tv Charlie Rose PBS September 8, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight a conversation about global foreign policy. we begin with john micklethwait of bloomberg who just recently interviewed vladimir putin. >> my point to putin is really, you have a choice am you have a man who who writesnd loves poems and this woman you think was trying to get rid of you. and you really tried to tell us you don't want one of them to win am and his answer again, i think there is at least in his attempt not to answer that question, there is a small amount of genuineness. i think yes, he stirring up trump is good news for putin. it seems to work very well. >> rose: we conclude with fareed zakaria from the cnn and "the washington post" who recently interviewed president o bma. >> i think there is no question that obama has a long view and a strategic view. whether he has implemented well is the question. he came into office convinced
that the united states was overinvested in the middle east, in the kind of crisis of the moment. and particularly militarily overinvested. and obama fundamental strategic view was that the united states future lies as a pacific power. you have have four of the five largest economies in the world in ten years will be in the pacific. and if you are not there, if you are not shaping that arena, you are not going to be the great power of 291st century. >> rose: jp an, china, india. >> and the u.s. >> rose: micklethwait and zakaria, next. funding for charlie rose is >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications
from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: john micklethwait is here, editor in chief of bloomberg. he sat down for a two hour interview with president vladimir putin last week ahead of the eastern economic forum in the russian port city. parts of the interview are featured in the upcoming issue of bloomberg businessweek. i'm pleased to have john micklethwait back at this table. welcome. >> thank you. i think as i told you before i was being a poor man's charlie rose as a part time career but i spent the whole time watching your interviews with putin so i am following in your footsteps. >> rose: what kind of set up. >> i think the same setup where you explained yours. he was keen to talk because of this conference. and the basic deal was he wanted to discuss the conference and after that we could talk about anything, which is the same as you had. >> rose: sure. >> and i suspect we probably hit same reaction.
you see him, he is much more confident i think now with media than he was certainly when he began, when he tended to be much more protective. he's definitely, that said, he tends to try and evade questions in a way which is, you know, sometimes seems feush but tallly probably isn't that unusual. >> rose: earlier in your capacity as the editor in chief of the. >> the economist and mr. putin weren't always great friends. but we met. and we met privately where we sometimes-- he would look to me as if i was an im-6 agent. even now, but i think that the debate-- . >> rose: one agent to another. >> one agent to another. i think that was the way that he put it to me. but the way that in which he, i think the way in which he acts in front of the cameras, he is a much more kind of cautious figure. gradually he builds up to things. i think privately he is more
inclined to push things. and i think he has the same reaction as you, you have this effect, the surrounding of a great many people who are deeply frightened by the fact that he might be half an hour late rather than 45 minute, all those sorts of things. and you get a bigger sense of an entourage than most other world leader z. >> rose: but you talked for two hours. >> two hours, or close to, that marginally longer than you. rose: he is much underlity discussion during this presidential election. did he speak to that? >> yes, he did. i asked him sort of straight forward questions. did he want trump or clinton to win. and he deferred and said no, it's up to the american people. then i produced a variety of quotes in that donald trump said about him which i pointed out verge on the homo, erotic. i used that wordz. i did use that word. i used it without-- . >> rose: good for you.
>> without reservation because as a trustee of the british museum, apart from anything else, i'm an owner of more homo-erotic art than anyone else in the world, with the greek scrupt tures. i don't have any problem with that. you read what donald trump has said, how he is strong and manly and his muscles are like finely toned oranges or whatever. but that is what donald trump has said about putin which tends to be very friendly. putin on the other hand has accused hill roe clinton of actually-- actually trying to destage lyze him in 2011, trying to encourage the protestors. my point to putin is you have a choice. you have a man who who writes, he loves poem and this woman who you think is trying to get rid of you. are you really trying to tell us of us you don't want one to winness again, i think there is at least in his attempt not to answer that question, there is a small amount of genuineness. i think yes, he obviously-- stirring up trump is
good news for putin. it seems to work very well. on the other hand, i think even putin is slightly worried by the volatility that comes with donald trump. if you were putin, i suspect your ideal thing would be severely weakened hill roe clinton, sort of like-- . >> rose: a sense of anger in what he thought she tried to do and dislike for her, because of that, what's interesting, he is accusing the u.s. of medelling in the rush arne politics which is exactly what americans are saying about him today. >> yes. but i think it's worse. i think one extra to that, if you were vladimir putin and you think hillary clinton was trying to get rid of you. in russia when you are got rid of, that not the same as retiring to texas and hague a nice presidential luv. >> rose: or arkansas. >> it is a more-- it's a more-- it is not the same thing, from his point of view, you have to understand, there is a nonequivalence. he thinks though she was trying
to push him out when the riots were there, by contrast, if she loses an election, she is not going to face the same kind of fate he might have had. >> rose: doesn't he know that american politics-- american foreign politics run from the white house and not the state department? >> yes, he does. and i think that is-- it's a very odd relationship. you had the same thing, putin in america, it's love, envy, a lot of-- he still yearns for the years when the soviet union and america were the two people, when they met-- . >> rose: two global superpowers. >> that was the big conversation, the thing that really mattered in the world. i think part of him, even though he tries to some extent to say no, i have nothing to do with this, he likes the attention. because suddenly russia is back as a factor in an american election. probably the first time in a very long time. >> rose: and a factor in foreign policy, a factor in syria. and a factor in other places. >> you covered this very well. his stralt gee has been to sit
there and generally try to magnify russian power but st an opportunistic one, he sits there and waits. when he senses that especially barack obama has not always been a successful foil towards this, whenever he is seen to withdraw, putin will jump in with a classic example being syria. whenever he thinks he can get away with doing something like the ukraine and grabbing crimea, he will try and do it. it doesn't necessarily mean he is always plotting this long-term. he tends to, my view is he tends to be someone with long-term interests but is very short-term in terms of opportunistics, opportunism there is always a great deal of grieveance. >> rose: there sure is. >> the spouse who has been wronged. he thinks this thises with-- they were the superpowers and now he is not wanted any longer. and why don't they give him more respect. >> rose: he harbors great resentment in terms of what happened after the fall. >> huge resentment in terms of, he has talked about it being a tragedy. is he stuck on that one.
