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tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  September 8, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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>> rose: welcome to the broadcast. we continue our vacation schedule this evening with a look at one of the most perplexing foreign policy issues for president obama. it is afghanistan and pakistan. we take a look at some of the
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people who've come to this table to talk about that issue in the last year. we begin with the president of afghanistan and pakistan in a program recorded in washington. >> we are still the country that's... that needs to go a greater journey to call the garment fully able to deliver services. >> if i didn't have the the security risk, if i didn't have challenges of my wife being assassinated, of my brothers being killed, of my hotels being blown up, this all brings in weaknesses. those weaknesses need shoring up. so that's the shoring up that we are hoping to negotiate with the world and bring in and a concept of friends a democratic pakistan. >> rose: we continue with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen. >> we're not there to run afghanistan, we're there... and
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actually one of our big success stories has been to train and develop and let the afghan security forces particularly the army, take the lead. >> rose: and secretary of defense robert gates. >> the extremists in the ungoverned spaces in the west have become an existential threat to pakistan and i think that's one of the reasons the army is back in the fight and one of the reasons why i hope that we will be able to work closer together in the future. >> rose: and we conclude with former marine commandant tony zinni. >> we have a handful of afghan security forces. i think the last count 300 or 500 compare to the thousands of troops. it's going to take three to five years for those forces to be fully trained, organized and equipped. >> rose: a look at president obama's most per flexing porn policy issue: afghanistan and pakistan when we continue.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we are in washington for an exclusive and historic conference between the presidents of afghanistan and pakistan. they are here because, as president obama has said, it is a fundamental fact that these
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three countries-- afghanistan, pakistan, and the united states-- are linked in a crucial way. we want to have this conversation because this is the first time they have sat together on television or any leader of afghanistan and pakistan together for an interview. so i am pleased that they're doing it now. and i begin by saying thank you very much president zardari, thank you very much president karzai. it's our pleasure to have you here. secretary gates suggested that there's a limit to how many american troops should come in because you don't want the american footprint to be too large so that it looks like that we are playing too large a role. is that a danger? >> well, we need to struggle together against the menace of extremism and terrorism between us and pakistan, between afghanistan and pakistan, the
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united states and the rest of our allies. and we need to find local means of doing that first and better. those local means must be enhanced and supported by the international means. that means, as you have in your question earlier, support for the afghanistan and pakistani forces, of the afghanistan and pakistani institutions and of the pakistani and afghan overall capabilities. with that, the big footprint need will not arise. and secretary gates is right. the more we allow and enable the local forces in both countries, the better the results will be. >> rose: what can pakistan do about this problem of the taliban leaving afghanistan in the pashtun regions and going over into pakistan?
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leaving afghanistan for pakistan? >> we are going as much as we can. but to say that that's enough would be a wrong statement. we need to enhance our capabilities. we need help in enhancing our capabilitiesment it's not a problem like when you think of the afghanistan/pakistan border, people usually get an idea of a border likes meck co-. but it's not mexico and you do know that, charlie. they haven't been able to stop the cross boarder in mexico which is a plain land, you have barbed wire which we do not have we cannot have. and there's a natural flow of transit trade or let's say visiting everyday 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 people travel to afghanistan and from afghanistan to the pakistani side everyday just for any other reason: trade, meeting people, families, occasional visiting, whatever. that's how much interactively they're involved.
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now, to stop... becse they don't travel with heavy machine guns on my border. that's something they acquire when they get to afghanistan. so i think we need a push from the afghan side and the pakistan side so maybe not to draw a line to compliment each other's efforts. >> rose: two questions about pakistan. many americans say to me-- american officials-- they want to see you two to move the army forces from the indian border over to the disputed region. they need that army transference to take place. >> rose: >> it's a complex answer to that but in the simple, let me tell you that we have moved some recently because the action asked for it. and if need be, we will move more. >> rose: they have convinced you or you already knew... >> no, it was a demand-based proposition. when the demand goes up, we shift all our southern border is
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where all of our command posts are. that's where all the containments are because that's the perceived threat. so whatever we have to move, we will have to move from that border towards this. so even if they're at rest position, they're in the condonements and they happen to be on this that front. >> rose: is the threat of the taliban and what militant and terrorist activities mean a larger threat to pakistan today than whatever might be happening on the indian border? indian border is sometimes hot and sometimes cold. that's another story. but democracy is always trying to get friendly to each other, especially we bring in the strength of trying to improve our relations with india. so we never talk war. pakistan and the democratic system has never gone to war with india. so that is once... that's one position. but at the same time, there is an active threat on the afghan border from our side, from their
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side, from within the mountains, and that's where we engage today. so today's war for the foreseeable future for the world and for us, is that it. >> rose: the question always comes up about pakistan, and i've asked this of your ambassador and you've heard it many, many times, as to whether everybody in your government, in the army and in the intelligence services is on board what you believe to be and the president of afghanistan and the president of america believe to be this serious, serious necessity of defeating the taliban and making afghanistan safe and making pakistan stable. >> i can assure you that everybody in my government knows that the threat is to them. it is not a threat to you or anybody else later. the threat lies to them personally also. so everybody's in it 100%.
