tv Q A CSPAN September 15, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
then british prime minister david cameron takes questions from the members of the house of common sense. after that, the european commission president jose manuel barrosso with questions from straszburg, france. >> your new book, "breach of trust" talks in the beginning some about vietnam. how much did your time in vietnam impact what you think today? >> very substantially. although not because my time in
vietnam was toward the end of the war. summer of '70 to summer of '71. the experience stuck with me less because of anything i experienced as a combat platoon leader, but from what i saw in terms of the it gave me an idea of the terrible effects of long war. >> how long were you in the army? >> 15 years. we served until 1992. it was a year in vietnam early on. but for the most part, i was -- my experiences were those of a serving officer in the latter part of the cold war. we thought that we existed to be prepared, to fight world war iii, and that our ready to do
almost a part of what it meant to be a citizen. i grew up in that environment. when it came time to go to college, i had choices. and i think -- i went to west point, not because i thought i was going to be a career officer, but because i was attracted to what they had to offer and thought i would save my parents some money by paying for my education. >> they paid for you go there too, slight. >> it's a stiphon. it's spending money, more than spending money, yes? >> where did you grow up in illinois and indiana? >> i was in normal, illinois. my dad graduated from medical school, he served in the army for a year as an intern in hawaii. and when we return from hawaii in 1954, we returned to where he grew up in the northwest corner of indiana, around east chicago
and hammond. >> her years, total years from her freshman year at the west point to the time you got out of the service, what were those years. >> 1965. so i became a cadet in the summer when we were ratcheting up the combat role in vietnam. >> go back to the vietnam experience. what did you think of the vietnam war going in. you went in 1970? >> 1970. >> and what did you think of it after you spent a year there? >> well, i think the answer to the question -- i have to put it in a little broader context and put it in the context of the 1960s. so i just mentioned that my classmates and i showed up at west point in the summer of '65. and in an sense. we missed the 1960s. we lived a relatively insulated
and isolated existence at the military academy at the time while outside of the gates of the military academy, in many respects, the country was coming apart. coming apart because of the unpopularity of the vietnam war, also coming apart because of assassinations, of racial unrest, of a -- of a -- the emergence of a counterculture so that we were aware of the fact that all of this was going on but untouched by all of that. in that sense, being a cadet in west point in the latter part of the 1960s was kind of a strange experience. now the thing that interested us most aska debts was -- as cadets was the threat of war. we were together in a large dining hall. in dinner when they made the announcements, they would announce the members of the
previous class or the previous two classes that had just been killed. so there's a constant reminder to us that we were entering an army that was at war and vietnam given it was a protracted war was a experience that awaited us. it became apparent as we were there war was not going well. not just that it was unpopular at home, it was mismanaged in the field, mismanaged from washington. now i wouldn't say as a 19-year-old i would have been a i believe to articulate the ways in which it was being mismanaged. but this is going to turning out the be world war ii and ending with a ceremony on the battleship. the tet offensive early 1968 happens in our junior year, and in many respects, the tet offensive is the turning point
in terms of the american experience in vietnam. it's at that point when even the johnson administration acknowledges that we're no longer fighting to win. what we're fighting for is not clear, but we're not fighting to win. so by the time my class graduates and we deploy, most of us in spring and summer of 1970, we deploy to a war that we know will not be won. we deploy to war that we really have no intention of winning any longer. we deploy to an army in vietnam racked with racial tension, drug problems, the disciplinary deterioration. and that makes it a difficult experience. so what did i think at the time? well at the time, i think i was probably confused and then some senses didn't want to think too deeply.
