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VOA專訪:白宮國安顧問談伊朗、北韓、巴基斯坦等議題


美國之音特約記者格萊塔·範·薩斯特倫專訪美國總統國家安全顧問麥克馬斯特
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美國總統國家安全顧問、陸軍中將H·R·麥克馬斯特1月2日接受了美國之音特約記者格萊塔·範·薩斯特倫的專訪,談到了伊朗、北韓、巴基斯坦和俄羅斯等問題。下面是採訪的中文翻譯並附英語原文:

格萊塔·範·薩斯特倫問:“麥克馬斯特將軍,很高興見到您。”

國家安全顧問麥克馬斯特: “很高興參加您的採訪,謝謝。”

記者: “謝謝您接受這次採訪。”

麥克馬斯特: “很榮幸,謝謝。”

: “好的,讓我們從伊朗議題開始。那裡發生了很多事,您的看法是什麼?”

麥克馬斯特: “伊朗人民是在表達不滿,是對政權的不滿。這個政權對輸出恐怖主義的關注高於對滿足人民需求的關注。因此,總統一直強烈支持伊朗人民和他們表達自己看法的權利。我認為,目前最為重要的是,全世界要告訴伊朗,他們必須尊重自己公民的權利,允許他們和平示威,不能像2009年那樣對示威者使用暴力,而這是我們看到已經開始發生的。”

問: “1956年匈牙利的情況類似,當時西方沒有支持示威者。我們看到1990年代初期伊拉克的庫爾德人,當時美國也是表達了支持,但沒有做具體事。正如您所提到的,2009年奧巴馬擔任總統的時候,在綠屋,大選剛剛結束。本屆政府除了口頭上表達對示威的支持以外,是否還會做其它事情?”

麥克馬斯特: “我們會看看有哪些選項。但我認為,我們所需要的是整個世界代表伊朗人民發出強有力的聲音。這是一個壓迫本國人民的獨裁政權,這個政權使用這個有著豐富文化、悠久歷史的偉大國家的資源在整個大中東地區製造仇恨和暴力。他們是伊斯蘭內部亂局的推手,他們支持了敘利亞、伊拉克和也門的宗派內戰,帶來大量痛苦、苦難和死亡。他們持續給以色列構成威脅,給黎巴嫩的穩定構成威脅。這個政權要對此負責。看起來伊朗人民對伊朗政權的這些行為表達不滿,對他們把這種暴力置於本國公民福祉之上感到不滿。”

問: “我自己在頭腦中進行對比和比較,2009年那次是因為選舉引起的,人們對選舉不滿。他們認為那是不公正的。這一次情況有點不同,很多城市幾乎是自發的都出現了抗議。起初的跡象顯示,這是經濟形勢所致,伊朗人所期待的各種經濟利益並沒有落到他們頭上。您認為這是經濟引起的嗎?還是有西方的影響?您認為引發這些抗議最初的原因是什麼?”

麥克馬斯特: “我認為關鍵的一點是,這個問題應該讓伊朗人自己來回答。我認為是出於對這個獨裁政權的不滿。在一定程度上這是經濟問題,價格暴漲,高居不下的失業率,特別是在伊朗年輕人中。這些人知道這個國家的巨大潛力,他們覺得沮喪,因為他們不能從這些潛力中獲益。但同時,這也是因為這個政權的對外行為。這個政權為基地組織恐怖分子提供避風港,後者以什葉派、基督徒和任何不遵守他們有關伊斯蘭狹義的、非宗教定義的穆斯林或任何人為目標。因此這是一個不誠實的的政權,說到底,這個政權在整個地區幫助推動暴力和仇恨。”

問: “我不想假裝知道解決方案是什麼,那不是我的工作,但即便那是我的工作,我也不知道解決方案是什麼。但是如果我們不過是說說:'我們和您們在一起',指的是這些抗議者們,最後的結果會和09年或者其他時候有什麼不同呢?我是說,難道我們只是指望伊朗人,這些抗議者受到更多的暴力鎮壓?如果我們做出的回應是相同的,我們又怎能期待出現不同的結果呢? ”

