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Transcript: Antony Blinken talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

INTELLIGENCE MATTERS - TONY BLINKEN

HOST: MICHAEL MORELL

PRODUCER: OLIVIA GAZIS

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Tony, great to have you on the show.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Thanks, Mike. Great to be with you.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Tony, you have a particularly interesting story about how you came to be interested in foreign policy. Can you share that with us?

               TONY BLINKEN:

Yes. You know, I think we're all sort of products of the conversations we hear around the dining room table, the kitchen table in our families. And in my family, a lot of the stories were about the fact that so many of the people that came before me were refugees or immigrants of one kind or another. I had a grandfather who came here at the turn of the last century fleeing pilgrims in what's now Ukraine, was welcome to the United States, built a life for himself, for his children, a stepmother who fled communism, literally, in the dead of night on a train, made her way, at a very young age with her mother, to the United States.

She, too, was welcome here. And, then, finally, my stepfather who passed away a few years ago, he was one of 900 children in his school in Bialystok, Poland before World War II, the only one of those 900 to survive. His entire immediate family was wiped. Bialystok was the center of Jewish living in Poland.

He wound up in virtually all of the concentration camps one can remember from history, Auschwitz, Dachau, Majdanek. At the very end of the war, he made a run for it. They were on a death march out of one of the camps in Bavaria. And he made a run for it with some of his friends. And somehow, they made it into the woods.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

How old was he at the time?

               TONY BLINKEN:

At this point, he was 16. So he was in the camps from age 12 to 16. And somehow, they made it to the woods. And they hid out during the day and moved around at night. And after a few days of this, one day, they heard this rumbling sound. And as he looked out from their hiding place, what he saw was a tank.

But instead of having the dreaded iron cross or a swastika on it, he saw something else. He saw a five-pointed white star. And in a kind of crazy way, he ran to the tank. And the hatch opened up. And an African American GI looked down at him. And he got down on his knees. And he said the only three words that he knew in English that his mother had taught him before the war, "God bless America." And at that point, the GI lifted him into the tank into freedom, in effect, into the United States. That was kind of the image that I had of my country growing up, what it represented to people around the world. And I think that's what motivated me as much as anything else to get into foreign policy.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

So I don't want to jump too far ahead. But what we're seeing in our country now with the feelings about immigrants and refugees must cut to the core with you.

               TONY BLINKEN:

It does. And, you know, on the one hand, look, I think we all get it. People feel a tremendous sense of confusion right now and chaos and a loss of identity. They don't recognize themselves. They don't recognize the country. And it's deeply, deeply, deeply confusing.

At the same time, we know from our own history that we've gone through successive waves of migration each of which has made the country stronger but each of which, at different points in history, had a counterweight whether it was Irish, whether it was Italians, whether it was Jews, whether it was Asians, whether it's Latinos.

And we know that this is incredibly disruptive. And it takes some time to sort it all out. Each time, it's made the country stronger. But during these periods of transition, it's tough. And we have to find a way forward that works for all of our communities as well as working for the people that want to come here.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

So in those previous moments of backlash, how did we emerge from them?

               TONY BLINKEN:

You know, in these previous moments, there was a transition period. And it was challenging. And I don't want to minimize the disruptions that took place. But there was a recognition the economy might improve as we saw success, as we saw what immigrants were bringing to the country. There was a recognition that this made sense for America. Now, when we look across the broad swath of the economy, look at every pursuit. Who are the folks who are picking our crops?

Who are the folks serving food at our tables, cleaning our homes and, then, as you move up the ladder, nursing the sick in underserved communities, doctoring them and, then, at the highest end, half of our fortune 500 companies foundered or co-foundered by immigrants or the sons and daughters of immigrants, half of the startups in Silicon Valley, the same thing.

So we see the success time and time again. But now, in this particular moment, these disruptive forces are more intense and more acute than they've been. And you get a feeling things are just moving in fast motion. And it's very hard for people to be grounded and have a sense that they're going to come out okay on the other side.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

So with this historical understanding, are you confident that we're going to come out the other end here?

