tv Washington Journal 08152021 CSPAN August 15, 2021 7:00am-10:04am EDT
and advocacy efforts on capitol hill with dan eckstein, who previously led the national association of business political action committees. ♪ host: good morning, everyone. breaking out of afghanistan this morning. it is widely reported that the taliban has surrounded the city of kabul and the afghan government is on the brink of collapse. the news comes following president biden's statement yesterday that he will send additional troops, a total of 5000, to afghanistan to assist in evacuating americans and other personnel. we get your thoughts on whether the u.s. withdrawal is a
mistake. if you say yes, dial (202) 748-8000. if you say no, (202) 748-8001. and if you are unsure, your line is (202) 748-8002. afghan war vets, we would like your thoughts on what is happening in the country. (202) 748-8003. you can text us with your first name, city and state with the same number. you can join the conversation on twitter at the handle @cspanwj and instagram at the same handle as well. is it a mistake for the u.s. to withdraw from afghanistan? that is our question this morning. some news out of the country from cnn. the afghan government is in talks with the taliban over the future of the country. taliban leaders are at the
palace in kabul talking with afghan leaders. the associated press says the taliban spokesman -- you also have this reporting from al arabia. this story is unfolding this morning. a reporter from fox news says secretary blinken, secretary austin and the joint chiefs chair, general milley, will provide a virtual briefing for all house members at 9:45 a.m. eastern on afghanistan. the president yesterday afternoon issued a statement saying that an additional 5000 troops, or a total of 5000, would be deployed to afghanistan
to help with the removal of embassy staff and other personnel. he also wrote in this statement that over our country's 20 year war in afghanistan, america has sent its finest young men and women, invested, trained over 300,000 afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment and the longest war in u.s. history. one more war or five more years of u.s. military presence would not have made a difference. pico endless american presence in -- an endless american presence in another country's civil conflict is not acceptable to me. let's go to john, massachusetts, independent. good morning to you, john.
john, florence, massachusetts, independent, what do you say? is it a mistake to withdraw? caller: i don't think it is a mistake. it is a statement for the u.s. abroad. host: in what way? caller: attacks that could take place in the united states associated with 9/11, our association. host: so, john, what should our policy be in afghanistan? caller: leave and regroup and talk about democracy. host: ok. ben, west palm beach, florida. hi. caller: good morning. hello. good morning. good morning. i don't want to say i think it is a mistake to withdraw, but i was in kindergarten when the u.s. invaded afghanistan. throughout history, the british have tried. the soviet union have tried.
it goes back before that, since ancient times. superpowers have more or less been defeated trying to invade afghanistan. it has brought no benefit to these superpowers that have gone in there. if anything, just embarrassment, things of that nature. host: are we secure in america if the taliban controls afghanistan? caller: i am not sure of the dates but it is my understanding that the taliban-controlled afghanistan far prior to 9/11. osama bin laden was not part of the taliban government. they gave shelter to him, stuff like that, which they should not have been doing, but i don't think them being in power in afghanistan has a direct security threat on the united states. host: joining us on the phone is a white house national security reporter with the wall street journal. let's begin with what you know out of afghanistan this morning. guest: we are seeing the rapid
encirclement of kabul by the taliban. they took the solidity of jalalabad to the east, which is kind of like the east -- they took the city of jalalabad to the east, which is kind of like the last city to the east of kabul. now they are in kabul and they are negotiating a takeover of the city, potentially peacefully, potentially not. we don't know, but everything has moved so fast it is hard to process to see what is happening when, but that is what is happening. host: the associated press reporting the afghan officials say troops surrendered to taliban. what -- on that? guest: concerning. we have seen lower-level
takeovers of these prisons, which amount to more manpower for the taliban. that particular prison, which is close to kabul, is seen as part of the taliban strategy in terms of taking over kabul. we know from the people, my colleagues on the ground, gunfire and, you know, clashes around the prison last night, not currently wear anything -- what the current status of the prison is, but with the takeover of kabul potentially soon, the takeover of the prison may not be far behind in then you have that much more manpower bolstering the taliban's influence and power in the city. host: what are you hearing in your reporting about the afghan president? will he stay on? guest: i don't think he is going
to stay on. right now, what we think is he is either in the presidential palace in kabul. there are some reports he is at the u.s. embassy complex now, and if not now, he may be meeting top u.s. and taliban officials to negotiate his ouster. mr. ghani, now a fixture for the last several years, has presided over this quick takeover by the taliban. it is in part his and so his other civilian advisors, who are being blamed now for the lack of a clear security strategy to counter the taliban, even starting weeks ago if not months. but again, we are just in an
amazing place right now given that the taliban has virtually no provincial capitals -- the taliban had virtually no provincial capitals just days ago. host: what is the prospect of a power-sharing agreement? guest: you know, that is a central question and i don't know the answer. i think the taliban -- again, the last several days in particular, if not months, suggest the taliban has the upper hand and i don't know if they are going to agree to anything certainly with the ghani government. there may be some intermediary, intermediate leaders who could form a transition government. the taliban does have some interest in maintaining international influence and recognition, and, you know, they may agree to something if it comes down to money and the
power that they potentially would receive after transitioning to a new government, but right now, it seems they have so much of the upper hand, there's no reason to think they would want to share power, but that's a question we will see in the coming days. host: what is the taliban's relationship with those the u.s. and our allies have identified as terrorists? guest: that's another central question. they have not honored the peace agreement that was signed in may of 2020 under donald trump, president trump -- they have not honored all the tenets of that agreement, to include relationships and coordination operations with other groups. your viewers know the taliban
itself does not pose a threat to the american homeland, but it does, as we know from 2001 and before, the safe harbor that they provide to other groups, al qaeda being the chief one, is the primary concern, and so for the u.s. military, i think the worry is the ability to collect intelligence, i guess one of your viewers was saying, now, after the withdraw of all american forces soon, is going to be very limited, so it will be hard to know what groups the taliban is working with and what groups it is not. host: cnn is reporting the white house is saying the u.s. will pull out of afghanistan completely today. all the staff. guest: right. again, a stunning change from days ago, where we and everyone
else reported the announcement of up to 8000 american troops that were going in temporarily to ensure the safe withdrawal of at least a partial number of u.s. embassy personnel, and they denied reports that i had everything moved -- that they had everything moved to the airport. they denied closing the embassy and yet we are seeing a complete withdrawal now. president biden referred to an additional 5000. there is a total of 5000 on the ground now, but some of these were previously announced. there were already about 1000 there. they are currently preparing the embassy to be completely closed and evacuating personnel, but this is the event -- personnel, but this is even --
their arrival has not been time to well with the taliban's takeover of cities, now including kabul. there is some assurance that the taliban will not try to do anything against any american personnel, but all bets have been off, so we don't know. host: i want to get your insight on the president moscow's statement when he. -- statement when he --
guest: his framing of the choices before him will receive a lot of scrutiny over the next few days, weeks and months. whether the american public was behind ending the 20 year conflict, he made a politically courageous choice. i don't think anybody anticipated the place we would be this morning, so now, absent any security, a complete takeover by the taliban, and a massive defeat by the american military to withdraw the way they are, is going to raise a lot of questions for the president going forward as to whether this was the smartest decision or not or whether he is framing the decision as a false one or not. host: you alluded to this
earlier, but is the u.s. safe if i've gained a stamp falls? -- if afghanistan falls? guest: nobody thinks the american homeland will be attacked anytime soon. there's a lot of comparisons between the withdrawal of american forces from afghanistan today and the withdrawal of american forces from iraq in 2011 and the american intelligence community's ability to gather enough intelligence to see what, in that case, was the rise of the islamic state. 10 years forward, we have more technology, more ability to see -- more ability. the white house is more confident it can document any
rise in association. i think that the concern is, going forward -- it will test the ability of the intelligence community to make sure they can see on the ground when they are so limited because they are not going to have any collection ability at all. host: thank you very much for your time. guest: thank you. host: and it now to your reaction to what is happening in afghanistan and whether or not you think it is a mistake for the u.s. to be withdrawing. paul in florida, you say yes. paul, good morning to you. why do you say yes? caller: well, i say yes because we are going to have to do it eventually. you know, this thing with trump and biden -- i was not going to talk about that, but you introduced it on your program.
the taliban were petrified of donald trump. look what he did to isis. so don't tell me that it would have been the same with trump as it was with biden. the week bumpkin that -- with biden, the weak bumpkin that he is. we keep making the same mistake every time, and what is that? we believe that everyone in these countries wants freedom so bad they are willing to die for it, and that's a lie. it was a lie in vietnam. it was a lie in cuba. and it is a lie in venezuela. the truth is perhaps the majority of people do not want anything to do with freedom. they just love everything being handed to them by a socialist government and they love the revenge they can extract on people who are better off than them because they were
successful people. so the truth is we have to stop thinking that there are people in these countries who are willing to die for freedom. they are not. and that is the threshold. i am sorry. that is the threshold, ok? when the cubans recently rioted in cuba, did everybody in town get on the streets? they did not. there were thousands, but hundreds of thousands in the town. where were the rest? the truth is they were not willing to do anything for it. and if they are not, freedom is not free. you have to pass that threshold. host: all right, paul. i will wrap up what the president said yesterday. we showed you his criticism of former president trump. he also said "i was the fourth president to preside over and american troop presence in afghanistan, two democrats, two republicans. i will not pass this war onto a
fifth." ed in danbury, connecticut, you say this is not a mistake. good morning to you. caller: this is part of a general u.s. strategy to withdraw from the region. russia control syria. -- russia control syria. you already identified our withdrawal of military support for other countries in the region, so i think it is a general recognition that it is not so important as it once was, that oil is no longer what it was. i would think saudi arabia and the emirates might be a threat. host: richard in tennessee, you are unsure. tell us why. caller: well, i am a navy vet. i was in the navy during the first gulf war and i can tell you -- i am almost 60 years old now -- that if my son or
daughter had been killed in afghanistan, i would be better because i would be questioning what for. the next point that i have is i blame poor leadership not only at the presidential level but in congress for not having a clear and decisive goal for our military. optically, it looks very bad for the united states right now to see what is happening in the evacuation. it looks just like vietnam. i question why we still have troops in japan and korea, germany, but we cannot have troops in afghanistan for a stabilizing effort. host: all right.
