tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN September 20, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
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>> now republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina on the afghanistan war and counterterrorism strategies. he just returned from afghanistan where he served as a legal adviser. this hour and have a discussion is from the american enterprise institute. >> ladies and gentlemen -- ladies and gentlemen, if i can ask you all to be seated and and your conversations, please. we would like to get started on time. it is not that i am not grateful that you are having a very nice time. good afternoon, everybody. welcome to the american enterprise institute. i am the vice-president for foreign and defense policy studies. thanks a for joining us today. we are very proud to have senator lindsey graham here
today. he will give a short talk this morning or this afternoon which will be followed by a session of "q&a" with the audience. after that, we will do a short and sweet roundtable, something we have not done in the past. no set piece presentations. i am pleased that we are able to have senator graham ought back here. he has really given it back one of the most interesting and well received talks here in many years last time he spoke. he has a very illustrious resume which is online at for you to read and its full form. he served for 6.5 years as an active duty air force lawyer. after leaving the air force in 1989, he joined the south carolina air national guard where he served until his election to the house of representatives in 1994.
he serves as the south carolina state in the house of representatives since 2003. he was called to active duty in the first gulf war. he continues to serve in the reserves. he recently returned from reserve duty in afghanistan. i hope he will talk about that as well. he is one of the most articulate national-security experts in the senate and has been outspoken in support of their troops, their mission, and the importance of understanding what is at stake in the war on terror. he condemned the new found process of setting arbitrary deadlines for troop drawdowns and said it would be a mistake to leave iraq with about maintaining a military presence. earlier this year, if he passed the terrorist retention review act which seeks to resolve some of the habeas issues. to talk about that bill, afghanistan, and anything else he would like to talk about, let me welcome senator lindsey graham. [applause]
>> without food, i would have been worried. if you came here to figure out how al green paid his filing fee in south carolina or whether or not it is a good idea to dabble in witchcraft, whether obama was born in america, or whether the dream act will help senator harry reid in the upcoming election, you have come to the wrong place. we will talk for about 35 minutes. at that point in time, pulled the of this place. i believe in the geneva
convention. one of the rolls is for politicians to talk over 35 that it violates the rules. i will talk about afghanistan. the fact that you came here says a lot about you. i think it is good. it is 12:30, and a beautiful day or making money. but you decided to come here and have a discussion with me and others about our national security. and we are what? how many days before the election? i am not good at math. that is why i am in the senate. some days left. in the finish line, in the last lap. would you know that we are at war listening to the political discourse? has there been a serious exchange between any candidate, tea party, democrat, republican, libertarian, vegetarian on what we should do with iran? have you seen one commercial about whether or not our afghan
strategy is good or bad? we are within days, literally, of a major shift in power in washington and you would never know that this nation is involved in two wars and a looming threats facing us all that could change the course of humanity and mankind. and i say that knowing that everybody in america cares about our troops and every candidate for office is patriotic. what i do not understand is how in the world did this happen? how did america of get herself into two warsr? ? where are we going in the war on terror nine years after 9/11 and no one seems to want to talk much about it? i would argue that it would take a dramatic event for that to change, unfortunately. and i hope and pray that it will not require an attack on the country before we talk about the things that we should have been talking about when it comes to
our national security. from the republican point of view, and that is an unusual term now, there are about five camps in the republican party, is the july withdrawal date by president obama of fatal flaw in the afghan strategy? from my point of view, additional troops were needed in afghanistan and without them it would have been impossible to change the momentum that had been lost to the taliban, so i applaud president obama for doing something that was exceedingly on popular with his base, and that is to plus up trooops. i am here to knowledge that our efforts in iraq did hurt our efforts in afghanistan. that we have a limited, all voluntary military, and as resources are dedicated to iraq,
afghanistan them became the forgotten war. and as we try to a guy with the performance of our commanders before general petraeus, i would say one thing -- they held it together with wire and duct tape. and now, for the first time, i believe we have the right amount of resources and the right strategy that could lead to success, and that is a very difficult for america to hear six or seven, eight years after the war started. all that time has gone by and, really, we are just beginning to get it right. i am sorry to tell you that, but i believe it. now, this new strategy that involves do troops has a decent chance of success, but the outcome by no means is certain.
the parties are pretty solid about where we should go and how we should get there. our tea party friends have done the country all lot of good by focusing on our part of control spending in washington and the imbalance that we have at the federal level, that we have gone too far and we have overreached. but when we talk about foreign policy, i do not hear much coming from either party or the tea party. now, ron paul, who i can align with in fiscal matters, has been consistent. he believes we should withdraw from iraq and that we should stop being involved in anlace wars. endless wars. and dennis kucinich would agree. what about the rest of us?
and there is a lot between ron paul and dennis kucinich. what about the rest of us? my view is that i do not want to be involved in endless wars anymore than they do, but i do insist that we win wars we cannot afford to lose. now, the left and some of our libertarian friends believe we cannot afford this war and they are ready to leave. what happens if we leave and does it really matter? all of you are smart. you can answer that question probably better than i can. i can tell you what i think and that is probably why you came. if we lose in afghanistan, whatever that may be, it will matter. and what is losing? i think losing would be allowing the taliban to come back in power in portions or all of the country.
i have one simple thought -- the taliban running anything is not a good idea. particularly if you happen to be a young woman and you believe in religious freedom and tolerance. but what does it really matter? their places -- there are places on the planet where women are treated horribly and we do not have one troop. so this is not just about righting wrongs that may come towards young women. i would argue that within a decade of 9/11 our efforts in afghanistan result and having to do a deal with withthe taliban where they are back in power, at least in part, then our national security has not been well served. on september 12, 2001, how many of us in washington would have ever envisioned of negotiating with the taliban so that we could come home from afghanistan?
ladies and gentlemen, if we leave afghanistan in a chaotic state, where the taliban have much say and control, it will be a matter of time before the forces they gathered before 9/11 gather again in that same country. but i would argue that there he is -- there is even more at stake since 9/11. how in the world are we going to persuade rogue regimes to do the right thing when it comes to our national security interests if we lose to the taliban? do you believe iran is watching? i do. do you believe iran is getting bolder when it comes to supplying the taliban efforts
that disrupt our strategies in afghanistan? i do. so too are libertarian and democratic friends who say this is an endless war and we need to leave, i ask one simple question -- what happens when we leave? to my hawkish brothers and sisters, what is our plan "b"? plan "b" for the left and the libertarian movement is to leave. plan "b" for the right is see plan "a." i do not know what we can do after the strategy efforts, i just know what we cannot allow to happen. the july, 2011, a withdrawal date, ladies and gentlemen, i think is a mistake. is it fatal? i don't know. i envision a scenario next summer were some parts of afghanistan can be turned over
to afghan control, transitioned without compromising the overall war effort. next july inisenvision afghanistan that does not seek -- need an enormous amount of american military support. i have heard from people on the ground in afghanistan that the july withdrawal date is confusing and is creating uncertainty. do not misunderstand what it means. the president said, we are going to be wrote -- begin to leave next july. the only question is, how people will begin to leave and at what pace? i do think it is a mistake, but it is a policy we will have to live with. but i did not come here just to talk about afghanistan. i am going to ask you a question to try to keep you away. how many people believe the attacks on our country on 9/11 were an act of war?
how many people believe it was a crime? manmade disaster? does it matter if you treated as a crime obverses an act of war? yes, it does matter. i would argue that we have drifted away from treating the attacks of 9/11 as an act of war and we are going back to the law enforcement model, not just here but throughout the alliance that we have enlisted to help fight the enemy. who is the enemy? and how you engage them? does it matter if you resort to all law enforcement model? i think it matters greatly. ladies and gentlemen, the difference between it fighting a crime and a war is enormous. and i believe we are at war.
the enemy has declared war on us. the question is will we declare war on them? here is the state of play in america in september, 2010. the cia is out of the interrogation business in the war on terror. i say that boldly and prove me wrong. the cia, after the debacle we have had over abu ghraib, guantanamo bay, water boarding, you name it, is now in a position by executive order they cannot use the tools that congress authorized in the detainee treatment act to deal with war terror prisoners. the enhanced interrogation techniques that was overwhelmingly passed by congress in the detainee to treatment act have been disallowed by the obama
administration. that makes us less safe. to my friends on the right, there has to be something other than water boarding. there has to be some middle ground between the army field manual and water boarding. the army field matter was never written to be the end all of american interrogation. it was written for the army. that is why we call it the army field manual. and those in the army to capture prisoners on the battlefield need to have guidance as to what to do with those prisoners so they do not get court-martialed. it was never meant to be the exclusive ability, techniques available to the country to deal -- to be able to interrogate a prisoner, but that is where we are at. i would ask you if you are a cia agent, but you should not raise your hand.
put yourself in the shoes of the cia, director leon panetta. what do you do? how do you go forward? what do tell your agent? to those who advocate water boarding, is it a violation of the geneva convention? yes. ask any military lawyer if water boarding violates that the articles that are written to protect enemy prisoners from abuse. this is not even an honest debate on the military side. does it violate the war crimes act that i helped write? yes, it does. does it violate the convention against torture, which has now been codified in terms of the criminal cents? yes, it does. can we be safe without engaging in water boarding? yes, we can. but it has got to be something other than the army field manual.
another question for thought. should the united states abandon the geneva convention? it now applies to the war on terror because our supreme court has ruled so. and to those who keep advocating techniques like water boarding, have the courage of your convictions to say that we intend by our actions to withdraw this nation from the geneva convention. because that exactly is what you will have done. i do not believe that is the right course to take. what i believe it is that the world needs to come together and re-look at the geneva convention. the geneva convention has served the world well even though the worst among us will never comply with it. it really is about who we are. not about our enemies.
