Iran, Iraq, President Trump discussed on Masters in Business
Why this is hindsight bias? Obviously but why don't we we just stop them back then twenty five years ago before they had the chance to retaliate. Well it's interesting I want. I spent about half the year. Nineteen Ninety Ninety four as an assistant secretary of defense. Meaning where is that in the higher that's like the third layer day okay Working on a how strike plan against the North Korean reactor which is all they have the reactor at a place called young beyond and it had the fuel rods that had plutonium Tony in them and the they had finished their fueling cycle and the North Koreans could if they wanted to take those fuel rods out extract extract the plutonium and they had enough in there to make one bomb right. We thought that was a cause of were right. And so I built that plan Dan to destroy that reactor which I was at the time Berry and this is just The the pride of the artist I guess proud of because it would have destroyed an operating nuclear reactor without creating radioactive plume But I I was pretty certain certain and now of course. I didn't want to do that. Because the certain resolve that would be the North Korean army streaming over the DMZ uh-huh and a war beginning which I was confident we would win but millions would die at Seoul would change hands twice i. It's an ugly baby baby war to contemplate. But I thought that was going to happen in Clinton was really yes and he was threatening that to. WHO's the grandfather author of the current guy that you see meeting with President Trump? His grandfather Kim Il Sung's was running the place and Kimmel Sung Song Rather unexpectedly. Said okay. I'll give up this reactor young beyond if you build me. Some real western react power plants that can air power plants. Don't have all the proliferation problems at these. And did we do that. And we signed that agreement and it stayed in force for five six years the North North Koreans under his son slowly begin cheating right and the whole thing kind of began to fall apart later than when we bought ourselves sort of five six years then we head talks again in the late nineties. I was part of them. then let's see Condie Rice and and Colin Pal. How had some more in two thousand and six so I've seen various cycles of this? And what about the current cycle well. That's not unfortunately going anywhere. I don't object to talking to the North Koreans as I said we've done it in the in the past No president that I worked for going back to Reagan League and would meet with North Korean leader unless until there was an agreement to explain why because they knew that to the North Koreans. That was a huge gift. A meeting with the American president because in North Korean propaganda that they can tell their people. Everything's Okay in in our system which is a disaster with green. People is actually successful because I got to meet with the American President. Look at look at us. We're the equivalent of super superpower when you're dealing with potential enemy you don't in`Ash Carter's book you don't give away anything for free so I wouldn't give away a meeting with the president. Resin United States for free without some exchange. Now Yeah now we gave. Now we've given it away we also stopped or curtailed tailed are exercises in South Korea. Right which is a very dangerous move member. The exercises are how we keep us and our South Korean partners sharp sharp to make it the North Koreans absolutely clear that they start a war they will be destroyed and that'll be the end of the regime and and that's what those exercises demonstrate to to not keep up that proficiency and not keep demonstrating it risks of the war on the Korean Peninsula. which is I said would be a where we would win but would not look like anything? Our people have seen since the last ask create more mini intensity violences unbelievable in that war. Although some people have argued that the North Korean troops once they're over the border might not be as aggressive a enemy as some people have suggested similar to the Iraqi National Guard will it's interesting steen You don't have much evidence on your side if you have that view your speculation. Here's some evidence that goes but it all goes the other way. North Korean agents agents military agents captured in South Korea who've been preparing sabotage and other things that they intend to do in the course the warlike that very few of their all so brainwashed. Right that they they do not turn compliant. They don't come down into this. Well lit wealthy society and change their views and even though all of their propaganda all of other media and so forth have told them that it's a poor and backward place so if you think about it bury their in their third third or fourth generation of Stalinism while no other society had that many generated what that means is that your parents don't tell you stories of health things used to be different Ryan. Your grandparents don't tell you stories. There's nowhere if your memory is. That memory is gone that there's a different kind of world. So I I. I think the evidence suggests these people are brainwashed deeply enough. They'll fight really hard before they get tempted by all the goodies. Dowden South Korea. Let's talk about another nuclear program Iran. We've had a couple of interesting military. A actions by other countries namely Israel blew up reactor on how many decades ago that was and then the whole centrifuge hack Set them back quite a bit. How close is Iran to Building a nuclear weapon. And what should we be doing about that. We had a treaty. This president Decided to overturn it. Where are we with Iran and their program? Obviously the treaty was controversial and the United United States has has rejected it in the meantime however it bought