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tv   Larry King Live  CNN  December 2, 2009 12:00am-1:00am EST

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appreciation for what they do. >> that's certainly true. that's it for "360." thanks for watching. live coverage continues now with "larry king." >> larry: tonight, is barack obama the new war president? >> as commander in chief, i have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. >> larry: what will the decision mean for his presidency? america, the world? michael moore is here. he says obama's caving in. we've got reaction from war vets. we'll go live to afghanistan. those for and against troop escalation will debate it. can the u.s. win all this? next on a midnight special edition of "larry king live."
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midnight in the east, 9:00 in the west. the special live edition of "larry king live," following this historic westpoint address by the president. we go first to tokyo, where michael moore is standing by. the oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, his latest film is "capitalism: a love story." prior to tonight's speech, he posted a letter to the president. the president didn't listen to you. you wanted to withdraw. he did not take your advice. what do you think the result will be? >> i feel very bad for him. i feel even worse for our troops. and i feel a real sadness for the parents of those soldiers of ours, over the next 1 months who will not come back home. and i think many will ask for
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what reason did they die? not to stop al qaeda, larry, because there is no al qaeda in afghanistan. our own cia says there's less than 100 al qaeda in afghanistan. what are we going in afghanistan? president obama said we were attacked in afghanistan. i don't think so. 15 of the 19 hijackers, terrorists, killers of 9/11, they were from saudi arabia. in fact, there wasn't one afghanistan citizen amongst them. the only thing afghanistan had to do with it, they are monkey bars in the desert that these guys trained on. i've seen the video. for that? it's absolutely insane, larry. we have been in this war for twice as long now as the u.s. was in world war ii. twice as long as world war ii. we defeated hitler and tojo and
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mussolini in half the time it's taken us to find osama bin laden. if he came on tonight and said we're going in with special forces to try and capture the killer, that's a good idea. that's not what he's talking about. he says we'll have 100,000 troops there to find these killers that aren't even there. absolutely insane. >> larry: he didn't make any kind of case to your satisfaction of the dangers, the differences between vietnam and iraq and afghanistan? he was opposed to vietnam, he was opposed to iraq. he pointed out the dangers in afghanistan and what could happen if we do leave? he didn't make any effect on you with that? >> none whatsoever. absolutely not. in fact, this is going to be his vietnam if he doesn't change his mind here. this isn't going to work. larry, think of the logic of what we heard him say. he said that we're going to send
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more troops over there so we can withdraw in 18 months. seriously, let me just say that again. we're going to increase the troops so we can decrease the troops. >> larry: of course, the increase in the troops will accomplish what the increase did during the surge in iraq. it will temper the situation. so by bringing in more troops, they train -- they're able to more quickly train the afghanistans to run their own country. that makes some logic, doesn't it? >> the situation, the surge in iraq -- the situation was tempered in iraq because we were able to buy off enough of the people who were killing us. now, if we do that in afghanistan, if we can provide more money to the poppy growers and the people running the heroin trade out of afghanistan, one of those people according to "the new york times" and our own cia happens to possibly be the brother of the president of afghanistan, if we're able to
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outbid the heroin guys, yeah, maybe we can have some impact. but for him to say that -- i mean, i can understand why republicans and some of the people on the right are like, what are you doing setting a deadline? it's crazy. if they're truly the enemy, you don't say we're going to fight you until 2:00 on july 2nd, 2011. i mean, it's like if they're the ene enemy, you fight them until you're done, thyou win and they lose. that's not what he said. he just provided, i think, more fodder for his opponents by giving a deadline. if somebody is trying to kill you, if that's the case that people in afghanistan are trying to kill us, then how can you set a deadline in the deadline is maybe a week from now or ten years from now. but it's we're going to stop you from killing us. >> larry: isn't by setting a deadline you're also telling the
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afghans, the good afghans, get your house in order, you be ready, we'll take so much of this and then we're going. wouldn't that then force them, the good guys, to become better? >> no. >> larry: no? >> no. that didn't work in vietnam. it's not going to work in iraq. it was interesting to hear him essentially praise the bush policy in iraq and how it succeeded. it was bizarre to hear him say some of these things. i have to tell you, larry, i hate to be even saying these things. i honestly think barack obama is a good and decent man. he has a good heart. i believe he's a man of peace. i was thrilled that he won the peace prize. so to see him make this mistake, i don't think there's any kind of evil or dark place in his heart where this is coming from. i just think that he's listened to the generals. he's taken bad aadvidvice. he's human.
