tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN November 29, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EST
social scientists be discussing that. >> thank you very much. thank you also for sticking admirably to the time. i have gotten permission from the organizers to let the session go 10 minutes over since we started a little bit late so that there will be time for discussion. i'm just going to make a few very brief comments and then give our speakers a chance to respond to those, and then we'll open it up to the audience. if you could wait for the mic and please identify yourself when you ask a question, we would be very grateful. .
you sthee as a reoccurring feature of the u.s. foreign policy, and if so, what are its origins? and third and finally, did u.s. policy sustain by clear threat identification prevent the very emergence of the threats you say did not warrant a reaction? so korea and communist expansion or post-9/11 war on terror. so those are for you to think about. and then as a historian, i
found your five lessons from the cold war very interesting. in his paper, he talks about how he thinks there are five lessons from the cold war that were mislearned, as he summarized, the first being that this belief that you can rely on technology to solve your problems. he sees this as perhaps being the case in warfare, but definitely not the case with warfare, so that was a mislearned lesson. another mislearned lesson was the instrumentality and desire ability of regime change. a third one was the tendency of americans to see the world in terms of moral absolutes with the united states being an absolute good. this contributes to the fourth issue, which is missing blowback. and fifth and finally, i don't think you talked about this as much, a belief that speedy change to political regime social security both desirable and possible. so i guess the question i have for you is if we follow's john's argument the cold war
was a farce, does that invalidate these lessons? does it validate the lessons learned or mislearned? particular on the at the scream change, i realize it's a draft you mentioned in passing, i was quite interested to know in passing, you mention regime change as a possible outcome. in other words, you talk about it as being quite feasible tv a long-term commitment so. in other words, you talk about regime change as something that is quite possible to achieve, it just wasn't done properly recently. is that your view, and if so, how does one achieve regime change? and then the questions that came from on high via the internet ether is who would apply the same critique of faulty lessons to the bush 41 or clinton administration administrations that you have given here, were? were similar mistakes made or successes realized in afghanistan or iraq? should the mast and south asia played a larger role in u.s.
national strategy after the collapse of the soviet union than was actually the case? and a final question, what factors shape strategy in this period? >> yeah, thank you. >> the question about intentions is important, of course. britain has the capability, the soviet union, the russia has a capability of 40 million, 50 million americans. united states has the came of eliminating costa rica from the map. so the point is that we don't worry about any of those things because there is no intention to do so. it's not that there isn't capability of doing that. huge countries, militarily powerful countries, have lived next door to very small military, uninterested
countries for very long tames and could take them out any time we wanted to. we could attack canada, and they're not even looking in the right direction. but the can dance don't seem to be terribly worried about that. so i think intentions are really what matters, not capabilities. and in the case of the soviet union, it's very clear, they said it repeatedly, i mean, 20 billion times, they were anti-status quo, they didn't to want change the world, and they wanted to use revolution, they want to use class warfare, subversion, they would sometimes use limited military on the edge in the case that was free and got out of hand. by a surrogate. but that's it. they repeatedly said how horrible world war ii was to them, for them had a run. their whole doctrine basically has nothing to do with hitler
oppression. hitler did have a con contest. but the soviets never had that. lenin didn't have that. lenin was also extremely cautious from a tactical standpoint. two steps forward, one step back. and he would attack where they're weak, not really strong. yet he was hugely respectful of the imperialist capacity to lark back. so you don't go right in front of them, it's crazy. and he's not willing to crawl in the mud is not a revolutionary, but simply a chatter box. you have no sense of personal honor, personal dignity, everything is on the revolution, and it's a very opportunistic and limited. and throwing yourself at the americans directly is total craziness, against imperialism directly. and the doctrine goes back to lenin, to the 1930's, later with stalin and so forth.
