United States, Isis, Iraq discussed on Brian Lehrer


Right. NYC the former Defense Secretary ash Carter, his new book inside the five sided box lessons from a lifetime of leadership in the Pentagon. The press release for your book says you helped engineer and carry out the plan that brought ISIS to it's knees has ISIS been brought to its knees, yet, has militarily, and that was the plan that we started in twenty fifteen on those carried on through twenty sixteen was basically completed by the end of twenty sixteen. But then the war went in a little bit in twenty seventeen for the final fall of Mosel in Raka. And I think it's a great tribute to the United States that it was done, by the way that crossed to administrations that war, which is and Trump, which is to the credit of, of, of us for sticking with something that was the right thing to do. Because when I came into office in two thousand five fifteen writing people don't remember this, but these guys are bar Berens. They're crucifying people. They are in slaving women. Twenty five twenty fifteen. He can't have that. And then my job is to protect our people. And they are trying to attack Americans. They try to get some loser at a keyboard offer his up somewhere with the idea of being a member of ISIS, and then go out and running people over in the in the roads you can't have that. So we had to destroy that we had to destroy the fact and the idea that there could be an Islamic state based upon the city algae. That's the plan was about, and it, basically unwound. Exactly, according to our plan over the next two years. Now, you ask, is it finally won while Muslim rock of fawn? One of the things I said, always was, I was confident we would win militarily the thing I wasn't confident about now. I'm not competent at all about is that we would win the peace thereafter. Meaning the political and economic, and these guys once they were beaten would stay beaten and you in, in order for that to occur. We need to stick with the people whom we backed to beat them, which is the Iraqi government, and some of the Syrian democratic forces, including Syrian Kurds. And if we abandoned field the chaos that ensues will bring somebody back that may not call themselves. I suppose they well call themselves. I some weed back. I don't feel like fighting at war again I've been narrowed nail several times. In fact, the Atlantic magazine last month backed up your claim that it was in your and President Obama's administration that the current push began that US-backed forces already controlled half of the Iraqi city of Mosul. The crown jewel of ISIS when Trump took office. Yes, they continued the strategy and continue to take land from them. But the Atlantic also says, Trump's signature changed to that plan was a loosening of restrictions that had helped reduce civilian. Harm in US air strikes, that plus the difficulty of fighting and crowded neighborhoods and the shortcomings of local forces played a role in turning western Mozell, as well as the ISIS stronghold of Raka in Syria into house gapes, and it says aside from the moral implications. Many analysts say that allowing the destruction to reach the scale was a strategic blunder that will help revive among the population after being even after being militarily defeated how much you agree with that. I don't really I, I well, I don't think that the Trump administration would be charged with, with allowing wanton destruction. I didn't observe that in. We typically our air crews, and our planners are very scrupulous about that kind of thing because there's a reason for that, which is, if you overdo it then later, the people. Resent what you've done, but it to the basic point you know, we were never really I never and President Obama who had approved things never really, we weren't limited in our pace of the campaign by rules of engagement on bombing. That's kind of a myth would limited us was that we didn't we didn't we who's intelligence. So we had targets that we could mom and the movement of forces on the ground. So that we had, we had a battlefield that we could support, those were the things to this idea that somehow we were ABI namby-pamby really wasn't ever the case. So I don't think that's what that story is true is true either to the Trump administration or the administration and last question in this category. Do you take any responsibility? What Defense Secretary yet? But let's say does the Obama administration. Or should it take responsibility for ISIS becoming a strong as it did in the first place critics blame the Obama administration for pulling out of Iraq too quickly at the end of two thousand eleven and dismissing ISIS as the junior varsity? I think President Obama called underestimating the threat will I I don't think that was what caused it only. But it but it didn't help and I was deputy secretary defense. You're right. I was not the number one the number two and I opposed our the withdrawal the total withdrawal, or near-total withdraw US forces from Iraq. But you can't say that ISIS grew out of that. Simply historically, for the reason, the rather things that were going on. There was a government in Baghdad. That was behaving in a way that couldn't pull the country together, and we sure to alleviate Sunnis and start extremism. There was an economic collapse than the read the things going on. It would have helped if we were there to keep things together. I'm not sure we would have made the difference. But we would have contributed to stopping Aycell from from coming. So in that sense, I, I in that for other reasons wished we had stayed a little bit longer. But you can't just do cause and effect vary. Linearly that way. Chris and great neck, you're on WNYC with former Defense Secretary ash Carter. Hi, chris. Question for the secretary slightly different line. But. My understanding is that the United States defense budget is larger than the Knicks seven. Largest defense budgets on the planet combined. And do we really need it to be that? In my mind grossly outside when we are not advocating children properly, and a lot of people don't have health care. Very good. Good question. Fair. Absolutely. Fair question. Kristen let me start first on the defense budget itself. And then the comparison you made between defense and the non-defense parts of the budget. Yeah, you're right. It's a very big budget and is bigger than the next several defense budgets, combined, if there's a reason for that one reason for that, is that all of those China Russia, Iran North Korea terrorism, they're all focused on us. We have those five to worry about each of them only has us to worry about. And so there's kind of a numerical symmetry there. And that's