he talks about it being a tragedy. on the other hand he says he doesn't want to go back to the sold soviet union which is like someone saying the tragedy that the divorce happened. on the other hand, i don't want to be back with that person. they are stuck in this time warp. that there is also, i think, this question of rcht. i think various people, hen rekissinger has pointed out that the sochi olympics, putin put a vast amount of time and money and effort into building that. and yet what happened was nobody, very few international statesmen of any sort came. and that was immediately in front of ukraine. so this idea that you can ignore that sense of entitlement, which maybe unfair, and they are all people like me, have been vibrant critics of many things that putin has done, and said that russia is trying-- russia doesn't have the economy any longer to be the superpower that it dnts to bement but all the same, if you don't occasionally give the respect he thinks he deserves, there are bad consequences to that.
>> rose: you want to give him the respect so he can solve problems, that is why you want to do it. >> and he wants, to come through, a part of it, he has this love hate relationship with the west. he can't resist in some ways pointing out some of the problems in europe, pointing out the problems in erck ma. he finds the american election is proving a lot of the things he said about the west. >> rose: the democracy not such a great system. >> democracy when it elects him is goodment but otherwise strangely is not. >> rose: he's such a fervent believer in a strong state. >> yes. >> rose: did you speak to him about the authoritarianism and the corruption and the. >> we talked about cronneism. >> rose: violence against journalists and political opponents. >> i mentioned that, it is a reasonable criticism. i should have pushed him harder on that, with you by that stage we were towards the two hour period. the bit we did look at, cuz i was interested in it, was cronyism. you have putin, one of the most author tairian people, and one of the moss aggressive people in
terms of foreign policy, in terms of politics at home. he can be very decisive, very quick. you then look at the way he has run the economy. and the economy he has been much more tim i had. he hasn't changed russia in the same way as he xi jinping and the chinese economy or the vietnamese people are trying to change. >> rose: and in that case very successfully. >> much more due to the cronneism. i use gas prom, a company that used to be in the top ten in the world. it is now 200th, 196th, i think. you look at its market capitalization. it has lost four fifths of its value. and yet he has not only kept the same man, lexi miller running it, he is also on top of that has given him a new five year contract. >> rose: but at the same time he fired some of his cronnees most recently his chief of e oligarchs he has kept thele, same people in. if you had a general who lost four fifths of his army you wouldn't keep him in power. but with the business and
economy he's much more tim i had and much more relaxed. you are right about the people around him. he has been turning them, those over. and there is a rise of a slightly younger guard, a rise actually of people who in some cases were his personal body guards before and they have begun to get jobs like running provinces and those sort of things. >> rose: are they former kgb? >> i think there is less-- some of them, yes. but less, less in the sense, these tend to be people whose only, who have only know the power of putin, these weren't people who went, they've been this generation of kgb people, there was the original lot who very much supported gorbachev who saw themselves as sort of glamorous foreign agents and actually tended to look down, frankly on putin. they saw him as a nasty secret policemen from dress den, not someone without a glamorous foreign figure. and then there were the people, one of whom was putin came from st. peters beggar. but now there is a generation of people in their 30st who have pretty much only putin as a
power. he is the source of everything, they can't compare him to yell sin, gorbachev or the old world. so these are the people he is trying to keep on to. >> rose: what kind of relationship does he have with obama. >> i didn't ask him about that directly but everything, you asked him more about that. but i think in general, you just look at the pictures of them over the book end. they're not friendly. you and i have smiled about 29 times more in this one interyou have than they have. they have no form of-- it brings us, i think, to some extent the worst in both of them. on the one hand, o vladimir putin, it's everything to do with what he gets angry and cross about america about. and he doesn't understand this sort of moral human sphks-- humanistic side of what barack obama is trying to do. on the other side you could argue with obama, he gets fed up with putin very quickly. and the same sort of criticisms you label people put towards barack obama that he is not someone who is going to really work the senate, really done the jobs that are unpleasant, and
slightly painful like taking the republic and congressman. >> rose: something bill clinton says she will do. >> it is a challenge that hillary clinton will be more involved in all of that stuff. she will probably put-- . >> rose: my sense of obama, the president, they simply don't respect him a lot. >> yes. >> rose: they think that his venture into syria was a mistake. and that biden said to me, he wants to get out. >> yes. >> rose: all of that is their sense that he-- this economy is in a shambles. that he has made a mistake with his for aye into syria. and that you can't trust him. >> those are all true. but vladimir putin's view is here i am, i have been going for 16 years and you are gone. and from the point of view of that, he would say look at that region, am i more powerful than i was four or five years ago. >> rose: and you can you settle it without me, especially syria. >> i am now someone you have to dole with in iraq, syria.
