tv [untitled] CSPAN June 27, 2009 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT
am not -- for those that are not identified with the nation's state, they will be treated consistent with the geneva convention as far as practical military necessity. in any case, he mainly. it was compromise for what some folks wanted, but he is the commander-in-chief, and the military standpoint, we have done that. >> host: we are going to move briefly to afghanistan, the change in leadership announced this week, we have video of the defense secretary making that announcement. would you help the public understand what you see might be behind the replacement of david tierney with stanley crystal? >> guest: difficult question. i am not in on those debates. i know he was the one that led our ground forces in the iraq
war. he was brilliant in the execution of that. i don't have the insight i would need to make comments on that. general david petraeus, it is his purview. we all serve at the pleasure of the military leadership, if the boss wants to change out, in the book -- should be fire myers? that is always on the table. i don't have much more insight than that to speculate. >> host: the general press suggests there's a different kind of military background to the fight, which is much more
insurgent based. can we move the discussion from fighting that kind of war in afghanistan? >> guest: general kristol has worked for me directly when i was chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, he was our operational director, to run special forces operations in the region and had a lot to do with building our capability to hunt down really bad people. he knows the players in the region. is a fine choice to go over there. by the same token, i don't think a special forces person who has not been in special forces is necessarily the arguments. general crystal is a wonderful man and will do a wonderful job. i don't know what issues secretary gates or general david petraeus had.
>> host: houston, your question for general myers? >> caller: my son is going to afghanistan and i'd think his brother is the biggest heroin dealer in the country. and not only does dick cheney sent this country to war but he has the nerve to make profit on the debt of american soldiers, a pre-emptive for cashing out the treasury. halliburton, 17 americans are dead, 53 raped, they got rich on activist unity, banana republic -- i hope the democrats never go through, we have retroactive immunity so have a ball. let's have a gay pride parade. >> guest: i don't think there was a question but thank you, and thank your son for his
service, we wish him luck in iraq and pray that he comes of safely. >> host: what about observation about the government? >> guest: it appears the government has become a little less effective in satisfying its citizens. my interaction with president cars i beat me to believe he is involved in the drug business or any of this activity, he has another life, he was drafted to be the president of afghanistan, which would never be an easy thing to do. i have a lot of respect for president karzai although the rumor is that government is less effective as time goes on and it
is less effective because there is so much to do in afghanistan, not just from a security standpoint but the infrastructure was never very robust and has been decimated by decades of war and strife in that country and if you want to offer people alternatives to the drug business, offer farmers alternatives, they have to have the transportation to get other alternative crops to the market. that infrastructure by and large doesn't exist. that is why the taliban are having success. these villages are not connected to the central government which is not providing services to the people. the taliban says we will do your schooling, we will provide your medical care, never mind the women are not going to have a fair shake, we will take care of these issues. >> host: we are spending an hour
with general richard myers on book for and we are pleased to have him with us this morning with his new book "eyes on the horizon: serving on the front lines of national security" published by simon and schuster and you can find it at your favorite book seller. from georgetown, mass. stand on the independent line. >> caller: thanks for having me on. sorry to go back and rehash old events, but i truly think this is the giant gorilla in the room. recently, physical evidence has been analyzed under electron microscope that's very high-tech explosives were used in new york city on 9/11. it is a material that is very finely ground down to a very small size to work has an explosive which, depending on how you detonate it, can be used
in several ways. i am wondering, with this new information that has come out, in a peer reviewed paper basically saying there was a significant amount of this material, they found significant amounts of unexploded material, with much physical evidence showing this type of thing, and the fact, i don't think most americans are aware of the fact on the morning of september 11th there was a very large military training exercise going on, and our vice-president was in charge of that exercise shortly after bush got in office he signed an executive order giving basically command of military war game operations to the vice-president. >> host: i think we understand
the gist of your question. for eight years we have been getting calls and you have had questions as you have for the country by people who believe there was a conspiracy on 9/11. >> guest: it is hard to prove a negative, that is probably why there are a certain percentage of the population believes this conspiracy theory. i certainly don't, i place the playing cards from the pentagon, people saw the plane actually crashed into the world trade center. the 9/11 commission report is pretty fair a. if there is new evidence i have no idea what you are talking about in terms of this high explosive technology. if there is new evidence it should be examined and judgments made on that. never heard that president bush ever assigned the vice-president to be in charge of military exercises. there was an air defense
exercise going on at the time but it was very small scale and would have nothing to do with this. it was fortunate because the battle staff for north american defense command was in place during the hijacking so, in a way, it was fortuitous that worked out that way. i never heard of the vice-president being in charge of any exercises. that is normally, the white house get involved in exercises, sometimes we have rolled players in our scenarios, our command post scenarios, we will have rolled players for various people in government but i never that at all. >> host: your book is part memoir and part policy statement. he recount many details of 9/11 and that question reminds me of the description you have on being in the command center as you heard the word that president bush had authorized, if necessary, the need to shoot
down flight 93. >> when i got back to the pentagon i was on capitol hill, got back to the pentagon, we had the world trade center and the pentagon had been hit, so three of the occurrences that they had happened, the fourth had not happened, flight 93. it was known to be hijacked and fought to be heading for washington d.c.. what dothought to be heading fo washington d.c.. what do you do about this? we went to get permission to shoot it down, you're shooting down an airliner with americans on it, probably people from other countries as well, innocent men, women and children. is not a good solution because you only shoot it down if you know it is going to be a threat to something on the ground like the u.s. capitol or the white house, because more people will be killed if it crashes and to those objects but at the same time, should an airplane down over washington d.c. there will
be debris. this is a terrible solution, a terrible solution, but it was the only one at our disposal and st. goodness we didn't have to use that. it is much better, as i will do later today, go to the airport, take off your shoes, take off your jacket and put air marshals on airplanes and approach it from that angle, but that was the thought of possibly having to do that, having the authority to do that will send shivers up your spine. >> host: frank from pennsylvania on the republican line. are you there? >> caller: good morning. good morning, sir. my problem was when you mentioned debate. there was no debate about going into iraq.
