tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg January 18, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
♪ announcer from our studios in : new york city, this is "charlie rose." several days and counting for you, as the national security advisor to the president of the united states. are you ready to leave? susan very mixed feelings. it has been an extraordinary privilege to serve our country, and particularly under this president. i love the work i do, i love the team i work with. i'm going to be very sorry to leave that. on the other hand, after eight years as their -- either as national security advisor or u.n. ambassador and two years
prior to that, supporting obama's election, 10 years of intensity, working on some of the most intractable and challenging problems, there is a real part of me that is looking forward to getting a rest. charlie: what have you learned? close to power, the national security advisor, person who presents the options to the president. susan: there is a great deal i've learned. let me talk about what i learned about the role of national security advisor. first and foremost, it's my job to ensure that the advice, analysis, recommendations provided to the president of the united states are thorough, well thought through, based in fact, and fairly reflect the opinions and recommendations of the level -- cabinet level national security. charlie: and if there is conflict, make sure he understands there is a conflict in the recommendation, which i understand still happens.
susan: it happens enough and it's vitally important that my colleagues at the principals table and the president can trust that i am not putting a filter on that or any spin, whatever is the ok view of the president's cabinet officials is fully and fairly represented to him. charlie: what were your impressions of michael flynn? susan: charlie i can't say that , i know him well. we have spent a number of hours together in our meetings, whereas i have been trying to make sure we are giving him the information he needs. and that the new team needs. charlie: you have some impression of his curiosity, his intellect, his values and judgments? susan: it's not appropriate for me to characterize my successor. i will say this. he has been civil and respectful. our meetings have been constructive. and, i think we are doing the business we were meant to do together, of affecting this handoff. from the national security council's point of view, we have been working since the beginning
of the year, 2016, to prepare for this transition. obviously without knowing to whom we would be handing off. i personally reviewed over 100 transition memos to general flynn and those on his team. in addition to that, at the lower levels, we have prepared another 175 pieces of paper. there's a huge volume of material that we have provided to them for their consumption, and on top of that, we sat down for many hours to talk through the challenges, to be responsive to their questions and concerns. charlie: you also know well what the president-elect has been saying, whether nato is obsolete, whether he is prepared to with draw sanctions, if the russians will give him something. what indication does that give you about where the trump administration is going? susan: i think like most american consumers of the news, we are all watching and listening and trying to figure
out what this portends. in a number of areas quite frankly, we've heard different messages. charlie: from the cabinet nominees. susan: from the cabinet nominees, indeed from the president-elect himself at different times on different topics. i think we need to wait and see. charlie: what lessons do you want to impart to michael flynn? susan: the lessons i want to impart our that necessity in running a transparent and honest process and serving the president-elect, soon to be president, with the integrity and the fairness that this position requires. secondly, it is essential to be a consumer of substance. there are no shortcuts in this business. and even if you are vehicle for -- your vehicle for communication is a shortcut, substantive policy work that comes behind it has to be serious and rigorous. i've also tried to impart the quality of the staff we are handing off to the new team. the national council that
security council staff, career experts from around the different agencies that have been detailed for the white house. they are extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and effective. and i've been very proud to lead this team as we have tried to ready the next administration for the challenges they will face. i hope they will trust in the wisdom and experience of the foriegn service and military. charlie: what is your biggest nightmare? what has kept you up late? choose whatever idea expresses the sense that as you sit here with me, this has worried me the most. susan: i have a number of worries. i wish i had one. in all honesty, this is a world where the nature of the threats is very diverse and the challenges are multiple. let me list a few. i think anybody in my position would worry about a catastrophic attack on the homeland or on american personnel abroad. that is nightmare number one.
and particularly, if it were god for bid, -- god for bid to be , combined with some sort of weapons of mass destruction, biological weapon, especially wmd, terrorism. secondly, i think we need to be very concerned about the potential, deliberate or inadvertent, for russia to miscalculate and provoke a conflict in the european theater. i say that because russia's actions have been increasingly aggressive, whether it is surveilling our diplomatic personnel and harassing them, making very unsafe approaches on the sea and in the air, and i think it is unclear what putin's intentions are, particularly after the annexation of crimea and the illegal occupation of ukraine, and the atrocities he has been party to in syria. i worry about russia.
then, there are the less probable but catastrophic scenarios, pandemic flu, is a major concern. north korea continuing to advance and perfect its nuclear missile program. or even an unforeseen conflict between india and pakistan. both nuclear, armed nations that are constantly skirmishing in kashmir. charlie: we talked about russia. vladimir putin said on tuesday he accused the outgoing u.s. administration of trying to undermine president-elect trump by spreading false allegations. he described the dossier on trump as part of an effort by president obama, he said the dossier alleging trump's sexual activities at a moscow hotel was fake and he charged as being worse than prostitution. he's talking about your administration. vladimir putin saying -- susan: putin has told more lies than i can count.
whether about syria, ukraine, or about his role in any interfering in our elections. i don't take anything he says as gospel truth. in this case, it's completely dishonest and counterfactual. president obama had no knowledge of, no role in this alleged dossier, and obviously, it is the consensus, high confidence -- of our collective 17 intelligence agencies that vladimir putin made a deliberate attempt to interfere with our elections. that's the fact. charlie: to interfere with our election and make sure that donald trump was elected? susan: i don't think it's possible to say make sure. charlie: or to help. susan: to assist by denigrating secretary clinton. charlie: so putin wanted to do whatever he could to benefit the election or add to or contribute to.
susan: that's it. that is what our impunity -- intelligence community has concluded. charlie: this goes to the heart of the democratic process. have we retaliated in kind? have we done something to putin, either face-to-face or in china, that putin says, are not going to do that again because they will -- susan: there are different stages to this, and we should break it down. we have retaliated. we have responded in a serious fashion. we said from the outset we will respond in a manner and time of our own choosing, and not all of it may be evident to the american people. charlie: but it has begun? susan: it has begun. in fact, a significant element of it was announced at the end of last month, when the president sanctioned the russian military intelligence and other russian intelligence agencies and their leadership for their direct role in trying to involve
themselves in our election. he also expelled 35 russian intelligence officials, close down two very facilities they operated in the united states, put out in great detail the forensics that showed how russia conducted these attacks, and a variety of significant steps. now, you mentioned china. back in early september, as we were beginning to see indications of this, the president did convey a very forceful message to president putin. it's our assessment that as this circumstance evil, and -- evolved, and having greater confidence in the base for our conclusions, as you know, the intelligence community and fbi, made it clear to the american people on october 7 that russia was playing a nefarious role at the highest level designed to interfere with our elections.
the fact of the matter is that russia's behavior, as bad as it was, and it was significant, could have been worse. and might have been worse, i did not been for the fact that they understood -- charlie: have they stopped? susan: doing what? charlie: hacking. susan: no. charlie: can you prevent them from hacking? susan: no. russia and other state and nonstate actors will continue to hack. the problem with what they did in the election, this went beyond intelligence gathering. this went beyond hacking for commercial gain. charlie: this was to do what? susan: this was hacking to acquire information than to use it to influence the election. charlie: samantha power made a speech in which she said, this demonstrates how committed a country russia is to breaking rules and tearing down the existing world order.
she cited ukraine, crimea, and syria. that's interesting. breaking the rules and tearing down the existing world order. is that what vladimir putin wants to do? susan: i don't know that that is an accurate reflection of his intent. he's trying to bend the rules of the world order. i think he is certainly trying to manipulate the rules to his benefit. his invasion of ukraine, annexation of crimea, was a blatant violation of international rules. he did so to advantage his own interests. at the same time as he's doing that, he purports to uphold international law by virtue of his role as a member of the security council. there's a duality there. when it's convenient for russia, in the present, they are violating international rules to cement their appropriate points
-- international rules. samantha appropriately points to syria. as another example. in other instances, it tries to wag its finger and beauty champion of the so-called international rules and norms. it is a dishonest game, a manipulative one. it's all about serving what he believes to be his interests. charlie: vladimir putin has said the u.s.-russia relationship is as bad as he's ever seen it. susan: you and i are old enough to remember the cold war. i think we have a little bit of perspective, even in the midst of what is a difficult period in our relationship, there's no doubt. i would not be prepared to characterize it that way. in fact, even as we have reached very difficult times i virtue of -- by virtue of what has happened with respect to our election and ukraine and syria, there are still other areas where the u.s. and russia on a daily basis are working together, and are continuing to find areas where our interests
coincide. for example implementation of , the iran nuclear deal. charlie: john kerry said to me last week they were a great help to getting that deal done. susan: that is true. and that's where their interests ours coincide. we negotiated and we are both still adhering to the new start treaty to reduce our nuclear arsenals. there are areas where our interests do converge and where we are able to cooperate. there are increasingly a number of areas where they diverge. charlie: donald trump has said he's prepared to consider reducing the sanctions, if there is an action on the part of vladimir putin and russia suggesting something within a nuclear treaty. can you imagine circumstances in which it would be appropriate to reduce the sanctions that have been posed by your administration? susan: we have different sanctions for different purposes. we have sanctions on russia for their annexation of crimea and ukraine.