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>> rose: from the leadership of all the pakistani institutions? >> all the pakistani institutions, army, etc. >> rose: and do they understand the reason that there has been suspicion in the past that that was not true? >> i don't hold the case for the past and i won't go into that because what is the past is the past, it's history. but that was everybody's problem and we were part of the solution. so we will be part of the solution. we are the democracy of pakistan and we are there to make sure that the world understands that we will solve the problem. >> rose: what do you want to hear from the president of pakistan? >> on this issue? >> rose: on this issue and on how you defeat the taliban and how you create a stable government with authority throughout afghanistan. >> well, we have been talking in detail and plenty on what is
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required from pakistan and what is required from afghanistan to wage an effective struggle against extremism and terrorism and to provide safety and security for our people on both sides of the war. >> rose: help us understand what that is. i mean, you have come to this understanding of what is necessary. >> that is cooperation between the two countries at institutional levels. that is the deployment of the right forces and the right policies. that's all that it should take when it comes to intelligence sharing, military-to-military coordination, civilian-to-civilian coordination, border crossings coordination and all other initiatives during economic and
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other ones to address the problems that we have. >> rose: there's also this in terms of stability. that the united states hears and the president reflects the idea that there needs to be a kind of development taking place of which the u.s. aid will help to convince the respective citizens of both of your countries that the outside forces are interested in in a sense helping them become confident in their own government. that the aid that comes will get to this people and the people will appreciate that this... in pakistan and in afghanistan that governments are doing something to address their problems. >> i totally agree with you, because nothing speaks louder than action. >> rose: and that's economic aid that's agricultural department, that's all of those things. >> it speaks for itself. success has its owned a vat, it doesn't need you and me.
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like, for instance, since i came into governance, since our government came into existence in pakistan, we inherited a wheat shortage-- to give you one example. today we have a surplus in the season. it's only been seven months since i have been in the presidency. we have surplus in wheat and we shall be an export country for wheat. last year i imported wheat. so self-reliance comes in one situation in such a short while. that success speaks for itself. >> rose: what can you do about the... >> i guess you're talking about good govern nantz. >> rose: yes, good novrn nantz. >> yes. well, pakistan is in a lot better place than we are in afghanistan in regard to the ability of the administration to deliver services to its people. pakistan has been building wealth for 60 years and it had a foundation when the british
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left. afghanistan had worked for almost 70 years to come to where it was in 1979 when the soviets invaded. and that invasion brought with it the grand jury wall destruction of the afghan state institutions. in 30 years, almost everything vanished. so in 2001 when we began with the help of the rest of the world led by the united states in the war on terror and in liberating afghanistan, we also began to rebuild not only politically the afghan institutions through a constitution and the democratic state, but also the government itself. the civil services, the police, the army, all other extensions of the government and the delivery of services.
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to be short and concise, in 2002 afghanistan was able to provide only to 9% of its population some form of very, very basic health service. today we are able to provide over 85% of our people with a much better health service and all over the country. and that's just one example. but having said that, we are still a country that's... that needs to go a greater journey to call itself a garment fully able to deliver services. >> rose: general pet pet-- for both of you-- obviously has an important role in what happens in afghanistan and pakistan and there have been lots of conferences here and they've been working on a new strategy and they talk about counterinsurgency and counterinsurgency means to take and to hold and to build.
