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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  May 25, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EDT

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>> what you're trying to protect is something that would go against the interests of our country. that's what we need to be able to protect. if sudan vote to do something or blocks us from doing something that we're interested in doing, and our other avenues of recourse for that. but if you're dealing with the oceans and dealing with this question of loyalty send other things, the fact that we would
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preserve the right to protect our interest, i think what the senator and others have race, they don't want money going to dictators. they don't want money going to bad actor countries. we can block that. we can block that until the cows come home. and so i think we can be protected. again, we will go into that and while the veto word is not used, also not used in the constitution of the united states but no one doubts the president has it. we have the ability to do it to the language that is there. that will become a bit more clear as we come forward. >> thank you, chairman kerry. i'm very glad that we're having this in today and i appreciate all of you for being here. senator webb and i sent chairman kerry and ranking member luber a letter back in april urging we move forward to consideration of law of the sea treaty and i'm grateful to your broad and searching and supportive testimony here today. when i was brand-new to the
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senate, one of the earlier meetings i took was with the then outgoing chief of naval operations. when i asked him what is the single most important thing we can do to help the navy over the next decade, he said without hesitation, ratify the law of the sea treaty. i was taken aback by the. given other budget priorities, operational issues, as it turned out admiral estimation of the importance of this issue is shared i'm stomach every living chief of naval operations not to mention every living secretary of state and secretary of defense. and, of course, strong support by both of you invite chairman dempsey here today. i know that senator warner, former senator warmer, former chairman of the armed services committee and former secretary of the navy is with us here today, and that the copy of a letter that he submitted to then chairman biden and ranking member lugar commenting on incoming chief of naval operations and how he'd given
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very strong support of this committee in 2007. my concern, mr. chairman, members of the panel, is this is the treaty that time forgot, that we are locked in a debate that is literally decades out of date. and i understand some of the concerns raised by members of this committee. there were some flaws and issues in this treaty when first negotiated in 82. many of them hammered out, resolved by 94 by an immense. certainly by the time this was previously considered several times by this committee during your service here, senator, now secretary. i believe it is well past the time when the questions and concerns raised here today were compelling. and if i to face questions about whether this is a critical firefight in the defense of american sovereignty, or a self-inflicted wound in a rapidly emerging global theater where our competitors are taking
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advantage of our absence, that in d.c. at the table, then i would rather take my naval strategic advise from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, secretary of the navy from the editorial pages of the "washington times." so frankly if i could i have a few questions i'd like to ask you, but i think what you've laid out here today is an overwhelming response to the question, is the ratification of the treaty in the best interest of the united states. senator menendez before me as a sort of in rapidfire succession a series of questions, does this mean we put the security of the united states, does this come from is the sovereignty of the united states, does this come to mind our intelligence gathering ability. my recollection was you all said no. let me put it in the opposite. does failure to ratify this treaty, general dempsey, in any way compromise the ability of the united states to protect force around the world from to support and sustain our allies, and to meet the threats within the constraints that we have any
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balanced and responsible way? are we at risk as result of failure to ratify this treaty? >> based on our current application of international law we will of course assert our sovereignty and our ability to navigate. however, what it does do and, therefore, it won't be -- deteriorate our ability to project force will not degenerate. what could cause, if we do not ratify over time, what could happen is that we put ourselves at risk of confrontation with others who are interpreting customary international laws to their benefit. so the risk of confrontation goes up. our ability to project power is unaffected. >> so failure to ratify puts us at some greater risk of some conflict. your company we continue to have the resources to me that, but we are coming unilaterally choosing not to use one potential tool for our national defense? >> i would agree with that
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phraseology. >> senator, let me just make a point. it does put us at risk. and the risk is this. that if we face a situation that involves navigational rights, and if we are not a party to this treaty and can't deal with it at the table, they would have to deal with it at sea with our naval power. and once that happens it clearly increased the risk of confrontation. >> and if i might, secretary panetta, given the specific pivot, given the aggressive expansion actions others have referred to, in a south china sea, by china and others, in your view does this put our allies at any risk in terms of their confidence about our willingness and ability to fight for their territorial ship and fight for their freedom of navigation of the see?
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>> the majority of our allies are signatories. they are part of it. they have a difficult time understanding why we are not there at the table alongside of them making the arguments we need to make. sure, you know, they know we're a strong naval power. they know we can exert ourselves militarily wherever we want to. but they also know that in today's world, they are dealing at the table trying to negotiate resolutions to conflicts in a rules-based manner. that's the way to deal with issues like that. and somehow their concern, and i think rightly so, that a great power like the united states is not there alongside them. >> secretary clinton, if i might come in 2007 during a previous consideration or debate over this treaty, senator murkowski voted for the convention, then governor paid and endorse the convention.
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this would extend the reach of 200 miles to 600 miles, provide some predictability for investment for oil and gas attraction, for transoceanic cables, for seabed money, a whole variety of things that are newly emergent opportunities and in the arctic if we remain the only arctic nation that did not ratify the treaty, puts us at some risk both in terms of defending shipping lanes and commercial opportunities for our own country. what challenges does the state department face in protecting u.s. interests in northwest passage of the arctic? are we at some risk if we fail to ratify the treaty? >> i think one of the reasons there has been such bipartisan support coming from alaska over the last decade is because they are truly on the front lines. we know there are natural resources that are likely to be exploitable if we have the opportunity to do so. and so i think, senator, you
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know, that that we are an arctic nation, we are the only arctic nation that has not taken the step of acceding to the convention and thereby being able to demarcate our continental shelf and our extended carnival shelf is seen in alaska as a missed opportunity and a strategic disadvantage that is increasingly going to make us vulnerable as the waters and the weather warms, and there are going to be ships from all over the world exploring, exploiting fishing, taking advantage of what rightly should be american sovereignty or tory. nobody wants to see that happen spent madam secretary, mr. secretary, mr. chairman of the joint chiefs, i'm grateful for testimony today. i am struck, trendy in listing to the testimony him in the backroom address and reflecting on it how a fight over some of the details of this treaty that
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was largely resolved in our favor in 94 remains frozen in time, and i conclude from what i've heard so far today that the real risks we face that we're letting others to draw boundaries to quit letting others set rules. we are leaving our economic interest out of the fight and we putting our national security interest at risk by failing to ratify this treaty. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator. appreciated. senator lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank each of the witnesses for joining us today. i am one of the people who has concerns with this treaty and i assure you that my concerns are rooted in something more than mythology. the are rooted in something more than an editorial page. they are rooted first and foremost in america's national sovereignty, and i think that it's not something that is to be discounted here. one of the exchanges that i've appreciated during the course of our discussion this morning has surrounded what has been described in times as a veto on
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-- i want to drill down on that and make sure i understand it correctly. my reading of article 158 of the treaty is that it creates three basic bodies. it creates the assembly, creates the council and it creates the secretary. as outlined in section one of article 158. now, in article 160, we have a basic definition of the purpose of the assembly, and it describes that purpose as follows. it says that the assembly shall be considered the supreme organ of the authority, meaning the international seabed authority based in jamaica. then we move to article 162, which describes the purpose of the council.
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the council as i understand it is empowered to do a number of things, including to exercise the power outlined in section two of article 162, subsection o-1. and the payments and contributions made pursuant to article 82. so these are the royalties were talking about the as going royalties that begin at 1%, five years, into the operation of the tree, escalate gradually up until they get 7% where they remain there after, once they achieve that level. it appears to me based on my reading of article 162, that the power of the council, this body of which the united states has a
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seat and asked what she described as veto power, is a recommending thought. and it appears also to me as i look back at 160, section 160, subsection do, gee, that it is up to the assembly and not to the council to decide upon the equitable sharing of financial and other economic benefits from activities in the area. so secretary clinton, i was wondering if you don't understand, is my reading correct or am i missing something? >> senator, the is simply cannot take up an issue unless recommended by the council. any decision that would impose any obligations of the united states, or otherwise deal with substance, must go through the council. secretariat has no decision making authority bashing has no decision-making authority. so in effect the practical
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consequences of this is that united states would have the right to reject, or in our powerless veto, any decision that would result in a substantive obligation on the united states, or that would have financial and budgetary implications. and that is due to the fact that the u.s. is unique in having a permanent seat on the seabed authority council, which is the main decision-making body. and that important decision must be made by consensus. so it is our very strong conviction that as a part of the u.s. would have an unprecedented ability to influence the deep seabed mining activities worldwide. there is no other international organization that gives one country and one country only a permanent membership on the key decision-making body. so as examples of decisions, subject to u.s. approval, it would be any rules, regulations
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or procedures implementing the seabed mining machine or amendments thereto, any decisions relating to the dissipation of payments for oil and gas production on the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical mile's, adoption of any amendments to the seabed mining machine, and just finally, you know, i think it is worth saying, this really a goes something the chairman said, royalties under this convention are not a net loss to the united states, but a net gain because companies will not drill that far out. so that there is no money that would be coming to the treasury or to the profit of the company's. and if we are a party, we gain from both domestic royalties and oil production. so, you know, i know that there is with any written document, and i am a recovering lawyer, so i have been in this position in my past life, there is a way to,
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you know, raise questions about where the comment is place or where coming in, the parentheses occurs, but this debate over this convention has not gone over for 20 years, and when you look at the people from, you know, jim baker to condi rice to george shultz to michael chertoff to stephen hadley, who have supported this in both administrations, republican and democratic, just don't think we are all missing something, center. i think that we are trying our best to make a case that the united states will be advantag advantaged, and, in fact, our sovereignty will be advantaged spent thank you, secretary clinton and i appreciate your analysis on the. i appreciate the fact that that is your position, that is the position of the administration. as i read, as i, too, am a recovering war, we have to call ourselves recovering president cared or ex-lawyer.