for those, we have said as long , as they are holding on to crimea, certain sanctions will remain in effect. when it comes to ukraine, if russia were to fulfill its commitment and fully implement the minsk agreement, we and our european partners have indicated for a long time that sanctions could be pulled down for their involvement in ukraine. we have a separate set of sanctions that relate to some of their abuses internally, human rights. we have other sanctions now that relate to their involvement in the election. i think for this latter group of human rights related and election related, the bar ought to be very high for reducing sanctions because the damage has been enduring. ♪
charlie: talking about taking a new look at the one china policy. do you think that's a wise thing to do? susan: i don't. the one china policy has served the united states, taiwan and china well. it has been a foundational elements of the u.s.-china relationship since normalization back in 1979. we are a friend and partner of taiwan, adhered to the taiwan relations act, we provide
defense equipment and support to taiwan. that has served taiwan and the united states well. to abrogate the one china policy or bring it into ancillary negotiations on an economic or trade issue, i think would be a grave mistake. we will find that china, with whom we have managed to forge a far more pragmatic and effective relationship where we cooperate in a far wider range of areas than ever before, whether it's climate change or peacekeeping or global health, nonproliferation, and manage our differences and competition , whether in the economic sphere or on the south china sea in a constructive fashion to avoid conflict, that whole balance could be upset in a very devastating way. charlie: not only that, north korea. susan: in fact, china for better or for worse, is an
indispensable player when it comes to north korea. our global economy is such that the u.s. and china's economies are intimately linked. they hold a high proportion of our debt. there are many ways in which we can't afford to play fast and loose with what is the most consequential bilateral relationship on the planet. charlie: here's what some people are looking at. they see xi jinping at davos giving a major speech. first time he's been there. the first time the president of china has been there. basically saying globalization is good. when the whole populist revolution is about globalism is bad. he's over there saying, we believe in world market, we believe we have to monitor what happens with globalization. it's almost like china is saying, we are the champion of globalization. not the united states. susan: the united states has been the biggest beneficiary of globalization and free trade and open markets.
it has reinforced democratic rule in many places. it has raised living standards. exports are a huge basis of our economy. i think we would be very remiss if we ceded the mantle of leadership on free trade and economic openness to china. that's why the president has been so committed to the transpacific partnership. charlie: which he did not get passed. susan: it was not passed by congress. charlie: which was an act of presidential leadership. negotiating the deal, and getting trade promotion authority, which we did, to enable it to be passed, and then unfortunately in the latter months of the year, the leadership in congress make clear they would not pick it up. charlie: tell me where you see the possibilities of the chinese relationship. you have cited some of the things that worked. hand, they are much
more aggressive in the south china sea. withbuilding those islands military equipment and defensive equipment. they are building up their navy to be an outreach of their global power. they are -- a continent they know a lot about, they have a presence in africa. susan: china is, or the united states, the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world. we have to manage it carefully. i have spent more time traveling to china as national security adviser than to any other country. i've personally been engaged very directly with my chinese counterparts, and met myself with xi jinping on a number of occasions to help shepherd this complex relationship. it now stands the entirety of -- spans the entirety of the u.s. government. everything from wildlife trafficking to public health in africa, to our defense relationship. it's complicated, it's intense,
it's got economic and security dimensions to it, and we need to recognize the when the united states and china can solve problems together, that's beneficial for both countries and the world. we saw that most dramatically in where ournt sphere, leadership enables the paris agreement to be forged. when the united states and china are a confrontation, whether in the economic sphere or security realm, it's quite dangerous, and we have to be quite clear to stand up for what we believe in, and that's freedom of navigation, freedom of overflight. charlie: we haven't stopped them from going ahead to adding to their presence on the south china sea. susan: they have been adding to their presence, so have other claimants. china is the largest player in that regard. what we've insisted on, and we don't take a view on whose claims are legitimate under
international law, is that we are the united states and our commercial vessels, our military vessels, will operate where we need to. we will defend our allies, we will defend the international rules and norms, and we've done that. china doesn't like it, and there is potential for disagreements in this realm to escalate. for now, we have managed them, and i think managed them responsible. -- responsibly. i will give you another area where we have major differences we have managed to mitigate the conflict and turn down the temperature. that is in the cyber realm. china has been very aggressive over many years, particularly in using cyber tools to steal economic assets. charlie: the argument also being made by the united states, that the government of china was benefiting.
