tv Today in Washington CSPAN June 1, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT
the way that they do business is the way they do business. people have tried to change it and have not succeeded. >> host: why has it not succeeded to have some sort of auditing of the books? >> guest: well, it's just that this is an enormous institution. it's a very different challenge to try to get this thing under control. my own view that government bureaucracy is definitely out of control. and it -- i think that's why we see the tea party movement developing.spending ar. we are with bill gertz of the "washington times." michael is joining us from hawaii on our independent line. you are next. caller: good morning. my question is for you, bill.
i believe that general cartwright should have been -- i wanted to ask you about that and the astronomical $100 billion plus money towards this war. i would like to get your input on that please. guest: we are addressing that someone. general cartwright is not a combat veteran. i think that is one factor. certainly, he has had a remarkable career. no one questions his amazing service, but people had differences with his outlook. for example, there right now is a debate in the pentagon on how to deal with the emergence of
china. it is not get attention with all the other issues going on. the pentagon is fighting whether our forces should be structured to deal with high end conventional conflicts with china or to refocus as defense secretary gates has done on these counter insurgency conflicts or what some critics call general custard type indian wars. that is the debate that is going on. general cartwright was suppose in some of the military efforts to build up conventional forces for dealing with the growing military problem of china. host: what is the role of the joint chiefs? guest: the chairman is the principal military adviser to the president. the chiefs themselves have a role of also being part of heading their services as the
top general in charge of their services. they are the ones that confer on all the issues, the big money issues and the force issues. host: so they are big picture strategy, philosophy? what do you make of this front page story? guest: yeah, this is a new area that the military has recently entered with the standing up of the u.s. cyber command which is up the parkway here at fort meade. basically, the military is looking for how to deal with these issues. they are very complex and very much shrouded in legal issues.
how do you define these issues? are they conflicts that would relate to the military? are the intelligence that would relate to intelligence gathering? there are still legal issues that have not been sorted out. on the other hand, you have the problem of most of the civilian infrastructure is in the military's hands. they are beginning to deal with this. but they have issued a number of strategy papers. it is a growing area of concern. the big problem is being able to identify or attribute the source of an attack. they are getting better at it but they are still not there yet. you have to find out who is attacking you, and most of the attackers know how to mask their attacks. they take over a computer system in finland to conduct an attack.
a lot of these attacks are coming from china and russia. of course, that is really where they are beginning to look at some of the big strategic cyber threats. host: the wall street journal says this as well. guest: i think the story is probably overstating it a little bit. stating that you are going to take military action in response to a is a bird attack is one of many options on the scale. you would have to consider what sort of an attack would warrant a military strike on another country. clearly, they are looking across the spectrum of different things. the internet is basically a
lawless environment, and people are beginning to understand defending your systems is going to be a never ending process. they are beginning to look at how you go on the offense. host: internationally, the rules of war are such that how would that -- how with the united states say if someone cyber attacks us, how can you retaliate? the guest: you have the inherent right of self-defense if you are under attack. you can take defensive measures including military action to defend yourself. they are extending that to include our networks and computer systems. host: is the unit states looking it other countries and what they do to get an agreement? guest: there has not been a lot of consensus on this because i think a lot of states are beginning to set up their own
military cyber units. the chinese last week announced they have what they call a cyber warrior unit. that was a very unusual revelation for the very secretive jennies. we do not know much about a lot of the other countries, but many of them are moving in this direction to create an area for international discussions on controls of cyber attacks. host: let's go to dave in denver. caller: i have a question. since our military mission has changed in the last 10 years, with budget cuts and defense spending, can we reduce those by cutting back or closing overseas bases that were established for the cold war? guest: well, a lot of that has been done. at the bottom line is the u.s. has a major, a global strategic
responsibilities especially to allies. japan comes to mind. i think japan does not really have its own military, relying heavily on the u.s. we have international commitments. i think the real cost of defense spending, in which you talk about pensions and health care. i think secretary gates has said recently the costs are just astronomical to maintain these. these are the promise -- this was the promise made to our military men and women that they would take care of those things. these are the things that are the real expensive units. i think there are a lot of concerns that we will not be able to fulfil these international responsibilities. a lot of nations count on the unit states and its military to protect freedom of navigation, to provide a deterrent to would- be aggressors, and the kind of
thing. host: the annual reauthorization bill was approved by the house last week, and part of that included increases in fees for retired workers to help curb spending for the department. guest: at the costs are going up. this is going to be -- the question is how can you pay for everything? how can we afford it? host: the senate has yet to take up the defense authorization bill and plans to do so next month. we will go to john in the wisconsin, an independent caller. caller: you have been talking about the issue of costs of the military. since we have a large defense budget and a large national deficit, i see the signs all the
time that we support the troops , cut my taxes. i do not know how you have military spending and constantly put it on a credit card. i am generally pretty conservative, but it does bother me who our nieces could be paying for the worse now. guest: it is not just the wars that it will be paying for. it is overall government spending. that is part of the debate. guns and butter. how do you manage to have irresponsible federal government budget when you do not have enough money? i do not have all the answers to that. i definitely come down on the side of supporting our national defense. i believe the united states has a major mission in the world and it needs to continue fulfilling that mission. the host: this tweet coming n --
guest: no, it hasn't. host: where do things stand with our actions in libya? guest: the administration used in certain provisions that allowed it to conduct military operations without having to go to congress to give formal authorization. we know that was also an issue after 9/11. the bush administration used basically a resolution as the basis for its war powers. this is a constant debate in washington over the war powers act and it will continue. host: san antonio, florida. caller: i have a question. if a gang attacks us, would we
go to their countries and occupied it like we do overseas? host: what is your point? caller: that is my question. if these higher power country terrorist groups look to attack us, would we do the same thing that we are doing to the middle east? guest: i would certainly think that the chinese and noticed the amazing special forces raid on bin laden showing that we have the capability to carry out a military operation in another country successful. whether we would do that, i do not know. i cannot imagine a scenario where we would be doing that, but it is certainly conceivable. you can hypothesize that if
terrorists had stolen a nuclear weapon or a device in some other country, our forces are trained to go after those kinds of things. those are the benefits of other nations as well. host: fairfax, va., republican, dolores. caller: you said that we are in many countries defendant, for example, south korea and japan. should these countries not be paying us to do that for them? i am wondering why this president did not have the foresight, him being so analytical as and they say, to see that we do not have enough money to finish the job. guest: on the first part, yes. the military always once war from nations that also support.
