tv Charlie Rose PBS January 31, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with mike morell, former acting director and deputy director of the c.i.a. talking about the new administration's national security staff and national security issues, including immigration. >> do you take some sort of military action against north korea. you know, i've, since the very beginning of this presidential campaign, i've been concerned about the president's temperament. i've been concerned about his thin skin, i'm concerned about thinks ego, i'm concerned how he might feel in relation to kim jong-un if he's successful in testing icm. i worry about over reaction. >> rose: we conclude with
george osborne former chancellor. >> he would say because he's shaking up the political establishment and reaching out the people who supported him for the rest of the world, britain included, it make it a challenge because the united states is a bit more unpredictable and we don't exactly know what the view of the u.s. is going to be towards nato or russia or syria or trade. and you know, that's going to be something that i think is going to concern the world until we hear more from this administration. >> rose: mike morell and george osborne when we continue >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
>> 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. we begin this evening with continuing coverage of the trump administration's opening weeks. we tawg tonight about the executive order on immigration. the order restricting citizens from seven muslim majority countries from coming to the united states for at least 90 days. trump signed several of the controversy executive orders last week though this order has had the most explosive repercussions. below tested flooded airports and over 100 state department officials signed a memo. joining me is mike morell he served as former deputy director of the c.i.a. as well as the agency's acting director. he supported hillary clinton during the presidential campaign. i'm pleased to have him back at this table. >> thank you. it's always good to be here,
charlie. >> rose: let's just take emigration. what are the repercussions of what he wants to do and the way he and the administration has done. >> i think, charlie, that's a good way to frame it. first is the impact of what the administration has done here. they say they're trying to make america safer. i really believe what they've done is going to make us less safe. let me walk through that. first of all, there was already significant, i wouldn't say extreme, but significant vetting of individuals from these countries. individuals from these countries who want to travel to the united states, had to go to a u.s. embassy or u.s. consulate and
apply for a via. their name was run through every database. there were interviews with countless officials before they were given the green light to come to the united states. there has been over the past x number of years, no individual that has come from one of these countries that has committed an attack in the united states. so the system that was already in place was working very well in keeping terrorists out. so there's little to be gained by the ban as has been put in place. second is that there are three huge down sides that will actually i think make us less safe when put together with the fact there aren't a lot of gains here. those three factors are number one. this is going to be a recruiting boom for isis. this plays into the isis narrative that the united states of america is at war with islam,
the religion and not extremism. as far as i know -- >> rose: they're not just banning us, they're banning all muslims. >> right. >> rose: even though it's not it doesn't really matter what the administration says, whether it's a ban on muslims or not. it doesn't even matter what the reality is. the way it's perceived in the world, the way it's perceived in the muslim world, the way it's perceived in the arab world is as a muslim ban and isis will play to that. isis itself as far as i know has not said anything yet but the media people around isis that amplify its message that sometimes speak on its behalf are already talking about that this proves their point about what the united states is all about, vis-a-vis the religion of islam. so recruiting boon for isis. second, is that we need the
cooperation of those countries against the war of extremism in the counterterrorism war. we make it politically more difficult for them to do hat when we create the perception among their population that we're banning all muslims from coming to the united states. we make it more difficult on the body government in iraq for example to cooperate with us. and then third, we actually create disinfend seize for individuals in those countries to work with the u.s. military directly or to work with u.s. intelligence directly because one of the reasons they do that now is on the hope of scumming to the united states when network is completed. and as we know lots of stories, right, about people on their way here, people that work for the u.s. military. now we've created a disincentive for them to do that. >> rose: -- spread at home. >> absolutely. so when you add all of that up, we are not safer. we are, in my view less safe. so that's kind of the substance
of what happens here. that's the first point you raised. charily, the second point you raised is sort of how they did this. there are the right ways to do things in government and there are the wrong ways to do things. the right way is an administration puts together a policy change or a new policy, they put it on paper. they send it, physically send it to the relevant departments and agencies. they get written responses. they make any changes that they deem necessary, and then they get everybody around that's sitting is at the table. first at the deputy's level and then at the principal's level and then with the president if necessary to hash it out, have a conversation to come to agreement. doing it that way, sometimes leads to a slower process and that was one of the criticisms of president obama, it's slow but that's the consequence of
