Return to Transcripts main page

Fareed Zakaria GPS

What Should Be Done About North Korea?; Is It Time for the United States to Get Out of Afghanistan?; Ten-Year Anniversary of Iraq War

Aired March 17, 2013 - 10:00   ET


FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: This is GPS, the Global Public Square. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.

This week, America's wars, past, present and potentially future. We'll start on the Korean Peninsula where the Korean War has started again, technically, after the North summarily ended the armistice. Could there be conflict? If there is, the United States is bound by treaty to be involved.

Then, Afghanistan, the deadly Afghan attacks on Americans continue from the Taliban on the side and from President Hamid Karzai on the other. Is it just time to get out?

Also, ten years on since the Iraq War. Was it worth it?


PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FORMER DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: The price was high and I think the price in lives is the one I feel most acutely.


ZAKARIA: An exclusive conversation with Paul Wolfowitz who is often seen as the "intellectual godfather" of that war.

And from war do love, what countries do Americans love and hate? We have an actual list.

But, first, here's my take. Just when you thought the place could not get any stranger, it did. In the past few weeks, this impoverished, isolated nation has tested a nuclear bomb, threatened a preemptive nuclear attack on the United States, abrogated the armistice that ended the Korean War and declared its intention to "rain bullets" on its neighbor to the South.

No one knows for sure what is going on, but the most likely explanation is that North Korea's trying to get attention, force us negotiate a deal, get some goodies, then quietly start cheating on that deal.

That has been the pattern in the past, but, this time, the North Koreans have gotten the attention of their ally, China, but not quite how they want to get it. In a remarkable shift, China, which sustains its neighbor North Korea economically, helped draft and then voted last week for U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang.

For decades, Beijing saw Pyongyang as a historical and natural ally. But now, a senior Obama administration official told me last Wednesday, "We are clearly hearing increasingly levels of frustration and concern" from Beijing about North Korea.

A few weeks ago, a senior Communist Party Deng Yuwen argued in an op-ed in the Financial Times that China should "abandon" North Korea. Now, talk is easier than action. China has never imposed penalties or strictly enforced sanctions against its ally.

Beijing's reasoning is understandable. We tend to think about North Korea through the prism of two issues; nuclear weapons and human rights. But the Chinese have a more pressing concern, national collapse. If they were to push the North Korean government too hard, they feel, the regime could fall, leaving millions to seek refuge in China.

Even more important, the endgame would be obvious, a unified Korea on South Korea's terms, which would mean that China would now be bordered by a formal ally of the United States, one with about 28,000 U.S. troops on its soil as well as nuclear weapons. You don't have to be a paranoid to worry about that scenario.

If Washington wants to deepen China's commitment to tackling North Korea's belligerence, we'll have to address Beijing's concerns.

The National security adviser Tom Donilon, who has been the administration's chief interlocutor with the Chinese, could have a frank series of conversations with his counterparts in Beijing about a strategic plan for the Korean Peninsula in the event of a North Korean collapse.

We would have to talk some issues. In a unified Korea, would we destroy the nuclear weapons immediately, would American troops remain, would America's treaty relationship with the South apply to the new nation?

"The North Koreans know," says former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, "That there is now a real danger of an accident, incident or miscalculation on the Korean Peninsula."

If that happened, there is a danger that China and the United States would end up reacting quickly, viscerally and in ways that might make things much worse, even lead to conflict. To prevent this scenario, we should propose serious strategic talks."

Kissinger, who has spent more time talking to senior Chinese leaders than any other living American says, "My instinct is that the Chinese are ready to have this conversation."

For more on this, you can read my column in the Washington Post. Go to for a link. And let's get started. Joining me now, two terrific guests to explore more the mystery that is North Korea; Victor Cha is director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University. Previously, he was director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council under President Bush.

Donald Gregg is a former ambassador to South Korea. In fact, he just returned from a visit there. He was also national security advisor in the 1980s to then vice president, George H. W. Bush.

First question, what do you think they were trying to do, Ambassador? I mean this seems so bizarre. You wrote a piece about engaging with them.