about the war, its origins, the conduct, and the prospects. to think too deeply about the questions would be to confront some difficult matters. so it's a little easier, i think, to try to do your job. try to be a good soldier. and don't consider the larger implications of the -- of the entire vietnam experience. i don't know if that's the way my classmates handled it, but that's the way i handle it. so do my best in the year, come home in one piece and go on with my life. >> when you wept to vietnam, second or first lieutenant. >> what part of vietnam were you stationed in, what was your job roochlt. >> the war was drawing down. and so president nixon, he was a president by the time i got there would periodically go on tv and make an announcement that 40,000, 60,000 u.s. forces were
going to come home. the effect of that was that units were closing down in vietnam. and the effect of that on the individual was you might be assigned to this unit for your first six months and that unit goes down and goes to another unit. that's what happened to me. i serve in a little town called tsong mau not too far from the coast for roughly the first three months. then i was transferred to the first squadron tenth calvary and in the central high lands centered on the town of onke. the mission was to secure a highway, ql-19, that ran from the city of kunyan on the coast to play to khartoum. so our job was to keep the highway open. i was a platoon leader in tsong
mau. then a platoon leader in onke. and the latter part of my tour, i was an operations officer in the squadrons force. >> i'm going to come back for this. from 1990 to 2013, what kind of work were you? >> in 1992, i got out of the army for the present, i guess i had been an academic and a writer. i spent six years here in washington at the school of advanced international studies. that's kind of my academic apprenticeship. i was running a little research institute and doing some teaching. very grateful for that opportunity. in 1998, pos on the university invited me to join the faculty. i've been there since 1998. it's ban life transforming opportunity for me. it's a wonderful place. >> you describe yourself in a conversation you had in boston
university in 2010 as a conservative catholic. is that still the way you feel? >> yeah. i think that -- you know, the -- a lot of people in conversation with me work on the assumption that since i went to west point and was a soldier, those must be sort of the formative experiences in my life. and they were important experiences. what's more important is i was born and raised in the midwest in the so-called heartland. i was raise in a seriously catholic house hold. i remain a catholic. it's an important anything to me. and i'm a conservative. but i'm not a conservative in the sense that people who are adhering to the republican party claim to be conservatives. i personally think that what passes for conservatism in this country is anything but conservative. it's a different definition of
what it means to be conservative than most people -- the notion that comes to people's minds when they hear that word spoken. >> further define what you mean by conservative? >> i think -- i'll begin with the notion that conservatives value our inheritance. and they wish to maintain, to preserve, to conserve that inheritance. the inheritance is intellectual. the inheritance is cultural. it's social. and it's material. the world. so to me, a conservative ought to be an environmentalist among other things. generally speaking, it must be something that people on the left adhere to. and the people on the right scoff at. it's utterly wrong. conservatives should be tree
huggers, to put it that way. in terms of social values. i'm a traditionalist. and i understand that there are very powerful cultural forces in our country that are dismissive of our -- of the social structures that we have received from past generations. frankly those forces are so powerful that there's no turning them back. it's foolish to think that -- to take gay rights as an example. it's foolish to think that one is going to restore traditional norms in that regard. that said, i think that we are too quick to overthrow some of them. a conservative in the realm of foreign policy ought to be a
realist. ought to bridle at the notion there was some great american mission we're going to redeem or transform the world. i think a conservative would be issue where you'd be exceedingly weary of war and somewhat skeptical of military institutions. wary of war because war at the end of the day is uncontrollable. there may be a time you need to fight. but the notion you see war as a desirable instrument of policy, that's not a conservative perspective from my point of view. we should certainly respect soldier, conservatives should be wary of military institutions because conservatives generally ought to be concerned about any large conglomeration of power. chon serve tifs should favor the distribution of power rather than the greatest conservation of power and the greatest
concentration of power in our time is the greatest concentration of power in our military. instead of throwing none the pentagon which we tend to favor doing, conservatives should be those at the forefront of watching the pentagon. not because we hate soldiers, on the contrary. because the founders of this republic correctly identify the concentration of military power constitute the threat of liberty. >> in the back of your book, it takes about the american empire project. and it writes some of the other people that are writing for that project, gnome comes kee, chalmers johnson who's deceased, yourself, james carroll, michael claire, and others. and most of those people would not be cat gorized as
conservative. let me ask you, why would you be a part of this group. and what is the american empire project. >> it's not my project. but it's a series of -- i'm happy to be a part of it. i'm thrilled to be a part of it. the american empire project is a series of books that were published by metropolitan books. that's my publisher. the series is conceived of by two guys. one of whom is tom ingleheart. he is my editor and friend. he's emphatically a person of the left of every aspect of his politics. and it -- why am i there and still claiming to be a conservative? the answer is, in a sense -- the answer that i gave before was i think that -- i think there are conservatives and principled people on the left can make common cause and should make common cause in arguing for
greater restraint in the way we think about and employ our military -- our military. so tom and i don't necessarily agree on i suppose abortion. the accessorized approach of foreign policy. this is not good for the country and therefore one of the themes of the american empire project is to. >> at the beginning of the introduction, you talk about the captain william reichert. what's that story? >> he was a member of the class of '68 from west point. when i got to first squadron in tenth cavalry, he was a troop
commander. i was not in -- he was a troop commander of c troop. i was in d troop. and this was at the time a shocking episode, an eye opening episode and one of the aspects of my vietnam experience that stuck with me. and i had wanted for sometime to however briefly tell his story. because i think the story is an important one. and i think that his murder by an american soldier shouldn't be forgotten.