one thing that makes our, our, our us have to cover so many different bases. And that's one of the things that makes the budget, what it is the other things that may sound prosaic to you. But we have healthcare costs that are high. We pay our troops very well, because we have an all volunteer force. So there are lots of things that go into the that the size that by one thing I will say is, and this is a whole other subject. We won't jump into right here, Chris. But I'm sure you can appreciate it. Which is you can't ask for that kind of money if you're wasting any of it, and so one of the things I did fight all the time was wasted. I think you can be waste now now that to get through the rest of artists society's needs. I never ever, and I was asked to do this many times in front of the congress to sell the rest of the government down the river in favor of defense. And I always refused to do that, because I think that education and health care and roads and infrastructure scientific research and development, all these other things that are not in the defense budget are part of the nation strength and future as well. So I'm all I'm for if you like both both sides, and, you know, by Christmas lights. I'm sure a lot of people's lights. The difference that I reported at the top of the segment between the amount of money that the Trump administration if Trump administration is asking for, for the Pentagon. Next year. The difference between that and the Democrats lower number might seem minimal in this game of things. The difference between seven hundred fifty billion and seven hundred thirty three billion still so massive. But the Trump administration seems to have a central paradox when it comes to defense less interventionist in the way they talk. But being the biggest baddest military in the world and throwing more money at the Pentagon is one way to show it. So do you think the Trump administration wants too much money for the defense, and how different is that paradox from past administrations really? Well the big difference between now and let us say four years ago. It's, it's not the size that has increased really that much and you are right. The difference between what is being talked about now is a Republican and democratic budget is, is, is, is tiny. Really would what drove the budget, what in every year except one that I was in the defense department of the last decade. The congress gave the administration less money than it asked for. And this this n Bobby president Republic Congo. Yes. And the reasons were concerned about the deficit concerns about like the kinds of things that Chris, who just called in other things that could be done with tax payers money, so there's been sort of bipartisan gridlock over this subject. That's had more to do with that any kind of upon people take credit for things and say that they increase the budget didn't increase, but you're right though. If I can at one big thing, Brian is that the president does seem he's voice this at desire to withdraw from the world. That makes me nervous because I don't think that's possible in today's world. And I don't think that's good for us economically and politically. But it's also our, our values you gotta stick up for the people who believe the kinds of things that we believe about the rights of people, and you and key can't leave the battlefield, so to speak seed, the world to the China's. Russia's one could believe that though. And also think that the US has thrown its military around too much certainly in the Iraq war. But even in other cases, not necessarily to the betterment of either us or wherever we were. Value. I'm afraid, I'm going to say that rare than you might think it is in my personal view. And so just to take it instance today. I know that people are tired of Afghantistan. I know the people tired of Iraq and Syria. The only thing I will say is that. If you have the patience to stay there, we're not fighting near like we were before is dangerous, and there will be casualties, and there will be fatalities from time to time. It is nothing like what it was years ago. But if you don't stick with it, what will happen in. You noted before in Iraq will happen again when she's there clearer so snapback. Right. But stick with it to what end is it? I mean, this is our longest war now at approaching eighteen years is a you advocating a permanent low level war in Afghanistan to manage the Taliban and the secondary threat that comes from the Taliban to potential terrorism in the United States because we'll never defeat it. So we manage it. Well, I think that there will be a very long insurgency in Afghanistan. We won't be fighting it we're helping we. That's why we built the Afghan security. Forces that their own police, and their own military can keep a modem of order there. And I'm for sticking with the project of helping them to build themselves into force that can can keep a basic sort of peace on the in the country, which make sure that people are launching attacks against us, by the way. It's not so bad to have a friend in that part of the world. Look at a map riding just take any filming giving an example we could not have killed bin Laden if we didn't have a base in Afghanistan from which to launch it think about that. It's nice to have friends in dangerous parts of the world and Afghans a friend now. Why would you lose a friend? One more call. Tim in Utica, on WNYC with former Defense Secretary ash Carter, high Tim. How do you shoot about you administrations recalcitrants or your, it's about warming? And the fact that incentive. Is eighty as well. Security threat. Mash MAG reaches water shortages. All sorts Tim. Thank you. Thanks to him. I'm not an expert on that subject. So I'm not gonna wait into the science just say that I in the scientific community which I'm familiar with is overwhelming both scientific. That is purely theoretical. We know it CO two does and so forth. And also experimental data that supports the fact that we're changing the climate in defense department, that's taken seriously. When it comes to the Arctic when it comes to ocean levels rising effect on countries when it comes to droughts, and that effect on, on countries, I'm a little hesitant to call it a national security problem because, as soon as you do that you, you. Escalate it to the level of warfare. And I don't think that's really where it belongs. We'll take it into account in, in the defense department, but it's not a national security threat per se. Last question. You write in your book about your historic move to open all combat roles to women, but beyond that your overall approach to what you call.

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