susan: they are stealing our stuff. from our companies. charlie: so they would have an advantage in the world market. susan: they have used cyber enabled espionage for commercial gain. charlie: the president made a very strong argument. did they stop? susan: they have much reduced it. it happened because in september of 2014, 2015, i apologize, on the eve of president xi jinping's state visit to the united states, following my visit to china in august, we made very clear that unless it stopped, and unless we reached an understanding about what the rules of the road were going to be, and they foreswore not only in word but deed, commercial espionage using cyber, that we were going to impose sanctions, and they understood it. we reached a five-point agreement that the president announced in september. i think if you ask our commercial partners, u.s. companies, or our intelligence
community, they will all say that the frequency and the nature has been reduced. not eliminated. charlie: do you agree that donald trump is a candidate for president of the united states was able to speak to people who lost their jobs and be able to tell them that it was in part because of unfair trade practices by china, and the loss of their job, the moving of factories, and all of that had to do -- that china was not playing on a level playing field and was costing american jobs, and he was going to do something about it, even if it meant imposing a 45% tax? susan: there's no question that we've had for many years a number of economic grievances as it relates to china. we need to deal with them each in their own right. we have taken more trade actions in this administration against china, including just this past week in the aluminum realm,
where we see unfair trade practices. we are enforcing the rules of the road and making sure that where american companies are disadvantaged that there is adequate and full retaliation. on the other hand, we have to be realistic. our economies are intertwined. 45% tariff on chinese goods would not only harm china, but the united states in a very meaningful way. it would trigger a trade war. president xi jinping has been clear about that. that's not good for any of us or the global economy. we need to find calibrated and responsible ways to protect our businesses where they are threatened and our industry, and at the same time not tank the global economy in the process. and where we have workers that have been displaced and disadvantaged by trade with china, or in the past, or currency concerns with china. we need to defend them not only in the relationship with china, but in terms of helping them adjust back here at home.
charlie: we clearly saw the impact of sanctions in iran. we got a nuclear deal out of that. can you tell me one way that sanctions against russia have altered their policies? susan: let's go to the ukraine. those sanctions have been in longer. the ones we just discussed related to the election have only been in place since last month. on the ukraine sanctions, what we can say is the united states working in concert with europe and having a unified approach to sanctions certainly created economic pain in russia and exacerbated what has already been a precarious situation because of lower oil prices. it has led to the minsk agreement that were signed, but not fully implemented. that's where the challenge -- it's both. and yes, there would be no minsk agreements and no agreed framework for how to resolve the conflict without the united
states and europe and the other members of our partners in the g7 standing together. i think it's important that those pressures remain in place until minsk is implemented. in the meantime, we have supported ukraine to develop its economy, to get back on its feet, to build up its defensive capabilities. charlie: do you think the russians are going to once again change their policy about crimea? isn't that a done deal? susan: they may think it's a done deal. it's not accepted by anyone else in the international community. it has not been acknowledged or validated. whether they change their posture, i'm not here to predict that that's going to happen tomorrow or the next day or next year. what i can say is it's not been accepted by any country as legitimate. it was an illegal annexation of another country's territory. charlie: which stands today. susan: it stands and it can't be accepted. ♪
♪ charlie: let me move to what has been troubling for you, for the president, for the country. syria. you have said you were not in favor of the united states intervening in a civil war between bashar al-assad and who ever the rebel forces were. susan: intervening militarily. charlie: forces were. forces were.
