CBS ‘Early Show’ Promotes Obama’s Foreign Policy

Maggie Rodriguez and Lara Logan, CBS On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez discussed Barack Obama’s foreign policy goals with foreign correspondent Lara Logan and asked about Logan’s July interview with the president-elect: "...he said many times during the campaign, that Afghanistan, and not Iraq, needs to be our central focus in this war on terrorism. And this morning in the Washington Post we're seeing that's he's already tackling strategies in Afghanistan. What do you think? How important will this be for him?" Logan replied: "Well, there's no question that Afghanistan is a very pressing and immediate problem because the gains the U.S. made during the invasion seven years ago have been slipping away more...You really cannot separate Afghanistan and Pakistan. And Obama understands that, that's one of key things that he said to me."

Later, Rodriguez asked about Obama’s policy towards Iran: "...what I thought was interesting in this article in the Washington Post, is that President-elect Obama is reportedly considering talks with Iran as part of this new Afghanistan strategy. Do you think the two will go hand in hand?" Logan followed Obama talking points: "Well, he said from the beginning he has no problem sitting down with Iran if it is in the United States’ best interest, because he believes that dialogue is important...it's absolutely critical that the United States reaches some kind of understanding. They've been losing ground to Iran inside Iraq since the invasion of Iraq and that is really a very, very serious problem that has not been dealt with to date."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:04AM SEGMENT:

RODRIGUEZ: With so many pressing issues here at home, will President-elect Obama make foreign policy challenges a priority? Joining us to discuss some of those issues is CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan, who back in July, we remember, sat with President-elect Obama in Afghanistan, for his first overseas interview. And I remember, Lara, back then, that he told you, as he said many times during the campaign, that Afghanistan, and not Iraq, needs to be our central focus in this war on terrorism. And this morning in the Washington Post we're seeing that's he's already tackling strategies in Afghanistan. What do you think? How important will this be for him?

LARA LOGAN: Well, there's no question that Afghanistan is a very pressing and immediate problem because the gains the U.S. made during the invasion seven years ago have been slipping away more and more each year, and part of that problem is Pakistan. You really cannot separate Afghanistan and Pakistan. And Obama understands that, that's one of key things that he said to me. And one of the mistakes that the U.S. has made in it's foreign policy is trying to deal separately with Afghanistan, Pakistan. You know, I pose this question to every commanding general there, every single year, how do you win an insurgency when you have no access to its base, and its command and control, and its resupply, it's financing, its weapons, et cetera, et cetera, which is all over the border in Pakistan. And what is really critical here is Pakistan has nuclear weapons. It has more known terrorists than any other country on the face of the Earth. It's in a very fragile political and economic state right now. And Obama knows that, that is really a ticking time bomb. He has to deal with that, and deal with it effectively, or we really face problems in that region.

RODRIGUEZ: Lara, in the last 30 seconds, what I thought was interesting in this article in the Washington Post, is that President-elect Obama is reportedly considering talks with Iran as part of this new Afghanistan strategy. Do you think the two will go hand in hand?

LOGAN: Well, he said from the beginning he has no problem sitting down with Iran if it is in the United States' best interest, because he believes that dialogue is important. Iran, right now, has Iraq and Afghanistan on its eastern and western borders. Both efforts where the U.S. has troops on the ground and they do not want to see this happen. And this is not just about Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran in isolation. It's about the entire region and it's absolutely critical that the United States reaches some kind of understanding. They've been losing ground to Iran inside Iraq since the invasion of Iraq and that is really a very, very serious problem that has not been dealt with to date.

RODRIGUEZ: CBS's Lara Logan, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC