tv New America Discussion on Conflict Political Climate in Afghanistan CSPAN November 21, 2018 4:53pm-6:10pm EST
up the panel and thank you all for coming and joining me in given the speakers a very big hand. [applause] booktv is in prime time this week while congress is on break. tonight's focus is readers and publishers, beginning with john grisham's interview of author james mcbride. that will be followed by author karen swallow prior in her book on reading well. and marion wolf peter come home. but tb is in prime time beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern time here on c-span2. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress. the white house, the supreme
court, and public-policy events in washington dc, and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> it's been 17 years since the u.s. went into afghanistan. what has changed over that time? new america hosts a discussion about the political climate and ongoing conflict then and now but events make recommendations about what the u.s. should duke to encourage civility.this lasts about an hour. >> good afternoon everybody welcome to the america. he got a very distinguished panel to discuss afghanistan in the next year or two obviously we just had the parliamentary inductions you have presidential elections next year. we have an insider attack a woman ãbthe one that killed
general rizzi quiz police commander in kandahar. general scotty miller the four-star general in charge of afghanistan had full weapons indicative of taliban good intelligence to carry out this operation. we begin with moderator as tricia mcbeal has been visiting afghanistan since 2007. she made a film about the drug trade there for national geographic. and the national geographic about the taliban in afghanistan and pakistan in 2008 ã2009. next to her is yanni close kino's lived in afghanistan since 2010. first as a colonel and joint special operations command for the air force working for general crystal. he is doing his phd at king's college london about the afghan civil war which shows so much
about what's going on in afghanistan today to what happened in the mid-90s during the civil war. finally ãbsenior program officer at the national endowment for democracy. he's also a former un official in afghanistan. and c-span is covering this if not live it will be live today. if you have questions make sure you wait for the mike and identify yourself with that i will turn it over to tricia. >> i think they are both going to give a presentation. i think they are both going to give a short speech. >> thank you to the american foundation for hosting this timely event on afghanistan. i want to think the audience for being here despite the rain. i would like to begin my remarks with the disclaimer that my views are my own and do
not represent the views of my employer. as peter mentioned i returned from afghanistan over the weekend. i was there to observe the african elections it was not a formal observation. i sent most of my time in kabul and travel to some of the providences. before i discuss basically the recent trip i want to tell you guys a story and frame my remarks in the story that happened basically in the previous time in self-esteem when i was also observing the african elections. in 2014 as an observer i was based in the western part of afghanistan i received a call. i received a call that 11 individuals on the way home after basically boating the
district their car was pulled over and because their fingers had the ink from the elections will chalk off their fingers. so when i heard this story i was like i really need to go and meet with them. i went to the hospital and meeting with most of the victims one of them kind of struck me the most is in afghanistan that's considered old. he was smiling. in my mind i was like this guy must be crazy. you just lost a finger and smiling. i approached him and i talked with him and he smiled at me and he was like, son, the taliban chopped off one of my fingers but i have nine more.
may i remind you that this gentleman may not even know a democracy that you might be allocate. but i think it is a story it is the story of millions of africans who have embraced this new afghanistan. this cat shifted and with in their participation and result they are saying no to retiree and terrorism presented by the taliban other terrorist groups and their regional backers alike. i think that story and that result was demonstrated by the afghans in the most recent elementary elections as an observer i have witnessed long lines of afghans who came despite all the rest to participate in the election. there was this other individual in one of the polling centers that i was serving in the elections he could not find his name in the new book.
