tv Charlie Rose PBS May 7, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with dexter filkins and gary samore talking about syria and the president's options. >> i was talking to an israeli official a couple weeks ago and he said -- he said "you know, we've got our red line and obama's got his and they're differentment and our's is hezbollah." and he said "if we ever had any evidence that chemical weapons were being transferred to hezbollah then, you know, that's it." >> rose: also on the question of syria, senator john mccain who's called on the country and the president to do more. >> as you know, i come from a very long line of military people, but i know one thing: that some military leaders, if you don't want to do something, you can find a reason not to do so. did you ever hear general dempsey talk about how difficult it would be to penetrate syrian air defenses and they have the
latest russian equipment and it's the densest? somehow the israelis managed to act with a great deal of impunity. with cruise missiles we could take our their -- on the ground, we could crater their runways and they're only using a few air assets and we could use the patriot missiles. i could go into more detail, but it's not that hard. the military is making it hard because of civilian leadership that wants them make it hard. >> rose: we conclude with adam grant whose book is called "gimp and take-- a revolutionary approach to success" which n which he talks about people who give and people who take. >> neuroscience is a really interesting lens for looking at human motivation and it's a science that's still very much in its infancy. but one of my favorite perspectives is research by david rand who actually shows that if you give people a a choice between giving and taking that if you give them time to think about it they will take but if you actually ask them to act spontaneously they'll be more likely to give.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin tonight with the ongoing crisis in syria. the conflict has claimed more than 70,000 lives since it began two years ago. on friday and sunday, israel launched strikes against syrian military warehouses and installations. it's believed the bombing stemmed from concerns about iranian arms reaching hezbollah in lebanon rather than an attempt to weaken president assad. but the attacks also raised the prospect of american air strikes. last week, evidence mounted to suggest the syrian regime used chemical weapons. president obama previously said that using such weapons would be a red line for the united states. until now, the president has opposed arming the rebels or intervening militarily. joining me is dexter filkins of the "new yorker." his latest report from syria appears in this week's issue.
also joined by gary samore of harvard's kennedy school. until february of this year he was the president's special advisor on weapons of mass destruction, counterterrorism and arms control. i'm pleased to have both of them here. let me talk about dexter's piece in a moment. we now have the israeli bombing. where are we in terms of what the syrians might do, what's the next turn of the wheel? >> i think in terms of a military response i don't think it's in assad's interest to take on the israelis right now. so my guess is he will try to make as much political advantage of the israeli strike as he can by portraying it as a favor to the opposition. but i'd be surprised if damascus or hezbollah, for that matter, decides to tangle with the israelis. we're already fighting a desperate struggle inside syria and i don't see how it would help them to take on another conflict. >> rose: how are they using whatever level of chemical weapons they're using? >> well, what's alleged is that there was very small-scale tactical use. meaning battlefield use against
opposition forces. i think there's little doubt people were exposed to chemical weapons. and that's based on blood samples. among other evidence. but as president obama has said there's not clarity about how they were used who ordered the use and who used them and so forth. the most likely explain station in that it was government forces used against -- >> rose: most likely but there's some possibility it might not have been? >> i think there some's possibility, some allegations have been made. >made. >> rose: to bring allies and others in? >> precisely. and i think the president wants to have some certainty before he decides how to respond because the military options are so daunting. >> rose: speaking of the president's military option, do we learn anything about israeli -- about syrian antiaircraft weaponry from this israeli attack? >> this may be misleading because the targets were close to the border and the israelis have for years now been able to dominate syrian air defense ises
including very sensitive means they have to turn off or make it difficult for syrian radar to work so from that standpoint an attack in the heartland of syria that would go after a larger number of targets if we were to decide to try to destroy the chemical weapons facilities would be much more challenging just from a purely military standpoint. that's not to say we can't do it but it would be riskier because the syrians would have more time to try to attack us with their air defenses. >> rose: the russians would provide the anti--- >> primarily. i think chinese components as well but mainly russian. >> rose: how do you fac factor e israeli strike into it or is it simply as we suggested the israelis not wanting to see hamas get any kind of arms at all? >> it's mostly that. it's about -- for the israelis this is about hezbollah. >> wanting no part of this war. >> i was talking to an israeli official a couple weeks ago and he said "we've got our red line and obama's got his and they're different. ours is hezbollah and" he said
"if we ever had any evidence that chemical weapons were being transferred to hezbollah, that's it. we go." >> rose: did they have evidence of that? >> none. none so far. there's been troubling stuff like -- i mentioned in my piece there was a -- there was an incident last year where some members of the that bee ya were being trained in chemical weapons use which was troubling because hezbollah is very deeply involved in the training and the coordination of the that bee ya, the militia. so far no. these strikes were about intercepting weapons in a the israelis were afraid would tilt the balance in lebanon. >> rose: where do you think on the ground the situation is today? >> it's a war of attrition. >> rose: last man standing? >> i think it's -- it's a war of attrition but i think maybe it's
starting to tilt against assad very slowly. the rebels are getting arms from the saudis, the turks, the qatarrys, i think those things are making a difference. >> rose: what are the president's options? >> well, the first option is whether the u.s. get mrs. active in terms of making sure the opposition forces that we have confidence in will have the right kinds of weapon wes need and they are asking for shoulder-fired antiaircraft weapons. up to now the u.s. has tried to discourage other countries like the saudis from providing those weapons and right now i think washington is looking at a policy of basically relaxing that prohibition and allowing the saudis to buy not from american stockpile bus other stockpiles those kind of weapons. the second option, i think, people are looking at is whether there's -- what kind of ability the u.s. would have to take down some of syria's delivery capability.
