tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN November 28, 2009 10:00am-2:00pm EST
we begin with the editor in chief of "outside the beltway." we also have the washington bureau chief for "alternate." will also talk with a guest about the united states effort to resolve longstanding difference between israelis and palestinians. also note tim brown of the 9/11 network coalition. he will be here to talk was about the december 5 rally in new york against bernanke 9/11 suspects to a federal courthouse in lower manhattan. .
this war policy was done in secret and steps were taken to deceive us by every means they could. they were planning in november to open to the world the fact that they had these missiles so close to the united states, not that they are with intending to fire them, because if they were going to get into a niewg clear struggle, they had their own missiles in the soviet union.
>> the white house advised us there was a matter of high urgency. i talked to several members of the congress and several of them suggested a different alternative when we confronted them that monday with the evidence. my feeling is if they had gone through the five-day period looking at the disadvantages and advantages of action, i think they would have come up with the idea route we did. >> i favor in doing whatever is necessary to throw russia out of cuba and get rid of the missile bases down there. >> we had to act on a wednesday, and the first 24 hours, you i don't think we would have chosen as prudently as we finally did. >> washington is one big secret today, but all signs are that something important is about to
happen, perhaps involving cuba. president kennedy will address the nation tonight on radio and television on a subject of the highest national urgency. president kennedy on the air in 15 minutes. washington calls it a case of extreme urge jen six. >> good evening, my fellow citizens. this government has maintained the closest surveillance of the soviet military build-up on the island of cuba. within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island. the purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the western hemisphere. to halt this defensive build-up, a strict quarantine on all
offensive military equipment under shipment to cuba is being initiated. all ships of any kind bound to cuba from whatever nation or port, where they're found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons will be turned back t shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launch from cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere as an attack by the soviet union on the united states, requiring a full retaliatory response from the soviet union. the executive committee met with the president this morning, and attorney general robert kennedy, the president's brother and robert macnamara. >> during that time, the 1 a people or less who were directly consulted frequently had changed their view because whatever action we took had so many
disadvantages to it and each action raised the prospect that it might escalate the soviet union into a nuclear war. finally, however, i think a general consensus developed, and certainly seemed after all alternatives were examined in the course of action that we finally adopted was the right one. we were starting, in a sense, at a minimum mace, and then if that were unsuccessful, weave could have gradually stepped it up until we had gone into a much more massive action which might have become necessary if the first step was unsuccessful. >> president kennedy has signed and arms quarantine against cuba. hewe will have the latest developments. >> the soviets have rejected the demand to withdraw weapons from cuban soil. the russians say they were defensive, not offensive in character. the strongly worded soviet statement rejected the united
states' right to block ports, and there was no indication whether soviet ships would try to run the blockade. a russian news official says it would be total war if the united states sinks a single russian ship. several conflicting and inconsistent proposals had been made by the ussr within the last 24 hours, including the one just made public in moscow. >> i don't think that we expected that he would put the missiles in cuba because it would seem such an imprudent action for him to take, as it was later proved. now he obviously must have thought he could do it in secret and that the united states would accept it. >> nikita khrushchev did precisely what president kennedy has been asking him to do ever since this crisis began. he ordered the dismantling of soviet missile bases in cuba and
the return of the rockets to the soviet union. we wait for the definite information that khrushchev is carrying out his word and sending those missiles home. >> i want to take this opportunity to report on the conclusions which this government has reached on the basis of yesterday's aerial photographs, namely, that the soviet missile bases in cuba are being dismantleed, their missiles and related equipment are being traded, and that the fixed installation at these sites are being destroyed. >> the flavor of capitulation is all over the soviet capital. you get the feeling that the soviet government has backed down all the way, and many observers really cannot recall a time when the kremlin has backed off an issue so quickly and really so abjectly. >> the reason that the united
states and russia separated by so many miles of land and water and both are rich countries, should not be able to live in peace, but it is this constant determination which the chinese show in a most militant form and the soviets have shown that they will not set for that kind of a peaceful world but must settle for a communist world. that's what makes it a danger, the these two systems in conflict in a nuclear age is what makes the '60's so dangerous.
welcome. i'm director of the richard nixon library and also an example of the perfect screening system that we have in the presidential library system. the film has set up our discussions and the previous panel brilliantly set up our discussion, but in some ways we didn't need to set it up because i'm privileged to have three gentlemen with me today, two of whom are participants but participants who thought deeply about their experience after the missile crisis and they will be discussing the test ban treaty and rahm ramalson who helped
frame in the first version, frame the question, and in the second version, updated those questions and added the new materials that have been coming out from the soviet union and from a former soviet union and participants in the '90's and even in this decade, so we really are privileged to have kasem sornson today. i would like to pick up and start with an issue that the previous panel just touched on, which is the settling -- the political and strategic setting when president nixon comes to office -- president kennedy comes to office. i wanted to see if you were listening! you remember that '60's campaign? anyway, in the campaign -- >> we're all here but president
nixon is not here. >> he will get his time later. in the 1960 campaign, what role did the missile gaffe play and concerns about soviet advance in intercontinental ballistic missiles? >> that is the kind of question i would expect from are the nixon library. the fact is that the missile gaffe was an expression not originated by john f. kennedy and not a central issue in his campaign as said in previous panels t arose from three separate commissions that were appointed during the eisenhower administration, at least one that gave the commission, i believe, an official body, one
was a rockefeller commission, which was unofficial. i have already forgotten the third. all assumed or were told that the soviets had the capacity to build more missiles at a faster rate than the united states, but they did not say that the soviets had actually made good on that capacity. they merely assumed it. it was picked up by a good friend of the president's, john f. kennedy, that is, joe auerbach, who wrote a good deal about it. he may have first referred to it as the missile gap. and johnson and others also talked about the missile gap.
kennedy was running on the theme "we can do better, we must do better, we cannot afford to let the soviets get ahead of us in productivity, and any phase of life if we are to have a greater appeal to the undecided folks in the third world and so we added missiles an military preparations to that list, but i would hardly say that it was the central theme of his campaign. >> carl, you come into the white house as deputy special assistant for national security affairs. what does your boss, george bundy, think about the missile gap? what is the intelligence community telling you when you arrived? >> by the time i came in, which was in may of '61, the issue had
essentially been settled. i'm not quite sure that i remember when we got the first reconnaissance satellite around but by february we had pictures and we knew how many missiles, and the number was six or seven. we had many times that number deployed already. we had ours launched and at sea. a chap at the c.i.a., ed procter , who is in charge of sort of organizing and summarizing this information, that happened, that had been a student of mine at harvard, and when i called him up, he was
eager to tell me what he knew and it was perfectly clear the missile gap was underway. russ fitzpatrick gave a speech, i think it was in february february, was it? >> i don't know if it that early but let me go back one step. eisenhower claimed that early either the first satellite had shown that the missile gap was actually in our favor, and he was furious that kennedy was even raising the issue, but the fact is that kennedy became the presidential nominee who was briefed by eisenhower and other
military leaders to late for that information about missile gathering to have been acquired and conveyed that to kennedy in that briefing, so eisenhower's anger was misplaced. kennedy had not been told the secret information. upon obtaining office, yes, he did find out that the missile gap was the other way around, and he felt that the united states government ought to say so, and he felt that the most low-key way to do that would not be an announcement by either the president or by the secretary of defense, and so the facts were contained, as carl has said, in a very low-key speech by the
deputy secretary of defense, ross kilpatrick. >> the russians heard it and it scared them to death. >> it was in october of -- i was just checking. it was in october of 1961, so now ten months after taking office. >> before we move to how scared the soviets got, let's talk about our concerns in the summer of '61. what effect, if any, do you think our confidence about the nuclear -- of the strategic environment, how did that influence how we handled the berlin crisis in the summer of '61? >> again, and carl knows it even better than i do, there has been a lot of talk in so-called histories and otherwise that kennedy considered using the
nuclear bomb at the time of the berlin crisis, not totally surprising. the soviets had a vast advantage in conventional forces, numbers of men equipped with conventional weapons. we had nuclear weapons that were vastly superior. did kennedy look at papers that came from the pentagon urging this? of course he looked at them. did he weigh the possible use at some point? of course he weighed it. that's what a president of the united states is supposed to do, but did he ever authorize the use of nuclear weapons in the berlin crisis? never. in fact, in my opinion, one of the main reasons kennedy, and
this is a follow-up to the previous panel, one of the main reasons kennedy ran for the presidency was because he thought the eisenhower massive retaliations option under which we would use nuclear weapons if the soviets set one foot on one inch of western territory, he didn't believe it. he didn't think the soviets would believe it. he thought it was an invitation to nuclear war, which is one of the main reasons he ran for president to avoid. >> i remember hearing this story , which events i didn't witness but ted did, and he can tell us whether it was a myth, that at one of the discussions on the berlin situation, dean atchenson was present, and there
was discussion of what if the soviets do this? well, then we'll send an armored column up to the autobahn and what if they meet the armored column and atchenson said we'll fire off an attack of nuclear weapons and the president said and then what? and atchenson was sort of taken aback and said, well, i hope cooler heads prevail. is that true, ted? >> yes, but not in the berlin crisis. that is when atchenson was called during the cuben missile crisis but that is precisely correct. he thought he favored that the option of bombing the missile sites, and i think it was max taylor, because it's all in my mind's eye. i'm sitting at this table and at
the roundtable and it was max behind me was was the voice that said then, what will the soviets do, and he and dean atchenson said well, the soviets will feel obligated to bomb the nato missile sites in turkey, and then what will we do? well, our nato allies have been attacked then we will bomb inside the soviet union, and then what will the soviets do? by then, we hope cooler heads had prevail. i told this story before in this same auditorium. some years later, atchenson, either in an interview or an article by him in "esquire" magazine shrugged are off the u.s. assessment of the cuban missile crisis saying the kennedys were just lucky and a journalist called me up and quoted that to me and said what is your comment, and i said
after a little thought, yes, they were lucky. they were lucky they didn't take dean atchenson's advice. so ross kilpatrick tries to calm him, because to really set the stage, you have to understand that this was a major political issue in the united states, or many people who were fearful that they were ahead, the soviets but we found out we were ahead and we wanted to calm down domestic politics and the problem with doing that is that you reveal your hand to the other side and the soviets were extraordinarily insecure. kruschev was extraordinarily insec secure and you have the kilpatrick speech, we actually know now because of materials released in 2003, khrushchev get's very upset. he is not getting what he wants over in berlin and he recognizes
that in the international system, the strategic balance has a political content. it matters. if people are afraid of the other side, you could be coerced to do something against your interest, so in early 1962, he gives this secret speech, another secret speech, this one is state secret, stayed secret for a while where he said i'm going to put pressure onto united states and we're going to get a berlin agreement. he tried in the ' 50's. it didn't happen. he wanted to get it done. to set the stage for the cuban missile crisis, let me ask you about concerns you might have had about khrushchev's instability, because it was clear this is a man who loved crisis. he had created one, you know, when you were there, and he created at least one when eisenhower was in power, and you're coming into the summer of
1962, so how concerned were you that there might be a ploy there? he might want to do something, he might want a second berlin crisis, for example? >> i'm not sure you could count the berlin crisis because it was one continuing crisis, but after the peak crisis in the summer with the wall and all of that, of '61, we had an extraordinary historic event, not so far from hyannis port, massachusetts, when khrushchev, who was the editor of is ves ya paid a thanksgiving call on the kennedys for a long interview, which appeared, i believe appeared word for word in izvestia. i mix them up. izvestia was news and pravda was
truth. they used to say there was no iz vest ya where there was pravda or the other way around. khrushchev was impressed by that friendly exchange in that interview and sent a secret letter to kennedy delivered by very secret almost hollywood means, if we can talk about it, and kennedy responded, and i worked with him on that to the horror of the state department, and i believe they kept exchanging ideas about berlin in a very intellectual reasonable kind of way, testing out possible solutions and meanwhile, the military threat over in berlin just gradually subsided, so that the crisis was
not over. the threat was still there, in the summer of '62, but i would say that we were focusing on an imminent attack or a move of any kind by the soviet union when ume mores first began -- when rumors first began to spread, publicized extensively by senator homer capehart in indiana whose fast pace was looked upon, i'm happy to say, until that film appeared a few minutes ago, and many of these rumors were being spread by cuban exiles, some very fine and intelligent people among those cuban exiles, but they, with all
due respect didn't know the difference between a surface to air missile and an intercontinental ballistic missile, so at that time, this was no hard evidence that the soviets had that kind of offensive weapon in cuba. >> so let's talk about when there was hard evidence. ted, when did you find out, and can you recall for us the president's reaction? >> oh, yes. on the morning of tuesday, october 16. it is the only week in my life where i can tell you what day of the week it was when something happened. the president called me in, and told me that a u2 overfly of cuba which had been delayed by weather had returned from the
previous weekend's flight with photographs from that marvelous invention invented by the c.i.a. by the way, a he production supervisor man they ruined during the bay of pigs, a c.i.a., that has to be remembered for its good points as well as the bad, and kennedy said those pictures as analyzed by the photo interpretation offices of the c.i.a. show the that there were the beginning of several, up to 15 it later turned out, sites for the erection of intermediate-range nuclear missiles, interimmediate range meaning those nuclear missiles could reach any part of
almost any part of the united states, and the western hemisphere, and because kennedy had through this secret correspondence that i had mentioned received assurance from khrushchev that nothing unusual was going on, he was angry that he had been highed to, and that he had fallen for the lie and was determined -- here i contrast him with other presidents when they get bad news of that kind go off to the ranch to cut the brush, kennedy said he was calling a meeting that morning, and here is one of the interesting decisions that he made. it was not a meeting of the national security council.