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as i read this, i see the fact that the assembly shall be considered the supreme, and i also see that the assembly, and not the council, has ultimate power to decide upon the equitable sharing of financial and other benefits. and so that causes me to ask the question, what if those who serve on the assembly disagree with your interpretation? i understand it's your interpretation and that of the administration. i understand your interpretation and that of the administration, that of the united states of america i suppose you could say. that the treaty does not, as you point out, adopt any framework to tie the united states into a climate change control regime, or any kind of system that could limit the emission of greenhouse gases. but in the context, the climate change context, and in this context, what happens if you seal it takes a different position? in the climate change context,
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could not the assembly reach a different conclusion and read several provisions of the treaty, including articles 207 and 212, coupled with the dispute resolution provisions of annex six? could it not take that interpretation and conclude differently from the conclusion that you've reached today? >> well, we do not believe that they could on either the plain reading the or the intent of the convention, but we also believe, senator, that concerns such as these are not only going to be properly vetted in a series of hearings, but certainly can be taken into account that the resolution of ratification. there is no obligation that the united states in the area of climate change would be forced to accept or adopt by anything done by the assembly under the
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convention of the law of the seas. and an abundance of caution that could certainly be clarified and insists upon in ratification resolution language. >> i see. >> i see my time has expired, mr. chairman, but as a closer just like to point it is not just the assembly. we would get hauled into a tribunal, called for under the annex, and at that point if this is a ratified treaty, arguably our courts would be bound to enforce the judgments of an international tribunal under the authority. thank you. >> i'm just checking in on that. it's my understand that we would not be subject to that because we be able to choose arbitration, and the arbitration is actually limited.
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but i see you already to leave. >> well, yeah, so arbitration. so we get to arbitrary. the other side gets to choose to, and if we can't come to an agreement as to the fifth, then that person is chosen idly by the secretary-general. spin but it is limited by what it does. we will go through this. will go through this, clarify. the secretary just said, secretary clinton, we are not going to subject ourselves, you know, this exercise is not to diminish our sovereignty to is to grow our sovereignty. we believe this treaty will grow the sovereignty, and we hope, we can persuade you of that in the end. and so we have the ability through the ratification process to be able to clarify some of that. but secondly i believe it will be clarified. i think even your initial question, if you look at, i think it is 160-g. to refer to
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about the rules and regulations, they are only able to make that decision in the assembly quote consistent with the convention and the rules and regulations, procedures of the authority. the rules and regulations and procedures of the authority are specifically set by the council, and that is how it has worked and that is how it does work. so in the end of the assembly simply implementing what has been put forward, and we have a veto over what that rule or regulation will be that they are implementing. so again, this will be clarified appropriately, and will have the experts here who can make that clear. in fact, i would like to ask him i think would be helpful, madam secretary and mr. secretary, if you're legal teams would put their heads together, and if you, i believe the record open for a week, if you could submit
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your formal legal understanding of that to enter the senators question, i think that would be particularly helpful for the record. >> we would be happy to, center. >> senator lugar, do you have additional questions? on that basis, let me just thank all of you, i think this is been a terrific opening engagement. i appreciate, obviously the focus of everybody on a. i am confident these questions will be answered as we go forward. there's going to be plenty of opportunity. we will have more of the active commanders in each of the areas of concern he will speak to their experience in the field. will have businesses themselves come forward and will have some other groups and entities who are concerned and have plenty of opportunity be able to that this as we go for. i think your test what today was a cut at a terrific beginning to this process. will build the most extensive exhaustive record that has yet been built on this, and i think
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provide our colleagues in the senate with an ample opportunity to be able to make a sound decision. so with that, we thank you very do much for joining us today, and we thank you for the jobs you're doing, all of you. appreciate it very much. we stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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>> today, nasa administrator charles bolden speaks at the international space development conference in washington. his remarks come on the same day as the schedule docket of the first commercial space capsule at the international space station. his remarks are live starting at 9 a.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> life is incredibly precious. and it passes by far too quickly. so during your time here come use all of your unique god-given talents to serve one another as that will be the true measure by which your life will be judged. follow the golden rule. >> memorial day weekend watch
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commencement speeches on c-span. politicians, white house officials and business leaders share their thoughts with the graduating class of 2012. saturday through tuesday at noon and 10 p.m. eastern. >> i guess number one, if people do of information i want him to come forward with that information either to our office of professional responsibility or to the dhs ig. that you know, the thought, the notion that this type of behavior is condoned or authorized is just absurd, in my opinion. i've been an agent for 29 years now. i began my career for seven years in detroit. i've worked, i was on the white house detail twice. i've worked for a lot of men and women in this organization. i never want to make any supervisor or any other agent to me that this type of behavior is condoned. i know i have never told any of
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our employees that it is condoned. so i feel strongly that as i did after, as i did before i read that article. >> officials with the secret service and homeland security testified on capitol hill about agent interaction with colombian prostitutes. view the hearing online at the c-span video library. >> assistant secretary of state for european affairs, philip gordon, discuss europe's financial and economic challenges and america's ties to the european union. his remarks are part of an event hosted by the brookings institution in washington, d.c. this is an hour 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. i'm strobe talbott, it's my great pleasure to welcome you here this afternoon to a
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conversation with phil gordon. and i do welcome all of you, and philip in your case i'm going to say welcome back and welcome home. i think all of you know that phil was a very distinguished member of the brookings community here for quite some time. even more to the point, he was the founding director of the center for the united states and europe. and i might add, it's also a great pleasure to see ambassador here this afternoon. thank you for the support you've given to brookings. and your predecessors gave to phil, and you are giving to the own a hill who is the current director of the center on the united states and europe. she will be addressing you from this lectern at the date of this conference, that changed to a time when she was locked into a commitment in beijing.
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but i want to assure you on behalf of of brookings and ascend on domestic insurance that this does not represent a strategic pivot on the part of the institution or the center to east asia. it has been our pleasure, and i hope some contribution to the policy community in partnership with the foundation to bring this conference to you on an annual basis. and i think it is particularly appropriate that we should have phil with us today. he is, as you know, in his capacity as assistant secretary of state for european affairs responsible for u.s. policy towards about 50 countries, as well as three key, and i would add to that, currently somewhat challenged international institutions, the north atlantic treaty organization, the european union, and the organization for security and cooperation in europe.
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phil has just recently back from the nato summit. he is going to talk to us this afternoon a bit about president obama and his relationship with our european friends and allies. record so far, and i'm sure you will be looking ahead as well. after phil finishes his opening remarks, there will be a discussion involving as many of you as possible, moderated by the director of research at the center. so phil, over to you. [applause] >> strove, thanks very much indeed for that warm welcome. it is indeed nice to be back home, so to speak. always glad to be back at brookings. i see a lot of old friends and colleagues in the room, distinguished ambassador, colleagues, and many others that i'm really delighted to see
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again. strobe, i continue to feel somewhat guilty about the -- raided the ranks of brookings when we took office just over three years ago. ice age is somewhat guilty because i think u.s. foreign policy has benefited from the brookings scholars that are serving in the obama administration. we've given a few of them back in the meantime. and in any case, brookings is clearly continuing to thrive as a serious independent research institution that it has been for so long. i'm also very pleased to see how much the center on the united states injured continues to thrive under the leadership of hill and justin. it seems to me the original logic we had when we founded the center of place where we could follow dynamic development across the atlantic and within
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europe. the case for having such an institution is a strong now as it was when the center was founded six, seven years ago. indeed, i think it's fair to say that today's conference, today's annual conference is occurring at a time of incredible activity in your. strober mentioned the g8 and nato summit that president obama participated in, hosted in camp david, chicago just last week. and then, of course, let her leave as i speak on the european union let us endeavor will be a very interesting dinner, confronting the challenges of the eurozone and the question of how to generate jobs and growth. i will return to the application, to the implications of these recent events later in my remarks. what i would like to begin is take a step back and just recall how the world looked when
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president obama took office three and a half years ago. and so before i talk about what we think we've accomplished in that period, a topic for this session is the record so far, i think it's worth recalling the basic thank you we had about europe the very start. and i think it's pretty simple to say, i think it's fair to say that what president obama inherited was one of the most daunting global set of challenges in the administration had faced for some time. if you think about the ongoing war in iraq, the war in afghanistan, the growing nuclear challenge from iran, the scourge of global terrorism, and, of course, the greatest financial crisis of the 1930s. strains in transatlantic unity compound the difficulty of handling these complicated issues. think about the really unprecedented divisions across the atlantic we had over iraq.
