tv After Words CSPAN February 2, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EST
question. please go ahead. >> hi, michael anders. i wanted to get your opinions on the idea that income inequality or lack of social mobility maybe a function more of disadvantage groups being taught they are victims. not responsible for their lot in life as opposed to pure economic factors. >> that is something i would be interested to see tested. i know there is interesting work to be done by carol deck on the effect of different kinds of praise and feedback on childhood achievement. i don't happen have any strong view on it. and i am not aware of good evidence on it.
but as a general principle, and something alex said, a lot of problems are microeconomic problems and taking place at a scale where we can understand and scale up. and that is true in say the unemployment benefit office. i discuss in example in the book of uk unemployment benefit. money is paid to people who are unemployed but maybe they are welfa welfa welfare scrounging so they were quizzed to make sure they apply. and now the new method and giving them advice for next week when they go apply. and people were randomly assigned to different floors and
the top floor was the forward looking and it was dramatically more affective at getting people off welfare and into jobs. once you have the randomized trial, which is a standard of excellent that is great, and you can roll it out. we need to use it more in schools and i would like to under what is going on in these schools in scandinavian schools that make them so good and see what works in an american and british context and what doesn't. problems that seem to be diff e diffused and large submit to microscale basis that we need to use. >> this was fun. but i am afraid we have to draw
>> up next afterwards with guest host dimitri simes from the center for national interest. this week angela stent and her book "the limits of partnership: u.s.-russian relations in the twenty-first century," in it the director of georgia town university calls for a rece reassement of the russian europe style. >> it is my pleasure to welcome
our best -- guest -- a lot of people think that russia isn't that important and it isn't prepared to be helpful. do we need partnership with russia and if so, why? >> we certainly do need help. the united states and russia are the two remaining nuclear super powers and we cannot resolve a number of the world's major problem and we are seeing that with syria, iran, and terrorism and counter terrorism. russia isn't an easy partner for the united states and vice versa but we have to work together.
we have seen this year why the relationship is sliding down hill but we will continue to work together. and those that say russia doesn't count anymore or isn't important are flat wrong. it has to be a partner even though as i say in my book it is a cranky partnership. >> you made clear there are two kinds of limit. first, structural limits because of different interests, traditions and circumstances. and then there is limits with russia and what are those? >> first on the structural limits i would emphasis we are still living in a cold war type warp and we focus very much on
these, if you like, 20th centry issues. the kind of relationship we don't have that we would have to have are a better partnership with a flushed out economic relationship. russia is a raw material exporter. it sells oil and gas and these are nott things we purchase fro russia. this is one-sided in a way. but the limits go back to the fact we see the world differently from the russians. that the russians want to focus on the sovereignty of states and state russia is a state of power and nay look at the united states as a revisionary power because they think we are invested in regime change and we want to change governments we
don't like. so one of the real limits is the u.s. foreign policy believes we represent certain values and those are free market and the law of human rights. and we believe we have the rights to pursue those when we interact with other countries. russia doesn't see it that way. they say the united states is going around trying to re-create the world in its image. so one of the limits is if you are going to interact with a country like russia, do you focus on your mutual interest or do you focus on values on what is happening inside russian society? that is one of the sore points that has been there throughout the 23 years since the soviet union collapsed. >> this is a major issue. if your view of foreign policy
is henry kissinger and you refer to him in the book, then you can have partnership with the russia. saudi arabia is one of america's closest allies. i was born in the soviet union and remember in 1959, i was still small, but i remember on russian television seeing vice president nixon appearing with the soviet union. there were interesting exchanges. and nixon said for the time, prime minister, i understand that your belief is that americans are going to leave on
communist and he said that is fine as long as we accept you have your system, we have ours, and we will not try to change them. this is 1959. here we are in 2013, and you get the impression in order to have good relation we require other countries to move closer to our beliefs. do you think the obama administrati administration has the might mix on human rights? >> this is a constant issue in u.s.-soviet and u.s.-russian relations. the russians always say we
criticize them for things we don't china or saudi arabia for. russia is a european country, they are a member of the counsel of europe, and signed on to conventions of agreements where they are supposed to adhere to the norms and china and saudi arabia haven't done that. it is true the u.s. has not been consistent for criticizing russia and not their neighbors and i go into this in the book because they are important partners for the united states at least in the war on terror. i think the obama administration has been pretty skilled at dealing with these issues. the reset, when it worked, and it hasn't in the last year or two, worked with russia on common interest like iran, missile defense and afghanistan
and saying it was a two-track policy and separated from what what the was happening domestically in russia. this has changed in the last year, well the last couple years, since putin has thrown out other u.s. ngo's and we had the acts that banned the adoption of russian children. the u.s. congress, if you look at the entire, again 23-year period that i am look at, hasn't been a source for promoting better relations with russia.
