Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Rose’

In case you missed Hillary Clinton with Charlie Rose, as I did, here is the link to the interview. There is a link to part two in the lower right on that page.



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Yesterday in Cincinnati, Hillary sat down with Charlie Rose.  A portion of the interview aired this morning on CBS.  The full interview aired on PBS this afternoon.  It may repeat at 11 EDT tonight.

Charlie tried to cajole her into giving him a running-mate scoop.  She stood firm.

Charlie tried also to wear her down on the “unpopular” meme, and she laughed charmingly, told him she got a lot of votes, thinks she’s pretty popular, and intends to be more popular.  We agree, Hillary!

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phone calls (2)

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Town hall in Coralville, IA.  The little rescue is Clarabelle.  She has meet seven presidential candidates.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton waves to supporter as she arrives at a town hall meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Coralville, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton shakes hand with a supporter during a town hall meeting Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Coralville, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton meets Max Rubin of Iowa City and his dog, Clarabelle, who Rubin says has met seven presidential candidates, during the "Fighting for Us" town hall event in Coralville, Iowa, November 3, 2015. REUTERS/Scott MorganDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a town hall meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Coralville, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A town hall at the Grinnell College IA
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is introduced to speak at a town hall meeting at Grinnell College Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

An audience member waves a sign as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a town hall meeting at Grinnell College Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets audience members during a town hall meeting at Grinnell College Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

With Jimmy Kimmel who held a kid forum.



Democratic Candidates Forum in South Carolina


Town Hall in Orangeburg, South Carolina with Roland Martin


League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund endorsement

Hillary shared a VFW post stage with veterans at a Truman Project roundtable in Derry, NH and presented her plan to overhaul the Veteran’s Administration.



Bridge Cafe in Manchester and at the Dartmouth Center for Global Business and Government speaker series

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets Kerri Viveiros (L) during an off the schedule stop at the Bridge Cafe in Manchester, New Hampshire November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Brian SnyderU.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R) is greeted as she makes an off the schedule stop at the Bridge Cafe in Manchester, New Hampshire November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Brian SnyderDSCN1822DSCN1826DSCN1837DSCN1840DSCN1845

Dem Debate in Des Moines

11-14-15-OZ-0111-14-15-OZ-0511-14-15-OZ-0411-14-15-OZ-0711-14-15-OZ-09Hillary Rodham Clinton waves as Bernie Sanders, left, and Martin O'Malley prepare before a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)DSCN1848DSCN1849DSCN1851DSCN1869DSCN1885


At the Central Iowa Democratic Barbecue in Ames, Bill Clinton joined Hillary to greet supporters and say a few words.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton take the stage at the Central Iowa Democrats Fall Barbecue in Ames, Iowa November 15, 2015. REUTERS/Mark KauzlarichDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to her husband former President Bill Clinton speak at the Central Iowa Democrats Fall Barbecue Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


A grassroots organizational event at a community college in Dallas

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a campaign event at Mountain View Community College, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a picture at a Grassroots Organizing Event at Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas, November 17, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Hillary gained the endorsement of another powerful labor organization.

On ‘Live with Kelly and Michael’



On ISIS, AQ, and Terrorism at the Council on Foreign Relations





Hillary attended the premiere at the School of Visual Arts Theatre of AOL’s MAKERS: ‘Once And For All.’

11-19-15-Z-0111-19-15-Z-0711-19-15-Z-1011-19-15-Z-14Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives for the premiere of the documentary film "Makers: Once And For All" at the DOC NYC documentary film festival in the Manhattan borough of New York City, November 19, 2015. "Makers: Once And For All" tells the story of the 1995 Beijing Women's Conference and features commentary from the former U.S. First Lady and Secretary of State. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Hillary Clinton received the first Governor Mario M. Cuomo Leadership Award.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduces Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Brady Bear Awards Gala Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Brady Bear Awards Gala Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers remarks to gun violence prevention advocates at the Brady Center's annual Brady Bear Awards Gala in the Manhattan borough in New York, November 19, 2015. Hillary Clinton is the recipient of the inaugural Mario M. Cuomo Leadership Award. REUTERS/Stephanie KeithBrady Campaign President Dan Gross, left, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, right, pose for photographs with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton before she at the Brady Bear Awards Gala Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

In Nashville at Fisk University

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Fisk University, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks from a gymnasium side porch to people who weren't able to fit in to hear her speech at Fisk University Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Fisk University Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures during a campaign rally at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, November 20, 2015. REUTERS/Harrison McClaryU.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee November 20, 2015. REUTERS/Harrison McClaryDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is introduced by Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., at Fisk University Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks from a gymnasium side porch to people who weren't able to fit in to hear her speech at Fisk University Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Iron Workers Endorse Hillary

In Reno and Carson City

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton meets Steven Edwards, program manager at the Crossroads substance abuse treatment center during a campaign stop Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 in Reno, Nev. Clinton said she hoped the program could be replicated elsewhere. (AP Photo/Michelle Rindels)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a meeting at Crossroads a Substance Abuse Facility sponsored by the Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Reno, Nev. (AP Photo/Lance Iversen)Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton sits down with the Chair of the Carson City Democrats Marty McGarry, during a campaign visit at Comma Coffee in Carson City, November 23, 2015. REUTERS/James Glover II

In Boulder and Denver

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton smiles while speaking to supporters at a campaign rally in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan LinsleyDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laughs as Denver mayor Michael Hancock introduces her at a campaign event at a high school in Denver, Colorado November 24, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at a campaign event at a high school in Denver, Colorado November 24, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Hillary Wins LIUNA Endorsement

Hillary was in Boston for a rally at Faneuil Hall in support of hard hats. Mayor Walsh took the opportunity to endorse her.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, right, greets people in a crowd before a rally at Faneuil Hall, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in Boston. Clinton and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh attended the event held to launch "Hard Hats for Hillary," a coalition to organize working families in construction, building, transportation, and other labor industries to support Clinton's agenda. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets the crowd outside a campaign rally at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Brian SnyderU.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and audience members bow their heads for the victims of the mass shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic, during a campaign rally at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Brian SnyderU.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally with labor unions at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Brian SnyderBoston Mayor Marty Walsh (R) introduces and endorses U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally with labor unions at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Brian SnyderDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, right, greets people on stage at the start of a rally at Faneuil Hall, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in Boston. The event was held to launch "Hard Hats for Hillary," a coalition created to organize people in industries and labor to support Clinton's agenda. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

At the New Hampshire Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures while speaking at the at New Hampshire Democrats party's annual dinner in Manchester, N.H., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures while speaking at the New Hampshire Democrats party's annual dinner in Manchester, N.H., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)


With Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning”


At the Atlantic Council Women’s Leadership in Latin America Initiative in Washington

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Atlantic Council Women's Leadership in Latin America Initiative in Washington, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


At the highly anticipated “Women for Hillary” event in D.C., Hillary was endorsed by 13 of 14 Democratic women Senators.

11-30-15-OZ=03Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks as 13 female senators join a "Women for Hillary" endorsement event and fundraiser in Washington November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts11-30-15-OZ=05

Here are the archives for November 2015 >>>>

Time is running out to donate in 2015!



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Charlie Rose interviewed Hillary in two segments that aired on “CBS This Morning” today.  She spoke about her plan to combat ISIS: sending combat troops would not be her strategy.  She also addressed her Wall St. ties.  She said anyone who thinks support from Wall St. would influence her does not know her.  As to why she is running for president, with the White House in the background, she said it is not to move back in there.  She called this election a watershed moment when we can either get the economy back on track for the majority, or we will find ourselves back in the economy of the 1920s.  The full interview will re-air this evening on Charlie Rose’s PBS program.


Later today, she will be in Montgomery, Alabama keynoting an event commemorating Rosa Parks and the bus boycott that began with her refusal to give up her seat.

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Hillary Clinton details plan to defeat ISIS, defends ties to Wall Street

In her first television interview since the Paris attacks, Hillary Clinton spoke to “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose about her plans to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and controversies over her ties with Wall Street.

Sticking by President Obama’s current strategy, the former secretary of state said she could not “conceive of any circumstances” where she would agree to send American combat troops to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

“We don’t know yet how many Special Forces… trainers and surveillance and enablers might be needed,” Clinton told Rose at the Hay Adams, across the White House. “But in terms of thousands of combat troops like some on the Republican side are recommending… it should be a non-starter, both because I don’t think it’s the smartest way to go after ISIS – I think it gives ISIS a new recruitment tool if we get back in the fight.”

Read more and see video >>>>



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Interview With Charlie Rose of “Conversations on Diplomacy”


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
June 20, 2012

MR. ROSE: I’m Charlie Rose. Thank you very much for coming this afternoon. This is, as many of you know, a second in a series of conversations with Secretary Clinton and previous secretaries of State. We hope that we will have a chance to do as many secretaries as we can here. And the point of this series is to look at foreign policy in the context of present challenges and options, but also historical lessons and experiences. Our intent is not to create some huge fight. However crafty I am, I am not that good. (Laughter.) But I do believe that two heads are better than one, and especially these two heads.

Secretary Clinton, it has been said that this Administration looks at the Bush 41 model in terms of some of their foreign policy. I think the President has said that publicly, and certainly, I’ve heard him say that. I think that Secretary Baker has said to me that he has found much to admire in this Administration’s foreign policy. He has some quarrels with economic policy, but this is about foreign policy. I hope that we will be able to be – to talk about the idea of diplomacy today. Clearly, we will because I’ll ask the questions. (Laughter.) A little bit like Churchill saying, “Yes, you’ll be good to him because he’ll write that history.”

But this is an interesting time, clearly, for diplomacy. And it is worth noting that there are 337 museums for the military and none for diplomacy. And it is time that we understand – and these two people understand it well and practice it brilliantly – the power and the need for diplomacy. It is soft power, but it is also powerful policy and powerful power that can be used. We have seen this most recently with Secretary Clinton in China, the possibilities in a very difficult and challenging time of diplomacy.