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if that's what's necessary and will that work against the taliban in both of your countries? >> sure, it will work. but let's do it. >> rose: and do you have the resources today to do it? >> that's exactly the point. what we are asking about and what we're talking about is give us the ability to deliver. give us the tools and we will deliver. >> rose: and what are the tools you need? >> the tools is that we need much more support. we need much more help. and more technology. we need more helicopters, we need night vision equipment. we need... i've even asked for the drones. >> rose: for the drones? >> yes, sure. why does it have to be a foreign weapon coming in? why can't it be our own indigenous capability to take out the taliban? and we will do it. >> rose: question also becomes... yes, please. >> i'll add an answer here.
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this is a very important thing. very important question. in addition to the material and capability side of taking and holding and delivering to the population, we must also free the population from the grip of radicalism and extremism as a majority that was imposed upon them over decades. that has cost them immensed suffering, that has also caused this'm to fall prey to al qaeda and the terrorist networks. to fall prey to the hold of this ideology on them. that will require for us on both sides to emancipate the population from that grip of this obscure interest,
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ideological inclination, the al qaeda and the extensions that they bring from the rest of the world to that part, that means education, that means return to certain good traditional values, that means the protection of community... i dijs now community. that means lots of other things, to build back the communities that we have lost to these negative forces. >> rose: said another way, it's the battle of ideas. it's a war of ideas as well as a war for the hearts and minds of the people. >> exactly. >> rose: what is not being done to win that war today? is it what? >> this is precisely not being done. >> rose: exactly. the things we've been talking about. >> yes. >> rose: president zardari? >> to a greater extent. for instance, we need much more stimulus, much more support to build pakistan itself to be able to face the challenges. we have fortunately, unlike my brother here, we have the institutions. but we've also been on the receiving end for the last 30 to
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40 years. the soviet war was on our border. the kalashnikov culture, the other negative creations of that war have affected my growth. so i haven't been able to grow according to the demand of my population, according to the demand of my times. so my $20 billion worth of export is not enough. i should have been an $80 billion export country by now if i didn't have this challenge in my neighborhood, if i didn't have the security risk, if i didn't have challenges of my wife being assassinated, of my brothers being killed, of my hotels being blown up. this all brings in weaknesses. those weaknesses need shoring up. so that's the shoring up that we are hoping to negotiate with the world and bring in a concept of friends of a democratic pakistan being able to get much more help to be stable in the next five years, to not want any help, not
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want any help. for instance, i want markets on specific f.d.a. whereby i can produce and come into your markets and give more jobs to my people. the idea is to employ the youth, to take away the youth which the negative forces would take and convert them into positive human beings working for themselves and have pride in themselves. rather than being used as force... by this force called the taliban. >> rose: my impression is trade has been on the agenda here for this conversation. >> yes. >> rose: go ahead. you want to say? >> we already have extensive trade between afghanistan and pakistan. especial any the past seven years. this volume has increased considerably. say from the 25 millions of 2002 to nearly a billion today, world
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trade is there. much of that is because of the arrival of the international community. now, much of that have is from pakistan to afghanistan. we also do send fruits and other things to pakistan. this transit agreement is to facilitate regional eventually trade and transit between us and pakistan and beyond. >> rose: as you know, many people believe it is the heroin trade and the poppy trade that finance it is taliban. >> part of that, yes. >> rose: and unless you do something about that... >> part of that, yes. part of that is financing the taliban. not all of it. the drug dealers and the mafia are doing it to enrich themselves, not to pay someone else. but they do benefit from the drug trade. >> rose: can you change that equation? >> yes, we can change that equation over a long period of time. if i told you that we we could change that tomorrow, i will not
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be... you know intelligent or honest. so this is a deeper, deeper problem. we had it seven years ago, we still have it today. but there's a difference. seven years ago we had great many provinces in afghanistan growing poppies. in 2005 we had three provinces poppy free out of 4 provinces. today we have 22 provinces poppy free out of 34 provinces. only one of our provinces is producing so much that supplies almost 7 20% to 8 20% of the world's poppies. and that province is not entirely in the hands of the afghan garment. and that's what we should do together with our allies to bring it under our control and to provide better life and better security for the people and better alternatives in order
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for them to grow something else, which they can, which they have been going in the past. >> rose: i have to speak to the nuclear issue. when taliban was within, what, 60 miles of islamabad, people once again worried that there was an instability in pakistan. your army always reassure it is american government and everyone else this is under control. is it under control if the taliban can make those kind of advances in your country? >> the taliban were in the mountains or are in the mountains which are geographically 80 miles from islamabad. the world has been there. these mountains.... >> rose: didn't show up yesterday. >> didn't show up yesterday. so if they take one hilltop and are trying to take the others, does not mean islamabad is in danger. i think this is a fear created by bad news is good news by the
