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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  February 13, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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his latest book the next decade. in it the former political science professor calls the u.s. and imperialists power to the will be forced to reduce the dominance. of the author of the next hundred years predicts china and turkey will challenge the remaining superpower in the coming decade in ways the government may not currently anticipate. he talks with the executive editor of the foreign policy magazine, susan glasser. george, thank you so much for joining us. i'm thrilled to have the chance to talk to you in debt about your new book the next decade. i see that it represents a little bit of what is the right word, the narrowing of the frame of ambition from the last book on the next 100 years so you have now taken on the slightly more manageable next ten years
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or perhaps that's actually more and noble, the next ten years. we can talk about that a little bit of the next hour to get some of your counter intuitive viewers i think about the world is headed and the d'huez encounters with that world whether it is on israel or china and your view of the rise or russia and i think the interesting things to say that are not exactly what you're going to pick up from reading the papers every day. so let's go ahead and jump into that conversation. the next ten years for the next three suppressing takeaways that you are offering people in this book? >> guest: first is the war of terror has been overdone. as a monochromatic structure of foreign policy. it is unsustainable.
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there are too many other things happening in the world. the second i suppose is we've been arguing a long time which is that china has profound economic plans of this point. it's grown magnificent and will continue to grow. it will go through adjustments but i suppose the most important thing and are doing is the next ten years is about the relationship between plight called the empire of the republican between the vast global power of the united states the difficulty of managing that and retaining their republican forms of government as we spoke about the political military industrial complex. the requirements of managing an international system of which we are the only global power with the institutions that we have with the complexity of our intelligence organizations create a situation where no one
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really had a clear idea of what everyone is doing a site from creating unnecessary chaos in the world it creates real challenges for the republic. how do you maintain a space society in the face of this accumulating and not transparent power. so i would say those three things would be the most counterintuitive. >> host: the word balancing is a word that appears a lot in the course of the book and what you're talking about in many different areas in the world really is is what course is the was going to chart? are we going to adopt for lack of a better word these challenges rather than the direct intervention that we've undertaken in the last decade and to point out in fact the united states has been 100% of the time of the 21st century as opposed to the very bloody conflict of the 20th century which amounted to i believe you said 17% of the time.
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so are we going to find a way to back out of these? >> guest: i have to find a way to back out of these wars without backing out of the responsibility. i say at one point in the but the balance of power is to mind the policy with the bill of rights. it is the founding principal of the empire. i'm not cui to compare the united states cities but germany, nazi germany had napoleon trying to rule by main force. it doesn't work very well. the romans, the british, the persians ruled indirectly and by managing the various players and controlling them and bringing them to the point where it wanted that. >> host: subtlety of until now hasn't been a hallmark of american diplomacy, however. >> guest: we are a very young country and it's only been 20 years since we have been at the power and i regard to december 31st, 1921 as the
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breaking point in history. first it was the first moment in which an 500 years there was no european global power. second, the moment at which the united states quite by surprise i think was stunned that it happened, and it takes time to build institutions. it takes time to build political culture. it's not surprising the first ten years everybody is giddy and decided history didn't then we were not going to have any wars and suddenly all the seven 9/11 happening and was about the war would never end and the islamic world. the united states is off balance the it didn't expect to be. it didn't expect to be in this enormously powerful position. it doesn't really know how to manage and this is a decade and that we are in that we must come to terms the incredible strains mightily of creating the international system but also
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the internal system. >> host: amstrup by your argument about the need for a new the policy and new institutions to go along with it that will be the ages of the sort of rebalancing. there's not really clear sense that we are two decades into a project of building the post cold war institutions. if anything, that project will be put on hold or have gone in the wrong direction by the free screening of american foreign policy as a global war on terror over the last decade. >> guest: and that has to be adjusted, but let's remember the british as they serve their entire would devastate the seven year counter insurgency in north america where they were badly defeated. the germans got their heads handed to them by the germans. it is not uncommon for a degree to imperial systems as they emerge to be totally aware they are not an empirical system and second, to suffer serious