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but also questions about european engagement in afghanistan, disagreement about how to handle iran's nuclear program, and relationship with russia that was probably at the worst point since the end of the cold war. german marshall fund poll taken in 2008, 2000 they've found a just 19% of europeans approve of our handling of international affairs. only 36% viewed american leadership in the world as desirable. so when president obama came in, i think he understood that the challenges that we faced were so can suitable that even under america's power did not deal with the olympics we came to office with the conviction that the united states could address these challenges more effectively by working together with partners. he was convinced we had no more important set of partners in dealing with this set of challenges than those in the democratic countries of europe. the thinking is that alliances
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are qualitatively different set of relationships, coalition of the would they produce cooperation, they involve standing institutions and procedures, and they provide operational capabilities that can be called upon at a moments notice as we demonstrated in using nato in libya just the last year. but when president obama took office these were frayed and in need of repair. already in the summer of 2007, then the senator obama wrote, to provide global leadership, ground in the understand the world shares a common security and common humanity. in order to achieve this goal, he stated his intention was to rebuild the alliances, partnerships institutions necessary to confront common threats and enhance common security. in berlin a year later, then
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candidate obama underscored the priority placed on revitalizing these alliance. he observed the and that no nation, when looking for strong partners to do with this challenging, alongside to do with this challenging world, europe was the place to find them. this administration has, therefore, invested delivered and cautiously and strengthening this transatlantic ties. next week i will depart with secretary clinton for what will be her 30th trip to europe in office as secretary of state. in addition to multiple bilateral visits, these trials have included ministerial meetings, summit, and portly international conferences on a range of global issues including afghanistan, sudan, somalia, libya, syria, cybersecurity and women's issues, just to name a
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few. this commitment of time and effort to the relationship with europe, not to mention the jet lag that comes along and evidently with it, has been far from routine. instead, it has been driven by the profound belief that successful alliances require investment, and to such investment pays real dividends. and we think it has. i believe that one of the most important and lasting legacies of this secretary of state will be her revitalizing of americans alliances, and first and foremost our alliance with europe. a direct result of this investment is the following thesis. i would assert that the united states and europe had never been more strategically outlined. this is not to say that there are not differences between us, just as there are debates within the united states and the european union. but the reality is that we have developed a common transatlantic
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agenda that enables us to join forces to meet the demands of the very challenging world. to the degree that i don't think was paralleled much in recent times, in the previous administration, or the one before that or the administration that preceded that. and this unity of purpose i think is not recognized by both sides of the atlantic. the german marshall poll fun i cited earlier saying that 36% of europeans had faith in the president in u.s. leadership in the world is now at 75%, consistently been the upper '70s and lower '80s since president obama took office. and this i would assert is an asset that served us well when we call on these european democracies to follow our global international leadership which we do all the time. rather than just asserting that we're worst, let me give you a couple of examples to illustrate
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what i mean. i mentioned already president obama at the g8 and nato summit this past weekend. one of his top foreign policy priorities was to strengthen our alliances, including nato, as exactly what we have done. the centerpiece of the nato summit i think it's fair to say was afghanistan. with nearly 40,000 european troops fighting alongside american troops for pretty much the past decade, we have sustained nato's largest ever overseas deployment. and from the beginning, not withstanding cities financial pressures, and domestic political pressures, the alliance has held firmly to the principle of in together, out together. in lisbon 18 months ago, outlines, i sat partners and the afghan government agreed upon a transition strategy that would result in the afghan government
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assuming full responsibility for security across afghanistan by the end of 2014. this strategy is on track. it was affirmed, reaffirmed in chicago, and today, approximately 50% of the afghan population lives in areas where afghan national security force is have taken the lead. this summer, the proportion will rise to 75%, but the country as we -- in chicago, nato leaders, isaf leaders also establish a milestone in 2013, next summer, when isaf mission will shift to primarily train, advise and shift afghan forces. we have no illusions about the difficulties in afghanistan or in the years ahead. but we also believe it is worth recalling the tremendous progress that has been made in the past decade. the country's gdp has tripled
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since 2001. 60% of afghanistan have basic health care, access to basic health care facilities, which is no six times the number in 2002. the number of afghans in schools continue to rise now do more than 8 million. and perhaps most importantly, impulse in afghanistan underscore the number of afghans who say they sympathize with the insurgents is at record lows. in order to maintain a secure environment that will enable afghanistan continued political and economic development, the alliance also agreed on a plan for future systemic of afghan forces. and while the chicago summit was in no way a pledging comfort, we did want to demonstrate to afghans, to the taliban and to our own society that we were prepared to support afghan national security force is after the of 2014 in a way that will be necessary, and the international community came
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together and make political commitment of more than $1 million for the project after 2014. more than a billion dollars per year after 2014. furthermore, the alliance reaffirmed its enduring commitment to the afghan people beyond the end of the combat mission get it in chicago, leaders to find a new phase of cooperation that will focus on training, advising and assisting afghan troops. i think all of this together demonstrates our ongoing commitment to working toward our shared goal of building a safer and more secure and prosperous afghanistan where al qaeda has no role. he on afghanistan, the summit also highlighted the alliance continued commitment to defense capability. i'll just mention a few. we announced an interim capability for missile defense that will, for the first time can protect european populations, territories and forces from the growing threat of ballistic missiles potentially nuclear weapons as well. the united states will provide
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critical assets to the system but it's hardly a u.s. effort alone. turkey will be hosting radar which will be placed under nato command. romania and poland will host land-based interceptors. spain will homeport aegis ships. the netherlands will update sea-based raters and contribute to global patent system. germany is also deploying system. nato as a whole were provide commonly found in infrastructure and allied heads of state government agreed that chicago took for additional voluntary contributions are so be clear about that, the united states is making major contribution but it is once again and alliance wide effort with europe playing a major role. very conscious of the type defense budget that we face across the alliance. we also announced progress in the rubric of what nato
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secretary-general rasmussen polls smart and. for example, the commonly funded allied ground surveillance system that will give the alliance the first time a fleet of remotely piloted drones that will provide intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance. and also the agreement to expand nato air pollution for the baltic states so they can devote their resources to other common projects. we also announced completion of the alliance deterrence and defense posture review that spells out the appropriate exit nuclear convention and defense capabilities that the alliance needs to we are well aware that measures such as these do not abyei the need for need to use defense investments that will be required to get the alliance is going to remains the most successful ever. and in chicago, president obama made that very clear to his european counterparts but we also know that in these difficult financial circumstances we should pool our
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efforts to the maximum extent possible. and this is what the smart defense initiatives, and really the concept of the alliance felt, allow us all to do. finally, a nato summit recognize crucial growth role played by partners in nato operations. remember, libbey operation brought 20 allies together with five partner nations while isaf in afghanistan and evolves 20 to nine nato troops contributing partner countries. they are placing -- playing an increasingly important role, and these successful partnerships demonstrate the extent to which the alliance has become a global hub for our collective action. president obama's request of the atlantic council look at ways to further partnership, not just across europe but in the middle east, north africa and asia as well. allies did not take decisions on further enlargement in chicago, but they sent a positive message
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to bosnia, herzegovina, and george and support other goal. in beating of the 20 allies and those for nato's, secretary clinton made clear that nato's door must remain open to european democracies that are willing and able to assume the responsibility and obligations of membership. within the net a context let me say a couple of words about libya. it is easy to take for granted the role that nato played in giving the people of libya a chance for a better future. but it was not a given that nato would play a significant role or indeed any role at all. a conscious decision. it was in response to adopt these all too real threats against the people of benghazi that president obama led the way to establish u.n. security council endorsement fly zone. as well as as well as an authorization for member states to take all necessary measures to protect civilians.