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media. but in one word i can assure you that these are all in safe hands and anybody who is... needs to know in the world knows that they're in safe hands. >> rose: and the president and the secretary of state and the secretary of defense accept that from you and your government and your army chief of staff? >> like i said, anybody who needs to know knows and accepts that. >> rose: this is a remarkable conversation and i know that you have a meeting with robert zell leg, president of the world west bank. how long is it going to take? when can we sit back and say "you've gotten the resources, america... and this meeting was the start of something new" so that it is the first step in defeating the taliban and all that threat. how long is it going to take? >> well, as far as we're concerned, we've been educating
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and fighting for democracy for ten years since the dictator was there, promising that democracy will deliver. i can tell you that democracy has started to deliver. we are already there and we will not fail the world. >> resources are there. cause is there. the cause of our struggle against extremism and terrorism for the sake of all of us around the world. but this cause has to be moved forward by... by a platform of a much higher morality, by the correct expenditure of resources and by the enhancement of the straight which you ares in the two countries by better cooperation two ways between us and three ways between us and the united states and our
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allies. and by an understanding of the two countries and their cultures and values and by inculcating in our people, in both countries, trust in a significant way in the war against terrorism and by having them go along as much and as nicely and fully as we did in 2001. that will be a sure recipe for success. >> rose: admiral michael mullen is here. he was chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. as the president's principal military advisor, he is deeply involved in the plans to end the war in iraq and to broaden the mission in afghanistan. he has been outspoken about the need for a less militarized foreign policy, one that uses all instruments of national policy. i am pleased to have him back on this program.
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welcome. >> thank you, charlie. it's good to be with you. >> rose: how is the military and the foreign policy different now that you are working for a different president? >> rose:... >> well, i think... i mean, clearly the strategic view that president obama generated with respect to iraq... i mean, he's very deliberate about having a strategy that includes all elements of our national power: diplomacy to be very specific about that, but certainlyors. and creating that strategy and then making decisions tied to where those strategic objectives >> rose: is it fair to say there's a stronger emphasis on diplomacy today than there has been in the past? >> there's a very strong emphasis on diplomat zi here and secretary clinton has spoken about it, he's spoken about it. and i think... and it's also... it also comes at a time-- at least in my travels-- where
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there are countries all over the world looking for a hand to... to see a hand reach out to them. and so all of what i see and what i hear is very consistent with what the president has said. and that certainly gets to melding the military side with the diplomatic side. and from the policy and diplomatic side, i think it needs to lead military efforts. >> rose: the most important, certainly, region of the country as you have suggested is the broader middle east. you see reports today of increasing strife between zardari, the leader of pakistan and his opposition, worrying some people that it might become musharraf all over again. >> certainly it's a concern. and i've interacted with my counterpart in pakistan upwards of ten times. i mean, i've been with him upwards of ten times over the last year and he is committed to his civilian government, he's committed to the democracy
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that's there and in my view the last thing in world he wants to do is become... is take over as president musharraf did. >> rose: he wants to stay out of politics? >> he does want to stay out of politics. he also... he wants to do the right thing for pakistan. and he's in a very, very tough spot. he also knows his country well and so obviously he's paying a lot of attention to this as well as we all are. and i'm just hopeful that this doesn't turn into another crisis in pakistan. >> rose: how do you get the army chief of staff, gee yanni, to take those military forces and use them not in anticipation of conflict with india but more in pursuit of forces that want to destabilize pakistan? >> well, first of all, he recognizes that he has an extremist threat in pakistan. they've lost... they've lost many, many citizens. and, in fact, if you look at the suicide bombings which have
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occurred over the last year or so, they actually moved towards and a couple of them have actually occurred in islamabad. so he recognize there is's a serious extremist terrorist threat inside his country and, in fact, his forces have fought very hard this year up in be injury, which is up on the western border. clearly the mumbai attacks in india put him in a position where he had to focus more on the indian border and he has... i mean, he's a chief that's got threats coming from both directions. it's very important... and i give president musharraf and prime minister singh a lot of credit because they actually detentioned that border during president musharraf's time and, in fact, tourism started to flourish, there was trade which started to flourish across that border. and all that got suspended with the mumbai attacks. so general kayani knows what he
