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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  June 28, 2012 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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>> this is the conversation we need to have in this country that nobody's willing to have. what role should the government play in housing finance? if you want to subsidize housing in this country, and we want to talk about it and the populace agrees that is something we should subsidize, then put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and make it evident and make everybody aware of how much it's costing. but when you deliver it delivered through these third-party enterprises, fannie mae and freddie mac, when you deliver the subsidy through a public company with private shareholders and executives who
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can extract a lot of that subsidy for themselves, that is not a very good way of subsidizing homeownership. i think we have seen that end of that movie in 2008. >> next, the hearing on the transition in iraq where the state department has been taking control of the u.s. fish -- are i commissioned since khan brett troops left. witnesses include the acting state department inspector general as well as stuart bowen been correct nationally appointed special inspector general for iraq reconstruction. this house oversight subcommittee hearing on foreign operations is about 90 minutes. >> the committee will come to order. i would like to begin this by hearing by stating the oversight
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hearing mission statement. americans have the right to know their money in washington is well spent. and second americans deserve efficient effective government that works for them. our duty is to protect these rights. are some responsibilities to hold government accountable and taxpayers have a right to know what they get from the government. we will work tirelessly in partnership with citizen watchdogs to deliver the facts to the american people and bring genuine reforms to the federal bureaucracy. this is the mission of the oversight government reform. let me start at the outset here and i appreciate you all being here. the country has invested in a lot of time, money, blood, resources for the mission in iraq. this is an interesting day on capitol hill given everything that has happened and what is happening on the floor with the vote that is directly involved with this committee. you will see a limited number of members participating today. we do believe it is vital both
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to get all of the testimony that will be shared here today. the questions today will probably somewhat limited with the understanding of everything that is happened on capitol hill. we are faced with a decision on whether not to delay this hearing and we were concerned that it would push it back to the latter part of july and perhaps even novice. we would like to be fairly close to a quarterly type of updated hearing given this so we do appreciate your testimony and hope you have an understanding of the complexity that is this day. today's hearing is entitled assessment of the transition from the military to civilian-led missions in iraq and i want to again thank you all for participating. we are going to focus our efforts on 2011. we assess the administrations prospect for success and whether the strategy should be used as a model for a tennis fan in 2014. i cannot emphasize this enough. we need to learn from the experiences that we have so that
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we go through this in another situation we can make the most of it. on november 17, 2008 the bush administration and the government of iraq agreed the united states would withdraw by december 31, 2011. keeping with that that agreement a defense department has removed all but approximately 275 uniformed personnel. many troops work under the chief authority of the office of security cooperation. the state department has greatly expanded its footprint in iraq for approximately 2000 hired personnel and 14,000 support contracts -- contractors, roughly a 7-1 ratio. this includes 7000 private security contractors to guard her facilities in the personnel throughout iraq. the state department's position seem clear that patrick kennedy testified the mission was designed to maximize influence and later said, the state will
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continue to police development programs moving beyond basic policing skills to provide police forces with the capability to uphold the rule of law. the office of security cooperation will help close gaps in iraq security enforcement capabilities for sick dirty systems in cooperation end quote. this is an unprecedented mission for the state department. nonetheless our diplomatic corps has function without the protections of the typical host nation. many believed it would have. as a result the embassy sends roughly 93% of its budget on security alone. without a doubt this is an enormously complex and difficult mission. six months into the transition the congress must assess whether the administrations accomplishing its mission. of the state department has made progress it appears to be facing difficult challenges in a number of areas. the oversight committee has offered criticism based on their testimony today including the government accountability office noting that the state defense department security capabilities
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are not finalized. the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction states that quote thousands of projects completed by the united states and transfer to the government of vivek will not be sustained and thus will fail to meet their intensive purposes" back. defense department inspector general's office explains the lack of status of forces agreement in impacted land-use agreements passport visa requirements air and ground improvement and foreign military sales program and the usaid inspector general's office testified that quote according to usaid and missions the security mission has hampered its ability to hamper -- monitor programs. there are occasional able to travel to the field for site traditions. embassy personnel have told them of the staff the united states ufferman as difficult a registering its vehicles with the iraqi government and iraqis have stood at checkpoints along supply lines. according according to unofficial the embassy -- on to have tea and figure how we are
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going to get our trucks through quote. the search of some of the challenge the state department's facing in iraq today. hats as result of these conditions mission in iraq appears to be evolving. in an effort to be more efficient the state department is evaluating its footprint and reducing personnel and identifying possible reductions. its rapid change of strategy however raises number of questions. are we on the right track recs are we redefining the mission? what should we expect in the coming months and in hindsight of a well-managed withdrawal. the focus for this hearing there for us to gain clarity about our efforts in iraq however we we we need to examine whether such a transition as possible and how we execute in afghanistan. nations withdrawal -- down draw is only two years away and the like present a greater challenge than iraq. we need to have the answers before we commit billions of taxpayer dollars. we continue to look at these issues over the coming months and look forward to the panel as i said before.
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now if i too recognize the distinguished ranking member, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. tierney for his opening statement. >> you talked about weather whether or not this is a well-managed withdrawal and basic way was ill-conceived adventure in the beginning in a flood limitation so i think the withdrawal concept is particularly difficult. i'm going to ask unanimous consent that my prepared remarks be placed in the record so that we can move forward and hear from the witnesses. >> so ordered. >> thank you. i really do appreciate it. members we have seven days to submit opening statements for the record and we will recognize their first panel. patrick kennedy is the undersecretary for management at the u.s. department of state. peter verga is the chief of staff at the undersecretary for policy at the united states department of defense and the honorable mara rudman is the system administrator for the euro of u.s. agency for international development. pursuant to committee rules all
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witnesses will be sworn before they testify. please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or from the testimony you're about to give up the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. you may be seated. let the record reflect that the witnesses all answered in the affirmative. in order to allow such time for discussion please limit your verbal testimony to five minutes. your entire written record and statement will be -- written statement will be made part of the record. we would now like to recognize mr. patrick kennedy for five minutes. make sure that microphone is nice and close. there you go. >> thank you. chairman chaffetz, ranking member tierney, distinguished members him a thank you for inviting me to discuss the state department operations in iraq after the military to civilian-led transition. u.s. forces completed their
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withdrawal from iraq in december december 2011, marking a significant milestone in our bilateral relationship. our strategic old continues to be a united, unified democratic and stable iraq. while the security has improved overall the situation on the ground remains challenging. nonetheless our diplomatic engagements are robust, our embassy meets regularly with president talabani, primus or maliki cabinet members parliamentarians and civil society leaders. the state department has always planned to align our presence in iraq with other comparable u.s. missions that transmission planning recalls -- calls for robust rupture that can handle possible situations. now that we have successfully is transition we are methodically streamlining operations in a phased approach which we call the glidepath. this recognizes the securities do not deteriorate when u.s. forces departed and the government of iraq also recognizes the value of a streamlined u.s. mission.
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a bin evaluating our presence and reducing personnel, sites and agency programs under chief of mission authority. we expect to reduce direct entire staffing 25 to 30% i the end of 2013. this is not arbitrary. rather we examined our operations, determine how they can be made more efficient and we have hired more iraqis with 242440 direct plan tires now and for. if also emphasized her contractors need to hire iraqis as well. over the next 18 months, we will consolidate onto the embassy compound and relinquish three facilities in baghdad, the baghdad talese college annex, headquarters and the prosperity support annex. we will continue to make adjustments to support a robust and secure yet appropriately sized platform. i would like to provide an update touching on a few key elements of our support. our iraqi planning began in late 2009 and above the
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interdisciplinary team within the department working closely with their dod and a.i.d. colleagues. since the follow-on negotiations of the 2008 u.s.-iraq security agreement were not completed, our predicate was that we have to be self-sufficient. on october 1 of 2011 the embassy and our counselors were fully operational and mission capable as we had long plan. while the mission capable comes from dod lexicon and is not an previously than previously applied to state operations, we were fully engaged at all diplomatic support activities even though some of our facilities were not fully complete. we have continued to complete our facilities and despite the challenging environment, we have been and will continue to carry out our diplomatic mission. task orders for static and security were awarded under the worldwide protective services contract for all state department site, the prayer of diplomatic security performing its increased oversight to secure the professionalism of security contractor personnel.
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the dod continues to revise life-support services through 201,300 competitively awarded logcap and by defense logistics agency's. our partnership with the department of defense remains highly effective. a post transition working group meets twice a month to discuss life-support. we are working on local sourcing with more food and fuel. we are looking forward to plans to award a life-support contract replace logcap by the end
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towards becoming a secure self-reliant country as efficiently and effectively as possible. thank you again for inviting me here today and for your ongoing support of the department. i welcome any questions you might have. >> thank you very much ambassador kennedy. we will now recognize mr. peter verga the chief of staff for the undersecretary for policy for the u.s. department of defense. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you to chairman. i appreciate that opportunity to
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speak with committee members. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today along with my department state college to provide an update on the united states transition from a military to civilian presence in iraq. given irex important strategically in the middle middle east remains profoundly in the united states national interest that iraq emerges a strategic partner with the united states, a sovereign, stable, self-reliant nation and a positive force for moderation and stability in the region. in the time since we last appear before this committee the united states has a bit of its commitments in 2008 u.s.-iraqi security agreement by withdrawing all u.s. forces by the end of december 2011. the department of defense has worked closely with the department of state to help ensure a successful transition to a civilian-led presence in iraq. before during and after the transition dod provided all possible support to set up -- to posture the state for success as
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u.s. forces which are from iraq pretty today the department of defense continues to work with the department of state to help meet its needs through personnel, extension of equipment loans and contracting assistance. that focuses now on cementing a normalized presence in iraq with the department of state in the league. that means building one hears of working with iraqis to create a lasting long-term security relationship including a robust foreign military sales program. currently are fms program in iraq is the fourth-largest in the region and the ninth largest in the world with a total value of approximately $1,146,000,000,000. of all the cases with iraq the f-16 case stands out as the is the cornerstone is the long-term u.s.-iraq strategic relationship. iraq is requested the sale of 36 m-16s and associated training at a value of approximately $6 billion. to date iraq has deposit approximately $2.5 billion towards that sale and delivers
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of the first aircraft are scheduled in september of 2014. we are now at a point where the strategic dividends of our efforts are within reach. dod has worked closely with the department of state to help ensure successful transition to the civilian-led residents in iraq. 's successful transition enables us to concentrate on building that long-term strategic partnership based on mutual interest in mutual respect. finally iraq for a substantial fms program is demonstrating his desire for long-term strategic heart worship and its commitment to this program is a testimony to the future of the u.s. iraq partnership. i thank you for your attention and look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much and we will now recognize the honorable mara rudman the assistant administrator for the bureau of the u.s. agency for international development. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you is to chairman and ranking member tyranny. thank you for the opportunity to
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discuss usaid work in the transition from a military-led to civilian-led iraq. our goal is to -- this is critical to u.s. interests in the middle east. is goal made possible through enormous sacrifice by americans and iraqis alike. usaid is adjusting its footprint in iraq in line with the development strategy and programmatic needs. we are focused on iraq sustainable development under the terms of the u.s. iraq strategic framework agreement. for the past 10 years usaid's role in iraq regressed through three distinct stages. immediately after the invasion usaid emphasis was on restoring essential infrastructure and services and supporting democratic assesses. than as part of the military and civilian counterinsurgency campaign to concentrate on stabilizing iraq's communities and strengthening governmental institutions. now with the completion of the transition to civilian leadership of the u.s. effort in iraq usaid's focuses on helping iraq improve how they manage
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their own resources for development. our ability to adapt more closely with the iraqi government has provided critical continuity to our work. recurrent efforts reflect lessons learned over these years particularly and the need for greater oversight in her decision of sustainability. today usaid provides technical assistance to iraqis to improve their abilities to finance and implement their own development projects. we are also working with iraqi civil society. and implement reforms that will encourage private sector led economic growth, support development of good governance to democratic institutions, support ethnic and religious minorities and provide durable solutions to the reintegration of internally displaced persons. all of our efforts design for sustainability in mind so as an end goal of the iraqis will manage everyone these projects without u.s. assistance. in addition to the considerable human capital theoretic you people themselves iraq has great oil well.