richard's thoughts in tennessee. richard, take a look at the numbers. this is from the brown university war project. deaths in the afghanistan war -- 2000 u.s. troops, 800 u.s. contractors. other allied troops, the death toll is 1144, humanitarian aid workers 444. garth in georgia, an independent, you say yes. go ahead. caller: i said no. it is not a mistake. if you remember, the nickname of afghanistan is graveyard of empires. you see what happened to russia. they was in there. they was the soviet union. you see what they are now -- russia. the point of eisenhower's
speeches that we should not be a military-industrial complex. that's what eisenhower said. he was a republican. and if we had a draft -- because i was drafted, i remember vietnam -- you could never have been there for 21 years. that is why they cut out the draft, so you could get in these under seri -- these unnecessary wars. no one ever talks about the suicide of our soldiers who went to afghanistan. i believe there were more suicides than soldiers killed in afghanistan. thank you very much. host: we have talked about it on this program several times during the years of this war. some more numbers. 72 journalists and media workers have lost their life covering the afghanistan war and 75,000
314 national military and police in afghanistan have lost their lives. richard in tennessee, we will go to you next read hi, richard. -- next. hi, richard. caller: good morning. we never should have went there. we should have lit up the mountains and the sky between them and pakistan. i go back to before be -- to before vietnam. this is a political war. the parents who lost their children during this war, the american citizens, regardless of race, who fought in these middle eastern wars, god bless you. fighting for something we knew we were not going to win. i blame them all for it. the bottom line boils down to this. the american people, you better
stand together because china is coming and if you do not know what i am talking about, join the military. travel overseas. there is one thing i have noticed. when you look at a map of the united states when you watch the evening news, you don't see anybody trying to break out of america. they are trying to break in. we will not have a free country anywhere on this globe to go to. i will finish with this. these wars are wrong. when they bombed pearl harbor, we had a right to go to japan. then we had to take on hitler's. -- on hitler. these young people, you want to protest in the street, the antifa, here is the bottom line. we have had haight-ashbury, the hippie movement, the vietnam war, the tickertape parade after were to.
-- after world war ii. what happened? the politicians made it a political war and we lost children to stop that shouldn't have happened. it does not matter what race you are. if you want freedom, stand up. corporate america took your jobs to china and we have to fight to get them back. your politicians side out. and those 19 republicans that signed that bill, i hope everyone of them loses their seat. host: mike, you say not a mistake. caller: it is not a mistake because we invested a lot of lives and money with no result. and those people are not as much as a threat to us as the people who tried to invade the capitol on january 6. that should be common sense. thank you. host: the president announced
last month -- the president was asked last month whether he could trust the taliban. take a listen. [video clip] >> do you trust the taliban? >> is that a serious question? >> do you trust the taliban? >> no. >> will you amplify your answer? >> it is a silly question. do i trust the taliban? no. i trust the capacity of the afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped and more competent in terms of conducting war. host: that was president biden last month. the taliban now controls most cities in afghanistan. they have surrounded and entered kabul. there are talks happening at the presidential palace. the kabul leaders -- the taliban
leaders, excuse me, are saying they will not take kabul violently. they are waiting for a transfer of power. talks are underway this morning. we are getting your reaction to the news out of there. but also, is with the -- but also, is the withdrawal of u.s. troops at afghanistan a mistake? yes, no? we have a line for those who are unsure as well. charlie and new york -- charlie in new york. caller: good morning. it was not a mistake pulling our ground troops. the mistake was pulling -- the mistake -- ok. let me start again. host: we are listening. caller: it was not a mistake pulling out ground troops.
they have not been involved in fighting in many years. the mistake was pulling the attack helicopters and drones that was giving the afghan army air cover. the last time anyone fought on the ground without air cover was in 1898. that was a mistake pulling the air cover. host: ok. charlie there, his thoughts in new york. let me read you some reporting. cnn reporting this, that a small number of core personnel, including the top u.s. diplomat in afghanistan will remain at kabul's airport for now. this means the embassy will be shuttered for the time being. by tuesday. that's reporting from cnn this morning. the new york times -- the kabul airport tarmac is filled with troops, contractors, diplomats and civilians trying to catch a flight out of the city.
those eligible to fly were given special bracelets denoting their status as noncombatants. clarence in tennessee, we go to you. you say it is a mistake to withdraw from afghanistan. caller: well, i say it has been 20 years of the u.s. paying troops, training afghan troops and supplying them with all kinds of equipment that they have always abandoned when the fight starts. a friend of mine that served two terms they are 10 years ago indicated, after he returned, he says, we will never hold this country and need to get out as soon as possible. and the main reason, again, is these afghan troops will at band and the -- troops will abandon
the fight, pull off their uniforms and often switch to the other side. that has gone on the entire time. there is no reason the military and intelligence people did not know exactly that they would return to the warlords and they were the only ones they would actually listen to. yes, we have lost too much and equipment. most of the taliban is probably wearing u.s. supplied helmets, flak jackets, weapons, vehicles. truly one of the most foolish and tragic wars in history. thank you. host: the president from his statement yesterday. america went to afghanistan 20 years ago to defeat the forces that attacked this country on
september 11. we are approaching the 20 year anniversary next month. yet, 10 years later, when i became president, a small number of u.s. troops remained on the ground in harm's way, with an option to withdraw them or go back into open combat. was it a mistake, gwen? caller: it is not a mistake to get out. we have been there for 20 years. time to get out. let them fight the war. host: are you concerned about terrorists entering the country, seeking safe harbor with the taliban, and u.s. safety? caller: i am always concerned about that, but if all those people are coming by air, by sea, and by land, then we don't have to be worried about terrorists, do we? host: ron in michigan, high.
you are unsure. caller: yes. it is too early to tell in my opinion as far as the global outcome, but every expert you had on said we have been there for 20 years. that is a lie. we have been since 1979 under jimmy carter. he is the first one, who started to get them infield rifles -- them enfield rifles to destroy the soviet union. it backfired on us. yes, it got the soviet union out of afghanistan. then they threw that on us. without the soviet -- without the soviet union, you had no nazi hungary, no fascist poland, but now they have to be
taken care of by the u.s. as far as afghanistan, we never should have been there. i said back then, once the soviet union is out of afghanistan, radical islamists are never going to stop. it is the dream child of the military-industrial complex, another neverendum war. -- another never ending war. when will we learn? host: ron's thoughts. let's listen to the president last month when he delivered thoughts on the decision to withdraw from afghanistan and talked about the overall achievements of the war effort. listen to what he had to say. [video clip] >> i said in april the u.s. did what we wanted to do in afghanistan, to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and deliver justice to osama bin laden and degrade the
terrorist threat to keep afghanistan from becoming a base in which atac could be -- in which an attack could be launched. we achieved that. we did not go to afghanistan to nation build. it is the right and responsibility of the afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country. together with our nato allies and partners, we have equipped and trained over 300,000 current serving members of the afghan national security force and many beyond that who are no longer serving. hundreds of thousands more afghan security forces trained over the last two decades. we have provided our afghan partners with all the tools -- let me emphasize, all the tools -- needed of a modern military.
we have provided advanced weaponry and will canoe to provide funding and equipment and make sure they have the capacity to maintain their air force. but critically, as i said two weeks ago with my meeting -- ago in my meeting with president ghani, they have to work for a future the afghan people want and deserve. host: president biden last month. this morning, an air force base has fallen. the city of kabul has been surrounded and entered by the taliban. there are talks happening at the presidential palace about a transfer of power. the hill newspaper has a statement from senator tom cotton, republican, saying the
president needs to destroy every taliban fighter near kabul intel american personnel are withdrawn and anything less will confirm biden's impotence to the world. the hill has a statement from former president trump, saying what a disgrace it will be when the taliban raises their flag over the u.s. embassy in kabul. this is failure through weakness, incompetence and strategic incoherence. mary in ohio, what do you say? caller: i say that jimmy carter went over there and made them a civilized country, because i worked with him on that and they were voting and everything. they were a civilized country
and jimmy carter was successful in what he did with afghanistan. now, if you want my opinion, it is a big mistake if we pull out. host: y, mary? -- why, mary? caller: it is massey. because i tell you what they are going to do. they will grow and spread around the world. host: r8. -- all right. you also say it is a mistake to withdraw. caller: i also believe it is a mistake to withdraw. somebody will fill the vacuum. we have been nationbuilding in other countries for years. we have been in europe for 75
years, since world war ii, and if we do not help the afghans and help them develop their politics, help them develop their infrastructure -- it takes a long time. it may take 100 years, but we need to be resilient. it is a good investment. there will be other proxies that tried -- that try to shape afghanistan. i don't agree with everything that one caller said, but in particular, the chinese. the belt and wrote initiative is real. if you don't know about it, i encourage your callers to read up on it. china, they are a communist country. they don't have the same type of politics that we do. they have a system where they can wait 40 or 50 years to live out what they want to do. this belt and road initiative
israel and -- initiative is real and they will try it in afghanistan. i believe that. host: go ahead. finish your thought. i want to show you something else the president said. caller: sure. to finish up my thought, it is long, it is arduous. we have lost tons of lives already. it is a a lot of sacrifice on our military, on our people. i understand that, but if we do not do it, someone else will, and it will turn out to be in our interest. host: the president tuesday was asked about concerns that the afghan government would fall to the taliban offensive. the washington post is reporting that the afghan government is on the brink of collapse. this is the president from last week. [video clip] >> just the last few days, multiple cities in afghanistan have fallen to the taliban.
there's irrefutable evidence that afghan forces cannot hold ground there. has your plan to withdraw troops changed at all? >> no. look, we spent over $1 trillion over 20 years. we trained and equipped with modern equipment over 300,000 afghan forces. at afghan leaders have to -- and afghan leaders have to come together. we lost thousands to death and injury, thousands of american personnel. they have got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation. the united states, i will insist we continue to keep the commitments we made, providing close air support, making sure that their air force functions and is operable, resupplying their forces with food and equipment, and paying all their
salaries, but they have got to want to fight. they have outnumbered the taliban and i am getting daily briefings. i think there is still a possibility to have a significant new secretary of defense -- our equivalent of the secretary -- in afghanistan. they are realizing they have to come together at the top. we will keep our commitment, but i do not regret my decision. host: president biden earlier this week talking about his decision to withdraw. this morning, kabul, the city is surrounded. the taliban says they are waiting for a peaceful transfer of power as that group has taken over almost every major city in afghanistan. is our exit a mistake?