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again, it was a conscious decision to seek to involve not just european allies or other partners around the world that nato alliance itself. during the first 10 days of this operation, the united states use its unique assets to eliminate libya's air defenses and lay the groundwork for a handover to nato. washington and then passed the mantle of the mission to nato, while continue to provide the bulk of the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, every feeling, jamming and other critical capabilities. every ally contributed through nato's integrated command structure while 14 allies form partners provide the necessary naval and air forces. united states flew 25% of all sorties while france and the united kingdom together accounted for 40%. again, i want to underscore the genuinely important role that european allies played in this, much as france and united kingdom but denmark, norway,
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italy and canada all carried out large number of strike missions and sustained over many months to think about a comparison. the kosovo conflict that nato undertook in 1999. the united states provided 90% of the precision guided munitions, and around 85% of the strike sorties. in libya, those proportions were exactly the other way around. we now, of course, i continue to work closer with the european and international partners to help libyans build a more inclusive democratic society. beyond these joint efforts in nato, the united states is working extraordinarily closely with europeans to address a range of other global challenges that i think also fit under this about more closer partnerships and more strategic alliance than ever, and to take may be the best example, think about iran. by the time the topic as our negotiators, as we speak in
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baghdad meeting with iranians. i think it's fair to say on this one, the united states has coordinated with our european partners more closely than ever before. we have enjoyed unprecedented unity with the european union in our dual track approach of putting pressure on the iranian regime to meet its international obligations, but also being ready to undertake a diplomatic map to enter the diplomatic program remains civil. with the europeans we have together agreed on u.n. security council 1929. several iaea board of governors resolutions, and we have seen the e.u. decision to ban imports of crude oil, iranian crude oil and to freeze the assets of the iranians central bank to those of you have been working on these issues for some time, as i know a lot of scholars at brookings have, i think would have to appreciate the
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unprecedented nature of this cooperation on sanctions and oil embargo which of them probably couldn't have been predicted just a couple of years ago, nor even six months ago. and as i said, today as we speak, the key three posted is in baghdad for certifications regarding the international commits concerned. and the united states and his european allies have not on never been more united on iran, but i think that the pressure on iran to abide by its international obligations is also never been greater. those two things are linked to it is the common pressure that we are putting on the iranians that we think has brought them back to the table. on syria we have also worked very closely with our european partners to study ration of pressure on the assad regime the various avenues including multiple rounds of sanctions. we have engaged in active
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diplomacy in a major u.n. bodies to unite the international community, respond to growing humanitarian crisis and expanded documentation and logistic support for the opposition. secretary clinton has joined our european counterparts and other regional leaders to court in our approach to these goals and to send a clear signal that despite minimal success in the u.n. security council, broader international community will continue to pursue all available measures to secure a peaceful resolution of the crisis in syria. i've been talking mostly about our cooperation with european around the world, and i think that is worth stressing. in no way should it suggest our agenda within europe is somehow diminished or has gone away. beyond the global challenges that i've been talking about, there is what is sometimes called unfinished business in europe. namely, the integration of the countries, of these countries into the euro atlantic, of democracies. we have been working side-by-side with our european
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partners to address remaining political and economic issues across the cotton it. in the western balkans, it is clear that regions prosperity will depend on its countries pursuing reforms necessary for the eventual integration into your. we've said very clearly from the start that europe will not be complete until all of the balkans are integrated into euro atlantic institutions to some significant milestones have been reached in recent months. croatia success in into the european union for example, sends a strong center the entire region that admittedly difficult reforms bring genuine progress. we are encouraged by the new balkans governments efforts to meet e.u. and nato integration requirements, including the passage of laws and since in state aid, as well as the political agreement to solve the defense and state property issue. we hope to see bosnia fully government these agreements to
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make progress. we are also pleased that both kosovo and serbia moves closer to europe as the e.u. granted status and agree to give kosovo roadmaps for visa liberalization come and feasibility study for association agreement. once again the united states worked very closely with its e.u. as part of, and in this case the oecd to make sure during the recent election in serbia that serbian citizens with the dual nationality includes those living in kosovo would be able to exercise their right to vote in the serbian parliamentary election. the e.u. facilitate a dialogue and provided the means for the two countries to address issues that complicate daily life for ordinary citizens. but only to the extent that the parties implement the resulting agreements. although we are still assessing but -- in the broader region, we
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welcome his stated commitment to serbia's european future of work constructively with the new government to achieve that goal. in that spirit the united states and our european partners need to work together with leaders across the region on new ideas to resolve the challenges in northern kosovo, in line with kosovo sovereignty and territorial integrity. in particular, we need to help develop a framework and permit normalization of practical neighborly relations, freeze of both countries to move on their path to european integration, and filling the seats of further zero-sum confrontation. finally, we are working with the e.u. and its member states to help the people of ukraine, and belarus but we fully support ukraine's efforts to deepen its integration with europe, including steps taken and thus far to reform the criminal procedure code. unfortunately, ukraine's european integration process has
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been hindered by limited progress on political and economic reforms needed to move forward, and by what appears to us to be politically motivated prosecution, selective prosecution of opposition leaders. we closely working with the european union continue to call on the government of ukraine to release these individuals and to ensure that the october parliamentary elections are free and fair. opens the door for reforms needed for closer integration with your. we're also seeing encouraging signs on the international efforts to produce a settlement. belarus remains an outlier in europe, particularly following a december 2010 presidential election when hundreds of political and opposition activists, including several presidential candidates, or arrested without cause. we and our european partners continue to call on the government of belarus to release
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political prisoners and allow opposition parties, civil society and independent media to operate free. let me say a few words about another very important part of president obama's record, which is the progress that was made in developing more productive relations in russia. president's approach to russia has been guided by the conviction that we could cooperate on areas of mutual interest while speaking very plainly about areas of disagreement, maintaining support for our friends, and holding firmly to our principles to the development of a more effective working relationship, we believe, has, in fact, lead to add lift up mutually beneficial foreign policy achievements. including just to mention a few, the new s.t.a.r.t. agreement, the 123 agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation, military transit arrangement in support of our common efforts in afghanistan, '80s agreement to promote bilateral business ties,
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a major bilateral trade deal, and unprecedented cooperation with russia on iran's sanction. the list also includes, a conclusion of negotiations to welcome rush into the world trade organization, a cold that had been objective of u.s. and russian administrations for nearly 20 years. we are currently working with congress to terminate the application of the jackson panic amendment for russian. lifting jackson-vanik and extending permanent normal trade relations with russia are not the gifts to russia. rather, there in the fundamental interests of the united states to create and sustain jobs as was ensure that u.s. firms will benefit from russia's wto market access commend. were we to fail to graduate russia from jackson-vanik we reduce it vanishing american companies relative to their competitors in other the btl member states. we should not forget that in
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vice president biden's 2009 in a speech, which first articulate the strategy that has come to be known as the reset, there were three important issues that the vice president said at the united states will not recognize -- he said the united states does not recognize influence in europe, and he says the united states maintains that sovereign states have the right to choose their alliances. and despite some initial questioning among some of russia's neighbors, we have not given an inch on any of these principles. indeed our improved relations with russia have not come at the expense of our allies or our values and we continue to speak frankly about our differences. i know some of asked whether the progress with russia we make in the past three years will continue under president putin. all i can say is we're certainly ready to pursue that goal. i would point out that mr. putin was the head of russia's
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government for all of the past three years when all of these positive things were accomplished. we have to be realistic. we know that achievements going forward will be the result of hard work on both sides, and we will require continued focused on mutual interest. we know their are ongoing issues of disagreement, such as over missile defense in georgia. there are contentious issues that have arisen recently, including our differences over how to respond to the crisis in syria. but even as we discussed these difficult issues, we are going to continue to offer on the associate that with many, interest in rush and we can pursue those while also being very clear about the things we differ on and without sacrificing our principles or our friends. all of the common transatlantic achievements that i've outlined are, we think, fairly impressive in the own right, but even more notable when you consider the
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context in which they have come about. obvious that i'm referring to the great economic challenges that we face on both sides of the atlantic. as president obama has said many times, the united states has, has eight enormous stake in the europe bashing eurozone price. the e.u. and its member states account for 58% of overseas development aid, and which combine that with u.s. them we together provide 80% of the world development assistance. we clearly need strong and prosperous european ally. same is true on common defense. our message to european allies about the importance of sustained defense spending, only possible when europe's economies are succeeding. despite our significant stake in the outcome of the economic steps taken in europe, we also recognize that these are european issues which are
