CHARLIE ROSE, HOST: Welcome to the
broadcast. Tonight, a conversation with former Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD ARMITAGE, FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: I think first of all the president has started to talk a lot more frankly about the war. That`s a very good thing. Understanding is beginning of wisdom. We - we can`t back out now. We have turned loose a torrent in the
CHARLIE ROSE: Richard Armitage for the hour, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHARLIE ROSE: President Bush, in the midst of high-level conversations about the future of
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m impressed by the cabinet that you`ve assembled. You`ve assembled people from all parts of your country, representing different - different religions and different histories, traditions.
And yet the cabinet here represents the entire Iraqi people, and I appreciate your commitment to representing the people of
I`ve come to not only look you in the eye. I`ve also come to tell you that when
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE ROSE: The president also later met with
Joining me now to talk about all of this is Richard Armitage. He was a deputy secretary of state in the President Bush`s first term. He is a graduate of the
CHARLIE ROSE: We`re not (inaudible) -- he said not yet.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: That`s right. CHARLIE ROSE: So, I said, whew. RICHARD ARMITAGE: We`re pleased.
CHARLIE ROSE: Thank you very much.
The president is in
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, I think first of all, the president has started to talk a lot more frankly about the war. That`s a very good thing. Understanding is beginning of wisdom. We can`t back out now; we would`ve turned loose a torrent in the
CHARLIE ROSE: What kind of inflection points?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I`d say that once we`ve got a sufficient number of policemen trained, perhaps we can withdraw to (inaudible) or something of that nature. I noticed that the Iraqis are putting 70,000 more troops in
CHARLIE ROSE: How much of a difference do you think it will make that we now have a central government and that now we have the principal ministries in place?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, I don`t know all of the members of the new government. So, I can`t judge their capabilities. But I think if you look at what Iraqis rank and file are saying, they like the fact that they finally have a national unity government that is their own, it`s not transitional. Now, whether they`re capable, whether they`ll keep their faces out of the trough of corruption, I can`t say. Time will tell. CHARLIE ROSE: It`s always that, it seems to me, I mean, we constantly hear this - the Iraqis have to play their part. We can`t do what the Iraqis have to do. I mean, how long can we have wait? Or do we have no choice but to wait until they do it?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, we have a political system here in the States . CHARLIE ROSE: (inaudible). RICHARD ARMITAGE: . which will speak to it over time. So we don`t have unlimited amounts of time, but I think as long as the president`s frank and levels with the American people, we`ve got a remarkable patience, because there`s a general understanding, no matter how anyone feels about how we got into Iraq, that to cut and run now only gives rejoicing to our enemies, and would really, really cause us long term problems. And our friends, and even allies in the region, particularly long-term problems.
CHARLIE ROSE: How much are we damaged by
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I`m -- maybe I`m sort of an outlier on this. I think they`re terrible, I think they`re a blot on our national character. I`d close
Are we harmed indelibly and for all time by it? No, we`re not. But we ought to correct these aberrations that don`t speak or don`t prop up our national values. CHARLIE ROSE: And have the investigations go forward and find out what`s happened in these instances in which American troops are accused of shooting civilians.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Oh, absolutely. I don`t want to judge Haditha or any of these others. We`ll let the military justice system take its course, but I do get the feeling there`s a little laxness coming in the troops. And I think that`s because they have been run hard, they`ve been put away wet, they`re scared, they`re hot, they`re nervous. CHARLIE ROSE: And some of them are National Guard troops . RICHARD ARMITAGE: Many of them are National Guard and reserves. CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. RICHARD ARMITAGE: It`s time for them, they think, to go home.
CHARLIE ROSE: It that a mistake, to put them in certain kinds of combat positions, National Guard troops, and - and people who are in the reserves who have not -- perhaps not ready for this kind of exposure?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: No, I think - I think if you asked any National Guard unit if they`re ready for combat, they`d say yes. But the fact of the matter is, when you`re having 45-year old, 48-year-old men killed in combat, perhaps we ought to rethink just where we`re putting all of these units.
CHARLIE ROSE: The question that continues to linger is what ought to be the troop level. You have said in all these teleconferences when you were deputy secretary of state, the administration constantly says we`ll give the men the commanders in the field, whatever they need. Are they not asking for troops? Did they never ask for troops?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: It`s - it`s hard to know. I mean - go back a little ways. First of all, it was quite clear that -- from Tommy Franks` book, that General Powell pushed hard for greater and greater troops, so much . CHARLIE ROSE: And in fact, he has said in a interview with the BBC and said to me that even before the president . RICHARD ARMITAGE: He did it. I was there.
CHARLIE ROSE: . and addressing -- Tommy Franks who was there, Rumsfeld was there, the president was there.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: There is a basic tenet of warfare, and that is that only a soldier with a rifle can take and whole ground, and only a soldier with a bayonet can bend an enemy to our will. That being the case, I think going under the Powell doctrine, that is overwhelming force, would have been much more sensible.