I feel as those it would be nice to get them less isolated, but then they go and test a nuclear bomb, abrogate the armistice treaty, threaten a preemptive nuclear strike and promise to "rain bullets" on South Korea. Why are they doing this?

DONALD GREGG, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: I met with North Koreans very recently and talked to them about it. And they said what has happened is that they have given up on their diplomats and their military is now in control.

And what they want is talk about moving from the now disbanded armistice agreement to the creation of a peace treaty. And that's what they want to talk about and anyone who is willing to talk about that -- they will listen to anyone who wants to talk about what they call "the old way" which was give up your nuclear weapons and then we'll talk is going to get nowhere.

ZAKARIA: Do you think that the -- that this is being directed by this 28-year-old boy who has essentially no experience in politics and government and seems more interested in basketball than anything else?

VICTOR CHA, DIRECTOR, ASIAN STUDIES, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Yes and amusement parks. I mean, as far as we know, from all the pictures and all the statements, he appears to be in charge.

I mean it is, in a sense, a royal family because only one family has run the country so he certainly feels entitled to that position. But the wild variations in behavior that you just mentioned, leads some people to be concerned about whether he is fully in charge or whether the military is in charge.

The three top military generals that were with him when his father died are all gone now. And we don't know what happened to them. That could be a sign of him taking control, but it could also be a sign of some real churn inside the system where some people don't like the fact that a 28-year-old is now running the country.

ZAKARIA: You still think, at the end of the day, what we have to do is somehow find a way to engage with the North Koreans?

GREGG: Yes, very much so because I went to Seoul 40 years ago as chief of station and Seoul, in those days, had a number of similarities with North Korea today. They had a secret nuclear weapons program. They were buying destabilizing weapon systems without telling us.

They were treating their own people very badly and they had intelligence service that was totally out of control. Now, the change from then to now is striking.

And it has been the result of continuous engagement by us with the South Koreans through some tremendous ups and downs, including Jimmy Carter wanted to pull all our troops out he was so disgusted with the South Koreans at that point.

But we've stuck with them and it hasn't been easy, but the result is a magnificent relationship with a country that President Obama things of as our most reliable ally in Northeast Asia.

ZAKARIA: I take it you see it differently?

CHA: A little bit. I mean, first of all, I don't think South Korea in the 1970s is North Korea today. Secondly, I'm not against engagement either and I was part of an administration that, in the second term, did reach two agreements with North Korea on their nuclear weapons.

I think the problem right now is that you cannot engage them directly after they have done a series of ballistic missile and nuclear tests and we are going into a period of sanctions now through the U.N. Security Council Resolution.

And I think a very difficult period for the next couple of months or so. They don't want to give up their nuclear weapons. They want to be able to have their cake and eat it too.

And U.S. policy for the past quarter century has been these things are all on the table if you are willing to give up your nuclear weapons. And so this is the problem. This is the dilemma right now.

ZAKARIA: How do you overcome that?

GREGG: By talking to them. I mean I'm a man who hand-carried a written offer to start talks with North Korea to the White House in 2002 November. It had come directly from Kim Jong-il through Kang Sok-ju to me.

I got there, Steve Hadley took a look at it and said no, we won't talk to them, talking to them would be rewarding bad behavior. I was in and out of the White House in 20 minutes without a single question having been asked.

So our unwillingness to talk to them despite the aberrations and so forth, I think, has put us where we are.

ZAKARIA: Can this regime survive? I mean what is the end-game? This is such an impoverished, isolated country, but this seems to be a military firmly in control. You know, there doesn't seem any -- there are no dissident groups that you hear about because they're dead or in jail. GREGG: I think there's not going to be a collapse in North Korea. The Chinese will not allow that to happen. That's what they fear most.

And I think we have a young man who's going to be around for several decades who is looking for some external support for what he's trying to do. The only people who have given him that so far are the Russians who canceled a $7 billion debt that North Korean owed them which is a very astute move.

So I hope if we can get through this period of training, I hope that after President Obama and President Park Geun-hye get to know each other, I hope after we reached out to the Chinese, there can be a sensible, multilateral approach put forward addressing some of the central concerns that the North Koreans are trying to make clear to us and that is that they want a peace treaty.

