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中国时间 7:44 2018年12月11日 星期二

VOA专访:白宫国安顾问谈伊朗朝鲜巴基斯坦等议题


VOA专访:白宫国安顾问谈伊朗朝鲜巴基斯坦等议题 (完整版)
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VOA专访:白宫国安顾问谈伊朗朝鲜巴基斯坦等议题 (完整版)

美国总统国家安全顾问、陆军中将H·R·麦克马斯特1月2日接受了美国之音特约记者格莱塔·范·萨斯特伦的专访,谈到了伊朗、朝鲜、巴基斯坦和俄罗斯等问题。下面是采访的中文翻译并附英语原文:

格莱塔·范·萨斯特伦问:“麦克马斯特将军,很高兴见到您。”

国家安全顾问麦克马斯特:“很高兴参加您的采访,谢谢。”

记者: “谢谢您接受这次采访。”

麦克马斯特:“很荣幸,谢谢。”

问: “好的,让我们从伊朗议题开始。那里发生了很多事,您的看法是什么?”

麦克马斯特:“伊朗人民是在表达不满,是对政权的不满。这个政权对输出恐怖主义的关注高于对满足人民需求的关注。因此,总统一直强烈支持伊朗人民和他们表达自己看法的权利。我认为,目前最为重要的是,全世界要告诉伊朗,他们必须尊重自己公民的权利,允许他们和平示威,不能像2009年那样对示威者使用暴力,而这是我们看到已经开始发生的。”

问: “1956年匈牙利的情况类似,当时西方没有支持示威者。我们看到1990年代初期伊拉克的库尔德人,当时美国也是表达了支持,但没有做具体事。正如您所提到的,2009年奥巴马担任总统的时候,在绿屋,大选刚刚结束。本届政府除了口头上表达对示威的支持以外,是否还会做其它事情?”

麦克马斯特:“我们会看看有哪些选项。但我认为,我们所需要的是整个世界代表伊朗人民发出强有力的声音。这是一个压迫本国人民的独裁政权,这个政权使用这个有着丰富文化、悠久历史的伟大国家的资源在整个大中东地区制造仇恨和暴力。他们是伊斯兰内部乱局的推手,他们支持了叙利亚、伊拉克和也门的宗派内战,带来大量痛苦、苦难和死亡。他们持续给以色列构成威胁,给黎巴嫩的稳定构成威胁。这个政权要对此负责。看起来伊朗人民对伊朗政权的这些行为表达不满,对他们把这种暴力置于本国公民福祉之上感到不满。”

问:“我自己在头脑中进行对比和比较,2009年那次是因为选举引起的,人们对选举不满。他们认为那是不公正的。这一次情况有点不同,很多城市几乎是自发的都出现了抗议。 起初的迹象显示,这是经济形势所致,伊朗人所期待的各种经济利益并没有落到他们头上。您认为这是经济引起的吗?还是有西方的影响?您认为引发这些抗议最初的原因是什么?”

麦克马斯特:“我认为关键的一点是,这个问题应该让伊朗人自己来回答。 我认为是出于对这个独裁政权的不满。 在一定程度上这是经济问题,价格暴涨,高居不下的失业率,特别是在伊朗年轻人中。这些人知道这个国家的巨大潜力,他们觉得沮丧,因为他们不能从这些潜力中获益。 但同时,这也是因为这个政权的对外行为。这个政权为基地组织恐怖分子提供避风港,后者以什叶派、基督徒和任何不遵守他们有关伊斯兰狭义的、非宗教定义的穆斯林或任何人为目标。因此这是一个不诚实的的政权,说到底,这个政权在整个地区帮助推动暴力和仇恨。”

问:“我不想假装知道解决方案是什么,那不是我的工作,但即便那是我的工作,我也不知道解决方案是什么。 但是如果我们不过是说说:‘我们和您们在一起’,指的是这些抗议者们,最后的结果会和09年或者其他时候有什么不同呢?我是说,难道我们只是指望伊朗人,这些抗议者受到更多的暴力镇压? 如果我们做出的回应是相同的,我们又怎能期待出现不同的结果呢? ”

麦克马斯特:“我们做的已经不止这些了。 您知道,最近这些年人们怀着一种希望,希望寻求核协议能改变这个政权的行为,减轻它的暴力行为。这个核协议说到底是错误的,当然实际情况也和人们的希望完全相悖。所以美国和世界各地的盟友一直在做的是制裁伊朗政府暴力、恶毒的行为。 我认为,重要的一点是,剥夺这个政权继续其谋杀行为所需的资源。 这是外交行为,但同时也是制裁。我们看到伊朗人民正在表达对这个政权本质的不满。他们不满这个政权对待他们的方式,和对待世界其他地方的方式。”

问:“因为这是美国之音波斯语组的节目,伊朗人可能有机会看到这段访谈。您有没有什么具体的信息想要传递给伊朗人?告诉伊朗人民,如果他们真的改变了政府,美国会些做什么?

麦克马斯特:“我想首先美国人民和美国政府对伊朗人民和伊朗文化心怀崇高敬意。他们拥有辉煌的历史和巨大的潜能。看到他们无法实现自己的梦想令我们心碎。 另外,我们必须意识到,全世界所有人都应该起来对抗伊朗政府的行为。这些行为带来巨大的痛苦。他们对恐怖组织和非法武装分子的支持让暴力持续存在。因此他们有我们情感上的支持,有我们的同情,我们心怀感激看到他们行使自己的权利,说出对这个独裁政权的不满。”

问: “川普总统已经表示他不会认证这项伊朗核协议。这对美国和伊朗民众传递了什么样的信息?我们对这项核协议的未来又能做何预期呢?”

麦克马斯特:“我认为主要的信息就是您们如何能信任这样一个以我们看到的方式对待他们自己人民的政权。这种方式挑起了暴力。”

问:“这些协议肯定不会被确认了?”

麦克马斯特:“或许会。我们会把可能的选项呈交川普总统。总统拒绝承认伊朗核协议符合美国的利益。但这不意味着他不会在延长制裁豁免的方面继续遵守这项协议的约定。我想他会在接下来的几周到下个月内作出决定。我们到时会看到川普总统是如何决定的。但是真的很难信任这个伊朗政权。”

问:“这次的抗议活动是否会在某种情况下与川普总统考虑伊核协议产生关联?”

麦克马斯特:“不会,据我所知不会,我是说我不这么认为。我认为全世界正在非常密切地注视着这个政权如何对待其本国的人民。我认为这个伊核协议不是无所不包的,对吧?协议没有涵盖伊斯兰革命卫队的部队在这一地区破坏稳定的行为。该协议没有真正完全涵盖他们的导弹项目,协议也没有包括他们的行为以及他们如何对待与这场抗议有关的本国民众。所以我认为美国和其它国家必须采取行动,不仅是基于这项覆盖面非常狭窄并且有缺陷的协议,还必须要关注伊朗大范围的所作所为。”

问: “有人说这项协议有缺陷,还有人说有违反协议的现象发生。我知道共和党人或者说很多共和党人从一开始就说这是一项有缺陷的协议。那么违反协议的情况呢?伊朗方面违反这项美国和他们签署的协议了吗?”

