tv Worlds Apart RT June 14, 2020 11:30pm-12:00am EDT
in the united states because you would need an american embassy for that well apparently they were wrong quick tribalist the riots and even the seizure of government buildings containing our america's foes taking being democratic uprising in the world's most celebrated democracy to discuss and i'm now joined by david kilcullen perhaps our own international and political studies at the university of new south wales and the author of dry runs. how the rats learn to buy it was called and great to talk to you congratulations on your latest book and you for having me it's great to be here now i know that it's not your original idea to refer it's you adversaries as rap tiles and i am. wrong. bill clinton's 1st cia director but since you build a narrative around it i assume you're blinded snooty what are you still whining about it for you. i think that so just to say this book is
a book about military adaptation and it's about how different players adapted over time and i begin the book at the end of the cold war and as i was casting around for a way to frame what's happened since then i found jim moses comments in his confirmation hearing extraordinarily apt it's a rather prescient deer on the international security environment of the ninety's but it really comes down to that one phrase where he says was slain a large dragon talking about it so he well now we find ourselves in a jungle still with a broader and broader for the snakes and in many ways the dragon was easier to keep track of and i think what he's trying to say here is that weak states failing states and non-state actors are the principal threat of the 99 is a. minute or until it is the total call and. it's also we have
categorizing and it's essentially putting legitimate state actors like russia or china into the same group as non-state actors like isis an ob * a terror group isn't just al just a little bit to give this a poke contrary if you are not we last year against that. so actually i think he's making the opposite point what he's saying is there are 2 different characters that are very different from each other they're up here or in your state adversaries russia china perhaps and then there are a completely different category which is the non-state actors what he calls the snakes and my argument in the book is that we've spent basically 20 years of dissing on snakes on only particularly one snake international islamic extremism and the related terrorism and i think that the world that rules he describes in 993
was an accurate description for maybe 10 years but it is out of date now and we now harness those if you like mal adapted to the modern environment it's interesting that he said and because i had a chance to interview mr holder. on the u.s. russia relationship back he struck me as somebody that very. well here i am. speaking about russia as at school to talk about he's behaving student i'm thinking even viewed their world as a dram that the united states. has the long run don't you think that batman of war no longer think they are in the book and i talk about how there was a period where the goal of the uni polar you know period after the. end of the cold war where the u.s. and nato countries and other people sort of wanted russia to become what they
described as a normal country right what they meant by normal was a country that was democratic by western standards that was capitalist that was a member of the u.s. led international rules based order established by the u.s. and as i point out in the book for a lot of russian. experiencing shock therapy and privatization and harvard economists coming and rick santorum a lot of people kristie in the west foreign policy that's also. i think a lot of people saw that as sort of permanent 2nd class status in a u.s. led system and i think it's pretty clear that russia in particular has been pushing back on that the assumptions that a lot of u.s. policymakers i wouldn't actually put the at the top of the list there the person. actually on albright who was the secretary of state for president clinton she made
a comment in one in 98 when she said look if we have to use force if that is where the united states we stand tall we see further than anybody else and sort of we know what's what's good for everybody well actually can see the number i think they have gotten my next question if the well is populated by this nice and john nance who is there was down is it and i don't why not i've been signing aren't you know this is a great question and actually i had to add. a note to the to the book to specify what i mean by the west so you know i'm a military analyst i'm not a partisan political person and so when i use the term the west what i mean is 2 things one are geo political entities are generally u.s. led you know western countries naser the western alliance and the us but
i also include in that definition countries that fight in the same way that the us fights and it's really a military definition which a couple of years before was his testimony was the basis for the u.s. victory in the 1st gulf war and i kind of argue in the book that that victory actually force pretty much everybody else to adapt and evolve in. u.s. military dominance and the us perhaps has become a little bit stagnant because it hasn't had to face an adaptive landscape that others have had to deal with not even you said just a moment ago that in your book you have. specifically building our game and around the fact that after 99 to wind the west was left to fly be snakes while the dragons lay down once and watched closely from baghdad how to fly the west and now the last. deal when the black this needs them to drag ins don't have the