Now, what the commanders asked for in their calls with Mr. Rumsfeld and in their calls with the president, they didn`t ask for troops in my presence on the video teleconference. CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. RICHARD ARMITAGE: They didn`t ask for more troops. What they did with the Pentagon, I can`t see. CHARLIE ROSE: Did Secretary Rumsfeld have a different philosophy, is it -- by definition answer is yes -- because he wanted to create a different kind of military and a different kind of offensive strategy, i.e. air power, use less troops, lightning fast?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think that`s the longhand way of saying transformation. CHARLIE ROSE: Right. RICHARD ARMITAGE: And I think there was an element of transformation to his thinking, and it worked quite well originally in
CHARLIE ROSE: You need troops on the ground, bayonets there. I mean, you need boots and bayonets on the ground. RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes. CHARLIE ROSE: Occupying . RICHARD ARMITAGE: That`s right. CHARLIE ROSE: . the country. RICHARD ARMITAGE: I can only take -- the way the military says, take and whole ground.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. Having learned - is that the most important lesson that comes out of Iraq, or are there others that you look back now?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I`m learning, getting a lot of lessons. There are a lot of lessons about diplomacy, where both Secretary Powell and I - both tried hard to avoid war. We were not against the war, but we tried hard to avoid it. Perhaps we could have done diplomacy a little better. I think that if you read books like "Cobra II," there are all kinds of lessons coming out, about how political-military relations can be better, how OSD, the office of secretary of defense, can be more effective, and frankly, how commanders on the ground can do better. There are a lot of lessons learned and we`ll be harvesting them for a long time. CHARLIE ROSE: Have you ever looked at the first four years of the Bush administration and said, I -- we should have -- Secretary Powell and I -- have done something different? Some people say you enabled them, because you were not as forceful as you might have been. There was no threat of resignation in order to stop the policy, you thought, and certainly in its timing was wrong.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, let me -- I`m speaking for myself about the timing. Secretary Powell can speak for his own views. It`s quite clear that we didn`t disagree with the war. CHARLIE ROSE: Right. RICHARD ARMITAGE: The president asked, were we with him. Secretary Powell said we`ll be with you. My disagreement was simply on the timing, and I would have had more troops. But we were not against the war. So, this for me -- I`ll speak for myself -- was not a matter of principle.
Now, I will grant you that every time every policy maker who gets to any level in government always thinks that if they do leave and perhaps they will have left something undone, perhaps they can do some good by staying on, and if some people define that as enabling, I accept it. I`ve heard it. CHARLIE ROSE: You have heard it. RICHARD ARMITAGE: I`ve heard it. CHARLIE ROSE: And you think . RICHARD ARMITAGE: I accept it. I - I don`t agree with it, but I accept that that view could be held. CHARLIE ROSE: That is - that is a view that is understandable. RICHARD ARMITAGE: It is a view that hurt my feelings. CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. RICHARD ARMITAGE: . at one time. CHARLIE ROSE: Would you have done anything different?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Oh, I -- every -- there is not a day I had the job as deputy secretary that I didn`t go to bed thinking I wish I would have done something better, pushed harder here. That`s on every issue. It`s not just on the issue of Iraq. I think we can always do better. Those who don`t question their own judgments, who don`t question their own actions, I don`t think are very good servants. CHARLIE ROSE: I don`t know of anybody that I know, you and Secretary Powell, and many more, but I know the two of you who care more about the welfare of the men and women in the field. I mean, you have been clear about that. Do you - do you feel badly because you`re not in a position of power today, and you have less opportunity to influence what happens to them and the direction of this very strategic challenge to America and its future?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think any policy maker who is sincere about his job feels a little badly that they`re not still in the chair. CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. RICHARD ARMITAGE: But for me, I had no choice. The president was very kind to me. He`s always been kind to me. Secretary Powell left the administration. I came with Secretary Powell; I was going to leave with him.
CHARLIE ROSE: You could have stayed?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: There was some suggestions of other jobs. CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. But you came and so you said, I came with the man I dance with. RICHARD ARMITAGE: That`s - yeah, I dance with the girl I came with.
CHARLIE ROSE: What`s winning for Iraq now? I mean, what are -- which is the best that we can hope for?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think the best we can hope for is a rough equilibrium, at some time in the future for Iraq first of all, and an Iraq that`s not necessarily a threat to its neighbors. I think the goals have been chopped down considerably from the goals we had in ...
CHARLIE ROSE: Creating a democracy that will be a symbol for the
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Now, this whole idea of democracies, Mr. Rose, is one that`s very interesting. Democracy -- some I think in the administration thought democracy was the endpoint. And it seems to me democracy is a journey that never ends. And look at our own experiment with it.
CHARLIE ROSE: Sure. Sure. It was not overnight.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: It is not overnight. It is not finished. And a vote is simply an event. A vote is not democracy. And then, for democracy to take - it takes a lot of things, to include institutions, which can support a democracy, which can feed the expectations of the people. It takes, I think, a relatively educated and growing middle class to sustain it. So, I think there is a growing awareness that democracies are not overnight events. They may be overnight events if you`re talking about a
CHARLIE ROSE: And compounded by two problems, one the fact that you have three very different people there, you know, Sunnis, Shia and Kurds. And secondly, their definition of democracy may not be what our definition is. RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, and our definition of democracy is not what the British is . CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. RICHARD ARMITAGE: . and the British is not what the Japanese are. There - there can be a lot of ways for people to express their views freely and openly. But you need a lot more, I think, than just - you`ve got a lot more differences than just three different . CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. RICHARD ARMITAGE: . groups, Shia, Sunni and Kurd and - and a view of democracy that might be different from our own. I think you`ve - you`ve got to have those institutions, and during the time of Saddam you had corrupt cronies. You didn`t have capable bureaucrats. So that`s from ground zero has to be built up. Industrialized economies in states which have accepted democracy, like
But the biggest difference, in my view, the biggest mistake I think we made -- this is just Rich Armitage talking -- was we were depending originally on Diaspora Iraqis . CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. RICHARD ARMITAGE: . to carry the flag of democracy. CHARLIE ROSE: People who were coming back having fled the country . RICHARD ARMITAGE: That`s correct. If we learned the lesson of
CHARLIE ROSE: This is what you meant by handled badly.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: They were handled badly, in my view.
