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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  January 22, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a conversation about politics in iowa an new hampshire and we talk to mark halperin and john hellemann. >> there is already something of a panic going on right now in the democratic establishment given the way secretary clinton has been flipping in the last couple of weeks but there are be a full scale four alarm panic that goes on in the democratic establishment if she loses the first two and there will be people who start asking questions about john kerry, about joe biden, about al gore, about elizabeth warren. those names will all be mentioned in the wake if she loses the firs two. >> rose: we continue this evening with david martin, chief national security correspondent for cbs news talking about covering the pentagon and the relationship between the pentagon and the white house. >> the white house felt that the pentagon was leading them down the trail to another
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vietnam-like quagmire. and on the pentagon side of the river, all the players have changed since thenment but it's still basically the same people at the white house. so i think the white house is always wary of the pentagon and what it's prosoas-- proposing. but look, the pentagon is not looking to get involved in any more wars either. >> rose: we conclude with roberts-- robert gates, former secretary of defense talking about leadership. his book is called "a passion for leadership" bns if you don't care about people. if you can't empathize with people, if you don't have a sense of vision and passion with what you are doing, it is very hard to be a leader. and where do you go, where do you go to school to learn about fairness an dedication to a greater cause. and good cheer and being able to
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reach out to people. so there are some techniques of leadership that can be taught. but fundamentally, if as a person you don't like and respect other people, i think it's very tough to be an effective leader. >> rose: mark halperin, john hellemann, david martin, >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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we begin with politics now. for the latest on the 2016 presidential race, sarah palin is back and campaigning for donald trump. that is just one of the big developments coming out of the run-up to the iowa caucuses and new hampshire primary. mark halperin and john hellemann are in new hampshire. they are managing
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in a different way. if bernie sanders wins the iowa caucuses and new hampshire primary, african-american voters, hispanic voters will look at him anewment doesn't mean they will switch to him but he will get a second look. and the dynamics in the races will change in unpredictable ways. >> a fire wall can't withstand a huge, enormous raging fire in every case. i think even if she loses in both she's still the frontrunner. >> she is. >> and quite substantially. but it changings the race again in ways none of ufs can describe the dimensions of. >> does it change the race so that someone else might decide to get in? >> well, it is certainly possible. mean a full scale panic.ere there is already something of a panic going on right now in the democratic establishment askings
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about john kerry. about joe biden, about al gore, about elizabeth warren. those names will all be mentioned in the wake if she loses the first two. whether any will get in, we do not know. but you will hear a lot of discussion about another person getting in this race if that were to occur. >> does the reality of iowa and new hampshire, is it because of bernie sanders or is because of hillary clinton, ie, is she simply having a bad candidate or is bernie sanders having tapped into something that simply is greeing and growing and having its own momentum. >> it's time to hear. i think it is a little bit of both. he is leading, he is leading a movement. rough iowa about the very same issues in the very same way that he did when he started his campaign. >> and for his whole career. >> the clintons, i said this before. the clintons get tougher coverage than anyone else in
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american politics. bern ye sangers has become the darling not just of his supporters but of many people in the media. and as our friend and noted pundit halle barber says former governor of miss ms. in politic, good gets better, bad gets worse. she needs to start winning some days. she need toses have some good news because he's got momentum now. and the ability that she has to stop his momentum, turn things around and start to rebuild is diminished as he continues to win one day after another. >> charlie, i just add to that. everything mark said i think is right. you are a big fan, we all are of the narrative. if you look right now, if you look right now at the two closing argument ads that campaigns have put out, yesterday secretary clinton, a minute long ad. that stressed her experience, her readiness for the presidency, her time in the situation room when president o bma decided to take out osama bin laden. and then today bernie sanders putting out a one minute ad, his closing argue ad which has no policy in, it has no credentials
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in it. it is an inspirational ad set to simon and gar funkel's america with faces of his supporters. and inspiring images, it is 2008 all over again. it is her eight years ago. ready from day one, ready to be commander in chief on tough enough, strong enough, inspiration, aspiration, hope, change, and i just look at the democratic electorate in 2008, they were ready for barack-- it if anything is more prime for the message of hope and change than bernie sanders is delivering and less amenable to an establishment message like heres. >> let me turn quickly. first in iowa, where does that stand? is ted cruz going to win? >> there say new poll out tonight that shows trump with a lead on cnn are oc poll. most of the race show race stiet or trump better, cruz doing worse, a battle for first.
