tv Washington Journal Michael Breen and James Jay Carafano Discuss President... CSPAN January 17, 2017 11:09pm-12:09am EST
>> the presidential inauguration of donald trump will have live coverage of all of the events and ceremonies. now a discussion about president obama's legacy with the head of the truman security project and foreign-policy analyst from a heritage foundation. this part of the washington journal is an hour.
>> a discussion of foreign policy with to get joining us this morning. we are joined by the truman national security project. he serves as the president an ceo at the heritage foundation and is the foreign defense studies vice president so both of you gentlemen, welcome. in the big picture. is there a way of approaching these matters? >> guest: i think to evaluate the legacy we have a context and since 1945, every president republican or democrat has trier to carry forward a central theory in the world that says we will try to prevent futurepr conflict and create a world that'thatis based on institution nato, the united nations and an unprecedented network around the world to try to strengthen the liberal order if you well and present that kind of darkness that engulfed the constant
conflict from happening again. when we evaluate, we have to put it in that lens and what you can say about the doctrine is that it's been primarily about making sure no matter what the united states does in the world, we try to put forward others in the regional solutions and problems for example. i think you can see the contrast before iraq is a good example. it certainly wasn't in shape for the presidency but the difference is you have a strategy that says the united states is going to try to solve that problem with tens and thousands of troops or are we going to work patiently withseaf great results but what we have seen now is the fighting is by being done by an army to
liberate the predominant city that's been done with the backing and support from the united states providing only what we can provide. >> host: >> guest: i think we both i sagree on what it was but the legacy, i think that is the mos important thing the legacy is about context.t people's view about that will change over time. when you look at the legacy they put it in the context of the present state and look backwards and say how did we get here. people are upset about then korean war and for years carried
truman ranked at the bottom and started a change in the 1980s because of ronald reagan and people perceive we were getting back into the cold war and turning the corner and truman ao the architect of containment that started us on that path and associates stock actually started to rise in the 1990s when you were a democratic president.t. he's fairly well revered by both democrats and republicans. look how that's changed overdo'' time.. it doesn't mean that it's fixed overver and i can guarantee one thing that will be consistent over time. >> host: if you want to ask questions, 2,027,488,000, 80013 publicans and 8002 for independence.ch i never legacy will change over time but the one in that piece is the one of restraint.
would you agree or disagree with that?ally a >> it was fundamentally about getting the world to balance anv you have conflict with iran, russia, china. so getting to some balance.resta it's a strange unilateralism and it's all relative to the people that you all are competing against and the interest you are trying to defend. so even when you have a your doctrine, you cannot always stick to your doctrine.
sometimes the enemy doesn't want to cooperate. >> was in the inbox matters a lot and we've seen the great example of this thinking thatth they were going to find some way to rebalance with russia and in neither case did that work out very well so it will be interesting to see the administration come in about how they are going to calibrate on russia so how does that go theya will take advantage of whatever disorder exists in the system and whatever unbalanced. they take this into account and it's not necessarily wrong.
are we attempting to reach a better situation with adversaries and are we stepping into the shoes of thee steppi adversaries. >> guest: i'm not name dropping but she said something really important. two in particular legacy there are no plain pages so you pick up where the other guy left off and i think we do a disservice where we start to talk about the legacy of a particular preside
president. the bush obama period. >> host: (202)748-8001 for independencrepublicans and (2022 for independent. the reality is when president obama came in, the troops for essential deplaning nintendo and they were at peace and we withdrew the troops and grantedt is no way of knowing that the arab spring was going to breakbr out and there would be a war that one of the consequences to that because we withdrew the wad troops, essentially the warhead ended and they are literally there to reach the iraqi people
but because the forces are gone when the civil war broke out, that's bubbled over into iraq and became a major challenge. al qaeda is back.es then they did when president obama came into office and he said in his remarks there hasn't been a terrorist attack onack, american soil since he took office.ha there hasn't been one since 9/11 but they manifest in different parts of the world. and there we have seen a dramatic increase in the numbe
numbers. it's actually higher. >> host: the question is the withdrawal of the troops to leave it to the situation. it speaks to the nature of the s problem. was the military strategy intended to create the space to heal the wounds that existed the withdrawal of the troops is about the government's failure
to make the promises that we made in the face of thend incredibly brutal violence the leaders broke with al qaeda despite the existential fear anr iraq and their faith in the government and what they got in return was secret prisons. m they solve the commanders cut out of the structure and they were totally marginalized so they were able to come and make the case that we are onlyen defenders in the face of the government. that is a political crisis. that is what allows the organizations to exist. they are parasites. isis is a parasite.
