tv Charlie Rose PBS January 18, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. from washington, a conversationy advisor to president obama, susasusan rice. >> the the lessons i want to impart is the necessity of running a transparent process and to serve the soon to be president with the integrity and the fairness this position requires. secondly, it is essential to be a consumer of the substance. there are no short cuts in this business. even if your vehicle for communication is a short cut the substantive policy work has to be serious and rigorous. i've also tried to impart the quality of the staff that we're handing off to the new team. the national security council staff is 90% career experts from
around the different agencies that have been detailed to the white house with. they are extremely knowledgeable, experienced and effective, and i have been very proud to lead this team as we've tried to ready the next administration for the challenges that they will face. so i hope that they will trust in the wisdom and experience of the career civil servants and foreign service and military. >> rose: susan rice for the hour, next. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
>> rose: several days and counting for you as the national security advisor to the president of the united states. are you ready to leave? >> very mixed feelings, charlie. it's been an extraordinary privilege to serve our country again and serve particularly under this president. i love the work that i do. i love the team that i work with. so i will be very sorry to leave that. on the other hand, after eight years either as national security advisor or u.n. ambassador and, frankly, two years prior to that supporting president obama's election, ten years intensity working on some of the most intractable and challenging problems, there is a real part of me that's looking forward to getting a rest. >> rose: what have you learned close to power, the national security advisor, the person who presents the options to the
president? >> well, there is a great deal i've learned but let me talk a little bit about what i've learned about being in the role of national security advisor. first and foremost, it's my job to ensure the advice, analysis and recommendation provided to the president of the united states are thorough, well thought through, based in fact and fairly reflect the opinions and the recommendations of the cabinet-revel national security -- >> rose: and if there is conflict, make sure he understands there is a conflict, which i'm sure often hams. >> it happens enough. and vitally important my colleagues at the principals' table and the president can can can trust i am not putting a filter on that or spin, whatever is the no-kidding view of the president's cabinet officials is fully and fairly represented to him. >> rose: what are your impressions of michael flynn? >> well, charlie, i can't say that i know him well.
we have spent a number of hours together in our meetings where i have been trying to very hard to make sure that we are giving him the information he needs and the new team needs. >> rose: do you have an impression of his curiosity, his intellect, his values and judgments? >> it's not appropriate for me to characterize my successor. i will say this, he's been civil and respectful. our meetings have been constructive, and i think we are doing the business that we are meant to do together of affecting this handoff. from the national security council's point of view, we have been working since the beginning to have the year, 2016, that is, to prepare for this transition, obviously without knowing to whom we would be handing off. i have personally reviewed over 100 transition memos to general flynn and those on his team. in addition to that, at the lower levels, we've prepared another 175 pieces of paper.
there's a huge volume of material that we have provided to them for their consumption and, on top of that, we've sat down for many hours to talk through the most salient challenges they will face and to be responsive to their questions and concerns. >> rose: you also know well what the president-elect has been saying, whether it's n.a.t.o. is obsolete, whether he is prepared to withdraw sanctions if the russians will give him something, what indication does that give you about where trump administration is going? >> well, charlie, i think like most american consumers of the news, we're all watching and listening and trying to figure out what this portends. we've heard different messages. >> from the cabinet no, ma'am kneels. >> from the cabinet nominees and from the president-elect himself at different times on different topics. we'll have to wait and see. >> rose: what are the lessons you want to impart to michael flynn.
>> the necessity of running a transparent and honest process and serving the president-elect, soon to be the president, with the integrity and the fairness that this position requires. secondly, it is essential to be a consumer of the substance. there are no short cuts in this business and even if your vehicle for a communication is a short cut, the substantive policy work that comes bhiemed it has to be serious and rigorous. i've also tried to impart the quality of the staff that we are handing off to the new team. the national security council staff are 90% career experts from around the different agencies that have been detailed to the white house. they are extremely knowledgeable, experienced and effective, and i have been very proud to lead this team as we've tried to ready the next administration for the challenges that they will face. so i hope that they will trust in the wisdom and the experience
of the career civil servants and foreign service and military. >> rose: let me turn to what's your biggest nightmare? what has kept you up of late? whatever idea expresses the sense that, as you sit here with me, this is what worried me the most? >> i have a number of worries, charlie. i wish i had one. in all honesty, this is a world where the nature of the threats is very diverse and the challenges are multiple. so let me list a few. i think anybody in my position would worry about a catastrophic attack on the homeland or on american personnel abroad. so that's nightmare number one, and particularly if it were, god forbid, to be combined with some form of weapon of mass
destruction and terrorism. we need to be concerned about potential, deliberate or inadvertent, for russia to miscalculate and provoke a conflict in the european theater. i say that because russia's actions have been increasingly aggressive, whether surveilling our diplomatic personnel and harassing them, making very unsafe approaches on the seas and in the air, and i think it's unclear what putin's intentions are, particularly after the annexation of crimea and the illegal occupation of ukraine and, in fact, also, the atrocities he's been a party to in syria. so i worry about russia. and then there are the less probable but catastrophic scenarios. a pandemic flu, frankly, is a major concern. north korea continuing to advance and perfect its nuclear missile program. even an unforeseen conflict between indiana and pakistan.
