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tv   Washington Journal James Jeffrey Discusses the Future of Iraq  CSPAN  July 16, 2017 3:41pm-4:13pm EDT

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his bill to upgrade technology at federal agencies, his opinion of u.s. cyber defenses and his proposal for a national guard. >> the idea with cyber national guard is if you are in high school and you want to go to college and study something around cyber security, we will find you scholarships. when you graduate, you have to work in the internal government. department of interior, or the census bureau. finish that time and federal service, and you work in the private sector, the private sector will loan you back to the government for the proverbial one weekend per month, or 10 days per quarter, where this will improve the cross
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polymerization of ideas between the public and private sector. communicators on c-span2. "washington journal" continues. [laughter] >> "washington journal" continues. host: from 2010 to 2012, joining us less than a week after iraqis foreign minister declared the two in the battle to retake mosul, how significant is this a three in the overall efforts to defeat isis? guest: it is dramaticguest:. as he states, and as an army, it was a decisive battle, still others capital in syria, but i think it will all within weeks. that would mean the end of isis as a political actor in iraq and syria. that is a significant result. host: what constitute victory over isis? guest: the long-term victory is
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the same as what constitutes it movements terrorist in the past. essentially, it is a long-term process to try to shift population, certain groups away from direct or indirect support and to go after the violent manifestation of these movements. there is an active program underway that the entire globe is supporting, against al qaeda and isis, and that is the battle in iraq going forward. host: if the fight against isis with an today, what is the political situation now among the major ethnic groups in iraq, it is common enemy went to it, where would that leave them? guest: that is a crucial question what people are worried about focused on. it is not just iraq. the crisis state was in syria and iraq.
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it was a result of iran moving into the area, as pointed out a new york times, after he went into iraq and arab spring's. syria and iraq at 2013, 2014, putting the sunni population in those countries under pressure and they turned to isis. isis is defeated but iran is still dominant in syria and some degree in iraq. that host: is problem number one for the ministrations. destroy your bird to in new york -- the story you are for to a there is thes, headline to this story, some of the pictures from that large story in today's sunday new york times. it is spread out on our desk this morning.
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we are talking to former u.s. ambassador james jeffrey. if you want to call and join the conversation, democrats, (202)-748-8000. republicans, (202)-748-8001. independents, (202)-748-8002. a special line for iraq veterans, (202)-748-8003. james jeffrey, lessons learned here as we get to perhaps the ored the fight against isis the beginning of the end, lessons learned by the united states and how to conduct these operations, what did we do well, could we have improved? guest: the iraqis deserve the whent for defeating isis isis swept through much of the country in 2014. , afterpresident obama the paris attacks, and then president trump continued to pressure, and it was a wise
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strategy because we used u.s. troops in a support role and allowed local fighters to do most of the fighting and lose most of the casualties. that turned out to work well. to lessons leon and that, first, how do we do the normal reconciliation, reconstruction of devastated areas, triggering of economic growth and those things we have been worried about for a long time? we are not good at that stuff but we have to try. the more important threat is iran will look like a picture in iraq because of iran's influence in iraq and possibly in syria in the months ahead. that is a huge threat in and of itself because of iran's ambitions, the turks, the israelis, but iran will generate another sunni-europe reaction like we have seen with isis if we do not i do it to curb iran using the regional security
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system, which failed in 2013-2014. host: how do we keep isis 2.0 from popping up again? guest: it is a two-step process. first, you have to work on the ground, trying to reconcile religious groups and develop initial support for refugees, reconstruction, and some kind of economic development. the other thing is we have to find a way to balance iran. the best way is to keep our , forcesn the coalition in there, training local forces and negotiating with iranians and supporters of russians. that is what the trunk administration did -- trump administration did in the g20 meeting. that points the way forward. host: we have a special line for iraq veterans, (202)-748-8003.
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mark is calling on that line from exeter, california. go ahead. you are on what former u.s. ambassador james jeffrey. caller: yes, i am sergeant first class mark allen. i was over there and i talked to all my brothers in arms. i taught to the navy, the air force, marine corps, everybody. we all believe we do not belong bureaucracye of the and the governments and the people who stand behind the curtains who create these wars, such as a commonwealth market. not only that, there is a little countryover there, a over by germany, i cannot remember the name, but they are involved -- host: are you more concerned about the iraqi government and their handling or the united states government question mark -- government?
