tv Charlie Rose PBS August 14, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight the isis threat in iraq. we begin with the deputy assistant secretary of state for iraq and iran brett mcgurk. >> we have a baseline assumption now that isis/isil t is interchangeable, isil is better, they're better equipped, they're better manned, better resourced, better fighters. they're better trained than the al qaeda in a recognize that our forces faced. and if you accept that based on assumption which we do and then you look at the capacity of the iraqi security forces or locally based security forces such as tribal networks, you start to see the big gap that's going to have to be filled. and so it's a tremendous challenge. >> rose: we broader our discussion to include david
kilcullen, michael hanna and bill spindle. >> they have been competing in fighting each other in the streets of syria, they're very different and in fact although they're just as brutal as each other and have a similar jihadist ideology this is a turf battle. and if isis comes out on top it could look more dang wrong than what we are used to in the threat of the past few years. >> the treat of isis in iraq and syria, and then appreciation of lauren bacall when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: >> there's a saying around here: you stand behind what you say. around here, we don't make excuses, we make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on
so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it, when you know where to look. >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin tonight with our ongoing coverage of the isis threat to iraq and the change of government there. u.s. air strikes on the islamic state of iraq and syria continued for its sixth day. meanwhile the u.s., britain and france have been delivering food and water to thousanding of iraqi yazidis on mount sinjar. refugees remain stranded
after fleeing atacks from isis, the pentagon announced it fend advisors to northern iraq to plan the evacuation of the yazidis. "the new york times" reports a senior u.s. white house official acknowledged the possibility of using american troops to assist iraqis in the rescue of yazidi refugees. the white house is careful to say there is a difference in using forces in a humanitarian mission rather than a battle against isis militant, joining me brett mcgurk, the u.s. deputy assistant secretary of state for iraq and iran. he previously served as senior advisor to the u.s. bam dos-- ambassador to iraq and national security council. i'm pleased to have him on this program, welcome. >> thank you, honored to be here. >> rose: can you tell me, there is a "new york times" report that i just saw that said the united states may be prepared to send u.s. troops to rescue refugees? >> well, charlie, i haven't seen that report but i think what that is probably referring to is the commitment that the president has addressed the american people that we are
committed to breaking the siege of mount sinjar where thousands of innocent people, yazidies are trapped on this mountain surrounded by isil terrorists, we have been doing air strikes on the north side of that mountain in the past five or six days, those strikes have been very effective. they have a's allowed a lot of them to get off the mountain, it seems an we're now actively undergoing an assessment to determine how many people are left and what we can do to get them to safety. >> rose: so you are basically saying that we are going to do everything we have to do to get these refugees trapped on the mountain to safety. >> you know, charlie, the helicopter that crashed tragically yesterday in which i know a mutual friend of ours alissa ruben is recovering from that crash, it was an iraqi air force helicopter pilotted by an iraqi pilot, arab pilot who was killed tragically, with a kurdish crew. there was a yazidi member of parliament. they were there to both deliver aid and also to
rescue the yazidi. so what we have seen in the last ten days in iraq is really an historic level of cooperation, military cooperation between the government of baghdad and kurdish forces in the north. so that's going to continue. and of course we are in active discussions with our international partners and the united nations to organ effort to try to get these people to safety. >> rose: american troops will be used if it's necessary to rescue the refugees. >> and charlie, i don't want to get ahead of decisions that the president has to makement he has made clear he will work to break the siege of the mountain, to get as many people to safety as possible. >> rose: let me move to the new government. it has been a central point of the president's position on iraq that you need a government that will be inclusive and rally support from all sectors of the iraq population. do you have that government now? >> well, the government is not in place yet. the election was certified about a week after the attack in mosul. it meant convening a new parliament and the constitutional time line has a number of steps to form a
government. they have to name a speaker, and then a president. and once there's a president t sets off a 15 daytime line to nominate a new prime minister. and that is what just happened yesterday, doctor al-abadi has been nominated as the prime minister designate. he has 30 days to form a cabinet and develop a national program to govern iraq through 2018, it's a four year full term government. and he will present that cabinet and national program to the parliament to be ratified. so we hope to get this gone within the 30 daytime line which would be around september 10th or so. of course we're,ing them to go as fast as possible and do it a lot sooner. >> rose: is it likely that sunnis in iraq who might have been prepared to support isis or in fact had been supporting isis might now turn against them if there is a government in baghdad that they believe in? >> well, we certainly are trying to drive that wedge. and we're working very hard with sunni tribal leaders as