>> rose: what would be first? >> well, the scud missiles and their aircraft which i think is relatively doable. obviously it would be risky but i think that's certainly more attractive than trying to go after the chemical weapons directly. >> rose: what casualties would that cause? >> the scuds are difficult to get because they're mobile but you could presumably -- if you took down the syrian air defense and had a good surveillance system you could do scud hunting but you remember we tried to do that in the iraq war and it's easier said than done so i don't think anybody should assume this would be an overwhelming one time quick and it's over mission. it would be something that would take a lot of power. >> rose: what's the argument against a no-fly zone? the primary argument, the primary concern the president has is that it sucks you into the this conflict and once you've provided by air cover for the opposition, the next step will be should we be helping them in terms of air attack against syrian ground forces? and i think the president believes it's not in u.s. national security interests to get dragged into this war. >> rose: under no
circumstances is anybody talking about ground troops or there one option they might use ground troops? >> i don't think people are looking at ground troops. if -- >> rose: an international force? >> the turks have the greatest capacity of any party so one could imagine a situation at the very end o the day or after the fall of asaud where we and the turks and others try to cobble together a peacekeeping force but i think turkey has much more capacity than we do in that scenario. >> one of the rebels said to you "take down those helicopters and we'll have assad out of here in three months." >> i was stand tong syrian border in lebanon and we were literally watching a syrian gunship attack the rebels and he said "we're getting slaughtered." take down the helicopters." but that's the no-fly zone. i think the other concern about a no-fly zone is gary's point which is obama is afraid we'll
get sucked into the conflict but the no-fly zone won't do much. it won't take down the scud missiles, it won't stop the syrian army from going into neighborhoods so most people being killed are not being killed by air strikes so let's say we set up a no-fly zone tomorrow and that's not an easy affair. we'll kill a lot of people. we'll take out radar installations and bomb runways. that will kill a lot of people. but let's say you set up your no-fly zone. people are still going to die. syrians are still going to be killed. and they're going to come to us and say "hey, we're still losing, we're still being killed. help us." and that's -- that's the concern is that the no-fly zone doesn't do very much. >> rose: john mccain will be on this program this evening and has said, look, if you look at where we are -- you both know this, if you look at where we are and all the things people will say will happen if we intervene, they've already happened.
>> true. true. i think -- i think -- the argument was also, you know, a year ago or a year and a half ago if president obama would have done a no-fly zone and would have gotten in behind the rebels and said we support the rebellion -- >> rose: before other people came in on the rebel side. >> now it's a mess. but if we would have done that very early this regime would have cracked. and i think what happened over the course of this war-- which is now in its third year-- i think you get the impression that assad -- the whole regime is on the ropes and -- but they woke up maybe a year ago and they said "you know, we're still here. maybe time is on our side. maybe it's not working against us." >> rose: do they have a point? >> yeah. i think as long as those iranian transport planes keep coming into damascus airport they're going to have a pretty good chance. >> rose: what are the russians doing for them? >> supplying stuff. >> rose: what stuff? >> well, the whole antiaircraft
system is russian. >> rose: but that's not new, is it? >> it's not. but that's what we have to contend with. >> rose: i'm saying what are they doing now? >> well, if obama -- if president obama went to the united nations right now and asked to ask for a resolution to mount an international intervention the russians would veto it. >> rose: of course they would. but suppose we went to the russians? i think john kerry is on his way to moscow as we speak. what's his mission? >> he will try to persuade the russians that their behavior, their support of assad, is actually likely to bring about exactly the result the russians fear most, which is western intervention. i think putin views syria through the prism of russian/u.s. rivalry and from his standpoint there's been a long history of the u.s. and its allies intervening to take down milosevic, saddam, qaddafi. he thinks assad is next. but, in fact, by supporting assad the russians are going to create a situation, i think, where the u.s. may be dragged in if there's indiscriminate large
scale use of chemical weapons. that's the one thing that hasn't happened yet and my concern is that as the civil war grinds on and if the tide of battle begins to turn against assad-- whatever constraint there is, self-imposed, not to run the risk of tkaoging the u.s. in, they may begin to erode and we could see large-scale use. in that case i think there would be tremendous pressure on president obama to do something militarily. >> rose: you suggest here, dexter, that assad is testing everybody? >> yeah. i mean, if you look at every stage of this conflict, it didn't start -- we didn't start two years ago with scud missiles being fired in populated areas and 100 people a day being killed. we got to that point very, very slowly. and asat has been very careful. he's ratcheted up the violence very, very slowly. somebody described it to me as incrementalism. so you wake up one day and you're like "wow, there's 100 people a day and they're firing scuds into cities." so when you see -- i think
there's been five reported chemical weapons attacks, five that sound pretty credible, very small, some of them are in regime-controlled areas, contested area. so it's -- it's all very vague. it's all very -- if you're losing -- if 100 people a day are being killed there's some small chemical weapons attack with 30 people going to the hospital coughing up blood, that's nothing. so somebody said to me, you know, it's almost as though he's trying to get us used to -- he's trying to get us used to this. >> do you believe that? >> i don't have enough information to know whether this is a strategy by damascus or whether it's local commanders who have these weapons available and there's aa tactical value in attacking a particular neighborhood or even a house that has opposition forces in it. it's phrauz to believe me that assad is testing the limits and whether or not he's doing it deliberately, i think if we don't respond he will read it as an indication that he can try to move that marker a little bit further. so i think this will be a response from washington but, as i suggested, my guess is that
it's more likely to be a more active effort to assist the rebels rather than a direct military action by the united states. >> rose: let me talk -- give us a primer on chemical weapons. what are we talking about? what impact does it have? how much of a weapon of mass destruction is it? >> well, what's been said publicly is that the syrians have probably the largest active chemical weapons program in the world. and i say "probably" because we don't know that much about north korea's. the u.s. and russia, of course, had very large-scale programs but they're not active anymore after the end of the cold war. the syrian chemical weapons program was developed primarily as a deterrent against israel, both conventional and nuclear threat. and it consists of a very large quantity of mainly nerve agents, sarin and vx plus a mustard agent. >> rose: what do they do when you release them? >> well, it causes the nervous system to not function properly and if you're exposed it causes paralysis and death.
but it has a wide range of effects depending upon whether the people that you're attacking have protection, whether they have antidotes, how much exposure, the temperature conditions. i mean, in that sense, chemical weapons are not as simple weapons of mass destruction as nuclear weapons which have a pretty clearly defined effect in terms of both casualties and property damage. chemical weapons really varies tremendously. attacking an unprotected civilian population under optimal conditions could have very dramatic impact. i mean, thousands of casualties. if you attack well-protected troops then it may have very little impact except for the inconvenience of having to wear protective suits. >> i think there's one other factor that i was able to interview and eyewitness who says -- described the chemical weapons attack. he lives in a town about five miles outside of damascus and he spoke of these two explosions that left a kind of blue haze.
but the other factor is panic. he just said "my god, people were terrified. people were streaming into the hospitals. animals were choking to death on the ground. cows were dying, dogs, chickens, birds dropping out of the sky." he said "people are living in fear now." and you can imagine what this means in a large-scale attack. you're talking about flows of refugees which are already enormous to jordan. i mean, the fifth-largest city in jordan is the refugee camp on the syrian border. lebanon has close to a million refugees and it only has a population of four million itself. you're talking about giant flows of people that could potentially overwhelm these countries. >> rose: the big question is where are the chemical weapons? have they been moved? are they capable of moving? if they get moved are they more access to believe somebody other than the government? >> i mean, what's been reported is there that there's been consolidation of chemical weapons as the government has lost control over certain parts
of the country. but i think there's a lot of uncertainty and that's one of the big factors that makes a military option so difficult is that we're not absolutely sure where chemical weapons are stored. we're not sure what state they're stored in. most of the nerve agent are binary, meaning they're stored as two separate chemicals and by themselves those two separate chemicals are not fatal so one could attack such a facility with relatively low risk of inadvertently producing a plume of poison gas. but if they're mixed and stored in bombs or stored in a mixed container then a military strike on that facility is dangerous because it could actually produce a chemical release. >> rose: my impression is that if, in fact, they were going to move them or somehow were preparing to use them on evidence of a serious possibility that the united states and others would go in there and get them. do you think that's wrong? >> well, i'm not sure that we would necessarily have timely