麦克马斯特:“确实无法说伊朗是否违反了那项协议。我们看到的是,在消耗离心机以及贮存重水的数量方面,他们靠近底线并且跨越了底线。”

问: “靠近底线有什么问题呢?”

麦克马斯特: “没问题,但适当的核实机制是为了确保这项协议不会只给这个独裁政权打掩护,让他们发展威胁世界的核能力。所以这是我们必须自信的东西,但我们现在不能相信这个机制,因为这种监督和执行机制是很贫弱的,并不很强大,需要被强化。您知道协议里对所有这些都有“日落条款”,所以我们必须封闭这个独裁政权所有发展核武器的道路,不仅是在未来几年,我们必须有能力长期这么做。想想会发生什么事吧?如果伊朗得到一枚核武器,谁会是下一个有核武器的呢?沙特阿拉伯吗?阿联酋吗?想想核不扩散政权的崩溃,这会如何让许多民众面临地球上最具破坏性的武器的威胁?”

问: “如果伊朗人确实进了一步,但是又不跨过这条线,而总统又不认证这个协议,这会不会在与政府做交易,与美国政府做交易方面向全世界发出一个信号? 这会不会显示我们不承认我们的政府变了,这会发出一个信号?”

麦克马斯特: “我认为,这确实发出了一个有力的信号。”

问: “不是负面的信息。”

麦克马斯特: “不是,这是一个有力的积极的信号。 您知道什么是敌意,什么是负面的信息。 那就是1994年与朝鲜达成的框架协议。最后结果怎么样?那是一个脆弱的协议,也没有得到有效的监督, 也没有执行。现在是什么样的一个状况?我们现在处于朝鲜问题的拐点上,另一个流氓政权可能用核武器威胁世界。这当然是不能接受的。我们不能让伊朗的局势发展到那个程度。”

问: “说到朝鲜,我认为有足够的证据显示巴基斯坦基本上是他们的核项目的设计师,对朝鲜发展核武器提供了很大的帮助。您是否怀疑伊朗和朝鲜在合作,甚至在导弹科技研发上有合作?”

麦克马斯特: “是的。 我是说,我认为是这样的。”

问: “他们现在正在合作吗?”

麦克马斯特: “关于这点,我得让我的情报官员来回答这个问题。但是,如果您看看朝鲜的记录,您会发现朝鲜没有哪一种武器没有扩散。比如,他们在叙利亚的一个秘密基地修建核反应堆。朝鲜向世界各地的各种政权、坏分子出售武器。 朝鲜以前也说过,他们愿意出售核武器,只要价格合理。 因此,我们看到一个政权,他们掌握核武器,他们愿意通过敲诈、勒索等行为,向出价最高的人或是任何愿意支付他们要价的人出售世界上最具有破坏力的武器。”

问: “现在已经很明显了,他们有个非常活跃的项目,他们也已经研发了数十年,包括导弹与核弹头。您提到的框架协议,因为他们欺骗,并不奏效,他们的项目一直在继续。我们试过制裁,与全世界一起。我们已经尝试了很多方式试图遏制他们的和项目。到目前为止,您还能想到一个途径,一个非战争的途径吗?我不是在鼓吹战争,或反对战争,但是,有哪些解决办法吗? 有哪些可能性?”

麦克马斯特: “一个可能是朝鲜政权意识到继续研发这些核武器和导弹会是死路一条。现在唯一的途径,又不是战争的途径,就是经济高压。这个力量主要在中国手上,但是其他国家也有用。 现在的发展趋势非常积极,非常正面,现在有越来越多的国家停止与朝鲜的所有贸易。越南是一个例子, 菲律宾,这个名单还可以很长。”

问: “非法的。 他们刚刚被制止了。 过去两周里,有两艘装满石油的船只,破坏了制裁,被拦截了,他们是到那里去的,一些是到那里去的。”

麦克马斯特: “所以,我们说,每个人都要做得更多一些。 您看到韩国封锁了两艘船只,扣押了两艘船。 新的联合国制裁允许对那些继续允许非法贸易的船运公司实施更大制裁。但是,实际上,就像大家都知道的, 中国对朝鲜拥有大部分的经济高压力量。 我们希望中国做出符合他们利益的行动, 我们不能要求他们采取超出他们利益的行动。”

问:“希望如此,但中国还没有这样做,在他成为总统之前的很长一段时间里都是这样。我采访过他,(那时他还是)一名纽约的商人,他会谈论中国,谈他们与美国的交易是不公平的。您为什么会认为中国现在会改变,利用他们的经济实力来试图解决朝鲜问题?只是害怕朝鲜境内的2600万人吗?担心日本和韩国会想要拥有核力量?这是唯一能够改变中国的东西吗?”

麦克马斯特:“不是,中国意识到这个局势已经从根本上改变了,中国自己思考后认识到了三个根本性的改变,我们必须合作处理这三个根本性的变化。第一个变化是,半岛无核化是唯一可接受的答案。它以前是,您听到许多关于用冻结换冻结、用暂停换暂停的讨论。这个认识就是,这些选项不再有用了,因为他们的(核)项目已经发展的太多了。第二件事是中国认识到这确实是朝鲜和整个世界间的问题,其中包括朝鲜和中国间的问题。我们以前讨论的是,尽管这是美国与朝鲜之间的问题,中国认识到半岛无核化是符合中国利益的,因为防止核扩散体系有崩溃的威胁。假如韩国和日本得出结论认为他们必须像朝鲜那样武装自己,怎么办?第三点是,中国认识到自己拥有强制性的经济实力来解决这个情况,这取决于中国是否做决定。您知道,美国安全委员会已经对朝鲜施加了越来越多的限制。越来越多的针对朝鲜的制裁,它们必须要被严厉的执行。但是我们还必须承认,这是不够的,我想您读到过这一点。朝鲜除非受到更大的压力,否则他们不会认为撤除核武器符合他们的利益。”

问:“我不认为朝鲜……因为确实有两种不同的人,朝鲜领导人是一种,人民是另一种。我不认为朝鲜足够担忧,我不认为有任何事能让他们想要放弃核武器。我不认为(朝鲜政府)在乎人民的生活,比如饥荒或其他的事。”

麦克马斯特:“我们有…..他们有不同类型的人口。朝鲜,很显然,精英们非常舒适地生活在平壤,牺牲的是朝鲜其他地区人口的利益。”

问:“他们是做决定的人。”

麦克马斯特:“他们是,但他们也是受到制裁影响的那批人。这些人会得出结论认为继续在这条路上走下去不符合他们的利益。这对他们是一条死路。当然,这个政权一直存在异议人士,我是说这是一个政权,它的领袖金正恩用最恶劣的手法杀死了他自己家庭的成员,在马来西亚的一个公共机场释放神经毒气,在体育场上他们的军事学院学员面前使用高射炮。所以……”

问: “当他吹嘘的时候,怎么样能让他说我改变主意了,我想要保护我的人民免于和美国的战争,或是世界经济制裁,我要放弃我的核武器?”