to go it the right way. when you do that you get everybody brought to bear. you get decisions. that's not what happened here. small group of people making the decision, quickly made. the reporting, i believe it to be true is that the secretary of homeland security was just being briefed on what this executive order was all about when he saw on television the president signing it. so clearly there was not the interagency discussion that there needed to be. that is not the way you make decisions. >> rose: one of the consequences that, they had to change some things too as they recognized. >> yes. on the fly. >> rose: on the fly. whether it's green cards or whatever it might be. whatever they say, that's not quite what we want to do right now. >> right. so i think there's a lesson for them in here. >> rose: the country's are iraq, libya, somalia, sudan, syria, yemen step forward to say what about saudi arabia, what about pakistan, what about the
united emirates. >> this is about the president not only dealing with the threats we know about but potential threats. if that's the case, why didn't you ban travel from all of those countries, right. >> rose: let me ask this question someone might ask. do we need to do a better job in terms of how, you're saying look, it's been working. it worked during the obama administration, have somebody come in here under that process and do something terrible. but you also have to look forward, is it a good idea to have a better system. go ahead. >> there isn't a process inside government or out side government that can't be improved. a much better approach here would have been let's review the vetting process for all individuals coming to the united states.
it's actually more likely that german muslim or french muslim who has been radicalized trying to come to the united states and commit an attack than it is somebody from yemen because it's much more difficult for the person from yemen to get here than the person from france or german. so the whole system should be looked at, reviewed. that's what new administrations do, right. but you don't jar the system and create the negative consequences we talked about while you do that review. >> rose: what's your assessment of the national security team at the whitehouse? >> so, jim mattis i know well. >> rose: he's at the pentagon. >> the whole national -- >> rose: someone who sales to have the respect of the president. and everyone else by the way -- >> and me. a remarkable life story. a great soldier. i think he will do well. i think he will stand up to the
president when necessary. the one caution i would have on the secretary of defense is that when he was the commander of the central command and had to have that responsibility for the entire middle east, he often argued that we should be, that we should respond disproportionately to an iranian provocation that if they fired on the ship or grabbed a group of sailors or run a number of small boats that we should respond disproportionately. >> rose: some others believe that's a good idea it's sort of like chicago rules. >> i believe you respond proportionately, right. he argues disproportionately. that's the one issue i would have with jim. at c.i.a. i haven't gotten to know mike pompeii owe we vel in the last month.
>> rose: you have. >> i have. i only knew make before from our dealings, our relationship when i was the deposittity director acting director and he was on the house intelligence committee. those were not great interactions because they were over benghazi. so i saw him in that light. i saw hip as very partisan. i saw him as political. i saw him as attacking the agency and me. but he reached out to me after he was nominated and we've had a number of very good conversations. >> rose: what did you tell him about the c.i.a. >> first thing i told him is that the men and women of the cia are the most dedicated and committed people that he will ever run into. and that they will follow him anywhere. and that they care about one thing and one thing only and that's keeping the country safe. and that he was being handed a national treasure. and i told him that his ultimate
responsibility is when he walks out the door at whatever point that is, to leave it at the national treasure. and we had long talked about the senior officers there who might make a good deepity. i gave him my views. he asked questions. we talk board of director how to deal with the perception that was created by his partisanship over benghazi. how does he handle that when he walks into the building. >> rose: help me understand how i bridge that. >> i told him charlie, that he needs to be honest about it. you were a politician then, right. it was politics. you're in a different place now and you didn't bring that politics with you down the beltway when you came to the agency. you did not bring it into the building. >> rose: give us an example of the c.i.a. how they go about the recommendation of something which may be in the briefing. do they say, mr. president, here is the issue and here is our
recommended approach. or do they say here is the issue and you have three options. a, b and c. >> so cia doesn't do the options part. cia doesn't do policy options. what cia does is they collect information about the threats facing the united states. what we like to say is collect information on the plans, intentions and capabilities of our add varies, whether they be al-qaeda or whether they be vladimir putin. then we are think about the threat how it might evolve and what influences it for the good or bad. the policy makers take all of that and they put together -- >> rose: the policy makers in
this case would be the national security council. >> the national security k0eu7b8. the demonstratities, the principals and the national security council itself. >> rose: often their disagreements among all the intelligence agencies or is that a rare occurrence? >> there are often small differences of opinion. it is very rare that there's a difference of opinion that actually matters to the president. but that's the job, this is what the intelligence community thinks. mr. president, what you need to know is that everybody in my community thinks that u sent dia or cia. >> rose: where is the fbi in this? >> the fbi is a member of the intelligence community in its intelligence function. >> rose: is it a member of principal's committee. >> i don't know if it's formally or not but jim comey would come on issues of relevance to the fbi. >> rose: interesting issue.