it would be the base for revolutionary -- revolutions throughout the world, but not a direct attack. they did have the capacity to attack, but that partly is what is mostly the farce, the security dilemma. robert jarvis calls it a tragedy, i prefer to call it a farce. on the request for monsters to destroy, it may be the united states is worse than other countries, but the people who are hysterical about iran certainly include france and so forth, so there may be a tendency trying to get nate. i suppose if you're number one, you have to simply sit down and say, well, since i'm number one, therefore, everything in the world i have to worry about, admittedly i want to worry about humanitarian disasters in eastern coming sexow don't do much about suda, in but i'll find other things to worry about, burma, and so there may be a it happened a to do that. there may also be a foreign policy kind of thing. you say, actually, there aren't any threats, which i think is
true. i don't think al qaeda is a threat. i think it's a problem. but i don't think you can get up in front of, you know, the c.i.a., which comes in every morning and says, you can't come in and say, no, there aren't any problems. well, there's involved. so basically, knowing there's this tendency for people in office to request for something to worry about, and this fit into the bill very nicely. in templets third question about american policy cause it? in the case of korea, it seems to me, you've got bruce here that knows it more than i do, but, you know, american policy part three in the first half, it was 1950's, 1940's, seems to be in retrospect reasonably sensible. they tried to carve it in half and tried to forget about it if possible, and they did lead the charge and possibly they could have defended it big time, but they did leave an opportunity for the soviet union to authorize and never indirectly
give them the sense to move in. conceivably they could have had better policies. but they do it and get into trouble, don't come to me. check with the chinese, maybe they'll help you out. in the case of 9/11, it seems to me that i'm not sure what the policies would have been overall. it was instituted in some respects by osama bin laden's intense hostility. .
there are a few areas where most people who work on the cold war, a real conflict, by the way, would agree. of they will have the outcome of the top. in discussion, the grid opponents from the second world war, germany and japan. drawing a comparison that is often drawn is that these are both countries that are new democracies, fairly sales social structures -- stable social structures. >> coherent with the place.
japan is important to study. i recommend the book "embracing deafeat" as an example for what can be achieved. about changes that came up. what is interesting to me, and it would be interesting to follow up, would be if the critique that comes up almost from day one in the bush 43 administration is to some extent during the bush 41
administration. this is what i was talking about when i talked about the problems that would come out of the late-and 90 +. they wanted to seize opportunities by interpreting history and hands-on manner and acting. there is nothing wrong with that. those things are hon. instincts. the problem is when somebody has to read what kind of circumstances they are that they are working in. what can and cannot be done. there are some issues the bush
43 administration got wrong. there were deficiencies, quite a few. walking away from afghanistan was a big mistake. i can understand where that mistake was made. the talon will not leave the country under any circumstances. it is a much more international islamic organization than the taliban will avert the -- ever be. so many afghans helped,
specifically had a task for hoping and reconstructing the country. there was support provided for some of the most radical islamist groups. walking away from all that was a mistake that they could put forward. suddenly, all the decision making factors. there are a few. i'll voice feel it is -- i always feel it is a somewhat uncomfortable position of adding to drop a critique.
heading of your last remark this is professor bestad on humility i was mulling on the two one of the challenges of arguing an alternative policy review is to to the analysis to defend the alternative policy so. the if you could clarify for me and first example as i understood it was the united states was compromiseed it's a built to condemn sadam heissan in 2002-2003 because it worked with the eye rack government with the reagan administration about 20 years earlier. where does that argument go? if while sadam was relatively new in his job as dictator of
iraq. the reaganed a man stat adminis cooperated with him are you suggesting in some way the u'ited states is somehow stopped from complaining for decades there after despite the intervening history. i worked through whe)e that argument lead use and how you think united states policy should be restrained by the knowlq"ge of what the reagan administration had done. by the way that policy even in the 80's was already changed significantly by 80 whq' i began to see it. the united sáates did not turn a blind eye example. and the second example i thought was interesting is you were (jjtá$u'ited states was inhibited the afghan war in the winter of 2001 and 2002 in iraq
