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tv   Paul Richter The Ambassadors  CSPAN  April 6, 2020 12:13pm-1:16pm EDT

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>> good evening, everybody. i'm bradley graham, co-owner of politics and prose along with my wife, lissa muscatine, and on behalf of her but here welcome your think you very much for coming. we are very y pleased to have pl richter with us here this evening. paul and i crossed paths a lot when i was a journalist with the "washington post" covering the pentagon and he was reporting for the los angeles times based in washington. over several decades paul wrote about national security and foreign policyy on both the pentagon and then the state department beat come and heal other important assignments for the times before leaving the paper about four years ago. paul was seen as one of the journalistic prose of reporting in this city on national
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security affairs and in his new book, "the ambassadors", he applies his extensive knowledge of america's national security establishment to highlighting the valuable roles played by some veteran diplomats. he singles out four in particular, ryan crocker, robert ford, anne patterson and chris stevens. as examples of our senior skilled state department officers have worked with our military and intelligence communities in such countries as afghanistan, iraq, syria, pakistan and libya to combat terrorism and manage challenging situations. at a time when the u.s. diplomatic corps is being downsized and disparaged, paul's book is reminder of the vital contributions made by somes of the state department finest, the risks they have sometimes had to take, and the courage they are
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often shown. the professionalism and high-mindedness of our diplomats were of course further on display in recent days during the impeachment hearings in the house. as senior state department officialss stepped forward to tell what they saw, heard, and thought while their political bosses have declined so far to testify. paul will be conversation here with someone else who knows his way around both the pentagon and the state department, but as an insider. john kirby is between nine years in the navy specializing in public affairs and rose to become the nates top spokesman and in then chief spokesman for the department of defense. after retiring from the military in 2015, with the rank of rear admiral, john shifted to the state department where he served as spokesman and assistant secretary for public affairs
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during the final year and half or so of the obama administration. he now appears on cnn as an analyst of military and diplomatic issues. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming paul richter and john kirby. [applause] >> thanks for coming out on a cold night here in dc. i don't think there could be a better time for a book like paul because the career foreign service has been brought to the floor of america's imagination in light of the impeachment inquiry and it doesn't matter where you are on the political side or you are for or against
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what they are doing. you can see just by watching any little bit of the testimony the last couple of weeks how professional and skilled peace men and women are in the ride from that some of the attributes they bring to the effort and they bring this going to professionalism to what they do, so i'd like to start because i know this was a bit long in the making but what gave you the idea for the topic, and by those foreign service officers? >> i started thinking about this when i started working the state department i was covering right after 9/11 and i noticed pretty soon but every time there was a new crisis in some part of the world, usually the middle east or south asia the senior management turned to one of the small groups of the same trusted
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veterans to be ambassadors. they rotated from crisis to crisis for years to all these places where there was always extra pay for danger or always risks to them, but somehow they were trusted and i thought if i could get to these people, i bet they would have a terrific story and it would help me understand more about what to think about the middle east and all these adventures that we have had many of which seems to go so wrong. i settled on four. these are not the only people in the category, but i thought they were especially good examples and we kind of told the story in the same 15 year period so the first one i chose was ryan crocker is a six time ambassador
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and in the period that i'm writing about come he went to afghanistan twice and led embassy in iraq once the kind of height of the civil war. i also chose and patterson who's had just about every bad job in the state department. during the period that i'm writing about, she was the ambassador to pakistan and then the ambassador to egypt and went on later to become the state top department official for the middle east as well. i also chose robert ford who was in this period political counselor for nn number two in the embassy in iraq. he took five tours in iraq, think about that. he had doubts about the war all along and yet he volunteered five times to go.