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european solutions. we urge european government to act decisively to resolve the debt crisis. we've offered our perspective about the risks that the crisis poses for the global recovery. and we shared lessons of our own financial crisis about the importance of responding to market challenges decisively and focusing on job creation and growth. we are encouraged by the progress of our european colleagues made during the recent months, including significant action that would have seemed out of reach a few years ago. in ireland, portugal and spain, these countries have reduced their structural budget deficit by five percentage points since 2009, increase by nearly 12 points in italy. the prime minister monti has really sweeping economic reforms, including pension reforms and dozens of measures to free italy's markets, streamline its bureaucracy in just a matter of months. euro area governments have taken steps put in place 800 billion
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euro firewall for what we think is a good reason. as secretary geithner said, reforms will take time. we have acknowledged that there is no silver bullet, even if all of these measures work, it will take time, and will not work without financial support that enables governments to borrow at affordable rates and keeps the overall rate of interest across the economy at levels that won't slow was. .. >> much of this is for europeans
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on their own to do, but there is a u.s. component as well, and president obama has undertaken discussions with his european counterparts about how we can free up the transatlantic economy, notably through the uscu high-level working group on jobs and growth which is reviewing all options for deeper cooperation including the possibility of a comprehensive free trade agreement. the united states welcomes the evolving debate in europe about opportunities for creating jobs and growth. at the g8 summit this past weekend, president obama led a discussion with leaders about a comprehensive approach to managing the crisis and getting on a path, a sustainable path to recovery. he reaffirmed that america is not only confident in europe's ability to meet their challenges, but we are supportive of their efforts. the president and his european counterparts agreed on our shared interest in keeping europe's monetary union spank and remaining engaged on the
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world stage despite budge constraints on both sides of the atlantic. i have covered a lot of ground, so let me conclude. i will, in closing, i would like to return to the thesis with which i began, which is that the united states and europe have never been more strategically aligned. and this, as i have said, is not an accident or the fortuitous or temporary alignment of geopolitical tectonic plates. it is instead the result of a deliberate and conscious strategy to invest in a partnership with the world's most advanced military-capable and democratic peoples who share our values and ideals. history will determine whether this approach and this investment was a wise one. we believe, as i have argued, that it has already paid off, and it will continue to pay off for years to come. thank you very much. i look forward to your questions. [applause]
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>> thank you very much, phil. while phil is coming here and getting micked, i'll just indicate that we'll have about half an hour of questions before the beginning of the next panel, and i will use and abuse the privilege of the chair to ask a few questions to phil, first, before going to you. and i would add in the tradition of the respectful, um, the tradition of respectful debate that we, as always as brookings, i would like to push phil on a number of points including this issue of coalition of the willing and also the risk of seeing the alliance hollow out for lack of military capabilities. so you started your presentation using the point that tom done
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lin, the national security adviser, also used which is nurturing standing alliances was an important goal of the administration since these alliances provided much more support for the national interests than coalitions of the willing, meaning presumably what had been done before. however, in some of the examples that you mention including libya or syria, it's precisely coalition of the willing that we saw. i mean, you mentioned yourself that between march 19th and early april of last year for the operation in libya the, nato was not involved as such. it was an ad hoc coalition between, basically, the u.s., france and the u.k., and then afterwards when nato got involved, there was a contact group at the political level involving the other partners. so it seems to me that the borders between coalition of the willing and the alliance itself
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is blurred. of course, the difference with other past intervention is the presence of a strong mandate from the u.n. security council, but in terms of the shape of the group that intervened, it certainly, it was certainly a coalition of the willing. on syria we've seen because of the obstacles that the u.n. security council sort of contact group being created called friends of syria, so here again it's more a sort of soft multilateralism, the title of the coalition of the willing. and, of course, iran, the obama administration has just been continuing the efforts that was started by the bush administration which is also done by the p5 plus 1 group. so, you know, i could give other examples. and you mentioned yourself that nato acted as a global hub to which other partners could be plugged. but it seems to me that it's probably at least debatable to sort of present the policy of
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the administration as relying primarily on standing alliances rather than coalition of the willing as the borders between the two seem quite blurred. >> thanks. there are a lot of interesting points in there justine. i'll make a couple of points. i would never make the claim that standing alliances or nato in particular is the single response to every international crisis that we face. clearly, as you look at different range of challenges that we face be many of which i mentioned whether in europe or, as you say, in syria, libya, afghanistan, iran, you need to be flexible and adaptable. there are some cases for which a standing alliance, existing alliance like nato might be most appropriate, and there are others in which it just doesn't work. but in the cases that i mentioned are appropriate for nato, afghanistan and libya i would stress the benefits of doing it within the formal
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organization. we did have a conscious choice in libya. it would have been just as easy to, almost easier in a way, to say, well, let's just do this among the handful of countries that want to do it and not worry about doing it within nato. we took a conscious decision to do it within nato, expressed confidence that we could show leadership and get countries to follow along and use the alliance and genuinely think it paid off. you know, as i think i mentioned in my speech, it's easy to take nato for granted. but without the investment in that alliance and the personal connection that comes from working together and the interoperability of military forces and the standing command structure, you can't just whip up a military operation. and so even for some of the activities where that you're not using a standing alliance for, the very fact that it exists has a very positive spillover effect. so let's be clear. of course there's a place for ad
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hoc cooperation and for many different subjects and challenges you'll be putting together different groups with different, different types of leadership. but it doesn't take away from the reality that investing in standing institutions and alliances remains hugely valuable, and we have been acting in a way to make it flexible and adaptable to the question at hand. and that's why i emphasize this partnership question in chicago. nato in afghanistan has never been just the alliance. we've had partners all along, as i mentioned. you have 22 partners working intimately within the alliance, so we've taken steps over the years to make nato more adaptable so that countries who aren't in the alliance can work with it. in the case of libya, you know, you actually had that extended -- not just to european partners such as sweden, but also for countries from the arab world and middle east. so, yes, you're right that it's
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a nuanced spectrum rather than a choice. do you just use the alliance, or do you just use ad hoc groupings. but it's still a very large, still a very long way from just saying, well, let's just see how it goes and put together some coalition. >> uh-huh. so a second challenge to the alliance, of course, is the massive reality of budget cuts. budget cuts here, but even more so budget cuts in europe. indeed, it has been calculated by some experts that budgets could go down in europe from 2006 to 2014 by about a third of what they were, and certainly inside nato the balance between what the u.s. is doing and spending on the one hand and what europe is, european members are doing and spending is changing rapidly in favor of the u.s. so what we see, and you mentioned the importance of having a standing alliance with
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procedures with a habit of working together with interoperability. how confident are you that we're not witnessing a sort of hollowing out of the alliance because of these budget cuts and that five years there now we can still pull off a libya? >> um, again, let me make a couple of points. first is that this is a real concern, and i won't sugar coat it in the least. we have concerns about declining defense budgets and continued investment in defense across the alliance. the trends that you describe are real, and they are of great concern. this is, of course, an old issue, and people have been worried about nato's and particular european defense spending as long as the alliance has existed. but i do think there's a qualitatively new dimension to it following the financial crisis and the very severe cuts.
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and as you suggest, it would be a sad irony if libya turned out to be, actually, the demonstration that europeans really can provide important resources and assets for a military operation that you hadn't planned for, which they did, and as i pointed out in my remarks seeing not just france and britain, but norway, denmark, belgium, the netherlands make real and important military contributions. it would be ironic if libya demonstrated that, but then within a few years we permitted those capabilities to atrophy to the point that it was no longer the case. and that's why, as i mentioned, president obama raised this issue with his counterparts and underscored that, goodness knows, we are sympathetic to the need to get countries' fiscal houses in order. we're undergoing some pretty significant defense cuts ourselves, and no one doubts the need to, to cut budget deficits and examine very carefully
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defense budgets. but we do have to be careful lest we, the alliance as a whole, end up not being able to perform necessary defense tasks. at the same time, and let me be clear, this is not a substitute for defense spending, but at the same time this is why we put all the more emphasis on these smart defense initiatives within nato. if ever there was a case for more pooling and sharing and integration, it's now. one of the things the libya operation did was show both the benefits of commonly-funded assets, but also the gaps that remain. so to have a commonly-funded pool of awacs as nato does, enables our allies to benefit from the information that comes from the awacs without having to buy their own plane. and that's why we decided at the nato summit this time to collectively purchase drones for -- one of the things that was clear from libya was we
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didn't have enough intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, so you have a couple of choices. you can expect the united states to do everything, which i don't think is a viable option, or you can expect every country that wants intelligence for such an operation to buy their own advanced drones which are very expensive. not a particularly affordable option. or you can collectively buy some, and here again i get back to your question about invest anything the alliance. collectively buy them so everyone can benefit. that's exactly what was done with the decision to commonly procure allied ground surveillance. and once those uavs are procured, every ally will have access to advanced intelligence information without having to spend the necessary money, and let alone the drones. the infrastructure, the technicians who can read the data that comes from the drones. it really is cost effect bive. and there's a number of other examples that we pursued in chicago and need to continue to pursue.