-- charlie: intervening militarily. russia did intervene militarily. and it looks like their intervention made a significant difference. does that hurt our standing in the world? susan: charlie, what i think would hurt our standing far more than russia deciding to commit itself militarily -- charlie: we didn't go in, russia really -- the results are on their side. susan: they are taking the losses, they are bearing the costs of what we think is a misguided policy of backing beside -- backing a thought. -- bashar al-assad. what are our interests? susan: we have to think about -- charlie: we have to think about whether there is an alternative. susan: we got an hour. charlie: please, i apologize. susan: the other thing that is in our interests is dealing with the terrorist threat that has arisen in iraq and syria. and doing so in an effective and sustainable way. so we have been involved, we
were involved militarily in syria. but to try to defeat isil in a coalition with others, and in iraq the same way, working with the iraqi government. we have rolled back the gains eiffel has made -- isis has made across 50% of the territory, many community leaders. as we are seeing in mosul and we will soon see in rocca, that campaign is making critical progress. that serves directly our interests because there are people in both iraq and to a greater extent syria that are plotting to attack the united states and our european partners and others. so that is where we need to engage. a choice to involve ourselves in the civil war -- charlie: civil war in syria -- susan: -- would have been very much a war of choice and one in which our direct interests and the president's judgment, and my judgment, were not implicated to the extent that a warrant to the -- extent that warranted to the loss of american life. charlie: failure of negotiations between the russians and the
united states so far, in order to find some alternative to bashar al-assad? susan: whether or not the united states had chosen to intervene in syria, and i said -- charlie: you have intervened. they have intervened. susan: no, charlie. what i'm talking about is whether we got involved in the way you just described russia got involved. so we have not. i think that was the right choice. this conflict will have always needed to end at the negotiating table. there's no question about that. and so going back to the beginning, before it was the u.s. and russia talking, it was the united nations hosting talks geneva back in 2012 and we 2013. had been involved in these negotiations from the very beginning because the only sustainable way in our judgment to end the conflict and see assad leave the scene is going to be through a negotiation settlement. charlie: the only alternative as far as you are concerned and the
president and the secretary of state for an apparatus of the united states was for a significant number of boots on the ground. that was the only thing in your judgment that could turn the civil war in the favor of the rebels -- against bashar al-assad. susan: i'm not even sure that would have. you are asking why -- charlie: why you turned against -- susan: if we got enmeshed intensely in the war in syria prior to the russian intervention, i can't predict what with certainty what effect , that would have had, but that would have been the most direct and impactful way for us to try to effect a situation, as we had done just years before in iraq with hundreds -- you know tens , of thousands of u.s. troops on the ground. and we saw in that circumstance that it was important as the gains that were made in that conflict on the ground were, they proved ultimately to be very fleeting in their sustainability. charlie: look at the consequences. and i know to ask any question of you and the president, how much every one of you has anguished over this.
