tv Charlie Rose PBS November 26, 2014 12:00am-1:01am EST
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening look, at the incidents in ferguson, missouri, and the decision by the grand jury not to indict. we talk to michelle miller of cbs news. jeff toobin of cnn. and jelanie cobb of the "new yorker" magazine. >> the head of the missouri state highway patrol said last night was a disaster, his words. he mentions the fact that, one, he hopes to never see that kind of response again, and certainly not tonight. the mayor of ferguson has said that the national guard troops, those that-- who had been activated by governor jay nixon, the deployment here was woeful. he expected far more national guardsmen to be out in force. >> if you are uncynical, you
might say, look, this is a difficult case. it's a close case. why not give all the grand jury all the available evidence and let them make up their minds from the most informed perspective? if you are cynical, you will say this is a prosecutor who wanted to exonerate officer wilson, so he simply buried the grand jury in evidence, confused them with lots of stuff that wouldn't even be admissible at trial, and then reached the result he wanted to all along, which was no true bill. >> this really doesn't matter as a kind of micro case. in the macro picture it fits perfectly into the pattern that says african-american lives do not matter to the same degree that white lives matter, or shawe are willing to tolerate the policing of black people in some ways that are fundamentally different and less democratic than we would be willing to tolerate for other parts of the
society. >> rose: we conclude this evening with a conversation with tom donilon, former national security adviser for president obama. >> the circumstances have changed quite a bit during the course of the second term. you have an unexpected fight in iraq and syria with respect to isis, which came on the scene as a major security challenge over the last year. you had renewed security challenges in europe with russia's incursion into ukraine. and you vof, as a result of all that, professors on the defense budget. and in my own judgment, instead of looking at the cut that are now contemplated i think we'll be looking at some increases in the budget. you have a changed landscape, no doubt about that. >> rose: the lessons of ferguson, missouri, and the analysis of tom donilon when we continue.
>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with the ferguson grand jury's s to indict police officer darren wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager michael brown. prosecuting attorney robert mccullough spoke lat night of the. >> the grand jury deliberated over two days, making their final decision. they determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge
against officer wilson, and returned a no true bill on east of five indictments. >> rose: just minutes after the announcement, president obama made an unusual late-night statement from the white house briefing room. >> we need to recognize this is not just an issue for ferguson. this is an issue for america. we have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades. i have witnessed that in my own life, and to deny that progress i think so is to deny america's capacity for change. but what is also true is that there are still problems, and communities of color aren't just making these problems up. separating that from this particular decision, there are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being
applied in a discriminatory fashion. i don't think that's the norm. i don't think that's true for the majority of communities or the vast majority of law enforcement officials, but these are real issues, and we have to lift them up and not deny them or try to tamp them down. what we need to do is to understand them and figure out how do we make more progress. and that can be done. >> rose: the president's call for calm fell on deaf ears. demonstrators and complis accomplice clashed overnight, exchanging gunfire. >> you need to get out of the street immediately or you will be subject to arrest. >> reporter: gl more than 80 people were arrested in the st. louis area as cars and businesses were set abliez. michael brown's parents stood alongside the reverend al sharpton when he spoke earlier today. >> michael brown has lit a new energy for police accountabili accountability. i remember when rodney king
happened. our hearts were broken when we went to simi valley and watched a trial jury acquit those police. there was violence after that. but we kept on going. and the federal government came in and those policemen were convicted. so before you think this is over, remember-- ( applause ) remember what happened in rodney king. we went from simi valley to the federal government. this will not end in the valley here. we're going to keep on going. >> rose: also today, ferguson police officer darren wilson spoke to george stephanopoulos of abc news. >> is there anything you could have done differently that would have prevented that kill from taking place? >> no. >> nothing? >> no. >> and you're absolutely convinced when you look through your heart and your mind that if
michael brown were white, this would have gone down in exactly the same way? >> yes. >> no question? >> no question. >> you and your wife i don't know if this word is appropriate anymore-- what is your dream goinged for? >> like i said, we just want to have a normal life, that's it. >> i guess it's hard to have a normal life after someone is lying dead. >> uh-huh. >> something you think that will always haunt you? >> i don't think it's haunting. it's always going to be something that happened. >> you are-- you have a very clean conscience. >> the reason i have a clean conscience is because i know i did my job right. >> rose: joining me from ferguson, missouri, is michelle miller, of cbs news. michelle, drieb for us the scene on the ground today. >> reporter: charlie i have to say the peaceful protests, the people out in force who have been here over the last 100 days or so, they are continuing their efforts to get the message out