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revenues from the oil industry which have yet to reach its full potential supply nearly all of the iraqi government's budget. sadly the countries and to choose its inability to deliver service have been degraded by decades of war. rebuilding the structure of resiliency and effectiveness at the state the private sector and civil society is where iraq's only tell. thus our current program focuses on improving the capacity of the iraqi governmental institutions and requires the iraqi to match the dollar for dollar basis. these ever stand in stark contrast to the much larger leaf and the structure stabilization projects in which we were engaged. in newark with the government of iraq to establish common objectives and activities. then come to an agreement on his required matching contributions and plans for transitioning the ultimate responsibility for projects to the government. throughout implementation may monitor and measure the geoy.'s progress and cost-sharing contributions. these steps help ensure
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long-term iraq investment commitment to sustainability of usaid activities that specifically benefit their governing institutions. this focus on sustainability is not simply good development practice but also reflects congressional guidance. nearly 2009 usaid and the state department adapted a set of policy guidelines on iraqi government matching for u.s. assistance funds which were higher financial iraqi government counterpart contributions. for most u.s. funded programs and projects that directly benefit or involved the iraqi central government. ensuring that the resources provided for american taxpayers are used effectively and their contributions to iraq's progress is sustainable results requires both careful and consistent monitoring on our part in the engagement of the iraqi government and other partners. thus in addition to standard usaid protections against waste fraud and abuse including checks on terrorist financing, we have designed an extensive and effective oversight system that
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is tailored to the unique operating environment in iraq. usaid contracts with the third-party monitoring and evaluation implementor that conducts independent evaluations of all of our projects. there are multiple independent oversight bodies that also review our programs and have conducted more than 300 financial performance audits in 2003. finally our focus on sustainability extends to the staffing up of our effort in iraq. in fy2012 at the end we will reduce the number of foreign service officers and hire and train more of locally and -- iraqis to perform unction's. in some rare programs in iraq are designed to help iraqis use their own resources to foster self-reliance and maintain stability and increase their well-being. our continued commitment to iraq demonstrates the importance we place on the mutual interests of his long-term partner sure. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today and i'm happy to answer your questions. thank you. >> thank you very match
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ms. rudman and i now recognize myself for five minutes. ambassador kennedy how many personnel contractors and u.s. government employees as mission iraq currently employed at its various sites? >> mr. chairman we have approximately 16,000 personnel at this time, representing the state department and all associated agencies including the department of defense and usaid. >> do you know how those are broken down versus government employees versus contractors? >> is approximately, approximately 19,000 -- i'm sorry, 1900 employees, american and iraqis who are government employees and approximately 14,000 contracts so relatively 2000. >> how does that break down? do you have the breakdown of u.s. personnel versus iraqi national?
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>> yes, sir. there are 1640 plus or minus american u.s. government employees, 240 iraqi employees in 14,000 contractors. >> and you don't have the breakdown of the contractors or are broken down as far as u.s. versus iraqi? >> most of the contractors are either americans or third country nationals. we are increasing every day the number of iraqi contract employees as part of our, part of our program. we have informed our contractors that in certain categories we believe, and they are engaging and then acting on our instructions. they are replacing the third country national contractors with iraqi contractors. >> and how safe are operations in iraq now? at one point you were seeing a reluctance of certainly u.s.
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personnel to operate outside of the green zone. what is happening now? >> mr. chairman are personnel have been operating outside the green zone since i was in iraq in 2003 and 2000 or. we go outside the green zone every day. in the last quarter of 2011, calendar year 2011, there were 3000 missions, security missions that are personnel executed outside the green zone and i believe the first quarter of this calendar year the numbers almost up to 4000. >> ms. redman it is my understanding that usaid have set iraqis to oversee -- because of security concerns. is that accurate? >> to 25 field monitors that were hired for iraqi and are not
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overseeing the projects. they are monitoring the work so it is added staff for monitoring and evaluation work. so it was augmenting our staff to be able to out down the field are regular basis to help with her monitoring and evaluation work. >> so why can't our personnel be out there? is it accurate that they have security concerns? >> it is accurate that there are security concerns. the way that we would describe it would be that the security environment in iraq is improving. it is still not a normal security environment in the sense of embassies elsewhere so in terms of having the best possible monitoring and evaluation work for our projects, it is seen as a good thing for monitoring and evaluation work to have iraq is doing that work as well as also sustainable development efforts to have iraqis have the capacity
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to do that work so the project can eventually be handed over. >> i would like to ask, just to ponder, what needs to be done to create a level of security and confidence where are personnel can get out there but i'm running out of time. what i did, i also want to ask you maam, the gao has reported that iraq is a community day budget surplus of over $50 billion of which $10 billion was available for future spending. why are we pouring a lot of money into iraq when their budget is certainly in better shape than ours? >> sir, we have been steadily -- glide path to reducing the amount of program money that we are putting into iraq. on a fairly consistent basis, that is something that we are reviewing year-to-year, how much money we are putting into iraq for program assistance and in addition to that as i described to to in my testimony we have
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been working with congress on the cost-sharing arrangement with iraq so since 2009, we have -- iraq has contributed directly on a dollar for dollar basis everything that they have matched essentially for everything that we do with them for any capacity building, any assistance to the iraqi government, they match those funds so we provide purely technical assistance to them and they match everything that we do with the idea that any development assistance they are learning how to do and will eventually take over into in their own. >> america has certainly invested a lot in blood and treasure in iraq. i see my time has expired. i will recognize the ranking member. >> thank you. i began to think from time to time you your on this committee. would you put your microphone on for us or pull a closer, one of the other?
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6500 of the 14,000 or security person now. that is a presence that we have in iraq. a presence we have in afghanistan. we have nowhere else in the world directly related to the security conditions, which are improving, but certainly not at a point where we can not rely on our own inherent security now. >> how many sites in iraq from a security are responsible? >> they are responsible for
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about 13 or 14 depending how you count one site, whether it's one or two. >> what is the nature of those things? >> thursday and deceive compound itself. there is the logistics and macs across the street. there is the office of security cooperation annex, which is also across the street. from the embassy as the police training site. there is a support operation we have a g sent to the baghdad airport. various art consulate and rpo and he rpo airport in the north. there is art consulate in bozrah. there is a joint os cia state department site and cure cook and then there are four exclusively dod office of security cooperation size to
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carita mccusker, and -- my out with a curious foreign military sales of development; it referred to in his testimony, sir. >> what a sense -- this is for all of you -- what lessons are in iraq that we should take heed to learn from when they go to the afghan retro situation. the server theo, ms. rudman. wish we learned that we learned in afghanistan? >> i would say that the way we've approached our work with the government of iraq since 2009 has been quite informative. but look at our search to the sustainable development approach of the government of iraq said that the working in partnership with them and the scope of our
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programs being -- being ones that we ensure we have to buy and four at nine, the cautionary aspect of it has been a very smart aspect frankly that you reire dennis and we worked with the line so that when you bitterly have to buy an comment not just theoretical. they have to pay for us to come and make it work. there is much less waste involved at the front end and said the scoping of the programs and design of the program makes sense for us and for them. and i think we've seen a real shift in our programming and the workability of our program for their end nrc's at times. as the single most important my sin for us. >> from our perspective the most important lessons we learned as a requirement for advance planning and essentially continuous population monitoring
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processes either through transitional. we can't drop any going on and i think it was a good lesson in inner agency cooperation and information sharing that made this transition successfully. >> ambassador committee of more of a broad view. >> i think my colleague will touch on the three points. plan, plan, plan. second, a change management, not like in football you go to its line of scrimmage and you've got a plan and sometimes you have to call an audible, but you have to be prepared to cause that and not at all. i think we've done that. and third, just as in iraq would have required part. we anticipate there will be problems. we scope to make sure we are safe and secure and can carry out our mission, but depending us the hope on the situation beginning to continually be more and more stable, with a quiet
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path in place so that we can reduce our staffing just as we are now doing in iraq. >> are you done quite >> i have one more question sold to a quick second questions. ambassador kennedy, you mentioned that the police college in accessibility is one of the facilities. it is my understanding the united states text areas have been tested within $100 improvement on that site. it is intended to house the police department program multibillion-dollar sets are completely being downsized. as a result of the state department's failure to secure land use rights, the entire facility is turned over to the iraqis at no cost. the gao reports mission iraq is land-use agreements or the space for only five out of all of the sites that it operates. can you say with confidence that
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those sites now operating from the sewer agreement will not be turned over to iraq for free the case at the police development program? over the cost of the u.s. taxpayers be if they were to lose without compensation all of those facilities? >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, the statement that has been -- that you are reading from a bout we were closing the baghdad police development site because with failure to have land-use rights is simply factually incorrect. we have a land-use agreement for that site. as part of the program at the police development program, their periodic reviews under way and my colleagues to do that -- it's not part of my general responsibility the operating side of the house. engage in reviews on a six-month
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basis both internally and with the government iraq. and so is their plan to make adjustments. the police development program over time. this statement somehow that we have wasted or had everything pulled out from under us because of the lack of a land-use agreement is simply false. >> other properties in iraq have agreements for every single property we have in iraq except for one, which is their interim facility in bozrah, which is simply a reincarnation of a former u.s. military facility they are. even in that regard, we have a long-term agreement signed with the government of iraq by ambassador negroponte and 2005 in which we saw properties with the government of iraq and they are committed to provide us with a 10-acre facility in basra of our mutual choosing. and so we are covered,t of
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government. one of the chief roles at ink of this committee is to be the watchdog over the purse strings. please be aware this is sent to you we are going to continue to keep an eye on in all of the wells per view. i realize this chairman chassis said earlier, this is busy legislative day and it's important to get your testimony and other information in. i wiggled out the remainder of my time and not for mr. tierney five minutes if he has additional questions. >> allgood of the next panel and thank the witnesses for their comments inaccessibility. i know we can follow up on this but then. i'll take care of you. i yield back. >> i would like to thank the panel for their appearance and cooperation with this committee and congress. it is sad while you were, check
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the time and are committed to being open and transparent with this committee and the american taxpayers. at this point we'll take a short recess to meet the other panel and we will resume as soon as they are seated, probably less than 10 minutes. so we stand in recess. [inaudible conversations]
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>> ticket is called back to order as we enter recess and prepared to recognize our second panel. first we have jack turk medical course, director of international force a trade at the u.s. government accountability office. next we have ambassador harold w. geisel, inspector general of the u.s. department of state. mr. making mr. met is a special deputy or general for southwest asia at the u.s. department of defense. mr. michael g carroll is deputy inspector general at the u.s. agency for international development and the honorable stuart w. bowen assistant inspector general for iraq reconstruction. pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses will be sworn before they testify.
