Mitchell Reports | December 14, 2011
>>> vice president joe bide up has made news by telling rachel maddow in an interview that even if iraq has agreed to keep 20,000 american troops the white house would not have gone for it.
>> i don't think we would have responded positively to that. had they said we need troops to train us in country that we would have considered but the idea of keeping 20,000 troops there, no.
>> stephen hadley is with the u.s. substitute for peace and was national security visor under george w. bush . there were reports that we wanted 20,000 and couldn't negotiate that with the government in iraq . what is your take on this?
>> i think vice president biden's quote made it clear that the administration was not interested in having 10, 20,000 troops there. that's a decision they made. others included myself would have made a different decision. but we have to look going forward. i think it is good they are focusing on the strategic framework agreement for an ongoing relationship between iraq and the united states with political, economic and security dimensions. and i hope they are exploiting that agreement and laying out a framework for a relationship going forward that includes a vehicle for helping to continue to train iraqi security forces and help them incorporate into their force structure the new hardware that they're doing and help them the counterterrorism operations they need to do so iran cannot destabilize the position in iraq .
>> ted coppell on "rock center" showed just how exposed our new consulate is in basra and how much security is being built in and as you know very well we have 17,000 american kivlians, contractors, diplomats, cia and other personnel at outposts in iraq . how vulnerable are we and how much can we rely on the government?
>> the iraqis have made it clear that they are iraqis first and shia second. and we knelt the end that iraqi nationalism will trump shiaism. i think that is true. i think he showed that he is an iraqi first. that is very important. but we never tried to do what we're doing in iraq now through a strictly state department mission. that's another reason many people think if we left 10 to 20,000 american troops there it would make it easier to ensure security so our state department people can do what they need to do in this situation going forward to help strengthen ties between the united states and iraq .
>> are we throwing enough at iran to slow down their nuclear program ?
>> i don't know. but i sure hope so. that is the opportunity. people say there are a lot of faux arguments and faux discussions and one is there is no military options. there is a broad away of things we can do overtly and covertly between sanctions and short of a large scale military operations . i hope the administration is exploiting these things. you want to push back the date when iran is able to move to a nuclear weapon and bring forward the day when the iranian people make another shot at freeing themselves from this regime. we should hope that the arab awakening in fact comes once again to the i rainian people and if it does that we are more supportive of their efforts than in 2009 .
>> should we have bombed the drone even though it was on i rainian territory?
>> i think, you know, given all the things iran is doing in terms of supporting folks that have killed americans in iraq and the support for terror they're doing, the support for syrians we would have been well advised to just ensure that that drone was destroyed on the ground. it is not attacking iran . i think we should have removed the temptation from them to try to --
>> would we have been starting a war?
>> i don't think so. there are ways to do it that are stealthy.
>> steve hadley , thank you very