ZAKARIA: Gentleman, pleasure to you have on.

Up next, after anti-American rhetoric and anti-American violence, is it simply time for the United States to get our Afghanistan?


ZAKARIA: It's been a bad week for America in Afghanistan. I started on Monday when two Americans were killed and ten other wounded in yet another "green-on-blue" attack.

On Tuesday, a helicopter crash killed five American soldiers. On Wednesday, the top U.S. commander, General Joseph Dunford said, "New rounds of anti-American violence might be spurred by President Karzai's recent comments," including his claim that the U.S. and the Taliban are colluding with each other.

What to make of all this? We have a superb and diverse panel. Husain Haqqani is Pakistan's former Ambassador to the United States. Paul Wolfowitz was Deputy Secretary of Defense when the war in Afghanistan began.

And Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is the Deputy Director on the Council on Foreign Relations' Women and Foreign Policy Program.

Welcome, all.

Paul, you have been situations like this. You've been to Afghanistan as Deputy Secretary of Defense. If you were there, as Chuck Hagel was, and the president of Afghanistan would have made that statement saying, "The Americans are as responsible for our problems as the Taliban," what do you do in that situation? What is your private one-on-one looking like that day?

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, I do remember, let's say, to put it diplomatically, President Karzai is impulsive. He has always been and I remember my first meeting with me. He said he -- after we were done, he was going to go out and announced some fairly radical measures against warlords. And I don't know what he thought would happen. Maybe he thought the American Army would do swoop in and do whatever it was he had announced we were going to do.

I said, look, maybe this is the right thing to do, but there needs to be a plan and a strategy and I was really politely trying to say don't expect us to simply carry out your instructions announced in a press conference.

But, look, I think it's important to take him on publicly, to disagree publicly. He doesn't speak for all Afghans and he's not going to be president after the end of next year.

ZAKARIA: Husain, when people think about the Afghan problem and the insurgency problem, and Stan McChrystal has said this and others have said it.

They say, at the end of the day, the reason that you get -- the reason you lose hope and the reason you -- people get frustrated and say maybe the Americans just shouldn't be there, maybe we should get out, is that it is very difficult to defeat an insurgency when it has a safe haven.

And the Taliban do have a safe haven in Pakistan. They could cross the border back into Pakistan. U.S. troops really can't pursue them. They do a little bit of it, drones do a little bit of it, but, basically, that means the Taliban can live to fight another day and this has been the cycle now for ten years.


ZAKARIA: How should we -- longer than ten. How should we think about this and what should we do?

HUSAIN HAQQANI, FORMER PAKISTAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: First of all, I recognize the problem. I mean the biggest problem in that region has been that the local leaders sometimes tell you that we want to be your allies, but because our people are against you, therefore, we will talk against you in the process, actually adding to the number of people who want to fight the United States.

Now, Pakistan has, under General Musharraf, took the position that unless the United States does what Pakistan wants it to do in the region they will be anti-Americanism and we are just hedging our bets.

The truth is General Musharraf was not heading his bets. He was betting against the United States and arming people who would keep the United States on the defensive.

The people of Pakistan don't like terrorism. The people of Afghanistan don't like terrorism. But their leaders keep on telling them that this America's war instead of Afghanistan's war or Pakistan's war. The Taliban in Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan do not think of each other as their rivals or enemies. They are one. It's time to understand that they are one.

And, therefore, if the government of Pakistan or the military of Pakistan or the intelligence services of Afghanistan want to help one faction, but fight the other, that should just simply not be acceptable.

ZAKARIA: At some point, we're going to have to leave and some of these natural, regional dynamics are going to play themselves out. We could leave five years from now and they'd play themselves out, but we can't just be there forever.

WOLFOWITZ: Well, I'm not sure why -- you know, why bring up the specter forever. Let's look at five or ten years and I think it's a little too complacent to say we can leave and the Taliban will Kabul.

I don't why anyone feels so sure about that. And I do believe that if the Taliban took over Afghanistan, we would have a very significant problem of an al-Qaeda run state and they're never going to forgive and forget.