biometric system. there were delays and people who were trying to cast their vote but overall i think it made the process more transparent, the fact that there was a voter list that was designed for the sensor that helped in reducing this ballot stuffing in afghanistan, but me and yanni were talking earlier that the whole biometric system that was used in our rush and there was not enough time for training staff and others so there were some long lines in some places, the polling places had to be reopened and in this state but overall when you were talking with afghans and afghan society, they thought the process was clean, especially on the
candidates thought that there were a lot of young afghans who nominated themselves as candidates. they were employing a new mechanism of campaigning, bringing their families and going door-to-door campaigning around the country, so it was really remarkable on that front. another big issue in the country when i was there is with the taliban. as many of you know, their husbands had contacts between youth officials in qatar and there are going to be some in russia in a few days which recently the afghan foreign ministry announced afghan officials would participate in an official capacity but
there will be some of these presented by the council that's an independent body in this process. a few key things i want to highlight on the piece front is that the afghan people do want to have peace. they have demonstrated how forgiving they can be. when the three-day cease fire happened in afghanistan, i was amazed by how forgiving the afghan people can be . thousands of thailand, hundreds of members pursuing the cease-fire, they came to the villages, to the city centers and the afghans didn't forget the atrocities that were committed, they're killing them every day, it's a terrorist organization but there was no single entity by a afghan member, they were killing themselves so be
afghans do want to have peace, but i think the peace process should not be a top-down model. it should rather be a bottom-up model where all afghans are engaged from the village level to the central level. the afghan civil society, we work with civil society and in civil society, the women and media groups have to feel they are included in this process. i don't think we can achieve peace in afghanistan behind closed doors and when it comes, i think the negotiation process itself because it hasn't started yet, there are talks and in my view, those negotiations have to be afghan led so the process canbe long-lasting . i think i'll stop there and then engage with any
questions. >> thank you and i think i'll echo your comments, there aren't that many organizations that are seen as much on afghanistan as they should. america has always been very supportive of that and i deeply appreciate it. also c-span has always been very good about supporting us so this is quite a treat to get representatives from an afghan voice and quite frankly someone who is obsessive about afghanistan but resides in kabul most of the time but i am a product of both the western dynamic so i hope what i can add to this is a lens of how we view this from here to afghanistan and in afghanistan rather
than, and i'll let hamid handle what pulse is like, obviously not average afghan but a very informed afghan on what's going on there so with that in mind, let me just throw this starting point to the discussion and then i look forward to the treasurers questions and the audience questions. we just had an election at the end of october in afghanistan, and it's true there is an in norma's amount of hope and courage that was represented by the afghan people going to the polls. inefficiencies aside, at the last few weeks i think this has been one of the most anticipated votes in the last five years, the parliamentary elections were two years plus late in the making, so the
fact that they were held is a starting point is quite important and i think the west views that as a milestone achieved. albeit like i said not efficient or however else we want to characterize it. the second milestone that the west is paying attention to is the presidential election that's going to happen toward the end of the spring which is another one of those that additional support towards afghanistan is very much based on achieving certain milestones and at least that's the south asia strategy and one can argue what achievable is or what return on investment may be represented but certainly on a macro scale, these two events are quite significant and their significance for another reason.
tomorrow, we have elections here in this country, our midterm elections. they have which ever side you lean on, you may have different opinions about what is going to happen and the informed opinions, we're not exactly 100 percent accurate during our presidential election so there will be some surprises i'm sure but nevertheless this will be a policy election ace on this election, at least in congress, congress and senatorial perspectives, but the president is also up for reelection and i know it seems like it's very far away but in two years, we're going to have elections again here and no doubt the issue about afghanistan although it may be tempered in some ways with all the other things going on
, what happens to afghanistan is certainly up for grabs and i think personally although i have no information that would support this but my gut feeling is that decision is probably coming in or than the 20/20 elections . i think it's going to become much more interesting for the presidents reflection post this election and he'll have more time to spend on it but let's not forget that president trump, his initial gut feeling was not to support the expansion of the mission or the continuing sublimation, he was convinced to stay the course in afghanistan and in some ways reintroduce certain capabilities there and put more attention on it . that is not guaranteed and that we stay this way, the one thing you could possibly change his mind again, something we need to take stock of so again, in a characterization of what happened is of great importance but what's going to happen in may is also supremely important, but how
it's viewed here, there's a lot of skepticism. there's a lot of concern about whether or not the mission is still worth it but we have to earn it every day. or somebody who is an absolute supporter and believes in the mission, i committed my life to it, that afghanistan's sovereignty and quite frankly but freedom that it represents there is a beacon that we need to reinforce . but we have work to do because i think the odds are completely stacked against us always in the context that people are looking for reasons to not stay, not necessarily looking for reasons to stay i hope this discussion brings, that it reinforces or at least in my mind i'm surewould agree, there are many reasons why we should stay . and an enormous cost if we stay out. so with that in mind i'll pause there and look forward to your questions and of
course the audience. >> this is a question for both of you. if you're a 39-year-old there who recently was killed in an insider attack, how do you tell your children why it's worth it for us to be there or for a child to lose his life in afghanistan? >> i can take that because i've served in the military. i've been around families that have lost, i was in fort walton beach florida for the induction of a tech sergeant, later master sergeant john chapman who basically gave his life for roberts ridge and in eastern afghanistan on the early days of the war in 2002 and i was there with a family and all the goldstar families they could muster
were there and i can tell you that they feel pride in the sacrifices that their family members made. they believe in what they did because those individuals that went there believe what they were doing was right. and i think that i get chills even thinking about it because if i didn't believe that, i wouldn't be there. but now my kids who are probably going to watch this because they always ask me when c-span is going to cover this so to my kids that always see me leave and not be around them when they're growing up, my partner to my mom to my dad,the rest of my family , allof them believe that what i'm doing is important . so to that young wife with seven kids, i'm not downplaying it but i think that there is an entire support mechanism that believes in what that person
did and what he was going after and quite frankly i do too. and i think she does and the children will and there will be all of us that will continue to remind them that their dad sacrifice was not for nothing. >> what happens if the us leaves afghanistan? >> let me add to what john is saying. condolences on a personal level to that family of the soldiers but i want to add one thing that the afghans alongside the americans fighting this war on terrorism, the terrorist groups are basically on the front lines on a daily basis, there are tens of thousands losing their lives basically fighting this terrorism that as he says, their loss is not wasted inafghanistan .
