Skip to main content

tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  January 28, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

10:00 pm
because director rivlin was driving staff from the cbo building off of capitol hill using her private automobile in one-year the cbo last for a car and it came out in a press she wanted a chauffeured limousine and it created a great bru-ha-ha in the press but the truce was and never was a chauffeured limousine and 20 years after that there was language and appropriation bill that said no money could be used for the purchase of a passenger vehicle all coming out of that particular event. >> host: any bad numbers getting coke to? >> guest: there certainly are numbers that people did not like him when there are an researchiresearchi ng my
10:01 pm
book to find any evidence that were cut as opposed to those that were just wrong which is a different story entirely. the cbo was valued the only thing that they know about their budget projection is that they are wrong. they just don't know by what amount or in what direction. because they are inherently fraught with error and there are some anything 67 we began the conversation talking whether or not ceo was successful. . .
10:02 pm
i think the main reason for that is because the cbo directors and also cbo staff figured out at a particular point in time that if they became viewed as just one more partisan voice in washington nobody would pay any attention to them and nobody really likes to work for an analytical institution that no one pays attention to so i think you know what makes them different is that they are viewed as nonpartisan and i think that is what gives them their influence but the minute they became viewed as just another partisan voice in washington i think they stop listening. >> host: we are at the university of maryland and talking with professor philip joyce, professor of management and finance who has also written his book the congressional budget office, honest numbers, power and policymaking published by georgetown university press. >> guest: thanks very much.
10:03 pm
booktv presents after words an hour-long program where we invite guest host to interview authors. this week, zbigniew brzezinski and his latest book, "strategic vision." and that the former national security adviser presents his foreign-policy recommendations to restore u.s. status around the world in a post-iraq war era. he talks with "national journal" chief correspondent, michael hirsch. >> host: dr. brzezinski welcome to after words. in your book, the grand chessboard in 1998 which was very well received, you wrote that america is not only the first as well as the only truly global superpower, you wrote that it's also likely to be the very last. is this book in some way, your current book, "strategic vision" a sequel to that earlier book in
10:04 pm
the sense that we now have what you call a the crisis of global power in your subtitle? >> guest: unavoidably it is in to beef irv brickley frank, i thought that america might be the last but they would last longer before becoming last and i think it's now clear that we are moving into an age in which in part because of our missteps, but in a larger measure because of the changing character of the global mission the world is no longer susceptible to domination by a single power. >> host: in this book you talk about the broad shift away from a 500 yearlong period of domination of the atlantic towers starting with europe and ending on the other side of the united states, a shift towards
10:05 pm
asia and the end of of the era of the west's global supremacy and you talk about the need to quote and large the concept of the west unquote does a way of ameliorating the effects of this change. can you elaborate on that when what you mean when you say we don't follow such a policy dire consequences could ensue? >> guest: it's not only a question of power. it's also a question of philosophical ethical moral content. if we are to have a world in which people eventually manage to co-operate to self-govern themselves on a global scale, we have to have a world in which there is to some significant degree a universal political culture, and i do believe that the west for all of its historical shortcomings, and i'm scathing in my book in
10:06 pm
discussing it sure cummings because they have to be admitted, so all of the shortcomings the west still today represents the most acceptable and workable universally workable political culture which is respect for others, self-determination and constitutionalism, respect of law and acceptance of certain basic rules based on certain universal predisposition for what is good and what is bad. that is the central message of the west in addition of course to technological initiative, innovation, preeminence and in some respects power so my argument is that the west to maintain itself, to preserve what is valuable about it has to play a role and that role is justified by the globe's need for the west but that the west,
10:07 pm
to perform it well, also has to become broader, wider and embrace others that are today not yet part of the west and i specifically focused very much not only on the american european relationship but on the shared need of europe and of america to partake in that enlargement through inclusion, cooperation, in time, i have no illusions about this, but russia and turkey and maybe some adjoining countries and between. that is part of the strategic message and of course the other part of the strategic message is how the united states on the west but particularly the united states, should manage its relationship with the other half of the world, which for some time to come is likely to be