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caller: we all believe we should not be in that region and we should the pulled out of there. if they want to keep fighting, let them keep fighting. host: we have heard that sentiment before at the end. guest: i have heard it a lot, too. at one level, i agree with mark. the hundreds and thousands of troops i was involved in in 2005, and again in 2010, that is not the way to do it. on the other hand, you cannot just walk away from the region. president obama tried that and the result was disastrous. the rise of migrants flooding europe, pushed to some degree. now that the european union and threatened global security. the final thing is even though we are doing better in producing oil, the world needs middle east and oil for economic development. prices have shut down that slope oil and grown the global economy
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in disarray. host: would you advise against the u.s. pullout in 2010 and 2012? guest: i did. president bush agreed in 2008 we would be by the end of 2011. president obama, after we said we should try to keep 5000 troops on, negotiated with the iraqi government and collapsed over legal immunities for soldiers, which is important but it is a shame because if we had stayed on, we could've avoided what happened in 2014. host: do we have to worry about that legal communities issue? guest: it is a technical issue but not now. we are in iraq under a different legal basis now, and we basically can quietly continue with. host: does that have a sunset provision? guest: no. it did in 2008-2011 and it was
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passed by the iraqi parliament, which is complicated. this time, we do not have the iraqis parliament permission but we can stay on that way. the problem is, will iran put pressure on the par minister of iraq to have us leave after isis is defeated? host: is it their government giving us permission to be there? guest: it was actually the a body government in 2014. everybody is happy there on this we are fighting isis and that will take some time. most people will want us to stay to balance iran and they did not like what happened when we left. iran has a lot of leverage to pull and push. host: it is one of those levers and if one is getting a president elected to does not want the united states there, is it as simple as that president wanting to change the terms? guest: that is one risk.
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there will be elections in iraq in 2018. nonetheless, there will be pro-iranian candidates running against him. the problem is there's a lot of work to be done politically by the u.s. government and our friends and allies. host: hugh served in iraq, good morning. caller: good morning. i deployed to northern and southern iraq in 2006 and 2007. between the sunnis and the she is in the kurds, are these people -- the shiites and the kurds, are they going to be able to live under one government or is there going to be in need to push for economy? -- metonymy? -- guest: the other thing is, they see themselves as iraqis create they cheer for the same soccer team, even the kurds and the
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others fly their iraqi flag. the main requisite is we have to ensure that no outside factor is of acutting what efforts conciliation the primary outside actor is iran. that is why i come back to iran. i think it is possible. i think the international -- led by thethe united states and others can keep the country together but it is a gamble, as it always was. host: we have another mark in north carolina, independent. go ahead. caller: thanks. i want to make a couple of comments. i like what the first mark had to say, sometimes it takes a veteran to realize the best things for the world . we should take john lennon's advice, you know that were would be over if we wanted and we would be better off and lets
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following gandhi's footsteps and change the world with nonviolence. you are absolutely right. i spent much of my life in europe, where they adhere to that advice and built a wonderful, peaceful society. it is a model for the rest of the world. we see the same in central and south america by and large, other than the drug trade. the region is primarily peaceful. those things did not happen by themselves. they happened because people like you went out there to protect local people from folks who do not like gandhi. folks who think like adolf hitler. i think you know from the deployment that people like that are still out there. host: on twitter, it says, isis will split into small cells that will perpetuate violence all over the world great how do you keep that from happening? guest: he is rights, just like al qaeda did, and it is a perfect recipe.
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first, you have to protect the homeland and have good immigration controls. you have to have police and intelligence working together and you have to go to some of the sources of support for these movements, financial transfers and such. we have an international effort doing that since 2001. the underlying problems are deep. host: line for democrats, (202)-748-8000. republicans, (202)-748-8001. independents, (202)-748-8002. if you served in iraq and want to join the conversation, (202)-748-8003. independents,r from maryland, good morning. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i am an iraqi. i came to the united states in 2008. my comment is, there is poor education, poverty, a government not trying to give much to the
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people, and how do you expect the people will be sympathizing or empathizing with the government if they do not feel this presenting them? i feel isis was just a movement, a terrorist organization that came to the country that got the synchronization -- got the sympathy of the government. how can you assure no movement will take over the sunni population that feels they do not a voice in the government? guest: thank you for what you did in iraq, thank you for coming and joining us in america. first, you are correct. of ahose are symptoms dysfunctional society and they exist in iraq and our problems. here's what i can tell you from 43 years in the army and foreign service around the world.