the people who show up at a national security council meeting were determined by statute years earlier and everybody who comes to a national security council meeting feels he has to show his importance by bringing his deputy, and pretty soon there are too many people in the room to make the kind of crisp decisions kennedy liked to make and too many people in the room to keep it secret and he wanted this highly secret, and so he said he wanted me to come to the meeting and to check what he had said at press conferences about the dangers that would arise if the soviets ever put offensive weapons in cuba. >> graham, you have looked at the sta titions a lot with care. what were president kennedy's
options and how did he eliminations those options to choose the one? i'm going to ask graham, and then you can correct him. >> i have done that before. >> i will say, it wouldn't be the first time. >> taylor has been one of my best sources an instructors for a long time. ly take 30 seconds on the earlier discussion, because it seemed to me we missed out something that i thought you were going towards. if you take the missile gap, i think there is no question that, as ted said, the con consensus judgment by as sorted reports was that somehow the u.s. was significantly behind in missiles. the new kennedy administration discovered quickly that was not the case, but interestingly, the decisions made by the kennedy administration in the first budget and continued right
through the first budget and the second budget and the third budget was for a significant increase in american strategic nuclear missiles for attacking targets in the soviet union. if you look at the minuteman orders -- the missiles with nuclear missiles. their range and capability in the context of the cold war were in first presumption, maybe the soviet union didn't have exclusivity as the target. >> antartica. >> the point is we saw this increase. and number two, i would say it is historically american to underestimate our capabilities than overestimate other'
capabilities. look at the discussion of china today. you can see the same thing. the second point is that we did not, i think, do a good job, the u.s. government of putting ourselves in the soviets' shoes an asking what in the world would this look like, and i think in retrospect, when it was reexamined, you look and you say i'm this strategic manner for the soviet union. i have to think about worst case scenarios. i'm looking at this huge spurt in american capability. i would be fearful, plausibly fearful, so it seems to me that in trying to get the context for how we get to the missile crisis, appreciating that from the soviet point of view, our actions might have led to calculations. how important was that for them? what is the evidence of value? i think there is a general lesson that we have to think how
might other people see what we do? >> carl? >> i think it is very good points that graham brought up. there was a lot of contention about the new missile construction program in the initial budget, which had two elements, one a great big build-up, rapid acceleration of the polar ris program of nuclear missile summaries, not an increase in the total number but a stepup in the schedule and launching. the other was the minuteman, the new solid fuel missile designed to replace the atlas, and how many of them we should build. there were a lot of arguments about that. the air force had remarkable ideas.
tommy white i think once mentioned, the head of the care command, once mentioned 10,000 minutemen, and theres was a little bit of internal wrangling about that. i spent many sheets of paper on the subject, and in the end, we ended up with 1,000, and bob macnamara told the president that he saw that the 1,000 was the smallest number that was politically salable to the congress given the historic background of the argument. >> what i wanted to say is graham thinks that build-up was for potentially offensive use by kennedy, it had been
foreshadowed in his inaugural address with a line that was actually more important in terms of kennedy's administration than the couple of lines that are quoted more often, and that is -- i don't have it memorized but the line was something to the effect "we must make certain that our arms are sufficient beyond a doubt in order to be certain beyond a doubt that they will never have to be used." >> let's go to the decision, president kennedy's decision how to handle this surprise, unpleasant surprise in cuba. graham, could you lay out for us his options? >> well, the wonder of this crisis is that we survived, so i
would say if you look back at it and think back, it could have easily have turned out differently, and the brilliance of the decision-making process that president kennedy arranged that allowed a vetting of the whole issue, and it is rare, extremely rare. in fact, i was trying to think about -- i know we don't want to go there now, but analogies with the seminar that president obama is now holding more or less in public about afghanistan. here when the missile crisis came, kennedy, as ted says, pulled together a very small group in secret and for a week deliberates all the options, and everything is on the table. every issue is examined. every assumption is picked up and hooked over and thought over
again. people feel comfortable to change their mientdzs quite dramatically, and for historian historians, as you know vividly because of your work, the fact that these deliberations were secretly taped, so most of the people don't know, but actually the tape was running and now we as historians can look and listen after theel fact and be a fly on the wall and hear these deliberations. i think the whole thing is quite remarkable, as kennedy, as president kennedy noted in the video that we saw. if the decision had to be made in 24 or 48 hours, i think it's quite likely a different decision would have been made, quite likely, and initially, the impulse was to attack, and the consensus was to attack. look at this terrible thing that has happened. he decieved us.
we have the capability, so when stevenson -- when stevenson is dragged in or enters the conversation two, three days in, he's absolutely persuaded that the decision has already been made, we're going to attack and just doing the arrangements. i don't think that was correct, but i think the virtue of having five or six days in which a president was prepared to let the discussion go, in which people could challenge each other, in which you could go look for further evidence and look at different evidence, in which there was an opportunity to invent options that weren't obvious in the first instance is wonderful to behold, and you say, well, would the president have that opportunity today? the answer is he wouldn't. when president obama is trying to think about afghanistan, every day in the post in the times i read exactly what
happened at the conversation yesterday, so the notion that you are having this private conversation for purposes of debate, and i would say we should be thankful for this hermetically sealed bubble, and for the people who participated in the conversation, and one of bobby kennedy's comments afterwards, which i have always taken extremely seriously was that he would imagine that if it had been a different composition of the people, even in the obama times it would have turned out differently. the president wasn't the final decider, but the people who were exploring and deliberating and examining the assumptions and the options. >> well, i agree with all that graham said and i'm going to follow up his last comment by noting that bobby himself and i were not members of the national
security council but quite active in those discussions, and on that very first morning, the meeting which i mentioned, kennedy wanted to know from us all responsible options, diplomatic options as well as military options, and combined military and diplomatic, even the possibility of doing nothing at all, he said. he said europeans are accustomed to sitting on the bull's eye of soviet missiles and maybe we will have to live with it too, even though he didn't think politically that would ever stand, but it was in that free-flowing discussion that other options arose and the very next day, bobby said, because this had been agreement on that first morning pretty much a
consensus that a surgical air strike knocking out the missile site was the best way to proceed and it sounded so clean and simple t turns out there is no such thing as a surgical air strike, but the next day bobby said a lot of innocent cubans working at the sites will be killed, and we'll go down in history as having committed pearl harbor in reverse, surprise attacks from the air, and so there was some thought that he we should send a notice, and the plan was the president would write a high-level secret note for a high-level emissary to deliver personally to kruschev in the kremlin. i was asked to draft that note that rvel began to weigh in and
it sounded like an ultimatum, of course, it was an ultimatum, and it had to to get khrushchev to negotiate until the missile sites were ready and i reported a failure to meet all those conditions although i tried my hand at a note saying, mr. khrushchev, unless you pull those missiles out, we're bombing, and that later was circulated as the so-called second speech when, in fact, there was no second speech drafted for kennedy to give, but we were almost divided into two groups, some for the air strike, followed up by an invasion,
or -- and others were for the block cade, which we renamed the quarantine against offensive weapons which was announced in the kennedy speech, parts of which were shown in the film clip, so it was, as graham said, extraordinary that a president didn't just take one option like a preemptive strike or invasion and run with it. no, he wanted to know what all the possibilities were and he wanted to know what the pros and cons were of each possibility. >> people have seen the show that people might not live through the weekend of october
27 and 28 on the show "mad men." for those of you in the white house, tell us about the an at this anxiety and the relief? >> first of all -- let me back up one moment. our deliberations continued almost night and day through that first week after tuesday the 16th. finally after i was asked to draft a speech for the president on the quarantine, and there was our group, the quarantine group, ok'ed it, and although the -- some of the others were still holding out for the air strike and invasion, bobby called the president in chicago. why was he in chicago? because he had said to us on that first day "i want everyone to keep their schedules." if you have campaign commitments, keep those campaign commitments. i don't want word to be
spreading that there is a crisis. this are a lot of secret white house meetings, a lot of limousines piled up around the white house, so he had kept his campaign convention by flying, first to indiana where he had a few indiana where he had unkind words for homer capehart and then in chicago, bobby called him and said i think we're reaching a consensus, come back. the president flew back saturday morning, with pierre salinger had the white house position of saying the president had a bad cold. it wasn't quite the truth but it wasn't totally a lie. the president came back. this is a lot more about this in my book that you kindly mentioned, and that afternoon, saturday the 20th, we met over
in the residence, instead of in the cabinet room where we normally met, and that's where add lay thou that -- adlai thought that there ought to be a diplomatic dimension to our response, talking about peace and the united united nations ao on, jack and i agreed with that. sunday he made one last interrogation of the air force to see whether, in fact it was possible to have the original idea of a truly surgical air strike instead of bombing the length and breadth of the island which the air force said they would have to do and he also said he wanted to have one last talk to make certain that a blockade could be conducted in a
way off the ship, board theship, disable a ship by hitting its propeller without sinking the ship, so he wanted to make sure the block cade didn't suddenly escalate into a shooting war, and then he went on the air monday night after calling in the leaders of congress, who had all across the country during the recess, and briefing them on what he was going to do, and most of them expressed disappointment. they wanted something a hot harsher, harder than merely a blockade. >> i have to say since you were mentioning schedules, because we want to talk about president kennedy's test ban treaty, and the american university speech. to set that up, this is a beautiful connection, but i want to set up the test ban treat try, the time of the anxiety
that you must have felt in the white house and the relief when khrushchev backed down. >> oh yes, oh, yes. >> just tell us about that. >> we talked about the television concern of the weekend of the 26th, 27th. 28th, sometimes when i talk about this subject, i have men about your age, tim who, come up to me and thank me for making kennedy's speech on monday night the 26th, so scary they were able to convince their college sweethearts that it was the last night on earth. >> i was a student at oxford and it was a powerful motivator. >> i was the product of the
nuclear anxiety. >> i have been asked many times, was i care scared? i didn't have time to be scared. every minute we were thinking, trying to come up with a solution. we had tried the secretary general of the u.n we had tried in a continuing exchange of notes. we had tried a variety of other things, hints, nothing seemed to work. nothing seemed to deter khrushchev from the reckless gamble, and in those days, the cabinet room where we were meeting was not, although i understand it is now, in those days, the candidate room was not a reinforced concrete shelf, so
we knew sitting around that table if we made the wrong decision, if we simply provoked khrushchev further that it might well be our last weekend. >> khrushchev's decision to back down reinforced that we were unprecedented. let's watch as president kennedy changes the tone and tenor of the rhetoric of international affairs and brings us to a test ban treaty, the first serious arms central treaty between the two superpowers. go. >> some say that world armament will be useless until the leaders of soviet union adopt a more enlightened attitude.
let me examine our attitude towards the soviet union. no government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. our problems are man made. therefore, they can be solved by man, an man can be as big as he wants. man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable. we have been talking in geneva about our first step in measures of arms control. the only major areas of these negotiations where the end is in sight, yet for a fresh start is badly needed is in a treaty to outlaw nuclear attacks. at conclusion of such a treat try, so near and yet so far, with the spiraling arms race to be checked in one of the most spiraling areas. >> after all the years of
failure in attempting to reach nuclear test ban agreements in geneva and in view of the stalemate from the geneva conference, do you really have any hope of arriving at a nuclear test ban agreement? >> the reason why we keep moving and working on this question, picking up a good deal of energy is because personally, i'm haunted by the feeling that if by 1970, unless we're successful, there might be four nuclear powers instead of two, but with all the history of war and history has had a good deal more war than peace and with nuclear weapons distributed through the world and available, and the strong reluctance of any people who accept defeat, i see the possibility of the 1970's or the president of the united states having to face a world in which 15, 20 or 25 nations have these weapons. i regard that as the greatest possible danger and hazard. >> in the next 7 days, united states senate will vote on the
treaty outlawing nuclear tests in the atmosphere. it is the first concrete limitation on the nuclear arms race since the bomb was deveted. yesterday shades of life were caught in the darkness. negotiations were concluded in moscow on a treaty to ban all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and underwater. for the first time an agreement has been reached on bringing the forces of nuclear destruction under international col. this treaty is not the millennium. it will not halt the production of nuclear weapons, but it is an important first step, a step towards peace, a step towards even, a step away from awe. accord together ancient chinese proverb, a journey of a thousand
miles must begin with a single step. my fellow americans, let us take that first step. let us, if we can, step back from the shadows of war and seek out the way of peace, and if that journey is a thousand miles, or even more, let history record that we, in this land, at this time, took the first step. thank you. and good night. >> i was once told that the cuban missile crisis made the american university speech possible. >> of course there is even an indirect reference to american university in the speech to reenlist, and never back someone
into a corner where his options are submission, surrender or escalation -- i don't remember the exact words, but i have often said that both kennedy and cuss chef have teared down a nuclear gun barrel at each other decided there had to be a better way to resolve their conflicts. >> carl, you were in moscow. tell us about negotiating the test ban treaty. i think it's clear, as graham has already indicated, that both sides wanted a treaty, that they were sufficiently sobered by the experience of the missile crisis . i want to boast that i made a
fairly important contribution to that treaty. by suggesting that the arm armament next tore, the secretary of state's preference would have been george ball, and with all due respect to george, i think he might have found a way to make things more complicateed than i had seen. i had something specific in mind, that the russian side, soviet side raised a question of discussing a non-aggression tact between the nations and nato in combination with the nuclear ban treaty. .