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we all make mistakes. somebody told time warner to buy aol. i mean, you know? he's listening to the same kind of people that always seem to give the wrong advice to people in charge. >> larry: jesse ventura said last night, he agrees with your position by the way, that we should consider bringing back the draft. and we should have a war tax so that people suffer. if we're all going to pay a price for this. what do you think? >> there would be no increase in the troops if there was a draft. and if people had to pay for it. i actually proposed bringing back the draft now for some years but only draft the children of those in the upper 5% income bracket. because if the wealthy have to send their kids over to iraq or afghanistan, trust me, there won't be many wars. >> larry: we'll take a break. we'll be right back with michael moore. do you agree, by the way, with the president's decision to send more troops to afghanistan? tell us what you think at
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as commander in chief, i have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. these are the resources we need
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to seize the initiative while building the afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of afghanistan. >> larry: michael moore, it's pretty certain, isn't it, if we left, as you wanted to say, you think we should do, the taliban is going to come right back in, aren't they? i mean, that's a no-brainer. >> well, they're already there. they're already there. your brilliant michael ware there of cnn was just nailed it right on the head there right after the speech. they're already there. they control vast majorities of a population in areas of the country. when you say -- when you say the taliban will come back in, they're not invaders from another country. they are citizens of afghanistan. and if the people of afghanistan don't want the taliban to rule them, just like we didn't want the king to rule us over 200 years ago or the french didn't want louis xvi, what those
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people usually do historically is rise up against the oppressor. it's not the job of the united states or anybody else to help -- to do that for them. we can help, supply things to them to help them gain their freedom but we can't bring the freedom to them through the barrel of our guns. that just doesn't work. it never works. it's not going to work this time. >> larry: be an analyst for us. what do you think will be the result tomorrow? do you think americans will support this in the majority or do you think they'll be an uproar against on both sides of the political spectrum? what's going to be the result of this politically? >> i think most americans, yeah, the polls have shown that obama has some of his lowest approval ratings when can toms to this particular issue. americans do not want these wars to continue. they want jobs.
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they want universal health care. they want the things that this country so desperately needs right now. so i think that there's going to be opposition from all kinds of americans to the president on this particular issue. and i think -- i just -- i don't know who he's trying to please. i mean, i guess we haven't really talked about the money here and the defense industry and the people that are happy when we get to spend another billion or trillion dollars on these wars. the american people i don't think are going to like this. >> larry: bob herbert writing in "the new york times" today called this a tragic mistake and then he quotes dwight david eisenhower, former president of the united states, former supreme commander of all troops in world war ii. eisenhower said, i hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can and as one who has seen its
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brutali brutality, its futility and its stupidity. he said, this will impress you, i think, eisenhower, every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. that's from a four star general and a president. >> yes. and a republican. that's the way republicans used to talk. some of them. well, that's exactly the case here. you know, we're not -- the allies are not going to come to our aid in this. that's a joke. britain is talking about 500 more troops. they'll send token troops over. they still want our help and our money and all that. we're not going to get that. instead, we're going to dump more billions and trillions of
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dollars of our money into a lost cause. the idea of going after the killers of 9/11, that's a good idea. they're not there. they're not there. and it just is absolutely insane to continue this. >> larry: thank you, michael moo moore, as always. michael moore from tokyo. next, a debate. president obama's words for his critics in 60 seconds. (announcer) it's what doctors recommend most for headaches. what doctors recommend for arthritis pain...