beyond the decision made by the grand jury yesterday. they say that people still need to talk about the issues at hand. as far as those business owners who were impacted by the looting and the arson last night, they are cleaning up. you see this store behind me-- actually two storeses, one of them a black-owned business. both of them have cleaned up the rubble outside of their buildings, have tried to put things back in order. fromut community standpoint that is how they are trying to recover today. the police, quite a different response from sets of factions here. the head of the missouri state highway patrol said last night was a disaster-- his words. he mentions the fact that, one, he hopes to never see that kind of response again, and certainly not tonight. the mayor of ferguson has said that the national guard troops, those that-- who had been
activated by governor jay nixon, that the deployment here was woeful. he expected far more national guardsmen to be out in force. the governor said some 700 were in fact in and around the ferguson community, and he plans to deploy some 2200 on the ground tonight. but people across the board depending on where you sit, certainly are trying to react and certainly trying to moveed for and make sure that that this sort of thing doesn't happen again tonight. >> rose: so the question is for everybody how do we moveed for? what do you expect to see in the coming days? >> reporter: oh, wow, that's a big question. it's a very good question. it's a question a the lot of people are having here, and i think each one of these entities is taking one steped for. business owners are getting their property damage assessed by insurance-- their insurance companies. you haveue have law enforcement trying to figure out and
restrategize what happened last night, where they went right, because keep in mind, no one was killed last night as far as has been reported by various police departments and law enforcement agencies. there were 18 injuries reported, but, again, keeping this in perspective, as i said, in comparison to other riots in our past history over the last 20 years, the last one that comes to mind is one that i was witnessing before my eyes in los angeles. some 63 people died there. so that's the silver lining of this. property damage here, certainly, a big, big deal for people here who wanted to moveed for and move beyond what protesters and what really agitators here had done to them, not those peaceful protesters. and they are simply trying to see what the next step is. what's so interesting about this building, charlie, is that it
was hit some three and a half to four years ago by a tornado, and this business came back three years ago, and now they have to go and start all over all again. it's ad i a good question, and tonight i think a lot of people are asking themselves how i do take the next steped for? >> rose: joining us from the cnn studios in new york is jeff toobin. >> hi, charlie. >> rose: tell me about this case from the legal perspective and the prosecute attorney's approach, mr. mccullough. >> well, he did something very unusual, very unusual for the state of missouri and very unusual for most state prosecutions generally. instead of simply bringing charges against officer wilson shortly after he killed michael brown, he took the case to a grand jury. now, grand juries are unusual in
the first place, but he did something even more unusual than that. he announced that he was going to present every single piece of evidence to the grand jury, and let the grand jury make up its mind about whether to bring charges. so not only is it unusual to go to the grand jury at all. instead of simply acting like a prosecutor and present, the, the evidence he wanted the grand jury to use to bring charges he basically threw up his hands, did a document dump to the grand jury, and let them make up their own mind children turned out to be no indictment. >> rose: why do you think he did it that way? >> well you know i think the answer is is depends how cynical you are. if you are uncynical, you might say, look. this is a difficult case. it's a close case. why not give the grand jury all the available evidence and let them make up their mind from the
most informed perspective. if you are cynical, you will say this is a prosecutor who wanted to exonerate officer wilson, so he simply buried the grand jury in evidence, confused them with lots of stuff that wouldn't even be admissible at trial, and then reached the result he wanted to all along, which was no true bill. >> rose: is there any evidence that ties him to that position, that he wanted to dump so there would not be an indictment? >> well, certainly, the family of michael brown and civil rights leaders in missouri have been very skeptical of bob mccullough for a long time. it's been a contentious relationship between mccullough and the black community, as i think many people know by now, his father was murdered. he's a crime victim. you know, practically since he was a child. he's someone who works very
