Stanley McChrystal

  • Aired:  01/08/13
  •  | Views: 54,492

Retired General Stanley McChrystal shares his views on gun control and describes the complex and nearly impossible task U.S. troops face in Afghanistan. (5:21)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT A REFIRED FOUR STAR GENERAL WHOSE NEW PEOPLE YOU'RE IS CALLED "MY SHARE OF

THE TASK.

" PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM GENERAL STANLEY McCHRYSTAL.

[ APPLAUSE ]

SIR, YOU SERVED FOR MANY YEARS IN OUR ARMED FORCES HERETICALLY ON MANY BATTLEFIELDS BUT I DON'T

WANT TO MINIMIZE THE FACT THAT I'M DOING THE SHOW TONIGHT WITH A COLD.

[ LAUGHTER ]

SO I'LL LET THE AUDIENCE DECIDE WHO THE REAL HERO IS TONIGHT.

HOW ARE YOU?

>> VERY WELL, JON.

THANKS FOR ASKING.

>> Jon: THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

MY SHARE OF TASK DETAILS YOUR CAREER IN THE MILITARISM I WANT TO TALK QUICKLY.

YOU SAID THIS MORNING, WITH YOUR TALKING ABOUT GUN CONTROL AND THE ISSUE AT HAND NOW.

YOU OBVIOUSLY ARE IN THE MILITARY.

WHAT IS THE GENERAL, DO YOU THINK, MILITARY POSITION ON THAT?

THEY ARE IN FAVOR OF A, I GUESS, SECOND AMENDMENT BUT PERHAPS NOT WITH THE KIND OF TECH LOGICAL

ADVANCES WE'VE MADE.

IS THAT IT?

>> I CAN'T SPEAK FOR ALL MILITARY BUT IF YOU'VE BEEN ON THE BATTLEFIELD YOU CAREY A GUN

THAT FIRES AT 5.56 ROUND PER SECOND.

IT HITS HUMANS IT DOES TERRIBLE DAMAGE.

IT'S SUPPOSED TO.

THAT'S WHAT SOLDIERS SHOULD CARRY.

I DON'T WANT THEM ON THE STREETS OR IN THE SCHOOLS.

I DON'T THINK THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE PREPARED TO CARRY THOSE.

I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE A SERIOUS LOOK AT WHY WE EVEN WOULD CONSIDER HAVING GUNS LIKE THAT.

>> Jon: YOU WERE HEADING UP AFGHANISTAN.

YOU WORKED WITH THESE GUYS, AN IMPRESSIVE GROUP OF PEOPLE.

THE THING I HEAR THE MOST FROM THE GUYS OVER THERE WERE TWO THINGS THE TASK OF COMPLEX AND

IMPOSSIBLE AND THEY WEREN'T QUITE SURE HOW CLEAR IT WAS, AND TWO, THEY WOULD LICK TO FINISH IT.

IS -- LIKE TO FINISH IT.

IS THAT THE ULTIMATE CONTRADICTION AND PARADOX THAT GOES ON IN THE MILITARY IN THESE MISSIONS?

>> IT IS.

A LOT OF AMERICAN PEOPLE ASK WHAT ARE WE DOING OVER THERE?

WHAT ARE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS AND MARINES DOING?

ON ANY GIVEN DAY THERE'S A SPECIAL OPERATIONS RAID IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

IT GOES AGAINST A DIFFICULT TARGET.

I WENT ON MANY OF THOSE AND WATCHED GREAT SPECIAL OPERATORS DO HEROIC THINGS.

ALSO ON THE SAME DAY SOLDIERS PATROLLED AN AREA WHERE THEY DON'T HAVE WOOD FOR TRELISES SO

WE BUILD MUD ROY WALLS.

YOU CREATED THIS TERRAIN SIX FEET TALL, THREE FEET WIESMED YOU CAN SEE 18 INCHES EITHER

SIDE AND 50 FEET TO THE FRONT.

IT'S LIKE FIGHTING IN A MAZE.

SOLDIERS DOING THAT YET THE SAME TIME THERE'S A CASE WHERE A YOUNG MARINE LANCE CORPORAL NEAR

FERAH OUT IN SOUTHWESTERN AFGHANISTAN IS WITH A SMALL PATROL AND AN AFGHAN FARMER

COMES UP AND SAYS I WOULD LIKE PERMISSION TO DIG A DITCH ACROSS THIS ROAD TO MOVE WATER.

HE DIDN'T WANT TO BE MISTAKEN FOR AN IED PLACER.

THE YOUNG MARINE LOOKED AT IT A WHILE AND HELPED THE FARMER DIG.

YOU HAVE THREE VERY DIFFERENT THINGS HAPPENING EACH IN THAT PERSON'S PERSPECTIVE AND

PROBABLY ALL THE RIGHT THINGS.

THEY ARE TRYING TO GIVE AFGHANISTAN A CHANCE.

BECAUSE THE THING ABOUT AFGHANISTAN IS IT'S A COUNTRY THAT HAS BEEN TORND, TURNED

UPSIDE DOWN, SHREDDED AND MUTILATED FOR ABOUT 34 YEARS.

IN A COUNTRY WHERE THE LIFE EXPECTANCY IS ABOUT 44, THERE AREN'T A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO

REMEMBER NORMAL.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> AMERICAN SERVICE MEMBERS ARE BY NATURE PROBLEM SOLVERS.

THEY WANT TO HELP THINGS GET BETTER.

THAT'S WHAT I SAW.

I SAW THIS WONDERFUL DESIRE TO REACH IN AND FIX IT.

IT'S FRUSTRATING.

FRIGHTENING, FRUSTRATING.

>> Jon: THEY ARE ALSO, LET'S FACE FACTS THE MAIN IDEA OF FIGHTING FORCES IS FIGHTING.

WE PLACE UPON THEM THIS COMPLEX TAX REBUILDING CSM WE REALLY HAVE A PLCY THAT AT ITS

FOUNDATION IS WE GO INTO A COUNTRY ATTACK IT, CONQUER IT IN THE MANNER THAT THE SUPERIOR

TECHNOLOGY AND OUR FIGHTING FORCES, AND THEN STAY THERE AND KNIT IT BACK TOGETHER?

ISN'T THAT ASKING TOO MUCH FROM THESE GUYS?

>> I DON'T THINK SO.

THEY DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE.

YOU ONLY FIGHT TO ACHIEVE AN END.

IF YOU THINK ABOUT WORLD WAR II.

EVERYBODY LIKES WORLD WAR II BECAUSE IT SEEMS NEAT AND CLEAN AND WE WON AND IT WAS OVER.

I WASN'T THAT WAY IN REALITY.

ESSENTIALLY COUNTER INSURGENCY WAS PERFORMED FOR A DECADE.

THE MARSHALL PLAN WAS NOTHING MORE THAN HELPING EUROPE REGROW SO THAT IT WOULD BE PROTECTED

AGAINST THE GROWTH OF EXTREMISM AND THINGS.

IN REALITY, SOLDIERS ARE NATURAL PEOPLE TO HELP BIND THINGS BACK TOGETHER.

YOU FIGHT WHEN YOU HAVE TO BUT YOU SOLVE THE PROBLEM WHEREVER YOU CAN.

>> Jon: CAN YOU STICK AROUND FOR A LITTLE BIT?

WE'LL GO TO

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