I want to begin with this notion: You both came to this building, to State Department, from politics. Is that a good background?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I certainly think so. That may not be surprising for Jim to hear, but it might be for some. There are lots of different routes to this job. And we can look back at our predecessors, the 66 that came before me, and see such accomplished men and then finally women. But I think bringing a political experience to the job, particularly in recent times, has been very beneficial, because everybody has politics. Even authoritarian regimes have their own brand of politics. And understanding what motivates people, what moves them, how to create coalitions, especially in the time that I find myself serving, has been extremely helpful.

MR. ROSE: Now, Secretary Baker, as I say, you were chief of staff, you ran political campaigns, but you also served in a number of positions, including Secretary of Treasury. But you know politics. Is that beneficial?

SECRETARY BAKER: Politics, you say?

MR. ROSE: Yes, sir.

SECRETARY BAKER: Yeah. It’s very beneficial. I agree wholeheartedly with what the Secretary said. In fact, I entitled my memoirs about my three and a half years as Secretary of State – I called it the “Politics of Diplomacy.” And in there, I said my experience, both as a lawyer, yes, but then in politics, I found grounded me very well for this job, because the job of Secretary of State is quite political. It’s very substantive. And I don’t mean to suggest that there’s a difference there, but it’s international politics. It’s politics, but it’s international politics.

MR. ROSE: You both also – it should be said, you had a very close relationship with President Bush. You had been his campaign manager; you’d been his friend from Texas. You couldn’t be closer than the two of you. Your relationship with President Obama was different. They use the term “team of rivals” to describe it. Talk about the notion of the relationship between the Secretary of State and the President.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jim has eloquently written about this. You have to have the President’s confidence. You have to have a sense of a shared mission, an understanding of what’s important to the President and the principles and values that he – or someday she – is fighting for. So it is in a different context where someone like Secretary Baker had a very long, close relationship with the first President Bush.

I was a Senate colleague of President Obama’s. We ran against each other. I was very surprised when he asked me to be Secretary of State. But it was interesting that the last time this happened, team of rivals, was a senator from New York by the name of Seward who President Lincoln asked to be Secretary of State. And I’ve spent a lot of time reading about Secretary Seward. And there was a meeting of the minds and a melding of purpose and vision that I feel very comfortable in representing this President and his foreign policy agenda.

SECRETARY BAKER: I agree with all of that. To succeed, I think, as Secretary of State, you need a President that will support you and protect you and defend you, even when you’re wrong. (Laughter.) And I had such a President. And it’s very important, because everybody in Washington wants a little piece of the foreign policy turf – everybody. And you need a President, when the stories come out in The Washington Post that the NSC is running foreign policy, who will pick up the phone and phone you and say, “Hey, Bake. I want you and Susan to come up to Camp David tonight, and we’re going to spend the weekend up there.” That ends all that kind of stuff. And you need that.

MR. ROSE: Yes. It’s (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. That’s exactly right.

SECRETARY BAKER: And so it’s very – that relationship is critical in my view to the success of a Secretary of State.

SECRETARY CLINTON: In listening to Jim talk, I mean, the more things change, the more they remain the same. There are story themes, there is an appetite for conflict. Henry Kissinger, as he and I discussed when you interviewed us, said he couldn’t get over the fact that I wasn’t fighting with the National Security Advisor or the Secretary of Defense or you name it. And so you do have to not only work hard to make sure that the relationship with the President is positive and strong and perceived as such, but also to make sure that the whole team functions because you don’t want a lot of wasted time and energy.

I mean, the world is moving too fast. There is so much going on, and you have to be given the level of trust and confidence that enable you to go out there and make these decision. We were talking before we came out about what I had to do in China a month ago with negotiating once, negotiating twice, on the blind lawyer dissident. And you have to have people back in Washington who, when the inevitable second guessing and all the rest of it goes on, can say, “Look, we’re going to see this through, and it’s going to be okay. We’re just going to make sure that we’re on the same path together.” And that happens in every Administration, and the quality of that relationship is determined whether you stay focused and effective or not.

SECRETARY BAKER: And the President can stop all that sniping and second guessing. And that’s, of course, what you want. I’m reminded of the fact that in the first few months of our administration way back in 1989, we had a Chinese dissident who came to the U.S. Embassy and sought refuge and asylum, and we had to deal with a guy named Fang Lizhi. And it was almost the same kind of experience that Secretary Clinton had.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And every President says, “Oh, I don’t need this.” (Laughter.)

SECRETARY BAKER: That’s right.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And you just have to navigate through it and make it turn out okay.

SECRETARY BAKER: That’s right. (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE: How was it that it turned out okay?

SECRETARY CLINTON: On that particular – well, I think in the case of Chen Guangcheng it was in part because we did the right thing. I mean, it always helps if you believe you’re doing the right thing. We did the right thing by giving refuge and medical care to this man who had escaped from a brutal house arrest after an unjust imprisonment. It was something that was in accordance with our values, even though we knew that it was going to be a difficult diplomatic follow-through with the Chinese.

The fact that we have this Strategic and Economic Dialogue that had become very important to us both, both the United States and China, that I was on my way there for our fourth meeting, had everybody invested in trying to work through whatever the difficulties were. And I had also worked very well and on a lot of challenging issues, not all of which we agreed on, with my counterparts in the Chinese Government, most particularly State Councilor Dai Bingguo.

And so we were very frank. I mean, they didn’t like it that this man ended up in our Embassy. We stood our ground and said, “Look, this is who we are as Americans. We have a chance to make this better than it would be otherwise; let’s work together,” which we had to do not once but twice. But at the end, I think it showed a level of confidence and even trust in the good faith of each side that enabled us to work it through.

MR. ROSE: What ought to be our policy towards China today?

SECRETARY BAKER: I think the policy that we should be pursuing is pretty much the policy we are pursuing. I come, of course – I came over here with a Treasury hat on. I’d been Secretary of the Treasury for four years, interrupted by a political campaign. (Laughter.) But one of our big gripes today with China is that they manipulate their currency, and they do. Now, should we call them a manipulator or not? Or would we be better off trying to get over that hurdle quietly through quiet diplomacy and serious diplomacy and strength – strong diplomacy? That’s my view of the way we ought to be approaching that.

But with respect to China generally, Charlie, we’ve – we have a big interest in having the best possible relationship we can with China, and they have a big interest in having the best possible relationship they can with us. There are many areas of common interest: trade, regional security, energy, you name it, a lot of areas where our interests converge. And we should seek to magnify those and emphasize those. But we have areas of differences, too. We got Tibet. We got Taiwan. We got the currency problem. We got some – we got the Iranian —

MR. ROSE: (Inaudible) as opposed to China.

SECRETARY BAKER: — nuclear issue.

MR. ROSE: Right.

SECRETARY BAKER: No, where we differ, we have to manage those differences and – but continue to work with them. And that’s what diplomacy is all about, frankly. I mean, you don’t – you have to find a way to manage the differences and magnify the common areas of agreement.

MR. ROSE: Are you hopeful that you’ll be able to get them on board with respect to Iran and with respect to Syria?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, with respect to Iran, they are on board. One of the real successes of our diplomatic strategy toward Iran, which was to be willing to engage with them but to keep a very clear pressure track going, is that the Chinese and the Russians are part of a unified negotiating stance that we have presented to the Iranians, most recently in Moscow. I think the Iranians have been surprised. They have expended a certain amount of effort to try to break apart this so-called P-5+1, and they haven’t been successful. The Russians and the Chinese have been absolutely clear they don’t want to see Iran with a nuclear weapon. They have to see concrete steps taken by Iran that are in line with Iran’s international obligations. And we have said we’ll do action for action, but we have to see some willingness on the part of the Iranians to act first.

So I think it took three-plus years, because one of the efforts that we’ve been engaged in is to make the case that as difficult as it is to put these sanctions on Iran, and particularly to ask countries like China to decrease their crude oil purchases from Iran, the alternatives are much worse. And we’ve seen China slowly but surely take actions, along with some other countries for whom it was quite difficult – Japan, South Korea, India, et cetera. So on Iran, they are very much with us in the international arena.

MR. ROSE: Will they support an oil embargo?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, absent some action by Iran between now and July 1st, the oil embargo is going into effect. And that’s been very clear from the beginning, that we were on this track. I have to certify under American laws whether or not countries are reducing their purchases of crude oil from Iran, and I was able to certify that India was, Japan was, South Korea was. And we think, based on the latest data, that China is also moving in that direction. And thankfully, there’s been enough supply in the market that countries have been able to change suppliers.

On Syria, so far they’ve taken Russia’s lead on Syria. But we’re working on that every single day as well.

MR. ROSE: Why did they do that? Why do they take Russia’s lead?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think both Russia and China have a very strong aversion to interference in internal affairs.

MR. ROSE: Sovereignty issue.



SECRETARY CLINTON: And so for the Russians, we – I was with President Obama in Mexico two days ago. We had a two-hour meeting with President Putin. They’re just – they don’t want anything to do with it. They find it quite threatening, and basically they reject it out of hand. So anything that smacks of interference for the Russians and for the Chinese, they presume against. There are other reasons, but that’s the principal objection that they make.

MR. ROSE: Would coming – both different countries and different points, but they somehow come together on these issues – Syria and with respect to Russia and the role they are playing.


MR. ROSE: And the role that the United States is playing and the role that the region can play. What should we be doing and what is the risk of not doing?

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, I’ll answer that in just a minute. But first let me say if we’re going to have differences with Russia – and we do have some differences with Russia – it seems to me the most important difference we might have is with respect to Iran. And we don’t have that now, and that’s really important. And I don’t think we ought to create a problem with Russia vis-a-vis what we want to do in Iran about their nuclear ambitions as a result of something we might do in Syria. I just think the Iranian issue there is far more important really than how we resolve the Syrian issue.

How should we resolve the Syrian issue? I think we should continue to support a political transition in the government in Syria. But I don’t – but I think we ought to support it diplomatically, politically, and economically in every way that we can, but we should be very leery, extremely leery, about being drawn in to any kind of a military confrontation or exercise.