we speak. and i think there is a shot of that succeed. you also have to address the fact that as a military force isis is able to dominate in these areas an remains a very difficult challenge krz you stop them if you done drive that wedge? >> well, the wedge is part of it. that's why the president has said repeatedly, we have to have a national government that we can work with very closely, with a national program, and this will be important, the constitutional requirements are both the cabinet and the national program. and doctor al badi will present a program to the parliament and that is a program designed to pull the country together and govern-- govern the state in the next four years. >> rose: i'm particularly interested in this, your assessment of, as you say isil or others say isis, how much can they sustain? >> put it this way. we sent some of our best special forces teams out to do a real hard-core assessment. and we have a baseline assumption now that isis/isil
t is interchangeable, isil is better, they're better equipped, they're better manned, better resources, better fighters, they're better trained than the al qaeda in iraq that our forces faced. and if you accept that baseline assumption, which we do, and then you look at the capacity of the iraqi security forces or locally-based security forces such as tribal networks, you start to see the big gap that's going to have to be filled. and so it's a tremendous challenge. and when you look at isil's goal, their goal is to establish a caliphate, that was czar quarter key a-- zarqawi's goal in 2004 and it seemed preposterous but now they are-- doing it, they do it by attack the shi'a civilian states relentlessly with car bombs and suicide bombs because what they are trying to do is to provoke a reaction by
shi'a militias in which zarqawi wrote clearly in 2004 make the shi'a show their fangs and we'll unite the sunni ranks behind our masses. that's what he is trying to do. and at the same time, they attack and kill any sunni tribal leaders, anyone else in their way, in syria and in iraq. and as we've seen in the last ten days, they are, they will take on the kurds to establish what they need, to establish their state. so what we need to do is harness the forces of all these groups, there is a real common enemy here. and what i mentioned earlier, the cooperation we're seeing among the iraqi government in baghdad and the kurdish forces in the north including the iraqi air force providing direct tactical air support for kurdish peshmerga forces engaged in combat, which is really historically, fairly extraordinary thing, and we want to keep that cooperation going. but it is going to require all the communities in iraq to come together in a common
plan, that's very difficult, we're working with them very hard on it. and if they do, and as they do, we can provide them some assistance and support. >> rose: you know, there are those who have argued and have made this point, that bin laden argued within a jihadist, do not try early to create a caliphate, do not try to create islamic state. and that baghdadi has made a critical mistake here. because he now has a lot of people coming down on top of him because he wanted to go too fast too far. does that resonate with you? >> yes. but baghdadi is also very shrewd. and he doesn't-- he doesn't get ahead of his-- of the capacity of his organization. so you know, he timed the caliphate announcement to a point at which it would breed local resistance, because this is not something-- the sunni arabs in iraq are not naturally
inclined to be part of some extremist caliphate based on a doctrine of 7th century islam. but the capacity of isil and their ability to subjugate local populations with was such that there hasn't been the kind of local resistance that you might have seen, if it had happened a year ago. and where there has been local resistance, it's been crushed. it's been crushed literally with isil fighters putting heads on spikes. this is what they do to intimidate local populations. so baghdadi is very shrewd. but you know, we're shrewd too. and so are the iraqis. and we're working with them right now on what's going to be a long-term plan. but we have to deny space and oxygen for this group to flourish. and that will require supporting the iraqis as they try to control their sovereign space, as local populations have the capacity to control their sovereign space which we're working with them on am it will require working with
turkey and other international partners to shut down the flow of foreign fighters. because this organization is swollen and it's going to be very long term. and one reason we want an iraqi government set up fairly soon, as soon as possible, is so we can immediately engage and work with that government to do some things that they will need to do to begin to push back. >> you have an opinion on the idea that if, in fact, there had been more support for syrian rebels several years ago that isis would never be where it is today? >> charlie, i know there are different views on that. and i will leave it to historians to look at that we're dealing right now with the situation we have. and as i said t is an iraq in particular trying to help the iraqis control their sovereign territory and that means harnessing the resource of the state. with federal security structures and local populations being able to protect their people, and make sure that isis can't come in and establish a governing zone of authority. >> rose: can you help me
understand what are the possible options for the united states to do to help stop isis beyond what it's doing now? >> one example, i guess, would be sending much more sophisticated military equipment to the government there fighting isis. >> well, that's part of it. and we're doing a lot of that. when the president spoke to the american people on june 19th, we moved very expeditiously after mosul fell. and i was in baghdad at the time and the conversations with the national security team, it was very difficult to know what was happening. and it was just full of rumor and following and friction as wars often are. and so the president moved with real dismatch to deploy special forces teams in and around baghdad in particular to get an eyes on look at the iraqi units an also a real surge of our isr overhead, from about one flight a month to 50 to 60 a day. so we have a much better picture now of this organization and what it