both nuclear armed nations that are constantly scirm -- skirmishing in kashmir. >> rose: vladiir putin said tuesday he accused the outgoing administration of trying to undermean president trump by false allegations. he described the dossier alleging trump's sexual activity at a moscow hotel was faked and charged it as being worse than prostitution. he's talking about your administration. vladimir putin saying -- >> vladimir putin has told more lies tha than i can count, whetr about syria, ukraine or his role in interfering in our elections. so i don't take anything he says as gospel truth and, in this case, it's completely dishonest and counterfactual.
president obama had no knowledge of and no role in this alleged dossier, and, obviously, it is the consensus, high-confidence view of our collective 17 intelligence agencies that vladimir putin made a deliberate attempt to interfere with our election. that's the fact. >> rose: to interfere with our election and to make sure that donald trump was elected? >> i don't think it's possible to say to make sure. >> rose: or to help. but to assist by denigrating secretary clinton. >> rose: so putin wanted to -- that's what our intelligence -- >> rose: -- do whatever he could to benefit the election or add to or contribute to? >> that is what our intelligence community has concluded. >> rose: so what if we done? this goes to the heart of the democratic process. >> it does. >> rose: have we retaliated in kind? have we done something so mr. putin either face to face in china or overseas that putin
says, i'm not doing that again? >> there are different stages to this. we have retaliated and responded in a serious fashion and we've said from the outset that we' respond in a manner and a time of our own choosing and not all of it may be evident to the american people. >> rose: but it has begun? it has begun and, in fact, a significant element of it was announced at the end of last month when the president sanctioned the russian military intelligence and other russian intelligence agencies and their leadership for their direct role in trying to involve themselves in our election. he also expelled 35 russian intelligence officials, closed down two very valued facilities that they operated in the united states, put out in great detail the forensics that showed how russia conducted these attacks, and a variety of other
significant steps. now, charlie, you mentioned china, and back in early september, as we were beginning to see indications of this, the president did convey a very forceful message to president putin. and it's our assessment as we're having greater confidence in the sac base for our conclusions. the intelligence community made it clear what we had seen, that russia was playing a nefarious role at the highest level designed to interfere in our election. the fact of the matter is russia's behavior, bad as it was, and it was significant, could have been worse, and i think might have been word had it not -- worse had it not been for the fact that they understood that there would be
potentially very significant consequences. >> rose: have they stopped? doing what? >> rose: hacking. no. >> rose: can you prevent them from hacking? >> no. look, russia and other state and non-state actors will continue to hack. the hacking -- the problem with what they did in the election, this went beyond intelligence gathering. this went beyond hacking. >> rose: this is hacking to do what? >> to acquire information and use it to influence the election. >> rose: samantha power made a speech in which she basically said this demonstrates how committed russia is to breaking rules and tearing down the existing world order -- she cited ukraine, crimea and syria. that's interesting, breaking the rules and tearing down the existing world order. is that what vladimir putin wants to do? >> i don't know that that's an think he's certainly trying to bend the rules of the world
order, and i think he is certainly trying to manipulate the rules to his benefit. so his invasion of ukraine and annexation of crimea was a blatant violation of international rules and norms and he did so to advantage his own interests. at the same time as he's doing that, he purports to uphold international law by virtue of his role as a permanent member to have the security council. so there is a duality there. when it's convenient for russia they are violating international rules and norms. samantha points to syria as another example. in other ways it tries to wag its finger and be the great champion of the international rules and norms. so it's a dishonest game, a manipulative one, but it's all about serving what he believes to be his interests. >> rose: is it fair to say vladimir putin said the
u.s.-russia relationship is as bad as he's ever seen it? >> i think you and i are old enough to remember the cold war and, so, i think we need a little bit of perspective even in the midst of what is a difficult period in our relationship. there's no doubt. i would not be prepared to characterize it that way and, in fact, even as we have reached very difficult times by virtue of what's happened with respect to our election and ukraine and syria, there is still other areas where the united states and russia on a daily basis are working together and are continuing to find areas where our interests coincide, for example, implementation of the iran nuclear deal as well as -- >> rose: john kerry said to me last week they were a great help to getting that deal done. >> that is true, and that's where their interests and ours coincided. we negotiated and we're both still add hearing to the new start treaty to reduce our