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has to do. he needs to the west and he needs to train them in counterinsurgency. >> rose: and he feels like that forces within his government, whether it's i.s.i. or elsewhere who may be responsive to radical elements are under control and are not making... their loyalty is not divide sdpld he is aware of the concerns i have with respect to his intelligence agencies, i.s.i. and the fact that they were literally created by the government of pakistan. they have been very attached to many of these extremist organizations and it's my belief that in the long run they have got to completely cut ties with those in order to really move in the right direction and that i.s.i. fundamentally has to change its strategic approach which has been clearly to focus on india as well as afghanistan. and i don't believe they can make a lot of progress until
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that actually occurs. now, general kayani has taken one of his best guys and appointed him as the new director of i.s.i., general pasha. i've met with general pasha many times but recently since he's been appointed and i'm encouraged with his views and how he sees the problem. it's going to take some time to get at it inside i.s.i.. >> rose: what do you say to them when you ask this question? you clearly understand that the president is on record as saying that if they have reliable information about high profile terrorists in your... in pakistan, you will go after them >> general kayani specifically is the individual i'll do most with and i think he fully understands that. and it's a conversation i've had many times not just with military leadership but also the political leadership that any president of the united states would respond to an attack on
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u.s. citizens, another attack coming out of the fatah to strike the united states, and any president would have no choice. and so they understand that very clearly. and they don't disagree with that. it makes sense to them. that's certainly a solemn duty that we have here. >> rose: but is it not a political issue in pakistan? >> sure, absolutely. you're at the heart of dealing with the most difficult part of the problems we have there where we have this safe haven in a sovereign country that is threatening, plodding against americans and other western countries and it must be eliminated. ideally, that would come through the pressure that the pakistanis bring to eliminate that threat. but what i worry about is if that kind of attack is consummated, has that kind of effect, that the response that would certainly be generated
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from that. and what we're working hard on is to try to make sure that doesn't happen. >> rose: what's the mission in afghanistan? >> the long-term mission in afghanistan i think is to ensure that the... that there's not a return to an environment in which the taliban can return to run that country or an environment in which a safe haven could be created. and what is... what we are focused on right now is providing protection for the people, providing security for the people. and i really believe in all this that the afghan people are the center of gravity. and that an ability to provide security for them and, in fact, then get them to take security for themselves, take charge of their own security gives us an opportunity to set the conditions for the kind of good government that they need as well as to get the development going, the economy going. but that's a big challenge for us right now. it's a very complex country.
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so that's where we're focused on right now and that's when what general mckiernan has as his mission every single day. >> rose: what questions do you have about nato and afghanistan? >> well, i'm... i've got an awful lot of friends in nato. i've pushed them very hard to provide capabilities and we've got good fends who've done a lot. i mean, canada, the brits, the dutch, the italians, many countries who've been out there on point and, in fact, have lost people in harm's way as well. but there are a large group of requirements in afghanistan. we need police trainers, and there are plenty of countries in europe that do that exceptionally well. we need individuals not in the military who could take care of training ministries at all levels. we need development experts, whether it's in agriculture or other industries that would apply in that part of the world... sorry, in that country. so we need a lot of help across
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the pull... full spectrum of capabilities, not just the military side. >> rose: do you believe it's possible to deal with the taliban? to negotiate with the taliban? >> i think that's something that would be determined way down the road. i think in any counterinsurgency, if you're successful you get to a point where there's got to be some kind of reconciliation. but we're not at that point right now. we're not even close to it with respect to the taliban so that's something i'll leave for conversation at a point a considerable distance down the road at this point. >> rose: the president said in afghanistan we're not winning. are the taliban winning? >> i said last september we're not winning, but i think we can. and in the counterinsurgentsy, if you're not winning, you're losing. >> rose: exactly. >> by definition. so in that sense certainly they've increased their capability, they've... they have run over the last year much more complex attacks. they have generated a
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significantly... significant rise in the level of violence and they've... and they're starting to turn the people back towards them. the feedback i get from many of the afghans now is that while not a choice, it's a place to go if they're the ones who are going to either run the place or provide security or both. so that is a real concern right now. so they've gotten better, they've had some successes and that's one of the reasons we've asked for these troops to go in because we need to turn that around. i think we can but it's going to take troops to do that. charlie, i expect the violence level to go up. i expect our casualties to go up. we don't do this without understanding those risks as well. but it's also the mission that we're given in order to provide that security, our courageous young people are going to do this. >> rose: what does the history of afghanistan tell you about