might take. and we're working very closely with the iraqis on equipment. i think they definitely want more training. that's something that we're definitely going to have to work with the new government on. but you know, in the north we have two very limited military missions am but it is the first time we have struck isis with some effect direct u.s. air support and it's proven to be quite effective. particularly on the north side of sinjar mountain and in the defense of irbil. so the iraqis have some capacity to do these things. they do have a rudimentary capacity to use hell fire missiles with real precision and we can help them with that. but again this is not just a military approach, it is a political approach which is why right now we're so focused on this political piece and getting some political consolidation, getting a national program in place which can then guide us over the rest of this year and into 2015. >> what can you do that you're not doing that you will be able to do once the
political process has been formallized and criticallized and is operational? >> well, one thing that will be key is that our efforts will be in support of a national iraqi strategy. and that is just essential. you know, charlie, even when we did the surge in early 2007, when president bush went to the american people and announced a surge, it was coming behind an iraqi plan. and for the u.s. to come in and do things in front of an iraqi designed approach is not going to be particularly effective. it's very difficult because the political process was in such a, right in the fiddle of the end of one government having to form another one, very difficult to get that kind of consolidated national approach. it proved impossible, actually am but with a new government, we have a real chance to do that through a national program, and it will allow us to come in and
support the iraqis in that program. some things if we were to do things now, without that kind of consolidation on the iraqi political front, it would prove fairly difficult. >> when you look at the players today, did we just simply misjudge maliki? did we think he would be more inclusive? did we think he would reach out to the sunnis. did we believe that he was interested in that kind of iraq? >> i think, you know, iraq is so difficult. all of these, they're tough guys from a very tough place. maliki has done fairly well when it comes to national elections in 2010 and also in this last section. -- election. he does have a locally rooted support base. but the country is, its he a very difficult country to govern. and we have pressed him extremely hard and may very
clear when we thought he was doing things that were not particularly useful. but you know, about a year ago our fundamental objective, charlie, was to make sure that the elections on april 30th happen, they happen on time, they happen with international supervision and they lead to a credible result. and that was not a foregone conclusion that that would happen. maliki delayed elections and then in anbar province in the middle of last summer we spoke out very vocally against that, those elections eventually happened. our focus was making sure those elections happened, which would then set up a process for transition, which is where we are today. >> rose: i read a story today and you may not want to comment on this but i hope you will, in which maliki was in some kind of means of signing a forces av agreement an supposed to be signing with the president and moved his hand over the paper and did not sign it and you were in the room and went over to an aide and said do not screw around with the american president.
>> i was in the room when that happened. and i will leave the anecdotes for some of these books, but i was there when that happened. >> rose: i assume that's a confirming yes but i will go to another question, finally. the president calls you into the oval o office-- office. you know more of the players than anybody around there are people who are no longer in government like petraeus and ryan crocker who know a lot of the players, but you in today's government where with the experience you have had, and the president says to you, tell me what the risk here for the united states and the threat to our national security. what do you tell him? >> excellent question, charlie. and we have that conversation at the very highest levels. what are u.s. interests. are our interests in the territorial integrity of iraq, is that something fundamental to our interests? and the answer is no. we're looking at u.s.'s interests. and in iraq in particular, a
vital u.s. interest at stake. you look at oil, you know, oil particularly our strategy vis-a-vis iran to take a million barrels of oil off the international market, iranian oil off the international markets that had to be replaced somewhere. it was actually replaced with a million barrels of iraqi oil that has gone on to the international market, the increase from about 2009 until now. that is number one. al qaeda. isil is al qaeda. it is a global expansionist, global jihadist organization. it is swollen with foreign fighters and suicide bombers. in iraq in any given month there can be between 20, 30, sometimes up to 50 suicide bombers a month. these are all, we assess, foreign fighters who come into syria to join the global jihad and they are directed to iraq to kill themselves and to commit mass murder. that funnel of suicide bombers, you know, they don't say i'm going to go do my jihad and commit mass murder in iraq. they will go wherever the
organization tells them to go. and that could very easily be capitols in the region, in europe, and god forbid it could be here. so al qaeda. and also, you know, the expansionist tendencies of iran. iran is definitely has huge influence in iraq am all you have to do is look at a map and you can see why. but we also have some mutual interest with iran when it comes to iraq and we have to be mindful of that and pragmatic am but if affects our own domestic-- domestic economy and the global economy given the need of iraqi oil on to the markets. the threat of al qaeda to our friends in the region, to europe and potentially here, and getting a handle on this very dangerous expansionist organization of isil. and of course the expansion in some of the more nefarious tendencies of iran. everything comes to a head in iraq. if iraq were to implode into a real civil war or state of anarchy, the effects would to the only be the expansion