but the truth of the matter is that the geneva convention is a warehousing agreement that basically says the falling -- you catch my pilot, i will treat them well. i catch your pilot, we will treat him well. we will leave it civilians alone and when the war is over we will swap prisoners. that is not the world we are in. the world we are in depends on intelligence gathering, not combating a nation-state. that means a good, sound, for interrogation techniques that are not available to this country right now. nine years after 9/11, we do not have the ability, in my view, to effectively interrogate in enemy prisoner. i know that is not as exciting as talking about delaware. but i think it is important. we do not have one black site.
maybe that is a good thing. maybe we should look at that because we are not using gitmo. we are a nation without a present in all war. guantanamo bay has not had a new prisoner in years and is not likely to be used when it comes to future captures. what does it mean to be a nation without a present? ison? what happens if we capture someone in somalia tomorrow that is a high-value target? what do we do with him? after we have to use the law enforcement model? do we have to take them to court? do we have to take them to american federal prison because we are not using guantanamo bay? can we take them to afghanistan? how long can we do that before it brings the afghan government down. > ? not very exciting.
unless you are a special forces operative in your face with capturing someone or killing them. we have put ourselves out of the detention business as well as the interrogation business because the parties cannot find a way forward. i happen to be in the middle on this issue where you always get run over. now i know why the road is littered with dead animals in the middle of the road. i happen to believe that, on balance, closing guantanamo bay would be good for america in terms of the ideological struggle we are facing. we are not in a war with the nation-state. we do not have a capital to conquer, and air force to shoot down or nab to sink. we have an ideology to defeat and our enemies have used guantanamo bay against uass. that does not mean we let the enemy defined our policy. does mean we need to eject our
policy when it makes sense. president bush thought it made sense. senator mccain it who was running for president thought it made sense. senator obama thought it wamade sense. the one thing that did not make sense is announced that we will close guantanamo bay without a planned to do it. they may have been sharing in france within 48 hours of his becoming president, president obama announcing the closure of guantanamo bay. but they were not sharing in south carolina, because they did not know what it meant -- not cheering in south carolina, because they do not know what it meant. i will not support closing guantanamo bay unless he could do it safely. this is football season. we keep punting on the hard issues surrounding guantanamo
bay and the war on terror in general. talk a bit more about that and a minute. nine years after 9/11, we have had to attacks that failed and where did they come from? -- two attacks that failed and where did they come from? they came from homegrown terrorism. so the war has shifted. what do we do it nine years after 9/11 when someone tries to blow up an airplane over detroit? we read them their miranda rights within 50 minutes. what do we do with the times square bomber? we read him his miranda rights. nine years later, we have not figured this out. we cannot rely on the fact that the parents of the christmas day 0-- day bomber workedth th
with the fbi. this country, working to the congress, needs to come up with national security exceptions to miranda rights because we are fighting a war not a crime. this is not kandahar csi. we are talking about finding people in the homeland, on the homeland, and our law enforcement model we are relying on makes us less safe because, when you capture a terrorist, the one thing you want to know -- what is coming next? where did you train? what got you involved? that, to me, is in intelligence gathering activity, not a law enforcement activity, and our laws are such that our intelligence community cannot do their job. i know that is boring, but i think is important. so, congress has been awol.
democrats are scared to death to talk about this, and most republicans just demagogue. other than that, things are going great. iraq? remember iraq? it is now in the classified ads section. remember iraq? remember the iraq that harry reid said was lost? i do. iraq can teach us a lot in terms of how to get it right and what not to do. is it a part of the war on terror? how many believe that going into iraq was a sensible extension in the war on terror? how many think it was a blunder? how many people believe that now is a part of the war on terror? i do.
i think that unites us all. we can have that debate. historians and people who are really smart and choose to come here instead of play golf on a pretty day, you can figure that out, but i would argue it is now part of the war on terror and it could have a huge impact one way or the other, and it is not over. we are inside the tent, but we have not scored. the one thing that i can tell you about the war in iraq from conservative's point of view, our aversion to nation-building made as irrational when it came to how to secure the country. that it could not come out of the conservatives a lead that we were there to build the institutions. this idea of nation-building was some left idea, some liberal idea, and if we embrace it, that would be a cardinal sin. and i probably was in that camp, quite frankly. and i am here to tell you i have learned.
the only possible way, when you try to replace the nation state in the grips of terror, whether it be saddam hussein or the taliban, to be successful, is to leave behind institutions that work for the people and not against them. and that is hard. and we finally understood how to get that right in iraq, but before we understood, a lot of people died and a lot of people were seriously injured. and for that, i will be forever saddened. but in 2007, we changed strategies, the counterinsurgency strategy will have proven to be successful and it focused on securing the people and improving institutions. it focused on the idea at you need more troops living with the
forces you are trying to help and get out behind the wall. you need to build our role system where the judges can administer justice without being killed. you need a detention policy that understands just parking the people and letting them get worse in a jail is not a very smart idea. as a reservist serving in iraq, i went to a camp in 2007 where there were about 18,000 sunnis in the shia desert that had been captured by u.s. forces and had not seen a human being and three years, and surprisingly, they were getting discontented and they were not being turned around. it was about to blow up. they had all right. along comes a lieutenant general -- that had a riot,. . he took that prison and he instituted educational programs so every prisoner would be educated at the fifth grade level.
he brought in moderate imams to teach them what the koran said it once they read it. and he built a brick factory so they could have a job when they get out. in the 26,000 people that were held in the desert in the camp have gone back to the province with about 80% recidivism rate. -- a 2% recidivism rate. that was smart. we are not doing that in afghanistan. in iraq, the iraqi legal system allowed the national security tension word you could grab someone, park them for a while without a criminal trial, and in during the confinement you try to rehabilitate them and you understood the difference between it reconcilable and irreconcilable and you had a strategy.
it worked. we are about to wind down in iraq. i support reducing our forces to 50,000, but i do not support breaking our ties with the iraqi people when it comes to a military presence. i am hopeful the administration will negotiate post-2011 an agreement that will allow not only training troops but enough's presence militarily to prevent a conflict between the kurds and sunni arabs. our troop presence has made a big difference there. it is a comforting president. and at least a brigade or two would be smart in my view to lead them in iraq -- to leave them in iraq if the people want them to secure the gains we have.
if we do not form this government soon, then i think the chances of the country going back into a chaotic state grow by the moment. i appreciate the efforts of the vice president, but it is now time for the president, in my view, to personally get involved and bring the factions together to form a new government. to get it from the 10 to the goal line. long story short is that we did not understand how important institutions of work to providing security to the people you are trying to liberate. our initial mistakes in iraq, where we had an aversion to nation building, wouldn't it be a shame if in the last minutes of the game we have an aversion at the end as we did in the beginning? our national security presence,
our national security interests will not be judged by the day we left completely in iraq but by what we left behind. afghanistan. the troops are beginning to provide security that was never known, but we have no law in afghanistan, ladies and gentlemen, that will allow american soldiers with afghan help or vice versa to detain someone being a national security threat. if it were not for the ability to have 28,000 people from anbar taken out of that province, we would have never been successful with the surge in iraq. right now we have that space for 2800 people. you will never convince me that 2800 people are the only ones that need to be taken out of these villages. so we need a detention system that will allow us to detain people who are creating problems
for a period of time so that counterinsurgency will work in afghanistan. it is one thing to liberate a village. it is another thing to hold and a bill that. and if the people who caused the problem for the village are not removed more than two week s, the local villagers were never come on our side. the rules of engagement that we used in nader now work law enforcement rules. holding someone 96 hours is probably good law enforcement policy. it is a lousy military policy. nato, we need to look long and hard at nato. it has cold war capability but with a law enforcement mentality. that will not be a formula for success in the war on terror. they are about to meet in lisbon. they are trying to define how to win in afghanistan. i would argue that nato needs to define their role in the war on terror. to are we fighting and how you
play in that war? what are you willing to do? because it is more than just about afghanistan. change your capabilities. to be relevant in the war on terror. i am not worried about russian tanks coming through the gap. i am worried about international terrorism. so should naida have morto havee unmanned vehicles? startd the nato and aneu talking to each other? the eu provides the nation building capacity and nato provides the armed services capacity, and 21 nations are members of the votes and there really is no discussion between the two organizations. -- and 21 nations are members of both and they're really is no discussion between the two organizations. and national caveats that
have crippled the mission need to be replaced by a nato war fighting caveats. if you are now willing to go to war with a war fighting mentality, do not go. we are not trying to convict the taliban and al qaeda, we are trying to defeat them. iran. ahmadinejad says the sanctions are helping. secretary clinton says they are crippling. congress has given tools to this administration that if used could be crippling. how many people believe that sanctions will deter the iranian regime from getting a nuclear weapon? how many people they will not -- how many people believe they will not? if they do not, what do we do next? i am with you. i think they could, but they have been not -- they have not been used yet. if the russians and chinese keep back filling, there will never
be successful. so we are 40 something days before an election and not one person is talking about how america or the world changes if the iranian government gets a nuclear weapon. that is just stunning. it is going to change the course of history. every sunni arab state will be less than enthusiastic about the iranians having a nuclear weapon. why don't we have an ambassador at large for them golf estates? they can form a buffer against a riranian ambitions. we let them fight amongst themselves. why don't we have an ambassador? whyh don't we trade more with th e mid east? why we have a responsibility to our?