from his perspective, and i think there is also a daryng, there is a danger which is a good danger that we measure him sometimes too much by western standards, a lot of things that we would think were terrible. like having destabilized neighbors. from his point of view that is not necessarily the drk dsh if you increase the sphere of soviet influence, you would rather have that, have a vib rant nato member. >> rose: that would be the ultimate to him, either george ga or ukraine had become a nato member. >> yes. and estonia, the baltics, i asked him about those. he says he doesn't want to touch those. but he's not, you know, you get the impression that if there was some way of gradually extending russian pa wore-- power over those areas, they have substantial russian minorities. >> rose: he speaks to that, that 80% of the pop-- population speaks russian. >> exactly. and on the whole, the baltics don't treat their russian minorities with huge amounts of
love. not surprisingly, really, seeing they were mainly russians pushed there during the soviet period. i think you are right, that there is a, the disconnect is an american administration who looks at him and says here is this goi that has run this fairly weedy economy, a clep tok crassy, group of pollygarch steals vast amounts of money, is he not following the same rules as him, that he hasn't, he spent blood and money in syria, he has done all these things and haven't done very well under them. under his thing, he has made russia a force to be recognizeened with in the middle east. he has survived and kept ruling this country. he has defied them, annoyed them. >> rose: and he's popular at home. >> exactly. and again, even allowing for, you mentioned this. >> rose: control of state media and all that. >> state and media, they, all those things, you know, he does still, the popularity of putin is begin win. you can knock ten, 10 points off and it is still miles higher
than anything. >> rose: 78%. >> yeah. >> rose: crimea. >> crimea i think-- . >> rose: and ukraine but crimea first. >> i think crimea there is no way that is going back. and i think to give the-- the way in which crimea was seized was obviously abyss mally wrong, not to go through-- to go through that the main thing is russians everywhere, even russians who oppose putin think of crimea as part of russia. and it was always, they always bring up-- they always bring up the example that clush ef tbaif it away in a moment of drunken weakness. >> rose: they do say that, but you have people in the united states in the political national security community always still that don't want to accept it as a fact of iv. >> because once you accept that it could just be seized in that way, one of the questions he dodged with me, i pointed out that he has tully lied to a bloomberg reporter had stood up in a press conference and said to him, while this is happening,
they pointed out that in crimea, at the precise moment russian troops were occupying buildings and went through the sarious different things. asked him three different ways, do you know anything about this. he said no, no, they are not russian troops anyway. and then within a year, in another room he sat there boasting about the fact that he had directed the whole thing. so my point to him was look, you know, regardless of how much you trust the west, the basic fact is that you have very often said to the west one thing and then it has not been remotably credible. the airliner, the whole thing. there are a variety of different examples like that. but that is part of the disconnect between the west and vladimir putin. >> rose: what is the relationship with turkey today? >> i think that strangely got better. he was more-- an interesting relationship to begin with. they seem to be getting slightly friendly. and then russia shot down his aircraft. he complained, and shot him in the back, stabbed him in the back, shot, eve russia is quite a big dole. but now when the turks put their
troops across the border in syria, russia protested a tiny bit, but by its standards not at all. there were no real-- and he's now talking about turkey again as a friend. and that again is, for putin, that sort of opportunism is just-- it's back in some ways, when you talk to him, i don't know whether you had the same persons. it's a little bit like going back to the sort of, you know, not the middle ages but that period where kings sat there and they changed their mind on the spot. they are going to marry tair daughter to the king of spain, the next moment-- and his relationship with erd o want, he was useful, then he wasn't, he was a problem. now he's useful again and he has no problem at all about flicking between those. and i think the reason why, the bigger reason why he seems to have accepted erdogan is this idea that the turks now seem closer to the idea of saying any solution in syria will have to involve assad staying there longer than they originally said. that's good for putin in two ways. >> rose: who says that? >> i think that is the implicit
thing. he wouldn't answer that question directly. but the turks seem to be more amenable to the idea of assad having some degree of roll in the post conflict. >> rose: more so than the saudis. >> or the americans. so and yet again, that's good for vladimir putin because it is separating turkey from america a bit. and but again, it's a different framework. a different way of looking at the world. you and i might think that all the matters is in syria is to have a long-term solution. it's difficult to have a long-term solution if a man that slaughters his own people remains there. putin point of view, he has proved again that russia is a power in that region. and he has proved, he has got turkey to shift a little bit. because of what he has done. and it doesn't matter that obama doesn't respect him. >> rose: the other interesting thing to me about syria too is that, i mean, they seem to abut everything john kerry tries to do. john kerry will have the