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i mentioned baltic air policing. you know, it doesn't make sense to expect the baltic states, for example, to spend scarce defense euros or dollars or advance fighter planes when others can do that job, and they can invest their money in other things. so that's why we're so focused on more efficient spend being, more pooling and sharing. that's why the alliance itself is valuable. it doesn't replace the need for continued defense spend being, but it is necessary in any case. >> thanks. i have a list of other questions, but i should now be quiet and let you ask answers -- ask questions and phil give answers. i'm going to group questions by three, and so, please, make sure you identify yourself when you ask a question and you disguise your statement as a question. yes, sir, here in the front. wait for the mic, please. >> judd harriet, documentary
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film maker. public opinion polls in the united states don't give a lot of support to the administration's position on afghanistan, much less the multibillion dollar commitment it'll take even after our troops have left. my question to you is, all we've heard is the reason we're there is to deny al-qaeda safe haven, and i -- the real reason is because, in my mind at least, a radical islamic regime in afghanistan would make normalization relations impossible in the subcontinent. if you agree with that, my question is why does the administration shape a more coherent and a more believable position to convince the american public on this issue? >> thanks. second question? yes, sir. >> jeffrey stacy from the center for transatlantic relations. i heft the state department late last year and spent some time not working directly under you as mr. assistant secretary, but
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in a functional bureau that worked a lot with you. i have two questions, one personal diplomatic, one deeply strategic. the first one is, when we began in 2009 to meet with your european counterparts, i recall an interesting dynamic. it was strange that when i began meeting european counterparts, i experienced a sort of cold shoulder. i noticed others were too. and it was sort of as if, to use a metaphor, we were being welcomed back to the table, but we weren't allow today speak up right away. we were supposed so sit there a while and maybe do some penance and not lead discussions. but you can track it -- i did -- it took nine months and then we had to persuade people, i think at most levels of government, of our renewed commitment and trust. and we had to do it in the personal terms and with actions, not just words. i wonder if you can look back and if you had a similar experience yourself. the other, more strategic
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question takes off from the record that you just outlined which, i think, is valid in terms of the claims and the record really does speak for itself. but there's an interesting element to this that is also a little alarming, and that is how much more dependent the u.s. is on europe. you used the words "never before" quite a number of times, and is it not true that at least since world war i the u.s. has not been more dependent on europe? i think even strategically. and the question is to you is, is libya the high water mark, or going forward with the u.s. doing our own fair amount of cutting and not necessarily pivoting, but realigning in certain ways, what are europeans now going to do? are we not more dependent on them handling some of the burden themselves not just with defense spending, but possibly even a single european military
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capability that is modest but expeditionary? >> thanks. and one last question here. and then we go in the back. >> thank you. claire o'donnell, fellow here at brookings and be originally from the center for european reform. the turkish authorities have mentioned the possibility of invoking article v. if indeed it were to occur, what would be the best response? >> okay. all important topics. on afghanistan, i think we've been quite clear on what our objectives are and how we are seeking to accomplish them. the objectives haven't been very different than they were at the start. it is, indeed, to deny al-qaeda a base from which it could operate globally. the united states was attacked from afghanistan, and and we set
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out not just to get rid of the taliban regime, but to make sure that afghanistan could never again become the place from which the united states and other countries could be attacked by this global terrorist organization. and to do that, not just we, but we and our allies around the world determined it would be necessary to give support to a democratically-elected afghan government which needed outside help. and we have invested an incredible amount of resources over the past decade to give them a chance at doing that. you know, i started with what president obama inherited, i can't speak to decisions that were made before that, but his view was clear, that we really did have a chance to succeed in this way to denying al-qaeda the opportunity to reestablish a haven in afghanistan, and so he increased our military effort in the short term in order to enable us to get out of afghanistan in the longer term,
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and that's exactly what he's been doing. and so the surge that the united states undertook to reverse the taliban's gains has taken place, and we're now in the process of turning over responsibility for afghanistan to the afghans. it's been a long and expensive investment. i think the president's view was that after all of that investment to simply say, well, this is too costly, and it's not really our problem, and we're just going to leave would have been irresponsible. and so now, again, together with our partners under what i would argue has been real american leadership these 50-plus countries are working as hard as they can to put afghans in a position to be able to provide for their own security so that we can responsibly end the war and bring our combat troops home. that's what we're on track to do, that's what, that's what more than 50 countries came together in chicago to recommit
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to, and we're, we're determined to succeed, and i think we are succeeding. on the what you describe as the relationship with europeans starting in 2009, my experience, i have to admit, i don't remember the nine months' purgatory that you refer to. i think we were warmly received and welcomed. indeed, the enthusiasm for the obama administration was, was very high, perhaps excessively high. i think there were maybe expectations that we had created that would have been hard to live up to in the terms of this glorious new chapter in transatlantic relationships in which we would disagree about nothing, and we would march together as in some past that never actually existed. so i think that we were warmly welcomed there the start, and
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the message that i conveyed to you just now we try today convey to our partners from the start, that we were absolutely sincere about wanting to work together in a mutually beneficial way and that we would listen, and that we would share leadership because we have the same interests and values. and so i guess it was pushing on an open door trying to articulate this message, and i think it's been reciprocated by our european partners. it goes happened in hand with the point you -- hand in hand with the point you made about dependence. i wouldn't use that word. i think it has been demonstrated that, um, that to deal with the tremendous challenges that we face we do need these strong democratic, like-minded and, yes, militarily-capable partners. think of some of the examples i gave, and imagine doing it without the partnership with
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europe. you don't even have to imagine it, because it's been tried before. iran. it's within the united states' policy for -- it's been the united states' policy for more than 15 years to apply sanctions, pressure. the united states hasn't traded with iran or invested with iran or bought iranian oil for decades. we tried the financial pressure, diplomatic pressure approach on our own, and it didn't get us anywhere. yeah, i think it's fair to say it's only when this became a genuine international effort, and first and foremost, the europeans, that it really started to sink in with the iranians that they had better get serious about the nuclear program. so, you know, imagine doing that without partnership for europe. afghanistan. could we do what we're doing without european partners? i suppose. but it would be a lot more costly to us. i don't know where we would get the nearly 40,000 non-u.s. troops that have been fighting alongside american ones for mostly a decade. and, you know, frankly, they're not from other regions, they're
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for the most part nato allies or other european allies. so, you know, is it dependence? maybe you could call it dependence. we could pursue some of these same policies, but i wouldn't want to imagine doing it without the maximum partnership with europe. look, would we like even more support from europe on -- more resources and support for some of these things? yes. and we have this discussion with europeans all the time. but on none of them would i really want to -- and that was part of my point, and i cited what the president said about being able to tackle these challenges alone. libya. that's another case, and we had an interest in protecting civilians in libya and standing gadhafi from massacring the residents of benghazi. could we have done that operation alone? be i think so. but we certainly didn't want to for a whole range of reasons ranging from the military assets to the legitimacy to the aftermath and funding that would
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be necessary. so, you know, you can debate whether you want to call that dependence, but i would certainly say that we have gone about all of these things with the full appreciation of what europe can bring to the table, and i think we're stronger because of it, and i think we're more successful in dealing with these problems because of it. claire o'donnell asked about article v and turkey. just to be clear, turkish leaders have alluded to article v, they certainly haven't invoked it. they haven't invoked article iv within nato. they have briefed nato on the humanitarian situation in serbia -- in syria. they've briefed nato and g8 on what's going on in the region, but they haven't asked for formal nato consultations, and i don't think that's on the agenda. let me just say as a general rule the united states -- and we
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reiterated this in chicago -- is absolutely committed to article v, and and it needs to mean something. and if a country's sovereign integrity is threatened, we have an obligation under the north atlantic treaty to treat that as an attack on ourselves. so we take it very seriously, and i think that's what turkish leaders have suggested when they have even referred to article v, is simply to underscore that their sovereignty and territorial integrity is sacred, and were it be to, were it to be attacked in any way, that would be a very grave matter. >> thanks, phil. we're going to take just two more questions. dave hill here in the middle. wait for the mic. >> thank you. steven hill. question on china. china occupies this rather unique niche in being, one, a world power, but also a
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developing nation. and many things about china when you look beneath the surface, it's quite shaky. the idea of china as a failed state is too terrible to contemplate, and yet it seems to me that the administration's policies towards china don't recognize this complexity. i'll give you a couple of quick examples. one is on currency exchange. china's currency policy is, basically, a social program to create jobs in china, and without that policy or replacing it with something else that has as much poe tenty, china would really be this a lot of trouble. and the administration's policies of pushing china on that currency exchange gives members of congress ample opportunities to bash china and not recognizing, you know, the real reasons behind this. the second one is marines in australia. it seems to me that this just feeds into a maretive in china -- narrative in china in
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which they are suspicious of the west, and if we acknowledge the history there, for very good reasons. and perpetuates a relationship that is not one of cooperation, it seems to be one more of confrontation when really the relationship with china, it seems to me, there's opportunities there to create one that's more about cooperation and mutual recognition of each other's needs. i would love to hear your comments, thank you. >> thanks. and we'll get a question in the back. gentleman there. >> thank you for this opportunity. my name is -- [inaudible] i'm frommal al-jazeera balkans. in gordon, secretary clinton said in chicago that this was the last non-enlargement may toe summit. what does it mean for macedonia, bosnia herzegovina and how creation can be to those
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countries would come sooner, nato memberses? and second the serbian president is hard nationalist, you know that. and how to deal with him, especially talking about kosovo and bosnia? thank you. >> thank you. thanks. phil? >> well, the question about china takes me a little bit farther away from my presentation on obama's europe record than i would like to go, but i would say, i mean, it's not unrelated in that people shouldn't think about the challenges we face in china as some alternative to what we're trying to do with europe. and when i present a record of engagement with europe in dealing with the rest of the world, it is a recognition of the reality that it is precisely because we face such tremendous challenges in other parts of the world including those that you mentioned about china that we need this partnership.