until those dynamics change, we are going to continue to play whack a mole. the 10,000 troops would have been very helpful. if the united states stayedge engaged in iraq. the point is we know who we are and when all is said and done when those always taken down because of the legacy. if the united states doesn't want iraq to go back to theis rl
message was. they will find as president obama did that if the united states has to be engaged, let's not kid ourselves. iraq wouldn't be recovering and the question is can we then walk away like we did last time when this comes out and my guess -- >> host: first guest, good morning. >> caller: i've got to ask the guest concerning president obama early on outreach to venezuela and nicaragua in the case of cuba.
we have seen cases in venezuela distancing itself from democratic practices its opposition leaders with 100,000 cubans fleeing the united states and now they closed the door on them. nicaragua purchasing -- >> guest: that is more than relatable. >> guest: these are all depends and the question is ontr cuba there is decade after decade of u.s. policy isolating the island pretty and effectively in a lot of ways and
i think the answer is decades of ineffective embargo and thingsre didn't really work or in part the human rights situation so the question is to open up ties with the world's most vibrant democracy in the united states. does that help or hurt cuba and i think it is too late to tell as they try to calibrate off of this and it will be interesting to see what the administration a chooses to do if they attempt to open things, so that's the question and it remains to be seen what is going to be betteri but it's fair to say that isolating them didn't really improve their situation. >> host: >> guest: the evidence itself is pretty clear it's deteriorated somewhat as an
economic benefit only stronger but that's where we are today. it would be unfair to blame theu situation. that is not all president obama obama's thought it would have been completely disastrous. i wish we had to spend more time dealing with that and preparin'' the states i think there's a lot more we could have done in latie america because i think there is a war with countries that have been trying to pull them in a different direction and we could have helped more.
it may not be the legacy because that is a state that could see dramatic problems in the coming months and years. >> host: democrats line, go ahead.my >> caller: good morning. criticism relatethe criticism ro american integrity and i think that the comment was disappointing.understa my understanding, and maybe your experts can comment, they would exchange for america's guarantee in the territory where does that mean for the trust of the and a government had since nuclear weapons are part of that? less?
>> guest: i certainly have my own opinions on that. first of all, it's worth recognizing the different thingr the europeans have done under the american leadership recently with respect to the sanctions that were not easy for thee germans to do. it's difficult for the supplyatu and they mad made them in the alliance between the united states and europe that was still something that was imported into the united states. it wasn't as effective as we had hoped. the reality is you have one ofao google's largest land armies fighting in ukraine and the question is the united stateslif
tried to counterbalance that and doing that we can inject more by proxy.ns ante the russians have the incentive to send more and it's hard to imagine that on their border so that is a reality we have to grapple with. we also can't lose sight of the context. it's not an easy question. >> guest: i talked to the folks in embassies around the world in the community and the
doubles the moment the administration talked about thei other day how there wasn't really a red light.ainly do nobody believes that.chitect i think secretary kerry was the chief architect of that because they never used chemical weapons and then he did and he was caught in a situation so he turned to congress and asked for permission and then the russiand came along. so i know how we got out of was that, but that was an error statecraft to suggest anythingm about that.
