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U.S. Intelligence Community Says Iran Has No Nuclear Weapons Program

Aired December 9, 2007 - 13:00   ET


TOM FOREMAN, CNN HOST: This week, the U.S. intelligence community declared that Iran is not working on a nuclear weapons. These guys, though, were wrong about Iran before. They were wrong about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. So why should we believe them on something as vital as a nuclear threat? THIS WEEK AT WAR right after a look at what's in the news right now.

FOREMAN: Here is where things stand in THIS WEEK AT WAR. First, they said Iran was working on a nuke, now they say they are not. A down arrow for U.S. intelligence because there has got to be a mistake here somewhere.

We see a positive trend in Iraq as Shiites are joining Sunnis to battle the insurgency. In Afghanistan it's not looking good as al Qaeda and Taliban fighters go on the attack there.

The Supreme Court is split on where to balance individual rights and national security as the prisoners in Guantanamo present their cases. And if there is still no end to the brutal massacres in Darfur there, at least is a chance that those who ordered the slaughter may be brought to justice. That's how things stand.

And here is where we're going to find out what is next. Michael Ware is in Iraq both on the streets and in the corridors of power. We'll ask him if a tougher U.S. attitude is still getting results there.

Aneesh Raman joins us from Iran, now seen as pursuing only peaceful nuclear development. But where is the line between nuclear power and a mushroom cloud?

And in Afghanistan, Nic Robertson has been out in the field on the war against the Taliban. The U.S. is promising more aid. But is it too little, too late? THIS WEEK AT WAR.


GEORGE W. BUSH, U.S. PRESIDENT: Iranians have a strategic choice to make. They can come clean with the international community about the scope of their nuclear activities and fully accept the long- standing offer to suspend their enrichment program and come to the table and negotiate, or they can continue on a path of isolation. (END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Listening to President Bush this week, you could be excused if you thought the U.S. had just discovered an Iranian version of the Manhattan Project. In fact, a new National Intelligence Report concluded that Iran had halted its research on nuclear weapons four years ago. Confused? Well, we'll try to explain.

David Kay paid his dues as a UN weapons inspector and is now at the Potomac Institute here in Washington. And Aneesh Raman, the only broadcast journalist currently reporting from Iran is reporting from Iran.

Aneesh, this seemed this week to be portrayed by so many people here as a great victory for Iran in the public relations war over nuclear weapons. How is it being seen there?

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was proclaimed as such, Tom, by the president. Other members of parliament equated this to a U.S. confession. We went to the streets of Tehran. There was no joy, there was no celebration, even the hard-liners didn't take to the streets to rally against the West which is interesting for two reasons. One, in a broad sense, it seems the regime is keeping its mouth shut at some level. Allowing Russia and China veto members on the UN Security Council to read this report and perhaps keep another round of sanctions at bay.

But among the average Iranian, all politics local. The economy, the economy, the economy. It is still the number one issue. The issue that the president hasn't fixed. So there was a subtle sense of vindication on the streets, but not a clear sense of joy or victory like the president labeled it.

FOREMAN: As you pointed out, a very different view. If we look at the map here David, very quickly, if we zoom in. This is the other nuclear powers in the world. The big question mark is over Iran.

But this is what Ahmadinejad, the president, said after this. He said, "This is a declaration of victory for the Iranian nation against the world's powers over the nuclear issue. This was a final shot to those who in the past several years spread a sense of threat and concern in the world through lies of nuclear weapons."

Well, you know, David, as I read this week, I just thought there is a lot of blame on all sides of this. People point out that it says the president here was wrong, but what Ahmadinejad is saying doesn't seem right either compared to this report.

DAVID KAY, POTOMAC INSTITUTE: I think that's right. It's a very complex report. Unfortunately, a lot of people didn't read beyond the first sentence and then chose to -- whichever side the political debate they were on draw their conclusions.

What the report really says is that we now know but did not know until sometime mid summer of this year that the Iranians stopped their covert weaponization. That is, the working on the actual warhead, the design of a warhead, and how you would assemble it.

It does not say that they stopped their uranium enrichment efforts. In fact, those have continued. It doesn't say anything about the missile program, nor does it say anything about how far they got into 2003 before they stopped that program. And, in fact, it doesn't even say that they are highly confident that the program hasn't resumed.

FOREMAN: This is something that confused me this week. Because it seems to me the report very clearly says Iran still has a lot of things pointing in the direction this could be a weapons program. May not be now, but easily could be turned into one. What's the difference between a peaceful program and a weapons program?

KAY: Fundamentally, the only difference is how highly enriched uranium you have. A reactor you enrich it to about four to five. For a weapon, it's in the 90 percent range. On the other hand, once you get to four to five percent you have done about 78 percent of what nature requires.

FOREMAN: Do you use the same equipment? The same process?

KAY: Same exact equipment. In fact, you feed in the low enriched uranium and it eventually becomes high enriched uranium.

So the only thing that is different is really your intention to go ahead. There are a number of states. You don't have them on the map, I would say Japan, for example, which has a virtual nuclear weapons capacity it has everything in place, that if it ever were interested in turning it into a weapons program it would probably take two months to do it, because it has a highly developed peaceful program.

FOREMAN: Aneesh, is there a sense among the Iranian leadership that they still very much want to have a nuclear weapon now, even if they are saying publicly, look, this vindicates our peaceful program?

RAMAN: Well, one, they never admitted to having one in the past. In fact they vehemently denied in this report that they had one until 2003. But the Iranians are fighting this battle on the lines of nuclear apartheid, if you will.

They are saying, look, everyone says uranium enrichment is something that we're doing. We have never hidden that fact, we have celebrated the fact that we figured out how to enrich uranium on our own. It is a source of fierce nationalist pride, and suspicion of our future intentions is not enough to sanction us.

The bar that President Bush lowered by maintaining Iran is a threat went from Iran having a nuclear weapon to Iran having the knowledge of uranium enrichment. Iran says look, we'll deal only with the IAEA, the UN's nuclear watchdog to resolve issues. That agency has said they are increasing cooperation. But there is, quote, diminishing information about Iran's nuclear facilities.

So there are still a lot of questions unanswered, but Iran says you can't sanction us. Those sanctions were built on the 2005 NIE estimate. And we'll deal with the IAEA, only them and that's the only place we'll answer these questions.

FOREMAN: One of the bits of news that came out just late in the week was this notion that Iran now has a better long-range missile that they are ready to test. I know in researching this that one of the things you look for is whether or not people are heading toward weaponization is are they building up the support they would need to use such a weapon? What does that tell you?

KAY: Well, you need a delivery method quite clearly. It's not an easy transition to make. The missile has certain peculiar characteristics if it's carrying a weapons program - a nuclear warhead. So you have gone ahead. The fact that they are continuing that is worrisome, but it is not a smoking gun.

FOREMAN: Are we at this point in any way crippled because of the political fallout of this report? The sense that we were saying something that wasn't true? Does it make it harder to deal with the legitimate threat there?

KAY: Clearly it does, Tom. Because first of all, it brings up again in the fact that you were wrong in the case of Iraq. Why are you right now? You were wrong in the case of Iran in 2005. Why are you right now?

FOREMAN: Politically, so much keeps falling in Iran's direction in all of this. Aneesh, thanks so much. David, I wish we could talk a lot more. Interesting talk, though, and we'll see what happens as it develops.

Moving on, straight ahead. Mortal enemies begin to work together in Baghdad. Is this the path to peace or is it just preparation for what many feel will be a big, bloody civil war eventually?

And later, a new generation of Taliban. Younger and more vicious. It's just part of "Flash Brief," Everything you need to know about the next week in war. We'll have that packed into 90 seconds coming up.

But first, combat photographers, our weekly look at the images captured out of chaos. In the West Bank hopes of peace seem so far away as Emilio Morinati (ph) caught these soldiers facing off against Palestinian farmers. The issue? Access to a strip of land near an Israeli settlement.

In Sri Lanka, this Tamil woman waited as soldiers searched the ambulance she was riding in for explosives. This photo, Ajaminu Amarasin (ph) clearly shows the raw fear on her face. No explosives were found, however.