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now, the reality is i think i gave you a large number of examples of how we're working with europeans on the global agenda, and i think i would be the first to acknowledge that if there's a region where it's underdeveloped, it might well be in asia and specifically on china. that is something we would like to change because we think we have an interest in partnering with europeans in asia just as we really do in north africa, in the middle east and africa. so, so, you know, far from accepting this as just the reality, we invite and have, i think, launched a dialogue with our european partners so that we're together tackling this type of challenge because, once again, we are just better off if we're doing it together with our strong and democratic european partners. you asked about secretary clinton's comments on the balkans and nato enlargement at
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the nato summit in chicago. secretary vigorously endorsed the historic u.s. support for nato's open door. we have long believed that nato is stronger when its door is open to countries that, that can contribute to security, that are democratic. we think that the very prospect of keeping nato's door open leads them to undertake reforms that are in their interests and the collective interests. as countries join nato, nato gets stronger. i've already described the degree to which we're working with all the nato allies and partners in afghanistan, libya and elsewhere. so she vigorously made the case, remade the case that we should work with those countries. three of the four formal aspirants are in the balkans, and we mean what we say. we're committed to working with them, strengthening their candidacies, and we do hope as
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soon as they're ready that the alliance is ready to take them in. it's a historic project. europe won't be complete until the balkans are part of these euro-atlantic institutions. that's a sincere objective of ours, and we're doing all we can to promote it. you mentioned the election in serbia which was just a couple of days ago, and we're still, we're still analyzing the implications of that, but there, too, it doesn't change our approach to the balkans or serbia. we want to see serbia pursue the european path, and we believe that requires coming to terms with kosovo. we're going to continue to support the dialogue between those two countries. >> thanks. we need to move to the other panel. please, thank me in -- join me in thanking assistant -- [laughter] [applause] for this great discussion we had. it's been great out of the chicago summit to join us. so thank you again, phil. what we're going to do is we're
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going to move seamlessly to the next panel, so if you take, you want to take a one or two-minute pause, we'll start the next panel in just one or two minutes, and i'll call on martin klingst to join me here. thanks. [inaudible conversations] [laughter] >> coming up today on c-span2, secretary of state clinton discusses the 2011 human rights country report. that's followed live at 9 a.m. eastern with nasa administrator charles bolden speaking before the international space development conference in washington. today the brookings institution hosts a forum focusing on america's role in the world amid globalization and security threats abroad. it's part of their campaign 2012 project. you can see it live starting at 11 a.m. eastern on c-span.
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tonight, a debate between the candidates running in wisconsin's june 5th recall election. republican governor scott walker debates milwaukee mayor, democrat tom barrett. voters in that state will decide whether to recall the governor less than two years after he was first elected. live coverage tonight starting at 9 eastern on c-span. there's an extra day of booktv this holiday weekend on c-span2. aaron burr may be best remembered for his duel with alexander hamilton. h.w. brands on a different side of the new york politician and vice president saturday night at 8:30 eastern. and on "after words," the former director for asian affairs at the national security council, victor cha, on the impossible state, north korea. >> a dialogue with north koreans on human rights, it's kind of a ridiculous dialogue because you
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can tell them you need to improve your human rights situation, and their response to you will be -- and we've had this conversation at the official level -- their response to you will be, well, you, the united states, have human rights problems too. i mean, that is not a comparable discussion. >> that's saturday night at 10. also this weekend marcus luttrell details operation red wing from "service: a navy seal at war," sunday night at 10 eastern. three days of booktv this weekend on c-span2. i want people to get from the book a better understanding of who she was, what she was like during that four-year period. because there have been a lot of books written, and most of it has been written by people who have talked to friends of friends of friends. they really don't have the information themselves. i happened to be there, i knew her. >> from late 1960 through 1964, former secret service agent clint hill served on the
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protective detail to first lady jacqueline kennedy. >> there isn't any gossip in there, no salacious information. it's just what happened, what she was like, things that she liked to do, how humorous she was at times, how athletic and how intelligent she was. and how kind of rambunctious she was. she tried to put me to the test many, many times, and i did my best to meet that. >> more with clint hill sunday night at 8 on c-span's "q&a." the state department today released the 2011 country reports on human rights practices. the annual report examines the status of human rights in countries around the world. in presenting the report, secretary of state hillary clinton spoke about recent developments in human rights in burma and in the middle east as egyptians vote in their first free presidential election week. this is a half hour.
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>> good morning. good morning, everyone. i'm very pleased to be joined here today by assistant secretary posner to release our 2011 country reports on human rights practices. these reports which the united states government has published for nearly four decades make clear to governments around the world we are watching, and we are holding you accountable. and they make clear to citizens and activists everywhere, you are not alone, we are standing with you. mike and his team and the staff at our embassy ises and -- embassies and consulates around the world have worked tirelessly to produce these reports, and i want to thank each and every person who has contributed to them. now, as you know, this has been an especially tumultuous and momentous year for everyone
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involved in the cause of human rights. many of the events that have dominated recent headlines from the revolutions in the middle east to reforms in burma began with human rights, with the clear call of men and women demanding their universal rights. today in egypt we are seeing in realtime that those demands are making a difference as egyptians are going to the polls to determine for the first time in their history who their leaders will be. whatever the outcome of the election, the egyptian people will keep striving to achieve their aspirations, and as they do, we will continue to support them. we will support people everywhere who seek the same; men and women who want to speak, worship, associate, love the way they choose. we will defend their rights not
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just on the day we issue these reports, but every day. as secretary, i have worked with my superb team on advancing human rights in a 21st century landscape. focusing on new frontiers even as we stand up against age-old abuses. where women have been and continue to be marginalized, we're helping them become full partners in their governments and economies. where lgbt people are mistreated and discriminated against, we're working to bring them into full participation in their societies. we're expanding access to technology and defending internet freedom because people deserve the same rights online as off. and we know that in the 21st century human rights are not only a question of civil and
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political liberties, it's about the fundamental question of whether people everywhere have the chance to make the most of their god-given potential. so we are supporting efforts around the world to give people a voice in their societies, a stake in their economies and to support them as they determine for themselves the future of their own lives and the contributions they can make to the future of their countries. we think this is the way together we can make human rights a human reality. now, as these reports document, there is a lot of work that remains to be done. in too many places, governments continue to stifle their own people's aspirations, and in some places like syria it is not just an assault on freedom of
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expression or freedom of association, but an assault on the very lives of citizens. the assad regime's brutality against its own people must and will end because syrians know they deserve a better future. these reports are more than a report card, they are a tool for lawmakers and scholars, for civil society leaders and activists. we also think they are a tool for government leaders. it's always been bewildering to me that so many government leaders don't want to make the most of the human potential of their own people. and so i don't expect to be reading -- this to be reading material everywhere, but i do hope somewhere in the corner of my mind that maybe a leader will pick it up and say how do we compare with others, and what can we do today, tomorrow and
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next year that will maximize the potential of more of our citizens? this year we've made the reports easier to read online, easier to track trends a across a region, easier to follow the progress of a particular group, easier to find out which governments are or are not living up to their commitments. now, every year that we issue this we take stock of ourselves. we say what more can we do, where have we succeeded or are succeeding, where are we falling short, um, and we know we have to recommit to the work of advancing universal rights. building the partnerships that will move us forward, helping every man, woman and child live up to their god-given potential. and we know we have to be able to speak out and speak up for
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those unable to use their own voices. but this is at the core of who we are, this is central to what we believe, and this is the work that will continue administration after administration, secretary after secretary because of its centrality to our foreign policy and national security. now i'd like to turn things over to assistant secretary mike posner who will speak further about some of the specific findings in this year's report. thank you all very much. thanks, mike. >> thank you, madam secretary. want to just say a few words about the report and what's new this year, then i'll be happy to take your questions. as the secretary noted, 2011 was a year of dramatic changes with
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the historic change led by citizens across the middle east, north africa, burma and elsewhere. these reports document a number of situations where human rights continue to be violated including in iran, north korea, turkmenistan, uzbekistan, eritrea, sudan and syria. and there continue to be a range of human rights challenges in places like russia, china, pakistan and other nations where the u.s. has important policy interests. in too many countries, egregious human rights violations continue including torture, arbitrary detention, denial of due process of law, disappearance and extrajudicial killings, all of which we document in detail. these reports cover other disturbing trends in 2011. first, in a number of countries we see flawed elections,
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restrictions on physical and internet freedom, media censorship, attempts to restrict the activities of civil society groups. such ricks sty -- such restrictions stymie the efforts of citizens to change their own societies peacefully from within which the secretary has spoken so eloquently about. we also report on continued and in some cases increasing persian cushion of -- persecution of many religious groups including tibetan buddhists, jews and christians. the reports have a separate section documenting anti-semitic acts. we document discrimination against other groups including racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, women and the lgbt community which continue to face criminalization and violence many countries. but there are also a number of encouraging developments in 2011 starting with the burmese
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leadership which the secretary has mentioned. much more needs to be done including releasing all remaining political prisoners, working to end violence against ethnic minorities, but we will continue to encourage that government to keep making progress on those issues in the coming year. we also saw positive developments around the world in 2011 in zambia where they held free elections that were credible and orderly n tunisia where they held free elections for a constituent assembly, a body that's now rewriting the constitution. in colombia the government continues to strive to improve justice in human rights cases. progress towards human rights is neither linear, nor guaranteed, but we're pleased to note these important landmarks. now, let me just say a couple of words about the report themselves. since the 1970s this has grown into a mammoth undertaking. this year we have 199 reports
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covering every country and a number of territories. they reflect the work of literally hundreds of people here and around the world who collect information and edit, review and fact check to make sure that these reports are accurate and objective. i want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the people who have worked so hard to make these reports the gold standard for human rights reporting and fidelity to the truth. i want to especially thank steveizeen brawn who's our commander in chief and chief editor, and he's done an outstanding job over the last six years in putting these reports together. last year the report was viewed by more than a million people. as the secretary noted, consistent with her leadership on 20th -- 21st century state craft, this year we've taken a number of steps to make the reports more concise, more accessible to a broader spectrum of readers and easier to search.