those in the congress interested in russia are highly critical. so things that bans visas to russians involved in human rights abuse started in the congress. that wasn't what the obama administration wanted and they retaliated with the adoption thing. >> one important thing about your career is that in addition to being the leading academic, you were in several administration. your book covers a lot of ground. it starts with almost the last days of the soviet union and then the goes to the current period. you were in the clinton administration and the obama administration and the bush
administration at the state department on policy planning stuff. tell us, if you look back, clinton administration, bush administration, obama administration, who work would russia better? you may start with bush 1 if you want to. you talk about his policy and he is disposed. >> so in my book, i discuss four resets we have had that i count since the fall of the soviet uni union. i was in in policy campaign and both times serving in government we were on a downward slide in the u.s.-russian relationship. so the first reset was brief.
president georgia hw bush overlapped with wilson for a year. that was when the focus and national security advisor put the focus on disarming them and de-nuclear-izing areas. there was not enough given to helping out the new russian government and i know nixon was in favor of that. that was a period when the attempt to improve the new russia was focus on the nuclear issues. when the clinton administration came into office it was more ambitious. clinton was the russia hand. he was interested in russia and
i think he and those around him really thought that they had eight years at the maximum to refashion russia and turn it into a democracy and a market society. we know that was clearly overly ambitious and you cannot remake a society like that. and there was ana an attempt of financial assistance and getting them to buy into the u.s. security and that is why we had problems with russia with the war in the balkins and that ended badly. toward the end of the administrati administration, putin came in so
i was in government during a downward period and the united states wasn't able to achieve what they wanted. the reset under george w bush was looking for a better relationship. after 9-11 he was the first person to call and offer support in helping the united states establish basis in central asia. the desire was to have an equal partnership of unequals. having a partnership with the united states that was strategic. and the bush administration was in favor of that. and the personal relationships were better and the cooperation
was much better and russia was instrumental for helping in a variety of ways because if knew more about afghanistan. that fell apart once bush and cheney believed that the united states should go around and promote democracy and particu r particularly in russia's backward and that ended badly. the obama administration came in determined to focus on the issues which russia wanted fto focus on. arms control and nuclear proliferation. afghanistan, that worked. iran, that worked. but it began to fall apart because to some extent that reset was based on the personal
ties. even if people understood the prime minister was the important decision maker, the relationship was based on the two younger presidents. and when it was clear that mr. putin was coming back, that was a breaking point because mr. putin blamed the united states for aiding and abating them. we had the relationship with edward snowden now always. so we are working together in
syria, but where president obama said we have to lay back and president obama is a lame duck president and mr. putin understands that. >> one problem with democracy proliferation that one no one believes in american sincerity. i rememb i remember meeting with the secretary of state, i think you were there, i came back from moscow. a couple people at the meeting stated that officials didn't like what i said and said what is your evidence?
i was taken aback they were asking me this because we had an ambassador in russia, tom pickering and you refer to tom grim, who worked with the bush administration, and i thought they were objectively. and the united states completely identified with the administration because he seemed to be more agreeable on foreign policy issues and we were willing to support him blindly. and russians got the impression that the american view of democracy while you are a democrat. am i wrong? >> i don't think you are wrong. i think from the u.s. government's point of vow, the worst is the communist are
coming back to power. it looked like the leader stood a good chance. he was at the world economic forum, and made a speech that sounded reasonable. but the belief at the time was that the system that everyone was working hard to try and create in russia would collapse. and therefore, of course you are right, people on the ground at the embassy understood what was going on and that this wouldn't be a free election. we know that dick morris now and people that worked for him went to advice -- advise his daughter and people around him. we know he went from single digits to winning an election and people haven't forecasted that before.