of relevance. >> so demoting as was done over the weekend, degrading to some degree -- i'm sorry, i forgot about the chairman of the joints chiefs is also a member. so degrading the chairman of the joint chiefs saying they're only invited when there's i of relevance to them. charlie, i never sat in a principal's meeting or an nfc meeting where the dni and the chairman of the joint chiefs did not add considerable value, no matter what the subject was. >> rose: people forget the charm of the joint chiefs of staff is the man who reports to the president. >> yes. >> rose: he's not running the military, he's the president's military officer. >> military advisor. >> rose: he's there to advise the president on military matters. >> right. >> rose: the president. >> right. so that's the team. at the center of the team is
mike flynn. >> rose: national security advisor. he runs the meeting generally. we're talking about the way it was done in the past. >> he runs the principal's meeting. >> rose: that's what we're talking about. >> that's what we're talking about, right. he would sit to the president's left for a meeting. the president would run that. but yes, mike flynn runs those principal's meetings. it's his job not to have an opinion at the meeting. it's his job to leave the discussion in a way that gets everybody's opinions on the table, to see if they can find consensus on a policy recommendation to the president. and if not. and if so take that recommendation to the president to get approval. and if there's differences of opinion, take those differences. tom donald was exceptional at that. >> rose: in that he would. >> lead the discussion in a way that everybody got an opportunity to put their views on the table. and not guide the discussion in
one direction or another. you don't want a national security advisor who comes into the room and says here's my view, i'm going to drive the discussion. >> rose: who was that security advisor. starring with nixon was henry kissinger. george bush 41 was socroft. bill clinton had tony lake. >> and sandy berger. >> rose: george bush had conyeah rice first and then steve -- >> he had exceptional people. >> rose: and then president obama had tom donilon and susan rice. >> yes. >> rose: and now it's michael flynn. >> yes. i don't think he compares. >> rose: because? >> i don't think mike is a strategic thinker. >> rose: he's an intelligence officer. >> mike was a brilliant tactical intelligence officer. >> rose: what does that mean.