CHARLIE ROSE: Let me move to
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yeah.
CHARLIE ROSE: You - you believe there is a negotiated settlement to be had?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I`m fairly skeptical. I think there`s a negotiated retardation to the existing program certainly to be had. But I hold a view -- and perhaps this is my prejudice after living for a year in
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, but are you suggesting that they don`t want a nuclear weapon because they want to attack
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yeah, I can`t say -- there are certainly -- there is an element that said horrible . CHARLIE ROSE: Things about. RICHARD ARMITAGE: . in their statements about
CHARLIE ROSE: Having read a lot of what you`ve said since you were out of office, what comes through is a - is a real respect for diplomacy. Diplomacy. Did you have that before, or was that something you gained in the four years at - at State, watching the possibilities of negotiation?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think in the job I had at the Defense Department as assistant secretary, I had -- was involved in quite a bit of diplomacy. And I - I came to the view, my view, and definition of diplomacy. It`s the art of letting the other guy have your way. That sounds pretty good to me. CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. RICHARD ARMITAGE: And sometimes you have to do it by being muscular, because diplomacy which is not backed up by the threat of force is empty, empty rhetoric and empty threat. Sometimes it`s by being skillful. Sometimes it`s just by being quiet and listening. But I`ve had for some time quite a respect for diplomats.
CHARLIE ROSE: But it`s not served if you don`t have face to face talks with the people who are your enemies.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: My own view is you`ve got to talk to your enemies even more than you talk to your friends. And you ought to have enough confidence in your ability to sit down at the table with enemies and not have them undress you.
CHARLIE ROSE: And so what should we be saying and talking to the Iranians about?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: The full range of our relationship, first of all. The nuclear question, terrorism, oil, which comes to mind. The relations with their neighbors, whether it`s Iraq and Afghanistan, and for that matter the Russian Federation. I think there are many issues to be discussed, and we ought to be talking about them.
CHARLIE ROSE: Can we live with an
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I would like to say no. I don`t want to. But I think we may have to, eventually. We have learned to live with other nations that have nuclear weapons. And if you`d asked the policy makers 15 years or 20 years ago about
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well,
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yeah. CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. But I mean, so it would be containment. It would be you`d still have to build an architecture...
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes, an architecture and an understanding at some point that nuclear weapons actually are as much trouble to have as they are -- in the absence of them. I`ll give you a case in point. Gadhafi came to this view. He came to the view that we had nuclear weapons in
CHARLIE ROSE: Haven`t used them since World War II.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Haven`t used them, for a good, solid reason. So from his point of view, he was getting sanctions because he was chasing these weapons of mass destruction. What good was it going to do him?
CHARLIE ROSE: But is there another lesson that you might learn from
RICHARD ARMITAGE: No, it`s one of the reason we talk to them. But
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes, I`ve heard that word many times.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I know you have. And they cheated on it. So I think we have to look at
CHARLIE ROSE: But do you think the Iranian model, what the administration has come to, is the model that ought to be used for
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think that`s the model the North Koreans are going to say we want. After all, the framework agreement had a light water reactor in it, as you remember, in 1994. So they as a minimum I think demand a return to that. Sort of equality with the Iranians.
CHARLIE ROSE: Let me just make sure I understand. You believe the Iranians will not be dissuaded from having nuclear weapons.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I said I`m very skeptical about it. I hope they will be, but I`m very skeptical. CHARLIE ROSE: And what -- there is nothing then we can do. RICHARD ARMITAGE: I may be wrong.
CHARLIE ROSE: The threat of sanctions, the promise of incentives are unlikely because of. RICHARD ARMITAGE: No, I think that you can dramatically retard the program. You can certainly I think.
CHARLIE ROSE: The nuclear program?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: The known nuclear program. That`s the problem. I will not have the degree of optimism that we will understand enough about the unknown program, or the covert program.
CHARLIE ROSE: Is there a way to see that they can have enrichment for technology that would allow them to have civilian use of technology?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: You`re talking
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: Because they say that`s all they want. They say.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes. And I say that`s where we`re going on this, with this, their overt program. That`s what we`re negotiating about. That`s why Iran says there`s some good elements, and the E.U..
CHARLIE ROSE: That`s what they`re talking about, yes. RICHARD ARMITAGE: But it doesn`t get to what I suspect may be going on, which is a covert program. That`s the point I`m trying to make.