closely with the police, as most prosecutors do. and a lot of people were suspicious that he was interested in-- that he was never interested in bringing this case at all. >> rose: okay, talk about inside the grand jury, and what they looked at that might have led them to make the decision they did? >> one of the things that is, i think, unambiguitily good about the situation here is all the evidence is now out and all of us can look and see whether we-- whether-- about what we think about the evidence. and basically, what he did was he presented two incidents that took place in a very short period of time-- maybe as little as 90 seconds. there was a confrontation at the car between michael brown and officer wilson, and it does seem quite clear from d.n.a. evidence that michael brown reached in and had a confrontation that led to officer wilson's gun going
off twice in the car. at that point, though, things get a lot murkier. officer wilson came out of the car, and there he had a confrontation with michael brown that ended with brown's death. initially, a lot of the witnesses who were in public, said michael brown had his hands up. some said he was shot in the back. what we know from the grand jury is that, clearly, he was not shot in the back, and there were several new witnesses who said with zeroing degrees of certainty-- zeroing degrees of certainty, that mieblg brown was coming at officer wilson, was making threatening movements toward him, thereby justifying wilson's use of lethal force. i think those witnesses, those eyewitnesses who said there was movement from brown towards
wilson were the key witnesses in leading to no indictment against wilson. >> rose: is this a reasonable decision looking at the evidence that they saw and heard? >> you know, charlie, i think so. i don't-- i think other prosecutors and other grand juries might well have come out differently, might well have pursued this whole case in a different way. but do i think this grand jury made an irrational choice based on the evidence before it? no, i don't. i think they made-- they made a reasonable conclusion to the evidence. >> rose: would it have been better, with hindsight, that some of these witnesses and what they had to say and some of this evidence had been released earlier? >> that's a good question. probably. it's hard ton exactly how that would have worked. if mccullough, the prosecutor, had simply outlined his reasons for not bringing the case on his
own, he might have disclosed this evidence on his own. but it is certainly good that the public can see this evidence for itself now, and at least understand, if not agree with what the jury-- what the grand jury decided. >> rose: what options are there now, legal options? what can eric holder do if he wants to take some action? >> well, there are really two options left. one is this itself investigation, and th and the fl investigation has two parts. one is an investigation of sphers darren wilson in the way that the officers who attacked rodney king in los angeles were prosecuted after they were acquitted of state charges. in simi valley, california. i think that's very unlikely to yield anything. those cases are very hard to
make. and-- so i just think as a criminal matter, darren wilson is pretty much in the clear. there's also a civil investigation by the justice department of patterns and practices of the ferguson police department, and i think almost certainly there will be changes ordered in ferguson as a result of that investigation at a sort of policy level. and i certainly think that's a good thing. in addition to those federal investigations, there will almost certainly be civil lawsuit by michael brown's family against the ferguson police and other law enforcement entities. i would be willing to bet those cases will be settled. there will probably be, perhaps a substantial amount of money change hands but it's not going to do michael brown's parents much good given what they've gone through. >> rose: jeffery, thank you so much. jeff toobin from the "new
yorker" magazine and cnn. joining me now from st. louis, missouri, jelanie cobb from "the new yorker" magazine. thank you for joining us. i know what a busy day it has been. let me read what you wrote, "what transspired in ferguson last night was entirely predictable, widely anticipated and yet seemingly inevitable." tell me more about how you see this circumstance that has transfixed the nation. >> well almost from the outset, it almost seemed as if, you know, things were following-- there was a manual for creating a negative outcome. it almost seemed as if this situation would have followed it to the letter, you know, beginning with the incident that transpired between mr. wilson and mr. brown on canfield drive
that culminated in mr. brown losing his life. then the, you know, fact that he was left out in the sun for four and a half hours while people in the community saw this and became more and more incensed, to a litany of interactions that left a decreasing amount of credibility for kind of all the official structures in ferguson on the part of the people of the community. and by the time we reached this outcome, people were widely predicting that he would not be indicted despite the, you know, idea that grand juries will typically indict when the prosecutor wishes them to. there was the perception that the entire affair was effectively rigged and that there was no way that people could trust the system for justice. and when people don't have the ability to trust the system for justice, i think it makes it more likely that things like what happened last night will
transpire. and so it seemed almost as if everyone knew that it would culminate in this, but no one was capable of doing anything that would prevent it from coming to this. >> rose: obviously, beyond sort of the long history of race in america, what else might have been done within the context of these series of events to have avoided it? >> well, one thing i think worth noting is a couple of weeks before michael brown's death, bob mccullough won a contentious kind of racially tinged primary election against an african american opponent. he has had a long-standing history of just terse relations with african americans, very many african americans in this community. and he had been part of another campaign, the county executive charlie dooley, who was unseated in his primary as well, and it