this is the one major area that we are in disagreement for years and there's a lot to say about. but i wouldn't want to lose theo larger context of the situation which is what we are going for in the situation i have my differences with the traces of e i have these differences in the context of what we should haveag done and it is a big mistake tor pretend that there is an easy oh answer. what's the application too produce a predictable result? >> guest: if they were going to stay as long we want to kick them out that would mean we are not going to go to war and we do have interest but of course there are countries we are not really concerned about, iraq,
jordan, israel and i agree we have things we can do but important things we should do. andidn't we have an obligation with ukraine plaques nato is a treaty ally and it's in our vital interest to do so. ukraine we don't have an obligation and on the other hand, the recent security does affect the interest. we have made obligations under the agreement and i would thinkl the next administration would honor that. >> host: baltimore maryland,d, democrats line. go ahead. >> caller: [inaudible] james m. stafford virginia, go ahead. >> caller: yes i just wanted to go back and talk about the
fact that it seems the american people have forgotten that the time obama pulled out of iraq that's what the american people wre screaming for. they wanted that. they felt this is a place we r belong why are we policing the rest of the world and it was the atmosphere going off. i'm not going to say whether it did or didn't but obama tried to do peacefully some of the things around the world i guess everybody wants done. but as much as i like obama, i still believe that if we don't
operate from the position oft strength, then the enemies around the world, the people that don't care are going to take that as weakness and lash out. we had the ship in the middle oh the ocean, and we basically did nothing about it. all tha they did is emboldened e russians. and i think it is the kin that f thing that we need to look at. >> guest: i think that is good context and they work very quickly. i remember experiencing that as one of those guys in the early days wearing a an army uniform and i remember what it was like when the public opinion startedd to change dramatically when it was supposed to be a couple of months and it went into what
ended up being a counter insurgency which is no picnic by any stretch of the imagination.e i think there is a deeper question whether the american people prefer all the rhetoric aside whether the american people preferred the fighting in iraq be done by an army of iraqis into special operators and contractors supporting them? as imperfectly absolutely as they are they do th due the figg or would we rather they do that? so it's another thing to be prepared to back that up. it's when the united states draws lines or talks to us but
isn't prepared to back it up through action. people see that around the world and i think the mistakes of the administrations including this h one come from the basic disconnect that happens in the rhetoric and a walk into the talk that is a mistake that i don't think the incomingtion can administration can afford to make that it's difficult to avoid. if harry truman was getting intt the prospects of the presidentga again, america's freaked out when the word broke out because for the first time they might actually end up in world war iii and these are people in the incredible devastation and the last thing they want is to find other war to end all.
there are a lot of decisions they could have made that would have been politically expedient. it's not just for liberating south korea and he made a tough call which in retrospect he made the tough calls against the political interest and shorter americans like things and above foforeign policy isn't popular right now. they ar they are paid to look after the interest and sometimes people are unhappy with them.m. but their job is to balance thee politics an and to be interestig to put the interest first.
there is a difference between the popularity. it's due i like soap or bbs.ansa the americans have enormous popular well. we believe in democracy and sometimes we hate our president and boycott the inauguration but we still believe the president has a responsibility and will accept things. sometimes you have to do thingse that are unpopular but if you believe they are in the vital interest, you will do them anyway and recognize that even if americans hate you americans turned against the war and that6 maybe trumay be true but we dide vietnam until 1973 and we didn't cut the vietnamese off until 1975. so they were completely unwilling to fight for a really long time.
stay forever, look at nato. we have been in there for a long time and there hasn't been a major land war in the longest period from modern history. the middle east might have been fine because nothing was happening. it's a lot easier to have troops there and have nothing happen but have to go to a place. >> guest: first, thank you for your continuing service. i think that this is yes, u.s. troops deployed around the world under peaceful conditions with consent of the people that live where the troops are as a good thing. it's a lot easier to be there. that's what the u.s. legacy in europe has been and will continue to be.nd
the popularity and foreign policy we can't forget one of presidg pieces of foreign-policy is the choice the president gets to make where they never wouldon have gone otherwise. that is a massive responsibility, and as we have come to rely on the national security we had the most professionalized force in the history of the world. i am concerned that it's further isolated but the american people are willing to buy into and sustain versus what the presidents want to do and these are tough for the country like the united states. t it's tough for an american family to have their son or daughter deployed abroad at risk for years at a time.
on the backs of one of the smallest i have many friends and colleagues and these have not been. i think it is a dangerous place to play. they are courageous and certainly i run an organization that is named after harry truman we canlot of reasons, some of which are going to pay the price in blood. >> guest: it's been true thes sd last eight years i think realistically but nobody thinks
that's the right thing. the united states were to use this purpose and it puts our men and women in harms way should dt so when there is a vital interest at stake and that is the best way to protect them and i think the american people get back if you are doing this for the right reason we are with you and the men and women ofha volunteer, they get that. they love defending this country and never apologize for that. i agree with you. it's there for politics or somebody else it's not there defending us. they would be frustrated and angry at that. that's what you want every president to do.an
to say the first thing out of their mind and are we doing wito his right to make that at the forefront of helping make the decision. this could you just heard from j the heritage foundation, the defense vice president and also joining us the truman national security projec project served e president and ceo. as we take a look at the foreign-policy in the obama administration, independent line, savanna georgia. good morning. >> caller: good morning. the arguments you made werewalk fantastic. shia ha the sunnis and shiites have always been there with us. m they got mad at somebody because he was shooting the soldiers inu
the back and he's lining them up and assassinate them and when the communists invaded the country, somebody gave them trouble, they gave big trouble back. our young men and women were trying to create a new society and that they have an unlimited number of young muslim men with no jobs, no families, no hope. the status of forces that people have a status of forces and if thetheywant us out of there so d because they get drunk and do all kinds of things. get out of here and leave us usn alone. i don't know how we think we can
invade iraq. >> guest: i agree. it is still with us, but you have to be careful when you decide that you are going to apply to military force in the political order to try to get the political order that is better because what you are doing is creating more disorder, shadowing the order that exists and it was no picnic. it was a typical country for the people that live there. it would have been if the bad dictatorship and ended up with a war that could consume the entire society. it's one of the stories that
just isn't true. the split happened thousands of years ago. for most of the time since that's split, they created some of the gifts in the culture and science all of us benefit from in our lives. i spend time before the collapse under the brutal dictator of a country that had a vibrant cosmopolitan culture. the marriage rate in iraq for 2003 between the sunni and shia was about 35%. they used to joke. this was a normal part of the society. so the idea that the factions have been an intractable violent war for thousands of years, this is a social order that hasid h recently been shattered by entire yearly by us. i'm not taking responsibilitym t for the common but it's been largely driven in the region by
those that forced and brutalized people around the beach and in conflict with one another destroying the sites designed to force people to extremes. certainly the vision didn't help the process and in some ways it may have been the starting. but i think that it's a mistake to look at the middle east today and think that it's always been that way. >> the question that gets to the essence of the segment and how you create a legacy and how you've created a presidential leadership i think the metric really is are you protecting and defending the vital interest of the united states and what makes the challenge truly american in the way that america is a force for good in the world, and that is part of what i think makes us
an exceptional nation. others can go forward and do things in their interest with no regard to the human rights and the consequences for everybody else. but we believe that the sovereignty is the product of the individual people that have the ability to act as a citizeng in their natural rights and in their god-given rights to exercise their freedom and liberty.it and it would be wrong for us to try to go forward in the world and take that away from anybodyu else. in the pursuit of our own interest. >> my job is to protect americans. but america wants to be a force for good. >> if you think about it again,
the legacy, the focus i think we ought to listen to some of the worst thing we can do is become just another big country that throws its weight around to become just another self-interested actor in theju world because america has been and has the potential to continue to be. >> it can be something much more important to the world. i think we kind of lost focus between the bush years and obama years, we lashed into this biopic conversation about his america isolationist, should we come home and do nothing or conquer every country in the world, and this is a false dichotomy in choice. the president rejected that and i think rightfully so. the answer is let's just do something, like the opposite of doing nothing and everything let's just do something. i don't think that's right.
america isn't going to be successful as an isolationist power and run the planet. we will not be the police force but if you're doing something id the middle it has to be okay and are we protecting the vital interest in the force for good in the world. >> host: on the line from ohio, go ahead.h our >> caller: good day sir, how are you? >> host:. >> caller: it seems to me that there is chaos throughout the middle east -- can you hear me? >> we can hear you, go ahead. >> caller: that's what the bush administration and when dick cheney was president after the 5-4 decision this summer before 9/11 when they came in and they wanted a chaos throughout the middle east, what
they did is sent james baker into the middle east, and he set up contracts throughout the middle east before 9/11, then they came and we had traces in t the twin towers with three times as much production now we scratch our heads and wonder w why. changing the topic above it. >> guest: we all agree that it is a troubled area. but that gets back to something that obama and the next president as well. there are three parts to the world where the united states does have a vital interest where the large-scale regional conflict is something that would be such a disruption that it would impact us.