CHARLIE ROSE: And is a covert program militarily, are we able to take it out if we wanted to?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I don`t think this is quite the same situation as Osirak in
CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: If it`s a covert program, we`re not sure where it is.
CHARLIE ROSE: Right.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: And so we couldn`t take it out.
CHARLIE ROSE: And how many places it might be. RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes, we couldn`t, in that way. Their overt program we can take out tomorrow. In my view, it would be a little foolhardy, because we`d be taking it out at the beginning of their program, at the time when it would be fastest for the Iranians to reconstitute it if they wanted to, and cheap for them to reconstitute it, because it`s sort of embryonic.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. Let me move to. RICHARD ARMITAGE: If you`re going to bring down all the Muslim world on you, you might as well make it worth your while. Wait until later. CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. Do you -- this idea of those people who want to find this sort of defining conflict of the 21st century will be West versus Islam. Are we doing enough to make sure that is not the defining conflict of the 21st century?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, I think there`s a conflict that must necessarily take place first, and that`s the conflict within Islam.
CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly. RICHARD ARMITAGE: That`s the conflict we`re witnessing. And if the forces of modernity win out, then we will not have the conflict between -- the clash of civilizations. If, however, those who want to return to the 7th and 8th and 9th centuries win out, then we will.
CHARLIE ROSE: And those are people who are in power in
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think it`s more complicated than that. Mr. Ahmadinejad seems to be sort of a fellow who would fit that category.
CHARLIE ROSE: On the other hand, he was a guy who was in favor of women going to watch the soccer.
Yes. So it`s very complicated and complex.
CHARLIE ROSE: That`s a modernity kind of idea. RICHARD ARMITAGE: It`s complex. And I don`t know that it lends itself to say, from our vision we can score in
CHARLIE ROSE: Is that dialogue taking place, though, between those forces who want to move towards modernity and those forces who don`t? Do you see real serious evidence that moderates . RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, you see them making some very modern comments. You see leading clerics and scholars in Saudi Arabia who are trying to resolve Saudi Arabia`s dilemma through dialogue. So I think you see throughout the Muslim world in different ways -- you have seen King Abdullah sponsor a major conference on Islam and modern Islam. You`ve got Pervez Musharraf, who is a great leader in my view in
CHARLIE ROSE: And you see the prime minister of
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Indeed. So the war is being fought. I don`t think the battle is joined. The dialogue. It`s going to be rough, and it`s going to be tough. If it`s successfully negotiated, that modernity wins out, then we will not have that battle of civilizations.
CHARLIE ROSE: Speaking on negotiations, what role does the
RICHARD ARMITAGE: The recent last couple of days, we`ve had a rather large loss of life, Palestinian life, in Israeli attempts to take out certain terrorist leaders. There have been collateral damage and it`s a terrible thing.
CHARLIE ROSE: On the beach. RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, on the beach, and again today. There were several killed when I think one terrorist leader was taken out. No one is going to begrudge the Israelis their right to defend themselves, particularly at a time when you see that the Palestinians themselves are at war with each other. The parliament building was burned today. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are going at each other. And so I`m somewhat sympathetic to the argument that
CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly. RICHARD ARMITAGE: So I think we have -- when there is someone who can speak to the Palestinians that has some backing with them.
CHARLIE ROSE: But should we in the sense of -- should we be denying, even if the Hamas had won the election or especially if Hamas had won the election, urging
RICHARD ARMITAGE: As you`ve seen, the Israelis have already moderated their view. Before the recent -- and so did we, before the recent trouble. The problem with our -- was not with our policy so much. I think it was with our statements -- we`ll never deal with Hamas, we`ll never deal with this. You`re going to push democracy, you`re going to deal with the results of that democracy, until that democracy proves itself unable or unwilling to be a partner.
So I felt that originally after Hamas came in, we should give them an opportunity to govern. And if they couldn`t handle it, then they have proven themselves unworthy. But I was always uncomfortable with not talking to them as they were the winner of an election.
CHARLIE ROSE: You said famously to me in the first interview you and I had, was the one thing you had learned in -- while you were deputy secretary, was the power and the essential nature of face-to-face communication. I mean, it seems to me an extension of that, and maybe you`ve had this view for a long time, is that talk, talk, talk. Give people an opportunity.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: There`s a little bit more to it. Face-to-face talks that are backed with some trust. I know, and Secretary Powell would attest to it, every day, every day, somebody, a former interlocutor who`s still in a government somewhere, comes by to see or call Secretary Powell, comes to see me. And they do it not because we can do anything for them. We can`t. They do it because they want to have a conversation with someone who at least tried to resolve their issues at one time. And it`s been very gratifying, indeed.
CHARLIE ROSE: It reminds me of a conversation perhaps not said to you by an Iranian who said we need for President Bush to be similar to President Nixon going to
RICHARD ARMITAGE: In
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. RICHARD ARMITAGE: It`s a little rough. I`m a little sympathetic to the president. He`s fighting two major wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, and trying to manage the ascent of China onto the world stage, handle WTO talks, and he`s got to also be Nixon to China? That`s a bit rough.
