Journal: Pentagon Strategy & Policy Oxymoron Squared?

02 China, 03 India, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Government, Military
Michèle Flournoy

Phi Beta Iota: We don't make this stuff up.  The Pentagon has no strategy because the U.S. Government has no strategy.  The National Security Council is managed by a General who emphasized getting along with the Chief of Naval Operation, never-mind leaving Marines wounded on the battlefield for lack of Naval Gunfire Support (NFS).

Join us in savoring what passes for a strategist and nominal policy making savant with the below headlines.

Below item is full text to avoid inconvenience.  It is followed by several linked  headlines that make quite clear the shallowness of the Pentagon strategy-policy pool.

Executive Summary: The gentle lady has no idea what the ten high-level threats to humanity are, nor does she care.  She's a place-holder for the disappointed John Hamre, and a token female at the top who goes with the flow.  She has neither any grasp nor any conceptual framework for actually creating grand strategy, harmonizing Whole of Government policies nor even–this really did surprise us–how many failed states there are in the world.

PBS March 27, 2010

Interview With Michele Flournoy, Under Secretary Of Defense For Policy

Charlie Rose (PBS), 1:00 A.M.

CHARLIE ROSE: The United States military is engaged around the world. It is withdrawing combat troops from Iraq as it builds up troops in Afghanistan. It is partnering with Pakistan in an aggressive counterterrorism campaign including drone attacks in the tribal areas. It’s working with the Yemeni government to counter a resurgent al Qaeda there. And U.S. troops are still in Haiti for the humanitarian relief efforts.

But the military has to do more than respond to the conflicts of the day. It must prepare for future wars, adoptive enemies and a shifting security environment.

The person at the Pentagon who spends the most time working on these issues is Michèle Flournoy. She is under secretary of defense for policy and the highest ranking female official in the Defense Department. I am very pleased to have her with me in the night studio at the Newseum in Washington.

Tell me what it is that you do at the Pentagon, how do you define this responsibility?

MICHÈLE FLOURNOY [Under Secretary for Defense Policy]: Well, my job is to advise the secretary of defense on all matters of policy ranging from current foreign policy crisis of the day to how we use the military as an instrument of national policy. I also represent him in the interagency process that tees up decisions for the principals and then for the president.

ROSE: Are any of those things in conflict, because as some people have said, sometimes the urgent gets in the way of the important?

FLOURNOY: That is a challenge in government. You can have the tyranny of the inbox. You know, every day there’s too much to do and really I define my job as being one of the people that forces us all to step back and think more strategically about what is over the horizon, what’s coming that we haven’t even anticipated yet. And I have a wonderful staff to help us do that for Secretary Gates.

ROSE: What do you think the most important experience you have gained that gives you the kind of skills necessary to do the job?

FLOURNOY: It’s a great question. I think it’s a combination of time in and out of government. When I’ve been out of government I’ve been able to serve in the think tank world either as a scholar or as a president of one and to basically pack my intellectual suitcase when I’m out of government and bring all of that in with me. I also have had the opportunity and the honor to work with a wonderful array of very seasoned practitioners who I’ve learned a great deal from over the years. And then Secretary Gates himself — I think he’s one of the great secretaries of defense and is just a pleasure to work for and very clear about what he needs from his staff and how he wants to move things forward.

ROSE: What are the new security challenges?

FLOURNOY: Well, where do I begin? You know, we face an incredibly complex and dynamic environment. You have globalization that on the one hand is bringing countries together, integrating economies, bringing peoples closer. At the same time, you have some who are sort of left out of that process and you have greater fractioning of the community, if you will. And I think a lot of the negative trends we see — terrorism, proliferation and so forth — are due to a lack of that – of integration.

ROSE: A lack – effective globalization and the integration of these economies has not included them.

FLOURNOY: Yes, exactly. And so, as a Department of Defense, we have to really be prepared for the downsides of this security environment, for the contingencies that could come out of proliferation, the aggression, terrorism, the failure of states and the creation of chaos in certain areas and those are the kinds of things that we have to grapple with.

ROSE: That’s a term that we hear, failed state. People have talked about a whole number of countries and in fact they worry that Afghanistan could have become a failed state and therefore it becomes a venue for terrorism. And it happened; I assume you could make that argument. How many failed states are there?

FLOURNOY: I think there are dozens of potential candidates and probably a few that are really in the process of failing. I think the one that everybody thinks of right now is Somalia where you have just the bare bones of a government that’s struggling to have any real control over its territory and over its – and provide for the basic needs of its people.