maybe not directly, but certainly it would impact thein interest and potentially could lead to a larger scale. looking back at president obama, what are the things you want to evaluate them on if are you helping to bring peace and stability not that they have to be the land of milk and honey because they have had better days but everybody has to be happy and there can't be anybody shooting anywhere. are you reducing the potential for a conflict and to spin out of control, i think that is a very important task for the president. >> it is an important point and kind of goes to the point that you made at the beginning of the show the legacy and how it isi evaluated. that is an interesting question in the context right now because i think that it is a fair argument to make it fair to say
we just had probably the first presidential election that was in some ways a referendum on whether america should continue the project but says he will have a europe and strong nato and the line is and great power conflict to stand by the allies. iit's about mutual benefit or is it good or a pay for play syst system. we have an incoming administration if you look at the front page of most newspapers this morning you will see a lot of uncertainty in europe and asia and tough rhetoric going back and forth and what that produces in a policy context, we will see. inauguration day is and he iss with us.
it is at this particular moment because we will see. but the legacy of the administration i hope will not be that this was the last administration to hold onto the path. it's difficult to tell so far which way it is going to go. nol >> guest: normally they think of the domestic policy and its normally i like you and i trust you to come up with the policies that are going to protect andtik very rarely would be a mandate and foreign policy. so begathis is again a good exao create more. the foreign policy was front and center and the reason eisenhower got elected, they were voting for themselves.
its ratings were in iraq and that is a referendum what is remarkable to me is it is veryel rarely front and center unlesss there is something like a pearl harbor or the iraq war orom something. here essentially we are still at war i get back that the conflict is not on the scale it was years ago and if you look at the polls, it rated really high and was even something we talked about a great deal between theb candidates. obviously if you just look atoul the numbers, they are not happy with the direction. the answer is i hope so. people are not happy or sure that we have been maximizing the
people do want to change. >> if you look at the polls, what you will see is americans to her and she did pretty clearly terrorism and foreign policy. >> it is high on the preferences but they preferred the foreign policy by about 20 points and an equal margins of a separate that which is very -- >> guest: and the republicans were waare way up there and dems were as high as they were in 9/11 which is interesting because we are seeing a gopartisan split on how we do that.is right all that said the opinion is where it is right now. i don't know that most americans walk into the voting booth and say one way or another i am happy or unhappy with nato or the international alliance
system that we built. it's a great deal of justification for good reasons that the world has changed an awful lot very quickly. the communities changed, the economy has changed, the global forces are part of thei the livn a way that is a big deal.de i grew up in a small town and they go home and things are different.t.ff the question is a tough questiot right now. there is a lot of uncertainty and people feel especially in the age of nonstate actors like isis, do we have great answers from the national security establishment on how to defend them, and we can talk about thee level of violence whether it has been up or down and borderless terrorism but we can all agree as a country and as a profession of arms and national security
profession we haven't yet effectively figured out either side, either party, anybody in the administration how to deal with this yet and the americannd people i think understand that. >> let's vote on what is the most popular thing to do. but i do think the american people by and large have a good sense of where things are. so, you are right people have different views on how to fixn a them but they don't get a good sense of the shape in the middle east and our concern in china, they want a president to fix that. they may disagree. >> host: this call from tom in florida, democrats line.i agre >> caller: i agree we shouldn't have an open-ended sentence on the young men in ths
military.. i have a son that will be in the draft and see [inaudible] i think overall he has done a good job and alienated many offt the countries indicated damage control. in the beginning he just made a few missteps. the red line was a big mistake we can't draw a line in the sand and then knocked back it up. it was a big mistake to draw a a line in the sand but let's face it it's been a mess for many years and many presidents have tried to fix the mess and it isn't an easy thing to do, and it isn't going to happen with a quick fix. i don't have the answer for that
but i know that it's not going to be easy. c it's very complicated.trol .. one thing the syrians won't do or should not do is differentiate push from obama by they have never elected allies. i think that is the character. likewise, obama did everything with allies, i think it is a bit of a mixed record on that, so no one i think has a clean sheet. the thing we agree on is working the thing we agree on is working with allies isison' important. there allies for purpose. had there allies because we have