intelligence. i do think that our -- >> rose: not just our intelligence. israeli and jordanian and everybody else. >> what's happened in the past, according to press reports, is that we and others have seen indications of preparation to use and we made very strong private warnings to assad and also asked the russians and others to do the same and i think that probably was effective in deterring -- >> rose: the russian foreign minister has now said that. that they made a very strong case to assad "do not do this." >> this was the incident back in december, i think, where they got intelligence that assad was loading sarin bombs on to airplanes. i think -- gary knows the technical stuff better than i do. that's almost necessarily a large attack and remarkably we called the russians who called the iranians who called the saud and he backed down. by think -- gary can speak to this better that i can. but as far as we know, those -- the chemical agents on those
bombs were mixed. you can't unmix them. and my understanding is some intelligence people have come to basically have told the white house and told members of congress "we don't have a lot of visibility on this stuff anymore. this stuff has been mixed, it was kind of deployed, they stopped deploying it but we're not necessarily going to get much of a warning." >> rose: so there is this: mike rogers, chairman of the house intelligence committee, came on this program last friday and he said that every foreign leader that comes in and talks to him says we want to see the united states take leadership. what does that mean? >> well, of course, people would love to have the u.s. fix this problem but i think it's beyond our means. >> rose: beyond our means? >> i really think it's not something -- i mean, this civil war is going to end up in a broken country, probably pockets being controlled by different ethnic and sectarian -- >> rose: a bit of lebanon? a bit of iraq or what? >> it will look a lot like lebanon and one of the big questions is whether the alawites can find refuge in a
strip of territory along the mediterranean sea and protect themselves from what is likely to be a desire for vengeance by the sunnis. the kurds will have their little pocket of the country up against the board we are turkey. a lot of the christians will leave, i think. so i think we're going to end up with a situation which, unless the u.s. was prepared to occupy the country for a long time, we simply would not be able to put the pieces back together again. >> rose: no one is going to suggest that? >> i don't think that's going to happen and i think even mounting an international force would be challenging unless you are the ski prepared to step up. >> yeah, i mean look at the options that we've been talking about. they're horrendous. there's no quick fix here. there's nothing easy. and yet at the same time there is an enormous and building political pressure for -- from abroad, in the united states for obama to do something. at the same time-- and i think it's fair to say there's a humanitarian catastrophe which is unfolding in syria. i mean, 70,000 dead, 3.5 million
refugees. people in the white house including the president would like to do something about it. >> rose: is it possible that syria could become a rogue state controlled by al qaeda and al qaeda-affiliated groups? >> i think it's unlikely and i'm basing this more on a gut feeling than anything else. i mean, syria's had a long history as a secular mediterranean country. the extremists have some influence now because they're very effective fighters. but i think at the end of the day this is not afghanistan and i just think it's unlikely that syria will be ruled by a caliphate. what's more likely is chaos. there won't be anybody in charge. >> rose: is that worse or -- chaos may be worse, even. >> well, sooner or later -- >> rose: because everybody else comes in to take advantage of chaos. >> yeah, that's the danger. and next door iraq is on the verge of breaking out in fighting again between maliki and the kurds to the north and
sunnis to the west so one could imagine a real set of political chaos and fighting across the region. >> rose: are we looking at the middle east at a time of which america has no real power that it wants to use to change a very, very unattractive circumstance? >> i think -- you know, when president obama looks at what's really important to the united states, stopping iran from getting nuclear weapons, he's made it very clear that's something he's prepared to do if necessary and he's explained why he thinks that would dramatically change the balance of power in the region as well as efforts to prevent spread of nuclear weapons. so to the extent that he can avoid getting dragged into these other kinds of conflict which is will dissipate u.s. resources and suck up time and energy, it may make sense for him to save his powder if it becomes necessary to attack iran. and we don't know, of course, whether that's going to happen. but that may be a question that gets put to obama in the next year or two.
>> rose: it's probably going to be with him through the rest of his term, isn't it? >> unless we get a diplomatic deal which i think is pretty unlikely. >> rose: there is no diplomacy working is it? >> i think it's because the supreme leader doesn't want a deal. we've put a lot of different ideas on the table and he, frankly, hasn't engaged with us in a serious way. whether that changes after the presidential elections as the big -- is the big guessing game in washington, i think it's unlikely but we won't find out until september. >> rose: go ahead. >> well, it's probably an argument that senator mccain will make much better than i would but one of the arguments that you hear for going after the assad regime is that this is the best and easiest way to hurt the iranians. yeah, yeah. now, just imagine if those -- we were talking about man pads, the shoulder-fired missiles. just imagine what's going to happen when those iranian transport planes start getting shot down over the damascus airport. it's going to be crazy.