nuclear arsenals. so there are areas where our interests converge and we are able to cooperate. there are increasingly a number of areas where they diverge. >> rose: donald trump, the president-elect, has said he's prepared to consider reducing the sanctions if there is an action on the part of vladimir putin and russia, suggesting something within the nuclear treaty. can you imagine circumstances in which it would be appropriate to reduce the sanctions that have been posed by your administration? >> we have different sanctions for different purposes, charlie. we have sanctions on russia for their annexation of crimea and ukraine. for those, we've said as long as they're holding on to crimea there are certain sanctions that are going to remain in effect. when it comes to ukraine, if russia were to fulfill its commitments and fully implement
the minsk agreement -- we have separate ones that involve human rights. we have other sanctions that relate to their involvement in the election, and i think for this latter group of human rights related and election related the bar ought to be very, very high for reducing those sanctions because the damage has been enduring. >> rose: china, donald trump is talking about taking a new look at the one china policy. you think that's a wise i think the to do? >> i don't. the one chin policy has served the united states, taiwan and china well, and it has been a foundational element of the u.s.-china relationship since normalization back in 1979. we are a friend and partner of taiwan. we adhere to the taiwan relations act. we provide defense equipment and
support to taiwan, and that has served taiwan and the united states well. but to abrogate the one china policy or to bring it into ancillary negotiations, say on an economic or trade issue, i think would be a grave mistake and i think we will find that china, with whom we have managed to forge a far more pragmatic and effective relationship where we cooperate in a far wider range than ever before, whether climate change or peacekeeping or global health or nonproliferation, and we manage our differences and competition whether in the economics sphere tore the south china sea in a constructive fashion, that whole balance could be upset in a very devastating way. >> rose: not only that, north korea. >> in fact, china, for better or worse, is an indispensable player when it comes to north korea. our global economy is such that
the u.s. and china's economies are intimately linked. they hold a high proportion of our debt. there are just many ways in which we can't afford to play fast and loose with what is the most consequential bilateral relationship on the planet. >> rose: but here's what some people are looking at, and they asked themselves, they see xi jinping at davos giving a major speech, the first time china has been there, basically saying globalization is good, when the whole populous revolution is about globalism is bad. he's over there saying we believe in world market, we believe we have to monitor what happens in gmobalization, it's almost like china is saying we are the champion of globalization, not the united states. >> well, the united states has been the biggest beneficiary of globalization and free trade and open markets. it has reinforced democratic
rule in many places, it's raise eds living standards, and the exports are a huge basis of our economy. so i think we would be very remiss if we ceded the mantel of leadership on free trade and economic openness to china, and that's why the president has been so committed to the trans-pacific partnership. >> rose: which he did not get passed. >> which was not passed by congress. >> rose: which is an act of presidential leadership. >> first negotiating the deal and getting trade promotional authority which we did to enable it to be passed and then, unfortunately, in the latter month of the year, the leadership in congress made clear they wouldn't take it up. >> rose: tell me where you see the possibilities of chinese relationship. you've cited some of the things that worked. on the other hand, they are much more aggressive in the south china sea, even building up those islands with military and
defensive equipment. they are building up their navy to be an outreach of their global power, they are a continent that you know a lot about have a presence in africa. >> china is, for the united states, the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world, and we have to manage it very carefully. i've spent more time traveling to china as national security advisor than to any other country. i have personally been engaged very directly with my chinese counterparts and met myself with xi jinping on a number of occasions in order to help shepherd this very complicated relationship. it now spans the entirety of the u.s. government, everything from wildlife trafficking to public health in africa to our defense relationship. it's complicated, it's intense, it's got economic and security
dimensions to it, and we need to recognize that, you know, when the united states and china can solve problems together, that's beneficial for both countries and for the world, and we saw that most dramatically in the climate sphere where our leadership enabled the paris agreement to be forged. when the united states and china are in confrontation, whether in the economic sphere or the security realm, it's quite dangerous and we have to be very clear to stand up for what we believe in, and that's freedom of navigation, freedom of overflight. we'll fly and sail and operate -- >> rose: what will stop him from going ahead and adding to their presence in the south china sea? >> charlie, they have been adding to their presence and other claimants have been adding to their presence. china is obviously the largest player in that regard. but what we've insisted on, and we don't take a view on whose claims are legitimate under international law, is that we
are the united states and our commercial and military vessels will operate where we need to, we will defend our allies, we will defend the international rules and norms, and we've done that, and china doesn't like it and there is potential for our disagreements in this realm to escalate. but for now, we have managed them and i think managed them responsibly. i'll give you another area where we have had major differences but we've managed to mitigate the conflict and turn down the temperature and that's in the cyber realm. china has been very aggressive over many years, particularly in using the cyber tools to steal economic assets, right. >> rose: the argument being made, often made by the united states and the president complained about it roundly to xi jinping, that the government of china was benefiting businesses -- >> they're stealing our stuff from our companies --
>> rose: -- to give to their company so they would have an advantage in the world market. >> they used cyber enabled espionage for person gain. >> rose: did they stop? much reduced it because in september of 2014, on the -- 2515, i apologize -- 2015, on the eve of xi jinping's visit to the united states, following my visit to china in august, we made very clear that unless this stopped and unless we reached an understanding about what the rules of the road were going to be, and they foreswore not only in word but deed this commercial espionage using cyber, that we were going to impose sanctioned and they understood it so we reached a five-point agreement that the president announced here in september, and i think if you will ask our commercial partners, u.s. companies or our intelligence community, they will all say that the frequency
and the nature has been reduced, not eliminated. >> rose: but do you agree that donald trump as a candidate for president of the united states was able to speak to people who lost their jobs and be able to tell them that it was in part because of unfair trade practices by china and the loss of their jobs and the moving of factories and all of that has to do -- >> the question -- i'm sorry. i'll let you finish it. >> rose: -- that china was not playing on a level playing field and it was going to cost american jobs and he would do something about it even if it meant imposing a 45% tax. >> there is no question we have had a number of economic grievances as relates to china and we need to deal with them each in their own rights. we have taken more trade actions against china, including this past week the aluminum realm, for where we see unfair trade
practices. so we're enforcing the rules of the road and making sure the american companies, where there is disadvantage, there is add cat and full retaliation. on the other hand, we have to be realistic. our economies where intertwined. a 45% tariff on chinese goods will not only harm china, it would harm the united states, it would trigger a trade war, and president xi jinping has been clear about that and that's not good for us or the global economy. so we need to find calibrated and responsible ways to protect our businesses where they are threatened and industry and not tank the global economy in the process, and where we have workers that have been displaced or disadvantaged by trade with china or in past our currency concerns with china, we need to defend them not only in the relationship with china but in terms of helping them adjust back here at home. >> rose: we clearly saw the
impact of sanctions in iran. we got a nuclear deal out of that. >> yes, we did. >> rose: can you tell me one way that sanctions against russia have altered their policies? >> well, let's go to the ukraine because those sanctions have been in now longer than any of the others. ones we just discussed related to the election have been in place only since last month. i think on the ukraine sanctions what we can say is that the united states working in concert with europe and having a unified approach to sanctions certainly has created economic pain in russia and exacerbated what has already been a precarious situation because of lower oil prices. it led to the minsk agreements that were signed but not fully implemented. it's both. there would be no minsk agreements and no agreed framework with how to resolve the conflict without the united states and europe and the other members of our partners in the
g7 staying together. so i think it's important the pressures remain in place until minsk is implemented. in the meantime, we have supported ukraine to develop its economy, to get back on its feet, to build up its defensive capabilities. >> rose: do you think the russians are going to once again change their policy about crimea? isn't that a done deal? >> they may think it's a done deal. it's not accepted by anybody else in the international community. it's not been acknowledged or validated. whether they change their posture, charlie, i'm not here to predict that's going to happen tomorrow, the next day or next year, but what i can say zits not been accepted by any country as legitimate. it was an illegal annexation of another country's territory. >> rose: which stands today. it stands and it can't be accepted. >> rose: let me move to what has been troubling for you, for the president, for the country, syria. you have said you were not in
favor of the united states intervening in a civil war between bashar al-assad and whoever the rebel forces were. >> intervening militarily. >> rose: intervening militarily. russia did intervene militarily, and it looks like their intervention made a significant difference. does that hurt our standing in the world? >> charlie, what i think would hurt our standing far more than russia deciding to commit itself militarily -- >> rose: we didn't go in, russia went, in the results were on their side. >> they're taking the losses, they're bearing the cost of what we think is a misguided policy to back assad. but what are our interests? is it in the united states' interest to get involved in another hot war on the ground in the middle east? we don't think so. >> rose: that begs the question as to whether there is an allearntive to getting -- >> hold up. we've got an hour here.