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reversals. we americans tend to be a prophetic. as soon as we encounter a serious problem, we declare that we are still years and this is a process we are going to go through and the first step of the process is admitting what we are. for the united states admitting that we are an entire year is extraordinarily difficult. we are the first grade and high empirical project of the american revolution. we have been warned to avoid it for entanglements. as recently as world war ii we argued europe is not our business. a large number of people feel that we should disengage. >> host: again, that's something that hasn't gotten away to be that's not a historical artifact. that's going to be an increasingly life to be over the next two years. >> guest: but it's meaningless. you can't disengage if the united states is 25% of the world economy, how do you disengage from the rest of the
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world with everything you do, and intended and intended has devastated the potential or the great rewards for some region of the world. we put quotas on a product, large numbers of people either celebrate or cry, and this is the problem some institutions are not really aware of the problems we cause and the decisions we make. the president's office is not always aware of what everyone is doing and the public is unaware of how dependent they are of these relationships and their own well-being so there is a lack of awareness both in the institutions and political culture of the necessity of these relationships but without the management we could have the benefits of all of the nasty responsibilities will go away. >> host: increasingly that is the dialogue you see taking place between the u.s. and china
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which is to say china is probably running through the end of the course of a we are simply a different country. we can't afford to bear the burden of international leadership with of the united states. this site is taino wants to be recognized as the second largest economy of the world growing towards at some point in the last couple of decades the largest economy in the world. at some point those conversations are going to meet and the question of who pays the bills for the global leadership and what is required to sustain that is going to come up but i want to come back december 51st 1991 you call it the breaking point in history. you collapse the soviet union what happened on that day and birth of the post-soviet era not only in american foreign policy but in terms of literally rewriting the other world as we knew it. two decades later we are going to mark the anniversary to this year.
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things haven't necessarily turn out as the optimists would have had them. we haven't seen a tidal wave of democracy and freedom wash across central asia and the caucasus and russia itself, quite the contrary in many ways we have seen the resurgence of nationalism in the conflict breakout. we have seen tempered expectations when it comes to what kind of political economic and social system is going to be existing across this piece of the former soviet union. i want to walk through your map of the world two decades ago after the soviet union. you have some views that are very controversial and making some unexpected or perhaps predictions some of the readers won't necessarily know what to make tough. russia itself, tell me where you see russia headed in the next decade. >> guest: russia is rushy. it's not a copy of the jfk school. russia for 200 years has had at
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its center the security on to the soviets. around the security system the states grew up, around the state grew of relationships throughout the country. partly market relationships and state-controlled relationships. russia is not the united states and is never going to represent the united states for geographic and other reasons. the russian empire and soviet union more not accidental and bound together economically and politically regions that have a mutual dependence. the visions of the liberals in russia and the united states was that the soviet union was reoriented itself towards europe and the united states. if they fail to understand these countries could not compete at any reasonable time frame in europe. the more dependent they became one europe the weaker they
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became. and also forgot that russia is a geopolitical entry. its experience some terrible war in its history and it's extremely cautious about the expansion of things like nato. re nato as a military alliance. we regard it as a club of nice people. fairly mismatched about what it is and it is the united states moved into the baltics and nato has the orange revolution of ukraine to cough and the united states became very influential to central asia they saw the second the encirclement taking place, so if the containment one it was russia after world war ii. putin from the kgb salles the second encirclement. they stopped doing what stalin tried to do to become the great industrial force. they became exporters of the primary commodities, not only natural gas but everything else.