her? theseon't we push governments to be more responsive to their people? why don't we ask the arab world to give as much to the palestinians as we do? because it would really matter. but is anybody talking about that? no. in conclusion, i am going to keep talking about. war.alk doesn't win of i am going to introduce legislation that perform -- reforms are habeas procedures. under law now, every enemy combat and has their day in federal court were the judge will determine whether not the evidence supports the finding that you are a member of al qaeda. we have a case before us, the case, where the judge let him go because they
could not be proven to be an active member of al qaeda. my statute would change that. it would put the burden on the detainee to prove you are no longer part of al qaeda once you prove they were. a common standard for all judges to use. the courts are trying out-- crying out for help. the courts are very much worried they have no legislative guidance and they are having to do this on their own and making up as they go. so habeas reform is a national security imperative. we need exceptions to our miranda warnings. i propose that if the high value interrogation team is assigned a case where we believe the person in question is involved in an act of terrorism in the united states, that within a couple or three days, they ought to be able to go to a federal judge and say we have
probable cause to believe this was an act of terrorism, all law and terrorism -- interrogation to go forward without miranda warnings, because i will argue to you forcefully that if we continue to read every terrorist their miranda rights, we will shut down intelligence gathering. we need to repeal the executive order and allowed the cia to get back and to the interrogation business without going down the water boarding road and get our agents some immunity from lawsuits that are surely to follow. there are things that we should do on indefinite confinement that need to be done. we have 48 people in guantanamo bay that have been held for years after being determined to be an enemy combat and with no process as to an annual review. that congress should work with the administration to come up with some logical rules concerning the law of war confinement and detention.
i will do everything in my power to make sure khalid sheik mohamed never sees the inside of a federal court. the reason being that i am very worried about the president you are setting when you hold someone seven years under the law of war and then all the sudden you introduce them into the american criminal-justice system. where you use a theory of law of war detention to hold them for years without trial, and all of a sudden you give them the rights that come with the american constitution in federal court. i have no problem with the christmas and a bomber. the times square bomber being in federal court. that is a good use of federal court. i have no problem with financiers of al qaeda being charged under domestic federal law. i have real problem with taking the mastermind of 9/11 and saying that you get the same rights of an american citizen under the constitution because
of then you are destroying the theory that is essential to being at war, that you can be an enemy combatants. if he is not an enemy combat, who the hell is? and what does a federal judge to do with a speedy trial issue? so we are at war, but it is a hybrid, where you mix the system. i know there will never be as surrender signing ceremony. an enemy combat a decision could be a life sentence. and i am willing to provide more process then we provided in any other war. and i do not want my country to go down that torture road because that is the road that makes it more like the enemy, not less. there is a way to move this nation forward, but it has got to be bipartisan and it needs to happen quickly. we are about to run out of time.
if we do not and did well in iraq, and if things do not change on the corruption front in afghanistan by september of next year, i worry greatly for the security of our country, your family, and the world. this effort to fight corruption in afghanistan is on even at best. and this change in strategy where you fight low level corruption and maybe leave karzai alone, i really worry about that. we will never win this war in afghanistan and we proved the act -- proved to the afghan people that the culture of impunity is gone or at least on the wrong. the taliban are half the problem. corruption is the other half. i hope and pray that our efforts with the major crimes task force will not be undercut because of politics in afghanistan. i know that is boring to talk about it, but that can be outcome determinative.
thank you for listening. thank you for coming. and we are 40 something days away from election. you would never know from the political exchange between candidates seeking office. tomorrow to o'clock 15, we will vote on the defense authorization bill -- at 2:15. and the issues we are talking about are whether or not we should expand abortion services in military hospitals, whether or not we should repaeal the "don't ask don't tell" policy, and whether or not we should the dream act on the defense bill. if you follow the debate on the floor of the united states senate tomorrow on the defense authorization bill, you would believe that the biggest national security threat facing america is what to do about gays in the military, the dream act, and abortion.
very sad. very unacceptable. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> i think everybody is familiar with our rules. the senator has graciously agreed to take some questions. i will call on you. identify yourself first and put your short statement in the form of a question. this gentleman right here. >> senator, to was a much for your presentation. thank you for this session. -- thank you so much for your presentation. i need your help, senator.
i have a question in two halves. king abdullah has served arabia 0-- a charitable foundation, from the seven newspapers. i am quoting no -- whose objective is to support the construction of mosques and islamic centers and support muslims all over the world. the question, the second part is, two months ago, they sent about 150 members of al qaeda in afghanistan --[unintelligible] i agree with you. this is war.
question, sir -- you served in the army. my son served in the army. do we have 100,000 military personnel in afghanistan to qaeda people, or are we engaged in a war of ideology which is the rule of law versus totalitarianism? >> very good question. about funding mosques. i have been throughout the mideast many times, we are not at war with islam. president obama is right to make that statement. president bush was right, and as
we debate the new york mosque location, while a lot of us believe it should be moved i really fear that we are going to allow our enemies to drviive wedges between people who can live together peacefully and safely. while i would like to see reform in the mideast, i know particularly in the gulf arab states, there are many people we can live with and do business with. i have known many patriots in afghanistan and iraq who have been killed trying to bring the rule of law. many of the judges i got to meet as program, several of them have been killed in iraq. several of my friends have been killed in afghanistan fighting al qaeda. so do we need this many people to fight 450? no. but we need to make sure that afghanistan does not fall into the hands of people who are
sympathetic and will align with al qaeda, because then 450 becomes a lot bigger number. the reason there is only 450 is we killed a lot of them. i forgot to mention this, but should we be considering going across the border in pakistan? i think we should. their network is as big a threat to the future of afghanistan as and bu anybody is. within 30 kilometers of the border, they live in a small town, they are had ordered their. and i would like to see some effort by the u.s., pakistan and afghanistan to go across the border after them. to our pakistan allies, thank you for your help, but in many ways, with friends like this, you do not need enemies. the pakistanis are looking at the july, 2011, deadline
differently than we are. and i am very disappointed in the new intelligence that shows a wider cooperation between isi and afghan taliban then we have seen in recent times. how do we win this war, sir, if the people on the pakistan side, the taliban, the al qaeda network's really cannot be controlled? safe havens have to be dealt with for us to be successful. so i hope the congress will pass benchmarks and measurements not only on the congress with there's it -- not only on afghanistan with their security forces, but of pakistan. hold pakistan accountable. so we are there and large numbers in iraq and afghanistan because replaced nation states that were in the hands of thuggish people that were aligned with terrorism, with terrorist organizations to
present a threat to our country and the world at large is a very labor intensive effort. how many times did you hear from 2003-2006, we are down to a few dead aenders? the truth is we do not know how many al qaeda are there with any great certainty. i am sure it is smaller. but at the end of the day, if afghanistan is not secured, then everything we have worked for is going to go back in the wrong direction and 98,000 troops, in my view, are a must and the nato presence should grow not shrink because we are trying to build a nation state that will align with us and not go back into the hands of the taliban. very good question. >> senator graham, thank you for
taking the time and effort to focus on national security, with our bureaucratic dinosaurs and the national security departments of the executive branch, we need all the leadership from congress we can get. the question is on what appears elemente taliban's key to the rise to power is their success in providing "law and order. what is the most effective way to counter that strategy? >> great question. how did the taliban come back in afghanistan? it does not fit into 32nd sound bite, but i will give it a whirl. the way they came back from near extinction was poor governance and a lack of security. as we directed resources from afghanistan to iraq, the security environment deteriorated. the rules of engagement that
nato had to operate with a lot of people to go in and out of the jail. once you capture a bad guy or an alleged bad guy, 96 hours, you had to turn them over to the afghans or release them. so the detention policy is allow people who were disruptive to never be isolated from the population, so they went back into the villages and to create an intimidating environment. the tribal system that had administer justice for thousands of years was eventually replaced by a taliban-type system because they killed the tribal leaders and they put a cleric in charge. as we clear the village of out of the taliban presence, we will never hold and build unless you can have some sense of government and justice. so the big issue in afghanistan is a were does formal justice
began and informal justice end? and i would argue, we do not have a coherent policy yet, but we are getting there. and general petraeus is on the case here. good example. the taliban were able to provide remedies to people's problems that would seem to be less corrupt than the afghan government or there was no afghan government. so they got a foothold there. they were very intimidating. if we want to hold and build, we need to provide justice, something other than the taliban way. i believe the people in afghanistan was a justice system not run by the taliban, and it does not all have to come out of kabul. quite frankly, i do not care who gets the vote when there is an argument about the goat. if you can do it to a tribal justice, fine with me. so there has to be some
understanding by us and the afghan government of were formal and informal justice lies, and if we do not get that piece of the puzzle right, we are going to go right back into chaos. the biggest dispute in kandahar is over land rights. there are no court rooms. there is a big dispute of who owns the land. there is a way to do land litigation without having a trained lawyer or judge because there are so few. general petraeus understands this, but it is it time intensive. and here's what we have to let our afghan partners know. be more open-minded to tribal informal justice then you have been in the past, but we cannot as a nation turned over rape and murder cases to a system that i think is stuck in the 12th century. that is how we hold and build. you drive the bad guys out.