but i think that's -- that's one of the most compelling arguments that you hear for -- and it's not a humanitarian argument, it's an argument for national self-interest, american national self-interest. this is a way to hurt the iranians. >> rose: these are some of the things that you say the administration is fearing. hard to actually destroy assad's chemical arsenal. you don't know what happens the day after assad goes if he goes. you don't know whether u.s. intervention would accomplish anything significant. you know that there may be the risk of another afghanistan. you know there's a risk of mission creep at least. you know that weapons would eventually make their way to islamist groups and you know that there is possibly a vacuum post-assad and therefore you have chaos and all bets are off. >> uh-huh. >> that's -- man. >> of course, most of those things may happen whether or not we intervene. >> rose: that's john mccain, that's what he's saying. >> i agree with the argument that assad's fall would be a significant blow against tehran and might help facility a
nuclear deal. i think the best way to achieve that is to make sure the opposition has the weapons they need rather than direct american intervention. >> rose: did we make a mistake? will history say it was a mistake by the united states at a moment that it could have acted it did not act? >> i think we were relying on other count flees the region who-to-act who were more willing to provide weapons. the trouble is they didn't get access to all the weapons the rebels need. so i think we aouf moved show slowly to make sure the advanced weapons get into the hands of the opposition. >> rose: you can look at the history of if you move to slow you move too slow and it had consequences. >> right, but think of -- somebody said to me in the white house "we've seen this movie before and it was in afghanistan in the 1980s." we arm the rebels there to the teeth. we flooded that country. >> rose: mujahadeen. >> the mujahadeen when they were batting the soviet union. that was a long time and we are
still deeting with that. and when you go to afghanistan and look at the weapons they use to shoot each other they still have russian markings on the side. >> rose: okay, because among them was osama bin laden. >> right. >> rose: there's no attractive situation anywhere. if you look at egypt what are your fears there? >> well, clearly the muslim brotherhood government has not found a way to broaden their appeal to some of the secular forces. i don't a sense how close we are to conflict there, but it is a troubling situation. a situation in syria and iraq, i think, obviously much worse. libya still has not been able to reconstruct its government. so across the middle east we're facing a really -- not since 50 years have we seen this kind of conflict and instability and none of these problems are amenable to u.s. diplomacy and therefore i think our ability to influence events is really dramatically slim. >> rose: and to coin a phrase, do we have a dog in that fight? >> i think president obama's desire is to try to stay out of those fights, having gone through iraq and afghanistan and
seeing that at the end after all the investment we've made it's not clear we fundamentally change the arc of history in either country. >> rose: are we looking at the possibility of some giant huge conflict that will spread out everywhere between sunni muslim and shi'a muslims? >> i mean, you're kind of seeing it. if you -- >> rose: seeing the beginnings of it? >> the beginnings. and so maybe it won't go much farther but if you -- i mean, really, you're talking about what you mentioned, people refer in short hand to the shiitein as which runs from tehran through syria through lebanon to the mediterranean. and, you know, it's still holding together in lebanon. it hasn't come apart there and i think that's in large part because they had their own horrible civil war that lasted 15 years and iraq -- i don't think they've reached -- it's bad there but it hasn't reached the poepbt of no return yet so i
still think that there's still a lot of self-restraint going on here. >> rose: finally there's -- senator john mccain is coming up. does the president risk having said there's a red line if chemical weapons are used now having witnessed the fact that there are chemical weapons being used a credibility gap? >> i think he ultimately has to do something, even though when he originally talked about the red line he may have been thinking about large-scale indiscriminate use against civilians. i think he has to respond in some way and what they're looking at in the white house is how to respond. as i suggested, i think stronger efforts to arm the rebels may be a much more sensible and effect i have way to respond than direct u.s. military intervention to this particular episode. if there's large-scale use i think the president's hand may be forced to do something more draw dramatic. >> rose: regardless of who is with him. the "new yorker" magazine, may 13, 2013, "obama and the red line: the syrian regime now
stands accused of using chemical weapons against its citizens, what can the president do? -to-stop the carnage?" thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you charlie. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: we're joined by senator john mccain. he's called for u.s. action in syria since the beginning of the crisis. i'm pleased to have him back on this program. welcome, senator. >> well, thank you, charlie. could i say i listened to some of the dialogue that just went on with some excellent expert there is. could i just respond to a couple of points that they made very quickly? >> rose: yes, please. >> in afghanistan we abandoned it after the russians left. if we had stayed, if we had played a role i think most people agree that it may not have deteriorate it had way it did. as far as having seen the movie before in iraq and afghanistan, we've also seen another movie before, it was called bosnia. another one called kosovo and to
some degree libya where we used air power to great effect. we did not put american boots on the ground and so we did affect the outcome officially. the problem in libya is we're making the same mistake we made in afghanistan in the' 0s. we're just not gives them the help they need and haven't given them that as far as whether our -- what the effect on iran would be, the fall of bashar al-assad, that's why the iranians are basically going all in they're taking syrians to iran, training them, sending hem back. they have iranian revolutionary guard on the ground. they have dramatically increased their supply to the point where bashar al-assad is able to carry out some offenses now to so the former head of central command was right. a blow to iran, the fall of bashar al-assad would be the greatest blow to iran in 25
years and as you say all of the things that you argued would nap we intervene have had now happened that we haven't -- that we did intervene. finally i would just like to say as we found out in other cases, our interests, r our values and our values are our interests. it's not the united states of america to sit by and watch people massacred, raped, murdered, tortured if w we are able to do something about it. and that's a big if. no, we can't be everywhere and we can't put boots on the ground in syria because that would cause frankly a serious backlash in favor of beard but we can't move up incrementally. the conversations that you just mentioned, they're going on in the white house, what i fear is an incremental increase. that can be matched by the iranians and the russians so we have to have something that changes the game dramatically and that means a safe zone and
area where bashar al-assad is not able to use his air power. air power is the decisive weapon in that kind of terrain and that kind of weather. >> rose: okay, so let's go through what you're saying. you're not talking about boots on the ground, a. b, you are talking about a no-fly zone or not? >> we're talking about a no-fly zone which the israelis just -- you know, in all due respect, i revere our military leadership. as you know i come from a very long line of military people but i know one thing that some military leaders -- if you don't want to do something, you can find a reason not to do so. did you ever hear general dempsey talk about how difficult it would be to penetrate syrian air defenses and they have the latest russian air equipment and it's the densest? somehow the israelis managed to act with a great deal of immunity. with cruise missiles we could take out their air on the ground, crater their runways and
they're only using a few air assets and we could use patriot missiles. i could go into more details but it's not that hard. the military is making it hard because the civilian leadership wants them to make it hard. >> rose: it's interesting. i want to go back to -- i was reading this today. both panetta, hillary clinton david petraeus and others -- >> and general clapper. director of national intelligence. >> rose: all recommended something. do we know what they recommendd? >> they were recommending arming the rebels and you know what's so bizarre is that both general dempsey and general clapper were saying we did recommend that a year ago. doesn't that mean it was a terrible tragic failure that we didn't act then and get these weapons to the right people then?