10:08 pm
centered preeminently in the far east and some extent in southwest asia. >> host: let's talk about that in a moment that i would like to hone in a little bit more on this question of the west and large in and what that is. during the cold war period the west was more or less a concrete thing. you had nato, u.n. form alliances, defense treaties. do you mean that the west should be enlarged and a sense as some sort of an alliance structure or a power block or is it much more of a conceptual expansion of value systems you are referring to? >> guest: no, it's something else altogether. in a sense it's all of the things that you mentioned but it doesn't have to be just one of them. in other words i don't think the west as opposed to everyone being in nato but i do think they need it so some parts of the west can be united in an organization that enhances
10:09 pm
security and gives recognition to the importance of security. you would have the west which is based on enlargement of financial and economic arrangements but again, not necessarily to the same degree to all parts of the west. it's the same with the eurozone. think of the other european union and that are not in the eurozone. and so forth. >> host: would that include potentially say russia is a part of nato? >> guest: i have specifically said i would not exclude that. i don't expect that to be so. you may have a lot of steps in between. eventually sure if russia wants to be part of a larger security system, fine. but, without it being spelled out necessarily in some sort of arbitrary fashion russia also has to prove that it's part of the west by making these fundamental standards which
10:10 pm
define the west. >> host: and this should the accomplished, should be promoted with an eye to what is happening in the east and asia, the rise of china and hear you talk about what you think should be the dual roles of the united states in the future. in the west, the u.s. should remain i suppose in its role as a promoter and guarantor of greater order unity. in the east you distinguish america's role saying that we should be the balancer and conciliator between the major powers. can you explain that a little bit more, why these need to be separate roles? >> guest: because of the case of europe, we were engaged in two world wars and we had to be engaged in these two world wars. because these two world wars were still fought on the premise
10:11 pm
that the victor would dominate the world and i think it is correct to say and morally right to say that the world would be better off without hitlerism or stalinism. this is no longer the issue. the danger today in my view is if we do not do the things i say in my book, and i'm thinking of is strategically, the world will succumb to greater and greater turmoil in the future. the world is now not only composed of competitive states that should be of possible cooperative states, it's also composed, and this is the very major historical continuity, it is composed now for what i called global political -- the population of the world is politically conscious, it is politically resentful.
10:12 pm
it is historically angry and therefore it's a much more complicated process and are rolled particularly in the far east, should be to try to conciliate but also to balance between the major protagonists, without doing what we did in europe getting directly involved in their conflicts. >> host: you have been given a good deal of credit in the last year for your press en's and perceiving that there was this global political awakening on the horizon because it seems to have been expressed in the arab spring movement. and he talked about that i believe in an op-ed piece he did back in 2008. >> guest: yes and even earlier than some of my other books. >> host: how far do you think that spreads now? does it spread to china? it could be spreading to rush even now with what we seem to be seeing is a rebellion against
10:13 pm
vladimir putin's power. >> guest: i think it's spreading. it's a universal phenomenon which has manifest itself with different degrees of intensity in places and other places depending on the historical circumstances and things which stimulate that awakening but generally speaking the world is now politically awakened and in some places like in russia right now, we are beginning to see the emergence for the first time of something which can be generally called a civic society. that is to say, part of the middle class currently, or the younger people in the middle class and the older in russia, people who are now to some extent physically comfortable and people who are now part of the world because of the internet but even more importantly because of travel and education. we don't have that yet in china. it may come. in fact i argue in my book that
10:14 pm
i 2050 -- but it will take more time in part also because the chinese government, which has different values and different priorities than the ones i have spoken on, unlike the soviets or even unlike putin is an intelligence effort. it's narcissistic and more skillful and very important. economically at this point in that creates a greater degree of stability and also continuity and also capacity to resist the process of change. >> host: let's talk about that a little bit because you do at the point of contrasting a rising china with the two major powers during the 20th century that you say got caught up in self-delusion about how powerful they were and one of course was nazi germany and the other was the soviet union.