               TONY BLINKEN:

Look, this could be the exception that breaks the rule. It's hard to be fully confident. You know, I'm reminded of the late John McCain who said, "It's always darkest before it goes completely black." But all of that said, I don't believe that.

I think that most of us have a sense of optimism based on our history because we've been through incredibly tough periods before. The 1960s, to take a recent example, the late 1960s were far more disruptive than the period that we're going through now. The dawn of the progressive era, to me, this is maybe most closely approximate to that.

We had, before the progressive era, capitalism fully unleashed in this country producing tremendous wealth and, in many ways, tremendous progress but also in a way that was not evenly distributed, that was leaving too many people out, too many people behind.

And thankfully, we had a progressive era in which the rough edges of capitalism were rounded off. More people were brought into the mix. We made major investments in education, in healthcare, in infrastructure, progressive taxation. Now, in a sense, we need a progressive era but on a global scale. That's really the change of the moment to figure out how we can take these incredible forces that are at play, bringing tremendous advantages globalization, but in way that doesn't leave too many people out of the deal.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Yeah. So I heard Warren Buffet say not long ago, you know how there's things that people say that stay with you for the rest of your life, this was one of those moments, he said, "I believe that capitalism was the greatest force for good in the history of mankind," which I believe, too. And, then, he said, "But I fear we're going to lose it unless we take care of the people that it leaves behind."

               TONY BLINKEN:

I couldn't agree more. There is a crisis of legitimacy for capitalism that we're going through now. And, again, we've been through it before. This is what happened before the progressive era. It happened before the New Deal. And in a sense, it's happening now but, again, on a global scale.

And we figured out how to get through these periods before. Now, could this be different? Absolutely. At each big transformation there was a transitional period. And somehow, we wound up on the other side in a better place. That may still happen. But you still have to get to the other side. And that's the challenge we're in now.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Okay. Then, the impact of all of this on our foreign policy and our role in the world, how do you think about that?

               TONY BLINKEN:

Well, I think there's increasingly recognition that whatever foreign policy we pursue, it actually has to work for people here at home. And if it doesn't, then, it's going to be very difficult to sustain it. And so, for example, if we have a foreign trade policy, an economic policy that's not also working to materially improve the lives of the people here, it's not going to be sustained.

If we have a foreign policy that people perceive is somehow getting us into problems that we shouldn't be involved in, that may be difficult to sustain as well. So being clear with our fellow citizens explaining what we're doing, why we're doing it, what the objectives are, how it's going to actually make their lives better is usually important. But, Mike, I'd say another thing, we shouldn't be a prisoner to history. But we should at least be informed by it. And I think the period after World War II was hugely instructive and remains very instructive because that was a period in time when, after the war, we could've retreated as we did after World War I.

We could've pulled back. Or we could've used the tremendous power that we had to, basically, lord it over others. And we didn't do either of those things. Famously, we spent time building the institutions, developing the norms, the rules that others live by but also ourselves. And that seemed counterintuitive.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

And spending a tremendous amount of money rebuilding our enemies.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Absolutely. But here's what we got out of it, we did, we invested in their prosperity. We invested in their security. But we got new markets for our products. We got new partners to deal with global challenges. We got new allies to deter aggression. Those investments, we got ten, 20, 100 times over in return. And that's why, as we think about today, we shouldn't be blind to what we did in the past because it does hold lessons.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

So, Tony, one of the things that I worry about is that we national security folk, foreign policy folk, have a hard time articulating for the average American why America's role in the world is so important to them. I mean, I've been places in the country where people say to me, "Mr. Morell, why does it matter what Vladimir Putin does in Ukraine? Or why does it matter what the Chinese do in the South China Sea? How does that affect me?" How do you answer that question?

               TONY BLINKEN:

You know, I spent about 25 years in government. And one of the things I took away is this, the world doesn't govern itself. And over the past 70-plus years, the United States has played a lead role in helping to govern the world, again, establishing the institutions but also defending them, helping to put in place the rules and the norms.

And we know this, if we're not doing it, if we're not playing a lead role, then, one of two things: either someone else will and probably not in a way that advances our interests and values or even worse, perhaps, no one does. And, then, the forces of anarchy and chaos prevail. And in the past when that's happened, that's created big global conflagrations World War I, World War II.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Which we get sucked into.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Which we get sucked into.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Pay now or pay later.