if the us were to leave afghanistan, i think afghanistan is not going to go anywhere. it has beenthere for 5000 years . but the fact is that the afghan government right now, we are not in a state to be self-reliant. we don't have a strong economy to support our military right now, at least in the next few years. afghanistan does have a lot of resources, we've always had a lot of minerals so for us to be able to extract those minerals and pay for our army, our fleet and for our state democracy, we do, until then we do need support from the unitedstates and other international partners . as recently as a couple weeks ago in washington we had a couple of signing agreements that were signed between afghan and american companies
to be able to extract minerals out of afghanistan but they will have stayed on the level of experts have increased significantly. there are quarters they were able to negotiate their products to europe, to china so basically afghans know the problems are their own problems and they have to own it but if the us were to abandon afghanistan, we are in a region where we do not have so many friends and neighbors and i think there are a lot of regional actors who do not want to see a democratic and a stable afghanistan. i think it is on afghanistan to treat it like a declining state and that is not
something the afghan people want and we have demonstrated that in bilateral security agreement signed with the united states and the strategic partnership agreement i referenced earlier that the strategic partnership agreement was signed between the united states and the afghan government and there were more than 2000 delegates from all around afghanistan coming to be part of that discussion and there were so many individuals trying to derail those talks and i said this partnership is not fixated between the us and afghanistan but the majority of afghans, they said yes and have a strong relationship and this partnership agreement is basically with the united states because they know what the alternative has been. the alternative is there will be more intervention but i do hope that the investments we
have made in afghanistan both in terms of blood and treasure, we be able to protect. i'm also a businessman from a business perspective, we have invested so much in afghanistan. the level of troops in afghanistan is not nearly as much as they were in 2014 . we have a small foothold in afghanistan, the level of expenses has come down and i think during the next few years the number of troops even made, gradually lower in afghanistan and the security forces, so until then , we will definitely need some support.
>> let's talk about talkingto the common man, an idea that's been going on for 17 years now . >> know, the simple answer is not optimistic at all. i don't think we should be talking to them in this format. whatsoever. my initial thought was the talking is good at all times and maintaining the channel, open for conversations even in the darkest moments of the cold war, you still have conversations between rival nations that were ready to push a button and go the wrong direction off the planet. but we built these false expectations that negotiations are just around the corner. and unfortunately this sort of notion reinforces the worst sort of tendencies in
this town, because people want to getout . so we just almost are setting ourselves up for really rather be careful what you ask for because we're talking to, we say we're talking to afghans who are just have an alternative view of what's going on and their voices is or could be heard too. i'm sorry when things are going and their killing thousands of people and, there is no talk of what's going to make that thing better. >> at one point, okay, that's fair. at one point that should happen but not now. there are very accurately described and quite frankly i've been very adamant about their terrorist organization and until they start behaving otherwise, we should start
treatment as terrorists and the last time i checked we don't negotiate with terrorists or at least that's our mantra no matter how we maintain quiet conversations and through interlocutors and that's there now not this reconciliation. i'll go further to say that it undermines the afghan government in my opinion because we send out on voice to qatar or when we talk about the rush of thoughts with no official representation from the afghan government or when we happy conversations as if we are talking to yet another government in waiting, it's absolutely nonsense. we're going to damage the integrity i think of the state that we are actually trying to uphold and strengthen which should be our objective. look, insurgencies are at their very core a competition .