anguished over this. you don't look at aleppo and not feel the tragedy there. susan: nobody does. charlie: understand that. the question is, were your assumptions right, because of verifications? -- the ramifications? look at europe, and what happened with migration. look at the political future of one of the president's best friends, angela merkel. she is facing reelection in july. look at what is happening to the rise of populism, all a product in part -- susan: in part. populism had many other dimensions. charlie: i agree. susan: we discussed some of them. charlie: globalization. susan: exactly. let me say this. there's no doubt that what has evolved in syria as a result of the civil conflict, particularly the refugee outflow, and particularly the outflow as it has gone to europe, as been -- have been destabilized. there's no question about that. but the united states getting involved in the war on the ground or even the war in the air wouldn't have lessened the
fact of the refugees. it might have even exacerbated -- charlie: but you didn't do anything. i want to be clear about this. i just sat -- said you had a presence on the ground, and you tried hard. men and women on the ground. the argument is made, was a -- was there nothing you could do? the president has said in exit interviews that he asked people constantly, was searching for alternatives, and you are saying and he is saying, we found no way. susan: let's be clear what we are talking about here. we are talking about was there a , military way to effect the outcome of the civil war such that assad was defeated and the opposition was victorious? ok? charlie: and the answer to that is? susan: the answer is, as you two said, in the first instance we have wrestled with , this problem, rolled over in our minds, at the principal's table, every potential option. charlie: you wanted to find a
way to do that -- susan: not that we couldn't, but we assessed the risks and costs of much increased american-u.s. direct military involvement in the civil conflict were not outweighed by the benefits. and so you know, to involve the united states directly in a civil conflict where we are putting american lives in significant numbers on the line to try to defeat assad, we judged, and history may take a different view was not , ultimately in america's interest. we didn't do nothing. we have been actively involved in trying to end this war from the beginning, through diplomacy. we are the biggest provider of humanitarian assistance, providing over $6 billion to the people who have suffered from this conflict. we have supported our european partners and played a role in trying to support the maritime interdiction. we have supported neighboring countries, like jordan, like lebanon, like turkey, that have needed support.
and above all, we have taken the fight to isil, which is much -- charlie: i will come back to that. susan: which is a much more direct threat to the united states and to europe. charlie: so you look for alternatives and you couldn't find them, even though i interviewed -- susan: we didn't find suitable alternatives. there were people advocating for a no-fly zone. so let's talk about that for example. what would a no-fly zone have done? a no-fly zone, the concept was to create a swath of territory, most of the time that was discussed on the border the , northern border of syria with turkey, where people could flee the fighting and have relative security. ok? that was the concept. no-fly zone, however -- just to be clear, and try to prevent assad from using air power, barrel bonds, whatever, against civilians. we could have done that, but it would have been at great cost to the counter-isil campaign in terms of diversion of assets and resources. we have --
charlie: we don't have enough power to do both? susan: we are doing a lot of things in the world simultaneously. and no, the answer is had we , chosen to enforce a significant no-fly zone, it would have taken assets away from the counter-isil fight in iraq and syria. that is the choice we could have made. wasn't one we thought was directly serving our proximate interests. moreover, you can't just have folks protecting people on the ground through air power in the skies. you need to have somebody on the ground providing that protection. and there wasn't a nato country , not turkey, not anybody at the time, willing to provide that kind of protection. so, it was an idea that sounded good in theory. but when you peeled it back and talked about what would it actually entail, what diminution of our support for the isil campaign, who would provide the ground force, how many air caps would that require? it did not end up making sense. charlie: after your point as
well you never know if you go , into a civil war and you defeat the regime -- susan: and by the way, that wouldn't have defeated the regime, it just would have protected civilians in a finite area. charlie: ok let me make my , point. if you go to the civil war and defeat the regime, you don't necessarily know what's going to follow. susan: that is true. charlie: all you have to do is look at the arab spring to be confirmed in that view. susan: that's true too. the fact of the matter is, one of the reasons why a negotiated solution is the only sustainable one is because that's the only way to have some influence over who comes behind. charlie: history will have a hard look at this, as you know. susan: they will indeed. charlie: and the pain is deep and it continues and it continues. susan: it continues. and charlie, you know as you said yourself, this is in my view the most difficult, vexing, painful policy challenge i've seen in my years in government. and there aren't any satisfactory, you know silver
, bullet solutions. if there were, we would have utilized them. charlie: isil, isis, islamic state. mosul will be captured reasonably soon, we assume. whatever. i'm not going to put a timeline on it. but you've made significant advances. susan: significant progress. charlie: the iraqis have made significant advances. there is at some point an effort against rocca. ash carter suggested it will take place in 2017, but both mosul and raqqa will be captured. and the leadership of isil will be captured or killed. do you believe that? susan: i think there's a reasonable chance that -- charlie: just a reasonable chance? i don't know how you couldn't get involved in war and take fight -- susan: charlie, we are going to capture with our partners on the
mosul and raqqa. you are asking me to be precise about a timeline. i think it can be done. i think it probably will be done. can i be 100% certain? charlie: no. susan: no. i'm not going to pretend to be. i have great respect for ash carter's judgment. he has run this campaign with extraordinary -- charlie: john kerry -- susan: the -- extraordinary effect so far and we have made more rapid progress in both iraq and syria than we have judged. i'm an optimist on this. it will happen. i'm not going to be nailed to -- charlie: it will not take a lot of time -- susan: just take a raqqa and mosul is necessary but it's not sufficient. they are isil is, for example, , just today, putting up a major fight against the russians and the syrians in another city south of raqqa inside of syria. so it is not as if isil is only in basel and raqqa -- mosul and
raqqa. those are the centers of gravity. they must be taken, they will be taken. but then there will still be worked to be done, and not just, by the way, in iraq and syria, because isil has global ambitions and global presence. we're dealing with isil in places like libya, in west africa, in parts of southeast asia, and in south asia. charlie: the agreement with iran. agreement has held. nuclear agreement. will continue it to hold, that the administration that is coming to power will do away with it? susan: it could do away with it. charlie: what are the consequences if they do away with it? susan: let me outline them. first of all let's step back. , this nuclear deal that was agreed and negotiated with iran, along with the european union, france, britain, germany, russia, and china, as well as
iran itself -- charlie: the p5. susan: the p5+1 plus iran, has endured. it's been adhered to in all of its elements by the iranian side. so in contrast to where we were before the agreement a few years ago, iran removed 2/3 of its centrifuges and disabled them. it shipped out 98% of its enriched uranium, poured concrete in the core of the plutonium reactor. charlie: so much further away from being able to produce a nuclear warhead. susan: the material for a nuclear warhead. it is at least one year away as opposed to two or three months. that is the success of this deal. and we have achieved the objective of cutting off every one of iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon without the use of force, in a far more sustainable way. so for the new administration or
any administration to decide to abrogate that deal, they would be saying that success is not good enough, and instead we are trying to accomplish something else. and i'm not sure what that would be. they were to do that, charlie, what would happen? first of all, iran, which has held up its side of the bargain, would be out from under, no obligations, we would have abrogated the agreement and they would have no obligations that bind them to the steps they've taken. they can shrink their breakout time, without being in the wrong, so to speak. charlie: but why? susan: one other really important point, our partners who negotiated this deal with us, that europe and russia and china who believe in this deal, would feel no obligation and would be under no pressure to reinstate the sanctions regime that was a major source of pressure on iran. iran would not only be out from under sanctions, able to pursue its nuclear program unconstrained, we would be the outlier, not the leader that we
were in building the coalition that got us the deal in the first place. charlie: why are our allies in the region opposed to the deal? susan: it depends who you are talking to. some, they take different views. israel, you've heard prime minister netanyahu be very vocal against the deal. but we've also heard the leadership of the israeli military and intelligence community say it's working. charlie: i agree. the saudi's, the emirates -- susan: if you ask them for their view in public, and you ask them you ask them what they think, , they will tell you, they acknowledge that this deal has extended a breakout time and reduced a nuclear threat. the problem, charlie, is for the region, and let's particularly talk about the gulf states, their principal concern is not only the nuclear program. it's other iranian nefarious behavior which we share a serious concern about. charlie: it's fair to say anything about it. susan: i wouldn't say we have not done anything about. but the nuclear deal was about
-- the nuclear deal was not about terrorism, and it wasn't about ballistic missiles or a lot of other things that concerned us greatly about iranian behavior. our view is, and if you press them, they would acknowledge as well, that given iran's bad behavior, better that it not have a nuclear weapons capacity. better that it have a constrained, small, verified, monitored civilian program, and that it not have the power to threaten israel or our partners in the region with a nuclear weapon. charlie: one of the things that you have said, and it is this notion back to a broad picture of the world -- are we looking, as you leave office, at a world that is much more unstable than when you came to, -- because of not just actions or especially actions of the administration, but the changing complexity of the world?
are we looking in 2017 at a much more complex, fragile, unstable world? susan: i think we are looking at, certainly we are looking at a complex world. charlie, i said this in fact last week at the institute for peace where i gave a speech on sort of where we are. charlie: that is where i got the idea. susan: the nature of the threats we face is much more diverse. but in other respects, we face it from a position of greater strength. our economy has rebounded. we are no longer on the verge of a global depression. and we are growing now, and that is a great source of strength. we no longer have an al qaeda core, osama bin laden is the -- as the only organization that has managed to conduct a successful foreign directed plot on u.s. soil. they are substantially diminished. osama bin laden is dead.