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>> host: . >> guest: the gas is optimized toward that end. so rather than -- >> host: they saw the collapse. >> guest: they saw the collapse and i think that putin deliberately set we are not going to try to reinvest to hold this up. also degree in exports, exports, the primary commodities, something that we can do now that builds dependencies and other countries and they will continue to buy it, create the political would vintages for us, whereas under brezhnev the strategy was to take these enterprises, these industrial enterprises and continue investing in them. putin made a fundamental change, and so there are two institutions that emerge in russia in the first part of the 20th century. the first was to provide fsb and
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the second was gas and these institutions played off against each other to reassert the russian power and also to increase the leverage particularly with the europeans and germans. >> host: i was struck by your argument that russia in the long term is weak but perhaps in the short term of the next decade or so may come once again to play a very significant role in terms of all obstructing the u.s. goals in its dealings. what you mean by that? what is the contradiction? >> guest: power is relative. within the former soviet union, russia is strong relative to that. europe is i won't say disarmed, but certainly militarily weak and economically strong but has a very heavy dependency on natural gas. there are ways the europeans can move beyond the dependency. but over the next ten years they are going to require russian
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resources. they are asking the basic questions about what is the use of this. they need workers and they don't need to have any more turkish workers. oddly enough, russia even though it has a declining population, still has a surplus labor. there is much of the russian economy that is underemployed and they welcome the russian technology. i think what has happened is russia and germany have increasingly intense economic relationships. they cooperate in certain political reasons and the third of them are happy with the world from by the united states. it creates a weight that can address them and germany is not yet moved to this point, germany is still sorting through the
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wreckage of the e.u. and figure out which we it is going to go. in the long run there is a reason that the soviet union collapsed and that reason hasn't run away. so when i look out from her vehicle longer i see those reasons there and other weaknesses, but in the short run, given the state of the e.u., given the state of russia relatively the e.u., given the situation in the former soviet union and especially given the massive preoccupation of the united states in the middle east as opposed to europe this is an opportunity to try to stabilize itself. >> host: let's talk with the middle east. what does the middle east los about the perils of the forecasting in the dangers of accepting what we see as the conventional wisdom today? >> guest: first you have to define the middle east which is
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very vague. when i speak of the united states. engaged in i think about the mediterranean to the in in depo. crusco the greater the least you're talking about? >> guest: some people use the middle east to input any islamic country. some people use it for arabs. it's a british term from the british foreign office that doesn't have a great deal of use. i'm interested in the area where the united states is waging war which is iraq, afghanistan, to some extent pakistan, possibly iran. this is the battle of the united states. there are three balances of power in that region, the air and is really coming year on iraqi and indo-pakistani. each of them had destabilized of the ten years and the arab-israeli relationship barring some dramatic change in egypt over time israel is so dominant that it can create new
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realities on the ground and is in different to what the united states says very often. in afghanistan, the united states is asking pakistan to do something that create instability week in pakistan that potentially create the independent regional power in india that the united states cannot appreciate in the long run, and of course iraq has destroyed the iran iraq has the most immediate issue which is for getting the nuclear weapons iran is the dominant conventional military force if the united states is there. the united states has its policy, but the potential for iran is extremely high and that changes the balance of power or the political dynamic in the arabian peninsula. they are vitally important decisions to be made. so on the one hand, the united
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states must renounce its policy to deal with issues like russia, to deal with china and so one of the same time the united states can simply withdraw. it doesn't have the ability to simply accept and doesn't have an end game in any of these areas, as we have a very powerful nation much less powerful than other circumstances because it is so off balance. >> host: that's where i was inclined to look at the consequences of that analysis. let's take those three in india, pakistan, iraq, iran and israel and palestine. in all three cases like you gone out and looked at some ways in which we might end of the decade in different places and now and it is your thought of really almost what i would call strategic distancing from israel, not the rejection of
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israel, but the deep prioritizing of the mediation in israel, palestine conflict. india pakistan, i think that is where i was most surprised to read your book. right now there's a lot of talk in washington in particular with the strategic prospects of a potentially invigorated new alliance with of course president obama just made a trip there last fall. this falls on actually bush's foreign policy emphasis on building a new and substantively different kind of relationship with india and really after the enormous disappointment of a long-term u.s. strategic partnership with pakistan this isn't a new recommendation. we had a partnership with pakistan that seems to have failed in some respects. i definitely want to get back and then your third area that you look at which is iran, iraq, the destabilization caused by the u.s. invasion of iraq and the recommendation you have to
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find a mixing in china moment where no matter how unpalatable it may seem we come to some different a combination or perhaps new kind of alliance with iran. israel and palestine first. >> guest: we are committed to the survivalist is real tough -- israel. the weapons that israel say rf3 to five years out, that's another issue but under the current circumstance, the issue is not the survival of israel. in 1973, 74, it was the relationship itself, the foundation is israel's right to exist is not the issue. the level of aid that we provide
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is not critical. it's not so much about to change the relationship of the relationship is changed. the question now is we had one set of relations prior to 1967 and we gave a very little aid. there was a second period, 67 until recently when the united states and israel had a unique partnership, not advocating changing the partnership wondering what are we partnering of. israel's view is that the creative really on the ground in which settlements, institutions and so on that control the palestinians can be put in place. in that context the negotiation as possible the united states has an interest in the stability of the region, not necessarily the solution to that. the idea that the united states is simply tract which ever is
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really government comes into power there's the question of what is the benefit of the united states. the point of redefining the relationship is not that somebody at a think-tank publishes a paper and says he is a wonderful idea and it applies to the other regions as well. the relationships have changed and that in terms of endearment if you will are still there, but not what they were before, and adjusting to the policies satisfactorily. at a time when the united states is so bogged down elsewhere. >> host: what are the tools of the tool kit for making this kind of adjustment is an important one. >> guest: the first is recognizing it is changed already. it's not your tool kit that changed it. the only thing your tool kit can do is adjust your policy to the reality that you're facing at this moment or potentially facing in the future.