it's a competition for the masses. it's the dilemma that somebody may have in terms of joining the government or supporting the insurgency and the way that we held our odds get better is not my engaging with the insurgency at stages where their killing people, but by strengthening the government and making it much more attractive for the average afghan to decide and to stay with the afghan government rather than somehow make it appear as if there's some legitimacy associated with the afghan and caliban. so that's mytake on it . >> i was born in war. and i have experience the properties of war first-hand. like me, millions of afghans do want peace but the cost of
peace has to be defined. what cost of these is it when they're telling us easily. >> the students of transformation, and unless the issue of sanctuaries for the taliban enjoyed across the border, unless there's a cash or a and they have a base across the border, i think it will be very difficult to any sort of settlement that we will be able to reach. i want to go back to the point that how forgiving afghans are. when we demonstrate that three-day cease-fire. i agree with you that the afghan government is training the institutions of governance and they should be able to provide services for the citizens across all parts of the country and i think
it's good and it's okay that there aretalks, but when it comes to the negotiations itself , like i say, the afghan people, they should feel that they're owning this process if you want to have a long-lasting piece. there's got be something on a document that doesn't count a lot if civil society and media and others don't feel a part of it. and yes. >> and i had one thing? i meant to say you're exactly right. afghans people are very forgiving. certainly there are incredibly forgiving when you approach them with an open heart and you approach them with the desire and respect associated with forgiveness. they're also very unforgiving and revengeful if you take the exact opposite approach and there is no remorse and
there is nothing of the sort. so we have to be careful because look, the marines went down to helmand and they achieved a lot in 2010 and 11. and there are a lot of afghans that stuck their head out and believes in the concept that we are here, we're going to be with you, we're goingto help you out . >> and then we left. there's been a bloodbath and a lot of those towns because of what happened. >> we can say that about other places too. and the point here is that forgiveness is an incredible concept that belongs with people that behave the norms. within norms. when somebody comes out and actually behaves in that way, i'll be as forgiving as anybody. i'll be the best afghan in
context but when they don't, when their killing people, left right and center and a great example is that three-day cease-fire, every afghan i know had the greatest admiration and sort of good hope that this is a change but those people started killing at alarming rates immediately after that so they know how to switch on and off. they haven't switched off. so when they're ready to switch off, let's go but when they're not, it's a real troubling sort of perspective. >> to the people trust the caliban? >>. >> i think the caliban, they know that they do not have the legitimacy per se in the whole country and i think they may be able to control that and be able to have their own structure of government but in my view most of that is through fear. the last few years the country has really been transformed.
the afghan population is basically under the age of 35. the new afghanistan who enjoys a vibrant double society and an active media outlets , a lot of the elements are coming so i think in terms of trust, i don't think the afghans trust them and i think we should be aware that the war that we are fighting in afghanistan is not a conflict, it's an imposed war against afghan and they want to have peace, there is the afghan constitution area literally a few thousand, let's say 40, 50,000 people, we shouldn't have this notion that you mentioned that there's a rush and you're in a hurry to have a peace deal . bring them into the system of government, but the caliban want to bepart of the process , they should come and
participate in the election. we have presidential elections scheduled for april 2019 and they can come and run but i think they know that theydon't have that legitimacy . >> i'm talking about, do the afghan people have votes because in 2007 and earlier, afghanistan was such a haven in such a great place to be. restaurants, shops, i wonder if that still exists today. and people walk and enjoy life? and what went wrong? what are we in a position where there's so many attacks on the kabul? it doesn't seem like a safe place for the comment and afghan they have a different perspective. >> for me as an afghan american, of course i have to be fearful. where i go to meet along those lines but life really is normal.