150th meeting with the russian foreign minister, and the result is always the same. we're talking but nothing is happening. >> again, that feels almost a bit back to the old soviet thing where. jimmy carter would send people and there would be long meetings and nothing would happen. and you have to feel for john kerry. he's working very, very hard. >> rose: the next question is iran too. >> yeah. >> rose: again, solomani goes to moscow to see vladimir putin. >> and they talk about, i assume, what iran is doing in iraq and more specifically what they are doing in syria. >> and the shoof the oil price. >> rose: right. >> at the moment there is a sort of deal that whether saudis want production, and the russians want a production freeze, russia is probably more than anybody else, in some ways. but putin again, in this intervow made clear he's prepared to give the iranians a sort of pass. the iranians should get a more
flexible deal. >> rose: a pass on? >> on not freezing production. everyone else, all the other opec members would stop but the iranians with get a little bit because they are trying to rebuild their oil industry. >> rose: to get back in the game. >> for the saudis that is anathema. that is putin. he stuck by that. >> rose: the iranians are anathema but the saudis period. >> exactly. the thing interesting about putin as a character is that ability which is i think does come back to that world of espionage which he inhabited and i sadly did not, where your ability, you might argue applies to interviews as well, putin does brilliantly slt ability to look at people and immediately size up their strengths and weaknesses. this doesn't necessarily always come forth on the record interviews, but privately, he is somebody who you can-- he looks at people, he looks at exactly what angela merkel's strengths and weaknesses and focuses on the latter.
cameron, all these people. >> rose: my friends in the cia says that is his intelligence training, that is where it comes from. >> that and you could argue a bit, a little bit of judo, it's the same thing. you use your opponents strengths and weaknesses against them. >> rose: leverage. >> yes. and that's-- he is still stuck in that mentality. and you are stuck, actually in the end, somebody in different guises, he is interesting in one thing, he has sat and survived the 16 years in a place which is not easy to survive, by many people's. he has done some brutal things to do that. but he's still there. and he watched these people come and go, the g-20 meetings. he is the one that has been going there longest now. and he doesn't show any signs of going-- already, what is interesting about this change of power is the idea of maybe long, long term he's setting up the idea of subbing setionz.
-- success. is he back in there, causing problems in american policy. half the headlines on the paper today are about hillary clinton being rude about him on cybersecurity. all these things are up. he's back as a player again. >> rose: the interesting thing about him and his power point, and his power position is, i said to a famous oligarch, does putin have a huge amount of money, a billion or a hundred billion. he said charlie, it doesn't matter. he is a zar. that's what he is. you know, and then i think steven mier or someone wrote a book called the last czar and the idea of putin as czar is an opinion that many people have, that he will do what he wants to do in the end. >> an one bit of that, czars, it was their children who succeeded him. and i did ask about that. the children, his daughters are people who he keeps completely out of the limelight. one is beginning to take a little bit more public role, not
much. but i asked him whether he mablged them succeeding and he was quite firm and said no, he doesn't want them to go into politics. and that may just totally represent that he knows the realities of those lives. >> rose: if you talk to most people around the world who are in the sort of business of trying to understand national security, he remains one of the most interesting and for middable figures. >> yes. i am one of those people who in different guises would imagine that putin would be finished because this has happened. he survived many things. and the interesting bit is whether there is some great plan behind it, whether it there is a technique, in a world when c.e.o.st, we talked about prime ministers coming and going, but a world with c.e.o.s normally last five. >> some of my american friends who try to analyze him say to me, look, is he not-- a, is he not a strategic thinker. >> no. >> rose: he is a tack tition. >> yes. i think he's strategic in the sense that he has a set of interests always sits there.
he is always looking for ways to bring russia, to-- this may sound familiar, to make russia great again. that is his general, and to hang on to power. those are his two main things. and within that, he will do a degree, but he will be highly opportunityistic. will to use the ergogan friends, and then not and then again, that has done shameilessly and the same way he doesn't have any problem of breaking promises and suddenly grabbing something. that fits into that. but it's not a-- there's not a grand thought behind this. and that in some ways will be his tragedy. i think people could look back and say here is this man who had a lot of power and look at the russia he has left behind. did he not change the economy in the same way the chinese did. >> rose: some way that was, in fact, gorbachev mistake, he focused on the politics and the no the economics. >> i think that could be putin's mistake as well. russia is still an oil-fired
economy, controlled by very few people, massive inequality, low life expectancy in some things. and people could look back at that huge period where you had very high energy prices and say look, putin, you ran russia then, who gained other than your friends. and that mythical $40 billion figure. >> rose: i think someone once said may have been business mark, or may have been someone else, there are no such things as permanent friends or permanent enemies, this are only permanent interests. >> that is a way of looking at the world. you could argue some of the states, henry kissinger would fit into this, partly that. it wasn't so much they looked at the world themselves through that particular prism, that they saw the way that other countries treated the world in that way. and i think that's true. countries do have interests. and russia is one, if you look back over history, has always been one of geographic expansion. >> rose: well done, thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: john micklethwait, editor in chief of bloomberg.
back in a moment. stay with us, fareed zakaria is here talking about his conversation with president obama and the g20. stay with us. >> rose: we're joined by fareed zakaria, a columnist and host of cnn's sunday for ep-- for earn polszee program gps. he sat down with president obama ahead of his final advicity to asia. the trip was intended to highlight u.s. achievements in the region including a climate change partnership with china and forging of closer ties with china's neighbors. here is what the president said about the future of the u.s. relationship with china and the region. >> what we have said to the chinese, and we've been firm consistently about this is you have to recognize that we're in-- with increasing power comes increasing spobilityds. you can't pursue-- poker withs that just advantage you, now that you are a middle income country in many ways, even though you still have a lot of
poor people. you can't just export problems. you've got to have fair trade and not just free trade. you have to open up your markets if you expect other people to open you are their markets. >> rose: the administration also hopes to advance a series of key initiatives such as solidifying progress on transpacific partnership, a top imperative for the president in his final months in office. i'm very pleased to have fareed zakaria back at this table. welcome. great to see you. >> thank you. >> rose: i want to put this in mini con teks. first of all, vladimir putin and the interview you had with him, and he says to you machine other things, you are not only a worldwide journalist known for your columes and tv appearances, you are a first class public intellectual. >> he did. >> rose: and then he lowers the boom on you with some question. so how could you possibly believe that, if you are so smart. >> well, you know what has happened, i think, charlie, is he had made some comments about trump during the primary. >> rose: right. >> and in my interview i said to him, you know, i actually asked it pretty straight. i said here is what you said.
what lead you to make that judgement, that trump was a brilliant and talented man who is leading the field. he clearly wanted to walk that comment back. so he said why are you asking me this trivial stuff, this horse race stuff, why are you distorting what i said. i didn't say brilliant, i said bright, the competing translation there as to what word he used. but mainly, very-- it was very interesting. he used that opportunity to say, and putin often does this as you know he uses these kind of moments to say look, we respect the united states. we think the united states is the only superpower in the world. we don't contest that. we don't doubt that. we will work with whoever the president is. i just like the fact that he talks about better relations with russia. so he went from a very inflammatory statement to something that i was then told by people in the state department of the white house that they took very seriously because it seemed to suggest that putin was signaling to them
look, i am happy to work with you. >> rose: i would assume that too. my assumption is from what i hear from people in russia and here, he has a great antipathy to her because he believes she tried as secretary of state, even though foreign policy comes out of the white house and the national security council, some sense that she tried to undermine him as secretary of state. so his anger is directed to her rather than any positive strong feelings about putin-- i mean about trump. >> i think that's exactly right. one has to remember this was a moment where there were elections in russia. and she essentially made a few statements that celebrated the opposition and said russia should have a real election with real choice. for putin, he saw this as a direct attempt to unseat him, to unsettle his power base. you know, it was almost as though she was advocating regime change in russia. so it's very personal and he for
some reason regards it as having been very much about her, not the obama administration. it may have been, i'm not-- nobody's entirely sure. as a result of that, he is very suspicious of her. i gave her another opportunity in the certificate view. i said when were you asked, he does this long call in program with russia, three hours and he takes questions. usually people get three questions. he goes on for awhile. but he said about somebody asked him about hillary clinton. and he said you know, the husband and the wife, they're two-- two versions of satan. and one is satan, one is lucifer, i can't remember the-- i hadium, and i said to him, is this like saying two sides of the same coin? and what was interesting to me was he did not back away from-- he didn't try to explain it away. he didn't apologize. he didn't say-- he just said huh, sometimes you say things in a moment of emotion. he didn't take it back.
so it was a very negative characterization of her. and he was sticking with it. >> rose: what does obama think of him? >> i done think obama is as wowed by putin as a lot of people are, certainly not donald trump. my sense is that obama thinks putin is all tactics and no strategy. by which i mean he looks at putin and says okay, if your goal was fundamentally to place russia and its people in a situation where they're going to be secure, stable and have a better trajectory for the future, you would be to kusessing on diversing the russian economy, forging ties with the west, improving trading relations with the key trading partners. and instead it's all these power grabs, crimea, unsetelling ukraine, george ga, you know. it's this kind of 19th century real politic moves rather than 21s century building of the economy. obama is very much-- .