>> mike was, mike worked for stan mcchrystal in iraq. putting together -- >> rose: and in of began stan. >> and afghanistan putting together target packages to go after specific individuals every night. >> rose: every night. >> literally, multiple individuals every night. he was a master at that. that is a very tactical job. he's very good at that. strategically, strategically i don't think he compares to conde rice. >> rose: so washington gossip is that mike flynn has lost some of his underlying washington gossip. i'm not sure anybody in the administration has said this except maybe in conversations with reporters outside in an off the record manner that the reason steve bannon, a plate cull advisor and strategist and someone who sales to be -- seems to be inside donald trump's head
and crucial to him. he made him chairman of the campaign when kelly anne conway became manager of the campaign has been put on the principal's committee. there's awls resistance to that because they don't think political people belong in national security discussions. >> so there's two issues, i think. one is politics should not be in that room. politics should not drive national security decisions. and i was never in a principals meeting or deputy meeting where politics entered the discussion never not a single time. >> rose: it's up to the president to say we're not together to allow politics in this room. >> that comes later. that's in the oval office with the national security advisor. >> rose: political discussion comes later. >> comes later, right. and i see steve bannon and i think many people do as a
political guy. so he doesn't belong in there. that's issue one. issue two is, if you have two senior advisers to the president in the room. national security advisor mike flynn and steve bannon. >> rose: who is clearly closer. >> this is very close, right. then you have competing channels of advice to a president of the united states. that's not a healthy thing. that's not a healthy thing. >> rose: suppose the president said look, i see him as a security guy because he's invaluable to me. should it be the president's call to make that decision. >> of course it's the president's call. that's what happened here, right. if the president were to ask me and of course he would not, i would advise him against it. >> rose: if you were a national security advisor, you
would have said -- clearly you would say -- let's talk about some of the other issues because i think that's important to talk about and understand how it works and you have an inside view and obviously it was respected by the incoming c.i.a. director. now we have a discussion about torture again. where are you on torture and where is the c.i.a. people whose consideration is the national security of the united states. where were they in this argument that gained some conversation last week about black sites, about waterboarding as extreme measures. john mccain jumped in. >> yes, he did. i would say two things. one is, i've on this very show have talked about what was done after 911 with regard to the
secret prisons and detention and tried to put it in context for the viewers. the first point i would make is those were unique times. we knew very very little about the enemy. it felt like the ticking time bomb scenario where you have an individual who you think knows about an attack that is just about ready to happen and they won't talk to you. when the secret prisons were set up, there was no other place to take these individuals. guantanamo wasn't opened yet. there were really, and it was legal. all of the techniques at that time were deemed by the justice department to be legal. >> rose: but they're not legal now? some are, some aren't. >> some are, some aren't, right. the ones that everybody talks about are not. waterboarding. the situation is completely
different today, right. you don't need to do it today. there are mechanisms in place to, when you capture an individual to interrogate them with a whole interagency team that's been created to do that. so you don't need to do anymore, that's the first point. the second point is, there is nobody that i know at c.i.a. or any former senior cia owe -- official i know ever want to go down this road again. and the reason is we were left, we were left to hang out and dry, right. we were told, we were told this was legal. we need you to do this. people followed those orders. they did what they were told. >> rose: then all of a sudden. >> then all of a sudden people said this is wrong and we're going to investigate you.
they don't want -- >> rose: no c.i.a. agent wants to do that again unless they know the government's behind it. >> no. my mentor mike hayden often jokes if the president wants c.i.a. to do waterboarding again he has to bring his own bucket. >> rose: let's talk about two other issues here. north korea. >> yes. i think this is going to be the president's first test. and i think it's coming soon. the one significant achievement i would say the obama administration made with north korea is that they stopped the process of the north korean leadership doing a provocation, something against the south, a missile test, a nuclear test as a way to get us to sit down at the negotiating table and buy
something from them. literally buy something from them. give them fuel oil, give them food aid. they would do something nasty. we would run to the negotiating table and say please stop. and they would sell us something. and then a year later they would be doing that same thing again. so the obama administration basically said we're going to stop buying. you want to do this, all this, these provocations. we're not biting. so i think what's together to happen is that kim jong-un is going to tbeft that, you come running to the negotiation table. that's what kim jong has in mind about north korea possibly testing an intercontinent actual ballistics missile. >> rose: let's assume c.i.a. and everybody else tells the president they have a deliverable, they can deliver a
nuclear warhead to california. can we live with that? >> so. this is what we, this is kind of where we are. this is not new, right. we know they have nuclear weapons. >> rose: right. >> they've tested them. >> rose: we don't know they're small enough to put on an icbm,or powerful enough to reach the united states. >> we now they'vity employed missiles that are capable of hitting, that are designed to to be capable of hight the continental united states. they've never tested one. we think, we think that they've had enough time to take a nuclear warhead and make it small enough to put on one of these. so we think. so you have to assume, presume that they have that capability. that's where you have to start, right. so i think there's the trouble separation will face huge big
discussions. one is if they test an icbm, they're going to, we're going to see it. our satellites will see it. and the president will have the option of doing something about that before they test it. >> rose: what options does he have? >> you've got, you've got the option of taking it out. and you know as crazy as that sounds, if you're the president and you say you're director of c.i.a. can you guarantee there's not a nuclear warhead on that missile, the answer's no, i can't. so it's a discussion, right. more importantly, what do you to afterwards. so they test an icbm and let's say it's successful.