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a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the ledge it -- legitimacy of our action. we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency and most importantly, unlike vietnam, the american people were viciously attacked from afghanistan and remain a target for those same extremists who are plotting along its border. to abandon this area now and to rely only on efforts against al qaeda from a distance would significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on al qaeda and create an unacceptable risk of additional attacks on our homeland and our allies. second, there are those who acknowledge that we can't leave afghanistan in its current state but suggests that we go forward with the troops that we already have. but this would simply maintain a status quo in which we muddle through and permit a slow
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deterioration of conditions there. it would ultimately prove more costly and prolong our stay in afghanistan, because we would never be able to generate the conditions needed to train afghan security forces and give them the space to take over. >> larry: two war veterans debate all of this, next. all right, international shipping. well that means a lot of documents, waybills and commercial invoices - in triplicate! but if you go online with ups, you could make that paperwork go away... ...making the process faster and easier to manage - not to mention you're saving a few trees. it's not just international shipping. it's paperless international shipping, a first from ups. there. now you're done.
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i see firsthand terrible wages of war. if i did not think that the security of the united states and the safety of the american people were at stake in afghanistan, i would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow. >> larry: joining us in boston, pete is chairman executive director of vets for freedom pep served in iraq and at guantanamo bay. currently a captain in the army national guard. he's advocated for the deployment of more troops in afghanistan. in washington, john soltz, co-founder and chairman of govets.org. pete, what do you make -- i gather you supported the president's speech tonight? >> yes, i did. the core of his speech and the core of his plan were absolutely correct. at the end of the day he
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listened, for the most part, to his commanders on the ground. and the responses from mcchrystal and petraeus, publicly and prooftly is that they fully support the plan he's laid out and believe it can be implemented. he stood up in the face of great pressure from all sides and said i believe in the importance of this mission and i'm going to give my commanders what they need and ask our allies to pitch in as well. i have issues with the fact that he talked about a time line and hedged some other issues and made some other statements that weren't as robust as could be. he doubled the amount that president bush had there, we'll have almost 100,000 a year from now and giving our men and women on the ground a fighting chance and make sure there's no haven for al qaeda in afghanistan. that's a great thing and the president deserves our support in going forward on this. >> larry: john, did he at all sway you? >> the speech really leaves a
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lot more questions than answers. other than the fact that he pinned this whole thing on president bush. rightfully so, that really didn't answer anything in the speech. you know, with vote vets when we talk to our members, there's real concern this administration has done some things for the troops that the bush administration hadn't done. they stopped the stop/loss policy. they want to give you two years of dwell time. if you add up the math here and you add the numbers of the five or six new brigades we'll see in afghanistan, you put us at surge levels from an up-tempo standpoint. the obama administration talk a lot about sacrifices. at the end of the day, someone has to go and fight. and i really believe, you know, the karzai election and the corruption that was evolves was a game changer on the ground. i don't think he's really held that government's feet to the
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fire. and are we in a situation now where we have young americans fighting and dying, involved in a civil conflict where there's corruption involved with the indigenous government? i would have preferred him to take a much harder line with the president of afghanistan. >> larry: pete, don't you ever have second thoughts about maybe this could be a mistake? >> sure, everyone has second thoughts. you have second thoughts when i was on the ground in iraq. can this possibly happen? when you look at the fundamentals on the ground, you have to create the possibility for the government to stand up, bring the violence down, defeat the enemy to the point where political progress is possible. and that's where, for all the statements he made, dragging us through the mud of bush in iraq, he mult matly has learned the lessons in of the surge in iraq which then senator obama opposed. he learned there's a military component to bringing about the conditions, governments, iraqi or afghani that are at times corrupt can prepare to stand up and provide the services so we
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can bring our guys home. that's the whole point. increase with a smart counterinsurgency strategy so we can eventually create the conditions for afghanis or iraqis to fight themselves. that's another important thing president obama addressed. we'll robustly try to train afghan national police, afghan national army to ensure they're able to take over. to john's point, we have an all-volunteer military. every signing up today knows they're signing up to go and fight, be prepared to fight or trained to fight. that's the nature of the situation we're in as a country. president obama has made a call to our military to finish this job and execute. i think it's incumbent upon us to do everything we can to win. let our generation win the fights that they were sent to go in. >> larry: john, respond. >> he brings up some important points, first, the counterinsurgency strategy. it's a failing strategy for the united states. pete talks about a volunteer force -- >> john --