and pakistan remnants in taking stronger action for see support of the remnants in the taliban which is a valid concern because of the old linkages that went back to the 1980's. what is your evidence for that having bqq' an influential constraint during in those particular decisions and morally b, tell me how that would have worked if the united states had pursued military operations in the winter of 2001, 2002. in 2002. india and pakistan are coming to the brink of war because of the attacks parliament in 2001. you have indian forces on the south pakistan border on the same point you add slow kate
united states was an advocate military operations on the northern side and i'm trying figure whether or not we would have looked safer. >> this is a very good question and they do show some of the problems we're taking the base "tjz lack of evidence. and the stress thpá again. growing on the on-going from public sources to some extent from the pakistan rather than from any insight in documentary terms so i will stand corrected the moment the commencery should appear. difficulties the united states got into literally when it decided to act lot are literal
2003. key argument to forward very e tech effectively. one main reason sadam had to be removed. not that he was a troublemaker be but profoundly evil. someone that stood for a terrible way of treating his population including afghans. a whole sect of values that were so in acceptable that one had to act in order to remove him. quotes on the paper and it's that argument that runs into trouble. this region is very aware of the relative closeness for a limite" period and you're right about that. often the united states is a regime in the mid 1980's. if he was such a terrible
dictator that had to be removed i think in part of reasons for his moral bankruptcy and people wonder about this. the arabs are thinking about this. much to the extend to many of the country think. now in pakistan this is much more important. but it's also more - by the way i would very luch like to know why the united states did not pursue the leadership there more effectively of the end of 2001? it rus reasonable and clear. not in átq(r#ic detail i'm sure since i know that area fairly well, you could pinpoint to quite extent where these people were. my argue comment that it has
something to "o with the uncertainty like the pakistan state if the united states treated it like this prior to the generation it would deal with any country that provided sanctuary and support for terrorism. of course, if we substituted the kind of situation that developed. the pakistan military was able to use that to secure itself a new lease on leaf. they became the guarantees of some type of relationship on the united states despite having them operate on the territory. this gave them a kind of support against the attempts at controlling them and replacing them with a civilian ruler and they became the media and the people that could link up to washington in a way no other
politician could. i think it is something that turne" out very badly for pakistan and very badly for the united states in the region and now has helped create more work because these are the same people that were capable then when things turned problematic in afghanistan as i described in my paper, but those are the connections. they may not be the right connections and my be completely out of whack but i think based on what we know today áhey should give up some information. >> i think i agree much more on the last point that filled in with ernie. in 2001 the all right. kay da could be destroyed substantially and other muslim countries
packed down on muslim ties it's was dismembered which is my opinion and already still is. the al queda thing was % basically taken care of and later terrorism example by saudi arabia got them to be serious as well. the other part is tp&iban. they didn't get along that well. omar was almost ready to give bin ladin pack to the saudis it seemed at one point. but the - what happened the taliban fell apart. no one wanted to defend it because it had clamped down significantly for the opium trade and it took several years for it to come back an" i don't see how you can stop that by
except occupying western pakistan. it was somewhat surprising and now of course it's come back for "tp major problem in that area t õseems to me, i don't see any real way to go right to phillip's point that it could have the united states was in a position now occupying afghanistan and trying make that work and dealing with the disaster of western. unruly part of pakistan. >> so i've got 7 questions. 8. so i think what i'm going to do is take them in groups of two or three and ask the speakers to keep answers brief to get to everybody. sir, in the back corner and bill, you'll be next. >> my name is charlie smith. a native of charlottesville for 12 or so 13 year veteran. when the walls came down the title of the event.
they came down because of an event that took place earlier than that when reagan came up with a striking tactic in a speech about mr. gosh vav take down this wall. what is the strategy in our lifetime today on the mass media level is what i would like to say as though the wep(on of many instruction that he seemed to exhibit and we have not had and intiks of that u until o with pt obama came forward. what should our strategy or tactics be in regard to the weapons of mass destruction. >> bill?