same nods of why it will not be russia or china at lower trying have. adapted western areas killed a captive them a problem chatteris they don't belong on airplanes they don't use terror as that. isn't even fair in a 2 month these 2 very different kinds of action into the same category as acclaim and they're essentially using the same method the the book talks about dragons and snakes is being very different but what's really different in the book from a lot of the research that you'll see in a lot of the analysis on that was he had a tension is that it actually draws on a different body of knowledge from what we normally years so most military and it. is really a subset of business literature what i've done is to draw on literature from the science of evolutionary theory. looking at adaptive landscapes and the way that
a dominant president in an ecosystem creates a landscape that everybody else in that ecosystem has to adapt to and i think it is interesting i don't in any way. or suggest an equivalence between say the russian federation an islamic state in any way or the opposite actually but what i am saying is that everybody whoever they are whatever the basis for existence is reacting to the in the period after 9 straight to us military dominance and one of the interesting things actually. is that people have started to copy each other and one of the case studies i point to is the evolution of israel and hezbollah which is just a very clean example because it's a small geographical area in southern lebanon where these 2 people or 2 groups have been fighting each other for going on 40 years and you see over time they become to
resemble each other in terms of their tactics not in any way morally right but in terms of the way that they are. now. in your book here also suggest or list several mechanisms of adaptation a way the evolution of that i mean including what you call artificial selection that is the west it has very quickly built a barrier at class of terrorists by the way it's got its war on terror and i want to seize on the word inadvertent maybe the last quite deliberately uses militant terrorist groups in many wars and i mean from afghanistan to syria it's it's hard to find a place where that wasn't done. if our knight in shining armor wasn't trying to trying to sneak some eyes don't you think that you know it would have a detrimental effect on babbling. so yeah i think one of the points that i
make is that it is a bell curve in evolutionary pressure if any so you assume a dominant factor in their ecosystem and then everybody else is adapting to the pressure they're getting from that act if the pressure on them is too low or too little they'll stagnate if the pressure is too high they'll be destroyed and we've seen that with some groups but there's a sort of band in the middle in the middle of the bell curve where you're putting enough pressure on an adversary to force them to adapt and get better but not enough to destroy them inducting my own family and i am actually add to an issue we have not only you can see russia and china as adversaries because i'm not sure that's the case but you are specifically now calling those groups adversarial and you know that from history that it wasn't always the case the united states and the west deliberately supported a number of those groups starting from al qaida and many of the militant groups are
leaving syria so is it really about the fight adversary so much as you know like me having an expression here in russia to sort of. give our sneak a bit of space and it's half the line we warm up needs that was amusing in the book are not about russia and china they're about non-state actors are the specific example that i point to in the book their experience one is the way that israeli counterterrorism since the ninety's actually created a better class of palestinian terrorists and my sources for that the surviving heads of shin bet which is the internal at the f.s.a. approval in israel and they are the 1st to say that the way that they approached this problem was as they describe it point to cities all tactics no strategy and that over time they actually bred a more capable adversary i also point to the u.s. i think there the way that. we operated in particular in august on twitter not
pressure on the pakistani taliban to make them do you know to trade them into a single unified organization and take them from a bunch of guerrilla groups in a valley in pakistan to a trans national act by 2010 right now i'm going to tax york city and the argument here is that. i just we can't return afford to keep succeeding in the way that we have been against these terrorist groups because the more we jury. in this particular way the bigger the threat becomes well looked at helen as they like to say what goes around comes around we have to take a short break and we'll be back in just a few moments. with .
some control from middle class to homeless overnight muslim are very hardworking people who want to get ahead that have either have some some health issues or have some of how to trick a bad luck the whole time joel moon told me he's paying for a place to live and missing just a month's rent can get you a victim to gunpoint if anything bad happens to any thing that just throws your budget off slightly. better catch up real quick or you're going to have a judgment of possession against you and get a ticket like anyone that's homeless is history like garbage people look at you like a monster or someone bad or you chose to be there most of the time it's not the case see how it is to be paul in the world's richest country.
welcome back to all the 4th grade in doing it now cullen the author of the book dragons and the snakes how do bras learn to fight the west not take a pill and regardless of where we are in the world like right now i think we are all taking a bad by what's happening on the american streets particularly in violent part of. all teasing the jogging to the snakes you see i am running away to be about her theory does she think that the americans perhaps have lost sight of because she can't see it and now coming home to roost. you know that's an interesting 3rd animal to to add into the mix the the other person that i think described this very well in the not in seventy's was the french radical philosopher michel foukara who said what about boomerang effect right there what an empire does overseas eventually comes back to be applied domestically run russia sort this out of the
end of the at the war in afghanistan for example the u.s. or enough to be unarmed and i think we're seeing some of that the point that i have made in in response to others that have asked this is to say what we've seen across the west not not just the west but particularly in the west is a collapse of confidence in elites and institutions and experts of all times and one subcategory of that is military experts and i think that the 2 things are very closely linked the u.s. sort of lead. rules based world order that people talk about people have started to go in in western countries to take that for granted after about the middle of the 99 and not realizing i think that it actually rested on a very hard power foundation of american military effectiveness which. it's really
eroded since that time. don't do a 2nd asking you about the world order i'm asking you specifically about the nasty quarter in the united states beach seems to be falling apart these days a lot of people like quoting abravanel a girl who famously said of the danger of the east of america cannot come from abroad it must bring among that's what he sad and this is not just a rhetorical question it's a question of how you to your priorities where you put your money as a security professional do you think that actually is of funding priorities spending surely. instead of home and program do you think back choice of priorities has made all where america. actually do make this point in the book i say that we need to be focusing much more heavily on resilience and home and get out of the business of. you know what the president trying to sort of endless wars overseas
because that's what president obama wanted to do as well as what president bush wanted to do after his 1st term and also point to nato as another major plan nato has been focusing a lot on domestic resiliency that is you know guaranteeing its ability to continue functioning under conditions of chaos for about the last 4 or 5 years and of course we should be honest here and say that one of the main drivers for that is russian aggression in the baltics arctic crimea if they don't forget about that very much everywhere else around the world now speaking about again the mass extinction in the united states this week here alone because it's about to funding or directing resources from the police the people who are day have to be in town tram urgencies on the street but if you look again on america and be on on you know the the soldiers idling in poland on you know thousands and thousands of american soldiers
overseas you know that team at a very huge price tag to american taxpayers to be precise it was $700000000000.00 just last year alone. do you make america safer you do have the entire u.s. defense budget they're not really your services and actually it is in fact more expensive to bring those troops back to the u.s. than it is to have them overseas in many cases which has been part of the debate in the u.s. now about the u.s. has forces in about 80 countries overseas in terms of bases much of the u.s. international posture relates to the end of the cold war and it is a live debate and has been for quite a while in the united states about whether. those bases do make america safer or in fact on the other hand whether they draw america into conflicts that it might
be bene to stay our friend and that is a you know it's a political debate that's probably as old in the u.s. as this period we're talking about it really started immediately after the end of the cold war last year the united states. $114000000000.00 on law enforcement graphic law enforcement saves $160.00 times last that what it sounds overseas and we are now hearing at many many calls and even support from some like just made things at sea dive very bad money put that to the developer and all the disadvantaged neighborhoods again as a security professional deep think that's a good idea because i can think of dealings of ways that dragging this nation media beast get exploited that situation the absence of police or you know they handled were all security functions to sound militarized brigades. yeah i don't it is the chance in the us of the hand and i don't know if he functions to
prison functions to the military there's a number of long internationals not not not military militant brigades actually afraid of what are known as incised the admiral barrett me essentially you know forced police out that they are now people you know with 8040 seventh's walking the streets and claiming police functions doesn't your is out one of us is greatest exploits i think the point i would make more broadly there is. nothing to fear in just the people you know i'm talking about the age of 47 as a as probably the most widely used. in the world but just a point just to go back to a couple of points you were complaining that the entire u.s. defense budget with the. u.s. policing budget and of course the u.s. defense budget is not the same as what the u.s. spends a misses that includes all kinds of things including health care for members of the u.s. military and their families the cost of bases domestically