you can asking the question now would it have been so terrible if a communist would have won the election? no one knows the answers. there are different views in russia and here. but this create added -- created a degree of cynicism about the degree of free elections. and in the year 2000, the republicans criticized the cl clinton administration for this. >> you are very fair in your book, i believe. and one reason you are so informed and you were not just a scholar, practitioner, but you know a lot of russians. you mention in your book, a
forum where you had opportunities to interact with them, and i know from my personal experience with you that you know many members of the russian position. one problem with american scholarship is we have two kinds of people normally. we have scholars who know the russian government and scholars that know the russian position. you are one of few people that know both. let me start with pooutiputin. talk about his organizations? >> we have had dinner with mr. putin every year and he is a very impressive, political leader. he is a man in charge. he will come to the dinners and give 3-4 hours of his time answering a variety of questions
which not too many world leaders i know would do. he never uses notes. he never turns to any of his aids to ask them questions for help. he is particularly interested in economic, data and energy. energy is a subject he is passionate about. he is respectful. he can be sarcastic if he wants to be. everyone that meets him is very impressed by the amount of time and his willingness to answer the question and sometimes he is he complains they are not tough enough. one comes away from the meetings with a very good sense of the message he wants to convey to the russian expert and outside world. and i think that has been a very
effective forum. >> how would you compare putin not just in terms of his views, but how would you compare putin as a leader and personality to other world leaders you have observ observed. >> i have never had the exposer to other world leaders than putin. he is a leader. i think he has become over the ten years even clearly much more convinced of the correctness of what he is doing. i think he believes he came into office when russia was in a chaotic state and he has restored a lot of stability and
restored russia's place as a great power and i think that is visible. but unlike world leaders in a democratic system, he is less tied by -- there is no separation of power. he is less constrained. so in many ways, he would come across as being more decisive than leaders to have to listen to parliament and pubic opinion. >> what some positions say that russia is a tolitarian country
and you can see putin respectfully refers to others and how would you describe putin's talk to democracy and how would you define the political system today? >> you have to go back to the 1990s, i believe. for many russians, not all of them, but the world democracy has connotation with the perceived chaos. and you have to look at mr. putin background. he was there in east germany
when it fell. he was trying to defend papers there. and then you can see afterwards in the 1990s he worked for the mayor and it was clear from what mr. putin saw that that wasn't a clean election. so i think that his attitude toward democracy one has to look at his past and where he is coming from. he is not a democrat in any western sense of the world. b but it isn't that yet. the internet is pretty free. people can express different views, not on state-run television anymore. but putin isn't all powerful in the way that stallion was. he is probably the most single
powerful individual in the system which isn't transparent. it is hybrid system and there are groups of people he interacted with and we can see in economic transitions he can not determine everything. so i think the best way to describe is manage democracy. there are elections but they are not free and fair in the same way we believe they are. it looks as if the tendency is going towards less pluralism. but it is very hard even to neo-patrimonial is how some are describing it. it is hybrid system that we have a lot of difficulty undering how
it wor-- understanding -- how i works. >> let's give the united states ten and saudi arabia one. where would you put russia? >> i think russia would be between the two of them somewhere. i don't know if i would give it a five. it isn't saudi arabia, it isn't the united states, it is more democratic than china is. >> it is more democratic than china? >> i believe it is, yes. >> in what way? >> you have different political parties, first of all. the range of views in the parties may not be wide. and there is certainly internet freedom more so.
>> let's have a short break on this note. >> on the go? afterwards is available via podcast and i-tunes. select the pod cast you want to download and listen to it when you travel. >> when you talk to russian officials they will tell you there is a tendency in the united states and more broadly in the west that the west of russia -- and sometimes without good evidence. you mention a person in your book and he was a former agent of the the federal security
service, and he was a political immigrant and lived in england and then was poisoned. and as you describe in your book, a common perception in britain and the united states was that he was a victim of nuclear terrorism and again strong assumption is it was planned by the russian government. do you agree with that? >> i think the evidence from what i know and what i have read is first of what he was poisoned with is only produced in a few place and there was clearly evidence of it when they tested the plane on which the two gentlemen had met in london and administered the poison. the plane they were on, the radio active material traces were found on the plane.
so i don't think anyone disputes the fact someone came from mosco air with this poison, met with him, and subsequently he was ill and died. it was only discovered out of coincidence. there are others that think this was manufactured in britain. and what makes it more difficult is the british government, which was conducted an inquest in this, doesn't want to publish the evidence it has for national security reasons unspecified.