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it's one or the other. i think that the tale between the two of them is going to hard fought over the next two weeks now that you see we can-- now that you see that trump is engaging with cruz. cruz sen gaging back every day. >> rose: right. >> it is impossible to say who is getting the better. but i will say that trump has a strong message that he's driving hard. the fact that the governor of iowa made it clear he doesn't want cruz to win. sarah palin will help trump in iowa, planning a lot of visits. if i had to bet today i would bet on trump. >> bob dole saidz something too. >> dole came out and said if he had to choose between trump and cruz he would pick trump and that was taken as kind of a sign that some establishment arians at least are so unhappy with the idea of a cruz nominee they would even accept trump, they don't like the idea but they may like that idea a little bit more than accepting ted cruz. you know, look, right now as mark said, donald trump is still driving his same message he has
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been driving since he started this campaign. and ted cruz has now been responding to donald trump and trying to find ways to take him down. that is something cruz has not done for months. you see cruz attacking trump alternately in the course of 24 hours as being maybe too much of an establishment arian, that doesn't sound that credible. or saying he is a close elevator liberal. there is some cause for that. but you see trump now kind of befud eled a little bit. the way a lot of other candidates, cruz now, kind of befud eled in the way a lot of other candidates have been by trump. neither one of us would want to make a bet on this. but i still think right now trump has the whip hand in that battle with him and ted cruz. >> rose: do you want to make a bet on who might come in third in new hampshire? >> in new hampshire, well, you would have to sense who was going to come in second in new hampshire. ted cruz right now, you know there is this extraordinary dynamic here amongst the four establishment candidates, john casek, jeb bush, chris christie an marco rubio.
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we are calling it the prisoners dilemma. all four of them would like to see an establishment candidate be the nominee. not trump or cruz. yet all four of them can make a very compelling and realistic case that they are the right establishment candidate to be the one to try to stop the two anti-establishment candidate, all four are competing in new hampshire, all four are for polling or endorsements or grass roots activity to say i will be the one without finishes either second to trump or third behind trump and cruz. cruz is able to con sol date, religious conservatives, gun owners, other people on the right wing of the party, that if the establishment guys basically get around 10%, could you easily see trump first, cruz second and an establishment person finishing third. but the story then probably would not be the third place finish, it would be wow, trump and cruz are in a two-person race. >> charlie, one more thing about that prisoner's dilemma. everything marks it as true. there is an additional factor. because they all think, each of them thinks that he would be the best, the best one among the
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four. they are right now instead of trying to attack trump or cruz, they are beating the hell out of each otherment and that's what makes the situation so volatile and so favorable for both cruz and trump, is that these four guys rather than training their fire on the frontrunner and the number two guy as would be the ese campaigns, they are all of shooting at each other and they could all end up, even though all of them would prefer one of them to be the nominee to either of the two outsiders, they could end up killing each other in a circumstance lar firing squad. >> rose: this is the reason that everything i know i learn from you. thank you so much, mark, thank you so much, john. >> thanks, charlie. good talking to you. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: david martin is here. he is the national security correspondent for cbs news covering both the pentagon and the state department. he began reporting for the network in 1983. since then he has covered 11 secretaries of defense. he has won four emmys and two du pont awards.
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the du pont committee wrote that he exempt fies the role of a journalist, to measure what we are being told against what we find out. i'm pleased to have david martin. what's good about your beat? >> as a journalist? >> to me it's the freedom you have. i can walk almost anywhere i want to in the pentagon. i think it's the only ministry of defense in the world that allows reporters to do that. >> rose: a big building. >> it is a big building and i can just cruise around it looking for stories. and then you can go out to all the bases and all the places where the troops are deployed. e other beats in washington,of state department, where you have to have an appointment to get out of the press room. and then of course you know, the white house is famous for the being behind the rope line all
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your life. so it is just-- it gives you the freedom to be a reporter. and it's the subject matter. you are playing for all the marbles. politics, you win or lose. this is life or death. >> rose: has it changed since you have been there? >> oh yeah. >> rose: i mean the nature of warfare has clearly changed. >> yeah. >> rose: how else has it changed? come back to warfare. >> the biggest one that you can see is the role of women. but you know, the military is basically a reflection of what's going on in society. so the role of women over the last 30 years has been changing in society. but it used to be, if you were walking around the pentagon and you saw a woman with stars on your shoulder, you would do a double take. and now female admirals and generals are just a common sight. there's a woman who is the number two officer in the navy.