ZAKARIA: Gayle, finally, you worry a lot about the state of women in Afghanistan were the Americans to leave. And, again, the issue is we are at some point going to leave.


ZAKARIA: If you look at the statue of women in Iraq, in Egypt now, as popular forces take over these countries, sad to say the situation for women often worsens.

And so is this a kind of natural cycle that, unfortunately, it going to play itself out in these countries where the popular movements take over. They are often religiously-oriented, therefore, quite misogynistic, quite anti-women.

TZEMACH LEMMON: But I think an interesting thing happening in Afghanistan which is even under the Taliban, women found ways to work. They found ways to keep school going. They, in fact, were oftentimes the only bread-winners in their house although many people don't know that.

And what they've done is take the opening provided by the international community's presence and really used it to make progress not just for themselves, but for a more stable society.

And if you believe that what Secretary Clinton said was true that this is a security issue and not a women's issue, then it's in everybody's interest for half the population to have its economic potential tapped.

And so I think that what you'll see is women continuing to use any opening they have to make communities more secure and the hope is they won't be left on their own and left to do it solo.

ZAKARIA: Gayle Lemmon, Husain Haqqani, Paul Wolfowitz, thanks for joining us.

Paul Wolfowitz is going to stay with us for a discussion about another war, the Iraq War. Tuesday will mark the tenth anniversary of the beginning of that long conflict. Paul was instrumental in its planning and execution.

But, before that, What in the World, why hundreds of Chinese have suddenly decided to get divorced.


ZAKARIA: Now, for our What in the World segment. A curious phenomenon is unfolding in China. Hundreds of couples are rushing to marriage bureaus across the country. Perhaps the first signs of spring are bringing on a sudden impulse for romance?

No, it's the opposite. These couples are filing for divorce. In each case, a husband and wife mutually agrees to quick separation, no arguing, no quibbling over money or assets. How? Why?

Well, actually, it was about money and assets. You see a vast majority of these couples are getting divorced so they can avoid a new Chinese tax.

Beijing recently decided to impose a 20 percent capital gains fee on sales of second homes. So the theory goes, if you have two homes and you get divorced, you can register each home under separate names.

Then, if you see one of those homes, you escape the new tax and, then, I guess you can get remarried. The bizarre exploitation of this loophole tells a larger story.

At an individual level, it shows the importance of housing as an investment in China, but, at the macro level, the story shows how Beijing's new leaders are struggling to deal with some called a property bubble.

On the one hand, prices are soaring in the big cities. In Shanghai, for example, developers say property prices have risen 40 percent in one year. This is because demand has stayed well ahead of supply as more and more people migrate to big cities.

On the other hand, second and third tier towns have a different problem. Here, supply exceeds demand. There are too many houses. Look at these pictures of ghost towns in China. You can see building after building, mall after mall, but no people to live in them.

Essentially, China has a two-speed property market. One is booming. The other is languishing. Now, you might say, well, China may have a property bubble, but it's not a big deal.

They don't have the kinds of mortgage and credit cards Americans had in 2007. It was our debt that caused problem. And the Chinese National Government is certainly doing fine. The consumer is doing fine. But there are those who say China actually has a huge, hidden debt problem.

According to Morgan Stanley's Ruchir Sharma, "China's total public and private debt has soared to more than 200 percent of GDP," the highest level in the developing world.

Sharma points specifically to private debt, a category that includes all kinds of quasi-state borrowers from local governments to state-owned enterprises.

If you look at the rate of increase of private debt, a good historic indicator of financial stress, China's levels are at dangerous highs. They're higher than the peaks experienced by many countries before the entered a crisis; Japan in 1989, the United States in 2007, Spain in 2008.

If China actually faces a credit crisis, it will plummet the whole world into recession. So China needs cut down on its rising debt which means cutting investment, which means an economic slowdown. That, too, has consequences not only for China, but for all the countries that have come to depend on endless Chinese demand.

Beijing's new leaders have a number of problems, but the new proposals announced this month, loopholes and all, do show that they're trying to act.

These are leaders who have studied the mistakes by their neighbor Japan, they've examined the credit binges of Europe and America and they've got a good track record at handling their problems.

Let's hope they can manage this one even if it does cause marital stresses and strains in China.

Up next, ten years on from the start of the Iraq War. What lessons did we learn? Paul Wolfowitz, a chief architect of that war, will join us again.


CROWLEY: I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. There is a verdict in the rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, that has attracted national attention. This is the case you will remember. Two star high school football players in the town have been on trial for the sexual assault of a West Virginia girl. This was delivered in juvenile court, which is to say there was not a jury, there was merely a judge who decided upon and then delivered the verdict. That judge Thomas Lipps delivered it within the past 15 minutes.


JUDGE THOMAS LIPPS: The court is able to view the demeanor of the witnesses, judge their credibility and weigh the evidence presented to the court. The court has done so in this case and it is the court's decision that both of the defendants are hereby adjudicated delinquent. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Adjudicated delinquent. That in juvenile court is guilty. These two young men, ages 16 and 17 found to be delinquent by the judge in this case. Right now what is going on in that courtroom is that we are hearing from both the attorneys for the young men and the young men themselves. Just a little while ago, Ma'lik Richmond, 16 years old, was asked if he had anything to say. Here is part of that.


MA'LIK RICHMOND, FOUND GUILTY OF RAPE IN JUVENILE COURT: I had no intention to do anything like that. And I'm sorry to put you guys through this. That is not ...


CROWLEY: Incredibly dramatic scenes now in this case in Steubenville, Ohio. Again, the two young men, ages 16 and 17 were found, in fact, to be guilty in this case. The judge will also decide on the sentence. We want to go back now to Fareed Zakaria, already in progress.


GEORGE W. BUSH: My fellow citizens ....


ZAKARIA: Shortly after 9:00 on the evening of March 19th, 2003, President George W. Bush announced in a televised address that American and coalition forces had begun military operations in Iraq. Tuesday will mark the tenth anniversary of that day. Paul Wolfowitz was then the Deputy Secretary of Defense and he is seen by some as the chief architect of that war. I asked him to come on to have an honest conversation about it in retrospect. Paul, thank you for coming.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Thank you for inviting me. I have to say, I'm not the architect. If I had been the architect. Many things would have been done differently.

ZAKARIA: We'll talk about that. Letter to Paul Wolfowitz, "Harper's" magazine cover story. And it's by Andrew Becevich, and he says at the end of it, "Help us learn the lessons of Iraq so that we might extract something of value in return for all the sacrifices made there." Forgive me for saying so, but you owe it to your country. What do you think are the primary lessons of the war in Iraq?

WOLFOWITZ: I think there is some very important lessons , I think some of them still apply to the situation we face in that tragic part of the world today. But before I get to that, let me establish little context, because I think it's important, many of your viewers were still in grade school, I imagine, when many of the events that led up to this took place. One has to go back at least to 1991 and the first Gulf War and the end of that war. I was with Secretary Baker on his first trip to Saudi Arabia right after that war when the rebellions were still taking place and I heard senior Saudi officials plead with him to support these uprisings. They said the worst thing you could do is to leave Saddam in power. For complicated reasons, we didn't respond to that request. The Shia was slaughtered under the eyes of our aircraft and our Army sitting on the other side of the Euphrates River.

ZAKARIA: This was in 1991?

WOLFOWITZ: In 1991, yes. And then Saddam proceeded despite every invitation to come back into the world community, including when we had a new president with President Clinton, he constantly played hide and seek with the U.N. inspectors, in spite of that, they were able to find that he had restarted the nuclear program that the Israelis had bombed ten years before. His son-in-law defect in 1995, it turns out he had a substantial biological weapons program, including anthrax. And then in 1998, he kicks out the inspectors, President Clinton bombs Iraq for several days, the inspectors were out for five years. So, that's the scenario leading up to 2003. Things didn't start on March 19th, 2003. I think it's important to understand that.

ZAKARIA: But what made 2003 possible, was 2001. That is to say after 9/11 there are people like Richard Clarke who was at the National Security Council who said that there were people and he specifically mentions you and your boss Donald Rumsfeld who immediately started diverting attention away from al Qaeda towards Iraq. That this was, you know, that you reviewed this as an opportunity to deal with what you regard as the unfinished business of Iraq.

WOLFOWITZ: No one was arguing to divert attention from al Qaeda and Afghanistan. That was clearly part of the problem. The question was, whether Iraq was also part of the problem and we could spend an entire show going into the historical detail. But I think the important thing is to say, well, we had this experience, was there a way to avoid this war? Was it necessary? And what did we learn from it? And I think it's important that the reason this has been so painful and lasted so long and cost 4,000 American lives and I've spent a lot of time with wounded soldiers and their families and with families of the fallen, I understand the pain involved, at least, well, as best as someone who hasn't experience directly can. But the reason it was so difficult and lasted so long is it took us so long to understand that we were dealing with an insurgency, that to deal with an insurgency you need a counterinsurgency strategy and instead we were out trying to kill terrorists. But the essence of counterinsurgency, which is known to people as the surge, but it wasn't primarily about putting in more troops, it was primarily about using them in a different way. Is that you have to get the population on your side and you can't get the population on your side unless you undertake to protect them, because taking on these killers is dangerous. And if we had not forgotten everything that we learned about counterinsurgency 30 years earlier in Vietnam, I believe this would have turned around much more quickly. Look how quickly it turned around in 2007 when things had already spiraled wildly out of control. The insurgency had grown, we had sectarian conflict. So, I think that is the fundamental mistake and we can talk about others and whether they contributed or not, I think it's, those you can argue around are flat, but the success of counterinsurgency is quite clear.

ZAKARIA: But look at what you were able to achieve, with this - which is Iraq is now, it's almost divided state. The Kurds in the north issue their own passports, they speak their own language, they have their own army. In the south, the Shia essentially running their own little oil state. There is no national compact. The Sunnis still feel deeply discriminated. There are still Shia militias and there is terrorism every day. So, if the goal was, which I'm sure was for you, was the creation of a modern, you know, potentially liberal, open Democratic country, you look at Iraq today. It's tough to come to that conclusion.

WOLFOWITZ: Well, first of all, what I'm saying is if we had done the right thing from the start, many of the things you're describing would have followed a different course. So, the time lost was a terrible loss. No question about it. But I think, also, you're painting a somewhat overly gloomy picture. For example, the Kurds in the north are operating kind of mini state, which has - is amazingly prosperous, has amazingly good relations with Turkey, which we always thought would be difficult. It's democratic maybe by a very low standard. But it's, it's night and day in improvement over how these people were suffering under Saddam.

ZAKARIA: Bottom line. Given what you know today, would you have done it, again?

WOLFOWITZ: My - I certainly would have done it differently. And particularly with respect to counterinsurgency strategy, let's be clear about that. There might have been other ways of pursuing this problem, but it was not going to go away. The notion that either we did it then or we did nothing, something was going to happen. And everything we know, including from the Duelfer Report and the interviews with Saddam make it clear he hadn't given up on the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, he may have removed his stockpile so that he could survive an inspection. But his goal was to get rid of the inspectors, get rid of the sanctions and as he said clearly in the Duelfer Report says clearly then starts these programs all over again. So, I think the most likely alternative to going to war in 2003 would have been go to the war in 2005 or 2007. Or ...

ZAKARIA: Continuous containment strategy with a few bombings ...

WOLFOWITZ: Containment was collapsing. I mean people would say why are you still bombing Iraq 20 years after the end of the Gulf war? Why are you killing Iraqi babies, which was this primary rhetorical point. I think the sanctions and the containment was collapsing and, at some point, his defiance was going to lead us back into a confrontation. If it didn't do that, then I think the odds are today we would be dealing, not just with an Iran seeking nuclear weapons, but an Iraq seeking nuclear weapons and possibly already generating biological weapons and very likely Libya seeking nuclear weapons.

ZAKARIA: How do you think about as an American policy maker, the issue of -- was it worth the price in American lives and treasure? By some estimates $1 trillion.

WOLFOWITZ: Look, the price was high and I think the price and lives is the one I feel the most acutely. But this is a critical part of the world. I would like as much as anyone to be able to say, let's forget about the Persian Gulf. Let's forget about the larger Middle East. Let's focus on Asia where I've spent a good part of my career and which is much more satisfying place to work. But that part of the world isn't leaving us alone. Al Qaeda isn't leaving us alone. Pakistan isn't leaving us alone. We have secured some real gains at very high cost admittedly in both Afghanistan and Iraq. But if we throw away those gains now and if we throw away the lessons that have been learned and it seems to me in Syria we're throwing away the lesson, not of Iraq 2003, but Iraq 1991. We're abandoning the rebels in Syria and, more or less, not the same way, we don't have an army overlooking them in Syria. But when they need our help and we could provide help at very little risk to ourselves, we're letting them be slaughtered, 70,000 now. We're going to pay a price for a long time to come in Syria for that abandonment. And I think we have gained something by sticking with the Afghans. We have gained something by sticking with Iraqis. I think our interests and our values would be advanced if we stick with it.

ZAKARIA: Paul Wolfowitz, pleasure to have yon on.

WOLFOWITZ: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Up next, a different perspective on the Iraq war. How did a diminutive British anti-war activist become a key adviser to two American generals? Don't miss this story.


ZAKARIA: How do you go from being an antiwar human rights worker to being one of the Iraq war's most important military advisers? Well, that's what my next guest Emma Sky did. This British peace activist became a key adviser, a right-hand woman, if you will, to American Generals Odierno and then Petraeus. I wanted to get her unique perspective on the war and its aftermath. Welcome to this show, Alice (ph) Sky.

So, what was it like? You were - you were in Iraq twice. '03 and '04 and then during the surge. What was like the first time to actually be in a war zone with the Americans?

EMMA SKY, SENIOR FELLOW, YALE'S JACKSON INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS: Well, in 2003, I was somebody who was against the war. But when an e-mail went out around the British civil service and they asked for people to volunteer - to go and run Iraq for three months before we hand back to the Iraqis. And I thought, OK, the decision is taken to go to war, I will volunteer and it's a chance for me to apologize to every Iraqi I've met for the war and to let them know a lot of people in Europe who are against the war.

ZAKARIA: That's why you went there?

SKY: That's why I went. That was my rationale. ZAKARIA: But then you get there. And who was -- did you start working with Odierno immediately?

SKY: No. I mean at the beginning, when I arrived they said, look, we've got enough people (inaudible) at the palace, but we don't have enough people up north. Go north. Well, they didn't say where exactly north. So I got in another plane and went to Mosul and they said, no, we've got somebody here. We are all right here. Go to Arbil. I get to Arbil, and they said, no, we've got enough people here, but we've got an opening in Kirkuk. Go to Kirkuk. So I turned up in Kirkuk. And then I'm told you're now the senior civilian here. You're Ambassador Bremer's representative for the province of Kirkuk.

ZAKARIA: Really? That's how you got appointed? I mean, Kirkuk is an important place, by the way, that's the Kurdish area, it's oil rich.

SKY: Well, it's a very contested area. The Kurds were trying to take it and incorporate it into their area and others didn't want that to happen. It was very sort of unstable, if you like, because all these different political dynamics going on.

ZAKARIA: And so, how did you decide what to do?

SKY: Well, you know, there's no job description, there is no job plan and I quickly met with the American brigade commander there and he thought this is great, the civilians are coming, the military can go home. So, he thought we need to do what he termed the left seat, right seat. So, he briefed me and hands (ph) over to me that he and his 3,000 paratroopers were leaving, so he thought.

ZAKARIA: Did you feel like you were running Kirkuk?

SKY: What we tried to do was put the Iraqis in charge because at the beginning when the military had come in, the military had taken over everything. So, we tried to say, look, that's not success. Success is not the U.S. military running Kirkuk, it is the Kirkukis. So we help set up these different bodies to get Kirkukis involved in running their own affairs and we would help them do it.

ZAKARIA: What was it like to work with the American military for a Brit, for a woman, did this strike you as kind of Yankee cowboys?

SKY: You know, any preconceived ideas I had of the military, I wasn't - you know, I never worked with the military before, I was never somebody who had anything to do with the military. So, arriving in Kirkuk in the beginning I just thought, OK, I have to work with the Americans. But my first week in Kirkuk, my house was blown up. So, I actually went to the military base and asked could I move on to the base with them, because I had nowhere else to live. And the whole interaction that I had with this brigade completely changed my opinion about the military. When I found guys who are absolutely dedicated to the mission. They were so dedicated to Kirkuk, helping Kirkuk get back on its feet. They had a great sense of humor, they were very talented, very well educated and I was thinking, you know, why are you guys in the military? It really, really surprised me. ZAKARIA: And did you - do you feel that, you know, when you were there, were you feeling, this is fascinating, I'm part of history or were you feeling, this is dangerous and, you know, my God, I have to get back to England to rainy, wet England?

SKY: You know, for me, when I was there I was working so hard day in and day out, I didn't think, gosh, this is history, I just thought, my goodness. You know, what to do each day. How to try to make the situation a bit better. Every day it was about breaking even, trying to balance all the different dynamics. I mean, Kirkuk we had Kurds, we had Turkomen, there were Christians, there were Yazidis, there were Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs. You had such a rich tapestry of different peoples, different cultures, speaking different languages, intermarrying, and yet retaining their cultures. And I just - it's one of the most fascinating places I have ever come across.

ZAKARIA: When you left Iraq, did you feel, you know, success? Did you feel sad? What were your thoughts?

SKY: Always mixed emotions. Because at one level, my time in Iraq has been the most amazing experience of my life. And I'll never have such an experience again. I think, you know, when we look back on what are the lessons on that, is the limitation of our powers. There are things that we can do that really do make a difference and we have to identify what those are and be more modest in what we can do. But I think the idea of, you know, going to another country and administering another country, almost like a colonial power, I don't think that's going to happen, again.

ZAKARIA: Alice Sky, pleasure to have on you.

SKY: Thank you very much.

ZAKARIA: Up next, does history repeat itself or do we simply forget it? A poll of which countries Americans like least. And which we're most enamored of. You will be surprised.


ZAKARIA: This week Japan marked two years since an earthquake and tsunami killed 16,000 people and displaced many, many more. The tsunami also damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant which sparked a global debate over the uses of nuclear energy and how safe it is. That brings me to the question of the week. What percentage of electricity consumption in the United States comes from nuclear energy? Is it, A, one percent, B, five percent, C 14 percent or D 19 percent? Stay tuned, we'll tell you the correct answer. Go to for more of the "GPS Challenge" and lots of insight and analysis. Also, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Also, remember, if you miss a show, go to This week's book of the week is "Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance" by Jane Gleason White. I never thought a book about accounting could be fascinating, but this one is. It explains how the invention of finance led to the beginnings of modern capitalism, trade, the renaissance and the global economy. All because of double entry bookkeeping. Read the book and you'll be convinced.

Now, for the last look - American media spills a lot of ink on polls that tell us which nations hate America, which ones tolerate America and which ones really like us. But much less is known about how Americans feel about our brothers and sisters abroad when we even deign to think about them. Gallup has a new poll that does just that, with some surprising results. So, without further ado, America's most hated nations. Number five, the Palestinian Authority. Number four, Syria. Number three, Pakistan. Number two, North Korea. And the nation Americans feel least favorable about, drum roll, please, Iran. So, whom do we love? In fifth place, France. Then Japan, then Germany. Well, I guess those last two show that Americans can really get over the past. Great Britain gets second place, and we don't have the luxury to travel very far to find our bosom buddy.


ZAKARIA: Canada is number one. I guess we have entirely gotten over the War of 1812. Does anybody even remember what it was about? Hint: if it had gone the other way, there would be no Canada today. The correct answer to our "GPS Challenge" question was D. Nuclear energy provides 19 percent of U.S. Electricity consumption. By comparison, solar energy provides one percent of our electricity and wind energy accounts for just three percent. Before we go, viewers in North America, don't miss the premier of Jake Tapper's new CNN show "The Lead." Tomorrow at 4 P.M. Eastern. The show is sure to be smart and engaging just like Jake. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week. Stay tuned for "Reliable Sources."