MR. ROSE: Does that include supplying them with arms?

SECRETARY BAKER: That – well, that’s a slippery slope. The fact of the matter is a lot of our allies are already supplying them with arms. Okay? It’s not something –

MR. ROSE: And our friends in the region.

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, I say our allies in the region. Yeah, they’re doing it. And it’s not something we have to do. I look at Syria and I think why are we not calling for something that we – this is – it may not be the right comparison, but in 1989, when we came into office, the wars in Central America were the holy grail of the left, political left in this country, and the holy grail of the political right in this country. We said if we can take these wars out of domestic politics, we can cure the foreign policy problem, and we did.

How did we do it? We put it to both parties – Daniel Ortega, the hardline, authoritarian dictator, if you will, in Nicaragua, and to Violeta Chamorro, the opposition candidate. We said if you’ll hold an election and both agree to abide by the results, that’s the way we’ll get out of this conundrum. That’s what happened. And both of them did agree, finally, to abide by the results. Ortega lost. President Carter was very instrumental in getting him to leave office. Why don’t we try something like that in Syria, I mean, and say look, political transition is what we’re looking for. Everybody – even the Russians, I think – would have difficulty saying no, we’re not going to go for an election, particularly if you let Bashar run. Let him run. Make sure you have a lot of observers in there. Make sure they can’t fix the election. Why not try that?

MR. ROSE: Why not try that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, actually, that is the path that we are trying. And I spoke with Kofi Annan again today. He is working on a political transition roadmap. We are somewhat disadvantaged by the fact that I think Assad still believes he can crush what he considers to be an illegitimate rebellion against his authority and characterizes everyone who opposes him as a terrorist who is supported by foreign interests. He’s not yet at the point where he understands his legitimacy is gone and he is on a downward slope.

The other problem we have is that the opposition has not yet congealed around a figure or even a group that can command the respect and attention internally within Syria as well as internationally. So what we’re doing is, number one, putting more economic pressure, because that is important, and the sanctions and trying to cut off the Syrian regime, and send a message to the Syrian business class, which so far has stuck with Assad.

We’re also working very hard to try to prop up and better organize the opposition. We’ve spent a lot of time on that. It still is a work in progress. We are also pushing hard on having Kofi Annan lay down a political transition roadmap and then getting a group of nations, that would include Russia, in a working group to try to sell that to both the Assad regime and to the opposition.

So, I mean, the path forward is exactly as Jim has described it. Getting the people and the interests on that path has been what we’ve been working on now for several months.

MR. ROSE: Who would be in that group other than the United States, Russia? Who else?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, you would have to have the Arab League because Kofi Annan is a joint envoy of both the UN and the Arab League. You would have to have the permanent members of the Security Council because that’s who he represents in his UN role. And you’d have to have the neighbors. You’ve got to have Turkey involved because of their long border and their very clear interests. But when I spoke with him today, he’s going to be making another proposal to the Russians, the Turks, and other interested groups to try to get them to agree on this roadmap and then a meeting, in effect to go public with it, so that we can increase the pressure not only on the Assad regime but on the opposition as well.

MR. ROSE: Is there a role for Iran?

SECRETARY CLINTON: At this point, it would be very difficult for Iran to be initially involved. I mean, I’m a big believer in talking to people when you can and trying to solve problems when you can. But right now, we’re focused on dealing with Iran and the nuclear portfolio. That has to be our focus. Iran’s always trying to get us to talk about anything else except their nuclear program.

And then we also have the added problem that Iran is not just supporting Assad, they are helping him to devise and execute the very plans that he is following to suppress, oppress the opposition.

SECRETARY BAKER: If you get the – you’re going to get the attention of the Russians and the Chinese, in my view, in the Security Council if you come with some sort of a proposal for a political transition that might involve an election, if you’re willing to say anybody and everybody can run. That means, of course, you got to make sure that the election is not fixed. But that would put a lot of pressure – the only reason I mention this, it seems to be that would put a lot of pressure on the Russians to support this idea.

With respect to Iran, I agree with the Secretary. This is not the place to involve them. However, I would think there might be a place for them in a group with respect to Afghanistan. They helped us when we first went in there. We talked to them. They were helpful. I’ve never understood myself why we are doing all the laboring, pulling all the – doing all the labor in Iran, treasure, blood —

MR. ROSE: In Afghanistan.

SECRETARY BAKER: I’m sorry – in Afghanistan – treasure, blood. And yet, every country who’s surrounding Afghanistan has a huge interest in a stable Afghanistan. Why don’t we see if we – everyone needs to – we’re leaving now, and we’ve said that, and I agree with that. So why don’t we say, “Hey, look it here. You all want a stable Afghanistan? Come on in here and help us. Everybody contribute.” In that instance, I think we ought to have Iran at the table.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And we agree with that. We are part of a large group of nations, as well as a smaller segment of that. Just last week, my deputy, Bill Burns, was in Kabul. Iran was there. Other countries in the region and further afield were there. Because Jim is absolutely right. I mean, part of what the problem, as we look forward in Central and South Asia, is that, once again, Afghanistan is so strategically located. And in the neighborhood in which it finds itself, there’s a lot of interest at work that have to be in some way brought to the table in order to try to have as much stability going forward.

And Iran is at the table. Now, Iran oftentimes is not a constructive player, but we’re going to keep them at the table and try to do what we can on behalf of Afghanistan for them to be a more positive force.

MR. ROSE: This question about Iran: My understanding of the Administration’s position on containment is that dog will not hunt. Right?


MR. ROSE: Do you agree with that?

SECRETARY BAKER: I agree with that.

MR. ROSE: Containment will not work.

SECRETARY BAKER: I agree with that. My personal position on that is this: We ought to try every possible avenue we can to see if we can get them to correct their desire and goal of acquiring a nuclear weapon, but we cannot let them acquire that weapon. We are the only country in the world that can stop that. The Israelis, in my opinion, do not have the capability of stopping it. They can delay it. There will also be many, many side effects, all of them adverse, from an Israeli strike. But at the end of the day, if we don’t get it done the way the Administration’s working on it now – which I totally agree with – then we ought to take them out.

MR. ROSE: Secretary Clinton. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re working hard. We’re working hard.

SECRETARY BAKER: And that’s a Republican. I said at the end of the day. The end of the day may be next year. (Laughter.) It will be next year.

MR. ROSE: I’m waiting.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. Look, I think the President has been very clear on this. He has always said all options are on the table. And he means it. He addressed this when he spoke to it earlier in the year.

MR. ROSE: Meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. And also in public speeches that he’s given. Look, I mean, I think Jim and I both would agree that everybody needs to know – most particularly the Iranians – that we are serious that they cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. It’s not only about Iran and about Iran’s intentions, however once tries to discern them. It’s about the arms race that would take place in the region with such unforeseen consequences. Because you name any country with the means, anywhere near Iran that is an Arab country, if Iran has a nuclear weapon – I can absolutely bet on it and know I will win – they will be in the market within hours. And that is going to create a cascade of difficult challenges for us and for Israel and for all of our friends and partners.

So this has such broad consequences. And that’s why we’ve invested an enormous amount in trying to persuade Iran that if – as the Supreme Leader says and issued a fatwa about – it is un-Islamic to have a nuclear weapon, then act upon that edict and demonstrate clearly that Iran will not pursue a nuclear weapon. And we are pushing them in these negotiations to do just that.

MR. ROSE: But as you know, the question is not whether they will have a nuclear weapon, but whether they will have the capacity to quickly have a nuclear weapon.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is obviously the question, and that is why Jim said at the end of the day, maybe a year. I mean, these kinds of calculations are –

SECRETARY BAKER: It may be more than that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: It may be more than that. They are difficult to make. A lot of countries around the world have what’s called breakout capacity.

MR. ROSE: Right.

SECRETARY CLINTON: They have stopped short of it. They have not pursued it. They have found it not to be in their interests or in the interests of regional stability.

MR. ROSE: But do you think that’s what they mean and that’s what they intend?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s what we’re testing. That’s what every meeting with them is about, to try to really probe and see what kinds of commitments we can get out of them. Now, at this point we don’t have them, so I can’t speak to what they might be if they are ever to be presented. But that’s why we have to take this meeting by meeting and pursue it as hard as we can.

SECRETARY BAKER: And the problem is not so much the threat they would represent to us or to Israel or to our allies somewhere in the region. It’s the proliferation problem, because it would really then be out of control. And that’s the real thing you have to guard, and that’s why I would say at the end of the day you just cannot let them have the weapon.

Now, what is – is that breakout time or is that after they make one or after they make three or four, or after you’re convinced they have the delivery vehicles? That’s all for the military to decide. But at some point you have to say that’s simply not going to happen.

MR. ROSE: I think I heard that loud and clear. But you’ve also suggested that the United States should do it rather than Israel.

SECRETARY BAKER: Absolutely. And the reason I say that is if you look at what Martin Dempsey said not long ago, he said if Israel —

MR. ROSE: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of —

SECRETARY BAKER: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said if Israel hits the Iranian nuclear facilities, we’re going to lose a lot of American lives in the region. Many people in the Israeli national security establishment have come out publicly now and questioned their leadership’s view that maybe Israel ought to do it. And they say no, Israel shouldn’t do it. There are a lot of unanticipated consequences that could follow from that, not least of which is strengthening the hand of the hardliners in Iran. I mean, you don’t want to do that. They’re having troubles now. The sanctions are not complete yet. We want to squeeze them down more. But they’re having an effect. And the government is having some problems, and you don’t want to lose all that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: In fact, I mean, what Jim is saying is a really important point, because we know that there is a vigorous debate going on within the leadership decision-making group in Iran. There are those who say look, these sanctions are really biting, we’re not making the kind of economic progress we should be making, we don’t give up that much by saying we’re not going to do a nuclear weapon and having a verifiable regime to demonstrate that.

