tv Charlie Rose PBS June 15, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
>> charlie: welcome to our program. tonight a conversation with the chairman joinls chiefs of stf admiral mike mullen. >> my biest concern about our future is can we as we transition out ofhese wars can we take care of ourselves and those young officers and nco's can learn anything more than we can imagine. with all of the chaenges we have, if we keep them in and take care of their families in ways that recognize their sacrifice, if we pay attention to those veterans and their families who sacrifice so much, that no matter what happens in the future, we'll b just fine. and so the essence for me has been our people, from the first day i joined until the last day i'm privileged to wear the uniform. >> charlie: obama's top
>> charlie: admiral michael mel mullen is here, he's the principal military advisers. he's the key voice as president obama announces the number of troops he withdraws from afghanistan next month. he's pressure for significant with drawlg. secretary defense robert gates representea pace of the draw down. >> president obama considering the size and pacing of the troop de drown beginning in july. i can tell you it will be no rush to the exits. the vast majority ofhe surge forces that arrived over the past two years will remain rough the summer fighting season. we also reassign many troops from the areas transferred to a began control to into less secure provinces and district. >> charlie: admiral mullen returned from a trip to egypt and germany.
president obama nominated martin dempsey precede him. i'm arneed to have admiral mullen back at this table. >> thank you, charlie. >> charlie: let me talk about of gland stan. what's the status on the ground and what kind of negotiating is going on before talk about withdrawal. >> well the status on the ground is actually improved and continues to improve over the course of the arrival of these forces that president obama put in last year. we've seen security change for the better dramatically in the south in particular. you may recall not quite 1 8 months ago we went into a difficult fight and literally this last week, i remember receiving reports on the openness, the freed that is, the ability for the merchants to sell their wares and people to life comfortably. basically the assertion that the
taliban are no longer there. the marines are there because they set e security but it's the arrival of the afghan marly, and in particular the afghan police. sole healthmond and canada are the two southern provinces over the course of the last year is in much better shape. in fact security has allowed governance to start. we're also in much better position i think in the east. those e the two centers of gravy, if you will david petraeus adjusted the strategy there, made it very thick between pakistan and cause bow because the corrid comes through coast and patika and that zone. and that's much stronger. cobble is more secure. so we've made a lot of progress. there's still a long way to go but actually from a strategy standpoint it appears to have worked as w hoped it would up to had point. >> charlie: secretary kissinger said it was implausible to think that by 2014 you could create acceptable
levels of governance or military success that would lead to negotiation. >> actually i mean i've read that column and he also spoke to the whole reconciliation in the process, if you will. i'm actually encoaged that that's now under way. and it's in its beginning stages. hard to know exactly how quickly it will move. and yet you probabl saw president karzai was ju in pakistan and it was a subject of considerable discussion there between the leaders in pakistan prime minister jalani and president karzai. i can tell you from my knowledge it's very acte right now. i don'tant to oversell that at this point because i thinkll the partie are still trying to figure out how they're going to put this thing together. but president obama, secretary clinton in her february speech to the asian socty here made it very clear, this is the main
effort over the course of the next two years. there aren't many people that would have projected we be in as good a shape with the ahan security forces this year based on where we were 15, 18 months ago. and yet we've stood them up, put a structure in place where they're now involved in partnership in operations routinely with us, not throughout the country. and that happened much more quickly than we anticipated. so i don't, i don't keep, i don't push away the possibilities that we could achieve, it's a very aggressive objective to turn the security over by the end of 2014 and to have a governance process and the development process enoh in support so that the couny can be secure. >> charlie: it puts the in multilateral negotiations to take pla. is that what's taking place. >> multilatel in that it
ceainly involves afghanistan, the u.s., pakistan. >> charlie: india? >> well, there is acommitment on the political and diplomatic side to have a regional sategy as well. and i wouldn't go into the details of how all of that is working but i have felt from the beginning it hast been just one country, it is in fact the region, it's major of neighboring states. i believe there's a rirmt for the international community pay a lot of attention to what going on here and that that pressure needs to be brought so that we don't see this part of the world collapse. i spent, as you know, a lot of time in pakistan, many people are worried, including myself, about the trends in pakistan, the increased the terrorist activity in pakistani. i will tell you charlie, across the board there isn't anybody i speak to, whether in this country or othersth don't speak to the importance of