>> rose: if you were interested in restoring russia influence than a strong economy, in fact. >> exactly. he thinks russia's path to greatness is these political and geo political maneuvers. obama thinks the long-term path for russian greatness is, you know, much broader set of economic reforms. it is a very interesting, also, in terms of their personalities. they're very different. obama is much more intellectual and cerebral. putin is very smart. but it's a much more-- it's an-- he's an operator, you know. he's a kbb. and i think in your interview you talked about-- . >> rose: once a kgb guy, always a kgb guy. >> right, and i think he acknowledged it, that is where he comes from. that means he is a man of action. short term horizons, think of all the intel gengs people i have known, they are always, it's tack tal, it is very important to get the tactics
right because you can die if you get them wrong. >> rose: but they also read a lot about the impact of person on international affairs. cia, they believe, that is why they have all those personality profiles that are part of their analysis. >> that's absolutely right. and also that's what they can influence. when are you in a bureaucracy, you always-- you value the thunkings where you-- that you were good at. and intelligence agencies often are about personalities because that's where they can get to somebody, learn something about them. >> rose: you said obama is much more cerebral, is he baitioned on his actions not the way he talks to you, either private or public, has he a long view that he is executed well? a tragic view rather than a tactical implementation? >> i think there is no question that obama has a long view and a strategic view. whether he has implemented it well is the question. he came into office convinced that the united states was overinvested in the middle east. in the kind of crisis of the
moment. and particularly militarily overinvested. and obama's fundamental strategic view is that the united states' future lies as a pacific power. that you are going to have four of the five largest economies in the world in just ten years are going to be in the pacific. and if you're not there, and if you are not shaping that arena, you are not going to be the great power of the 21s century. >> japan, china, india. >> japan, china, india and the u.s the only one outside would be germany for ten years. you have to be in there, you have to be making sure that you are writing those rules, are you forging the key alliances. and this is what he thinks doesn't get reregard-- rewarded by the media. because the media asks, you know, as the bomb went off in iraq today, what are you going to do about it. so he is very attendive to that sense of trying to maintain the long-term trajectory. i would put his success this way. hes had been very good at being restrawned and not doing foolish things. in my opinion. if the united states, for
example. >> that is why he said it. i think he means that in a profound sense, which is were we to jump into the syrian civil war which is without any question the most complicateed, hundred sided civil war i have watched in my career analyzing these things, if we were to be in there, it would consume all the energies of the administration. it would be all we would be talking about. and by not doing that, he has said, you know, i have kept us out of this so we can focus on the long-term. so that we can focus on a shift, we can focus on forging partnerships with india. >> rose: i don't think -- i don't think history will be kind to him on syria. because they will look at the catastrophe of syria in the end. and ask the question, was it as evil or as you are kugged-- suggesting, was it possible to forge a policy in which early on you had been able to influence events in a different way? >> i think that is going to be one of the great questions historians are going to ask i would argue if you look at what is happening in syria, you have
a thousand militias by most intelligence estimates. and think about the problem we face in syria, which is we are totally opposed to the assad regime. and we are totally opposed to its principal military antagonist, isis. so you are in a country where you are going to try to establish order when you don't like the regime and you don't like the principal opposition to the regime. so who are you going to back. so it becomes a much, much harder task than people imagine. >> but that is why you have diplomacy. >> and the argument is you can't have effective diplomacy, as the diplomats at the state department argument if you don't have leverage on the ground. >> right. so that was the argument for nine years in vietnam. that every time we went to the table, we need to bomb more. and i would say that if you look at the-- . >> rose: are there more in syria? >> if you look at these wars what is happening in syria, basically s the stakes are very high for the people. the assad regime, and by the
way, it's not just the alouettes who-- allwhites who are-- or who are-- they know that if they get overturned, overthrown, they will be slaughtered am this he will be ethnically cleansed, slaughtered and they only have to look at neighboring iraq to see how that happens, 2.5 million sunnies fled iraq after the shia took over. so they are fighting a high stakes tbaim with they can't, in their view, afford to lose. the other side thinks-- ---- in those situations we say come to london, let's have a conference, let's have a civilized conversation about power sharing. assad knows there will be no power sharing if he leuseses. so he is fighting for, to the end, the opposition is fighting to the ind. what i am just saying is the idea that the united states could intervene with a few hundred million dollars, 10,000 troops, even 20,000 troops and show change this battle to death that is staking place, among the
thousand militias in syria, in any event, back to obama, i think you are right, history will determine this. what i would argue-- . >> what i think history will look at is that he has been very restrained in terms of his willness did -- willingness to say no an keep the united states on the big picture in the long term. has he handled the crisis of the moment as well? i would say no, and even in syria, i would acknowledge that. about whatever you think about syria, and i think it is good we are not more deeply involved militarily, i think there is no question. then you don't say assad must goings and you don't draw red lines that you don't follow. so there has been a lot of tactical sphrailures, and i do think it is true that foreign policy sometimes gets too defined by the tactical failures. eisenhower is a good example. he is regarded as a tactical failure in foreign policy because he faced these crisis in
the tie want straits. he faced people, forget now but the su ez crisis, through all of that. the joint chiefs of staff recommended he use new clear weapons against the chinese. they wanted intervention in vietnam. they wanted intervention in the middle east. he said i'm not going to do it he mobilized the american troops only once in his entire presidency. which was to deseg regrate the schools in arkansas. >> i want to talk about the wider range of foreign policy. there is as we taped this on september 7th, this evening on nbc, a broad conversation with the two candidates about foreign policy. just give me your sense of how these two candidates in this political year, you had today an endorsement of hillary cln ton by texas newspaper. a dallas daily news, i think it was.