10:15 pm
>> guest: excuse me for interrupting. there was also a third which equally wrongheaded lee, that is to say the united states that proclaims that the entire 21st century. george w. bush was saying that and we match that with unilateralism that became self-destructive and self isolating. >> host: but china, okay fine, they seem to be very very cautious in their strategic approach to their economic rise, but is not natural particularly when you have a very rapid rise of a power that hubris, self-delusion sets in. perhaps it's too early for china to reach that point but you do talk quite a bit in your book about the pitfall of a rise in china said this guy that. how long do you think they can
10:16 pm
remain you say in intelligence. >> guest: i want to be a little resistant because there are two tendencies in our view of china today in the united states. one is to demonize them out of concern and i think we are over doing that already and the other one is to take refuge in the assumption that automatically china is going to falter and quietly say to ourselves well they are going to wreck themselves. maybe neither will happen that much but there is no doubt there is a tendency in china towards triumphalism which could be self-deceptive and i argue in the book cautiously that russia may be an example of something that china may be able to avoid for a wild and postpone but nonetheless cannot entirely a vague, namely in the soviet union you have a self-selecting
10:17 pm
elite that was perpetuating itself and over time, because it's an arbitrator elite, maintaining its power by force, it also suffers a gradual degradation of its quality. i think the chinese face that danger. they are aware of it and have introduced the periodic systematic breaker lysed ships of the top leadership every four years. that is going to give them more innovation within the leadership but to the extent that it is self-controlled and arbitrary, cannot entirely avoid the risks of a gradual decline of quality because it does eliminate certain sources of innovation and alternative modes of thinking, new ideas or whatever. >> host: and you know a number of observers, china observers,
10:18 pm
experts suggest that there will be some kind of arak getting particularly with their political system in the way that you describe for you know something worse, but it does seem that current policy of china does seem to be, wouldn't call it humility because if you talk to various east asian leaders the chinese do seem to like to throw their weight around in a regional way but it does seem to be rather restrained in terms of rejecting themselves as a global power. in your book you say that there global calling card as you term it, is china's extraordinary -- but again i wonder will that last right now? we haven't seen too much of an assertion of a china model, an alternative model in the west. the term beijing consensus
10:19 pm
occasionally. do you think we will see that though? >> guest: we are beginning to see it. i also cite in my book examples of chinese triumphalism and pounding their chest and how well we are doing and how badly you guys are doing and there is more and more of that even though deng xiaoping very explicitly admonish the chinese and the formula which i can't exactly re-create but obtained an admonition to be honest and to be restrained and not to take too much credit and to be patient. there is a degree of patience but there is also triumphalism. that is human in this case. nonetheless, look, china has been a state for 6000 years and for most of its history as it was successful. the last century was extremely bad for china, perhaps the worst because in addition to occasional internal disarray which they have experienced before they were humiliated for
10:20 pm
being outside. that was a culture shock which they resent to this day bitterly and if you provoke them it erupts violently. because of that i think the chinese are going to be very deliberately self-conscious about how well they are doing and how badly they are doing and baby they will not make the same mistakes, which some of us at least self-serving lee tend to anticipate because they think, the thought is that if the chinese falter that will kind of relieved us of the blemishes of success. >> host: let's go back to the question of how the u.s. is or is not damaging this crisis of global power as you term it. at one point in your book, you criticize president obama because you are right, he has quote failed to speak directly to the american people about
10:21 pm
america's changing role in the world and its applications and its demands, unquote. can you explain that criticism and why he is failed to do that? >> guest: well what i meant is he hasn't done it sufficiently because i do give him credit for several speeches particularly in his presidency which is demonstrated in my view a great deal of historical acuity and a sense of really what happened in the world and how it is changing but yet persistent in that in part because he discovered that the implication of doing it is doing certain things which may be difficult or unpopular and therefore he has help back, and he faces the additional difficulty that in my judgment the american public is so woefully ignorant about the world, that this is a monumental task which is far beyond even the president. yet the president has to take the lead but we also have to
10:22 pm
think very hard about our educational system and our informational system because today, and i demonstrate this with specific facts, the american populace is appallingly ignorant about global geography or global history or international affairs or significant events abroad. most americans live in a world in which they are forced first of all to make a living and secondly in which they escape from the difficulties of struggling into a world not of information but of entertainment >> host: but could you elaborate what sort of unpopular things would president obama or one of his successors president romney or someone else, need to do that they are not now doing to prepare america for this new role in the 21st century? >> guest: what you have to talk about is one, to some of this his educational work but i
10:23 pm
am saying if he does that, that is not enough. he has got to have a system which encourages a responsiveness to that kind of input from the president which means an educational system in which people know what geography implies. i have statistics of my book that shows americans to a significant degree identify a specific ocean on a map. the war in iraq, couldn't find iraq on the map. we have an educational system which gives america a little perception of what the world is about which means -- makes people susceptible to demagogy. for example after 9/11 -- so those are some of the examples of what has to be overcome on a systemic scale, not just by each individual but
10:24 pm
by a presidency but by a national awareness particularly through a process of self awakening that if we are to live in a world which is increasingly interdependent and what people are now asserted, not just me but the rest of the world, we have to learn how to relate to that world by knowing what it is like and how its problems are our problems and how our problems are innately their problems. >> host: if america does go into a long-term decline and as i'm not manage its internal problems and away you go into some detail in your book about what will the consequences be? you talk about a number of, as you call them, geopolitical victims of this process. can you talk about that a little bit? who would dig his victims be? >> guest: before answer that let me make a general statement.