CHARLIE ROSE: We`ll speak of
RICHARD ARMITAGE: We`re doing pretty well. My successor, Bob Zoellick, famously delivered a speech where he encouraged the Chinese to be stakeholders. You know, Mr. Rose, for years, Japanese, Americans, everyone urged the Chinese to be less insular, be outward-looking. In the hopes that that would make them stakeholders. Well, we got what we wanted. And now. CHARLIE ROSE: We got it in
The question is whether
CHARLIE ROSE: That fits you.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: You know, I`m carrying the weight for a guy that`s 6`8". When I get my growth spurt, I`m going to be ready.
CHARLIE ROSE: We`ll see.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, they`ve had 20 years of increased military spending. In the last four or five years, they really kicked into high gear, and it`s not that a nation like China doesn`t have the right to have a defense force or a military force of their own choosing. But if transparency is not accompanying that expenditure of money, like in Japan or like in the United States, then questions are raised, and that`s the point Mr. Rumsfeld has been making. I was with him in
CHARLIE ROSE: That would be news.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes, that would have been news. We were at the same conference, seated separately. And he was calmer about
CHARLIE ROSE: I`ve always wanted to know, when you went over to the Pentagon, I think it was to meet with Secretary Rumsfeld...
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, I met him somewhere else, but yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: What that conversation was about.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: It`s been reported accurately.
CHARLIE ROSE: That you walked out.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: No, no. CHARLIE ROSE: No, no, that you left the meeting and it was a no-go that you were coming to the Pentagon.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: No, he. CHARLIE ROSE: That`s wrong, too?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: He had a nice -- it`s somewhat right. He had a good conversation with me, and during it he said -- we exchanged some views, he was very kind to me. And he said, I want you to know that you seem like a good guy, but you`ve got less than a 50/50 chance of coming to the Pentagon. And I said, no, I`ve got a zero chance.
CHARLIE ROSE: Because I`m not coming.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I didn`t say that. And he said, no, less than 50/50. And I said, no, zero. And
CHARLIE ROSE: I still would like to have been a fly on the wall.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: That is the conversation.
CHARLIE ROSE: I`m not surprised on either part.
Should he resign?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think it would be bad form for me to say something like that.
CHARLIE ROSE: Because of the documented relationship between the two of you?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, more than that. I worked with the man, and I don`t -- this is a hard-working guy. He`s carried a lot on his plate. When he chooses to put down his pack, I`m sure we`ll all be informed at the same time. But the fact of the matter is, we`ve got one nationally elected leader. And that`s. CHARLIE ROSE: George Bush.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: That`s right. That`s Mr. Rumsfeld`s constituency, and that is the vote that matters.
CHARLIE ROSE: And as long as the president supports him, he`s there.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: You bet.
CHARLIE ROSE: And he basically said he`s offered his resignation and the president said no.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: That was over Abu Ghraib, I understand. He did it once or twice.
CHARLIE ROSE: So the president must have confidence in him.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, I think clearly. Absolutely, clearly, what other inference could you get.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes, but John McCain doesn`t.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Senator McCain can account for his own views.
CHARLIE ROSE: Well, you`re a friend of his, aren`t you?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, I consider him a friend, yes. I think he would return the favor. But he`ll speak for himself. We`re all big boys, and we all speak ourselves.
CHARLIE ROSE: Have you changed in any way in terms of -- I want to come back to
RICHARD ARMITAGE: No. I was always a grudging -- I always felt that force should be used grudgingly. I think sons and daughters -- used to be just sons, now sons and daughters -- are extraordinarily precious. And I have never seen anything as brutish and nasty as war. Nor nothing as melancholy as a battle won or lost. So I was always sort of, in the words of Ronald Reagan, slow to anger, but once aroused then do what you need to do to finish the job as quickly as possible. But, no, I was slow to come to the use of force and I`m still slow.
CHARLIE ROSE: But once you are there, and once you, as you sit and watch on the television, on different television programs, recitation of young men and women who have died, do you want to say, do something else, do -- apply more force? You`ve got to stop this going the way it is?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, we`ve got to, I think, get out of Iraq with a success, and I`m afraid, and my heart bleeds that it`s going to take more servicemen and women before we do it.
In the process of doing that, I think it`s absolutely essential to them and for them that we be true to our national values, sacrifice no more than we have to. Honor those who have sacrificed and the families gave them up no matter their political views. But my heart bleeds for those servicemen.
CHARLIE ROSE: I know it does.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Secretary Powell and I were -- from the beginning thought -- it was called the Next Strategic Step Partnership, NSSP, which had four steps. We were able to complete on our watch the first three. The fourth was the nuclear question that you`re talking about.
We`ve ultimately -- the fact that the
CHARLIE ROSE: Downside would be some idea that the -- it offends the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes. Well, this was our difficulty, Mr. Rose. Secretary Powell and I couldn`t figure out way to preserve our NPT and still have this agreement, this Next Strategic Step with
But I think it`s essential to ourselves and to the whole future of Asia, by the way, that we have a congenial relationship with India. So I think that trumps things.
CHARLIE ROSE: So you . RICHARD ARMITAGE: And I don`t buy the argument that this encourages the
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yeah. And I understand Mr. Lugar`s, Chairman Lugar`s feelings on this. But I think ultimately, if the administration puts their back into it, puts their shoulder, it will pass. Indians are a very important segment of our population, sneaks by the notice of a lot of people.
