Interview With Four-Star Gen. Barry McCaffrey on KNTV – Broadcast Transcript
KNTV – NBC11 TV News Channel 11 San Francisco
6PM, September 12, 2005
T.J. Holmes (Anchor): General Barry McCaffrey was in the Bay Area today where he spoke about the war on drugs, the war in Iraq, and the response to Hurricane Katrina. He shared his thoughts with NBC 11’s Daniel Garza.
(Video: CRC Headquarters and banner, podium and guests on dais and audience, Cupertino, CA):
General Barry McCaffrey: This is a problem that affects all of us in America.
Daniel Garza (Reporter): As President Clinton’s Drug Czar, Retired four-star General Barry McCaffrey believed treatment was as important as enforcement, if not more. To that end he was in Cupertino today to inaugurate the headquarters of CRC Health Group, a national drug treatment program.
Gen. McCaffrey: Drug abuse has gone down dramatically and one of our remaining problems is: What do we do about the chronically addicted?
Daniel Garza: McCaffrey is also a respected military and national security expert. He works for NBC News in that capacity.
McCaffrey is blunt about the state of the National Guard, which he says is stretched too thin. He says more than half of those serving in Iraq are National Guardsmen and reservists.
Gen. McCaffrey: We have asked the National Guard to do something they were not designed to do – to serve multiple combat tours as long as eighteen months in duration. It’s a self-destructive cycle.
Daniel Garza: Still, he does not believe it has severely hampered the military response to Hurricane Katrina.
Gen. McCaffrey: The biggest shortcoming, to be blunt was leadership. It overwhelmed and surprised local, state, and federal leadership.
Daniel Garza: Though McCaffrey supported the invasion of Iraq, he blames setbacks on Donald Rumsfeld for not sending in enough troops. He expects the Pentagon to begin withdrawing forces next summer. But it all hinges on having a credible Iraqi government and security force in place.
Gen. McCaffrey: We got to stay the course, but I think we’re in a race against time right now because the American people are walking away from the war.
Daniel Garza: McCaffrey, a decorated Vietnam veteran knows exactly what that means. In Cupertino, Daniel Garza, NBC 11 News.
T.J. Holmes: On the subject of whether Iraq will be ready for self-government next summer, General McCaffrey says it will happen, but it will be far from perfect.