was the highest kind of african american political figure and he was unseated in the primary in which the prosecutor, bob mccullough, enendorsed his opponent and in an advertisement that people thought had racial elements to it. so this really was kind of a tinderbox before anything-- before mr. wilson and mr. brown ever encountered each other. so i think that's one thing that could have been differently is when people "that bob mccullough step arb side or they appoint an independent prosecutor, i think that would have gone a long way to giving people at least some modicum of faith that the situation could be reasonably resolved. in the bigger picture, there are all sort of things that go into this. one is the well-known demographic factors, about there only being three african american police officers in a police department that has 53 members in a community that is
more than 60% black. i think that's one factor in it as well. but i also think there's probably a cu$t9áp& issue in terms of how people perceive the job of policing, and this is not simply in ferguson but this is, you know, a national concern, a national problem. are people perceived as a community that is policed or a community that is served? and those are two very different approaches to handling your job. so i think those things are important in terms of preventing a situation like this from ever taking root. >> rose: we have jeff toobin of cnn and others who have said, you know, it was a reasonable decision for that grand jury to make about the indictment. how does that sound to you? >> what i think that people in this community know is that when you look at thing bigger picture, when you look at the consistency with which african americans have these kind of encounters and the lived experience that people can attest to, having encounters
with police that run the gamut from disrespectful to outright dangerous to fatal, and the consistency with which no offense is committed on the part of-- or is deemed there to have been no offense committed, this really doesn't matter as a kind of micro case. in the macro picture it fits perfectly into the pattern that says african american lives do not matter to the same degree that white lives matter or that we are willing to tolerate the political accomplicing of black people in some ways that are fundamentally different and less democratic than we would be willing to tolerate for other part of society. so whether this kind of isolated case really should have been decided as it was, really doesn't allow us to get past the bigger issue of those these issues are going to be handled in the future and how they've been handled for a really long time in this country.
>> rose: so where do we go from here? >> that's a very difficult question. you know, this afternoon at the press conference, the attorneys for the family said that they were hoping that what would come out of this would be policies that would enhance the number of body cameras that are, you know, given to police officers, law enforcement officers. as we saw earlier-- well, actually last year, with the issue around stop and frisk in flawrks, thernew york city, thea request that police officers have body cameras in order to diminish the possibility of situations like this occurring. i think that's one thing that may help address this. but in a bigger sense, you know, this really ties into lots of other things, you know, in the community of ferguson, we saw the way that traffic stops and, you know, the people who tickets were issued to were effectively being used as a means of fund-raising on the backs of
people who were economically disadvantaged already. and so they were kind of bearing brunt of financing the county, or helping the county make its budget. and so this touches upon so many things. i don't think we could actually have one simple answer for movinged for. >> rose: here's what you said about president obama today:
that comes from where wherein you? >> i think it was a very deep place of despair. i saw the this wail that michael brown's mother emitted when she saw or she heard that darren wilson had not been indicted. and we've been exposed to that kind of despair consistently, and i think it does something-- it becomes very difficult to maintain a sense of optimism about the ability of issues like this to be addressed. i mean, not very long ago we were deal with a situation with trayvon martin and his death, and then not very long after that, we were dealing with the situation with a young man by the name of jordan davis and the circumstances under which he
died. so kind of habitually revisiting these situations, where we see african americans who are, you know, almost always posthumously put on trial and deemed to have done something to cause their own deaths, it becomes-- it wears on you, and you look at this and say, "well, perhaps this is the best we can hope for in this country as 13% of the population in a country where very many people are indifferent, if not hostile to your aspirations. and i hope that that's not the case. i hope that that's not the case. but looking at situations like the one we saw yesterday, it certainly is tempting to believe that it might be. >> rose: well, i share your hope that it turns out not to be true, and that we can learn and perhaps at long last goed for. i thank you for joining us jelanie cobb of the "new yorker" magazine from missouri.