This is all that is left of a car used for a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photographer Rafik Makmul (ph) reports that the driver was aimed for a NATO convoy but injured dozens of civilians instead. And finally, this heartbreaking image by Erik Ingman (ph) of the "Fairbanks Daily News-Miner" at a memorial in Fort Wainwright there in Alaska, family and friends search through the dog tags of those lost during the 177th Stryker Brigade's long tour in Iraq.



MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shia fighters in central Baghdad now battling the Shia Medhi Army and death squads from other Shia faction and doing it all under contract to the U.S. Army.


FOREMAN: On Friday, Michael Ware reported on a dramatic development on the streets of Baghdad. But are these new allies a strong foundation for a political solution or just an alliance of convenience in preparation for a new and deadlier civil war? Michael is standing bay in our Baghdad bureau right now and he joins us and joining me in London is Michael Yon, an independent journalist who has just returned from Iraq.

Michael Ware, let me start with you. What is really different now?

WARE (on camera): We're now seeing that of the 200-plus concerned citizens groups, which are America's militias, 13 percent of them are Shia. And 12 percent of the title are mixed Sunni-Shia.

Now all of these militias, Sunni or Shia are a curb against the death squads, the spread of Iranian influence, al Qaeda, and they are a stick with which to beat this government which is not cooperating with America, Tom.

FOREMAN: Interesting point, Michael. Let's look at the map as we always do to give people a sense what we're talking about. Generally, and it's not very accurate in the big picture, but this is generally how we divide the country. The Kurds are up north over here. The Sunnis tend to be over in this side. The Shia tend to down in this area.

Michael Yon, what about what Michael Ware is talking about. This idea of Sunni and Shia somehow beginning work a little better together in this process. Is that happening yet, or is that overstating it?

MICHAEL YON, MICHAELYON-ONLINE.COM: I think it's false to call these America's militias. You do see these things springing up spontaneously actually. There has been some spontaneous growth of you might say militias up in Nineveh Province that has not been reported. In fact it just kind of popped on the radar about 10 days ago and some of these things, they are just homegrown, they are popping up on their own. People trying to secure their own areas.

Now in some places like Anbar Province, they are trying to bring the militias into the police forces, taking them in, screening them, taking fingerprints, for instance, and eye scans and other places like Diyalah Province, doing the same. Trying to fold them into the police force.

Because the fact is that Iraq is for Iraqis, and so the militias are formed, they are trying to take care of their own neighborhoods in many cases. And without a strong central government there, is really no other way. You either leave it to anarchy or you try to help organize in the ways you can.

FOREMAN: So, Michael Yon, would you characterize these then though as sometimes mixed militias or are they still predominantly Sunni or predominantly Shia even when they form sort of naturally to defend a neighborhood?

YON: It depends where you are at. Certainly, for instance, Basra, they are Shia. You get up out in the western parts of Nineveh Province, and they would be Sunni or down in Anbar Province. They would be Sunni.

Down in south Baghdad, in the Rashid area, there is numerous very small fractured groups here and there in the various neighborhoods and so it's very hard to characterize. Some are just what you might call neighborhood watches and they are very small groups. Others are just, you know, outside of the cities, they might be just a village, for instance, that has to organize to defend its village.

And so it's a very complex mixture, and it's hard to actually put your finger on what it is, because it's so broad.

FOREMAN: Let's move on and talk about some of the bigger militias that we've talked about before. Particularly Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army.

This week General Petraeus said something really quite astonishing about someone who was considered such an enemy before. Listen to this.


GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCE IRAQ: The Sadr trend stands for service to the people, really thinking through how can this movement rid itself of those who have tarnished its reputation.


FOREMAN: Michael Ware, are you surprised to hear him talking this way about Muqtada al Sadr, who was once sort of public enemy number one as far as U.S. troops are considered?

WARE: No. Not at all. The Americans have had a very complex and mixed relationship with Muqtada al Sadr and his Sadrist movement almost since it first emerged. Indeed, well over a year ago, a cell was formed in the U.S. Embassy to target Muqtada and his movement and try and bring him into the fold. Now Muqtada is one of the great opportunities lost for the Americans here in Iraq. Unlike the other major Shia militias which are directly linked to Iran, according to U.S. military intelligence, Muqtada is purely homegrown. His father, his uncle, himself, they stayed here in Iraq, under Saddam and his father and uncle paid ...