you put them in a prison. you do not let them go in 96 hours. you give them judicial hearings, not under a criminal justice model but in the law of war model. you keep them in a jail where you learn them to read. you give them a job skill. you teach them about the koran and when they come home, someone signs for their behavior. that is what needs to happen to hold and build. >> over here. >> and how do you do that if there are safe haves in pakistan? -- safe havens in pakistan? >> you seem to think that sanctions will not work. there are two alternatives. one is working for inchregim regime change --
>> sanctions and aid together can be good tools and the war on terror. the right amount of aid to the right people on the right time can prevent people from going the wrong way. i believe and all of the above approach to energy, and i believe in the all of labeouf approach to terrorism. you do not send 150,000 to fight 450 people. you do need that type of people to turn state's around. when it comes to iran. the sanctions that we have available have not been used in force. i hope the congress will soon have hearings about the administration's game plan to impose sanctions that congress has passed. they are deep on financial service interruption, on petroleum. you want to make sanctions bite ? deal with petroleum. 1/3 of petroleum products --
come from china. i think it will hurt the people, but they will welcome the intervention. i do believe that sanctions and aid can result in an power in the right people and deterring the wrong people, but they have to be used robustly, and if the chinese and russians interfere, they will fail. how do get sanctions to work if people in iran believe we will never use military force? statesnni gulsf arab need to be bigger partners in dealing with this issue. how'd you get anybody to change their thought process if they are not your nationural friends? well, they have to believe that the upside and downside do not come together. if you are the prime minister of
israel, a hall long the wait? how many people believe that iran is trying to get a nuclear weapon? everybody in the room that i could see raised their hand. so, when i clicked on the judge says they do not want a weapon, we all believe he is like -- when ahmadinejad says they do not want a weapon, we all believe he is a line. when secretary clinton said she thinks the sanctions are working, she may be right. they have not been useful yet. there are tools available that were not available on a month ago. let's try and see what happens. if they fail, here is what i believe military should be available to us. if you use military force against iran, you open the pandora's box. of the people agree with that? if they get a nuclear weapon, you empty pandora's box? how many people agree with that? nobody knows. i think if they get a nuclear weapon, you have emptied
pandora's box. i would rather open it up then empty it. and that is a lousy choice. but that is why we are here at lunch. at least we are talking about. i cannot get anybody else to talk with me about it. thanks for coming. so, if we use military force, is to beat us not the israelis. if the israelis their biggest airplane is an f- 15. military strike against hardened nuclear sites is a complicated endeavor. from their point of view, it is better than doing nothing. from my point of view, if we engaged in military operations
as the last resort, the united states should have a goal of changing the regime. not by invading the country, but i wanted military strike from land and sea -- but from launching a military strike from land and sea and that the revolutionary guard ceases to be an effective organization to punch back. if you have to use military force, i think our goal should be not only to neuter their nuclear program, but to destroy the regime's ability to fight back against our troops in the region hand against our allies. that, ladies and gentlemen, is no small matter to contemplate. that is a very serious escalating step that i would now like to go down the road as much as anybody in this room.
thatf you'll believe sanctions will not work, i am here to tell you that i have no belief that containment will work. so you have a month -- she will have a military action before the given nuclear weapon or after they get a nuclear weapon. if that is my option, then i would rather do it before. next question. >> you said that dennis kucinich and brand paula gray agree.granrand paul you give us an interesting speech today. i guess this is the republican party.
maybe you're running for the president. >> no, no. >> will you start another patriot act ii, which will be the new american apartheid system, one which -- >> this is a good way to end. i forgot to mention that. [laughter] the patriot act is due to what? it is due to expire. by the end of the year, the patriot act expires. do you think that is worthy of discussion? have you seen one added? hey, you know that the patriot act will expire been by the way, here it is. have you heard any candidates running for office talk about a question? i know that witchcraft is intriguing, but come on here and we need to get our candidates who will be in charge or our
partners in national security to step up to the plate and talk about these boring things. natalie do i think it needs to be reauthorized for a longer time, but we need to add tools -- not only do i think it needs to be reauthorized for a longer time, so we need to add tools to it. we have seven different bills in the congress that would give the authority to deal with cyber terrorism to four different agencies. how many believe that cyber- terrorism is a real problem? they could put us out of business. the chinese are playing in this area every day. what if they came up with the ability to shut down wall street? a review of like that to a certain extent, unless you have money there. i think the patriot act needs to be reauthorized and we need to add new tools. having said that, i hope i have
left one person with you. i do believe and our values -- i do believe in our bellies. i and not a fan of getting out of the geneva convention. -- i am not a fan of getting out of the geneva convention. i am confident we can win this war within our value system. but we have to adjust to the fact that we are at war. this country has overreached at times. we put every japanese-americans in prison. that is what happens when good people who are afraid -- that is what can happen. good people can do some things that are not so smart. i want to make good decisions about miranda warnings. i want judicial checks and balances. i do not want to give the cia were the interrogation team the right to hold someone forever.
i like checks and balances. and they need to be in place, even when you are at war. i believe that our military commissions system is one of the best in the world. not only because i helped write it, but because we got 86 votes. i have been a military lawyer all of my adult life. the same men and women who led mr. justice in military commissions will be the same ones -- who administer justice in military commissions will be the same ones in court marshals. i would end with this one thought. the civil liberties which make us different than our enemies need to be cherished. but we also need to understand that, in a free and open society, they exploit that freedom and that openness and this is a thinking enemy without boundaries. they use young boys and girls
as shields in afghanistan. they would kill us all if they could. and now is the time to understand the difference between citing a crime and citing a war. my goal is to be at war with our enemies, but also to be an american. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, senator gramm. folks, we will let senator gramm takeoff. we'll take just a few minutes to talk about this. i would invite everybody to be seated, please.
> >> we're trying to do something in little bit different. normally, i would not give a set piece presentation on what we heard today. rather than do that, we thought we would take a couple of minutes and talk about some of the issues that senator gra ham brought up today. if you want to get involved, raise your hand. do not yell at us. hamhought that senator gra
had a lot of provocative things to say. he likes being provocative. and there were few striking elements among the things and he suggested. the first when he mentioned is is the july 1 deadline for withdrawal in afghanistan a fatal flaw? >> even as things go as well as can be imagined, as he mentioned, it is a question for our own forces in the region and what we do for 2011. i know that they are preparing for that. nobody wants to be the last person to bugout before the americans but that or to be there after the americans of the doubt.
but for the -- after the americans bug out. since the president's speech, the first talking point, both internationally in the region and in afghanistan, the biggest fear the people who are on our side in afghanistan is what happens after rigo. to raise that question has been debilitating and crippling, if not fatal. >> has the not lock themselves into a box with the july deadline? what the president need to discuss this two-step -- to stick with the deadline? >> when general petraeus, a couple of weeks ago when he did the rounds of the tv talk shows, he fairly clearly raise the that he would make the best recommendation he could to the
president about whether there should be troop withdrawal or drawdown at all. what i was surprised by was that the white house did not send out a bunch of people the next day or later that afternoon saying that the general misspoke, that the july deadline really is what it is. i think there are mixed signals being made. it makes it seem that the white house has not made up its mind. >> this is something you have written a lot about, mark. i guess the obama administration would say, hey, we have two wars going on. we are training a whole bunch of folks in yemen and in africa. we are knocking people off left, right, and center with drones tracks. -- with drone strikes.
>> the obama's administration is, quite frankly, i schizophrenic. on the one hand, we do not do predator strikes in downtown d.c. at the same time, the captured terrorist to just tried -- it was not a home-run attack. they may have been homegrown terrorists, but he may have been wrong about that. that was the biggest threat to the homeland that we have had since 9/11. and then when they get him, they give him -- they read him his miranda rights. that is treating him like a criminal. as a result, their policy when it comes to detention and interrogation is completely paralyzed. the cra is not interrogating
anybody. that is true. -- the cia is not interrogating anybody. that is true. there has not been one high- level attention since president obama came to office. if we found some like the leader of al qaeda in east africa, we would kill them. it is very dangerous. we are put in a position where we have the choice between capture or kill. we kill. that is a very dangerous position to be in. >> one of the things i thought was really interesting in that speech was that the senator focused on the detention. particularly in washington, we tend to be assessed with high- value targets and the question of interrogation. -- we tend to be obsessive with high-rally targets and the question of interrogation. for the most part, a lot of them have very ephemeral intelligence. detaining a bad guys, getting
them off the streets, and even allowing for some of the abuses remaining an imbalance, that is a counter-insurgency efforts. we have a particularly bad with detention policies going back even to the bush administration, goinshying away and creating the ability -- shying away from creating the ability to get the bad guys off the streets. detaining insurgents, taking them out of the equation as a tool to create a domestic security, is critical. i was glad to see the senator stressed that because that gets swept under the carpet a lot. >> the senator also talked about the tension here in the
united states. on that point, -- about the tension here in the united states. on that point, he made the case the senator also talked about detention here in the united states. on that point, he made a good case. people should remember that ran the rights are not written in the constitution. >> i want to come back to something that still does not make much sense to me. without having a big fight about waterboarding, i question how it
is that we set in place and effective set of interrogation methods that are codified and not a liability to the individuals who are doing the interrogation? it does seem like a very nice goal to set out there. but how can have something that will work, especially since we have taken off the table the things that everybody has agreed are unacceptable in one view or another? >> not only is it doable, but we obamad it over to the bus administration which did not include waterboarding. how many of you think that obama ended waterboarding? mike hayden and waterboarding.
obama wanted to -- hayden wanted a design for both democratic and republican presidents. i am sure that the makers of liquid ensure would be fascinated. the reason it works is because they did not know that this was all they would face. when barack obama released all these documents, he not only through things that no one would consider torture off the table, but he released all those documents and gave the enemy the secret to defeating them. there is a limited field of techniques between waterboarding and miranda rights, where you can use 7
there would be affected hand have bipartisan support. -- we can use them and there would be effective bipartisan support. >> there is still a broad range of techniques in the army field manual, including appendix them, which is used for high-value detainee coitus sleep deprivation, stress positions, and a lot of different kinds of fear techniques which allows a lot of broad range of interrogation techniques. those have not been eliminated. >> do you support all of those techniques? course we do not. -- >> we do not. it tends to produce false confessions. that is not what we are interested in. we are interested in getting
intelligence. but intelligence can be done and effectively both by the fbi and the cia without those techniques. so i am not sure what you mean by all of them being thrown out. >> the army field manual is made available. first of all, the techniques are quite limited and they all have to -- they are ones you would be able to use against a prisoner of war with the full protection of the geneva convention. you have to use psychological coercion, part of which is not knowing what you will say. barack obama could solve this very quickly. mike hayden suggested to craig craig to change the executive orders and you do a classified
appendix to the army's field manual. it could be a blank page. then he would restore some of the mystery behind what the terrorists would face. that would make it much more effective. >> i would just say that the senator's point that there could be space where the army field manual and some were tortured begins is worth more intelligence. i think what market is trying to get at, especially when you're talking about critical intelligence and senior enemy operatives who have been captured who would traditionally be handled by intelligence agencies and terriers, the senator is correct that they are not doing in interrogations' at all.