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of the nine countries i lived in, only germany did not have those symptoms. most countries in the world have we governments, corruption, groups at each other's throats. usually, it can fix it if you make an effort. i have seen it work and fail in iraq. i am optimistic that there is a chance to succeed. because it is important for our security and the free for it -- free flow oil and to keep people from getting more hands-on nuclear weapons, i think it is worth making a try. host: you talk about fixing it in the immediate future, fixing will be a large task. you can see some of the destruction and efforts to fix it. the photos in this spread by the
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new york times, you can see this photo the destruction in the mosul,und in the city of iraq's second-largest city. you talk about how they plan to do with the humanitarian crisis now, a government in the city so destroyed. u.s., thest, the united nations and countries in the international coalition have been working on this. they have not provided enough orey at to reconstruct mosul deal with refugee problems that i have been surprised how the iraqis and international community have responded to the millions who have fled from crisis. it is ugly. the parts of the city in rubble are the parts in rubble. i have been to destroyed cities. you can take a lot of pictures of devastated buildings but
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there are areas not to the stated, and iraqis have had a lot of experience with this. if the political atmosphere for these people to go back and feel they are not depressed by shia extremists out of baghdad, then i think the sunni-arabs and turks of this region can live in peace. host: some estimate of 750,000 people displaced since it began. do you have confidence the government is more able to do this then passed governments? guest: i think it has more support internationally. you have an extraordinary iraqi ability to rise from the ashes. i have seen that repeatedly in 2004, again in 2010. it will take a lot of cooperation.
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people who700 50,000 , whiched from east mosul is liberated at the end of last year. in that area, normal life is returning in some neighborhoods. slowly but surely there is a possibility if you have political solutions and no violence. those are the two prerequisites. host: about 10 minutes left with james jeffrey -- left james jeffrey. in 2004 and iraq 2005. what was your role? guest: i was number two at the mission and then acting ambassador the last two months. host: now, serves as a distinguished fellow at the washington institute. phone lines, special line for iraq veterans, (202)-748-8003. otherwise, lines as usual, democrats (202)-748-8000. republicans, (202)-748-8001.
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independents, (202)-748-8002. credits of who gets the for taking back iraq, you already said it was the iraqis themselves, but the kurds versus she it -- shiite militias, versus special operations forces, can you talk about how they came together and two to the leading role? guest: the prime minister played a key role working with the president of kurdistan. various oil,ut energy problems and security problems and territorial problems. in addition, the leader of iraqi and much of the world's shia muslims down in southern iraq called for the people to rise up and not to turn on the sunni-arab brothers to the west
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in those areas were isis was growing. that is the combination we are looking to to keep the country from falling under the sway of the iranians because nobody wants to see that. you do have political figures in iraq to build on. that is not the case in syria, and other countries, unfortunately. host: white to make of the human rights watch calling for investigations of the iraqi forces investigating executions of detainees? guest: i'm sure they happened. i'm sure there will be no investigations coming to justice the way we would expect because in a situation like that, in most countries, things like that happen and you try to keep it to minimum but you can never get full justice. host: mike is in georgia,
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independent. go ahead. caller: can you hear me? host: go ahead. with, thisbegin fellow has been in the military all his life and is probably or one for halliburton of the military contractors. host: mike, let me stop you. ambassador jeffrey, will you talk about your background and what you do now question mark guest: he has -- due to? guest: he has a point, i have consulted and been in the military state for 35 years. this is not about my background. i'm not trying to push a view, i express what i see on the ground. caller: it seems to me we go in and destroy this stuff. i am a building contractor, and i have been offered opportunities to go over there,
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but they go in there, they tear it up, and then they get international folks in there, they rebuild this stuff, and it is shoddy, it is built from somewhere outside of their, so the people have no investment in it. it seems to me it is about the almighty dollar. i do notget past that, think there is any hope for us. again, i agree with 80% of the facts you have laid out. you are right about reconstruction, the fact that a dollar rules internationally. my point, however, is in most places in the world, that model has worked. japan, south korea, europe, central and south america, other areas. only in a few areas, and iraq is