most of those countries to pay for some of it, not offsetting of total cost, but some of it does. i think this is an issue, up as the u.s. plans to transfer and number of troops from okinawa to guam. the japanese government is going to spend billions of dollars to take care of that. host: caller: i am a registered democrat, but i am really leaning towards more of a citizen view. it is apparent to many that a lot of our international affairs really come down to dollars. it appears the me go into these countries where we've said we are going to have a democratic rule, but it appears that they're just looking to increase
market share and open up new markets for business. generally speaking, these politicians who run our country are businessmen. they do this to spread business. but the same time, the american people are losing are losing -- american people are losing their homes and jobs. how do you see this thing in to enter national security scheme of things? guest: it goes back to the guns and butter argument. do you spend your money at home or do you want security abroad? that has been a debate that has been under way for decades. some people argue that peace can be assured by promoting stability abroad. that has become a very expensive proposition. that is being re-evaluated since
the 2008 financial crisis. i think that there will probably be some changes to that. can you afford to do these kinds of international security missions? i do not know how that will come out, but that will certainly be debated. host: indianapolis, independent caller. caller: good morning. i am speaking with 25 years' experience as a department of defense auditor. there are spending a lot of money on high ticket items that get you jobs in your home district and you are not sending any money on maintenance and training. that way you end up with flashy equipment but no one that can use it. you have a lot of smaller equipment that cannot operate. secondly, we will never get out of a problem until we have an accounting system that can tell
congress how the money is being spent. that will not happen until the department defense gives up control of their own accounting. the question i have is in do you think there'll ever be the will to stop helping the eu with massive military defense? about 25% at is providing the nuclear umbrella and a defense guarantee the eu nations such as france, germany, spain, and all of these countries that are quite wealthy and could very well spent. they spend less than 1% of their gdp on defense and are quite willing to criticize everything that we do. guest: there's no questions that the europeans have not been spending their fair share on defense and has been riding on the u.s. defense umbrella, blanket, however you want to put
it. some of the things that may have changed that are new concerns about a resurgent russia. we saw the russians going into georgia a few years ago. that definitely alarmed a lot of the eastern european new democracies there. they are obviously concerned about that, but the western europeans definitely have not been doing their fair share. i do not see that there's a lot of the pressure for them to do more so the u.s. can produce when they spend. host: here is the may 29th version of "the washington post." "go big or go home with the weapons that you have." what did they decide on this helicopter? guest: i think they canceled the program. helicopters are one of the most
important counterinsurgency weapons and clearly if you are going to have a counterinsurgency-oriented military, you need new helicopters. host: the caller brought up big weapons systems and there has been talk about a second system for the f 35. how has that been shaping up in the defense debate? where are they when it comes to big weapons and machinery? guest: the house authorization bill provided provisions and they said they would threaten a veto with. one was that they wanted to keep open the idea for alternate engine for the f 35. practical aircraft debate has been raging for the last several years. we have big problems with it. the defense secretary canceled the f-22 which was really the most advanced fighter jet that we had. they capped the production at
187. they decided arbitrarily, and i do not think analysis was done if we should have a mix of both plans, and we are now going to the f 35 and they want to ever to thousand. there is one big problem. they are designing this in three models, one for the air force, one for the navy carriers, and one for marines for a vertical takeoff and landing. it is plagued with problems, cost overruns, and it is creating nervousness at the top of the military that we do not have this tactical aircraft. that is one big ticket item. how do i get this aircraft feel that? at one hearing last week about the shortfall of 267 aircraft because this has been delayed so long. the older aircraft is being taken out of service to alleviate some of the problem so they will be purchasing more f- 15s. -- f-18's.
one was the white house objection to the provision that would require the obama administration to tell congress and the specific terms what it planned to do with our nuclear modernization. this is going back to the debate over the new start treaty with russia. they basically said that there was a provision that said the administration could not undertake provisions under the new start treaty unless they underlined in specific detail what they need to do to the aging nuclear arsenal, the backbone of our strategic nuclear deterrence. in then there are issues related to guantanamo detainees and whether they will be transferred to third countries and issues like that. there were 17 different issues. again, this is early and the sausage making process and we will see a lot of changes in the
senate and the real work in the conference. host: the house and the senate will have to come together and negotiate their differences. republican in kansas. caller: i have a question much of the budget crisis, do you know if anyone is challenging the constitutionality of forcing u.s. taxpayers to provide free education, for health care, and welfare checks to an illegal immigrants, foreigners who are here illegally, stealing our identities, negating taxes by working for cash, and stealing our jobs? host: i think that is outside of bill gertz's expertise. next caller. caller: do not cut me off. i have been watching c-span since the beginning. this is an important call. who owns "the washington times?"
how long have you worked as a reporter for the military? why does he not know about the trillions of dollars that are missing in which donald rahm spelled gave a speech about it should be investigated to find the money -- donald rumsfeld said was missing. guest: i have been at "the washington times" for 26 years and we are under new ownership. we are rebuilding the paper and going forward with a redesign and a rebuilding effort. i have been covering the pentagon for a long time, and it has been a fantastic experience. i have traveled all over the world. i have gone from china, russia, and backe including all points n between. host: when will of the redesign the launched?
guest: we are now in the rebuilding process. they will be announcing a new editor in the coming days. host: wisconsin, go ahead. caller: congressional week is pensions and health care. what affected do they have -- host: pensions. guest: i am not aware that they have a major impact. that is always one of the shares -- one of the issues. a recall one of the editors that mentioned that certain legislation would be swiftly moved to converse. i told them healing thing that moves swiftly through congress is when they do their own pay raises. host: leon panetta will take over at the pentagon for
secretary gates. what are his takes on the spending cuts? guest: that will be interesting. he is walking into a very, very difficult situation. leon panetta is a centrist democrat. he has done a pretty good job at the cia. he is going to have to deal with all of these issues that the outgoing defense secretary has sounded the alarm about. he has some experience in doing that. i would say that he is going to have a very difficult challenge, to be able to work within the pentagon system as it is set up now. we heard from a former dod are offset -- the auditor about how difficult it is to do that, but on the other hand he has the trust of the president so he will be given a lot of authority to try and implement these large-scale spending cuts. host: one more call for bill
gertz, the national security reporter for "the new york times." times."washington caller: a remember you were on a radio show in california in 1999. at that time, you told the george and the audience that the russians had no way to deal with the change going into the new century, okay? you said there missiles were very likely to go off and attack the united states. you said that you had a very secret information because of your contacts, okay? guest: i do not remember saying that. caller: this was a dean -- was the y2k problem.
host: last call for bill gertz from akron, ohio. caller: the donald rumselfd issue $2.3 trillion missing. so you don't know? guest: it keeps going up with every call. host: let's talk about the battle between the administration and republicans over these spending cuts. what does the president want to do to lower the pentagon's budget? what do the republicans want to do? guest: defense has always been a target for liberal democrats. that is clear. republicans want to hold the line.
we created this leadership forum for locations just like this to have dedicated leaders from the united states, southeast asia, australia, new zealand and the pacific to share their insights and perspectives on timely and important trends that will impact our lives from investments to security and political affairs to foreign policy and the important basis for all of the above people to people. we are very lucky today to have a good friend, assistant secretary of state kurt campbell with us here this morning. he is a leader in the traditions. he leads from the front -- [laughter] he says what he means. [laughter] no comment on. seriously, he leads from the
front. [laughter] he means what he says and he follows through. he's thoughtful, creative and backs good ideas with energy and action, and you can't say that about many people in certain leadership roles. although she's pervaded brilliant ideas and strategies, secretary clinton and he deployed throughout asia, i can't stand here and not share an example of kurt's leadership that is seared into my own consciousness. we had the unfortunate experience of being together in christchurch's zealand when the devastating earthquake of february 22 hit like a freight train during a lunchtime. it was a tragic day and a lot of us will never forget about 150 american leaders including younger leaders were on hand for the partnership forum which is the vehicle for strengthening and reinvigorating our ties with new zealand and courage of course has been a major driver
of this initiative. the support of the friends of new zealand, they evacuate as to the antarctic air base, and we were waiting to be evacuated on that airforce c-130 and was curved campbell who stood covered in dust and earthquake along with of the new zealand counterpart, and he really took charge. he took charge when the chips were down. he took charge of that evacuation. he sort about who would go first on the airplanes, who would go win and he wasn't first, he was last on their plan and i was really impressed he took great care to personally sit down with the younger leaders and put them at ease as we backed our way out of their and i can't tell you how impressed i was with leadership and action like that. this is an important time for u.s. policy in asia.