of global jihadists al qaeda groups which can threaten us, but also a real economic impact here in our own gdp at home. so for all of these reasons we have to be focused on it. the president is focused on it, from top to bottom in the u.s. government. this has daily attention and you know, as we speak when i leave here today i'll be going for meetings about what to do in the north to try to roll back some of the isis gains. >> rose: brett mcgurk, thank you so much. you obviously have a very busy day and to take time to talk to us is much appreciated. i hope we can do it again as you suggest. it is one of the most important national security concerns for the united states at this moment. >> charlie it's an honor. thank you. >> rose: we'll be right back. stay with us. >> we continue with our discussion of the threat posed by isis joining us from washington david kilcullen, a chairman from caerus associates, former advisor to general david
petraeus, michael hanna, and bill spindle, middle east bureau chief for "the wall street journal". i'm pleased to have them here. let me begin with something you had said, michael. front end assessment on iraq has to be one of interests and threats. the quality of iraq's politics complicate but doesn't change those things. is the politics of iraq changing so that it will make a more effective response to isis? >> it's getting there. i mean we're still at the start of this process. there is a prime minister that has been designated to succeed nouri al-maliki. maliki sent signals that he appears to be going along but is still trying to hold out, looking to the supreme court, perhaps, as a way out of this. but it looks like it is a matter of time. he just doesn't have the political support on the ground. but of course the question is whether you can time the politics with the security. and the security situation is a serious one, that is not going to wait for political progress. so it is clear that the political progress is a
necessary step but of course there is this military component that is going to be indispensable in trying to at least blunt the forward momentum of isis. >> rose: point well taken. so where do you see that at this moment, the military threat? >> well, i think air power has had an impact. i think we shouldn't exaggerate how much it can do. but i think what it can do is perhaps limit the ability of isis to conduct these lightening strikes, these surprise attacks which clearly caught the kurdish peshmerga forces off guard and heat to this scramble. this was a similar thing to what happened in mosul earlier in the summer. >> rose: with the iraqi army. >> yes, absolutely. but i think we can hope that air power will blunt the ability of isis to really expand beyond where it is now. there were fears about irbil falling, the capitol of the kurdistan regional
governatee, an worries about what would happen further south towards baghdad. and i think air power might be able to limit the expansion. but what it cannot do is dislodge isis, particularly from places like mosul, an urban environment in which they are really entrenched at the moment. >> rose: and you have to have, therefore, boots on the ground from kurdistan and the iraqi government. >> and i think probably amongst the tribes, those are the three components of ground forces that in the next stage are going to be critical if there is any hope to push back isis out of some of the territory that it has taken over and is really governing. it is a produce state at this point. >> rose: david, this is the same question i asked brett which is what is the possibility of, the likelihood that the sunni tribes will not support isis now if there is a different government in baghdad, and will therefore as happened in the awakening, be an
effective force against the jihaddist. >> i think it is highly unlikely that you will see the tribes support even a new iraqi government while the military situation remains the way that it is. and you have to recall that the awakening in 2007 was actually the fifth attempt of those same tribes to throw off al qaeda in iraq. and the previous attempts had all failed because there was no partner, no government partner for them to work with. it was only the presence of the u.s. forces in iraq in 2007 and 2006 that allowed that to actually work. and so you know, their calculus, guys like the abu malhal, out towards the syrian border, they have to be looking at the relative balance of forces right now and saying look, whoever is in power in baghdad, there just isn't the ability for us to turn against isis. and survive at this point. so the first things that's needed is a change in the military balance before
really the political options open up. >> rose: so it's a question of survival and therefore they're not going to challenge isis unless they know that they have enough support to resist them? >> i think that's right. and i think it's worth-- i agree with the point that was just made that the introduction of air power into the campaign changes the tactical calculus for isis. they are no longer run this kind of broad daylight blitzkrieg style of mass add sought. but what it has done is pushed them into the population centers. they've dispersed, they're hiding among the population. and that of course makes it very hard to dislodge them without some kind of ground force. and right now there's no ground force in iraq that can push isis out of the area that if controls. it's not just population centers, it's also significant infrastructure, dams, oil fields, roads across both iraq and syria, and increasingly into lebanon. so this is a much broader issue than just, you know,
the military fighting around mount sinjar. i wasn't even say it is a protest state t is a state at this point. >> rose: it is a state. >> yeah. >> rose: do you agree with that? >> well, they're certainly crossing borders. i still feel more like it's a movement. but it definitely has an infrastructure. and it is definitely able -- >> command and control. >> not just command and control militarily but a kind of civilian infrastructure in many ways. and for all the-- for the brutality that they've committed and for all the massacres they have done, they have also showed a kind of remarkable practical streak both in sir why and to some extent in iraq that has allowed them to keep control of these areas in a lot of ways. >> i would say, i couldn't agree more. they're governing the areas that they've taken in a very state-like way. they have the fighting ability of al qaeda but the political and administrative ability of hezbollah. they have hospitals. they have courts.