they will tap those and call them here. i got hold of bundy and got the president's agreement to this technicality of how germany was dealt with. though the negotiation went well. and if i can take the time to tell the story afterward, which was illustrative of khrushchev and characteristic. there was a big dinner at the kremlin, and the american delegation and ambassador and soviet delegation and various soviet dignitiaries were invited to dinner. and i, and haramin and floyd
that was an ambassador in moscow, and i walked over from the place in the kremlin where we were working on the treaty over to where the dinner was to be. and khrushchev was bubbling over and pointing to the crowd. and the kremlin was open and selected people were admitted into the garden and pointing to haramin, i am giving him a dinner, he deserves the dinner because we negotiating the treaty and that went on. and khrushchev told the following story to haramin and our interpreter drifted back
and forth between khrushchev and haramin and myself and collier behind. and this is the story that khrushchev told, in the old days when we walked here, i had guards, i don't know if they were protecting me or observing me. but one walked ahead of me and one behind me. and one day i said to the one walking behind me, comrade guard, why don't you come up and walk by my side. i just finished dinner and i might fart and that would embarrass us both. and as i said, that was characteristic and the dinner we sat in small groups around tables in a big hall. and khrushchev went around table to table raising his
vodka glass being jolly. >> graham, president kennedy was concerned about the spread of nuclear weapons, wasn't he? >> indeed. i think the line that you have drawn between the missile crisis and the test ban treaty and concerns is precisely right. if i can pick up where ted left off, the experience of peering over the nuclear preface, the experience left kennedy himself and the people that felt that danger feeling different about the world. and arthur scleszinger jr's
thoughts reflect that. as kennedy and the world where there was a threat of nuclear weapons seemed to him not an irrational but intolerable world. that's what ted was trying to say, and in terms we can understand. it's like a person has a near-death experience and they behave differently afterwards. one thing that followed in a surge of activities aimed at transforming the situation. so this wouldn't happen again. and as we saw on the video, one the concerns was that by 1975 there would be 25 nuclear weapon states. now i actually looked at that forecast when he made it and looked back at the commentary about it. so "the new york times" or
"washington post" took that as rational as the states to make nuclear weapons. they would make them, they were good for the superpowers and why not for the others. and as kennedy anticipated if that was the case, you would see local wars and one would see nuclear weapons out of control and nuclear terrorism is a concern. so there followed from that a number of initiatives, only one of which is this limited test ban. that's the place to start, and one point to carl's point. among an interesting feature of it, was the way that kennedy set it up. he announced that we were not going to test unlaterally. we are going to have a
moratorium on tests and seek to negotiate an agreement. >> not to have future tests. >> if we are unable to reach agreement, then all bets are off. for the time being. his proposition was looking towards an early agreement on the test ban, the u.s. would not conduct any atmospheric tests so along other states did not do so. so this test ban treaty is one that was in motion as arms control, as we know it. and then ultimately the non-proliferation treaty. seeing the missle crisis as a pivot to nuclear danger is correct. >> it was a pivot for the
soviets as well, they were concerned about the west germans getting the weapons. and interested in tying them as we are in the chinese. and the soviets were worried about the chinese. when you talk about proliferation there is a wonderful side story to the nuclear missile crisis that we learned only a few years ago. the soviets intended to give the cubans nuclear-tipped tactical missiles. that was the original plan. and when we were talking about the possibility of a landing, we didn't emphasize besides the rockets, the soviets had tactical missiles, and planning to give the cubans these missiles. after castro misbehaved and
khrushchev realized, my god, the last thing i want to do is give them these tactical missiles. and they withdrew those. and they had emphasis to talk to us about serious arms control. and one other point, the soviets really wanted arms control but were afraid of verification. you see, if you are the weaker state, there is disintentative to allow the greater more powerful state to see how weak you are. and there was debate in the soviet union how much to open the intelligence weapons. and at one point khrushchev wanted to accept president
eisenhower's proposal. because they were afraid of the united states because we were a powerful country. the soviet military wanted to support it, and khrushchev lost his job over it, he said you are out of your mind, you are going to give american generals the evidence they need to know how weak we are and they will launch their first strike. what held up deep arms control until the 80's was the unwillingness of the soviets of verification and the unwillingness of an american president to sign a treaty. >> let me add a point to that, when we went to moscow it was that we would have a comprehensive test ban treaty, not a limited one. to cover underground as well as atmospheric and so on. and it was clear from the first
day that the soviets weren't going to do that, that they wouldn't tolerate it. it was perfectly clear that the idea that the inspections required of the test ban treaty was intolerable to the soviets. >> thanks to our friends at the lbj library, we can watch president johnson signing the signing of the non-proliferation treaty by over 55 countries on july 1, 1968. >> this is a very reassuring and hopeful moment in the relations. we have come to the east wing of the white house, to sign a treaty that limits the spread
of nuclear weapons. more than 55 nations are here in washington this morning to commit their governments to this treaty. the treaty's purposes are simple, to commit to the nation of the world that do not have nuclear weapons, not to produce them or receive them in the future. to assure equally that such nations have the full, peaceful benefits of the atom. and to commit the nuclear powers to move forward to effective measures of arms control and disarmament. thus all mankind is reassured. and as the moment is reassuring, so it is more hopeful and heartening as this treaty is evidence that amid the tensions and the strife and the struggle and sorrow of
these years, men of many nations have not lost the way or have not lost the will toward peace. the conclusion of this treaty encourages the hope that other steps may be taken toward a peaceful world. and it is for these reasons and in this perspective that i have described this treaty as the most important international agreement since the beginning of the nuclear age. >> i apologize because of this discussion, we don't have as much time for q & a, but there is a question i would like, we have time for one question. and ted, you wanted to add something. let me pose the question, at least we have one question and you can comboin the two. which bay of pigs lesson
weighed extensively in this? >> oh, my, the bay of pigs involved cuba and it was a fiasco, and kennedy relied on what the c.i. a. and military had previously planned and decided. and it was totally -- and therefore the ex-com, in the cuban missile crisis looked at all options and by then there were changes in personnel. but i wanted to add, after the missile crisis, kennedy agreed because he had begun an outer space program to ban weapons of
mass destruction from outer space. and that may well be a question that the obama administration will have to reexam. because efforts were being taken by obama's predecessor to rearm outer space. which i think would be a disasterous mistake. >> and i think it's worth mentioning that john f. kennedy was the first president to ask the intelligence committee to assess the possibility that nuclear weapons could be moved in suitcases. he was concerned of the difficulty in determining if the cubans had war heads or nuclear weapons and wanted to know if they could be put in suitcases. and unfortunately the c.i. a. said that it was easy to do and
then they then said, but we would know the address of the person that sent that suitcase. a very telling comment then, but an even more frightening and telling comment now. there are many more addresses today. i want to thank all of my panelists. and i want to thank all of you, this is a wonderful session. and this is a wonderful conference. thank you. [applause] >> thanks very much. >> thank you. >> thanks very much. >> c-span's 2010 student contest is here, $50,000 for middle and high school students, just create a five to eight minute video on one of our country's greatest strengths or a challenge. it must provide c-span point of
views, grab a camera g?[and go our website for info. american icons, three branches of programs continue, tonight the capitol on one of america's most symbolic instructors. tonight on c-span, and get your own copy of american icons, it's 24.95 plus shipping and handling, order online. >> freelance journalist, david axe was involved with troops in afghanistan. we talk to him after his second trip to afghanistan.
>> on this second trip what did you expect to see and how long had it been since you were in afghanistan? >> on my first trip, i was in the south and on this trip i wanted to go book to :-back to the south to detect progress. in 2007 i was in kabol and i headed south to see the warefforts. >> how do you make those transportations? >> you can travel to kab ul and it's just a typical commercial flight. >> how concerned are you,
october was a deadly month, how concerned are you on your personal safety and what measures do you take? >> when you are embedded with u.s. forces you are required to wear the protective gear, the helmet and plates with armor. >> do they provide ai&you with that gear? >> no, you get it online or new. it's law enforcement gear. you have the same protective measures that u.s. troops do. and it's sophisticated stuff. so i don't worry too much about my own safety. the logistics of the trip are far dicier than the physical danger. >> why is that? >> it's tough moving around afghanistan. it doesn't seem to get easier over time. it's a big country, it's rugged
and the infrastructure is poor. when you have to contend with them, i had to get a week-long visa extension to get out of the country. and told prior to leaving, that wouldn't be a problem. and it turns out it was a huge problem. and the paperwork and the officers, i had to yell at and it took a week to get a week-long visa extension. >> on your arrival in afghanistan, how do you hook up with the unit you will be embedded and which unit? >> i started at an air force outside of kabul and the first step was to get a press badge from the nato headquarters there. and achieving that, i caught a taxi, and met at the gate by military personnel, in process.
and more or less handed off to the air force for a week. and then the air force handed me off to the army for a couple of weeks. and then the army handed me off to the air force, and when it was said and done, the air force flew me back to kabul for my flight. >> viewers hear about this air force base, how many units? >> it's big, it's a soviet facility and a lot of that structure is there. shambling old buildings and it's the biggest center, and population wise about 10,000, and it's the main logistic hub, with a lot of aircraft flying in and out, and it's sort of a
buzz of activity. it's like a giant fedex facility. >> and also nato center there? >> yes, it's hard to find a place that doesn't have a mix, whether afghans or british or whatever. >> what do you observe of the nato and afghan troops work together? >> i find they work close together, there is $b+a mentori relationship, they bring the afghans and they slot into the u.s. organization in a pretty seamless way. they don't have the capabilities or training, but they are there tagging along. a lot of coalition activities are divided along international lines. the french has an operating
base. >> it's exclusively theirs? >> no, but you see that french operations are mostly french. and you see afghan forces peppering these areas. >> did you get a chance to see this logistical supply out of bagum? >> i did, i flew on c-130 air lifter crew on resupply mission to the south. what happened was shipments of food and water and other supplies came in. whether on military or commercial aircraft, it was broken into batches and loaded for marine corp in the south. we flew through the mountains
to south afghanistan. the c-130 did a pass over and shoved it out the back, and the marines scurred to it. and operations like that happen everyday, it's a major way of getting supplies to the combat troops. >> and those operations are fairly safe they don't encounter enemy fire or taliban or others? >> right, the taliban doesn't have an air defense network, they can take a pot shot at your rbg, but the chances of it hitting is slim. the helicopters are in more danger. i imagine that the mountains pose more threat. >> do they support others? >> escorts like that are not
required. altitude is their biggest protection against taliban attack. the air spaces are crowded but the enemy fire is not a big threat. >> but the others fly out of bagum, what is their mission? >> you have all sorts of things, some surveillance planes that are looking for suspicious activity. and you have aircraft with ground troops, and when they get in a sticky situation with taliban, they call those in. they surveill and when asked, swoop in and drop the bomb. >> is that an everyday occurrence? >> probably, the air force didn't publish those statistics, i would say daily
that someone drops a bomb. but there are other ways to deal with the taliban. general mcchrystal said that air power could detail our destruction.wkd it's massive overkill. it's better to accept some risk in an engagement with the taliban and not bomb them, than to risk killing civilians in a bombing. >> but the use of those drones have increased in afghanistan. is there any coordination of forces on the ground and operators of the drones? >> absolutely, the drones you can think of them as manned aircraft but the man is sitting on the ground, he's talking to the ground troops. they use a chat program, that looks like instant messenger to
do the communication with the customers. and the drones are fairly precise, they don't carry a lot of weapons or fire a lot of them. it's a far cry from a b-1 bomber dropping a bomb. >> back to bagum, it's a military hospital, what operations go on there? >> that's the biggest and by some standards the most sophisticated medical facility, civilian or military. it's a u.s. run hospital that does everything from plastic surgery to trauma. >> so they can take care of a lot of issues there? they don't have to fly soldiers or personnel out of country? >> they could handle most
things but the idea is to get them to a long-term care facility. that's not bagum, you don't want a soldier with burns to about there. where that is needed, there are afghans receiving plastic surgery at bagum when i was there. but the u.s. troops are moved out as quickly as possible. it's a hospital that combines medical care and evacuation role, there is a tent outside of the hospital. wounded troops come in and receive the care they need. and when they are fairly healthy stable, they are moved in that tent awaiting a flight. and the flights move quickly, it's hard to catch one of them for interviews. they move quickly. any transport going home, it could be a cargo plane, and when it turns around, they put
the wounded troops on there with a nurse or medical care to keep them safe as they fly home. >> the -- you also spent time at an army operating base and then a ford operating base, where was that? >> lomar province, south of kabul, and this area grows the food that people in kabul eat. it's connected, it's a two-hour drive. >> is this a dusty road? >> no, it's paved but not up to u.s. standards. it's a bunch of farmers and
shepherds and goatherders, trying to make a living. >> why does the military have a base there? >> most are afghan farmers and to bring this population into the fold and building support for the afghan government among afghans is to talk to the farmers in a language they understand. so the u.s. army has a battalion in this provence and these guys are spending their time trying to understand what kind of farming is going on, what are the farmers needs, and how can we help. and working with the afghan government on that page, how can they help these farmers. it's like an agriculture commune that wears military fatigues. >> and this is an actual base that the u.s. built?
or was there some facility there before? >> u.s. troops often fall in on facilities to convenience base. so there is one turkish gravel operation. the company base in barek-bar district is an old russian base that they expanded and improve. but some facilities have a long history of commerce or conflict. >> as you move away from the comforts of bagum air base, what is it like to get your daily meals and how do you communicate and stay with c-span and others? >> it boils down to the nature of the business and leadership.
in baruk-barq, it's not a lot of active combat. they see it on a regular basis but for the most part they are talking with farmers and dealing with vets and working with animals. they are static enough and the routine is set enough that the company there with the leadership with a first sergeant has managed to build a nice base. there is food and showers and wooden huts and reinforced tents, it's fairly comfortable. by contrast, in canihar, that's more combat and more moving around and fluid and dangerous. troops don't have the leisure and time to settle in a nice
routine. the bigger bases are not always more comfortable. because these days they are way, overcrowded. the infrastructure was sized for about a 50-70,000 strong force. with reinforcements coming in since the beginning of the year and more planned. these major bases are just way, overcrowded. no place to sleep, and long waits for food and traffic. >> in the forward operating bases, what is the local government like there? >> spotty, the bariq-barq subcoded, it's actually the afghan security forces and government and u.s. troops and
u.s. state department are co-located and that's deliberate. these folks are to work with each other on a daily basis. but it's a challenge to work with the government, there is not a mind-set, but that's what has to happen. >> is that a state department role? >> increasingly yes, you have seen a surge of state department and other non-military government agencies moved into afghan. and since the beginning of the year, more u.s. troops. but they are trying to seed those development roles to government civilians. in biraq-barq when i arrived, it coincidenced with a team to hang out with the local
sub-governor to show this is what it looks like to run a local government. you need to walk around and talk to the constituents and find your resources. that team was there, the advanced is one man, but more are coming and they will be joined by agriculture experts who have volunteered to come over and work with farmers. >> how big would that non-military team get? >> at its peaks would be a dozen people. and troops. >> what is the local language and do you speak it? >> i don't, the local language is dariu, and hire interpreters. >> you hire your own? >> it depends on where i am, in
kabul i hire one, but if u.s. troops, i use theirs. it's complicated because you don't know what language folks will speak. and broadly speaking in south, it's pastuo and in north it's dariu, and sometimes you have to change gears. >> does the military have enough translators? >> no, never, no one ever has enough translators and never good enough. you may have your allotment but they are not necessarily the best. that's a constant struggle, unless we have a large number speaking darui or more speaking english, that's a challenge.