that's an understatement and i will sure you will explain why. with the secretary planned to head out for the four on and the president looking at the first e east asia summit as well as to hosting the apec leaders' summit in honolulu this november this is a timely talk. i don't think many people than washington can put 300 people in a room on the morning after memorial day holiday. please, well, my friend and our assistant secretary of state, kurt campbell. [applause] >> thank you very much. i've never seen a program stood up more quickly and greater influence than the one ernie put together the last couple of years. i have more to say about that as the discussion goes. let me welcome everyone on a very hot -- is it august or is
it still may? but there is no climate change. [laughter] welcome, everyone come here to csis. let me welcome all of the ambassadors and colleagues and friends, lots of distinguished people in the audience. ambassador more, a ambassador carla hills, i think you for coming. it's honor to be here. what i'd like to talk about today is our engagement and how we see the next steps when it comes to southeast asia in particular. i'd be happy to take questions or comments but the particular focus today is going to be southeast asia as a whole and i would like to begin with something i think it's extraordinary, as extraordinarily important. as occasionally you will find discussions about whether the united states is back in asia or stepped up hour game. i would like to reject some of
the concept because one of the most important things for the foreign policy in asia as a whole is for the last 30 years it has been primarily bipartisan. and the fact we can count on strong bipartisan commitment from both parties to an expansive engaged strategy in asia has been one of the principal achievements of american foreign policy in asia and one of the most important things we can count on going forward so one of the things i would like to see going forward, and i would counsel my friends in my own administration is to underscore the bipartisan quote the what we've done and what we will seek to do working closely not only with friends on the other side of the all but the legislative branch. clearly the legislative branch has equities and interest in southeast asia and we try to work closely with them as we go forward. that being said, adding it is clear with president obama and sector clinton came in one of the areas they looked at said
look we want to intensify our engagement in southeast asia and i think what you've seen the course of the last two and a half years is the beginning of the process, and i see beginning because in order to be successful particularly in southeast asia, it is going to be important to continue this to make sure that it lasts not only this administration but further in the future administrations that it's absolutely central to be able to underscore an enduring long term step in that engagement in southeast asia. so if you look at the things sector clinton and president obama did at the outset, first of all regularized the truffle, psychiatry clinton has been to asia seven times. many of the trips have been to the southeast asia. she has a couple of remaining countries she would like to go to all of the southeast asian countries during her tenure in office. we signed the treaty and the cooperation that's an important source of guidepost to get
through that allows us to have more intense engagement on a variety of not only bilateral initiatives but institutional initiatives as well. president jul instructed the department to undertake the brummer review on burba and we went through that process over the course of the first eight months, and we put in place very careful new strategy which is designed both to keep our pressure in place but also to explore opportunities for consequential engagement with the new leaders in particular we were one of the first nations to appoint an ambassador in jakarta. we believe one of the most important initiatives that can occur on the course of the next several years and the infrastructure of the institutions you see the developing in a variety of places that in particular when it comes to the secretary it
takes on new responsibilities and authorities we think it's extraordinarily important sector clinton will be reaching out to all the partners that participate in the regional forum requesting them also to send an ambassador said that david, who has been confirmed now for a couple of weeks a close adviser to the president said he is not alone. he is currently serving with japanese colleagues but we would like to see that full house going forward. we have come prepared each year in the form we spend an enormous amount of time on a range of issues both security, economic, political and cultural and i will talk about that as we go forward. and we have come hopefully bearing complex will decisis initiatives. last year in vietnam we can and worked closely with a variety of countries related to the initiative and we can talk about that as we go forward.
i think what we try to do is demonstrate we recognize for a host of reasons, and i think we all look understand the detailed facts that made southeast asia more important economically to the united states than even western europe and how to make that more clearly understood by the american people has been one of the things we have worked on consequently going forward. rather be in bye country by country i thought i would spend a few minutes to talk about the institutions. it's very rare that we think about the specific institutions and what our agenda is but in particular southeast asia of a current period really calls for coming forward with an integrated strategy are you go forward. before you do that let me say that oftentimes if you ask people what are the overarching goals of american foreign policy not only in the world, but in a particular place, you often see
a breakdown between to general world views. the one which of you would see one of the most important things for the american foreign policy is to sustain american leadership and american power in the world come and you do that through a variety of mechanisms. strong military commitments, underscoring the leadership role of the united states, that is a critical component of american foreign policy. there is a second school buses one of the most important things the united states has to do over the course of the next several years is to prepare the way for the recognition that other states arrived at and it's important to create institutions and capabilities in which other countries are asked to share the responsibilities of global power. and too often i think it is the case that these schools of thought are played off against
one another. but it seems to me the most creative diplomacy and the most important diplomacy over the course of the next several years is a blending of both. clearly smart diplomacy asks and demands us in the united states to take steps to secure american power to do what is necessary to make sure our position both as a dominant economic security and political player in doors, but at the same time creates capacities and institutions whereby rising states and other states have a chance to interact and can play a larger role in the shaping of the very institutions the will define the 21st century as a whole. it's words that end, asia as all of you know have a number of institutions. each with different memberships with different agendas. it's been signed so have shallow roots and is going to be critical over the course of the next several decades to put them
in deeper roots to make investments in specific initiatives and institutions in and to see those through to stronger completion and stronger roots. i'm going to go through with a couple of those institutions are and how the united states is proposing to engage with them. the biggest surprise i have when going to the regional forum two years ago is how much the institution evidenced in the years i was out of government. we spent most of our time at the regional forum thinking about the performance and the social engagement in the intervening period that has become a very serious institution. it has been engaged on some of the most difficult and challenging issues confronting asia over the course of the many years. proliferation, challenges associated with burma, questions related to what is the best way to promote dialogue and areas
surrounding the maritime security and the like. one of the things we have sought to do is to use the regional forum as a venue to engage key partners, friends and allies on the issues of importance. that is one of the reasons why we work closely with so many nations after to underscore principles of the time security that were associated with the initiative last year. this year 63 clinton will be going to bali for meetings both bilateral meetings in the trilateral engagements we will talk more about in a moment and also for the regional forum. i want to underscore one of the most important things we seek to do this year both the regional forum and the east asian summit is to demonstrate very clearly the commitment the united states has to work with the asia-pacific region so we will be seeking to highlight areas of
at the same time i think we will also try to find a few areas where we hoped to make modest contributions and gifts our insight to where we think the institution should go over the course of the coming year, and they will be in areas associated with disaster assistance. one of the things that we have found in the recent years whether it be tsunami is or earthquakes and tragedy in new zealand or japan is the need for the institution as a whole to have capacities to rapidly respond to those challenges, and that's one of the things we would like to explore when the president goes to volley as a whole. also hope to continue the practice of the u.s. summit. as you know, we had our first-ever meeting in new york last year after the u.s. meeting on the singapore the year before. we've had some wonderful suggestions and ideas.
we are working with a variety of countries to expand the educational opportunities both for students from southeast asia coming to the united states and vice versa. and also to create opportunities for a much larger group of american coleworts involved in the teaching of english throughout southeast asia. it is the number one goal of many of the leaders that we work with and it's the desire to see their populations more skilled in english and the role that the united states can play on that i.t. is welcomed as a whole. you will also see that in several of these initiatives we will be focused closely on trade. ivies you have all heard and have seen the reports about the tpp and lots of good work to be done. i will let my trade officials talk more of that, and when they are all together in apec in november. i would simply say that if you
look at the totality of the organizations, again, different memberships, different agendas, one of the goals and ideas is to create some form of loose integration more understanding of perhaps how the aussie on regional forum might relate to ideas put forward by the east asia senate, how the process that the meeting of the defense ministers can work on a variety of issues like piracy and the like and how that can work in a larger set as institutional frameworks. this is the enormously challenging given again the plurality of then use, the difference in memberships, but one of the things that is great to be absolutely essential if asia is to enjoy the promise in the 21st century is that the institutions of asia have to reflect the growing dynamism, and they have to address the
specific issues that confront all of us. the united states accepts the critical institutions both the es and the asian forum that it's the central component and that the institutions are built around. that doesn't mean the northeast asian issues or any issues in the pacific are affecting australia and new zealand should not get important attention. in fact one of the things we think is most important is if you look over the course of the last several years, we think that the way that northeast asia issues have been addressed at the regional forum and other institutions like the es has left other countries wanting a different approach and i think we want to work with southeast asia on that process as we go forward. on specific countries -- i think i will go through this quickly -- but you understand some of the things we're trying to work on but i will go through as quickly in some of the things
that you expect we would be wanting to work on over the course of the next couple of years. obviously given president obama's unique experience in asia, it has given us an enormous opportunity for the comprehensive partnership to take this bilateral relationship to the next level. i.t. give you made a list of those countries that were important to the united states it's a little awkward important to the united states the united states didn't recognize the importance and the issue to be a top of the list incredibly important not only in its role as a leader in southeast asia but also its role in increasing leedy beyond southeast asia in the middle east and beyond. we are finding that the experience in indonesia the course of the last several years speaks extensively and importantly to countries in the middle east that are struggling with a number of very trying and difficult domestic issues. we have been very pleased that
our progress we have seen today with the new philippine government. working closely with the foreign minister, the ambassador here we have made a number of decisions about partnerships and how we would like to work together on maritime security and a range of economic initiatives, and i think that we are beginning to see a degree of progress in relations between washington and that have been frankly difficult to get traction, and we are finding the traction as we go forward. everyone appreciates the important role singapore house played. i will talk to a mormon to delete a moment about the review that the united states while the same time remaining the very strong commitment northeast asia is seeking to do more to southeast asia to send a diversified message and also to increasingly linked operationally the concept of the indian ocean with the pacific points are made extraordinarily
vivid in the book monsoon. one of the first countries to step up and say we want to be engaged in this has been singapore. if you want to have good advice, if you want to hear it on furnished and even if it's tough, go to singapore, and singapore will give you a very clear assessment of how you are doing in the region, and that advice and counsel has been enormously important for us on every time mention that we have been involved in over the course of the last couple of years whether it is architecture, with its issues associated with trade, with a disapproval position on the region as a whole. we have made also important progress over the course of the last several years with vietnam and i think you have seen a very clearly with respect to our economic engagement and a variety of our political interactions. i think the only limiting factor in the current context is the domestic situation in vietnam earlier with our friends in hanoi and our desire to take the
next step in the relationship we will have to see further progress on the domestic environment as a whole. i find that the strategic intersections with our friends a copy of mom are extraordinarily impressive and i think one of the things we want to do is make clear to vietnam with our desire and intention to improve the relationship going forward based on their acknowledgement of some of the situations they are facing domestically. in malaysia we've seen unprecedented progress on a variety of issues beginning with non-proliferation but not ending there. we worked closely on a whole host of bilateral initiatives. the president had an excellent meeting with the press minister during the nuclear summit last year, and i think this is the relationship that has traditionally underperforms and there is a recognition that working together with the united states and malaysia can do going forward as a whole.