let me finish. >> rose: please. yes. i apologize. >> the other thing that is in our interest is dealing with the terrorist threat that has arisen in iraq and syria and doing so in an effective and sustainable way. so we have been involved, we are involved militarily in syria, but to try to defeat i.s.i.l in a coalition with others and in iraq the same way, working with the iraqi government, and we've rolled back the games i.s.i.l's made over across 50% of the territory in iraq and syria we've taken out many of its senior leaders, and as i think we'll see in mosul and will see in raqqa, that campaign is making political progress, that service our direct interests because there are people both in iraq and to a great extent in syria that are plotting to attack the united states and our european partners and others, so that's where we need to engage. a choice to involve ourselves in the syrian civil war would have been very punch a war of choice
and one where our direct interests in the president's judgment, and in my judgment, frankly, were not implicated to the extent that it warned the loss of american life and -- >> rose: and what happened was the failure of negotiations between the russians and the united states so far in order to find some alternative to bashar al-assad. >> whether or not the united states had chosen to intervene in syria, and as i said -- >> rose: they have intervened. militarily in the civil war. >> rose: they have intervened. no, charlie, i'm talking about whether we got involved in the way russia got involved and we have not and i think that was the right choice. this conflict will have always needed to end at the negotiating table, there's no question about that. so going back to the beginning, before it was the u.s. and russia talking, it was the united nations hosting talks in geneva back in 2012 and 2013. we have been involved in these negotiationnegotiation from they
beginning because the only sustainable way, in our judgment, to end the conflict and see assad leave the scene will be through goashed settlement. >> rose: the only alternative farce you, the president and secretary of defense and the national security apparatus in the united states was concerned was a significant number of boots on the ground, that was the only thing, in your judgment, that would have turned the civil war in the favor of the rebels against bashar al-assad is this. >> i'm not even sure that would have. but you were asking -- >> rose: you know nothing that would have turned it against assad? >> well, if we got enmeasured intensely in the -- enmeshed intensely in the war in syria prior to russian intervention, i can't predict with certainty what that would have had, but that would have been the most direct and impactful way to try to affect the situation as we had done years before in iraq with tens of thousands of u.s. troops on the ground, and we saw in that circumstance that, as important as the gains that were
made in that conflict on the ground were, they proved ultimately to be very fleeting in their sustainability. >> rose: but look at the consequences, and i know to ask any question of you and the president how much every one of you has an wished over this, an wished over this. you don't look at aleppo and not feel. >> nobody does. >> rose: -- the tragedy there. understand that. but the question is were your assumptions right, because of the ramifications? look at europe and what happened with migration. look at the political future of one of the president's best friends, angela merkel. she's facing reelection and is not altogether sure. look at what's happened to the rise of populism, all a product in part -- >> in part. populism had many other dimensions. >> rose: i agree, but in part. we've discussed some of them. >> rose: jobs and globalization. >> exactly right. so let me say this, there's no doubt that what has evolved in syria as a result of the civil
conflict, particularly the refugee outflow and particularly the outflow that's gone to europe has been destabilized, no question about that, but the united states getting involved in the war on the ground or air wouldn't have resined the fact of the refugees, it might have even exacerbated it. >> rose: but you didn't do anything -- i want to be clear about this, not anything, because as i said you had a presence on the ground and tried hard and had men and women on the ground, but the argument is made, you know, was there nothing you could do? the president has said in exit interviews, you know, that he asked people constantly was searching for alternatives and you're saying and he's saying we found no way -- >> let's be clear what we're talking about here. we're talking about was there a military way to affect the outcome of the civil war such that assad was defeated and the
opposition victorious. >> rose: and the answer to that is? >> the answer is, as you said, we have wrestled with this problem 16 ways to sunday, rolled over in our minds and at the principals table -- >> rose: you wanted to find a way to do that but -- >> every potential option. well, not that we couldn't, but we assessed the risks and costs of much increased american, u.s. direct military involvement in the civil conflict were not outweighed by the benefits and, so, to involve the united states directly in a civil conflict where we are putting american lives in significant numbers on the line to try to defeat assad, we judged, and history may take a different view, was not ultimately in america's interests. we didn't do nothing. we have been actively involved in trying to end this war from the beginning, through diplomacy. we are the biggest provider of humanitarian assistance
providing over $6 billion to the people who have suffered from this conflict. we've supported our european partners and played a role in trying to support the maritime interdiction. we've supported the neighboring countries like jordan, lebanon, turkey, that have needed support and, above all, we've taken the fight to i.s.i.l -- >> rose: i'm going to come to that. >> -- which is a threat to the united states and to europe. >> rose: so you look for alternatives and couldn't find them, even though -- >> we didn't find suitable alternatives, satisfactory. of course, there were people advocating for a "no fly." so let's talk about that, for example. what would a "no fly" zone have done? the concept was the create a swath of territory, most of the time it was dued ton northern border of syria with turkey, where people could flee the fighting and have relative