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>> host: you have barack obama coming into office speaking in a different manner about the challenges in the least certainly than president bush had the forehand and what has been interesting the last couple of years is that in the end obama up until now hasn't managed a major shift. >> guest: speeches are very nice and policy papers are very nice to have nothing to do with the making of the foreign affairs. >> host: that analytical observations don't easily translate into policy shift or the rebalancing of the sort. >> guest: which is why i am not interested in foreign policy. obama is a perfect example. a person who genuinely wanted a different foreign policy. and he was unable to do it. it's equally interesting to look at george w. bush and raise the question to what extent did he have the options that we like to do. we like to view our presidents with magical powers that they
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make decisions in a vacuum and create policies and people who speak to the president are semi magical and so on and so forth. pardon me to avoid the demagogues of washington it's extremely important to understand how little choice obama had. the relationship that he had with chancellor merkel was not based on the fact that george w. bush was [inaudible] it was based on fact germany as a nation has interests as they do not fully come inside any longer with those of the united states. it's impossible to pretend we are in the middle of the cold war in this relationship continues to exist. he's going to end up with the same relationship and it's not a personal relationship. it's not that they get along or they don't get along or the like
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each other. germany as a nation with tens of millions of people, the united states is the nation. the president is the end product he leads best for what is going anyway. and obama is perhaps a clinic in the limits of the foreign policy. >> host: that's right. or certainly the rhetoric. there is no question about that. >> guest: you can turn their rhetoric into many volumes of position papers and policy papers. >> guest: at the beginning of the u.s. and german relations could have been what they were 20 years ago had it not been for the unilateralism of george w. bush. the difference in the perception is like this, obama's position is i will be a much more pleasant person. therefore the germans will do more to help.
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then god we finally have a president who would ask us to do things we don't want to do. they have this tremendous love affair of the nobel peace prize and to the mills and was suddenly realized my goodness, barack obama was an american president and angela merkel was an amazing james lippitt >> host: i would like to go back to one of your earlier point which is what does it mean for the united states to grow into accepting its role as a sort of global empire if he will, or certainly in power since an empire. and you actually make the case that the entire requires a much more sophisticated foreign policy in which to operate through the regional alliances and evin networks of much more sophisticated ways of looking at what is happening around the world to accomplish american interests rather than the exercise force or hard power if you will. well, you could argue that in some way that is what barack
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obama said out to do in the world. his embrace of multilateralism was in their view almost certainly an effort to rebalance the world where the simple projection of american forces are not -- >> guest: there and is the rebalancing of the world, the vision of the president as an engineer. prior to that, they're has to be a little sophistication, of understanding of the personal forces. what are the national interests? what are the other things others cannot agree to? what are things they must have? it is essential that foreign policy be built on the concept of constraints. ten and the constraints, understanding what it is you cannot give up, but you must have, understanding of their people. the building alliances take place in a vacuum is simply reach out and is the problem.