what do you do? do you run to the negotiating table like previous administrations did and have a discussion with them. do you take obama's approach which is basically this doesn't matter to us at the end of the day. don't ever ever ever even think about it. >> rose: you're getting nothing from us. >> right. or do you overreact. do you overreact. do you take some sort of military action against the north korea. you know. i've, since the very beginning of this presidential campaign, i've been concerned about the president's temperament. i've been concerned about his thin skin. i've been concerned about his ego. i'm concerned how he might female in relation to kim kim jung-il an if he's successful in
testing an -- kim jong-un if he's successful in testing an icbm. >> rose: this is why the relationship between the intelligence agencies and the president of the united states and hills closest advisor is so crucial. they have to have trust in each other, they have to believe that they get the best possible information that's not politically note valuated, that is not served for any end other than the chaired national security. and if it doesn't exist, you got a problem. >> yes. >> rose: because this is no time not to have everything you need to make the smartest decision. >> yes. and intelligence is kind of the first piece of that. charlie, just finish by saying, i did not find it surprising
that donald trump's first butting of heads with his new administration was with the intelligence community. >> rose: why? >> because the fundamental job of the cia, of the intelligence community is to put facts on the table. for a guy who fundamentally facts that interfere with his opinion. it's a relationship -- >> rose: define the facts as he sees them. >> it's a relationship that is bound to be a difficult one. >> rose: i would assume you told your new c.i.a. director he had to deal with that problem right away. thank you for coming. >> you're welcome. good to be with you as always. >> rose: mike morell back. we'll be right back. stay with us. flush >> rose: george os borne is here he served as britt instance chancellor of exchequer from 2010 to 2016.
his term ended in the july after the uk's vote to exit the europe peen union also known as brexit. he has served in parliament since 2001. trump met with uk prime minister teresa may at the whitehouse. among the issues discuss the was creating a bi-lateral trade deal between britain and the united states. it's good to have george osborne back at the table welcome. >> good to be back. >> rose: you're the new visitor for our new president. two things. how do you size up donald trump? one, you're a politician. >> yes. >> rose: you've seen politicians. this has been as fast-paced a week to open a presidential term as any of us have seen. >> yeah. the bottom line is donald trump is unpredictable. and he would say because he's shaking up the political
establishment and reaching out to the people who supported him. for the rest of the world, for britain included it makes it a challenge because the united states is a bit more unpredictable and we don't exactly know what the view of the u.s. is going to be towards nato or russia or syria or trade. and that's going to be something that i think is going to concern the world until we hear more from this administration. i think people want the administration to succeed. they want president trump to be a important leader of the world. and we're just going to have to wait ask see. >> rose: what can we say about the visit that the prime minister made. >> i think she had a pretty successful visit. indeed the most important thing was a speech she gave to the republican retreat in philadelphia. rather than i think the visit to the oval office because there she said what i think britain needs to say and other countries need to say to the united states which is we will be your candid
friend. we're not going to set ourselves off on attitudes towards russian aggression or free trade or the use of torture or interrogation. we will tell you where where we think you're making a mistake but we're also your great friend and ally. we've got a joint responsibility to fight for the things we care about in the world, freedom and democracy and free trade and enterprise. and let's do that together. >> rose: okay. so let me go back to her and brexit. it is leading european union. it's article 50. >> unlike the united states constitution which did not provide for a state to leave, the point abraham lincoln established. the european union does allow a member country to leave and you have to trigger article 50. interesting that's going to
start happening this week. so in the house of commons this week we will have the debate and vote whether to trigger article 50 and the truth is the parliament as though a great majority of the members myself included thought it was a bad idea for britain to leave the european union. we will respect in my view the it was close but decisive. today's question is shall we remain part of the eu but then there are a whole set of new questions which is what is our trading relationship with the european union what is our security relationship. >> rose: i want to get to all that. >> there are new questions that now need to be answered. >> rose: but she has triggered 50 article. >> it will happen over the next week. the authority to trigger will happen and the tullar formal triggering is said will happen tend of march.