And then frankly, there are those who are saying the best thing that could happen to us is be attacked by somebody, just bring it on, because that would unify us, it would legitimize the regime. You feel sometimes when you hear analysts and knowledgeable people talking about Iran that they fear so much about the survival of the regime, because deep down it’s not a legitimate regime, it doesn’t represent the will of the people, it’s kind of morphed into kind of a military theocracy. And therefore an argument is made constantly on the hardline side of the Iranian Government that we’re not going to give anything up, and in fact we’re going to provoke an attack because then we will be in power for as long as anyone can imagine.

SECRETARY BAKER: And Charlie, let me just explain why I said I don’t think the Israelis can do it but we can. The reason I say that is the Israeli Government came to the prior administration, the Bush 43 Administration, and then they asked for overflight rights, they asked for bunker-busting bombs, they asked for in-flight refueling capabilities. And the administration said no, that’s not in the national interest of the United States today for you to strike Iran’s nuclear facility. My understanding is they made the same request of this Administration. I don’t know the answer to that for sure. The Secretary would. But whether they did or not, that’s the reason I say if anybody’s going to do it, we ought to do it because we have the capability of doing it.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And hopefully we won’t get to that. (Laughter.) I mean, that would be, I think —

MR. ROSE: Because you believe there’ll be a change of behavior or a change of regime?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, there’s – I’m not going to talk about a change of regime. I see no evidence of that. I think the Iranian people deserve better, but that’s for them to try to determine.

MR. ROSE: But there is this question too about Iran, and I want to move to some other issues. Looking back at the time of the protest over the election, do you wish you’d done more? Do you wish you’d been more public, more supportive?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, look, at the time there was a very strong, consistent message coming from within Iran that anything we said would undermine the legitimacy of their opposition. Now —

MR. ROSE: This is from the opposition?

SECRETARY CLINTON: This is from the opposition coming out to us. And one can argue, were they right, were they not right, but at the time it seemed like they had some momentum, they did not want to look like they were acting on behalf of the United States or anybody else. This was indigenous to Iran and to Iranians’ discontents. And that made a lot of sense at the time, because the last thing anybody wanted was to give the regime the excuse that they didn’t have to respond to the legitimate concerns arising out of that election.

And what we did do, which I think was very value-added, was to work overtime to keep lines of communication open. We found out that social media tools, one in particular, was going to shut down for a long-scheduled rebooting of some sort, and we intervened and said no, because the opposition uses you to communicate, to say where they’re going to have demonstrations, to warn people. So we were deeply involved in a lot of public messaging that we thought did not cross the line that the opposition didn’t want us to cross. That was our assessment.

MR. ROSE: Let me move to Egypt and I’ll come back to some of these other points. What’s happening there today, and what is your understanding – and I’ll begin with Secretary Baker and then come back – of what’s the risk for the United States and what’s the risk for the Middle East in terms of where the army is, where the people who created the Arab Spring is, and where the Muslim Brotherhood is?

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, I think the risks are quite large, because for some time we’ve been looking at Egypt as perhaps a textbook success case of how —

MR. ROSE: Of the Arab Spring?

SECRETARY BAKER: Of the Arab Spring. Yeah. Now, people say not an Arab Spring, it’s also an Arab Winter, because of what’s happening. And there’s some, in my view, potential for that to happen.

It is not, as we sit here today, not an unalloyed success, because the military have come in, they’ve taken power back, and it looks like they’re going to keep it. And then we have a question of whether the results of the election are going to be confirmed or observed. There are all these questions coming forward within the last, frankly, last week – week or ten days. So it’s a real problem, because if Egypt goes the wrong way, if we lose the Arab – if we lose the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty – and that’s possible if the more radical elements in Egypt end up on top after all that’s happening now – that would be a very destructive and destabilizing event.

MR. ROSE: That’s not, by definition, what necessarily will happen if Morsi becomes the president.

SECRETARY BAKER: No. Not just – not Morsi, but there could be – we don’t know who’s going – and we don’t know whether the president’s going to have power or whether the military is going to keep the power.

MR. ROSE: Well, the military suggested it might very well keep it, haven’t they?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I mean, Jim is right. We are concerned and we have expressed those concerns. We think that it is imperative that the military fulfill its promise to the Egyptian people to turn power over to the legitimate winner. We don’t know yet who’s going to be named the winner of the election, but we think that the military has to proceed with its commitments to do so.

And so the actions that they’ve taken in the last week are clearly troubling. And it’s been a fast-moving situation, because we’ve had Mubarak’s serious illness intervene; we don’t yet have vote totals coming out; we don’t yet know what the military really has meant by these statements and decrees. They’ve said one set of things publicly, then they’ve been backtracking to a certain extent.

But our message has been very consistent, that, look, we think, number one, they have to follow through on the democratic process. And by that, we mean, yes, elections that are free and fair and legitimate, whose winner gets to assume the position of authority in the country, but who recognizes that democracy is not about one election, one time. And we have very clear expectations about what we are looking to see from whoever is declared the winner, that it has to be an inclusive democratic process, the rights of all Egyptians – women and men, Muslim and Christian, everyone – has to be respected. They have to have a stake in the future of the democratic experiment in Egypt. The military has to assume an appropriate role, which is not to try to interfere with, dominate, or subvert the constitutional authority. They have to get a constitution written. There’s a lot of work ahead of them.

We also believe it is very much in Egypt’s interest, while they’re facing political turmoil and economic difficulties, to honor the peace treaty with Israel. The last thing they need is to make a decision that would undermine their stability. And furthermore, we think it’s important that they reassert law and order over the Sinai, which is becoming a large, lawless area, and that they take seriously the internal threats from extremists and terrorists. So they have a lot ahead of them.

SECRETARY BAKER: Plus, the dissolution of the parliament.


SECRETARY BAKER: I mean, they’ve just come in and dissolved the elected parliament. How do you put that humpty dumpty back together?

MR. ROSE: But the impression – (laughter) – hard. The impression is that during the time of the revolution that was taking place that the lines between the American and the military was very good and very strong. And does that still exist?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there certainly is a continuing effort to reach out. And in fact, I know that there are ongoing conversations between our military leaders and their counterparts in Egypt. But the message is the one that I just said. We expect you to support the democratic transition, to recede by turning over authority. And we are watching this unfold, but with some really clear redlines about what we think should occur, based on what the people of Egypt thought they were getting.

One of the stories that will emerge even more in the months ahead is that the people who started the revolution in Tahrir Square decided they wouldn’t really get involved in politics. And I remember being there – and this kind of goes back to your very first question – going to Cairo shortly after the success of the revolution, meeting with a large group of these mostly young people. And when I said, “So are you going to form a political party? Are you going to be working on behalf of political change?” They said, “Oh no. We’re revolutionaries. We don’t do politics.”

And I —

MR. ROSE: Exactly.

SECRETARY CLINTON: — I sat there and I thought that’s how revolutions get totally derailed, taken over, undermined. And they now are expressing all kinds of disappointment at the choices they had and the results. But the energy that went in to creating this participatory revolution, giving people a sense of being citizens in a modern Egypt, has to be rekindled because this – as hard as this has been, this is just the beginning. They are facing so many problems that we could list for an hour that they’re going to have deal with. And they have to somehow paint a picture for the Egyptian people about what it’s going to take to get the result of this hard-fought change that they’ve experienced.

MR. ROSE: That’s true about every country, isn’t it? Whether it’s Libya —

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is. Absolutely.

MR. ROSE: — or Tunisia or Egypt or whatever happens in Syria.

SECRETARY BAKER: Absolutely. We do not know.


MR. ROSE: We will not know how it shakes out and who the leaders that will come to power will be —


MR. ROSE: — and what they’re ambitions will be to play what role in the world scene.


SECRETARY BAKER: That’s correct.

SECRETARY CLINTON: In fact, Charlie, we have here what’s called the A-100 class. These are our new, up and coming, rising Foreign Service officers who are here taking stock of Jim and me. (Laughter.) And probably a lot of the work that —

MR. ROSE: Those are the ones that look like teenagers?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. They do, don’t they? (Laughter.) They do.

SECRETARY BAKER: They’re the ones that are teenagers. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. But a lot of the work that is going to have to happen – because this is a generational project. This is not something that’s going to be done in a year or one American administration. This is a generational project. And preparing these young Foreign Service officers for the aftermath of these revolutions, how we manage it, how we try to exercise influence, as hard as it is because we have to be so sensitive about it, that’s really what diplomacy is about. And we’re going to be doing that for a long time.

MR. ROSE: I once read where you said it’ll take 25 years before we will really know how this thing will shake out and the influence it’ll have over the long term.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. But we shouldn’t be surprised by that. I do think it’s important, as Americans, that we kind of remember our own beginnings. And shaping our country did not happen overnight. We had a constitution written that didn’t include me, didn’t include African American slaves. It didn’t include men – white men who didn’t own property. I mean, we had a lot of changes that we had to do for ourselves to realize the vision of our founders. But we had a vision. And that is what is so often lacking in a lot of these countries. They know what they’re against, but they can’t quite agree on what they’re for.

And so part of the challenge that they face, which we try to set an example for, is what does democracy really mean? How do you really institutionalize it? How do you protect human rights? How do you build an independent judiciary? All of those pieces which, frankly, took us a while. So we need a little humility as we approach this.

MR. ROSE: How would you like to see the United States over the next decade or two play a role in the region? And how can it play a role that will be positive, leading to the kinds of governments that we would hope would be —

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, I would hope that the United States —

MR. ROSE: — new but different?

SECRETARY BAKER: — would continue to play a leadership role not just in that region but in the world as a whole because I believe that when the United States is involved abroad, we are involved for good. We don’t look – we’re not looking to get into anybody’s sandbox or take anybody’s stuff. We have been – when we involve ourselves internationally, for the most part we have been a force for good. So I think the United States needs to lead. We need to be involved.

I totally agree with the Secretary, we’re not going to know how these things turn out in the Arab Spring for a long time. And some of them may turn out very badly, actually. It’s possible. You might get militant, radical Islamists taking over in some of these countries. On the other hand, you may – some of them may very well succeed. And I hope they will, and think they will. But I think it’s really important that the United States involved in the world. And part of that involvement is diplomacy. We’re here today to support the Diplomacy Center because, as you said in your opening, we’ve got a military museums and centers; we don’t have but – we only have one diplomacy. Diplomacy is a very important part of our international relationship.