and of course it's damned foolishness. of course we can get the weapons to the right people. of course if we set up a benghazi in syria we can get them to the right people. there are about 7,000 of these jihadists. now the jihadists are the best fighters. hell, they've fought all over the middle east and are not afraid to die. but to think we can't get the weapons to the right people if we have a established place in syria for this government. and, by the way, it's a damn good general we've got there now, too, working for the resistance. >> rose: do you think the president's credibility is at stake here? >> yeah, i think so but he never should have done that to start with, charlie. it's okay to use scud missiles and kill hundreds of people. it's okay to use mortars and heavy artillery. it's okay to use as an instrument, intimidation of gang rape and torture and murder but
that's okay. it's not okay to use chemical weapons? what's that all about? that's so repugnant it's hard for me to talk about it without emotion because i've been to refugee camps and seen the people with what's been done to them. we should haven't done this quote red line to start with and now as one of the commentators -- and i couldn't tell which one -- pointed out he probably didn't intend for it to be a red line if it's only small amounts. it puts him in a very -- puts him in a position where mesh credibility will certainly make it be questionedded. but incremental efforts will be non-productive and a reason, again, not to be involved. >> rose: one of them suggested-- it was gary, i think-- that you can't read too much in terms of what the israelis did because those
facilities were down near the border and not near damascus. >> well, some of the facilities taken out were in damascus and the fact is with cruise missile and other standoff capabilities we don't have to send our aircraft over within range of the syrian air defenses. >> rose: what do you know about the syrian air defense system? >> i think they're sophisticated. (laughs) we spend hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers money every year on owl military capabilities and the men and women who serve and we can't take out the air defenses of a third-rate country? then american tax dollars are being terribly wasted. >> rose: let me summarize and go point by point here. dexter filkins did a very good piece quoting you among others. >> yes. >> rose: (laughs) he said -- this is what -- a summary of what he said. that this is the
administration's point of view. it will be hard to actually destroy assad's chemical arsenal. hard to destroy it. >> i totally agree. i totally agree. but wouldn't it have been easier to secure these chemical weapons sites two years ago than it is today because we know assad is moving this stuff all around and that makes it even more difficult. this is a huge problem these chemical stocks. and we have to work with an international coalition in my view if we expect to have any opportunity of getting these chemical weapons under control which, by the way, we didn't get the weapons under control in libya and now those weapons are fred saul over the middle east. >> rose: that's the biggest risk here, isn't it? >> it's huge. i do believe hezbollah would hesitate under circumstances to use a chemical weapon on israel.
i don't think so. >> rose: the second point they make in the administration is what happens the day after assad leaves and who's going to be in control. >> again, it depends on how we help. it depends on what we do. it depends on whether this national council is is in syria and working and organizing. this is a country that's not give on the muslim extremism. this is a country that's pretty modern and pretty traditional in many respects. it depends on what we do. if it's a light footprint, unquote, as we did in libya, then i'm not sure what might ensue. but it's the day after challenge less or greater than the continued deterioration of the situation as we sit by and watch? i think that's the choice. >> rose: some of your critics say -- they say john mccain for every problem wants to zero bust military action.
