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On the defense department's cuts I'm joined by William Cohen he's the CEO of the Cohen group in a former Defense Secretary.
Good morning -- -- secretary thanks so much for being here.
-- to be with you -- Virginia media -- -- some of -- announced cuts from Secretary Gates yesterday to the defense budget what's your initial reaction.
Well I think that it's it doesn't come as a surprise first of all load factory gates has.
Pretty much -- what he had in mind you wrote a piece of -- Foreign Affairs Magazine America last August September.
And so this pretty much conforms to the vision he has for what is needed.
He also emphasized that he wants to.
Acquired systems that are perhaps 75 percent effective.
But you get them now as opposed to 99 percent effective but you don't have them until much later.
That you have much costly -- more complex.
And fewer systems.
He wants to have lower tech and more of the systems in other -- quantity will have a quality of its own.
I think that has spent his general philosophy and now this little proposed budget reflects.
You know eat eat it's very interesting to watch Secretary Gates yesterday when he talked a little bit about the types.
Of battles -- -- -- fighting on the ground right now with two of course specific words.
As well of the fact that we're dealing with the recession but he sort of hinted.
That there needs to be changing the style and technology by which we use the defense budget -- the appropriation of those funds.
Based on the kind of battles that we're currently fighting how does that change perhaps since you were in office and is that a wise move.
Well what he's suggesting is -- not going to shift from the conventional warfare to a complete too irregular warfare which we're confronting.
Both in Afghanistan and Iraq but rather they talked about Turkey in the determine talked about.
That is not different than what we've always had to face but what has happened.
If you have vote irregular forces war insurgent forces so guerrilla forces.
Now have access to higher technology capabilities.
And then they bury themselves in the middle of a social setting a society and -- dare you to strike back -- -- Hundreds if not thousands of innocent civilians so it's a type of thing where we have to have more boots on the ground so to speak.
That we have to try to win hearts and minds not necessarily by -- and -- of above flood helping to change the -- -- the people on the ground to be favorably disposed toward the United States that's what's happened in Iraq.
I think that's what they're trying to do and -- in Afghanistan as well.
Secretary Cohen as we're worse thinking you and I right now I just want to make our viewers aware that we just watched the present -- United States to step on Air Force One.
As he makes his way back to the United States after spending the past 24 hours in Turkey largely in Istanbul but secretary Cohen.
-- face some very difficult challenges along the road not including the G-20 but more specifically.
The missile launch in North Korea he talked about this start program that was started back during president -- regime in regards to.
Nuclear non color of what about blur free nations specifically with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
All of this budget how much of how he handles the current state.
A good economy right now as it relates to political instability has he accomplished in his first overseas track.
Well I don't think you made it very good impression on our allies during the course of the strip.
What -- is sending a signal is that he wants to engage all of these countries in a positive way that the United States is not going to be acting quote unilaterally but on multi lateral basis if we can.
This raises the issue for example in North Korea firing the missile.
The president issues some pretty strong language that they have to be consequences to actions.
It's going to be important that we say well how does he intend to follow up.
How -- get or will he get support from the that the Security Council the United Nations.
I feel loved very strongly on this issue that the Security Council shouldn't be issuing resolutions.
And then -- forcing them.
And I think the president made that -- -- a very strong statement but now we appear to be backing off and say well wasn't that serious after all was a failure.
Either we think it is a threat either soon or in the and in the near future.
What we shouldn't be saying anything and ignore them.
But I think right now we're sort of in between condemning it raising the the level of well.
A public concern and criticism and yet not doing anything so that -- -- going to be a problem for the president he's got to find.
A way to take action and persuade our allies or those who sit on the Security Council to take action.
Secretary Colin it recently I talked to a top executive -- one of the largest multinational corporations in the world.
When I asked him what his number one concern is he said social unrest.
How concerned should we be that the economic instability that this global recession leads to massive political instability.
And -- -- spending enough attention -- -- time attention and funds toward protecting ourselves if in fact things do get works.
Well I think that the Pentagon is very concerned about -- social instability.
And terms of the financial crisis.
Also with -- energy and security to the extent that we have very disruption or interruption.
Of our access to energy what will that mean for social stability will will that mean in terms of panic on the part of people.
What will it mean in terms of countries seeking to protect their sources of energy from anyone else having access to it.
All of that insurers under scrutiny and though almost war gaming you know by the by the Pentagon.
So we have a multiplicity of problems to confront us is -- very dangerous world it's an age of what Alan Greenspan so it was an age of turbulence.
And what mr.
Ramos who recently has a book out called -- the age of the unthinkable.
We're living in a very difficult period and challenging period of time and so we have to have our best minds.
And the best of people we can put together -- help with some solutions.
All right we'll secretary -- -- a great pleasure having you on this morning hope you'll join us again in the future thanks so much.
Look at any time for our.
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