and the event is to some degree, emblem attic of the times. and so that's -- that's something that i included in the introduction. >> how did he get murdered by an american? and is it murder or was it a mistake? >> it was murder. >> the perpetrator had words with captain reichert. and i believe, i can't say this for sure, the words had to do with allegations that the perpetrator was involved in a barracks theft. this is -- >> is this -- >> yes, private. >> helicopter mechanic. >> moiler -- >> yeah, moiler. broad daylight, on the fire base, meaning not on patrol.
but he had the m-16. he shot and he killed reichert in front of the orderly room. now, moiler was immediately detained, arrested, charged, convicted, sent to prison. never heard of again. tried to find out what happened with him. he was unable do so. and reichert disappeared. the remains were removed and things went back to normal. >> any publicity on this at the time? how did you remember this? >> virtually none. one of the things i did for the book was to go back and check stars and stripes. stars and stripes is a newspaper that's been published for deployed forces every since world war ii. and it was during the vietnam war, there was a european edition of stars and stripes in people in europe and germany. and so i went to check the pacific edition of stars &
stripes to find out how this shocking event was reported. and the answer was it was barely reported. there was one short article mentioning this attack, providing minimal detail other than i found very interesting making a brief reference to other attacks. by enlisted soldiers on officers that had been lillesed recently in vietnam. it was not that the attack on captain reichert was a one-off event. rather it was indicative of the deterioration of order and discipline that afflicted the army in vietnam at that time. >> i want to run a piece of video of president obama a couple of days ago of a message saying some things about the condition of our country and then get your reaction to it. >> america is back. anyone who tells you otherwise,
anyone who tells you america is in decline or our influence has waned doesn't know what they're talking about. yes, the world is changing. no, we can't control every event. but america remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs and as long as i'm president, i intend to keep it that way. >> what's your take on that? >> well -- well -- you know, you'd like to be able to peer into the president's heart and soul and no he really meant those words. he is saying what he has so say. he's saying what an american president is expected to say, making claims of our uniqueness that becomes common place in our
politics. it's striking is the use of the phrase, indispensable nation, first coined by madeliene albright back when she was secretary of state. and embraced by bill clinton when he became president. it's a -- to make the claim that the present moment, i think, is to in effect say that there is no need for us to think steers youly about the implications of our failures over the past decade. in particular, our foreign policy and national security failures. and i'm referring here to the -- specifically to the iraq war. but also by extension, to the afghanistan war. the president is giving americans or the listeners at least permission to forget all of that. and to pretend that they didn't happen.
>> after you saw what was going on in vietnam earlier in your career, why did you make a career out of the army? >> in some respects, i didn't have the gumption to get out. i had gotten married right before i deployed. probably foolishly. by the time the obligation, the obligation i incurred, by the time the obligation was up, we had two children, two little kids. and the economy is a little soft. and i don't think i had the self-confidence at a time to saki go do something different and i can make enough money to care for my family. and at the same time, the army in its infinite wisdom offered me the opportunity to go to graduate school. we send you to graduate school. you can go teach at west point for a while. that's going to take up the next chunk of years.
that's going to be in the next set of years that i would know that we would have a paycheck coming in. and by the time we got to the end of that next chunk of years. now we're at the ten-year mark of my service, my son had been born. we have three kids. and we seriously thought of getting out and backed away from i it. and, you know, life moves on. we have four kids. and it was only in the early 1990s that i came to the realization that i truly wasn't cut out to be a soldier in the first place. my wife who i love dearly basically said at that point, look, she never cared to be in the army anyway. and made it clear -- we agreed -- we agreed it was time to move on. >> so another clip from former secretary of defense donald
rumsfeld from the other side of the political fence. tell us what you see here? >> if you do not have standing task forces capable of assuring you that in a very short period of time you can get into business in the event you need to be in business, you have substantially reduced the president's options. conversely, if you do have it, you're ready to go, capable of doing things you may not only substantially increase the president's options, but you may very well provide options in the prewar period in the crisis period that enables you to substantially affect the deterrent in a way that persuades someone from doing something that causes that conflict. >> the phrase that he used that struck me the most is he talked about the standing task forces doing things, doing what?