10:25 pm
i think of america falters the world -- the result is not a world dominated by the chinese but the world will be -- i don't see any country even if successful china being able to play the kind of role we thought we could play that we tried badly to play in the last 20 years. i don't think that could be undone. the west of the whole goes back to what we started talking about earlier. insofar as sort of dealing with the question of eminent threat is concerned well, there are certain number of countries on the fault lines between the megapowers that will suffer immediately and i mentioned some of them. georgia for example to give you an example. it's a country which provides a major source of independent energy to europe so there are major consequences
10:26 pm
geopolitically. if ukraine gets reduced by russia russia will move much more slowly than would be less likely to take lace. >> host: this would happen is that process a russia and the power. guest: south korea, china and north korea taking advantage of the resulting uncertainties. it could be any number of other countries. it could be eventually israel if we are pushed out at least in part because of our own mistakes and the israeli-palestinian conflict goes on but the united states is out of the picture. what are the prospects, long-term security prospects for israel? a big question mark but not a hopeful prospect. these are some of the uncertainties that will arise in the countries that but i called the endangered species, the endangered states. >> host: how much will
10:27 pm
military power be part of the equation particularly when it comes to asia? a number of us journalists have spoken to the administration officials recently about what is described as a reorientation of the u.s. power toward the asia-pacific with an eye to a rising china in the wake of the withdrawal from iraq and afghanistan. president obama sees it as something of a corrective, too much focus and too much apple of haitian of those resources to the middle east and there is some evidence there is even something of an arms race going on between the u.s. and china and very much of a changing role for what has traditionally been the rejection of the u.s. power in the asian-pacific south china sea where u.s. carriers are now
10:28 pm
vulnerable to be better increasingly present technology, the chinese ballistic missiles and so forth. so, it's a very complex picture. can you sort it out a little bit? i've know you do address this in your book. >> guest: let me first of all say what i do think an american engagement in the far east across the pacific is the natural thing for us to undertake. i do not think that the way to define it is to somehow or other relate its greater significance for us to the declining military role of the united states and southwest asia and pacific lee afghanistan and iran and i don't think it's particularly effective or persuasive to illustrate it by announcing that we are going to deploy 500 marines in australia. i find that frankly on the verge of absurdity. what it would imply in the
10:29 pm
larger sense i also don't agree with because it would imply what we are going to do and asia what we did in europe and i draw difference between what we have to do in europe with what is needed in the far east because we are not going to dominate the far east. let some kid ourselves. we don't need to engage in some sort of a cold war with war with china. if we are smart, and china needs us, just as we need china. we will do much better by doing what written did in europe during the 19th century which is try to balance between the major asian powers. hopefully thereby maintaining a situation in which no one sees itself so powerful that it can use force and that we at the same time do what we can to promote what we help to promote in europe. we helps to promote in europe franco-german -- that and interned that the
10:30 pm
german polish, polish russian reconciliation might be next on the agenda. i think we could do a great deal also while protecting japan and remaining its ally to promote the japanese chinese reconciliation. the chinese might welcome that. we can do the same maybe between china and india but the last thing we should be doing is signaling that we are now going to be involved in the tillerism -- militarism likely to be nationalistic and could be easily provoked and to -- towards us or among each other and we may even find than in asia that either the tragedies that europe experienced in the 20th century, or we may find ourselves drawn into complex as parties, and i find it very hard
10:31 pm
to imagine anything more self-destructive for the united states than that. >> host: well, from everything understand the pentagon is planning for some kind of military contingencies in asia and asia-pacific, an air sea battle. >> guest: it depends where and for what. we are obviously engaged by treaty to the security of japan. we are committed to navigation. i don't see a plan for war on the asian amendment either involving korea, china, japan or involving india, pakistan or china in some other fashion. >> host: you do say in your book that the u.s. should not allow itself to be drawn into wars. you said safer the security cheese with japan and europe but what about taiwan? obviously we are still somewhat bound by law and in 1979 the
10:32 pm