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the problem is within the confines of the reality of the foreign policy it is possible to manage, it isn't possible to abolish that. when the british dominated india, they reengineered it in a way but by taking advantage of the pensions and balance of power within that area in the troops and they try to take it over. similarly, the united states had the option in the middle east to manage the existing relationships, but the first thing you must understand our way or the existing relationships, what are the needs and the requirements, and i think one of the things obama had to learn and we will see if he's learned it is a good will, insufficient. before you go out you have to understand the limits, the constraints, and that is what makes forecasting to a certain extent possible. i certainly can't predict what
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humor barack obama will make and what initiatives he will undertake. i can talk about what will fail because the other side can't possibly agree to it. and i can understand those things that tie the nations together. so whether putin is there or is not, russia is an exporter of natural gas and germany is a consumer. >> host: let's look at the events that have shied shaped the dictates of geopolitics, neither of which were very predictable or certainly were predicted by the vast majority of the analysts and the experts and indeed because of the soviet union in 1991 and the attacks of september 11th. you could say al qaeda represented a threat to carry out the dramatic attack this of the homeland and they've done so already in '93. you would have been really out there on a limb and i am not sure anyone was predicting the would be shaping force of
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international affairs in the first decade of the 21st century. same thing for the brick of the soviet union. there were certainly those who accurately diagnosed the internal rye is just of those those today who have been dalia to nursing the internal right across the regimes of the arab world for sable. >> guest: which is why it is easier to forecast and 100 years. >> host: waiting for the collapse of the castro regime in cuba for quite some time. >> guest: it was impossible to imagine the british to be defeated by the american insurgents. when we look back on the british history and the 21st century it's not a critical event. over the long run, certain things that are of enormous importance, the war shrank to insignificance. when we look back on the vietnam war which was such an enormous event in history look back in the context even today it has a
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lesser significance in terms of what will happen to read you began the conversation by saying i've gone from a more ambitious to a less ambitious. >> host: it would be harder to get a prediction. >> guest: yeah, i mean it's easier to look forward and 100 years blanking out of the unexpected things and look at the main thrusts. it may be wrong but that's possible. at the beginning of the 20th century, which would have written about the collapse of the british empire, the rise of the mass were fair, things of that sort without getting into the specifics in fact h. g. wells and others wrote about all those things. what i try to do is say okay what matters in the next 100 years? what is now the driving force? some were demographic and some more political and so on. i wanted to come back to the ten
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year framework because there's a point at which this has to begin playing out and this is a point where policy and history me to each other not in the kind of neat way of policy makers but the more complex way of encountering the emerging reali and that is what i wanted to do with this book. i wanted to see the hard part where i take a look at a 9/11 and say what does this decade mean? and i am making the argument that in the end of this isn't a pivotal war. from the standpoint of the british politics at that time, the war was an enormously no easy and so was the war of 1998. in retrospect it was a fairly passing thing. when i look at what happened in
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9/11, i would put it this way. when the soviet union collapsed, the dividing line in the islamic world shattered and the region from yugoslavia to the hindu kush was thrown off balance. a massive earth quake took place. the first was in yugoslavia which was regarded as a kind of one of the kind that had nothing to do with it but it was actually a precursor to a massive destabilization of the united states but moderate force, 150,000 men for 320 million country is not a massive commitment went in and probably made the situation less ideal than would have been otherwise. nevertheless the question is what did it affect on this? you could say the number of ways. al qaeda's goal was to trigger a series of riots that create the
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jihadis state and complete failure. the american goal if we understand correctly was to create a series of pro-american regime is preferably with the government like wisconsin governing in this region. iraq was the case. well, that didn't happen. what is remarkable to me about the region is how changed it is. >> host: i think that is where over the next decade we are going to see is this the sort of very, very long in the game of the waning of the states of the soviet versus the u.s. era and we don't have the sense yet of what is going to replace that certainly across the broad middle east. are we seeing the beginning of the next stage but the very long in the game of the last stage. >> guest: the foreign policy question becomes what do we really want for india? >> host: it's funny that you brought it back to that. that is where i was going to go next. i have to say why are you down
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on the idea of the u.s. indian alliance when you look at the context of china's rise and the strategic indian ocean and the genuine repeated failure of the u.s. policy of supporting pakistan? >> guest: what is our goal? certainly we will have a long-term relationship with india. relations with foreign countries is always enhanced having letters against them in addition to the positive things for them. the balance of power means that you do not make a unilateral unconditional commitment to any country. you understand the defined interest in common as opposed to the lesser power and say that we have interruptions. becoming -- interim their relationship with the power that is unconditional goes against the principal of a prudent
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foreign policy. how do you condition the relationship with india did in the geography is hard. china appears to be although it isn't. it's far away. the american relationship with pakistan is the only lever that is available. do we want a subcontinent under the domination of a single power regardless of what it is? i think that it's more in the interest of the united states to have a relationship with a country that has an element of insecurity. so when we talk about a sophisticated foreign policy, it doesn't simply mean people, diplomats can speak the language. it means understanding that a relationship in the foreign country is extraordinarily complex. it isn't monochromatic. they are our friends, our enemies, they consist of conflicting interests and when i look at in the country i asked two questions. how can it benefit the united
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states and be made clear that there are alternative so the dependency doesn't exist? so the issue here is and shall we have a close relationship with india, we will have a close relationship with india because we share the common interest economic and political in the military. the question is how to reshape the relationship, and i think that one of the problems the united states has is in terms of friends and enemies. this is a friend and i want to be generous and forthcoming. think it more as a business relationship. i have a business relationship with this person. i may or may not be his friend. that has nothing to do with it and i want to make sure i have options, and i think that it would be more healthy to place the framework of the u.s. relationships to depersonalize the >> host: that is what has been going on with pakistan is we have made our dependency so with
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them and actually they have a sense that our strategic calculation in the region is what you just out like that we have preferred to have a friendly relationship. >> guest: deacons grew up relations with india and pakistan at the same time. >> host: plight is we are trying to approach this strategic approach to the region in the way that you're suggesting and it hasn't worked out well. >> guest: if you look at the period of time that we are talking but since 1948 are not too uncomfortable with the way that it evolves. certainly our invasion of afghanistan has created a problem for pakistan that threatens its internal stability when we speak to the pakistanis they look back at the 1990's period as a period where they were doing with the americans wanted. it was a period of relative stability, that is not our concern. we come back and say but yes al
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qaeda developed in afghanistan and we didn't want that. and they come back and say yes they did and that's unfortunate, but al qaeda could have developed anywhere else al qaeda wasn't an afghan movement. it happened to be there. the point so that we ask now is how do we deal with this? the united states is a temporary presence in afghanistan whether it is one year or five years we are not going to be there. pakistan is a permanent interest in afghanistan. it doesn't want to have a hostile afghanistan. therefore whether it wants to or not it has to take responsibility for afghanistan. the american goal is that al qaeda should not be in afghanistan, but al qaeda is in yemen, somalia and cleveland. >> host: right. the point is if you look at south asia, do you disagree with those who consider pakistan and the pakistan and afghanistan to really be the most interesting
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part of the world? >> guest: i wouldn't want them as dangerously unstable. i think iran is potentially more but it's not worth having -- certainly the question is how do we get it back into shape? destabilizing pakistan to the point that it collapses i don't think would create the security making it the responsibility of pakistan which make it is is a more interesting outcome. the problem is that we have to ask more fundamental questions why are we in afghanistan? what was the strategy that president obama had in mind. president bush's strategy was a more modest one of holding the key areas and not trying to dominate the country. president obama ran his campaign by arguing we are in the wrong war. we are now in this war. it's not clear we have the forces necessary to bring this to conclusion.
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therefore, we are stuck with pakistan because the withdrawal in which case pakistan both san, or we entice pakistan in various ways into collaborating in the space withdraw so this comes to the point that it really doesn't matter if what happened in the past at this moment if our goal is to somehow accept afghanistan without attempting to occupy it which is not a choice we must deal with pakistan. who else can we? host to the question isn't dealing with pakistan so much as what is the longer term outcome in terms of are they going to come away from wherever we end up with the new status quo in afghanistan recommitted to their campaign as undermining their neighbor next door in india. >> guest: we can avoid that by staying in afghanistan for ever
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or limit so here is exactly how i approach the foreign policy issue. if pakistan comes to be secure in afghanistan, to destabilize india it may well. shall we therefore stay permanently in afghanistan? how do we present that? would come to is to say yeah i think pakistan and india have reasons to distrust each other. i don't think they are going to go away. i think at various points in history they will attempt american interests are secure. so those who say look pakistan is not to be trusted, i would ask the question okay what is your plan? and the problem is nato has almost 150,000 troops in afghanistan. i regard that as an untenable
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position. i see no solution except within the context of the pakistani relationship. therefore, i regard can we trust pakistan cannot trust pakistan, i don't know what to do with it. because i see our country as having decisions, and i think this is not a realist or an idealist position. this is simply the way we have played the cards that have led us here. can we do this and get pakistan to stop undermining india and get india to start undermining pakistan? that, we don't know how to do. and one of the problems is when you meet your foreign policy that ambitious, that i don't simply want to get out -- >> host: the failure are much, much higher -- >> guest: and you leave yourself in afghanistan. then for the moment having those on hundred 50,000 troops out, i'm not particularly interested in the national interest of the
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united states, what kind of government there is in kabul, and i want to see the united states more balanced and able to respond to the russian invasion of georgia and the things of that sort, so i want to balance the foreign policy. afghanistan creates an unbalanced foreign policy and my question is how to rebalance it and there is an ugly price to pay. >> host: one thing we haven't talked yet so far is china, and of course when you have the conversation about indiana and pakistan, the big piece of that that we haven't talked about at all is china. you are of the view that some of the current almost hysteria about the rise of china and what it will mean for the long-term consequences to the american power has been overstated in the u.s.. tell me why you think that. >> guest: to begin with, using chinese statistics there are 1.3 billion people in china. 600 million of them live in
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households earning less than $3 a day. 440 million live in households earning between three to four a day. in other words, china over 80% of it lives in poverty in the sub-saharan. there is the china that we all see has about 60 million people. they have the average income of $20,000 a year which is the size of france. it's not a trivial number but it's less than 5% china. that china cannot sell to china to try to find ways to do it. you can't sell in ipad to a person veterans $3 a day. they are the hostage of the west and a gun pointing at the head of china is the rise of the american savings rate. of course every dollar not spent at wal-mart is taken out of the chinese. the chinese are desperate at times stabilizing the system by
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increasing exports. the current profit margin in the finance is 1.7% on the chinese exports which we think is high. >> host: even the chinese officials will tell you not as easily to believe their statistics and the liberal -- >> guest: which means they are exporting almost cost in order to prevent the things they are most afraid of, and planet. they can't keep that because at this point, the chinese rates are higher than mexico. if you take a look at the shirts you'll find mexico and the philippines have it, not china. china has lost its advantage. like japan in 1990, when we all believed in the massive japanese superstates taking us all over we saw them by the rockefeller center. >> host: you are actually very bullish on japan. >> guest: is in the sense that look, japan has come through a 20 years period in which it achieved its economic goals.
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they have a choice between having the crunching recession, unemployment and violating the social contract that underlines the japanese society which is you get a job at the company and stay in that company. they made a strategic decision and that strategic decision as we would have lower interest rates to keep businesses going and and and plymouth. from the standpoint of the western investors this was a lost decade because we couldn't invest in japan. and the japanese said we hadn't realized in the purchase of japan was to give you opportunities to make money. they achieved what they wanted and this is one of the important things we're talking about in sophistication. understand what the japanese were afraid of, unemployment. they could understand what was he wasn't stupid. it made perfect sense. the debt level reached the point that is probably an unsustainable. we are going to have to make fundamental changes in their foreign policy and i think that
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is going to unleash growth and social instability, but that being said, they have one advantage that china doesn't. they don't have 1 billion people in third world poverty to get china does and the chinese are bitterly aware of that. which is why they are increasing security crackdowns everywhere, moving the people's liberation army, have a crisis of the secession as we just saw, and also investing anywhere in the world outside of china. i had a joke when japan cannot if the japanese are doing so well why are the ebullient temple beach? if the chinese are doing so spectacularly why are they making massive investments outside of china? in the two previous asian crises money moving out of those markets and investing overseas. we are now in the middle of the chinese capital flight which the
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media is interpreting as the growing power of china. but the simple point is they are making a rational investment decisions based on their future of the future of the chinese economy between the various forces. >> host: to be precise, is it your sense that the projections of the continued chinese economic growth are overstated? do not believe that china will surpass the u.s. as the largest economy sometime in the next decade or so? 1012% is fairly difficult to believe. remember that china came from a position where the economy was in complete shambles. the first two decades of growth was simply reconstructing. the economy with the fine work force and resources and everything else. the last decade was brilliant economic planning. but in the same way that you
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can't invest on the assumption is you always have the same compound in rates but the chinese have to make a readjustment in their growth rate, and they are doing it and doing it carefully and this is why. it's not that china isn't between the collapse and greatness. like japan. there's a readjustment of the normal and japan went from a high growth economy, massively exporting and so one driven by the financial problems the non-performing loans in particular and china is in that situation as well. i can get to the question of did driven and equity driven economies and so on, but the point is it is not an insult to china to say you had a