in 2003, at the time the iraq war began, if we'd been able to say to rumsfeld, mr. secretary, what do you mean by doing things, he probably would have said something to the effect that, well, i say doing things, i mean winning things. that there was an expectation that really emerged in 2 aftermath of desert storm back in 1991 seemingly confirmed by the early success in afghanistan in 2001. that had created a very powerful expectation by 2003 that when we committed u.s. forces in combat, they're going to win, they're going to win quickly. they're going to win decisively, they're going to win economically. i mean, economically in terms of dollar costs and in terms of the sacrifices that would be imposed on the u.s. forces.
now, were that, in fact, to -- were those expectations to be valid then sign me up. sign me up. give me some of the standing task forces that we can deploy when we're giving the president options, perhaps as rumsfeld suggesting the knowledge of our adversaries that we can do this perhapses going to cause them to think again. so if we can guarantee me a victory, sign me up. what's the problem? the problem is we tested 245 proposition in iraq. and it turned out the be not the case. and, indeed, despite the early evidence of success in afghanistan, if afghanistan also turns out to be a case that doesn't demonstrate that we can win victories. this is -- this is -- this is the -- when the president and the early clip is talking about we're the indispensable nation and what he doesn't want us to
talk about. what does he want americans to contemplate. what he wants americans to contemplate is we don't know how to win wars. we have, by any measure, the best military in the world, we certainly spend more on our military than basically the rest of the world put together. but we don't know how to win wars. and it seems to me that there ought to be a serious conversation p national conversation about why is that the case, where does the fault lie. is it the politicians? are we too stupid? is it that our generals are inept? is it the size of the forces that are too small? or is it that by the very nature, war is unpredictable. to go to war is to roll the dice. you might win, you might not. and if you view war as simply rolling the dice, well then, again. this is what i think conservatives should believe, then you really -- you really
only should do this when it's absolutely necessary. you go in with the eyes wide open because it's not going the way you think it's going to go. >> you talk about the following in your book. back in 2004, general eric zinsaki at the time. head of the army. chief of staff at the army. the head of the veterans' administration, the obama administration. here's what he said in the hearing. shortly after that, he went away for a long time. we didn't have any follow-up on this. watch this. >> give us some ideas of the magnitude of the force requirement for the occupation of iraq following a successful completion of the war? >> in specific numbers, i would have to rely on combatant commanders exact requirements. >> how about the range?
>> i would say that what's been mobilized to this point, something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably figure that it would be required. we're talking about post hostilities, control over a piece of geography that's fairly significant with -- with the kinds of ethnic tensions that can lead to other problems. >> in footnote 55 you say paul wolfowitz' concerns wildly off of the mark quote remarking by way of a rebuttal that it's hard to conceive that it will take more forces to provide stability in postwar iraq than it would be
to conduct the security forces and its army. what's this all -- what happened to the general after that? >> he basically was silenced. and the episode, of course, is a very famous one. famous in part because events indicated him, and made mr. wolfowitz look like a bit of a fool. but i think -- i think what's important about the episode -- what -- to appreciate the importance of the episode, you have to appreciate it in the sense of the -- the id logical context in which this debate -- let's call it the shinseki wolfowitz debate, the debate in which it occurs and the context has two dimensions. the first dimension is that
wolfowitz came from a political camp, referred to the neoconservatives committed to the proposition that the united states possessed the capacity to explore democracy. and that nations living under autocrats like saddam hussein yearn yearned to be liberated and embrace democracy. and therefore our capacity and their yearning would combine to make this transition to democracy relatively neat and's s si. he's saying ain't going to happen that way. that's one reason why wolfowitz would go after him. but there's a second reason. relating to a theory of war that had become an ideology at this time. and the theory of war was one that basically said that
advanced information technology, forces equipped with advanced information technology, an ability to identify targets, to strike targets with great precision, to act with great speed, the forces possessing these abilities would be able to win wars, decisively and quickly and, as i suggested a little while ago, neatly and economically. the iraq war is a full scale test of that. on the eve of the iraq war, he is saying, i ain't buying it. it would be messy. from the notion that we could support democracy and the other
notion that the high-tech u.s. forces are going to be able to win quickly, he had gone way out of bounds. >> i want to make sure i correct something i said. 2004 -- it was the 2004 defense budget but he made that statement on february 25, 2003 right before the march -- >> before the invasion, that's correct. >> you write in your book about a famous name in military history, general smedley butler. >> major general smedley butler. >> excuse me. i gave him another stripe. who was he? >> he was a marine who served basically from the beginning of the first outward thrust of the american empire. served well into the 1930s.
twice won the metal of honor. although he participated in world war i, the role in world war i was not significant. the fabric of smedley butler's career was policing the american empire. participating in the boxer expedition in china. invading and occupying various caribbean islands, the dominican republic and haiti. an instrument of u.s. foreign policy. he was good at it. what makes him of great interest to historians was that virtually the day after he took off his uniform and became a civilian, he publicly announced that all of that -- all of that service actually he had been a gangster, i think the phrase was a gangster in service of capitalism that he said out loud
what critics of american foreign policy had been saying throughout this period, that foreign policy is there to serve wall street. he became a kefrl truth teller and was remembered by anti-war people in this country down to the present moment. i use him in the book. i said he's the originator of what i call smedly's syndrome, which is the tendency of some senior military officers to change their minds when they take off their uniform and to suddenly speak truths that when they were on active duty they would not have spoken. he's an example of that. i cite some other examples of that. but i do that in order to cite the most recent example and that
is general william mccrystal. >> stanley mcchrystal. >> excuse me, famous for the iraq war, famous for somebody to become the investigator in afghanistan only to be fired after a year on the job. once he retired, he came out and announced he thought that the all volunteer force was a bad idea. >> let him speak for himself on 2012 on this. >> my guess is we're not going to get a draft through. but what is your take on some sort of mandatory national service? >> i'm becoming a little bit more extreme on this each year. right now i think everybody 56 years old and younger ought to have to serve two years, i'm 57.
no, what i really believe is i think you need national service. i think you need it at the conclusion of high school or university. >> people cheered that. >> they did. >> you think they meant it? >> i don't know. i agree with general mcchrystal. but i'm curious why he waited until he was no longer on active duty to announce his support for national service. had he done that when he was a serving force to our general, that would have been interesting. that might have triggered a very interesting conversation. now he's a retired four stars and he goes to aspen and spouts off and gets polited applause but no one cares what he has to say any longer. that's smedly's syndrome in action. if you had this important insight, why didn't you share it when you could have done something about it? >> wow, just for kicks, why
don't i ask the same question. you spent 23 years in the service. why didn't you do something about the way you felt in the book here says breach of trust. when you were in the service, you stayed 23 years. >> fair question. i think the answer is my own shortsighted inns. that through the time i was serving in the early 1990s, i was not able to discern the snares this reliance on a standing army was going to get us in. going back to my time -- my time of serving in the latter part of the cold war, when the army in which i serve was rebuilding from the catastrophe of vietnam, and the rebuilding in many respects was a great success in terms of better level of training. better quality soldiers, better
dis-palestinian, higher morale. better esprit. so that by the time i got to the latter part of my career in the 1980s and into the 1990s, it it shall it was not difficult to command a unit in a sense that you had these wonderful people who really wanted to soldier. that's the army i left in in 1992. now what didn't i see that i wish in retrospect i had seen. what i didn't see is that once the cold war ended, both -- some politicians and some generals would work hard to find ways to put this wonderful army to work. when detouring the soviet union
was just a task. when all of the capacity was available, people in the pentagon, the white house, the state department, sat down and thought real hard about well, what can we do with this capacity? they needed to find something to do with it in order to justify the continued existence. so this led to the emergence of very per in addition ideas. one of those ideass was the notion that technology can enable us 20 win wars quickly and neatly with great levels of assurance. another idea is the notion that we should be using these forces to project american power rather than 2ke fend ourselves and our allies. >> i want to interrupt that it's only 30 seconds about the time you get out of the service. it's the defense spending cuts discussion in the congress. and this is former chief of staff of the army, general gordon sullivan. this is going to say some of the same things you have.
but this is 1992. >> previous 4ri7, we atrained for warfare, backed up with the mobilized for the nation. the power of the microprocessor, the microchip, leverages our human potential. yesterday, mass was the key to warfare. today, precision is the key to warfare. controls dimensions for speed, space, and time at the critical point. >> what we just sauce with a
succinct impression of the concession of warfare i tried to describe a little while ago. that conception of warfare informed people's expectations for how the iraq war was supposed to go. guess what, we didn't win a concisive victory. we ended up with a protracted war that sullivan's army was not properly trained for and not properly sized for. that's crucial. sullivan said mass doesn't matter. in iraq and afghanistan, mass does matter in the sense that if you're going be able to pass if these countries, you're going require a substantial amount of soldiers to do that. having embraced this model of a standing army of professionalings, we found ourselves with no easy way to
expand the force in order to take on the mission that sullivan was not able to anticipate. with what consequences? well, among the consequences, number one, repeated tours. sending people back again and again and again with terrible adverse effects on their well being. and in an effort to make up for this gap between too much war, not enough warriors, insert contractors into that gap. basically turn it over to private contractors in the business to make money. turning over to them tasks that normally would have been allotted to soldiers. and with incredible waste. where you might say, where are all of the american people in all of this. the american people are on the sidelines, they're in the grand stands. they're cheering. they're putting bumper stickers
on their car saying support the troops. but in a substantive sense, they're disengaged -- from their army, from the war itself. the consequences didn't produce victory and haven't produced substantial benefit from the country. i would argue, and i did in the book, this reliance on a professional army disengaged from the people, that permits officials in washington to engage in unnecessary wars is -- it has depleted american power. >> the earlier clip says president obama says that people who say they're in decline don't know who they're talking about. well, i takef issue with the president. there's plentiful evidence that the country is in serious trouble. there are lots of reasons why we're in serious trouble. one of the reasons is that we've developed this proclivity for
wars, this compulsion to use force. in ways that don't produce positive outcomes. there's a considerable amount of thinking that really ought to be happening in washington to try to figure out how we got in this mess and how we got out. one thing that outrages me is the fact that the inclination in washington indulged by the american people is to forget about the failures. do not think about it or try to identify the serious questions of the iraq war. the serious explanations for why 9/11 happened. it's very disturbing. >> what were the circumstances that your son lost his life in iraq? >> i've made it a policy not to talk about that. only because it seems to me that these are private matters and
we're better off just letting them stay that way. >> but doesn't that -- isn't that a factor in the way you feel about all of this? >> i imagine it is. and if prior to may 13, 2007, i was a young ho supporter of the world, you might say i had a decisive impact. the truth is, i was a critic of the war before my son was killed. and, of course, how could something like that not affect ones outlook? but i don't think it had a decisive effect. >> the reason i brought it up, you tell us when we started this discussion, that you sat there in the food hall at the mess hall. >> the mess hall. >> at west point. and they wouldn't -- i would ask you, why would they announce the number of west point grads that had been kill in vietnam.
>> not announcing the numbers, but the names. >> why would they do that. when you're training to go to war, what was the point? >> no one explained to me what the point was. but i would think one of the points would be to it's an act of homage. heefs someone who once marched in your rankles. that person has now forfeited his life for his country. >> let us acknowledge that has happened. in retrospect, i don't find it inappropriate. in retrospect, it was more than appropriate. >> it would be interesting to know what impact that had on you. you're having a meal. tom smith dies in vietnam. but we go -- move ahead to your son dying, the -- most americans didn't see anybody in iraq or afghanistan get wounded or killed. 6500 in iraq and afghanistan total killed and another 136,000
wounded. how much did that have an impact versus a war there was a draft on the american people? >> well this, is something i write about in this boom and quite frankly tried to insert into previous books that the -- that the -- the unintended consequenced of abandoning the tradition of the citizen soldier and instituting our so-called all volunteer army, misnamed, the professional army. the unintended consequence was to allow separation between the american people and the american military can occur, a gap. one manifestation of that gap is that, you know, if we -- if you take the complaint of the occupy
wall street, the 99% being exploited by the 1%. in war, it's the reverse, 99% exploiting the 1%. the 1% who serve, who are sent to these wars, many of which should not be fought, none of which are being won. the 1% bears the burden of sacrifice and the other 99% watch. that is not democratic. and i think it is profoundly immoral. that's going to continue to be the case as long as we maintain this all volunteer force. the solution -- the solution -- is the solution that the general mcchrystal identified, i think, to institute a program of national service in which all
will serve, all able bodies 18-year-olds will serve. some serving in other capacities, all serving at one time. as a mean to reconstitute a definition of citizenship. and the means to ensure that the army we send is an army of the people. it's a cross section of the american people. that is something that needs to be part of the political debate. >> watch president george bush talking about tommy franks very much involve in the iraq war, getting the medal of freedom. he's sitting with there george tenet and don rumsfeld. not sure, but get your reaction to this. >> no plan ever survived the first contact with the enemy. but in iraq, tommy franks' did.
the force defeated saddam hussein's regime and reached baghdad in less than a month. the longest fastest advance in the history of american warfare. today they're building a secure democrat inge future. one of the highest distinctions of history is to be call ad lib ray tore. and tommy franks will always carry that title. >> the other person i think -- it was not don rumsfeld. he was probably no inn the audience. but paul wolfowitz. what's your reaction to that. >> the travesty. the narrative of the iraq war was to put it mildly, incomplete. franks did succeed in toppling saddam hussein. but that was not sufficient.
it was not sufficient to our chief political services or to provide the lib rans to the iraqi people. the iraqi people are coming apart as the seams on a hundreds -- on a monthly basis, hundreds of iraqis being killed by the insurgency. >> whole thing a waste of time, money? >> i think -- well, no -- >> yeah. i understand the response. the warmed is a better place. i suppose that's true. >> were these men evil that got us involved in there. i believe that -- >> they were arrogant and they were naive. and it's hard to understand in a way. because remember when the republicans won the 2000 election, well, part of the republican critique of the democrats in the clinton era was
that when the democrat national security team was like amateur hour. and what the republicans -- the republicans portrayed themselves as the people who understand how the world works. we're going to bring in the seasoned operators like rumsfeld, the second tour secretary of defense. colon powell, secretary of state, condoleezza rice, national security advisor. heck, dick cheney was the vice president. these are the people who understood how the world really worked and therefore could be trusted to make prudent and wise decisions. that's why it's so hard to understand their -- understand their arrogance and their naivete. but that's -- that's the label they will carry to history and the label that tommy franks will carry will be incompetence. >> who's the last politician you thought knew what they were doing and you could vote for them? >> well, i voted for barack
obama twice. but i voted him because you know you get to an election, it's either this guy or that guy, obama was preferably alternative. but in question of who i think deserves respect, i think i'd probably say i like ike. now he had his own flaws and did some stupid things in iran, in guatemala. he's the guy who sort of teed up the ball for john kennedy when he came to the bay of pigs which is foolish. but if you look at the eight years of the overall, make an overall judgment of the eight years of the eisenhower presidency, he did darn well. >> you say that the washington establishment -- i wrote this down. says, quote, trust us. we know what we're doing, unquote? >> well, i think that that's the
attitude i sensed. what i mean is this that over the course of the cold war and into the postcold war period, there emerged this notion that national security policy was dplex. you needed to acquire expert teals. you need to be an insider. you have to have access to the classified -- the classified administration. and if you buy that, if you buy that notion, then the role of the 34er7b people in the formulation of national security policy is basically to defer. to look to washington for guidance. it seems to me if you look at
the performance of the establishment in particular of the postcold war era, there's no justification for saying that somebody who has a high-ranking position in the defense department is any smarter than my late departed late betty lou who lived her entire life in morrison, illinois. so i would like to see americans become a lot more willing to ask hard questions. and to not defer. i don't see signs that it will happen. but i think that's what we need. >> the book is called "breach of trust." it's your what book? >> my -- i don't remember, but -- >> seven, snagt. >> something like that. yeah. >> you are a professor at boston university. >> i am. >> have been there since -- >> 1998. >> andrew bacevich. thank you for joining us. >> thank you.