they have schools, they have a judicial system. they are collecting taxes. they're issuing you know title sdeeds for property. they're actually exercising all the governance functions you would expect of a state. they control the territory. and that territory is expanding. so you can quibble about whether they are worthy of the term a state in the international community. but functionally, they're dramatically more dangerous than al qaeda ever was. >> but i also think what's interesting is they're still able to do most of that simply because they arrived in a situation where the normal population was living in complete chaos. and in complete insecurity. and they've been able to deliver for some percentage of the population some bare minimum of normal see. and as long as everyone is aware that if they leave, it is going to be back to an even worse situation, they will probably be able to continue it. but how sustainable is that if they could ever get a
more stability situation around them. but that's a long way off. >> rose: where do we think syria is right now. obviously assad is trying to retake alepo. is he likely to do that or will the rebels be able to withstand his attack? >> well, it depends on inputs from the outside, i think. an rethinking aleppo much like the siege of homs, would take months and months. maybe years. but obviously being able to encircle the city which is what they're trying to do, and if they were able to do that in lay siege to aleppo, it would be a huge blow to the free syrian army, and loosely termed, these are groups not under any kind of command and control at the moment, but the nonisis, nonjihadi opposition, losing aleppo or at least putting it out of the battle would be a huge loss. and so what we see now more broadly is that efforts to have the other players be
much more constructive in terms of finances in to syria, an syrian rebel groups. >> we have seen nosra, the official franchise, the islamic front, jihadi umbrella organization, these groups are suffering at the moment. but what has happened is that this has actually opened up space for both isis and the regime because the incremental increase in support to fsa groups has not kept pace. and so our policy at the moment is actually creating room for both isis and the regime to make military gains. >> rose: our policy toward syria. >> absolutely. and so you know, this is a big hole. we have a fairly clear sequential step, set of steps that we can take with local partners in iraq. we have something like a coherent policy emerging. but the big gap there is that this is not a discreet set of problems. this is a crossborder problem and for all
practical purposes, the international boundary between iraq and syria is no longer. >> rose: let me bring another country into this, iran. where is iran and what is it doing as we speak, both in iraq and in syria. >> well, in both cases, going back a bit, it was behind maliki. it was behind assad. it is still completely behind assad, i think. it's obviously bailed out on maliki which has been quite interesting. to turn that around. the question now is can, to me, a lot of this really resolves in the end around syria because it's very hard as brett mcgurk was talkinging at the end of the day it will be virtually solving the ice is-- isis problem in iraq without solving the isis problem in syria, and that is how assad gets dealt with and where we go from here. one big turning point is if the fssg-- fsa effectively disappear f the islamist,
more moderate islamist fighters then either give up or join isis, and then you basically have isis and the regime within syria, what will happen then. will they then fight it out. will the assad regime play a productive role in one way or another in attacking isis. he sees that as his way out of this. and i suspect the iranians also will try to push him, i was in iran recently for a couple of weeks. and they pushed assad as here's your guy to solve the isis problem. and that's certainly how they are presenting it. >> rose: you are saying that let assad be assad. >> let him go out and deal with these guys, they want to work with you to fight terrorism. >> rose: david? >> yeah, i think that the critical factor here is the relationship between the iranian government and the new iraqi government. and i would just make the point that we could succeed in destroying isis but if we don't also break the nexus between the iranian
government and the iraqi government who were cooperating very closely under maliki, the results of that, quote, success could be iranian controlled territory all the way from western afghanistan to the golan heights and it would be very hard to spin that as a success in a strategic sense. so i think that the russians and the iranians are in a very, very strong, strategic position now largely because of the rise of isis. when assad at the beginning of the civil war talked about how he was fighting against al qaeda, at that time he was making it up. he's not making it up any more. and so we're in a very messed up strategic situation. i actually don't see a u.s. strategy. what i see is an immediate crisis response to the situation in iraq that's largely driven by baggage relating to our own conflict there between 2 -- 2003 and 2011. that's one way to look at it as a success of the conflict
to the war in iraq. a more important way to think about it is a geographical spill over in the war in syria, that is where our policy is lacking coherence. >> rose: what should be done to make it cohadn't? >> well, i think it's a matter of sequency. i don't think we should back assad against isis. we should deal with isis first. and then we should think about what comes next with respect to assad. >> rose: . >> i suspect you will see something somewhat comparable to what has happened that has been interesting in iraq in the last couple of weeks where you see certainly iran and the. is aren't working together, but boy were they sure coming to the same conclusions and impuning iraq. these two countries have now worked maneuvers around each other for a long time. they know a lot and can telegraph what the other side will do. they didn't work together but they arrived at the same place. and you know, can something like that happen. >> rose: david, you can imagine there is any military or strategic sport of private channels here
between iran and the united states? >> i can certainly imagine that. i don't have any specific information about it. but you know, when i was if baghdad in 2007 we were in talks with the iranians and i think everybody already knows that. the iranians are all over north africa and the middle east. and i think have a state based view of this challenge. and are heavily opposed to this new islamic state organization. so we do have common interests. but that doesn't mean we're necessarily on the same side. >> rose: could the-- i'm asking this in the simplest terms, could somehow they join together to defeat isis and then say, okay, now we have separate stakes? we want assad out and you don't want him out. we can deal with that now but we've gotten rid of isis which neither of us wanted. i mean is that too simple? >> i suppose it's possible, that is four or five steps beyond where we are now because there is a massive practical challenge of organizing some kind of respective-- effective