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>> excuse me, pete. >> larry: let him answer the question. >> i will. >> it's a failing strategy because we're not a nation at war. we're a military at war. obviously what i would have felt more comfortable tonight if the president was willing, there's a debate about going all-in. this is not an all-in strategy. this is a partial-in strategy. a counterinsurgency strategy would rely on hundreds of thousands of troops to secure the population. a rural population in afghanistan that wasn't like iraq. when you look at what it would take to sustain a counterinsurgency strategy in iraq or afghanistan, we should be having a conversation in this country about doubling the size of our army divisions from 10 to 20 or 3 marine corps divisions to 6. or how are we going to pay for this? these are the fundamental dynamics that would be important for us to sustain a counterinsurgency strategy. it's a failing strategy. building democracies, creating
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institutions, you can't just build a democracy. in regards to the afghan army, this is a critical statement. we've had huge problems. not just in iraq where hezbollah is stronger than the western-backed military. professional militaries take years to grow. institutions that support the democracy have to be there. corruption is a huge problem to prevent that. building an afghan army in an 18-month window where somehow is going to be capable. it's a huge challenge. it's even harder than iraq. >> larry: let me get a break, john. two distinguished generals will join us, next. don't go away. chest came back- i knew i had to see my doctor. he told me i had choices in controller medicines. we chose symbicort. symbicort starts to improve my lung function within 15 minutes. that's important to me because i know the two medicines in symbicort are beginning to treat my symptoms and helping me take control of my asthma. and that makes symbicort a good choice for me. symbicort will not replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms.
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>> larry: pete remains in boston. john soltz is in washington. joining us now from little rock, arkansas, general wesley clark. former nato supreme allied commander, vice chairman of james lee witt associates. and here in l.a., brigadier general mark kivit. he's currently executive vice president of advanced technology systems. in fact, general kimmitt worked for general clark at nato. >> exactly. >> larry: what do you make of
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the speech and what we heard so far from the critics and those who support it. >> we've had a great show. it was a strong speech, larry. i think he laid out an important case. i agree with a lot of the sentiments that michael moore expressed. i do think in this case, the president limited the objectives. he's not talking about nation building or building a democracy. i think he pointed right at the objective, go after al qaeda. he didn't talk about pakistan but pakistan is all over this speech. and the simple truth is, that as he said, you can't get at al qaeda in pakistan without doing more in afghanistan. so i think that he's going to put a lot of pressure on the pakistanis and give them a lot of help and expect them to do a lot more directly against al qaeda while the u.s. forces in afghanistan also work against al qaeda and work for a very minimalist objective with the idea of getting ourselves out of
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there in a responsible way pretty quickly. >> larry: general kimmitt? >> well, the substance of the speech was good. we got what we needed. the troops are going to get what they need. the generals are going to get what they need. what i was concerned was, a couple of the comments made by the president that left unanswered questions. first of all, i was hoping to see a speech that demonstrated resolve and commitment. i think many people walked away from that speech unsure of where the president really stands, where america stands. that's not good for our allies and that's very good for our enemies. second, there's this unanswered question. what does this mean, this 18-month time line? do the troops have to come back? what's their mission while they're there? will they be there for 18 months? what if the conditions don't change? the other question, simply is, where does he stand with all of this? is he committed to this fight? is he committed to the resources. >> larry: you're saying he didn't assure you tonight that
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he is? >> i think people are going to walk away -- when you hear, we want to end this war successfully rather than we want to win this war, that leaves open questions. >> larry: pete, you didn't have those doubts? >> i think general kimmitt is right on. the substance of the speech is right. the proof will be in the pudding in the weeks and months to come and whether or not he demonstrates the resolve necessary. that phrase is emblem atic. he's trying to play the right and the left and talk the words of ending the war. this needs to be about ending the war. the question is will he take it to the american people robustly and tell them day after day, week after week as this gets difficult that this is something we need to finish? >> larry: john, was he in between to you, too? >> i actually think general
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kimmitt, i think his analysis is very spot on in a sense that the president is in a position where he's trying to appease everybody. he may end up with no support. in a sense, i felt like the time line was possibly something for the left to say, hey, the president is in a situation where he's trying to look out for his political base and at the same time, appease general mcchrystal and petraeus who waged a rather political campaign in the press at least, to support this increase. i think that he's in a precarious position. which one is he committed to? i think we'll find out in the days ahead. but he certainly didn't committee to strategy over the other. >> larry: general clark, do you question his commitment? >> i don't question his commitment. he said he wants to go after al qaeda. i believe he will. i believe he'll go after them forcefully wherever they are. i think the key to al qaeda right now is pakistan and you can't get at pakistan without being in afghanistan. at the same time, this is a part
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of the world that doesn't tolerate diversity. we're a foreign element there. and the sooner we can get out, the better. >> larry: and we'll have more right after this.