>> thank you. >> rose: we'll be right back. >> rose: tom donilon is here. he served as president obama's national security adviser from 2010 to 2013. he is now a distinguished fellow at the council on foreign relations. the president faces a convergence of conflicts at home and abrought praud. in syria his campaign against the islamic state has been criticized for helping the assad regime. on monday, the united states and iran failed to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement, though they did extend the talks through march 2015. afghanistan is back in the headlines as reports have emerged that president obama has quietly approved an expanded u.s. mission to suppress taliban resurgence. one bright spot is the united states relationship with china. the president's trip to china earlier this month concluded cod with the signing of a major accord on climate change. i am pleased to have tom donilon
back at this table because he knows of all of those things and we once again talk about it. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. nice to be here. >> rose: let's just talk first about the resignation of chuck hagel, who i interviewed last week, and then he resigned. >> was there a relationship between that, do you think? >> rose: no, i don't. although, it's been suggested to me that, you know, clearly secretary hagel had it on his mind, the resignation, at that time, and it didn't just happen between that interview and the moment that he felt compelled to resign. help us understand it. >> well, it's difficult from the outside. secretary haig expel the president have a long-term and close relationship. >> rose: from the senate. >> from the senate. they were close to each other as senators. they traveled together. >> rose: sat on the senate foreign relations committee and went to israel together. >> yes, secretary hagel had an impact on then-senator obama's thinking and they became close friends and remain close
friends. so it's difficult to penetrate those conversations. in their conversations they go both ways from the perspective of the secretary of defense and the perspective of the president. >> rose: what's interesting is the following two arguments. it is that one argument put forward is the president wanted a different kind of voice if his secretary of defense because events had changed and there was a different emphasis. does that have resonance with you? >> well, again, it's difficult to penetrate this, but the fact is this-- the fact is that that the circumstances have changed quite a bit during the course of the second term. you have an unexpected fight in iraq and syria with respect to isis, which came on the scene as a major security challenge over the last year. you had renewed security challenges in europe with russia's incursion into ukraine. and you have, as a result of all that, pressures on the defense budget. and my own judgment, instead of
looking at the cut that are now contemplated i think we'll be looking at some increases in the defense budget. you've had a changed landscape. there is no doubt about that. >> rose: he acknowledged there was a memo sent to susan rice in which he said we did not have with regard to iraq and syria a holistic approach. i mean, we've got a problem here because these are two very different challenges, are they not, in iraq and in syria? we do have the iraqi army and we do have the kurds. we do not have either in syria. >> well, that's true, and the challengechallenges are differet they're quite related, in terms of the threat. what you have in isis is an organization that has taken over a large swath of land including parts of syria and iraq. has taken over a swath of land that is probably around the size of jordan right now. it's a well-funded organization. it's an organization that has unified leadership. it's an organization that aspiers to be the successor to al qaeda and the bin laden organization. >> rose: has the push-back from the saudis and others who
have said, look, this is too serious for you to do that. i realize that the iraqi government, the previous leadership, was very sectarian. i urge you not to support isil. and so the epierates and the saudis and others have basically tried to make an appeal to those sunni tribes not to form a relationship with isil, or even to be acquiescent in their advancement. >> that's part of the multipronged strategy for dealing with it in iraq. the other parts are, of course, these-- the forming an iraqi government that's multisectarian and moving away from the maliki model. that's critical if you're going to get any sort of support by sunnis for the government. second, is a stable government. that requires the united states and has required the united states to engage in leading a coalition carrying out airstrikes against isis.
that has stopped their progress in terms of their threat to baghdad and threat to the stability of the iraqi state. billion a coalition, including arab countries. and building up the iraqi security forces, and working with the sunni tribes, working with the saudis and others, but also building what's called the national guard there, which would be local operations to protect-- this-- to protect those areas. this is a huge task. and it's going to be expensive. it's going to take a long time. it's going to be frustrating at times because there's not going tieb precise point in time where you can declare a victory. i think, though, given the resources that we can bring to bear, that we can be successful with respect to stopping and shrinking isis, and over time deteriorating them. >> rose: here's an interview i did with chuck hagel, the aforementioned interview about isil. here it is. >> the sophistication of isil, just take that fair moment. we've never seen an organization like isil that is so well