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trying to play a role in the future of afghanistan. >> well, the history of afghanistan is certainly one that has many empires, if you will, or many other countries. not the least of whom are the russians, the brits, et cetera have failed. the one thing that i kind of focus on when i think about this is we're not there to occupy afghanistan. we're not there to run afghanistan. we're there... and actually one of our big success stories has been to train and develop and let the afghan security forces, particularly the army, take the lead. and when that... when we've gotten to that point, we're leaving. there's no question in my mind. but certainly the history is very instructive. it's also... you know, we've got to pay attention to it. but i really believe our motive is different and therefore the outcome can be different. >> rose: who do we have to get on our side to achieve our objectives? >> i think we've got to get the people of afghanistan on our side. >> rose: the pashtun and anybody
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else... >> absolutely. there's a big pashtun center of gravity here on both sides of the line, both in pakistan and afghanistan. and i think that's a part of it. but it's got to be all the people of afghanistan, including the leaders, the local leaders who hold so much sway in what goes on. so that gets to the governance people and the people of afghanistan are anxious to see their government deliver for them. and, you know, again, at every single level. so i think those... that's why those pieces are so important. but you can't start if they're not secure. >> rose: robert gates is here. he has served as united states secretary of defense since december, 2006, when he replaced donald rumsfeld. a career intelligence professional, he quickly established himself as a quiet and principled pragmatist. he fired top military brass for mismanagement of the nation's nuclear arsenal and the conditions at walter reed hospital.
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he's argued for u.s. military that better integrates doesn'tsy and soft power with hard power. urn his watch, iraq has become a more stable place. a new u.s./iraq security agreement requires u.s. combat troops to withdraw by the end of 011 but the war in afghanistan has intensified. al qaeda still has a safe haven in pakistan and the world's powers are all shaken by the global economic crisis. i am pleased, very pleased, to have him back at this stable. welcome back. >> rose: >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: great to see you. >> good to see you. >> rose: we live in a time in which there are a lot of reviews taking place. i assume general petraeus is doing a review for your eyes looking at the world for a new administration and lots of other people are taking a look and presenting papers for the transition team, for you, both military and civilian. is there a sense of core message from these? >> well, i think that particularly in terms of the reviews as they relate to afghanistan-- and that's where
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most of them are going on-- i think there are certain features that they all have in n common and that is that the recognition of the importance that pakistan plays in success or failure in afghanistan. and the need for us to work closely with pakistan and to view afghanistan more in a regional context than in isolation. and so i think that going forward we will clearly be looking for ways to have a stronger partnership with pakistan, to see if we can help them with some of their economic problems, and at the same time encourage them to take action in these ungoverned spaces in western pakistan where the taliban and al qaeda and some of these other violent extremists have found sanctuary. >> rose: we have given them $10 billion in aid. why haven't they been able to do that in previous time? >> well, first of all, they have... they have been in the fight.
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the pakistanis,-- i think most people don't realize disease pakistanis have lost several thousand men, soldiers, killed in this struggle in the western part of pakistan. they have been in the fight. they withdrew from the fight earlier this year which, frankly gave the taliban an opportunity to surge into afghanistan and confront one... one of the reasons there's been more violent is because the taliban didn't have to watch their backs. now the pakistanis.... >> rose: this was in a deal made by general musharraf. >> exactly. and it didn't work, obviously. and now the pakistanis are back in the fight. but they have been an important source of support for us. they... almost all of our supplies, about 8 20% of our dry cargo moves through pakistan to afghanistan and they have helped provide protection for the convoys. i think that they have done a lot. they face a lot of problems right now. and i think they have come to
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realize... they have always thought of india as the existential threat to pakistan. i think they are beginning to understand that the extremists in the ungoverned spaces in their west have become an existential threat to pakistan. and i think that's one of the reasons the army is back in the fight and one of the reasons why i hope that we will be able to work closer together in the future. >> rose: and you have confidence in the loyalties of i.s.i.? >> well, i've had familiarity with i.s.i. going back a long time ago. >> rose: brief us on that in terms of where you think they are today. >> well, i think... first of all they have new leadership. and... appointed by general kayani, the chief of army staff. and i think they realize... i think the leadership of the country realizes that i.s.i.-- the pakistani intelligence service disease has cooperated
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or at least worked with or supported some of these violent groups in the west as a way of trying to keep a handle on them. and that they really have to make up their minds now that they are... those groups are a threat, not a hedge. and they really have to get into the fight against them as well. >> rose: is it the most dangerous place in the world for the united states right now? in terms of its potential to deliver consequences more than anywhere else? >> i would say that if there was a place... the way i would say it is that i think of all of the challenges and potential problems we face, the one that is at the top of the priority list for me would be pakistan at this point. >> rose: and i think president-elect has said much the same. at least he's emphasized that in the way he's terms of how he's talked about it.