FOREMAN: Michael Ware, let me interrupt you, though, with a question on that, though, if I can. You say he's an opportunity lost, though. Why lost? He seems to be cooperating now. He called a cease-fire, he seems to be helpful.

WARE: Yes, because now he's under so much pressure. Muqtada of 2007 is not the Muqtada of 2004. The Iranian Revolution Guard and their Quds Force has been extremely effective at undermining his power base, both within his own militia, structure and indeed, even within his own political structure. So now Muqtada is looking for friends. Now, Muqtada could have been bought off or brought over to the American side years ago, but there was no preparedness for that kind of engagement. Now there is.

Now, Muqtada's motivation is that essentially the Iranians are hollowing out his military moment. And indeed the greatest threat to security right now according to the U.S. commanders is the special groups. These are the splinter groups from Muqtada's organization who he's lost control over. They are the ones who tried to kidnap Americans, they are the ones holding the five Brits according to U.S. commanders, Tom.

FOREMAN: OK. Michael Yon. I want to get one last question on this, some of the late news this week was U.S. military was looking at all of these Sunnis who have not been welcomed in to the security forces run by the Shias and who seem to be itching for a chance to have real jobs and the American military is now saying let's develop some sort of civilian job corps where we will start employing a lot of these Sunnis.

Will that be enough to make Sunni communities continue cooperating and saying, OK, we now have a living for our young men and their families, this will be progress, even if the central government didn't give it to us?

YON: Well, I've heard many Sunnis complaining that they have difficulties getting hired for the police force. But that depends, you know, on what area you're talking about. For instance, again, not a problem out in Anbar Province, it can be problematic in some places in Baghdad.

One of the huge difficulties, of course, right now, is that the economy is in shambles, even though it's improving. And so the people do need jobs, of course, when they don't have jobs, they are going to resort to crime and kidnappings and the things that they have been doing quite a while. So anything that you can do to give them hope will be helpful.

FOREMAN: Michael Yon, very briefly. It seems like if you can get them involved in some kind of public works project, it could also help with issues like water and electricity and all of those things that have been problems. Fair enough?

YON: Fair enough. You know, money is very important at this point in the war. The violence is going down. But we've really got to pour the money in as quickly as possible. But spending it smartly so that the people do see hope. I mean, we're at a possible major turning point here in the war, as long as we don't take our foot off the gas.

FOREMAN: All right. Michael Yon, thank you so much. Make sure you check out his website, Really interesting. And Michael Ware, as always, thanks for being here.

Straight ahead, was this week the beginning of the end for Guantanamo prison? We'll have a full report on that.

But first, as we always do, let's take a moment for a WEEK AT WAR remembrance. Sergeant Blair Emery of Lee, Maine, was killed November 30th, when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in the Iraqi city of Baquba. The Emerys are a military family. Blair's two older sisters are also serving in the Army they are depending on their faith to get them through this very difficult time.


QUIE EMERY, MOTHER: Blair was a Christian. And he believed in God. I do - they were raised that way, we know he's in a better place, that he'll be there waiting for us when we get there.


FOREMAN: Sergeant Emery leaves behind his wife, Anna, they were married two and a half years ago. And he was 24 years old.


FOREMAN: Dry legal arguments were reduced to an emotional core on Wednesday when Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer put himself in the place of a detainee and confronted the solicitor general of the United States. Listen to him.


JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER, U.S. SUPREME COURT: I'm from Bosnia. I've been here for six years, the Constitution of the United States does not give anyone the right to hold me six years in Guantanamo without either charging me or releasing me. So I'm asking you, where can you make that argument?

PAUL CLEMENT, U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL: I'm not sure that he can make that argument, Justice Breyer.

BREYER: Exactly.


FOREMAN: Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre was watching as this drama played out. He joins me from the Pentagon. And in Berkeley, California, law professor John Yoo, who played a key role in many of the administrations legal decisions in the war on terror.