               TONY BLINKEN:

It's pay now or pay a lot more later. And the other thing I'd say is this, we have extraordinary resources in this country. And with those resources, with that wealth, with that success I think comes a certain amount of responsibility to at least do our part in advancing the common good. But it's also something called enlightened self-interest. Yes, it's doing right by others. But, ultimately, that does well by us.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Okay. Let's do an around the world kind of hotspots approach. And as we do these, Tony, I would ask you to kind of assess the situation, assess the Trump administration's approach to that issue. And if you disagree with it, say what would you recommend to the president instead. Okay. So let's start with Saudi Arabia.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Saudi Arabia, I think the administration has missed a tremendous opportunity to use a horrific, terrible event, the murder of this journalist, Khashoggi, to use that as a way to influence Saudi behavior and Saudi policies in a way that better reflect our interests and our values. There was a moment to go to Saudi Arabia and say a few things. One, your new leader or de facto leader, the crown prince, acts in impulsive and sometimes reckless ways.

We're not telling you who should lead your country. But we are telling you he needs to be reined in in some fashion. You choose how. Second, this horrific war in Yemen that is doing extraordinary damage to tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of innocent civilians, that needs to end.

You need to actually take the first step in helping to end it. We're here to defend you. We will defend you from any aggression by the Houthis in Yemen. But you need to take steps to end this war. And we won't be complicit in it anymore.

Third, this crazy division with Qatar, that needs to end. You need to resolve it. And you also need to demonstrate to the world that the things you're talking about in terms of liberalizing your country you mean. And that means letting people who've been simply trying to advance and advocate for their rights out of jail.

There was a moment to do all of that. That moment seems to have been squandered. Saudi Arabia seems to have a blank check. This is not about ending the alliance or the partnership with Saudi Arabia. It is making sure that the alliance actually reflects our interests and our values not just Saudi Arabia's.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Your view on the likelihood that Mohammad Bin Salman is going to change, because, I mean, there's been such a pattern here of reckless behavior. Right? And it seems to flow from both an arrogance and a paranoia. And people who have paranoia, as they get older, it tends not to go away. So I'm really wondering here about how likely he is to change, ultimately.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Look, I'm skeptical, which is why I think Saudi Arabia needs a governor on his impulsiveness and his recklessness of their choice -- whether it's a regent, whether it's a council, something. But look, he is whatever he is, 33, 34 now. I don't want to rule that out either.

You know, I met him when he was 29. He had just become defense minister. And this was just after the Houthi aggression taking over Sana'a and Yemen and then, moving on the rest of the country. And then, the Saudis and the emirates intervened with our backing. And I was dispatched to Saudi Arabia to say two things. One was to make it clear that we were committed to Saudi Arabia's defense if they were attacked in any way by the Houthis, we would be there.

But two was to ask them, 'What are you trying to accomplish in Yemen? What's the strategic objective?' And the answer I got from Mohammad Bin Salman in the meeting with him was, immediately, 'To remove every last vestige or Iranian influence in Yemen,' to which I responded, 'Good luck, not going to happen.'

My hope is that with experience, including the experience of what he has brought on himself through this horrific, horrific action and murder of a journalist, that if he's going to remain around, that he learns something from it. But the jury's out.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

We'll see. Just across the Persian Gulf, Iran.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Look, I think the irony with Iran is that we have a lot of problems and challenges posed by Iran including its support for terrorism, including its meddling in various countries in the region, including, of course, its abysmal record at home on human rights. The irony is this: the one thing we got right, actually curbing its nuclear weapons program and putting a check on it, is the one thing we just tore up -- which makes no sense. And now, it actually makes it more difficult to deal with the other challenges posed by Iran.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Why more difficult?

               TONY BLINKEN:

Two reasons, first, I think the reason the Obama administration focused like a laser on trying to deal with the problem that was an urgent problem, which was Iran having the capacity to move to a nuclear weapon very, very quickly, to have the capacity to have enough fissile material on very short order to build a weapon was urgent, because of the immediate threat that that would pose if they actually developed a weapon -- but also because it would allow them to act with even greater impunity in these other areas where they posed a threat to our interests and to what we were trying to achieve in the region. Now, I think we have the worst of both worlds. Iran, for the time being, continues to abide by its obligations under the deal. It's trying to see if it can get the economic benefits it bargained for from Europe and from other countries. And we'll see if that's sustainable.