CHARLIE ROSE: Oh, I know. RICHARD ARMITAGE: . but they`re very, very influential, particularly in the
CHARLIE ROSE: Some of our smartest software people.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Oh, boy. So I think. (CROSSTALK)
CHARLIE ROSE: And you know what the interesting thing is, many of them are going back now, while they were staying here, because of the opportunities to do interesting things there, and there are a whole lot of software companies and telecommunication companies that are doing very well.
The idea, though, if it doesn`t -- I went to
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Into the next -- yes, that`s exactly, the next level. That`s the way they talk.
CHARLIE ROSE: And is it possible?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Oh, sure.
CHARLIE ROSE: And what does that mean for the peaceful rise of
RICHARD ARMITAGE: If it`s directed, if our relationship with India is directed against a third country, China, then it will fail. Relationship with India has to be based in and of India`s own importance to the United States, and vice versa.
CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly. RICHARD ARMITAGE: There`s an implicit -- implicit sort of -- I don`t want to say anchor, that`s too strong a word -- it is a factor in the peaceful ascent of China that China will have to take into consideration. But that was in no way the rationale for our working so hard to develop that relationship with
CHARLIE ROSE: I`ll tell you what else is happening too. The Indians are increasing more and more commercial relationships with the Chinese. As we are.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes, but look,
CHARLIE ROSE: So China will not only be --
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, at some time, they are.
CHARLIE ROSE: Well, they say, you know, they think about a year -- about half of this century. RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes, by 2050, they will be. CHARLIE ROSE: They will be the largest country in the world.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: And the largest economy perhaps.
CHARLIE ROSE: And the largest economy, and certainly the largest democracy.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Indeed. Indeed. Well, whether they have got the largest economy, we`ve got something to say about that. You know, we`ve done pretty well for ourselves and we are.
CHARLIE ROSE: Well, 50 years growing at 9 percent is a very different...
RICHARD ARMITAGE: They`re not going to grow at 9 percent for 50 years. I think it`s unheard of. The Chinese have grown for 26 years at relatively robust rates, but they haven`t averaged 9 or 10 percent. I don`t think
CHARLIE ROSE: But
RICHARD ARMITAGE: That`s pretty close. What really must keep our Chinese leaders awake at night is that in 1949, when the KMT was thrown off
CHARLIE ROSE: In China, yes. RICHARD ARMITAGE: So that must keep people awake.
CHARLIE ROSE: I heard an amazing thing, I don`t know if it`s true or not. The Chinese -- they make no secret that this is a big issue for them. They don`t try to hide it, do they?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: No. The (inaudible) congress addressed it head on.
CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly right, that`s my point. I mean, there is this interesting sense, I`m interested and curious about the Chinese. On the one hand, because of the recent political stability, they want to sensor Google. On the other hand, they`re very open about we have got to do something about the rural poor, or else we`re going to face political instability.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Exactly. The Chinese value stability above all else. This is why they have to grow their economy at a certain level so they don`t have more unemployment. This is why they have negotiated with the Russians, with the Indians, with the Kyrgyz, with everyone on border agreements, so they can concentrate their entire attention on internal stability and development.
The party`s congress this year, the speeches by Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao were directed at two things in the main: The proper distribution of income to the interior, corruption.
CHARLIE ROSE: But they just fired the person. RICHARD ARMITAGE: These are the two issues that will bring them down. We don`t want that. Nobody should want it.
CHARLIE ROSE: We don`t want political instability in
RICHARD ARMITAGE: We do not.
CHARLIE ROSE: Can we change their human rights policy?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think if we`re true to ourselves, I think we can have both a relationship with the Chinese which is beneficial on a lot of issues, whether it`s pandemic or perhaps better treatment of the environment, because the environmental problems in China are staggering. Energy, things of that nature. But we have to be true to our own values. And if we don`t like the humans rights record, we have to speak up about it. Religious freedom. I thought President Bush going to church in
CHARLIE ROSE: I`ve forgotten Russia here, thinking about President Bush, because he`s going to the summit, G-8 meeting. Where is our relationship with
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think
CHARLIE ROSE: But how long does that last?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, this is going to be -- this is a rather difficult thing to say. I made a big mistake when I was placed by Mr. Bush 41 in charge of the aid to the former Soviet Union, because I went and talked to our German friends, and I said, we estimate it will take about 40 years for Russia to get fully out of -- Russian Federation and these other countries fully out of the orbit that they had been in. And the Germans told me I was foolish, because 40 years was their estimate to bring
RICHARD ARMITAGE: It was `91.
CHARLIE ROSE: OK. RICHARD ARMITAGE: So I think that if you accepted what brought the Soviet Union -- what the Soviet Union brought was about 70 years of criminal behavior; we`re going to have 50, 60 or 70 years of remedial behavior before Russia is a country that is completely recognizable as Western in its orientation and respect for human rights, political systems, et cetera.
I do believe President Putin does orient himself to the West. I do know that he`s democratically elected. I know that there`s a lot of pride in the Russian Federation. That`s what you`re seeing these days. And the Russian people seem to like the direction that Mr. Putin is headed in. So we`re going to have a lot of pushing and shoving, again, elbowing, but we`re not returning to a Cold War.
