria. an al qaeda affiliate in syria, which answers to someone in pakistan. isil is kind of a sprate entity but of the same jihaddy mindset. they came out of zharkov, my greated to syria and then had to split. baghdad happened when aid we want to establish a califhate. charlie: osama bin laden was always opposed to that. >> yes.
the argue to that is it won't be popular, and you can't really governor at a state, and we have other things to do first. charlie: it is a great recruiting tool and shows they are doing something. and it shows they are creating a state. >> i was in baghdad when they went to mosul and announced we are establishing a caliphate. we weren't sure of the consequences, but what it has done is supercharged this global recruiting. i hear this around the world. what is driving so many of your young people to isil. the common denominator is this nation of a caliphate. this historic movement. come be a part of it. it has had a dramatic effect on recruiting. hen they say join us caliphate, it is moving and
expanding. they say in all their pro gand that we are expanding. they used to show the flags taking over the meester. they can't make that case anymore because it is dramatically shrinking. now they are saying join this movement. it is a very different message rather than come be part of this historic, linear expanding homeland, which you will be a part of and taken care of it. it is shrinking dramatically, and it will continue to sling. charlie: do we know if they are getting any support from within the countries that are part of the coalition, non-governmental, but people of influence and in some cases institutions, foundations and others, who have been very supportive of the expansion and in some cases supporting isil. >> when it comes to isil, i
think we have pretty much shut that off. all of our best information is that isil's resources is self generating. the are very didn't of territory they control. that is why they are taking oil fields and gas fields. i think we have pretty much cut off the external. we were just in sowed raburn. they are trying to launch an attack. we had very good meetings with the saudis. about every 12 days either an attack is launched or broken up by the saudis. charlie: at the same time what omes out of hiad is the saudis care more about ran, and it is really not a concern about isil. i am asking. >> well, it is true. they say mr. secretary, we suspend about three hours with
the young crown prince. they are talking about their national security problems, and their number one is iran and what iran is doing in the region. >> because they believe iran is trying to be a power. >> in their narrow testify, and we see it a little differently is what is driving this recruiting to isil, it is the strongest sunni standing up against iran, which of course it is not. the kingdom signed of wants to get ahead of that. there is some of that in the region. isil in syria and iraq is a product of governism. n libya there is very little sectarianism. in places like indonesia and
australia where people are being drawn to this, there is very little to that. the number one country of oreign fighters joining isil is tunisia. most of those foreign fighters are not going to syria. they are going to libya. so the idea that the recruiting tension, ely from a and what saad is doing and all the war crimes and atrocities is part of it, but it doesn't tell the whole story. almost 6,000 tunisians have now joined isil and are going to libya. we can't get too distracted in terms of the counter isil campaign. boca raton is a preexisting -- hoke hjarlmarsson is a bristol exhibiting problem. >> when we see in libya,
leaders traveling to libya, financing going to libya and foreign fighters going to libya, and they are being directed by isil leaders to go to libya, that is where we get concerned. when we see external ploling coming out of libya -- charlie: what about strengthening the government in tripoli? >> we have to strengthen that government. when we see threats emerging, we won't hesitate to take military action. we don't want to get too far ahead of this new government. when they ask for help, they will find a very willing international community willing to help.
charlie: let me go back to iraq. retake -- possible to mosul before the end of obama's term? possible? >> possibly definitely. i think when you interview the president, the way he put it was we definitely have the conditions in place to make sure that isil will be out of mosu lunch. we are very hesitant. we do not want to put a time line on this. charlie: but it is possible, and that is the goal, and you are putting forces in. you have announced you are going to have more special forces in iraq and now in syria? >> absolutely. there is a lot going on at
mosul. we hope not to get into a situation in mosul where it is street by street fighting. we are working with a lot of people now inside mosul, and we know a lot more about what is going on inside mosul. isil has pretty much worn out its welcome to say the least. but they have control over the population, and they execute people in the town square and do all sorts of terrible things. ut the squeeze is beginning. charlie: are we on the offensive? >> we have a base southeast of mosul, so we are there. kurdish forces and iraqi security forces are there. two iraqi army brigades that we trained are in initial phases of doing operations, clearing out villages, moving out to the tigress river. that is difficult. troops have to get their sea legs.