>> 75 years. you have the foreign policy community seems to have some great fear of donald trump. because of unpredict ability and lack of experience in this arena. what do you think? >> i think that-- . >> rose: and how would you assess. >> there's no question that hillary clinton is the candidate of continue out. >> rose: right. >> she represents the idea that erican foreign policy sinceut in world war ii and that the basic structure of foreign policy has been that we have built a kind of open world economy and liberal institutions, liberal open rule based, and that the united states has been the underwriter of this world, the gawrntor of this world and we should continue to do it. >> and the leader of international institutions and we should continue to do that, there have to be some adjustments. there have to be some changes in some places but that's in the
broadest terms, hillary clinton represents the kind of tru man to reagan consensus on american foreign policy. trump represents really the most important significant break in our position to it since the republican isolationists of the 30st and 40st. because he says i don't buy any of this. we have been paying too much, everybody takes advantage of us. we need to pull out, you know, it is a completely different view. >> you have to be careful of this but in some ways it echoes president obama who wanted the natdo members to pay more. i think he used 2% of gdp. i mean and he's raised that question. and that is the only thing we're talking about. obviously on the issues having to do with new clear prolive raise and japan and south korea and nato and this whole range of other, when we come to his defense of other nations, when we have a party to the nato treaty. but there seems to to me, you know, that president obama based
on jeff goldberg's piece has a certain contempt for the foreign policy community that is representative of what you just said. now you know him better than most joirnlists, did he have it right or wrong? >> i think he had it right. i think that obama views the foreign policy community compromised of many, many su pesh talented people. he reads very deeply and widely. he consults with these people. but he does think that they have a certain set of bias that, for example, every time something goes wrong in the world, people say the job of the president of the united states is to militarily put this right. you know, and to use america's preponderring military to do it. he is very sceptical because he does take this long of view. okay, i will go in and bomb, then what. look what happened in afghanistan, in iraq, in libya. you know, he even learned from
his own mistakes in his view, with libya, where he clearly feels like they used the military in a way that seemed to solve the problem and might actually have made it worse or at least complexified it. >> you took the advice of the secretary of state on libya. >> exactly. so i think he tends to think that there is too much attention paid to crisis mghtd, too much efficacy in the use of military force, too much of a sense that the united states has to solve every small problem in the world. but i think that that is the way i put it, those are correctives for somebody who broadly also has a great deal of respect and trust. look at who he appoints. this is robert gates and david petraeus, these are not people who are wild-eyed radicals critiquing. i think he views his job as to ultimately keep that longer-term view. >> rose: and there is this. he is not opposed to the use of military force as he will explain every time, as he explanned in his nobel speech.
>> the nobel speech but also think about the drones. >> rose: exactly. >> he-- . >> rose: the pride they take every time they get an isis leader. >> i talked to him about this. he is obviously troubled by the legal, constitutional and-- but not too much. >> not too much and here is why. he said to me let's keep in mind that the alternative is that a terrorist group grows in strength. and then attacks and kills many more civilians than any drone will ever kill, that you allow a country to get more and more disfunctional because that terrorist group grows. or we have to then send in special forces and, to do the work that the drone did with again potential for collateral damage. sews' very-- i mean the spark analogy is not entirely off base. he's very cool and part of that coolness is he is willing to kill. i mean he personally approves
every drone attack. >> china. >> so the president goes to china. he then goes to laws. he-- lust. he loves-- l aos. he lovers vietnam because it represents what he is talking about. >> vietnam has become this extraordinary country. people don't understand what the war was all about because they are so worried about china. they have become increasingly proamerican. and it does, you know, again remind you of this fundamental, our inability to understand foreign countries, whether they see iraq, vietnam, you know, you look at-- when i visited vietnam my reaction was these guys really don't like the chinese. i remember talking to a vietnamese official and talking about the war with china. and he says to me, which war because they invaded us 11 times over the last thousand years. you know that. >> japanese. >> the same way the chinese feel about the japanese. >> i said how could they have thought these were the chien ease so i think that that part
of the world remains very complex. it has not been possible for obama to forge the great relationship with china he had hoped for except on one issue, climate change. you have to give him a lot of credit, where he made that his priority. he thought that there was no way you could get much done in the world if china, the world's leading po lawsuiter now was not on board. and he has gotten them to move significantly. other than that, i think he has presided over, i don't think caused, he has presided over a very interesting and troubling rise of chinese nationalism. the chinese are becoming more nationalist in terms of what they do in the south cheuna sea. they are becoming more nationalist in how they deal with western companies. -- has talked about how the chinese government seems systemically to be disadvantaging the very western companies they once invited it in. if you look at cyberattacks and theft, if you look at the rhetoric that the chinese leadership has been using.