us some time because while they were abiding by and and while it was enforce the Iranians were obliged to destroy a bunch of centrifuges send a bunch of plutonium to Russia. I mean Uranium enriched uranium to Russia and destroy a reactor and. They did all that before. We backed down in the treaties. So we got not some goodies so to speak In exchange for US releasing frozen funds that were that's right. What does that from the late eighties? which turned ought to be as much as the Iranians one is so maybe in time they would have left the anyway? What's done is done at the time that that agreement was negotiated shade? I was secretary of Defense. And is I I tell a story in a book which is indicative of how we looked at things in the Pentagon the morning after That agreement was concluded by Secretary of State Kerry. I sat down as I always did with the chairman of the joint. Jesus stabbed little round table in the secretary of defense laws. been there since since. George Marshall's Day and I would sit there with Marty or later with Joe Dunford every morning and we were both in town and also the vice chairman and the Deputy Secretary of defense. And we'd say okay what are we what are you what are you need today and Marty said to me secretary the Apropos this Iranian agreement. What are your instructions to the department and I said the change nothing really? I said it changes nothing. We have a strike plan. That will destroy the Iranian nuclear program by force. We have to. We're GONNA keep sixty five thousand troops in the Gulf as a deterrent against Iran. Also carrying out the war against Isis We'll continue. We have to continue to counter Iranian malign influence everywhere else which is lots of places Iraq Syria Syria Yemen and so forth. I said don't change anything. What this does is take off our plate a headache that we would otherwise have right which is somewhere down the road? We would have to face in Iran that had nuclear weapons And that is why I thought I didn't object to the agreement. I supported the agreement even because as secretary of defense at took a headache off my plate but I had lots of Iran headaches on my plate and I said Marty let's keep working on all the other. They're headaches that Iran is this is not could never be a grand bargain. So let's talk about Iran and Iraq. I thought the the best argument against invading Iraq. In Oh three was the enemy of my enemy is my friends. We may not be fans of Saddam Hussein or Iraq racked but they were the regional counterbalance to Iran. Am I oversimplifying that. Or is that a fair that was our that was our actually conscious view during the Iran Iraq war which is pox on both houses. Eight let them fight each other right into the ground and that seemed like a good outcome and looking back back now with the Middle East has become a a country that kept order within its borders. That was not capable of major aggression against its its neighbour. which Iraq was? You'd otherwise leave alone as long as it wasn't doing anything to us us. America what we thought might become a threat to us was the whole weapons of mass destruction. Thing Yeah but we knew that was nonsense from day. One the whole Cheney separate separate department of anytime someone says yeah yeah the NSA and CIA. Those guys don't know what they're doing we're going to set up a little division in the basement of the White House House you know. That's just a nonsensical approach. You can't say that but I can say that okay. I wouldn't I say that because I didn't see that at the time I'm just being honest. Okay like to say I was presient But I actually bought what Colin Powell said at the I thought I I I in my experience in government with that much smoke there had to be sought fire Somewhere and so it was. I was disappointed. Appointed and of course. It didn't turn out very well because we did a take away. The government of Iraq and what was left was no government at all. And we've been dealing with the consequences of that so let's do a compare and contrast because the fascinating thing about Iraq is is the George H W Bush invasion in is at ninety three. Anyone now new one. So he famously said we're going to a chase Iraq out of Kuwait but we're not gonNA talk. We're not going to keep going to Baghdad as some people that suggested. Hey keep them going and let's just topple on the theory. I assume that Iran is a problem. And let's let Iraq be there as a counterweight why I will am I right in saying the senior Bush's approach. That was the right decision. Was the right approach at the time. So what was the thinking in. Oh three let's keep going and take back that out as opposed to 'cause as we clearly won the war in the first six weeks. It was over like that because it's intention in three was specifically to topple Saddam. Over the intention the were ninety one was to recapture Kuwait. Okay and then when that was done present or said a new out now there were some in Dick Cheney. He was the secretary of Defense. I was on a Advisory Board to Dick Cheney at that time and I knew at that time and he wanted to go all the way to Baghdad and said let's finish finishes off once and for all. The president overruled him and that was controversial at that time. Now fast forward a little bit more than a decade. Dick Cheney's now vice president Some unfinished business with some unfinished. And so in retrospect it seems that that was an ingredient in the decision to to invade and all the stuff about weapons of mass destruction so forth which I think was the ordinary citizens reason for writing the O.. Three invasion we turned out not to be a reason at all. So let's roll back to nine eleven and the two thousand one attack which came from Afghanistan outstanding Saudi Arabia not Iraq. You have a really interesting role not only in the creation of.