ROSE: What else? Who else?

FLOURNOY: I think there are a number of others in Africa that are probably borderline and the real challenge here is these require the efforts of multiple states to try to help, multiple tools. Certainly the military is usually the last, but all kinds of effort to build capacity, development, and so forth.

ROSE: How do you see our place in the world today?

FLOURNOY: I think because of our history, because of our economic power, because of our military might, because of our values and our cultural influence we are uniquely placed as a leader of the international community. What matters is how we use that leadership. And I think one of the things that this administration has been trying to do is restore America’s place as a leader to really build and strengthen an international order that is based on mutual interest, mutual respect, and common action for the common good. I mean, that is really sort of the vision that a lot of the administration’s individual policies are seeking to promote.

ROSE: And is Pakistan, U.S.-Pakistan one of those that you would point to?

FLOURNOY: I think Pakistan is a really important country for the United States. We are trying very hard to build a strategic partnership with Pakistan in the immediate term because they are a critical partner in the war against al Qaeda and its allies.

ROSE: And the war in Afghanistan as well.

FLOURNOY: In Afghanistan, across the border. But also because South Asia is such a critical region and it’s very important to build up the conditions for stability in that region and for reduction of tensions in the region. And so Pakistan has got to be a critical partner in that equation.

ROSE: The impression is that the Pakistanis have become a better partner in the last six months.

FLOURNOY: I think that one of the things that’s happened in the last year or so is the extremists really crossed a line. They brought terrorism to the Pakistani heartland, to the cities of Pakistan. And so the Pakistani public now feels very much under siege. And there’s some very strong domestic political support to combat those violent extremists. So that has increased the Pakistani military’s willingness to conduct operations to try to clear out some of these safe havens, to work more closely with us coordinating operations on both sides of the border and so forth. So I think that overreaching by the militants has actually created a groundswell of support for counterterrorism and counterinsurgency in Pakistan.

ROSE: In the sense that the Pakistani government recognized that the Taliban was an enemy of theirs, even though it had been a friend of theirs in Afghanistan earlier.

FLOURNOY: Well, I think there’s a network of these groups and some of these groups are more in this crosshairs, if you will, for Pakistan than others, but that’s an ongoing area of dialogue. We’re seeking to go after the syndicate writ large.

ROSE: Are they doing everything that the president and the secretary of state and the secretary of defense and you want them to do?

FLOURNOY: Well, they have done a tremendous amount. They have sacrificed a great deal. We can always both be doing more and that’s what we’re going to be talking about this week.

ROSE: Okay. Fair enough. But what would be doing more mean?

FLOURNOY: I think doing more would include going after some of the groups that are coming across the border into Afghanistan and targeting our soldiers. Some of the groups that are less focused on targeting Pakistan and more focused on targeting us.

ROSE: This would be the Haqqani group and people like them.

FLOURNOY: Exactly.

ROSE: All right. So you’ve got to get – because they have a – the Haqqani group has a relationship with ISI and other Pakistani institutions, do they not? Or they did.

FLOURNOY: I think one of the things – historically they have. I think one of the things that we –

ROSE: And with us too when we were all engaged in supporting the Mujahideen.

FLOURNOY: I think the real name of the game here is convincing our friends in Pakistan that the U.S. is not going to leave the scene again. We did that historically. We walked away from this area with fairly catastrophic effects. That’s not going to happen again. And I think if they trust that reality that we are going to stay invested in the region, even as the contours of our operations and our military footprint in Afghanistan changes over time, that that – if they trust that, they will be able to make a different calculus about how to hedge their beds and make sure that their interests are protected.

ROSE: Are they prepared to engage in North Waziristan as they were in South Waziristan?

FLOURNOY: I think that’s something we’ll see over time. Right now the challenge for their military is they are very much stretched by the operations they’ve taken on so far.

ROSE: But you convinced them that they should think less about India and more about enemies within?

FLOURNOY: I think that’s something that’s a big part of the dialogue is trying to understand their threat perception, having them understand ours and helping to talk that through.

ROSE: One of the interesting things that I have learned from talking to people like you is listening. You know, you want them to define how they see their national security concerns and ask if there’s something you can do to help alleviate those concerns or help change those concerns that they feel threatening.

FLOURNOY: And I think that’s job number one next week is to listen. And I think they are coming – what we’ve asked them to do is come tell us how you see the world and what your strategic concerns are and what you need. And we will do the same. But our first job is to listen.