And Jamie, let's start with you. It sounds like the justices from the beginning of this were leaning toward saying that these people cannot continue being neither fish nor fowl. They have to be either treated like criminals or war prisoners but they can't just be in limbo forever.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's tricky to read what the justices are really thinking just based on their questions. In fact, if you were looking at the court, it kind of looked like a split four to four, with Justice Kennedy who didn't say a whole lot. Didn't ask a whole lot of questions, perhaps being the swing vote.

But clearly there was a factions that was very sympathetic to this argument that the detainees were held there with no real prospect of getting their day in court, while at the same time there was another faction of the court that was sympathetic to the administration's argument that granting prisoners from other countries who are held outside the U.S. access to the U.S. courts would be unprecedented.

FOREMAN: Professor Yoo, what are these people now, these detainees legally, how should we see them?

JOHN YOO, U.C. BERKELEY LAW SCHOOL: They are enemy combatants. They are people that have taken up arms or tried to fight against the United States. But they are not the smaller class of prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention, who are people who fight on behalf of the nations who follow the laws for war and have signed the Geneva Convention treaties. But they are not criminals, either, because they are not being picked up for violating the domestic laws of the United States.

FOREMAN: So if they fall into that gap, professor, do we have really a full set of laws for these people? Because that seems to be what this debate is about?

YOO: We have a set of rules on how to handle these people. We have always had in the history of warfare people who have fallen into this category, pirates, guerilla groups, people who don't follow the rules of warfare. Primarily, don't attack civilians and don't dress yourself up like a civilian.

So we have a set of rules that have been developed. But they have never been imposed by courts, they usually have not imposed by legislatures. It's usually up to the military and ultimately the president to decide what rules to apply to people like that.

FOREMAN: Jamie, with all the heat that's swirling around the Guantanamo detainees and this situation, does the military still want to be in charge of handling people like that, or do they wish it could be moved off into some other venue?

MCINTYRE: Now, this is clearly a job the U.S. military would rather not have, but they don't have another option at the moment.

I mean, the legal argument here is the administration says that the Detainee Detention Act provides due process for these people. And that they are getting actually more due process than other detainees.

But the basic legal argument was over this writ of habeas corpus. The basic right of every American to challenge an unlawful detention in court and does it extend to the Guantanamo prisoners? And is this process that has been set up an adequate substitute. That is the question the court will decide.

FOREMAN: Charles Swift was a former military attorney and he defended some of these folks, including Osama bin Laden's bodyguard. Listen to what he said about this.


CHARLES SWIFT, FORMER MILITARY DEFENSE ATTORNEY: They want to look their accusers in the face. They want to be able to say this is what I did. They want to have an opportunity to exonerate themselves.


FOREMAN: Professor, do these people ever get that chance, and should they?

YOO: Let's say, first of all, historically, no enemy combatant in the history of armed warfare has ever had a right to come to U.S. court and get their day in court as we called it. Under current law, Congress passed last year and another one they passed two years ago, we are providing that. So actually the United States is giving enemy combatants in this war more rights than they ever had, and more right than they are legally due. So they do get a chance to make this kind of claim to military judges and then ultimately to the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, the second most powerful court in the country, and to even take it there, ultimately to the Supreme Court again. This goes way beyond anything we're required to do under the Geneva Conventions, anything we have ever historically done before.

FOREMAN: So is it a misperception on the part of people who look at that and say these people are simply being held forever without charges and without process. Do you think that is incorrect?

YOO: First of all in wartime. You are always held without charge. You are not being criminally charged when you are held during a conflict.

FOREMAN: And I understand that, professor. I think the question here has been the nature of this war. If you talk about the war on terrorism, it seems to have no real beginning, no real middle and maybe no end.

YOO: I that's the real question. When is this war over? I think the courts have all realized that you can hold enemy combatants without a criminal until the end of a conflict. I'm not saying this conflict is going to end with a neat and clean peace treaty, but it can come to an end. Other countries have fought terrorist groups and those wars have eventually come to an end.

When the war does go to a conclusion, then we can release the prisoners and send them back to their home countries.