CHARLIE ROSE: He has high approval ratings, actually, among the Russian people.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Very. Indeed so. CHARLIE ROSE: But he`s not going to run for reelection, or is he going to run for reelection?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: You ought to have him on your show and ask him. CHARLIE ROSE: Oh, I`d like that very much. If you help me out, I`m ready, able and willing.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I`m not -- I don`t have a clue.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. Because I mean, he said he`s not. On the other hand, there are some suggestions that could be changed.
CHARLIE ROSE: Here is what is interesting to me. If the
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think that this is not just a matter of talking to the Russians and the Chinese about
CHARLIE ROSE: So you`re understanding of the deals they`re making across the board, the Chinese.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: No, I wouldn`t say that. I understand why they`re doing that. I say it encourages -- you are known by the company you keep. And I don`t think hanging around with Comrade Bob in Zimbabwe and Sudan and others or for that matter Hugo Chavez is particularly good company.
But I understand why they`re doing it. This is the reason we simultaneously need to have discussions with Japanese, Chinese, the Russians, about energy. Do we see it or do they see it as a zero-sum game, or is it something we can conserve, we can make better use of technology and enhance the general public good for all of us? And we have to have those dialogues I think simultaneously. We`re trying to get the Chinese and Russians on board with some sort of regime towards
CHARLIE ROSE: Do you think sanctions will work against
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Not if they`re not universal. I mean, if they`re sort of unilateral sanctions by the
CHARLIE ROSE: But I mean, it will come out of Security Council and come because of some agreement between
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Or it won`t happen, that`s right. In which case, we can have meaningless gestures like unilateral sanctions. Can sanctions work? Sanctions do work. Look at
CHARLIE ROSE: Well, look at
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Fine. Look at
CHARLIE ROSE: I`m -- tell me if I`m wrong abut this. I think Gadhafi was more interested, you know, the administration would like for you to believe that -- and they may be right -- but that the reason Gadhafi changed his attitude was because of what they did in
RICHARD ARMITAGE: That`s my understanding. Get the
CHARLIE ROSE: Focusing. (CROSSTALK)
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Indeed. CHARLIE ROSE: Where are we in the battle against terrorism, which in our last conversation you said is our number one challenge for the time?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think we`re right in the middle of it.
CHARLIE ROSE: Has it gotten worse?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I bridle a little bit -- I bridle a little bit at the use of the word battle against terrorism, war against terrorism, because terrorism is a tactic. I didn`t recall in the second world war that we had a war against kamikazes, or a war against snipers.
CHARLIE ROSE: Or a war against fascism?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: We have a war against extremism. We had a war against fascism. We had a war -- we had a Cold War against communism. We have a war against extremism. And right now.
CHARLIE ROSE: Change it, then. A war against al Qaeda.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yeah.
CHARLIE ROSE: How are we doing in that, and does Zarqawi make a difference?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think psychologically makes a difference, but in the long run in
What will make a difference in
On the larger question of how we`re
doing, it depends on where you are. In some areas, we`re taking down people pretty well.
CHARLIE ROSE: If there was one thing you could change about American foreign policy, what would it be?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I would as rapidly as possible revert to what used to be an export of ours. We used to export optimism and hope and a welcoming face to the world. And now because of the horror after 9/11, I think we started exporting our anger and our fear. And I`d like to change that around as quickly as possible.
CHARLIE ROSE: That`s simply a matter of presidential leadership, isn`t it?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Oh, I think everyone has to be part of it. The Congress has to be less fearful. We`ve got to get back to more traditional roles, where there`s a creative tension between the Congress and the executive branch. We have to put better face out to the world, we have to be more welcoming in our embassies. A foreign leader last week, week and half ago said, look at your embassy. We call that
CHARLIE ROSE: But that`s a mind-set, isn`t it?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes, it is.
CHARLIE ROSE: You have got to have a mind-set that understands that.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, we`ve got to get past our anger and our fear. And life is going to go on. And we`re going to be part of it. And we`re much better off with our traditional exports than these exports post 9/11.
CHARLIE ROSE: So you believe in soft power, the Joe Nye and all of that he says about soft power.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I believe -- of course I believe in soft power. But I believe that soft power alone is not sufficient. For instance. CHARLIE ROSE: It promotes. RICHARD ARMITAGE: It`s what?
CHARLIE ROSE: It promotes our values, too.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Indeed. And our economy is a soft power. But you`ve got to have hard power, Mr. Rose, at the end of the day. You`ve got to have it. That`s why we have to maintain a robust military. It`s respected in many parts, particularly in Asia.
CHARLIE ROSE: Have you seen any changes in the Bush administration that you admire from the first term to the second term?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Oh, I think the president has gotten much more frank about his presentation of things. I admire his returning to
CHARLIE ROSE: The other news coming out of
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Oh, I`m not worried about my situation. I don`t even have an attorney and haven`t had an attorney.
CHARLIE ROSE: I mean, the point is that you early on called him and said, I have some thing. RICHARD ARMITAGE: What conversations I`ve had with Mr. Fitzgerald will stay there until Mr. Fitzgerald has wrapped up his investigation. I`m delighted for Mr. Rove. I think he has lived under enormous pressure for a long time. So I`ll be glad to talk about these matters when Mr. Fitzgerald wraps things up. Maybe even on your own show.