restaurants are open. they're open to go out to dinner, they have parties area when i was in the country, there was a bomb that went off and there were casualties and a few hours later i had dinner so me and ioannis were talking earlier that the normal thing there is not the same as what you and i would perceive here in the united states, in washington but overall i think we are very resilience. and life goes on in afghanistan despite all the conflict and everything that happened. there is life, there is enjoyment. there are wedding celebrations, parties but overall i think i don't want to paint a rosy picture. there are challenges as well. economic challenges, new challenges and so forth. >> there's an element, my
trouble is i straddled two worlds. on the one hand i haven't gone to afghanistan since 2005. there aren't many airports that i feel like i land in and as ridiculous as it may sound , i land in that little airport in kabul and i walk out and i breathe the air and i feel like i'mhome . you walk a little bit further and you see this ridiculous fountain or structure of dolphins in a landlocked country and i chuckle every time i go through there but it's the chuckle of somebody who feels like this is where i live. this is where i feel most comfortable. maybe i've grown comfortable in that environment but the truth is it is getting more dangerous and afghans are
very resilience and quite frankly they don't back down from challenges, so they learn how to live with new norms, but at the same time it's challenging, particularly outside of kabul . there's probably an attack happens in kabul but, and there are definitely mass casualties and in fact that happened but the most part on a day-to-day basis there's probably parts of the sea that are more dangerous and parts of kabul but the truth is that you have to be conscious of who you are, where you areand how you may be targeted .but it's outside of kabul that is far more challenging and the roads are difficult and you go hundred 50 meters left and right of a major highway and you have challenges and people, this is the stuff
that we can say we control the population centers and everything else but afghanistan is more than a city . the truth is that we downplay a control afghan and caliban may have over the areas in the countryside. but the reality is we need to get because that's not, that's the heart. in many regards people's homes, theirvillages , their ability to reach out is important. so in terms of the security, there's challenges. in terms of hope, your original point, but hope is if mining is for minerals is in great abundance in afghanistan, i only wish we could modify the incredible hope that is in the country because that's perhaps the greatest sort of resource
that has. >> is huge. it's immense. >> wherewithal short of is delivering onpromises that feedback hope .and when that happens, you allow the other elements of society to feed on the lack of hope or the lack of progress and create the negative things that information. >> are other countries still in the gap? tell us about china and russia and iran, what's happening in the region? >> it's interesting to observe as an american. we go there with the greatest intentions and other countries may feel otherwise but i wish we were a little bit more nuanced in our approach. i wish were we were more like hey, we're helping out thomas, maybe the mining should not be, we should attract western firms because
western processes, we should attract western firms, canadian, british cause not only do we just blundered but there are a lot more social responsibilities, different practices for the environment, all those things . i wish we were a little more nuanced about it. unfortunately we go there with the best intentions of doing right and good. other countries are not. their predators. china is not there because it needs to create some sort of silk road at benefits afghanistan. there there to take material away from that country and as long as there's a benefit to the afghan state quite frankly, i'm okay with that as long as it's not a predatory practice they promise some kind of royalty rates as the example of mining.
they promise some sort of royalty rates, railroads, a promise , they promise and then they see all weekend afghan government over the years and they come in with predatory behavior and say that was 17 percent, let's go with something lower or you know that railroad i promise? that's not going to happen so soon . now we have these predatory behaviors that are not benefiting the country. russia, come on. russia is not afghanistan. there's quite quite a lot of data that supports that. so the idea that somehow they're in there for some kind of interest is ridiculous. around as legitimate concerns. and have the border, water issues, also to things what are they looking at it from a let's help a brother out here? i'm not so sure. you think about that, the father of the caliban was killed in india.
a few days ago. a day's walk. these people that have been responsible for so many deaths and so much destruction arewalking around like it's nothing . they were jumping up and down when he was killed. they were doing the pump so they walk amongst, that's where i have a challenges these countries may have legitimate national interests and we should consider that, but when they are doing it in a way that diminishes the strength or the argument of afghanistan has a right to exist and prosper and they take predatory behavior, i'm not good with that. >> he takes the next one. >> is ghani a good leader?
is he popular? >> i think in my view is a good leader. there are some on the political elite side that there may be some humans and people who may not like him when i was in kabul i had a breakfast with a businessman and this man of course, he was telling me look, as a businessman i feel like i can do business better nowbecause there's less disruption in institutions of government . and so i think he is trying but the president of afghanistan is not an easy task. he has actively engaged in, i haven't worked with him