麥克馬斯特: “我們做的已經不止這些了。您知道,最近這些年人們懷著一種希望,希望尋求核協議能改變這個政權的行為,減輕它的暴力行為。這個核協議說到底是錯誤的,當然實際情況也和人們的希望完全相悖。所以美國和世界各地的盟友一直在做的是製裁伊朗政府暴力、惡毒的行為。我認為,重要的一點是,剝奪這個政權繼續其謀殺行為所需的資源。這是外交行為,但同時也是制裁。我們看到伊朗人民正在表達對這個政權本質的不滿。他們不滿這個政權對待他們的方式,和對待世界其他地方的方式。”

問: “因為這是美國之音波斯語組的節目,伊朗人可能有機會看到這段訪談。您有沒有什麼具體的信息想要傳遞給伊朗人?告訴伊朗人民,如果他們真的改變了政府,美國會些做什麼?

麥克馬斯特: “我想首先美國人民和美國政府對伊朗人民和伊朗文化心懷崇高敬意。他們擁有輝煌的歷史和巨大的潛能。看到他們無法實現自己的夢想令我們心碎。另外,我們必須意識到,全世界所有人都應該起來對抗伊朗政府的行為。這些行為帶來巨大的痛苦。他們對恐怖組織和非法武裝分子的支持讓暴力持續存在。因此他們有我們情感上的支持,有我們的同情,我們心懷感激看到他們行使自己的權利,說出對這個獨裁政權的不滿。”

: “川普總統已經表示他不會認證這項伊朗核協議。這對美國和伊朗民眾傳遞了什麼樣的信息?我們對這項核協議的未來又能做何預期呢?”

麥克馬斯特: “我認為主要的信息就是您們如何能信任這樣一個以我們看到的方式對待他們自己人民的政權。這種方式挑起了暴力。”

問: “這些協議肯定不會被確認了?”

麥克馬斯特: “或許會。我們會把可能的選項呈交川普總統。總統拒絕承認伊朗核協議符合美國的利益。但這不意味著他不會在延長制裁豁免的方面繼續遵守這項協議的約定。我想他會在接下來的幾周到下個月內作出決定。我們到時會看到川普總統是如何決定的。但是真的很難信任這個伊朗政權。”

問: “這次的抗議活動是否會在某種情況下與川普總統考慮伊核協議產生關聯?”

麥克馬斯特: “不會,據我所知不會,我是說我不這麼認為。我認為全世界正在非常密切地註視著這個政權如何對待其本國的人民。我認為這個伊核協議不是無所不包的,對吧?協議沒有涵蓋伊斯蘭革命衛隊的部隊在這一地區破壞穩定的行為。該協議沒有真正完全涵蓋他們的導彈項目,協議也沒有包括他們的行為以及他們如何對待與這場抗議有關的本國民眾。所以我認為美國和其它國家必須採取行動,不僅是基於這項覆蓋面非常狹窄並且有缺陷的協議,還必須要關注伊朗大範圍的所作所為。”

: “有人說這項協議有缺陷,還有人說有違反協議的現象發生。我知道共和黨人或者說很多共和黨人從一開始就說這是一項有缺陷的協議。那麼違反協議的情況呢?伊朗方面違反這項美國和他們簽署的協議了嗎?”

麥克馬斯特: “確實無法說伊朗是否違反了那項協議。我們看到的是,在消耗離心機以及貯存重水的數量方面,他們靠近底線並且跨越了底線。”

: “靠近底線有什麼問題呢?”