making sure that that country has a more positive future and that a country with nuclear weapons doesn't find itself under the rule of terrorist kind of government that would in fact join up these extremists with nuclear weapons. >> charlie: ambassador crocker said that we cannot leave afghanistan as we did in 1989. >> i couldn't agree more. since i've been out there in the last three and-a-half, four years, it's still the leading question, you left you before, are you going to leave us begin. and that's a message that it's very hard to control. a couple years ago i got to the point where they're only going to believe we're going to be there if we're there and i couldn't prove that we wen't leaving in the summer of 2011, until we got to the summer of 2011. and certainly tre almost se troops that come out this
summer. >> charlie: up to 2000, 3,000, 5,000. >> we're not picking any numbers yet charlie, that's really for the president to decide. but there certainly will be some and yet that isn't a message that we're leaving. whatever that number is, fm the stand point of the overall campaign, i'm come -- comfortable that we can transition. >> charlie: here are reports thatthe german are talking. is there anything with respect to that. >> i can say there are a number of activities inside this overall diplomatic and political bubble focused on a reconciliation. i think it's very important quite frankly that we not speak to the details of that for fear
that we would unravel any efforts that are ongoing. i couldn't confirm whether that's activity in germany. sufficit to sayhere are a number of nations that are in involved that are very focused on working towards this reconciliation in peace process and i'm actually encouraged by that while at the same time i said earlier, it's still early in the process. >>harlie: the negotiation settlement has always been our objective? >> yes. without any question. throughs no way this conflict can come to an end without the negotiated settlement. >> charlie: of which the taliban will be a part. >> everything that i see is indicative of that. all parties are saying that, that that's a very important part of how that gets resolved. while at the same time focusing on those taliban that can be reconciled and with an expectation there will be those that will not be able to be reconciled. >> you have had a long standing relationship with the pakistani government and the military leadership there. it is said you've been the
principle person in the u.s. government that monitors pakistan. you were out there with secretary clinton. what was the result? what did they say to you? what was the aftermath of the killing of osama bin laden. >> well essentially treason i went withsecretary clinton wa to ensure that it was very clear that this was a military and political ce from the united states of america that both aspects of this are very important. we met with the full spectrum of their military and civilian leadership. and while the meeting that we had was off rorted as very tense, it was a very direct, very frank, very open meeting and quite frkly it could be that because both secretary clinton and myself had bee there a number of tes. we know the leaders there, we have relationships with them. and ill -- i think it was recognition on both sides that it was a really serious critical
point post the bin laden raid. we tried to be as frank as we could with what we saw as our as they did as well as the political and military. >> charlie: the army chief of staff who you know will felt betrayed. was it betrayed by the pakistanis allowing osama bin laden to be on their territory and he didn't kw about it. >> i think theway he would characterize it is that having worked closely with me and with the americans over the course of the last three plus years, the very difficult part of this was the fact that we went into his country. our military did. >> charlie: invaded his sovereignty. >> we did. they are a sovereign cntry and in fact did so in way not tting him now and took out the number one terrorists in the rld. that was not surprise from the
stand point we would do this. i worked for two presidents now, two presidents have made it pretty clear if we find out where bin laden is, that we were going to go and we would go unilaterally. so that's how we took it. i've spoken to him, i spoke to him the night of the raid. i've spoken to him since and i've been this once. both of us are committed to this relationship. we're going through a very diffult time right now and we have to figure out how we're going to see a future together. the countries from our perspective and that was part of the message from secretary clinton sent for president obama is, united states is still very committed to this relationship. >> charlie: what conclusions did you reach after these conversations about who knew what either in the military or the isi? >> will secretary gates has spoken and i will reaffirm, i've seen nhing that would indicate that they knew anything. >> charlie: anybody? >> that anybody in the military.