there is clearly a loophole that, one, we are not doing anything. if we are not doing any interrogations' of any sort, then we're not getting any intelligence. but it was never intended that the army's field manual should be the operative set of guidance for every seven stance. >> a very large signal was sent to the bureaucracy that you don't to think about going down certain roads. even if there is some possibility under the army field manual for more arduous interrogation techniques, the larger political signal is there is no way we will stand behind you with this goes wrong. >> there is a lot of talk about
talking with the taliban. but the senator does not distinguish between the taliban and al qaeda. >> i would certainly say that, when you're talking about -- the taliban is such a catchall phrase to begin with. but, for example, when the senator talk about the high connie network, he did not -- when the center talked about -- when the senator talked about the hakani network, he didn't mention another group.
i think the tendency has been to be rather loose in the done definition. >> keep in mind that the terrorists around the world who attacked us -- uma omar is the top of the mountain. there are important distinctions. this is the group that harbor al qaeda in afghanistan to attack us. after 9/11, if you had said to people that we would be negotiating with the taliban so that we could leave afghanistan, they would be shocked. >> the model that is most often
used when they talk about reconciliation and these kinds of talks, for example, in northern ireland, the argument is that is the talks that ended at brokering the peace. it may be breaking down as we speak. but it is often held up as the example of how you reconcile positions and people and put them together in some sort of way that you can have peace in the end. there's a lot more available from the british archives now that shows that the reason why the ira conceded to talk was precisely because they were beaten on the battlefield. why it was to the point where they had no alternative and they knew they had no alternative. we're nowhere near that in afghanistan. it does not mean it cannot be getting to the very top of the
taliban would drive the insurgency. until we are further along on the ground militarily, talks are pointless. >> two more things. one was about nato. there were interesting to for its -- there were interesting viewpoint with nato. he said, "if you're not willing to go to war with a war mentality, do not go." that is pretty tough. [laughter] >> in the time that we handed things ever to nato, afghanistan was not in such a bad situation. a lot of other countries moved into afghanistan, like the germans, and it was in a peacekeeping role. they were not prepared for what happened.
i would suggest that the holding action that the senator talk about, when we were busy in iraq, would not have been possible without the tens of thousands of allied troops there. could they have done more? yes. wasn't critical -- was it critical for us to make progress at the time? yes. absolutely. >> all the criticism of the administration, we turned down data support. we wanted to go it alone. then all of a sudden, we turned to nato and said, we wanted you to fight. they did not have the capability at the time. they did not have the debility a few years later. but then we'd be criticized for being unilateral. >> on iraq best first strategy is probably -- an iraq-first
strategy is probably the better strategy. the germans were fighting, but there were not prepared and there was no reasonable germanation that the bundy si guard would be taking the territory. to blame nato -- it is not like we are not part of nato, for crying out loud. >> we also wound up having several parts of terrible terrain. the british and the canadians, to their credit, they did not have the capabilities, but they
moved to tried to build up those capabilities. the canadiens went from being a force that was not particularly useful in military affairs to being a real military force. >> our posture in kandahar, it was like we had it heavily occupied and turnover rates stabilize region. >> the last thing, i wanted to talk about this and we have not done enough talking about it today. the senator asserted that have the problem in afghanistan is corruption. i know this is a huge issue, especially in "the washington post" and "the new york times." is there corruption in afghanistan? you know where that ends. there is no question about that. is it half a problem? is it as big a part of the
problem that is made up to be? or is this a pretext? i didn't think it is a pretax from the senator. i know he wants a serious and solid country. you guys are not standing up and we're fighting for you and you guys stink and we're leaving. am i wrong? [laughter] >> yes. but what is the fundamental issue? who has the control of the means and violence? the number one complaint of afghans is there room corruption. >> there is not just one complaint. there are nigerians and somalis and people in chicago. [laughter] >> yes, but makes it -- but what makes it different is the
localism immerses a top-down national approach. the hemline goes up and down according to the section or the season. but there is a question about what you can get with a gun at your back in afghanistan. the ability of the taliban is not simply to decide who gets the gun, but to slit the throats of those who disagree with the decision. that is a critical factor. >> the problem i have is that it very much challenges the legitimacy of a duly elected government. a. it may not be perfect -- it may not be a perfect election set of happened, but karzai has been elected twice.
having this cements focus on corruption fix with the legitimacy -- having this immense focus on corruption takes away the legitimacy of that government. we told carsick, we want you to be -- we told karzai, we want you to have a national government. if you are going to tie a government together, the old fashion way is through corruption. we built the scheme that karzai is exploiting and now we want him to back away from it. that may be reasonable to do, but we should not be so shocked that this is the situation we find ourselves in. >> one good part of the conversation was the notable absence of national security discussion in our body politic. we are about to have a midterm election. there could be a potential change in the reins of the house
of representatives, maybe the senate. it will be a real challenge to see whether a different party is going to set up -- going to step up on this issue and see if they have some ideas and enough leadership to end of those things we talked about today. that will be the challenge for them over the next two years. thank you for sticking around. i am very grateful to you. [laughter] if you like it or you did not like it, i would like to hear any mail. i'm always interested in the opinions of our audience, c-span included. thank you all very much. thank you to my college for doing this. goodbye. [applause]
senator lindsey graham. on "washington journal," todd mccracken will take your calls about the small business bill passed by the senate last week. we will discuss public transportation with william millar. and we will be joined by dr. michael houston. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> i really underestimated how big the job was. i had been the republican minority whip. so i jumped from minority whip to speaker overnight and from a minority party that nobody thought would be in power to leading a wave, the biggest one
party increase in history. >> the state of american politics today and a possible 2012 presidential bid, sunday on c-span. a look at u.s. policy in afghanistan with a veteran of the iraq and afghanistan wars and a former civilian adviser to general stanley mcchrystal when he was afghanistan cmdr. this was posted by the indiana council on world affairs. is about an hour and 15 minutes.
i will start my presentation with a couple of caveat. that is a fancy latin phrase meaning "is ok if you fall asleep during this boring speech." i broke my fibula a few weeks ago playing rugby for my beloved boston irish football club. that should cause you immediately to doubt my sanity, continuing to play competitive athletics north of the age of 30. the second caveat is that i am not -- i will be speaking on the war of afghanistan today, but i want to be clear that i am not myself and afghanistan expert. my only claim to fame is that i regrettably told a local paper
that i am from east tennessee, so i am an expert on los -- on lawless mountainous -- [laughter] what i will do, let me just outline what i hope to do here tonight. i hope to send some ridiculously crazy things and then you can all ask questions. they said no personal statements. biome is, if you want to impugn my integrity or my intelligence, this tends to be the most interesting comment. it is probably -- "obama's war" would have been a better title for this speech. in some cases, i was an informed external observer of this policy
development, the same as any of you. in some cases, i get to see it up close. i will and by talking a little bit about where i see the policy going forward. it is true that i was once a civilian under general stanley mcchrystal. are there any reporters from "rolling stone" here tonight? [laughter] know? fantastic. let me start out with the events of 2009. interestingly enough, if you start before that, in november 2008 or october 2008, we knew there would be a new president, obviously. we did not know it would be the current occupant of the white house or senator john mccain. however, the situation in afghanistan, quite unlike the situation in iraq where we have
seen levels of ethanol-sectarian violence plummet, the situation in afghanistan was worsening. so the president took the proactive view to colin members of the obama and mccain campaigns to explain to them exactly what they're getting too. the message was this. i deny care which one of you guys comes into office in general -- i do not care which one of you guys comes into office in january, but you will not have time to think about what you will do in afghanistan because the ball is already rolling. the situation is not good. that having been said, when the obama administration took office in january, they very wisely took a step back and thought about the conflict and, in a lot of ways, the february-march review that happened at the beginning of the obama administration set the tone for the obama administration's
stance on afghanistan. by the wycombe lifecycle is chair up and sit down at any point, it is not because -- by the way, if i pull up this chair and sit down at any point, it is not because i am week. i just may fall down. war takes place at four different levels, the political, strategic, operational, and the possible. my experience on the ground, up until this point, had been exclusively limited to lead tactical and someone to the operational. in the march review, the president decided that the court views of afghanistan were "to disrupt, dismantle, and the ft al qaeda and it's safe havens in pakistan and prevent their
return to pakistan or afghanistan." that lists his articulation of what the u.s. interests are and what our policy is. the way it is supposed to work is that you set a policy. you create strategic goals. you figure out how you will operational as those goals. you look at what resources might be necessary and then the tactics are how it's let me get things done on the ground. at the same time that the president did this, he set out the following five strategic goals. first, disrupting terrorist networks in afghanistan and pakistan to degrade any ability they have to plan and want to international terrorist attacks. i reading verbatim. no. 2, promoting a more capable, campbell, and effective government in afghanistan that serves the afghan -- capable,
accountable, and effective government in afghanistan that serves the afghan people. 3, developing an increasingly self-reliant afghan forces. four, assisting efforts for stable constitutional government in afghanistan in in in a vibrant economy. so that is no small task. basically, what we arrived at is that the president has a pretty limited political objective to disrupt, dismantle al qaeda, but it pretty maximalist strategic goals. he had no idea how to do this and there was not the
conference to that the general in afghanistan would be -- he was not a varsity team, to speak. i'm sorry. i am getting week. they approached in general mechanics with general stanley mcchrystal. -- they approached general cearnin with general stanley mcchrystal. he is a tremendously intelligent man. he said, figure out what is going on in afghanistan and tell me what you need. so general mcchrystal gets the best and the brightest to look at the conflict in afghanistan during the summer of 2009 and arrived at his strategic
assessment of how he thinks the war is going + 7 a resource request to the president. it -- plus submit a research request to the president. obviously, the resource request is all anybody really cared about. we ended up working on the strategic assessment, going to afghanistan, looking at how the war was going. the translation was not very well. we saw a resurgence hakani network and a caliban growing in the streets. we saw threatened population centers. what was scary was not so much what we did know, but what we did not know. but media of this. we had been in afghanistan for eight years.