>> well, let me point out that i opposed sending the marines to lebanon. that's way back a long time ago. i supported president clinton on bosnia and kosovo against a very significant part of the republican party. i'm the one that in 2004 said our strategy was failing in iraq and we might as well get out unless we change it. and obviously fought for the surge which succeeded and tragically because we didn't leave a residual force behind it's unraveling badly. i have said we have done -- general petraeus and his successor general allen have done a great job but all we do is tell people in the region we're leaving, we don't tell them we're winning we tell them we're leaving and they are making the appropriate adjustment. i promise you -- because i'll do and meet with these leaders all the time-- what they want is
american leadership, not american boots on the ground but they want american leadership and since it's not there they are accommodating the situation after we leave. >> rose: that argument is made some of the people in syria who have no great affinity for al qaeda or any other affiliated groups are saying because we can't get american support and because we want to see assad gone are making some kind of alliance thinking that sometime later they can go back to another kind of competition. >> well, charlie, i was in a jordanian refugee camp, there were 54,000 refugees, 3,000 coming in every night. i met with the leaders. they were very angry and bitter that we weren't helping them. a schoolteacher said to me "senator john mccain, see these thousands of children? they're going to take revenge on those who refused to help them." that's what we're breeding in these refugee camps. >> rose: let me turn to benghazi. what do you make of the new testimony that we have from an
official in the state department with respect to who knew what when? >> i think it's something that's been going on far long time and it's really unfortunate that we haven't gotten the information. we're still fighting over the talking points. we don't know who made up the talking pointings although it's abundantly clear now that there were agencies of government and people who told the government that this was not a spontaneous demonstration. i happened to be on a sunday show at the time and i said people don't bring mortars and rocket-propelled grenades to spontaneous demonstrations and then why didn't they take those survivors who were flown out to germany the next day and ask them what happened? i mean -- because they knew what happened. and why for two weeks later did the president of the united states continue at the u.n. to talk about hateful videos and spontaneous demonstrations? why is it we didn't have the assets in the region to be there
in a 7.5 hour fight when the last two were killed in the last hour. there are so many questions that still haven't been answered. hopefully this hearing will clear some of this up. but the administration has stonewalled on this issue as far as information is concerned. >> rose: why do you think they're stone walling? >> i think at the time we were in a presidential campaign, the narrative of the obama campaign was obama -- osama bin laden is dead, al qaeda is on the run, they've been decimated, that's what susan rice said that morning, al qaeda has been says mated. we know full well they're on their way back all over the maghreb. so it fit into the narrative of the presidential campaign that this was just read by a hateful video rather than al qaeda involvement and that -- how these talking points pwhar nip lated is still something that's
not clear but one thing is clear they left out reference to terrorists or al qaeda out of original talking points at least by some of the agencies. a couple agencies. >> rose: senator john mccain, thank you so much. >> thanks, charlie. >> rose: senator john mccain, back in a moment. stay with us. adam grant is here. at age 3-d 1 he is the youngest tenured and highest rated professor at wharton. his subject is organizational psychology. it is the study of behavior in business and industry. google, goldman sachs and the u.s. military have sought his help to enhance their performance. in a recent cover story for the "new york times" magazine susan dominus writes "in some sense he has built a career of professional motivation by trying to unpack the puzzle of his own success." he has a new book called "give and take: a revolutionary approach to success." i'm pleased to have adam grant at this table for the first time.
welcome. >> thank you, i'm honored to be here. >> >> rose: here's the book. give and take. and here is the cover story. is giving the secret to getting ahead? make the case for giving. >> well, i think the first thing to do is divide the world into givers, takers, and matchers. the takers are those people that a lot of us love to hate, who try to get as much as possible for others. the givers are the ones who enjoy helping others and most of us are in between as matchers trying to keep an even balance, quid pro quo. the givers often make sacrifices in the short run. they waste their time and energy helping others. but in the long run a lot of relationships they build end up being deeper and broader than the takers and matchers. >> rose: and help them in other ways? >> ununexpected ways. >> rose: that would be the key word, right. >> unexpected. >> rose: they don't do it because they expect a return. >> i think a lot of givers are looking for ways to add values to other people's lives. >> rose: are you born with that? >> there are aspects of it that are probably more first nature
to some of us than others. but for the most part it seems to be a learned behavior over time. >> rose: how did you come to this. >> one of the reasons was i had students over the years who said i want to make a difference and help others but i'll succeed first and once i'm at a certain point in my career i'll give back. >> rose: i'll make money and do something i like. >> exactly. and i thought there was evidence that people who gave first were more successful later and wanted to explain why. >> and there's the idea that you shouldn't do something you don't want to do in order to enable you do something that you want to do you should do something you want to do and most good things come out of that have? >> i think that's very often true. >> rose: but not always. takers succeed. >> takers, matchers and giver cans achieve success. >> rose: why do you think you resonate with people? is it because they all want to