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gentleman would you please rise and raise your right hand? do solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give will be the truth come old truth and nothing but the truth? let the record reflect the witness answered in the affirmative. please be seated. as you know we've got a busy day on capitol hill today and in order to allow time for questioning and discussions, i would ask you limit your testimony to five minutes. your entire written statement will be made part of the record. we invite you to summarize then hit the high point of your remarks. we will start up with mr. coors. you're recognized for five minutes. >> good morning mr. chairman, ranking member tierney. i'm pleased to be here to discuss transition that u.s. military presence in iraq treat civilian presence but i department of state. this work is a continuation of gsi first to review the planning and execution of the drawdown of
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u.s. forces from iraq in the u.s.-led presence there. gao sassa on u.s. plans for the diplomatic presence in iraqi commitment to the presence and support capabilities for personnel in iraq and our capabilities to provide security for the sites and personnel. the primary message of my testimony this morning as the state department and dod plans for a very large civilian that present in iraq from an iraqi commitment remains unclear. further the support and security capabilities have not yet been finalized. most importantly i first identify security vulnerabilities is mitigating them are not being fully tracked. my first point is state and dod plan for a robust presence in iraq. deallocate and $4 billion planned up over 16,000 personnel of 14 different sites across the country. most personnel would be contractors primarily responsible for security and
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logistical support. as of last month, state and dod were developing a plan to reduce the number of sites and personnel in iraq. however the mission is still comprised by fire largest overseas diplomatic presence in the world. my first point -- my second point is that mission iraq is scattered delays in establishing basic infrastructure and my support capabilities such as housing and water supply. construction projects are behind schedule. mission iraq is still revising emergency evacuation plans to reflect absence of a country, fours and the mission contracts have delays and challenges that the iraqi bureaucracy. my final point is state and dod have not yet finalized security capabilities in iraq. as you know missionary personnel has faced numerous arrests,
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including reaching rocket and mortar attacks, bombs, small inspiring kidnapping. as a blast from the state department conducted security assessments of the site and manages them have taken a number of steps to address vulnerabilities. however what dod has reported some efforts to address vulnerabilities that the sites they minutes, they have not fully tracked the ciphers. in summary, state and dod plan for the diplomatic presence of the world and iraqi commitment remains unclear. mission iraq support functions her work in progress and most importantly while operational security capabilities are neither fully mission capable and further dod staffers to mitigate security vulnerabilities that it saves are not being fully tracked and therefore it is unclear if and to what extent u.s. personnel and facilities at these locations may be at risk. mr. chairman american member tierney this concludes my remarks may be happy to address any questions you may have. >> thank you rematch.
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we'll get you the questions once we've heard testimony from the entire panel. mr. geisel, you recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member tierney and subcommittee for the opportunity to discuss the transition to civilian led mission in iraq. since 2008 the office of inspector general has conducted 35 investigations and 27 audit inspection and evaluation center at. the department has been responsive to oig recommendations. in may 2011, oig reported the u.s. military was managing with it 370 civilian police advisers. the department has now assumed responsibility for the police development program and is consulting with iraqi officials to evaluate security needs to downsize suffers accordingly. pending audit reports from the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction the final spending decisions, oig will
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audit the department oversight related civilian assistance programs in march 2013. in response to state oig recommendations to create office of security cooperation in iraq, iraq is security forces that manage u.s. iraqi defense relation, dod ig found that always see eye that fall operating capability in october 2011. we will coordinate and monitor progress in coordination with dod ig. in may 2011, oig reported the department continued to face challenges in establishing provincial post due to questions regarding land-use agreements, staffing construction of my support operations will security threats prevented construction and nozzle consulate in basra and cure cook opened in 2011 and continuing to create tajik and new kaiser served as oic
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operation sites. oig remains concerned about the safety of u.s. government personnel and contractors in iraq. in may 2011, oig reported security risks could be mitigated through closer working relationships with the government of iraq and security forces. during fieldwork for at a private security contractors in baghdad, oig found iraqi security forces are routinely detaining private security researcher points in the government of iraq is restricting aerospace, jeopardizing potential evacuation rules. in april 2013, oig will audit effectiveness of private security contractors in metal. the aircraft and approval from the government of iraq and other authorities to establish grass between amman and bag had that carries a $2400 between kuwait city and baghdad for $1600
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round-trip in comparison as of may 31, 2012, commercial round-trip fares between amman and baghdad were available for 600 to $800. oig will audit the program in august 2012 and consider the cost efficiency versus security concerns of commercial air travel. in may 2011, oig reported the cost to provide medical care for u.s. personnel contract was in iraq be considerable. the department contractor operates the department planned operation 2012. in may 2011, oig reported embassy bag dad was adequate response plans for mass casualty events. in january 2012, oig reported embassy baghdad and basra revealed emergency action plans in compliance with compartment guidelines and connect regular
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emergency response briefings in individuals. also in many 2011, oig reported the embassy facilities were near capacity due to addition and revocation of civilian staff and contractors. oig will audit the department's implementation of baghdad master plan in july 2012 and consider effects of the proposed 20% to 25% downsizing. we have a full inspection of the mission early in 2013 to include further evaluation of staffing and security needs. state oig is uniquely qualified to provide should specific oversight in the post-transition environment. we currently have 18 open investigations related to programs and operations in iraq and intend to send six additional personnel to monitor progress in iraq. we remain committed to providing the department congress a comprehensive spectrum of audit
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actions and investigations of major u.s. press from iraq. mr. chairman, mr. tierney members of the subcommittee could thank you for the opportunities and pleas to answer any questions you may have. they've thank you for his testimony. we now recognize mr. chairman provides minutes. >> the morning, mr. chairman for ranking member tierney and members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss their assessment of the transition from military to civilian led nation in iraq the office of security cooperation referred to as oic i operates under the chief of mission. managing bilateral security cooperation and assistance functions and maintaining long-term strategic partnership between u.s. government and the government of iraq. and recognizing importance of the challenges concerning the fact that the scope of the program is the largest in the
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world, we started a series of oversight efforts focused on the planning and establishment. in 2010, we assess the planning of her for transitioning security mission. we determined the osdi planning from within u.s. forces and we also identified several shortcomings and recommend that the u.s. central command issued a iraq specific country planning details assess procedures to development of the iraq specific security cooperation related planning guide and lessons learned regarding experiences of organizing the osdi. in 2011 reassess establishment to provide for sustained effective operations in 2011 iraq. we found the establishment was
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fun track and enterprising shortfalls in the planning outskirts. we determine the shortfalls are due to incomplete iraq specific plans. we also reported a need for planning capability within the office of security cooperation. and additionally observe any to the key officials of the ministry defends an interior about the osdi throw a security cooperation and assistance programs. in response to her assessment, osdi made improvements in the flow of information to this personnel and with key senior iraqi officials. central command also responded by issuing a completed iraq plan with key security cooperation details. on april 16 reissued a third report which is classified related to transition and
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management of private security contractors come including private security contractors regarding the osdi locations. while generally successful in transitioning from dod to department of state they did not finally certain agreements to enable the ability to become fully functional within iraq's dynamic post-2011 operating environment. responding to a report in march 2012, senior officials indicated the 2011th 11 security agreement or status agreement was affecting aspects of its operations. challenges cited by officials include obtaining or sending land-use agreements. visa requirements and air and ground movement. the precise impact of command concerns with respect to achieve
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long-term goals is unclear. however, having a formal follow-on security and status agreement was perceived to have value and clarify stabilizing iraq is government support for day-to-day operations and would benefit longer-term relationship building. in closing, let me emphasize the dod ig remains committed to providing oversight concerned and reporting on the progress and challenges in maintaining a long-term strategic partnership with the government of iraq. we plan to return to iraq early next fiscal year to continue her assessment when the operation of the osdi. i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thank you grenache, mr. chairman. we now recognize mr. verga. >> i appreciate the invitation an opportunity that she's given me to brief the committee on the
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use of oig activities in iraq currently and what we see for challenges for the future. a idea was not part of that massive transition planning process and are restricted by remarks to a i.d. programs. as the committee might never started oversight in iraq in 2003 with long-term td buys them i've opened in 2004 with a substantial body of work for that period of time. if i could get used as quickly, we've done over 60 performance audits during that time, conducted 153 costacurta financial audits covering $5 billion of expenditures over that period of time, open 105 investigations, 45 referrals for prosecution from the 13 indictments, 10 convictions, for administrative action and 10 departments. salute and a substantial amount of work overtime.
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but as in the post-transition environment, clearly it is funding has come down as mentioned in in 2013 it's only -- patients would only come the $231 million a substantial amount of money but relative to previous years is on a downward to track three. with sapient and a complete cost recovery mode now the state department is gone and were not getting supplemental funding are essential funding it has become, for us, expected to be fair. so what we are going to do is maintain offices to auditors, one investigator, transfer the other staff to egypt because when you consider the amount of money being spent by a i.d. and iraq, he ranks third in the region behind jordan and west bank cause. so we will continue to provide a robust oversight package in iraq. a chiseled beach be to the extent it has been in the past.