麦克马斯特:“没有燃料您也不能发射导弹,是吧?朝鲜完全仰赖外来资源供给燃料。如果所有的国家得出结论说,采取并执行更严厉的经济制裁符合他们的利益,那么就有战争之外的选项。”

问:“如果我们切断发射核武器的可行性,他没有燃料,他仍然在朝鲜南部有瞄准韩国的大炮。他这方面的实力如何?”

麦克马斯特:“这就是朝鲜的作为,对吧?(朝鲜)多年来让韩国民众置身于风险之中。自从1953年以来,韩国和美国对朝鲜没有威胁,每一个挑衅行为都是来自于朝鲜,这点是清楚的。所以朝鲜会使用这个武器的原因会是要做什么?实际上就是强迫或是恐吓勒索或是勒索逼迫美国离开朝鲜半岛以及东北亚。那他们说了很多年的,金正恩在他最近的讲话中有多少次用到统一这个词?他心中的统一是什么样的?那是朝鲜及其失败的制度主导的统一。朝鲜寻求核武器不仅仅是出于自卫,虽然您可能会听到一些人这样主张,但是实际上为了斜坡别国,是为了攻击,这点是重要的,世界(各国)必须认识到这一点。

问:“您知道这很有趣,我不认为- 我去过朝鲜三次,我不这么感觉,这也只是随机样本,绝对不是科研,我没有感觉到朝鲜人民他们自己不觉的自己活在地球上最棒的地方。除了那些得到一些来自西方国家的资讯的人,但是我认为那是个问题,就是(朝鲜)人民不跟我们站在一起,您知道,(朝鲜)人民并不反对他们的领导层,至少现在不反对。”

麦克马斯特:“朝鲜领导班底到现在已经三个世代了,他们系统性地对人民洗脑,不让人民接触外界资讯。一旦资讯能够渗透到社会里,我认为,这非常可能是他最害怕的事情了。所以有些人主张我们需要作的就是对这个(朝鲜半岛)北部被误解的政权打开大门,当然这是朝鲜最恐惧的其中一件事,因为那将会暴露他们所有的谎言,所有的虚伪。”

问: “这也就是为什么他们防止资讯流入。”

麦克马斯特:“绝对是的。”

问:“金正恩在最近的讲话中对韩国松口,说他们或许会派运动员参加奥运会,也或许愿意与韩国展开对话。但是他也威胁说,他有一个按钮,我想他说的是他桌上有一个针对我们展开攻击的核武器按钮。您怎么看他对最近对韩国的态度?”

麦克马斯特:“如果您觉得他的讲话令人欣慰,那肯定是过节香槟喝多了。根本上来说,他说的就是您刚才总结的,朝鲜拥有能致使整个世界陷于危险的核武器。这是很大的忧虑,我想他的讲话的目的,是一次很不精致的努力,想离间韩国和美国。当然,这不会发生。他挑衅的行为,他最近的行动使得美韩盟友关系更加紧密。”

问:“最后一个关于朝鲜的问题,如果经济制裁不管用,或者不论什么原因,朝鲜没有受到足够的影响...如果中国不强硬,朝鲜仍然能够躲避制裁。如果这些制裁不管用,那之后我们能做什么?还有我们的时间表是怎样的?”

麦克马斯特:“我们需要做的就是为总统准备一系列回应措施,这包括军事手段,我们从来也没有对此含糊其辞。在制定并调整这些措施时,我们会与盟友密切合作。根本上来说,如果我们要在朝鲜政权不合作的情况下要迫使该国无核化,我们需要将所有回应措施以及预估的风险和后果告知总统,让他来做一个决定。”

问:“军事打击可能到什么程度?最重,或者最轻是怎样的打击?”

麦克马斯特:“我不能跟您讨论军事计划,但是这些计划是存在的。”

问:“假设,假设说...? ”

麦克马斯特:“我不能够谈假设。”

问:“您说得对。那好,关于朝鲜的问题就告一段落。我们现在来谈谈巴基斯坦,总统先生在新年的头几条推文中说:“美国在过去15年中糊里糊涂地给了巴基斯坦330多亿美元的援助,而巴基斯坦给美国的只有谎言和欺骗,以为我们的领导人都是傻子。他们给我们在阿富汗打击的恐怖分子提供避难所。不能再这样”。总统先生显然在对巴基斯坦施加压力。为什么?”

麦克马斯特:“我想这则推文说明了总统的态度。总统对此沮丧,他重视我们希望与巴基斯坦建立的伙伴关系,但是巴方的行为让总统沮丧。他们为一些恐怖分子提供支持,非常有选择地打击恐怖组织,而使用另一些组织作为外交筹码。总统先生对于巴基斯坦人民有很深的同情,特别是恐怖分子对平民实行大规模杀戮,还有几年前在一个学校的大屠杀。我的意思是,他同情巴基斯坦人民,他希望看到巴政府能够更大范围地打击恐怖组织。这并不像有些人说的,是一个互相指责的游戏,而是我们明确地向巴基斯坦传达一个信息,那就是我们的关系不能再充满自相矛盾,而是两国要真正开始合作,实现阿富汗的稳定,这对于巴基斯坦也有巨大的益处。令人沮丧的是,巴基斯坦有时不顾自己人民的利益,有选择地打击恐怖组织,为另一些提供避难所,支持在巴境内运作的塔利班和哈卡尼网络领导,而与此同时,这些组织正在巴基斯坦和阿富汗延续他们的罪恶行径。”

问:“几年前我跟国务卿希拉里·克林顿去巴基斯坦,她宣布消息说要给大约70亿美元的援助,这对巴基斯坦人来说是个大数字。我记得巴基斯坦人不高兴了,因为我们希望了解钱是怎么花的。所以他们不高兴了。这种脱节真是令人难以相信。在我看来,我们希望了解我们的钱是怎么花的,这有什么可义愤填膺的?可另一方面,您不给这些国家钱,别人就会介入。这就是风险。”

麦克马斯特:“我不认为现在会有人介入并希望巴基斯坦继续支持哈卡尼网络这样的恐怖组织和塔利班这样的组织。我的意思是,这显然不符合中国的利益。中国在南部边界也有恐怖主义问题,这种恐怖主义问题的确可以追溯到巴基斯坦。本地区任何国家都不希望巴基斯坦的那种行为方式持续下去,这不符合它们的利益。我们一直看到的是,巴基斯坦有选择性地打击这些组织,同时维持和扶植其它组织,这些组织为其外交政策服务。所以我觉得,我们有信心认为,巴基斯坦不想成为被国际社会遗弃的国家。巴基斯坦有着巨大的潜力,---人力潜力、经济潜力。因此我们真心希望看到的是,巴基斯坦为了自己的利益而采取行动,不再有选择性地打击这些组织,不再提供庇护所、支援基地和其它形式的领导力支持。”

问:“您怎么考虑这个因素:巴基斯坦是个有核国家,至少在历史上曾跟朝鲜在核武器方面勾勾搭搭,所以他们有某种---我不想用‘讹诈’这个词,这个词太冲了,但他们的确有这种杠杆力。

麦克马斯特:“我认为这对任何巴基斯坦领导人来说都是不明智的。我无法想象巴基斯坦领导人用核武器来勒索或讹诈。如果真有这么一天的话,巴基斯坦。。。”

问:“朝鲜就在这样做。”

麦克马斯特:“我的意思是,巴基斯坦想成为朝鲜吗?朝鲜模式在我看来可没什么吸引力。所以我认为,巴基斯坦可以走在增强安全和繁荣的道路上,也可以走上仿效朝鲜的道路。我认为,这种选择对巴基斯坦领导人很容易。”

问:“要知道,在外交政策问题上,棋盘上动一颗小棋子,都会影响到世界其他地方。”

麦克马斯特:“这些问题中没有一个是彼此脱节的。我的意思是,这些问题之间有很多的关联性。这是我们讨论过的。”

问:“有没有一个方式来描述总统的外交政策。我听说您说过这样一句话,‘川普处理外交政策的方式把我们带出了自己的舒适区,也包括我本人。’首先,您这样说是什么意思?其次,您怎么描述总统的外交政策?”