What I worry about it this, given the administration's efforts to squeeze Iran economically and to use the leverage that we have with our economy to force other countries to abandon any kind of economic relationship with Iran, at some point, those in Iran who are against the nuclear deal from the beginning will reassert themselves and say, "We're no longer abiding by our obligations." And, then, Mike, we'll be right back where we were before we got into the deal which is Iran on the threshold of having enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. And we'll be faced with the binary choice that we tried to avoid.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Right. Right. And we're sending a signal, a very strong signal, whether it's the policy or not, I don't know. But we're sending a signal that we're all about regime change. And if you're the Iranians, why would you ever negotiate with people who want you to go away?

               TONY BLINKEN:

That's right. That's right. The idea that Iran is now going to do more and get less under duress doesn't make any sense.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Afghanistan -- we've been there for 17 years.

               TONY BLINKEN:

This is one of the toughest problems and I think one of the most enduring frustrations that I've had. And I have to acknowledge here that I actually think President Trump's instincts are probably right on this, which is, it's time. It's time to cut the cord.

And this goes against a lot of, I think, instincts that a lot of us have because we know what the Taliban regime meant to the people of Afghanistan -- and not in a good way. We know that real progress has been made in improving the lives of people in Afghanistan. At the same time, the position we're in is not sustainable.

And where I'm particularly frustrated is this --and you'll remember this well -- virtually every year, we would hear from our colleagues, "We just need one more year, just one more year. And it will be self-sustaining. The Afghans will be able to fend for themselves.

"The military will be able to control the security situation along with the police." And year after year, it was just one more year. I think our finger's been in the dyke in Afghanistan for a long time. I, obviously, worry what will happen when we take it out. But I also think that, at this point, it's just not sustainable.

And we also have to remember why we were there in first place. As much as one can appreciate some of the successes that the international community had in improving the lives of Afghans, the bottom-line, hard reality is that we were there because of 9/11 and because of Al Qaeda. And that threat has been, if not eliminated, significantly reduced to the point where I think it can be contained without having 15,000 Americans in Afghanistan.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

I mean, one of the ways I think about it is to ask if we weren't there now, would we go? And the answer to that is no.

               TONY BLINKEN:

I think you've got it right.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Absolutely. Russia, Putin's aggression on a number of fronts, right, whether it's with his neighbors, whether it's what he's doing in Syria, whether it's what he is doing in terms of weaponizing social media, a whole bunch of issues. How do we deal with that?

               TONY BLINKEN:

Putin is playing a losing hand brilliantly. Russia, by virtually every metric, is actually in decline. And, yet, he succeeded in reasserting Russia on the world stage, to some extent to distract from problems at home, to some extent to try to realize a vision that he has of a greater Russia, but mostly I think for this reason -- the biggest threat to Putin's continued leadership in Russia is really the success of democracy.

And that's true, by the way, for just about any autocrat. And he has a profound strategic interest in trying to demonstrate to his own people that democracies are failing, that our system is no better than his. It's not delivering better results. To the contrary, it's chaotic, not stable. And so, unfortunately, whether we like it or not and even if we pull back and didn't engage Russian aggression, I believe he would continue to try to create trouble in Europe, in the United States, within our societies and between them. So this is a huge challenge for us.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

How do we engage him in a way that makes this much better?

               TONY BLINKEN:

A few things. First of all, let's take Ukraine and let's take Russian aggression with regard to some of its neighbors. First, I think it's a good thing that we expanded NATO. There's a big argument over whether NATO expansion actually has provoked Russian behavior.