organized, so well trained, so well funded, so strategic, so brutal, so completely ruthless. we've never seen anything quite like that in one institution. and then they blend an ideology, which will eventually lose-- we get that-- and social media. the sophistication of their social media program is something we have never seen before. you blend all that together that is an incredibly powerful new threat. so we're adjusting to this and we're trying to-- we can't do it alone. it has to be with partnerships. it has to be with coalitions. we can't go impose our will on any country. >> rose: he says how sophisticated isil is and how different they are than any threat we've seen before. >> they are a combination of types of organizations. they are an army that has taken and holds territory. they're an insurgent organization battling against
the government of iraq. and i think they'll be become -- >> and syria. >> and syria. and they'll become more of an insurgent organization and they're a terrorist organization, and a terrorist organization, in thigh myjudgment, will turn its really serious focus of attention beyond the confines of iraq and syria. >> rose: if in fact airstrikes and other things do damage against isil, does that not help assad? >> you need to do several things, right. we need to, in the first instance here, charlie, deal with isil. we need to. >> rose: in the first instance. what does that mean about assad then? we just say we'll get back to assad but we've got to take care of this more urgent problem? is that what it means? >> let's go through it. you had an urgent problem-- have an urgent problem with respect to the isis threat to the government of iraq. >> rose: advancing on-- >> advancing on the -- >> on baghdad. >> on baghdad, you have baghdad
airport. and that was a first-class challenge that needed to be addressed. the united states took action in terms of airstrikes to at least stop that advance and to begin to work with the kurdish norses which had also been overrun in some places by the isis forces s and with the iraqi forces to stop their advance, push back, and now begin planning to retake territory. that's going to take quite a bit of time. >> rose: when will that start? >> i think it will take months. you have had some progress north of baghdad in recent days, but you-. >> rose: to go on the offensive against isil, not just stop them from taking another city. >> to have a -- >> and the decisive battle will be mosul? >> i think mosul will be an important battle. but to go on the offensive will take a tremendous amount of work from the united states other ands. there was a major isis assault on ramaude theweek, the capital of anbar, which the iraqis-- and we're working with them to
rapell. >> rose: that's more than push-back. that's a continued offensive, isn't it? >> yes, they launched an offensive against ramadi. it's going to be an extended effort here, again, as i said earlier, that will have some frustrations to it. it won't have a date in time -- >> and what's the end game, to destroy them or keep them under control. >> initially it has to be to stop their threat to the stability of the iraqi government, number one. two, to put tremendous pressure on them and start to shrink the area they control and over the long term to deteriorate and defeat the organization. >> rose: this has nothing to do with syria. >> well, i'll get to that in a second. recall, that we have had an effort under way to defeat degrade, descroirks al qaeda in south asia for over a decade. these are long-term efforts. and they must be done. it's important to reflect on this. why with rwe doing this? one, as said, vut threat to the stability of these important governments and nations and the
region-- in the first instance, the iraqi government. second, there are lessons to be taken here from 9/11, pre-9/11, and one of the lessons like this is when an organization like this is given unpressured space to plot, plan, raise money, launch operations, that that ultimately is a threat -- >> add al qaeda did in afghanistan. >> yes, and that's a threat to the united states. we have an additional threat here which you referenced earlier which is the foreign fighter threat. so we have some 12,000 to 15,000 foreign fighters -- that is people who are not from iraq or syria-- fighting here, who have been attracted from around the world. several thousands of those are from the west, and some monday from the united states. >> rose: explain to me what you're going to do about isil in syria. you have other terrorist groups there as well who are different than them. you have a moderate force that has not been very effective and did not get the support at the present timed from the united
states. there are now some promises of support but not lethal weapons, right? >> yes. so in the first instance, as i said, you've got to stop the progress of isis and start to push it back. but at the same time there, also needs to be support for a syrian moderate group. that's what we're starting to build up. that will take some time as well. >> rose: does isis continue to gain space and do well? >> i don't think so. as we build out the iraqi security forces, as we get more intelligence with respect to where they are and what they do-- which we will over time, by the way. we will develop-- and we are vrkd at this, charlie-- we will develop good intelligence on where they are and what they do every day, which will enable us to have more effective airstrikes, will enable us to advise the iraqi security forces in a better way, they will be more effective. we will push them-- we know how to do, this right-- we will push them and shrink the territory they contain. now, syria, we have to look at syria from a number of perspectives, one as a supply
and a safe-- a supply source and safe haven for isis in iraq. but secondly, isis in itself is a threat in syria, and we do need to build out-- there is a long-term effort the president has announced-- build out a set of syrian forces that can do two things-- be a force against isis but also be a force against the park sahd regime. that's going to require a long-term effort. it may require us, by the way, to do more direct action in syria with respect to no fly and safe zones. >> rose: do you think the no fly will be effective. >> think it's going that's going to be de facto put in place. it's not that difficult to canada to the syrians that these are areas we are going to operate and if you fly, if you use it, you lose it. it doesn't have to be a complicated set of deck layerations. it can be a communication to the syrians saying this is going to be our approach.