i would turn to the last couple of countries as we conclude here, but i do want to say a few things of the global posture review. secretary gates and his team and others aren't involved in a very intense process and you know the mantra diversified politically stable arrangements are our overall goal is to secure a strong and enduring american presence that sends a message of commitment not just to northeast asia but increasingly southeast asia and other countries in the region as a whole. it is an animated feature of the global posture review, and you'll see in shangri-la secretary gave some feeling some concepts and ideas in the coming days as a whole. let me just say what's the to do list, per the things we think are important going forward and i will go through those quickly if i can. the area that i would like to see beginning with me more
consequential engagement is in thailand. we would like very much to work closely it is a complex period and i think that you will follow the situation closely. we have an election on july forward. we have been involved deeply in the discussions with friends in thailand about what our expectations are and we worked closely with indonesia on the situation on the thai cambodian border that we hope to remain peaceful and see a dialogue in that respect. overall, we believe that as a treaty ally this is a relationship that we need to focus on more and the course of the next several months is likely to be decisive. cambodia and laos, both countries in which the united states has important though smaller engagements with respect to our overall programs. we have put in place schedules
of strategic engagement which frankly have been remarkably productive. we seek to take these to the next course of the next year or so. i think some of the other things i would like to say the process of creating deeper institutional commitments in asia where there is the secretariat or a clear sense of how the plus three for instance or plus six engages in the act. it sounds easy but it's extraordinarily challenging. that's one of the things i think the united states wants to work on over the course the next several years. i will say i think the united states has a very clear view that if it's important inconsequential, if it involves the political, the strategic, the military issues confronting the asia and pacific region than the united states wants a seat to the table and we want to be engaged in those conversations
going forward but i think that process is going to be more challenging and taking longer period of time when forward. most particularly is how northeast asia issues are addressed within the larger context of the senate and the regional forum. they cannot be bystanders, they have to have an active engagement in this overall process if these vehicles are to be important going forward. let me also say that despite the challenges in burma the united states remains committed to a process of dialogue. we haven't changed our policy sanctions and various policies designed to put pressure on the regime but at the same time i think it is our policy review has underscored we are prepared to work with the new government in a positive way given the appropriate signs if there are
any coming. joe just got back and we are in the process of going over his interactions while he was there in country at think it would be fair to say to date we have been generally disappointed and underwhelmed by the progress that we have seen. it is often said that we love when we go to china we hear very complex and wonderful stories. the united states has very few quaint streets but one of the ones we use is it takes two to tango. we need a dancing partner to be engaged in the complex diplomacy and we want to see more from our friends and it's not enough to say be patient, give us time. there's been an enormous amount of time. there's been substantial patience first from our friends for years hoping and waiting for
progress that hasn't come to pass. so despite the disappointment in the elections, we believe that there is the prospect for the dialogue here we are deeply involved in a dialogue with of their key players inside of the country, deeply engaged with the party as well as other groups involved at ethnic minorities and others in the parliament and we will continue that process of the dual engagement going forward. last let me say one of the most important things we can do is to build institutions and awareness here in washington, d.c.. i often tell my friends in southeast asia why don't these issues get as much attention? frankly it's because the institutions only of late have gathered enough steam to support our larger goals and ambitions. the business council has done a fantastic job but she needs more
support. again, i just cannot -- every day when i look at what they've done it's just astonishing to me what they've been able to put together. but frankly, nothing improves performance like competition, nothing improves performance -- i'm sorry -- [laughter] and the ability to be put to put together consequential and important programs. one of three southeast asian visitor comes to washington we want the opportunity to bring their wisdom and knowledge to bear with the important americans. i think we can do much more in this respect of the course of the next couple of years. i'm going to be working with a lot of institutional supporters both think tanks and others to bring this to bear. i think with that i will stop and i would be happy to take any questions or comments you might have. [applause]
thank you very much. i -- why don't we take questions sitting down so you can be comfortable. i would like to ask when you have a question just tell us what your name is and who you represent and please, questions, not comments. we will start here in the front. >> mr. scirica last week 45 senators from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to the president and earlier senator lugar sent a letter to the secretary urging the administration to approve the sales to taiwan as soon as possible. what kind of an impact will these letters have on the administration's decision whether and when to sell to tie
one? thank you very much. >> obviously i'm not going to get into any specifics associated with our sales. i would simply say that we take the exit could branch through -- every administration takes it very seriously. we understand the responsibility in that regard and recognize that the taiwan relations act requires respect to the partnership and the executive and legislative branch and we take that relationship seriously with feedback in this respect as important. all i can tell you is the united states understands our role with respect to the maintenance of peace and stability across the street. >> thank you assistant circuit three. given the importance to the region, can you tell us a little bit about how you think burma
william gage in 2014 and whether you think that's an opportunity and how the u.s. will engage with the prospect of the future as an opportunity will be a challenge or a mixture? thank you. >> first let me say i'm not sure that that decision has been taken yet. i would say in terms of our own bilateral relationship there are several things we've been looking for and we try to underscore and we think that progress on these issues would be important in any circumstances, but clearly if that country seeks to play a larger role in the international stage. we have asked that there be a political process, a dialogue between the new government come and we think this is entirely appropriate and we'd like to see that come to pass quickly.
we recognize and understand that there's a large number of political prisoners inside the country. we would like to see the release or the beginning of the process of release of these prisoners. we think there would send an important message going forward. obviously, seeing a more responsible dialog between the government and the various countries, various ethnic minorities and organizations inside the country would be very welcome, and we have to underscore the economic performance and the spending on health and welfare is among the lowest of any country in the entire planet so we like to see improvement in this regard, and perhaps last but in no way least we need to see burma, myanmar, respond very clearly to
international mandates associated with the security council resolution and the materials from north korea, and we did underscore and all of our meetings with our interlocutors the importance of progress on each of these issues. we recognize that it is a new government and assigned people with new responsibilities never the less we expect there to be a clear break with past presidents if there is to be a better relationship with the international community going forward.