closely per se but i have a lot of friends work with him who share basically this you and other countries so he does have countries he is working hard for, from peace to making the country reliance in the long term. and much like i say, there are i guess an administration in every government that have enough people who may not necessarily like your style of leadership but he is not corrupt as a president. and he's trying hard i think to i guess bring peace to that part of the world. i think one of his biggest achievements i would say is that in terms of foreign policy, he made it really public that we had this undeclared war. he brought that story from washington to brussels to
others and brought the internationalteam . we are dealing with this postwar period and trying to make the economy better. i think and the afghan rebels have increased by 60 percent like the collection, recently , a few days ago the world bank doing business it was published in afghanistan and they have 15 percent going the last year of making the environment, doing business in afghanistan. and then the other regional initiatives that have taken place on the government and repeated governments but mostly under his leadership he pushed past on that, south asia electric basically created this working hard and pushing for that effort on afghanistan and that
pipeline, of course in the city relies on afghanistan so overall i think in a nutshell i personally respect him. i use a lot of his work when i wrote my thesis on nationbuilding and i think he means well and i think he's been working hard to bolster the military. >> one more question but if somebody asked you to brief the president about why we should stay inafghanistan, what would you say? president trump . >> the short answer is its our vital national interest to remain in afghanistan and because leaders like that, they like short concise statements and i would say that the caliban is probably allows the same safe havens inside of afghanistan for terrorist groups to remain. they adjust themselves to
orient themselves back there. there's a pot of ice is there is a serious concern. not just to afghanistan but to the region and by extension to our national interests. and we shouldn't forget that although people say there are only about 120 al qaeda members in the region, we killing a lot of them and they seem to stay a magic number of hundred 20. with the number of about 1800 isis that we keep on telling them the mother of all bombs and operations and a couple hundred at a time but somehow they retain their numbers at about 1800 so the numbers games, the point is the numbers don't matter that much. what matters is that we have
a terrorist pocket still there.the last thing and this is perhaps counterintuitive because it's really easy for all of us to throw the big but if it wasn't for pakistan's activity, everything would be perfect in afghanistan. the fact is that we need to be in afghanistan because things are not that stable in pakistan. it's a different country, it's a very important country quite frankly and they have hundreds of millions of people there. we are seeing the violence associated with asia who was actually relieved by the judicial system of pakistan because of some laughs from the law but there's a friction between extremists in pakistan and you know, what i consider the moderates
state of pakistan and so allowing this afghanistan to dissolve into some kind of a spiral that allows things to deteriorate to where extremist organization such as the man is taking hold is not going to help. it's not going to help the situation in pakistan as weird as that sounds. it's going to create more of an extremism and a drive, so is not an interest of argue, i know i'm not in the minority at times, it's not in the interest of the pakistan people you have an afghanistan ballpark so there's so many dynamics to this and i know i've gone past my little executive summary to the president but you could just sit there item after item. why the fight matters there is stuff like that matters
there, it's not so much the government that in power right now were the one that's going to comein power in may . it's actually the fact that base is a troubled space and we need to be conscious of the fact that it can be destabilized. >> if i were to sit with the president i would tell him mister president, let's not make the same mistake we made in the 1980s.burzynski, back then he was the national advisor and he would say when the soviets union was dismantled in the cold war, he said the roads was remember the liberation of europe. and the fall of an empire. the world will not remember the movie iodine and the
freedom fighters and the us. and he couldn't be more wrong. the us abandoned afghanistan back then and that created that security void to al qaeda coming in and taking over afghanistan and the taliban and we know the rest of the story so my message to the president would be the president must not make that mistake. >> right now in afghanistan, i think we have a reliable partner. a partner who is willing, the afghan people, they do want to the united states to stay in afghanistan and i also say this analogy, we want to be in afghanistan, wants to be the south korea to the united states in terms of its relationship and a north korea like neighbor. so i do hope that message goes by. >>.
>>. >> it seems that everything is going to full extent, but how would you both of you responded to the regarding 30 october with more than 55 percent or less that is under control of the town man and secondly, corruption in all of these internal areas and europe has no primary objective. and that's why probably this is happening back there, >> that's the first part and secondly, since you talk about the sanctuaries in pakistan and pakistan always in this space in the last two years, all these terrorist
attacks which are produced in afghanistan, so both of you should be in afghanistan as well as europe should be a supporter of the border management which pakistan is doing individually by sending millions and millions of dollars the why do we not see support from the us side for this other because it is going to greatly reduce or curtail these cross-border acquisitions and the last one, just the data regarding the caliban. >> i would refer to a statement by linklater where she spells out who created the taliban, who financed them about two or three decades ago and what are your comments on that? >> okay. did you want me to start? i think i understand the first one,sorry if i didn't .