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so how do you get them to shift their focus from india and that conflict which was just exacerbated by what happened in mumbai and to focus on the danger at hand of the militants? what is it that the united states can do to encourage them to take those steps and do those things that will allow you to have pakistan as part of the solution in afghanistan? >> i think they're headed in that direction. i think, as i indicated, that they recognize the threat to themselves posed by the extremists in the west. as i say,er in the fight. part of their problem is the problem we had before afghanistan and before iraq. and that is we had an army that was basically trained to take on the is... soviet army coming through the gap in germany for a major conventional war. the pakistani army has been kind of the same situation. they are trained to deal with the indians, not with counterinsurgency. and so to the degree we can help
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them with that based on what we've learned ourselves and are still learning in iraq and afghanistan then i think we can help them be more effective. >> rose: can you say that the $10 billion was used well? >> i think it was not a waste of money. >> rose: they did help capture some al qaeda members early on. >> they have captured and killed more al qaeda than anybody in the world except maybe us. >> rose: what will change under the new administration having to do with going after al qaeda who were protected because they're in those areas of pakistan that are, a, unreachable and, b, not under the control of the government? >> well, i've... as i say, i haven't had extensive conversations with the president-elect or the team yet, but my sense is that he regards it as one of his highest priorities to keep going after the al qaeda wherever they're located. >> rose: he expressed that in
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the campaign. >> yes. and i think that continues to be a very high priority for him. >> rose: what's the mission? afghanistan? >> i think one of the challenges that faces the new administration is, in fact, to decide what our objectives are in afghanistan. and whether some of our objectives may reach too far into the future in terms of being idealistic and whether we ought to scale back our objectives for the shorter term for the next two to three years in terms of... first of all preventing afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for al qaeda and others who would reach out and attack america. i think everybody agrees that's got to be our highest priority in afghanistan, to keep it from becoming a safe haven again. but that's easier said than done and it can't just be a military
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solution. we also have to help them try and build a government and try and develop their society because... and to improve their governments. up with of my concerns-- in fact my biggest concern in afghanistan-- is the history of foreign armies in afghanistan, going back to al sander the great. as long as the afghan people see us as their friend and ally, as long as they see us as in this fight for them as well as for ourselves, then i think we'll be okay. but if we get too many forces in there, if they come to see us as in it for... only for ourselves and not as their ally and they turn against us, then i think we can't... we cannot be successful. so i think the solution for us when all is said and done is we must accelerate the growth of the afghan army and get the
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afghan army in the lead where we are helping them and partnering with them. >> rose: is 58,000 troops too many troops, american troops? if you increase it by 20 you're up to around 58,000. is that too many? is that enough to do the job? >> i think we can meet the requirements of the commander in afghanistan, our commander, general mckiernan, for the additional four brigade combat teams and a combat aviation team without tipping the balance. but i think we ought to think after those forces are provided i think we should think long and hard before we make any further significant troop contributions in afghanistan. >> rose: it is said one of the reasons the taliban have gained strength is because there was so much corruption. >> corruption is clearly and problem and it's a big problem. and in many respects it is also a function of the narcotics
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problem. afghanistan produces about 98% of the poppys in the world. and basically fills the world's supply, provides the world's supply. so the two are linked together. and they are linked with a lack of good governance. where you have provinces with good governors, there has been great progress in rooting out both corruption and poppy growing. in the south where there have been problems with governance and where the taliban is the most active, these are the areas where the corruption, narcotics, are the biggest problem. >> rose: does iraq teach us anything about what to do in afghanistan? >> i think that... i think we need to be very careful about drawing analogies between iraq and afghanistan. i think that afghanistan is a very different police historically. the challenges are very different. just one basic fact. the revenues of the iraqi
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government this year will probably be somewhere in the vision tinty of... vicinity of $70 billion. the revenues for the afghan government will be more like $700 million. afghanistan is a desperately poor country and when you talk about reconstruction in afghanistan, it's really a euphemism for construction. we're building some of the first paved roads in the history of afghanistan. so the challenges, i think, in afghanistan are more complex than they were in iraq. nonetheless, the need to pay attention to the tribes, to the provinces and the districts as well as the central government, the reality that at some point ultimately and on the terms of the afghan government there has to be some measure of political reconciliation. i think these things are... the two have in common. and finally i think our understanding that you have to combine the civil development...