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i think he had more times in iraq in this period than any other foreign service officer. after it was over he sent him to syria which sounded like it was going to be a home or maybe boring gauge and then immediately the war broke out and then the last person that i decided to focus on those chris stevens. you all probably know of him, he was the number two in the libya embassy before the civil war and then when the civil war broke out in 2011, washington needed somebody to go into libya to sneak into the kind of washington's eyes and ears on the ground, somebody that would figure out who the rebels were and try to find out who was important and what they needed to know about him.
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there is a lot o a lot of foreiy in the book but it's mostly about these four people and their struggles against the bad guys and their struggles against different local leaders and countries and some struggled with washington as you could imagine especially those of you that have been in government service, you know all about that. so these were ambassadors kind of in a different mold from most ambassadors and in calm places they functioned largely to pass on messages between washington and foreign leaders but these were all situations where there was chaos, violence, everything was uncertain and in a number of the situations the bosses in washington had to send them in and ask them to kind of improvised to figure out what needed to be done and with whom and make it up as they went
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along. to give you one example of that, ryan crocker in early 2002 after the taliban government had fallen, crocker went into afghanistan to try to help the formation of a new government and the interim leader was hamid karzai who had been a schoolteacher and publicist but had no experience running a country and so he and crocker got together every morning at the palace and the first question always would be what the hell do we do now. so, together they picked a cabinet and tried to settle on an agenda for this new states that have almost no money. they had to try to make peace before the warlords who were feuding and tried to kill each other. it was a long struggle. i spoke to a cia officer who was
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there at the time and the cia was in first in afghanistan and he said that sometimes karzai needed to be given a little kick. he didn't know what he was doing, he was a little passive but if he needed a little kick, crocker was according to the cia official. all these people faced a love of danger. robert ford when he went to iraq at first, they sent him down to be the one man occupation government for the province and there was nobody there. there was a battalion of marines that there was no government. there was nobody in charge. the utilities were broken down, the employers in the province had stopped operating so it was just a vacuum and the shia
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militia were getting organized to take over and assert their authority so for granted them immediately and it became attached because the authorities in baghdad could allow alternate governments to take hold so one day forward was on a trip to a village to speak to a religious leader. he sat down with the leader, had a few cups of tea and suddenly the shia militia broke him, broke the door down, grabbed his translator who was a young iraqi dental student, took him outside and began beating him and had announced to crocker and his military aid they were holding them indefinitely if i said crocker i. meant for.
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it looked like they might be stuck there for who knows how long until ford realized he had a meeting later that day with an official of the same militia so he talked these militiamen into releasing them but it was a close call. afterwards, he said to the military aid i want to go on and have that meeting with their boss later on tonight and the military aide said o are you cry if my car we are going back to the base. later on during the tour he got crossed up with the militia of another leader who became a big danger to the u.s. and ford was getting death threats.
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he realized that he was on the list for assassination by the time he left in december of that year. so, later on when ford got to syria, as i said, he expected it to be called and then the civil war broke out immediately. for decided that he was going to protest the fact that the regime was shooting of unarmed demonstrators in the street so that madstreets sothat made himr with the regime. if they attack to the embassy finally and tried to break in through the roof and he had to order the marine guards to shoot at them. there was never really a time that they were safe in these
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posts. >> there is a great adage that i love of a diplomat that says yes means maybe. a diplomat says maybe means no in a diplomat that says no is no diplomat. [laughter] but actually, when you look out the story of them, they were not afraid to offer dissenting views in spite of their government, and of course to the leaders that they were working with and i was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that strain in the foreign service and the dissent channel and what that means a. how each of them were able to use that authority and power and the credibility of the dissent to move the policy forward. the diplomats carryout the administration policies without a peep no matter what they think of it. that is what they are supposed to do. they are part of a professional
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nonpartisan body and that is the way that it's supposed to be. they are supposed to be independent that help implement the policy. but they all have their red wines, the personal red wines which sometimes they never meet during the course of a whole for fear but at other times they come out and over the last couple of decades, there has been more because of policy differences and then now with the trump administration as you see in the impeachmen impeachmey is the diplomats feel that there's been also abusive powers, so occasionally they do run up against them. if they feel seriously enough about it, they can believe this or they can finally descend through this channel called the dissent channel of the state department that they've had for a very long time.
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but, all of the four in my book kind of struggled with this issue at times because they felt strongly about our policy in the middle east in various ways. there wasn't any issue as there is now, but for example, try and crocker strongly disagreed with the decision to go into iraq and they wrote a famous memo that laid out everything that could go wrong and he hoped to pass up the chain and hoped that it would change some minds. it got partway up the chains but it didn't really change their mind because the people wanted to go ahead with the invasion
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anyway. ask a point with his staff he said this is going to happen and it's going to be the biggest mistake you see outdoor life but you have to make a decision about whether you want to go forward and support this president and for myself, i'm going to go forward and support him. so, crocker did. he went to baghdad and helped out right after the invasion. he went back again in 2007 to help out as ambassador but he had enough of doubts and misgivings and he said after he retired that they followed all of the administration policies and was a lot harder than it sounds as. they sometimes their arguments
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continued and had an effect over a long period when crocker was in afghanistan in 2011 and the obama administration wanted to pull out the troops and basically everybody in the administration were arguing for going slow and the argument was kind of never fully resolved. it just kept going on. >> that i >> that is a great segue to my next question. the story of the diplomats is also the story of american intervention in the middle east and south central asia to be sure. were their views of these over the role of america in this part of the world or did they have great differences among them? >> there were differences but also a lot of commonalities. most of these foreign service people are traditionalists.
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they believe in the foreign-policy views they believe they should have a leading role in the world and that our influence is underwritten by force. they are slow to get into conflicts and also slow to get out of them because crocker always says americans are convinced with our influence and military and economic tools we can get in and reshape parts of the world so we try to exert our will but then pretty soon we discover things are not changing as fast as we like and we get discouraged and want to leave so there's a lot of political
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pressure to move quickly. they understand having the facts in the foreign-policy take a long time. there was a german sociologist says it's like driving a nail slowly through a hard piece of wood, and i think that is the kind of consensus view. people take time and they need more effort than the americans realize. >> it's often something the military doesn't have some of the themes of the book is the relationship that all if they had relationship that all if they had with their military counterparts. can you talk about the importance of the relationship in the conflicts and how they
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were able to manage that maybe some better than others. >> through the military and diplomatic corps together in a way they hadn't been thrown together since vietnam and so they had to get along and they often have different agendas and orders from washington and they couldn't always see eye to eye. i remember robert ford telling me that he understood the iraqis better than the american military. so, you know, there are cultural differences that run deep. in the beginning of the iraq period especially, the also in afghanistan there were a lot of conflicts that have been written a lot about between the diplomats and the generals. there were times they went their own way there were times when he just went their own way. they were not even communicating with each other. i talked to a kind of junior
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foreign service officers who it's in generals and ambassadors yelling at each other in front of the iraqis, which was not good. but the problem with all that rancor is things just don't get done. so after a while it became apparent things were not in concert as the bush administration wore on, became increasingly visible, disruptive problem. so by. the time david petraeus and ryan crocker went to iraq during that period called the surge where bush was send in more troops to try to call the civil war, crocker and betray us realize they they needed to get along. they needed to work in harmony just to get things done. otherwise, the iraqis could divide and conquer. there was a lot of reason for them to harmonize. and they did.
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crocker and betray us went for long runs and they would chew over issues. the tray has put a satellite office up next to crocker office -- betray us -- they would talk about almost everything. they would go in and meet with the minister, al-nuri malik he and they would know what the lines should be. if it veered into the military, betray us knew without prompting he would talk it up. later crocker went to afghanistan and he worked the same way with john allen. they harmonize closely. it was not a natural state. and when crocker left afghanistan -- a left iraq in 2009, his successor chris sale immediately begin having disagreements with general ray odierno who was in charge of the military band. it requires constant attention.
