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This Week at War
Week's War-Related Events Reviewed
Aired October 14, 2007 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN ANCHOR, THIS WEEK AT WAR: Kurdish rebels face off against Turkish tanks on the northern border of Iraq. Will U.S. troops wind up in the middle of their age old conflict? And in the south, will Iran move in when the British move out of Basra?
It's all part of THIS WEEK AT WAR right after a look at what's in the news right now.
TONY HARRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone. I'm Tony Harris. Here's what's happening in the news right now. A bad scene north of Los Angeles. Two big rigs smashed into each other late last night in a trucks-only tunnel. The explosions, the fire, the chain reaction crashes, the nightmarish traffic backup. It is still an ongoing emergency. This is what it looked like shortly after it happened. Two people were killed. Firefighters filled the tunnel with foam to try to cool things down. We are expecting an update in coming hours.
Sex scandal or no sex scandal, Senator Larry Craig gets a permanent spot in his home state's hall of fame tonight. The Republican senior senator from Idaho was selected for the hall of fame long before his men's room arrest and subsequent guilty plea. The induction dinner is tonight in Boise. No news cameras allowed.
Those are the headlines this hour. Keeping you informed, CNN, the most trusted name in news.
FOREMAN: Here is where we stand in THIS WEEK AT WAR. A unified and peaceful Iraq seems a distant dream, but it's unclear if partitioning is the answer. Surprisingly, the situation in southern Iraq looks good as British troops pull back from Basra. But there is trouble in the north as Kurdish rebels continue their attacks against Turkey.
Pakistan takes another step closer to chaos as the opposition boycotts President Musharraf's reelection there.
And finally, an up arrow for the U.S. military as they develop new tactics for a new kind of conflict. That's where things stand. Here's where we're going for answers. Nic Robertson was under fire in Basra. We'll ask him whether the Iraqi government or the militias will control this oil-rich region. Dan Rivers is following the events in Pakistan. Can Pervez Musharraf walk the tightrope between democracy and dictatorship? And finally to Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre. We'll ask him if congressional accusations of genocide will ruin U.S. relations with a vital military partner. All of that THIS WEEK AT WAR. It is a case of history colliding with reality. Yes, the evidence is strong that hundreds of thousands of Armenians, very likely over a million, were deliberately killed by Turkish forces during World War I, almost 100 years ago. But is passing a resolution that defines this as genocide worth a diplomatic battle with Turkey that could endanger our troops? And will it launch an invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan, an oasis of peace in this war-torn land? Here to help explain it all is Jamie McIntyre from the Pentagon. Tell me what's going on here. Why is it such an issue up on the northern border?
JAMIE McINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tom, Turkey wasn't a big help during the initial invasion, but it's a major player. This is why. What's going on in the north here where Turkey has got about 60,000 troops along the border because they're very upset about these attacks by Kurdish rebels across the border. The U.S. is trying to keep some diplomatic leverage with Turkey. That's why it's so important they stay on good relations. Here's why Turkey is very important now. Seventy percent of the air cargo that goes into Turkey comes through -- goes into Iraq comes through Turkey, including this NATO air base at Incirlik, where the U.S. has planes and supplies. Some of it, though, it's not just about the air base. It's also about the over flight rights, being able to fly material in --
FOREMAN: Because Turkey had a run-in with France over this and said you can't fly over our country any more. If we loss that, militarily it's a big loss.
McINTYRE: Right. And of course, the U.S. has to respect what a NATO ally decides.
FOREMAN: And at the same time when we widen out here, we have a sense of what the Kurds are looking for in all of this. One of the reasons they're doing that is because there are Kurds spread throughout all these areas into other countries and a very strong desire among many of them to have a country of their own. So that's the broad overview of all this right now. Let's join CNN international correspondent Paula Hancocks in London to help explain it a little bit more, and with us right here in Washington, Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Soner, let me start with you. This has been bubbling for quite some time, this giant dispute between the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Turkish government.
SONER CAGAPTAY, WASHINGTON INST. FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: It's been going on for a while because the PKK, which is based in northern Iraq has been using the area to carry out terror attacks into Turkey and Turkey has been holding the Iraqi Kurds accountable for PKK actions coming from this area where there are PKK camps, training grounds, PKK infrastructure. And I think it's not - Turkish/ Iraq/Kurdish relations are not going to improve unless Iraqi Kurds take out the PKK, which is considered a terror group by the State Department, by the Europeans, by Turks and by everybody else.