nonetheless, the way we thought about our conflict environment and jeremy in the back to talk about this to lead to greater degree, for the average your officer, i it was not terribly complex. it lasted military intelligence officer to tell me about the taliban in your areas operations, i could get a pretty good answer. size, composition, the most likely course of action. these are all questions that a military officer can answer to a think tank geek like me. but if i ask a different question.
example, that i think that the predatory nature of the afghan government itself is as great a threat to mission's success as anything that the taliban does or fails to do, who once and water in this area? who are the local power brokers? so i get a few names. who are they related to? who are at -- what are their ties to the insurgency? who are there and business interests? who did they have lunch with yesterday's? again, you get a blank expression. we look at the red and actors, but not the white actors, the so-called neutral actors. you assume that with the host nation government does are for us to do is just as important as what the enemy does.
i would be happy to talk a little bit more about that later on. so the scary part was not what we knew, but how little we knew. tell me about what is happening in the city of kandahar. i was like getting many answers. we were especially bad here in the united states. we think of the conflict in afghanistan like baseball season. it starts in april and then somewhere in october or november. but that is not the case. first off, the war is never known conn -- never -- kinetic -- never nonkinetic. they are doing intimidation to
the local population. insurgencies are like staircases. at the top, you have your hard- core insurgents. below them, you have your enablers, your bond makers and what not. then you have your second tier enablers. then you have the neutral population. below that, you have the military population. good counterinsurgency tactics combined with the fact local governments and really good intelligence work can isolate those top tier insurgents at the top of the staircase and everybody moves down. the problem is that we had no idea what was really going on in
canada are -- in kandahar. that was a big alarm. there was a very vigorous and critique of our intelligence work in afghanistan last january raising these same questions. the disturbing thing was that he was there for eight years and we do not know that much more about the people of afghanistan or that much more about the power brokers than we did when we first went into afghanistan in 2002. we wrote this really gloomy report and we did not count on bob woodward publishing it in "the washington post." but he did. this change to the debate in
afghanistan in the united states to a degree, combined with some other unfortunate news. the afghan presidential election in august-september 2009. those two events contributed to the white house reviewing or going back over their strategy for afghanistan. whenever you do a strategic plan, used her with a list of planning assumptions. if any of the internet to be wrong -- when every do a strategic plan, you start out with a list of planning assumptions. if any of them turn out to be wrong, then you have a problem. they looked at the afghan presidential election and started rethinking whether or not we had a credible partner that we could work with, by, and threw in afghanistan. if you look at the way we
americans look at counterinsurgency, we are a lot from the british and different experiences of the 20th-century. -- the british and french experiences of the 20th-century. the british and northern -- the british in northern ireland, they thought they were in their own turf. by the same token, the french in algeria, the french considered algeria part of metropolitan france. it was non-negotiable. when the conflict began, algeria was a part of france. that was not from the perspective of the fln. that informed the way they thought about the conflict. you kind of assume that your interests will line up with the host government.
that is the with the united states typically thinks about counterinsurgency. that is not the way we actually fight it. we are fighting as third parties to a conflict. we are fighting on behalf of another, -- on behalf of another government. our interests will not necessarily line with the host nation government. we do not think about what happens if the host nation government tends to be predatory to its people. sometimes we think, look, the karzai government, it has images to me crisis. we knew they were fighting an insurgency. you probably have illegitimacy crisis to begin with.
the obama administration went back and look at all of their assumptions. they look at the polls again throughout this very long and tedious process in october and november 2009 as they tried to decide if they would put more troops into afghanistan. the president was asking some very good questions. it was not, like, about what to do not think if i can win if we put more troops and." they actually asked related questions.
what of the chances that we will have some movement visa vie the safe havens in pakistan? the president would not commit an additional 30,000 troops if we do not think that we would have any help from the pakistanis and your general on the ground says that we cannot be successful if we do not. the core goal must be too distraught, this mammal, and prevent -- this -- the core will must be to disrupt, dismantle,
and -- so you have the same ends, but less ambitious means. they had too little time to waste the kind of counterinsurgency campaign described in u.s. military doctrine. president obama called for a military strategy that would kill their momentum. in addition, he pledged to work with our partners, the united nations, and the afghan people so that the government could take advantage of improved security. then the president agreed to work with insurgent groups. in total, president obama called
"a military effort -- an effective partnership with pakistan. i would argue -- i am not sure that the military saw it this way -- but i would argue that the president in his december speech basically called a counterinsurgency in afghanistan. it would be time and resource- intensive. it would being that's taking -- it would be aimed at taking place in a variety of locations. i think the president basically said we do not have enough time to do all that. you have 18 months to break up the momentum and build up afghan capacity.
i think that what the president did was basically say that we're moving toward the transition. what we see in iraq right now -- and this is foreshadowing what i really want to talk about at the end -- what we see there is transitioning to something other than counter insurgency. 2009 turned into 2010. there was an unfortunate profile of general mcchrystal in " rolling stone magazine." i was interviewed for that magazine but i was not quoted in that magazine and that was public because it did not say something they wanted to hear. in eastern afghanistan, we might have seen a bear progress. if i were to look for the one bright spot in the u.s.-led effort in afghanistan over 2010, it would be in training the afghan national security forces. this will shock some of you
because you would think that, when we engage in this type of large-scale military operation, he wore, that we take some time to train host nation security forces. we really need to get serious about that in afghanistan. until about 24 months ago, we did not get serious about it and tell general called well took over the nato -- about it until general caldwell took over the nato forces. one thing we took for granted in iraq is that you have iraqi people who were the most educated in the arabic-speaking world in the 1960's and the 1970's. you do not have to look far to build a class of commissioned
officers to rebuild the iraqi army. that is not the case with afghanistan. the key barrier is literacy. there is no shortcut to teaching people to read so they can be officers in the afghan national army. that is a significant roadblock. moving into the fall review, i will close by just telling you, in general, where i think this debate is headed and then i will allow you to throw darts at me. for the most part, the policy debate in washington concerning afghanistan is taking place in a very narrow band. there are calls for the united states to completely rethink our mission in afghanistan, to completely rethink our interests. we have been there for nine years. you probably have read that we have a bit of a budget problem in washington.
and we have invested too much time and resources and treasure in afghanistan and we should think about immediately withdrawing our soldiers and trying to -- then you got to go all in and commit 400,000 troops into afghanistan and flood the zone, so to speak and do counterinsurgency. our defense spending is not that high historic plea. i do not think that either of those choices carry much traction in washington. the path of least resistance is a much more narrow band. i think that the key question is talking about what the president outlined in december. a transition to the afghan forces and the afghan people,
transitioning the fight to them. how much time and space to we need to create in order to do that? how much time and space, how many troops do we need to leave and afghanistan before we have an afghan institution that we can fight through. if you are looking at where the president wants to get, i think a good example is iraq. this is the first time that iraq has been held up as a success story. we would love for afghanistan to look a lot like iraq. were the transition from this counterinsurgency campaign to something that looks a lot more like a limited counter-terror component. that is what everyone wants to get to. general petraeus, president obama, secretary gates, including the governments of our key western allies.
the real debate is how much longer do we need to keep track levels in afghanistan as high as they are in order to keep that in place? >> i will leave that right there. i talked mostly about afghanistan at the political level. i have not fought in afghanistan for six years. i am not sure how well i can answer questions on the tactical and operational level, but i will be happy to answer some fact going operational questions. i am not shy about telling you guys about lee -- leaving the army and going to the arab speaking world and building up -- i knew what i did not know. i knew how ignore i was about the language of the people and the cultures. i had no problem reaching for
help from the real afghan experts. i have no problem telling you that i don't know what i am talking about. if you hear that from me, please to not be offended. -- do not be offended. i will turn it over to you. [applause] >> sir, from what you said, it sounds very much to me as if the ability to start withdrawing forces in july of 2011, even with a minimal kind of program for the future of building security is unrealistic. is that your opinion or do you care to express your opinion on that? >> shura. -- sure.
i think that we can begin with role, but that is the key question. what is the pace and depth of that withdrawal? what does it look like? the vice-president said we would talk about withdrawal. but then he had to walk that back because the president wants to keep his options open. that is where the debate is corn to be. it is going to be after june 2011, how quickly can you begin the withdrawal? maybe it is not the u.s. troops to go home first. maybe it is the dutch or the canadians. some of the allies have not distinguished themselves on the field. if you look at the canadians, they have suffered combat
casualties in greater proportion than ours. i think that the dutch have also suffered quite heavily. those armies are looking to leave afghanistan. they may be the first to leave. that doesn't really answer your question, but it reiterates where i left things. that is the key question the policymakers will be asking. how quickly can metrist -- can we transition? about a year ago, the generals on the ground saw all the risks involved. they are the ones that will say that we have to go slow. the politicians are thinking about larger strategic issues, for example, our mighty military has been tied up in a land war in central asia for nine years.
is that the wisest way to use american power? maybe not. they will think about those larger questions. it is all about the assumption of risk. how much can you assume and how much faith you have end nato to deliver a product? thank you for your question. >> thank you for your talk. i am a retired marine. it is generally agreed that when you go into a situation like this, that you need a strong central government to partner with. we do not have that in afghanistan. another way that afghanistan is different than iraq is the war lords attrition. to what extent do you think that the warlords will play a role as we develop local security forces? >> that is a great question for the thinking man for your service-that is a great -- that
is a great question. it thank you, ma'am, for your service. in the fall of 2001, many of our western allies and the afghans themselves were at a conference in december and thought that it would be a good idea for afghanistan to have a strong centralized government. never mind the fact that we do not have a strong centralized government. never mind that afghanistan has never had a strong centralized government. never mind that it doesn't make sense for afghanistan to have a centralized government. it just does not make sense,
especially within the context of afghanistan is history. the problem is, in iraq, iraq did not get its sovereignty from us until january 2009 when we signed an agreement. afghanistan has had their sovereignty for a long time. away from war lords, -- away from more words -- warlords, they have always relied on centralized decision making and .ocal police herde that is not exclusively warlords.
when we look at options for a better way to go in afghanistan, whether it makes more sense to diversify its ability to the local and district levels, will run up against the afghan constitution. -- we will run up against the afghan constitution. if we push toward decentralization, a realistic move would be to press for elections at the district level. we have to mitigate the risks. we have to use our leverage. president rsi has been much more widely -- much more sneaky. the problem is, we run against the sovereign state and its constitution.