security, okay. that was the concept. "no fly" zone, however, and, by the way, just to be clear, and try to prevent assad from using air power, barrel bombs, whatever, against civilians, we could have done that but it would have been at great cost to the counteri.s.i.l campaign in terms of diversion of assets and resources. >> rose: we don't have enough power to do both? >> we're doing a lot of things in the world simultaneously. no, the answer is, had we chosen to enforce the significant "no fly" zone it would have taken away assets from the counter-site in iraq and syria. we didn't think that would directly serve our proximate interests. moreover, you can't just have people protecting folks on the ground by air, you need someone on the ground provide progress teaks and not n.a.t.o., turkey or anybody at that time was willing to provide that
protection. so it was an idea that sounded good in theory but when you peeled it back and thought what would it entail, what diminution for our support for the i.s.i.l campaign, who would provide the ground force? how many air caps would that require? it didn't make sense. >> rose: to your point as well, you never know if you go into a civil war and defeat the regimish -- >> and that wouldn't have defeated the regime. it just would have protected -- >> rose: let me make my point. yes, i'm sorry. >> rose: if you go into a civil war and defeat the regime you don't know what will follow. >> true. >> rose: all you have to do is look at the arab spring and be confirmed in that view. >> that's true, too, charlie. the fact of the matter is one of the reasons why a negotiated solution is the only sustainable one is because that's the only way to have influence of who comes behind. >> rose: history will have a hard look at this. >> they will indeed. >> rose: and the pain is deep, and it continues -- and it continues.
>> it continues and, charlie, you know, as you said yourself, this is, in my view, the most difficult, vexing, painful policy challenge that i've seen in my years in government, and there aren't any satisfactory, you know, silver bullet solutions. if there were, we would have utilized tel them. >> rose: i.s.i.l, i.s.i.s., the islamic state. mosul will be captured reasonably soon, we assume. i'm not trying to put a time line on it, but you've made significant advances. >> significant process. >> rose: the iraqis have made significant advances. >> yes. >> rose: there is at some point an effort against raqqa. >> yes. >> rose: they think it will take place in 2017. >> yes. >> rose: that both mosul and raqqa will be captured, and the leadership of i.s.i.l will be captured or killed. do you believe that?
>> i think there is a reasonable chance. >> rose: just a reasonable chance? >> look, i'm not -- >> rose: you were talking about you couldn't get involved in civil war because it took resources away from i.s.i.l. >> we're going to capture with our partners on the ground posol and raqqa. you're asking me to be precise about a time line. >> rose: i'm trying to get a year. >> i think it will be done. 100% certain? no. i have great respect for ash carter's campaign. >> rose: john kerry thought it could happen. >> -- with the extraordinary effect sphoor and we've made more progress in iraq and syria than we judged. so i'm an optimist. it will happen, but i won't be nailed -- >> rose: but it won't end terrorism. >> no. by the way, taking raqqa and mosul is necessary but not sufficient. there, i.s.i.l is, for example, just today putting up a major
fight against the russians and the syrians in dara zar, another city south of raqqa inside syria. so it's not as if i.s.i.l is only in mosul and raqqa and their leadership is only in mosul and raqqa, but those are the centers of gravity. they must and will be taken, but there is still work to be done and not just in iraq and syria because i.s.i.l has global ambitions and global presence, so we're doling with i.s.i.l in places like libya, west africa, in parts of southeast asia and in south asia. >> rose: the longest war in american history is afghanistan. when will it end? >> it's ended in terms of the united states direct combat world. we are not in combat in afghanistan. >> rose: the taliban is continuing to fight. >> the cal ban is continuing to fight and our world now for two years has been limited to training and advising and assisting the afghan government
forces to deal with the taliban and go after the terrorist threat as it remains, and there is a residual terrorist threat, an al quaida residual which is quite small, an i.s.i.l presence, that we will continue to work with the afghans to defeat. i can't say with certainty how long that will be, but i think the taliban is proving, as you know well, an enduring adversary for the afghan government. >> rose: when you look at iraq, a place that the president said he was going to withdraw from iraq and he did, correct? >> yes, he did, in keeping with the agreement that president bush made with the irqi government. >> rose: what kind of state is iraq today? do you have confidence in the the prime minister? do you have confidence that they will be able to live with the shia -- that the shia and sunni will be able to live together in iraq? >> iraq is a very complex state
with its own built-in fragility, partly due to sectarianism, partly due to an undiversified economy and democratic institutions. i think president abadi has demonstrated admirable leadership, particularly when compared to the sectarian orientation of his predecessor. he has tried to govern iraq in a fashion that we believe, if continued, would be more sustainable than what we've seen in the past, but the iraqi institutions are nascent and fragile and there is a great deal of sectarian divide that remains. >> rose: john kerry made a strong effort to do something and to bring israelis and palestinians together and, in the end, he could not do it. there is also iran. that agreement has held. >> the nuclear agreement. >> rose: the nuclear agreement. >> 1 year old today.