>> you spent time in canahar, what was that mission? >> i spent time with two organizations, one was an air training group from the u.s. air force that mentors the afghan army air corp. a number that are trying to build afghany air force on a u.s. air force model. and i spent time with an air force drone unit. >> the unit that is training the afghans, this is a big part of nato's and the u.s. push for the afghans to take on the security role in that country. how do u.s. officials think that the afghans are coming along?
>> slowly, it's hard to be optimistic. they do their job, they are dedicated to it. the americans that is. and you won't hear them speak badly about afghans. but from my point of view, it's very frustrating to see almost no progress in the two years between my trips to afghanistan. i didn't see major signs of progress. on almost any front. >> why do you think that is? >> culture, it's a matter of culture. we have embarked on an effort to reform a culture, to change a culture. i won't even use the word reform, because that implies they need to be like us. the initial goal in the afghan war was to disrupt al qaeda, and to do what it took to make that happen. so we decided that meant
eradicating the taliban or removing them from power and disrupting them as well. eight years later, there is very little al qaeda in afghanistan and have little taliban honestly. but somehow the mission has morphed to building a society to replace the taliban as a form of government, i guess. that's not going well. >> does afghanistan have any history of a unified military, a force that served the country in the past? >> i don't know, i am not actually an expert on afghan history. recently no. under the soviets 20 years ago
there was a partnership with elements of an afghan federal government, just like there is today. i don't mean to mean there is a strong tradition of government in afghanistan. >> did you see evidence of u.s. or nato work with eradicating the poppy fields ? >> we have move to no longer the emphasis, when it comes to poppies, it's not in the forefront. the reason that the military cared about poppies, because they are a source of revenue for the taliban. but it's clear now the taliban
has multiple revenue streams, and that's just one. and when you try to locate poppies, you hurt more than you help. in eliminating the soul source of income for farmers, you create new enemies. it's better to find other ways to disrupt the taliban than to try to eliminate one of their income streams that so many people depend on for their livelihoods. >> tell us about the typical operations of the drones? >> there are two american drone units, one handles the north and one the south. and the south is the busyier of the two. the exact numbers i guess 100
predator drone, and the predators look like a small compact car, and the reapers look like fighter jets than model airplanes. and you can hang the bombs on them, and in the noses they carry a bunch of sensors, cameras and radars. and these things can stay in the air a long time. the exact number depends on what you are carrying or flying, but a day. it's not impossible for one of these to orbit for a day, and to soak up vastness of imagery and data and peering down. >> about what altitude? >> i don't know, that's probably classified, many thousands of feet. sometimes you can hear them on the ground, but you can't seem them, too small. you can hear that wind, they sound like lawn mower but you
can't see them. >> did you see a unit in action attacking? >> no, the drone units in afghanistan don't handle much attacks. they are bi-furcated and they steer the drones, most of those guys are in las vegas, working at air force bases in nevada. and the guys in afghanistan launch and recovery the drones, and they are responsible for drone operations in small areas, usually around the air base. it's like a 24-hour operation, these guys are constantly dragging drones to the airstrip. launching them from their control trailers with a remote control, and pass them off to the guys in las vegas.
and they will fly around for a day or so, and return drone control to the guys. and they get to keep the drones for an hour, and fly around canaihar. >> and the imageries are that good? >> yeah, they have video cameras that looks like a tv camera and have high radar that takes snapshots of terrain. and in the morning you take one shot, and then in the evening and compare them. if you have seen an area that is chopped up, then you might have spotted a roadside bomb, and you can spot where it's buried. that's what they do, revisit
the areas and take the snapshots and then assemble teams to disable them. >> in your month there, what sense did you get from soldiers, airmen, about the reployments, about the multiple deployments to afghanistan? a lot of the guys i was with were young, many of them were on their first deployments and only have been in the army a few years. now as you get older soldiers and more senior ranking guys, they have been at this for quite a long time. i hear a lot about morale in the news here in the u.s. and it's funny because it seems like they are talking about a different war or army. because i am not sure that morale means anything in afghanistan. it might for other armies, but for the u.s. army, this is a
professional army, they are highly trained and educated and extremely well equipped and well compensated considering at home. these guys do their job because it's their job, they are there doing a job they believe in. but they believe in the job, not necessarily some grand cause. so they are able to separate sort of their, i don't know, their emotions and personal feelings and personal politics from the job. and if you really boil it down to, if there is an emotional motive for these guys, usually they are fighting for the dude next to them. it's that small-unit camaraderie that motivates them. where professionalism doesn't explain everything. so i am not sure that morale is
a huge issue, and it's impossible to generalize about an entire army when it comes to morale. you can sit down with one soldier, are you tired and does your family feel strained? and he might have particular gripes and the army is dealing with those to expand and give folks more time at home. for years i have heard that the army is fraying, that it's overstretched. and from a planning purpose that might be true. we don't have enough troops to do everything we want. but it's not like the army is imploding or some psychic collapse, where folks are so dismoralized and they will quit. >> but at the start of this debate, you were where and how much additional troops the u.s.
may send, what is your perspective? >> there is a realism and mcchrystal has set a high bar, the number is 40,000 more troops or more. and there is an understanding that that not necessarily will happen, and if it does happen, it won't be fast. what is happening, officers are making do. and they are finding ways to make do with less troops. a lot of these of the population counter insurgency, and your goal is to protect and win those elements of the population. and you starve them, and that's
impossible with limited resources. you need a lot of troops to do that. what is emerging is a hybrid strategy, that you protect major centers and you have means outside of those major centers. >> the last year you were in afghanistan was what year? >> 2007. >> how have things changed? >> they haven't, there is no major progress, the challenges in 2007 are the same in 2009. there are slightly more troops but not so many that it has made a massive difference. it may have in certainly localities but broadly speaking it's still a huge country and the coalition is quite small. and the major obstacles remain.
the thing is that i am not sure unless you flood afghanistan with a million foreign troops. i am not sure that troops is the answer. it's clear to me after visiting the country twice, more than the taliban, the enemy is corruption. that's an afghan government that has had a chance to pull it together and has declined. it seems that most afghan officials senior or not, just want to get rich. they want to gather power for themselves and don't care about afghanistan as a state. and certainly don't care about their constituents. so you can kill taliban all day, you will just end up creating more by creating martors. you can't win this
war by the definition of war that we have settled on. until there is a afghann afghan government that takes it seriously and it's not happening. >> you have seen many interesting things, what did you see interesting this trip? >> getting blown up and shot up. >> tell us about that. >> we were ambushed from bariqi-barq, and a truck was destroyed but protected the occupants. and it was an interesting experience, i have been shot at before. and i guess over throughout those experiences i have come to really believe in american technology. and i am sad that i feel this way, i don't want to be the guy who feels invincible when he's
wrapped in millions of dollars of american military equipment. but i do, it's good equipment. so we sat there and absorbed a bunch of taliban bullets and everyone was fine. and then we shot back. and that tree line that those taliban were shooting from was just demolished. >> about how far from your position? >> it was pitch black so i would have to guess a hundred yards, or probably farther. and the quantity of gunfire they shot was hilarious and awe inspiring. and we killed a cow, that's bad, you don't want to kill a cow, because the farmers get very upset. >> how were you able to maintain your calm and get video? >> the video is not great, the only way to shoot video in an
ambush is to pop out the back hatch, and two guys were using the hatch to fire. so it was occupied. so i was only able to shoot video inside of the vehicle of the two infantry. and it was tough because i didn't want to shine a light if their face and ruin their night vision. so i was able to only get snipits of them going about their job killing talibans. which is something they don't do often, and something they realize is not really their job. >> did you get a chance to talk to them after the fire? >> sure. >> what was their impression? business as usual? >> yeah, they have all done this before. this young man, matt hokces, a
great guy, and i ran into lunch with him, and it was a long fire, because the taliban doesn't hang around that long but they kept shooting. and he talked about his mind-set, the key to surviving is not to care about surviving. if you think too hard about protecting yourself, you don't take the steps you know you need it take to resolve the situation as fast as possible. in other words as soon as they can get out of the vehicles they get out of the vehicles. and gain high ground and look at the enemy and call in orders. and that requires getting exposed and getting bullets snapped around you, it's scary but it's safer to get out and take care of wqthe problem, tha
to hunker down and let them shoot at you. and he talked about what you survive embracing death. he and his unit are lucky, they haven't taken a lot of casualties, and one reason is because they fight so bravely and willing to confront death like that. >> and you mentioned the training and do you see that? >> yes, an 18-year-old kid within seconds of getting blown up and peppered with gunfire is calling in artillery and coordinating movement of troops all over the place, and firing his own weapon and dealing with a pesky reporter that is shining a light in his face. all at the same time and maintaining a good attitude throughout, extremely
impressive. >> tell us about your mechanics of your job, how are you sure you have enough tape and batteries are charged and all that? >> i didn't spend a lot of time sleeping outdoors in the desert, in barqui-barq, we came home from the base and a person that was responsible for the power and huts and he did a good job. i could plug things in at night and recharge. it's expensive work flying over there and miscellaneous expenses, and it's not always easy and comfortable. but it sure beats embedding with the taliban. as an american, i probably will make it through. >> david axe, thanks for your
work and thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> video journalist, david axe has covered wars in afghanistan and iraq, you can watch programs produced with this material and interview on our website, c-span.org, and type in axe. >> on tuesday president obama will strategize tuesday night at 8 eastern, live on c-span networks. >> coming up here on c-span, what the fall of the berlin wall meant for u.s. foreign policy. after that a forum on the two
>> former deputy defense secretary paul will fullest takes a look back at the fall of the berlin wall. he talks about subsequent changes in u.s. foreign policy interests questions from an audience at the university of virginia. this is an hour and 45 minutes. >> welcome to pass along which is faulty lessons and inflated threats. i have the great pleasure of introducing both odd arne westad and john mueller.
i had a chance to be a research associate at at the mershon center in ohio state. i also had the privilege of interacting with both of them on a regular basis. i was very 7 my time came to an end and i was not able to work with them anymore. when you hear the talk today, you will see why i was so sad to leave. i come by the way, and professor of international relations at usc to the author of the new book "1989." i will be talking about that later today. now this panel will be talking about arne westad and john mueller's papers. let me talk about the biographees. the local stock for no longer than 15 minutes. then we will have a discussion. john is currently the woody hayes chair of national security studies at the mershon center. his research interests include
international relations, foreign policy, defense policy, the democratization, communism in terrorism. the book he is working on is called "atomic obsession." he is also the author of "overblown: how politicians end of the terrorists in industry have a national security threats and what we believe them." he is the only person i know personally to have been on jon stewart's show. he is a fellow at the brookings institution and the cato institute in washington, d.c., and a fellow at the hoover institution and at the norwegian institute in oslo. he is a member of the american academy and has been a guggenheim fellow and has received grants and the national science foundation and the national endowment for the humanities. he is also the recipient of a number of teaching practices and is a wonder of a colleague. arne westad is professor of
international history at the london school of economics. he is the director of an active and influence in-just think tank of ideas. his co-director of the cold war studies center. he is the editor of the forthcoming cold war, the cambridge history of the cold war, three very impressive volumes. he is the author of the 2006 book "the global cold war, third-world interventions and the making of our times," which won praise is including the bancroft prize, the harrington award, and others. he served as the director of research for the norwegian nobel institute and has held visiting the village of the cambridge university, hong kong is university, and new york university. in 2000, he was -- got a prize from the american correlations. he asked me to ed that he considers himself to be hopelessly out of his depth,
commenting on current affairs, because he usually stays in the said realm of history where the outcomes are known. he usually does not go on the record about current affairs, so this represents a rare instance in which his friend mel has convinced him to use his great expertise and current issues. we very much look forward to it. john, do want to start with 15 minutes? >> nothing should be said to reflect the use of woody hayes, not the football players, predict early the bigger ones. [laughter] >> i am happy to be here this talk about uncertainty. i hope that by the time we finish these sessions, will be able to identify a time in which things were certain. i am sure we would all like to be there. if i make one quick comment, if they think things are more certain than they used to be.
