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tv   WSJ at Large With Gerry Baker  FOX Business  September 12, 2021 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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news channel for "sunday morning features". if exclusive interviews with mike waltz and michael mccaul, lieutenant colonel all of our north and george acetic candidate herschel walker, jointly fox news 10:00 a.m. on sunday. plus on fox business 6 - 9:00 a.m. eastern for "mornings with maria" on fox business we hope you start your day every day weekdays with us. that will do it for us. have a wonderful rest of your weekend. ♪. gerry: this week on the wall street journal at large 20 years on we remember the day the unimaginable horrors struck america and we ask after two decades of the war on terror and the humiliating ending in afghanistan, was at work worth it all talk to a man that the key architects of the 9/11 attacks. later on in the show will
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reflect on the anniversary the chaotic into the longest war and ask where do we go next in america struggle for security predominant expert panel with chris in lauren. but first hello and welcome on this although we can of remembrance. 20 years ago where the 3000 people were murdered by islamist terrorist who flew planes into the new york world trade center, the pentagon and thanks to heroic efforts by passengers a remote filled in pennsylvania. the world changed that day as it came to terms with the nations grief and the enormity of the crime president george w. bush of administration launched what they called a war on terror within months the taliban the rulers of afghanistan who had harbored the 9/11 terrorist and al-qaeda were ousted after a swift and efficient military campaign. another faithful choice to widen the war, the first thing was to
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spend u.s. blood and treasure to stabilize afghanistan to build the country to remove the long-term threat of a resurgence of terrorism. >> we know the troop piece will only be achieved when we give afghan people the memes to achieve their own aspirations. peace will be achieved by helping afghanistan develop its own stable government. gerry: a 2003 claiming to dan hussein with mass destruction that can be used by terror groups president bush brought the u.s. and its allies into up conflict in iraq. the defenders on the war on terror say not only avenge the 9/11 attacks with the killing of osama bin laden in 2011 but it made it safer and has not been another attack on that scale despite fears of the time that more assaults were inevitable. defenders of the war say while the attempt to bring stable democracies afghanistan may have ultimately failed in iraq
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remains a work in progress the u.s. has brought 20 years of relative security. but was this long and debilitating war worth it? the only initial route of the taliban of bin laden was a larger effort to build stability in the region of success. it is true there have been no more nine elevenths but there have been plenty of other big terror attacks in madrid, london, paris and on a smaller scale in the united states. what's more the price of the war on terror has been massive the loss of american life larger than the numbers who died on 9/11 more than 7000 servicemen and women have given their lives in many contractors and other related personnel that together is 59 elevenths and nines lost. nearly a trillion dollars has been spent in radical islam has not been vanquished last month the taliban stormed back to power among the chaotic and humiliating retreat and u.s. history one that may have left many americans and allies still exposed to the taliban's
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brutality. perhaps the biggest question of all did our focus on the war and terror blindness to other strategic challenges more future historians judged from the threat from radical islam was a greater threat to the u.s. from the rise of china and the reemergence of the hostile russia. one of the most influential names behind were in terror deputy defense in the administration in early leading advocate of suit on hussein. they could for joining me. >> nice to be with you. i realize in hindsight it's absolutely perfect and no one would ever claim that they got anything right. but as you go back on the last 20 years and you look at the world to date in the state of afghanistan and the state of the middle east and america's broader position in the world do you think basically we make the right decisions it did the right
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thing in particular those decisions in 2001, 2002, 2003 to not just topple the taliban but to try to stabilize those countries, do you think that was really the right decision? >> is a complicated question with a long answer but let me start by saying you don't land in airplane looking in the rearview mirror and you don't make policy by looking backwards. what people fail to understand how much is known when you're confronted especially with a massive surprise like pearl harbor and 9/11. much of what we ended up doing turned out much better than anyone could've expected no one had a plan for going 7000 miles around the world and toppling the taliban with six weeks, that was not conceived before 9/11 and when president bush made the decision to do that it was not based on a careful presentation of an analysis of costs and benefits in the future because they were unpredictable and even the planet had to been changed dramatically.