give more -- they all want to care more but somehow they think doing that will impede them getting ahead? >> i think there are a lot of people who hold strong values around helping others, supporting others, expressing compassion but they are afraid if they do that it will come at the expense of their own success. >> tell me about the call center experiment. >> this is a study i did with howard heavenner. this was university of michigan callers trying to get alumni to donate money to the university. the callers were just burning out and dropping like plies and one of the callers posted a saoupb on his wallet said "doing a good job here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit. you get a warm feeling but no one else notices." i thought that was telling that the callers felt like their work wasn't valued. >> rose: i believe -- i mean, people say the following: i look for ways to make heroes of people that are -- have a life with, that you're associated
with. make them heroes and therefore you will do something for them. they will feel important, wanted, wil loved. >> rose: i think there's a lot of power in that and it's an interesting way to frame what we ended up doing in the call center which is to say where is this money the callers raise going? we found a lot of it was supporting student scholarships so we brought in one scholarship student for five minutes and he told his story and today the callers "your work made my scholarship possible and here's how it's changed my life." and the average caller spiked 142% in weekly minutes on the phone and 171% in weekly revenue raised. >> rose: because somebody -- they showed them what they did was important and had consequences." >> they were able to see their work had an impact. >> rose: makes a good professor. good teacher? >> what makes a good professor or good teacher. i guess i look at my own professors who i thought were
phenomenal. brian little was my mentor and hero. everyday in class he brought in a story that ended in a surprise. so you'd be going to a study and you'd think it would turn out one way and this would be a twist and your expectations were defied and that facilities learning and curiosity. >> so that makes a good point, to surprise students in an interesting way. >> and caring about students is the other piece of it. >> rose: you often begin lectures talking about failure. >> i do. >> rose: why? >> i think that a lot of students believe i have this to succeed at everything. that gets in the way of learning and i want to make sure they recognize mistakes are often one of the best ground for gaining new insights. >> rose: how do i create employees who will maximize their performance?
>> and the same time enjoy what they're doing, find psychic income in doing it and therefore make a greater contribution to the overall mission. >> that's a great question. we've touched on one of the wayings that i would certainly want to do it. that's the figure out who are the people that benefit for that product or service and establish the connection. >> rose: connect what you do to something good. >> exactly. the second thing i would think about is to find out, okay, according to that person's values and interests and skills what's the most unique contribution this person can be making? and to create a sense of awe on the my and mastery and purpose. >> rose: there was another study that you did in which you figured out that introverts outperform extraverts. what's that about? >> i think it's a surprise to a lot of people as susan cane says in "quiet" we live in a culture where the extra verdict is the
ideal. yet as we found in this study introverted leaders often attain better results. how could that be? take a group of employees who's pro active who are taking initiative, making suggestions, bringing ideas to the table. we find extra verdicted leaders are threatened by that because they want to be the center of attention was the introverted leaders are much more likely to ask questions and support their employees taking the initiative which creates better motivation. >> rose: are people intraverdicted because they're shy? >> shyness and intro version have different bases. introversion seems to be driven by your neocortex and having an excess of stimulation or arousal so preferring an environment that's quieter and darker and doesn't overstimulate you shyness is typically attached to anxiety in social situations with other people. what are you learning that's helping you understand what
makes people do what they do? >> neuroscience is an interesting lens for looking at human motivation and the science is still very much in its infancy. one of my favorite is research by david rand who shows that if you give people a choice between giving and taking that if you give them time to think about it they will take but if you actually ask them to act spontaneously they'll be more likely to give. one of the thicks that that suggests is there may be pleasure and purpose signals that our brain sends when we help others. >> you teach this about what makes a great teacher and you told me the story about a professor who told a story a w a surprisending at a lecture. do you have things that you do within your own lectures that are likely that? >> i try to every n every class. >> rose: like what? >> one of my favorite examples is to look at givers, takers and matchers and say who's the least
successful? most people will assume, well, gee, it's the givers because they burn themselves out and become dorr mats. but then i say okay, who's the most successful? people will say it has to be the takers or the matchers. that's where the surprise comes in and i say it's not the takers or the matchers. the data say it's the givers again. they're the least successful and most successful and takers and matchers fall in the middle. the curiosity is often why? >> rose: why are givers least successful? >> one of the mistakes a lot of givers make is trusting all the people all the time and allowing takers to take advantage of them. just overinvesting their time and energy and resources in what they don't get back. >> rose: what are helicopter managers? >> they're trying to help their employees so much that they hover to the point that they never let their employees grow and learn and be challenged. >> rose: how do you draw the line? what the balance there? how do you make sure you're a person who gives praise which you've been preaching to me or sharing with me and at the same
time not being a hoverer. >> i think it's tough. one of the easiest ways to do it is to say i want to make sure my employees are challenged to a degree they don't have more than a 50% chance of success in every task that they do. >> rose: the gook is called "give and take" we adam grant. a revolutionary approach to success. lots of people have said lots of good thingses about this book. thank you for coming. >> rose: thank you for having me. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> the following kqed production was produced in high definition. [ ♪music ] >> yes, check, please! people! >> it's all about licking your plate. >> the food is just fabulous. >> i should be in psychoanalysis for the amount of money i spent in restaurants. >> i had a horrible experience. >> i don't even think we were in the same restaurant. >> leslie: and everybody, i'm sure, saved room for those