麥克馬斯特: “沒問題,但適當的核實機制是為了確保這項協議不會只給這個獨裁政權打掩護,讓他們發展威脅世界的核能力。所以這是我們必須自信的東西,但我們現在不能相信這個機制,因為這種監督和執行機制是很貧弱的,並不很強大,需要被強化。您知道協議裡對所有這些都有“日落條款”,所以我們必須封閉這個獨裁政權所有發展核武器的道路,不僅是在未來幾年,我們必須有能力長期這麼做。想想會發生什麼事吧?如果伊朗得到一枚核武器,誰會是下一個有核武器的呢?沙特阿拉伯嗎?阿聯酋嗎?想想核不擴散政權的崩潰,這會如何讓許多民眾面臨地球上最具破壞性的武器的威脅?”

: “如果伊朗人確實進了一步,但是又不跨過這條線,而總統又不認證這個協議,這會不會在與政府做交易,與美國政府做交易方面向全世界發出一個信號?這會不會顯示我們不承認我們的政府變了,這會發出一個信號?”

麥克馬斯特: “我認為,這確實發出了一個有力的信號。”

: “不是負面的信息。”

麥克馬斯特: “不是,這是一個有力的積極的信號。您知道什麼是敵意,什麼是負面的信息。那就是1994年與北韓達成的框架協議。最後結果怎麼樣?那是一個脆弱的協議,也沒有得到有效的監督,也沒有執行。現在是什麼樣的一個狀況?我們現在處於北韓問題這個熱點問題上,另一個流氓政權可能用核武器威脅世界。這當然是不能接受的。我們不能讓伊朗的局勢發展到那個程度。”

: “說到北韓,我認為有足夠的證據顯示巴基斯坦基本上是他們的核項目的設計師,對北韓發展核武器提供了很大的幫助。您是否懷疑伊朗和北韓在合作,甚至在導彈科技研發上有合作?”

麥克馬斯特: “是的。我是說,我認為是這樣的。”

: “他們現在正在合作嗎?”

麥克馬斯特: “關於這點,我得讓我的情報官員來回答這個問題。但是,如果您看看北韓的記錄,您會發現北韓沒有哪一種武器沒有擴散。比如,他們在敘利亞的一個秘密基地修建核反應堆。北韓向世界各地的各種政權、壞分子出售武器。北韓以前也說過,他們願意出售核武器,只要價格合理。因此,我們看到一個政權,他們掌握核武器,他們願意通過敲詐、勒索等行為,向出價最高的人或是任何願意支付他們要價的人出售世界上最具有破壞力的武器。”

: “現在已經很明顯了,他們有個非常活躍的項目,他們也已經研發了數十年,包括導彈與核彈頭。您提到的框架協議,因為他們欺騙,並不湊效,他們的項目一直在繼續。我們試過制裁,與全世界一起。我們已經嘗試了很多方式試圖遏制他們的核項目。到目前為止,您還能想到一個途徑,一個非戰爭的途徑嗎?我不是在鼓吹戰爭,或反對戰爭,但是,有哪些解決辦法嗎?有哪些可能性?”

麥克馬斯特: “一個可能是北韓政權意識到繼續研發這些核武器和導彈會是死路一條。現在唯一的途徑,又不是戰爭的途徑,就是經濟高壓。這個力量主要在中國手上,但是其他國家也有用。現在的發展趨勢非常積極,非常正面,現在有越來越多的國家停止與北韓的所有貿易。越南是一個例子,菲律賓,這個名單還可以很長。”

: “非法的。他們剛剛被制止了。過去兩周裡,有兩艘裝滿石油的船隻,破壞了制裁,被攔截了,他們是到那裡去的,一些是到那裡去的。”

麥克馬斯特: “所以,我們說,每個人都要做得更多一些。您看到南韓封鎖了兩艘船隻,扣押了兩艘船。新的聯合國制裁允許對那些繼續允許非法貿易的船運公司實施更大制裁。但是,實際上,就像大家都知道的,中國對北韓擁有大部分的經濟高壓力量。我們希望中國做出符合他們利益的行動,我們不能要求他們採取超出他們利益的行動。”

問: “希望如此,但中國還沒有這樣做,在他成為總統之前的很長一段時間裡都是這樣。我採訪過他,(那時他還是)一名紐約的商人,他會談論中國,談他們與美國的交易是不公平的。您為什麼會認為中國現在會改變,利用他們的經濟實力來試圖解決北韓問題?只是害怕北韓境內的2600百萬人嗎?擔心日本和南韓會想要擁有核力量?這是唯一能夠改變中國的東西嗎?”