response right now. >> rose: go ahead, you start first david, tell me what that ought to be? >> well, i think that what we need to look at here is some kind of a campaign on about the scale of kosovo or the invasion of afghanistan in in 2001. a campaign that is primarily air-based, but air power alone can't defeat a group like this. you also need a significant number of troops on the ground. and so arming and supporting the kurds as the french are now doing, and as we are doing is a key part of that. the tribes as mentioned earlier is another component. and so is the iraqi state. but you need to have some significant ground force that forces the enemy to concentrate, otherwise they can just disperse and avoid the air strikes. a good example of that is in afghanistan in 2001, on december 7th, 2001 when the last taliban stronghold, the city of kandahar fell, there were only about 400 american cia and special forces people in the country. but there were 50,000
afghans fighting against the taliban. and unless you have that-- have that scale of ground forces and a willingness to have advisors and trainers and support weapons and possibly people designating the air strikes, it's very difficult to get where you need to get with just air power alone. and i think it's going to be on about the scale of kosovo before it's doable. >> rose: you said earlier you don't think u.s. has a strategy but it seems that is exactly their strategy what you just outlined. >> i don't know if we are there yet. i think clearly we haven't gotten to the point where the administration has made the case that this requires that kind of attention. now i think are we likely-- we're likely to see that i think we should see that. this isn't simply a question of a terrorist organization embedded in a twin insurgency but now a real threat to international order. and we can't just simply step aside there. but of course we haven't seen the administration make the case in those terms that could sustain politically
that kind of an engagement. >> rose: but you are saying you don't think they have made it public or you done think they made it internally. >> i think bothment i don't think we're at that point yet. >> rose: how do they think we're going to get out of this. this cannot be a band-aid, can it? >> i think the first step was to stop the bleeding, age to make sure that we didn't see further expansion that really would threaten core interests. >> rose: combined with humanitarian. >> absolutely. this convergence 6 the humanitarian strategic that really drove a crisis response to start with. >> militarily isis has to be bottled up. and they are kind of reaching their natural expansion limits. so maybe that becomes more possible. but it's not just a military strategy, that's the tricky thing. they have got to get a political strategy to work step-by-step with it. and the military strategy and the political strategy have to be in kind of lock step as they go forward. >> with you make the case. i can make the case in a minute as to why there needs to be this very significant response to the islamic state.
the point is, though, it's going to require leadership from western countries to actually take that action. and it's not going to be something that can be done cleanly and surgically. but you know, just to make the case for a minute. in addition to this thing that everybody is focused on in sinjar and in iraq, this week in africa a group of african jihadist groups met together to decide whether to throw their lot in with the islamic state, instead of al quitea. similar meeting happened in yemen. we have several hundred foreign fighters, i would say on a scale of 10 to 12 times the size of what we saw going into and out of iraq during the height of the iraq war, going in and out of this conflict. they have, you know, white faces and western passports an they're what we call clean skins, people that have no previous connections to jihad, there is a land boundary between this conflict and nato via turkey. and you know, we're talking about a very substantial threat to western democracies arising from
this conflict. we're talking about a group that has hundreds of billions of dollars. it has heavy tanks including abrams tanks. it's got heavy vehicles and weapons and it's controlling territory and a state and dams and oil fields. and this is a threat that, you know, is dramatically larger than anything we've ever seen from al qaeda. and it's beginning to overtake al quitea. it's like a snowball running downhill that's gathering snow because people see the military success. >> one addendum to that, this competition, global competition between isis on one hand and in gaza might create some perverse incentives from our perspective. that is to sore up credibility, trying to either itself or through its affiliate,, to launch an attack. to shore up its credibility. so this might set in motion some really problematic dynamics down the road. >> rose: so how go baghdadi pull all this off? what was it about him that
enabled him to do this? >> baghdadi was picked up in 2004 as just a minor player. you know, it's interesting. when zarqawi, the original leader of al qaeda in iraq, when he was killed in the middle of 2006, amongst the litter in his pocket its was found a map of baghdad with a sort of built strategy, a circular ring of terrain around the outside of the city. and his, the strategy he outlined in this sketch map was to cut baghdad off from the outside world and to raid in and conduct operations to terrorize the shi'a and get them to attack the sunnis which would cause the sunni to coalesce behind al qaeda. what baghdad sydoing, from the previous guy, is rerunning that zarqawi strategy from 2006. so he picked up an existing play book and he's running that. what is different about these guys this time is that al qaeda in iraq was absolutely hopeless at administration, at governance, at getting people alongside.
what they've done and this is their real affect of the syrian campaign is baghdadi has been able to create the administrative elements of the state. and as i said earlier, it's like the fighting capable of al qaeda with the administrative capacity of hezbollah and that's probably not an accident because a lot of the people engaged in the syrian campaign have experienced with hezbollah. and so this is a hybrid organization that is truly doing much better on both the military front and the political front than we've ever seen before. >> that was the big chance he took was they were after the-- they were out in the desert and they were presented this opportunity to move into syria, suddenly, by what happened there. and he took this-- . >> rose: syria gave them an opportunity to become something. >> there is no way to understand what's happened in iraq today without syria. it's been years in the making. the organization and its ideology has been in place for some time. but their ideas were fan toss call at a pont in time when essentially degraded to a terrorism problem. the big difference really is the syrian civil war.