麦克马斯特:“我的描述是‘有原则的现实主义’。您可以在可读性很强的国家安全战略中读到更多的信息。这份战略现在已经公布了。”

问:“我还真读了。读的很费劲,挺长的。”

麦克马斯特:“但这是对他给他领导的所有部委的指导政策的简明扼要的陈述,明确地向我们的盟国和合作伙伴以及对手描述了我们作为一个国家所看重的是什么,以及我们希望如何维护和保障美国人民的关键利益,并通过强调与世界各地其它国家合作的方式来做到这一点。”

问:“但‘出了自己的舒适区’的意思不是说您与总统在任何方面有分歧吧?”

麦克马斯特:“不。总统做的是挑战根本性的假定。他总是说,我们为什么要这样做?我的意思是,在我们向他解释的时候,他把我们很多暗示性的假定明晰化了。我要说,他在各方面做出了一些非常明智的政策决定,包括一些重大决定。比如8月间在南亚战略问题上的讲话。他非常清晰地阐述了制胜之道的战略,不仅是在阿富汗和巴基斯坦而且是整个南亚地区。他在两次讲话中列出了印太战略,一次是在韩国,一次是在亚太经合会的峰会,包括安全层面也包括经济层面。当然还有伊朗战略,这是对最近几年战略的根本性的转向,反映我们决心正视伊朗的恶意行为,并遏制这个独裁政权用来破坏整个中东地区稳定并实施暴力、造成人民痛苦的资金。”

问:“好吧。普京、俄罗斯和国家安全。首先您是否相信,---您也许说了无数次了,俄罗斯干预了我们的选举?”

麦克马斯特:“是的。总统正式说过这点。“

问:“好的,那我们怎么办?”

麦克马斯特:“我们必须要做的是找到一种途径来应对这种非常复杂的战略。俄罗斯用多种方式制造的这种新的威胁,这就是用虚假消息和宣传以及社交媒体工具制造社会对立,使社群之间互相攻讦。弱化他们的决心和他们的承诺。我们在国家安全战略当中涵盖了相当一部分这些内容,论述每次我们谈及是什么让我们的国家导致纷争分歧是多么重要。我们必须强调让我们团结在一起的东西,这是我们对我们价值观的共同承诺。我们珍视个人的权利和法治,我们珍视我们的民主。”

问:“当某人潜入你的选举和辩论,或者散布假消息,这很阴险。这些阴谋影响渗透到我们国家的每个部分。”

麦克马斯特:“阴险是恰当的词汇。因此最重要的对策之一就是让这种活动暴露在光天化日之下,揭露这种活动的根源所在,这种活动的目的所在。因此要做到这些,您需要大幅削弱他们对我们的社会或者其他人施加负面影响的能力。正如您所知道的,俄罗斯人在欧洲,在法国最近的选举,以及西班牙加泰罗尼亚最近的公投中非常活跃。您看到他们在墨西哥也已经很活跃。我的意思是,他们在黑山的所作所为,试图策动政变……以及这种复杂的竞选活动。因此让俄罗斯制造不稳定的行为曝光,我认为是非常重要的第一步,因为一旦每个人知道他们意欲何为,他们制造信心缺乏以及让社群之间互相攻讦的能力就会大大削弱。”

问:“我肯定俄罗斯官员会否认这么做?”

麦克马斯特:“我想俄罗斯已经从您可以称之为花言巧语的否认推诿转变为似乎不合情理的否认。同样的人在说‘哦,不,我们没有打下那架飞机或者没有暗杀那些人。哦,我们没有军人在克里米亚或者乌克兰东部。’这些都不足信。‘我们没有向用化学武器大肆屠杀自己人民的叙利亚政权提供保护。’这个根本不足信,因此我认为我们需要对俄罗斯做的就是对抗他们制造不稳定的行为。正如我刚才所说,让这些行为曝光,公之于众。”

问:“但是普京不也否认了吗?”

麦克马斯特:“但是我们也必须防止和俄罗斯进一步的冲突,我们希望做的是找到合作的领域。最近我们已经看到,看上去似乎俄罗斯要采取损害自己利益的行动去恶意对待美国、西方或者欧洲的盟友。”

问:“如果你没有任何自我保护,我们的对手从某些方面讲会是一个可怕的敌人。”

麦克马斯特:“我们想做的是找到我们与俄罗斯在我们利益重叠的可以合作的领域。这些领域当中我们一直谈论的就是朝鲜,另外还有伊朗。我指的是,让伊朗在中东做大怎么会符合俄罗斯的利益。他们会为此付出巨大的代价。”

问:“但是伊朗正在帮助叙利亚,普京也在帮助叙利亚。他们在那里有共同目标。”

麦克马斯特:“每个阿拉伯国家肯定会认识到俄罗斯一直在做什么,俄罗斯应当为其介入中东地区的名声,为其让伊朗和伊朗非常具有破坏性的在整个大中东地区保持内战的行动付出代价。俄罗斯不应当对伊朗提供保护和支持,让其继续在这个地区实施其罪恶的计划。我指的是,伊朗不仅在支持像真主党这样的恐怖组织,所有这些非法的武装组织,叙利亚阿萨德政权一边大约80%的战斗人员都是伊朗的代理人,当然还有也门。他们正在做的还包括建立远程导弹网络。因此我再次认为要揭露曝光他们的行为。真的想问问俄罗斯,援助并与伊朗政权为伍,怎么会符合您们的利益。”

问:“我觉得他们对这种耻辱做出了很多回应,但是我认为川普政府使用的说法是战略竞争,过去这么说过,而且不仅仅是川普总统上任后的过去一年里,过去多年都说过。他说,普京的实力增强了。看来他没有因为耻辱而被吓跑,干预美国选举没有让他觉得有什么对不起的。”

麦克马斯特:“他还成了地球上受到制裁最多的国家之一。我的意思是说,这不符合俄罗斯的利益。因此我认为重要的是,俄罗斯要得出这样的结论,那就是,不要做不符合自己利益的事情。我们不指望俄罗斯做违背自己利益的事情,或者帮美国一个忙。我们希望做的是,能够找到合作领域,所以我们可以帮助说服俄罗斯,让他们相信,在世界面临的一些重大威胁方面,合作是符合他们的利益的。在东北亚又有国家拥有核武器,这不符合俄罗斯的利益。您已经看到韩国和日本在加强跟我们的联盟关系。韩国和日本都在迅速武装起来,这不符合俄罗斯利益。解决这个问题的方式就是把朝鲜的问题解决了。这真的能让东北亚进入新的繁荣时代。您能想象朝鲜的核威胁会让俄罗斯、中国或任何一方受益吗?”

