McChrystal: I'm Optimistic For a Stable Afghanistan

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July 9 (Bloomberg) -- As the White House considers speeding up the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan, retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal discusses the potential merits and consequences of this action with Betty Liu on "In The Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

Should take?

There has been more cooperation between afghans at every level than headlines sometimes show, but the real calculation is what is the united states strategic interest?

We have been episodically involved for the last 50 or 60 years in afghanistan.

We need to figure out what would be the result with no american presence in the region and those strategic interests need to drive us.

There are moral interests and feelings as well, but our ability to figure out what is best for american policy should be key.

What would be the outcome if we had no presence in afghanistan?

What i found when i entered afghanistan as the commander in 2009, the biggest short was competent and i think the competence has increased and i know the capability has increased.

I am optimistic there is a great opportunity to establish a stable afghanistan right now.

I believe the afghans need the sense of a reliable partner in the united states and other when -- western nations.

That conference must be buttressed by the idea that we are there for them.

We know the reason why the relationship between president obama and the president of afghanistan has gone south is partly because of the u.s. beginning peace talks with the taliban in qatar, and given that development and how they feel about it, should we continue those talks -- should we be in those talks?

I think it is necessary to go into negotiations with the taliban, but this is afghanistan's future that we are talking about so the government of afghanistan has to be a major player in the outcome because they will live with that and we cannot diminish their role.

Let me switch to what is going on in egypt.

In the united states, we provide egypt aid.

Much of that goes toward the military in egypt.

Do you support what happened there?

I support the idea that egypt is moving to a democracy.

The road will have twists and turns and it is not going as straight as some people would like it to be.

What we need to do is help egypt take a long-term view on how they will get a truly pluralistic government that represents all of the different interests, not just one or the other.

It is also necessary that we all remember egypt has tremendous economic problems right now, so under the surface of the political upheaval are some economic realities that will face any regime and we need to be prepared to help egypt or it could be a propellant for more problems.

We should not hold a -- aide?

? -- aide?

I think we should remain a partner with egypt.

Was a military coup?

I would not characterize it one way or another.

There was a revision by part of the group that had overthrown president hosni mubarak.

The secular group, they came to a conclusion president mohamed morsi was going in a direction they were not comfortable with and decided to act dared the military -- act.

The military's role, you could say, was to stop the violence, but i will not come out one way or the other.

How familiar are you with the leadership there?

I have met some of them.

I am not familiar with their thinking now and i would not claim to know their current calculations.

I want to quickly turned to the franklin project, something that came out of the aspen institute.

You are basically encouraging young americans to go into public service.

You had something like over 500,000 applicants for 82,000 jobs.

Why do you see such a big response?

Well, we have a bipartisan group of people looking for -- pushing for the idea of volunteer national service which would be voluntary, but expected for young people to leave high school or college and the idea would be they do one year of full-time work and be paid a living stipend, but the real objective is to increase our opportunities to give -- increase our opportunities to give to people of need.

The goal is to work in healthcare, education, conservation, the military, and to imbue in people a sense of renewed linkage to their country -- a sense of renewed responsibility to the nation and a responsibility to each other.

How do you make sure it is all americans that participate and not just those on the wealthier side of the scale?

It is a great question and you have to provide opportunities with funding.

If somebody does not have the opportunity to support themselves, you have to have enough funding so that we can give them full time opportunities for the time of service.

That could allow us to mix young people.

People from east los angeles could be working with teams from scarsdale and that could bridge gaps that are very important.

General, thank you for joining us here exclusively on "in the loop."

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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