playing basketball, clearly, if there two teams competing with each other, it is interestingly complicated. if there are only five guys running around the basket and there's no opponent, it is not very interesting and much more certain. by having only one major power running around in not having any real conflict may be more certain. and what i have been working on is basically threats and perceptions of thread in international relations and exaggeration. what i tried to do is find a parallel with the early cold war time with the early post-cold war time. and the policies that were designed at that time and the identification of new threads. because obviously, the old friends were gone, hitler and stalin. it was no longer relevant and communism had died in 1989 or
so. it seems that there are two tracks that took place at this time. one of these was securing the peace in both cases. i think in both cases it was extraordinarily successful. in the case of 1945, the most important thing was of the cold war russia but rather making sure japan and germany did not do that again. and what has happened over the course of the last decades is that japan and germany have converted from enemies to countries that see the world basically the same way as the people who bombed president and hiroshima. their friends, allies, competitors, but basically in the same game. i think it is one of the greatest triumphs in enlightened self-interest of the history of the human race. i think it is probably the most important thing that has happened since world war ii. the cold war was basically a farce, which is explained later. it wasn't serious and
interesting one but basically a farce. something similar happened in 1989. the biggest issue was integrating somehow russia, whatever the piece is thereof, plus to a degree china which had started earlier in to the international system. there were a lot of problems, obviously. but think it has been quite successful. if you look predictions in the early 1990's, you know, potential nuclear war between russia and ukraine, for example, and as part of that, one of the most breathtaking things that happened was the extraordinary conversion of those countries and east europe. almost all of them almost overnight to democracy and at least a degree of capitalism. it also destroys a lot of political science theories about how difficult it is to become a democracy. as americans, we surely know by now any dimwit can do democracy. basically all you have to do to do democracy is a kid of votes
in you can complain. you know how to complain, right? you can also organize and peacefully overthrow the government of the one. that is not very complicated in country after country has done is virtually overnight including when american and places like paraguay or countries like bulgaria who never had any experience and never read thomas jefferson and never had any large middle- class. the dollar still is extremely easy to basically put together by and large unless it is put down with someone with guns. burma would be a democracy now except for thugs with guns. they have no democratic prerequisites. they held fair elections in 1988. it would be the barbarous see now is seems to me except for one minor thing, the thugs. it is a different thing. securing peace, i think, was
done rewrite the blue well by and large. on the other hand, the question is looking for new monsters to destroy. i think that is much more flawed and is an exaggeration that happened. after world war ii, the result is the new potential which was the soviet union and sizing it was important. the rich 3 -- two parts of this. one was anti capital is an anti- democratic. the other was would use military force to do it? it seems to me, now that we know how it came out, the second issue is basically a non- starter. the soviet union and never any time including going back to lenin and so forth sought directed aggression is being a sensible way to carry out its goals. it did in doors of violence which revolutionary violence would be class warfare kind of things. there were somewhat concerned about collisions or they would be dead by the imperialists are cabalists of the world. but they never had any
intention of taking over western europe. i think the flaw in that, the threat exaggeration, was during korea, which considered the 9/11 of that time. it suddenly clicked that there were a to get as an were armed, so it meant it would use the arms directly to get us. so they begin, and i and the joint chiefs of staff, for example, do think that korea was a side show in the big invasion would be in western europe. it has been defended ever since with no indication, it seems to me, it documents suggest this as well, that the soviets had the slightest interest in a million years in getting into any kind of major war that would remotely resemble world war ii or world war one where the russian regime collapsed, by the way. they were not aggressive and had a different perspective on things. a summer thing in happened
after -- a similar thing happened after the end of the cold war, spring of 1989, the question is, what monsters do we destroy next? there are various things. one was uncertainty. that is always a safe one. there is always uncertainty out there. there is always chaos and instability. but basically, sorting through, four things popped up during the 1990's that we had to deal with the one was the initial threat of insidiously peaceful japan, which was out competing as a television set for television said. and that -- people like sam huntington and was saying economics is a continuation of war by other means and so forth. and we do not have to work on missile gap but the vulnerability but rather semiconductor vulnerability. the next thing that was basically clashes of
civilizations and the would-be ethnic warfare and pesticides across international borders. it was close with the disaster in yugoslavia that started in 1991 and really 1992. but those wars disagree fizzled away vigil in turned out there were far less than a clash of civilizations' than clashes of thugs. there had been a remarkable decline in civil war of all sorts since that time. there were non proliferation and terrorism that lasted. non-proliferation sort of, big problems go away, smaller ones it raised up. so there's always a sufficient number of members of what i call the catastrophe quota. soviet union is not a problem, so we have to worry about nuclear proliferation. nuclear weapons. the thing was also financed by adding a new category called weapons of mass destruction, particularly in the 1990's, in
which weapons that are not weapons of mass destruction leg chemical weapons and biological ones which are conceivably weapons of mass destruction but mostly non. there were used and they found nothing happened and no one noticed. it is good to be really humiliating. at any rate, during the course of time non-proliferation became very important and finessed into this category of weapons of mass destruction. basically, a bogus extension in my view. they focused on iraq, that somehow with the worst case scenario fantasy that if iraq did nuclear weapons, it would dominate the middle east. saddam hussein was in charge and said bullets cannot be issued to his own army with fear that there would be used against him. it would not allow the army in baghdad with heavy equipment for zero be used against him. she tried to get nuclear weapons, some argument with iran now. what would happen would be there
would be a coalition including probably in israel as low as zero states, united states, and russia to contain him. i think he was eminently containable and did terrible overall. nonetheless, because of this fear of nuclear weapons, sanctions were slapped on them during the 1990's which were the necessary cause more deaths in iraq than were killed in hiroshima and nagasaki combined. terrorism was beginning to be a problem both of these are put in two high order, of course, by 9/11, which said it was also massively exaggerated. i call a massive extrapolation. osama bin laden and al qaeda represented a fringe group of a fringe group in 2001. fairly desperately trying to keep their names on the map. they were rejected by most violent jihadists because they were crazy. they thought they were stupid and immoral. the texted 9/11 basically
suggest that was the case and then a massive crackdown on al qaeda. al qaeda still continues to be persistent problem for some people. probably less than 200 people running around in pakistan, according to a fair number of analysts, including american and egyptian intelligence. and although their fears about reconstitution and so forth, al qaeda basically is essentially nothing since 9/11. there has not been a single real al qaeda central operation anywhere in the world as far as i can tell since 9/11. if you count people who are sort of look alliance, maybe al qaeda types, etc., the amount of damage of these terrorists have done consists of two -- 200, 300 and possibly four hundred deaths per year they have committed. those are too many, but it is not exactly a cataclysmic as a tuition. nonetheless, the threat that has come from this group has been massively inflated.
and so that we have gone this idea that it is world war iii or islamo-fascism is all over the place. the most extreme case with george bush after 9/11 in which she said we now must rid the world of evil. i checked to see if a newspaper picked that up and none did the previous week except for a paper in new orleans which said george bush perhaps over promised. my ideas strength to -- his idea was to outdo his father's by getting saddam the same. at any rate, it was massive extrapolation of one is a relatively minor problem. it is a problem and something to deal with. i do not even think it is a threat, but it is out there. i thought it may have gone away
with the obama administration but just last week, a major adviser to the obama administration referred once a good as al qaeda constituting an existential threat to the united states. these band of thugs basically, who can do damage. i am not saying there's no problem, but they could cause the united states, 300 million people or whatever it is, to cease to exist with some fancy gimmicks seems to be preposterous. but it is other. no one said, what in the hell do you mean? what the new mean, existential? no one asked that question. i have about 93 seconds to conclude. i have 3 final comments. one is a sense to me in many respects the cold war was something of farce. it was basically based on a set of misconceptions, something like a force, believable to the actors of the beginning. but massive expenditure on both sides which were not necessary.
the soviet union coming across the gavin the probabilities were probably the same as canada coming of the niagara river to take over buffalo. massive amounts of the areas of nuclear metaphysics and a fantastic about expenditures. there is probably lead to massive extrapolation. as in the cold war, the lead to massive establish and ended with vietnam. it may be that the mass of extrapolation of its non proliferators has ended with the wars in iraq and in afghanistan. finally, the last point is that there is a big difference between these two threats. the communist threat in the terrorism/proliferation threat. one is that communism could actually die, and it did. it does not exist. so it becomes an end. but terrorism could be carried out by anybody. someone could walk around and said it is not like the miller center because it is spelled
wrong answer shooting everybody. you could have all kinds of local people doing that. they will not stop trying. it could basically happen again. obviously, proliferation could happen because the ability and knowledge about how to build nuclear weapons is already out there in many respects. what it means is that, although communism could stop, the war against terror in the organs proliferation of basically what some people call in washington self licking ice cream cones. they will go on forever and ever and ever. thank you. >> very well. thank you. arne westad. >> it is very good to be here. thank you for inviting me to what looks a great conference. what i have done is to write the paper, as mentioned, in a way that i almost never do which is -- [unintelligible] historians, generally speaking,
have a tendency to write about safety. we think there's safety in reaching from historical documents and sources that seem familiar. and when drawing policy comparisons between recent events and events of the past, what brought me to do it this time was not just mel's incredible capacity of convincing me to do more are less in a thing, but it is also the seriousness of these matters. both the afghan and iraq could be -- iraqi contain some wrongdoing. people are dying. the results in both cases, in my view, did not look good. i am interested in trying to find out whether there error in giving between the cold war, at a time we're starting to know well now, in the sense of historical lessons to what women
to policy decision meeting. both involved in afghanistan. as a result of 9/11. an invasion of iraq in 2003. that is what i am trying to look at. it is a type of development -- [unintelligible] more information with regard to how the decisions were made. this is the reason why historians are careful when it comes to dealing with contemporary events. i hope since there's so many present here today to those policy makers will push for the early opening of historical record so we will actually have more to go with the nearby set an example for other countries to push in the same direction. it is important because the u.s. lost the lead in the information hearing in the past eight years.
as think the people and the administration did not try to make more of the by pushing openness. ok, on my court argument. what i am trying to put forward here are four issues that deal with the links between the cold war and cold war this a good making and afghanistan and iraq. the first one is about technology. and the emphasis that develop after the cold war ended in on putting technology and the high seat of american strategic planning. john touches on that in his paper as well. i do think this is very important because one of the key lessons from the historical documents that occurred up to the cold war ended was that the soviet union had to some degree collapsed.
because of american technological advances. particularly advances with and lucrative areas but not exclusively. the soviet union drew on his quick correctly, there was a sense of the soviet union was not capable of keeping up with the american technological advance. not just in a military respect. it also has to consumer technology and creating the kind of technology that makes of this society that people would really want to live in. the problem is that as we move into the 2000's and after 9/11, its emphasis on technology became narrower and narrower, and it really came to me that if one employed at the american technological advance, military and civilian terms and best possible way, one could achieve a result of the was will not be
possible to achieve. that one could push history along by using the technological edge. and both of these cases, both in afghanistan and iraq, it turned out to be wrong. for two reasons. one is with regard to warheads. said warfare that was encountered, first in iraq and in increasingly now in afghanistan, simply cannot be dealt with by using technological means. you can have a high-tech military, but when you move into those areas, in the south and eastern parts of afghanistan, there is a very, very little you can do in technological terms in order to keep up. and secondly, and perhaps more partly in terms of policy making, the kind of certainty, at least in the beginning of both of these, the technological
a vintage created, and even then -- even if things in tibet of the moment, you still come up on top because of a cello -- a technological edge. i have to rush through these. you can ask questions afterwards in terms of the content. the second aspect is the issue of the regime change. you have to be careful with this one because there many people who comment that this is something quantitatively and qualitatively new when you get into the bush administration. i sing in -- and change, in a broad sense is something that also connected to u.s. foreign policy during the cold war and maybe even before the cold war in many respects. containment, to some extent, it during the cold war and also regime change. the differences of course that given a lot of things, the
technological edge have been talking about, given the sense of the knicks' situation of the collapse of the soviet union, the unipolar moment, as some people were talking about, regime change is a particular aspect of pushing history along. something that will seem like a more forward kind of a strategy than what existed during the cold war. in other words, we've seen this model with containment. contingent would be in iraq. the continuation of sanctions. but it is also about making that reaction in order to push the regime to the ground to destroy it. again, this is happened before. it is not something the this totally new, but their new things about the reading or reactions to come out of eastern europe or of the collapse of communism but continued to inform the kind of approach on
the u.s. side. i have some recently good quotes from wolfowitz in my paper when he was talking about that. he is talking about how the rapidity of changes in eastern europe influence his thinking, particularly about iran. and now want to talk about moral absolutes and national values. and this is perhaps, in my view, the most important thing that was drawn it wrongly from the with the cold war in did and leading up to afghanistan and iraq. the absolute conviction that existed said united states was on the side of good, it was not just stability and national interest, but it was quite literally on the tide of good. but the united states leads national values where international values and they were values that would be
embraced. that is more important to me as the basis for u.s. the operations in afghanistan and iraq than anything else. this is simply not the way the world has worked in the past. it did not work that way during the cold war. it does not work that way now. and the consequences of that intense believe can be quite disastrous for u.s. policy making. i have been raising bruce cummings' new book where he quotes, it is our fate, america's fate, not to have ideology but to be one. i do think there is a point in that, particularly with regard to his concentration on the american national values being moral absolutes and to be transferred internationally. then finally, what i term in the
paper below back, and one has to be careful because this is it loaded term. it is much misused. it is often, particularly in this country, used in the back room for all kinds of conspiracy theories of why people decided the way they did, based on policies. that is not the way i use it. what i am interested in is with the united states is done in terms of our great state foreign policy making with regard to these areas in the past and how that affects u.s. policy now or affected did during the last bush administration. there's two things here that stand out. often, generally not much spoken about in what is coming in now from political scientists and historians, what is the united states were the standing of the relationship in the region? i am talking about iraq and iran during the gulf area, during the 1980's.
within the region, it had a tremendous impact. the united states had been supporting iraq to the extent they did during the iran/iraq war. it became much more -- for many people, particularly us, who knew the character of the sitcom hussein's regime to believe that this regime was so infinitely evil that it had to be removed by force in 2003. well the united states, and full noted of what had been used during the 1980's, was willing to support it as a practical measure in its war against iraq. these things matter in terms of the eminent international context. likewise with regard to afghanistan. and they go through this in some length in my paper. i have no problem with the u.s. aberrations in afghanistan in 2001. let me say that afghanistan is an area not fairly -- and lived
in pakistan for years in the 1980's, and they speak the language. i was very surprised though after the inferred mentioned took place the degree to which the united states was willing to step and the pakistan military came to the rescue and some of the remnants of the taliban, transferring them over to pakistan. and then basically doing nothing. and thing that is something that one has to go back in history. it is a form of blowback. it has to do with connections within the united states. not a conspiracy. but within the united states and with leaders during the last war in afghanistan. during the 1980's. and it is very clear to me that this was curious and why effective action was not taking initially against those remnants of al qaeda and taliban?