taiwan act. >> guest: i specifically addressed that issue in the book and i say look as a matter of common sense we have to face the fact that we as a country have recognized under president nixon and secretary kissinger the notion that both taiwan and china say there is only one china and we also have to face the fact that if we want to have a stable relationship with china we cannot indefinitely keep arming taiwan so they can remain separate from china, even though at the same time taiwan is increasingly with the mainland and vice versa is rapidly growing trade but more porched movement of people and hundreds of thousands of taiwanese in china on the mainland near shanghai. and hence some process of reconciliation is likely and we should not obstruct it. if anything we should try to facilitate it and there are some formulas which i discuss in more
10:33 pm
detail in my book which may make that reasonable to everyone concerned, not just the subordination of taiwan to china but an arrangement whereby it there is one state, one country, china so to speak, but -- >> host: are these an extension of the ideas you had when you are jimmy carter's national security adviser because obviously it diplomatic relations were established during your time in office. do you see this as a natural extension of what happened years ago? >> guest: to some extent but i engaged in the secret negotiations with the chinese with deng xiaoping personally on unification we talked about china and i told him look, don't expect us to back taiwan which he wanted us to do. don't expect us to accept your demand that we will not sell arms to them. we cannot do that exist if we did that to would be immediate
10:34 pm
upheaval in the area. that work not permit a stable relationship between you and us and could draw us into some sort of conflict. let us accept the principle, that is what i told him, let us accept the principle that this will be to some extent government, governed by a process of historical change. history will resolve it. and we have already accepted our predecessors under kissinger the nose end of one china so this will work out but let's not try to accelerate this to the point that it backfires. in the long run, then later on when i visited china as a private citizen deng xiaoping use the occasion might visit deliberately to have themselves and me together talking and he issued a statement which accompanied that photograph, the fact that china has fourth would propagate the notion of one china, two systems and use that
10:35 pm
as a basis for resolving his relationship with hong kong and that includes in effect -- but the presence of the chinese army in hong kong. i have since then started articulating, which i've shared with the chinese on other occasions, that ought to evolve into one china, several systems. in other words china and hong kong one kind of arrangement, china and macau another kind of arrangement, china and taiwan another kind of arrangement specifically in that case, excluding the deployment of the chinese people's army in taiwan. >> host: have they been receptive to this? >> guest: reception is a process as i said earlier. it is a historical process and if you have a perspective and they do, and we should, they have existed 6000 years and it is going to work out but you
10:36 pm
draw sharp lines towards immediate change, neither will work. >> host: certainly the one country two systems model seems to have worked in hong kong. seems as if the hong kong economic system has been allowed to prosper. >> guest: prosper and i can envisage, given my formula one china, several systems. >> host: let's just talk a little bit more about what the u.s. should be doing or perhaps is doing wrong now. you made a reference to the deployment of of the u.s. marines in australia. somewhat obsessively but as i understand this is part of a very concerted effort, alliance building by the obama administration and asia, renewing ties with the
10:37 pm
philippines, even hillary clinton secretary of state visit to myanmar, the first visit to that country under its military junta recently was described to me as part of an effort to build up ties with a circle of countries that have had somewhat rocky relations with china. now the chinese have not reacted to well to this if you read their semiofficial press. there's a circle -- do you think this is not a wise policy that is being pursued or do you think that it could be conducted better? >> guest: i would say it's an unobjectionable policy if it is not authorized by wordings which give the connotations which are in my judgment not our interest and probably not implementable
10:38 pm
because i frankie don't think whatever intentions are that they would ever get engaged in a ground war with china to defend irma or hanoi for that matter. and so, i see no point in producing mutual aggravation by using words or engaging in symbolic actions that convey wrong intentions or not intentions that would really serve our national interest because the fact of the matter is the united states is not going to have the power to be the assertive -- in the far east that way that it could be and was in your. we can be a player but we have to be a player much more sophisticated, it's more like great britain and europe in the 19th century and that is what i argue in my book. >> host: and do you think that the u.s. administration's could clarify better what they will or