>> rose: you believe it will continue to hold, that -- or can the administration that's coming to power do away with it? >> it could do away with it. >> rose: what are the consequence ifs they do away with it. >> well, let me outline them. first of all, let's step back and, as you said, this nuclear deal that was agreed and negotiated with iran a long with the european union, france, britain, germany, russia and china, as well as iran itself -- >> rose: the p5+1. the p5+1 plus iran has endured and been adhered to in all of its sellments by the iranian side. in contrast to where we were before the agreement a few years ago, iran has removed two-thirds of its centrifuges and disabled them, shipped out 98% of its enriched yiew uranium, poured
concrete in the reactor -- >> rose: so much farther away to produce the materials for a nuclear warhead. >> at least a year away as opposed to two or three months and that's the success of this deal. and we have achieved the objective of cutting off every one of iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon without the use of force in a far more sustainable way. so for the new administration or any administration to decide to abrogate that deal, they would be saying that success is not good enough and, instead, we are trying to accomplish something else, and i'm not sure what that would be. if they were to do that, charlie, what would happen? first of all, iran, which has held up its side of the bargain would be out from under, no obligations, we would have abrogated the agreement and they would have no obligations that bind them to adhere to the steps
they've taken. they could shrink their breakout time without being in the wrong, so to speak. and one other really important point, our partners who negotiated this deal with us, the europe, russia and china who believe in this deal would feel no obligation and be under no pressure to reinstate the sanctions regime that was a major source of pressure on iran. so iran would not only be out from under sanctions, able to pursue its nuclear program unconstrained, we would be the outlier, not the leader that we were in building the coalition that got us the deal in the first place. >> rose: why are our allies in the region, then, opposed to the deal? >> well, depends on who you're talking to. they take different views. israel, you've heard prime minister netanyahu be very vocal against the deal, but we've also heard the leadership of the israeli military and intelligence community say it's working and it serves our interests. >> rose: the saudis and emirates.
>> if you ask the saudis and emirates their view in public -- >> rose: and private. -- you ask them what they think, they will tell you that they acknowledge that this deal has extend the breakout time and reduced the nuclear threat. the problem is, charlie, for the region, and let's particularly talk about the gulf states, their principal concern is not only the nuclear program, it's other iranian nefarious behavior which we too share a serious concern about. >> rose: it's fair to say anything about it. >> i wouldn't say we haven't done anything about it. the nuclear deal was not about terrorism and it wasn't about ballistic missiles and other things that concern us greatly about iranian behavior. our view is -- and i think if you press them, they'd acknowledge as well -- that given iran's bad behavior, better that it not have a nuclear weapons capacity, better that it have a constrained, small, verified, monitored
civilian program and that it not have the power to threaten israel or our partners in the region with a nuclear weapon. >> rose: one of the things that you have said, and it is this notion, back to a broad picture of the world, i mean, are we looking, as you leave office, at a world that's much more unstable than when you came, because especially not because of actions by the administration, but the changing complexity of the world, are we looking in 2017 at a much more complex, fragile, unstable world? >> i think we're looking -- certainly looking at a complex world and, charlie, i said this, for the, last week -- i said this, in fact, last week at the institute of peace -- >> rose: that's where i got the idea. >> -- the nature of the threats we face is much more diverse.