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our plan for 13 would be to do three performance audits, two major program reviews. one of those peony retrospective look back, using some of the work that mr. bowen has done or will join sustainability because we've seen two primary challenges for the agent the going forward. one is monitoring and evaluation. historically it's been problematic for a i.d. and iraq. they have relied, to a degree on the implementers to provide performance data to be suspected at times and the ability to get out and monitor and the programs get legitimate accurate performance state has been problematic. but that the military, state department providing security, we'll have to see how that goes. so we will be on diet pretty
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substantially. the other challenge that i see and again mara talk about it. there has been a natural transition from infrastructure and reconstruction bid was therefore well to martha traditional development assistance. like she said, technical assistance. so on the retrospectively upon the -- one of our artistry just issued on the i.t. sustainability systems, was a pretty bleak story as far as the effect to miss the programs implemented are not implemented, but paid for. so i think the lesson that the mac and the agency has gotten us a wacky diane. and to the extent that they can based on guidance from congress, get a car sharing kind of agreement because if they've got money in it and it's in their
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best interest, then it will be sustainable. if not, it is not going to be based on previous experience. so for us, the one challenge icac move forward, it's been a disappointment overtime is our ability to work with the iraqi law enforcement to get local prosecution. it had success in pakistan, afghanistan, the forever reason we've not had success in iraq and never commit ig counterparts, and the lake act at the embassy to try and identify one person entity and the iraqi government. it's a i.d. and the stalwart and works with local entities and more iraqis involved as ambassador kennedy said, the fraud that's going to take place if it takes place will be perpetrated primarily by iraqis and our ability to investigate is not a problem, but our ability to take probable cause and the iraqi government for
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local prosecutions is that we'd like to do, but so far as problematic. thank you very much and i look forward to taking any questions you might have. >> thank you, mr. carol. mr. bowen recognize. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for allowing two prevented stickers mission in iraq. steven examines this question in light of side issues. the police development program, security situation, rsa security in iraq and transfer and statement of construction i said an increase of criminal investigation. i will briefly summarize each of my points in a oral statement. police development program was the single largest program to transition from dod management
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to state management over the last eight months. interest in their transition from state management to dod management eight years ago. the initial contract with such the state department, but eventually challenges in iraq and if sanjeev require permission of the multinational tradition command, iraq, which operated police training program for an excess of six years. an accomplished and expended significant amount of money. the police development program however it was not well planned orwell agreed to or secured from the iraqis are audit of last october revealed. we have another review coming out this july that will follow up on the audit and look at progress made with regard to recommendations. the most significant events occurred since i've had spend a
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reduction in the size of the program. i think a wise reduction haven't fully thought into it and the challenges -- security challenge in iraq has limited capacity to execute the initial ambitious range of the program. second point of the security situation we saw today again bombs across baghdad killing 15, punctuated would've been a a very violent jihad. the year began violently in january. march saw the least violent month since 2003. so it's a very volatile situation. that is the stats tell you in iraq. notwithstanding whatever those numbers are, the requirements for personnel to note about the country are the same as they were essentially in 2006, 2007. it is expensive and that is where the largest single expense in iraq right now for the embassy of security.
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as ambassador kennedy pointed out an excess of 6000 contractors are security contract is in most of the money is going to pay their salaries. the opposite security cooperation in iraq is spending about 8 billion half dollars in iraq's security forces. congress appropriate for training and equipping the iraqi army and iraqi police. we've issued an audit in april about the progress there making and making that money and the fms program for some concern about the obligation rate, the meetings of general cousin who runs the program assuaged our concerns will have a follow-up report in july. it gives concrete points on the progress made regarding the use of that money. the continuing issue addressed over the years since the transfer and sustain them of
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projects that we spent $51 billion producing and it is not a good story. the audit reveals there is no consensus upon how to transfer these projects. our audit program to stimulate development of a sustain the program and requirement in contract. it was for the most part too little too late and frankly iraqis have not bought into investing significant sums into what we provide in part because they're not sure what we provide. as today hear from iraqis and that's understandable given weaknesses in the database that we developed. indeed the reconstruction found that it captures maybe 70% of what we provided. that is certainly unacceptable. lastly, we seen an uptick criminal investigative activity, simply because as the program has drawn down, for whatever reason people have been more
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willing to come forward and provide desperately and second, some of our technical examinations of what happened to that i may have produced more cases. so we have an excess of 100 investigations going on. which is convicted or 76% this week and are sick or prosecution continues to produce good for you. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. i now recognize myself for five minutes. mr. coors, ambassador kennedy and i got into a discussion about the absence -- presence of land-use agreements with the facilities we have in iraq. do you have the current status of that or at least the information from your latest report as to what facilities we do and do not have land-use agreements for? you might guess, what ambassador
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kennedy may have been referred to as her 13 of the 14 facilities, the iraqis acknowledge a presence through diplomatic notes, but they're still the size of the 14 for which we actually have explicit tide of type of land-use agreements releases. >> cyanotic diplomat. so what does i've been? they say outright, you can be you can essentially change airlines, said basically what there are? >> well, the notes are definitely not the same thing as having an explicit agreement. as a matter of fact, they started in one case with the iraqi require us to reconfigure downsize one of our sites and that was one of the safer we did not have his land-use agreement so obviously weren't a much more vulnerable position. >> and that to also follow a. >> and that to also follow a. >> and that to also follow a pml about the last use of iraqi nationals and overseen some
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investigations. what is your opinion on that? does that strike you as a good idea, bad idea of% then you're stuck with because there's no alternative. it seems like americans to be a little more concerned about how their tax dollars are spent in the iraqi nationals or the recipients of those tax dollars. >> well, personally i think it is an additive serta stat. we would do the same thing. for example in some of the places where is absolutely prohibited because of security, what we will do is contract with the local cpa firm, primarily out of egypt into a very comprehensive agreed-upon procedures document that they will go and take pictures, ask questions, do what we would do
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if we could get there. i think that is what laura's talking about as well. i don't see it as a problem. in fact, i see it as an adjunct to and not a replacement for contracting representatives and technical representatives actually getting a adventure in the week has been done. it is some of these people are doing. these people go out and just to monitoring and evaluation. it does not replace a the responsibilities are for americans. >> thank you very much. whichever one it was seems most eager to answer can take this. >> my information the field, what it's like on the ground is based on exit i've read reports that i've seen on television. but a good many of our facilities are in metropolitan areas, including the capital back god. i am concerned that we are
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struggling to include a monitor to these folks in a safe manner. i mean, what is the procedure? is the food delivered? how is that handled and why is it a problem any metropolitan area? hundreds of thousands of people in the cities cannot iraqi nationals need to be said. obviously as well as brat and a safe way. i mean, how is that handled and why is it such a problem? >> the state department continued the lockout contracts after the military withdrew and december in the process for bringing food into the country continued as well and that is convoys that, from kuwait. there've been challenges to check points have been closed, security challenges and other
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reasons that have been intermittent and much of an occasional shortage of certain foods at the embassies. ambassador jeffreys emphasized the spring his desire to move towards local service but that's been slow. >> there's also concerned about the amount of security necessary and how much we're spending on it. could you take a typical day in the life of an embassy, the employee? to be safe on the compound? to a security with a living? escort them home? it looks like the ratio is contracts or employees is on the 71. i don't know how many of us are security personnel. is elected president, where perfidious security detail and travels but then everywhere they go. how much do they get out?
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>> as they said in a statement that very much the process that existed in 2007. the draft of a number of taxes has not led to a relaxation security requirements. those are dictated by the regional security officer at the embassy. in baghdad, the situation -- the general matter has improved greatly, so to make a movement outside the embassy grounds requires 48 hours notice. three hardened vehicles, couple shooters in each vehicle and limited time on site. particularly at your mission. so it is a restricted environment from a security perspective. by the way, still quite dangerous. there haven't been very many duck and cover as we say at the embassy this year. that is not the case epicure cooke facility. bowser is similarly has much more difficult security
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situation amiss in baghdad. >> tour personnel live at the embassy in baghdad? so why not sending dozens of people home? >> iceni time is way expired. i guess recognize the gentleman from massachusetts would give him six minutes. >> you're very kind. thank you, mr. chairman. i've been to iraq 13 or 14 times found in a couple of things in the testimony raised some concerns for me. mr. trained for, with usaid come i understand the situation there is very, very difficult, but it seems to me that it's probably the worst situation you have, where instead juries can't get out to to review the projects
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the american taxpayer is paying for it. that is just a very tense situation and i'm very uncomfortable with that. i know we've been out many times with mr. bowen and has in fact very on-site in iraq. there is a certain value and u.s. personnel there, engineers to review some of these projects. we had widespread corruption has been an experience whether these projects are being to proper standards and whether some of our money is being diverted. is there any hope here? is there any way that we could
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enhance the cooperation were getting from the iraqi government by withholding funds for these projects unless we get access to those sites and have the abilities to do proper oversight? >> well, it's not the iraqi government but i do want to see created the problem, but it's not the iraqi government. during the transition period, which is a very difficult. we were turned down on three of our site and those that request. but again, that's a very difficult time. since then, we have been able to make site visits. and you have been there, too. it takes a lot of planning. so you can't just drop in, which sometimes we like to do, particularly on the investigative side. the way it's going now, everyone knows we're coming in that creates problems for us.
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but so far, we've been able to do our work. now as aid has moved from what is not the traditional kind of work and that his reconstruction they were doing that quite a bit in the early days. that's a lot of technical assistance in the meat and potatoes and like i said democracy and governments and civil society and education and health of those things. most of that is located around baghdad so i found is that we have to go to baghdad for cure cook. we are confident if we work with the rso, that we can do our job. like i said earlier, it's extraordinarily expensive for us to be there, so we'll change our footprints. but i want to assure you is so provide substantial oversight of the program. >> thank you. in terms of the deployment of our 6000 private contractors fair, are these all u.s.
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nationals? i mean, what is the makeup of that security force? >> they are not all-time records. under the worldwide protective services contract come the state department manages, triple canopy as they are and others. the cars themselves are third country nationals as i've observed. on the merits or other companies that are working their, those that are running the convoys themselves better during the driving for the shooters or contract trees. >> i know we've got several sites they are. i've mentioned the difficulty in
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kirkuk. what is the worst for the facilities? what is the worst situation with god? is at 50? >> i think is a close call between pastor and kirkuk. kirkuk is subject to an track fire quite regularly. >> are we so getting back at attacks out of state or city baghdad? >> very, very infrequently. and attacking covers have been minimal at the embassy in baghdad. contrariwise and kirkuk, it's a weekly, not daily experience? >> we have a bad situation as well. >> in basra, it is limiting the capacity and because of that,
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the development program has been withdrawn. >> now, and is that the iraqi decision? >> but when i was in iraq with minister cassady candidate maybe 15 or 20 advisors with the program. >> the program started at 200 down to 115, now down to 70 or 80 the plan is to bring it down to 30, 40 and then it will continue to evolve as the perks. >> mr. courts, where do you see the flashpoints in terms of the size in your testimony. what are the bottom three?