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when people say if you know that much you know today it's like saying if you knew last year your house is not going to bring down would you have bought fire insurance. i think something that is very important for people to understand when you understand and everyday life you can't predict what's going to be tomorrow or next week and people in positions of authority making very critical decisions to protect us from terrorism or even less decisive of what's going to happen in the future. in the case of afghanistan if i come back to your question. gerry: just quickly they could have another question before break. >> i think the taliban was toppled they have led us to overreach and i certainly believe said the 100,000 troops in the obama surge was in overreach and accomplish one thing which was to building an afghan army and the size that it should've been but i think i got
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is committed to something that was not achievable in anything at all. >> it might've been achievable in iraq but not afghanistan. gerry: you say look in the rearview mere in all decisions, there were people in the time in 2002 and let's not get embroiled in a long occupation in the long war and struggle in afghanistan and i can name examples of britain, britain in the 19th century, the soviet union in the 1980s and they said that we shouldn't do it but the administration said no and we hear by the introduction, the need to rebuild afghanistan, looking back at that not distant hindsight but those arguments do you think that was a success? >> i'm not here to defend that as a success thus not what i thought we should do in the first place but i would remind you 197320 years after in korea,
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south korea look like a hopeless basket case in many ways and today we look at south korea of a miracle of economic development in many ways also democratic development. 20 years made be a little bit early but afghanistan will look a lot better today if we had abandoned it last month. gerry: we have to take a quick break and i want to come back to the circumstances that we left afghanistan. but take a quick break of the 20th it every three of the 9/11 attacks. we'll be right back after the we'll be right back after the break.
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♪ ♪. gerry: i'm back he started to talk about the messy and chaotic
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withdrawal from afghanistan that we saw last month, the biden administration would say like the trump administration it's time to get out in the very quick fall of the taliban shows how little progress we've made in stabilizing the country, what is your response to that. >> we have 20 years of the united states comparable to 9/11 and we should've thought about how they maintain that manageable cost and the cost being there in lives and dollars had come way down in the 20 years and taken average of the 20 years and multiplied by 20 and say that's what it cost, that's not what it cost at the end. it is odd that we have three presidents in a row who failed to explain that we were in afghanistan not to stabilize the country or to rebuild it or send little girls to school, as nice as that is i'm all for it but we were there to protect the united states of america it's to prevent a repeat of 9/11.
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instead of the endless talk of endless wars. if you want a short war i can give egypt and or germany the ended lesson for the years with 400,000 american dead in the first use of american enter nuclear weapons. i would rather stuck out in korea 70 years if i did that in my head correctly. gerry: quickly we only have time for one question. i want to ask you this iraq you were strong advocate of tackling saddam hussein and that was achieved. when you look at what was done and what happened, that chaos. >> can i interrupt you. i was not an advocate of saddam hussein i was an advocate of getting saddam hussein out of the business of terrorism and weapons of mass to destruction and we might've done that earlier soon and without going to baghdad. gerry: i think you supported in the pentagon at the time and supported the war that did
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result -- >> it was the president's decision and i supported it. gerry: you said you would advocate of getting saddam hussein out of the weapons of mass destruction but it seemed the only way to do that at the time was to remove him from power and that involved innovation and a full-scale war. are you confident looking back at that and the wider ramifications of what happened to the u.s. misrepresentation are you confident that was the right decision made in 2003? >> i'm going to say two things i'll try to say them briefly it's a complicated subject. i think most people involved to supported the decision including myself would say it would look a lot different today to just pick one important one we had a third strategy from the beginning instead of taking six years to get to it it looked much more like success at the end of bush's term in august but then it was too late.
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this is a more personal observation, i think what we might've done at the beginning, not to go to baghdad the issue and ultimate native saddam hussein and similar to the taliban saying among other things. you have to let the un inspector and immediately, not next year but immediately you have to hand over every single terrorist are harboring including the fugitive from the 1993 world trade center bombing and you have to get out of the terrorism entirely. it's actually a long list of things he was doing to support terrorism including in st. louis the subject of a pretty shocking book, you can look it up. i think if we get into the ultimatum and he refused to accept it we should not of gone to baghdad and we should've taken over the oilfield and the leverage which is pretty substantial. gerry: as you say in hindsight it is perfect i realize these decisions are made in less than
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ideal circumstances, i do understand is much easier to look back and make these judgments. former secretary of defense, thank you for joining us. coming up how is the war on terror changed the market stated in the world and what can we do to meet the current national security challenges. that is (vo) this is a place for ambition. a forge of progress. a unicorn in training. a corner to build a legacy. a vision for tomorrow. a fresh start. a blank canvas. a second act. a renewed company culture. a temple for ideas. and a place to make your mark. loopnet. the most popular place to find a space. that's a nice truck.
