Peter Tomsen

  • Aired:  07/28/11
  •  | Views: 48,460

Peter Tomsen discusses the geographical importance of Afghanistan and Pakistan's relation to Islamic extremists. (6:39)

>> Jon: MY GUEST TONIGHT, HE

IS A FORMER AMBASSADOR AND

U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY TO

AFGHANISTAN.

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED THE

WARS OF AFGHANISTAN.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE

PROBLEM PETER TOMSEN.

HAVE A SEAT.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Jon: MY FIRST QUESTION TO

YOU IS SIMPLY THIS.

REALLY?

(LAUGHTER)

REALLY?

>> IT'S PRETTY BIG.

>> Jon: REALLY?

>> YEAH

(LAUGHTER)

DON'T DROP IT ON YOUR TOE.

>> Jon: LET ME ASK YOU THIS,

VOLUME 2, WHAT PERIOD OF WARS

DOES THIS COVER AND HOW MUCH

OF THE AMAZON IS NOW GONE?

(LAUGHTER)

WHAT PERIOD OF WARS ARE WE

DEALING WITH HER.

>> ACTUALLY IT'S SIX, TWO IN

THE 19th CENTURY, ONE IN THE

EARLY 20th CENTURY, AND THE

REST WITH THE SOVIET

INVASION AND AFTERWARDS.

>> Jon: STARTING IN '79.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: WHAT IS SO

ALLURINGLY INVADABLE

ABOUT--

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: AFGHANISTAN BECAUSE

EVERYONE SEEMS TO WANT TO DO

IT THEY DON'T HAVE OIL.

THEY DON'T APPEAR TO HAVE

MINERAL WEALTH, ALTHOUGH I

THINK THEY'VE RECENTLY

DISCOVERED THAT.

THEY APPEAR TO JUST HAVE A

TIGHTLY KNIT GROUP OF TRIBES

WHO DON'T CARE FOR BEING

INVADED.

>> EXACTLY.

AND IN OUR CASE WE CALLED IT

AN INTERVENTION.

SOME CALL IT AN INVASION.

THE BIG, THE MOST IMPORTANT

REASON IS THAT AFGHANISTAN

IS THE HIGHLAND OF YOUR

ASIA.

IF YOU GET CONTROL OF THE

HIGHLAND, SPEAKING ABOUT THE

OUTER RING OF GREAT POWERS,

THEN YOU HAVE ADVANTAGE OVER

YOUR NEIGHBORS AND OVER YOUR

OPPONENTS.

>> Jon: BACK WHEN BOILING

OIL WAS THE MAIN WEAPON.

BUT--

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: DOES REALLY BEING

ABOVE YOUR ENEMIES IN 29 1st

CENTURY, DO WE REALLY THINK

I'M ABOVE PAKISTAN, I WIN,

YOU KNOW.

IS THAT STILL REALLY

STRATEGICALLY SO VITAL?

>> I THINK IT IS.

AND YOU ALSO DENY IT TO YOUR

OTHER ENEMIES.

I MEAN IF YOU CAN CONTROL

THE HIGHLAND OR YOU CONTROL

AFGHANISTAN, THEN YOU CAN

MAKE IT UNAVAILABLE TO OTHER

ENEMIES.

AND THE CASE OF PAKISTAN,

THEY WANTED TO CONTROL THE

HIGHLAND IN ORDER TO EXPORT

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM AROUND THE

WORLD.

>> Jon: CAN'T DOW THAT ON A

FLAT SURFACE?

>> NO I THINK YOU NEED

MOUNTAINS, YOU NEED CAVES,

YOU NEED PLACES TO HIDE.

>> Jon: IF PAKISTAN-- NOW WE

HAD THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF

PAKISTAN ON AND HE ASSURED

ME THEY KNEW NOTHING ABOUT

ANY OF THIS.

SO I DON'T KNOW IF IN YOUR

RESEARCH YOU CAME ACROSS

ANYTHING ON THAT.

BUT PAKISTAN IS, COULD HE BE

TELLING THE TRUTH THAT

PAKISTAN WAS UNAWARE OF

THIS.

ARE THEY PLAYING A CONSCIOUS

DOUBLE GAME?

IS THERE A GROUP WITHIN

PAKISTAN THAT'S SUBVERTING A

LARGER GROUP IN PAKISTAN.

WHAT'S HAPPENING?

>>.

>> I THINK IT'S COMING FROM

THE PAKISTANI ARMY WHICH

ACTUALLY DOMINATES THE STATE

OF PAKISTAN.

THAT'S BEEN TRUE SINCE THEY

HANGED THE PRIME MINISTER IN

1977 AND TOOK OVER EITHER

DIRECTLY DURING THE DICTATOR

DICTATORSHIPS OR THROUGH

CIVILIAN GOVERNMENTS, NONE

OF WHICH SERVED OUT THEIR

TERM, UP UNTIL NOW.