so the assumption is that is because it would somehow implicate of the russian government. we will never know the truth about this. and when he hanged himself last year, there are people that believe he didn't hang himself. so it is cloaked in obscurity and one might never know the truth. >> i am very interested in the case. not because of the case itself, but because it is an example of how often we make assumptions and don't know the truth. i became familiar with a name back in the 1990s. i read a book and the reputation
of real integrity. he was talking about provocat n provocations against him and they were out for him because he was a democrat. and the man involved today was long before he was out of favor. then 1998, there was a press conference in moscow, and they left the federal security service and announces there was a lot against boris. a plot to murder him. there was one little problem with press conference.
only until later, the testimony was given in different forums. it was he who helped putin be prime minister. he was plotting to kill him so if he had known that he would not have been promoting him. obviously somebody in london was saying their assumption was the russians expected it would be a discovery and then you say it is dramatic plot and if that was the case, it isn't clear what was important to take chances. the russian soldier wouldn't be caught. why would they use polonium. there was cheaper thing tos to
to accomplish this. it was a major international scandal. the russian government and putin decided to use a nuclear material to kill somebody in london and now we are saying we don't know. is that correct? >> all of them are shrouded in this. he fell out with putin and yes, i think, no body knows and no one will ever know. we are in a situation that has to do with the way people made money in the 1990s. you can refer back to what was going on politically.
and we do know once in london, they were highly critical of what was happening in russia and what mr. putin was doing and he didn't like that. and they were investigating the murder of a journalist there who was assassinated and shot in the doorway to her apartment. it has never been resolved. there was a number of high profile murders in the '90s of journalist and business people and none were resolved. sometimes they would pick up an
assassin and that adds to the tendency to an assume the worst. >> i thought the russian government couldn't be involved in this killing because i could not see a good reason. now, i am agnostic on that and that is because of a testimony from a man who is a former chech chechen leader. he testified that one of the things that he was doing was using his context in russian
security was to obtain about russians there in. and he was providing information to the people; to the terrorist there. they were discussing it in an informational way. if something like that was going on i would say by the standards then the russian security service could go after him. but i don't see many other reasons. this is a mystery where we are human initially and decide the russians have done it and then several years later we don't know. >> i think so. it is obviously having a bad affect on british/russian relationships.
but not much affect on russian relations with other countries, including the united states, because the united states hasn't given asylum to that many people from there accept for when we come back to the boston bombings this year of some formally lower profile people. >> the roeason i bring this is you talk about the opportunity for need for partnership and one thing is counter terrorism. when i was thinking about ter r terrorism, i was thinking about
9-11. as you know, at that time, before september 11th' happened, the russian governor, the prime minister wasn't yet president, was proposing to close the government. it was dismissed by the clinton administration because russia was used as an imperil power and it looked like a trick. they wants american blessing to be more relevant. i have no idea what putin would have done if he was taken more seriously. i am interested in your opinion and then the boston bombing. the russian security forces
approached the fbi with questions about the brothers. they talked to security officials here and in moscow. the russians provided information but it was incomplete and insufficient. so people didn't want to be manip manipulateedd and the rush00ians -- russians were told -- and they were not taken seriously. did you believe we could save american lives by having a closer preparation on counter-terrorism? is this something that is
achievable in the current russian environment? >> the problem goes back to chech. when you had the first war there, president clinton said this is like lincoln trying to save the united states and union. as the war progressed, it became more brutal and there was much more pressure in the united states to take a different stance toward what was happening and focus on the human rights issue and the way they were conducting themselves there. we had the incident where the man who was the number two in al qaeda was trying to get the russia earlier on and the russians picked him up and held him but they didn't have enough evidence about him and i don't think they consulted the united states about this so they let
him go. he went back to afghanistan and we know what happened on 9-11. putin was warning the united states about these dangers and they took take them seriously about. and they understood them. the issue has been that the united states has been reluctant to classify many of the fund fundalmentlist people. the counter terrorism cooperation worked. and president bush endorsed the russian view. there was a second war there that happened after putin became prime minister. but for a short period, we were
working together and russia give us information that enabled the nato effort to succeed in the fall of 2001. then the situation went back to us focusing on what was happening in the north areas. russia focuses on their own problems and did want see terrorism as a -- didn't see -- global threat with al qaeda. i think what happened with the brothers is he did get information from russia. the russian side said if you listened to us maybe you would not have given them asylum. it works sometimes. it is a limited partnership and the
