msnbc | March 02, 2013
>>> this week's office politics , richard haas , president on the council of foreign relations , alex talked about the administration policy and whether the public deserves more information on that. but she started by asking him about the notion of the government, does it even recognize this?
>> whether officially exists or not, in reality it exists. we shoot them with some frequency. and it's obviously become controversial over the criteria of shooting them and the process that leads to individual decisions, particularly for an american, is quite rare is the target. but when we have terrorists somewhere and the host country hanging out is unable or unwilling to arrest them or stop them, we have to send in special forces which is possible, or we've got to do something like drones, and we want to stop these people before they do something destructive against us, and drones are a way to do that.
>> how do you weigh the moral concerns against the tactical?
>> that's part of any use of force . not sure anything different morley between using a drone or cruise missile or something like that to me, the real question is what's smart? done rumsfeld raised an interesting point. he said we want to make sure we're not generating more terrorists by counterterrorism. we always have to ask ourselves the question, are the numbers working in our favor? in the case of the drones, we don't want to alienate populations and governments by going after somebody. so we really want to ask ourselves, is this person really essential? is this a high-value target? are we confident we're going to de get them? and can we get that person without causing "collateral damage? " "what's the likely reaction of the town, of the government. will this convince a lot young men to make a career choice to become a terrorist? make a government much less likely to work with us? in some casesist still worth doing this. on other occasions we'll say no. during the iraq war years ago, the iraqis would hide military targets in schools, hospitals. and sometimes you have to ask really tough moral choices. do we go after targets and potentially cause harm? under the concepts of the church and under western civilization , the whole idea of causing harm to innocent is where you violate the canons or the ethics of war.
>> what about the level of transparency? so many clamoring for absolute transparency, but you use this in war.
>> we're at war with terrorists around the world. it's not a war in the sense of world war ii or the korean war , but it's a war, let's not kid ourselves. no battlefield. everything is a battlefield, everybody is a potential combat combata combatant, and so it's -- it's a more difficult conflict if you will, to regulate. so again, we have to take steps in order to try to prevent them from acting. before they -- they do. ith not going to be neat and clean. in some ways, as the kinds of wars we read about in history. and we won't have one day like at the end of world war ii a battleship missouri ceremony where al qaeda will surrender. this is something now ingrained. the part of the woodwork of international relations . we have to be comfortable and consistent with values. we have to do some of this secretly. not able to do it in public. but we've got to do it in a way again, not only that our own society supports, but doesn't society supports or that it doesn't generate or provoke more people to become terrorists.