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and i would bet that before president obama leaves office, he will nominate a woman to either be head of one of the services or one of the major combat ant commanders. >> rose: secretaries of defense, who was your first? >> this gives it away. harold brown. who remains the smartest man i have ever encountered in my life. >> rose: and how was it manifest? >> he would get like all secretaries of defense these huge briefing books. and the staff would send him in and he would sen them back with a note saying that annex q, the sickness of the armour on the soviet t-72 tank had been misstated. he had just this enpsych pedestrianic knowledge. and he also, he could argue the design of thermonew clear weapons with edward teller. he just knew more than any man
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alive about defense. but he was not-- and he would tell you this too. >> rose: i know it. >> a particularly successful secretary of defense. >> rose: and why was that? >> that was because of the person he worked for, jimmy carter had other priorities. and that i think is probably one of the first lessons i learned about the military. which is, the president really is the commander in chief. and it doesn't matter all that much who the secretary of defense is or how much he knows as long as he's got a good relationship with the commander in chief. >> rose: that's also true about secretary of state too, jim baker had a great relationship with george bush, you know. and had a good relationship with nixon. >> i know. >> rose: and at the same time those that didn't have a good relationship, you never knew whether they were really speaking from a position of power and knowledge. >> you think of william rogers. >> rose: perfect example. nixon's first secretary of
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state. there is an interesting thing too about how commanders in chief view the pentagon. how do you-- how does the pentagon today feel that barack obama views them. >> what is the dynamic of the relationship? >> there really was some bad blood back during the debate over whether or not they were going to surge troops into afghanistan. and the white house felt that the pentagon was leading them down the trail to another vietnam like quagmire. and on the pentagon side of the river, all the players have changed since then. but it's still basically the same people at the white house. so i think the white house is always wary of the pentagon and what it is proposing but the
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pentagon is not looking to get involved in any more wars either. so. >> rose: that is the interesting thing. people say generals hate war more than anybody. >> it's true. going in, they hate it because they have a much more realistic understanding of what will happen if they win. all the unintended consequences, and those are people they trained with who will end up getting shot. >> rose: dick cheney was george bush 41 secretary of defense. >> yeah. >> rose: colin powell was his chairman of the joint chiefs. >> yeah. well, you know, scoacroft had that great line about the vice president of dick cheney is not the dick cheney i know. and i could say the exact same thing. >> rose: how is he different?
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and he might say 9/11 changed me. >> and i think it did. it then became never again and all the business you read about the 10% solution f a flot has 10% of being a real blot, act on it as if it were a real plot. but the other thing is, of course that secretary of defense is not a political job. so he had to put that whole side of it away. he was totally ju die shus. and he had what remains for me one of the greatest one-liners, when after the first gufl war, when it looked like saddam might be overthrown, and so everybody was asking him you know, is saddam hussein going to fall, is saddam hussein going to fall. and he said saddam hussein's
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days are numbered. and he nailed it, right. >> rose: yeah. >> he just took a couple thousand more days. but is. >> rose: i never quite understand, from george bush 41 and cheney and the generals on the scene and colin powell, the decision that was so controversial was whether-- wasn't-- it was if the exactly whether they should go to baghdad. it was whether they should extend the war for several more days, wasn't it? >> well, they stopped st for what actually might be a fairly trivial reason. a hundred hours. that's how long the ground war was. and it sounded so neat and tiedy. but you remember those pictures from the so-called highway of death it was a slaughter. >> rose: i think kol inpowell called it a turkey shoot. >> it was the right thing to do. and you know, i have been reading the new biography of george h-w bush.