i don't think i've indicated that everything has gone great in afghanistan. i think the contrary, we are in a rather dangerous glide slope towards negative outcomes in afghanistan. the report, i've read most of it and i have to say that it sounds reasonable. it sounds reasonable that the percentages of caliban -controlled territory or contested territory have gone up. i think it's probably a little bit rosy in his approach. i think that we tend to have the plateaus of daikundi in comparison to a more nuanced perspective, from my vantage
point of visiting the country and seeing different portions of it, i think it's much more dangerous than the sig alert reports. so the first answer is that we have to face the challenges and not pretend they are not there. but i think that we hurt our efforts by quite frankly suggesting that we are somehow arresting the caliban movements momentum. i think they're quite strong. in terms of the corruption, my, so i don't on the entire time, i'll mention i'd be more than willing to discuss this with you at length. what happened with corruption is number one, if you don't tackle it it's going to continue and get worse but at the same time, when you put pressure on a system that's already under extreme
pressure and there is no clarity in terms of are we saying or are we leaving, people will go and eat more. they will gorge themselves because they think they have a limited amount of time and therefore becomes an even worse inflation and that's what we areexperiencing in some ways . there's some areas that have been improved in many predatory managers that are happening, i think it's probably not so positive when it comes to trending. afghan border management, actually, i'm a very firm believer in admittedly this is enough talk about afghanistan but we can't go without a mention. >> i'd like to identify afghanistan and deal with afghan problems first. and then we can talk about the external sort of challenges and handle it in
buckets. but the reality is as most of these things happen, it always is mixed together. the border control issue is absolutely imperative. there are legitimate concerns about afghan safe havens on the afghan side impact pakistan. i think those are legitimate concerns and quite frankly i don't think many people would argue that. what most people would argue is the scale of the, that grouping that acts against pakistan versus the scale of what is perceived as groupings that affect afghanistan but you're right, there is a concern that needs to be handled and i'm an advocate of the border control. however, people tend to get into this line issue as a you
i'm sure understand that that sort of a device somehow from the afghan side a claim that they don't adhere to. as an american, if i was going to do it again, i would say that rather than dealing with reconciliation with the caliban we should be talking about reconciliation of issues, the issues as those because those can reduce friction between the two countries instead of amplifying friction in some ways by dealing with the insurgency as a primary issue rather than a state is a consideration that the address. lastly, in terms of who can create a man, i'm not sure that the conversation that we want to have but i would say that what really started the caliban was the failure of a post soviet afghan experience. what the start of the caliban was is the seven mujahedin
groups that could get their act together in a civil war that created. there's also evidence though that pakistan in its national interest and that's something we have to fix and take stock of, they supported the caliban and created you know, this state that my country have to contend with afterwards. it was grew up in the beginning? absolutely. 100 percent, it's irrefutable we should have done something different but the benefit of review, but when it comes to what happened afterwards and the fact that we dealt with 9/11 in no small part because it was a safe even for al qaeda in afghanistan, there's plenty of blame to go around on who created them. i find it offensive and maybe it's just distasteful to hear it but i find it offensive where not arguing about
substantive issues. such as how do we resolve challenges rather than talking about you help us out with direct affiliation with the caliban. that's like asking somebody if you can help me with bandaging my wound but not helping me with my cancer that i'm dying from. so sorry for the long pause. i hope i answered, if not. >> i think the answer is do you want any. >> one more question. >>. >> thank you for sharing your perspective. >> my question is almost eight message at the same time. i think it's a fair statement that the united states or western democracies have a winning support for the ongoing war.
which part of the coalition strategy do you see as working and how can you craft a persuasive message to stay the course? >> great question. >> look, we waited far too long to create what's considered the modern afghan army or afghan police. we were quite bulky in the way that we sort of put together 350,000 security forces that are supposed to protect afghanistan but in fact, the truth is that a lot of people are dying. but only small portions of that is effectively fighting the insurgency. i think that we need to have a reassessment of our long-term strategies.
>> we need to address very specific fixes. we cannot handle 1000 casualties over a couple of months and afghan security forces. how do we fix that? those are specific things we need to address. we have helicopter actions since march in the afghan security forces. that is normal, even in wartime. that shouldn't be the case. how do we fix that? the deployed advisors, there are by the cigar that perhaps they're not receiving adequate training, i'm not sure if that's accurate or not, i don't have the figures but if that's the case , then shame on us because we know that the advisory support mission is the primary mission in afghanistan and if we're not putting the patient intellectual capital and putting the right people there, then that's a mistake.
so to answer your question specifically, we have to have this against us all these things. right now we are sort of still in the, there's no military solution. it's got to be political events. i think general miller has finished up his assessment of the situation as every commander does. and on our, having known general mills for quite a long time, i'm sure he's going to come with a specific answers to fix these problems. he's not a wave brushes kind of person. is very specific so i hope we get that very soon because we're running out of time. >>. >> in terms of the development of the security forces, there's a big transition that's also having on the airport side, the afghan army, the transitioning from the
sectors to an american base. >> blackhawks that are going to be given and there are already pilots in training on that front. that is also very significant but just a quick point on what mark is referencing, caliban has 55 percent of the territory and i personally believe that it's debatable. from the 34 provinces afghanistan has, the central government is controlling basically 34 but if there are some areas that caliban are controlling and some that are definitely of course nation that can be discussed but overall, even in thoseareas , do they really govern? you mentioned border management, but and operating in other sites across the border, i think from my
understanding, the afghan security forces have been cooperative with the government and in arresting some of these talent and leadership's and handing them over. basically on the other side to tackle that and from on the other side from the expectation that offered that caliban is reciprocal, i mentioned in my remarks the pakistani quakers but from the afghan perspective, there shouldn't be good or bad, man. good caliban is basically fighting in afghanistan, bad element who are fighting the pakistani. so like i say, from people to people's relationship, and neighbors and relations, the afghans do want to have a good relationship with pakistan. when the president took office, he broke the call by
going to the army chief's office. trying to ask the pakistani officials and others in helping in bringing the caliban to the table. >> and i think us and hillary clinton and donnie address that. and maybe we can bring that question to secretary clinton. but border management, i think it's the an issue that needs to bediscussed . on both sides. i think you mentioned you can have that conversation later. >>. [inaudible]
>> and 45 percent is contested. >> i really appreciate both comments which were really, we don't hear them here but i might phrase it somewhat differently but i think it's important that we do that as you say, otherwise we set up a cycle. i wonder whether the basic problem is negotiation. we are under the assumption that what it is in the caliban want a better deal. that somehow if we gave them the right combination of concessions that they would say well, okay.
yes, we'll have a political party now. and we will enter the political system. isn't the real problem here that caliban keep telling us, they say we want and emirates . we want the restoration of the emirates. yes, it will be different than what we had before, we will learn lessons but they want some kind of power-sharing arrangement, we could have had that anytime over the last six or seven years . the terms might have been a little different. just to conclude, it's more of a comment than a question, it strikes me that we can get an agreement with the caliban tomorrow. if we're willing to do it on their terms, not ours. why should we be surprised that they won't even sit down to talk about peace, much less include.
>> a couple thoughts, i'm sorry and i kind of brushed your portion out because i tend to over focus on the air force because i'ma former officer just like you . i actually said if we didn't have your opponent at this point, percentages would look a lot different so i think the blackhawks, it's going to take time to get up to speed. the acp oh has become quicker, the c-130s, all that stuff, the age 29, they're going to keep on being key components and we need to strengthen that. we need tosend the right people . i think you raise an incredibly important topic in
terms of reconciliation. one of the reasons why i don't think that it's the right time is number one, like i said, i don't like getting in conversations about resolving this while being shot at. but the reality of it is i'll take it if i think there's something real. i just don't think there's anything real. they consider the government in afghanistan a puppet regime that is not legitimate and they want to completely bring in a regime change. so their main mentality into their changes for this to work maybe a good starting point. i'll go high, you go low, will meet in the middle. this is actually something much more significant.
so i think you're right. i'll say it in closing comments because i assume that's where we are. look, president trump was able to see the two couriers meet at a point at the dmz where everybody said it's impossible that it's going to happen and they did. all that we can say about tweeting and everything else, he's achieved certain things that we didn't believe was going to be. you can be pro-or against but certain things he achieved in terms of the starting points.
i'm not saying we've achieved peace in korea. i'm not saying we achieved the reality or materialized but there's some things that have happened. when it comes to afghanistan, i think he was persuaded to do the right thing and i'm obviously biased but we need to keep on adding the right mechanisms for him to stay engaged or otherwise we're all going to suffer. afghanistan is going to suffer, pakistan will suffer, the afghans are going to suffer because this is not good for anybody if afghanistan goes down. with this i appreciate again new americans take on this, thank you for hosting and it's seriously a pleasure being on stage with you and keep up the good fight. we need people like you involved . >> also a few things marvin regarding your question that i want to highlight to the
audience watching this life. >> .. the countries economically, socially, the advancement in improvement of the countries. we have more women in our parliament than u.s. has in its congress here. there are more women in the cabinet positions then even we have here. civil society, media, the dream of the taliban to have this is going to be remain the dream. one other thing, the telamon or not, i think the question is to ask pakistan, what is it that
pakistan wants. from ask any afghanistan and their assistance to help basically bringing the taliban to a negotiating table. one must point, including afghanistan, generally has moved forward. embracing regional initiatives. they do want afghanistan to be developed and prosperous. they want to be living side-by-side in a peaceful neighborhood. with other neighbors, but i think they want to come back and republish. it's going to be a follower. thank you very much. [applause]
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