there was silence. the lobbyists completely took us into this war. they explained clearly that all we were going to do was shift the balance of power to iran. this is what has happened. we have completely disrupted the middle east. the lobbyists had their way. in fact, i think the military was silenced. i think it is a shame that the lobbyists can run the country. i don't know why we have military academies. it seems as though they're taken for granted anymore. i think it is terrible. when you think about halliburton, i sold halliburton stock for $150 that i bought for $20, 3,000 shares. imagine what those infiltrators of our defense had done to this country, i imagine dick cheney
had 1 million shares. i made a lot of money with them but what kind of patriot is that? to take us into a war that put as in the worst position we have really involve ourselves, in an area that has no benefit to us. we probably made it worse for israel and iran has had 6 years to develop weapons and they probably have the bomb and we sit here like it was a great deal. >> host: thank you. >> guest: thank you for your comments. my response would be that i believe going into afghanistan made us more secure. i believe going into iraq made us more secure because of the potential nexus between weapons of mass destruction and violent extremism. my belief, and most people who study this for any length of time, if extremists could get their hands on biological weapons or nuclear weapons they
would not hesitate to use them. if you think about that, the amplifications, the ramifications can be devastating. the biggest threat to our way of life is civil war because it did have a devastating effect on how we -- our security, and many times we are frightened like that and we don't think logically, we reacted a very pessimistic way. businesses do not do well. our security in many ways he is tied to these places. the 9/11 plot was developed, people trained for it partly in afghanistan and in this country and germany. that is how extremist work. afghanistan was central to that. the argument is we should leave afghanistan in chaos or leave iraq in chaos, i don't think that is a good argument.
our national security is tied to stable countries and particularly stable countries in that region. let's say we didn't go into iraq, saddam hussein was still in power, their neighbor and hated foe iran, developing nuclear weapons, you would think iraq would be developing nuclear weapons. would that provide more stability in the region and the world or less? i don't agree with the premise that we are less secure, i think we are more secure. these countries, there are fifty million people in iraq and afghanistan, they have a constitution, they have governments, they are imperfect, every government has its imperfections, they are imperfect, their fledgling in many ways, the iraqi government has only been doing this for 3 years so they had to get their
feet under them. they're doing pretty well by all reports. >> host: these concerns about the role of the military-industrial complex, your biography helps us, the board's use it on, northrop government and united technologies, a fairly common for admirals' -- >> guest: i am the only military person who is not a defense contractor. it has airconditioner this, lots it has fire and security power,
despite engines that are both northrop grumman is clearly a north roman is a defense contractor. i went to dinner with several people, people make too much of this. i don't worry about that as much as our industrial development. base. the industrial base that supports defense over the past couple of decades has shrunk dramatically. we have leads in many military technologies which also turn out to be civilian technologies at there was -- the air force wanted a global positioning system, people couldn't imagine how we were going to use this thing. we would use it for navigation and so forth but no one knew we would have on cars, everybody would rely on it as we do today
around the world. what is more a threat is -- my experience is these are companies that do things often for reasons beyond the bottom line because they have a sense of duty, if you will, the country. it is the complete opposite of what you sometimes read about, we are in war only to make profit, i don't see any of that, i don't hear any of that talk, i don't see that at the board level or several men of all -- levels of management. any of these places weather making equipment the military uses, is a great deal of patriotism, there are stories after stories where companies will do things that are not the best for the bottom line but their best for the country, best for the troops. i worry about the industrial
base and we ought to be worried about that, not so much about the military-industrial complex as is often talked about but the industrial base shrinking to the point where we don't believe in these technologies, where china is educating a lot more folks than we are. india becomes a leader, and just because we are not educating as many scientists and engineers or the industry is shrinking and the industrial base is shrinking to the point where cyberspace and aircraft technology, we are not the preeminent driver anymore. >> host: 6 minutes left, next phone call from texas, this is linda, good morning. >> guest: good morning. after those comments is very scary. it would be interesting to know how much bush and cheney made off of this war. as a nation, we still don't understand why we went into
iraq. has nasty as saddam hussein was, he did keep out al qaeda and others because he knew they would oust him. i don't know whether it is because daddy was threatened or the oil or because cheney and that they gave him this sweet stuff and be turned on it, i think we need a huge commission to get this out in the oceans so that we can get over it as a nation because it is destroying us. >> guest: the authority to go to iraq was voted on by the congress, it was a democratic process that we went through. not everybody voted to do that. >> host: my take away from your book is you were critical of president bush for building public support and explaining the reasons for the war