some people would say we could not, and i am sure wolfowitz with being among them. we cannot do it because it would destabilize pakistan. the whole country would be pushed forward to some type of islamism. i do not believe it. i think it would have been further exposing its own population the inadequacies of the militarization and help legitimatize the approach to the head with their own corporation including in kashmir with regard to iran or be it in afghanistan. me conclude, the discussion about cold war lessons for afghanistan and iraq has to some extent been about the mark as a promotion. it is but about how to further democratic rule. this is what a number of
proponents of the way it was fought to keep coming back. i am a believer in the spread of democracy. i think much as seven in that respect on a global scale. i think the cold war's end to most people did not have much it would -- does not have much to do it prosperity. it did not have much to do with progress in many other areas, important areas such as the equality between men and women. but a bad to lot to do with the political context that is crucial. had these two campaigns contributed to the for the ring of that, and in my view, they have not. in both cases they have for various reasons as far as the regional context hindered rather than facilitate the spread of dual purges the patient. and i think it is one of the most of four lessons that we try to draw for more recent history.
it is not just enough to have very good intentions and honorable intentions, but i am sure the were in all these cases. if you want to try to draw on history to understand this, one has to try to do and would understand the motives of others as well as one's own motives. whether it has to do with democracy promotion or with regime change or it has to do with technological advances, i think this is a very important. i am clearly certain and also having more on issues of contemporary international history for some time, that we can take some the from history. i have always been more skeptical than most historians. but i do think it is important for civilizations and it is a wonderful opportunity to put them on the table for policy makers and historians and discuss them together. >> great. thank you very much. thank you also for speaking angrily to the time.
i got permission from the organizers to lead the session go to an minutes over since we started a little bit late, so there will be time for discussion. i am going to make a few brief comments. then i will give our speaker is a chance to respond to those. and then we'll open it up to the audience. if you could wait for the microphone and identify yourself when you ask the question, we would be very grateful. i recommend both papers highly. they are in different ways both about the impact of the cold war on the post cold war world, and thomas the legacy of the conflict still ships policy- making today. in john f. piper, you talked about the continuation of a massive extrapolation and about the ways in which that has shaped u.s. policy making. i like to talk about 1989 being almost like the end of the a
world war iii in the way that it changes borders and for those governments and so forth. you always have a wartime settlement as a had originated the cold war. if you had it happen without a war. and you compared how those times began and ended. i have a question to you and some questions to the conference organizers suggested that i ask. a bigger there was a good idea to follow up on the suggestion. the question i have for you, your story -- i am you have been asked this before. when you talk about the cold war as a farce and the talk of the soviet union not having an intention to cross the gap, certainly the soviet union said fairly significant military capabilities. those were there. it may not have had the intentions but intentions can change very quickly. so if you're facing an enemy that had extraordinary military
capabilities in your questioning its intentions, to what extent is it incumbent upon you as a person response or for the national security of the country, whether president or working in the defense department, to be prepared for those capabilities no matter what the intent seems to be? and two more questions. first, why does the u.s. seem to have this needed to quest for monsters into overplay threats? do you see that as a recurring feature of u.s. foreign policy, and if so, what are its origins? and finally, did u.s. policy, assisted by a clear threat identification of a prevent the very emergence of the threats this did it did not warrant expansion? soapberry a communist expansion or oppose 9/11 cold war. as a free to think about. and then arne, as a historian, i found your five lessons from the cold war very interesting. you talk about how you think
your five lessons from the cold war but were miss learned. he summarized it as this bill if you can rely on technology to solve your problems. he's is this is perhaps been the case and symmetrical warfare but definitely not the case in a symmetrical warfare. another lesson that was learned in the wrong way was a regime change. the third one which to emphasize was the tendency of americans to see the world in terms of moral absolutes with the united states being an absolute good. this contributes to the fourth issue which is missing blowback. and finally, they believe that a speedy change to political regimes is both desirable and possible. i guess the question i have for you is if we follow john's argument, the cold war was a farce, that that invalidates
that. [laughter] doesn't invalidate them as lessons to be learned or mislearned? on regime change, i was interested to know that you mentioned regime change as a possible outcome. you talk about it as being quite feasible if you have a long-term commitment. in other words, you target a regime changes in the end of is quite possible to achieve that it is was on done properly recently. is that what your view and if so, how does one and view regime change? and the question from the internet is would you apply the same critique of fault the lessons to the bush 41 or clinton administration's that you have given here? were similar mistakes made or successes realized in afghanistan or iraq? should the millie's and south asia play a larger role in u.s. national strategy after the collapse of the soviet union that was actually the case? in the final question, what
factors other than the lessons of history shaved strategies in this time? in view both start and then will turn to the audience. >> thank you. that is an excellent set of questions put up the question about capability of intentions is important. i should point out that right now britain has the capability of killing 20 million americans anytime they want to the soviet union probably has the capability of killing 40 million americans anytime the one. the u.s. has the capability of eliminating costa rica from the map. the point is we do not worry about those things because there's no intention to do so. it is not the there is not the capability. huge countries, militarily powerful countries, have been next to small military and the present countries for very long times. they could check them out anytime they want to. if we told canada an attack was
coming from the north pole, but the canadians do not seem worried about that. i think intentions are what matters, not capabilities. in the case of the soviet union, it is very clear, we of seen it, 20 billion times. they did want to change the world. and it wanted to use a revolution. this imposes limited military probes on the edge. then repeatedly said had hoped -- how horrible world war ii was. their whole doctrine basically has nothing to do with hitler and the progression. hitler did have a theory of conquest. all the mass murders of the 20th century have been theorist's. but the soviets never had that.
vladin did not have been and was extremely cautious from a technical standpoint. two steps forward, one step back. it is where they are weak, not where they're strong. that is hugely respectful of the imperialists capacity, to hit back. you did not go right in front of them. it is crazy. in a revolutionary is not willing to crawl in the mud is not a revolutionary but simply a chatterbox with no sense of honor. it is very opportunistic and limited for the revolution begun throwing yourself at the americans directly is total craziness. in the basically, the doctor goes back to lenin, to the 1930's, later with stalin and so forth. it would be the base of revolution throughout the world about a direct attack.
they did have the capacity to attack us in europe and vice versa, but i think that is what is mostly the farce, the security dilemma. one called it a tragedy. i prefer to call it a farce. on the quest for monsters to destroy it. maybe the u.s. is worsen the than other countries. the people that are hysterical about iran start -- certainly include places like france and so forth. i suppose if your number one, you have to simply sit down and say, well, sometimes number one, therefore everything i have in the world to worry about. eventually i will not worry about it -- humanitarian disasters in eastern congo or sedan and find other things they need to worry about. there may be something of a tendency to do that. and maybe a foreign policy kind of thing. if you say actually they're not any friends, which it is basically true. -- there are not any threats, which a thing is basically true. i do not think al qaeda is a threat.
but the cia comes in every morning -- they could sit there are no problems. basically, i think there's a tendency of people in office to a quest for things to worry about and proliferation and terrorism to fit very nicely. in terms of the third question about the american policy cause it, and the case of correa, it seems to me -- in the case of korea thomas seems to me that it was the last half of the 1940's and in retrospect, it seems reasonably sensible. they tried to sort of car of it and have them forget about it if possible. they did leave sort of these -- a tempting target there, possibly because the trade to defended big time, but it did give an opportunity for the soviet union to authorize it indirectly. they could conceivably had
better policies. i see that as a very much as a side issue. stalin never ran the war. he basically told correa that if they get in trouble, do not come to me. took with the chinese. in the case of 9/11, it seems to me that i am not sure with the policies would have been overall. it was instituted in some respects by osama bin laden's intense hostility about having american troops in saudi arabia in the 1990's. it is possibly that you could have undercut osama bin laden hostility in that there are a thing was build in as well.
there was all sorts of hostility. there are probably cases where they're playing it more gently. in that case in the case of korea bling it lets it gently, they could have talked about bad things eventually have been. they get extremely lucky and from their standpoint and extremely tragic from our standpoint. it is not clear how you can necessarily undercut something like that. with explosives policies. >> let me try to deal with these quickly. regime change, can it be achieved? of course it can. it with the cold war ended show that it can be achieved. it can be achieved over a long time with patients policy. there have been total contradictions. this is one of the few areas where most people who work on the cold war, it is a real
conflict, by the way, too. would agree -- i think they would agree. of course, this was the outcome of the time. an example that will come up is of course the great opponents of the united states and the market see from the 1930's in the second world war. the problem in during the comparison that is often drawn with regard to our not doing this done is in the case with both countries the new democracy. there were fairly stable social structures that were ethnically quite coherent in most places. there was not an appetite for change because -- [unintelligible] japan is very important to
study. i recommend an excellent book that embraces it. some people used japan as an example of what could be achieved in iraq. in the talks but how much of the changes came from below. a more democratic japan to be built. bush 41 and clinton, what is interesting to me in what is interesting to follow with the participants and the most recent bush administration as well, if the critique the comes almost from day one in the bush 43 and ministration or the way it is conducted during the clinton administration but also to some extent during bush 41 administration.
problems came out from late- 1980s and 1990's. it seems to me that the most recent administration was interested in overcoming all of it by acting quickly, by seizing opportunities while they're there, by interpreting history directly and acting on the. there's nothing wrong with that. those things are good and honorable. the problem is that one has to read with the kind of circumstances are that one is operating in. understanding that crucial policy difference in what can be done and what cannot be done. i think this is where the bush 43 administration got wrong. the question from the
organizers are deficiencies with regard to foreign policy in the 1990's. they're quite a few. walking away from afghanistan was a big mistake. i can understand. we have some historical resources on a wide that mistake was made. afghanistan is not an easy country to cooperate in. having the political situation that was there and the movement. the radical movements in terms of the interpretation of islam and with the taliban was. there was much more international organization in terms of the games than the taliban. you can understand why that happened. but so many afghans held in 1991, 1992 that the united states specifically had the responsibility for held and
reconstruction of the country too much larger extent than what actually happened. there were some of the most radical as groups are enough in a stand during the 1980's. the u.s. was held responsible for the sort of destruction. walking away from all of that was a mistake because it went into the argument that the is low -- that the islamists put forward and the later 1990's. finally, and decision making other than historical power, there are a few. i do think it is very important, and i hear this as a historian. i am put in a somewhat uncomfortable position of trying to critique international health. decision making is happening in the office every day.