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this year's reports are more -- shorter and more focused, and each country's section now has an executive summary. we've used the latest technology to make the reports fully searchable as well as searchable across countries by topic. the public can share these reports on social media, and so they can have their own conversations about human rights. so i invite you to explore the reports online and to look at our web site, a year old now, which is human rights.gov. now, let me take any questions, please. >> let's start with -- [inaudible] >> two things. one, could you assess for us the respect for human rights particularly in those countries in the middle east where authoritarian regimes were toppled last year? so, specifically, i would include egypt, tunisia and
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libya. could you also comment broadly on your assessment of bahrain's implementation of the dici report? and, finally, i couldn't find it in the report, although i had very little time to read through it and i may have missed it, but i didn't see a reference to how the libyan authorities handled the death of colonel gadhafi. and if i missed it, that's fine. but could you give us your assessment, i think at the time you described it as an opportunity for the libyan authorities to do a thorough investigation. how do you think the new libyan authorities handled his death, any subsequent investigation, holding anyone accountable for what some people might regard as
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an extrajudicial killing? >> three of them. >> okay. let me take the first question which really is a broad overview of changes in the arab awakening, in particular with regard to egypt, tunisia and libya. i think it's -- the fist thing to say -- the first thing to say is we recognize that a change in any society that's been stuck is going to be a process. it's not a linear process. and so in each of those countries we see both fundamental change in terms of leadership, but also a range of challenges that remain. as the secretary noted in egypt we now have today, yesterday and today, presidential elections which seem to be going -- lots of people voting, the process seems open. but we remain to see what happens. going forward, there's likely to
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be a next round and then a transition over the summer. there are a range of challenges that are still to be faced; writing a constitution, figuring out the relationship with the parliament. so we are, we're in a journey, and i think our recognition is there's lots to be done, but we stand with the egyptian government and people as they move forward in that journey. tunisia, i think there's is certainly a sense as i said in my opening comment that there's been a good deal of progress certainly in building the infrastructure including the moving forward with the constitutional process that will set the framework for what needs to be done going forward. and libya, um, huge agenda coming out of 42 years where, essentially, all institutions were destroyed. beginning to develop some stability, still a transitional government. hopefully, in the coming months an election and the beginning of a process of regularizing the process of governing.
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on the, your last question relating to the gadhafi killing, the government, i think, has such a big agenda right now, i don't think it's reasonable to expect that they're going to be dealing with every aspect of that. they still have thousands of people in detention, many militias that still need to be brought into line. i actually plan to visit there shortly and will look into all of these issues. and in bahrain, finally, as we said several weeks ago, we have an important security relationship with bahrain. it's in our national security interest to continue and maintain that relationship, but we've been very clear, very explicit, the secretary was in her meeting with the crown prince, that there are a range of very serious human right problems, there's an increased polarization in the society. we are eager for there to be a process that is a serious negotiation or dialogue that brings people together. but there are a range of issues
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on prisoners still in detention, accountability, police practices that we continue to push -- >> did the libyans really ever investigate gadhafi's killing to your knowledge? >> you know, i'm not going to -- i'll answer that better, i think, when i go there and have some of those conversations. >> just kind of more broadly on bahrain and other countries, i mean, amnesty international came out with a report, its own annual human rights report, and said that while you have been a leader in human rights, it's kind of, you know, you're not always that principled when it comes to economic and national security as priorities, sometimes that is taking a front seat particularly on bahrain and also on syria where you haven't exercised the sufficient pressure on russia and china because of other issues in the relationship to, um, go along with more robust action at the united states nations -- united nations security could council. could you respond to that? >> sure. >> and talk a little wit about
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the balance you're trying to strike between economic and national security priorities and american values of human rights. >> sure. so in the broader sense, president obama has talked about and secretary clinton, a principled engagement. we engage in the world, and we recognize that there are a range of interests. we have security interests, as you say, economic interests, political, diplomatic, but human rights is an essential part of what we do across the board. and so it is always going to be part of the discussion. secretary's been great, and i've been part of many discussions with her with strategic economic allies where these issues are raised with a clear voice. we raise them in bahrain to cite the two examples you raise, we raised these issues in bahrain recognizing that that society is at a turning point. it's at a critical juncture where there's actually been a greater polarization and more street violence. we're concerned about that.
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we're concerned about it because we know that it's in bahrain's long-term interests and the interests of the bahraini people that there be a coming together and a serious addressing of the human rights issues there as part of a broader path to reconciliation. we're not shy about that, and we raise it consistently. and in syria i would say we have been as focused and as active as any government in trying to get more, a more unified international response with the russians, with the chinese, with others at the security council, and we have a multifaceted response. we've pushed for the monitors to be in place. that's clearly not enough, and it's frustrating. we pushed at the g8 for there to be a plan for transition. we're part of the friends of syria trying to build up and strengthen the opposition. we've been absolutely clear for months that assad must go. and we've pushed for sanctions, and we've enacted sanctions and gotten others to do it. it is a very tough challenge,
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but it's not for lack of commitment or lack of clarity about what we're trying to accomplish or how we're going about it. >> michelle -- [inaudible] >> thank you. i want to ask about china and the case of chen guangcheng. first of all, how concerned are you about his network of friends who helped him escape, and secondly, more broadly, i wonder the way you resolve this case with the chinese, whether you see that as a defining moment and new approach to dealing with these issues with china, or are they so angry with you that they're never going to do this again, deal with you in that sort of way? >> well, let me say first of all about chen guangcheng's family and friends, we are closely monitoring what's happening with his immediate family, his brother, his nephew. the lawyers who have undertaken to represent his nephew, others who assisted him we have and
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will, as i'm doing today, raised these cases and our concerns with the chinese government both publicly and privately. we'll continue to do that. we'll continue to have contact with mr. chen and get his input. so these are things as there are many human rights issues in china that we're paying attention to. as we've said previously, in the last several years there's been a closing of space for human rights lawyers and act vies in china. -- activists in china. those are things of concern. we're concerned about other cases, and we'll continue to raise. in terms of the relationship, we had, obviously, a dramatic few days -- you were there -- during the strategic and economic dialogue. what was striking to me is that we had a very successful meeting while a human rights issue was being played out. i think the relationship is now so important to both countries that we have found a way, and we
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will find a way, to talk about our economic, political, strategic interests, and human rights is going to be very much a part of those discussions. >> [inaudible] >> here, please. >> [inaudible] the daily beast, and i have a question about egypt. you talk about the elections as being open, and i'm wondering if you're concerned about the fact that there are going to be fewer monitors or be harder to monitor those elections. >> well, let me say, first of all, that the election process is ongoing, and so at this stage, um, we wait and watch as egyptians are doing to see the final outcome, how the votes are counted, what happens in what is likely to be a second round and what happens in what we hope will be a successful transition to a new civilian government in july. um, we also recognize that this is an evolutionary process, you know, there are some witnesses
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or observers there -- not everywhere -- but it is from the initial accounts lots of people are voting, the process seems to be moving forward. but there's a big agenda beyond the elections, and as secretary clinton has said often, a sustainable democracy requires a vibrant civil society, a free press, strong legal institutions, etc. so we have, there's a lot to be done, and this is going to be led by egyptians, this is what the egyptian people want. they want a stake in their own future, they want economic opportunity, and they want a stake in the political future of their country. >> [inaudible] >> well, you know, the government has undertaken a number of things that we regard as being in the right direction in terms of addressing

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