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civic development and economic development and building schools and providing medical care and sfz to the people have to be a partner with military operations and you have to provide for the security of the population. >> rose: general anthony zinni is here. during his 35-year career as a marine, he's served in some of the military's most important posts. he led central command, the force that oversees south asia, until he retired in 2000. months later he returned as president bush's envoy to the middle east but as the bush administration became prepared to invade iraq, he became known as one of the most senior commanders to oppose the a award. he recently published his latest book, it is titled "leading the charge: leadership lessons from the battlefield to the board room."
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we'll talk about that and much more. i'm pleased to have general zinni back at this table. welcome, sir >> thank you, charlie, good to be here. >> rose: afghanistan. it's going to be a long slog, people like you say. meaning what? >> i think for several reasons. one, you have to build up the afghan security forces. you can see now the marines rut r out there in the worst part of afghanistan attempting to clear and hold and with thousands of marines on the ground and coalition partners at the u.k. and others we have a handful of afghan security forces. i think the last count 300 or 500 compared to the thousands of troops. it's going to take three to five years for those forces to be fully trained, organized, and equipped. >> rose: is the political will in america to do that? >> it could be... that political will could be lost if we're not careful. i think it requires us to constantly inform the american people of the criticality of this region of the world. if we were to withdraw, if we were to allow this to return to being a sanctuary for extremists, if we were to allow
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for this thing to spread throughout the region with a nuclear armed pakistan at risk of the potential for confrontation between two nuclear armed forces in india and pakistan that could result... when you look at all the possibilities of letting this go-- and i think that's got to be clearly made to americans-- but not only americans. i mean, i think nato has been woefully underrepresented in this thing. when we go to who really has put boots on the ground that engage, it's the brits, it's the dutch, it's the canadians. where are the others in the 8 nations? >> rose: that's a very important point about presidential leadership. so how do you get them to come around? >> well, i think that we have to have these sorts of... i think this is a defining moment for nato. they shouldn't get a pass on this. it wasn't just washington and new york that were attacked. i mean, it was madrid and london and almost several other capitals and the charter says an attack on one is an attack on all. that was what was... you know,
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evoked in terms of the nato commitment. and i don't think we should be giving passes that, look, well, you can provide some economic support and you get a pass on putting boots on the ground and only a few countries can suffer the casualties. that's what the american people have a tough time with. >> rose: so you've got to say a threat to one, a threat to all. >> that's right. and you're hearing now in the united kingdom and canada and elsewhere complaints about this, too. because their soldiers are paying the price for this alongside ours. >> rose: i suspect we're in one way or the other talking to the taliban, don't you? >> i think eventually we're going to have to do that. and i think there are two sort of channels, if you will. from my being out in the region and talking to people on the ground-- not just americans but others-- there seems to be an understanding that the taliban are not a monolithic group. they're not all heavily ideological. >> rose: some are in fact kind of mersenys. >> and some of them are just villagers. >> rose: who are looking for money to live. >> incentives that could peel them away.
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there's a term out there, irreconcilable taliban. >> rose: (laughs) yes. >> it's not an oxymoron. >> rose: so it's always smart to lessen the number of enemies. we saw it masterfully done in iraq, the sunni awakening and former enemies brought over. >> rose: well, petraeus did in the mose until the beginning. >> and he did it right if the beginning.
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