and there hasn't been, knock on wood, a successful foreign directed terrorist attack on our soil. that is better. we are fighting isil with a coalition of 68 countries from a position of strength and in a way that is a much more sustainable approach than having to invest tens of thousands of our forces on the ground for an extended period of time. so there are many ways in which we're in a better place than we were. on the -- we have a global climate agreement which we didn't have and has the prospect for dealing with an existential threat to the planet. i could go on. we have iran that doesn't have the ability to pursue a nuclear weapon, which they did in 2008. but what we do have are some other forces that have created greater complexity. russia certainly has been more aggressive, and we have to point to that. charlie: north korea. susan: i think the north korean
threat has been gradually growing. back in 2008, they had nuclear weapons, and they had ballistic missiles. they have continued to pursue those programs, and the sanctions that we have put in place, the efforts and the pressure we have put in place have been significant, but they have not ended their nuclear program. charlie: soon they will have icbm's that can deliver nuclear warheads. susan: they may, but this has been an evolving problem. we have a nuclear north korea or a north korea with nuclear weapons some years ago, and i -- that problem persists. it is not getting better. so i want to be clear about that. when you ask me what worries me, that was one of the things that i pointed to. but, i thought you were talking about things that have evolved and changed in a way -- charlie: no, i was talking about everything. susan: -- in a way that is meaningfully different than where we were some years ago. i think what we are seeing is
the nature of the threats are more diffuse. natione of a different nature. , we have state actors like russia that are problematic. we have nonstate actors like isil, which is equally a threat. and it is sort of a multiheaded hydra, if you look at the geographic orientation. we have threats that we knew of in 2008, but they could arise at any moment, like pandemic flu. that's not new, but it's persistent. and the risk remains. charlie: tell me. i noticed that in what you have been saying, how serious do you see that? susan: pandemic flu? i think it is a real risk. let me put it a different way. it's a fact. it will happen. we have seen it historically over periods of years. going back, the most grave instance was in 1918, that where many many people died. , hundreds of thousands,
millions have the potential to die from something like this because now our world is that much more interconnected through trade, through commerce, through air connectivity. , therefore, what happens in one part of the world can quickly spread to another. one of the things this administration has done which is little known, and we started this frankly, we started this before the ebola epidemic, was to work with countries around the world to put in place in the weakest links, the poorest, weakest countries in the world, much improved global health infrastructure so that they can protect and and surveil disease, they can contain it before it spreads straight we have called that the global health security agenda, and we have 50 countries that are actively part of this. that's the kind of long-term effort we are going to need to build and sustain around the world to diminish the risk of pandemic. we're not going to eliminate it. charlie: it says two things. number one, these are national security issues. climate is a national security issue. pandemics are national security
issues, and they are transnational. susan: just like terrorism. charlie: like terrorism. unless you have global cooperation -- susan: exactly, charlie. so i often put it this way. the nature of the threats we face are rarely, if ever, those that can be resolved unilaterally by the united states acting alone and really resolved through the barrel of a gun, traditional use of force. most of the threats we face, the most difficult threats we face, are going to require effective collective action. that means the united states has the lead. we have to rally other countries to work with us. they need to see it as in their interests to act, whether to combat the ebola epidemic, where we brought the world together to do that whether it's , to confront aggression through sanctions on russia when it annexes crimea, or whether it's dealing with a new, emergent terrorist threat like isil. this requires collective action,
global leadership -- the paris climate agreement is a great example. the united states has historically been the leader in this regard under president obama. we have been very effective in bringing countries together to deal with these transnational and global challenges, and that's going to be the responsibility and imperative for the next administration as well. charlie: i think you for having you -- think you -- thank for having this trip around the world and much success to you, wherever you are going to be. susan: thank you, charlie. i appreciate this. it's always a privilege to get to talk about such a wide range of issues with you. charlie: susan rice, national security advisor to president obama until january 20. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
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