MR. ROSE: But some – two things. Number one, first on the idea of diplomacy versus military, I mean, some people – and the late Richard Holbrooke used to make this point; he worried that the military was shaping the world, especially in Afghanistan, and to the exclusion of diplomacy. Do you have some concerns about that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I wouldn’t say to the exclusion, but certainly —

MR. ROSE: An imbalance, perhaps.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that by most definitions, the power, the presence, the resources of the military are quite disproportionate to what we can field through the State Department and USAID. But what has happened in the last decade in Iraq and in Afghanistan has been quite important. The growing appreciation and cooperation between our military, our diplomats, and our development experts – I call it the three Ds of foreign policy – and both Bob Gates and Leon Panetta were real champions of this because they recognized that if we weren’t working as an American team, we were going to get out of balance. And it’s not been an easy relationship because there are different cultures, different expectations, about what we’re working for, what kind of result we’re seeking. But we’ve learned to not just coexist but cooperate in the field, on the ground.

I give out heroism awards. I’ve given out about 30 of them the last three and a half years. They’ve gone to diplomats who’ve saved soldiers’ lives in PRTs in Iraq, diplomats and development experts who literally have been on the front lines in Afghanistan. So we’re shaping an expeditionary diplomacy for the 21st century that has to work hand-in-hand with the military.

SECRETARY BAKER: Your foreign policy has got to be supported strongly by the military, but it’s got to have a diplomatic component, a very important diplomatic component. I’ve always said that diplomacy is best practiced with a male fist. That’s where the military comes in. But you said something about the last 10 years. Well, the last 10 years we’ve fought two very long and expensive wars. So it’s natural, I think, that the military side of the equation would be emphasized.

I happen to believe – maybe I’m wearing my Treasury hat now – I happen to believe the American people are tired of wars. I know one thing: We’re broke. We can’t afford them anymore. We can’t afford a lot of things. And the biggest threat facing this country today is not some threat from outside. It’s not Iran. It’s not nuclear weapons or anything else. It’s our economic —

MR. ROSE: We’ve got to get our economic house in order.

SECRETARY BAKER: We’d better damn well get our economic house in order because the strength of our nation has always depended upon our economy. You can’t be strong politically, militarily, or diplomatically if you’re not strong economically.

SECREARY CLINTON: Well, amen to that because – (laughter) – I’ve had to go around the world the last three and a half years reassuring many leaders, both in the governments and business sectors of a lot of countries, that the United States was moving forward economically, that we were not ceding our leadership position; we were as present and as powerful as ever, but we recognized that we had to put our economic house in order.

I was in Hong Kong during the debt ceiling debate, and all of these billionaire moguls were at this event lining up and with real anxiety in their faces, asking me whether the United States of America was going to default on its debt. And I said oh, no. Then – (laughter) – had to hope that people were listening.

So yes, I mean, if we don’t get our economic house in order – and obviously, there are perhaps some differences about how to do it. But when Secretary Baker was Secretary of the Treasury, when President Bush 41 were in office, when my husband was in office, we actually compromised. I know that some believe that’s a word that has been banished from the Washington vocabulary, but I’m also spending a lot of time explaining to people in new democracies that democracy is about compromise. By definition, you don’t think you have all the truth all the time. And people of good faith of different perspectives or different parties have to come together and hammer out these compromises. And so, of course we’ve got to get back into the political work of rolling our sleeves up and solving these problems.

MR. ROSE: She’s singing your hymn.

SECRETARY BAKER: I don’t disagree with that at all. (Laughter.) No, you know that. No, siree.

MR. ROSE: Go ahead.

SECRETARY BAKER: On the other hand, I hate to tell you this, but based on my political experience and my public service experience, it ain’t going to happen till after November. (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE: All right.

SECRETARY BAKER: Why haven’t you asked us about Pakistan?

MR. ROSE: I’m coming to Pakistan. (Laughter.) As fast as I can.

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, you ask her. Ask her that. (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE: Let me ask, before I get to Pakistan, this point. She has said before that America cannot solve all the world’s problems.


MR. ROSE: But no problem can be solved without American involvement. Do you share that?

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, I think – I said a minute ago I think America has to lead, because when we lead, we usually see good results. And we’re a force for good when we’re out there leading. I wouldn’t say that no problem can be solved without American participation, but it’s hard to think of one. (Laughter.) It really is.

MR. ROSE: All right. So how do you assess what the state of our relationship with Pakistan, before I come back to the Secretary?

SECRETARY BAKER: I think it’s terrible. And I think it’s really sad, because for the duration of the Cold War they were our ally, and India was the ally of the Soviet Union, and now all of that is changed. But the relationship is very problematic in my view. It’s a tough job. I’m glad I’m not sitting there trying to deal with the Pakistani relationship. And I think we need to maintain a relationship with them. A lot of people are saying cut of all their aid, fire them and so forth. I think we need to maintain a relationship with them because they’re a nuclear power and because it’s really important that we not see nuclear conflagration in the subcontinent. And we don’t want to see any more proliferation than we’ve seen from Pakistan.

MR. ROSE: A lot of bad people –

SECRETARY BAKER: But guess what? They’ve been a very problematic ally. They really have. And we need to —

MR. ROSE: You mean by things like ISI and their activities?

SECRETARY BAKER: Yeah. And the proliferation that took place under Khan and the fact the Obama – Osama was living there in Abbottabad for all that time. And don’t tell me they didn’t know that. And the fact that they’ve now thrown this doctor in jail for 33 years who helped us find him. All of these – and they want to charge us $5,000 per truck. I mean, come on —

MR. ROSE: I’ll make this easy for you. What would a President Jim Baker do?

SECRETARY BAKER: I think I might do what I did when I was Secretary of State sitting in this office one floor down. The first month I was here, one of the assistant secretaries came in and said, “Mr. Secretary, you need to sign this.” I said, “What is it?” He said, “It’s a certification that Pakistan is not developing a nuclear weapon.” I said, “Well, they are, aren’t they?” And they said, “Yes.” (Laughter.) And like the greenhorn I was, I signed it. (Laughter.)

And the next year, at the same week, same guy came in. “Mr. Secretary, you need to sign this.” I said, “What is it?” “It’s the certification required under the Pressler Amendment that Pakistan is not developing a nuclear weapon.” I said, “ Well, they are, aren’t they?” He said, “ Yes, they are.” And I said, “Well, why do I have to sign it?” He said, “Because the White House wants it.” And I said, “Well, you take it over to the White House and tell them to sign it.” (Laughter.) And I didn’t sign it. And guess what, we cut off our aid.

Okay. Now, at some point we need to seriously think about doing that. We need to get their attention.

MR. ROSE: But I thought you just said you would not cut off their aid. Are you now saying that we —

SECRETARY BAKER: I said we need to maintain a relationship with them, but we need to get their attention. Okay? We shouldn’t break the relationship right now and sever the relationship totally, but we need to get their attention. And I’m very sympathetic to the people on the Hill who are saying wait a minute, we’re funneling – we’re broke, we’re giving taxpayer money to this country which is not treating us right.

MR. ROSE: So there. (Laughter.)


SECRETARY BAKER: That’s not fair to ask her that. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, look, I think that our relationship with Pakistan has been challenging for a long time. Some of it is of our own making. There’s a lot of concern looking back. We did a great job in getting rid of the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. But I think a lot of us – and Bob Gates has said this – looking back now, perhaps we should have been more involved in the aftermath of what was going to happen to the Pakistanis. They had embraced a kind of jihadi mentality in part to stimulate fighters both from the outside and within Afghanistan.

So we are living with a country that has a lot of difficult issues both for themselves and then for us and others. But here’s what I would say. First of all, I completely agree it is not in our interests to cut off our relationship. It is in our interest to try to better direct and manage that relationship, and there are several things that we’re asking the Pakistanis to do more of and better. Number one, they’ve got to do more about the safe havens inside their own country. I mean, everybody knows that the Taliban’s momentum has been reversed, territory has been taken back, the Afghan Security Forces are performing much better, but the extremists have an ace in the hole. They just cross the border; they get direction and funding and fighters, and they go back across the border.

And what we’ve said to the Pakistanis is look, if there were ever an argument in the past for your policy of hedging against Afghanistan by supporting the Haqqani Network or the Afghan Taliban or the LET against India, those days are over. Because that’s like the guy who keeps poisonous snakes in his backyard convinced they’ll only attack his neighbors. That is not what is happening inside Pakistan. They are losing sovereignty. They have large areas that are ungoverned. They’ve had a rash of terrible attacks. More than 30,000 Pakistanis have been killed in the last decade. They talk a lot about sovereignty. Well, the first job of any sovereign nation is to protect your own people and secure your own borders. And therefore that’s what they should be doing, and by doing so they would help themselves first and foremost, help the Afghans, help us, and others.

Secondly, they have to be willing to recognize that as we withdraw from Afghanistan, it is in their interest to have a strong, stable Afghan Government that only can come from being part of the solution, being at that table, as we were discussing earlier, to try to help with Afghanistan’s economic and political and security development, rather than doing everything possible to try to undermine it.

So these are big issues that they have to come to grips with, and that’s not even mentioning the need to prevent nuclear proliferation or a nuclear incident that could occur because of the problems within their own system.

MR. ROSE: For the historical record, you believe they knew that Usama bin Ladin was there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have never been able to prove that anyone at the upper levels knew that. I said when I first went to Pakistan as Secretary in 2009 that I found it impossible to believe that somebody in their government didn’t know where he was – I still believe that – and that he took up residence and built this huge compound in a military garrison town. But we – to be fair, we have no evidence that anybody at the upper levels – and certainly if you talk about the civilian government, because the other goal that we have is to try to strengthen democracy and a civilian government inside Pakistan. And I have no reason to believe that the civilian government knew anything. So whether – who was in what level of responsibility in the military or the ISI, whether they were active or retired, because we do know that there are links to retired members, we’ve never been able to close that loop.