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>> larry: general kimmitt, you didn't like the term ending it successfully. you wanted it to end victoriously. what is victory? what will be victory in afghanistan? will there be a parade? >> no, there won't be, justs is there won't be in iraq. to me, we'll be successful in afghanistan we defeat al qaeda in afghanistan, defeat unfriendly taliban in afghanistan, train and enable the afghan security forces and assist the afghan government, leave the place in a better situation than when we got there. ending a war in and of itself is not success. achieving conditions for success allow you to leave. >> larry: how long will that take? >> i've said many times that this could be certainly more than the 18 months that the president has laid out. it could be a five-year program, a ten-year program before the last of the american troops would leave. >> larry: john, do you think the
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public would accept that? >> a lot of what he talks about, to be frankly honest, for people who have to fight this is a pipe dream. not this concept of helping establish an afghan government and afghan military. this is not -- these are not things that the military can do, even if you achieve security. there's no interagency process of our government that can get in there and really ramp this thing up. i think the president has a little bit of time politically. as we get closer to the midterms, i tend to think this will hurt the democrats in the midterms. it will alienate the base voters who generally turn out here and that cracks the whip of the president. notice the timetable he said was right before the midterm elections. i think that's what has to do with his political bases. they need to turn out to support democrats in november of that year. >> larry: pete, do you think the public would accept five years, six years, eight years there?
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>> i think the public will accept success when it's well defined and articulated and is being executed properly on the ground. john seems to think counterinsurgency is a nation building in disguise. it's capacity building. that's what president obama talked about, creating the space, for the iraqi security -- excuse me be afghani security forces to stand up and provide the security so we can leaf and deny hafen to our enemies. that's a narrow mission that serves our interests and uses a counterinsurgency campaign to do it. we're not talking about nation building. that's not what president obama laid out. he talked about capacity building. it doesn't necessarily take hundreds of thousands of troops if you go it strategically as we learned in iraq through the surge. it's something that can be accomplished. john seems to go back to the political thing over and over and over again. it's not about politics. on the left and the right. we should be supporting the best strategy for our own national
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security. in this case, i think it's what president obama laid out in supporting his commanders. >> larry: do you see a victory as general kimmitt described it? >> i think victory here is we go after al qaeda, particularly in pakistan. we do it with the leadership of the pakistanis, give them the support to do it, build a strong relationship with pakistan and leave behind in afghanistan some kind of minimally stable government. we have to go back in there at some later time, if we have to leave special forces and intelligence collectors there, we might have to do that. but the point is, the objectives in afghanistan are minimal. what we want to do is go after al qaeda. that's a war that there won't be a victory parade, mark's exactly right on that. we'll know when we're winning. we've already done a pretty good job against al qaeda plp we need to finish the job a little bit more in pakistan. and we can't do that if we don't hang on in afghanistan.
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>> larry: we'll be discussing this a lot in the nights ahead. thank you all very much. >> thank you. >> larry: we'll be right back with more. don't go away. because we believe in the strength of american businesses. ge capital understands what small businesses need to grow and create jobs. today, over 300,000 businesses rely on ge capital for the critical financing they need to help get our economy back on track. the american renewal is happening. right now.