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>> rose: john mitchup's book. >> yeah. >> and it talks in there about how depressed the president was after the victory because saddam heuses hughes was still in power. and he actually compared it to leaving hitler in power at the end of world war ii. so he was very disappointed. >> rose: how has bar fare-- warfare changed though, because it seems so technology-based now. i watched you go to qatar where we have a big military base and where they launch all the attacks on isis, i think, plane air strikes in terms of syria and iraq. i mean, it is so-- it is all about computers and. >> you can get the feeling it is a video game. >> rose: yeah. >> but it ain't. and if you go to the physical therapy rooms at walter reed and balboa naval hospital, you know
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it's not a-- it's not a video game. but what really happened in terms of warfare was the role of space. the u.s. started using space before any other country for military purposes. >> rose: how did we do that? >> putting up gps satellites. >> rose: right. >> and those are the basis for all these precision guided strikes you see. we never see the classified pictures that satellites take. but you know, they're using space to get greater and greater visibility. and understanding of what the target is. the downside of that is that everybody has been watching russians, the chinese. and they know how of the u.s. military depends on space and they know that if you take out american satellites, you will
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cripple american military power. >> rose: so they're trying to do it? >> they're trying to develop the means to do it, yeah. >> rose: do we have the capacity to take out their satellites? >> we tested an antisatellite weapon way back in the '80s. personally, i couldn't tell you a program that does that because it is just so highly classified. but i just have to believe that we can and we can sernlg jam their satellites. >> rose: how much do you know you can't broadcast because of some national security reason and you're only giving the information as a sense of, to give you knowledge and under some pledge that you will not broadcast? >> well, there are two kinds of-- two categories of information. one is the technical capabilities. and most of the time that's an easy call because it's so far down in the weeds that a national audience wouldn't be interested in it anyway. >> rose: right, right. >> but then the other bigie is
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upcoming military operations. and we usually know when there is going to be a raid in to iraq, syria. and we don't report it. and it's pretty easy rule of thumb. you don't reported anything that would get somebody killed. >> rose: or put them in danger. >> yeah. >> rose: by definition. back to obama and the pentagon. is it different because of ash carter? is it-- how is it different because of ash carter? or how was it with, you know, the previous secretary of state, chuck hagel who was his senate mate? >> yeah, chuck hagel just didn't hit it off with the white house. >> rose: but he and the president were friends. >> yeah. >> rose: it just didn't work. >> you don't deal with the president most of the time. you deal with the chief of staff and you dial with the national security advisor.
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it just didn't work out. ash carter is interesting. here is a guy whose whole resume is as a tech nokrat. but he's turned into a really aggressive war fighter. since he became secretary of defense the campaign against isis has really ramped up. since he became secretary, we put session sporses teams into syria. we have put commandos into iraq, to conduct raids. i think most importantly they've loosened up the restrictions on what you can hit with your air strikes. there used to be a standard of zero civilian casualties. and now they are willing to accept civilian casualties. >> rose: if the target is so rich. >> yeah. and a perfect example is they started hitting these cash collection sites. and so they blow up warehouses
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full of isis money, which isis uses to pay its fighters. and i mean that's a much more lucrative target, literally than, you know, taking out a machine gun site. when we were in qatar, we were dealing with-- talking with a b-one crew, b-one, big huge bomber that was built to drop new clear weapons on the soviet union. that b-one was going after a single sniper that had been spotted on a rooftop. if that's not a mismatch of power. >> rose: that seems like overkill to me. but you think that would be a role for a drone. >> but it was the b-1 that was on hand. >> rose: did they get him? >> they didn't get him but they found the tunnel that he went into and they collapsed the tunnel. >> rose: here's interesting, i just read in the last 24, 48 hours. is that the isis leadership in
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syria their activities are in some place that there would be so much collateral damage, like being-- and they accuse hamas of this, they accused hamas of this in schools and hospitals, and places like that. help me if you can about this, they believe that the isis leadership in order to prevent themselves from being attacked, have placed themselves. >> they have embedded themselves in the civilian population. they raid the american press and they know how worked up everybody gets about civilian casualties. and they think that's a safe way of doing it. but i heard a number just the other day, that they have killed 92 senior oy mid level isis leaders, almost all of them with drone strikes. >> rose: right.