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what do you worry at night? >> congressman, the state department agreed together that they would meet three overarching criteria in the area of security mission capable. the three criteria identified further stickier debt facilities, david has the ability to achieve a secure minimum of their people have emergency response team in place. they didn't meet the criteria in october and in many cases they still don't meet them today. i can't go into the details of what the exact vulnerabilities are because it's sensitive information. however, i can say they intend to have security features in place in october. some features are still not in place today. some of them are not slated to be in place until sometime in 2013. in addition to that, they intend to have the use of emirates, the
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mine resistant people, the dod provided something close to 60 vehicles, but our understanding is the iraqi government would not allow their use and they are essentially sitting with that. >> again, tommy about site-specific concerns that should have. are there some area is that she think desperately need security attention right now? >> again, i can't give specific. >> all that you go on that. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. may we not recognize the gentleman from massachusetts for five minutes. >> which if any of the gentleman has been looking into the plan at work being done on the
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embassy? what kind of work are you doing in terms of evaluating the expense they are and purpose? >> well, we started actually more than three years ago with an audit of the building of the embassy itself. and as you know, we recommend that the department that they recovered -- i believe it was over $200 million from the contract or what was really a slipshod, and we slipshod construction. >> did they recover it? >> not to my knowledge. >> it would probably take court action. and we did in all candor we understand that it's asking for
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the money is one thing and finally getting it after battles is another, but we really believe the department should be trying to get it. the on a continuing basis audit the department and construction. now, for instance let's take a hundred billion dollars that is mentioned in the article. i don't know if that's an absolutely accurate figure, but what i do know is the department does have plans. but we will be looking for, first of all you have to remember that department doesn't have that money. it is asking congress. but what where you come in if they want to know what is the department going to get for that money? today has savings of $200 million? or is it a matter of a security clients or is it a nod or something nice to have?
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will be looking at that, but we can't let 25 until and unless the congress decides to give them the money he spoke about. >> $700 billion building before a slipshod or credible expenditure. we work with henry waxman and others on that. i don't spend 60 to $80 million over the next years for such a utility power plant, underground fuel storage facility, wi-fi distribution, superstition, storm water and telecommunication system. so can you tell us whether a $700 million to the addresses issues compound? >> the answer is obviously good for $700 million was spent did and that was that i report.
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and the question now is, are you doing him good money after bad, or is this a game that is going to save us? >> has anybody looked at evaluating the opposed professor using this facility. the number of people and how that may be different in other embassies for size and surface? >> that is going to be done under the bag had master-planned audit, which begins lederle and a matter of days. but we are going to do is review whether the infrastructure that is already in place and the proposed new construction aligned with the short-term diplomatic and will let you know. >> out of say that should be conditioned on there. part of what they're proposing is an embassy annex extension.
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maybe 20 to $35 on that. there's one being revealed a few which need to see to make an evaluation of that? others in congress look by some other appropriate entity. >> way above the clearance they need to work on that and they certainly will. >> i mean, having sat through the hearings on the original embassy construction failures are at either is something we definitely have to do. i also question a hundred million playas that looks like any building of that nature out there. how will that do not assert of sort of surprising. i'm also interested to take a look at how many people they plan to have in the facility at what their purposes are not the purpose of lines to read the mission fire.
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are we doing something else? to any of those people for that particular machine? you know, where does that lineup? are they going to consolidate other things are retaking the present site of the country and putting them in their only to find out later mobility and security improves and take them back out? does give us advice and direction. >> i would love to have you beat me. they're asking the very questions will be asking. things i'm not looking for a number of people put in an embassy anywhere else of comparably sized countries. i understand the security issue, but if we have to take a look at how we limit our presence there and just work with that. this idea of having private security people getting paid what they're getting paid than tell us cabin of the security advice and stay put is pretty
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crazy. so thank you. >> thank you at the gentleman's time expired. i'd like to thank our witnesses for taking time to be with us. as i think the testimony today has made clear, and this is ongoing issue and i suspect we'll be seeing many if not all of you in front of this committee again. again i thank you for your participation. the committee stands adjourned.
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>> data back ..
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>> evolving partnerships and the arab spring. it was quite tough between a college here. i would like to briefly introduce our moderator will introduce the topics and the panelists. the u.s. representative and senior advisor to the president of the university in istanbul. he is a u.s. diplomat for more than 30 years. his most recent assignment was a u.s. counsel general from 2007 to 2010. foreign postings included paris, moscow, cairo.
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as a director of the state department operations center center come and is chairman of the foreign service mention and tender board. from 19751978,. >> hello, i would like to start out by congratulating both of the middle east institute and the institute for turkish studies for posting this conference. and to think in advance for our esteemed panelists who are here today. to discuss this important subject. let me start out by outlining the procedure we will be following. they're very strict in terms of the rules that us moderators need to follow, and i will try to stick to the rules. i will make some very brief comments to set the stage, and then i will ask each of our four panelists in the order in which
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they appear in the program. ask them to speak for 12 minutes each, you have file information in your program, go through the biographies in detail, but i would like to know that we have for panelists today,. ambassador robert pearson, who is with the ambassador to turkey. ambassador wilson of the atlantic council. and also a former ambassador. and also the minister, the foreign minister of turkey and currently with the center for strategic medications. we are here to discuss the
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subject. turkey, the eu and the u.s. come evolving partnerships post arab spring. a nice concise topic for just a little over an hour of discussion. we also have the disadvantage of being the panel that comes after lunch and after a wonderful [inaudible] on we have of [inaudible] it is difficult to say anything by way of introduction on the subject. as people have reiterated in this morning that turkey has very much arrived on the world stage as a recent council on foreign relations task force stated that turkey is one of the most important developments in international fears of the past decade is the emergence of turkey is in a rising regional and global power. we are looking at a new turkey
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and this reflects both changes in turkey and changes in the international arena in which turkey is operating. honestly, this development has significant and petitions for the u.s. and for europe. even more so, given the historic elements of the arab spring and economic challenges that the eu is facing right now. in terms of relation with the u.s., commentators frequently refer to these days as a golden era in u.s. and turkish relations. this is true particularly in contrast with the situation in your two years ago, which i remember visibly as i was still on post in turkey at the time. on the official government to government level, there has been a very definite improvement in relations between turkey and the united states.
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i would note that the situation on the economic commercials, commercial diplomacy and public opinion fronts still need much to be desired. and it leaves the government to government relationship much more -- much more vulnerable to volatility than would be the case if the relationship all the way through the society reflected the same golden relationship that exists currently on the government to government level. i would note that earlier this week, there was a meeting at the ministerial level the framework for strategic economic and commercial cooperation meeting in turkey. this effort is, in fact, one of the many steps that is being taken to address the imbalance between the strategic political relationship between the two countries and other aspects of the relationship.
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on the eu front, everybody knows the challenges in turkey's eu membership process. and abraham collins has just reviewed that quite distinctly. eu membership is only one dimension of the relationship with dear. perhaps it would help if we look at your knee -- the european position. in the end point of itself. there's honestly no choppy days of turkey turning its back on the west, as was the case several years ago. indeed, in large measure, turkey, in seeking a greater international role come has responded to the challenges of the developments in the neighborhood and elsewhere, largely by cooperating with u.s. the u.s. and europe. we saw that just this week. one of the first things that
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happened, one of the steps that turkey took in response to the crisis would be the shootdown of its plane, it was to approach nato. let me stop here. let me turn to our panelists to make their presentations on her panel topic. as i said, based on this speaking from the podium to make sure that everyone can hear them, they will have 12 minutes apiece, and that should give us time at the end were some questions and answers. first i would like to ask brice de schietere to speak with us. >> thank you very much. thank you very much for having given me the opportunity of speaking today and good afternoon, everyone.
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it is a great invitation to be speaking today since we have had quite a number of developments in the past month in a relationship. that would be the main part of my presentation, to highlight these developments. turkey has a dynamic economy. as has been mentioned. an important regional role continues oxley to be a key country for the european union and one with which we have an important strategic partnership. there are three pointer like to mention. the first is something that everybody knows. we are negotiating turkey's relations with the european union, and i think you all know that that process is part of our relationship and has gone through a slow. not. the second point i would like to highlight is that the dialogue was given, which would be an
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expression in quotations of dialogue. on the 17th of may, mr. [inaudible name] was in a symbol to watch this process. one line, the panelists -- i want to say something that not everybody perhaps knows that his foreign-policy dialogue has never been so good between the european union and turkey and the history of the relationship. that is in part due to events in the region. that is also due to progress on the common frame of the security policy on the part of the eu, in particular with the instrumental changes we have implemented recently. it was a case a year and a half ago. obviously, the chassis of our dialogue has a lot to do with growing shared intellect and common relation between u.s. and
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turkey. the first point on the negotiation, and it may have our dimension, we all know the criteria, defined in copenhagen, it is political, economic, and the negotiation corresponding to the mix of commitment, realization, and asset management. at the present time, out of 35 chapters, negotiations with 30 have been done on 30 chapters and close on one. the last chapter actually opens in june 2010. nothing has happened since. there are elements that were raised by the previous speaker. they're probably related to the challenges that turkey is in. nevertheless, i want to say that there are three chapters, the
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one on public procurement, the one on social policy and employment that can be open for negotiations. these are chapters on which everyone is waiting to see if there is more so that we can wait for the opening of this chapter. there are a chapters or so that cannot be opened until actually we can resolve with turkey that question of turkey opening up the air force to cyprus, according to the customs union, they enjoy together. i have to say here that we believe in progressing this additional protocol, it would give us a new boost to the negotiation with several new chapters that could be open and perhaps even another chapter that could help us. now, the question is since 2010,
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as i said, is that we have been through a certain period of turmoil. in this context, the question that was raised to us and to our friends is what it properly back on track. that is where the second part but i wanted to mention today -- it is actually aims to build on close relations between turkey and the european union. the idea there is to continue to achieve joint interests were room for progress exists and at the same time help turkey get better aligned and better prepared for this. the member of a -- in
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relationship to syria, it is a general question. i will come back later on that with the good news. migration, energy, trade, the foreign-policy dialogue, the further participation of turkey in eu programs. most important thing is a complement. this actually raised on a joint understanding of what it is actually an avenue that we hope will allow us to move ahead. we believe it can on both sides and we will certainly follow and i that will be true for the benefit forward.
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completely speaking how it will work, working groups were formed between turkish and eu officials and this working group -- the first one actually started with, so we can be so technical, chapter 23, and with three main areas, which is a chapter covering questions of three elements of the judiciary -- [inaudible] i would like to say here in particular, that within momentum created with the ability of dialogue, we can achieve quite good progress as of last week. on june 21, the council decided to make conclusions with turkey. opening the way for the opening commission to negotiate about the liver solution agreement.
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on that basis, another element of new relationships or a renewed relationship with turkey for the past month, is the development of a good political dialogue. perhaps, [inaudible] he said recently when she was at a meeting of the dialogue about turkey and istanbul on the 21st of june. i think that took place in syria. she said there is no question that we have an excellent relationship and foreign policy. and i believe it is vital that we do, given our shared interest in our common neighborhoods. and we do have, indeed, a lot of issues for discussion. that is in syria, iran, anything happening in the regions.
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and as to the ongoing situation. to mention that the eu is wishing only to help, and we have about 160 million euros -- [inaudible] nevertheless, even though we do not always agree on everything, we are absolutely going to work together. the dialogue is taking shape. we have different levels, we have a series of meetings of political directives. not necessarily something new because it used to exist but for, but not with the same tenacity. there is also the functions that are going on and a lot of
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dialogue to see how we can intensify the relationship and coordination of potential cooperation. as a mention in north africa, we have an agreement for more progress with civil society. we show some concerns for the treatment of women. we show some concerns for economic development and the region and jobs for people that we are working together on for syria. besides a sort of call of necessity they came from recent events in the region, transitional changes on either side have been a key element. and we have put in place a newly created extension service, specifically for turkey, with a team that is responsible for managing the relationship with turkey. a part of the political dialogue. this team is working in close connection with all the other
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departments and services. the european commission remains in charge of the actual negotiations and the relationship for the political agenda. at the conclusion, i'm hoping that i'm keeping within the ticking clock. i think we can say that the european union and turkey have much to gain from the common challenges that we face together. especially with all the deep changes that we have witnessed in our neighborhood, and getting closer can only improve our joint work. i'm not sure how each of you will assess the relation between the u.s. and turkey, i'm not sure where it we will stand. i will let that be answered in the discussion later. thank you very much. [applause] [applause]
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>> thank you very much. i would now like to ask ambassador robert pearson to speak. >> thank you very much for moderating a panel. i am very grateful to the turkish institute for the excellent relationship. my fellow panelists, including my colleague, including the prime minister who is happy to work with. i have the impression that there only to hairless moments in turkish-american relations. and that is when everyone thinks that nothing is going right and there's nothing that can be done about it and when everyone thinks that everything is going just great, and there is no need to do anything about it. maybe today we can talk about some of the nuances of those kinds of issues.
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i think if i look at the macro trends over the last decade among these three, the interesting observations occur to me. despite a sharp downturn in relations during the iraq war, and lingering concerns after the war, the u.s. has reached out to turkey more affirmatively and enjoyed greater success. i appreciate very much my colleague's explanation of the excellent process in which the eu and turkey are engaged. but i did feel that perhaps rants and germany together have given the impression that the european union doesn't really want turkey to and that this may confirm a turkish conclusion that it is better off without the european union for some time to come. i hope it is not true, but i think it is an observation. thirdly, the u.s., once again, as it did during the cold war. back seems to be more
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comfortable dealing with turkey on questions of regional security than on economic, political, and human rights issues. you may recall at the end of the cold war, the turks wondered why the united states had not been more forceful on the issues, including human rights issues during the time of the cold war with respect to turkey, and this is an issue that may come back to be on the table in the future. fourth, turkey's foreign policy has grown more sophisticated, it has demonstrated more flexibility as turkey balances its regional and global relationships. i think what has been an interest to me is the way that u.s. and turkish relations have reshaped themselves since summer 2010. at the beginning, as you may recall, turkey and the united states seemed to be falling apart. as a revolution -- as the revolution's progress, turkey and the u.s. found themselves drawn closer together.
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nato was decisive in libya. u.s. and turkey lined up together on egyptian democracies. turkey sought a new reality in syria and reacted courageously. turkey and the u.s. team to share or similar outlooks we don't -- all of these examples demonstrate both countries have shown that they can focus on what is of value in a cooperative relationship red in both countries have shown to some extent the ability to pursue both separate and shared interests in a well-managed framework. both have shown flexibility in light of changing circumstances and pursuing their respective national interests. i think the question for us today is where is this taking us? are the u.s. and turkey reacting ad hoc to events in the region? which seem to be the case originally.
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or is there some consensus now forming between turkey and washington. for purposes of illustrating this point, i will focus on syria. so far, turkey has boldly offered political sanctuary to the opposition leadership. safety for refugees, a clear intent of purpose to see bashar al-assad replaced. from the latest reports, turkey and the u.s. may be cooperating and providing aid, including arms to the opposition groups. both appear to accept the process has failed. and they are moving to build in some form an international coalition. despite the approach, however, up and tell the most recent events, both countries seem to be working to gradually bring the russians and the chinese along if that is possible. but it is clear that there is some missing gaps.
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the washington post reported yesterday an unidentified senior turkish diplomat to the effect that the article for discussion in brussels was called for by turkey, in order to pressure the u.s. to do more. since turkey says its aim is only to tighten sanctions in syria, or on syria, and nato's secretary-general has repeatedly stated that nato has no plans to intervene in syria, it is not clear just what was the turkey wanted the u.s. to do. it is also not entirely clear how turkey has analyzed the u.s. options. the u.s. now has fought either 2.5 or three wars in middle east in the last 10 years. conservatives in this country are pressing the united states to prepare for war with syria, and iran, and for a possible total of five wars. the u.s. is in the midst of a very tight presidential election in any armed conflict initiated
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now will be used, of course, by governor romney and his advisers to criticize and critique every move of the president for signs of bad choices and for trying to divert public opinion away from the economy. with the american people tired of war and the president trying to focus on domestic issues. one wonders if this is a good time for turkey to be urging the u.s. to move closer to armed conflict with syria. it is very interesting that mr. collins repeated twice but turkey does not want a war in the region. that is extremely helpful. if armed conflict is not the goal, the measures that are already agreed upon and moving in the right direction. the question remains for us, this turkey of a plan for which the u.s.'s lack of action is frustrating, to the two
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countries have a common plan and the u.s. is not moving fast enough for this? port is calling on the u.s. to do more play well with turkish domestic audiences and relieve pressure on the turkish government? is turkey planning to escalate toward a possible conflict involving nato, despite earlier nato statements? it is not clear which of these questions is accurate or if there is some other explanation that is accurate. but i do think this scenario clearly and neatly illustrates the difficulty of trying to answer the question whether the u.s. needs turkey more or whether turkey meets the u.s. more. effective security and diplomatic efforts by the u.s. in the region acquired turkish support. effective turkish approaches to gradually stabilizing the region
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while allowing democracy to advance, require active u.s. operation. whatever the plan, it ought not to be based on anyone's analysis about who needs whom were who has more leverage over whom in managing a crisis. interestingly, the current u.s. and turkey talks to open the door for the closest military to military cooperation between the two countries in the last decade. while cooperation has gradually increased, there is still lingering tensions and resentments from the iraq war on the american side come and perhaps on turkey's. it still needs to be addressed. the reconciliation of leadership between these two militaries would itself be a very positive step in stabilizing the region for a long-term democratic progress. as you know, reconciliation is
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not often and announced goal between sides with strongly held views. a note, however, there are developments worth considering now. first, it seems clear that without a regime change, iran will be a strategic competitor. turkey could be efforts have done no harm, but turkey alone is unlikely to bring around around. secondly, the military counterrevolution in egypt last week, executed through dictated constitutional changes, might remind many turks of their own experience with military and political competition that can last for decades. third, it is impossible to predict short-term or long-term, how the revolutions will evolve now in tunisia and libya and in egypt. the ultimate outcome is also in
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syria, yemen, and operating, will have an end to it. somewhere, along the line from the pressure for greater democracy and the future of the monarchy is in the region also will meet. turkey's role in managing this process already apparent, will likely grow over the coming years and decades. in the long run, having a lasting difference with israel will weaken both countries plans for the region and will be a strategic distraction. there is no doubt that israel should find the foresight and high-mindedness to apologize to turkey for the one incident and for the two companies to remain communicative as more importantly for syria and iran. for turkey to achieve the regional leadership role it seeks, and for the one that can
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play, very much much hope that it can find a way to take the higher road to move ahead toward improved relations with israel. in conclusion, there are two great combinations of forces in the middle east for decades to come that directly involve turkey and its experience in the political realm. first, secular versus religious. secondly, elected government versus the military. there are other components, of course, but these are the ones where turkey is directly relevant. what the prime minister last year, turkey's advice to political parties in the middle east region, turkey is already on record with its view of a red religious constituency in a secular constitutional state. second, elected government versus the military, turkey has the opportunity to re-examine
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this issue in light of its external national interest and its ability to influence the future political developments of the region. turkey could see him and we all could see, decades of bitterness and struggle between militaries of countries and new democratic forces. we just saw in syria this last week in tension between civilian committees and the military fighters inside the country. this is an issue that is quite apart from the role of religion. turkey had very good reasons to have very importantly -- to be seen to have become a first-rate military force fully capable of defending turkish national interests in the region. in the present circumstance, if it seems true, there is no present danger of an internal military threat to the state or to the government of turkey, and
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i listen to mr. collins remarks about the good relationship between the turkish government and the turkish military. then resolving in a positive way the issue of military officers being held for trial in turkey, which could provide an excellent example for the region. about the promise of democracy and the healing power of reconciliation within a society. in egypt or libya or some other middle eastern neighbor needs an example of how it can be done the right way, turkey is the only state present with a relevant experience on these two transformative issues. secular government and the religious constituency. on one hand, an elected government and the role of the military on the other. turkey has an enormous interest in long-term stability and democratic progress. if the region explodes, turkey
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will be forced to make very difficult choices. for turkey to take the higher road on regional, strategic differences in approaches, and for washington to practice collaborative and realistic diplomacy will be two key components of an effective plan for the region. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> thank you so much. ambassador ross wilson of the atlantic council. >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here. my thanks and congratulations to the middle east institute and the institute of turkish studies for collaborating in this important conference. my remarks will cover a little
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bit of the same ground as did ambassador pearson's. although it will be in a slightly different way. and it will illustrate what i hope are slightly different points. subsequently, that is different in terms of conclusions. i was struck during the ambassadors remarks during a phrase that he used. he reflected on how pivotal the u.s. and turkish relations have become. for the united states and also for turkey, in a very troubled part of the world. i am sure ambassador pearson would agree with me that it did -- it certainly did not look that way in 2003 to 2005 at four four in 2005 to 2,742,009 and 2010 -- arguably in 2011, all that have a series dissonances, if not disagreements or worse.