FOREMAN: Let's take a little look at how big the PKK is. It's listed as a terrorist organization by both the United States and Turkey. About 30,000 people have died in fighting related to the PKK and is accused of affiliation with Kurdish terrorists in Iran as well. Paula, when you look at this from the bigger picture, how much international concern is there about the overall instability of this part of Iraq, which we've considered somewhat stable?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there certainly is this worry at this point, yes. The fact that the relationship between Turkey and the United States seems to be degenerating at this point is a huge worry. We've heard rhetoric coming out of Turkey, from the Turkish leaders that we have not heard before. On Friday the prime minister of Turkey (INAUDIBLE) talking to reporters said of the United States, when saying they might go into northern Iraq and take out the PKK without the United States approval, did they seek permission from anyone when they came from a distance of 10,000 kilometers and hit Iraq. We do not need anyone else's advice. This is rhetoric we have not seen between Turkey and the U.S. before.
FOREMAN: Soner, really talking about two separate issues here aren't we? We have the natural tension between the PKK, the rebel forces on the northern border of Iraq and Turkey. But then we have this diplomatic tension because in Congress here we have folks who are saying, we need to pass this resolution now condemning this genocide, as they want to define it, almost 100 years ago. Two separate issues but they're playing together.
CAGAPTAY: The issues are really not related, but they are going to come together next week on Monday probably. The Turkish parliament is going to authorize the government or give it approval so it can send troops to Iraq to fight the PKK. And I think if that comes at the same time that the resolution passes through the House after having gone through the committee, a lot of the Turks who would have otherwise objected to a movement of troops into Iraq, because they value their relationship with the United States, are going to look at this and say, well, the United States Congress has just insulted our history, the way we look at our history. They passed a version of history we don't agree with and they made it into a resolution and they're going to strongly support a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq.
FOREMAN: Jamie, what is the Pentagon going to do about this because this will be forces coming into Iraq.
McINTYRE: It's a real problem because there's really not much they can do about this. Also it doesn't seem to be much the Pentagon can do to stop the cross-border attack. The U.S. don't have the troops to move up in the north to seal the border. They don't seem to be able to influence the Kurds that they have a good relationship with to do that. The mood at the Pentagon is nobody wants to be seen as soft on genocide, but they're sort of shaking their heads and saying, could they have done this at a worst time? Could the Congress be any less helpful? It just is not helping at this time when the U.S. is trying to wield some influence with Turkey and then having the rug pulled out from it by this congressional action.
FOREMAN: Very different messages coming from the White House and from Congress. Listen to what we're hearing about this resolution calling it genocide. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: Why do it now? Well, because now -- there's never a good time. And all of us in the Democratic leadership have supported reiterating Americans' acknowledgement of a genocide.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings. And its passage will do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Paula, to what degree -- it's easy in this country for us to say this is 100 years ago. What difference does it make? Give me a sense about how seriously this is taken by the Turkish people, though.
HANCOCKS: It has been 100 years but Turkey is still incredibly sensitive about this issue. It's a very proud nation. And most Turks do not believe that this was a genocide. Their argument is this did happen 100 years ago. It happened whilst there was really a civil war. Many Turks also died on the other side and it happened in the context of a wider world war as well. And it really is an incredibly sensitive issue in Turkey even a century on.
FOREMAN: Soner, let me ask you this very briefly here for the last word on this. What do you expect to happen in this situation? It looks potentially like this could be the undoing of an awful lot of what we see at least as some kind of progress in Iraq.
CAGAPTAY: Two things will happen at the sign of progress. First I think the Turkish response is going to create difficulties in the logistics field for U.S. operations in Iraq and in Afghanistan because the Turkish public anger, if the resolution passes through the House, is going to quite palpable and --
FOREMAN: ... try and talk the House out of doing that in Turkey, can they succeed?
CAGAPTAY: I have also some indicators to say that because the resolution went through the committee, it will probably go through the House unless a miracle happens. And I think at this stage, the Turks are going to create all sorts of difficulties because there's going to be palpable anger on the street. This is a democracy. No government can resist that kind of popular pressure. And on top of that, whatever the strategies in Iraq, whether the strategy is to send in more troops or to get the troops out, you cannot do that without Turkey, which is at the logistics front of this war. Seventy percent of all cargo going into Iraq goes through Turkey. So Democrats or Republicans, people who want to end the war or send more troops in, they need Turkey to do the operation. I think Turkey pulling out will be incredibly detrimental for U.S. policy planning and war planning in Iraq.
McINTYRE: They can do it without Turkey. It would be a lot, lot harder.
FOREMAN: Thanks for those words, Jamie, Soner, Paula as well.
In a moment, we'll move from Iraq's northern region to developments in the south as British troops pull back from day-to-day peacekeeping. Are militias moving in to take their place?
And later, we'll look at how ivory tower academics could turn out to be some of the most powerful weapons in the military's arsenal now.
But first, as we always do, let's have a THIS WEEK AT WAR remembrance in the chapel of the Jacksonville naval air station in Florida. Families and friends gathered to remember Specialist Donald Valentine III killed by a suicide bomber in the Iraqi city of Moqtudia (ph). Valentine's father, a naval veteran who served at the air station, said his son joined the army to be on the front lines where the action was. His mother remembered her son's big smile and his big heart.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my son was a hero. He fought for our country and just remember him as a hero.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Valentine was a member of the 2nd battalion 23rd infantry regiment, fourth brigade, second infantry division out of Ft. Lewis, Washington and he was 21 years old.
FOREMAN: On Monday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that by next spring, the British force in Basra will be down to 2,500, half of its current strength. When the British withdrew from the cities at the base of the airport, there was real concern that chaos was going to reign, this second largest city in Iraq in the middle of important oil fields. This is where they were along the river. They drew back out here to the airport. People thought it would all go crazy. In Iraq many dire predictions come true, but apparently not this time. For a look at what's really going on Michael Yon joins us by phone from Basra. Michael is an independent journalist and photographer currently embedded with British troops and just back from reporting in several locations in the south, CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is now in our Baghdad bureau. Michael, there were predictions of chaos. What did we get?
MICHAEL YON: Certainly not chaos. Things have settled down. Basra is going on with its business, very few attacks on the British at this point. I think they haven't lost a soldier in combat for maybe seven weeks. We had one small mortar attack about four or five days ago on this base, three or four rounds. It wasn't much. Where when I was here earlier this year, we were getting attacked multiple times a day, much larger attacks. Now it's really very quiet.
FOREMAN: Sitting at home, watching this Nic, it looks like a very serious situation, something that's still very dangerous, but comparatively how is it?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From everything we were seeing and when we he were out in the field with the British troops they were being attacked. So from what we could see, the attacks were down significantly.
FOREMAN: Michael, there are reports there are several militias that would like to control Basra. What kind of deal has been struck that has produced this relative calm?
YON: General Mohan (ph), he's a very influential Iraqi general, he's been sent down here by the prime minister to take charge. And he struck an agreement between the British and some of the militias, for instance, JAM, Jaish al Mahdi (ph) that they would pull out of the palace. The British had planned to do that anyway and so they were talking about that when I was here earlier this year. And so basically, it's been an accommodation. They moved out of the palace. They're back on the airfield, as Nic mentioned. So they're switching to another role now. They're over-watching the Iraqi forces here and they're also doing what called mitt or MTT, military training teams. They're training Iraqi forces and also they started to watch the Iranian border. Nic was just out there on the border. So they've switched their mission. They're kind of out of the Iraqis face at this point. They're out of the city and Basra is just getting on with itself.
FOREMAN: Michael, are, then, the Iraqi forces truly in charge of Basra or are the militia forces in charge but they're lying low?
YON: Well, that's a good question and I really don't know the answer. And I think probably nobody knows the answer at this point. You know, we -- the difference between the militia and the army at times can be blurred in areas like this. In different parts of Iraq, things are more clear-cut but here things are more fuzzy.
FOREMAN: Nic, even if the British are not being attacked right now, that doesn't tell us what's happening to the civilian population there. Do we have a sense of that?
ROBERTSON: The dynamic is changing in Basra at the moment. One of the things the British have stressed to us is that as they don't -- they're not in the palace in the center of Basra and they don't have patrols going into the center of Basra. They don't have a base there from which they can sort of launch covert missions, if you will. They're not as well able to understand and know what the militias are doing. But what they have seen and they've seen this rampart over the past few months, is an increasing Iranian influence, Iranian missiles being given to the militias, mortars being given to the militias. Even they've found cases where men speaking Farsi, the language used in Iran, have been the mortar teams firing the mortars at them. They've seen this growing Iranian influence. They've seen that influence most effective with JAM, Jaish al Mahdi Mike was talking about, the militia of the fire brand Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr. So there is a sense that the militias, particularly that one, is getting more support from Iran. What's actually happening in the city is a gray issue. And that, the British say, is not a massive problem for them, because they say what's important now is that the Iraqis will be able to take over the security of the city probably within the next couple of months and it will be up to them to run Basra as they wish.
FOREMAN: Michael, I want to get back to you for the final word on this. It seems to me that one critical element here is that Basra is essentially the pathway to Kuwait through which all or a huge portion of the U.S. troops will have to leave someday. Is it now a clearer path, a safe path or do we not know?
YON: We don't know. But clearly, you know, I've driven up and down that road quite a few times. If they wanted to interdict that road, they could have been doing it for quite a while and there have been very few attacks on that road very far south. It has of course been a major concern. In fact, they've talked about other routes for re-supply into Iraq if that were to become necessary. But, you know, in reality, Muqtada al Sadr has for instance called for a cease-fire recently. If the will is not there to attack us or the desire is not there to attack us, they won't. And if the desire is there, they will. It's that simple. We've seen it turn on and off like a light switch over in Anbar province, for instance. When the leaders of the tribes say it's over, it's over. When they say it's on, it's on.
FOREMAN: Michael do you think this is going to last, this relative call in that region?
YON: In so far as Iraq goes in general, I've seen a very serious change in the seas. I'm not predicting this but I would not be at all surprised to see a precipitous drop in violence in Iraq in general over the next six months or so. I just would not be surprised based on the things that I'm seeing in Nineveh province, out in Anbar, up in Baghdad and out in Diyala and out here. Will it last, nobody knows, but it's certainly, the indicators are starting to look better and better.
FOREMAN: Michael, Nic, thank you both so much for your insights on what's happening in Basra right now.
OK, we've looked at how the Kurds are taking over in the north and the Shiites in the south. Is there really any future in all this for a unified Iraq? Many Iraqis think so. Stick around and we will explain.
FOREMAN: One result of the confederate loss in the battle of Gettysburg was that the British government decided not to recognize the south as an independent nation. If they had, the United States might well be only a memory. But what right did another country have to interfere in our affairs? And what right does the U.S. Senate have to tell Iraqis to split their country into federated states? But is there really any choice? To discuss this, Jim Clancy, anchor of CNN International's "Your World Today" is in our Baghdad bureau right now. In our Washington studio, Jon Alterman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Jim, this idea is quite popular among politicians here right now as maybe one of the only ways to calm things down and get out of there. What do the Iraqis think of it?
JIM CLANCY, ANCHOR, CNN'S "YOUR WORLD TODAY": They think no surprise to that one because they say America constantly coming up with solutions, not for Iraq but for the United States, solutions to take the short cut out of Iraq, to get itself off the hook. They say this is another example of that. You talk to the top Iraqi officials like Tariq Ashemi (ph), the Sunni vice president. He says, what right does the U.S. Congress to take a vote like this one? It violates our sovereignty. This is a decision the Iraqis will and must take themselves. At the same time, the real critics of America look at this and say look who is driving sectarianism.
They all remember when Saddam Hussein was the only guy on television. Today they turn on their televisions, there's a Kurdish channel for Kurdish issues. There is a Sunni cleric and there is a Shia cleric. The country is divided. The United States is blamed with the notion the U.S. is trying to ruin Iraq to destroy its position in not only the Arab world, but the wider world. And on a lighter note, if you ask some Iraqis in the streets about all of this, they say the Congress took a non-binding resolution, what's a non- binding resolution? And why would a democracy or a Congress or parliament take such a vote? Iraqis are struggling to understand what is democracy and freedom. They're waiting for the Americans to treat -- to instruct them in all of this. They look at this and they say they can't figure it out.
FOREMAN: Let's look at the map and see if we can figure out a couple of things. We very conveniently usually divide the country this way. We say we have the Shia down here, the Sunni here, the Kurds here. But if you get down to the details of it, this is really what the map looks like. You have those divisions, but there's a lot of overlap and weird shapes here and there are areas where everybody is mixed together. John, with this map in mind, what's good and what's bad about a partition plan?
JON ALTERMAN, CTR. FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATL STUDIES: The problem with a partition plan is that people are going to be caught on the wrong side of the partition. One of the things that a map like this can't show you is where are the mixed neighborhoods, where are the small pockets of people of the wrong minority groups. Where are the smaller minorities in Iraq, Christian communities, Turkmen communities and others?
FOREMAN: When say smaller they still may be thousands of people.
ALTERMAN: They still may be almost a million people. But they fit in and there's this mosaic. There is a real cosmopolitanism about the cities in Iraq through the 20th century. And it just doesn't break apart -- people have come from all over to live in cities. Baghdad is a huge mix of people from all over. And all that diversity doesn't fit well into an idea about partition.
FOREMAN: But, Jim, one of the arguments has been that Iraq, for better or worse, has been partitioning itself anyway. There have been all these arguments of sort of ethnic cleansing. The idea of this seems to be, if that's what's happening anyway, give these three independent states their rights, still have a Federal government, it will calm things down. Then you can have reasonable talks about uniting everybody in the future.
CLANCY: The line about reasonable talks, I think everybody would probably be doubtful about that. You know they haven't even started some of the discussion about where the borders are, how to share water and of course sharing oil still off the table. There's no real talks under way here about any of these issues. And a lot of Iraqis see it as taking the wrong road.
FOREMAN: But, Jim, let me ask you something about that. Hold on a second. Let me ask you something about that. Part of the argument seems to be that as long as there's all the heat of these attacks going on because people feel like they don't have their space, they'll never be able to sit down at the table. But if you could quiet them down through a soft partitioning and assure everyone they're going he going to be taken care, then maybe you could have talks.
CLANCY: Or maybe you can make things worse because people would then struggle to make their partition a little bit larger or a lot larger. And what about all the people in Baghdad where the population is almost entirely mixed? Who is supposed to pack up and leave?
FOREMAN: Jon was trying to jump in here. What do you think?
ALTERMAN: There's another problem and that is the Shia community isn't united, the Sunni community isn't united. Do you know how many different Shia militias there are in southern Iraq, 144 Shia militias in Baghdad. I'm sorry, in Basra. That doesn't lead to your nice little Shia block in the south.
FOREMAN: Even this map, you're saying that this needs to be chopped up and chopped up and chopped up (INAUDIBLE).
ALTERMAN: There are a whole range of people with a whole bunch of different ideas. How closely they want to be related to a central government in Baghdad, how they're related to each other, what they think about religion. Some of them are warlords and thugs. The idea that we can use a 5,000 mile long screwdriver and fix this thing based on our understanding I think is an idea that is at its basis just completely flawed.
FOREMAN: Jim, I want to get to one other subject very briefly with you here. More news about Blackwater over there, more of a sense of the Iraqi outrage over these private contractors providing security there or perhaps not. What's the latest?
CLANCY: Well, you know, when you look at this story and you look at the story about partition, there's something that's in common here and that's the people that are angry with the United States have a good target and they have one on this partition idea and they certainly have one on Blackwater. By now, just about everybody in Baghdad has been run off the road at least once by Blackwater. They're united on the issue. And towards the end of Ramadan, we saw the top Shia cleric through his spokesman coming out with sermon saying that the government, not an option, the government must debate against taking action against Blackwater and holding some of their people accountable. This is something we're going to see as very, very popular among Iraqi politicians. Might actually be an issue that can bring them together. Why? Because it's pointing a finger at the United States. Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani had something to say that struck a chord with all Iraqis and that was that Iraqi blood has become the cheapest thing in Iraq. Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN, ANCHOR: Thanks, Jim. Thanks, John, both of you for being here.
Straight ahead, forget about battlefield robots and laser pistols. We'll bring you a real look at how the wars of the future might be fought.
But first, a final look at some of those who fell in "This Week at War."
TONY HARRIS, CNN, ANCHOR: And hello, everyone. I'm Tony Harris. Here's what's happening right now. A bad scene north of Los Angeles. Two big rigs smashed into one another late last night in a trucks-only tunnel. The explosions, the fire, the chain reaction crashes, the nightmarish traffic backup. It's still an ongoing emergency. This is what it looked like shortly after it happened. Two people were killed. Firefighters filled the tunnel with foam to try to cool things down. We're expecting an update in the coming hours.
What to could if Turkey slams the door on its air space. It could happen. The Pentagon is working out alternatives in case Turkey decides to shutdown cargo and supply flights from bases there into Iraq. The Turkish government threatened to do it after the congressional moves to label as genocide the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in World War I. Thos are the headlines this hour. Keeping you informed, CNN, the most trusted name in news.
FOREMAN: In the Vietnam years, there was an ugly slogan that went "kill them all and let god sort them out." Sadly in war, that sometimes not just humor but there's a grain of truth in it. Historically, military forces have concentrated on defeating an enemy and not so much on understanding the customs and desires of the local population. Now things are changing. This is how it's laid out in the army's new counter insurgency manual. "Commanders and planners require insight into cultures, perceptions, values, beliefs, interests and decision-making processes of individuals and groups. " One of the co-authors of this manual is with me in our Washington studio, Montgomery McFate, senior social science advisor for the army's human terrain program and in Chicago, CNN military consultant retired Brigadier General David Grange joins us, too. Montgomery, we now have teams on the ground helping soldiers understand what's going on in these cultures. How does that work? MONTOGOMERY MCFATE, ARMY HUMAN TERRAIN PROGRAM: Correct. The human terrain system is an army proof of concept program that's being run by the training and doctrine command. The basic idea to take teams of social scientists and military personnel and put them on army brigade combat team staffs and Marine Corps regimentals...
FOREMAN: We're actually going through the streets, on the ground and helping people understand how local people are reacting to them?
MCFATE: Well, primarily they work in the brigade's tactical operations center. The idea is to have them, you might say, as an angel on the shoulder of the brigade commander, to help him develop better courses of action that involve less lethal force.
FOREMAN: I want to look at a specific example that you gave us about this whole situation. There was a problem in Afghanistan. Rockets were being fired from Afghan villages on American troops. The solution might have been militarily to strike back but instead there was an effort to talk to the villagers. They found out that they wanted more U.S. presence in their village, not less. They wanted to see these people more, get to know them more and they wanted volleyball nets. And when this was provided, the Taliban was no longer welcome in that village and the rockets stopped. Can it really work like that?
MCFATE: It's a terming example because it makes it seem somewhat simple. It's also a powerful example because who would have thought that Afghan villagers actually did want volleyball nets. But what they really want is security. They want security for themselves and their families. They want to be able to send their kids to school just like you and me.
FOREMAN: General, how well is this idea catching on with old- line military folks?
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Well, regrettably slowly. And it's a shame, because really a savvy leader will use the means appropriate to attain, obtain the effects that they want on the ground. And if you can find a non-kinetic solution like the example you just gave, why not do that? You can't kill everybody. And so through negotiations and providing a particular item or talking to the people about a concern they have because you understand that network, that tribal network below the water line type information that makes those people tick, you find these opportunities to take advantage of to accomplish your mission.
FOREMAN: I want you all to listen to what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said on Wednesday about this transformation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We've spent billions on tools and tactics to protect against IEDs. Yet, even now, the best way to defeat these weapons, indeed the only way to defeat them over the long run, is to get tips from locals about the networks and the emplacements or even better to convince and empower the Iraqis to prevent the terrorists from emplacing them in the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Montgomery, anthropologists often spend many decades trying to understand a culture. This has to be very rushed work in many ways to try c to offer clues on how this might help.
MCFATE: The people that we've hired for this program and the people that we're still seeking to hire, they have expertise in the region. They have linguistics skills and the military team leader - these are five-person teams. The military team leader will also have generally experience in the theater. So they have a broad variety of skills, knowledge and abilities that they bring to the brigades.
FOREMAN: General, you said this is a slow process of getting it accepted out there. Is there broad-based acceptance at this point?
GRANGE: I think it's improving. You know, what's a shame is that this type of means to accomplish these missions was not implemented before the invasion into Iraq. You know, we have publications dating from World War II on how to work with the societies within Iraq that was for the American G.I. and they were neglected. Can you imagine if this stuff was done three, four years ago, the effects that would be on the ground right now? So one thing we did as a nonprofit foundation is we ran a workshop with anthropologists, with people that know how to profile, with people that really understand social intelligence, and figured out, and tried to figure out how to train our leadership to better take on a regular conflict, to solve problems very similar to what we're talking about today. And because we knew there was a void out here, the training of leaders, especially senior leaders, is a problem area but it is improving slowly.
FOREMAN: All right. General, thanks so much for being here. Montgomery McFate as well. Good luck with the program.
MCFATE: Thank you very much.
FOREMAN: Like an old time movie serial Pakistan seems always on the brink of disaster. But this is real life and a disaster in Pakistan could mean nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists. Straight ahead on "This Week at War."
FOREMAN: Here are two images of last weekend's election in Pakistan. And look at the difference. With almost all the opposition boycotting, Pervez Musharraf wins reelection with 97% of the votes cast. That is one picture. Here's the other one. In Peshawar, an effigy of Musharraf is literally torn to pieces in furious demonstrations and these guys are lawyers. That's how things are going in the city as Dan Rivers reported on Wednesday in the tribal areas of Waziristan, it's starting to look like all-out war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAN RIVERS, CNN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Locals have told CNN there are fierce gun battles and an air strike on a market has left scores dead. Pakistan's army tells a different story. The other photos show soldiers burying their dead with military sources insisting they haven't killed any civilians, that only militants have been targeted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Dan joins us now from Islamabad. And with me here, Akbar Ahmed, the former Pakistan ambassador to the United Kingdom. Dan, explain first of all what's going on in Waziristan.
RIVERS: This is a lawless tribal area on the border with Afghanistan who's always been a trouble spot going back for centuries really. It's never really been completely conquered either by the British or now by the Pakistani army. There has been a cease-fire in the last year or 18 months, which brought an end to the hostilities there. But that broke down in the summer. And after it broke down, the U.S. put a lot of pressure on the Pakistani government to go back into this lawless mountainous area. They were concerned that the Taliban were using this as a sort of cross-border hideout. There were foreign fighters, Al Qaeda fighters regrouping there. So the Pakistan army have gone back in to try to re-establish order, to reassert their authority. And the fighting is just getting worse and worse. We've been hearing of air strikes on marketplaces, reports from eyewitnesses we've talked to of dozens of civilians having been killed, which is only going to antagonize this situation and antagonize the tribes even further.
FOREMAN: Akbar, let's look at the map over here for just a moment. You know this area very, very well. There's Islamabad, that's Afghanistan over here, Pakistan here, here's Waziristan. Why is this happening now?
AKBAR AHMED, AUTHOR, "JOURNEY INTO ISLAN:" It's happening now, Tom, because Waziristan and the tribal areas are at the heart of the problem. What happens here will impact Pakistan, will impact Afghanistan and, therefore, the United States of America and then the war on terror. And since failure is not an option, we need to win this one. And you cannot win this one with the current strategy, the current objectives. We are even defining people wrongly. For example, we use the word Al Qaeda and militants and Taliban and we merge them into one monolith. These are very different groups living in the tribal areas. The Taliban are local people. They're culturally Taliban. Some of them are educated and some are not. Al Qaeda are foreign. They've come from the Middle East, from Central Asia. And what we've done is now we've pushed the Pakistan army into this area the third time around. This is the third attack incursion into Waziristan and we've antagonized the tribal areas.
FOREMAN: What do we make of this reelection of Musharraf in this country? Many people in the United States government will say we got to have him here, it's a nuclear country, they've got weapons, they've got to have someone like that in charge. And yet there does not seem to be broad support him in the populous for him. AHMED: There isn't because technically he has won the election but there's a big cloud hanging over his future because the Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it is a legitimate election or not.
FOREMAN: And important to point out he's not elected by the people.
AHMED: Not by the people. Through a process of about 1,000 people representing the provincial governments and the central government, the assemblies. Now, the question before him is, number one, the Supreme Court decision. And number two, the Supreme Court has just announced that it is reviewing Benazir Bhutto's return.
FOREMAN: The former prime minister who is known for a very corrupt regime and has plenty of enemies of her own in the country.
AHMED: Who has plenty of enemies on her own and of course there's a very uneasy relationship of distrust between Musharraf and Benazir. So the pot is boiling and the eye, I'm afraid, is off the tribal areas. President Musharraf is distracted. His entire focus and strategy is to stay on in power. And the tribal areas, Tom, I have been in that area, the British very often said that the tribesman will always punish a mistake and punish you harshly and cruel. We cannot allow that to happen.
FOREMAN: Dan, let me ask you something, the court has to rule there. Is there a sense of what Musharraf will do if the court says this election does not stand? Will he step aside gracefully?
RIVERS: I don't think anyone is expecting him to step aside gracefully, no. There's been talk that perhaps he could declare martial law if that were the case, with some pretext perhaps that things were unraveling in Waziristan or unrest in the capital, and so on. That's been the speculation. He has also strategically perhaps appointed one of his own men as head of the army in preparation for him standing down himself as head of the army. General (inaudible) who himself is a former intelligence officer, head of the ISI, seen as a close ally of General Musharraf. So he's moving the chess pieces around to try and sort of to try and prepare for all eventualities. But I don't think anyone is really expecting him to step aside. He seems pretty desperate to cling on to power, to stay president.
FOREMAN: And I'm afraid on that note, I have to cut it short here. There is a lot more to say. But I have the feeling we'll be talking about it in the coming week as well. Thanks to you both for being here.
AHMED: Thank you.
FOREMAN: Straight ahead, our i-Reporter shares the very personally way that she is honoring her wounded husband. You don't want to miss it.
FOREMAN: This week's i-Report is about courage. And as these reports often seem to be, about love. Our i-Reporter is Janet Galatis, who has been wearing this button every day since Specialist Grayson Norris Galatis was deployed in 2005. Norris was severely wounded by an IED. Only weeks later, shrapnel literally punching holes in his body and Janet says that she's still waiting for her husband to get back home. He has had 18 operations here in Washington, D.C. and next week he's scheduled for another. In between surgeries, he works with a group called healing waters, which uses fishing, kayaking and other aquatic activities to encourage our wounded warriors. And every day, (Janice) wears this button to tell the world that he is her hero. We would like to tell the story of your week at war. And it's easy. Please go to CNN.com/thisweekatwar and click on the i-Report link.
In a moment, we'll have an update on that mysterious Israeli air raid into Syria.
But first, our weekly look at the images caught in chaos. The pictures taken by combat photographers. Maya (Aluriso) took this photo of a U.S. soldier guiding an Iraqi detainee against the light of dawn after a raid in southern Baghdad. In Kabul, (Mustak Sarak) was there as a city employee began the long process of cleaning up the wreckage after a suicide bomber struck a bus carrying Afghan police. Wally Santana took this photo of Taiwanese Navy Seals shouting during a military day parade on Wednesday. It was the first such parade in 16 years as Taiwan flexes its military muscle to deter an attack from Mainland China. And finally, in a cemetery just outside Tehran, Iranian boys play on a broken relic of war. (Nahid Salame) took this picture as Iranians celebrated sacred defense week, the 27th anniversary of their terrible war with Iraq.
FOREMAN: A final note. You may remember the story we did a couple of weeks ago about an Israeli air raid that either did or did not strike a Syrian missile site where there may or may not have been nuclear material supplied from North Korea. Well, we now have a clarification on all of that. According to the "New York Times," Syria is now telling the world that this simply did not happen and if did which it didn't, it was directed at an agricultural research center, not a weapon site. What also, apparently did not happen is that an Israeli reporter did not slip into Syria and have his picture taken in front of the same agricultural facility. So, an event that did not happen at a location that doesn't exist was documented by a reporter who obviously could have never been where he was. That's the explanation. I just wanted to make things perfectly clear.
Turning now to some of the stories that we'll be following in "Next week at war." On Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be meeting with the Israelis and Palestinians in an attempt to keep peace negotiations on track there.
And on Thursday, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is scheduled to return after eight years in exile. Thanks for joining us on "This Week at War." I'm Tom Foreman. Straight ahead, CNN's Special Investigations Unit, "The Minds of the D.C. Snipers."
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