that's her timetable. >> rose: her desire is to get out as 1235s as possible. >> the problem is for 50 years britain's law making and trade ask security and domestic security has been entangened with the european union with goodor ill and disan tanker ling that is a hell of a job. if after two years we've not sorted out a new trade relationship, we go essentially, we go from one day handling those relationships to the next day not and that's a real problem for companies. so the british government will need a transition arrangement in my view. in other words a kind of offramp you would call in the united states and that will be at the core of the negotiations. >> rose: one of the phrases obama used when he campaigned in great britain and made clear that britain stay in the european union was that you'd have to get at the end of the
queue in terms of any future relationship in bipartisan way, bilateral way with the united states. it seems that donald trump is saying as soon as you get, as soon as you start operating as a sovereign, we'll make a deal. >> yes. i am about the most pro free trade person you can find in british politics. i'm all for more trade with the united states, with asia and the like. but it shouldn't come at the cost of the very important trading links we have with german and france and the netherlands and belgium and so on. i want both. i don't want it to be a choice. and you know, i need to make sure and other members of the parliament need to make sure as we leave the european union we're not erecting enormous trade barriers with these near neighbors in search of potential trade deal with the u.s. or others. i want that trade deal with the u.s. but i also want the trade
deal with the european union and it's really important for britain, it's important for europe. by the way it's important for trade around the world. this is not a great act of protectionism. and in the end, why do people vote to leave the eu. >> rose: does donald trump object to free trade or object to what he considers bad trade deals. >> well he says for example he wants a trade arrangement with the uk. speaker ryan and others say they want a trade relation with the uk. that's great. we should reach out for that opportunity. i believe in these trade deals the devil will be in the details. when you come down to the american farmers or wall street in the city of london, there are some tough issues there. now in the end, someone please in free trade or free enterprise i think the maximum mark access, the maximum benefits to the general public but that's not always easy to get that message across in a world of vested
interest and people who think their interests lie in row teching their industry. >> rose: two things. one, when you were campaigning for the budget that you had constructed as a chancellor under the prime ministership of david cameron, you call for what some people like to call austerity. and you believe that the austerity helped produce a strong economic growth for gret britain. also when campaigning against brexit all hell would break it. your critics say that has not happened. >> first of all when i became the chancellor six years ago britain was in an economic mess. it was spending much more than we could afford and i took a set of hard decisions you asked me and britain had the strongest growing of the major economies in the world. it wasn't just about cutting
government budgets but cutting business tax and making -- >> rose: is it what trump wants to do in the united states. >> he and the congress wants to do 23 things like tax reform and investment restructure in certain areas where regulation has gone too far. we should work with him on that. it's not by the way in britain's interest that americans conversations, because they want to get around the tax rules. there are a lot of things we could work with the trump administration on and his business approach is one i would support. but it shoot come at the cost or expense of less trade. that brings me to the second question you asked me. britain's exit from the eu led to thity valuation currency. a country therefore that is collectively poor because our current cease worth less. of course there are benefits for exporters if you have a lot of
currency. >> rose: in fact donald trump has talked about that here. he has said about the u.s., he thinks the dollar's too strong. >> but it does mean your import cost go up. and inflation goes up. so the country has been made poorer bite devaluation. what we've not seen is a shock to consumer confidence. which was widely predicted. what is crucial is to get what is right between britain and the united states but also between britain and the european union. half of our exports go to the european union. britain is an international financial center and i think will remain so but i want it also to be a european financial center going forward in the way it is today. so there are a set of divisions. you get those wrong and the economy will suffer. get them right and the economy will be strong. and if the economy is after all
about people's living standards and about people feeling they're getting something out for what they put in, then you're also going to be what is widely said is the problem here people feel alienated from the system, they don't feel they're getting a just reward, they don't think the system's stacked in their favor. i don't think having a weaker economy and less gdp and higher unemployment is an answer to any of those. >> rose: you had a union leader come in and praise you. >> i don't think i can remember the exact occasion. >> rose: but that's happened here because of trade. >> yes. the banner they put on the building opposite the republicas the participation.