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one, has it not. it is a model with flaws that i am not adverse to because i have seen it work in other places. host: chris is an iraq veteran in new jersey. good morning. caller: good morning to the ambassador. i was a helicopter pilots, i 2010a black hawk in iraq, and 2011. i wanted to make the comment that many iraq veterans and people across the country believe that somehow we lost that war. i do not agree with that. when i was flying the ambassador in and out at the embassy, the ambassador would be listening to the conversations on a headset that pilots had about the airspace and different operations going on. i wanted to make the comment that i personally apologize for possibly offending the
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ambassador that the embassy had problems. mr. ambassadors replied to that was, welcome to my embassy, which i thought was strategic to say. across the country, things are pretty competent rain when we arrived and left. the one thing i wanted to say was after president obama had announced we would withdraw in 2012, combat operations cap significantly and the amount of fighting and attacks in places certain cities increased dramatically i wanted to say at the end of the war, leaving, knowing we had done an incredible job and looking at how many successes we had, was really not highlighted throughout the war. there were a lot of bad things going on and things are pretty calm.
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upon the announcement, things changed. wanted to make a point we did a great job, an incredible job managing all the things going on. i do not think it was reflected properly. host: hang on the line for a second. guest: chris, thank you for keeping me alive and for your comments. i cannot agree more. the place was calm. tree had basically succeeded in major missions thanks to the sacrifice of americans, our coalition partners and many iraqis. to some degree, we let that seep away by leaving the country and allowing the iranians and isis terrace to start tearing it apart. chance now.her that is my plea to the people listening and watching. we can return to the situation we had in 2010 and 2011. host: chris, how do think that
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will go over with your brothers and sisters in arms? question ofs a perception. when we got home, had a tumor this welcome by the american people, something the vietnam veterans did not have. when we first got there in 2010, it was like a wild west downtown. car bombings, different fighting, attacks on police stations and military posts around the country were heavy. and you saw the effect, he started to see things calm down. we started taking control and focused on different places. things are good for five months or six months. when the announcement was made we were going to withdraw, we were told amazing that to the iranians, -- we were televising that, and after he killed bin laden, rings picked back up again. it was the sequence of events at the end that made us look like we were retreating in the
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>> it was managing the expectation of perception. it hurt. situation was the we did a fantastic job. we lost 4800 soldiers in the war. 34,000, 36,000re upon the beginning. was there anything else you wanted to pick up on? in 2011 weretacks orchestrated out of tehran, trying to kill american soldiers to drive us out. iran is the biggest threat we face in the region. the focus of today's lead story in the new york times, one
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last call from joe in monroe, georgia. good morning. caller: good morning. can you hear me? host: yes, sir. caller: i want to say how much i appreciate c-span and the ambassador eating on this morning. i did two trips to iraq. liberation, and the second one in 2006. ,hen i was in 2006 in mosul that was a bleak time. we were able to turn it around. i wanted to make two quick comments. no matter what we do over there and no matter what happens over there, a coalition type government that represents the shia and sunni and minorities, i think it will fall again. that has been set a couple of
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times this morning. like we have feel to have a u.s. stabilizing force their of some size to keep all the brokers honest. you are correct. key power that we need to keep at bay there. those are my comments, and i appreciate you very much. host: thank you for the call. ambassador jeffrey, the last minute. i would dedicate this last bid to all the americans who called in. the debt of gratitude we owe to these people, not just because they fought, but they were out there engaging with the political issues, the people, the various groups. goingnderstood what was on and made us proud while we were out there, and should make you proud. thank you for having me on today. host:
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>> "he spent's washington journal. mascaro, morning, lisa political reporter of the los angeles times and the white house correspondent for politico discuss the week ahead in washington and the national order council president talks but the trump administration's approach to border security. be sure to watch live at 7:00 p.m. eastern on monday morning. specialand look at past investigations involving congress and the executive branch. this hearing included testimony from a foreign official responsible for investigating the whitewater controversy. this is just


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