>> charlie: how do square that, that he had to have according to the president, a support. >> i think he clely had a support group of somsort in orr tobe able to survive there. and actually we were aware of his couriers, but again, and i'm privy now to an awful lot of what we've seen as a result of what he had in his, where hewas living. and i just haven't seen anything yet tt would confirm that anybody in a senior posion had y idea -- >> charlie: he was the underlying senior there. >> i would say that now but i just haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe, any evidence that the isi knew about it, that the military knew about it. who would be the two principals. >> charlie: even though it was near the military base and even though it stood out as a building? >> i mean i understand what you're saying. i get logic that follows from
how could this happen. i'm just saying i haven't seen any evidence to confirm that. >> charlie: what's your answer to the question how could this happen? >> well his, i mean he clearly was hiding in plain site and had been doing that for five years. >> charlie: i ente viewed rmer president musharraf last week and he said to me i see no evidence he was there for five years. of course he was there but with a do we need he was there for five years. >> i don't know. >> charlie: all right. so today, what have we learned from what w found there about al-qaeda? >> well when we went in, certainly he's been the number one target for us for a long time. but when we went in, the status of al-qaeda has be significantly damaged over the course of the last two or three years. so they're the a much different organization than they were whn
president obama came in. we were focused on this for a decade. my enview is this raid was a culmination of focus at hour government had put on finding and capturing or killing the top allocated leadership. this was the best certainly i've ever seen action between theia and the pentagon, and there were other agcies involved as well. and i'm very proud of that >> charlie do you believe that omar is in pakistan. >> i do. >> charlie: do youbelieve -- is in pakistan. >> i do. >> what do they say? >> part of the discussion secretary clinton and i had were very specifically focud on th prinl patargets we are interested in and you mentioned them. they are atia who is the what i what call the operations head for al-qaeda is this as well. and we have broht as much
pressure and discussion as we uld on them to take action to elimate that threat. and that's just part of what we're going through with th right now. from an al-qaeda standpoint what the pakistan tells me the military leadership, that they don't want them there either. we continue to work through the relationship in terms of how we work together to eliminate that threat. i think omar and the whole taliban thing, you can extend this to the network which is the taliban network which focuses on eastern afghanistan. >> charlie: and supplies. >> and it does, it supplies fighters to come in and kill coalition soldiers, american soldiers. so these are, this is part of the discussion. i think we've made it very clear, we're not going to back away. we are going to be relentless in pursuing this threat, to protect our homeland and to protect our
people. they know that. >> charlie: will there be any restriction in american aid going into pakistan. >> that's really up to congres. there's an enormous amount of discussi since the bin laden raid about that and wee working our way through any adjustments which may occur. and certainly we have expectations that this aid will be challenged and that it will be discued in terms of focus and discussed in terms of if u do ts, we'll do this kind of thing. it's a significant amount of money, we know that. from my point of view it goes back to the question of will we walk away out there and i believe if we walk away from that part of the world, we'll be back in 10 or 20 years. it will be much me viral than it is right now as has been the case since we left in 1989. so i think we all have to work together to keep this going to bring the pressure we can and to
try in partular on the development side, the economic side, that's really the answer in pakistan. >> charlie: is it achieving its objective? i mean this was a passion of secretary holbrook. >> it certainly has not achieved the effect that those of us would like to have it achieve on the people. i mean we're not, to say we're not very pawner -- popular in pakistan right now is an understatement. i agreed wh richard holbrook is focing this aid in a more intense way in the right areas was a priority. and mark grossman whose come in to relie, to take over richard's responsibilities and i know the secretary of the state and all of us are working to tr toate good the tality of the money focused in the right way. >> there are those who worry that while the leadership isi may very well be as you said no
way complicit in osama bin laden. the same elements may somehow be involved in the security of the nuclear weapons. and i'm told that pakistan h an acceleration of nuclear weapons than any country in the world. >> the concern about security for nuclear weapons is one i shared many files with the general, and retired general who is responsible for the overall nuclear program. and certainly sharing it with general pasha. it's really in the kiani portfolio, if you will. and everything that i've seen from security standpoint, charlie, is it's getting better. and it's, you know, we have actually extended resources in support of assisting them, our government has, not the pentagon. andthey haveresponded posively in that regard. so they are certainly aware of those concerns. they have them themselves.
