Condoleezza Rice on White House Dysfunction

Former Secretary of State discusses tensions with Rumsfeld and War in Iraq.
3:57 | 11/04/11

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Transcript for Condoleezza Rice on White House Dysfunction
Former national security advisor and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has -- to say about her eight years working in Washington under president George W. Bush. And her new book no higher honor a memoir of my years in Washington she holds nothing back. Candidly discussing the -- -- policies she helped create and implement while serving in the Bush Administration. As well as -- dysfunction she encountered within it. He conned billions Lisa Reiss joins us now for more good morning to you thank you so much coming in madame secretary thank you and -- right there -- President Bush prided himself on being a good manager get when you're talking about the foreign policy team he talked about the cycle of -- distrust and dysfunction particular between state and defense. Colin Powell picked up on this you picked up on it as well do you think the president should -- picked up on -- and acted on it sooner all -- -- And had experienced people in those positions and we certainly had every reason to make it work among ourselves now the fact is we got a lot done. Including getting through 9/11 getting Afghanistan. Launched we got a lot done. But when we got to the very stressing issues around Iraq it was very difficult -- we have strong personalities and strong personalities -- good. But under -- very difficult times sometimes they get a bit in the way. Of the smooth functioning. The apparatus I think for the most part we were able to work through but. That's I -- and it worked better. And strong personalities at one particular Donald Rumsfeld you helped to bring him into the president's inner circle. Do you regret doing I don't know I think Don did a fine job in many ways but he was a very good. Secretary of defense who transformed our military forces after the Cold War had ended when we got there in many ways -- armed forces still looked like they were ready to cross the German planes. To confront the Soviet threat and so -- has great credit for that. And then I've been friends for years and we remain friends busting a nice little bit of a grumpy guy and so there were times when we clash and the question of the Iraq specifically with defense wanted to -- link with al-Qaeda -- Iraq do you think. That if someone else had been in his position as secretary of defense that we may have waited or not have gone into Iraq -- -- all know we -- At -- united in the view that Saddam Hussein have had seventeen chances. To come clean with the international community including the latest on with. The resolution 1441 which was unanimously. Adopted in the UN. That said he had to suffer serious consequences -- there was a difference in the international community but we forget that there were more than two dozen countries that. Actually were part of the coalition that -- overthrew Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was a threat in the Middle East we believed that he had -- at least. Reconstituted his biological and chemical weapons and was moving toward reconstitution of his nuclear weapons and in the shadow of nine elevenths he didn't want to let threats like that continue to materialize. And there are some who say today that had we not taken our eye off Afghanistan. And shifted focus to Iraq that we would have succeeded in Afghanistan we wouldn't be there today. What do you have to say that Vasquez and was always going to be a hard places to fifth poorest country in the world it is deeply tribal it has Pakistan as a neighbor. And in fact things were going relatively well in Afghanistan until really things started to pull apart that border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and you don't get to choose between your threats. And international politics we have to deal with Saddam Hussein and I think the Middle East is today better. For his demise it's better because. There is an Iraqi Government that however -- stumbling toward its freedom. The Iraqi People have their elected representatives. It's better because we don't have an arms race between -- -- -- a job in Iran and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. And so -- it was a very difficult decision and in fact we would not did not want to go to war. But it was time to deal with Saddam Hussein and -- it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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