>> of the security piece of it, can that be the centralized with local security troops? >> yes ma'am. we have built a pretty strong national army that is an even in performance -- that is uneven in performance. for the most part, the afghan national army is ok. it we have the afghan national police, and whether it is a good idea to have a national police is debatable. in certain areas of afghanistan, like in iraq, we have concerned local citizens and we have the sons of iraq and you could also call the militias. you could also call the games. ngs. gangs -- called them gain
whether you're talking about the east or the west, they do exist. there are alternatives rooted within afghan culture and experience that will allow options for decentralized local security. believe me, man, we're looking at them as hard as possible. thank you for your question. >> bob crosby, retired army. it seems that you described an unstable government with an interest in the united states
pulling our forces out. the need for training of the local forces reminds me of the situation back in the mid-1970s. this solution them was vietnam ization. that did not work because congress cut of resources flowing to south vietnam. do you see us moving down the road toward the same situation, given the liberal congress that we currently have and the level of administration. will the money and resources that are promised to go into pulling out troops because of and the afghans be left to their own devices? what's that is certainly what the afghans fear. -- >> that is certainly what the
afghans fear. there is a need, -- vast majorities of our contributing nations feel that way. the president felt the need to reassure them and remind the afghan government that we will always be there. he brought in this 18 month time line. there is a flip side to that equation. if we are going to do that, you also need to make very clear to the taliban and, to pakistan, and to the afghan people themselves that our troop presence may go up and down. our monetary contributions may go up and down, but our commitment to afghanistan is
entering a period of the afghan people have to make a choice in this war as far as which institution they will support. they think that our commitment to afghanistan will be interim, they are more likely to commit to working with and in the afghan government. if, however, they think that we are not there, in pakistan and afghanistan, they thought we were leaving in 18 months. everyone knew that that was not the case, but that was the way it was received. that was a very poor strategic communication on our part. i think that the president is in a better position. the president has been remarkably clear about his policy towards afghanistan and pakistan. even though he has taken time,
he has been remarkably steadfast. he was very clear from the beginning that the one option we are not doing is leaving. he does have problems within his own party, but the republican party is behind that and is not like his own party is going to choose somebody else in 2012. i think that he is in a pretty strong position. if we do and afghanization -- that is an awful word that i just made up. i think that there will be a lot
more patience and a lot more willingness to support that. the president has some strong republican allies and he has some strong democratic allies. that is probably going to get me in trouble. >> the president mentioned the taliban. what is the difference between the taliban and al qaeda today and is the white house willing to concede it afghanistan to the taliban and if we can slow down al qaeda? >> good question. this is something that is often asked. -- theay the caliban
taliban comeback. we run the risk of the same thing that happened in 2001. you'll hear a lot of rational actor theorists. if you have been studying what has been taking place within the caliban and al qaeda since 2001, they are closer, not far apart. there was a cleavage after 2001, but since then, the two groups have grown more together. some of the old guard would be more likely to strike a deal karzai group. that is the danger of that.
if we could be reasonably assured that if the taliban was in charge in afghanistan, al qaeda would not have a safe haven to strike the united states or al qaeda would not be able to claim victory, with all due respect, we probably will opt for that. but we cannot assure that. quite frankly, the relationship between al qaeda and the caliban has grown closer, not far apart. sir, you waited patiently. >> i am former army. he kind of preemptive my question. i was wondering what the incentives are for educated
afghans to come back to the country? >> these are great questions. can i ask you a question for what? worded to serve? -- when did you serve? 2002-2003. >> those are very good questions. with respect to the first question, i do not think that we have asked tough questions as far as what afghanistan would look like if we left. if the united states could leave afghanistan and the interests that the president articulated in march 2009 and december 2009 are met, girls can go to school.
but women are forced to wear a gurkha -- dave burkha. we would like to think that we would take that deal and run with it. the bottom line is i don't think we can even ask that question until you hear the secretary of state say we are not going to leave afghanistan when women's rights are trampled. really? i am not sure. what is our relationship with saudi arabia these days? that is a good question and i do not think that we have had that conversation within the united states. about when push comes to shove. that is a tough, tough question.
one which i don't feel compelled to answer. the other question is equally as good. i worked with a general that was a commander in afghanistan between 2003 and 2005. the general talk about afghanistan as being an hourglass. up here, he had all the money in the world and all this aid and development and foreign assistance that was begging to be sent to afghanistan. down here, he had 30 million afghans. here he had all the bureaucrats that all the money was supposed to flow through. the incentives are not there. we have afghan doctors in afghanistan who are not
practicing medicine because it makes more money to drive around and speak english. they cannot make a living wage and not be corrupt. they can make more money elsewhere. there is nothing wrong with boastful, but all of that money that is flowing into afghanistan has distorted the economy and distorted the incentives for afghans to work in what we would see as critical fields. this is actually something i was biting back and forth-writing -- writing back and forth to a friend.
i am worried about afghans that are in afghanistan and getting them to join the national army. if they speak english, french or any other language, but are not going to be working in the ministry. they will work for one of the ngo facilities. there want to work for our government to rea. >> i am a retired marine. i believe in history, but i do not believe that it can be forced. neither iran or afghanistan has ever been successfully overtaken. afghanistan simply hasn't been because of the warlords. iran has absorbed them.
iran has been around since the beginning of history. i am wondering if president anda's ideas of diplomacy his ideas of counterinsurgency aren't pretty badly confused. you cannot pull out if you're involved in the middle of the counterinsurgency and start dealing diplomatically with people who know that when you leave, there are born to rule the country iran -- ruled the country. iran is funding has a lot -- hamas.ah and al qaeda and mos
all these people you're talking about, there will be a bloodbath this letter was in vietnam, in my opinion. -- just like there was in vietnam. that is my opinion. to build a little bit into middle eastern history, iraq is not a longstanding nation state. that came along after the first world war. if you were too light of the middle east by linguistics and trade connections, there but is more similar to other areas -- arabic is more similar to other areas. the middle east might look a little bit differently if someone had not korbut the
middle east. -- had not carved up the middle east. afghanistan is the blessed expand ship -- is the blessed -- blessed exception. afghanistan is a nation. it is a piece of itself. afghanistan is an exception in asia in the 20th-century. i think that afghanistan can still be a nation state. it looks a lot different as a state than the way that we have ranged it. i do not think that it is a workable model. i think it is ultimately condemned to more violence and bloodshed going forward.
i was on a flight from iraq and i was finishing a book about the tension between tribes states in islam and afghanistan. i am reading the last chapter and it says the fundamental problem with afghanistan is afghanistan itself. the introduction of the nation's they trying to impose a government structure on this region, that is at the heart and root of the stability because it throws off the delicate balance that has kept attention to of the 19th and 20th century. i think that afghanistan is a nation and can be a piece of itself. it probably looks a lot different as a state.
>> there are a lot of regional powers and pakistan, obviously. -- in pakistan, obviously. i would like to hear your views as to how these countries are influenced by u.s. policy and whether russia and china have an interest in keeping the united states tied down in afghanistan? >> i hate you, this is my research plan for the entire year.
let's go country by country. first off, i do not think that this administration has figured out what it wants to do with its relations with india. the bush to administration was pretty clear about how we would approach india. we would strike deals with india and not worry about all of these issue by issue problems that we have with india. we are harnessing ourselves to india. we're not at war. i am not sure what the obama administration is doing. i think that the best thing that we can do in relation to india is to have a successful outcome in afghanistan. with pakistan, i think that the
have a pretty radical strategy and thought process since 2005 and 2006. they say that the united states and its allies will not be in afghanistan for ever. -- forever. does it make sense to plan for the day after the united states and its allies leave afghanistan? i do not think they would we think that fundamental that that they have made. et that they have made. but, you have an entire pakistan
and officer corps that remembers the former agreement with the united states cut all ties to the pakistanis and refused to sell them the f-16s that we promised them. we are dealing with a poisoned chalice. you cannot fix that type of relationship over night. with respect to iran, so for the iranians have been a malign influence in afghanistan and they have an influence in keeping us tied down of there. they do not have an interest in a radical fundamentalist government coming to power in afghanistan. as long as they are bleeding a strike, fantastic. -- bleeding us dry, fantastic.
we saw some limited anti- aircraft capabilities in iraq and you start seeing a blatant iranian hand in the weapons that were killing american soldiers in iraq in in 2005, 2006, and 2007. in afghanistan, you don't see any of those weapons systems. if you did, it it would have a devastating effect on the spanish and italians. they would be out the door and all the next flight back to rome and madrid. you have not seen that. i do not think the iranians have an interest in us losing, but they have an interest in us using all our resources.
i don't know anything about russia. the same thing with china. i forget who said this. we are fighting the wars in iraq in afghanistan. our future for the blow is in eastern asia. the longer the we stayed bog down in central asia means the water that we fail to divert our resources to where the 20-21st century is headed -- 21st century is headed. don't anybody else ask is the bequest and as that. >> i told you earlier about ask
this question. you told us-what does washington think of him? -- what does washington think of him? >> i would talk about a larger issue which is social services of one of the office has on the stability operations. greg makes a persuasive case that if you were to transfer a society, to teach girls how to read. if you teach girls how to read, entire villages learn how to read and birth rates plummet and prosperity goes up. the stuff that greg has done in afghanistan and pakistan is true the lord's work. it is some fantastic stuff. i had an opportunity to sit down
with them and have a few cups of tea in kabul. it was a tremendous privilege. let me use this to transition to a bigger question. we have been able to determine pretty clearly that viola non- state actors, whether you are talking about hamas or the taliban, they get the advantage of providing social services to the population. if they are picking up the garbage and providing schools and hospitals, then they get advantage because-they get an advantage on the battlefield, too. in any type of conflict or fire fight, you have a fight or flee option. your mother's -- you are much more likely to flee if your
mother and father and wife and kids are getting their resources. will the government be able to provide social services to the degree that the group that i am fighting with has been able to? the problem is that we have not been able to determine that the counter insurgent force -- counter-insurgent force gives a similar level of services to the population. for example, in iraq, you're not able to determine that any of that aid and development money that we were spending had an effect on lowering that. in afghanistan, all of that foreign aid and development
money going into of guinness then, is its -- into afghanistan, is reducing poverty? -- is it reducing poverty? yes. does it do the things that aid and development is supposed to do? does it succeed in addressing conflict and lowering violence? the answer to the first question in afghanistan is yes, and the answer to the the second question is no. it has corrected the environment to the degree that we have all this money that is creating perverse incentives and is further destabilizing the conflict in afghanistan. i would point you towards researchers like andrew wilder. >> you mentioned pakistan a
little bit. i wanted a little bit more of a question on that. pakistan seems to be dividing the caliban -- taliban. the other groups is putting us. we are pouring a lot of aid into a afghanistan for the foreseeable future. what is your opinion? is it doing us any good? >> that is a great question. i am not a professional on at pakistan. that may explain the love/hate relationship i have with the
pakistanis. i did give money to flood relief in pakistan and you should all do the same if you have a few blocks -- a few bucks lying around. i do not have regular access to classified reformation, so i cannot -- you and i are working from the same basic knowledge from what we read in the newspapers and from the think tank reports. i think what you describe is correct. helping pakistan defeat at the pakistani taliban, pakistan has nuclear weapons. our interests and there are much greater than in afghanistan, but with respect -- it doesn't appear to me that we have been
able to crack the code on how to get the pakistanis to change their methods. i am not talking about the pakistani taliban. we are talking about the guys that are trying to do is stabilize -- trying to destabilize the government in kabul. >> my name is jeremy jones, united states air force. when i was in afghanistan, i was on the tactical level and the operational level. we all know that obama ordered a strategic and political review of military strategy. did he order the same review of the civilian strategy? >> this is exactly what i called
for in an article. we did a good jump looking at our military strategy. let's leave aside all the problems of a development and how it might be destabilizing afghanistan further. politically, i think we have gotten -- i do not know if the president actually did this or if everyone realized there was a problem when we arrived at the proper solution. if you are karzai, i am talking publicly, if you look at that dynamics that i described, we have to think about where our interests do not align and we
use our leverage over the afghans. there is some give-and-take. would we ask karzai - we are not in a position to do that. you have general petraeus but never met with an iraqi official policy had ambassador ryan crocker right there with him. he is the unsung hero of the surge in 2000 he wrote. he is a constant diplomat and he speaks fluent arabic. he is one of the real heroes and there is that close interaction.
in 2005, we were complaining about afghanistan. now we are complaining about afghanistan. what we were able to do was to get a partnership in iraq in 2007. afghanistan, not the case. there were leaked memos from the embassy in kabul that our ambassador had his own idea about what would work and would not work in afghanistan and he did not think the counterinsurgency strategy would work. they had a problem. for a couple of reasons, they did not see eye to eye with the u.s. commander. the commanders are now the nato
commanders and they do not answer to the u.s. ambassador. it is a coalition warfare with all the problems that it entails. there was the u.k. advisor -- ambassador to kabul. but i do not think that we really thought through -- if we think that we could do this politically and operationally, how we organize our team to use a little leverage? adding the other team, we need
a coordinator to coordinate afghanistan and pakistan policy. if you're one to be an on board, you probably need to be in the region. you cannot just me with one guy. you have to sit down and get to know somebody and have launched multiple times. after you establish a relationship of trust, then you can discreetly moved on to issues where power is used -- where our interests are not aligned. i suggested last may that we have campaign design and campaign planning for it campaign designed tells us how to approach the problem. -- and campaign planning.
campaign design and tells us how to approach the problem. >> we hear a lot about the opium growing in the opium economy and how it supports the afghan war effort and so forth. what do we do about that? >> wright, a counter-narcotics, go. how long do you want to be in afghanistan? is afghanistan the 51st state or is it some place we are trying to leave. less look at a province wrote quick. there is a reporter that i like named tom coughlin who writes for the "times" of london. it is kind of like a three- dimensional chess board, three
chessboards stacked on top of one another. on the first chessboard, you have the government of afghanistan against the insurgents. on the second chessboard, you have entered-tribal rivalry. there is no surprise that some of the senior leadership comes from the major tribe. you have those injured-tribal rivalries -- inter tribal rivalries. it afghanistan was born to be the 51st state, if we will stay afghanistan forever, it makes all of the sense in the world to tackle corruption. send patrick fitzgerald out there to tackle corruption. who is our drugs czar?
let's take on the narcotics trade. let's go after them. trying tot what we're do in afghanistan we are trying to transition to a mission in afghanistan. in that context, they say that the insurgents the a lot of money from the drug trade, but so do some of our allies. so do people in the afghan parliament. it is terribly complicated. having said that, you can see where my own biases are. we should be very humble about what we think that we can achieve, which we have not been the best at being.
others want to thank you for some fantastic questions. that was great. i think i just embarrassed myself all over c-span. i will probably listen to myself and say that i cannot believe that i said that. it was a pleasure to be with here tonight. thank you so much. [applause] >> in a few moments, president obama campaigns for joe sestak. then a forum on counter- terrorism strategies with center winds the gramm. after that, we will be air the comments on afghanistan policy.
>> a couple of live of vance to tell you about tomorrow morning. the senate impeachment trial of louisiana district court judge thomas porter is continues on c- span freak. -- >> the c-span network, we cover public affairs and american history. it is all available to you on television, radio, online and on social media network sites. fight our content any time through the video library to rid of we take c-span on the road with our bus and our local content vehicle. it is washington, your way. it is now available in more than 100 million homes, created by cable and provided as a public service. >> president obama can paid
>> i am new to politics, but i get it. seven days before the iowa caucus. a young senator from illinois in a speech -- made a speech. the moment is now to heal a nation, to repair the world. it resonated with me bar. i remember being on the ground in afghanistan for a short mission. looking out the window of a farmhouse, i thought the we did not have to be there. what the streets and think about healing a nation that that senator talked about, a failed education system for our children where 28% black young
men graduate. i went to a church mosque, a temple or synagogue every weekend. it is a great job. you can buy yourself anywhere. [laughter] i learned a jewish term, it means to repair that world. but there is another story that i heard in one of those congregations that speaks about the man i am about to introduce. i heard this about a man from the land of israel, several centuries ago that went to a foreign nation. when he was there, he was arrested as a spy, sentenced to hang. he asked the judge if he could
go home one last time and hug his spells goodbye and he would come back to the hon. he said that if i do not return, my best friend will remain in jail and he will hang instead. the key chuckled and said that he had to see this. the man but his family good-bye and came back, and he would have been there on time, but there was a storm. when he got there they were just about to hang his friend. he said that he was the one to be hung. his friend said know that he was the one to be hung. the king heard this and demanded that they come before him. i listened to them argue and finally said stop.
the king said he would forgive them both if he would make -- if the two of them would make him their third friend. it is a friendship among shipmates that helps serve this country. what am i proud to introduce this warrior next to me that truly is the leader in that mission? [applause] >> in that mission, he came
alone. i honestly do believe that that is what this election is about is about the state -- whether you have been a community organizer or the president of the united states, i am about to introduce to you our third friend. i am proud to introduce the president of united states, barack obama. [applause] >> hello, philadelphia! [applause] thank you. thank you. thank you so much. thank you, everybody. it is good to be back in philly.
[applause] first of all, i noticed everybody is in a better mood after the game yesterday. [laughter] the bears did well, too, i just want to point out -- [laughter] -- 2-0. but congratulations on the eagles. you guys got a win. [laughter] it's also good to be back in philly because i had to stop by the reading terminal market. [laughter and applause] got a couple of cheese steaks -- [laughter] -- that are waiting for me back there, so -- [laughter] -- but i didn't want to keep you all waiting. i also bought some apples so that michelle would feel like i was eating healthy. [laughter]
i've got some great friends who are here. i know the governor ed rendell had to leave, but give him a big round of applause, because he's doing outstanding work. [applause] in the audience, we've got one of my favorite people. as excellent a person as he is a public servant, senator bob casey is in the house. [applause] your outstanding member of congress, bob brady, is here. [applause] your mayor, michael nutter is here. [applause] and i want to thank pat croce. we were talking a little bit about the bulls and the 76ers, and i like our chances. [laughter]
but no, i've been a big admirer of pat. he just exudes enthusiasm about everything he does, and that's part of what i'm going to be talking about today: enthusiasm -- having that spirit, even when things are tough, that pushes through to the victory line. now, it is great to be back in pennsylvania because the main reason i'm here is to stand beside your next united states senator joe sestak. [applause] audience: joe! joe! joe! joe! the president: joe! joe! joe! joe! joe! [applause] and joe is right. in me, he's got a friend. and i'm not the only one. look, this is a friendly crowd. [laughter] everybody here loves joe. everybody here loves joe.