>> rose: okay so, 2020 hindsight is very easy to have and difficult to have at the time. >> could the united states have made a difference and therefore we wouldn't be looking at isis today? >> i would agree with that, but i would say there was a window of time before this was actually an insurgency. so from the early part of 2011 until let's say about june or july of 2011, this was a very broad-based publicly driven civilian, democratic movement across syria. and it was brutality by assad's regime in that early first six months of the conflict that turned it into an insurgency. initially it was much like what we saw in egypt and tunesia. an at that time a diplomatic push and strong engagement by the united states and other western countries might have made a difference. it's hard to say in hindsight. but we certainly created the conditions by our inaction that allowed this to take place. and it was even before the formation of the free syrian army, way back at the beginning point, we had an opportunity to intervene. and we did nothing.
>> i'm particularly doubtful that that would have made any difference. i think the assad regime from the start made it very clear that they were not interested. they received substantial outside backing, primarily from the iranians and the russians at the security council. there was no opening in those early days for diplomacy. now i think we were right to try at the time through the first geneva process that ultimately failed, but that, you know, the calculations of the assad regime have been unwaivering from the start of the uprising in syria in 2011 until today. and that hasn't changed. >> rose: which is we're going to fight to the end, and try to defeat these people and we're not going to negotiate as long as we're losing. >> they've changed-- they have defined victory down. they're willing to see much of the countryside-- cede much of the countryside to rebel groups. i think they imagine they will simply collapse under the burden of trying to administering-- administer
territory without sufficient resources. they are clearly trying to fight or an-- for an urban belt and they're fighting to a strategy. and of course the rebels are not. the only parties fighting to a strategy in syria are the regime and unfortunately isis. >> rose: david? >> well, i would just say, you can go back to march of 2011 and at that time al-assad, the wife of the president was calling and contacting people in qatar trying to get the family out them were thinking about looking for a diplomatic deal. there was a period there where they were actually, i think, open to a different way than they eventually took. and you can see a real change in the both on the rebel side and on the regime side during that calendar year of 2011 until about the middle of 2012 of people becoming more extreme and coalescing around the poles and polarizing away from what was originally a much more diverse center. a lot of the people who lead the early phase of the uprising in syria were
sidelined by more militant and more extreme groups by the end of 2011. and again, i am not saying that we could have reversed it necessarily, but the point is that we are currently looking at what's happening in iraq through the lens of our own baggage to do with with our own conflict there. but there are a whole other set of factors here that are much more around sirria. and i think that's really what's given the breath of life to al qaeda was which essentially on the ropes at the end of 2010 but is now recovered in a whole new guise. i disagree with what brett mcgurk said earlier. i know the point that he was trying to make but isis is not al qaeda. they hate each other. they have been competing an actually fighting each other in the streets of syria over the past year or so. they're very different. and in fact although they are just as brutal as each other and have a similar jihadist ideology, this is a turf battle. and if isis comes out on top it could look a lot more dangerous than what we have become used to over the past few years. >> and in terms of
recruitment, isis has this advantage that it has this fused battlefield in which fighters can fight. and al qaeda central which has largely been confined and bottled in in north waziristan didn't have that same recruiting ethoss. and it can't give that opportunity for young disenchanted men, for whatever reason, to come and fight. and that's -- >> not yet. >> not yet. >> not yet. and i think this is the possible salvation of al qaeda is what is about to happen in afghanistan. because if, in fact, we go ahead and make exactly the same mistake in afghanistan that we made in iraq in 2011 and pum out completely, lay a political vacuum, lose our leverage, it's quite possible that al qaeda which is quite close to the pakistani taliban and has already acknowledged the authority of mullah omar as the sort of amir of the islamic state, that they could reinrig vate in
afghanistan the same thing that the islamic state has done in iraq and we're looking at a much more dangerous circumstances. so i think this tunnel vision that we have right now around mount sinjar, the danger of that strategically is that we miss a much broader set of risks including the pont of a resurgent al qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan after 2014. >> rose: don't you think the administration understands this? >> i hope they do. >> rose: but you don't think they do? >> i don't hear it coming from people. i don't see a single unified coherent focus on this range of problems. what i see is immediate tactical crisis response. >> rose: . >> the iraq syria thing, part of the problem is now is really it's have hard just for me to see how you can go back to the status quo which is sort of what all the policies before have been based on. is to go back to just let's get it back to the status quo or at least move forward very slowly. that seems because of isis presence now, that seems very unlikely to me. there's going to be big changes and everybody is going to have to somehow adapt to those big changes
while coordinating this massive fighting of isis at the same time. >> rose: go ahead. >> one point on that is that for everybody to adapt to those changes, you know, this does offer some opportunity for a more coherent regional platform. when you have countries like saudi arabiya and iran, bitter rivals regionally, both focused on the threat of isis, you know, there is an opportunity for some constructive regional diplomacy around this issue. because really, it is metas sized and that really threatens regional security in a fundamental way. >> and as david said, a certain alignment of interests with the iranians, even if we're not going to be friends with them, we're to the going to necessarily work with them, the interests as we've just seen in iraq do align often. >> rose: last word, thank you, bill. good to you have here, thank you, michael. david, good to see you again, my friend. >> thank you. and wish it was under better circumstances. >> rose: thank you for joining us.