I asked myself where would the Baltic states be right now if they were not in NATO? Where would Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic be in their own ways? I think that's proved to be a tremendous deterrent to Russian aggression. But states like Ukraine that are not in it, there's a reason that we got involved in leading the effort to put pressure on Russia to stop its aggression, and, we hope, actually return sovereignty to Ukraine. And it's not because on a basic level Ukraine, itself, is that critical to the United States or to countries in Europe. It's because the norms that were violated in terms of aggressing a democratic country on Russia's borders, changing its borders by force, trying to dictate to people their choices about with whom they would ally or associate, if you allow that to stand, it is an open invitation to aggression and anarchy throughout the world.

So we have to stand up against that. And I think sustaining that is important. And we've sustained it. And the Trump administration, despite what the president says, the administration, itself, has sustained it. But at home, we have to do a much better job, of course, at defending our democratic institutions from the kind of meddling not only in the elections in 2016 but everything that's followed since.

And I think we've got a couple of big challenges there. First, we're not properly defended. Second, we don't have a clear and effective deterrence policy. We need to actually be very clear about what we'll actually do if we're attacked, and mean it and actually do it. And, then, we probably have to look at how we would use these tools ourselves, and also what the right responses would be. And they may well be asymmetric, responding tit for tat, for example, against some kind of cyber--

               MICHAEL MORELL:

The problem, of course, is that politics has got in the middle of this issue, right, and has not allowed the discussion that you want to have on this to actually occur.

               TONY BLINKEN:

This should've been a unifying issue. This should've brought people together because the attack is not on Democrats or on Republicans or anyone else. It's on our democracy. And that's the one thing that should unite us. And, unfortunately, that's what we're losing right now.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

North Korea.

               TONY BLINKEN:

So on North Korea, look, I think that there was some merit in President Trump throwing the deck of cards up in the air and seeing what came from it, because the fact of the matter is the policy that successive administrations have pursued over the last decades has not worked.

North Korea's gotten more dangerous, not less dangerous. Its arsenal has gotten bigger, not smaller. And so, at some point, you say, "Maybe it's worth trying something new." And I don't object to direct diplomacy even with someone as heinous Kim Jong Un. But, unfortunately, thus far at least, the art of the deal has really been the art of the steal and all in North Korea's favor.

I think the president in having the meeting with Kim Jong Un gave Kim Jong Un something that he deeply, deeply valued and that none of his predecessors were able to get. And that was the legitimacy that comes from meeting with the leader of the free world being on the same stage.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

That was the questioned they always asked, he and his father, "When can I meet with the president? When can I meet with the president?"

               TONY BLINKEN:

So President Trump would say, "See, I did something that no previous president did." Well, there was a good reason that previous presidents didn't do it. Or if you're going to do it, at least make sure you're getting something. And, unfortunately, thus far at least, we haven't.

North Korea's program has continued. We continue to see reports in the press from our intelligence agencies and others showing that far from pulling back, they're moving forward. At the same time in elevating Kim Jong Un, in declaring success and even saying, at one point, that the nuclear problem was resolved, the president gave a green light to other countries, starting with China, to go back to something approaching business as usual. What had been working and where the administration deserves credit was it not only continued, but it actually deepened the pressure program that the Obama administration put in place to cut off every economic tie that North Korea had, diplomatic ties, political ties. And that was starting to have an effect.

China, of course, is a key to that. Now, the president has, basically, said to China, "Hey, if the problem's resolved, why should China have to continue doing this?"

               MICHAEL MORELL:

The Chinese, the Russians and the South Koreans have all loosened up.

               TONY BLINKEN:

That's exactly right. That's exactly right. You know, again, I give him some points for trying a different playbook, the way he's played it, I think, is making things worse, not better.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

How would you fix that? I mean, if you could say to Mike Pompeo, "Here's what I think you need to do?"

               TONY BLINKEN:

Look, I think we were on the right track. And we need to figure out a way to get back to it, which was a sustained pressure campaign that's internationally coordinated but that has an objective not of regime change but conduct change. The hard reality is it's, if not impossible, highly unlikely that we will achieve in any near term the complete denuclearization of North Korea. I just don't see that as realistic in the near term.

What I think we can get is an arms control and, over time, disarmament process put in place. But that requires enough pressure, sustained and comprehensive to get North Korea to the table. And that requires China. It requires South Korea. It requires Russia. It requires others. It's doable. But it takes time. It has to be sustained. And it has to be comprehensive. So there's a play there. But we haven't seen signs of the administration being willing to do it.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Okay. The toughest one of all, China. Right. What should our strategic approach to China be?