>> [inaudible] >> in terms of this how would you address the contradiction between the u.s. leadership and the contradiction between the u.s. leading economy which excludes china and dominating the ten plus whatever. >> first, think you. it's an important question. i think the key thing right now for the united states is to underscore the commitment obviously we are in the process of dialogue with capitol hill and not only the columbia and panel as well. i think the tpp have reached a critical juncture and it's not in -- you're correct a sidestepped that.
that is largely because of the very important stage we are at right now in terms of the negotiations and discussions ongoing. i don't think i'm going to get into the sort of future particular sort of architectural , but i would simply say that the then you is by its design not meant to exclude, in fact i think there is a clear statement by the key negotiators and key players inside of the u.s. government that is very much prepared to engage in the countries interested in a dialogue about tpp, so i don't think that those possible additions in the future have in any way been ruled out.
>> foreign policy magazine. you mentioned the summit in senator ann gates and mengin you might be on building some specifics. could you please elaborate or mengin what we might expect? >> the way that works in government and when someone says -- she's going to be talking about the force posture work that is being done at the pentagon at the dialogue and i think that is pretty much washington talk for standby. [laughter] >> thank you. you mentioned south china and i think it's a portent to address a year ago this is the issue that created from u.s.-china and
the southeast asian countries. so a year later to i think china is playing its role in southeast asia would you expect from china, thank you. >> i very much appreciate questions. let me say that last year although a lot of attention to this, if you look carefully at official statements made by psychiatry clinton and people traveling with her and also subsequently, you will never once find the mention of any country with related to the south china sea initiative. this was an attempt to lay out some expectations about the norms and process. one of the things we have seen in recent months that we support completely is the dialogue that has been undertaken by indonesia has to share with china, and i think we support this process dialogue between china on issues
related to the south china sea, and the united states has in many respects tried to let that process play out. we continue to have a strategic interest as a secretary clinton has underscore but we think right now the most important thing is to see a process of dialogue emerge. i think that process is -- it is hits and starts, but i think there has been some progress, and i know that leaders in beijing are committed to building strong ties through a whole range of initiatives with southeast asian countries and as i try to mention here, one of the things that we want to underscore in our meetings in the east asian summit is the united states and china one to work together and demonstrate that very clearly through specific initiatives. ..
>> thailand and cambodia to have uncertainty has been disconcerting. i think that role has been extraordinarily important. and, of course, the role that they have played in trying to begin a complex process of dialogue. not only with stakeholders like the united states and europe, but also the rest of the southeast asia with burma and myanmar. i think indonesia playing the larger role is very welcome. and the united states seeks to
support it completely. >> back gentleman in the pink shirt. >> thank you for this opportunity. how does the united states deficit issue shadow on the effort that you talked about? you said you maintained the commitment to northeast asia and has to southeast asia. but on the -- especially on the security side. can the u.s. manage to enhance the commitment throughout the region? thank you. >> thank you very much. it's an important question. and i think it affects not only our military presence, but particularly our other assets of governance, including our a.i.d. work, that's the work and the capacity that will be most urgently asked. i think one needs to only look at the statements of president obama, national security
advisor, secretary clinton, secretary gates, clear desire over time that the united states shifts the gravity of our strategic focus from the middle east and south asia more towards asia. i think there is a recognition that these challenges facing in the middle east are extraordinarily important. the truth is the 21st century -- much of the history of the 21st century will be written in the asia-pacific region. it's going to be important for the united states to step up our game. that's what we are determined to do going forward. i say that in the context of a strong commitment across the political aisle. if i could just make one other point to that, you know, it is the case that often times we use the term asia-pacific. but the truth is it's the second word in that that gets short shrift. if you look over the course of the last 20 years where we have
profoundly walked away from some of our enduring, strategic, moral political commitments it is in the pacific ocean arena. one the things that we have been attempting to do over the course of the last couple of years is to work with new zealand, work with australia and other countries to support them and also to put more capacity in the pacific. where even small investments go along way given the challenges of poverty, climate change, health and the like. and this fall in auckland will be the 40th anniversary. united states will bring the largest delegation from assistance from the military from the state department and other capacities to demonstrate our strong support for enduring american commitment in the region. i believe that there is the deep
understanding. one the most important interactions is the design that the united states not step back from the asian-pacific region to do what's necessary to create the infrastructure, the operating system that will allow for strong enduring presence now and into the future. >> thank you for calling on me. this row has two questions. >> it's a good row. i always try to sit in that row. >> yeah, i was planning to move over there. anyway, my question is regarding -- i appreciate you.
my question is can you give us more specifics on the government to government military assistance regarding coastal watch and maritime security and also the new challenge corporation? i know it's linked with the human trafficking record. is it on track when it starts it's implementation with you? >> okay. i think i understand your question. okay. look i, you know, we've had some important work that has been already completed on the millennium challenge corporation and we look forward to new projecting and engagements both in the philippines and in asia also in the pacific as well. there are enormous and important criteria that have to be falled with the respect to specific investments. we work closely with the countries that meet those
criteria. i think we were very pleased to be able to welcome the philippines into this agenda over the course of the last several months. on the specifics associated with our military engagement, i think i could give you a general overview, but probably would refer you to the pentagon to go over some of the specifics associated with coastal watch and the like. i will simply say that one of our goals going forward will be to increase the capacity of friends and partners to play a role in situational awareness with respect to their own maritime claims and a stronger degree of consultation with respect to issues that take place in the maritime realm. i think you see with all of our partners in asia pacific region that some of our discussions
have shifted from simply issues associated with traditional areas which tend to be associated with armies, given the role that armies have played in southeast asia. increasingly to naval coast guard and other capabilities. which will be central to the maintenance in southeast asia as we go forward. >> last question, in the back, the gentleman. >> thank you. mr. secretary, i have a follow up question about south tennessee. you mention that dialogue between china and asia is undergoing and also taking progress. but in the -- during the past week, we saw the new dispute
between china and does the united states take any position on this dispute? thank you. >> thank you, almost every week we see instance of various kinds between fishing vessels, between scientific vessels, prospecting ships and the like. our general policy remains the same. we discourage and resort to violence in the circumstances or threats and we want to see a process of dialogue emerge. we communicate intensively and privately with a various of states associated with the south china seas. i think we were going to continue to do that as we go forward. we'll take one more. >> one more question. right up front. >> that was a hard one. >> a nice easy question. >> i have two. >> well, thank you so much for your insight.