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the disagreement over iraq over 2003 was an important watershed region. we had dominated u.s. turkish relations from march 2003, arguably somewhat before that. at least until the end of the bush administration to some extent be on that. sharp disagreements. although, obviously, a disagreement on the invasion of iraq is not going to go away, there are still raw bits that remain in u.s. and turkish relations that are related one way or another to the iraq problem. and the pkk presence in northern iraq. 2005 by the limited extent of our discussions about the iran nuclear problem. bilateral discussions. for a period, we were able to get ourselves reasonably instinct, but things really fell
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apart in 2010. huge disconnects. however, it happened, whatever the sequence of events, a huge and profound dissonance. between our two countries. disagreements on a range of other issues, in 2005, prior to my going to turkey, a big stink between the united states and turkey, over then-president's -- the president's plan in damascus as part of turkey's outreach to president assad, who was vilified this way. others say, issues related to armenia, a serious set of issues on the palestinian issue on the
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black sea, how people were talking about the black sea. it accentuation -- it ebbed and flowed throughout this period. and accentuation of differences and grievances. a whole popular mythology that sort of became associated with this and aggravated that somehow the united states supports the pkk and had a hidden agenda flowing out of our efforts in iraq to dismember the country, but the bush administration's initiative was somehow aimed and going to be part of a bigger plot to remain turkey in an american image of moderate islam. i kind of wanted to go back over those things because that really wasn't very long ago. it was a world that i had have to deal with, it was the world that mr. pearson had to do it, between the two of us come and
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vestiges of these things continue, even today. and i would note even on syria, in the early part of 2011, pretty sharp disagreements between washington and how to deal with that. i was there when the president gave a fiery speech at the world -- political forum -- the first world political forum that turkey had called in istanbul, a fiery speech coming up quite strongly against the idea of any nato involvement in libya. what changed, and what can go wrong today? this, again, we will review some of the themes that ambassador pearson has touched on. one important and obvious thing that this whole conference has reflected off of the is the heir of awakening and the opportunities in the threats and
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the complications that that presents for turkey, the opportunities and complications that presents for american policymakers and after this course correction or what looks to me like a course correction in turkish foreign policy, with respect to the heir of awakening in about march or april of 2011, if not exactly identical goals, certainly pretty similar interests and efforts to try to collaborate more decisively there. and subsequently, the policy change was to shift turkey much more decisively in favor of support for democracy and democracy movement, as opposed to continuing the relations with autocrats who have been for turkey, just as they had been committed for the united states and europe and yet others and elsewhere. both of us made that shift and
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both of us have found ways to work together in an increasingly complicated region. i think a core area of that is the u.s. withdrawal from iraq but does make -- those who buy certain things in u.s. turkish relations, and especially added to the states, turkish leaders felt involving turkey directly -- more directly, in the iraq project, involved in baghdad and baghdad politics, involved more directly in an intercommunal conversation between the shia and the sunni and the kurds in particular. the stakes were up for turkey in finding ways to work with the united states on matters related to iraq. a corollary to that is the pkk. and the initiation in november or december 2007 of u.s. intelligence and other
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assistance to turkey and going after pkk in northern iraq, that allowed a different kind of behavior by turkey toward the united states on matters related to iraq. and it also facilitated turkey's relationships with the kurds that then also had some beneficial effects of u.s. and turkish relations. but there are some other pieces that a little bit harder to feel. i am not sure i buy the argument, but i want to entertain the argument, that the difficulties between turkey and the european union may have helped to foster a better u.s. turkish relationship. certainly, the dramatic slowdown of turkey is recession that, we could say, stalling. and an increasingly brg. and an increasingly brutal
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dialogue on a whole range of other things that culminates in my mind in paris on the crisis -- the feeling in turkey they needed to shore up their relations with the one western ally and whom they thought they could count a little bit more. and i least want to entertain the idea that the slowdown helped us. the development of a whole set of economic dialogue, some reference to this in some of the earlier sessions, but that is quite new in a whole range of economic issues that are now on the table that weren't, in part because their relations previously were so dominated by military security matters or, in my time, by a rock on a more or
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less 24/7 basis. >> but there are a couple of other pieces i would like to report for virtue. one is a big change in the way that washington deals with one another. in my time, turkey and the united states, the u.s. and turkish relationship was basically run through the embassy. i would say, somewhat more largely the american embassy, but the turkish embassy also played a big role. today there is a proliferation of ties and communication's and things going on kinds of different channels. on the phone, e-mail, and meetings and circuitry is from talking to my counterparts,. they spent a certain amount of time finding out what is going on. secretary gates came to turkey
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while i was in 2007, and he was shocked when i told him he was the first secretary of state to visit turkey in six years. gates and panetta had repeatedly visited turkey. secretary clinton and secretary rice -- they have been in turkey a number of times. ron kirk and acting commerce secretary, but a whole range of other things, assistant secretary for the middle east and secretary for counterterrorism matters, for economic and business, so on and so on, but a lot of things going on that i think it gives a different kind of fabric to our relationship. lester i think that turkish leaders came to value somewhat more than they did earlier in this decade were in previous decades, the value of a close relationship with the united states that their success -- and
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here i would apply this to the present government, their success regionally dependent in some significant measure on having a good relationship with the united states. what can go wrong? well, there is a lot. i'm sure some of that has been talked about in portions of this dynasty. but just to identify a few things. whatever happens in a presidential election, there will almost certainly be very significant personnel changes throughout the hierarchy. a whole series of appointments under the secretary of state in all likelihood, that will introduce some personal discontinuities that are going to have to be -- but will have to be stitched back together. obviously, much more the case if
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governor romney wins the election. a second thing that can go wrong, there is a whole series of things that can blow up. if russia invades georgia again, 2000 it was a tough year in u.s.-turkey relations. turkey looking like it was on the frontlines of a reemerging or redeveloping cold war, not very comfortable. several scenarios you can imagine that complicated. what happens with israel and the united states, what if they strike iraq? the problem. in a conference a year from now
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-- u.s. turkish relations will have a whole different tenor, i would cement. differences may well emerge over syria, differences may well emerge over turkish relationships with israel. there are a whole series of things that can go really, i think, very wrong. there are calculations of turkish leaders and where they need to make investments while working 24 hours a day -- but there is only 24 of them, if you're going to spend more time in the eu, you are spending money on 10 somewhat less time on other matters. that can be a factor that i think ambassador inclusively referred to, which is a problem of expectations. there is an expectation now that
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our relations are great and they will continue to be great. and it will go on and everything will be wonderful. our relations only got to be better because of concerted efforts by a whole lot of very senior people in the united states and the turkish government for governments and for the night. what takes a long time to get right can be broken very quickly. intentionally or unintentionally. for our relationship to succeed, it will continue to require a various sustained effort who has made sustainability can be more complicated after 2012. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> thank you very much. i have the advantage of being the last speaker.
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almost everything has been said. i might have uncertain questions which were not properly covered or will it be needed to be discussed. on the turkish american relations, [inaudible] after we have tested all the other options. the distinguished ambassadors who are here, in certain periods of times, the united states was trying the other option. so then it was very difficult --
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the turkish american relations were in excellent condition, and it is -- turkish american relations continue to improve and arrived at the level that it has reached so far, thanks to the efforts -- the efforts that they have done during this period of service. i am very grateful to them. i worked with both of them with ambassador pearson when i was minister and the investor when i was chairman of the eu committee in the turkish parliament. is there anything left to be done.
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economic, political, cultural, and others, and also at the regional level. i will not say international level because turkey is not yet at the point where it could assume the global rules, the global active roles. turkey is a country which is starting to assume the region of responsibilities, and it has covered [inaudible] as a country like iran which is actually poised -- and egypt now, is also gaining its own identity. with the military maintaining
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certain roles -- egypt is going to remain during important is a country in the region. turkey has to compete with iran and egypt to become an important actor in the region. and it has advantages and disadvantages. for the american invested interest in the middle east and the certain parts of the balkans, and the intention were turkey has some sort of presence.
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turkey thought it would be -- turkey's contribution committee tries to take an initiative, regarding slowing down or taking under the control of the nuclear -- uranium enrichment program in iran, by volunteering to mediate that the iranians should extend the uranium enrichment program. 3.5%, and they were going to practice -- they were going to enrich uranium to a country -- take it to another country, and
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for practices. incorporation with the united states, and when turkey achieved to persuade this -- was able to persuade iran to do this, -- not to go along with this program or initiative, and impose sanctions turkey was left out. [inaudible] the time proved that turkey's initiative could have been
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utilized as an alternative. how did several years later, when this initiative came to the agenda again, by this time, iran has overreached the program -- the enrichment program of 20 to 21%. when it was at the level of three or 4% -- they have something to offer. something to offer to iran. now that iran has overreached 21% enrichment, the west is deprived of any concession it can make you around. the proposal that was made by turkey --, of course, we should not assess the relations between two countries like turkey and
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the united states on specific issues like this. this is only one example which was not elaborated upon. i wanted to give my perception of it. there may be details where i need to discuss the question and answer. now, if there are questions on the subject. turkey is the last country to see a benefit in iran becoming a nuclear power. in the development and turkey in favor of iran, it doesn't, it
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doesn't establish -- since the 1920s when they withdrew from the middle east, there was the balance of power between iran, turkey, and other countries. now, officially after the withdrawal of the united states from iraq and iranian people doing this in iraq, and plus, if it's nuclear program continues like this, and iran becoming a nuclear power it tends to become a nuclear power, then the balance will not continue to be there any longer. if the regime in syria is maintained, thanks to the russian and iranian support,
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then, of course, it is balanced -- the balance will be changed in favor of a wrong again. because the reigning political influence will extend all the way from around to the major cities at present, the only missing link for ron to extend its influence in syria. they have a presence in iraq and in lebanon through hezbollah. the missing piece is syria to maintain this syrian regime in place, it is very much important for iran. it is a very much important strategic goal. the same thing applies to russia, of course, because they want to combat the middle east. and such withdrawal or drawdown
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visibility in the dismemberment of the soviet union. now that russia has achieved its control, it wants to go back to the middle east and the country that it could use is the best stepping stone in the middle east. it is syria. because of the relationships from the time of the soviet union. and syria is in dire need of the support of the country, like russia. it will give us probably the most support to the present syrian regime to maintain and continue. of course, this brings us to the question of what solution should turkey and the united states be
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looking for for syria? .. in syria.
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therefore, collaborate or another version of the six-point and -- it may not be six-point and, but another version of it that the international community will access will have to be used as a solution for syria. and then, when you look at it, the unmanned ban cleared from the tko was aiming at a negotiated settlement rather than a negotiated settlement. a negotiated settlement, is a negotiation between action and the opposition? it is not. it was a negotiation but a regime. so it presents that the regime will have to be made part of the solution, not part of the
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problem. if this is the only access, then of course turkey and the united states will have to cooperate to act with the international community. in this case i will say a few words regarding to accusations that the european union. the distinguished representative of the e.u. mentioned the problem. one thing that is perhaps interesting, the count of suspended the negotiations or blocks the opening of the eight chapters in negotiations with turkey, tying it to the opening of the turkish part rares and turkish airport and the ships
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and aircraft. turkey upon method something. yes i will do it. it is my commitment stemming from on regiment combat the european union has also commitment. but is this commit and end the year 2004 when they spoke against the unmanned plan, the council held a meeting and to punish adopted the decision to expand economic aid and to enter into direct trade with the turkish. this is on a 24 a april 2004.
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i guess that the trans-european union has the obligation with the accumulated time without any to enter into direct was binding decision. so turkey said that i will do the harbors and airports. at the same time you can lament your own decision. and this proposal is valid, is on the tivo since the beginning of 2006 and we are waiting whether the european union who want to see the software. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, mr. minister. let me take the moderators
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prerogative to ask the first question and then we will open up to questions. we will be covered just for you all to know, we will have an 3:20 a set of 3:15. they've given us an extra five minutes. i'd like to ask each of you the same question. if you had a golden bullet of advice. you could get a bit of advice that would be followed. today. the e.u. to be their turkey earth should the united states. as you look at turkey, the u.s. and europe, what is the most piece of advice you could give that if it were implemented would make progress on this over a subject we've been discussing. it's going reverse order.