问:“您现在的这个职位最让您吃惊的是什么?”

麦克马斯特:“最让我吃惊的是跟我共事的人的高水准。本届国家安全委员会有着来自政府各部门的极为敬业的公务员和军官,他们太棒了。能跟他们共事是我极大的荣幸。另外让我吃惊的是,我们本着共同的利益与世界各地这么多的国家一道共事。我的意思是,我们跟各国的对口单位,跟各国国家安全委员会顾问之间的关系非常好。这也许是个互助群体吧,但这也是志同道合的国家结成的群体。他们试图推动和保护我们各国公民的利益。正如您说到的那样,我们有很多正在应对的问题,但我们也有正在加以利用的机会,这些是增进我们所有国家的人民和全世界的安全与繁荣的机会。”

问:“将军,非常谢谢您。祝您好运。我们会拭目以待的,希望以后再采访您。”

麦克马斯特: “谢谢您,格莱塔。很高兴接受您的采访。”

==============================================================

以下是美国之音专访总统国家安全顾问麦克马斯特将军的英语原文:

Q: “General, nice to see you, sir.”

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, GENERAL H.R. MCMASTER: “It’s great to be with you, thank you.”

Q: “Thank you for doing this interview.”

MCMASTER: “It’s a privilege to do it, thanks.”

Q: “Well, let’s start with Iran. A lot’s going on there, what’s your reflections on it?”

MCMASTER: “Well the Iranian people are expressing frustration, frustration about a regime that pays more attention to exporting terrorism than it does to meeting the needs of its own people. So, the President has been very strong in his support of the Iranian people, and their rights to express themselves. And I think what’s most important now is for the whole world to tell Iran that they have to respect the rights of their citizens and allow them to demonstrate peacefully and to not engage in the kind of violence against the demonstrators that we saw back in 2009, and that we’re starting to see now as well.”

Q: “Well, in 1956, we had a similar situation in Hungary and the West didn’t support the protestors there. We’ve seen it in the early 90s with the Kurds in Iraq, and again the United States voiced its support but didn’t do anything, and we, as you mentioned, 2009 when President Obama was President, in green room, right after the election. Is this administration going to do anything more than voice verbal support for the protest, or can they?

MCMASTER: “Well, we’ll see what options are available. But I think what we need are strong voices across the world, on behalf of the Iranian people. This is a dictatorial regime that is oppressing its own people, that is using the resources that this great nation with this rich culture and rich history needs, to form that hatred and violence across the greater Middle East area. They are a driving force behind this fitna, behind this sectarian civil war that has caused so much pain and suffering and death in Syria and Iraq and Yemen. They pose a continuing threat to Israel, and within Lebanon to its stability, and this regime has to be held to account and it seems as if the Iranian people are expressing their displeasure about the behavior of this regime and prioritizing this kind of violence over the benefit and welfare of their own citizens.”

Q: “I was comparing and contrasting in my own mind, the 2009 which was provoked by an election and that the people, they were unhappy with the election, they thought it was unfair. This one is a little bit different- almost spontaneously the number of cities that there’s been a protest. At first, the suggestion was as a result of an economic situation, that any sort of the economic benefits that they anticipated from the Iran view, didn’t trickle down to them. Why do you think, do you think this was provoked by economics, or by Western influences? Why do you think the protests were sparked in the first place?”

MCMASTER: “I think what’s key is to let the Iranians speak for themselves on this. I think it’s dissatisfaction with this dictatorial regime. It was over economics to a certain extent, and the skyrocketing of prices, the very high rate of unemployment, especially among young Iranians. And these are people who know the great potential of their country and are frustrated to not be able to take advantage of that potential. But it’s also been about the external behavior of the regime, and how this is a regime that gives safe haven to Al-Qaeda terrorists who target Shia, Christians, anybody who doesn’t do, and any Muslim who doesn’t adhere to their narrow and irreligious definition of Islam. And so this is a regime that is dishonest, fundamentally, and a regime that has helped drive violence and hatred across the whole region.”

Q: “I don’t pretend to know what the solution is, it’s not my job, but even for my job I don’t know what the solution is. But if we do no more than to say ‘We’re with you,’ you know, with the protestors, how is the result going to be any different than ’09 or even any of those other examples? I mean, aren’t we just going to expect that the Iranian, that it will probably be the protestors would be put down in more violence? How do we expect a different solution if our reaction is the same?”

MCMASTER: “Well, we’re already doing more than that. As you know in recent years there was a hope, a hope that the pursuit of this nuclear deal that is fundamentally flawed would change the behavior of this regime, that it would moderate its violent behavior, and of course that hasn’t been the case at all. So what the United States has been doing, along with allies and partners around the world, is sanctioning that violent, that malign Iranian behavior. And so it’s important, I think, that this regime be denied the resources it needs to continue its murderous campaigns. And so it’s diplomacy, but it’s also sanctions, and we see actually that the Iranian people are expressing their displeasure about the nature of this regime, how it treats them, but also how it treats the rest of the world.

Q: “Is there-this interview is likely to be seen in–because of the Persian service in Voice of America. Is there a specific message that you want to get to people of Iran–you know they want to tell you Iranian people, what America is going to do if they do change the government?”

MCMASTER: “Well I think the first thing to note is the American people and this American government has grown great respect for the Iranian people, the Iranian culture. There are tremendous history and the tremendous potential they have. And it breaks our heart to see Iranians not be able to realize their dreams. Also we have to recognize it’s up to all of us across the world to confront Iran’s behavior that is causing so much suffering, their support for terrorist organizations and illegal militias that are perpetuating violence. And so they have our emotional support, they have our sympathy, and we’re grateful I think to see them exercising their right to voice their displeasure with this dictatorial regime.”

Q: “President Trump has said that he’s not going to certify the agreement, the nuclear agreement. What’s the message to American’s and as well to the Iranians? What can we expect on that nuclear agreement?”

MCMASTER: “Well I think the main message is how can you trust this regime that treats its own people the way we see its treating its own people. That foments violence.”

Q: “That agreements definitely going to be decertified?”

MCMASTER: “Well it might be, we’ll bring options to the President. The President declined to certify that the Iran nuclear deal was in the interest of the United States. And but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t continue to–adhere to the agreement in terms of extending waivers on sanctions. He’ll make that decision I think in the next few weeks to the next month. And so we’ll see what the President decides, but it’s really hard–it’s really hard to trust this regime.”

Q: “Are the protest in any way linked to the President’s thinking on the nuclear deal?”

MCMASTER: “No, not that I’ve been aware of, I mean I don’t think so. I think the world is watching very closely to see how this regime treats its own people. And I think that this Iran nuclear deal doesn’t cover everything right? It doesn’t cover the Islamic revolutionary guard’s corps destabilizing behavior in the region. It doesn’t really fully cover their missile programs and so it doesn’t cover their behavior and how their treating their own people in connection with these–in connection with these protest. And so I think the United States, other nations have to take action not just based on this very narrow and flawed nuclear agreement, but have to look at the broad range of Iran’s behavior.”