there are a number of other things we are now planning. someone said it looks like the campaign is really hitting a pause. it doesn't seem to be making the rapid progress it was before. at times in syria we were clearing thousands of square kilometers every week or so. and that is true. there is is a natural strategic pause where you reset, you reassess and analyze. but when i was in iraq last week, our military commanders were putting the final touches on kind of the final -- what might be the final plan for the next stages of this campaign. and i know they feel pretty confident about it. we hope to do is as soon as possible. charlie: and the president said that, too. he wanted to get baghdad the same he wanted to get bin laden. he said yes, and 35 or 40 others who are leading isil because of who they are and where they are and what their threat is. is the idea that we can use peshmerger s with
and sunni tribes, and the u.s. providing intelligence, citing of sources and other things as well as air power, that is the battle plan to take isil. what am i missing? >> well, that is the military side. there is a non-military component which is just as critical. but on the military side, every time we advise and assist a local force, that here is what you need. it has been hugely successful. i've been to these front-line areas. i've been there to talk to the people. i've been to the air base. when we do that every single time we succeed. we're going to continue to do that. what the president ordered for
mosul, that gives us. some additional capabilities. in ramadi, we said there were additional capabilities that we might be able to provide. it turns out we didn't need them. mosul, it is a different terrain. it is the nonmilitary aspects that are critical here. we call it stabilization. what comes after isis? making sure people will be empowered with their own affairs. that is very important. there is a military side but there is a stabilization element.
i mention here in the beginning that iraq is facing severe economic challenges. they do not have an economic foundation that we thought they would have. no one predicted this oil price shock. people are having their paychecks cut. clearly if you recapture it, is that the end of isis in iraq? brett: it will have a significant, decisive blow. he said we are establishing a caliphate. when isis is no longer in mosul, that will be a significant blow to the entire notion of what they are inventing. however, they will not just go away.
they will remain a terrorist organization. they say it was defeated in 2012. even then, they had 5-10 suicide bombers every month. you get a down to a level where it is not a threat. most important, it is not a threat to us. that is what we're focused on. charlie: let's move to syria. how strong is bashar al-assad now? have the russians pulled out at all russian mark --? what role are they playing and are they playing any role against isis?
brett: the russians came in to shore up assad. since we put in place, you have to keep in mind that in order to put this in place, if this thing continues to escalate. this is a grinding war of attrition. you forget about that. and rightfully so. we have to get into a deescalate tory cycle here. also important is to isolate.
civilian target. totally outrageous. we said to the russians that if you cannot deliver the regime then obviously this can't work. that has led to in three parts of the country and eastern damascus we are reestablishing the sensation of hostilities. what you are seeing the regime to, that has to stop. with the russians are telling us that they agree they are working to reestablish. senator kerry said that syria is so complicated and it is so far
from day-to-day to figure out what is happening in any given place. if the russians are sincere in trying to enforce this, we are incident -- sincere in trying to deliver. we have now increased our team in geneva. when things flare up, we can try and work together. that might not work but that is where we are right now. they have to deliver the regime. charlie: is the coalition going against a thought?
let's work together to deescalate the situation. you can see the separation. obviously, we are not the area. charlie, it is the most complicated and important problem on earth. where we are right now is trying to reestablish in these three areas and take it from there. we have aleppo fighting in the southwest. that is a concern. there's this conflict that the kurds are fighting some of the areas.
charlie: we turn to politics. donald trump was the last man standing. here with that and more is maggie a permit of the new york times and cnn. let me begin with what happened today. paul ryan said the following, i think we need a standardbearer and he cannot at this time support donald trump. implications? >> it is an astonishing moment that the highest standing republican and a man who thought was the future of the party cannot support the man. it is the biggest most neon example of the parties split so far and the reaction to donald trump.
it is a reminder of how much work there were -- on trump is going to have to do to support the republicans. in 2020, many republicans will probably say they believe that donald trump is months -- much less likely to win than hillary clinton. ted cruz looks towards that in his withdrawal speech. charlie: you still have the tea party as part of the republican party. you have what might be considered -- paul ryan. what is going to happen? if donald trump loses badly, is the party going to be something different?
are people going to form a new party? >> that is something they are wrestling with right now. they say very pointedly that i will not support trump. i am not for hillary clinton and i am not for donald trump. i am looking for what comes next. paul ryan is a very conservative figure and yet at this moment, he is not treated that way anymore. he is seen as a moderate, and establishment republican. the party's base is very worst vicious -- suspicious of government and and establishment. you certainly peeled -- see people like paul ryan and ted cruz that it will form back to what it was before. it is a collection of different
tribes with different interests. charlie: my question is is there anything that donald trump can do. he can promise that this will be a different campaign but there is a history. >> there is a series of videos of comments he has made, and he does not want to change that much. it did with him the domination -- nomination being different. somebody who wrote his own playbook. i do not think trump is a can can be emulated by another candidate.