麥克馬斯特: “不是,中國意識到這個局勢已經從根本上改變了,中國自己思考後認識到了三個根本性的改變,我們必須合作處理這三個根本性的變化。第一個變化是,半島無核化是唯一可接受的答案。它以前是,您聽到許多關於用凍結換凍結、用暫停換暫停的討論。這個認識就是,這些選項不再有用了,因為他們的(核)項目已經發展的太多了。第二件事是中國認識到這確實是北韓和整個世界間的問題,其中包括北韓和中國間的問題。我們以前討論的是,儘管這是美國與北韓之間的問題,中國認識到半島無核化是符合中國利益的,因為防止核擴散體係有崩潰的威脅。假如南韓和日本得出結論認為他們必須像北韓那樣武裝自己,怎麼辦?第三點是,中國認識到自己擁有強制性的經濟實力來解決這個情況,這取決於中國是否做決定。您知道,安理會已經對北韓施加了越來越多的限制。越來越多的針對北韓的制裁,它們必須要被嚴厲的執行。但是我們還必須承認,這是不夠的,我想您讀到過這一點。北韓除非受到更大的壓力,否則他們不會認為撤除核武器符合他們的利益。”

問: “我不認為北韓……因為確實有兩種不同的人,北韓領導人是一種,人民是另一種。我不認為北韓足夠擔憂,我不認為有任何事能讓他們想要放棄核武器。我不認為(北韓政府)在乎人民的生活,比如飢荒或其他的事。”

麥克馬斯特: “我們有…..他們有不同類型的人口。朝鮮,很顯然,精英們非常舒適地生活在平壤,犧牲的是北韓其他地區人口的利益。”

問: “他們是做決定的人。”

麥克馬斯特: “他們是,但他們也是受到制裁影響的那批人。這些人會得出結論認為繼續在這條路上走下去不符合他們的利益。這對他們是一條死路。當然,這個政權一直存在異議人士,我是說這是一個政權,它的領袖金正恩用最惡劣的手法殺死了他自己家庭的成員,在馬來西亞的一個公共機場釋放神經毒氣,在體育場上他們的軍事學院學員面前使用高射砲。所以……”

: “當他吹噓的時候,怎麼樣能讓他說我改變主意了,我想要保護我的人民免於和美國的戰爭,或是世界經濟制裁,我要放棄我的核武器?”

麥克馬斯特: “沒有燃料您也不能發射飛彈,是吧?北韓完全仰賴外來資源供給燃料。如果所有的國家得出結論說,採取並執行更嚴厲的經濟制裁符合他們的利益,那麼就有戰爭之外的選項。”

: “如果我們切斷發射核武器的可行性,他沒有燃料,他仍然在北韓南部有瞄準南韓的大砲。他們這方面的實力如何?”

麥克馬斯特: “這就是北韓的作為,對吧?(北韓)多年來讓南韓民眾置身於風險之中。自從1953年以來,南韓和美國對北韓沒有威脅,每一個挑釁行為都是來自於北韓,這點是清楚的。所以北韓會使用這個武器的原因會是要做什麼?實際上就是強迫或是恐嚇勒索或是勒索逼迫美國離開朝鮮半島以及東北亞。那他們說了很多年的,金正恩在他最近的講話中有多少次用到統一這個詞?他心中的統一是什麼樣的?他的統一在於統領北韓以及(北韓)失敗的系統。北韓尋求核武器不僅僅是出於自衛,雖然您可能會聽到一些人這樣主張,但是實際上為了實施武力,是為了攻擊,這點是重要的,世界(各國)必須認識到這一點。