i see them learning in that regard. so the trend from my perspective is in the right direction and where we are as we speak is those weapons are secure and we're comfortable with that. >> charlie: what is the nature of the review that may be in the offing in washington? is it a review of the decisions that we made in 2009, whenever thlast review was? afghanistan and pakistan. >> i think it's accurate to say that it will start momentarily in the in next couple weeks. and myexpeations are is that it will be an assessment of how we've done. and then the president made it very clear we're going to start bringing troops out when he made his original speech. and it will certainly focus on that and it will update everybody on where we are on the secure side, on the development side, where way in the governance and corruption side which has been a voice in part
from my perspective from the beginning. the big reservation i had from the beginning of all this a couple yrs ago was can we see adequate progress in corruption. >> charlie: have we. >> from my perspective we haven't. it's something that's still being worked in the end as all of us have said, this is about the afghan people and the afghan people have to have confidence in the government they have as well. and right now i'm not convinced that they do. >> charlie: in somelaces they are saying the following. it is time to shift from count insurgency to counterterrorism which is the kind of attack that you see with drones and also you see with taking out osama bin laden. do you buy into that argument that it's soon to be. >> my own experience, this is in iraq and it's here in afghanistan is that those shifts are shifts that often times take placover a period of time as opposed to dramatically.
and that's just based on being at war, conditions on the ground, the counterterrorism aspect of this campaign remains. we've all said that it is a part of t counterinsurgency. i see it that way in the future. at some point in time, we get to a point where the ct could be the main focus, but it really depends on how things continue to occur over the course of the execution of the campaign. >> charlie: the principal difference in the two is how to find the objective and two how many troops you have on the ground. >> without any question. and there will i'm sure be some of that discussion in the upcoming couple week. >> charlie: lete talk about the arab spring. there was a report in the "new york times" that talked about a global effort to deploy a shadow internet. >> actlly i haven't seen the report si couldn't speak to it. >> the idea was that somehow a should owe internet so tt
dissidents in the midd east could spk to each other. you know nothing about this. >> no, i hasn't heard about it. >> charlie: it doesn't exhibition if you haven't heard about it. social media has meant such significance what happened so far in the air been spring. >> if i was to focus specifically right now in syria which isoing through incredible repression repressiy are killing a lot of their people and we want them to stop. there are not a lot o news stories. yet i actually believe they're going to get out. the tragedy this 13-year-old boy recently is an example. there is not from my perspective a leader in the world that can hide from the social networking potential that's there. it doesn't come out as quickly obviously if it's blocked and there are fire walls and the country's working that pretty hard. i just haven't seen.
>> charlie: some people expressed their concern about the arab spring only in this way. how do you, a, how do you concern yourself with what comes after in syria, in libya, in egypt where you have a very strong relationship with the military. what happens after. >> i think it's a great question and is one i was encouraged the other day as the nato defense ministerset and took up a commment to look at what happens after gadhafi's gone ad a lot of us ve to do that. not just there but in country after country. there is this broad arab spring brush that we apply to so much countries, we also have to be mindl th each of these counies are different. each of them are sovereign. so a broad application of a solution isn't going to work from my perspective. i was just in cairo. i'm watching, i was engaged with
both general hanon my counterpart. >> charlie: you believe they are moving satisfactory to creating a democratic circumstance on the ground. >> they are working around the clock to do the best they can for their country. i actually believe that. i think the challenge is enormous. they are trying to get parties stood up, they're trying to get candidate who have to have plat norm and -- platforms and have to go and seek votes in the parliament by september. the election date is not termed yet. they'll have a constitution after that copy elect a president by the end of the year. >> charlie: you worry about what might come out of that election as has happened in different places. >> we all want it to come out well. >> charlie: are you worried because of the nature of an election that's coming in which