Q: “There’s a flawed agreement and there’s violating the agreement. And I know that the Republican’s from the very beginning or many of them said it was a flawed agreement, what about a violation? Have the Iranians violated that agreement that the United States signed with them?”

MCMASTER: “It’s really impossible to tell whether or not Iran is violating that agreement. What we have seen is them step up to the line and crossed the line on how many centrifuges their spending. How much heavy water they have in stock.”

Q: “Is there anything wrong coming up to the line?”

MCMASTER: “And no but–is the verification mechanism in place to make sure this agreement doesn’t just give this dictatorial regime cover for developing a nuclear capability that threatens the world. And so that’s what we have to be confident of and we can’t be confident of that right now cause the monitoring and enforcement mechanisms are anemic, there not very strong. And so those need to be strengthened. You know there are sunset clauses to all this and so we have to block all paths to a nuclear weapon by this dictatorial regime, not just for the next few years but we have to be able to do that in the long term because think about what happens? If Iran gets a nuclear weapon–who gets a nuclear weapon next? Is it Saudi Arabia? Is it United Arab Emirates? Think about the breakdown of the non-proliferation regime and how that places so many people at risk of the most destructive weapons on Earth.”

Q: “In the event that the Iranian goes up the line but doesn’t cross it, and it is not recertified by the President, does that send the message around the world for decades about cutting a deal with the government–with the United States government. Does that indicate that–we don’t keep recognizing that obviously the administration’s change, but does that send a signal?”

MCMASTER: “I think it does send a powerful signal.”

Q: “Not an adverse one.”

MCMASTER: “No it’s a powerful, positive signal. You know what the adverse experience has been, the negative experience has been, is the 1994 agreed framework with North Korea. How did that work out? It was a weak agreement that was not monitored effectively. It was not enforced. Where are we now? You know we’re at the cusp of a North Korea, another rogue regime that might threaten the world with nuclear weapons. And of course that’s unacceptable now and we can’t let the situation with Iran get to that level as well.”

Q: “Alright speaking about North Korea, I think there is ample evidence that Pakistan through (AUDIO) basically their architect of their nuclear weapon program. Was very helpful to North Korea developing their nuclear program, do you have any suspicion that Iran and North Korea have worked together? Even with the development of missile technology, anything at all?”

MCMASTER: “Yes I mean I think that–“

Q: “And are they doing it now?”

MCMASTER: “Well I’ll leave that to our intelligence professionals to answer that question but if you look at North Korea’s track record, North Korea has never met a weapon that it has not proliferated. I mean it was building a nuclear reactor in a clandestine site in Syria for example. North Korea is selling weapons across the world to all sorts of regimes and bad actors. And North Korea has stated that it would be willing to proliferate nuclear weapons for the right price. And so you have a regime that could possess nuclear weapons that could engage in extortion, blackmail, and then sell those most destructive weapons on earth to the highest bidder and anybody willing to meet their price.”

Q: “Well it’s pretty evident that they have an aggressive program and they’ve been developing it for decades, both missile and nuclear warheads as well. Is there–and the agreed framework as you noted didn’t work because they cheated and the program has gone on and on and on. We’ve tried sanctions, we’ve engaged the world. We’ve done a lot of different things to try to deter this nuclear program in North Korea. Is there anything short, do you see anything short of war at this point? And I’m not saying I’m advocating for war or anything against it but what are the solutions? What are the possibilities?”

MCMASTER: “Well the possibility is that North Korean regime recognizes that the continued pursuit of these nuclear weapons and missiles is a dead end. And the only way to do that really now short of war is through coercive economic power. Power that rest mainly in the hands of China but with others as well. And the trend has been extremely positive. The trend has been positive and that more and more countries are stopping all trade with North Korea. Vietnam for example, the Philippines, the list really is quite a long one.”

Q: “Illicit, they just stopped–there are two ships with Petroleum that products in violation of sanctions that have been stopped in the last 2 weeks, so it’s getting in there–some of it.”

MCMASTER: “That’s why everybody needs to do more. You seen South Korea just interdict 2 ships and impound 2 ships and the new UN sanctions will allow even greater sanctions on shipping companies that allow this illicit trade to continue. But really as everybody knows, China has the vast majority of the coercive economic power over the North and it’s our hope that China will act in its interest and we can’t ask them to do more than act in their interest.”

Q: “Well hope but China hasn’t and long before he became President, I used to interview him, the business man in New York, he would talk about China and how they didn’t deal fairly with the United States. What makes you think that China now is going to be, is gonna change to use their economic muscle and try to get a result out of North Korea? Is it just the fear that they’ll be 26 million people over the borders into North Korea and that Japan and South Korea want to be nuclear powers? Is that the only thing that’s gonna change China?”

MCMASTER: “No, China recognizes that the situation has changed fundamentally and China recognizes 3 fundamental shifts in their own thinking and 3 fundamental shifts we all have to do together. The first shift is denuclearization of the peninsula is the only acceptable answer. It used to be–you hear a lot of talk about freeze for freeze, suspension for suspension. There’s a recognition, that’s no good anymore because their programs has progressed too far. The second thing is China recognizes that this is a problem really between North Korea and the whole world including a problem between North Korea and China. There used to be old talk about, while this really a problem between the United States and North Korea, China recognizes that it is in China’s interest to denuclearize the peninsula, and that’s because of the threat of a breakdown in the non-proliferation regime. What if South Korea, what if Japan can conclude they have to arm in similar ways to North Korea? And the 3rd thing is that China recognizes that it does have coercive economic power to resolve this situation and it will be up to China when it makes those decisions–as you know, the US Security Council has come up with more and more restrictions on North Korea. More and more sanctions against North Korea, those have to be rigorously enforced. But we also have to acknowledge that’s not going to be enough, I think you read about this. North Korea–unless more pressures applied will not conclude that it’s in their interest to denuclearize.”

Q: “I don’t see North Korea because it’s really two different people–there’s leaders of North Korea and people. I don’t–I don’t see North Korea worried enough about–I don’t see anything that makes them want to give up their nuclear weapons. I don’t think there’s enough care about feeding their people, about famine or anything else.”

MCMASTER: “We have–you have different portions of the population. North Korea obviously, you have the elites in Pyongyang who live very comfortable existence at the expense of the rest of the North Korean population who are part of– ”

Q: “Those are the ones who make the decision.”

MCMASTER: “They are but those are the people who have to be affected by these sanctions. These are the people who have to conclude that it is not in their interest to continue on this path. That it is a dead end for them. And of course this regime hasn’t been without dissent, I mean this is a regime, this is leader–Kim Jong Un whose killed members of his own family in the most egregious ways with a bad nerve agent in a public airport in Malaysia, with anti-aircraft guns in front of their military academy in a stadium. And so– ”

Q: “So how do you get–okay I’ve changed my mind, I want to protect my people from war with the United States, or economic sanctions in the world, and I’m going to give up my nuclear weapons, when he’s bragging about it?”

MCMASTER: “Well I mean–you can’t fire a missile without fuel can you? And North Korea is wholly dependent on external sources for fuel. So there are options available in short of war if all nations conclude that it’s in their interest to act in a more aggressive manner in terms of economic sanctions and to actually follow through.”