>> rose: as isil becomes a kind of-- you be know, this force that it had become with some appeal to people who have anti-west-- strong anti--west feelings, that they will have access to weapons we've never seen a terrorist organization have before? >> that's what i said earlier. they're an aarmy -- >> things they don't have now and capacity they say don't have now. >> they will try to take everything they can in the region, and they have money. this is a well-funded organization, and they will try to buy on the black market additional kinds of weaponry. which is why the united states is connect in leading this effort to stop thoam, shrink them, and ultimately destroy them. >> rose: there was this perception as isil came on strong, that the president had moved from being a reluctant warrior to commander in chief, that there had been in his own thought process a very different frame of mind. >> because the threat had
changed and the threat had emerged and the threat was against the states in the region, and the threat was ultimately against the united states, against the united states in terms of allowing an organization to have this area to plot and plan and launch attacks and to be a source of inspiration around the world and to be the leading attractive force for jihadis. charlie, the situation-- one thing i want to say with respect to ice-- to isis. isis may not be the most threatening jihadi force or terrorist organization against the united states. there are several levels to this, which in my judgment means we have a higher threat level today from terrorism -- >> you mean like al-nusra. >> i would go through several layers. you have isis, which we have talked about. you you can a.q.a.p., al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, based in yemen. yemen is in a chaotic state right now in a civil war. aqap is an organization that has shown the intention and indeed has tried several times to
attack the west and the united states including its aviation industry. you have the other groups, al-nusra and cror swron who have an intention to attack the west. you have various groups in north africa, and you have individuals in & smaller groups of people around the world inspired by these groups. my judgment, the terrorist threat-- not necessary let's kind of complex 9/11 kind of threat to the united states, complex mass casualty, but the threat of multiple smaller groups or individual threats against the united states and the west in my judgment has gone up. >> rose: do you have any reason to believe that with respect to what is happening in iran now and negotiations in vienna will be successful? they extended it. >> they've extended until the end of june of next year. >> rose: the fact that they extended it means they failed to come to an agreement which must mean significant divisions between them.
and is there any reason to believe they will be able to bridge those? >> i will say three things about that. nob one is-- n the extension is probably a sound way to go right now. an extension at this point, which freezes the iranian program, continues its roll back with respect to certain aspects of it and allows intrusive inspection is a decent platform on which to have a continuing negotiation, and it's better than a -- >> the president-- as you know, what prime minister netanyahu says as well is any final agreement that allows them to have centrifuge centrifuges thed deal, and that there should be no lessening of the sanctions until they remove the centrifuges. >> we have to see the total elements of the deal at the end of the day. >> rose: that is his position. >> that is his position. number one, this is a decent
platform on which to have a negotiation goinged for. it is much better than the situation prior to the time these negotiation began when the iranian program was moving along headlong. that's the first point. and it is-- now, it's not perfect, by the way, charlie. it does freeze the program. it does roll back aspects of it. it does have inspections and modest sanctions relief. they have $100 billion in esk row accounts held up around the world. so it's modest sanctions relief. you have to be worried about covert programs that the iranians may have. the two programs that we discovered were covert programs. i was a big part of ploag the whistle in 2009. >> rose: you're saying they have others we have not found. >> don't have any reason to believe that at this point but it's something you have to pay attention to. we have a sound basis to go forward. the iranians have not responded
-- and my judgment best i can tell from this distance-- in a serious way with respect to some of the key issues. so there are gaps. >> rose: why not? >> well, that's the. >> rose: because of split within their own government. >> i think a couple of things. number one, which position would, the supreme leader didn't feel he was able to moveed for politically. but they are under pressure, and so i would have some confidence from the u.s. and from the p-five side, the international community side, they're under pressure, and they're under pressure not just from sanctions but from the fact that oil prices ever the last few months have dropped 25%. >> rose: that affects russia as well. >> it does affect russia. >> rose: let me move to russia. >> if you look at the winners and losers, it's a very interesting and important general dynamic in the world today, losers. pressure on russia, pressure on iran, pressure on venezuela.
>> rose: three countries who don't love america. >> but who are kind of one-trick ponies with respect to their economies. big benefits for the united states, china, and europe. >> rose: if we can-- if we can use it well. i mean, whether-- for example, is putin feeling so much pressure from the decline in oil prices to his own economy-- which it is the russian economy-- that he will be less aggressive in eastern ukraine? there is no evidence of that so far. >> well, at this point -- >> right? >> at this point, putin has not backed off either his goals or activities. >> rose: he has troops in eastern ukraine, right? >> he has had troops-- according to nato he has had troops in eastern ukraine, and he hasn't changed his goals. >> rose: that's invaigd the sovereign area of another country. >> couldn't agree with you more. and it should be called what it is.