nhk television. i'm sure you know it's the third time that kim jong il has visited china. and i want to know how you are -- what's your take -- what your take is on china intensively trying to help north korea and how it might be hindering all of the efforts that you and your allies are trying to in terms of addressing the north korea nuclear issues. if you are planning to address this at the fn, then to china directly, when you say you are working with china with you, how are you trying to address this issue in particularly? thank you. >> first of all, we have not yet gotten a formal readout from chinese friends about the visit of kim jong il to china. we look forward to those discussions in the coming weeks. i think our position remains the
same. we both privately and publicly encourage china to make clear to north korea our expectations of what's necessary with respect to both an important dialogue that needs to take place between north korea and south korea, but also the necessary steps that are necessary -- that should take place before the resumption of the six party talks. thanks. >> thank you. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in thanking craig for the comprehensive look. [applause] [applause]
>> speech autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups but on average affects 4 to 5 times more boys than girls. i actually became involved and immediately concerned with autism back in 1982 when i visited with dr. david holmes the founder of eden institute now edin autism institute and i'm very glad that dr. tom mccool will tell us how eden is using its 36 years of experience
to improve autism service programs around the globe. i became deeply involved and even more so in 1998 when a family of my congressional district bobby and billy gallagher told me about a perceived prevalence of autism in a township. i requested the centers for disease control and the agency for toxic substance that it was indeed to be much higher than was generally to believe to be the prevalence. as a direct consequence of the bringing study and the cdc admission that there were no recent prevalent studies in the united states with which to make a comparison, i introduced legislation to authorize grants for autism and pervasive developmental disabilities surveillance into established centers of excellence in autism and pervasive developmental
disabilities epidemiology. this legislation, the autism statistics surveillance research and epidemiology act or assure was introduced in 1999 was incorporated into title 1 of the children's health act of 2000, which also established the centers for excellence in autism, research in nih and created the interagency autism coordinating committee. to continue to monitor implementation of these new federal implementation programs i established in 2001 along with my colleague mike toil the congressional autism caucus to raise awareness of autism and provide a forum for advocacy within congress. the combating autism act of 2006 reauthorized the autism programs created by the children's health act but also expanded the act calling for research into possible environmental causes of autism and creating and, quote, autism education, early
detection and intervention program to improve early screening diagnosis, interventions and treatment for asd's. just last week, i introduced along with mike a package of free comprehensive autism bills the combating autism act of 005 which will ensure continuation of the important federal autism programs for education, early detection, surveillance and search of the national asd act makes the hhs secretary the head of the national autism effort and ties budget authority to the strategic plan for autism research. and the asd act or h.r. 2007 which establishes grant programs to provide important research and services for children transitional youth and adults and establishes training programs for service providers. i would note to my colleagues on a trip to lagos, on human
trafficking while there i met with a man, a parent of an autistic child. he is the executive director of the public/private partnership resource center and his wife dr. doris is the executive director of the oig health foundation and autism center. they told me of the large numbers of nigerian children suffering with autism and the lack of government or other supports. as a result of my discussions with the family, i introduced on february '08 the global autism assistance act which directs the administrative and u.s. agency for international development to establish and to administer a health and education grant program to support activities by nongovernmental organizations
and other service providers focused on autism in developing countries and also establishes a teach the teachers program to train health and education professors working with autistic children in developing countries. i will be reintroducing this legislation later this week. while this is a first of its kind hearing, i plan on scheduling additional hearings on this escalating health crisis and on the global autism assistance act when we introduce it later in the week. i would note that the progress that has been made in recent years and increasing awareness and particularly of some of the more developed countries in improving services and treatment for autism, however, i would note at the same time that we must take seriously the world autism organization's assessment that in every part of the world, the situation we're dealing with autism remains inadequate, even in those countries with considerable experience and
understanding of autism because the systems that have been established are being completely swamped by the number of people in desperate need of support. there are a wide range of autism prevalence figures between countries and individual studies. in the united states cdc estimates that close to 1% of the population is affected by an asd. autism speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization describes a scientific consensus that 1% of the world's population or some 67 million people, i repeat an estimated 67 million people are affected with some form of asd. according to the world health organization, i'll include their testimony and hopefully at a later date they will testify as well but in their submission they note that, quote, tens of millions in africa are affected by autism. tens of millions. in that context autism is a
developmental disability pandemic. it is largely underrecognized, underappreciated in its impact and underresourced. caring for individuals with autism often takes as we all know a very high physical, emotional and economic toll on families and other caregivers. more severe forms of autism multitime over the require care in countries autism can overwhen he will their families as their lives become consumed with the considerable challenges of identifying appropriate biomedical and psychosocial treatments, and other needed support systems for their autistic child or children and eventually for as autistic adult. in less developed countries, the situation is even more desperate. very often there are no resources outside of the family to help. and rather than a diagnosis of
developmental disorder, the child and the family may face cultural stigma and discrimination pushing the family and the child further into isolation and desperation. we all know that early interventions are effective in improving the functionality of the child and that the positive outcomes from early interventions can last throughout the life of the individual but very few children in africa, for example, as well as other developing countries have access to such interventions. even in more economically developed nations there are large disparities in the quality of care. concerted actions are required to overcome the global challenges to effectively address autism and other developmental disabilities. we need to continue to help increase awareness of autism at all levels. and in all countries who advocate for the inclusions of developmental disabilities in national and state health
policies to increase the availability of quality services across a continuum of care and across the life span and to continue to support scientific research that will lead to more effective treatment and one day to effective strategies or prevention. the benefits of international collaborations and corporations are multidirectional. in fact, i'm looking forward to learn about northern ireland's autism act of 2011 from arlene cassidy, ceo of autism northern ireland. i'm pleased we will have miss cassidy join us today and she will be speaking to us very shortly. i and other congressional cochair mike doyle signed the memorandum of understanding with the northern ireland assembly to share information, support common interests regarding autism. in addition to tom mccool and arlene cassidy testifying here today will be brigitte kobeman
founder of the foundation of africa and andy shih, who's the vice president of scientific affairs for autism speaks. we're all looking forward to hearing the valuable perspectives that each of our witnesses bring to this discussion. and although they are not here today, i would like to recognize the autism society, who will testify at a later hearing for their invaluable work in advocating on behalf of individuals with autism both within the united states and in the international community. i've been informed that tom payne, who's our ranking member who is en route and who will be here to a half hour to an hour. i guess he ran into some delays at the airport but he will be here and we'll be joined by some other members as the hearing progresses. i'd like to ask our distinguished witnesses to come to the witness table and i will begin with their introductions at this point. we'll begin with mr. andy shih,
who's the vice president for scientific affairs at autism speaks. he's -- autism speaks as i think many people know is the nation's largest science and advocacy organizations dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders and advocating for the needs of individuals and their families. mr. shih works closely with members of autism speaks board, scientific committee, senior staff and voluntary -- of volunteer leadership to develop and implement the organization's research program. he oversees -- he focuses on things that include genetics, environmental sciences and epidemiology. and he also leads autism speaks international scientific development efforts including global autism public health initiative and international advocacy effort that intergrates awareness research and then
scientific development. i note parenthetically in 2005 and 2006 when the reauthorization was very much in limbo, whether or not it would actually occur, autism speaks moved heaven and earth to make sure that legislation was enacted and i congratulate you on your extraordinary advocacy, senator santorum's bill that did become law and passed both the house and senate, obviously -- it was a great credit to your organization as to how well you helped to bring that about. so i congratulate you on that. we will then hear from ms. arlene cassidy who's the ceo of northern ireland's autism charity known as autism ni. she specializes in autism spectrum disorders for 20 years and has provided the research service development and strategic lead for autism ni or northern ireland the in the development of an internationally acclaimed early intervention program for autism including a catalog of academic research and published journal articles. she's led the charity as an
accredited training agency as well as an effective agent for social change through a community development and partnership ethos which she has provided the foundation for the charity's family support services and an effective -- political lobby for a dedicated northern northern ireland autism act which was signed into law in northern ireland. we will then hear from ms. brigitte kobeman, who moved to the united states over a decade ago. in 2004, brigitte's daughter had an autism spectrum disorder and they moved to where their son can receive appropriate treatment for his choice. back in maryland brigitte founded the not-for-profit autism community for africa in 2008 to create a platform to
share her experience and help african families in need by providing them with information and resources. brigitte also represented her country and was voted miss congeal -- congeniality. and then we will hear from mr. tom mccool who is president and ceo of eden autism services, a new jersey-based nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of children and adults with autism and their families. eden provides a specific variety of needs throughout the life span. mr. mccool is the founder commissioner on the national accreditation of special education services and founding member and current vice chair of the national association of residential providers of adults with autism. he served on the medical
investigation of neurodevelopmental disorders institute advisory board. he's currently a member of the autism society of america and is serving as treasurer of the national association of private special education centers. he's also the chairman of the board of autism services group. i don't know where he gets the time. mr. shih? >> thank you, congressman smith, and members of the subcommittee for this opportunity to share with the autism speaks and goals of autism. i'm andy shih i'm part of autism including research and gifkz in terms of sciences and epidemiology as well as an international scientific development environment. i'm a biologist by training and i have the honor and pleasure of serving in the austin community for a decade.