but in other respects, we face it from a position of greater strength. our economy has rebounded. we are no longer on the verge of a global depression. we are growing now and that is a great source of strength. we no longer have an al quaida core and osama bin laden as the only organization that managed to conduct a plot on foreign soil, osama bin laden is dead and there hasn't been, knock on wood, a successful foreign-directed terrorist attack on our soil. that is better. we are fighting i.s.i.l with a coalition of 68 countries from a position of strength and in a way that is a much more sustainable approach than having to invest tens of thousands of our forces on the ground for an extended period of time. so there are many ways in which we are in a better place than we
were. we have a global climate agreement which we didn't have and has the prospect for dealing with an existential threat to the planet. i could go on. we have an iran that doesn't have the ability to pursue a nuclear weapon, which they did in 2008. but what we do have are other forces that have great greater complexity. russia has certainly been more aggressive, and we have to point to that. >> rose: north korea. i think the north korean threat has been gradually growing, but back in 2008, they had nuclear weapons and they had ballistic missiles. they have continued to pursue those programs, and the sanctions that we have put in place, the efforts and the pressure that we have put in place have been significant, but they have not ended their nuclear program. so -- >> rose: you're talking they soon will have i.c.b.m.s that can deliver nuclear warheads. >> they may.
but this has been evolving. we had a north korea with nuclear weapons some years ago, and that problem persists, and it is not getting better. so we want to be clear about that. when you ask me what worries me, that was one of the things i pointed to. but i thought you were talking about things that have evolved and changed that is meaningfully different from where we were some years ago, and i think that what we are seeing is the nature of the threats are more diffuse. they are of a different nature. we have state actors leak russia that are -- like russia that are problematic. we have non-state actors like i.s.i.l which is equally a threat and sort of multi-headed hydra if you look at its geographic orientation. we have threats we knew of in 2008 but could arise at any moment like pandemic flu which
we've discussed and that's not new but persistent and the risk remains. >> rose: i notice that in what you have been saying. how serious do you see that? >> pandemic flu? a real will risk. it's a fact. it will happen. we have seen it historically over periods of years going back to the most grave instance was in 1918, where, you know, many, many people died, hundreds of thousands, millions had the potential to die from something like this because now our world is that much more interconnected through trade, commerce, air connectivity and, therefore, what happens in one part of the world can quickly spread to another. one of the things that this administration has done which is little known, and we did this -- we started this before the ebola epidemic, was to work with countries around the world to put in place in the weakest links, the poorest, weakest
countries of the world, much improved global health infrastructure so they can detect and surveil disease, they can contain it before it spreads. we have called this the global health security agenda and we have 50 countries or so that are actively part of this, and that's the kind of long-term effort that we're going to need to build and sustain around the world to diminish the risk of pandemic, but we're not going to eliminate it. >> rose: but it says two things. number one, it says these are national security issues. >> absolutely. >> rose: climate is a national security issue. >> absolutely. >> rose: pandemics are a national security issue and they're transnational -- >> like terrorism. >> rose: -- like terrorism, so unless you have global cooperation -- >> exactly, charlie. so i often put it this way, the nature of the threats we face are rarely if ever those that can be -- if ever be those that can be resolved by the use of
force. the most difficult threats we face are going to require effective e collective action, meaning that the united states has to lead, rally other countries to work with us. they immediate to see it as in -- they need to see it in their interest whether to act, to combat the ebola epidemic where we brought the world to do that, whether to confront aggression through sanctions on russia when it an exes crimea, or whether it is dealing with a new terror threat like i.s.i.l. this requires global leadership. the paris climate agreement is a great example. the united states has historically been the leader in this regard uncan deer president obama. we have been very effective in bringing countries together to deal with these transnational and global challenges and that's going to be the responsibility and the imperative for the next administration as well. >> rose: i thank you for having this trip around the world with us and much success to you, wherever you are going to be. >> thank you, charlie.
appreciate this. it's always a privilege to get to talk about such a wide range of issues with you. >> rose: susan rice, national security advisor to president obama until january 20th. thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
the following production was produced in high definition. and their buns are something i have yet to find anywhere else. >> cause i'm not inviting you to my house for dinner -- >> -- breaded and fried and gooey and lovely. >> in the words of arnold schwarzenegger -- i'll be back! >> you've heard of connoisseur -- i'm a common-sewer! >> i knew i had to ward off some vampires or something. >> let's talk desserts