ROSE: What’s the constancy here?

FLOURNOY: The constancy is the president’s focus on how do we disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in this region and take this region off the table as a safe haven now and in the future; how do we replace the instability of today with a much more stable and robust region in the future. That is the constancy throughout. We had an initial –

ROSE: That’s where you began and that’s where you are now.

FLOURNOY: Yes. And we had an initial review that really was about what do we need to do immediately just to sort of start out on the right foot. We were facing elections in Afghanistan. There were all kinds of near-term challenges that we needed to face. Then we had a more fundamental review that really went back to do we have the objectives right, do we have the mission right, do we have the strategy right? And that was what was announced at the West Point speech.

And out of that, what I think is really important – it’s the first time, I think, in eight years that we have the mission defined right. We have a strategy. We have the leadership in place. And we’ve actually put the kind of resources against the problem to really have a chance of success on the Afghan side of the border. That said, the Pakistan side of the border is equally important.

ROSE: Do we buy into it the idea that we have to be here to try to influence the circumstances on the ground?

FLOURNOY: Right. And I think that was the key question – the president was facing the decision of whether or not to send tens of thousands of additional Americans into harm’s way. In order to do that, which is probably the toughest decision that any president makes, he had to check his map. Do we have the –

ROSE: Check his map.

FLOURNOY: Right. Do we have the strategy right? Do we have a shot at success to put these people in harm’s way? And I think we took the time for the review, which we were criticized for, so that the president had very high confidence in every aspect of that equation by the time we got to a decision and we were actually deploying forces.

ROSE: He had what, 10, nine, 10 to 20 meetings in which he was involved in?

FLOURNOY: Yes. I’ve never seen or heard of a president take that much of his own personal time to really own and take hold of a foreign policy problem.

ROSE: So when you say own a foreign policy problem, how would you define that?

FLOURNOY: Well, I mean, we inherited quite a lot from the previous administration. And again, when you’re in a war and you’re making decisions that put Americans in harm’s way, I think President Obama really needed to make sure that he personally was comfortable with the way we were defining the mission and that he had confidence in the strategy going forward and that he understood the risks and the costs and the potential benefits. So I think that process of working through it, looking at it from all angles, considering a robust range of alternatives — that was a process he had to go through to make the tough choices that he’s made. The good news is that we are already seeing those choices pay off in terms of early –

ROSE: Success on the ground. Right.

FLOURNOY: – early positive – it’s too early to declare success, but we see the kinds of indicators we would like to see that suggest we are moving in the right direction.

ROSE: What are they?

FLOURNOY: I think first and foremost you see a very strong support among the Afghan people for the new strategy. You see much greater partnership with all levels of the Afghan government in terms of getting them involved in owning not only the problem, but the solution to the problem — very much partnered in every operation we conduct and so forth.

ROSE: Are you confident that this Afghan government under President Karzai is on board and is trying to correct those problems that cause great question in America?

FLOURNOY: I think President Karzai and his government understand the stakes involved. They understand that we are really giving them a very unique opportunity here to stabilize the situation and emerge in a way with a political landscape that could actually create the basis for longer term stability and development for Afghanistan. It is not an open ended-commitment. It is something that they need to act on in the near term. And I think they understand that. But the truth is most Afghans experience their government at a very local level, at the village level, maybe at the district level. And so one of the things the strategy review did was shift a lot of the focus to that local level where Afghans have very basic needs and they’re looking to the government to help get those –

(Cross talk.)

ROSE: Do we have a relationship at that level?

FLOURNOY: We do. And that’s what’s a big change in this strategy as we have not only – we’ve partnered with Afghan forces but we’ve also brought in Afghan ministries with our AID, State Department, Agriculture, and we’re really working intensively at that sort of sub-national level to try to create some sustainable governance at that level. And that I think is really going to be the foundation for the long term.

ROSE: Is this or is not nation-building?

FLOURNOY: Well, I think that overtime we will be engaged in a very long-term project in Afghanistan that will go far beyond the military intervention. I mean, Afghanistan is going to be a country that we provide development assistance to that NGOs are actively engaged in for many, many years to come as it was for many, many years before. But I think for our military intervention we have described the objectives much more narrowly in terms of reversing the Taliban momentum and creating the Afghan government capacity to sustain security and stability so that a much longer term arc of development can happen.

ROSE: The West Point speech became controversial because it was a specific day, month and year, July 2011, in which the process of withdrawal would begin. Then you had the secretary of defense and others testifying, saying it was dependant on conditions on the ground.

FLOURNOY: Let me clarify what July, 2011, is and is not.

ROSE: Okay.

FLOURNOY: July, 2011, is the end of the surge, the 30,000 additional troops – the end of that surge. It is the point at which we fully expect that there will be provinces in Afghanistan that have met conditions in both security and governance that are ready for a transition to Afghan lead. That does not mean that July 2011 we all rush for the exits that we’re done and see you later. In the course of that transition period, the mission of some military forces will start to change. Some may be able to come home. Others will transition from a combat role to an advise and assist role. So you will see the beginning –

ROSE: As is happening in Iraq?

FLOURNOY: – it’s very much — as is happening in Iraq — a very responsible drawdown. So it’s true that July 2011 is an inflexion point. It’s also true that that process of transition will be conditions based and will be really driven by the recommendations of the folks in the field, on the ground, who are closest to the situation.

ROSE: One of the things also came out of this review session and the West Point speech is a narrow focus. What do they mean by that? Or what did you mean by that? That our focus is more narrow?

FLOURNOY: I think it was both narrower in the sense of defining more realistic near term objectives for the mission, but also in the sense of focusing our effort. There were lots of development projects, lots of activities, lots of people doing different things in Afghanistan over the last several years. And yet we weren’t always getting the benefits of really concentrating our effort on the things that matter most. So a lot of the strategy review – everybody talks about the military piece, but a lot of the strategy review was really trying to understand what is most important on the governance and development side, particularly the governance side. How do you create the capacity so that Afghanistan can be in the lead and manage, with some help from us, its own affairs.

ROSE: If you can figure out what to get them to be strong enough to take care of the business, then we create an opportunity to withdraw.

FLOURNOY: Right, and to responsibly transition the mission.

ROSE: How do we define victory? Or do we define victory?

FLOURNOY: I think victory is a situation in which Afghanistan and Pakistan are no longer safe havens or future safe havens for al Qaeda, that the governments in those regions have the capacity to sustain that situation, to effectively combat terrorism on their soil and to ensure that the conditions remain inhospitable to violent extremism over time.

ROSE: And is that achievable within the next four years?

FLOURNOY: I think it is achievable within the near the midterm.

ROSE: What does “near the midterm” mean to someone who thinks like you do?

FLOURNOY: I don’t have a set timeframe, but what I can say is that I do think the development of these countries is going to be on a much longer arc, really building their economic capacity and maturing democracy in Pakistan and democracy in Afghanistan.

ROSE: Will we, like South Korea, have troops there for a long time, even though we’ll not be engaged in the combat.

FLOURNOY: I don think that these countries want American troops on the ground for a very long time. That said, they are very happy – let’s separate them. Afghanistan is very happy to have us there now as helping to stabilize the situation, training their forces, building their capacity to eventually take the lead. But I think this is a region of the world where large, long-term bases is not in our interest. What’s in our interest is staying engaged, continuing to support, but with primarily nonmilitary –

ROSE: And not leaving in a moment in which they desperately need you to be there.

FLOURNOY: – absolutely not. And that’s something we’re trying to communicate. We’re not leaving. We’re going to stay committed to this region, even as the nature and profile of our operations changes over time.

ROSE: The CIA director spoke this week. And you’re very familiar with him and the CIA and what they’re doing. What – how do you account for the success that he spoke about in terms of, quote, “success in killing and capturing al Qaeda officials,” looking at communications between al Qaeda members and the leadership saying, help us out. We’re out here alone.

FLOURNOY: I think there’re a number of factors. Most fundamentally, I think many of the populations where al Qaeda has tried to hide out are pretty tired of them being there. They oftentimes have become victimized by the presence of these groups. They don’t see that their ideology offers them much in the way of anything that can improve their lives. And so I think there is a waning of support for some of these groups in some of these areas.

I also think we have applied very consistent pressure on them for a number of years now. And that has had a cumulative effect. We’ve also seen increases in other countries’ willingness to cooperate and again over time that’s had a cumulative effect. So gradually, we’ve been shrinking down the areas where they can hide and feel that they are safe. And that’s had a – and we’ve taken action against and killed or captured a number in the leadership ring.

ROSE: Where have you not succeeded that you hoped you would be further along?

FLOURNOY: It’s a great question. One of the things I aspire to is to really take a look at how we build – work with other countries to build their capacity, security assistance writ large, the QDR, our national security strategy, it all talks about how important to U.S. interests it is to have capable partners who can work with us on common problems.

The mechanisms we use to actually build that capacity are all from the Cold War. They’re slow. They’re bureaucratic. They’re unresponsive. They’re meant to deliver large numbers of big platforms over many years, not near term equipment that somebody who’s under attack needs tomorrow. And so figuring out how do we reform that system for a new environment and in support of the right kind of strategy, which is one of building coalitions –

ROSE: It’s modernizing the Pentagon. Is it not?

FLOURNOY: – yes, so that one I’m still – that’s a windmill I’m still tilting at.

ROSE: Where was the change in the world order that the United States has to understand and respond to?

FLOURNOY: Well, I think there’re a number of changes. One is the rise of a number of new powers, particularly in Asia – China, India – where you have new countries who are developing economically, who are taking their place, if you will, in key regions where we have vital economic and security and other interests. And I think a lot of the challenge here is how they really integrate them into an international order with some common rules on the road, clear opportunities where we can seek to work together, but also clear communication of where, if we do have differences, how do we resolve those differences without getting into conflict.

ROSE: Is it just an extension of Bob Zoellick’s famous speech in which he said to China, you have to recognize that you are a stakeholder, that you have a place in the future, but that brings accountability and responsibility?

FLOURNOY: I think there was a lot too to that idea that still resonates. That’s very valid.

ROSE: Henry Kissinger, who you know well, has said to me in conversations on this program and otherwise that he’s concerned that the United States build alliances within Asia so that it is understood that we believe we have a role to play in the region. And we intend to play that role, coming out of the global expectations of the United States.

FLOURNOY: I think you see that we certainly have some very strong, long term alliances with Japan, with South Korea, with Australia. But we’re also trying to really deepen and broaden our partnerships in Southeast Asia, for example, and in other parts of – in South Asia, India and Pakistan. And so I think we’re working on that. We’re also, at the same time, having a very increasingly rich and candid dialogue with China about how do we see our interests in the region. How do they see their interests.

ROSE: There was the impression of more conflict between China and United States.

FLOURNOY: I guess I – there are going to be issues where we disagree, elements of Taiwan policy, for example, how we treat the Dalai Lama, human rights, those kinds of things.

ROSE: Well, take those two things. How upset were the Chinese over the fact that we sold planes to Taiwanese and that the president saw the Dalai Lama?

FLOURNOY: Well, we did provide some assistance — military assistance to Taiwan, but it was very much consistent with the kind of assistance that we’ve provided in the past. The argument is we believe that one of the things that has allowed the cross-straits dialogue between Taiwan and China to become so productive in recent years is the fact that you had a Taiwanese government that felt secure — secure enough to come to the table and have those discussions. And that part of that security assistance is all defensive in nature is to give Taiwan a confidence to engage in talks and ultimately peacefully resolve the differences between China and Taiwan.

ROSE: So you’re trying to give them confidence so that they can reach some kind of agreement with the Chinese?

FLOURNOY: Yes. We’re very – we want to see their differences resolved without the resort to force on either side. That said, I think – I actually see over the last year, again, a real substantive change in the dialogue with China.

ROSE: Do you really?

FLOURNOY: Yes. We are seeing – it’s not always in the press, but we are seeing more of them. We are seeing them at higher levels consistently. We are talking about a much broader range of things. And we’re having a very candid exchange about where we can cooperate and where we have differences, how do we work them through without letting them sort of drive the entire train of the relationship.

ROSE: So I hear from you that certainly at the level of the Pentagon, that there is an increasing and accelerating communication with the Chinese. So there is no question of each other being misunderstood because the level of engagement is significantly higher.

FLOURNOY: I would say across the government and first and foremost on the diplomatic side at the State Department and the White House, Pentagon as well. But we are having strategic dialogue that are bringing all the almonds together, and that’s not happened in a long time. The economic piece, the energy piece, the military piece, the diplomacy piece altogether.

ROSE: It is said – and you probably – I may know this because of you, in all the reading I did about you. The Solarium thing that General Eisenhower did as president.

FLOURNOY: The Solarium Project was really Eisenhower’s attempt to grapple with how to deal with the Soviet Union. And instead of quickly coming to one consensus, he really tried to develop competing strategies and really understand sort of tradeoffs and choices. I – while there is no Solarium Project per se in the U.S. government right now. I think that philosophy is very much informing a lot of the interagency process.

The Afghan strategy review that we went through, there were competing – it was all about looking at different options for achieving our goals and sort of really examining those in a way that there’s no holds barred. And so I think that spirit of trying to think strategically, trying to be open to the full range of possibilities and really critically examining those an allowing a very fulsome debate. This is an administration that welcomes diversity of viewpoints brought to the table and people have their say.

You know, the worst thing that you can do in a meeting with the president is scowl, because sure enough, he will call on whoever that person and then say, wait a minute, it looks like you don’t agree, what do you think?

He is someone who draws dissent, who wants to understand the other perspective as he makes decisions. That’s one of his strengths.

ROSE: That’s an interesting observation in that he can hear – I’ve not heard that before – he can hear where somebody is questioning where the conversation’s going. He has a sixth sense about that which is what you’re saying – noticing a scowl.


ROSE: What else makes this person, in terms of the kinds of people you have known different because of the – you know, how he approaches problems, how he approaches decisions, how he listens, how he demands?

FLOURNOY: I would say that he is someone who – he doesn’t have an ideological frame. He’s extremely pragmatic. He’s very analytic. He assimilates enormous amounts of information. He’s very integrating. And he’s very incisive. He – you know, if he asks the three questions at the end of the briefing, they are exactly the three most important questions. I mean, I never cease to be amazed. I’m sure it’s his staff who briefs him, you know, for each time but, no, he – he has uncanny ability to go to the heart of the problem or ask the hard question. And I think – and he does that and he’s always looking to make sure that he’s really heard all of the perspectives. And yet he’s able to make a decision.

ROSE: Russia – the secretary of state is there. Now, we need their help in Iran, we need their help because they’re a member of the quartet – and which I guess Tony Blair is over there, and others. So where – where are with Russia? The one country in the world that has more nuclear weapons – or many – you know, has a lot.

FLOURNOY: Yes. We are –

ROSE: I’ve lost count.

FLOURNOY: – in a process of seeking to reset the relationship with Russia. And what that means is we are engaging with him much more fully to, again, identifiers of common interest. We are very close to completing a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with them, START follow-on treaty, that is an example of that. We are working very closely with them to police up nuclear material around the world that become vulnerable to theft or, you know, terrorist use. There are a whole range of variance –

(Cross talk.)

ROSE: But that’s been there for a while. We’ve had –

FLOURNOY: No. Yeah. No.

ROSE: Go ahead.

FLOURNOY: And we’re continuing that. I think in the case of Iran is an area where we engage them with us as a partner in trying to reach out to Iran, to offer Iran ways to meet its legitimate energy needs while also trying to get it to agree to come back into compliance with its own commitments, Iran’s commitments in the nonproliferation treaty.

ROSE: So what you’re saying is that we are happy with what the Russians have done with respect to Iran?

FLOURNOY: Well, that we’ve been working very closely with them on Iran. I think that in the end, that will pay off in terms of their willingness to work with us on – as we turn toward sanctions and towards a pressure track. So they have been more cooperative on Iran than they have been in the past. And we are – we’re going to be looking to their –

(Cross talk.)

ROSE: And when you say that, you speak of this moment. Right now, if I measure against other time, they’ve been more cooperative about recognize the Iranian issue.

FLOURNOY: They – they have. They have joined us in pushing Iran to – on coming back into compliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty. They have condemned Iran’s – when the hidden nuclear enrichment facility was disclosed, they condemned it. They have joined us in votes at the IAEA. They are working with – they worked with us in offering Iran a deal on Tehran research reactor for its medical research needs. They have – they have been working with us in this process. And now as we switch to sanctions, we are working them towards a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Will we have differences? Yes. But we are having seen more partnership from them on Iran than we have in the past.

ROSE: When you look at the Obama administration, which you serve, is there a doctrine, is there an emerging – an attitude about the world we live in that can be defined?

FLOURNOY: I would say there is a vision and it’s articulated in a national security strategy that we’re about to publish. So I’m not going to –

ROSE: You’re not going to give me a hint?

FLOURNOY: (Laughs.) Again, I think it has to do with restoring and revitalizing American leadership and building the kind of international order that we’ve been talking about.

ROSE: Thank you for coming.

FLOURNOY: Thank you for having me.

ROSE: It’s a pleasure to have you here.

FLOURNOY: It’s a pleasure to talk with you.

See also:

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