as congressman smith mentioned, it's scientific basis 67 million people for about 1% of the world's population is affected with some form of asc. a prevalence higher than aids and cancer and diabetes combined. though there's no medical ker four autism treatment can work if diagnosis is early. the recognition for need of better screening for treatment has led groups is such as the american academy of pediatrics command the screening for all children between 18 and 21 months years of age. the success -- the success is improving care both in north america and europe also makes it clear that these approaches can be adapted and extended to countries around the world. unfortunately, today, in most of the world, dinosed intervention is more aspiration than legality a major barrier to improving the health and well-being individual in the family is a lack of
expertise and capacity to diagnose the disorder and to deliver appropriate intervention. with our expert and capacities it improves the quality of life for individual asc and their families from being out of touch. in many countries there's little awareness and simply no often service providers. as a result, affected children and family do not receive proper care. and support. an opportunity for better outcome and improved quality of life for the families are lost. to address this global public health challenge in 2008, autism speaks a public health initiative. an ambitious advocacy effort to provide support to other countries in order to enhance public professional awareness of autism and to increase capacity to enable early detection intervention as well as research. the core value of a sense of urgency, scientific excellence and families touched by autism, public health initiative or gap provides technical expertise and support to our partners to help realize their vision of
progress. to collaborate broadly and incluesively with stakeholders of all levels, clinicians and science as well as parents and families because we recognize the development and implementation of meaningful and sustainable program solutions required local leadership and ownership. strategies and content are continually informed by the latest research in clinical dissemination and science. in addition, the experience we gain in data we collected from gap programs would help us advance and refine autism science and inform service and agency development. indeed, benefit from the gap-related activities are expected to be reciprocal with greater international collaboration and there will be new insights into a success c causes including environmental factors, social cultural influences and diagnosis and treatment, education, and service development. interests that will help affect individual families the world over including those in the united states.
autism speaks currently support gap-related countries in 26 countries and six continents and these collaboration are already yielding impressive returns for our community both here and abroad. we have a country like brazil, mexico, qatar have their own established their own collaboration with u.s. scientists. they are supporting governments like albania and ireland with the international health policies and program. as an initially ngo partner of the w.h.o. and working with geneva and health minister industries in the south of europe and southeast asia to develop a regional health networks to develop awareness and training. autism speaks and w.h.o. are collaborating bangladesh collaboration office and the ministry of health, to host an international conference this july -- this july in dakar.
to bring together like-minded scientists together for several countries to explore regional coordination collaboration. finally, the recently published first ever prevalence in south korea reported two prevalence of 2.6% with many previous cases found in the mainstream schools. in addition to the potential implication for environmental science research the difference between case methodology using the korean study and the one used by cdc to determine cdc by our statistics and if we are underin the autism. the prevalence in other public health data and their policy and service development is not available in most of the world. however, our recent estimate over 90% of autism research conducted on about 10% of the global community. and supporting gab related activities like korean opportunities worldwide it's to
help bridge the knowledge gap in foreign policy and development and hence evidence-based and as a result narrow the service gap. in south africa, for example, we found a prevalent study where aids is an epidemic. with public health statistics and explore a compromised means system on brain development. simultaneously we're working with stakeholders from that country including government officials to develop consistent community priorities having upcoming programs and discussions with public agencies and it's worth noting that one of the recurring themes we've encountered with health officials and low resource countries in those in africa is how best to prioritize autism with so many life-threatening diseases and conditions such as aids, malaria and malnutrition compete for public health resources. while we understand that perspective, we believe that such a public health policy-making is overly simplistic.
as child mortality increases, simple math predicts an increase of the disability. so instead of seeing mortality and development disorder like autism as two distinct public health challenges it should be tackled as part of the same problem. autism speaks and our partners around the world believe that by addressing autism-related disorders now south africa and the other developing countries can get ahead of the curve, help maximize outcomes for individual families and limit long-term costs to society. in conclusion, the daily challenges are familiar to any individuals of families in this country struggling with autism spectrum disorders. by sharing our experience, expertise and translating and adapting best practices into health solutions we believe we can make a difference in communities with less know how and resources. just as important, we can also learn valuable lessons from these collaborations that can help improve the quality of life to our families here.
but we need help. our work at w.h.o. has a power of collaboration in the salary and progress and speed and delivery to answers to our families. we welcome suggestions, and recommendation about how perhaps we can work with other government agencies further our global effort. thank you. >> thank you very much for your testimony and again, thank you for the fine work that autism speaks does not just here in the u.s. but here around the world. i'd like to now invite arlene cassidy who's the ceo of autism northern ireland, if she could provide us with her testimony. apparently, audio part of this has not come through. i would note she is speaking to us from our -- the u.s. counselor's office in belfast. >> thank you. >> thank you for being here. >> please let me begin by
thanking chairman smith, ranking member payne and the members of the opportunity to appear before you this evening. i hope that by the end of this evidence, the subcommittee will look beyond the relatively short history, 20 years of the autism movement in our small country and recognize the huge steps taken over the last four years to address the issue of inequality, the legacy of neglect regarding service planning and funding that is our experience. in my written evidence which was submitted last week, i referenced in some detail the impact that they had of stunting the growth of economic growth in northern ireland. those decades of that particular civil conflict coincided with the birth and spread of the global autism movement but that wave of autism awareness and knowledge passed us by. the progress regarding post-conflict reconstruction of northern ireland, therefore, has been a barometer of the fortunes
of autism. in the 1990s, knowledge about autism swept and was absorbed by families on the nonprofit sector but government ownership was absent. the subsequent decade has witnessed the fledgling efforts of various government departments to plan strategy for autism alongside the establishment of the northern ireland assembly. the question is are we going in the right direction, and yes, this can be viewed as progress until one considers that planning has been limited to single government departments such as health, planning has not built on the developments of the 1990s. instead, the more proactive government role has resulted in existing services being deconstructed and innovative local research ignored causing delay as new untried models are in place. also planning and liaison is more disconnected between the statutory sector and the nonprofit sector than ever before. the funding priority overall is
still very low. funding allocations are based upon an data placement of asd within the learning disability budget the result asd services are funded by money taken from the learning disability budget feeding back into the lack of services for people with asd with an i.q. score of 70-plus. the campaign for the northern -- for the autism act ni 2011 began in the homes -- began in homes across northern ireland as families increasingly voiced their frustration about how the lack of dialog and planning across government's departments was seriously impacting on their lives as support across the various life transitions was challenging for individuals with autism failed and failed again. the campaign for the autism act began in the hearts and minds of parent activists. increasingly aware that the core of all the flawed planning and absent funding was a fundamental
inequality. asd was not recognized or clearly defined in disability-legislation in the united kingdom. resulting in all the decisions regarding service and benefit entitlement that are based upon disability legislation being open to interpretation, rejection and inconsistency. this campaign united families a nonprofit sector and public representatives at a period in our political history when the art of lobbying political institutions was in its infancy and lobby agencies were nonexistent. a democratic lobby of the people have been created so we made an impression and we had to -- because the status quo was against us, few public servants understood the need for change and, therefore, they opposed it. the campaign gained momentum in 2006 encouraged by developments in wales where the welsh assembly government to unite the public and nonprofit sectors in
planning for asd across government departments. within the u.k. and across the world, the call for national strategies and legislative social change was getting stronger. the creation of the celtic nations autism partnership and the 2007 delegation to washington, d.c. to meet with the cochairs of the autism caucus was part of that movement. it was no accident, therefore, that the autism act is rooted in the realities of our society. it is unique to our situation and in the aspirations of the families here. yet, it is an example of one mechanism that is available to many societies in addressing fundamental human rights and the inequalities when the state is resistant about its legislation. there's little doubt that the changes brought by the northern ireland about the definition of disability will reverberate across the other jurisdictions
within the u.k. and the republic of ireland. if the autism act northern ireland initiates legislative change beyond its own jurisdiction, what a complement to the journey we have traveled. the next steps at home are crucial. as the northern ireland agrees the implementations for the autism act we must ensure that the lessons of the past are well learned and that families living with autism are not disenfranchised again. there has never been a budget or cost center for autism across government departments because -- well, a budget for a condition that doesn't exist in northern ireland and when there's no data there's no problem. this will be the greatest challenge, finding the budget, quantifying the need. the autism act is our hope. above all, it is evidence that we have citizens with autism who can no longer be ignored. thank you. >> ms. cassidy, thank you so much. if you could hang on for a few
moments, perhaps to answer some questions, we will go now to -- and i want to again thank you for the work that you've done with the all-party caucus which works so closely with our own caucus here. the more we collaborate, hear best practices and learn from your new autism act of northern ireland, 2011, the better. we could all borrow best practices and hopefully put them into law and policies so thank you so very much. i'd like to now ask ms. kobeman if you would now proceed. >> thank you, congressman smith, and members of the subcommittee for the opportunity to share with you my experience in dealing with autism in africa. my name is brigitte kobeman, founder of the autism community of africa and a mother of a child with autism. in 2007, after being invited on
the voice of america television to talk about autism in africa, i was contacted by a young lady from nigeria. she was asking for help because she recognized the symptoms of autism that i had talked about on the show. and she was convinced that her brother has autism. but she was more alarmed by the treatment that he was receiving. he was tied on a tree and beaten with a stick to chase the evil out of him. and a lady contacted me because the lady was on the verge of depression. with the cultural stigma labeling her daughter as a bad omen, and the constant challenge and lack of sleep in raising her daughter, the mother end up in the mental institution. another concerned sister from
atlanta, georgia, contacted me because her sister in ethiopia was exhausted. her der was looking for something, anything that could help her deal with her daughter's autism condition. we can say with caution that through the years the awareness for diseases like hiv/aids, malaria, and malnutrition has reached a great deal of maturity in africa and around the world compared to others. the minister of health in an african country which i will not name for privacy once told me, what is autism anyway? what is malaria? everyone knows malaria. my point exactly. everybody knows malaria. not to minimize this issue in any way, but what do we do after children are feeling better from malaria? malnutrition, or receive treatment for aids but still
have autism. in africa, children with autism are a burden of most families and society due to the lack of awareness, education, and proper treatment. they need to be given the necessary tools to care for themselves. autism can be treated. my son is a living proof. he was unverbal until the age of 4. after receiving his diagnose. my husband as the congressman said earlier. that avenue battle that people with autism faces. it was hard, frustrating and sometimes brutal but we had to keep going because we knew our failure as parents was not an option. vine was lucky enough to be born in the united states of america where he's able to get the treatment that he needs. the infrastructure are there so we as his parents have no excuse to fail him.