the most organized orgization is. >> that's a concern we all v and i spoke to the military leadership about that. they gave me reassurances toot be overlyconcerned about that. that ty have no intent from my perspective of letting the muslim brother hood come in and run that country. >> charlie: meaning the muslim brother with a trying to run the country they would do something about it. >> i didn't pick them apart on exactly what they do. but the higher level message was that they are going toake care of that country. they did the right thing in the revolution. they made a conscious decision to not turn on their people. they will not turn on their people in the future. >> charlie: speaking of that it is said one of the reasons they didn't tn on their people up and down from a lieutenant kurnlz to you, there was communication between the u.s. military and the egyptn military. and that that made a difference so that they were not even
tempted in using force against people in the square. >> in fact when this started, general hanon was in the united stat beginning a visit to me, i waseturning to washington and in fact we never got together. i know he had meetings whilehe was in washington with some of our military. and there were discuions about this issue because itas coming unwound at the time. that said, i place much more credibility in the 30-year relationship than i would think specific calls that were made. >> charlie: but it was a relationship because those egyptians had come and been trained here so therefore you knew them and you knew them. >> it is those officers the egyption armed forces that deserve credit here. it does speak to i think the importance of these military relationships. and they all exist at different stages and different levels and
we work them all over the world. >> charlie: but they didn't have much impact in bahrain, did they. >> i think actually more than you realize. bahrain is a worryin tms of actis that were taken ere. i made a trip out to the gulf states i january and it was very clear in every country i was in that bahrain was a red line. and they're extremely concerned about iran but although my view is this wasn't about iran. this was about internal pressures and right for individual people in each country. and what i worry about now is steps that are being taken which will hope the door to iran because while iran dn't start it, they now see oppornities and we all just need to be mindl. >> charlie: tell me what the difference is if in fac the president said the reason to go into libya is becausehey feared that gadhafi's voarsz
would be to ben gauzy and massacres are taking place. massacres are taking place in syria. what's the differences. >> as i've looked at this and been asked this question on several occasions, i think we have to treat each country differently and each cotry in its region, and i think the president's been very clear that there's certainly no intent to go into country after country. what happens. really what happened in libya was supported by the african union and more importantly by the arab league. and supported by the arab league. we actually got deployed outof area forces from arab countries along with nato. clearly the nato commitment after the united nations commment. it w this international focus that essentially said we need to
take steps in lib -- libya. >> charlie: even aer the acts committed in t government's name to somehow play a role i whatever realignmt in the middle east especially with respect to iran. we don't wt to bay part of a civil war that might happen. >> i see no indication that that thought train is running our policy. they need to reform and he is with obviously many other nations that feel the same way. >> charlie: how about yemen. >> yemen is a country i've been focusing on for sometime. the big worry is an ungoverned country that wld allow al-qaeda to try. >> charlie: here comes a failed state. >> and it does and the dangers that are associated with it.
they have a very clever, very difficult al-qaeda cell there. they're very dangerous. they speak international terror, seek and support executing the kinds of operations that would be stopped. yemen is a great worry and again it's another country that by and large is being overtaken i think by the internal requirements of its people. we support that but we can't ignore the threats that's there from a trorist standpoint. >> crlie: iran. more sanctions have come out. ere have bn report from the ieea of some trigger mechanism fonuclear weapon. there's a report from iran that they areccelerating programs that they have are they getting closer to developing a nuclear weapon. >> their priority remains very
high. they are i believe on the path to develop a nuclear weapon and to export the kind of technology associated with that. everything el that's gone on, i would want to reassure we haven't lost our focus on iran, an extremely dangerous country in addition to the nuclear doassmentsz. >> charlie: syria and other aces they're trying to influence. >> exporting terrorism and trying to take advantage of it. i think it's very dangeus for the region. i talked about the gulf earlier but reallyor the broader middle east. i han't seen the time lines adjust a lot from where we've been. >> charlie: the is no new element that changes the thinking about the time line. >> not that i've seen so far. >> charlie: what happens if
they engage in massive civil disowe -- disobedience, a non-violent protests. >> thesteps taken literly inside the palesnian parties if you will to come together, seemingly to come together and that was tied to syria from the stand point of the challenges that hamas and syria have had recently. those are still early to see where it goes. the president's made it clear where the united states is on this for both parties with respect to this. and i know this administration has worked this in in-- incrediy hard and it speaks to the right iority. this is key to future stability thatart of the world.
we still are israel's best ally. we still support israel in terms of its security. it is in the vital national inrest of the u.s. that there is peace in that part of the world. and it's as difficult a problem as i think we fac >> in july you go to china. there are many people who say we need to have serious serious reexamination of how wity the priorities o the united states with respect to the future. tell me how we should think from a military standpoint if there was a review of military strategy which i don't think has taken place in that big way since 20. >> we cerinly looked at the defense review in 2010 and these really the basis the how we look to the future. for me charlie what i've tried to do is look at what i call these economic engines in the world because good economies and secure environments go together and the hospitals is true. and certainly the econic
engine that china is something we all have to pay attention to. there's a big one in india, in our growing relationship and strengthening relationship with india's critical. hour growing relationship with braz, obviously in europe. the broader middle east, etcetera. as we look to the future, i think china will require more and more of our focus. i've said many times a peaceful rise in china is great for china, for its people, for the region and are for the world. and t there is an opaqueness to the military side that's been very bothersome. i just had my counteart he from china a few weeks ago. the first time he had visited the u.s. or his president cess- predecessor. we are very focused on the
united states capabilities. the regional aspect just in the last coupl days the island disturbance. >> charlie: vietnam. >> with vietnam and with the philippines. in order for us to solve those problems you got to be talking to each other. you speak of the, spoke of the 30-year relationship had with egypt and sitive results. if i don't have a relationship with the chinese military the likelihood of anything that happen is positive is pretty low. >> it is said that theirorces in china that have most and prosperity and the other force is someone in the military who have much more how far a strain of nationalism. >> i think it's hard for me to just categorize one versus the other. certainly i've watched the evolution of the military as their regional and glal requirements have changed. the chinese military, the pla is
moving towards a more focused area in the maritime world. in the arab world th theand world they wer grown up in. we have our own challenges the last two decades with respect to that. and that the leadership in china, and i see the civilian leadership as well as the military leadership trying to figure out the best away head. they're on the cusp of a change on leadership a year from now which is significant. any country and certainly there. what i'm encouraged by is what i've seen president hu and president obama do in terms of leading two countries, sending a very clear message that we're going to work these things together. from general chen's visit it was very clear he came with that understanding, to work more closely with us so we can work. >> charlie: they recognize and appreciate and understand and have no problem with the fact that the united states is a pacific power and that we have a
forward projection of our power in the pacific. >> i would never say that they completely understand that but i was very clear to my counterpart and have been that we're not going to, we have no expectation to change that. i have felt for years this century could very well be dominated by a focus on the pacific and asia because of those oeconomic engines and i think over time you will see us turn to that. and to the secure reqrements that are associated withhat. charlie: e shouldn't have any problems, in they want to build aircraft carriers. we have a huge budg, we build aircraft carriers. >> before i became chairman, my chinese counterpart from the chinese navy came here, said he was interested in carrier aviation and i said fine. i sent him to see one of our best carriers. here's the standard so he has a view of where he's trying to go. and again if it's peaceful and
non-confrontational, i think that's fine. >> charlie: do you have any evidence in the area of espionage and warfare that the chinese are behind these cyber attacks on google and other places. >> the chinese have a very significant cyber capability. >> charlie: that's one thing. >> in fact, they have been very active on the hacking side into -- >> charlie: the government or the government working. >> sometimes it's difficult -- >> charlie: how big a concern is this. go ahead. >> it's a huge concern that in the world of cyber that's an area we left to the experts for many years and now all of us, all on the mainstream leaders in our countries quite frankly certainly those of us in the military, we have to treat cyber as mainstream warfare and understand it and raise people who can fight it and certainly
the chinese have a significant capability in that regard. we he recognize at. >> charlie: th testimony before congress said if it's all together possible aearl harsh type attack comes again it will be a cyber attack. >> i would agree with that. it is, i believe there are two existential threats to the united states of america. the nuclear weapons that russia has and just renewed a treaty with him. and the other is in cyber. sea if you march a cyber attack into our infrastructure, into our financial institutions, into our other systems throughout the country, it could clearly bring us to our knees. in that regard i agree. >> charlie: explain that to me. >> if you can attack our financial system. >> charlie: the computer system that operates our financial system. >> correct, if you can get in there, steal from it or control