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>> the president is a huge proponent of drone strikes. >> yeah. >> rose: right? >> yeah. >> rose: and special forces. some have said he likes that kind of warfare, that appeals to him. >> well, it's allowed him to put boots on the ground without saying he's putting boots on the ground. he defines boots on the ground as-- rps the bat all onw. >> the bri gaid, a combat formation. and so special operations forces, can be deployed without violating his fundamental tenet that we are not going to become involved in another ground war in some far off country. >> rose: there may not be an answer to this. but is there, i'm thinking about the bigger question. is the military, they used to say generals are always fighting the last war. >> yup. >> rose: is that still true in your judgement? >> they wish they were fighting some superwar against another superpower. >> rose: that was easier. >> that's much easier than what
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they are doing, yeah. >> rose: for other reasons, you know where the enemy is. >> you do. >> rose: that is coming from a nation state. and you know a nation state will take more precautions because it doesn't watt to suffer the same kind of response. >> when you are fighting another superpower, the enemy is easy to find, but hard to kill. >> rose: yeah. >> when we're fighting these kinds of wars, the enemy is easy to kill, but hard to find. >> rose: hard to find, yeah. >> but is there an obama doctrine after. >> well, seven years. >> i think you can see it, yeah. >> rose: what would you say. >> it's a preference for special operations forces, not always to carry out raids and violent operations. but also to train the local forces. there are special forces all
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over africa now. ef retime there is a terrorist attack in some african country, you vnlt thought of in, you know, ten years, you find out that there is a small american military detachment there working with that country. and it's trying to build up what they call partner capacity. >> rose: what's the relationship between the chairman of the joint chiefs and the secretary of defense? >> well, in this particular case, kartder picked joe dunford. >> rose: but does joe dunford report to him or to the president? >> he reports to the president. he is the president's principal military advisor. but he goes through the secretary of defense. >> rose: in terms of execution or. >> no, in terms of telling him bla he is telling the president. >> rose: he's not going to go there and say i want to do but the secretary of defense doesn't want to do that, mr. president, you asked for my advice.
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>> but he would say, as he has, on the issue of women in the military, joe dunford was commandante when the marines objected and asked for an exemption for opening up all the combat roles to women. and now he's chairman and he's been ordered to do it not just for the marine corps but for all the services. and he disagrees. but he salutes and he does it. >> rose: the policy today is that women can serve in all combat roles. >> right, all combat roles. >> rose: all combat roles. >> you can be a navy seal. >> rose: you can be a navy seal. are there any? >> no. they haven't got the training figured out yet. so no one has really even started through seal qualification course. but we know we've got women that have gone through ranger school, which is the army. >> rose: you reported on
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thatness yeah. >> rose: that was a great story. >> those women are, you know. >> rose: i know. >> one of those-- . >> rose: as tough as anybody you have seen. >> one of those women was a 37 year old mother of two. that's tough. >> rose: who was the commander, meadows, that you admire so much. >> yeah, dick meadows. he's no longer alive. >> rose: what happened? >> well, he died of leukemia, i think it was. but it is just a classic story. born in a dirt floor shak in appalacha. lied about his a to join the army and then became one of the most famous soldiers in the army's history. >> rose: why. what did he do? >> he went on ten missions behind the lines in vietnam. that's into north vietnam to try and rescue po-ws in to laos, to call in air strikes on trucks going down the ho chi minh
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trail. after he retired he became a civilian advisor to the delta force. and his first mission was the attempt to rescue the hostages. >> rose: he was on that mission. >> he was sent in ahead of the mission as undercover, as an undercover agent. >> rose: did he go into tehran. >> he went into tehran. he was the guy who would do reconaissance of the embassy because these delta guys aren't going to go unless one of their own sets eyes on the target. so he was one of their own. and he was doing the reconaissance of the embassy. and he was the guy who had to rent the trucks that would go out to the dessert and-- desert to pick them up after they landed from being flown in. and drive them into the embassy. and he was out there, in the desert when the crash that ended that mission-- . >> rose: the dust destroyed the helicopters.