10:39 pm
would not do in asia in terms of actions that might be taken outside of the already binding treaty relation we have with japan? >> guest: i think perhaps a clear definition of our strategic objectives should not be stampeded in haste and theorizing about particularly military strategies of -- and i think we probably will have to ask ourselves for how long will the chinese feel comfortable, which they no longer do in any case, with american overflights right on the edge of their territory. how would we like -- on the northern edge of california not necessarily with the naval
10:40 pm
presence of their key see boards. how would we feel that this was reciprocated? in brief we have to have the notion that in a changing world, in which it's no longer possible for anyone, us or anybody else, to the traditionally dominant, how do we define our role in an intelligence fashion? >> host: as the chinese become more sophisticated at military technology that includes long-range ballistic missiles that can reach as far as 1700 miles away apparently right now, as well as cyberwarfare, would think that it would be wise for the u.s. to pull back even more. >> guest: look, we have got to do that with the russians. what i'm saying i am saying about us in the chinese is in no way different from what we have learned in our reciprocal relationship with the russians. they could destroy it almost all the american cities in the
10:41 pm
course of six hours. i was supposed to be responsible for coordinating if something happened, and we could wipe out all of russia. and yes, if we continue to maintain the kind of competition that was characteristic of the 20th century we will end up with the chinese and us in the same position. >> host: in an arms race, and we may be entering one right now, right? in your book you talk about the new concept of global systemic rivalry. explain for me what you mean by that. >> guest: interesting you picked that because when i wrote this i said to myself, it was a surprise to me when i thought of it and i said chico, and i looked around and i didn't find
10:42 pm
it any indication. it was a very simply idea, namely today when you talk about america and china or america and russia, whatever their art and simply statistics and comparisons in various activities in crime, and corruption, armaments, per capita incomes, longevity and so forth and you have instantly the sort of comparative data which assess progress and standings and rivalries and so forth and it dawned on me that that was absolutely not the case. even 150 years ago, maybe even as recently as on the evo world war i. people were not aware of these dimensions. today we live in a world which is now so interactive that we are comparing ourselves and measuring ourselves very precisely and in a way it's a good thing because this kind of
10:43 pm
systemic rivalry puts much more emphasis on who has higher, who has lower child mortality. what is longevity with respect to countries? what our standards of living? what are the levels of education and how his medicine dispersed and so forth. i think it leads to a much more sophisticated notion of competition in a world in which everyone now claims their rightful share to a decent life and is keenly aware of its depravation by watching every day this place of great wealth, self gratification, extraordinary greed by the richer world. >> host: and less lethal in the days compared do as you say, you know, when the empires vied with each other. it was a question of how much you it had in your treasury and
10:44 pm
how good your military prowess was. now we have entire social systems competing but i also wonder whether in the euro when as you say the world is coming together and there is more similarity between political, economic and social system setting aside the chinese political system for example, but with the enlargement of the west whether perhaps not unlike the earlier arab when it was a question of how much you had in your treasury and how good your military was, now it's just a question of how good your education system is. >> guest: the chinese are the first to have produced a global comparative analysis of the leading universities in the world. they produce once a year a report of the 500 leading universities in the world and it is a reasonably good report without an y hesitation, they list the first 20 as being, with
10:45 pm
two exceptions american. they do convey a sense of awareness that these disparities are significant and i think that's great. also incidentally when he said earlier when you said that chinese -- they -- shanghaied most american businessman in new york feel it is different except part of the chinese structure itself. >> host: this is another reason why we have to leave antiquated notions of hegemony and military superiority and the old imperial jostling behind us and look at it in a very different way. jaczko yes and i don't want to sound like i'm accused of that but maybe that is coming with age. yes, military security, yes but we have to be very deliberate that what i consider to be my
10:46 pm