it orif y can create novels data -- false data if you, you can create a lot of damage. this is a two-wa street not unlike the nuclear weapon piece. its capabilities are on both sides. and in the long run it's mike mullen's belief that major countries have to come to some kind of level of assurance with ch other that we won't potentially destroy these systems so vital in every single couny. >> charlie: when you look at the future of warfare, what else might we be aware of that you're aware of in terms of conflict around the world? for example all of us know water scarcity is an issue. we know that fuel scarcity is an issue, food scarce fee is an issue, an issue that may turn into conflt. >> i think there are conditions that are all a part of potential conflicts in the future that
would lead us to that. we have not been very good predicting where we would go to war and when we would go to war. that's been the case for a long time. i thought secretary rumsfeld years ago i asked him a question about the future and he made the call that mcnamara wasn't asked one question about vietnam in his confirmation hearing cheney wasn't asked one question about iraq and secretary rosenfeld wasn't asked one question about afghanistan. we can't predict the fure very well. >> charlie: shouldn't we be able to better tha weave and is there a way to be better at it. >> i think we all work to be better. but going back for decades and second aue centuries. we need to be ready for it and
the strategy to look at in the future we need a broad bases of capabilities. we need to be careful in the tough fiscal environments what the country is not going to develop for our country. we have to stay vested in our research and development. we can't be specific or rtain about what's going to happen. so i talked about cyberment one other domain that concerns me greatly is space. and because cyber and space, there are no rules. there are no boundaries, and more and more people are in space and so i think we have to at some point in time we have to come to grips with that domain as well. we worked very hard on that recently if you try to understand that a lot. >> charlie: wch means the are five domains now air land fleet space and cyber. >> yes. >> charlie: five domains of warfare. >> there are. >> charlie: wheyou look at the big question, how many wars can we fight in one time.
we're engaged in two right now, yes. >> i would argue certainly iraq, afghanistan, we've been righting terrorists very rd for the last decade and we are in supporof the opations in bia. >> charlie: you also have secretary gates saying in one quote at any secretary of defense who sends troopto the midd east onthe ground in the future to engage in war ought to have his head examined. >> will think certainly secretary gates is speaking to the experience he has been through as secretary of defense and actually we have been through as a country. and i'm certainly mindful of that. all of that said, i think pack -- back to the question about certainty, it is a pretty uncertainty world. it's also said in the unpredictable world starting in grenada, we didn't know we were going to go there much less all the other conflicts we've been in. so i think we have to have a military that is prepared to
address the national security requirements that seem to keep emerging in a world that seemingly is more and more dangerous and this goes back to what i said earlier abt the pressure on the budget. and i understand that. thiss our biggest teat to national security. >> charlie: our own economic health is therefore the pressure on the budget. >> yes. and i think we've got to get our house in order because it has a dramatic effect on our national security requirement and the budgets. the budgets that are associated with that. but we need to do this very very carefully. and we're not going to solve the national death problem on the back of the pentagon. were but 4% of the gdp. you cannot do it. there are much biggerchallenges out tre for our coury that have to be grabbed in order to solve that. >> charlie: we have to define what a national security is in part whether we need troops in
south korea and how many or troops in europe and how many which bring me to nato and the criticism that gates made of nato. >> there are two very csistent messages with what bob gates said last week with respect to na. first of all that the united states is not going to be able to continue to bear the burden of the vast majority of resources associated with nato whether in peace or in war. secondly the expeckation is that our nato allies could spend less and less and less and have an expectation to be able to do anything is pretty unrealistic and all the budgets that we've seen in europe are going down. he's been pretty constent with respect to that. >> charlie: he found out in libya as he found out in afghanistan earlier in 2003, he found out that our fire power is much better than other people. >> we've invested a whole lot
more. weave a debt and a capability which think the best capability in the world. that's not reason for others to not come along and continue to invest there as well. i was jus in germany, i met, i was just in london as well. met with my counterparts in both those countries. and there are investments i think those countries have to make in order to be able to perform across the full spectrum of these requirements in the future. >> charlie: let me ask you these two personal questions as you come to the end of your military service. you were not number one in your class at the naval academy. >> no. >> charlie: and the results of this, the story of you who was captain of a small ship i think and you said you ha to spend five years getting your reputation back up to where it was. when you look back at the skills that you've learned, the lessons