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it's just not a natural state. >> i just have one more and then we will start taking questions from you all. there's a microphone over here to your right. just please hew on up when you're ready and we will let you have that. actually it's two questions. one, in writingio of the book dd you learn or stumbled across more junior or mid-level foreign service officers that you think someone might be writing a book about in the years to come in terms of their performance at the level where they were cracked and what would you say to young people are considering a career in thehe foreign servie and you might be a little intimidated and put off by what you're seeing in this impeachment query right now? >> i did come across some young people, young foreign service officers who were really, rose quickly through the ranks and had incrediblely talent. was inl
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in about 2000 to 2002, he worked for some really talented guys that worked for him. stevens was then number two in the part of the embassy that dealt with the palestinians. he had working for him a young man and another named jeffrey beall for both went on to be outstanding u.s. officials. he had been a cia officer and had come over as a specialist that worked for the state department and was an outstanding performer in iraq and ran for congress last year in hudson valley of new york and did not make it. it was a hotly contested seat.
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he ended up being president obama's top adviser on i think much of the middle east at one point in the second term. in terms of the future for the young service officers, it's been difficult because they watched how the trump administration reduced the size of the foreign service and number of applicants for the foreign service fell for the peak of 20,000 a year to 8,000 so a lot of people have been discouraged but i know a lot of people, foreign service officers to teach young people and i have a friend at johns hopkins and they say there is still a huge demand for these jobs.
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i think that the testimony that we have seen in the impeachment inquiry is going to increase the demand because they see that they are consequential to interesting and they can really be fun, so i think that we are going to find there is still going to be a demand. >> you wrote about an interesting moment related to this because the book is about going to the worst places and doing the hardest jobs where they are trying to get the state department and congress to build up the embassy and staff it up with a lot more foreign service officers. have you had trouble getting people to sign up to go and they had a big town hall with the state department where they are encouraging people to go and there was a debate of stop. maybe you can ask described that and the mission in iraq.
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there was a period during that time when i spoke about the then secretary of state and the people in the white house really wanted to do more foreign service officers into iraq. they were saying we need volunteers for these jobs and your career is going to depend on it so they begin pressuring people. a lot of the foreign service officers had not gone into the career expecting that they would be exposed to a lot o the dangeo there was a meeting in the state department where some disgruntled employees claimed maybe it was to be director general and one guy that spent his career in europe. if i get killed are you going to take care of my children so they
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got quite angry, and the director general had to kind of closclosed meetings of roughly d this didn't help the image of the foreign service. a lot of people thought that the foreign service was shirking while they were out there risking their lives. the number three in the department went to thanksgiving dinner with his sister in virginia that monday and said why aren't they stepping up when the troops are at risk. so it was painful to hear that, but that was kind of the impression that was left. however, after all of this, it turned out that eventually they got all of the volunteers be needed and all the jobs were filled and nobody had to be penalized for not knowing. >> please feel free to step up to the microphone if you have any questions. i also wanted to pull on this other string in the book which is attention diplomats have with
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their own set of values and integrity and character. many of them are honest men and women, but they struggled sometimes with having to deal with people. they were able to reconcile working with the leaders that they didn't like and were not convinced serving our national interest. they had authoritarian leaders that didn't necessarily share our values. >> it is a tough dilemma because a lot of the foreign service officers in afghanistan for
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example thought so much of the afghan government was corrupt people who didn't have the interest. part of the job especially for the ambassador is, you know, focused on these individual leaders and the ambassadors have to go every day to the palace and knock on the front door and no matter how they feel about people like all these characters, they've got to get along with them and build trust with them because that is part of the relationship. the u.s. asks a lot of the leaders to do things they don't necessarily want to do. they are politically risky for them and if they do not have confidence in the ambassador they don't have trust in the ambassadoambassador then it isng
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to work. it is a personal relations business so they've got to learn to swallow their misgivings. >> a a lot o lot of nurturing ae relationships >> you have a question. >> thank you for the talk and for taking your time. >> we are committed to revitalizing the state department and because of both yours unique perspectives on health department operated during the bush and obama administrations, but this actually take to create the situation on the ground to attract that kind of talent. in 2009 we had a barack obama that was a star among these people that wanted to come in and revitalizing the secretary hillary clinton pointed. it doesn't require that level of talent and crises to bring back those talented young people into the fray to begin the arduous