their tremendous pressures that any decision makers are under. it is all over the kuril -- all over the globe and goes right into your own office of morgan of partisan issues should be there and focused on. within the bureaucratic in- fighting is on the agenda. all of these matter much more than sitting down and reflecting on history. the very few policy makers had the opportunity of actually doing that. maybe there's not much we can do about this. probably not. i've been talking about trying to understand the difference between what you can achieve and what you probably cannot achieve. there are other things to come at of thinking about history. thinking about it and you could put it into your own choices. there's a certain humility in terms of what you think you can
do better that one of those undone in the past. i think this is part of the problem with the administration in their discussions. there were a lot of ideas and the like humility. >> thank you. we now have a good half hour 35 minutes for discussion. basically, if you could put your hands up and once i have seen you put your hand up, i will note is down so you do not have to keep your hand up. ok, we have several people here. if we could perhaps give the microphone over. introduce yourself to set a good example for everyone else. >> i am phillip. under the heading of your last remark, this is for professor arne westad on humility, i was
looking of the two examples of blowback in the paper and as you mentioned in your remarks. one of the challenges of arguing an alternative policy. of view in contemporary affairs is to do the analysis to defend the alternative policy. so the two, if you could clarify for me. the first example was, if i understood, was the united states was compromised in its ability to convince saddam hussein in 2002 and 2003 because it had worked with the iraqi government during the ronald reagan administration about 20 years earlier. where did that argument go? that is, if while saddam hussein was a relatively new in his job as the dictator of iraq, the reagan administration cooperated with them in the 1980's, in the
law there is a doctor and. are you suggesting that in some ways the united states is therefore stopped somehow from complaining about iraq for decades thereafter despite all the intervening history? kind of work there were the argument leaves you and how you think united states policy on iraq should be constrained by the knowledge of what the reagan administration had done? by the way, the policy, even in the 1980's, was already changing significantly by 1988 when i, as a career diplomat, began to see it. the u.s. did not turn a blind eye to the gassing of the kurds, for example. on the second example, which i thought was very interesting comment was that you were concerned that you the -- the united states wasn't limited in afghan war in the winter 2001 and 2002. the united states was in him to sit in afghan war. and they went to pakistani
centuries and stronger reaction was not taken to paxton for its support of the remnants of the taliban, which it is a valid concern because of old linkages that one back to the 1980's. a, what is your evidence for that having been an influential constraint in this particular decisions? really, b, tell me how that would have worked. if the united states had pursued military operations in to pakistan in the winter of 2001-2002. remember, january 2002, india and pakistan are coming to brink of war themselves because the attacks on the indian parliament in december 2001. so you had indian forces massing on the southern pakistani border of the very same moment that you would advocate united states would be conducting military operations in to pakistan on the northern side. i am trying to work and through and figure out whether we had
followed a policy advice and the world in 2002 would have looked safer? >> it is very good questions that shows some of the problems for making decisions based on lack of evidence. i am getting my information from public sources and from conversations from the pakistani said rather than from any insights in documentary -- in mockumentary terms. of course, i will stand corrected the moment the records show it. what is the link between the difficulties the united states were into originally when this started to act unilaterally against saddam hussein in 2003? or what happened during the 1980's. it is the key argument by
wolfowitz that one main reason why saddam hussein had to be removed was not that he was a troublemaker but that he was pro-family evil. he was someone who stood for the terrible way of treating his population including gassing them. a whole set of values that were so unacceptable that one had to act in order to remove them. that is the focus on this in my paper. and it is that argument that got into trouble. when this region is very aware of the relative closeness of the united states with the saddam hussein's regime in the mid- 1980's. if he was a terribly evil dictator who had to be removed for his moral bankruptcy, what
was then not the case in the 1980's? i mean, you know, the arab sweets is thinking about things like this. -- the arab suite is thinking about things like this. it is important and more complicated in pakistan. i would very much like to know more about why the united states did not pursue the al qaeda and solomont written its, leadership, more effectively after the end of 2001. it was reasonably clear, and another area fairly well, you could pinpoint to some extent to where these people actually were. my argument is that it has something to do with the uncertainty about the stability of the pakistani state. if the u.s. treated pakistan
it bodes badly for pakistan. i think it turned out badly for the united states in the region. it has helped create this also for afghanistan. these are the same people who were capable than when things turned problematic. those are the connections i see. they may not be right. they may be completely out of whack with what we will find when we get the documents. based on what we know today, i think they should give us some idea. >> i agreed much more on the last point with phil than arne. al qaeda was essentially destroyed substantially. other muslim countries clamped down on al qaeda types. it was substantially
dismembered. in my opinion, it still is. the al qaeda thing was substantially taken care of during that period of time. later terrorism in saudi arabia got them to be serious about it as well. the other part is the taliban that should be kept separate from al qaeda. they did not get along well when al qaeda was in afghanistan. there were almost ready to give osama bin laden back to the saudis at 1.3 the taliban was basically dismembered. it fell apart. no one really wanted to defend it. it had clamped down significantly on the opium trade in the year before 2001. it took several years for it to come back. i do not see how you can stop that except by occupying all of western pakistan. i do not see any alternative. it has come back to cause a
major problem in that area. it seems to me that i do not see any real way that it could have come out that the united states is in the position of occupying afghanistan and trying to make that work and deal with the unruly part of pakistan. >> i have already got seven or eight questions. i am going to take them in groups of two or three. i will ask the speakers to keep it brief so we get to everyone. in the back corner, please identify yourself. >> my name is charlie smith. i am and native of charlottesville. i have been at the miller center for 12 or 13 years. i am looking at the title of the event, "when the walls came down to go the came down because in an event that took place earlier than that when ronald
reagan came up with a striking tactic in a speech about mr. gorbachev. "take down that wall." what is the strategy in our lifetime to date on the mass media level? it is the level of mass instruction that he seemed to exhibit. we have not had an exhibit of that until recently when mr. obama came forward. he made a few mistakes, on the olympics, for example, as far as mass construction was concerned. he got himself into politics with that. what should our strategy or tactics be in regard to the weapons of mass construction -- mass instruction? >> i would suggest a challenge
to john mueller's argument. people frame their intentions with an eye towards their capabilities. the only record we have of soviet intentions is a record in which they faced the capabilities that the west arrayed against them. in the absence of those capabilities, they may have had different intentions. the big point of your argument is that you describe a world in which america consistently exaggerates threats. the new measure the level of threat. the level of threat is the level that exists in a world where the united states exaggerates threats. we can never know what the threats would be in a world where the united states did not exaggerate threats. to make your argument stick, if you would have to argue that the united states has been a terrible failure in international politics. we are constantly getting it wrong, aren't we?
i am hard-pressed to think of the state with a better career in international politics than the united states. those create? -- those create question marks over your argument. >> we will take you right here. >> i am in the politics department as a graduate student. i am wondering, you talk about that technology is not the tool that many american policymakers may think it is to accomplishing a host of goals. but mr. wolfowitz and others have suggested that the strategic defense initiative was key in convincing america's adversaries that the cost of continued confrontations was too
high. could you address that specifically, whether you disagree with that argument, how important you think america's demonstrated or potential technological advantages were in bringing the cold war to an end? >> why don't you answer those customer >> let me talk about bill -- -- why don't you answer those questions? let me talk about bill's question. there was nothing to deter. the soviet union's idea had nothing to do with direct military aggressivon. leggett was for the soviet union to work with subversion or class warfare. there was no threat of them coming across the gap. if the united states had not been there, they still would not have seen that as a way of advancing revolution.
there was no way they could not stop the country's from defending themselves. united states reorganized itself after partner harbert to come back. it was not in their mind. it was not there. costa rica has been better about not exaggerating threats. i have not checked on their foreign policy lately. it may be that western europe has done better with not exaggerating threats. my first thought in responding to your question is that everyone seems to do it. it is not clear that the united states is unique in that. it does seem to be overblown. the book being published next week argues that the united states has substantially exaggerated threats. the number of communists in the united states. i agree there was a problem. the soviet union was out to
destroy things. there has been a tendency to exaggerate threats. the war in vietnam, the war in iraq, based on the idea of the worst case scenario fantasy that saddam hussein or the iranians could dominate the middle east without examining the proposition. there have been massive exaggerations of the threat of al qaeda. that has led to massive expenditures and two wars. i would have to do comparative thing. there may be countries that have done even worse. i think generally western europe looks good. they have not been free of this as well. >> could i deal with pakistan first? what could the united states have done differently with regard to pakistan in early
2002? that is the crucial moment here. it could have treated the same way it treated other countries that supported terrorism by cutting off economic aid. by condemning the behavior of the military leadership, by calling for democracy and return to the constitution that mr. usharev overthrown. we were placed in a difficult position in 2002. a lot of pakistanis were also blaming him for what had gone wrong with afghanistan. they were blaming the pakistani military. on a whole, pakistanis are a pretty secular thought. they are muslims but they are part of the society that was created sharia.
the profit waphet was a shia. these things matter within pakistan in a way that could have and should have been used by u.s. policymakers at the time. i argued in my paper that we are asking questions about why that was not done. i am suggesting one possible explanation among many that had to do with the existence of a wide variety of links that connect to the very successful operation that pakistan and the united states carried out jointly against the soviet occupation of afghanistan. i think that is reasonably clear. i am not suggesting that is the only explanation for what i consider a policy mistake.
it had risen consequences for pakistan -- had gruesome consequences for pakistan. i think it is the most important country in the region at the moment. it did contribute. it would be interesting to hear the views on what contributed at the time if we have time for that. i agree that in the kind of symmetrical conflict that existed in terms of threats and the power that existed between the united states and the soviet union, clearly, american technological advances played a serious role. i am not saying that is broughwt brought the soviets to the negotiating table. we will be getting access to the historical resources.
it does imply that this was a powerful argument that gorbachev could use to do what he wanted to do anyway. that was to open up further contacts with the west. he could turn against his own military leaders -- he could turn and use it against his own military leaders. if he had the same level he could push back with, i would not be in the position i am in today. that is an argument he could use in terms of what he wanted to achieve. it was important. was it the size of? probably not. >> we're going to take two more questions. then ambassador wolfowitz would like to make a comment. if you could, identify yourself. >> i am of politics graduate student. this is a question for professor
westad. what extent can the national values from work help us understand u.s. strategy in the immediate post-cold war era? how did the ideology of america yoinform the moment? >> i am bruce cumings from the university of chicago. there are irrational consequences to exaggerated threats. some guy tries to bite his shoe on fire on a transatlantic flight and millions of americans have to take their shoes off getting on an airplane. in japan, you do not have to take your shoes off. that is a security conscious country. bureaucrats have to protect themselves against the worst case scenario. in the case of korea that you
mentioned, it seems at least to double logics were operating. they were waiting to triple defense spending. the north koreans played into his hands. not that he expected an attack there, but he figured the communists would do something sooner or later. that sets in motion containment on a global scale rather than the limited containment. in explaining that, you have to jinx the pentagon loves new missions. -- in explaining that, you have to realize the pentagon less new missions. it is just a static bag. osama bin laden said that all he had to do was send a few mujahedin to a distant country
to wave a flag and the pentagon would come running. that seems to be an interesting explanation. i would like to hear your explanation of that threat exaggeration. when you say that the cold war was a farce, the cuban missile crisis takes it to the level of tragedy. now that we know about castro wanting to use nuclear weapons, if you have a situation where the machinery set in motion by containment in the cold war clashes over something that was really very minor. namely, the islanders' team on key but the wind never liked or been able to do anything about. -- name, the island team on cuba that we never liked or have been able to do anything about. when you look at richard roth's
bomb where he discusses the cuban missile crisis, he says that we could have had nuclear winter with either of them getting their way. >> ambassador wolfowitz? >> first, a clarification. i did not try to explain the demise of the soviet union. it is too difficult to do. i was quoting one russian. i suggest because he is a courageous and impressive russian does not mean he is right. when you try to explain saddam hussein, you have multiple things at work. something was published about 10 years ago called "the strange collapse of the soviet empire."
you read the articles and everyone of them is possible. i am not talking about a single- dimension explanation. i do think there's truth in that, i just do not think it is the whole story. i wanted to get on the question of the uses of history. you quoted me in your article. i think the context is missing. [laughter] a friend of mine who was innocently set up into the iran- contra mess was that his lesson of government is to not take notes. i think my lesson is to not give interviews. what i was saying is that it is important to understand the history of the country and get past history. i am going to try to create a little dissension between our
two speakers. i was specifically talking about this tendency -- by the way i was not saying our historical reputation does not influence this. our condoning weapons used against the rockies was a terrible mistake. there was a recent article that sounds plausible. because of what happened in iraq, no one wants to hear us talk about promoting democracy anymore. go read the transcript of obama's speech in cairo. it is quite striking. he said he would discuss seven issues. he said that the fourth issue he wanted to discuss was democracy. his next sentence was that he realized it is controversial because of iraq. before he could get the second sentence out, the mere fact that he was going to talk about
democracy, had the audience erupted into applause. despite everything, i still believe there is a huge hundred for democracy, especially -- despite everything, i still believe there is a huge hundred for democracy, especially in the arab world. they viewed the united states with skepticism but they do not view democracy with skepticism. i think there would like for us to be less hypocritical. i am diverging. our historical reputation matters. we should not think we are supermen and can do things others could not. it is very specific. i think the two of you disagree. you were trying to explain why japan and germany were successful in spite of unpromising history. i agree it was an unprecedented
situation. i remember sitting in south korea in 1983 when ronald reagan visited. george shultz was told by senior diplomats not to push the regime too hard on human rights. south korea it never had a democracy in its history and was not ready for one. four years later, they had a democratic revolution in the country. i have heard people say that indonesia has no democratic history and is too poor to have one. it now has 10 years of rather impressive democracy. it may be an oversimplification, but i am much more inclined to professor mueller's view. i am open to the argument that some countries cannot handle it. the scars that are left in rumania or iraq by the secret police are huge things to overcome. the evidence does suggest that
the past is not a great guide to the future when it comes to this question. i guess i am a jeffersonian. i will proclaim that. >> let's take your question. that will be the last one. you will have five minutes to go through the big questions. identify yourself. >> i am from the university of virginia. i was struck by the professors comment about how regime change can be achieved. even in the context of eastern europe, did we see regime change? presumably, it can be achieved from the outside. is this a reverse of the soviet attempt in 1947 or the successful results of the external efforts at regime change in the late 1980's?
not to put the whole burden on the soviet union. if we look at the american cia's help in putting the shah into power in iran, that was a successful regime change. then there was a reversal of that creating problems with an anti-american regime in iran 30 years later, after the original regime change success. that was one of the things that the cia was proudest of in the 1950's. even beyond that, do we want regime change or regime reform? do we want specific results? there are certain things we want like the elimination of poverty or effective governedance? or do we necessarily need the elections that are so easy and
effective political structures? what would we suggest or demand of china as it has been a successful country over the last 30 years? >> phil, you have the last word. >> about the consequences of exaggeration, there are some things in the paper. the consequences of exaggerated and the soviet threat with the korean war was the massive military expenditure. it has also been pointed out that the amount of money united states spent in the cold war on nuclear weapons was enough to purchase everything in the united states except for the land. more conservative estimates is that it is only 55% of everything but the land. there are a lot of things you could have done with that money. there was a lot of conventional military buildup. an aggressive military threat did not exist.
in the case of terrorism and the non-proliferation thing, the hostility toward proliferation resulted in the war that has killed more people than hiroshima and nagasaki combined. there have been massive expenditures on security and taking your shoes off and airports and everything else. there were potheads like castro -- theirre were hotheads like castro. but from the beginning of khrushchev and kennedy were trying to get out of the mess in the most expeditious way possible. that obviously prevailed. i do not think it is anywhere near where. that is certainly what george
mcbundy says. one more thing in the paper that i did not to mention is the containment is something of a farce in the sense that by its on premise, it is wrong. the idea of containment was that the soviet union was rotten to the core and we should contain it. if it is really rotten to the core, you want to let it expand because then it will be worse off. one of hduring that time, accoro their kind of plan, the soviet union expanded by gathering into its camp vietnam, laos, cambodia, mozambique, south yemen, nicaragua, grenada, and
afghanistan. almost all of these countries fell into economic disarray and military collapse with civil wars berlin ogoing on. the results of that was a massive increase in the difficulty of the soviet union trying to defend its overseas dependencies. it would have been better off contained. some of that lesson came through in the 1980's when the soviet union's new thinking was going on. the whole idea of our ideological bondage, they decided maybe it was not such a good idea. that may happen when the cold war came to an end. on wolfowitz's statement about democracy, i strongly agree. i wrote a book about that 10 years ago. it argued that democracy has
been on a chair for 200 years. it has had setbacks. -- it argued that democracy has been on a tear for 200 years. it has had setbacks. the countries have been able to do it. where i disagree is that the idea of democracy leads to policy outcomes that you might like. we've had rampaging democracy going on in the west bank and gaza. what happens in democracy is it as a way of aggregating preferences. what comes out of that is what people want. they want homosexuals put in jail or they want homosexuals to marry. they want liquor banned or not. and what tariffs to go up or down. -- they want tariffs to go up or down. they want women to vote or not. the process is superior to the alternatives. that is not say much because the
alternatives are disastrous. it is a way of ever giving preferences. you get with the democratic process can lead to. i do not think the mere fact of being democratic means that you have policy outcomes that are ones you might prefer. they are what comes out of the process. it reflects the values, concerns, and emotions of the people inside. >> on the spread of democracy first, i said i think this is one of the major changes that have taken place on the global scale since the cold war ended. in most cases, it is a definite step forward for the people who have benefited from it. when the united states changed its foreign policy outlook as a response to the perceived soviet offensive in the 1970's during
the carter administration to influence issues like human rights and democracy to a higher extent than before, it often came down on the winning side of history. south korea is a great example. the philippines is a great example. after the cold war ended, indonesia is a good example of where the united states was able to use its influence to promote it. these processes came from within. they had time to mature. there were not imposed from the outside. the united states came down on the right side of history in these cases because they interpreted correctly what would be the best american interest and the strength of the organizations and the movement the promoted a higher degree of pluralism and existed before. regime change can happen. it can be influenced by abroad.