FOREMAN: Jamie McIntyre, I have to get back to you with one more point. Late this week, news about these videotapes of detainees being questioned. Certain techniques being used and now the videotapes destroyed. This is roaring through Washington now like a wildfire, isn't it?

MCINTYRE: Absolutely. Because this revelation by the CIA that it destroyed tapes that showed these enhanced interrogation techniques have raised real questions about whether the interrogation techniques did, in fact, cross the line into abuse or torture or were they legal and within the guidelines as the CIA insists. But without the tapes, people are suspecting worse.

And government sources have confirmed to CNN independently that one of the people on the tape was Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded, subjected to that controversial technique of simulated drowning.

Now we don't know if the waterboarding was on the tapes that were destroyed, but clearly, if that had gotten out, people had seen that, that would have caused a big backlash as well. As you're well aware, the debate of whether waterboarding constitutes torture.

FOREMAN: John Yoo, Jamie McIntyre, thanks for your time.

Many of those held in Guantanamo were captured in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. In a moment, we'll look at how that war is still growing six years later. Stick with us.



FOREMAN: On Tuesday, a suicide bomber slammed his car into a NATO convoy in Kabul, Afghanistan, just as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited that area. Gates saw some progress, but by and large, the reports were bleak as violence in Afghanistan continues to increase. For the latest situation report at Forward Operating Base Bermel Afghanistan, CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us, and with me here in Washington, Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. Nic, it just seems to be getting worse and worse in Afghanistan right now. Why?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some parts are, some parts aren't. The reason it appears to be getting worse is because the Taliban in some parts of the country are still able to effect attacks. They are changing their tactics in some places. What we've seen in Kabul in the past week, an attack on Tuesday, on Wednesday and on Thursday. Three consecutive days. That's relatively unusual, the Taliban using suicide car bombing attacks, using those instead of targeting U.S. military bases, targeting supply lines where we haven't in the past, a change in tactics. But there are provinces here where some progress is being made. But NATO has said over this year, IEDs, roadside bombs gone up over 40 percent, suicide bombings have gone up 23 percent. That is a less rapid rise increase in those statistics than over the previous year, but the trend doesn't look good. And right now, it looks like the Taliban are putting greater pressure on Kabul, perhaps trying to create the pressure across the whole of the country by focusing on Kabul that they can really destabilize the center of government, Tom.

FOREMAN: Barbara, let's take a look at the map and remind people what we're talking about here. As you zoom in, this is the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. For so long what we were talking about was really this area right in here, mountainous area of Waziristan where they really couldn't root them out.

But now we're talking about more spreading out into the Pashtun areas all out in here and striking. What does the military make of this?

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are indeed. We are talking about it is spreading that to the west but also further to the south. For the last several months, a good deal of fighting going on in the Helmand Province and other provinces in the south. What the U.S. military, what NATO is seeing is a very dispersed Taliban threat. Very consistent. It really isn't getting better.

And that's the problem, because if it's not getting better, the lesson we learned in Iraq perhaps is then it's getting worse. NATO is not pledging enough troops according to the U.S. One aide to secretary of defense Robert Gates said to me this week that Gates feels like he's a salesman for NATO to offer up more troops to Iraq (sic). He keeps asking and asking and asking where are they?

FOREMAN: Let's listen to this quote from General John Craddock, the NATO supreme commander in Europe about the troops on the ground there.


GEN. JOHN CRADDOCK, NATO SUPREME COMMANDER IN EUROPE: With the force we've got, because it's not the force that's totally the requirement we need, we have shortfalls. It means that the commanders out there go out and do the security, but then when they have to work the stability side, we don't have enough to do both simultaneously so they are continually shifting forces back and forth.


FOREMAN: Nic, people have been talking about this for months, maybe even years, that Afghanistan simply didn't have the bodies in it to maintain the early progress there. Is this a frustration to the Afghan people you talk to?

ROBERTSON: It is a frustration for them. It's also a frustration for the troops. The NATO troops who are here now. They have seen the lack of progress over the last five years. They have seen what that's led to in Afghanistan. Open the door for the Taliban to resurge.