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>> yes. >> so they all pull out. but he has to make his own way out of tehran with everybody in iran screaming death to americans. >> rose: did you get to know dick meadows? >> i did. i actually traveled around the country with him for about a week. this was after the failed rescue mission. and he-- we were going around and he was introducing me to people he had met during his career. and he actually took me to the firing range where delta was shooting to show me how much live ammunition they got to use. we went out to arizona, spent some time with the cia station chief in laos, from the vietnam era. >> rose: do you ever understand what makes-- where courage comes from? and bravery.
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>> well, if you ask any soldier who has received the medal of honor where they got the courage to do what they did, every single one of them will say it was the training. >> rose: the training. >> the training. you just fall back on what you know. and i mean a lot of what they do, a rational person wouldn't do. and but that's how you rained, and you just fall back on it. i don't think that quite explains why you would go looking for danger the way somebody like dick meadows did. but-- . >> rose: that was something inside of him. instead he ran towards the fire. >> he ran toward the sound of the guns. and actually in one case, he threw away his gun and killed a guy with his knife. he was just a warrior. he was a natural born warrior. >> rose: it sounds like they should nake a movie or documentary about his life.
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>> they should. >> rose: did you do a film piece about him? >> no, this was actually when i was working for newsweek. so we put him on the cover of newsweek. >> rose: you put him on the cover there. >> yeah. and there is a huge huge statute of him down at ft. bragg. he's a household name. >> rose: he's legendary. >> yeah. >> rose: wow. stan mcchrystal. >> yeah. >> rose: somebody i like and admire and thought should never have had to resign or should never have resigned. >> stand mcchrystal made a difference. >> rose: he did a brilliant, wonderful piece about him. >> he did. he did basically the impossible. he got the most secretive agencies in the united states government. nsa, cia, delta, seals, all to work together, and to share their information and to share their best people. and that's the operation he was running in iraq, which took down
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al-qaeda in iraq, killed czar quawee. >> rose: and he was the guy without worked for -- czar quawee is the president head of al baghdadi, his number two, three, whatever. >> yeah. and of course the difference now is that in a-- when miscrystal was in iraq, they were conducting multiple raids each night and cell phones and laptops getting tons of intelligence am with an air strike you don't get intelligence. >> rose: it is often said too, in fact, people in afghanistan have told me this. he was the one guy that, the head of afghan, president of afghanistan would listen to. >> car glie trusted stan mcchrystal. >> i heard, and i don't know if this is true but i read it some place that they are making a movie based on the "rolling stone" article, the runaway
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general. >> rose: yeah. >> and if that is how he is remembered, because there's a movie of it, that will be terribly unfair. >> rose: absolutely. i mean not only unfair, it's just---- but you know-- bob gates told me that he did not know what was going to happen. did not know when mcchrystal went to see the president. >> yeah. and he was surprised when the president said how about petraeus to take-- . >> rose: oh yeah. but bob gates also told me, that when he went to see petraeus in afghanistan, where he was-- after he had been selected, to tell him he was not going to be chairman of the joint chiefs which he wanted, petraeus raised the question of the cia.
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and gates went back to see the president. he said you won't believe. he's okay with not being chairman of the joint chiefs even though it was something that he would naturally want and everybody who was him would want. but is he interested in the cu a. and they thought-- and this was a time that the cia had a rather strong, and would you know this much better than i did, parramilitary role. >> oh, yeah. well, i remember at his confirmation hearings. he said i'm not being cast aside. i asked for this job. >> exactly right. >> rose: so when you cover the pentagon, you know, tell me what you think. we'll close with this. of thrir top-- how did they see the world? how did they assign risk? and priority. >> well, they have endless metrics to measure all of this. and i don't know if you-- they've ever let you sit in on a classified briefing. but you couldn't disclose a
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single secret out of that briefing because stuff goes by you so fast and the charts are so unreadable. and that is-- that is how they build their worldview. levels of violence here, demographic trends and china or russia. and then they, obviously they look at the military operations of potential-- which are russia and china. >> rose: they know what china is doing. they know what russia is doing in ukraine and prepared to do. and how smart the russian military may have become and all of that. >> right. >> well, they have their judgements about it, they may not know. >> they may not know. particularly with the chinese. you don't know what you don't know. i mean they are very secretive. >> rose: here's what is interesting too. it is that how much of your attention now is--s achieve
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national security correspondent? for cbs news, is making sure that you are sort of up to date and covered and deeply informed as you can be about cybersecurity? >> cybersecurity is a black hole. it is a black hole to me and it's a black hole to everybody that doesn't have, you know, all these security clearances. and i recently did an interview with former cia director and nsa director mike hayden. whose written a book. and he says that the the-- cyberworld is way overclassified. and until they start declass fying some of that stuff, people are not going to believe these warnings about a cyber9/11. and you know, they're not going
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to know what the u.s. could do to defend this country against a cyberattack and what the u.s. could do to retal yaitd. i mean the truth is, that the u.s. has been stock piling cyberweapons since about the year 2,000. >> rose: 16 years ago. >> yup. and obviously there have been great leaps along, along the way. >> rose: is there no doubt in your mind that if you look at technology and if you look at the quality of the military, and if you look at the weapons of warfare, the u.s. is far ahead of everybody. >> the u.s. is far ahead. we're number one and there really is no number two right now. but china really is on the rise.
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and in particular, their space programs and their long-range ballistic missiles. we've got this navy which is based on aircraft carriers. >> rose: right, forward projection. >> an if the chinese can pick off the aircraft carriers, that's a big problem. and our biggest new warplane program is the f-35 which is a tact kal fighter. and you're talking about fighting an enemy that is across a vast ocean. so there are-- the u.s. has vulnerabilities when it comes to china. i think everybody's best bet is that the two are so economicically depend ent that nobody would want to. >> on either side. it say pleasure to you have here, thank you so much. >> yeah. >> rose: much to talk about in our next encounter.
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david martin, chief national security correspondent at cbs news, former newsweek reporter and correspondent. back in a moment, stay with us. robert gates is here. his career in public service span five decades and eight president sees. he joined the cu a as an entry level analyst during the cold war. he became the agency's director on the eve of the soviet union's collapse. from 2002 to 2006 he was president of texas a & m university. he left that post to oversee two wars as secretary of defense. first under president george w. bush and then under president obama who asked him to stay on making him the first defense secretary to serve administrations of both parties. yaits brings all of that experience and more to bear in a new book. it is called a passion for leadership. i'm pleased to have robert gates back at this table. welcome. >> thanks, charlie. >> rose: i want to talk about leadership first. define it for me.
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>> i tried to differentiate between being a leader and being a manager. managers are important but they have specific skills. finance, logistics, human relations, so on and so forth. and we need good managers. but leaders are people who lead the way into the future. who point out the direction and organization ought to go or a country ought to go. and then develops the strategies for moving the country or the institution in that direction. and one of the points that i try to make in this book is that there are leaders at every level. and you can be a middle manager in a private company or in a government office. you can be on a school board. you can be a mayor.
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you can be the head of your church administrative board. but if you are in charge, then the question is can you make the organization, can you lead people forward to make the organization better. to help serve people better. and you can do that at any level. and the qualities of leadership at any level in my view are pretty of the same. it's a question of a vision, of being able to put together a plan and ex cute-- execute that plan. it's transparency. it's threeting people with respect, and dignity. it's being willing to del gate authority to people to get the job done. and then holding them accountable. and these characteristics apply at every level of leadership. but it's a-- a leader is-- harry true man once say that every
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great achievement is the result of a flaming heart. leadership is about an internal fire, a passion, if you will, to make any organization better. to better serve the people without belong to it and better serve the people that it's supposed to serve. >> rose: fair to say that you can be a great leader, not be a good manager? >> yes, and there are, you know, i think in some respects, that would be true of several great presidents. i think president reagan was a great leader. but he did not sort of take day to day responsibility for managing the government. he del gated that to the members of his cabinet and his senior advisors. so i think you can be a great leader without being a good manager. but more often than not in most organizations you need to try
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and do both. >> rose: lyndon johnson would be one who i guess is on the other side. >> the other side of the coin is somebody who may be a great leader but say micromanagerment and who tries we used to refer to people like that as cia to some of our senior managers as people without would come around all the time and pull us up by the roots to see if we were growing. be an we've all worked for micromanagers. and the problem is, it's very tough. the beauty about del gating and holding people accountable is that you give younger people experience and leadership themselve. you allow them to develop their own skills if you will as a safety net. because they're working for somebody else. and so they can develop their own leadership style. >> we've talked about this before. you have a sense that some of the great presidents have had
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leadership ability but also temperment. >> i think temperment is very important in a leader. and i write about this. i have a whole chapter on the personal characteristics that i think are necessary for a leader, including keeping their ego under control and being willing to trust subordinates. but it's also about treating people with respect and dignity. i write in the book that you can be the toughest, most demandzing boss in the world and still treat people with dignity and respect. and so i think that the best example of that among the president's i worked for was george h-w bush. who treated the maintenance staff at the white house with the same respect and courtesy that he treated cabinet officers and foreign leaders and so on. and he was always reaching out to people. and trying to make them feel