there are lots of people who dropped out of the labor force. and again of course if donald trump can keep jobs in michigan or bring jobs to michigan that's great. the big challenge for the u.s., the big challenge for the uk is actually a whole generation who are going to need skills they currently have to be able to work in a world where a lot of the jobs currently that people do are going to be taken over by robots or artificial intelligence machines and the like. that big task is not really about what your trade tariff is with mexico or china. that's a big question to all these democracies. i don't at the moment see anyone whose got a really convincing plan to deal with that. >> rose: what's the call of populism in europe. >> the populism in europe is there's a simple answers to your problem. if your problem is you feel alienated your income hasn't gone up enough your community's changed a lot because a lot of strangers have arrived, i'm
going to erect barriers i'm going to ban people from coming to the country i'm going to put my country first. those are all very alluring things. an attractive superficially but are they really the answer to those people's problems. i suspect they're not. and either there are some basic things you learn in this world the more you trade the better off the countries are. open diverse societies are stronger and better and ones where people get more individual human fulfillment. democracy is the best system of government. how messy it is. international alliances are difficult and complicated but it's better than the alternative. and when you say to people what the hell have you got to lose. well, i would say peace security and stability and that is a hell of a lot. >> rose: you believe we missed the boat in syria by that acting earlier stronger. >> i was part of the security koinlt for six years. there were repeated
opportunities to intervene in syria and i understand why people didn't -- >> rose: parliament voted against it. >> right. >> rose: your parliament voted against it. >> right. in 2011 when the civil war started we could have aggressively armed what was then known as the moderate opposition. we didn't. >> rose: at a time that he was very weak. >> david petraeus came forward with a plan we now now was turned down. the british house of commons voted against actions again and against chemical weapons. the president at the time did not take to congress the action that might have enforced the red line that he himself set. all sorts of things were done that set the signal, syria essentially is not our problem. and a vacuum is created, and russia moved in in force with tens of thousands of soldiers. and now, while we're talking, there is a peace conference going on in kazakhstan sitting
around the table like this, iran, russia and turkey. the united states is not even at the table of a syrian peace talks jets flying above the country at the moment taking action sense isis. >> rose: against isis but not against assad or regime. >> where the forces are deployed there's a response going on in the world where we're not even at the table. and of course my generation, i came as you said into parliament in 2001. the iraq war was a big issue when i became a ump. we all know the price of getting involved. the loss of liver, the brave servicemen and women who lose their lives. the financial cost, the division in our societies, the problems in the countries where there is an intervention. >> rose: it's one more example of the west trying to solve the problems of the middle
east. >> of course. but no we know the price of not getting involved. a country in civil war and hundreds of thousands dead. key allies like jordan and lebanon destabilized. russia into the middle east for the first type since henry kissinger kicked them out in the 1970's. a terrorist state with land and resources in our world with the form of isis. mass migration that has destabilized europe seen democracies given rise to parties in eastern europe. that is the price of not getting involved. we do now realize that you can't just sit back and think that western values, western interests are going to be promoted. >> rose: i think the president's argument to you would be look we try to find a way, we could do it without a massive infusion of american troops and we couldn't find a formula to do that. that's his argument. >> well maybe. >> rose: not that you didn't
wake up every morning. >> without getting into the detail there was an option to more or less aggressively arm the rebels -- >> rose: you've been basically criticizing -- >> i'm pointing out the price of not getting involved is also a high one. >> rose: and higher. >> and getting higher. and i see a world where western interests are in retreat, western values are in retreat, not just by the way a broad buzz other countries. and in the end peace, security, stability, freedom, free enterprise are not inalienable rights. they have to be thoughtful, they have to be established. they have to be created. they don't just exist.