cooperation on terrorism is difficult. i don't know if we could have prevented 9-11. >> you have a section on your own. the russian relationship and let us be clear, iran is one of the centers and we are preoccupied can syria today. but this will not lead to major powers. it isn't something that effects american security. iran is different. and you can imagine scenario if it would come to the united states and israeli attack on
iran it might be serious. where does russia fit there? what is it doing and what can we expect them to do? >> things have improved on the relationships with iran. we had a problem with russia going in to build a power plant there. and the russians have claimed, and i heard mr. rob love say that and that is the russian foreign minister and we have met over the years. he has been foreign minister for ten years there. the explanation is the iranians haven't done anything that count
counteracts the agreement they made. that situation improved after obama came in the presidency and he showed the uranium power plants. russia claims there is no evidence that iran is trying to develop nuclear plans. and some are saying a rush government doesn't want to see a military attack because it would fuel islamic sentiment and it would cause unrest and it would cause a great deal of unrest in the neighborhood. i think right now the u.s. and russia are aligned because at the moment we have what looks
like a relatively promising agreement between the p-5 plus one powers. the united nations security counsel and germans and iranians to walk back. and for iran to promise it will not go to increasing that capability. if that agreement works and we get into the next stage, i would say u.s. and russia are cooperating very well. on the longer run, if the united states were to improve their political relationship, the united states energy companies would come back and that would affect russia's current role and that might not be something the russians would favor but that is far down the road, i think. at the moment i would say this an we are working better because
the sanctions are working and forcing them to the table. >> most of the talks came from the united states. >> russia didn't agree to them. >> and another area where we don't agree to put it mildly is ukraine. you could not write what is happening right now. can you talk about the most recent developments? >> sure. this turned out the way the west hoped it would. the leadership with the president and prime minister were arguing all of the time.
you had a free election in 2010 and the european union was trying to entice him through this eastern partnership to sign a deep free trade agreement and sign an association agreement, which doesn't mean membership, no one is promising the ukraine the membership, but they should taylor their economy and society toward the european norm. the european union believes it is a post-modern grouping and doesn't like to engage in old fashion gop politics, but russia doesn't mine. for russia, ukraine is a key country and the lost of ukraine to the west, if it joins the european union would be a major shift for russia because they have been part of the same system, if you like, for
centuries. and russia does believe they have a right to the fair privilege since it is their backyard. as it was clear that he appeared to be serious about signing an agreement with the european union and would have meant a shift in the ukraine priorities. the eastern part of ukraine is integrated with russia tightly. one should point out that ukraine is a divided country. the eastern part of ukraine that was part of the russian empire looks to russia. its has one view of russia. the western part, part of an independent poll poland looks to europe and is suspicious of
russia. so they could put pressure on them they sign the agreement. and as we neared the dates of the signature, it was offering carrots. many are saying he didn't want to sign the agreement. but was trying to get the best deal. ukraine is going to default if they don't get economic assistance so russia has offered $15 billion rescue pack nl that is buying bonds and making sure they don't default and cutting the gas prices from $400 to $283 so that ukraine is paying much lower prices for russian gas. and the european union has sort of taken a step back now. interestingly enough, you had a rash of european politicians and
american politicians going there and speaking to the thousands of demonstrators who want ukraine to find an agreement with the european union. you have not seen the russian officials going there and making speeches. at this point, russia has won. they are going to bail out ukraine. they are going to hope that in the 2015 election he is reelected. if he doesn't there is a question about what ukraine could due in the future. this underlines the fact that ukraine is a long ways away. there is no much we can do. in the bush administration, they wanted nato agreement.
ukraine isn't in agreement. there is more of a reason to get involved. i think if you look at the map, i think everyone has to understand maybe ukraine has to work out something in the future where it doesn't have to chose one fight or the other but it can work with both sides. >> you have them in brussels talking to the european union and the press complained about what the european and u.s. officials were doing there. he complained about two things. first, that the european officials and secretary of state and victory said nothing about john mccain were appealing to
the anti-government crowds there. and they were creating a strong impression that the united states and european union were with them against their own government. and they felt this was inappropriate and something like that would never be allowed in the united states or in european union countries. but the second complaint was that american officials, european union officials were claiming that ukraine was overwhelming with the european union. and he said wait, there were hundreds of thousands of people in paris demonstrating against same-sex marriage. ...
>> it is a tendency on the part of the russian government to question the consistency of what the u.s. does and the sincerity of it and to point out that, you know, what russia does is different from what the u.s. does. that is a general framework. we get into these arguments and that is why there's part there is part of this relationship. one of the analogies that they like to sometimes use, i don't know