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>> in the european union and of course the consensus does not allow to revive, despite this positive agenda, which is being implemented now days. i don't see that the accession process will change in nature soon in the days to come because european union has its own problem and perhaps it is better for turkey to put more order to its interiors when i was chairing the european union commission and the turkish parliament for the last eight years. i always have said that turkey should put aside all which anglo-american day today and she tried to use the accession
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process in order to put more order to its interior should make turkey a first-class democracy, to make turkey a kanshi where fundamental right and freedom are enjoyed better. to make turkey a country with more transparent market economy, less corruption and when turkey achieves all these things, perhaps it will not be that important whether he joins the european union or not. we are still there. and turkey is performing very well in the economic field and it believes that rather than pushing in the membership today, let's leave it to where turkey is bargaining position if they've been stronger. in the future, turkey will be in a better position. today it may be forced to make certain concessions in the future it will not.
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and the turkish e.u., u.s. relations, i think that we talk with you in the meeting. there is equal opportunity and the public opinion of the relations. in the official level it's more or less exacts at a certain level or the international dance cave so if we can add to the present relation, not the political one because they are economic relations simulation with public opinion levels. people to people democracy, people to people relations.
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then we may perhaps achieve a more stable set of relations between two countries. >> thank you very much. ambassador wilson. >> i.t. silver bullets, but perhaps i'll be brief. one is for the united states to continue to give sustained and high-level constant attention to you mr. relations and dialogue with a big change taking place in couple years back to sustain that and the model used to look more like the nature of u.s. with the u.k., germany, japan, other major allies that we deal with on a quite regular basis. for turkey and the e.u., they both need to work hard to enrich this foreign policy dialogue that her colleague referred to earlier. the accession process seems to go forward. hopefully it will at some point.
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but if that is all that there is, it won't work and the turkish e.u. relations and interests taking close-up or as the race old. so both sides need to work harder to enrich this foreign policy dialogue outside the accession process. >> thank you. mine would be really process focused. and that is to say that what is often missing is what i would call active listening to the other side. often these dialogs i see people quite anxious to clarify what it is they want and they think. i often think a little more active listening and a willingness to act on what you hear would be an excellent prescription for all the parties involved. thank you. >> political counselor.
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>> i think much of the comments are decided perhaps it horton knows to set aside popular as i'm into work on improving perceptions. that means working concretely on the achievements as we can house. i would of course the mankind fundamentally on the e.u. relationship or. we have a lot of work ahead of us to transform the situation as an assert change in perception. i believe that perhaps the minister as a matter of fact, turkey is getting about readier and having transformed a lot of a lot of self-love be a lot more attractive for the e.u. >> thank you. okay, let's follow the same pattern michael used this morning. we'll call in to people at a time. one from each side. please identify yourself. please be brief and ask a question rather than make a
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comment. this site first. >> i'm an intel analyst. he mentioned that you saw no circumstances under which russia would surrender his veto. i believe there are two circumstances. one for the united states to surrender its initial defense shield, the minimum immigrants rush of 100% into such system and second of all, for us in the west to extract a promise from the revolutionary forces of the russian submarine base would not be shut down. this could well move the dough to neutrality in the u.n. security council. don't you agree? >> msa please. >> my question continues his question. this way, regardless on what is going on in the last 10 years of the last 18 months, the bottom line is my understanding is a battle of between west and a
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spirit when i cec talk about north africa, middle east and china. so the question is, as the half american i was born in this country, i also pay tax in this world. why in the past 10 years to the ambassadors, the american policymakers in the name of the security interest expense almost trillions and trillions of dollars, is america as a whole positioning and influence why in the middle east combined with 10, 20 years ago today. that's a question. >> mr. minister, do not dress up for his question? i don't think you have to go to the podium. >> regarding the question i've been negotiations in which case
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brescia they agree, you are right. i did not say that it will never agree, but it will do our utmost in order to support the present regime. and you are right. if for bigger reasons, bash assigns to its advantage that it is going to benefit from that, it may agree to support it the fall of the present regime. for the second question -- the second part of the question you mention, if the russian naval bases domain that, russia may not agree for this confession to give up his support to the
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regime because russia's only entry is is not maintaining the naval base staff. it is more than not. it is to combat to the middle east. and his presence at a level comparable to the soviet time, during which it has a very visible and strong presence in the middle east and especially his theory. then the naval base is only one portion of it. so by giving a concession to maintain the naval base, it may not do sufficient. >> i think the second question was directed to both ambassador wilson and hairston. >> i will go first. thank you very much. i would tell you the most important question is not influence. influence goes up and down. but whether the interest of the
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u.s. are the same today as they were 20 years ago, i would say that they are. and there are three. one is to avoid a general war in the middle east. the second is to encourage the economic development of the region in the third one is to make it possible for democratic or pluralistic governments to gradually assume power through the region. so those three entries have been there for 50 years and i predict will probably be there for the next 25. thank you. >> i would only add that i think is probably incorrect to assume that what is going on in the area but waking countries is a one-way trip down the tubes for western interests in western and fluent in that region. i think that is a sound reading of what has given rise to the results that have taken place and i strongly suspect it is a
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misreading of what the n features will want to take their countries. they will want their countries to succeed and among other things will require strong relationship with the united states and with the last. >> next round of questions on this site please. >> i am aaron petri and i just want to ask a question in regard to the ongoing theme of the strong u.s. turkish relationship develop over the past couple years. now if his strong relationship between the u.s. and turkey as a possible challenge to the turkish with e.u. session because ambassador wilson spoke to the fact there's only 24 hours a day in turkey needs to figure out where between e.u. and u.s.a. need to spend the most time. >> from the side. >> george mason university school can't click resolution. my question actually goes both the u.s. ambassadors from the
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litigation. it has been active in the past couple years now that the turkish armed forces basically come under the direct control of the turkish government. there is an observable democratization process in turkey. nonetheless at this point there is i think the number is now 100 journalists currently in jail. around 3000 kurdish politicians are in prison and in the past decade, when looked into the e.u. reports, there is always a criticism in the state of human rights in turkey. there recently, that criticism has become less a month. i would also like to hear from the u.s. ambassadors on their opinion about the state of human rights in turkey. thank you. >> the first question wasn't directed to anyone who wants to answer that.
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>> if i understood the question -- the first question properly, give us about by their the american turkish relation as a substitute with turkey's relations with the e.u. on the contrary, turkey believes that its relations with any country in the world beat countries of the middle east, the balkans caucasus with the major powers like the united states. such better relations is not a substitute for turkey's relations with the e.u. on the contrary, it is a comp to mentor you could mention of it for the following reasons. the european union will take more seriously maintained better
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relations with the countries of the region and that the united states. in both the united states and the regional countries will take more seriously relations with the european union's. >> i think for the second question one of the american ambassadors to go ahead. >> thank you very much. if you can react very quickly i'm also pointing it can only be good to save the e.u. concerns. i would not see any particular element of competition between the act tears. in relation to the specific answer with the individual cases he raised, but to say that we are seeing the priority dialog, i think during the intervention
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having a discussion that this was one of the first topic some elements that we choose and discussions with turkish authorities under the new agenda. i am not 100% familiar with the ongoing reforms, but i understand there was judicial reform package, which is under discussion within the turkish parliament and it is something that we are strongly encouraging and we encourage all is the key for us to this reform package and i hope these elements will actually hope the situation as you mentioned. >> i would just say that i think the u.s. and the e.u. shared in many, many millions of turks share the vision of a turkey where there has a robust freedom of speech and a lack of concern
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about the consequences of speaking out and protection under the law for that freedom. and i do believe that the e.u. process is very helpful in that regard and i think turkey has continued to have those discussions and i think you have seen them respond to it. there is widespread concern in the united states about the journalists if i can't comment on individual cases either. there are reliable reports have circulated journalists being forced to give up their jobs of allegations made against them with the freedom of speech. and i shared administer yakis' points by two g deal with those fairly and justly is an addition that turkey has and i applaud that.
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>> thank you very much. we have four minutes left, which would be time for probably one quick question and i would like to choose someone who has not asked a question in any panels yet today. >> thank you. this is for foreign mr. tran four. why your thoughts on how to improve israeli turkish relations. we heard from the current ambassador who said well, the way to do this on the table is take it or leave it. i wonder if you have further remarks. >> actually, the greater experience a few minutes ago if the program. i am one of dollars in turkey needs each other.
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i never enter into discussion to which one needs the other more. it is like husbands and wives, who needs the other morning. but in case the two countries over com the emotional dimension of their problem, it is not a substantive problem to dissolve. the governments are not ready for it because they have committed themselves to fire extent that they cannot taveras, otherwise the solution is not an insurmountable difficulty and when this difficult to is eliminated, both will benefit to a very large extent, both at the level of bilateral was a third
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countries will benefit as well because turkey was playing a very important role as message carrier between israel and the palestinians and syria and now these countries are also that turkey has lost this leverage. so it is not only for the bilateral relations, but also the entire region that this is very important in. and i expect that either one of the parties spoke about some sort of delusion and diversion and emotional things will be eliminated. or will see other developments which will make it easier. >> thank you. and like to thank all four of our panelists, not only for their informative and perceptive
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comments, but also for sticking so closely to the kind woman that were imposed on us. again, join me in thinking them. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> this is a conversation we need to have the no one else is
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willing to house. what role should the government plan housing finance. and send details of sub bimonthly mortgage collapse from the financial not done among continuing issue government subsidize homeownership. >> if you want to subsidize housing and he wants to talk about it in the populace agrees that something we should subsidize, then put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and make it aliment and make everybody aware of how much it's costing. the way you deliver it through the third party enterprises, fannie mae and freddie mac only deliver the subs he do a company with private shareholders and executives who can extract a lot of the subsidy for themselves, that is not a very good with subsidizing homeownership. i think we've seen the end of that movie in 2000 made.
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-- 2008. >> now, you look at the implementation of the dodd-frank financial rules and how those are affecting the home appraisal industry. we will hear from industry officials and government regulators at the house financial services subcommittee hearing. >> the subcommittee on insurance housing and community opportunity will come to order. opening statements will be made part of the record and without objection members opening statements will be made part of the record. and i will do it myself as much time as i may consume for an opening statement.
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it morning. i want to welcome our witnesses. today's syria and is innocence out of appraisal oversight. regulatory impact on consumer businesses. can i just say that timing is everything and make think that hopefully some of our members will be here shortly after they find out what is going on at other places. we are examining how appraisal appraisal provisions in the dodd-frank act and other regulatory have affect consumers in the real estate industry. the hearing is a continuation of the subcommittee's oversight to the mortgage origination process. a key element of a vibrant and sound housing market of the fact that regulation. regulation should facilitate robust competition of industry participant and should ensure transparent and integrity throughout the mortgage origination process by giving
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mines worse than officials the necessary tools to weed out that varies. praise the regulation should avoid placing unnecessary business on


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