that's the question. derek, good morning to you. caller: good morning. host: we already spoke. we will go to philip in los angeles, who is unsure. hi, philip. good morning to you, philip in los angeles. you say you are unsure. what do you think. mistake or not? your thoughts? caller: it is a mistake. in fact, the whole operation was a mistake. we should have left after 9/11. to think that we can nation build --we failed in vietnam, in iraq and in afghanistan. this is a complete failure of leadership on the part of president trump -- president biden. this did not have to be. we could have been an orderly withdrawal. we did not have to do it in the middle of the fighting season in afghanistan.
this is a disgrace and there will be prices to pay. i would hope that the secretary of defense and secretary of state will look at the example of mattis, who gave advice to the president that was contradicted. they should resign. there should be hearings about the status of this fiasco, why it it happened the way it did. thank you. host: this from al arabia english out of the middle east. no changes and less taliban impacts evacuation. the u.s. official now stationed at the kabul airport. that's the latest from them. also reporting this morning that russia is working with other countries to hold an emergency un security council meeting on afghanistan as the taliban completes its military
takeover of the country. this according to the foreign minister out of russia. all of this unfolding. we are wondering from you, is it a mistake to withdraw? james in buffalo, kentucky, we will go to you next. james? caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i cannot believe how much of a mess he has made, everything he has touched so far. it has been, what, eight months? everything he has touched. we had the taliban on the run. we had them pinned down where they could not do terrorist attacks. now they will want us to go right back over there and retake it. the secretary of defense said he's got -- i cannot believe he is not telling them not to do it. the only thing he can do is teach racial division and divide. that's all he's good for. the country, the one thing that
should have to do it, the politicians kids. they should be on the front lines and have to retake that country. host: all right, james. we noted that president biden in a statement yesterday criticized former president trump for the may deadline to withdraw, saying he left a bare minimum of 2500 troops in the country, leaving president biden no choice but to either stick to the deal that former president trump made with the taliban or go back to open combat. let's go to former president last year explaining his hopes for the taliban's future role in afghanistan when he called for the withdrawal. [video clip] >> i will be meeting personally with taliban leaders in the not-too-distant future, and we
will be very much hoping that they will be doing what they say they are going to be doing. they will be killing terrorists. they will be killing some very bad people. they will keep that going. we have had tremendous success in afghanistan in the killing of terrorists, but it is time, after all these years, to go and to bring our people back home. we want to bring our people back home. and, again, it has been a long journey, afghanistan in particular. it has been a very long journey. it has been a hard journey for everyone -- for everybody. we have been a large law enforcement group, but that is not what our soldiers are all about. they are fighters. they are the greatest fighters in the world. we have destroyed in syria and iraq 100% of the isis caliphate.
100%. we have thousands of prisoners. we have killed isis fighters by the thousands. and likewise in afghanistan, but now it is time for somebody else to do that work, and that'll be the taliban, and it could be surrounding countries. there are many countries that surround afghanistan that can help. we are 8000 miles away, so we will be bringing it down to 8000, to approximately 8600 in that vicinity, and then we will make our final decision at some point in the fairly near future. host: that was the president in february of 2020. now, a look at the situation in afghanistan. this map on twitter this morning. the taliban have made rapid and major advances across afghanistan in recent months as u.s. and other foreign forces withdraw their troops from the
country. the red you are seeing there is what the taliban has gained, is now controlling. the blue is what the afghan government controls, basically the area around kabul. now, this morning, the taliban have surrounded and entered that city and talks are underway for a transfer of power according to a taliban spokesperson. still waiting on something from the afghan government, the communications office of the afghan government, and the u.s. government as to what is the political situation right now in afghanistan. let's hear from neil in pennsylvania. you say no. caller: good morning. good morning. i say no. we have been there for 20 years. we should know what is going on. we trained i think president biden said 300,000 troops, armed
with them. they have an air force. if you control the air, you control the battle, but it seems like they are just letting the televangelist come in -- letting the taliban just come in. we are not going to change the mentality of these people. we are not going to change it. it is a good idea to get out. host: i will just read the numbers that president biden listed in his statement yesterday. over our 20 years of war in afghanistan, america has sent its finest men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion, trained over 300,000 afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art equipment and maintained their force as part of the longest war in the -- in u.s. history it will not make a difference if the afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. what do you say? caller: i agree with that.
it is like the afghan military does not want to keep the taliban out. either they are in with them, but it is just crazy. they have what they need to defend their country from the taliban. if they don't want to do it, we cannot just keep policing their country. it is a good idea to get out. host: ryan in georgia, he stayed as a mistake by the president to withdraw. caller: i will piggyback on what that last caller was saying and pose it as a question. we spent 20 years there, how many trillions, lost how many lives? what do we have to show for it at the end? if we spend another 20 years, what will we have to show? host: so do -- so you don't think it is a mistake to withdraw? caller: i don't. i think it is a good idea. i called on the right line, right? host: it is ok.
go ahead. caller: to add to that, a lot of people say we should be there to promote free and fair elections. if we don't have free and fair elections here in america, why are we spending this time and effort in a foreign country to set up free and fair elections when we don't have them here? host: all right. dave and pennsylvania -- dave in.pennsylvania .good morning . why do you say it is a mistake? caller: it is a mistake. this country, they were expecting us to help them maintain, and so many different countries. i thought we should have never been there to begin with. we should have went in and bombed the camps where the people were who attacked the
u.s. they should not have sent troops in. we should, now that we have been, just -- on people, because we are letting them take over and it will just get worse. host: dave, go ahead. sorry. caller: the fact that they took over this air base that has all of our equipment, we should be in there destroying that equipment so it does not fall into enemy hands. that would be an airstrike. host: yeah. an airstrike on the airbase, correct? caller: correct. host: yes. john g on twitter says it is not a mistake to withdraw. the afghans looked at us know different from invaders from their past. it is up to afghans to determine the government they want, not us.
another viewer says the mistake is calling it a war. only congress can declare war. it is the longest aumf in american history. it lasted over 20 years. bring them home. ray in syracuse, new york, what do you say, mistake or not? caller: i will not be constrained by your choices, but i did my time in the service. i was in that area, generally, about 40 years ago. i don't know much, but i was in the harm's way briefly. the american people, i hope at some point will look and understand what is going on here. it is nothing different than 40
years ago, 30, 20. what is going on over there is now over here. think about this. the exact opposite president is now in charge, and yet, because of what trump did, he's been constrained in what he can do. he can only continue this. otherwise, it will destroy his presidency, so first, what trump did, whether you understand what he did or not, whatever he did was the correct thing, ok? now the people that we fought 40 years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago over there we, today, will fight here in the united states. they are the very same people pulling the strings and we will fight them. i will fight them. i am 64.
so think about what is going on and don't accept the mainstream ideas about what is going on, because just think about it. why would the president right now not do the opposite, which he was hired to do? trump was the worst person on earth. anything he did we cannot follow. and yet, they are continuing what he did. he drew us down everywhere. so this is really a problem with the american people. we are not in charge. they are just doing what we let them do. host: ok. nelson and california -- nelson in california. caller: i will say it is amazing you played the clip from trump after the caller bashed biden. it is like trump had confidence the taliban would do the right
thing. i have more confidence in the taliban not being terrorists than trump's followers if you know what i mean. january 6 and more domestic terrorism coming up, especially after census data showing the declining white population, but i think we had to leave because they are not willing to fight for themselves and they just have to have the resolve within themselves. host: all right. nelson's thoughts in california. we go to georgia. earl is watching as they are. you also say it is a mistake to withdraw. caller: no, i say it is the best thing we could have ever done. i don't know how i called in on the wrong line. host: that is ok. caller: in 1969, nixon
negotiated in vietnam to keep the war going. draftees. they were drafted for vietnam. they had a lot to do with ending the war, because they would say shove it. we are not going out in the jungle and beating the bushes. get off your ass and do it yourself. this would not have lasted for five years if draftees in there and told them to shove it. i am sorry i am angry, but the whole thing is a big joke. it never should have lasted more than five years. draftees would have stopped it in my opinion. host: earl in georgia saying no. it was a mistake -- no, it was not a mistake -- no two it was not a mistake. we will return to what else is
happening in afghanistan and other news of the week. we will talk with cnsnews.com editor-in-chief terry jeffrey and columnist clarence page. they will share their thoughts on what is happening and other news of the week. later, we go deeper into the taliban offensive in afghanistan with bill roggio, senior fellow at the foundation for the defense of democracy and an editor of the long war journal. we will be right back. ♪ >> weekends bring you the best in american history and nonfiction books. sunday, on book tv, hear from authors attending freedom fest in rapid city, south dakota, including a new hampshire
attorney on her short stories, opinions and speeches in her book the ecstatic pessimist. another author who argues that liberals used the covid pandemic to change the election system and make it more vulnerable to fraud. an economic historian with her book bettering humanonmics, looking at a new kind of economics that focuses on science and a better understanding of human action. at a futurist and economist who talks about the future dominance and of artificial intelligence in his book gaming ai. and on after words, ben shapiro discusses his book the authoritarian moment, in which he argues that progressive -- that the progressive left is pushing an authoritarian agenda. watch book tv on every weekend
and find a full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at booktv.org. >> c-spanshop.org is c-span's online store. your purchase will support our nonprofit operations, and you still have time to order the congressional directory with contact information for those in congress and the biden administration. >> washington journal continues. host: we want to welcome to the show terry jeffrey and clarence page here to talk about a busy weekend washington, but of course what is happening today, breaking news out of afghanistan -- this speed with which the taliban has seized control of the country. your thoughts, mr. jeffrey?
guest: i had the privilege of taking a class from ronald reagan's ambassador to the u.n.. the first thing she did in that class was take out a copy of " american diplomacy and," read a passage that said "moralism runs like a seam through american policy." i remember when george w. bush gave his second inaugural address, i cannot quoted exactly, but he essentially -- quote exactly, but he essentially said the u.s. role is to spread democracy. we never had a chance at
creating a liberal western-style democracy in afghanistan. by leaving a limited number of trips there and not suffering casualties, we are able to prevent the taliban from coming back to power and prevent afghanistan from being used as a sanctuary for terrorists. that is the judgment that should have been made before we decided to withdraw. guest: i agree with terry. i am a vietnam veteran. i was drafted into that conflict, and i still bear a lot of hard feelings. i didn't nail down exactly why we were there. we were fighting a war against international communism while the vietnamese were fighting a war against us and other outside people telling them how to live. by the time we realize that, we had been involved in that for 10 years. we have been doing what terry
was talking about there in afghanistan for over 20 years now. our presidents trying to bring stability to the land. afghanistan has not been really as practical as our ability to help iraq re-stabilize after our war over there, and they are of course still having some problems but every government does. i think the american people pretty much decided we do not need to be over there anymore unless we can do some tangible good or have some clear goal in mind. that just was not materializing. we have been through not just biden, donald trump and george w. bush but you think about russia, brendan, -- britain,
etc. who have been in afghanistan over the centuries. we got into more than what we were able to go over in the long stretch. host: your reaction to this reporting? they are reporting this morning that the taliban now has a hold over all of afghanistan's border crossings leading to neighboring countries and their leaders hovering several reactions and having to take their own action against what is happening. clarence page, back to you. guest: strategically the taliban have proved it to be more efficient, competent, and faster than we were expecting. it reminds me of when the north vietnamese army rolled into saigon more efficiently than we expected in the end. we need to talk about what is
america's mission in the world. i appreciate jeanne kirkpatrick and other experts who have different views over this, but it goes back to how colin powell had clear, understandable goals, and to have an exit strategy, which we obviously did not have. guest: remember where we found osama bin laden! it was not in afghanistan. when we found them, he was in pakistan. what should have been our strategic aim in afghanistan? what should it be now? we do not want terrorists coming from their here and attacking -- there here and attacking americans. we have not secured our own southern border. we do not know who is coming
across our own southern border. the focus of the american government first and foremost foreign policy are to be to protect the american people. host: the political fallout for president biden -- what is happening there? guest: if the taliban take over, which it seems like they are going to do, if they harbor terrorists and attacked the u.s. and her allies, that will be a big problem for joe biden. we know they have no respect for basic human rights. at minimum he is going to have to communicate to them that the price they are going to have to pay if they gives it sanctuary to people who hate america, it will be the end of their regime again. why would we want to go back into afghanistan?
maybe that was an argument for leaving some force there precisely to prevent the taliban from rising again. joe biden has a lot to worry about. host: clarence page, your analysis? guest: i agree with terry about the challenges and all. --. involved -- i agree with terry about the challenges involved. afghanistan -- it has always been debatable how much of a country afghanistan is. you have kabul. outside of kabul you have villages run by tribal overlords. there has not been a sense of national unity among the afghan people. we have to nation build. joe biden had another saying --
no one is really building it a nation effectively enough. that is a larger mission. host: we are talking with terry jeffrey and clarence page, getting their insights and thoughts. they will take your questions on what is going on in afghanistan and the news out of washington. cnn is reporting that the u.s. will completely pull out of afghanistan in the next 72 hours. let's turn to covid-19. what is your analysis delta -- of how president biden has handled the response and this new delta variant?
guest: i don't think he has handled it. obviously, we were not able to stop this pandemic from seriously affecting the lives of americans for 2 years. when people look back -- this is an era of high-tech medicine --we ended up having something that very much resembled the spanish flu epidemic, which cost america greatly. it is something that has not ended yet. host: clarence page? guest: i was a vietnam era veteran. i am also a vaccine veteran. i was a child in the 50's when i got the polio vaccine.
anyone who remembers what life was like when polio was coupling children and terrorizing the rest with fear of swimming pools or anything else that might spread polio. these are different times. covid is not the same as polio. we now have these variants to worry about. early predictions are not effective anymore, so we find ourselves having to lock down again, which is only irritating more people and causing more conflict around the country. i think americans are going to get done one way or another but it is a big job for the biden administration. people should not criticize anthony fauci for saying one thing one month end something else the next -- and something
else the next. most of us have not been consistent in our understanding. i think the bad an administration is handling this -- biden administration is handling this as well as anybody could. guest: if people can check this by going to the cdc website, according to the cdc only 354 americans at 17 years old and younger have died of covid-19. only 354. the impact on elementary and high school kids is very small. depths escalate as people get older. -- deaths escalate as people get older. that is something the liberal media has not wanted to publicize a great deal. host: before we go to call, i
want to talk about congressional action and what happened in the senate with the passing of the bipartisan infrastructure agreement, $1 trillion, and to bend the senate quickly moving onto budget reconciliation -- and then the senate quickly moving on to budget reconciliation. let's talk about the passing of the $1 trillion package. your thoughts about the president getting that across the goal line? terry jeffrey, i will go to you first. guest: it is interesting that you got 19 republicans. mitch mcconnell voted for it. conservative republicans did not. we are spending a near record amount of money this year. last year was the most money the federal government ever spend when you add adjusted for
inflation. this is run amok spending that is taking place. there are a lot of things in that bill that do noteed to be done. host: clarence page? guest: somehow congress only seems to care about the deficit and the debt when democrats are in the white house because of the spending we had under donald trump where he doubled the deficit at the time -- talk about run amok spending! i said to myself if republicans are going to care about the deficit , why ought i to? we need to get a control of spending, but there are priorities that americans have been waiting for since the reagan 80's that have not happened. the fight for 15 movement is
successful in getting a $15 an hour minimum wage. these are the changes that happen when a new regime is showing an awareness of the times. the harder infrastructure -- democrats and republicans get together on that. these bills need to be paid. our country needs to be taking care of as far as bridges, highways, etc.. the soft infrastructure is a more democratic agenda that is being debated there. that is why you see much more fierce resistance on the part of the republicans, and you are seeing some noise from the far-left in the democratic party because they want to see more than the biden administration has been pushing. this is not that untypical and on the whole, democrats are
trying to get as much as they can do done before the midterm elections. host: patrick, florida, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. three quick things -- america's foreign policy? mexico is 2 steps above a narco -terrorist state. i want to talk about pesticides and insecticides contributing to autism in america. the people who sued successfully about round up now advertising in florida about insecticides and pesticides causing adhd and autism. larry kudlow came out and to say
" -- you have shilled his books and you don't even talk about that? thank you for taking my call. host: terry jeffrey? guest: i do not know about the disease thing, and i also am not aware of what larry kudlow said that he is referring to. host: i will phrase a question for you -- how would you grade the trump administration's handling of the pandemic? guest: first of all, that most early covid cases did come from people who had been traveling in china and had come into the united states. the cdc has documented that. you get a lot of criticism for trying to chop -- stop travel from china, which was wise to do
at that time. you have to give him credit for developing these vaccines at such a rapid pace. the trump administration put a serious focus on dealing with covid-19. they were not able to stop it, but they put a serious focus on it and they accomplished some good things. host: nancy in concord, new hampshire, we will go to you. caller: i am old enough to remember vietnam, but i am curious about how we can legitimately consider going back into afghanistan? i follow all the news, and i know in february 2020 the trump administration made an agreement with the taliban that said all of our troops would be out of there in 14 months and the taliban agreed to stop attacking our soldiers. it appeared there was a lot of progress made last year.
after the election when donald trump lost last year, he also signed a decree and pulled out all the troops except for 2,500. that was going to happen 5 days before aydin was sworn in as --- biden was sworn in as president. why is biden eating blamed for the drawdown? -- being blamed for the drawdown? there was no provision in the agreement for the women and schooling that everyone is wringing their hands over. how is it that a president, a sitting president, can make an agreement that forces the next president to do something and take the heat for it?
host: i will have both gentlemen respond. guest: the war is like the economy in the sense that when things go bad, whoever is in the white house gets blamed. they catch the heat. whoever's watch it happens on. i have seen presidents, democrat and republicans, making the effort to hold the taliban back. they have been broken by the taliban as far as i can tell. on joe biden's watch -- as i said earlier, the taliban move more quickly than our side expected. decisions have to be made. one thing i did not expect to see is america going back in great numbers to protect our
interests. americans want to know what our interest is. that will be made very clearly, and the goals will be very clear. afghanistan has been an unstable country for a long time. i do not see that ending in the foreseeable future. host: terry jeffrey? guest: i agree with that. as i mentioned, the one concern we have to have about afghanistan is not going in there, but who is coming out of there. we do not want terrorists attacking us or our allies. will we be able to do that effectively without a presence there? trump decided we wanted to get out of there,
that will be the test going forward -- how do we stop that area of the world from being used as a sanctuary for people wanting to attack the united statess. host: greg in indianapolis, democratic color, you are next -- democratic caller, you are next. caller: clarence, i know you from chicago. have both of you had your vaccines, and another question is, mr. jeffrey, did you agree with -- when george bush said " mission accomplished," on that aircraft looking silly? i believe you did. guest: to answer your other question, i got covid, i got
tested, there is no question that i had it. i have not got the vaccine. i believe i have natural immunity to it. down the road, we will see. i completely, absolutely disagree with george w. bush's foreign policy. his second inaugural address, which expressed the mission of america to spread margaret see around the world was wrong -- democracy around the world was wrong. you need a realist foreign policy based on the real interests of the american people. host: let's go to harry in georgia, independent. caller: hey, c-span. thank you for letting me call. i want to go back to first principles, if you want to look at what is going on in the middle east.
remember, the end of the first world war when britain got to impose the west phalange -- european concept of nationstates on the ottoman empire and carved it up in such a way and made borders in such a way that would picked tribal enmities against each other. you have suni, shia and kurdish all in iraq. you have tribes drawn into a nationstate not of their design. this all goes back to britain trying to drawdown its empire at the same time the united states grew into a world position where it could take on that
responsibility. when the united states now decides it wants to back out of that responsibility, who is there to take it over? that would be china, you know, those people who have cameras on every corner and can identify everybody with facial recognition and know when you walk out your door. is that what we want to leave in place? guest: i think china has indicated they are not planning either. i will say in a more glib sense " why not?" why not let china habits turnout -- have its turn now? terry mentioned pakistan and their relationship feeding
terrorism feeding -- into afghanistan. pakistan, we know a lot more the amount of -- the relations they have had between text in intelligence whereas -- pakistan intelligence. pakistan is just as tough and they already have a stable government. i do not cs getting back into afghanistan any -- see us getting back into afghanistan anytime soon. host: i want to show this image to our review -- viewers. it shows a u.s. embassy staffer holding a flag he saved from burning. " staffers were told to destroy
or sanitize american flags and items that could be used for propaganda value by the taliban." guest: good for him. that is great. host: william in michigan, democratic caller. caller: thanks for taking my call. the comment i have -- afghanistan, the problem is over there, they should train and arm the women because the men are cowards. that is my comment. thank you. host: clarence page? guest: that is a good thought in terms of how afghanistan does have a challenge now in protecting women, children, etc., now that the taliban are
moving back in, but there is a log of other questions i won't go into that are raised -- lot of other questions i won't go into that are raised by outsiders going " why don't you arm your women?" caller: when we bring in enough of the islamic terrorists into the united states, do you think we will have a peaceful transition into an islamic country? guest: first of all, we have the free exercise of religion in the united states. we also have the band on -- ban on the institution of a national religion. muslims are entitled to the same freedoms everyone else is
entitled to. host: fort lauderdale, independent, you are next. caller: my comment is -- and i am on the independent line because i do not think in a binary sense. i am mortified by the way it was botched. i wonder if we will ever have these general officers brought before congress for deliberately sabotaging the process? every general officer involved in the chain of command involved in this debacle should be removed from their command. host: let me share with you and our guests, peter baker from the new york times tweeted this morning " even if the taliban
continue to gain power, it would be at least a year and a half before kabul would be threatened." guest: if the intelligence was that bad, particularly when we had people on the ground in afghanistan, that is not good! i do think when all is said and done, retrospectively, we need to look back and review who was right, who was wrong, who told the truth, who told falsehoods. that will teach us lessons to avoid these mistakes in the future. if part of it was " we knew we had bad intelligence in iraq," if part of it was, the
intelligence was that bad we need to know that. guest: i am sensing what yogi be ar-a -- this sounds so much like after vietnam and other disasters we have had. there is always finger-pointing and evaluating and questions of who is to blame, what went wrong. that is what we are starting to see happen now. the gentleman who called in who talked about hauling the generals up for account, there are others aside from the generals involved. the papers were written towards the end of a decade in which all these mistakes were made and they were covered up. this is the kind of thing that
happens here where afghanistan is another case of the diplomatic side, the intelligence side into the military side each having different assessments of what was going on, and now we are seeing some of the mistakes. host: nancy in altoona, pennsylvania, democratic caller. caller: i feel we have to stick to our word. we were to get out of there, and we need to do that, and we need to be strong in the message that we will not tolerate any kind of retaliation from the taliban and from any kind of attacks. the thing that we have to do is to make things move forward. i really like what president biden said.
it has not changed in all these years, and our soldiers need to be here, fighting for anything that -- they need to learn to fight for themselves. if 20 years have not shown anything different -- and as far as terry jeffrey's answer -- this is going off the track -- on the vaccine, it sounded lis -- sounds like he does not want to make things better. he sounds like he follows the trump administration. he does not promote the vaccine, even with what is happening with the new variant. in a subtle way that is the message he gave. guest: i think it is a free country. i think people should be able to
take the vaccine or not take the vaccine if they want to. it will be a good thing when the vaccines are finally totally approved and they are not just authorized for emergency use. i will point out that the cleveland clinic did a study where they looked at people who were employed by the cleveland clinic, and a group of them had covid already, had demonstrated cases of covid, and not a single one had gotten it again at the time the cleveland clinic had their study. what is the immunity of someone who has had covid-19? how long does it last? i had covid-19! i think that provided me with some immunity to the disease. host: hugs andrea, virginia -- alexandria, virginia.
caller: jack sullivan elected to drag their feet on the jcpoa return. china signed an agreement with iran for 25 years for security and economic assistance. the chinese have been backing the taliban for 20 years now in their efforts. now that they have one foothold in the middle east in iran they will not want to see the taliban upset that by attacking a major shia community in the middle of afghanistan. up until now, the taliban has done nothing but occupy suni -- the tele-banner sun -- taliban are suni -- occupy sunni
provinces all around the shia settlement in the middle of afghanistan. china will pay the taliban whatever it costs to settle down afghanistan, possibly allow them to put a pipeline through to china so they can increase their influence throughout the entire middle east. host: those are donald's thoughts. we will hear from alan in wisconsin, the republican. caller: good morning. my comment is i think we armed the taliban for maybe 8 years. do not blame trump, do not blame biden. we stuck our nose in and we
pay for our consequences. that is all. host: clarence page? guest: he is right about that. it is interesting, talking about china again, china is an example of a country that we call communist. it calls itself, pianist -- itself communist. the government controls it, but since 1980, they have had the freedom to be capitalist in their various enterprises in cooperation with the government, and they have prospered as a result. i was over there 12 years ago. it blew me away. what they are doing now is buying the friendship of various countries. they are doing it across africa, building infrastructure for them and economic dependency for
themselves. kennett happen in afghanistan -- can it happen in afghanistan? it is right next door to china. guest: the chinese are biannual debt! 00 buying u.s. debt 0--the chinese are buying u.s. debt! host: let me read to you a tweet hear from josh. he has a quote from senator ben sasse, the republican. he-says this- -- he says this, " the unmitigated disaster and afghanistan -- the shameful, saigon-like abandonment of kabul
, the brutalization of afghan women and the slaughter of our allies -- is the result of the trump-biden plan." guest: the idea that it is the mission of the united states to invade countries and change them is ridiculous. what happened in afghanistan proves that is not the case. would it have been worth it to stay there longer? maybe, but we do not have a mission to change these countries. guest: i look around -- it is easier to help iraq build a stable government, a stable regime there. you look at korea. when we pulled out of their, we had a -- there we had a clear demarcation line between north and south korea. when it works it works.
but in afghanistan, how do you do it? host: another image out of afghanistan from a new york times reporter on the ground -- " my heart breaks into pieces for my people who have lined up outside of the banks to cash their savings and waiting at the gates foreign embassies to secure visas to leave." caller: in 9/11 all the pilots were egyptian, and for some reason we decided to go into afghanistan, who had nothing to do with it. the taliban closely reflect the culture. why do we not have a
international forcen -- an international force? it did not work in iraq. it is not going to work in afghanistan. host: i will have our guests reflect on the 9/11 anniversary coming up -- the 20 year anniversary. guest: there is so much to reflect on their. -- there. the country feels saddened. it is the memory of something that not only was an awful tragedy, but it was also unifying as it turns out. they reminded us we are all americans. there is nothing like having terrorists bent on killing you because you are american to pull americans together. i would like to see more of that now.
hopefully this will be a reminder of how we can pull together as americans. we have more about us in common then we do that are different. guest: i agree with what clarence said. 9/11 was one of the greatest tragedies in the history of this country. it was a horrible day. after it, the country united. we were one nation, one people, and we acted like it. as horrible as the incident that precipitated it, that unity was an excellent thing. we want to be one nation that shares a sense of values. america is one people. host: for the lives lost, american lives lost, military contractors, the afghan lives lost over the 20 years, what are your thoughts on that? guest: i will say this -- one
of the things when we look back over those 20 years as we have not had another massive terrorist attack on the united states. on one level, our policy has worked. there have been plots that people have tried to lunge against the united states, but during that time -- launch against the united states, but during that time, we have not had another 9/11. we have talked about other things in our foreign policy that were the right way to follow up on 9/11, but to the degree that our leaders have protected this country from another outrageous event like that, we need to be grateful. guest: i agree. we need to reassess where we are. i think back to 20 years ago at the end of the 90's.
it was a time when we were all thinking about oklahoma city, and that bombing. we are worried about internal terror. we should be thinking more and more about what we have in common as americans and what is at stake when we have democracy itself in the balance. host: bob in florida, an independent. caller: i want to respond to jeffrey's comment about freedom of religion. the psychotic religious claptrap can be used as an excuse to do anything. the taliban who are raping and murdering girls think they are doing something religious. when they are busy raping and
murdering those afghan women, they might forget to wear their masks so i suggest we go in with a humanitarian effort to vaccinate all those vulnerable women and citizens who have targets on their backs since we abandoned them! i think those terrorists when they go back to visit their friends in pakistan, they should watch out that their friends do not get infected by them! host: that was bob in florida. let me ask you to finish up by giving us your thoughts on what you will be watching for in afghanistan and from the white house? guest: i think the key thing after americans are gone, is hopefully we will have some presence there so we can see what is going on.
if we have no one there, it will be like iraq before the iraq war. we -- the key thing to look for is if caliban becomes -- if the taliban harbors terrorists./ guest: our first involvement in the conflict over there resulted in the rise of and lauded -- bin laden and al qaeda. how are other countries going to respond? how are americans going to respond to what is happening over and afghanistan? we are not going to see a surge of people wanting to get back in there. we will see an evaluation of what went on and what kind of
new leadership can emerge over there that america can work with. we have to decide what are america's interests in the region? host: we thank you both for your insights and opinions this morning. we appreciate the conversation. guest: thank you. host: we are going to take a break but when we come back we will continue the conversation on afghanistan with bill roggio, author of " the long war" journal. we will be right back. ♪ >> weekends bring you the best in american history and nonfiction books. saturday on american history tv on the presidency, a discussion of the results on c-span's historical survey with douglas brinkley, edna greene medford,
>> all this week at 8:00 p.m. eastern, c-span looks at discussions and hearings about congress and how the institution operate. discussion about modernizing congress with tom graves of georgia. tuesday night, a hearing focusing on bipartisanship. on wednesday night, a second hearing on political stability with psychologists and journalists. derek kilmer of washington discusses ways to foster bipartisanship among members of congress. friday night, a hearing on the importance of asserting the
power of the purse. watch online at c-span.org and listen on the c-span radio app. ♪ >> british writer charles dickens is credited with creating some of the world's best-known fictional characters scattered throughout his 15.5 published novels. americans often refer to situations as being dickensian. if professor has published three books on charles dickens. the most recent one, titled " a very brief introduction." we asked professor hartley to tell us about dickens' accomplishments, including his 2
trips to the united states. >> dr. hartley on c-span notes plus. listen wherever you get your podcasts. >> washington journal continues. host: on your screen is bill roggio. he is managing editor of the long war journal. you have been mapping the what is happening in afghanistan as well as iraq. your reaction to the taliban's ability and the speed to which they have taken over the country of afghanistan. guest: thank you for having me on. i have been covering afghanistan for 7 years now. i am not surprised this happened. maybe the speed of the last two
weeks, but everything leading up to that actually i predicted. the taliban has used its rural insurgency strategy to expand its control. it was doing this for years while u.s. military commanders, u.s. intelligence officials -- and i am talking about the top-level leadership, not the individuals i speak to at the granular level, they understood this -- but the leadership failed to recognize this. they decided they would go all in on a peace process that was doomed to fail. the taliban always had a maximalist strategy for taking over afghanistan. the taliban -- the talks were a smokescreen to get the united states to withdraw to come to this point. while all of this is happening the taliban was organizing,,
training, pre-positioning equipment and people into these districts to expand control. this is a massive intelligence failure, a massive failure in creativity and understanding what the taliban is about by the top level generals and political leaders, our department -- secretaries of states secretaries of defense. they bought into the peace process while the taliban was organizing the military takeover of afghanistan. when i see general miller saying things like " we have to ask ourselves why and how this happened," frankly i am furious! i can answer those questions! i watched this developed over the course of a decade! if i can do this myself, how can the entire u.s. military with billions of dollars at its
disposal fail in understanding the nature of the taliban fail in understanding its ideology, fail in understanding its maximalist strategy and objective? this is a failure in leadership of the highest order and on the intelligence side, it is probably the worst in the last 10 years. host: when you said the taliban's rural strategy, what exactly have they been doing? guest: after the u.s. handed over security to afghan forces in 2014, the taliban slowly but surely started to take over these remote districts. this was dismissed by u.s. leaders.
they said " we only care about the populations unders.' i was reading the taliban's statements from their leaders at the time. these were in english, so it is not like i even had to go out of my way to get these translated. they said " the afghan government does not care about these areas, but we do. we will take these areas over, tax the people, establish training camps, then we will expand our control outward>" from the course of 2014 to 201 6, the taliban was slowly but surely expanding its control. taliban openly rules and many of these districts.
the number of contested districts -- these were districts where the taliban was at fighting for control against the afghan government -- these areas were just as important. fast forward to this year, the taliban had contested 214 districts. when biden announced his plan to withdraw, the taliban flipped the switch. the contested districts came under taliban control. once these contested districts were controlled, the taliban surrounded the cities of the provincial capitals. the taliban controls 30 of afghanistan's 34 provinces.
all 30 of those provincial capitals. the siege of kabul has begun. it will not be like the 1990's when you had the northern alliance putting up some resistance in a pocket of afghanistan. the taliban will take the entirety of afghanistan, establish the islamic emirate of afghanistan, and al qaeda, which has remained an ally of the taliban will be offended. host: what does that mean for the united states? guest: this is a major security threat, not only for the united states, but for the west, and allies like india. al qaeda's singular goal is to establish its own caliphate. it wants to reestablish the caliphate.
its tactics are we take one country at a time. that is their nation building. they just got one back in afghanistan. in somalia, a third to half of the country is under control of al qaeda's branch there. al qaeda has active insurgencies in syria, yemen and other places. one thing to be clear about here is the improvement of security here in the united states, homeland security has increased. the entire discussion about the war against these jihadist groups is to end the endless wars, this narrative picked up
by the trump administration, and that was the start of the disengagement. endless wars do not end just because the united states decides to opt out. the jihadists still get a vote. they are waging endless jihad. by leaving territory under the control of jihadists it allows them to continue to expand their mission of creating the caliphate. these places become active bases where they can plot attacks against us here in the west. these are innovative groups. these are groups out of which 09 years of war with the united states -- we have to be cognizant of that. i understand people are tired of afghanistan and of these wars, but our enemies have not tired of these wars. they will continue to come at
us. guest: it gives them motivation. it gives them everything they need to continue to take the fight to us. host: i want to point our viewers to the map that shows tell ban control -- shows tal iban control. the orange is taliban threat. new york times reported as recently as late june, u.s. intelligence agency even if ta liban gained power, would be at least an that year and a half before kabul would be
threatened. guest: that went to 90 days and now i'm hearing hours. all within the span of an -- of a month. that is how quickly the tele-man t --aliban --taliban marched on the government. individuals doing the granular work. warning their superiors about the leadership has been out to lunch on this issue. this is why afghanistan is collapsing. look at the u.s. embassy. they were saying there's no problem here. we are going to keep it open. days ago, president biden had to send in 5000 american troops to
evacuate the nbc -- the embassy within a matter of 24 to 48 hours. that is an intelligence failure. that is what collapse looks like. this is what defeat looks like. host: bill roggio is hosting secretary of state. your thoughts. >> guest: they are evacuated to the airport so they can be immediately removed from the country once the taliban advanced begins. that's why they haven't launched the attack just yet on the city. i also think there might be an aspect there where the tele-band they not want to confront the united states -- where the taliban might not want to
confront the united states. it's just a mauer -- is just a matter of hours. it would likely take casualties. this is for fighters who have fought against the u.s. for 20 years. that is a tough pill to swallow for the taliban. it may want that saigon moment of the u.s. helicopters and u.s. planes rushing out of kabul and the panic if they launch an attack on the capital. we do know whatever remaining embassy personnel and whatever they are doing there in afghanistan is immaterial at this point. the idea that some type of settlement is frankly ridiculous . they should be evacuated.
there is nothing the u.s. can do or the u.n. or nato diplomats can do to affect the situation. they are merely at that airport for show. the biden administration has been really spending all of this. they are trying to put the best face on this collapse and i don't think keeping the ambassador and a couple of embassy personnel at the airport , i don't think that sends the message. host: what is the fate of afghan president? >> he's going to have to decided to flee or surrender to the taliban. i don't think they will treat him nicely if he surrenders. when ishmael con --khan surrendered, they did treat him nicely. if i am ghani, i am not testing
the waters. they may let him live to be an example of what happens or he could be swinging from a lamppost. flip a coin and that is what his fate is. host: let's get back to the phone lines. chicago, democratic color. caller: -- host: democratic caller. caller: thanks for taking my call. this is my first time of death this is the first time i was scrutinized this much -- this is the first time i was scrutinized this much. we haven't had a victory since world war ii. the general of that war told us after he made president leave
offers, beware the industrial complex. my true belief is had this been this -- been a capitalistic society. the powers that be don't give a dam who wins these wars. that's why we can go up in there for 20 years and come out with intelligence like we've got. we should have learned something when russia was in there and we backed russia. i mean we backed the taliban against russia. let's quit living in lala land. guest: is there a question for me? host: what is your reaction? guest: first of all, we did not support the taliban. many of the individuals that fought in that, i understand the
military industrial complex conspiracy theory. that's really all i have to say about that. i dismiss conspiracy theories like that. host: what is your thought on the air force base being overrun. guest: there's a lot of equipment, u.s. supply equipment that is fallen into the hands of the taliban. that is a massive base. i've seen videos of them flying helicopters. humvees, armored personnel carriers. if the u.s. government, military wants to deny this to the tele-band -- to the taliban, they should be launching airstrikes. we have supplied them with the
war material for their army. airstrikes need to be launched to make sure that this material, host: what ishost: the significance of that airbase? tell us more of a history. guest: it was the largest base in afghanistan. it was the headquarters for nato and the u.s. military so there is a propaganda significance for the tele-band. within three months, almost to the date -- significance for the taliban. within three months, almost to the day, take the headquarters. there is the military is a gift cancer -- there is the military
significance. there is another factor. i'm glad you asked. also housed the prison that held numerous high-value targets. a large number of them were members of al qaeda and other jihadist groups. they have been free to so al qaeda and its allies have been given a boost, a shot in the arm. the ranks were replenished. host: charles in arkansas, republican. caller: good morning. i'm old, and one of the things you find many good old is sometimes you can be bothered. it worries me up about the way this took place is president biden is old. i fear that our allies and other
people may need to defend southeast asia. they look at this and host: let's take that point. guest: i don't think age is a determinant. it's your ability to make decisions and make decisions that are in the best interest of the american public. we have to question his decision, not his age. i certainly think that what this decision is a clear sign of weakness. american allies and friends across the world have to be very worried right now. they just watched an army and the government props up by the u.s. and nato collapse within three months of the decision to withdraw from afghanistan. how this withdrawal was conducted with the responsible. let me give you -- was irresponsible.
with the year prior, i was speaking to afghan officials. i will leave it vague. i was advising to them. president trump is not president. after the election, president biden will make a decision to leave afghanistan. you now need to decide how you are going to take this. you need to be organized. the government needed to consolidate its forces. perhaps, get rid of weak individuals within security sources -- within security forces. they needed to make hard decisions. what afghan officials told me was i had been told by nato. i have been told by u.s. officials. i've been told by u.s. central command. i have been told by u.s. department of defense that the u.s. will not leave. my advice -- i advised them,
trust me. this is happening. you need to start doing this now. when the announcement came, they were caught off guard. they thought that big brother, the united states would always be there for them. when it did not happen, they did not make those hard decisions. then they have to try to make decisions while the taliban onslaught began. this type of decision-making and execution makes our allies very fearful. if i am a chinese general and i just watched how the u.s. left afghanistan, how the entire 20 years of played out i would be very happy and be thinking very confident if there was a direct conflict with the u.s. because it's what happened in afghanistan and it stayed in afghanistan, it would be
horrific for the afghan people. from u.s. national security perspective, we can say that is an afghan problem but it isn't. this is why it's a problem for the u.s. these same generals, political leaders are going to have to lead us in our next conflict. it i trust the generals who could not see what was clearly in front of their face, who could recognize the threat that we are facing? there's a man named carter medication. he was an advisor and he wrote an article in political -- in a little -- he wrote an article and said one of the reasons for the failures in all of this is that we stand -- we fail to recognize that the taliban had religious motivations and this gave them fighting spirit and in
gave them a real edge. this is the advised that our generals got and this is how they make decisions. this is the type of generalship of the quality of analysts information and percolating to the top. we have to think long and hard about getting involved in a conflict with china. host: your thoughts on the afghan to help the united states and show you this video. this is from a reporter on the ground. panic and desperate. a traffic jam everywhere. you can't see the video, but he is showing cars bumper-to-bumper. terrified about what will happen tonight. probably last the day before the fall of kabul. people are trying to get out. people are cashing in there -- cashing out their savings. what are the prospects for these people?
>> the human aspect of this, i cover a lot of the military. what's happening on the ground. i'm watching these videos and it breaks my heart. it's horrific what is happening and what is to come is something that those responsible for this failure, they need to be held to account for this. the afghan people are in for some very dark days. those in kabul and the few areas remaining that are grasping for control opposing the taliban, they will be living this soon. one of the things that infuriated me while covering this over the years is the taliban apologists who told us they will moderate. taliban 2.0.
taliban is different. they have been westernized. i wish i could make -- they helped advise those who lead us to this disaster. they own this and they should have to pay a price for it. host: walter in baltimore. caller: what makes his right-wing analysis more valuable than the cia and the other intelligence agencies that we have. i disagree with him totally in that we should have never been in there. as the caller set on your last set, we should have went to saudi arabia and get some of those incriminated muslim terrorists. we should not never have been into afghanistan. to my point, what makes your
right-wing intelligence anymore valuable than millions of met man -- millions of dollars we've spent. when you answered that one, would you please answer the fact that the opium production in afghanistan is the real reason why we were there. not oil, not freedom but opium. guest: this is america and we were -- and we are free to disagree with each other and that's why i love this country. walter, you know nothing about me. you know nothing about my politics are what i believe. i certainly would not describe myself as right wing, but to answer your question i've been right. it's as simple as that. i have been warning anyone who would listen that what was to come and what has come to pass,
i explain how it was happening, why it was happening and sadly, and nobody wishes i was -- nobody wishes they were wrong more than i. every time i'd get up and do my job and every time i go to bed, i wish i was wrong. i wish was the most wrong individual person on the planet. but facts are a funny thing. they cannot be denied. you may wish to believe that the cia and the department of defense work correct about afghanistan, but i encourage you to read the news. you can read publications that some consider left-wing. i don't. i'm a consumer of a wide variety of news. they are all talking about how politicians and the administration, how the defense department, how the state department, how the intelligence
services have all been flat-footed. host: can you explain how you do your job? how do you track what you have been tracking? the world strategy. guest: this is the funny part of all of this. the main source, not the only because i not only watch what they say but i watch what they do. i watch what the taliban says. they said it in english. it's information is spread out. a little food for thought. the department of defense publishes only in one legates. that tells you the sophistication -- publishes only in one language. i would read it and i see what they are saying and i watch what they are doing on the battlefield. i read news reports.
i talked individuals within government within the state department, within the defect -- within the death -- within the intelligence community. i have contacts on the ground in afghanistan. government organizational workers. i read voraciously the afghan rest. i have contacts within the afghan government. a few within the afghan military or -- military. i pool all this information and i get up and i work hard every day and i put this all together. i may not be the smartest man on the planet, but i work very hard at what i do and i've been doing it for years and there's no such thing off as a day for me. when i go on vacation, my wife will tell you maybe i worked three or four hours that day and some of the work i do is reading the news. i'm doing it every day. i'm staying on top of it and
that's what it takes have an understanding. the reality is people do not want to accept the top level leadership our generals, principles within the military and intelligence. they have been politicized. they politicize intelligence to say what the political masters wants to hear. if there is a conspiracy that you want to talk about, if you want something to look at, that's a reason you should be concerned about. here's what happened. there was analysis was being published and as it made it up the chain of command, the analysis was changed. this was happening in the analysis of iraq.
they were changing it because it was saying things that the political leaders did not want to hear. it was an uprising and this was investigated and employees were ticked off that their analysis was being modified for political purposes. this is what is happening every day. if you want to understand how afghanistan collapsed and how there was a failure in intelligence and leadership, this is a major reason. i'm not political. i don't care whether there's an r or eight he to someone -- and are --an r or a d next to someone's name. they are, they have a desired policy in the case of afghanistan. let's leave. then they mutate the facts to
fit that policy. that is a recipe for failure and disaster. it might not look like a big problem in afghan, but woe to america if we make the same errors. host: what should the united states have done instead? what should afghanistan look like if you were in charge? guest: i would have had to be in charge over a decade ago and there would need to be a continuity of leadership. whoever would've followed, i'm sorry i'm laughing at that one. that's -- no one is going to elect me. you get the facts right first and then make your policies when they are. if the policy was to withdraw, then recognize what is going right and what is going wrong.
be honest about what you are going to leave behind and do what needs to be done to ensure that the taliban do not take over afghanistan. if the policy were to be to stay, then you need to be committed to the policy. the president of the united states, he's the one who can convince the american people. he has to expend the political capital. when he says we are leaving, i don't blame the american public. i want to be clear. i don't blame president biden for wanting to leave. he is right, it has been a policy failure and disaster. i would not trust these generals to fix the problems in afghanistan. in the case of his decision, it's how he decided to lead -- to leave. host: let me go to jennifer jacobs, reporter who quoted senator blinken saying this is
not saigon. a viewer wants to know, she says she understands your comparison to the exit in saigon. however my concern for diplomats and military as a possible iranian hostage type situation of 1979. any comment from your guest on this possibility. guest: within the intelligence community are very concerned about, this is why the decision to withdraw should have been made over a month ago. the decision to keep it open, a political decision because the bided administration did not want to look like that the biden administration did not want it to look like panic button. now that is a possibility. i think with the presence of
5000 american troops, that probably reduces the likelihood of that. these are not things i like to leave to chance. host: jane in illinois, democratic color. caller: you seem to have been right -- host: emma craddick caller -- democratic caller. caller: we need to be aware of our limitations. my question is, where should we be concentrating to promote democracy in our own hitless fear? central america, south america. aren't we already involved in africa. are you the only knowledgeable person out there who predicted this? or do you have people that agree with you? guest: i'm going to pass on your
first question only because this is not my area of expertise and i don't like to pretend i am something i am not. i will say the idea that we can promote democracy in places where it is sour soil, that is something that needs to be considered. that may be the best thing for afghanistan would've been a democracy, might of been something else that would've been more palatable that would've allowed the afghans to not be a base for al qaeda and remain a partner. creating south korea in the heart of asia. it could've been something else. i'm sorry. could you repeat the second part of your question? host: who else knew what you know? guest: my colleagues.
we've been working together on this. there's people in the military, intelligence services, other three letter agencies, state department who know this, who get this. they are not the decision-makers. these are people like me who go to work every day who work hard and focus on these issues. the problem is we are saying things that political leadership, let me be clear. republican and democrat did not want to hear. the trump administration put that horrific deal, it wasn't a peace deal. it was a deal that allowed the u.s., they got the u.s. out of afghanistan.
none of us see ourselves as being political. we just care about the security of our country. that's it. when it gets politicized, when intelligence gets politicized you get failures like this. host: blinken told the taliban if they interfere with u.s. personnel evacuations, there would be a swift and decisive response. guest: i have no doubt that the u.s. military will do everything in its power to thwart an advance during an evacuation. this is how you prevent that sort of hostage situation. additionally, the u.s. is going to not want the taliban to advance on kabul.
the last thing the u.s. needs is the afghan storming the airport. that can create panic and a multitude of problems. civilian casualties, that is something that is not needed. i am very critical of the department of defense for their actions over the last three months. many of them are directly responsible for this failure and for trying to provide coverage for something that was not able to be covered up. he says this, i take him at his word. there's one thing that i know, the u.s. military does not want its citizens and soldiers to be killed or in the hands of the taliban. host: edward in new jersey. caller: i guess you know that countries and armies need logistics.
wouldn't the answer just be mass migration and allowing the refugees to leave? host: let's take your point of migration. turkey being one of them. what's going to happen? guest: at a time of covid, host: let me share with you. the turkish president is giving a public statement saying we will continue to stabilize the region. cooperation with pakistan. we are facing a wave of afghan migrants coming through a ron -- coming through iran. guest: pakistan, i will focus on that part.
everyone is trying to put a best face on this. taliban does not want these people to migrate. they want to have people. they have discouraged it. one of the biggest problems is the failure to hold pakistan to account. i'm going to give you a little here. this is how washington works. i get a panel and a think tank i will not name. 2011, it was me and senior advisor to the obama administration and senior republican advisor. both very prominent individuals in afghanistan. i explained how afghanistan sponsors state-sponsored terrorism. this is undeniable.
anyone who remotely pays attention knows this. i can do this in detail and i will do it in a way where i challenge anyone on this planet to argue against me. the question comes from the audience, what do we do about pakistan? my response is there's things that you can do. what the u.s. was doing at this time and up into dust up until the trump administration, they tried to give crack to a crack at it and -- crack addict and hope he would quit his addiction. start small designated individuals for their support of it to leman and other jihadist groups -- their support of the taliban and other jihadist groups. cut off aid, work your way all the way up to the point where you start small and work your
way up and possibility of state-sponsored terrorism. you start giving india intelligence and military equipment. i can't guarantee this, but i would be nine and 9% certain. i will share this with your listeners. my website has been in pakistan now. -- my website has been and --banned --banned in pakistan now. afghan leaders would've been arrested and possibly executed on the spot. the training camps, the hospitals. all of their infrastructure would have been destroyed and the taliban insurgency would have been a shell of itself. what do the experts have to say
after i had laid this case out? they say well we just keep both of them -- we just keep giving pakistan money and hope they change their behavior. you barely get a credit card in between the opinion of the republicans and democrats, advisors, experts and washington, d.c. on positions like pakistan. that is the way the world works. if you want to know the problem in the, it's the groupthink that exists amongst our political intelligence. there is no creativity. there is a fear of doing things as it directly is responsible for murdering americans.
it's cowardice. it's failure. it's failure to understand our enemy. the pakistani people have suffered. their support for jihad is him has caused the death of -- jihadismn has caused the death of many. host: an afghan veteran, is that right? caller: i'm not. i'm somebody who lives in london, but i follow what is happening if -- in afghanistan. i'm just taking what your guests has been saying. my question is the u.s. intelligence has been wrong about the taliban under william burns leadership. i wonder how wrong they could be about iranian atomic bomb.
perhaps the iranians are much closer to building a bomb or they may even have it. the second point, there's a lot of talk about iranians regime had been training taliban. similar to how they negotiated jcpoa and they were teaching taliban what to say. guest: very familiar with iran's support of the taliban. the evidence is undeniable. it comes from iranian officials themselves who admitted, just a
slew of information. when it comes to support for the tele-band, iranians pale in comparison to what the pakistanis -- for them taliban, iranians pale in comparison to what the pakistanis have done. the pakistani state has a lot of ideological agreement with the taliban where there is differences between the iran and pakistan views on islam. the end of the day, they iranians support the taliban to help drive the u.s. out. iranians did not like the united states on its border. it is always happy to see the united states defeated. this is a way for it to gain influence within the taliban. the iranians and the taliban
were at odds at times from 2006, 1996 to 2001. to your first question, when it comes to issues like intelligence on nuclear these are not the issues that concern me so much within the intelligence community. these are issues that tend, tend to not be politicized. they are consistent over administrations. there is good evidence outside of what u.s. intelligence services are saying. the threat of the iranians is credible.
it's real. by no means am i an expert on this area. my colleagues can speak to this point. a host of our colleagues can speak to this point far better than i. that certainly is an issue. host: let's end with what you are watching for in afghanistan today and in the coming days. guest: right now i have completely under taliban control. it's just a matter of hours or days before the collapse. does he leave? does he cut a deal with taliban taliban the -- with the taliban? is there any issue with the
withdrawal? can it be conducted in an orderly fashion? in the coming days and weeks, i expect al qaeda and other terror groups, keep in mind the united nations called the deputy mayor of the taliban and military strategist who is the man with the plan to take over afghanistan. host: there's also a call for a human emergency meeting. guest: this is all perfunctory. the time for diplomacy and a stern word of statements has long passed. diplomacy and a stern word of statements, that's what got us here. the u.s. officials thought there
was a diplomatic solution when the taliban always had a military solution. host: bill roggio, you can find his reporting and his work. we appreciate your time. guest: thank you for having me. it was a pleasure. host: we are going to take a short break. woman come back, we will continue talking about afghanistan. -- when we come back, we will continue talking about afghanistan. was leaving afghanistan a mistake? yes, no, unsure and afghan war vets. we want to hear your perspective as well. >> tonight on q and a, elizabeth becker tells a story of female
vietnam war correspondents at a time when covering war was a male dominated profession. >> there was no military censorship so it was probably the first and the last uncensored american war. it was for women a gift. because it was only because of this lack of codification, this openness that women could get through what was the biggest barrier as a worker. you are not allowed on the field. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. you can also find interviews where you get your podcast. >> weekends on c-span two are an
intellectual feast. saturday, events on american history to. sunday, the latest in nonfiction books and authors. learn, discover, explore. weekends on c-span 2. >> washington journal continues. host: we are back for another 15 minutes. getting your thoughts on whether or not withdrawal of the -- withdrawal of afghanistan was a mistake. this breaking news. taliban has surrounded the city of kabul. jennifer jacobs reports with bloomberg has this tweet just minutes ago. multiple reports that afghan
president has flown out of the country. the taliban spokesperson says they are awaiting a peaceful transfer of power and also happening in the last hour, antony blinken defending president biden's decision to withdraw. >> we are evacuating the embassy, burning documents. this is not just about the overall idea of leaving afghanistan. this is about leaving hastily. how did president baden desk how did president biden get this wrong? >> we were in afghanistan for one purpose. the deal with the folks who attacked us on 9/11. over those 20 years, we brought bin laden to justice. we oppose the threat to united
states where the that to the point that it is not capable of conducting it again. on the terms that we went to afghanistan, we succeeded in achieving our objectives. when the president came to office, he had a decision to make. the previous administration negotiated that said our forces would be out of the country on may 1. the idea that the status quo could have been maintained by keeping our forces there is wrong. the fact of the matter is had the president decided to keep horses beyond may 1, attacks would have -- decided to keep forces beyond may 1, attacks would have commenced. we would have back at war with the taliban and i would be on
this program today explaining why we are sending forces back into afghanistan and back to war. something the american people do not support. >> that is the reality and the context we are dealing with. host: state of the union, you heard referred to the deadline set by the previous administration under president trump. president biden in his statement when he announced additional troops were headed to afghanistan to help with the withdrawal of americans and others in that country, also blamed the former president are putting him in this situation leaving him no choice to either go through with the agreement to withdraw or go back to open combat. here is fox news sunday former secretary of state mike pompeo responding to the biden ministrations criticism. >> mr. secretary, what you think
widen -- what you think president biden's blame for what is transpired over the deal he inherited from president trump and from you? >> if the risk weren't so serious, it would be pathetic. i would let my 10-year-old son get away from this kind of pathetic blame shifting. you should be focused on -- he should be less focused on blaming this on someone else. it's worth noting, this did not happen on our watch. we reduced our forces significantly. the taliban did not advance. this is the fact it is happening under the biden administration. this is not the way leaders lead by pointing backwards. we had a bad deal we inherited. we got out of it. we secured america from the risk of iran. every president has had
challenges. this president has utterly failed to protect the american people. host: the former president -- the former secretary of state, if you say it was a mistake dial-in this morning, if you say no you can dial in. if you are unsure or if you are an afghan veteran, we want to hear from you. this video of prisoners leaving after being broken out by the taliban. the trite lakes minnesota. you say yes it's a mistake -- detroit, lakes. caller: people need to think back to how this went on and i say that it went on from bush. when the man any rack, when he
-- in iraq, invaded kuwait. they interviewed our ambassador who was at home and told her that he had actually invaded kuwait. her answer was we did not want him to go that far. nobody paid attention to what the man told him in afghanistan. the cia went to investigate him. he said he cared about his religion and his country. what did daddy bush want to do? he wanted to get into saudi arabia. he did. he built buildings and they blew them up. host: lawrenceville, georgia.
you say yes, it's a mistake to leave afghanistan? caller: yeah, big time mistake. this was not only predictable. i was in the navy. i remember vietnam. they did everything they could to create optics. we are going to be back there in six months. host: did you feel the same with president trump said he wanted to withdraw? >> oh yeah. separate that -- that peace agreement with president trump was a nightmare. this is envelope -- unbelievable. i can't come up with enough adjectives to describe how bad this has been handled from the get go.
i supported the war in iraq. in hindsight, that was a mistake. that is where all this stuff started. 20 years later, we are going to be right back where we were. unbelievable. i can't believe the stupidity of our government. host: we are less than 20 days away from marking the anniversary on the attack of 9/11. john and arlington, virginia. afghanistan veteran. when did you deploy? caller: multiple times. thanks for taking my call. i think a lot of times you are left with a series of bad options in terms of politics. i think we need to look at going forward whether or not the way we have structured our defense
come up what has gone so wrong in afghanistan in the last 20 years that has left us with an army that we are trained that collapsed within a matter of hours. as we look forward to future challenges and threats, how we built a defense apparatus and intelligence apparatus can be successful? we need to really think long and hard before we start beating the drums of war with china and russia whether or not we can be successful or whether we fundamentally need to reevaluate how we built the defense of our nation. thanks for taking my call. host: what did you do when you are in afghanistan? caller: i don't want to get into a great deal about what i've done personally. i again appreciate you taking my call. host: fayetteville, north carolina. you say no, not a with -- not a mistake to withdraw. caller: not a mistake. we've been there for over 20 years and we get to show
nothing. it's time to leave. host: ronald in fayetteville, north carolina. whether or not it's a mistake to have withdrawn from afghanistan. walter wellman who is covering afghanistan and what's happening there has this picture at 7:37 a.m. eastern time. staff being evacuated overnight. this story has been quickly evolving on saturday and sunday. richard ingle with this tweet this morning. afghans crowding visa processing center trying to get visas to the united states. stories of desperation. many coming up to me crying. asked about concerns of the afghan government with failed to halt the taliban advance.
>> there is irrefutable evidence that a vast majority of those afghan forces cannot hold ground. it hasn't your plan to withdraw troops changed? >> no. we spent over a trillion dollars over 20 years. we trained and equipped with modern equipment over 300,000 afghan forces. afghan leaders have to come together. we lost thousands of american personnel. we've got to fight for themselves -- they've got to fight for themselves. five for the nation. the united states insist continued to -- fate -- fight for the nation. making sure that their air force
functions and is operable. resupplying their forces with food and equipment. paint all of their salaries. but they've got to want to fight. they have outnumbered the tele-band. -- they are -- they have outnumbered the taliban. new secretary of defense in afghanistan. i think they are beginning to realize they have got to come together politically at the top. we are going to continue to keep our commitment, but i do not regret my decision. host: that was a president earlier this week. this morning, taliban has captured the surrounding areas around kabul. they said they are waiting for peaceful transfer of power. afghan president ghani has left
the country. caller: here's a place where the united states had enemies out in the open. clearly identified enemies. make the lives of people in afghanistan better by destroying the taliban and al qaeda. makes the united states look very badly to abandon an ally so precipitously. it's horrible optics. not just horrible optics -- not just horrible policy, but horrible optics. i think the united states is going to pay a big price in their war reputation for having abandoned afghanistan like this.
host: new york times quotes secretary blinken on nbc's meet the press interview with chuck todd where chuck todd played for secretary blinken the president's quote from june. whatever happens in afghanistan if the rays -- if there is a significant deterioration and security that could well happen we discussed this before. i don't think it's going to be something that happens from a friday to a monday. an iraqi veteran, dave. what did you do there? caller: i spent 21 years in the army. i deployed to iraq 2003 to 2004. that was on the ground as civil affairs operator. i got to deal with, directly with people. trying to establish democracy. combating anarchy.
many aspects of the war. a big comment i had to make is the will of the people that we work with, whether it's iraq or afghanistan is something that is drastically different than the will of the american soldier marine. once we got in, i feel the same for afghanistan, the operator level is it's really hard to get -- to extricate ourselves from either one of those places. the decision has to be made by guys much higher up the chain down myself, but we sort of have to have trust in our leadership. it's difficult place to be involved. host: what do you make of the
taliban ease and speed to which they have been able to capture all of this territory and on the brink of a collapse of the afghan government? caller: i think it's pretty shocking. i think it's something that we should have prevented. any kind of super hasty withdrawal is not good. to get ourselves out of either place, i would think it's something we should strive for much earlier than now. it's sort of shocking, the speed with which the tele-band are advancing -- the taliban are advancing. i think there are some mistakes made at the higher levels. it's way above my pay grade.
host: thank you for your service and we will be back tomorrow morg at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. enjoy the rest of your day. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more. including charter communications. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter has invested
billions, upgrading technology and empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> tonight on q&a, elizabeth becker tells the story of female war correspondents at a time when covering more was a male dominated profession. >> there was no embedding like there is now. there is no military censorship. it was the first and last uncensored american war. it was for women a gift. it was only because of this lack
of codification, this openness that women it could get through what was the biggest barrier as a war correspondent, we were not allowed on the field. you can also find all q&a interviews were ever get -- wherever you get your podcasts. >> three more members of congress share stories of what they saw, heard, experienced january 6, including dean phillips of minnesota. >> at that very moment when they announced we should take cover, i stood up at the back of the gallery. represent of go's are from arizona was objecting to the arizona slate of electors. i shouted out at the top of my
lungs, this is because of you. i screamed it. i think i was representing four years of angst and anxiety. many of this saw this coming from a mile away. millions of americans felt the same way. the entire country including myself recognized the fragility of our democracy. i have great respect for the decorum. i do not regret it. it was what i was feeling. it was four years of pent up anxiety of what was transpiring right in front of our eyes. >> you will also hear from brian fitzpatrick to pennsylvania. january 6, a fuse from the house. tonight at 10:00 on c-span.