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>> larry: we'll go briefly to kabul, afghanistan to our cnn reporter. how did the speech go down in kabul? >> reporter: what's interesting here, larry is many afghans don't know what president obama said. they're not going to know until tonight's evening newscast. even the days leading to president obama's address, i asked afghans if they're going to watch. they said no. they said they heard the promises. they have yet to see tangible actions being made. many afghans, if there is a timetable they're afraid at the moment just because the taliban had time an time again said that they will wait it out, that they will not leave. >> larry: what was the reaction
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as you garnered it from our troops there? >> reporter: well, when you talk about the u.s. troops on the ground here in afghanistan, the majority of them welcome extra troops. they say they need them. when you go to the volatile areas in the south, such as canakandahar province, these ar areas they couldn't secure and hold because they didn't have the manpower. now they're going district to district trying to convince the afghans that they're here to stay this time. even now they don't know if they can do that. there is a timetable laid out at the moment. the marines down there, the army down there, the canadians are saying that their biggest problem is they can't convince the afghans that they're there to help them build an infrastructure and society. the taliban keep coming back to those villages telling them
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they're here to stay. >> larry: atia in kabul, afghanistan, we thank you. when we come back, three guys who know the situation well. peter bergen, michael ware and nic robertson, all together, all with us, next. strong like the. i crush you like tiny clown car. because you are... ...clown, yes? female valve: come, you hit me again and i break you. male valve: oh, you messed with wrong pipe now, car. ha, ha trust me...i have to live with her. announcer:accidents are bad. but geico's good with guaranteed repairs through auto repair express. most people try to get rid of algae, and we're trying to grow it. the algae are very beautiful. they come in blue or red, golden, green. algae could be converted into biofuels... that we could someday run our cars on.
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oh. god, i'm lost. which way is me? i guess i have to do everything. [ gasps ] [ angelic voices vocalizing ] on sale at bookstores everywhere. >> larry: we thank them all for staying up late with us. in new york, peter bergen, cnn national security analyst. best-selling author. his books include "the osama bin laden i know" and "holy war inc." michael ware and nic robertson, cnn's senior international correspondent. peter, give me your mini
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analysis of the speech tonight. >> well, you know, i think it did what it was supposed to. i thought it was a good speech in content. there's been a lot of focus on the pullout in 2011. there was a huge caveat which is the withdrawal is going to be conditions based. the transfer of authority to afghan police and army will be conditioned based. right now only one of the 34 provinces in afghanistan is actually under the complete control of the afghan military and police. that number could be two by 2011, it could be ten. who knows. i think the idea that the united states is going to start withdrawing in significant number this 2011, actually it wasn't even in had the speech, even though some people have fastened on that as a fact. there was a big conditionality that was in the speech. >> larry: michael ware, is it going to make a big difference? >> well, depends how they are used, larry. put it this way.
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as it stands right now, the taliban war machine hasn't even been dented. their ability to recruit, to supply, to plan, to command, to execute operations remains untouched. the u.s. military barely has enough troops to nibble away at them. even the massive offensive currently under way in helman province is one small bite of a very big apple. even these extra troop which is will bring the american presence to roughly 100,000, that's not enough to defeat the taliban. you have no hope of beating them on their home soil. what you want to do is put enough pressure on them to bring about a political solution. and to do that, you're also going to need afghan allies in the government and in the villages, the tribes and among the warlords. i thought the speeches with a bit hollow to be honest.
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>> larry: all right. nic robertson, 36,000 plus injured and/or killed in iraq and afghanistan since all of this started. is it going to get worse before it gets better? >> if you put more troops into afghanistan which is exactly what's happening, then more are going to get injured and killed. one of the saving graces, if you will, in iraq was this golden hour whereby any troops that were injured you could get them to a proper medical facility within an hour. and that meant most people who were brought in there alive could be saved. in afghanistan it's an entirely different dynamic. the medical facilities, the troops had in iraq aren't there in the same number and same distribution. it takes longer to get people from some of these remote mountainous places when they're injured to some of the major medical facilities. that's going to be a challenge. perhaps we've heard talk of this sort of pullback to around major population centers.