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good about what they were doing. one of the character stkszs of a leader is helping people understand why they are important to an organization. and giving them a sensz of pride in what they're doing. >> how much of this is inaid skills versus learned skills? >> i think what i-- i argue in the book that the leadership is more about the heart than the head. you can teach somebody to be a good manager. i think it's hard to teach somebody to be a leader. because if you don't care about people, if you don't-- if you can't empathize with people, if you don't like people, if you don't have a sense of vision and a sense of passion about what you are doing, i think it's very hard to be a leader. and where do you go. where do you go to school to learn about fairness and dedication to a greater cause and good cheer and being able to
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reach out to people. so there are some techniques of leadership that can be taught but fundamentally, if as a person you don't like and respect other people, i think it's very tough to be an effective leader. >> rose: you wrote this book in part because you believe that big institutions are not necessarily being lead well, and therefore they're not making the contribution they should to american society. >> i wrote the book because i believe, i'm also national president of the boy scouts. and i love all the institutions that i've lead. but i've always believed they could be better. and i think all organizations can be better at the local level, whether it's a nonprofit, a charity, a church organization or whatever. they can all be improved and be made more effective, more cost effective, more efficient. and so you know, the need, my worry is that big institutions, particularly at the national
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level, when they don't function well, breed cynicism about the fact, whether government can do anything right. and so i think-- and they affect our daily lives. so it's important to get it right and make theses organizations serve better. so a perfect example at the national level is the veterans affairs department. a current example at the local level is what is going on in flint michigan. what failures of leadership lead to the water-- water problem that they're having in flint. and who should be held accountable. >> that is what i was going to say. how do you hold leaders accountable if they have failed? >> well, one of the things that i think surprise people, you know, people lose their jobs in washington d.c. all the time for personal misbehavior. it's pretty unheard of for somebody to lose their job because they didn't do a very good job. and i fired a number of people in the department of defense
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because they didn't do their job, because they didn't do their job well. i fired the secretary of the army because he didn't take the problem that we had with wounded warriors, the treatment of outpatient wounded warriors at walter reed seriously enough. so account ability is a big piece of leadership. >> you quote napoleon. you say never mistake, he said, never mistake for mall is that which is easily explained by stupidity or incompetence. >> i agree with that. >> there are all kinds of conspiracy theories and everything else. and sometimes it's just cuz people are dumb. or they make dumb decisions or they're incompetent. >> they're lazy, they don't pay attention. there are all those kinds of things. and people don't really intend to do badly. >> no. >> they just do badly. >> that's also one of the points in the book. people who are in these organizations, and again it doesn't matter whether it's at the local level or state or national or in the private
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sector or whatever. they-- they need to know what the expectations are and that they will be held accountable. and they need, they want to be proud of the organization they work for. and that is a reform leaders' greatest asset, it seems to me, when he or she comes into a position of leadership at any level, in a community or in a bigger environment. the-- to persuade people that what they do is important, and to make them proud of it, and to seek their advice in terms of how do you-- how do we make this organization better. and i think transparency in leadership is important at every level. being open and honest with people about what is wrong and what you are going to try and do. getting their input, listening to them. the greatest presidents were people who surrounded themselves with others who were much smarter than they were, and
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listened to them and then integrated their views with the president's own instincts and experience and judgesment. >> has there ever been one moment in your life in which you have said i regret that i never ran for public office? >> not one second. i think i would be terrible at it. >> rose: because why? >> well, i think i'm probably too blunt. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you, thanks, charlie. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at and charlie captioned by media access group at wgbh
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