you've learned, the influences that have been, give us a sense of what it is. if you were given a last lecture today to talk about the personal element. >> well, fo me, the navy in particular, because that's where i started in the military, from the first day i went to anpolis in 1964 was the great privilege of being around unbelievable people. and that is true today. this military, 2.2 million men and women, the deaths i've sn. we were in a draft situation when i came in in the middle of vietnam. itas very diffict timeor us. and those scars, whether it was the lack of support of the american people for our military, the homeless generation of my peers that we put on the street and still are out there today. those are very important elements of my make up and eventually getting this job. i had no aspiration for this
job. i had no idea i would come into this job. those aspects of my youth, in you will, including a career that went south after i was in five years and it took me a significant, almost twice that long to get back out. >> charlie: that's an important lesson it ses to me in terms of the human spirit, in terms of you're never out toally claire yourself. >> i believe as a result of tht and i've also seen it, we're not a zero fault organization. and you c make a mistake, and i learned a whole lot more through failure than i did through succs. i'veever argued you should be seeking to fail but i reall was able to get up off the deck, dust myself off. i had leaders who saw enough in me that chose to keep supporting me. and was able to get in a position to command again. that's an importa lesson right now, it's an important lesson for our junior officers. we have the most combat in force
we ever had. my biggest concern about our future is can we, as we transition out of these wars, can we take good care on ourselves, can we retain the best of those young officers and young nco's who learned more than any of us could imagine in these wars. with all of the challenges we have, if we keep them in, if we take care of their families in way that recognize their sacrifice, if he with a pay attention to those rent vuns and their families that we sacrifice so much that no matter what happened in the future, we will be just fine. and show the essence for me has been hour people, from the first day i joined until literally until the last day i will be privileged to wear the uniform. >> charlie: you have said that as vietnam influenced the generation afghanistan and pakistan and iraq. >> the children of my generation
are all influenced by vietnam and so the span is 50, 60, 75, 80 years. i believe these two wars will d the sa for us. and we should remember that a ta that into consideration as we look to ourfuture. i have a youn arm colonel that works for me that come in the 80's. and he and i were discussing this because he's heard me talk about vietnam and how difficult it was. he said to one night, and he's a post brigade commander and he's seen an awful lot of combat. since he joined the military, he's never seen anything say anything othern't than thank you for your service to him. when i speak of lack of suppt, it's almost, it's just almost foreign in that regard. and that's, that gives me great comfort because that certainly has been the case with respect to the american people supporting our men and women in uniform regardss of how they felt. >> charlie: there was always
a sense of applause and notwithstanding whether they agreed with the mission or not. >> right, right. >> charlie: as you have made the point and others in the arlington speech, in the end they care most of all if you ask them it is cing about the people there with th. people whose lives are on the line with them. that's where. >> that's where they fight, that's why they die. and yet there is a larger calling. they know the country they seven, they know the people they serve and they know the cause they serve of freedom and democracy and they are a part of. we keep saying that so that is reafrmed and reaffirm as absolutely correct. >> charlie: this is my fill point. made an important pointat the west point commencement speech, the man from the navy giving a commencement speech. >> i had great joy doing that.
>> charlie: in fact, secretary gates said when he did an interview with you to determine whether you would be the person he wanted for chairman of the joints of chiefs, it was the fact when he asked you what concerned you most you didn't say the navy or whatever many ships we had, you said the army and suggested a broader view they were looking for in the k45eur78 of the joints of chiefs. but you said to those west point graduates there, you have a special responsibility to make sure that you serve on behalf of e american public, that they understand the burdens you bear as well as the mission. >> yes. my worry has been that with us being less than 1% of the american population, we're an l volunteer force and the best we've ever been certainly in the 40 plus years i've served is that over time america doesn't understand us and they don't understand. they know we're at war, they know we've lost people, they're in -- incdibly supptive but
they don't know the stresses and the challenges our families have been through. there's this wonderful sea of good will out there that want to reach to us, and connect with us and i see that in cities and counties throughout the country. we've got to connect better in that regard so we don't generate another group of homeless vets, if you will. many a they come home and they haven't asked questions, they just sacrificed as our countries asked them to do. and yet this is a two-way street. this isn't just an expectation that america would reach out and learn who we are. we have to be active, we have to be engaged. we have to make su we're not just talking to ourselves because of the importance of the american military to who we are as a country, where we have been as a country and where wwill undoubtedly go in the future. >> charlie: thank you very much. >> thanks. >> charlie: mike mullen chairman of the joint chiefs.