               TONY BLINKEN:

We had an approach for decades that sought to bring China more and more into the international system starting with the international economy on theory that this would actually liberalize China at the same time. And thus far, at least, that theory has not borne out.

Now, history is long -- especially Chinese history. So maybe we're assessing the situation too soon. But clearly, the consensus that had developed over the right approach, the responsible stakeholder approach right now, at least, is in serious doubt. But I still think the basics of what we were trying to do, which was work to cooperate with China where we can, compete with it where we must but compete in a way that has a level playing field and basic fairness, is still the right approach.

But now, we're stuck in a different dynamic. And that is a veering wildly between confrontation on the one hand and abdication on the other hand. So on the one hand, a very confrontational approach over trade and related issues which is not wrong in the sense that the lack of reciprocity in the commercial relationship was totally un-sustained.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

These are real issues.

               TONY BLINKEN:

These are real issues. The president was right to confront the issue, I think profoundly wrong in the way he's doing it; throwing out the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a huge strategic mistake. This was our best lever to change Chinese behavior. 40% of world GDP with us in it represented, something that China would want to get into, not stay out of, that's gone. Not making common cause with our allies who are similarly situated when it comes to China, who are aggrieved in the same way with technology transfer, the theft of intellectual property, the lack of transparency, unfair competition from state-owned enterprises.

We should've been on the same team with them. Instead, of course, starting a tariff war against our closest partners has made that more difficult. But that needs to be dealt with. But I think that as we're doing that, we can't abdicate our leadership in the region.

And, again, out of TPP is an abdication of our leadership. Telling our allies, 'You know what, you're going to be on your own. We don't want to pay for this anymore,' that's an abdication of leadership. And if there's a vacuum, look, what have we seen? A profound irony.

We've seen Xi Jinping try to assert himself as a leader of the global community who is in favor of a free and open trading system, who supports globalization, who supports the United Nations, peacekeeping, whose voting shares are increasing in the international financial institutions at the same time when we're pulling back from all of that. And that means that, again, in the absence of American leadership, in the absence of an American model, a Chinese model could win by default not because it's better.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

So one of the two outcomes you talked about earlier.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Exactly.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Right. Right. Tony, you have been fantastic with your time. I just want to ask you one final question. You worked very closely with two people who may run for president in 2020, Joe Biden and John Kerry. What I'd love to hear you talk about a little bit is how would a Biden foreign policy or a Kerry foreign policy be different from an Obama foreign policy because I think most people think it would be exactly the same. And I'm just wondering what you think.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Look, I can't speak for either Secretary Kerry or Vice President Biden when it comes to what policies they would pursue if they, you know, were to continue in public life in some fashion. I think, in fact, in either case, the basic principles were the same.

But we're also in a different moment. And it's the moment we talked about at the very outset, a moment in which there are people in our own country, people in allied countries, people around the world who are feeling a sense of chaos, confusion and vulnerability because of the rapidity and profundity of change, technological change, the flow of information, at the same time, a paradox when, by so many metrics, we're better off than we've ever been in history and, yet, too many people left out and left behind in that situation.

The best way to look at it is, on the one hand, over the last 30 to 40 years extraordinary success in alleviating poverty around the world. And, yet, inequality is growing at the same time. And those two things put together create a lot of disaffected people either economically or culturally and, then, finally, huge power shifts not only among countries but beyond them, between them, the rise of China that we talked about but also super empowered groups and individuals, corporate chieftains, the mayors of megacities, all of these new actors making it more difficult for nation states to get the results that they would get in the past. That's an increasingly new reality. And technology's driving a lot of it.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

But the next President's going to have adjust to.

               TONY BLINKEN:

The next president, whoever it is, has to deal with that. And I think that, again, this comes down to a president who understands that whatever foreign policy we pursue, it has to actually work for people here at home. It has to show them that it's making their own lives safer, more prosperous. And, ultimately, that's the test.

               MICHAEL MORELL:

Tony, thank you for being with us.

               TONY BLINKEN:

Great to be with you, Mike, as always.

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