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gerry: let's get another perspective from two commentators on the war on terror over the last 20 years. lawrence wright is the author of al-qaeda and the road to 9/11 and the poet surprise in winning tv series, he has written countless other brooks and most recently a novel about a global
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pandemic. clifford may is the founder and president of the foundation for the defense of democracy found shortly after the 9/11 attacks to promote research that eliminates threats to national secure to pray thank you for joining me. lawrence let me start with you and your outstanding book, how secure do you think that we are now compared to how we were on the 9/11 20 years ago. >> our intelligence community focused on the subject of terrorism is in a much better condition that it was. it was very conflicted fighting against itself before 9/11 and our relationships with our allies in terms of intelligence is better and where terrorism is concerned. on the other hand they completely missed the pandemic there is a sense that this intelligence community, we cannot count on it for everything. as for al-qaeda on 9/11 it was
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maybe three or 400 guys, now it's affiliates from morocco to bangladesh, maybe 30 or 40000 people, it is certainly polar for rated and technology like drones and someone that empowers such groups. i think were in a volatile and dangerous. in our history. gerry: we have been fighting this war for 20 years, 7000 american servicemen's lives in many contractors and many other allies, hundreds of thousands of civilians in a iraq, afghanistan and elsewhere it's true there has not been another 9/11 and by that measure is a success the success is bought at a high price, isn't it? >> yes and no as paul pointed out world war ii was a much shorter war but much more damaging the korean war, this is
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essentially a long-term low intensity conflicts one in which our enemies have great patients, one of the terrible things i think about having abandoned afghanistan is how they shake mohammed was a gitmo and the architect of 9/11 attacks he's not yet been on trial but he's been held he said early on in gitmo that we will win the struggle meeting in afghanistan the larger struggle and he said we will win for a very simple reason we just need to wait and americans will acquit and we will defeat herself, that is exactly what is happened the way our enemies see this and they don't seem to understand, this is a very, very long war they have a long historical memory and they remember when islamic armories conquered spain starting in 711 and they were thrown out of spain in 1492 and they remember the conquest, the
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christian western capital in 1453. 1683 when islamic armies stop from conquering europe. they get all of this. i don't know president biden does or president trump understood. gerry: we have to take a quick break, a few reminders this is not a 20 year war but a 1300 year war but will talk more about the chaos from afghanistan and how that left us, stay with us. ♪ (naj) at fisher investments, our clients know we have their backs. (other money manager) how do your clients know that? (naj) because as a fiduciary, it's our responsibility to always put clients first. (other money manager) so you do it because you have to?
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gerry: i am back with lawrence wright and clifford may what about staying longer in afghanistan that looks as americans patients without war had run out of republican president last year initiated the withdrawn the democratic president this year executed the withdrawal so we can argue whether it was right, the biden administration would say it was messy but indian words and when drawing that way was inevitable. do you think that is right or do you think this could've been better handled than last month. >> it could've been better handled and it's not going to be perfect, even the taliban were surprised when they walked into kabul so quickly so nobody knew what was going to happen.
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it could've been better handled if we would've gone down 2002. that would've been a proper time to leave the country and leave the afghans with the international organizations to rebuild the country. it could've been much better handled had we not gone into iraq and allowed al-qaeda to relive itself. and forget to take a lesson from the last 20 years and stop making mistakes, staying in afghanistan was a mistake, leaving as awkwardly as we did was a mistake, invading iraq was a mistake. if we can stop making mistakes, we would be able to reorient our country and get back to the country that we used to be. >> divided the administration as described in the taliban is cooperative and businesslike as we still to get americans out of the country but i think a more sober assessment with the chaos
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departure represents a real continuing and large security threat to the u.s. how do you assess how vulnerable as what's happening. >> more than we were the day before 9/11 no one at this point, i think that is absolutely clear the taliban we understand the ideology with al-qaeda and what their views and goals are they know we won't come back so we can do anything that they want. in the indo pacific is a strategic reason and there are a dozen of terrorist organizations, jihadist organizations, china and blogger of airbase was a tremendously good asset and we have the ability to do intelligence from their and drones from their things that we cannot treat this point. it seems more vulnerable than we've ever been and we don't understand our enemies and their
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goals and we don't understand the strategy and we don't have any strategy of her own right now that is worth discussing. gerry: thank you for those sobering assessments. that is it for us, i'll be back next week with more commentary and interviews on the wall street journal at large, thank you for joiningwa >> from the box did use in new york city this is "maria bartiromo wall street". maria: welcome to the program on this weekend of marimba rents i am maria bartiromo a nation mourns it is been 20 years since the deadliest attack on u.s. soil. nearly 3000 people were killed when hijacked planes hit the twin towers, the pentagon and another one crashing in pennsylvania field. i was reporting from the floor


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