THE MILITARY HAS DOMINATED

AFGHANISTAN.

AND IT'S THE MILITARY

THROUGH THE ISI WHICH IS AS

PRESIDENT MUSH AR AV SAID,

ISI FOLLOWS ORDERS, PART OF

THE COMMAND STRUCTURE AND

THEY DO WHAT THE CHIEF OF

THE ARMY STAFF IE PRESIDENT

MUSHARRAF, WHEN HE WAS ARMY

CHIEF OF STAFF AND DICTATOR,

TELL THEM TO DO.

SO IT'S NOT ROGUE OUTFITS

WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE

ORGANIZATION, IT'S ACTUALLY

A POLICY, A STRATEGY OF THE-- .

>> Jon: WHAT IS THE

ADVANTAGE OF THAT.

WHEN YOU SAY EXPORT

EXTREMIST INTO AFGHANISTAN

WHAT IS THEIR STRATEGIC

ADVANTAGE BECAUSE IT DOESN'T

SEEM LIKE SOMETHING THAT IS

EASILY CONTROLLABLE AND IT

GETS IT THAT AREA INVADED.

>> ACTUALLY, ACTUALLY

THERE'S-- THERE'S TWO AREAS

OF ADVANTAGE.

ONE THE DOMESTIC IN

PAKISTAN.

THE MILITARY IS ABLE TO KEEP

CONTROL OF THE PAKISTANI

STATE AND KEEP THE SECULAR

DEMOCRATIC PARTIES OUT OF

POWER.

THE SECOND IS TO KEEP A

LARGE MILITARY BUDGET.

THE MILITARY SINCE THEY TOOK

OVER HAS GOBBLED UP OVER 50%

OF THE MILITARY OF THE TOTAL

BUDGET.

THAT MEANT EDUCATION AND

EVERYTHING ELSE HAS GONE

DOWNHILL.

AND FINALLY THERE IS-- .

>> Jon: SORRY, YOU SAID TWO.

YOU SAID TWO.

>> OH, SORRY.

>> Jon: YOU CAN'T-- NO, TWO.

>> I'M FROM THE STATE

DEPARTMENT.

>> Jon: WHAT IS THE THIRD.

>> I'M FROM THE STATE

DEPARTMENT.

>> Jon: ALL RIGHT.

>> THE THIRD ONE IS ACTUALLY

IT'S FOUR--

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: YOU CAN GIVE ME FOUR

FOUR-- BUREAUCRACY LET'S

HAVE FOUR.

>> WELL, OFFENSIVE AND

DEFENSIVE.

DEFENSIVE TO BUILD DEFENSIVE

SORT OF DEPTH AGAINST INDIA,

HINDU INDIA, ISLAMIC

EXTREMISTS DEFENSIVE DEPTH.

AND OFFENSIVE IN TERMS OF

SORT OF SOWING THE SEEDS OF

GLOBAL TERRORISM WITH PEOPLE

LIKE OSAMA BIN LADEN WHO WAS

PROTECTED BY THE MILITARY.

>> Jon: BUT IS THIS THE

GRAND BARGAIN SAUDI ARABIA

HAD MADE AND FOUND OUT DID

NOT WORK THAT WELL FOR THEM,

WHICH IS IF WE TRY AND

CONSOLE THE MILITANTS AND

GIVE THEM CERTAIN THINGS

THAT THEY WANT AS A GRAND

BARGAIN TO KEEP AWAY FROM US,

IS THAT WHAT THIS IS AN

ATTEMPT TO DO OR IS IT THAT

THEY ALSO BELIEVE IN THE

SAME GOALS?

>> THEY ALL BELIEVE IN THE

SAME GOALS BUT THEY DON'T,

THEY TURN AGAINST THEIR

MASTERS.

IT'S LIKE SNAKES.

YOU CAN'T TRAIN SNAKES WHOM

NOT TO BITE.

AND THE SNAKES STARTED

BITING SAUDI ARABIA AND THE

BOMBS STARTED GOING OFF IN

SAUDI ARABIA.

AND THE MONARCHY DIDN'T LIKE

THAT BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO

STAY IN POWER.

NOW THE PAKISTANI TALIBAN

WHO IN THE EYES OF PAKISTAN

ARE ARE THE BAD --

EXTREMISTS, THEY HAVE TURNED

AGAINST THE PAKISTANI STATE.

>> Jon: SO THERE ARE EVEN A

SPECTRUM EVEN WITHIN THE

EXTREMIST WORLD.

>> JAKES.

>> YEAH JRZ I THINK WE ALL

KNOW HOW DANGEROUS THEY CAN

BE.

THE WARS OF AFGHANISTAN.

IT'S ON BOOK SHELVES NOW.

OR YOU CAN JUST MAKE IT INTO

A BOOK SHELF.

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