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process of the foreign service packs debate could >> i think there's a certain amount of motivation among these people to make a contribution. and i think that if they see that there is a need to think that is one thing that will draw them. one of these issues is going to be a motive for a lot of young people. >> i also think if i could it is also about feeling like that service is valued and one of the things i hear when i talked to the foreign service junior officers many of them are not quite sure that the idea of diplomacy and that foreign policy of the less self-interested foreign policy is off value right now and that is putting some of them off a little bit. in a way it isn't like being in the military. i like being in the navy because
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i think it is a value of the service that they are struggling with right now. >> i'm tracy wilkinson with the los angeles times and i have the task of succeeding paul in the state department. what they saw as the importance of the media to get the message out or to not get the message out, was it a hostile adversarial relationship, was at one of more collaborative or where they saw each other's oths roles contrasted with what we have today? >> , befor >> among the four there were different attitudes. you might notice, for got alongg
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well with the press and he was hoping this would constantly even though i wasn't there he helped me out a lot and ryan crocker was the same way friends going back to lebanon during the civil war there. people like robin wright and tom friedman. so, crocker has always gotten along well and he knows they all knew maybe with the exception of chris, they knew what the rules were for the press and what to expect of them. i think anne patterson was a little leery because she could sometimes be so candid that she would say too much and so we reporters loved her but sometimes she could get in
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trouble. she always kind of got anxious when she was with the press. but they would always be forthcoming if they had an opportunity. >> thanks for the buck and for the interesting discussion. my name is andre. i actually was in damascus with ambassador for her during that time. looking at the role of diplomats, a lot of what was reported as when things go right. in the quiet places when actually we are not engaged in reacting to violence or in a crisis but through our work presented in the crisis but that often doesn't get reported as much because things are normal. how do you see the role of the press in creating the environment where the work of preventing the crisis is more
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valued and it's routine diplomacy might be more valued than the sort of sensational aspect of reacting to the crisis? >> well, i think there are ways to write about things going right but it's just the nature of the beast that the press is going to report about when there is news and action that is not regular, so i don't know if there is any way around that. part of it is expectations, news coverage. airplanes are not supposed to crash and so when they do it makes the news. but, wouldn't you say -- and he kind of touched on this that access to and relationship building with the media is important because that's if you do have a situation where it is
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a rather completed issue on a policy that you are trying to drive home. it doesn't necessarily make spectacular headlines but if you have a relationship with the press you can at least get some discussion of it and maybe even some coverage and i think that all of that to some degree, i didn't know mr. stevens but the others i think we try to attend those media relationships just as strongly as they tended relationships in those countries. >> right, i think that's right. and if you were spending time with the press and the planning to them the many dimensions of a situation and one of these countries, they are going to find something interesting in there because there's always something interesting. >> it is about conversations. >> barbara harvey, retired foreign >> barbara harvey, a retired foreign service officer. i'm sorry, i'm very short. my experience was that particularly in talking about things like human rights, it was
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possible to bring in the congress and say we understand what you're going through but don't forget we have a congress, and at that time there was a congress was very concerned about human rights. ifnd you want more airplanes or something like that, you have to be sure that you are not beating up on people, shooting people. banning newspapers and the press. press. so the congress has a roless al. i guess that's not a question. >> especially on this human rights issue which is really what you're talking about, they definitely do. they are the ones who are kind of setting the rules often. when anne patterson was in colombia from 2000-2003, she was in a position where the u.s. was dating this government with a lot of military hardware because government wasrn threatened by this insurgency which had
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basically taken control of a lot of colombia slander. but the u.s. was concerned -- colombia has land. the military and the militia that worked with it were guilty of human rights abuses. congress had enacted laws that said that if they were going to continue to get aid from the u.s., they had to follow certain guidelines. so patterson went and met with thesee military leaders and sa, you know, you're not going to get money because congress says so. so congress in that situation definitely had a strong role. >> my name is riley. my question is, how do you think that our foreign counterparts perceive the foreign service differently, or whether it does, in light of the president's
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attempt to denigrate the t foren service? and how do you think the foreign service officers are able to make commitments at a lower level when foreign policy at the executive level is operating inconsistently at best, and maybe capriciously at worst? >> your first question was how do other -- how to analyze, foreign services look at our foreign service currently? >> yes. >> we have a different system than so of our allies because we allow noncareer people to become ambassadors. and i think a lot of our allies, even in countries like china and russia think we're crazy to allow these former business people to be running embassies.
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i think now they are probably perplexed by what's going on with the foreign service. what was the second part of your question again? >> how our foreign service officers making commitments when foreign policy can be so -- >> i think it's probably for the career people generally, because now foreign service has been kind of reduced in stature and summary of the decisions, for example, in ukraine are being made by others outside of the formal process of the state department. and so the foreign leaders and even mid-level diplomats are learning they need to go to the president'sde political network and pay less attention to the career diplomats who are articulating the policy the way it used to be.
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>> my question follows up on the questions about thees press. my question follows up on the ones about the press, and i'm wondering, after studying the phenomenon that you did after the fact, how will you thought the press at the time covered there story, including i guess yourself. >> well -- >> i i can take that one.e. [laughing] >> well, you know, there was a lot said and written about how the press fell down on the job before the iraq invasion. there was too much support for this policy that turned out so badly. there was only a few journalists in town who are deeply skeptical about the invasion of iraq at the time, and the ones who were dubious have become like, you know, cold here rosenow in movies and things like that.
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-- heroes now. that was a big mistake and it wasn't enough, there definitely was enough skepticism about it. i think later on, the press has certainly been skeptical ever since i would say. >> hello, i thank you very much for taking the time. i was wondering if you could speak a little bitit about who u think the audience for this book is? and related to that what you think foreign service could do to tell its t story better to te american public? >> that's an interesting question. i was talking to the head of the foreign service union the other day and he was of course worried about what's going to happen next with the foreign service, but he said they're going to try to take advantage ofak this cris by trying to get out the word about what the foreign service does and how it's helping
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americans, even though they don't know it. it's helping promote business. it's helping prevent the spread of disease. it does all sorts of things that the public is unaware of it. basically, it has a real image problem. a lot of ordinary americans just don't know anything about the foreign service. they think of diplomat as these people who drink cocktails in evening dress, where bowties like george kent. so it would really be useful for the foreign service if they were able to get the word out. in terms t of the audience for e book, i mean, i hope for a general readership. as i say, it's a book more about the struggles of these people than it is about the details of foreign policy. but i thought that i i would he a particular audience with young
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people who are thinking about going into the foreign service. because if you want to know what it's like for the people of some of the best jobs, or at least the most challenging jobs, i think the book gives you a pretty good account of it. .. >> to make the connection to someplace interesting. in researching and writing the book were their surprises for you? you covered these people for a long time and these events for a long time, did you uncover something that was new and surprising that he hadn't thought about or seen before? >> one thing i thought was
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interesting i had it read about anywhere was chris stevens, when he died people correctly praise to come a bit people didn't know he had such a misgivings about the iraq war. he really agonized over it, he was under a lot of pressure like all foreign service officers to go to iraq. he was young, arabist, he spoke the language well. he knew the region really well and he was under special pressure, robert ford calls tim a couple of times from iran and said will you come here and join us, but stevens just really did not want to work in that militarized environment. he felt he would be kind of a fifth wheel, he would not be really giving the orders, making the important relationships and they would have to go around and
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have a protective gear all of the time. so, he did what he could to stay away from the war even though that kind of risk his career prospects. now, it turned out this wasn't because he was afraid of taking a risk because he went into libya and risks and ultimately lost his life. >> i wondered if the book touches at all on the changes that have come to the foreign service with the advent of social media and technology and how these diplomats are dealing with new challenges and new complexity in some kind of direct, visible public diplomacy that seems to happen before everyone's eyes? >> i do have one section and there about how robert ford experimented with it back in the early days in 2011 with social media was not what it is today. he was in a situation where he