The tactics that they're using now, and I use just one province here as an example, and the Province of Hos (ph). In the last five years, about 25 kilometers of road built, in the past year, 120 kilometers, more than 50 schools built, more than 350 wells built in this year.

That's the kind of input of money that was missing over the past five years, and the reality is is that much more money is need than that in the future for the long-term development for somewhere like Hos that doesn't have an electrical grid system. So how can you rebuild business?

The real issue here of the troop strength is that when you push out these units go out to help with the rebuilding and provide security, what's happening is some of the guys being sent out sort of on forward security work, perhaps logisticians who are normally working back at headquarters, the troops and commanders are stretched so thin that they don't have the people with the right expertise in the right places. This doesn't deny that these troops are doing a very good job by the assessment of their commanders and achieving some good results.

FOREMAN: And really briefly, Barbara, we have no time left. But there has been no indication from the Pentagon that they are ready to move troops from Iraq back over here. Saying it's just not the right time. Do they mean it's not the right time militarily or politically?

STARR: Both, Tom. This week, in fact, the commandant of the Marine Corps got shot down by Defense Secretary Gates for a proposal to do just that, take Marines from Iraq, put them in Afghanistan. Again, the U.S. administration's focus is get more NATO troops in there. Make sure it remains an international effort, not a U.S. war alone.

FOREMAN: Barbara, thanks so much. Nic as well, thanks for joining us.

In a moment, I'll talk to a man who is seeking to bring justice to the hundreds of thousands murdered in Darfur. But first, let's take a last look as we always do at some of those who fell in THIS WEEK AT WAR.



FOREMAN: It was called the Dirty War. In the late 1970s, Argentina's military government rounded up thousands of citizens and murdered them without trial. Many times this would be the end of the story, but in 1984, the military officers responsible were put on trial. The first time since the Nazis were tried in Nuremberg.

The prosecutor of those cases was Dr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Now he is the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court and has been assigned to what the United States has called genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

He joins me from New York right now. Thanks for joining us, doctor. Let me ask you, first of all, if you went forward right now as a prosecutor and said this is what happened in Darfur, and here is who is responsible, what would you say?

LUIS MORENO-OCAMPO, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: It's clear for me. 2003, 2004, millions of civilians were attacked in their homes, forced into camps. They were killed, raped, and 2.5 million people live today in camps. Who is responsible? I have strong evidence against Ahmed Haroun. Minister of the state for the interior. He coordinated these attacks. These were not Janjaweed, isolated people. They were combination of Sudan armed forces, air forces and militia integrating Janjaweed. So this happened 2003, 2004.

Now, it's the same. The civilians are now attacked in the camps. In different ways, but women are raped as soon as they leave. Men are killed. Police raid the camp.

Again who is in charge of protection? Ahmed Haroun. The same person. Now he is the minister for humanitarian affairs. His role formally is to protect civilians in the camps. What he's doing is attacking them. I will investigate him, but I'm sure now he's not alone. I will go to see what evidence I have, who is instructing him. This will be the next case.

FOREMAN: Let's take a look again at the map and give people a little reminder of where this is, and how this is happening out here. And let me as you a question. As we look at Sudan right now, certainly the country, the government there, has not done much to recognize what has been going on in Darfur. Has denied it in many cases, how do you even begin to prosecute someone like this?

MORENO-OCAMPO: That was my challenge two years ago. I had to investigate a case. And even I cannot go the crime scene, but I collect evidence. I collect statements from more than 100 witnesses who were victims and they were living in 17 countries all over the world. My people traveled around the world and we have now eye witnesss who saw Haroun delivering weapons in his own helicopters. I have evidence showing Haroun paying in cash the militia Janjaweed.

FOREMAN: But doctor, let me ask you this. My question is how do you get this person to justice? Even if you have the evidence. Even if you have the case. Listen, the Sudanese ambassador to the UN said Wednesday, "There is no way we're going to surrender our citizens to the ICC ... the mother of all fabrications." This report, that's what they call it.

If the government there is harboring these people, will not turn them over, even if you have the evidence, even if you have the case, how do you ever get a hold of these people?

MORENO-OCAMPO: As soon as Haroun travels outside of the Sudan, he will be arrested. It's an Interpol red notice.