he was able to manipulate the media. being on the apprentice for 14 seasons. he was beamed into people's homes. he was playing a leader on tv. not just anybody could've done that but i do think that trump accomplish something. number one, he thinks why would i change this. this is what people wanted and i'm giving it to them. i'm giving the people what they want. you have a set of new advisors that come in and they are trying to shape his messaging. trump has proven resistant to that. charlie: just when you think he's changed. >> more pivot points and anyone else i can think of.
charlie: is it impossible for him to win this presidential race barring some kind of black swan or indictment or huge unforeseen events? >> i think that nothing is impossible base that we saw nothing is impossible. charlie: all the people protesting are the ones that said trump will never do it. >> that having been said, i think it would take a black swan event for him to beat hillary clinton. or she would have to self-destruct. there may be a third-party candidate. one of the things that paul ryan said earlier today which was interesting was that he did not say that we did not have a third-party candidate. he said that i'm not sure that is necessary right now that he did say that would be terrible
or devastating. charlie: one of the reasons michael bloomberg did not run is that he did not want to be a spoiler in the election. he did not want to be a spoiler. >> that's right. and the reason that we talked about that, it would be someone that had resources. he would just be taking enough electoral votes away from hillary clinton was their estimation that donald trump would then become president. spent the clinton campaign is saying now that there would be no third-party candidate that could compete in a number of states. that combined with donald trump's very high negatives,
many of them controversial. they believe that with all of that she is very likely. is anything going to be -- prevent this as a race to the bottom? >> we are already on our way to that. charlie: we need a campaign. >> 2012 was the slash and burn night fight -- knife fight. this campaign is going to make that when looked like a high-minded debate of ideas. charlie: how do we let this happen to this? >> we have led to some extent.
donald trump is entertaining to a lot of people. i'll think that's just it. voters are very angry. what trump exposed is the tremendous break between the party base voters. they have not been in touch with where their voters are. in trump's case, he figured out that the party base was against trade deals, was very native a stick on immigration and wanted to turn away from george bush foreign policy. he did not want to spend american dollars on overseas wars. charlie: in an interesting way the president has some of those points of views. >> he is particularly did that they are not totally different
from what obama has said. obama has complaints about free riders in recent months. charlie: they have to pay 2% of the gdp for defense. he does not show the same understanding. it is based on nuances and diplomacy. charlie: let me turn to the democratic party. has it moved to the left? clearly, bernie sanders had a huge influence. he talked about populism and walls street and all those things. is it a different democratic party then bill clinton? >> absolutely. it is becoming that.
it is in the process of becoming that. the voters who are open to a self-described democratic socialist and would be supportive of his agenda cannot be ignored and that is not where the party has been. bernie sanders has been in congress for decades and was saying some version of what he has been saying for a long time. he really hasn't. you can see supporters are moving to him and it is not the other way around. hillary clinton s two problems, she herself is prone to talking about the past. she has been that way for as long as i have covered her. she talks about the 90's a lot in a favorable, glowing way.
a lot of the clinton era policies are things that the party has moved away from. gay marriage, criminal justice reform. a lot of them are based motivators. clinton has had to back that criticism on the crime bills from the 90's. charlie: they have been attacking her husband. >> he has gotten very angry about it. he gets angry in general when she gets attacked but he also sees it as an attack on his own record and that is what he is responding to. what you are seeing is that some of the old methods of soothing people with its democratic subsets is not working that well. clinton says that she has this great record but voters say it does not mean anything to them.
charlie: it's always about the future. the future is about their hopes and they vote their hopes. this election may depend on who the referendum is on. >> david axelrod has this theory that either you look for a replica or a remedy. hillary clinton's problem is that people want a remedy. she is doing a bit of both and that has been very difficult for her. bernie sanders's lingering presence in this race has exposed that. charlie: this election could be transported in -- transformative for both parties. >> i think that's right.
i think one of the reactions you are seeing in congress in response to the donald trump nomination is increased calls to confirm merrick garland before this term is over to aim the senate. knowing that if the numbers hold up, hillary clinton will nominate someone to the left. >> go with what you know is the sale for voters. you can see something of a fever breaks. thank you. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
mark: i'm mark crumpton. you are watching "bloomberg west." let's check your first word news. north carolina and the doj are suing each other. attorney general loretta lynch explained the action. attorney general lynch: this is about the dignity we accord our citizens and the laws that we as a people and the country have enacted to reject them. indeed to protect all of us. mark: governor pat mccrory says the federal government is overreaching. there will be an extension of the cease-fire in the northern province of aleppo in syria for