Q: “If we cut off visibility to launch a nuclear weapon, he doesn’t have the fuel to do it, he still has all these artillery weapons on the southern part of North Korea pointed right at South Korea, how potent or what’s the strength that he has there?”

MCMASTER: “Well this is what North Korea has done, right? Over the years, has held the South Korea population at risk. Also it’s been clear since 1953 that the South – South Korea that the United States poses no threat to North Korea, every provocation has come out of North Korea. And so the only reason why North Korea could be pursuing this weapon is to do what? It’s actually to coerce or blackmail or extort the United States to leave the peninsula and North East Asia. And – and – to – what they’ve been saying for years, I mean, how many times in his latest speech did Kim Jong Un use the word unification? What kind of unification does he have in mind? He has unification under the domination of the North and its failed system. I mean this is – so, what’s important to recognize is that North Korea is pursuing this nuclear weapon, not for just defensive purposes that you hear some people argue about, but really for coercive purposes, for offensive purposes, and the world has to recognize that.”

Q: “You know it’s interesting, I don’t think – I’ve been to North Korea three times, I don’t have a sense, and this is just a random sampling, it’s no way a scientific study, I don’t have any sense that the people of North Korea, themselves, don’t think they have the best place on earth to live. Except for those who may get some sort of information from the west, but I think that’s a problem to, is that the people aren’t with us, you know, the people are not against their leadership, at least not right now. ”

MCMASTER: “Well, it’s been three generations now of leadership, who’ve systematically brainwashed their own population, who deny them access to outside information. Once information can penetrate that society, I mean, this is what he probably fears the most, I mean, right. So, there’s some who argue, well what we need to do is open the gates to this misunderstood regime in the north, of course that’s one of the things the north fears the most, because it will expose all the lies, it will expose all of the hypocrisy.”

Q: “Which is why they prevent the information from coming in.”

MCMASTER: “Absolutely.”

Q: “Kim Jong Un in a recent speech talked about making a gesture to South Korea, said maybe they’ll send athletes to participate in the Olympic games, and maybe they’ll have negotiations and also threatened that he has a button – I think he say he has a button on his desk to launch a nuclear weapon against us. What are your thoughts about that, his gesture to South Korea?”

MCMASTER: “Well, anybody who thought that speech was reassuring was drinking too much champagne over the holidays. And essentially what he said is what you just summarized, that he is building a hair trigger nuclear force that would – that can place the world at risk. So this is a great cause for concern and I think the speech is pretty clear what the purpose was, it was – it wasn’t a – an unsophisticated approach to try to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States, of course, that’s not going happen. His provocative actions, what he’s been doing is driving our alliances closer together.”

Q: “One last question on this, if the economic sanctions don’t work, for whatever reason, either they do not respond to it, or China doesn’t stiffen them, or North Koreans can cheat around them, if those sanctions don’t work, then what? And what’s our time table?”

MCMASTER: “Well, what we have to do is prepare for a broad range of options for the president, and those include military options and we’ve made no secret about that. And we’ll work closely with our allies as we develop and refine those options and essentially, if we have to compel the denuclearization of North Korea, without the cooperation of that regime, we’ll bring those options and our assessment of risk and consequences to the president for a decision.”

Q: “What’s the range in military options? What do you see as the far end and the light end?”

MCMASTER: “Well, of course I’m not going to discuss military plans, but those plans exist.”

Q: “Hypothetically, I know - but hypothetically what’s the-”

MCMASTER: “I’m not in a hypothetical position, so I can’t.”

Q: “Fair enough. Alright, alright, so, I’ll make that the last question on that. Let me turn now to Pakistan, and the president tweeted that the United States, this is one of his first tweets of the new year, ‘the United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools, they give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help, no more.’ So he has upped the pressure on Pakistan. Why? And to what end?”

MCMASTER: “Well, I think the tweet speaks for itself. I mean, the president’s frustrated, and he values what we’d hope would be a partnership with Pakistan, but he’s frustrated at Pakistan’s behavior and that it continues to provide support for these groups and it goes after terrorist insurgent groups, really, very selectively, and uses others as an arm of their foreign policy. The president has great sympathy for the Pakistani people, in particular how much they’ve suffered at the hands of terrorists who have victimized so many Pakistanis with mass murders, with that horrible mass murder in a school few years ago. I mean, so, he empathizes with the Pakistani people and he wants to see the Pakistani government go after these groups less selectively. This is not a blame game as some would say, this is a – this is really our effort to communicate clearly to Pakistan that our relationship can no longer bear the weight of contradictions and that we have to really begin now to work together, to stabilize Afghanistan and in a way that would be a huge benefit to Pakistan as well. What’s frustrating at times is we see Pakistan operating against interests of its own people, by going after these groups selectively, by providing safe havens and support bases for Taliban and the Haqqani network leadership that operate out of Pakistan as they perpetuate hell in portions of Pakistan and in Afghanistan.”

Q: “I traveled with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Pakistan years ago when she was delivering news of an aid package about $7 billion, a significant amount for Pakistanis. I remember that the Pakistanis were upset because we wanted to know how the money was going to be spent, they were very upset. You have that incredible sort of disconnect, that did not seem to me to be outrageous that we wanted to know how our money was going to be spent. On the other hand, when you don’t give money to these countries, someone else steps in, so that’s the risk.”

MCMASTER: “Well, I don’t think – who’s going to step in now, I think, and want Pakistan to continue its support for terrorist groups like the Haqqani network, for groups like the Taliban. I mean, certainly it’s not in China’s interest, China has a terrorist problem on its southern border, a terrorist problem that does have a connection back in to Pakistan. It’s not going to be any other country in the region, certainly, who want Pakistan to continue really this pattern of behavior that we’ve seen where it goes after these groups selectively, while it sustains and supports others, who act as an arm of its foreign policy. So, I think we’re confident that – I mean, Pakistan doesn’t - Pakistan doesn’t want to become a pariah state, Pakistan is a country with tremendous potential, human potential, economic potential. So what we really would like to see is Pakistan acting in its own interest and to stop going after these groups only selectively, and to stop providing safe havens and support bases and other forms of support for leadership.”

Q: “How do you put into equation the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear country and they have also pal’d around, at least historically with North Korea, on nuclear weapons, do they hold some sort of almost, I don’t want to use the word blackmail, it’s too strong, but they do have that as a lever.”

MCMASTER: “Well, I think it would be unwise for any Pakistani leader, I can’t imagine a Pakistani leader using nuclear weapons to extort or for blackmail. That’s when, that’s day when Pakistan –”

Q: “That’s what North Korea is doing.”

MCMASTER: “Well, I mean, does Pakistan want to become North Korea? Doesn’t look too appealing a model to me. So, I think, Pakistan could be on a path to increase security and prosperity, or it could be in a path to replicating North Korea. I think that’s any easy choice for Pakistani leaders.”

Q: “You know, when you look at foreign policy, you move one little piece on this chess table and it effects so many other parts of the world.”

MCMASTER: “None of these problems are disconnected from others, I mean there are many connections between all these problems, that’s what we’ve discussed.”