>> bill from dart mouth. i'd like to suggest a challenge to john muller's argument. people frame they're intentions with an eye towards they're capabilities so the only record we ha+e of soviet intentions is a record in what they face the capabilitys the raid against then. you describe a world in which exaggerates threats and the level of threat is the level of existing in a world which the united states exaggerates threats. we could not imagine a world in which they didn't in some way to make the argument you would have to argue the united states has been a terrible failure in
international politics. we're constantly getting it wrong aren't we? i'm hard pressed to see a state with a better career than international politics than the united states. that creates question marks over your arguments. >> you want to answer? he wants more questions? we'll take you right here. >> hi. i'm kate singer in the politics department here is a a graduate student. i'm wondering, you talk about that technology is not the tool that many american policy americans think it is to accomplishing a host of goals, but mr. wolf wits and others have suggested the strategic defense initiative was key in
convincing america's adversary the cost of continued confrontation were too high. i'm curious if you could suggest that specifically. how important you think america's demonstrated or (otential technology was in bringing the cold war to attend. question.e talk about bill's it is, i mean there obviously was a nato designed to deter the soviet union but my point is there's nothing to deter. they're whole idea of advances it had nothing to do with military aggression. any more than the united states. basically the idea was for the soviet union to work with subversion or class warfare or things like that. consequently there was no threat for them coming to whole the
gap. if the united states was not there they still wouldn't see that as a way of advancing rev lol revolution. reorganizing itself to come back. it was just not in their mind-set. it was just not there. i don't know what country, costa rica has probably done okay i haven't check with the foreign policy later. maybe western europe has done well with not exaggerating trips. the united states is unique in that but it does seem over blown. and the book called atomic obsession published next week argues that the united states has any threat that's been sig'ificant has been
exaggerated. the threat, i agree witherfu er thpá it was to de troy capitalism and economyism but there has been a tendency to exaggerate the thrqpás and we've gotten things like war in iran and current war in iraq and worse case scenario fantasy that sadam or iranians now could dominate the middle east without examining that prop schism through the threat of al qaeda that's led to massive expenditurqj and two wars in many respects. so i'm not sure. i would have to do a comparative thing and i think generally western europe looks good overall. they've obviously not been free of this as well. >> can ideal with focus on this. your comment to my comment. well john, what could you -
could the united states do different with regard to pakistan in 2002. same way as it would treat it's own countries that harbored and supported terrorists. by condemning the behavior of the military leadership. by calling for the - well i return to the constitution. a lot of things that could be done. i have a suspicion. a strong suspicion. should it be forced in a difficult position. lot of pakistan citizens blame him with regard to this. blaming. what you have to remember here is a a whole except in this tribal areas they're a pretty society.lot but they come out of
created most by a bunch of shiite. something not known here. something that's not known here. the clap is here and if you call it you make a statement about who you are. so, you know, these things matter within pakistan in a way that should have been used for u.s. policy makers at the time and what i'm doing in my paper is asking questions of what or why that was not done. one possible explanation among many has to do with the existence of a wide variety of links that go back to successful event that they took out against pakistan. i think that is reasonably clear. i'm not suggesting that's only
explanation but it's probably that we had pity for consequences through pakistan. which is probably the most country in the region at the but i think it did contribute but it would be interesting to see what actually dr" contribute at the time and how he saw it within if we have time for that. technology, um... i agree with what the method of the fbi. i think in the kind of symmetrical conflict that exists in terms of the balance of power. and soviet union. clearly american technology advance played a seriouj role. not saying that's what called them to the table in the end.
we all be getting access for the period do imply that this was a powerfu& argument and he could use in order to do what we would do any way to open up further contacts with the world. he could turn this against his own military and say, like he said with regard to afghanistan. you know, if you had allowed them to stay strong to stand tall. if you had the same level to push back i would not be in the position i am in today. that's an argument he could use in both direction as it were in terms of what he wanted to achieve. it was important. it was a decisive problem. >> so we're going to take three more questions to you and professor cummins and the ambassador would like to make a comment if you could identify yourself. >> i'm a poliáics graduate
student. think is a question for the professor. to what extending can the national values framework help us understand u.s. strategy in that he talked about implore the inner polar moment. >> i'm bruce cummins and i wanted to ask john about how to explain the consequences of threat exaggeration? in other words, there are irrational consequences, example some guy tries to light his shoe on fire and millions of americans have to take their shoes off ever since and in japan you don't have to. there it seems the explanation is people just have bureaucrats
have to protect themselves against worse case scenario in the case of korea two logics were operating there. n fd 68 was waiting to triple defense spend and the north can replayed into his hands and he figureed the communists would do something sooner or later and that sends in containment on a global scale rather than the limited containment and in explaining that, you have to again, i wouldn't come up withness a beauracratic politic as analysis but the pentagon loves new emission and it has emission of defending really without ever winning that ball !attle. just a static battle. osama bin laden said all i have
to do is send three people to a distant country and they wave the flag and pentagon will come running and that seems to be an interesting explanation or i'd like to hear your explanation of that. when you say the cold war was a farce. the cue bin missile crisis takes it to the level of strategy. we know you have a situation where the machinery set in motion by containment and by the cold war a clashes over something that was really very minor. namely the island of regime in cuba we've never like and never been able to do anything really. and we almost had world war three. ignorant army's clashing in the night. a farce becoming a tragedy.