問: “您知道這很有趣,我不認為-我去過北韓三次,我不這麼感覺,這也只是隨機樣本,絕對不是科研,我沒有感覺到北韓人民他們自己不覺的自己活在地球上最棒的地方。除了那些得到一些來自西方國家的資訊的人,但是我認為那是個問題,就是(北韓)人民不跟我們站在一起,您知道,(北韓)人民並不反對他們的領導層,至少現在不反對。”

麥克馬斯特: “北韓領導班底到現在已經三個世代了,他們系統性地對人民洗腦,不讓人民接觸外界資訊。一旦資訊能夠滲透到社會裡,我認為,這非常可能是他最害怕的事情了。所以有些人主張我們需要作的就是對這個(朝鮮半島)北部被誤解的政權打開大門,當然這是北韓最恐懼的其中一件事,因為那將會暴露他們所有的謊言,所有的虛偽。”

問: “這也就是為什麼他們防止資訊流入。”

麥克馬斯特: “絕對是的。”

問: “金正恩在最近的講話中對南韓鬆口,說他們或許會派運動員參加奧運會,也或許願意與南韓展開對話。但是他也威脅說,他有一個按鈕,我想他說的是他桌上有一個針對我們展開攻擊的核武器按鈕。您怎麼看他對最近對南韓的態度?”

麥克馬斯特: “如果您覺得他的講話令人欣慰,那肯定是過節香檳喝多了。根本上來說,他說的就是您剛才總結的,北韓擁有能致使整個世界陷於危險的核武器。這是很大的憂慮,我想他的講話的目的,是一次很不精緻的努力,想離間南韓和美國。當然,這不會發生。他挑釁的行為,他最近的行動使得美韓盟友關係更加緊密。”

問: “最後一個關於北韓的問題,如果經濟制裁不管用,或者不論什麼原因,北韓沒有受到足夠的影響...如果中國不強硬,北韓仍然能夠躲避制裁。如果這些制裁不管用,那之後我們能做什麼?還有我們的時間表是怎樣的?”

麥克馬斯特: “我們需要做的就是為總統準備一系列回應措施,這包括軍事手段,我們從來也沒有對此含糊其辭。在制定並調整這些措施時,我們會與盟友密切合作。根本上來說,如果我們要在北韓政權不合作的情況下要迫使該國無核化,我們需要將所有回應措施以及預估的風險和後果告知總統,讓他來做一個決定。”

問: “軍事打擊可能到什麼程度?最重,或者最輕是怎樣的打擊?”

麥克馬斯特: “我不能跟您討論軍事計劃,但是這些計劃是存在的。”

問: “假設,假設說...? ”

麥克馬斯特: “我不能夠談假設。”

問: “您說得對。那好,關於北韓的問題就告一段落。我們現在來談談巴基斯坦,總統先生在新年的頭幾條推文中說:“美國在過去15年中糊里糊塗地給了巴基斯坦330多億美元的援助,而巴基斯坦給美國的只有謊言和欺騙,以為我們的領導人都是傻子。他們給我們在阿富汗打擊的恐怖分子提供避難所。不能再這樣”。總統先生顯然在對巴基斯坦施加壓力。為什麼?”