effectively. >> guest: for not doing that. president bush was caught between trying to find a diplomatic answer to the iraq issue. at the same time, preparing for potentially war. you have to be careful because if you remember, there was a lot of work done with the un through secretary powell and the un ambassador and president bush to try to shaped it so saddam hussein and the suns could leave, there was the ultimatum before we went to war that they could go to exile, they didn't shoes that way. afterwards there was a lot of support in general for the iraqi effort. the insurgency started to build and americans were killed in greater numbers than in major
combat. there was a time when we needed more, what are we really doing here? how did this all come about? the president has the pulpit, that is important. president bush did a lot of that. we always argue they do enough of that, he did a lot of that. has it went on, at his bully pulpit got smaller because of people's view of the iraqi war and he was not able to influence as effectively as he would have liked to. >> host: columbia, south carolina, this is paul. >> guest: good morning. general, i want to argue the point about going into iraq to begin with. i was a marine for 10 years and the air force. the thing is, once we go into
battle, we go in to win and we do not apologize to anybody for our actions because those people took hour heads off. i don't think we should be apologizing, i won't call it torture, but we should apologize for winning a war and doing it by any means except outright murder. i wondered what your feelings were. >> host: do you anticipate your book would come out during this debate about torture? >> guest: no. in september, and i thought it would be a pretty quiet time. it turns out, not exactly. to our caller's point, save for your service in the marine corps
and the air force. it goes back to how we want -- 2 points. when you are fighting an insurgency, very few of them come about through military victory. this notion that you can throw more troops or tanks or airplanes or ships is a false notion. we are dealing with an adversary that does hide in the shadows, by day runs the tailor shop and by night is planting bombs by the roadside. it is not one where you can just go and force your way through the problem. it has to be on a much more sophisticated approach and some of what general david petraeus and others brought to the surge was not so much the additional troops, we had surges of strokes at the same levels, this is not
about proof for this. world war ii or even vietnam, which was a combination of the two because it became a conventional conflict or the first gulf war which was forced on force, more conventional warfare. it is more subtle. the other point i would make is the rules of the engagement our troops operated under was in afghanistan and iraq. i don't know how the rules of engagement have changed. that is not something you want to tell your adversary. if they were very robust through this conflict. they could do what they needed to do as we saw in many parts of iraq and afghanistan. the fare point -- the third point would be in the end we do have to have the moral high ground. we are the most powerful nation in the world. every time we strike a target we have to make sure that to the best of our knowledge the target is proportional to what gain we
are going to get and if there's going to be collateral damage, the facilities or innocent civilians, that we take that into account, do hour calculus and say is this -- is this a tougher problem than just going in and what the not the enemy? absolutely. if the enemy would present themselves on mass, which they have on occasion, we take care, dispatch them as we did in world war ii or other conflicts but they don't do that in this conflict, this is a more nuanced warfare, much more complex and filled with ambiguity. is very difficult. we want to win 99-0 and do it now and we have this great might, the people that are fighting know the we have this great power, they're not going
to fight hard term. >> host: the debate over when those results in people being captured, the debate in this country over treatment of prisoners. >> host: a couple things i point out in the book. >> guest: the military was never involved in water boarding. in every case of unauthorized abuse of detainees in the military, there have been several hundred cases of people that are involved, have been brought in front to justice in various ways for their actions because it was never authorized but it is a larger issue. how do you deal with people not necessarily affiliated with a nation state and yet would kill your children or grandchildren if you let them loose? how do you deal with these
people? we saw indications that the obama administration is thinking more deeply about those folks in guantanamo, we need to keep these people in detention longer without trials because they're very dangerous people. >> host: general richard myers talks about his years in the military which culminated in service as chairman of the joint chiefs from 2001 to 2005, thank you for taking our viewers's questions. >> general richard myers retired as the fifteenth chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in october 2005. he is foundation professor of military history and leadership at kansas state university. and jeter should, ethics and character at the national defense university. for more information about the joint chiefs of staff, visit j.c. s.m i l. >> sunday on book tv, former
reagan advisers martin and anderson, what the president believes destroying nuclear weapons would bring an end to the soviet union. nicholas schmidt talks about 2 years in pakistan, sits down with ralph peters. next weekend for the holiday, 3 days of booktv including historian and author john furling live sunday from mount vernon estate on in-depth. the entire schedule this on line with great features including streaming video and easy to search archive. booktv.org. earn..