i'm wondering what you think of that. when you look at roads bjjz on theh bomb he said we could have nuclear winter of either of those men getting they're way. >> first a clarification. i didn't try to explain the demise of the soviet union. it's too difficult to do. i was quoting one russian and i said just because he is a cou)ageous russian doesn't mean he's right and i actually think when you try to explain this phenomenon you need multiple factor as the work and then you get into the question that's more important. great interest published about 10-yearsing a, think it's called the strange collapse of the soviet qs(ire leads you to
think, my friend john says this and my friend richard disfreeze and i agree with my friends. you read those and everyone is plausible. i'm not talking about a single dimq'sion explanation. i think there's truth but not the whole story. i wanted to get on this question of uses of history and you quote me in your article. i think the context is missing. >> no, i know but, and a friend of mine who was innocently jucked up in the eye ran contra mess said his lesson from his experience in government is don't take notes and i think my lesson is don't give interviews. but i think what i was saying there, it's the fact thought @% that it's important to know history and it's also important to get past history.
i'm going to try to create dissension between our two speakers here. what i was specifically talking about was the tendency to say, by the way i wasn't say our historical reputation doesn't effect us. it does. but our condoning chemical use by the iraqis was an unnecessary and terrible mistakes. much more recently there was an argument that sounds plausible because of what happened iraq no one wants to hear about democracy anymore. we'll go read not the speech but the transcript of obama's speech in cairo. he said i'll discuss 7 issues and fourth is democracy and in his next sentence he says i realize it's controversial but
before he could get the second sentence out the mere fact that he was going to talk about democracy had his audience erupt in applause. despite everything and i won't debate what we should have done but i think there's a huge hunger for democracy an" yes, people not only because of iraq but obviously because the israel issue they view the united states with skep tiz m but not the united states and they'd like us to be less hypocritical. idea verge. our historical history matters and i don't think when i say we should think about the future think that w-q super men. i think it's very specific and you touched on and i think the two of you disagree. you with this were trying
explain what promised to be history. i read it with an unpre see dented situation but i remember sitting in south korea when ronald reagan visited and hearing they should not push this too hard on the human rights issue because south korea never had a democracy and four years later they did. i heard people say independence do sneeze you is too poor to have one and now it's had one 10-years. maybe over simplifying but i'm inclined to professor mullins view. it's not that hard. i think you over simplify it especially with liberal democracy rather than just elections and i'm open to the arguments that some countries can't handle it and the scars in
romania or iraq have huge things to overcome but the evidence when it comes to this question. i guess i'm a je fair sonian. yo >> why don't we take your question. that'll be the last one and you'll have five minutes to t(s&op through the questions right there if you could >> i'm bradley from the university of virginia. i was struck by the comments about regime change can be achieved. i'm thinking about that in the context of eastern europe dr" we achieved from the outsides. this is the reversal from the period in 1947 or the successful
result of external efforts at regime change in the late 1980's. i wonder not to put the whole burden of the over yet union. if we look at the american, cia's help inputting the shaw in the power in iran. that's a successful regime change but you have a reverse of that creating problems with anty american regime in iran 30-years after the original regime change success is one of the things that the c cia was prouded of. even beyond that do we want refilm change or should regime reform. we want specific results. there's certain things we want like áhe elimination of poverty or effective governments or do we necessarily need the
elections that are so easy? or competitive political structure? what will we demand from china as it's been as a successful country over the last 30-years. >> now you have the last word. >> okay. briefly, bruce cummins question about what have been the consequences of exaggeration. i can some. consequences of exaggerated was a massive military expenditure. rods said the psáu of money the united states has spend on purchase every thing in the united states except the land. only 5.25% percent of everything. and expanding things. there's a huge amount of conventional military build up which is the deal with military
aggressive threat that simply the nonproliferation thing. what's happened is the hostility has produced in aware that's killed more people than other tragedys in our history and various massive expenditure of mass hysteria. in terms of cuban missile crisis. there were hot heads loo like castro. maybe him too. he is a sneaky guy. had to learn to play baseball some place. from the beginning. both him and kennedy were trying get out of the mess and they obviously prevailed. they were trying get the best possible deal but i don't think