and we have lived in a world in the past where they have not existed. so we've got to get our act together. >> rose: because you were part of a national security, chancellor and closest partner david cameron the prime minister had, political brother and all that. you saw the relationship with america up close. >> yes. >> rose: what's your respect of the uscia? >> i have nut is but the highest respect for the u.s. intelligence agency. >> rose: whatever what do you think president trump -- >> the intelligence agency works seamlessly with the british intelligence agencies. it's got to be the closest partnership in the world and they are every day saving lives and risking their own lives and it is for real. it's not just the stuff in movies. it does keep us much safer. i don't want to get into the domestic arguments here. it's a bit odd some of the stuff
leaked out to make the administration's case equally and the administration needs to work with these he'll intelligence agencies. >> rose: what would be your advice to the president? >> my advice is, you will need the intelligence agencies because they are literally eyes and ears but they also are not full of american values. where i disagree with him and that's being a candidate friend i don't think it's going to serve anyone's interest to introduce the waterboarding and the like. those are things that actually did the reputation of our country's enormous damage. it's certainly beseeched our reputation t here i refer to experienced intelligence who come on this show and others who say didn't actually give us information we couldn't have otherwise got. in the end, it's very difficult
because it's so tempting to use everything in your armory against these evil doers. but part of being a democracy, part of being a beacon of freedom is showing restraint and not resulting to your opponent's tactics and methods. it's rather like at the moment this argument about the ban on refugees and people coming from these muslim countries. the statute of liberty stood in new york harbor here as a beacon of hope not just for the united states but for the whole world. the statute of liberty should not turn its back on the world. and that's absolutely fundamental to people's conception of the united states in the world. and it's also fundamental to the, to our western values that we are open, that we support people fleeing perpersecution.
we don't do that by you must not issuing or penalizing citizens trying to get away from hat regime. >> rose: so you let them in the country. >> you check who people are as they come in. but i don't think this ban is a good idea. i think it's counterproductive. >> rose: i don't know which paper i've seen it that the germans are a witness worried the russians may influence their election. do you understand the concern. >> yes. i mean look there's clearly wide spread cyber warfare or he is passenger by russia. did russia brought down one of the state television channels they watch in france. >> rose: they did what. >> they took off air one of the key french tv stations. so everyone knows they are very active at it.
now i think the vawnls to that should be very robust and i think first of all you should make it clear it's completely unacceptable. you take the night back to them with strong defenses and if necessary offense. this is in the end the best -- >> rose: that's what the united states is in the process of doing. >> and the uk is working with the u.s. on the whole suite of new offensive cyber capabilities. >> rose: against russia. >> against anyone who takes the fight to us. >> rose: there has been accusations that the russian government was behind the killing of people in london. >> indeed. not just accusations. it's known that they were. here i have some sympathy with donald trump. and i think he's right that a new american president should try and reset relations with russia. it's not in anyone's interest these are in the deep freeze at the moment. and a new administration is an opportunity to do that.
we should do it with our eyes open. we should respect russia's sense of pride. it's a great nation with a great history. we should not who mill -- humiliate it. >> rose: at the time the wall came down. >> respect it for who it is as a current tree. respect it's got legitimate interests in the world and expect to sit at the table. but do not just turn a blind eye to industrial cyber cyber esp. henry kissinger andman mccain
are american heroes who can teach us that force and the assertion of western values that are sometimes necessary to keep the peace. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: george osborne. thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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