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was shot out most of the tv and official media in syria so he wanted to work around and use social media to get out the word and explain what the u.s. position of all this was. and, so he use social media to engage in a back-and-forth with syrians about the policy and there were a lot of people who on the side of the regime and argue bitterly with him and he argued back and he also use social media to he carried images, satellite images come i think it was government military placement in syria. that government was saying we haven't had any troops or heavy equipment and that such and such a town so for would put out pictures of these artillery right there and so, he found his
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way. he wasn't getting much instruction from smart knowledgeable young people about how to use social media, it was just clumsily experimenting as he could. >> thank you. my name is laura kelly with georgetown i worked on the hill for ten years and a lot of my job in fault keeping track of when policy activities are migrating into uniform into the services. there is all this peace and stability operations, dozens of acronyms that we call this peacekeeping irregular warfare, fourth-generation come i can go on and on, but it seems to me that there is a chance right now for the state department to tell a different story about itself in about its presence in the world that this is especially possible because restrictions of
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the post-cold war was the smith act which did not allow for americans serving in the civilian foreign policy agencies to talk about what they did domestically and this is finally revised and gotten rid of a few years ago, the internet was taking it less relevant anyway and more obsolete. but it seems to me there has got to be a better way and a more consistent way for foreign service for a id state department to show up in public in the united states and tell us story about the change in the world to an especially to get some of that institutional memory back from the pentagon. it really was obvious to me when i worked on the hill that so much of our experience in international relations was happening on the other side of the river and it's a lot because congress will not fund the civilian side of foreign policy
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like it well when it's in uniform. it's obvious and he reads you can see on a nato hearing that dod shows up with six people and a beautiful multimedia in the state department person sometimes talks and answers questions really well but what do you think the whole civilian side of our international presence could be doing now that it's illegal and it's not always just thesis scandalous or crisis moments that show up and people love them for that like the last couple of weeks. education program, you want to have some ideas of this as well. what could we do? >> it's really a tough challenge. as i say i was talking to the head of the foreign service union and he was talking about doing kind of basic public affairs work, getting the word out. but they have been trying to do
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this for years and foreign service just doesn't have the pizzazz. you can just think of the movies, books, tv shows about military and special forces and as richard of the formulation side, there is no tickertape parade through diplomats. >> there is the tv show, madam secretary. but i would say two things, and i noticed this having been the spokesperson promote pentagon having been from the state, i give credit to mr. pompeo and they were able to get this done. mild bureau and a bureau called information programs which now is illegal and we are allowed to do more communication with the people about what were doing overseas and the law was in a way that we can never get these two groups merged. we wanted to, but they have done
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that now and now they're calling it the bureau of global public affairs, it's a bigger mandate and they're just getting started so i think we have to see how this irons out but the other thing is what struck me when i took the podium at the state department was i would sit in these morning meetings and see all of these wonderful things that career in foreign service officers were doing and putting on my pentagon hat going i want to open up my briefing with that, that's a great in act out and i would get checked out because either the head of the burros would say no you can come he can't say that and you can't talk about it because we want the host government to own this so is very frustrating for a military spokesman to come into the state department and not be able to tell these wonderful stories at the pentagon that's what we do. we talk a lot about what we do and we have a lot of money to throw. he was more difficult at the state department. but i also respected why. i respected that this work was