mutual interest that give you reason to alliance. and in the end that serves our u.s. alliance. clearly i think nato when trump said nato's obsolete the next sentence he says nato is important.in so he was talking about natoor dealing with terrorism. i do believe that one of the things this will be a strong consistency from bush, obama, to try if you believe in peace ando western europe nato is a big component of what brings peace and stability to western europea every president my guess is thaf you can come down on the side of obama.si bush and obama could've been two different presidencies but look at the end how nato look very similar to bush.among al so among the alliances and working with alan alliances i
think nato will be fine. >> i broadly agree with the points in the column. i do think president obama's foreign policy legacy is generally pretty good as far as we can tell. couple there certainly things that i haven't particularly liked the red line being the one. and in the response to syria at large, i think we have at has situation syria that is consumed hundreds of thousands of human lives and created the largest refugee crisis since the second world war. i think the leadership has been indispensable on it's been done against her earlier point against a mistake opposition,amc americans some of them anyway and a number of politicians have been very vocal about the united states should not be playing a leadership on crisis.er i think it's strategically a morally indispensable. i believe
it may not be popular at this te moment but the stability of europe among other things depends on us taking leadership and we must continue to do so. this is going to be a test of the incoming administrations to make on popular choices. >> and to hear your pain say that i may say you need to do this because it's in your interest to do so in the right.o >> this is springfield vermont, go ahead.he >> morning, i wanted to throw a couple of of thoughts and analogies into the thought process on into what you're talking about as to how america should rethink its national security and foreign policy into things like our judeo-christian values and how we should apply the as far as the golden rule, do unto others as you'd haveve them do unto you and also the story of the good samaritan which is basically a humanitarian side and equated to
how we should approach with what you're talking about the nato and the un. also the analogy out there for you to use in that thought process of domestic and social conflict that we have now about the entitled child living in his parents basement whose parents to give him the tools cause they entitled him and enabled him because they love to not have the tools gone from them by himself and the kid father wants the kid to god be socially responsible while the mother wants to make sure is not hungry. and how the child will use emotional extortion and blackmail against the goodness of their parents to allow themou to stay home and we have to equate that to the countries to those are not been responsible and using extortion and blackmail is because of our more value.ink rais >> okay color, thanks. >> that raises an importantolic. point, you have to temper apathy
and foreign policy. so you think these reports were good and we should care aboutpe starving children in things like this and that's true, we should because we want to be a force for good but empathy needs to be tempered with justice. we should do things that are practical and have a fact. just a care do things is not now. if it doesn't make things better serve your interests.r so i think this notion of having a participation grade for everybody is not the best. i take the colors point. >> i think in a lot of ways it's a difference and we should talk about on the ground differencedi between the united states handling something quickly but
he's going to do it together. i keep coming back to thiso poi analogy it's worth pointing out that while were talking there are thousands of mostly young men and some young woman for most of the tribes in iraq, almost all of them muslim who are fighting and trying to reclaim their own city from thea islamic state right now.n combat if any of you have been in an urban situation is not a joke. it is not nothing. and they're doing that. there there given their lives read an take in that fight forward to doing it for their own homes in their own country.am i'm just as concerned as you ars about what happens to iraq after isis is defeated. i think ices will be defeated mostly in iraq
by iraqis and i think that's how should be. the fact that they're fact that their standing together and fighting like this now, i think it gives them a much better chance of having a country they we all hope to have when it's over. >> will is the president's term and accomplishments on form policy with two guests, michael green whose president ceo and jim of the heritage foundation, things are being here. >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with new some policy issues that impact too. coming up wednesday morning, james a resident fellow at the american enterprise institute and health policy vice president for the center for american progress will join us to discuss the legacy of the affordable care act including the successes and failures since it started 2010 in the lookahead water repeal would mean for consumers. watch c-span's "washington
journal" live at 70 eastern on wednesday morning. join the discussion. >> tonight on c-span two, british prime minister minister on negotiations with european union over brexit. un ambassador samantha power gives her public trust. and mike pence speaks at a meeting at the u.s. conference of mayors. >> the presidential inauguration of donald trump is friday, c-span will have live coverage of all the days events and ceremonies. watch live on c-span and c-span.org and and listen live on the free c-span radiot.