it was anywhere near war and that's what jorge mack bun disays one other point on containment in the paper. i didn't have a chance to mention and containment is also something of a farce in the sense that it was by it's own premises wrong. containment. is rotten to the core more or less correct and contained it but what's really rotten is you want to let it expand or it'll be even worse off. one of the quotations is nothing is more difficult than to keep in obedience distant provinces and that's essentially what happened the cold war. according to they're kind of plan the soviet union expand i'd gathering into it's camp creating the north vietnam now allows cambodia and ethiopia and
south yeah men and afghanistan and all these countries, almost all, fell into economic disarray and economic and military collapse in many respects with civil wars exacerbated by ronald reagan. particularly in afghanistan and result was a massive increase in the difficulty of the soviet union in trying defend it's overseas dependencies. basically it would have been better off contained and some of that lesson came through when the soviet union's new thinking came through in the 80's and whole idea of what was called our ideological bondage they decided maybe that's not a good idea and once that was cut off the cold war came to an end and the wilful statement about democracy. i strongly, i wrote a book
called democracy and basically argued it's been on a tear for 200 years and had setbacks and because it's simple to do. putting on a new suit of clothes. countries have been doing it repeatedly since 1965 in huntington's third way. where i disagree the idea leads policy outcomes you might like. we've had what i think is rampageing in the west panic in gaza. but it hasn't led to love of israel or united states. basically it's a way of aggregating preferences and people come out with what they want. they want homosexuals to be put in jail or to marry. or they wantly square banned order ris to go up or not. or they want woman to vote or not vote. basically it's a process that i
think is superior to the alternatives which is not saying much. but basically it's a way of aggravateding preferences and you get the democracy process. the mere fact of being democratic doesn't mean you come out with policy outcomes that are one use might prefer. they're basically what comes out of the process and it reflects the values and concerns and anguishes and emotions of people inside. >> on the spread of democracy first. i said in my talk i think this is one of the major changes that have taken place on a global scale since the cold war ended. it is, i' most cases, not in all. that calls for the people that benefitted from it. i think when the united states changed much of it's foreign policy outlook in part in
response to what john just talked about. soviet defenses. during the cold war to emphasize human rights to a higher extend that had been indicated before it often came down to the winning side of history. philippines is a great example. after the cold war end sad great example. whether or not the united states was able to use it's influence in order to promote it. the point here is this. this proceááh(psq from within and they had time to mature. they were not imported from the outside. united states came out of the history in these cases because they interpreted correctly about what be the greatest thing. they're the strength and movement that promoted a higher degree than before.
regime change can happen and can be as for the moment indicated it can be useful a broad which was the case from the cold war. "tr'credibly good fortune of gog out and drinki'g beer in the evening with one of migrate heros in the 190's. and then was one who facilitated the roundtable talks between the government and opposition. he did so because he kepá under lining what lynn,ed the people together. how it could be possible for a generation or something trying link up to vp&ues and ideas that folks had in common. which is pretty good. from people who have suffered from lack of democracy and lack of this but it's the values that
the people present on both sides. not something seen ascent. imposed by occupation or a military action and it's a lot in regard to these issues and i mean is a very good question in regard to that. what it is that leads you we can talk to greater lengths than i can about this. countries are not free to choose what the basic valuqj and ideas they stand for are. that's true for the states. i wrote a book on that. there's driving forces that the foreign american policies are deeply engaged in the american people coming out in the unique experience of history in áhis country. i'm fairly certain that when
handled in away that emphasizes limitation and strict division about what can be done and what cannot and approached with certain degree with the military approach these ideas will serve them well. one has to recognize them for what they are they are ideas that most americans share. but not necessarily shared by the world. i'm sure there'j points of contacts that all countries and civilizations and even interests in a narrow but one cannot assume they are universally valid. the main point that this moment policy is to draw the level from the previous administration with regard to that. >> thank you all for your attention and join me in thanking our speakers.
[applause] >> you're watching c-span. created for you as a public service by america's cable companies. up next is "waárr'gton journal" and news makers with energy maker stephen new and after that the rollt internet plays in kem and politics. starting next on c-span "washington journal". guests are editor james joiner of outside the beltway blog and they talk about healthcare and u.s. economy and