i came from a conference where i had the good fortune of going out in the evening with one of my great heroes, one of the leading dissidents from poland in the 1980's. he facilitated the round-table talks in 1989 between the government and the opposition. he did so because he kept underlining what linked these people together. how they could overcome the generation of dictatorship by linking up to the ideals and values the heading common. he was pretty good. it is the mandela solution, if you like. people have suffered from lack of democracy. it is the values that these people represent on both sides.
it is not something imposed by occupation or military action. there is a lot of difference with regard to these issues. values and interests, that is a good question with regard to that, whether that leads directly to foreign policy. others concocted greater length about this than i can. countries choose what they stand for. i have written a book on that. the driving forces that formed american foreign policy the deeply ingrained in the american people are coming out of the unique experience of history in this country. i am fairly certain that when handled in a way that emphasizes limitations, strict
division between what can and cannot be done, and approached with a certain degree of humility with regard to the rest of the world, these ideals will serve america well. one has to recognize them for what they are. they are not necessarily shared by the world. almost all countries and civilizations have some of these values and interests. but one cannot assume that they are universally valid. the main point at this moment for american foreign policy is to draw the lessons from the eight years of the previous administration with regard to that. >> i would like to thank you all for your attention. join me in thanking the speakers. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
>> coming up, a look at the 2008 presidential election. and then a hearing on internet sales companies using misleading tactics. after that, the changing role of media in elections. we will also bring you the discussion on u.s. troops in afghanistan. >> today, the sec commissioner talks about high-speed internet access and other telecom issues. on "america and the courts,"
recent changes on the court. analysts include the former deputy u.s. solicitor general. >> american icons, three nights of c-span original documentaries on the a conic homes of the three branches of american government. it continues tonight at 8:00 p.m. the history, art, and architecture of one of the most symbolic american structures. get your own copy of the set. you can order online c-span.org /store >> encouraging americans to vote in the 2008 election was the topic of the conference at the
university of akron. they look at how political parties worked to boost the vote. this is about 90 minutes. >> thank you for making us feel so welcome. i am chairing a great panel on party organizations in 2008. i have the luxury of reading the papers before i came out. they are all excellent. you will have good presentations. one thing that is interesting about these papers and discussions is that they all have a slightly different definition of political party. i think it will be interesting to pay attention to that. to talk about political parties, we have a stellar group we have the associate prof. of political science at the university of
massachusetts. he is the author of "small change for go we also have the professor of political science and director of the center for political participation at allegheny college. he has written widely on political parties and campaign management. he has a successful textbook in american government called "living democracies. we also have a ph.d. candidate. she has a wide array of interests. her dissertation is on how county party strengths interact with the preferences of political elites to affect women's representation in political office. the fourth paper has a cast of terrific authors. it is an installation on an ongoing project that looks at ohio politics. i find it fascinating. the paper will be presented by the professor emeritus of political science at youngstown state university.
we also have the professor of political science and the campus director of the american democracy project from the university of pennsylvania. we also have sara lewis from youngstown state. john green is our host and one of the leading scholars on political parties and religion in american politics. he is the fourth author. >> i look at how the campaign finance system affects political parties over time relative to other factors and interest groups.
it is the global view. i am looking at the ups and downs of these actors. i have kind of a formal review of political parties. i use the fcc definition. we can talk about how that may vary in the weight that i can see the party. there was the bipartisan campaign reform act of 2002. we can see the effects. i also want to observe how this all contracts with previous laws on the books. the public funding act began in 1972. the combination has important implications for party organizations, specifically the unravelling of the public finance system. it has dampened party activities. candidates have assumed a greater role in financing their campaigns.
the candidates are chiefly responsible for financing their campaigns. i would argue that the shift has been helped along with the collapse of the public financing system. when presidential candidates declined public funding, and the constraints that go with it, they attract private funds that might have gone to the parties in the past. as a result, the parties to experienced drops. the trend is likely to continue as candidates give up on this obsolete system, enabling them to raise enough money to campaign for their own organization. the parties are not going away, obviously. we see this with barack obama. i will show some numbers. parties will be in tough competition for hard money, especially as the candidates' move on. let's compare. this slide shows fund-raising associated with the presidential candidates. it includes proceeds from
private financing as well as legal costs. for parties, includes soft money and hard money. that was before soft money was banned. there are both equal in 1992. -- they were both equal in 1992, candidates and parties. in 1996, parties take off, primarily because of the constraints on the presidential candidates. that is one reason why parties exploited soft money. we jump from about $3 million to over $700 million that goes to the parties in 2006. the use roughly one-third of this on issue as. later, the candidates were catching up. both kerry and bush decided not to upset the funding.
we see a drop in party fund raising even as candidate fund- raising continues to rise. major candidates all avoided public financing in primaries. obama did not. over all, the major party candidates accumulated over $1 billion, most of it by obama. the party money was down from 2004. the constraints have made it more difficult to keep up. let's split it up a party fund- raising. it provides a natural experiment to understand the relationship between campaign finance laws and party activities. the general election campaign had important effects on the political parties. obama's decision enabled him to raise and spend money
constrained only by the regulation that no donor contributed more than $4,600 to his campaign. what makes this experiment even better is that the parties raised the same amounts in the 2004 elections when both of their nominees rejected public funding in the general election -- they took it in the general election but rejected it in the primary. the major parties shared a baseline going into the election. fund-raising was more acute for the dnc. the candidates did not participate in the general election. the race went on so long. clinton and obama were hoovering of the campaign funds. the dnc is not as good at getting institutional donors as the rnc. let me show you the rnc members.
fund-raising was less problematic because the candidates decided to participate. keep in mind that the rnc had to stretch its dollars a lot more. they were trying to help mccain and congressional candidates. i did not look at congressional party financing. they were struggling to keep up with the democrats. majority status has huge benefits. they were struggling. the rnc sometimes helps out. regained needed to rely on the rnc because he was sustained by the public funding program. he could not -- mccain needed to rely on the rnc because he was sustained by the rigid restraint by the public funding program. -- mccain needed to rely on the rnc because he was restrained by the public funding program. i noticed that the rnc changed
its strategy to start helping members of congress rather than just pursuing the electoral college strategy back in 1996. let me show you this side by side. this clearly shows obama's phenomenal. it outstrips everyone. it shows how party portions rise and fall depending on the program. this shows party and interest group spending for parties. for interest groups, it includes pacs. it is a global view. party spending is down for both groups. political spending is down for both groups, for parties. this was when it had soft money. in presidential elections, it
declined in 2008 by $100 million. that is after the high in 2004. the parties did extraordinarily well in the first years after the law. it also declined in the midterms. the parties were kind of leveling off. interest. spending has been on a steady surge, especially with the use of 527s. this is where all of the soft money has been flowin i think it will slow even more rigid this is where all the soft money has been flowing. i think it will flow even more. the supreme court is moving in the direction of allowing interest groups to spend soft money close to an election. interest groups spent almost $1.6 billion.
spending rose again by another $120 million in 2008. these figures underestimate interest group spending. i have all pac spending and overhead. i only have the stuff for 527 and 501cs. some will say i am mischaracterizing interest groups and that these are really party based networks. they're members of a group of people who circulate among the parties. that is true. these organizations are working in parallel with parties and candidates. i want to be cautious about blurring the distinctions too much. we may be seeing a phenomenon with the elections that were so competitive where congress hangs in the balance.
we may need to have a discussion on what we mean by party. let me turn to specific strategies on how they spend their money compared to the past. in 2008, all parties spent about $380 million on tv ads. 22% of total outlays. the amount was roughly the same in 2004. parties have been spending more since the passage of the law. why so much more of the party budget on media? i do not have an answer. they may feel the like using card money for ads is more efficient. they get this money later in the process. sometimes the only way to spend it is to do it at the last ind. -- at the last end. i am a point to explore how they're
spending their money now -- i am going to explore how they're spending their money now as compared to the past. the rnc spent more on ads than the dnc. the dnc spent almost nothing. the obama campaign wanted everything concentrated. they wanted to control the message. they did not let howard dean or the dnc do any of that. the rnc just overwhelmed obama. one rnc staffers said that we brought a knife to a gun fight and we had a chance. what about national support for state parties in federal campaigns question or do they continue to support them? in the past, they did support them quite a bit. especially with soft money. the bottom line is that howard dean kept his word.
the democratic state parties were funded well by the dnc. the dnc sent over $100 million to state parties. the democratic state parties outpaced the republican state parties are spending close to $300 million. it was an historic high. this was all grass-roots spending, i would argue. there were no tv ads, of course. democrats have the luxury of not having to worry about spending money on tv. the rnc was practicing a triage. they had to help mccain, their congressional candidates, and the state parties. you can tell that the republicans were using petraeus strategy because they bunched their money up in a few states. -- you can tell the the
republicans were using this triage strategy because they bunched their money up in a few states. the meeting expenditure for the republicans was only $50,000. -- the median expenditure for the republicans was only $50,000. the day it illustrate that rules matter. institutional actors adapt to changes to pursue its electoral goals. first, we see the resources have shifted towards candidates and interest groups because of the relative constraints on parties. second, the bigger question is the impact of the public funding system and how it is becoming obsolete. when candidates bridges of the, parties play a bigger role because get its need them. when candid its fund their own campaigns, parties become less important. -- when candidates find their own campaigns, parties become less important. in some sense, we are returning
to a strong candidate-centered campaign of the 1970's and 1980's. there is one big difference. we've now institutionalized big campaigns. it will solidify if the citizens united case goes in their favor. you may see more of that. party organizations will be under a lot of pressure to innovate, to push the envelope with the campaign finance laws. i expect in the future they will find ways to raise and spend money beyond the limits of this reform. i will stop there. >> good afternoon. i am really glad to be here. i started my teaching career at the university of akron.
i am 16 years into this cake. it went fast. i am grateful to be here. -- i am 16 years into this gig. i am also very grateful that i found my glasses. three of four years ago, and was appointed to the governor's election reform task force. the kickoff event was that his mansion. i drove to harrisburg. it was late at night and snowing. i could not find my glasses. i grabbed my old. -- i grabbed my old pair and went into the mansion. it was a big even. i was the only academic on the board. i put my glasses on and started shaking everyone's hand. i realized about five minutes into it that everything was
blurry. i did not know why. after about five minutes, i realized that one of the lenses was out of my glasses. [laughter] the squirrely academic had arrived. in 1993, the condition of party politics in america was uncertain. the rise of ross perot, at deep divisions in governing coalition's, and the continued decline of partisanship pointed to a weakened state of the parties. yet party organizations seemed to be headed in a different direction patterns are confused by counter trends and continued expansion. we concluded the party system was in a state of flux. few of us to date would suggest the party system is now in a state of flux.
parties have recaptured their prominence in american politics. the movement away from party identification has turned in a dramatic direction. several indicators from 2004 and 2008 show there were two of the most partisan elections on record. party unity has increased. party organizations have remained vibrant in many respects. some scholars would go so far as to suggest that the current system mirrors robust party periods in american history. jim suggested that contemporary political parties appeared to come close structurally to the model proposed by the famous 1952 apsr report. it seems likely that the obama grass-roots phenomenon added
fuel to this fire. in the 1980's and 1990's, there was the alienation of voters. data told us that the electorate was turning out from elections and party politics. the issue of young voters was a major concern during this organizational period. their disdain for politics was one of the most worrisome aspects of politics and the last few decades. the change in young voter engagement lately has been stunning. most suggest the obama effort reinvigorated local politics and the passion for local politics among the electorate and will have a lasting impact.
do contemporary parties mirror and other periods? because they're more influential, does that imply a strengthening of the party system? the obama network propelled local activism. will this translate into more vibrant local parties? but you hawill youth political involvement be sustained beyond obama? recent elections have triggered a dramatic change in the electoral system, a boarding party organizations a rare opportunity. there is an opportunity to draw citizens, especially the young citizens, into the party in meaningful ways for decades to come. how the party leaders respond to these conditions will define the nature of the american party system. my paper moves quickly through a section on party identification
and unity. i do not have much time to do that. i want to stick to party organization. in 1996, warren miller wrote a book the new american voter." it suggested the party unification outside the south was stronger than previously thought. it also highlighted an important trend. i refer to the non-engagement of young americans. the data tells us the story. in 1950, about 7% of americans, young americans, consider themselves independent. by 1990, that figure jumped to nearly 20%. nearly 2/3 of young voters in the 1950's and 1960's regularly read stories about elections. that number dropped to 45%.
party unity in congress is interesting. increased at precisely the same time the party identification plummeted. recent levels have shifted a bit, much to barack obama's consternation how could party unity scores increase while party identification declined? there are a number of likely explanations. as voters moved away from partisan labels and as young voters stayed on the sidelines, the composition of the primary electorate changed. the small group of hard-core partisans selected like-minded congressional candidates who felt