so that is going on for deep internal reasons. china is going through something ver profound internally. a slowing of growth. a reassertion of power by the communist party. a revival of mount era tactics of national soling darrity. and so in that context, i done think it's been possible for, to create a strategic partnership or you know, even a meaningful dialogue. >> are you saying that the president could have done more except for the fact that the chinese had so many internal problems. >> you need two to tango. i think we will look back at for example the relationship between clinton and-- where they got a lot done. i look back and i realize that the chinese are very strategic. their number one goal in the 1990 was they wanted to become members of the world trading organization. and they knew the only country that could deliver that for them was the united states. so they were unabashedly proamerican for that period. now that world, we're in a different world. >> rose: how about bush 43 and
you had xintao. >> the chinese regard him as being a colorless kind of leader and a lost decade for china. i think that with bush, you say no great gains, no great losses, it was kind of business as usual, not much happened. >> rose: i listen to you say there could have been more progress, obama wanted it to be a much more successful g2 kind of g-2. >> bush did not. bush did not have that-- . >> rose: so-- let's place more of the responsibility at the put of xi jinping than barack obama. >> i think bush came to office with no particular views on foreign policy. his thing was i don't want to donation building and we shouldn't be arrogant with foreign policy and then 9/11 happens. and bush's entire foreign policy was a reaction to 9/11. >> rose: how successful has the president been in terms of building a relationship with
those countries, like endsia, like vietnam, like the philippines, like japan that have some growing fear of chinese flexing of their muscle that you cited earlier? >> i think that the obama administration has been pretty successful in reassuring and shoring up and strengthening alliances from japan. people forget, five or six years ago, maybe aide years ago, in jp an there was serious talk about expelling u.s. troops. getting out of october i gnaw what. now what is going on is the opposite. we enforcing bases in japan, building a base in australia. there is talk about even you know, a new base, even in the philippines, even vietnam, the old cameron bay from the 1960st. there is mostly just talk but the main point is all these countries are closer to america than they were. india in some ways has been the slowest, steddiest move am. the indians have always been
reluctant to be seen as joining up with the united states to gang up against china. india has always had this colonial hangup about western powers an western dom nation. and yet over the last few months, india has moved much closer on defense cooperation with the united states. so all of those areas, i do think obama has been able to push forward. what obama is not able to do, it's very interesting to watch. he does not develop very close personal relationships with leaders. >> i know. >> the interesting thing to realize as i'm sure you pointed out, the pivot from, to china from the middle east to asia also included a pivot to latin america and africa. i mean he wanted the united states to recognize where they would,-- emerging economies, that we had a much more positive role with much more possibility of a productive relationship. >> i think you know, in a way, you are absolutely right. the way to think about it is he thinks look a c.e.o. who says i'm not going to invest in
places where i'm losing money. i'm going to invest in places where i am making money, where there are teuntds. i think there is a fundamental question of how you view the world. do you view the world as being shaped, colored and defined by the middle east? a part the world that is without any question in historic crisis decades long instability, where the bottom has really fallen out. it is not just that these regimes have trouble, these nations really don't exist any more. >> syria disunt exist as a country, iraq doesn't exist as a country. yemen doesn't exist as a country. libya doesn't-- is that what defines the world, or is the fact that in asia you now have proamerican leaders, prowestern leaders in indonesia, in india, in japan, in vietnam. do you look at latin america, where argentina has performed this tra-- turned this extraordinary corner. it is a view, you look at africa, where kenya is
reforming. you have places all over africa. is that the world, iraq, syria, iraq, syria, iraq, syria, iran. >> rose: where some of them is, you don't want to go into modernity. >> and-- . >> rose: its idea that they are fighting. >> the question becomes who is going to shape how history will judge this. at the end of the day, history is usually not defined by the people who are collapsing. who are collapsing noisily but collapsing it is defined by the winners. the rise of china will probably be the fundamental trend. in geo politics of our time. the rise of asia. who remembers the civil war which you know, hundreds and thousands upon millions of people died in nie dperia. you know, that happens, the trend lines that we shape it are the ones in which countries come
from behind. to reshape their regions. >> great to have you here, pleasure. >> rose: far ease zakaria, thank you for joining us, see you next time. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org an charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
captioning by vitac, underwritten by fireman's fund announcer: the following kqed production was produced in hi-definition. ♪ >> it's all about licking your plate. >> the food is just fabulous. >> i should be a psychoanalyst for the amount of money i spend in restaurants. >> i had a horrible experience. >> i don't even think we were at the same restaurant and everybody, i'm sure, saved room for those desserts.