security could be a source of threat to you and vice versa and that is the name of the game. we must start moving in that direction already in the 1950's with détente and the concerns about nuclear weapons, for the first efforts to contain the scale of deployments of nuclear weapons and it has now become more -- >> host: i would like to hearken back to your career little bit. you alluded to this question of not having been, cues to being a pacifist and indeed during the carter administration you were seen as the hardliner on the soviet union and fighting for influence with secretary of state cyrus vance. was considered -- >> guest: i was not buying for him. [laughter] >> host: okay, fair enough, fair enough. but it is interesting that you did take a line that was seen as different from détente that
10:47 pm
perhaps was in some ways a precursor to the approached the reagan administration later taken raising questions about the viability of the system and he promoted the helsinki final accord focused on human rights and of course the later history of the decline and collapse of the soviet union indicates that was a very significant factor, that as many of these groups and the soviet lock in eastern europe began to embrace human rights and it was the beginning of the end. you know, i'm just curious whether at this date three decades later you feel that you are vindicated in your views during those early discussions when the cold war was still going on? >> guest: at the risk of sounding self-promoting, i have to say yes i do and i don't think that in any way i deplore the fact that reagan -- my
10:48 pm
program regarding détente. nixon had a few of the détente which was basically status quo, you keep what you have, we won't medal in yours, you don't meddle in hours. my view was totally different. i viewed as stalinism equally as horrible as hitlerism and i was always convinced that the soviet union had to be transformed or encouraged to disintegrate. i make no bones of the about the fact that i favor it, encouraging to disintegrate into help the process along and the fact that it happened peacefully was a great blessing if they could avoid a horrible explosion but i think the world became immediately much safer with the collapse of the soviet union and i think global conditions today
10:49 pm
in the world are such that kind of competition with the soviets and earlier with the nazis is no longer relevant and therefore we have to have the kind of approach that you and i have been discussing over the last hour. >> host: because that was my next question. was there any way in which those experiences that you have in your national security adviser under president carter inform the thinking in this book because it does seem as if the conclusions of this book is you just suggested are very different in approach from the hard-line approach that you were a scribe to have during the carter administration. >> guest: well, i think the nature of the challenge has changed. in the current administration we were facing the soviet union which was buying the notion of the détente while at the same time proclaiming that would replace us and it would push us
10:50 pm
out at the game and would dominate the world. that kind of zero-sum game i felt we ought to exploit the advantages that we have an exploit the weaknesses for which they suffer. i think today the issue is no longer whether we will dominate the world or whether the chinese will dominate the world if we don't. i think the issue is that we can all be consumed by mounting global turmoil which will unleash the residual forces of hatred and historical animus that dominate such as -- so much of human relations and therefore we must read it's more intelligent and much more prudent and return to our initial conversation so that someday we move into a genuinely global community that is based on a shared universal political culture with humanistic
10:51 pm
overtones. >> host: another aspect of that is the question of dealing with rising radical islam. this is something again national security adviser you were a witness to in the early days of the islamic world revolution in iran dealing with the ouster of the shah and of course we still confront a radicalized and you know potentially nuclear iran today, one that could truly upset the balance of power in the middle east. can you talk about that a little bit? i know you do address it in your book about how that should be resolved based on your past experiences. >> guest: one has to differentiate between the larger issue of islamic fundamentalism or moderation and then more
10:52 pm
narrowly they can find issue of iran's although the two are obviously related. the alluded to it a little bit in our discussion namely, i see islamic extremism as a minority phenomenon in the islamic world but it's a big world so even the minority phenomenon can be of some significance if we are not careful therefore we should be very prudent in not stimulating it. i kind of black-white confrontation with islamic fundamentalism viewed as -- all of islam leads to abuse of civil rights of many americans in this country which is something we will come to regret in years to come because we have been treating some of them very badly. on the geopolitical level we have to rather work with the moderate forces in islam which are by for the dominant forces in islam and that ranges from iraq all the way to indonesia and almost every place the
10:53 pm