In the meantime, the Sudan has the legal obligation as a UN member to arrest him. And as of this week, I remind the Security Council they have to insist to Sudan they have the duty to arrest him, and remove from office -- removing an arresting Haroun has to be a nonnegotiable point in any negotiation with Sudan. There are 2.5 million today in desperate situation. If we are doing nothing for them, they will die. My responsibility is to investigate crimes, but altogether, how to stop this, it cannot happen.

FOREMAN: Thank you for joining us and talking to us about your work.

In just a moment, "Flash Brief." The lightning round of foreign policy. Seriously, you don't want to miss it.

But first, our "Dispatches" segment. A look at your week at war. This week, our I-Reporter Cynthia Stoddard tells us the story of her two children. Mariah Stoddard (ph), unlike some little sisters, apparently thinks her older brother is a pretty great guy. When Nicholas (ph) came home on-to-Connecticut on a Thanksgiving leave as an Army medic in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk she brought him to talk to her eighth grade class.

Nicholas is back in Iraq for another year, but his sister is making sure he's not forgotten. She's rounded up her classmate and they have sent six boxes of military essentials. Things like toothbrushes, baby powder and bubble gum to the soldiers in her brother's unit. She says it's just one way to let the troops know they are loved and cared for back home.

We would like so much to tell the story of your week at war, whether it's on the front lines or on the home front, just go to and click on the I-Report link. It 's an easy thing to do. We hope you'll do it for us. Stick around.


FOREMAN: Time now for our "Flash Brief," where we bring in our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr for some of the things you need to watch in this coming week at war. And we start off with Afghanistan. Some tough new players on the field there.

STARR: The U.S. military has seen a new generation of young Taliban leaders. Vicious killers by all accounts. There is reward money on their heads. They are number one on the most wanted list there now.

FOREMAN: Turning to Saudi Arabia, the controversy continues over this young girl who was raped but sentenced to be lashed for it.

Are the Saudis going to bend the international pressure?

STARR: Most observers think this case, which very disturbing to the Bush administration will go all the way to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He will make the final decision.

FOREMAN: Wow. Some of the brigades that are responsible for the success of the surge in Iraq right now are pulling out now, being replaced. Will their replacements be able to continue the personal relationships with Sunnis and Shias that have made this work?

STARR: Very tough. It's been a success. Soldier to Iraqi personal relationships, new guys on our side. It is going to take a lot of time, something the Pentagon is watching very carefully.

FOREMAN: And new polls show more military families are sort of giving up on this war. They don't like the idea of it. They used to support it, now don't. What's that about?

STARR: It's all about that number 15. Fifteen month tours of duty on the ground. Military families, soldiers, very unhappy about it. It's the number one complaint. The Pentagon says they are trying to get back to 12-month tours of duty, but maybe not till next year.

FOREMAN: It's been hard on a lot of those families out there. Barbara Starr, thanks so much. That's a look at the "Flash Brief." Stick around. We have more coming up in just a moment.


FOREMAN: Finally, the story of the Fifth Squadron of the 73rd Cavalry out of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, just returned from the war torn Diyalah River Valley. Out of 440 troops, 22 were killed, and 95 wounded. The Silver Star is meant to recognize acts of gallantry in the face of the enemy and it was just awarded to five of these brave soldiers. An unbelievable number.

Barbara Starr tells us of their deeds.


STARR (voice-over): Jeremiah Church (ph), though badly wounded, dove through a hail of enemy gunfire to get more ammunition. Specialist Andrew Harriman (ph), a medic, ran 100 feet through enemy gunfire to rescue a soldier who was bleeding to death. First Sergeant John Cumer (ph) exposed himself to enemy fire, throwing grenades so a medic could get to a wounded soldier.

Staff Sergeant Justin Young, wounded in his neck, fought for five days before getting medical treatment. Captain Steven Dobbins (ph) was hit by an IED. He crossed an open minefield to save other men.


FOREMAN: Just amazing accomplishments worthy of so much honor. Thanks for joining us on THIS WEEK AT WAR. I'm Tom Foreman. Straight ahead, a check of the headlines, then CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT, "Czar Putin."