a lot of things it's not just the overall and the legal come i mean you would agree with me that damn i'm. wiping. the countries combined and i'm not it's clear i'm going to superpower laid it out of states have to have ample security budget my question was about the choice of priorities because whilst russia and china many other countries are not taking their security lightly by that guy they balance him after iowa it is a slightly different that they have new faces but the basic right yes so the correct comparison i think would be to train the operational budget for the wars overseas and the domestic budget in the u.s. which actually was about one to one at the height of the war on terror it wasn't significantly larger overseas and domestically but the other question is whether it's a reasonable comparison right because when the u.s. . lauren for some budget does is to aggregate and local and federal funding there
are actually 18000 different police forces in the us the question about whether you should divert funding from public safety to other forms i think is a very valid conversation and i think we're going to see that play out but i suspect that it's going to be more at the local like at the city level. and at the state level than at the federal level to the point in seattle it's worth mentioning we're talking about a 6 block radius of downtown seattle which has been an existence for what 48 hours but really going to the insults and speaking about the hundreds of hours since thousands of businesses look at. needy me millions of dollars in damages dozens of people killed many more injured we don't have a precise. 20 you know pretty worrying statistics i mean you can accuse me or you know trying to amplify the fear but you know i have no
interest in that i don't know how many different i mean. by what's happening there . right now i don't think that is find anything although i think your coverage has been quite amusing of the. no no i think it's actually the u.s. media that's amplifying a lot of this stuff and one of the issues that we have in the united states is with a very free and independent media we've also got a business model that really rewards. the media turning people against each other so i think that's part of the reason why we're seeing such significant. you know media coverage of it frankly you know it is widespread but it's a hell of a long way from a howler revolution and this morning let me take you. to a point where you actually begin your book. 99 what would be. i strongly believe that an individual or a country only as strong as they believe themselves to be and one of the reasons
not the only but one of the reasons the soviet union fell apart is because you know people simply lost that national self-confidence they started rejecting all resulting sound their own history and there are numerous think went. wrong at that point. d.c. anything anything similar happening to the united states right now because for me as a russian who leaves through those early ninety's. in st petersburg it is a very very familiar picture even though we didn't have much island you know the sounds of haiti where you aren't hating your high countries history that's that's pretty similar. well i think it's interesting the concept that i don't really talk about very much in the book but i think it's very relevant here is your tax concept of hyper normalization and you may be familiar with his book which is about the
last generation of of the soviets and he talks about how everybody thought that everything was forever until suddenly it wasn't and when the soviet union collapsed people looking back sort of realized that it was kind of inevitable but at the time nobody saw it coming i think president truman ashley made this point very well in a speech that he gave 2 years ago when he talked about how you know it was a geopolitical disaster and how you know hundreds of millions of people went to his bed in one country and work up in you know 25 different countries 25 different countries even 50 right number. describing from from his that it is sure if it was a. well diane in 25th in may maybe something lags and begin to collapse of the soviet union as some of the events in the united states right now even though i do hope that that will be a disaster for the whole world but there is a major difference back in the early handle and it's me experience me in russia
experience a major crease in crime but it could have been. even more substantial if people have access to guns the last time i checked american gun sales in the united states increased 80 percent year on year in me so people bought more than 1700000 guns in in the month of may alone bringing the total number of rounds to over 100000000 and the question i want to ask is the same question people ask nuclear scientists you know shamming morganton young people do you think that's a trance or perhaps in your taste and you see in a war i mean it's a bit of both right i mean the u.s. is founded on the rights rebellion and the idea that an armed populace that is defend a book that can defend itself against the say it is a guarantee of liberty and there is still a fundamental element of the way the u.s.
decisions often the way the u.s. thinks about itself one of the interesting things about the very significant spike in gun purchases that you mentioned is that a lot of it is coming from people on the left and on the progressive ends of u.s. politics who traditionally have not been big donors and i think as this concept of defining miccolis. plays out that's going to be an interesting dynamic because the police are not going to come and save you and you are not able to defend yourself and that makes you very vulnerable to the cons of disorder that we've. run so that's a very interesting observation i think that kind of liberty that we see play out of that american history has become too close for comfort even with a liberal that's pretty striking something is really changing within the united states anyway don't tackle problems and forcing that we have to leave it here even though i have many more questions for you thank you for sharing hearing friday
has black lives matter protests and sweep the united states an autopsy confirms that police were responsible for the death of an african-american man in atlanta on friday causing a fresh wave of pain and anger. and other stories that shape the weekend racism demonstrators in seattle occupy 6 blocks of the city center declaring it an autonomous zone president demands a law and order and threatens to send in the army. and us combat vehicles and drones appealed with increasing frequency of rallies across the u.s. concerns over the militarization of the police.
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