fundamentalist extremists are a small minority and it requires a diplomatic intelligent approach to prevent them, to start helping them with a majority. on iran, we have the president of meeting successfully with the soviet and chinese nuclear threat. i don't want the iranians to have a nuclear bomb but i don't think we are going to war to prevent them from having it. if there has to be a showdown with iran over iran acquiring a nuclear weapon one thing is evident that they really are acquiring it because it is somewhat unclear whether they are seeking it or whether they want to be close to having it but not getting it. then if we go to war we have to to -- not a repetition of iraq or afghanistan. if we go to war we will suffer the consequences and the countries that could wish to be
10:54 pm
our rivals and whose -- we have no special interest we would take advantage of it. even india. i think the world would be laughing at us because a war with iran in order to prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon when the iranians have survived 3000 years. they are intelligent people. situation in which even the defense minister of israel says the iranians the moment they have the first bomb they are going to attack israel. they are not an existential threat. going into war over that would plunge the global economy into crisis to engage yourselves into a prolonged -- would not wish us well. >> host: what more can be done? there there is already evidence there may be a covert war or a series of covert actions taking place which the u.s. and israel together maybe to some extent responsible for.
10:55 pm
>> guest: we have to be careful of that because if we are not careful we will confuse fundamentalism with -- our interest is separated. eventually many of the preconditions for a democratic evolution of iran are there but we have to pursue a policy in which either limits the ability of the fundamentalist to be a threat gori encourages the physical political displacement. if we engage in activities which we wouldn't want others to pursue against us which means assassinating people and interfering and so forth, we perpetuate the regime or make it stronger. >> host: let's talk a little bit more about what has gone wrong with the united states in our closing minutes here because you do go into some detail about that in your book, and it's interesting there was another
10:56 pm
passage from your earlier book the grand chessboard they came back where you talked about, as we become increasingly multicultural as a society helm more difficult it will be to fashion a consensus on foreign-policy except there are some really dramatic foreign threat. it's interesting that since then he wrote that in 1998, and since then we had 9/11 and yet we have this deep disagreement in this country over the conduct of the 9/11, the response to the 9/11 threat, the iraq war. we seem to have have as anything a much greater sense of division now than we had with jimmy carter running for president against ronald reagan. talk about how serious you think those problems are and how do we resolve them? >> guest: i don't have recipes for a solution.
10:57 pm
i think i have identified some of the problems, i hope i have in the book. i also try to identify some of the sources of recovery, some of the assets that we have that will be deployed more effectively and drawing on those assets is the way to go and that brings us back to the discussion we engage in earlier, namely that the problem rests in the fact that america while locally engaged as a society is remarkably -- and we have to overcome that. we have to understand the world better and more clearly and one of the purposes of this book is not so much to provide a prescription for solutions but to provide a perspective of the world that will be healthier, more historically relevant in their boy facilitates some of the needed domestic recommendations. i don't want to exaggerate the potential for that but i hope the book contributes to it to
10:58 pm
some extent because a great deal of the public discussion today in the united states either about or domestic or about our foreign conundrums reflects extraordinary simplicity of thought, kind of extremist propositions, get rid of the government, free america from the clutches of washington and stuff like that. what does it mean? what does it mean to a poor family whose key members are profoundly ill and has to have some medical care? what does it mean for people who have had jobs for two years and are totally displaced and cannot find alternatives? some of the basic problems of human existence in america is the polarization of basic social dilemmas. >> host: do you see this more polarized than it was in the late 70s leading up to the
10:59 pm
heir of ronald reagan? obviously there was a very tough fight between reagan and carter, very different views. >> guest: i think there was less and the discussion for all of the shortcomings in the national discussion is simplification and generalization. i think frankly it's on a higher level than some of the discussions we have been listening to recently for a rethink presented by congress and the president accused of not being born in the united states or being a socialist. we didn't have that, even in the sharp debates between reagan and carter or even between the governor or nixon or between goldwater and johnson. >> host: in the final moments here, would like you to just reflect back a little bit more on your time as national security advisories and the carter administration,


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on