CHARLIE ROSE: I would like that very much.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I bet you would.
CHARLIE ROSE: Can I get some kind of a promise from you, you will come here to talk about it once Mr. Fitzgerald makes.?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I promise I`ll think about it.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. I`ll take that.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: You may be back in Paris, who knows.
CHARLIE ROSE: I have no more valve to give (ph). But there is this notion that you have been early -- that you -- I mean, the idea is that you went early to see -- and offered that you had something to convey to the prosecutor. Is that -- can I. RICHARD ARMITAGE: You can ask it; I don`t have to answer it.
CHARLIE ROSE: No, you don`t. RICHARD ARMITAGE: But I`ll just note that President Bush early on said anyone who knows anything should go to Mr. Fitzgerald or to the -- he wasn`t announced then; it was the Justice Department. And I think the Department of State listened to the president very carefully.
CHARLIE ROSE: Here is the most -- here is the conventional wisdom. That you were the source for Bob Woodward. And Bob Woodward said that he knew early on, even before someone allegedly told Bob Novak.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: We`ll have to see. We`ll wait and see. When Mr. Fitzgerald is finished, we`ll talk.
CHARLIE ROSE: Finished meaning when he finishes. RICHARD ARMITAGE: When he says he`s wrapped up his deliberations.
CHARLIE ROSE: Is that after the Libby trial, or.?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I don`t know. I think he will -- I don`t know. At some point in time, I think he`ll probably say that`s -- I don`t intend any more activities.
CHARLIE ROSE: Was this -- do you believe that this information, wherever it came from, was released in order to damage Joe Wilson and to damage his wife?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Not at all. No, I don`t.
CHARLIE ROSE: It just what?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Pardon me?
CHARLIE ROSE: How do you think -- I mean, what was the significance of it?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I`m not sure. I think that`s what Mr. Fitzgerald was appointed special counsel for. And we have to wait until he sees and determines what the significance of it is.
CHARLIE ROSE: Because it is against the law to release information about a covert agent of the CIA.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: If it`s -- if it`s known -- it`s a very high standard to meet that law, because you`ve got to knowingly do it and want to hurt somebody and all of that stuff. It`s a pretty high standard.
CHARLIE ROSE: One other issue that`s come up. It is the CIA, the National Security Agency and wiretapping. Do you have a strong feeling about that?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: I`ve got a pretty strong feeling. It seems to me that we`ve, as far as I know, have always gotten FISAs pretty quickly, and we have the ability to get FISAs after the fact. And it seems to me that`s the better way to go. And bring people into the tent and make them part of the solution instead of kind of keeping them at arm`s length. And I should have -- thought the Congress should have been briefed into this.
CHARLIE ROSE: So the administration, by not briefing the Congress and allowing some of this to go on, even though they have argued that it was always conversations, domestic versus -- into a foreign.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, since we don`t have -- we had I think the big eight or so of the Congress into the program, but I think not a sufficient number of the Intelligence Committee members -- the Intelligence Committee members, then there are always suspicions about this. I was not briefed for the program, didn`t know it was ongoing.
CHARLIE ROSE: But the idea of wiretapping Americans raises questions.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: It does for me. But it raises a lot fewer questions in the American public that I would have thought. And I think that the questions I have is whether the information is kept and what they do with it, et cetera. But I -- it gets back I think to something Benjamin Franklin said. He said, those who would give up the essential freedoms to purchase temporary security deserve neither freedom nor security. CHARLIE ROSE: I have one last item here which I want to talk to you about. This has to do with your basketball playing. And -- this is not coming from me. This is coming actually from, and I hope I can have it -- I hope I brought it with me. But basically it was a quote from the head basketball coach at Notre Dame -- I mean, at
CHARLIE ROSE: He has played basketball on your court on Saturday?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Every week.
CHARLIE ROSE: Every week. I wish I had the quote here, and if I don`t I`ll feel badly about it.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well, I`m sure you`ll make one up.
CHARLIE ROSE: I`ll make one up. But basically, he said that there was on your part -- I think illegal actions, that you do what you accuse other people of doing, which is fouling frequently.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: Do you plead guilty to this or not?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Absolutely. When you`re slow and as old as I am, you`ll do anything to win. Old age and cunning.
CHARLIE ROSE: So the coach was right?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: The coach is a truthful man.
CHARLIE ROSE: I thank you for coming. It`s a pleasure to have you on the broadcast.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Thank you, Mr. Rose. I`m glad to see you fit as a fiddle.
CHARLIE ROSE: I certainly hope so.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Thank you. CHARLIE ROSE: I love life, and there`s a whole lot more living.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: It`s better than the alternative, isn`t it?
CHARLIE ROSE: It is, and there`s a whole lot more living to do.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: You bet you. CHARLIE ROSE: Rich Armitage, former deputy secretary of state, in town to talk to the Japanese Society -- of the Japan Society about Asia`s shifting balance of power and China`s impact on Japan`s future.
It is always a pleasure to have him here. He is a man that I admire greatly, and as I said in the beginning here, someone who understands the world, because he has not only talked about it from an ivory tower but he has been there on the front lines, both in war and in peace, serving his country.
Thank you for joining us. We`ll see you next time.