today, at 11 years old, even though he's a little different from his peers, vinnie is self-sufficient and he's in mainstream school. he's doing well according to his iep and his education plan. sometimes during our conversations, he gives me the magic phrase, mom, you just don't understand. and to have the attitude to go with it and i smile and thank god for living in this great country but my joy is bittersweet because i think of all the children and families in africa and i shed a tear. the children in africa are not so lucky. they have nothing to help them, doctors don't have the equipment necessary to dealing with the problem and there is no follow-up program. as of now, a few ngos in countries like nigeria, cameroon, south africa, ghana are struggling to take on the challenge. these ngo were created mostly by parents who were frustrated by
the lack of infrastructure to help their children. but they are faced with a variety of challenges, lack of funds, lack of support from the government, fear from family to shield the evil child with autism, et cetera. the mother told me once, if i show my son to you, what are you going to do for him? and this is the reality on the field. these kids are hidden. they are afraid to show their children with autism because they know there's nothing that can be done for them. they think that they should just expose themselves and the child, they think that they will just expose the child for nothing. they do not have any hope. they do not seem protected. and i think that the local government by collaborative with ngo and families will have those who bring them a sense of security. throughout my work and experience with aca i have the
experience to work with many families with autism and decision-makers in the united states and around the world. one of the main obstacles i observed with regards to the african continent is the lack of political will. for any program to be successful, leadership and ownership is required among other things. but the majority of the leaders and stakeholder on the local level in africa are either misinformed or just not interested in the subject. again, to think of the minister of health ask me the question, what is autism anyway? just imagine the level of knowledge among the population. one of the great challenges is poverty. many families do not have the means to see a doctor, let alone care for a child with special needs. and for those who can afford it, well, there are no resources. hence, the importance of autism awareness campaign in africa as
well as care. thank you. >> thank you so very much. we're joined by our distinguished gentlelady from new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for holding this hearing on an issue that has significant global health implications. autism can be difficult to diagnose and even harder to understand especially those who have any specially acquaintance with the disease or disorder. autism is no respecter of all limitations. regardless of whom it affects autism is a heavy burden for families who have a child with autism. but there is hope. modern medicine has seen the development of new treatments for autistic children. early intervention is key. autism no longer has to be a barrier to the future successes and fulfillment of those affected by autism. with the increasing prevalence of reported cases of autism,
this hearing is indeed timely. and i'm glad we will have additional hearings on this topic. thank you, mr. chairman. and i yield back. thank you. >> thank you very much. i'd like to now yield to whom it may concern to mr. mccool. >> congressman smith, thank you for inviting me to participate in this dialog by the global aspects of autism. as you mentioned eden autism services started in princeton, new jersey, 36 years ago. and during that time, our organization has gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in addressing the needs of children, adults and families impacted by autism. all of us in the autism community recognize that there's a lot to be done and each of us has a role to play. in its short history autism speaks has been able to significantly increase awareness of autism and its impact on families. they've also been extremely successful in raising funds to
support its awareness activities and also support autism research projects. in recent months, autism speaks has begun to focus on the plight of adults with autism. particularly, looking at the broad range of residential, and employment programs needed to support this growing population. the autism society, another one of our partners, has a long history of bringing family members and professionals together nationally and through their local chapters. they annually present successful program models and that can benefit a broad range of needs for children and adults with autism. the autism society financially supports training programs for teachers and direct care professionals working in the field of autism. eden has not yet had the opportunity to work with the autism community of africa, however, several eden professionals have visited africa to work with families
dealing with autism. eden provided family and staff training and the eden curriculum. the role eden autism services plays in this arena is the direct -- is the direct service delivery component. that interaction between a person with autism and those teachers, family members and other professionals that follow a proscribed scientifically based treatment methodology. eden does this in its schools and adult residential and employment programs and works with other direct service providers across the country to duplicate this treatment wherever needed. there are two basic components to this process. the first component is the treatment model. in 2009, the national autism center issued its national standards report that emphasized the importance of evidence-based
practices and the need to ensure that research-based treatments are given the priority over those that have not yet been proven effective or those that research has shown to be ineffective or worse. the second component is the autism-specific curriculum. the teaching content that promotes the acquisition of knowledge and skills that support the person with autism i-ability to function in society. eden has developed an autism-specific curriculum that is used in both public and private schools across the united states and several other countries. eden autism services in the thousands of direct service providers across the country provide that intensely personal interaction between teacher and student using treatment models and lesson plans to decrease and eliminate appropriate behaviors and increase the capacity for children and adults with autism
to live as productive citizens in society. eden has acquired expertise in teacher training, family training and direct care training using applied behavior analysis in addressing problems behaviors exhibited by children and adults with autism. we've developed a curriculum that contains hundreds of specific lessons that can be used effectively by teachers, family members and direct care staff. our goal is to share the knowledge and experience eden autism services and many other direct service providers have developed to improve the quality of life of children, adults, and families impacted by autism, wherever they are. the information is available. the technology is available. and our hope is that we will be able to find a way to share this knowledge and bring help to those children, adults and families impacted by autism in other countries where such help does not exist. and the one thing i wanted to
mention that we have gotten involved in most recently that has significantly enabled us to directly impact more children with autism and it's a social networking network called edweb. and edweb builds communities where different types of educators or different educators can directly connect with one another so eden has hosted the autism community on edweb. and it is a way for teachers who are working directly in classrooms with children with autism to connect with one another and deal with very specific issues and an email people ask goes out to everyone on the network and a question is asked how to deal with a specific issue and immediate response is taken.
and edweb is available. it's on the internet. it's something that could be very valuable beyond the borders of our country. so we're looking forward to working with our partners. and to take the knowledge that we already have and find ways to get that knowledge and experience to those who really need it. thank you. >> thank you very much for your testimony. and for the great work eden has done for all these decades, at least for this member and i know many other lawmakers including our governor, eden has been transformational for us in helping us to understand this devastating disability. so thank you so much for the great work you've done. let me just begin the questioning. i'll start with mr. shih, if i could. you spoke of the global autism public health initiative, which you began in 2008. i know that