SECRETARY BAKER: And at the very least, they ought to stop double-dealing us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah, at the very least. And —

MR. ROSE: And you ought to threaten them with removing aid in order to use that leverage to get them to stop?

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, I’m not sure we give them enough that that’s going to make them stop. But they need to know that we’re upset about this. They ought to stop double-dealing.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. And they should release Dr. Afridi.

SECRETARY BAKER: Absolutely, they ought to release him.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Which is something that is so unnecessary and gratuitous on their part. This man was an international terrorist. The Pakistanis for years claimed he was their enemy as well as ours. And my argument to them is that this man contributed to ending the al-Qaida leadership that was in their country, and they shouldn’t treat him like a criminal.

MR. ROSE: There are so many issues that we could have talked about – international terrorism and how it’s moving, where it’s moving, whether it’s Yemen or other kinds of places. It just suggests that the role of Secretary of State in this country continues to be one in which you are just juggling a thousand balls all at the same time.

I want to thank Secretary Baker for coming up from Texas and sharing your ideas and your opinions with us, as we have done today.


MR. ROSE: We hope that other Secretaries will be here, and to hear people at the top of American Government who’ve had important roles and to take advantage of their own experience, their history, and to funnel that through a consideration of the challenge that faces Secretary Clinton every day. So thank both of you for this time. (Applause.)

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“Conversations on Diplomacy” Moderated by Charlie Rose


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger
Washington, DC
April 20, 2011

Video from the “Conversations on Diplomacy” is available on the Charlie Rose Show homepage at http://www.charlierose.com/.

MR. ROSE: We’re at the State Department in Washington, D.C. for a special edition of Charlie Rose. It is called “Conversations on Diplomacy.” We inaugurate the series with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Other former Secretaries of State will follow. It is an opportunity to hear these men and women who have served as Secretary of State talk with Secretary Clinton about today’s issues, the philosophical framework for decision-making, our changing world and new realities. Also, to look back at the history of each. What can we learn from their experience? How do they view with 20/20 hindsight their action and their failure to act?

Secretary of State is a remarkable position held by a stunning group of Americans from Thomas Jefferson to George Marshall to Hillary Clinton, also other familiar names in American history like John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Evans Hughes, Dean Acheson, Ed Muskie, and many more. They have come from an extraordinary diversity of experience, from university professor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, from politics to law. After the recent death of Warren Christopher, there are eight living Secretaries of State. There are, of course, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Lawrence Eagleburger, James Baker, George Shultz, and Henry Kissinger.

These conversations are being recorded at the State Department where room by room you can see America’s history and the object of history, and also a wonderful collection of American paintings and decorative art. The rooms are named for former Secretaries of State. The John Quincy Adams room is home to the desk at which the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the American Revolutionary War. The treaty was signed by John Jay, John Adams, and Ben Franklin. These rooms have witnessed historic meetings between American officials and foreign ministers and heads of state. We take note of the 50th anniversary of these rooms and the Patrons of Diplomacy Initiative.

We begin our conversations on diplomacy with Secretary of State Clinton and former Secretary of State Kissinger. Secretary Clinton came to this office after serving as first lady of Arkansas and the United States, and the United States senator from New York. She was appointed by President Obama after a spirited contest for the Democratic nomination for president.

Secretary Kissinger was a Harvard professor, National Security Advisor for President Nixon, and Secretary of State in the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

I first want to thank Secretary Clinton for allowing us to come here at the State Department in these historic rooms.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Charlie, we delighted to have you here for these conversations, and especially in these rooms which have seen a lot of history and which continue to help us chart our way forward. And I’m especially pleased to welcome back Dr. Kissinger for today’s discussion.

MR. ROSE: How do you see this world that has emerged? What are the factors, what’s the opportunity for the United States? Where do we want to go and how do we want to use our resources?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think about that question every day because, although there is a very clear continuity in American foreign policy that I would argue goes back to the very beginning of our country, every era presents its own challenges and opportunities. And today in this first part of the 21st century we clearly continue to spend an extraordinary amount of our time on state-to-state relationships. But we increasingly are focused on networks, on multilateral relationships and organizations, on charting the changes that are sweeping the world, many of them driven by technology and trying to understand the implications of those changes for the decisions that we make here.

There are many more actors who have a role to play and who are demanding that that role be recognized today. And we have to keep up with it. The flood of information that now comes to us, not just from traditional media but from all of the new forms of media, we’re just as likely to see events starting from Twitter feeds as from the statements of heads of state. And, therefore, we’ve had to adjust, and it has been one of my goals as Secretary of State to really look at 21st century statecraft and to recognize the increasing role that people-to-people diplomacy plays in assisting the United States in understanding trends, and in influencing decisions.

So it’s been — I would hesitate to characterize completely, but it’s been a very active and challenging period for the last two-plus years.

MR. ROSE: I somewhere read that you’ve gone over the 512,000 miles.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, but who’s counting?


MR. ROSE: And 83 countries.


MR. ROSE: Secretary Kissinger, when you were Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, there were two great superpowers Russia and the United States. Today, people say that there are limits on our power and that the United States has to live in a different world.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: Well, first of all, let me say what a pleasure it is to be back here. And as part of the community of former Secretaries of State who have a nonaggression treaty with each other —


MR. ROSE: A nonaggression treaty?

SECRETARY KISSINGER: They know what this job is like, and they know how close the decisions are that need to be made. So in all cases they would have great sympathy for their successors, and in this case it goes back a long time.

Now, when I served, we had two great superpowers, and we lived with the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe, which is, from that point of view, less likely today. But even then there were limits to American power, and the art of foreign policy is to operate at the limit of your power but not to go beyond it, and to recognize that other countries must feel they’re part of the international system or the tensions become unmanageable.

What is unique about this period, I think, is that for the first time in history, there are huge changes going on simultaneously in every part of the world, and that these changes are not of the same nature. In Europe, where the state system originated, the state is losing its significance, and they’re trying to form a larger unit. In the Middle East, the states never took hold in the same manner and on the same pages, and there is a religious overtone to the contest. In Asia the states have a character more similar to what the European states used to have.

So all I’m saying is that when the Secretary today has to make a decision, she is not talking about the same phenomenon in every part of the world. She has to understand the different cultures, the different histories, and she has to try to bring that into a coherent relationship. And for

Americans who did not until fairly recently have to engage in foreign policy on a regular basis, that is a tough road.

MR. ROSE: Secretary Clinton, what do you think the world and member states of the world community expect from the United States? What kind of leadership?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that the United States remains a dominant power in the world today, the dominant power on many measures. But as Henry said, the art of diplomacy is to balance the power you have with the aims you seek in an attempt to bring as many people with you in a common effort and to draw lines where one must to protect your interests and your security and advance your values. I think there is a lot of questioning and even some anxiety in the world today, particularly among leaders and among intellectuals about what it is that we are trying to achieve. Where is America heading? What are our goals?

Because we’re living in a time of such rapid change, and I think President Obama has rightly captured the feeling of that by the embodiment that he represents of that change and by his very focused effort to reach out to the rest of the world while demonstrating America’s continuing influence and power. So what do people expect of us? Sometimes what they publicly say they expect of us is very different than what they privately say they expect of us. We all the time —

MR. ROSE: Can you explain that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, yes, to some extent.


We all the time encounter in relations with other countries a desire for the United States to take a position on an issue that may be of importance to them, and even to us, and they think it’s very important that we become involved, and usually on their side. But I’ve also seen those who say publicly we don’t want the United States involved, and then privately to us are very much begging us to be involved.

So I think there’s an uncertainty on a lot of different levels right now about power, about the future of states, about the role of religion, which is increasingly challenging in many parts of the world, about, you know, the rise of powers like China and the role that India and Brazil and others will play. So there’s a lot of questioning, but it’s been my experience in the last two and a half years that more often than not, people come expecting the United States to be if not fixing problems, to be part of fixing whatever problems an individual state has or a region has. And our biggest — one of our biggest foreign policy challenges right now is to get our own house in order. That is something that we — I feel very strongly about, I know the President does as well, because we have to consolidate our own economic and political position in order to be able to continue to influence events in the future.

MR. ROSE: As you have said and the President said no country can long maintain, you know, its geopolitical position if its economy is suffering.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s right. Well, but it’s also important to keep the American people feeling very positive about the direction of our own country because that influences what kind commitment a government can make. Even in the most authoritarian regimes around the world people are listening to the opinions of their public because those publics now have many more ways of expressing that opinion. And so there’s a growing effort to make sure that your views and your actions at home and abroad are aligned with what public opinion is.

MR. ROSE: The Arab spring, from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya to Bahrain, how do you see this? What is a strategic opportunity for the United States? And let’s take Libya first.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Whether it’s Libya or Tunisia or Egypt or Syria or Yemen, there is an overall arc of action occurring, some of which are hopeful and some of which are very troubling. And I think Henry can look at that from a broader strategic perspective.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I look at it — the Secretary has to make the day-to-day decisions as such a crisis develops. From my present posture I look at it as a historian primarily, and so there are a number of rules that I apply to revolutions.

One is you cannot judge the outcome of a revolution by the proclamations of those who make it. Secondly, those who make it rarely survive the process of the revolution, and so that the second wave of the revolution is tremendously important. Third, the greater the upheaval that the revolution causes, the more likely is it that the — in order to restore order and a sense of legitimacy, that — that a lot of force gets used. So when one looks at the process — so I look at the process not in terms of what to do tomorrow because that I couldn’t really affect and I wouldn’t really know.

But I would make some judgments as to where this is going. And I was in a program with you earlier, and I warned against the extreme enthusiasm in some of the media about the inevitable progress that this was going to have in every — in every part of the world. So I think we are

now in scene one of act one of a five-act drama that will develop over a considerable period of time and in which we have to determine our interests, our range of influence, and what conflicting motivations may be involved.

MR. ROSE: Speak to our interests and our influence.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, if we’re looking at our interests, our interests are to see a peaceful, stable transition to a more representative form of government in which institutions are able to democratize over time and people are given the opportunity to make more decisions about their own lives, but to do so in a way that does not exacerbate preexisting differences, particularly sectarian differences, that doesn’t create more discrimination against any group, including women, but instead leads to a broader base for stability of the right kind, a market economy that can function without the pressures from corruption, the ability of a government to be responsive to the needs of its people instead of just to a privileged elite, and a sense that the population itself is becoming more integrated into the larger world.

I mean, one of the problems about the Middle East and North Africa is that this region of the world did not grow and prosper during the last 50 years when all of the rest of the world did. Now, with great resources in some but not all of the countries, there was a more — a more of a focus on development which produced goods for people. But in many of the countries there was further and deeper poverty, and there was no real effort to chart a course of development that would move people upward on the scale of accomplishment, educational attainment, and the like.

So you’re looking at a part of the world that the Arab Development Reports started saying in 2002 was really being left out. So it was only a matter of time before people who are now connected by the Internet, who had access to satellite television, were going to say, “Wait a minute. Is there something different between us and the Chinese or the Koreans or the Colombians or the Brazilians? The answer is no. So why is it we are not in some way making this kind of material progress, let alone democratic progress?”

So it’s been — it’s been a long time coming. The frustration has now come through very loudly and clearly. But Henry’s caution is the right caution because nobody knows how this is going end. And the voices of stability can be pro-change but in a gradual way, or anti-change, trying to hang on to the status quo. So what we try to do all time is to chart a course emphasizing nonviolence, emphasizing inclusive political and economic reform. And some of it is happening, and a lot of it is still unclear to us.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I agree with what the Secretary has said. I would just add that there’s another — there’s an additional dimension, namely that as we are trying to achieve the objectives there is simultaneously going on a strategic competition between some of these states — Saudi Arab and Iran, between some of the religions. And we have in some cases a national interest in the outcome of these conflicts so that in dealing with all the issues that the Secretary has mentioned, and with which I agree, we also have to do it in such a way that we don’t tilt the strategic conflict in a direction that is unfavorable to us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And that is exactly right, because, make no mistake about it, we see Iran as the major threat to the region. And nothing that has happened in the Arab awakening in any way diminishes that threat in the short term. In fact, we see Iran trying to take advantage of what is going on, which is the height of hypocrisy, but that has never stopped the regime before. And what they are doing is trying to somehow connect their failed revolution of 1979 with the movements for aspiration and change that are now sweeping the region.

So we have a lot of good friends in this region, people that we may not agree on every issue when it comes to politics or economics, by any means, but, you know, they’re good friends of the United States. They have been for many decades. And what we are saying both publicly and privately is don’t do anything that gives any ammunition, so to speak, to the Iranians, because we don’t want the Iranians to be given one iota of credit for what is a non-Iranian phenomenon. It is an Egyptian phenomenon, a Tunisian phenomenon, a Libyan phenomenon. And so when we look at this, we have — it’s like playing multidimensional chess of an unprecedented scope, because you’re on a tight wire. You’re trying to hold the board. You’re trying to figure out how to make the moves, and people are yelling at you from a 360-degree angle.


And so there is a lot here that we try to sort out and to understand both in the short term — what do we say today, because we’re living in a media environment where if you haven’t respond to the latest tweet in the last 30 seconds, somehow you’re not keeping up with what’s going on in the world when that is no way to make any decisions, let alone those of such strategic importance. So we’re looking at it in the very, very short term, and trying to make decisions that are going to be in the best interest of the United States first and foremost, but also in the best interest of the values and the interests that people we identify with are promoting while keeping in mind this larger strategic framework.

MR. ROSE: But that’s the point some people raise, is there a conflict between our values and our interests?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, ultimately, no, but are we take talking in a 5-year, 10-year, or 50-year framework? I’m sitting looking at the front row here with a lot of ambassadors and the second row as well of countries who are going through their own versions of change, some of them very dramatically, like Egypt, some of them over time, like China.

But there’s no doubt that we believe eventually free-market economies will prove to be the most effective means of both generating and distributing wealth, that democracy defined by the conditions of a country, but as inclusive as possible, will end up being the most stable form of government. But is that a 5-year, a 10-year, a 50-year, a 100-year enterprise? There’s no way any of us sitting here today can predict that.

MR. ROSE: Did we miss a sense that this was coming? Should we, as a country and administration have known this was coming?

SECRETARY KISSINGER: As a historian, you could say when a regime has been in power for 30 years and is not changing as fast as the circumstances would indicate, that something ought to be done. And as a professor you can say it should have been done. As a practitioner, I’m more sympathetic. I’m sure that when you came in, you knew some of the difficulties. But you had to make your own priorities of what you had to deal with first. So in that sense you can say yes, one should have known, but one never expects it. And after all, the political parties — a colleague of mine visited Egypt during the week of when the upheaval started, and she actually had come from the CIA, so she was a trained person. She went to the political parties and said to them, “I understand a day of rage has been advertised.” And all the political parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood said that’s for children. That’s not going to amount to anything.

I guess in a historical sense one should have known something was going to happen. But to translate that into an American action that would guide a historical process, that’s a very tough, and it’s always very hard to deal with problems.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I wanted to answer, too, the question about interests because there’s a– there’s a situation that we’re dealing with every day here at the State Department, and that’s Afghanistan and Pakistan. There was a consensus in our foreign policy establishment that we were going to do whatever we could to help the Mujaheddin drive out the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. It was a bipartisan commitment. It was entered into with great certainty, that it was the right thing to do. And it contributed significantly to the eventual not only withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan but the internal problems that exacerbated the tensions within the soviet union that led to its collapse.

So in hindsight we often say to ourselves, OK, that was what we viewed as in our interest, and we did it. And then we made another decision, which was OK, the Soviet Union has collapsed, so we do not need to expend treasure and maybe lives doing anything else in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so we withdrew. And the vacuum that was filled by the Taliban, the warlords, et cetera, the safe haven for Al-Qaida and all the rest is something that people now say to me, they say, well, did we make a mistake in the 1980s, and should we not have done what we did with the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan? But it’s one of these questions that is unanswerable because you made — we made the decision at the time based on our analysis of those circumstances. Where we fell short, which is often the case in trying to analyze what comes next, is looking over the horizon, doing every scenario, every kind of war game, which is hard to do on an ongoing basis because you’re so caught up in the day-to-day. But there were certainly people who then said, well, that was a terrible mistake that you left Pakistan and left Afghanistan and then look what happened.

So we pursue our interests. Of course our interests in seeing the collapse of the Soviet Union can’t in some way trump our interests in avoiding 9/11. But some people conflate those and say you should have known one led to the other. So there are all these questions that we’re constantly asking ourselves and trying to get the best possible answers to.

MR. ROSE: Let me turn to Libya, because it is every time on the front pages of the newspapers. What is your assessment of what ought to be done if our interest is regime change?

SECRETARY KISSINGER: If our interest is regime change —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Which of course is not our interest.

MR. ROSE: OK, but that’s why we’re having the conversation.


SECRETARY KISSINGER: First of all, I don’t consider Libya central to the issues that we’ve discussed. I think it’s of some importance, but it’s peripheral to what we discussed about Egypt, the Gulf, and so forth. I think that whatever one’s view about the wisdom of engaging in military action there, once we are involved, we — it’s better if the Qadhafi regime is removed, because I don’t think any constructive evolution is now possible as long as he is — as long as he is there. And, therefore, on the whole, I would say the scale of effort that is needed to bring that about, but if that isn’t possible, then some political solution should be sought. What I don’t like is an open-ended situation which is a daily irritant of fluctuating second-level military operations. So one or the other should be achieved.

MR. ROSE: Are we looking at a stalemate?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I think it’s too soon to tell. I think that, as I counseled my foreign minister colleagues in Berlin last week, I mean, we want to get to a point where there is a resolution, and it has to be a political resolution. But it may not be as quick as all of us would like to see it. And I think there’s a lot of effort being put into the political outreach that is going to be necessary to try to resolve this. I agree with, you know, Henry’s assessment that, you know you can’t be a little of this and a little of that. There does have to be an effort made to reach a resolution, and that is ongoing.

MR. ROSE: Can you have a resolution with Qadhafi still in the country?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t think so.

MR. ROSE: But the motivation is not to regime change?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are operating under the United Nations authority, and that is not part of the United Nations authority.

MR. ROSE: But it seems that Britain and France are operating beyond the United Nations authority.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they are certainly making, you know, their decisions to support, as they see it, the United Nations. Their decisions to send in military advisers they characterize as an effort to protect civilians, because part of what everyone has seen is that there’s no experience in the opposition military personnel. And so there is a desire to try to help them be more organized, and we support that. We’re not participating in it but we support it.

MR. ROSE: We’re not likely to be drawn into it.


MR. ROSE: The Palestinians are going to the United Nations probably in September for a vote on statehood. What do you think is going to happen? What should happen? And what should the United States do?

SECRETARY KISSINGER: First of all, this is an issue that the Secretary will have to decide in the next weeks. And so I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to say what we should do. I’ll make a general statement not about what should we do at the U.N. but what I think some of the surrounding issues are to be.

If there is an agreement, however it comes about, there will have to be some guarantees that it’s the only way it can be made tolerable and acceptable. At the present moment it is very difficult for most of the Arab states to give reliable guarantees because they are in great turmoil themselves. So the question is: Can some other guarantees be substituted for this, at least at a minimum, time lag that exists? And on the other hand, endless continuation of the present situation is — it’s not acceptable to any of the parties concerned.

But how to navigate in that, I really think it would be wrong for me to sit here and make a recommendation for something that is so short term in front of us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me just make a few general comments, because we are on record as having said that we do not support any unilateral effort by the Palestinians to go to the United Nations to try to obtain some authorization, approval, vote, with respect to statehood, because we think you can only achieve the two-state solution, which we strongly advocate, through negotiation. And we have been urging both the Israelis and the Palestinians to get on with the business of actually negotiating. Both of them, for their own reasons, have been somewhat concerned about proceeding in negotiations and laying out positions on very sensitive matters even before the upheaval in the region. But it is absolutely clear now that with all of the uncertainty both are trying to analyze what this means for their future position.