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magnificent 30 years. >> host: the projections showed the rate of growth is going to go under the double digits it has been at for certainly the last decade or so to read the most elite china on the course to become the world's dominant economy. >> guest: 8% growth is extraordinary, and i don't think it is at 8% growth right now. and it's possible for an economy to grow at any rate if it is indifferent to the rates of return on foreign capital. and that is what the chinese are right now. if i have a company in volume selling my product at low-cost i can have a fantastic rates of growth just before i go bankrupt. and that is what happens with the japanese. they have huge rates of growth in '88, '89, '90. but at low rates of the capitol because the national settlements want to shut them down. so, the chinese have that situation now. this is like the margins on exports are so important. the head of fantastic rate of
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growth that isn't necessarily healthy. >> host: they also have come in and he alluded to this before but i think it's an important fact which is the democratic crisis not only because of the sheer scale of the people who live and, you know, really difficult third world conditions and poverty but also because the one child policy, and you're looking at, you know, the disappearance of this enormous youth generation through power growth in the long term. >> guest: as much as that, there is a cliff between the rest. as china becomes a more sophisticated economy producing more sophisticated products, the level of education and expertise required to join that blocks out the third world peace and it can't rise. the real question in china is the same question of mao tse-tung. he attended the rise in shanghai and it failed. he marched and raised an army in
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the peasants. the peasants were bitter. they came back over 20 years and restructured china. the chinese government is painfully aware of how they began which is why they are ruthlessly crushing any organization outside of the party, not allowing anything to rise. if the chinese entry period of economic assumption, which i think they are, then the question really is into economic, it is social and political, what happens there, and i think the chinese are aware of that and there is the members of the pla are going to be in senior positions now. the chinese are aware of that and trying to whether it. they made. but for now, the chinese are very concerned with how to manage the current problem. in their view, they are confident they can manage it. perhaps they can, but it's not going to be easy.
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>> host: basically what you would say is the economic analysts and the overall tenor has missed the underlining potential of the political instability in china. it's not love and center. if you look at not just american but european and ... of china today it's all of that jealousy of the astonishing growth figures. it's really not been about the risk of the political instability. >> guest: there is an interesting social phenomenon in the west. in '83, '84, japan had a slowdown. there was the people writing articles on the japanese. there is a free or for your lab to the colavita between the economic and the recognition by the west, the fury of why that isn't a matter. we are now in the position where china has already stopped behaving the way they did a year ago. it's going to take several years
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before it is noticed. so there is a process that when the chinese economy grows enthusiasm for the chinese economy grows. it's no longer universal. there's any number who are writing about the coming bubble in china. but business is also have a very, you know, wal-mart and the waitress once by the source and country south side of china because china has become too expensive. they are not particularly sentimental. they don't write position papers. they are simply changing the source, and this is a challenge. the imam is a challenge to china so is the philippines and pakistan and other countries. but the point i am making is is natural and normal for a country after 30 years exponential growth to slow down dramatically. it is doing that. the consequences -- the economy
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could do it if it didn't have the 1 billion poor people, it could manage like the japanese did, but china has. >> host: to pull back for a second to the big picture, we are almost all the time here, when we look at 21st century and talk about this as sort of the specific decade, the xinhua decade to come or the century to come, the waning of europe, i don't really see that in your work and you seem to be much more in a way reminding us of the relevance of europe for the american strategic thinking. >> guest: william saying it is it is going to the american decade and the american century. look, the collapse of the european system and putting the collapse of the soviet union left the united states standing as a continental power. with very deep resources in command of the world sees with a quarter of the economy, with
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bases in 27 countries and so on. there is nothing even close, we talk up the brick countries. the brick countries have to go altogether by 75%, so all for equal to the united states. >> host: is the united states still going to be spending 50% of the world's military spending? >> guest: sure. i think so. but cures the point. the united states will go through extreme troubles and instability. it will be constantly at the verge of collapse and like britain in rome and if you look at the roman speeches just before the entire bursts of you see predictions of catastrophe that happened. >> host: okay. so ten years from now we will come back and have this conversation and see how it worked out. >> guest: it will be different in what is in conversation.
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>> host: george, thank you. it's been a great conversation. >> guest: i enjoyed it. that was "after words," booktv's signature program which authors of the weirdest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with the material. "after words" ears every weekend on book tv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" on line. go to and click on "after words" in the book tv series and topics list in the upper right side of the page. ..


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