Q: “Is there a way to describe the president’s foreign policy. I’ve heard one quote where you said that, where it says, ‘the way Trump handles foreign policy moves us out of our comfort zone, me include.’ First of all, what do you mean by that, and secondly is, how do you describe the president’s foreign policy?”

MCMASTER: “Well, I would describe it as principled realism, and you can read more about it in the highly readable page turning national security strategy, which is available now.”

Q: “Which I did read. It’s a lot to it, it is quite long.”

MCMASTER: “ But It’s clear it’s a succinct statement of his policy of his guidance to all of his departments and agencies and a clear description to our allies and partners and rivals of what we value as a nation and how we want to go about protecting and securing the vital interests of the American people and to do so in a way that really emphasizes cooperation with others around the world.”

Q: “By out of the comfort zone you weren’t saying in any way disagree with the president?”

MCMASTER: “No, what the president does is he challenges fundamental assumptions. He always says well why do we have to do it this way? I mean, and he makes a lot of our implicit assumptions explicit as we explain these to him. I would say that he’s made some very wise policy decisions across the (sp.) and significant ones. And I would point to the August speech on the South Asia strategy. Every clear articulation of a winning strategy – not just for Afghanistan and Pakistan but for the whole region, for the whole region of South Asia. The Indo-Pacific strategy which he really laid out in terms of its security dimensions but really its economic dimensions in 2 speeches – one in South Korea and one in Dinah APEC Summit. And of course the Iran strategy which is a fundamental shift from strategy in recent years and reflects a determination to confront Iran’s malign behavior and to choke of the financing to this dictatorship that it’s using to destabilize it’s whole Middle East and to perpetuate violence and human suffering there.”

Q: “Alright, Putin, Russia and National Security. First of all, do you believe that , you may have said this a million times, that Russia interfered with our election?”

MCMASTER: “Yes of course. President’s been on record on that as well.”

Q: “Okay, what do we do?”

MCMASTER: “Well what we have to do is come up with a way to deal with this very sophisticated strategy. This new kind of threat that Russia has really perfected in a lot of ways and that’s the use of disinformation and propaganda and social media tools to really polarize societies and pit communities against each other. To weaken their resolve and their commitment. We cover this quite a bit in the National Security Strategy – talk about how important it is for every time we talk about what divides us as country. We have to talk about what unites us and that’s our common commitment to our values. We value individual rights and rule of law and we value our democracy.”

Q: “It’s insidious when someone creeps into your election and debate or puts false information out there. It just permeates every community in the country.”

MCMASTER: “No insidious is the right word. So one of the most important remedies is to pull the curtain back on it to show this activity, to show what the source of this activity is - what the purpose of this activity is. And so doing this you’re going to undercut a lot of their ability to exert that kind of negative influence on our society or others. You know, as you know, the Russians were very active in Europe as well in the French election recently – in the Spanish Referendum in regards to Catalonia. You see them active in Mexico already. I mean what they did in Montenegro and try to (sp.) a coup…as well as this sophisticated campaign. And so pulling the curtain back on Russia’s destabilizing behavior I think is a very important first step because once everybody sees what they’re up to they lose a lot of their power to foment lack of confidence and to put communities against each other”

Q: “Alright I take it your counterpart in Russia denies this – denies in doing this?”

MCMASTER: “Well I think Russia’s moved from what you might call plausible deniability to implausible deniability. These are the same people who said ‘oh no we didn’t shoot down that airliner or murder all those people. Oh no we don’t have soldiers in Crimea or in western Ukraine. It’s just not credible anymore. We’re not providing cover for Syrian regime that’s committing mass murder of its own people with chemical weapons. And so it’s just not credible anymore and so what we need to do I think with Russia is confront their destabilization behavior. As I mentioned, pull the curtain back on it.”

Q: “But doesn’t Putin deny?

MCMASTER: “But we also have to deter further conflict with Russia and we want to do is find areas of operation. What we have seen recently, it seems as if Russia will actually act against its interest to spite the United States, West or European allies.

Q: “If you don’t have any self-preservation that’s a terrible enemy in some ways – our opponent.”

MCMASTER: “Well what we’d like to do is find areas where we can cooperate with Russia in areas where our interests overlap. Open of those is an area we’ve been talking about which is in North Korea and other is in Iran. I mean how can it be in Russia’s interest to help empower Iran from the Middle East. They’re going to pay a huge price for that.”

Q: “But Iran is helping in Syria and so is Putin helping in Syria. They have a common goal there.”

MCMASTER: “So every Arab state certainly should recognize what Russia’s been doing and Russia should pay the price in terms of its reputation – its access to the region, for what it’s doing to enable Iran and Iran’s very destructive activities perpetuating this (sp.) civil war across the greater Middle East and Russia shouldn’t give cover and support to Iran so it can continue its nefarious designs across the region. I mean not only has Iran continued to support terrorist groups like Hezbollah, all these illegal armed groups – about 80% of the fighters of the side of the Assad Regime in Syrian are Iranian proxies and in Yemen. And what they’re doing is (sp.) these networks with long range missiles as well. And so again, I think pulling the curtain back on it. Really asking Russia how can this be in your interest to aid and abet this Iranian regime.”

Q: “I thought they responded a lot to shame but I think the term that’s been used by the Trump administration is a strategic competitor in the past and not just in the past year since President Trump took office and the years passed he said that Putin has gained strength. This is not someone who seems to have been shamed away – sorry to have been involved in the US election (sp.)?”

MCMASTER: “Well he’s also become now one of the most sanctioned countries on Earth. I mean that can’t be in Russian interest so I think it’s important that Russia conclude that it’s in its interest…Russia is not going to act against its interest. We don’t expect Russia to act against its interest or to do the United States a favor. What we want to do is to be able to find areas of cooperation so we can help convince Russia it’s in its interest to work together on some of these key priority threats to the world. How could it be in Russia’s interest to have the non-proliferation regime break down in Northeast Asia? To see other nations in Northeast Asia armed with nuclear weapons. It’s not in Russia’s interest. You already see South Korea and Japan and they’re alliance with us strengthened. South Korea and Japan arming at a break neck pace and so this is not in Russia’s interest and the way to resolve this is to resolve the problem with North Korea. And really allow Northeast Asia to enjoy a new era of prosperity. Can you imagine without that threat from North Korea how Russia, China – everyone would benefit from that?”

Q: What surprises you most about the job now you’ve been in the seat?”

MCMASTER: “Well what surprised me the most is the high quality people I get to work with. These extremely dedicated civil servants and officers from across our government on this National Security Council are tremendous. It is a great privilege to work with them and then I guess what surprised me as well is the degree to which we are working together based on our common interest with so many nations around the world. I mean we have great relationships with our counterparts between National Security Council Advisors. It’s maybe part support group but it’s also a group of likeminded nations. They’re trying to advance and protect the interest of our citizens and we have some – as you were talking about we have a lot of problems we’re working on but we’re also working on opportunities. Opportunities to increase the security and prosperity of all our peoples and the world.”

Q: “General, thank you very much, and good luck. We’ll be watching and I hope you come back.”

MCMASTER: “Thanks Greta, it’s a pleasure to be with you.”

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