And so, I would hope — and President Obama has said that he will continue to press both sides, which is what we believe we have to do, that everyone would realize that negotiations are the only way, but more than that, they are an immediate need to return to, because our assessment is that it is in the best interests of both the Israelis and the Palestinians, even in the midst of everything going on in the region, to try to turn to the hard work of determining borders, determining the security requirements, and dealing with all the other issues that they have to face.

MR. ROSE: And it’s in our national interest to see an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis and a Palestinian state.

SECRETARY CLINTON: It has been American policy for more than 20, 30 years now.

MR. ROSE: Let me take you to Vietnam and a speech. Tell us what you are articulating as America’s policy, foreign policy, with respect to Asia, to the region, its relationships with other states, and its assessment of China’s intentions?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, it was important in this Administration that we make clear that the United States is both a Pacific and an Atlantic power. And I made my first trip very shortly after becoming Secretary of State to Asia with that message. Understandably, the prior administration had been very focused on Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, and there was a feeling by a number of leaders and influential people in the region that the United States was receding from Asia. And that was never a decision. That was never intended. But we needed to make that very clear.

So we’ve done things that they’re not going to get maybe headlines in the newspapers here at home, but joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with the ASEAN nations, with the Southeast Asian nations, which no administration had done, but which sent a very strong signal. We are part of the Pacific world. We have a history here, and we’re going to stay involved — joining the East Asian Summit, another multilateral organization. So our goal was to make it absolutely indisputable that the United States has interests and we have alliances and partnerships that we are going to continue to invest in.

MR. ROSE: Were you drawing a red line at any point?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, I mean, no, because we think that there is an opportunity here in Asia to see a very cooperative approach toward the future, which is why when I became Secretary and looked at our engagement with China it was very heavily weighted on the economic side, as everybody knows. And what we wanted to do was to marry the economic side with the strategic side, and so the Strategic and Economic Dialogue that Treasury Secretary Geithner and I co-chair was a result of that. And we’ve had two successful meetings, the first here, the second in Beijing, and then the third will be in Washington in early May.

And, you know, we have an opportunity to develop exactly what both President Obama and President Hu Jintao said we wanted: a positive, cooperative, comprehensive relationship. And there’s a lot more dialogue going on at all levels now between the United States and China. Do we still have differences? Of course we do. Are we going to stand our ground on some of those differences? Of course there is no question of that. But as much as we can be constantly interacting and solving problems together, both bilaterally and multilaterally, the more our relationship will mature, and I think that’s a very important goal for us to have going forward.

MR. ROSE: You just wrote a book on China and the future. How do you see the possibilities and what are the risks?

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I have to tell you, I’m getting to the age where I start telling stories about myself.


I once went with President Nixon to a military command where the general was dying to make a big technical explanation, which I knew the president might not want to hear in full detail. So I said, let me ask the questions, and you just answer my questions. So I asked my question, and he said, “May I have the first slide, please?”


The relationship with China has, for one thing, has been pursued by eight administrations on an essentially bipartisan basis. It’s one of the most consistent aspects of American foreign policy. When it started in 1971, we were — China and the United States were brought together by a common adversary. And so that produced a certain agenda. At that time China was a very underdeveloped nation, and the idea that one day one would talk of it as the second largest and potentially largest economic power would have been inconceivable in 1971. It’s only really in the last 10 years that China has emerged as an economic superpower, and, therefore, has a capacity to participate on an international scale which did not exist before.

So now both of our countries have a huge challenge. Normally, the emergence of new powers has led — has been characterized by enormous rivalries. And there are points where we impact on each other in a way that could generate rivalries. On the other hand, there is no constructive outcome to a long, drawn-out contest between the United States and China. So both of our countries have an obligation to try to construct an international environment in which parallel evolutions, I don’t say necessary, but parallel evolutions we contribute to peace — to peace and progress. And that has difficulties because our societies have had quite different origins. By Chinese standards we have negligible history, very, very, very short.

So America is very pragmatic. China has a 4,000-year history, and China – deals with problems as a historic phenomenon. So we are very problem oriented. The Chinese are conceptually oriented. And I have noticed we sometimes have problems because the Chinese – we will do three or four different things for totally disparate reasons — receive the Dalai Lama, arm sales to Taiwan, currency exchange — they all are done for different reasons.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. Absolutely.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: Not connected with each other.


SECRETARY KISSINGER: The Chinese say there has to be a common theory here. And then they deal with the theory. They don’t deal with the three problems.

MR. ROSE: Which is an interesting idea. As you travel from country to country, whether it’s China or the Middle East, have to correct impressions of your motivation and your actions.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we try to correct impressions. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we are not. But I think this point that Henry’s making is not only important for China, because I see it myself. I see it all the time, that there are assumptions about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it that have absolutely never crossed our minds but which our friends on the other side of the table are thinking and therefore we have to know they’re thinking in order to disabuse them of that.

I’ll give you a quick, trivial example. My first trip to China as Secretary of State, I’m sitting there with the foreign minister. He says we think it’s a very unfortunate decision that the United States has made and reflects on our relationship that you’re not participating in the Shanghai Expo. First of all, I didn’t know there was going to be a Shanghai Expo. It had never been raised to me in the month and a half I had been Secretary of State. And a decision had been made in the prior administration that we don’t do expos anymore. So here’s China about to hold this very significant expo, and we and I think Andorra are the only countries not participating.


And to explain to a group of high Chinese officials that it wasn’t a decision that carried with it anything other than our Congress’s allergy to expos anywhere in the world was nearly impossible. So I spent the first six months putting together an expo, something that was not in the job description.


But it was a very important signal of our commitment to the relationship even though it doesn’t fall into one of the 10 or 20 issues that we might be listing.

But the point is a broader one than what Henry has made just about China because this happens with every culture. I mean, even though we live in this ocean of information right now where people wear jeans, where they all talk on cell phones, where young people are connected like never before in history, there are still very significant historical, cultural, political, even psychological differences. So we have to constantly not only be trying to disabuse others of assumptions about us, but also we have to in our own heads question assumptions about others. So it’s an ongoing conversation. But Henry’s an expert on that.

MR. ROSE: If you look back on your experience as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, what is the lesson learned that might be most valuable to Secretary Clinton?


SECRETARY KISSINGER: We’ve been talking — I think the lesson which she experiences, I’m sure, every day is — and we talked about it earlier — how to get attention to middle-term problems? Basically, a great part of foreign policy is made by the Secretary approving cables that are written in response to incoming issues. So I would say a great part of the day is spent on that. Then when you add interdepartmental testimony, how do you free time to think about the long-term problems and to think about them in a way that is operationally significant? You can always bring a group of professors in and listen for an hour or two, but how to do it in a way so that your key operating personnel is not totally obsessed with the immediate issues and spend some real time on middle-term issues, and how to free your own thinking enough, that, I think, is the biggest challenge that a secretary has in the management of it.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I agree with that completely. We talk a lot around here about the urgent, the important, and the long term, and there are so many issues that fall into each of those, and some fall into all three categories. And the last thing you want is to be a prisoner of your inbox because the amount of paper that comes your way — and it still is a paper culture because of all of the traditions and habits and the clearance process, which goes on inside the State Department — could imprison you. And to try to lift your head up enough just to see slightly into the middle term let alone over the horizon is a very challenging exercise. But if we don’t do it, we are sunk.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: And to get your operating personnel to do it, not just the Secretary.


SECRETARY KISSINGER: So that the operating people who are overwhelmed every day with issues to take a perspective.

MR. ROSE: I’m left with two thoughts about this. Number one, you once said that you have to — once you become Secretary of State or a high-level official that you’re really operating on the intellectual capital you had going in because there’s little opportunity to gain more, yes?


MR. ROSE: And what you said, interesting, about being Secretary of State is you wanted to be proactive, not reactive.


MR. ROSE: How are you doing on that that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, in some of the areas that we identified, you know, like technology, for example, when I set up this unit inside the State Department of these young technology gurus, a lot of people thought it was trivial, unimportant. And then the Iranian election protests began, and the way those protesters communicated was all through, you know, the means of social media. And it became important to have people in the State Department, which when I arrived didn’t even get blackberries to everybody — to all of a sudden have to feel the connection to what was going on in the streets at that moment. And we’ve only seen that accelerate.

So we identified with some key issues that we thought were not on anybody’s agenda to try to drive. But they are not in the realm of strategic decision making. They’re more emphasis, like, obviously, I want to integrate women and girls into every aspect of American foreign policy because it’s the best bet you can make and developing countries and democratizations. So there are these issues that are cross-cutting issues.

But the problem Henry has identified is the problem I live with every day. And we also, in our system, people serve maybe for two years, and then they get another assignment. If they’re in the building they get sent to language school to learn Arabic or learn Chinese. And then they’re out of the decision-making. They’re out of the operational control and they’re preparing for what comes next. So there’s a lot of churn, there’s constant churn. So to try to have a steady course with people coming in and people leaving in our complex intergovernmental system, which we only briefly mentioned, takes an enormous amount of effort. And we try to bring that effort to it, but it’s hard.

MR. ROSE: Secretary Kissinger, thank you very much. Secretary Clinton, thank you very much. And thank you for coming.

This is the first of a series of conversations, “Conversations on Diplomacy,” Secretary Clinton, and former secretaries of state. We thank you for joining us. And we’ll see you next time.

Thank you.


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As you know from the prior post, Secretary Clinton met today with Haitian President-Elect Michel Martelly. She even spoke a little Haitian Creole! Later, she participated in “Conversations of Diplomacy” with Henry Kissinger and moderated by Charlie Rose.

At the time the State Department released the information about the Charlie Rose event, it was not exactly clear that this event would air.

A similar event with HRC and Kissinger did not, but this one will on PBS tonight! So check your local listings!


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