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really about advancing other peoples interest on our own at the same time. that meant telling wheeling to take a backseat. i don't know that there's an answer to that. i don't know of culturally it will be acceptable to people in the foreign service or in keeping with what they believe their mission to be. it's a tough problem to solve. i do think the impeachment inquiry has brought to the fourth some of this professionalism. this book does come into. anybody who is young and considering a career in the foreign service should deftly pick this book up. >> we have been going through what i think is that we will look back on an unusual period of a forward military role overseas don't you think? things will probably get back to less of bad and the diplomatic corps will have more prominent. >> i hope so. i think military leaders would tell you the same thing. they have been at the core of these conflicts, two and i think they're looking for a chance to
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reset the force and refocus on other or nationstate threats like russia, china or iran but that's been hard to do when you are involved in interventions that are of lengthy duration in the middle east it's difficult. >> i think this'll be the last one. >> we you touch on this briefly but what is the relationship between the career foreign service officer and these hack ambassadors, the political ambassadors? >> they work for them when they are the ambassador. and usually there is this relationship or some political appointee who is from a different line of work may be in business or politics sometimes. >> a hotel magnet come exactly. they go and they are the ambassador but the real brains and the empathy is the number
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two who tells the ambassador owner what to do. so, that is often the relationship. but for the most part they have to get along. it's an unusual relationship with us we supposed to work. >> i would add, taking your., there are, there have been some terrific ambassadors who have been political appointees as well. i think of caroline kennedy in japan and her appointment meant so much to japanese people because her father wanted to be the first president to visit japan after world war ii and there were many others at the state department. most of them when they do this job they are giving up that fortunes, they're giving up a lot of their time and most are doing it out of a sense of service and dedication for the country. i am not saying that everybody has the purest of motives but the ones i saw in my time that's
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because i think to paul' the book, those jobs, those hard jobs in those difficult places are best place for a career service officers who have the time and training to do it. and you're right, most of the political appointed jobs go to more state countries particularly in western europe. in my experience they're doing this out of a sense of dedication and patriotism as well. >> some countries like this out is like to have as ambassador not a career person but someone who they think is close to the president is the way they see the world. >> that's another aspect of it, how much can this investor speak for the president. can they pick up the phone and get them to make decisions right away. thank you very much for coming. this is terrific. >> thank you and copies of paul's book are available to
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check out. paul will be a peer signing. police were maligned to the right of the table. normally we ask you to fold up your chairs but don't do that tonight we need them in place. thank you again for coming. >> just ahead on c-span2 book tv, amy title in her book fighting for space. then journalist gibraltar talks about the science and business of antiaging. his book is anti- -- inc. >> weeknights this month that we are featuring book tv program showcasing what is available every weekend on c-span2. tonight, socialism, rand paul discusses his book, the case against socialism on the rise against social ideology in america. then, it's current affairs
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editor-in-chief why should be as socialists, after that robert ralston and benjamin powell and socialism socks about their travels to socialist countries from the annual state of the net conference, internet archive crater, restrict kale talks about documenting the internet. >> we collect about 800 million pages every day, the total collection it's about 800 billion urls. it's actually kind of huge. it turns out that's only part of what we do. we also archive television, abc, nbc, cbs, fox and also international television. if you go to tv archives you can
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search to find clips of what other people said and be able to put those on blog posts. the ideas to make it so people can quote to compare and, think critically about what is happened for television. >> watch the communicators at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> television has changed on c-span began 41 years ago. but our mission continues. to provide an unfiltered view of government. already this year we brought your primary election coverage, the presidential impeachment process and now the federal response to the coronavirus. you can watch all of c spans public affairs programming on television, online or listen on our free radio app and be part of the national conversation through c-span staley "washington journal" program. or through the social media fee. c-span created by private industry. as a public service and brought to you by your television


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