it's an incursion, an invasion, it is the taking of a territory of another state -- >> so was crimea and we did nothing about that. >> it was not a situation where a military action was really available. >> rose: right. >> and it's a very interesting episode because it essentially was a convert operation, deniable. there for everybody to see, but the prussians denied it. had all the elements of a covert operation, military convert operation, military warfare. >> rose: propaganda to have what impact? >> to do a number of things. to fuel support for the russians in those areas they've taken over, but more importantly, huge propaganda effort efforts in ruo support this nationalist bent, an anti-western bent. if you lived in moscow, the propaganda you would see each night on state tv would be like nothing huseen since the soviet
union, and, indeed, you would be convinced, i think, or you would be told that there wasn't a single russian troop in ukraine despite the fact that there are body bags coming home from ukraine with russian troops. and russian speakers, russian ethnics, those russian compatriots, putin would call them, are under great pressure and assault and attack by fascists in kiev. >> rose: how do you think that will play out? >> i think a couple of things. you're right, putin has not changed his goals with respect to ukraine. his goals remain to have a weakened ukraine that is not stable as a path towards ensuring that ukraine cannot be a formal member in its totality in nato or the european union. i think that's putin's goal, and he'll continue i think to press on this to achieve that goal. now, he's paid a high price for this. and as you said earlier, charlie, the truth is he has not backed off and gotten more
aggressive since last august. we had -- >> the crash of the plane? >> yes. >> rose: the shooting down of the plane. >> the shooting down of the plane by separatist, supported by putin and 300 souls were lost. putin at this point has not backed off on this, but he's paid a high price. and the price is really triple pressure on russia right now. you have the sanctions, which have pressured russia. but as we were talking about with iran, and russia is the same, loyal oil prices puts tremendous pressure on russia. and the uncertainty around his economy right now has meant a lot of capital flight and pressure on the economy. >> rose: do you think it's likely that iran-- back to iran just for a moment-- will have an opportunity-- will be in range of a nuclear weapon before the end of the obama administration? >> well, i would hope not. i think at this point, that
we've been through these negotiations, been able to freeze the program. >> rose: so they're not any closer than they were before these negotiations took place? >> that's right. and indeed-- i think they're actually further away because of the fact we rolled back the 20% enriched uranium. under the deal they've had to either dilute it or convert it to oxide. >> rose: have they increased their missile capacity? >> i don't know the answer to that question at this point. >> rose: missile delivery capacity. >> missile delivery capacity is outside the scope of the negotiations -- >> i think. >> but i think it's something we need to pay attention to. >> rose: there are reports they have been increasing or enhancing the capacity it's israelis, for example-- they can already reach israel. the question is whether they can reach further into europe. >> the missile threat has been a threat for a long time. we have a full range of other issues with respect to iranian behavior, charlie. >> rose: one of the interesting things about that, there are those who like to believe-- there is a sliver of a chance, if they had an agreement here it could somehow lead to a
stronger position within iran to be a better-- for further acceptance in the world, which would benefit iran for the own economic potential when you look at how much energy resources they have in that country, both gas and oil. and that it might lead to some relationships that would be productive in the fight against the terrorist groups we've been mentioning. because none of them are friends of the iranians. >> that's true -- >> even though they support hezbollah and hamas. >> in all manner of terrorist groups around the region, but i say this-- there is pressure inside iran to resolve the economic issues, which can only be done through resolution of the nuclear issues. i think there will be a lot of pressure on the government after the failure to achieve an agreement here. but we haven't seen the willingness of the iranian government at this point to make
the kind of come pms it would need to make to give the international community the kind of confidence it needs that we could put in place a deal here that would indicate they weren't seeking a nuclear weapon, or if they did try to seek a nuclear weapon, the world community would have time to do something about it. >> rose: let me ask you one question about china. are you a tad optimistic because they were able to reach some agreement on climate? >> yeah. i think the president had a very good trip to china. i'm optimistic with respect to the u.s.-china relationship across three or four dimensions-- the agreement we reached on climate in trying to really strengthen a possible outcome at the paris meetings next year on climate. we had a very important set of agreements on information technology that will really boost the information technology negotiations at the wto. and, really, something i have been working on for a long time with the chinese-- a set of arrangements that we put in place for our two militaries, these military-to-military
arrangement where's we will notice each other of exercises and that we will have some rules of the road on naval and air activities. my fear here has been for a long time that we would have an accident or miscalculation that could really do real damage to the relationship. that fell on the positive side. but this relationship has elements of competition as well as cooperation. but i think this was a fairly good set of steps by the united states. >> rose: to further understand each other. thank you. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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