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that will keep the majority of troops perhaps closer to some of those medical facilities. but it's not going to look like iraq. there are going to be people who would have been injured in iraq and survived. they will be injured in afghanistan and they won't survive. >> larry: peter, are you more optimistic based on tonight? >> yeah, i mean, i think this is long overdue. afghanistan was the least resourced post-world war ii nation building operation, if you want to call it that, in bosnia, the united states spent 12 times more per capita, in kosovo, 18 times more per capita than what was spent in afghanistan in the early period. the bush administration had an ideological aversion to nation building. you get what you pay for. the whole thing was done on the cheap. since then, the taliban has come back. they are quite an effective fighting force. this is long overdue. we've tried several approaches
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with afghanistan, after the soviets withdrew, we basically paid no attention to it. the taliban came in, al qaeda with them. in the post-period, the taliban came back and morphed with al qaeda. now we're doing something somewhat serious. it has a fighting chance of success. >> larry: michael, are you pessimistic? >> well, no, i'm not. i mean, do i see hope. but i mean, honestly, larry, it's going to take a couple of miracles, a sprinkle of magic and a good dose of some good luck. i mean, ultimately, pardon the expression, i'm waiting to see the whites of president obama's eyes. this war can be won -- not that it can be won but this war can still be a success if he's prepared to do what has to be done. now, tonight, he took one step
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in that direction. promising another 30,000 troops. but in his speech tonight, apart from that promise of the additional troops, you can throw the rest of the speech away. we've heard it all before. let's wait and see if he can follow through on the myriad of other things that he has to do. the building blocks that go into place. this war, american troops are bleeding and dying, because pakistan supports the taliban. why? because their rival, india, supports the afghan government. you have saudi arabia in there playing the game as they have been since the soviet era. you have iran protecting its national interest. china is spending billions in aid and reconstruction. there are so many hands at play. so 30,000 troops and a finely worded speech, go far to convince me. do i give up the ghost?
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no, larry, not yet but i need to be persuaded snoosdz when we come back, i'll ask nic robertson the same question about his optimism or pessimism. first this. we just know. announcer: finding the moment that's right for you both can take some time. that's why cialis gives men with erectile dysfunction options: 36-hour cialis or cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. don't drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long term injury seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. announcer: cialis for daily use or 36-hour cialis.
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zblinchs will rebuild our military. i will finally have a comprehensive strategy to finish the job in afghanistan. this is going to be a big challenge. we have a clear and focused goal, to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda in pakistan and afghanistan. this is not a war of choice. this is a war of necessity. >> larry: nic robertson, we
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asked the others, optimistic or pessimistic, based on tonight? >> larry, i'm a natural born optimist when it comes to this. i've been with troops in afghanistan, seen their professionalism and dedication. if anyone can do it, they can. i think there's a broadway in which we can look at what's happening here in afghanistan. it's much bigger than afghanistan. what president obama and the united states will have to do with this new deployment and strategy is to convince the muslim world that they're doing the right thing for the muslims of afghanistan. why? because in the greater and bigger context, what osama bin laden and al qaeda are trying to do is divide muslims from the west, from christians, from jews. and if he -- if that message and that outlook is able to gain traction beyond afghanistan, anything we do there will be worthless because al qaeda will go and set themselves up in yemen or somalia or in other
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places. we can chase them down there. we need to be seen by the muslims of the world to be doing the right thing in afghanistan. i'm also very cautious as well about pakistan. pakistan's commitment to what president obama wants to achieve. it's a weak government. if you look at where the al qaeda threat to the united states comes from right now, the people that have been arrested here recently, zazi, they've been to al qaeda training camps inside pakistan, not afghanistan. it's the pakistani government who are not yet committed to tackling the afghan taliban. that goes beyond these large numbers of troops we're committing. >> larry: peter, do we have no clout with pakistan? >> do we have no clout? i think we do have some clout. i mean, we're giving them $1.5 billion a year in aid. you know, we have pretty good relationships between the u.s.
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military and the pakistani military. we have very frequent visits by admiral mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs. i think he's been to islamabad more than a dozen times in the last recent hillary clinton was just there. on the other hand, pakistan is probably one of the most anti-american countries in the world. consistently the united states polls are in the below 20% range. we have some clout. there's a great deal of suspicion in the united states. if you ask pakistanis who's the biggest threat to your security? 58% say the united states. only about 10% say the taliban. even though it's the taliban killing thousands of pakistani civilian. >> larry: that doesn't make sense. >> it doesn't make sense. it's somewhat prone to conspiracy theoriesp this they believe blackwater is deeply engaged this their country, even though there's little or no evidence of that.

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