麥克馬斯特: “我想這則推文說明了總統的態度。總統對此沮喪,他重視我們希望與巴基斯坦建立的伙伴關係,但是巴方的行為讓總統沮喪。他們為一些恐怖分子提供支持,非常有選擇地打擊恐怖組織,而使用另一些組織作為外交籌碼。總統先生對於巴基斯坦人民有很深的同情,特別是恐怖分子對平民實行大規模殺戮,還有幾年前在一個學校的大屠殺。我的意思是,他同情巴基斯坦人民,他希望看到巴政府能夠更大範圍地打擊恐怖組織。這並不像有些人說的,是一個互相指責的遊戲,而是我們明確地向巴基斯坦傳達一個信息,那就是我們的關係不能再充滿自相矛盾,而是兩國要真正開始合作,實現阿富汗的穩定,這對於巴基斯坦也有巨大的益處。令人沮喪的是,巴基斯坦有時不顧自己人民的利益,有選擇地打擊恐怖組織,為另一些提供避難所,支持在巴境內運作的塔利班和哈卡尼網絡領導,而與此同時,這些組織正在巴基斯坦和阿富汗延續他們的罪惡行徑。”

問: “幾年前我跟國務卿希拉里·克林頓去巴基斯坦,她宣布消息說要給大約70億美元的援助,這對巴基斯坦人來說是個大數字。我記得巴基斯坦人不高興了,因為我們希望了解錢是怎麼花的。所以他們不高興了。這種脫節真是令人難以相信。在我看來,我們希望了解我們的錢是怎麼花的,這有什麼可義憤填膺的?可另一方面,您不給這些國家錢,別人就會介入。這就是風險。”

麥克馬斯特: “我不認為現在會有人介入並希望巴基斯坦繼續支持哈卡尼網絡這樣的恐怖組織和塔利班這樣的組織。我的意思是,這顯然不符合中國的利益。中國在南部邊界也有恐怖主義問題,這種恐怖主義問題的確可以追溯到巴基斯坦。本地區任何國家都不希望巴基斯坦的那種行為方式持續下去,這不符合它們的利益。我們一直看到的是,巴基斯坦有選擇性地打擊這些組織,同時維持和扶植其它組織,這些組織為其外交政策服務。所以我覺得,我們有信心認為,巴基斯坦不想成為被國際社會遺棄的國家。巴基斯坦有著巨大的潛力,---人力潛力、經濟潛力。因此我們真心希望看到的是,巴基斯坦為了自己的利益而採取行動,不再有選擇性地打擊這些組織,不再提供庇護所、支援基地和其它形式的領導力支持。”

問: “您怎麼考慮這個因素:巴基斯坦是個有核國家,至少在歷史上曾跟北韓在核武器方面勾勾搭搭,所以他們有某種---我不想用'訛詐'這個詞,這個詞太衝了,但他們的確有這種槓桿力。

麥克馬斯特: “我認為這對任何巴基斯坦領導人來說都是不明智的。我無法想像巴基斯坦領導人用核武器來勒索或訛詐。如果真有這麼一天的話,巴基斯坦。。。”

問: “北韓就在這樣做。”

麥克馬斯特: “我的意思是,巴基斯坦想成為北韓嗎?北韓模式在我看來可沒什麼吸引力。所以我認為,巴基斯坦可以走在增強安全和繁榮的道路上,也可以走上仿效北韓的道路。我認為,這種選擇對巴基斯坦領導人很容易。”

問: “要知道,在外交政策問題上,棋盤上動一顆小棋子,都會影響到世界其他地方。”

麥克馬斯特: “這些問題中沒有一個是彼此脫節的。我的意思是,這些問題之間有很多的關聯性。這是我們討論過的。”

問: “有沒有一個方式來描述總統的外交政策。我聽說您說過這樣一句話,'川普處理外交政策的方式把我們帶出了自己的舒適區,也包括我本人。'首先,您這樣說是什麼意思?其次,您怎麼描述總統的外交政策?”

麥克馬斯特: “我的描述是'有原則的現實主義'。您可以在可讀性很強的國家安全戰略中讀到更多的信息。這份戰略現在已經公佈了。”

問: “我還真讀了。讀的很費勁,挺長的。”

麥克馬斯特: “但這是對他給他領導的所有部委的指導政策的簡明扼要的陳述,明確地向我們的盟國和合作夥伴以及對手描述了我們作為一個國家所看重的是什麼,以及我們希望如何維護和保障美國人民的關鍵利益,並通過強調與世界各地其它國家合作的方式來做到這一點。”

問: “但'出了自己的舒適區'的意思不是說您與總統在任何方面有分歧吧?”

麥克馬斯特: “不。總統做的是挑戰根本性的假定。他總是說,我們為什麼要這樣做?我的意思是,在我們向他解釋的時候,他把我們很多暗示性的假定明晰化了。我要說,他在各方面做出了一些非常明智的政策決定,包括一些重大決定。比如8月間在南亞戰略問題上的講話。他非常清晰地闡述了致勝之道的戰略,不僅是在阿富汗和巴基斯坦而且是整個南亞地區。他在兩次講話中列出了印太戰略,一次是在南韓,一次是在亞太經合會的峰會,包括安全層面也包括經濟層面。當然還有伊朗戰略,這是對最近幾年戰略的根本性的轉向,反映我們決心正視伊朗的惡意行為,並遏制這個獨裁政權用來破壞整個中東地區穩定並實施暴力、造成人民痛苦的資金。”

問: “好吧。普京、俄羅斯和國家安全。首先您是否相信,---您也許說了無數次了,俄羅斯干預了我們的選舉?”

麥克馬斯特: “是的。總統正式說過這點。“

問: “好的,那我們怎麼辦?”

麥克馬斯特: “我們必須要做的是找到一種途徑來應對這種非常複雜的戰略。俄羅斯用多種方式製造的這種新的威脅,這就是用虛假消息和宣傳以及社交媒體工具製造社會對立,使社群之間互相攻訐。弱化他們的決心和他們的承諾。我們在國家安全戰略當中涵蓋了相當一部分這些內容,論述每次我們談及是什麼讓我們的國家導致紛爭分歧是多麼重要。我們必須強調讓我們團結在一起的東西,這是我們對我們價值觀的共同承諾。我們珍視個人的權利和法治,我們珍視我們的民主。”

問: “當某人潛入你的選舉和辯論,或者散佈假消息,這很陰險。這些陰謀影響滲透到我們國家的每個部分。”

麥克馬斯特: “陰險是恰當的詞彙。因此最重要的對策之一就是讓這種活動暴露在光天化日之下,揭露這種活動的根源所在,這種活動的目的所在。因此要做到這些,您需要大幅削弱他們對我們的社會或者其他人施加負面影響的能力。正如您所知道的,俄羅斯人在歐洲,在法國最近的選舉,以及西班牙加泰羅尼亞最近的公投中非常活躍。您看到他們在墨西哥也已經很活躍。我的意思是,他們在黑山的所作所為,試圖策動政變……以及這種複雜的競選活動。因此讓俄羅斯製造不穩定的行為曝光,我認為是非常重要的第一步,因為一旦每個人知道他們意欲何為,他們製造信心缺乏以及讓社群之間互相攻訐的能力就會大大削弱。”

問: “我肯定俄羅斯官員會否認這麼做?”

麥克馬斯特: “我想俄羅斯已經從您可以稱之為花言巧語的否認推諉轉變為似乎不合情理的否認。同樣的人在說'哦,不,我們沒有打下那架飛機或者沒有暗殺那些人。哦,我們沒有軍人在克里米亞或者烏克蘭東部。'這些都不足信。'我們沒有向用化學武器大肆屠殺自己人民的敘利亞政權提供保護。'這個根本不足信,因此我認為我們需要對俄羅斯做的就是對抗他們製造不穩定的行為。正如我剛才所說,讓這些行為曝光,公之於眾。”

問: “但是普京不也否認了嗎?”

麥克馬斯特: “但是我們也必須防止和俄羅斯進一步的衝突,我們希望做的是找到合作的領域。最近我們已經看到,看上去似乎俄羅斯要採取損害自己利益的行動去惡意對待美國、西方或者歐洲的盟友。”

問: “如果你沒有任何自我保護,我們的對手從某些方面講會是一個可怕的敵人。”

麥克馬斯特: “我們想做的是找到我們與俄羅斯在我們利益重疊的可以合作的領域。這些領域當中我們一直談論的就是北韓,另外還有伊朗。我指的是,讓伊朗在中東做大怎麼會符合俄羅斯的利益。他們會為此付出巨大的代價。”

問: “但是伊朗正在幫助敘利亞,普京也在幫助敘利亞。他們在那裡有共同目標。”

麥克馬斯特: “每個阿拉伯國家肯定會認識到俄羅斯一直在做什麼,俄羅斯應當為其介入中東地區的名聲,為其讓伊朗和伊朗非常具有破壞性的在整個大中東地區保持內戰的行動付出代價。俄羅斯不應當對伊朗提供保護和支持,讓其繼續在這個地區實施其罪惡的計劃。我指的是,伊朗不僅在支持像真主黨這樣的恐怖組織,所有這些非法的武裝組織,敘利亞阿薩德政權一邊大約80%的戰鬥人員都是伊朗的代理人,當然還有也門。他們正在做的還包括建立遠程導彈網絡。因此我再次認為要揭露曝光他們的行為。真的想問問俄羅斯,援助並與伊朗政權為伍,怎麼會符合您們的利益。”

問: “我覺得他們對這種恥辱做出了很多回應,但是我認為川普政府使用的說法是戰略競爭,過去這麼說過,而且不僅僅是川普總統上任後的過去一年裡,過去多年都說過。他說,普京的實力增強了。看來他沒有因為恥辱而被嚇跑,干預美國選舉沒有讓他覺得有什麼對不起的。”

麥克馬斯特: “他還成了地球上受到制裁最多的國家之一。我的意思是說,這不符合俄羅斯的利益。因此我認為重要的是,俄羅斯要得出這樣的結論,那就是,不要做不符合自己利益的事情。我們不指望俄羅斯做違背自己利益的事情,或者幫美國一個忙。我們希望做的是,能夠找到合作領域,所以我們可以幫助說服俄羅斯,讓他們相信,在世界面臨的一些重大威脅方面,合作是符合他們的利益的。在東北亞又有國家擁有核武器,這不符合俄羅斯的利益。您已經看到南韓和日本在加強跟我們的聯盟關係。南韓和日本都在迅速武裝起來,這不符合俄羅斯利益。解決這個問題的方式就是把北韓的問題解決了。這真的能讓東北亞進入新的繁榮時代。您能想像北韓的核威脅會讓俄羅斯、中國或任何一方受益嗎?”

問: “您現在的這個職位最讓您吃驚的是什麼?”

麥克馬斯特: “最讓我吃驚的是跟我共事的人的高水準。本屆國家安全委員會有著來自政府各部門的極為敬業的公務員和軍官,他們太棒了。能跟他們共事是我極大的榮幸。另外讓我吃驚的是,我們本著共同的利益與世界各地這麼多的國家一道共事。我的意思是,我們跟各國的對口單位,跟各國國家安全委員會顧問之間的關係非常好。這也許是個互助群體吧,但這也是志同道合的國家結成的群體。他們試圖推動和保護我們各國公民的利益。正如您說到的那樣,我們有很多正在應對的問題,但我們也有正在加以利用的機會,這些是增進我們所有國家的人民和全世界的安全與繁榮的機會。”

問: “將軍,非常謝謝您。祝您好運。我們會拭目以待的,希望以後再採訪您。”

麥克馬斯特: “謝謝您,格萊塔。很高興接受您的採訪。”

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以下是美國之音專訪總統國家安全顧問麥克馬斯特將軍的英語原文:

Q: “General, nice to see you, sir.”

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, GENERAL HR 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.”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.”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.”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.”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.”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.”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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