>> all right, thanks, charlie is tonight an appreciation of lauryn bacall. she died in her new york city parent on monday. she was 89. lauren bacall was a fashion model when noticed on the cover of harpers bazaar magazine. she was asked to screen test by a movie director to have and have not it would star humphrey bo bart-- bogart who she would later maffei. >> you mow thousand whistle, just put your lips together and blow. >> in a career of 70 years with her he is duckive voice an on screen chemistry basically a movie star. she was awarded an honorary oscar in 2009. she also won two tony awards for her work on stage, for applause in 1970 and woman of the year in 1981. she wrote about her career in a series of autobiographyes. the first called lauren bacall by myself won the national book award.
she came on this program four times. here are some moments from those considerations. >> when i was a kid i always wanted to play act. i always wanted to, so it never, i wanted to perform. i wanted to be on the stage. and. >> it just seemed to be a part of pie being. and to the because it was ever in my family. no member of my family ever came even close to the performing arts. >> where do you put applause in the things that you have done in your career, at the top, the very top. >> oh, very top. nothing -- >> well, i think obviously to have a-- for so many other reasons, but applause was something that i feltz i could do. and i did it. >> if people want the friendship of bette bacall, they have to know what about you.
>> well, they have to know how outrageous i am. they have to know-- . >> rose: what does that mean? >> well, i believe that without laughter, there is no point at all. so i think everything is a joke. >> rose: yeah. >> so that doesn't set well with everybody, you know. there are a lot of humorless people in the world. but i don't want to know them. because i cannot imagine being a friend of anyone who has no humor. >> rose: who doesn't laugh. >> but has to have a sense of humor. and not take yourself seriously. i mean you have to take your work seriously. but not yourself. and i think that wit is one of the guiding factors, for me one of the most important things in any relationship. >> rose: did boggie have wit. >> and how. >> rose: and how. >> and how. >> rose: what was it about him for you? i mean it's the one, it was the highest emotional time of your life. >> well, i think i know the gifts that he had, and they were among other things
tremendous character, and. >> rose: integrity. >> total integrity and honesty. and he had great wit and intelligence. many surprising qualities. conot be bought. he knew the way to live life. >> what's the best thing he did for you other than making you very happy for most of those 11 years? >> i mean he stressed even more than she did the importance of taking care of your home an keeping your relationship fresh. and that just because you were together for five years or ten years or 50 years, didn't mean that you had to begin to yawn, you know, that you had to find ways to keep it alive. >> rose: did he never want to make a film with you after those -- >> yes, but he never would interfere in my career. he never would say i want her in this movie with me.
he would always leave it to the director. he said from the beginning, i'm not going to get in the middle of your work, whatever you do, your choice, dow it. and you know, he would advise me if i asked him for advice. but he said otherwise no, you deal with if yourself. that's separate. because he believed that at the end of a working day you come home and that that is the center of your life. >> rose: how would you like to be remembered. >> charlie, you can remember me because of our great conversations, and because you and i are on the same wavelength and the same page, as they say. so i mean let the chips fall where they may. i'm not going to be around to worry about it. but i hope it's kind of positive in one way or another. >> rose: lauren bacall, dead at 89. >> .
>> funding for charlie rose has been provided by the coca-cola company, supporting it program since 2002. american express, and charles schwab. additional funding provided by and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news an information services worldwide. this program was made possible in part by...
a worldwide packaging- solutions company providing environmentally sound products with a low carbon footprint to hundreds of millions of people and more than 170 countries. and new ideas through programs like this, made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. now, learn the astonishing fact that how we eat is as important as what we eat. we should be thinking a little less about which diet we should be on and a little bit more about how food fits into the fabric of our relationships and our lives. join chicken soup for the soul editor-in-chief and author amy newmark: