tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 24, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
two well come to an apparent global interest in your case to the russian end of the period we have a discussion with nikolai long ago about the way his think tank is developing. if you were telling me there were a lot of youngsters. russian economic relations and challenge me to talk to younger generations of people interested in these revelations. i thought it would be not only useful, but very challenging for all of us. [inaudible] >> much younger than i expected because maturity can bring additional actions to the
issues. >> is rather typical for discussion. >> i wanted to extend a special welcome to my colleagues, ambassador pifer of power that we have worked in different settings for so many years trying to resolve issues that still are being discussed and still are mature for being resolved. i would like to limit myself to a number of points, basically three. my first point is that irrespective of what is written about russian-american relations, today i will tell you that i start each and every day, my working day reading the file
of clippings from american press in russia and as for the most distressful reading you can find. it's on its friends of mine from the press told me that good is doesn't sell in this country. that probably is true. but i would say the quality of these relations, however the experience sometimes, but by oblige, it's much better and much more substantial than is usually per trade. and i would like to remind you that the cold war is over. the cold war is over four s. we have a limited new city were the challenges, especially in the realm of security is terrorism, proliferation, destruction. economic challenges that the
crisis from one place to another train to bring the world economy altogether. we also work on a number of projects, theory of the of them. i hope we will not only offended ourselves from working together on chemical weapons inferior, which is very unprecedented kind of partnership and cooperation. but also we are working on political settlement first area. i very much encourage and see how well we are able to discuss issues on which six months, 12 months ago we were far, far apart. does that mean we have the same positions on each and every issue. but it's important that both russia and the united states understand the only solution that can come from the situation
needs to be a negotiated one. nothing else will work. i was the basis enough for us to start working together and it's going to be a very, very difficult process. we all understand. nonetheless, two of us help resolve this issue. we're working on a number of regional cooperation issues like removing the questions about the nature of the ukrainian nuclear program in north korea. we work in more general terms in the context of the non-proliferation treaty trying to reinforce the machine that we together with leave early on and were able to set in motion almost 30 years ago.
i would add to this couple of new things. very important characteristic. some differences that we used to have during the month we did participate in exercises from military to combat terrorist threats. airports training together to be prepared in case we need to work together. it's important and there's a number of small elements, giving us a better picture of what russia and the united states can do together. my second point is that in more than 20 years, after the end of the cold war, these relations are still underdeveloped.
if you consider the potential of relations between these two superpowers, countries with huge economic potential is. you will have a more developed economy. but our capabilities in the future or simply much, much bigger and stronger than we have been able to develop so far. so the opportunities are much, much greater than we have been able to explore so far. i would add to this that we can be congratulated that the trade was rising at type it, five to six years. but not too fast. last year it even dropped a little bit.
this year, probably is not going to be higher than it was the year before, if not even a little bit smaller. and that's discouraging. we could have done much, much better. and it's certainly caution us why everybody recognizes the potential is huge. the u.s. has some type allergies but the group market in russia. either way, i heard today and interview by the president of ford company. i didn't know the third facility in russia because they considered that for them, russian market is very, very important one, becoming the biggest in europe, which most probably is true and something we should welcome. it's not only the additional cars running on the russian
streets. its jobs. it's taxes. it's something that needs to be expanded. i would also say there's a number of washington governments that have invested in the united states. some of them are being very, very successful. they produce all kinds of industrial cues, hoping, by the way the shale gas technology and becoming i think today number one because of the capacity in russia and capacity in the united states. so we see good examples of economic partnership. issa was very satisfied with the interaction between russia and the united states, i would say no. 40 billion for economists like yours and ours is almost
nothing. as several% of foreign trade, which doesn't put the united states is one of the biggest economic partners and by the same token, rush isn't your biggest economic burden are here. although, we have to capacity to develop trade ties are enormously high. on top of that, i would say we are backing the interaction between the societies of the countries. we certainly like to see more dialogue between the legislatures of both countries because when people thought, when they explain themselves, when they explained what they do, when they explained that they do not do this, the relations get help here. and i certainly, that is debatable to the first and second one, that's probably what
we are missing after the more than 20 years of the cold war was over is a little bit of normalcy. nikolai was absolute labourite and the suggestion, suggesting each and every issue, even not where there is no basis, no reason for any drama because we do a lot of things together because it serves rations. so while it's a different environment, it can help of economic relations and expand political relationships as well. so i would say among the priorities we want in the future is the economy and culture
exchanges. i would add to this, talking to this audience we would like to see more american youngsters put russia used to what russia is not. russians coming either but the americans better. so i would sum up what i wanted to convey to you is three points. one, we do significantly more together good general wisdom gives us credit for her. secondly, the potential for innovations as much much, much greater. these relations are yet to be further developed that would certainly eliminate the cause of drama and all the exaggeration of the differences that we have. we will certainly remain a part of our relations and they remain
relations between our countries. what is important that we need to be able quite successful to overcome them and move further to develop a partnership, one that serves interest for both countries and somewhat more normal. thank you. >> mr. ambassador, real quick question for mr. ambassador for later. i want to give a chance to talk to ambassador troop four. >> thank you, sergei for your warm hospitality and thank you, nikolai for the invitation to come and thank you cgi for this important and useful platform. my first compliment you, nikolai on the use of the audience.
i sat here and that their combined age is divided into ours would almost produce a negative number. but if anybody knows matt, you cannot produce a negative number with two positive integers. there's a way of appreciation for the people you brought in a deep interest i see around the room and the opportunity to set out for them a view of the relationship, which is in my view not too greatly different. i agree with sergei very much on his first point. years ago wagner's music is a lot better than it sounds. to some extent, that applies to the u.s.-russian relationship, particularly with the benefit of your early morning reading in which the apps that axiom is that there's never any positive publishable dues coming out of the u.s.-russian relationship. to some extent, i think that's
too bad that we need to recover that. your second point is very much along that line. i wanted a few minutes to talk about some of the opportunities, particularly in the middle east and i know steve will talk about some of the opportunities in areas of arms control and disarmament perhaps. my own sense is the trade relationship leaves much to be desired. i happen to have been involved to my post government life and i had one with the boeing co., which did a great deal of work and still does a great deal of work in russia, including an airplane design shop in moscow, where 1500 excellent russian engineers, about 30% of the women help in design airplanes and where our relationship in the field of titanium in particular is very strong and indeed no boeing airplane today flies about russian titanium,
without russian design and indeed without some russian innovation. just to mention one, and the 777 airplane wispy though, we had an option of having four four wheeled landing gears or to six wheels. we happen to notice on one of the airplanes a six wheeled landing gear. we copied your technology. and in fact, we got the main beam and not landing gear from you and titanium. when it came time to test the landing gear, you offered us your facilities and we did. and then when it came time to fly the airplane and the landing gear squeaked, you said you knew how to take to squeak out. so in fact, we had a very close collaboration in a modern airplane. i also as you know, sergei, happen to have been on cobb, which has 11 plants in the u.s.
and 11 plants in russia. it is the largest producer year in a gear out and which has played his usual as sergei said in developing the shell oil and type oil business in the united states. let me just also say i think there is a broad future for our relationship. my sense of what can drive the relationship is the opportunity we have from time to time, to find win-win approaches, win-win strategies, win-win opportunities and to reset the last area of positive development was based on a win-win. we now have serious and a very interesting way potentially opening the door to new cooperation. indeed, it already has. i think in many ways open the door to the process but in fact, destroying president assad's
chemical weapons in a way that i think can contribute very seriously to more stability in the area. i suspect the both of us have been worried for the last two years about the potential for the use of those wet ends and the serious impact it might have been a broad and general way, first on the people of syria. and when they were used on the 21st of august, that brought the issue to a head. but what was clearly surprising was the fact that within the space of 24 hours, a proposal was made, which was in seemingly throwaway line at a secretary of state who was asked, what would it take not were some theories? obviously get rid of chemical weapons would be a different ball game. within hours, foreign minister laparoscopy back and said let's do it. i don't know whether this is preplanned. he had believed wah lim, foreign
minister of serial are sitting with him practically on his knee. sure enough, within a few hours idea, we are going along with this. so here we had a deal. but it meant that secretary kerry and foreign minister lovegrove were able to quickly to the astonishment of many people that find a u.n. resolution now been implemented. to me, this opens the door to a number of opportunities. i'll quick sketch them out. certainly, we have worked together. steve might mention this in cooperative production on cooperation in the discussion of chemical weapons that pios. that experience can parlay itself into some very useful tech go cooperation in this process. i think the u.s. would probably not want to send people to syria. the president said no boots on the ground, although this is different than the use of military force and an attack
mode. nevertheless it might be. we should cooperate to the greatest extent possible in our common technical approach to that area. secondly, if it is necessary and i believe in some cases it a.b., particularly some weapons are transported out of syria for destruction, that we have a cease-fire of some kind. my own view is that a cease-fire is an important step that can be implemented and maintained. it is indeed a significant step that could use some way segued into the political process for dealing with the future of syria. we also now know there will be talks in geneva. meetings have just ended and london to convince the opposition to attend. i'm not sure they been entirely successful, but at least there is positive noise coming out of that. in those meetings at geneva, they will have to address a number of issues. my view of course is that it is difficult to conceive of geneva meetings taking place with
preconditions. as much as one side wants to have preconditions, you can't condition a meeting to settle that problem by requiring the problem be settled in advance, as much as that is to be desired. secondly, there is another perhaps political emblematic of two video work in geneva that we need to look up very clearly. up until now, the idea has been that nothing can be agreed until everything has been agreed. that's a perfectly normal diplomatic idea. in syria, were 6000 people are being killed a month, the hope is that an early cease-fire arrangement could begin to introduce a note of, put it this way, humanity, rationality, celerity about the process. and so, a linkage holding up any agreement until everything is agreed seems to me also to be
some name of a preposterous requirement. i think all the parties need to be there. my own view is that they should move quickly to some kind of cease-fire and deal with the trenchant question, which is always out there at powerful way to form a new syrian government. i think there are things that can be done, what should be important. secondly, i'll just touch this briefly. you mentioned non-proliferation and particularly kerry and nat prk. i wish i could say that russian-american genius had produced a magical ideas on how to deal with the dprk. my own view is that it's a very tough and difficult problem. we all have to use the chinese to help us work some magic on that. the better news is the chinese are getting now frustrated with its many changes of position and maybe this will help in the three of us together, along with
japan and the republic of korea could probably do a little better job in the future if we found ways to see more eye to eye. in iran, without a remarkable change to, almost in parallel with the election of president ronnie. they had meetings a week ago yesterday for an early presentation. it appears as if they been more forthcoming about they put on the table and even more in their willingness to discuss areas of problems and uncertainties. we've been warned by a russian colleague not to expect magical happenings. it's unwise to ignore the fact we are on the cusp of change and that we will require from the p5 plus one some willingness to
face up to the challenges they have to be made on their side as well, whether in fact a deal can go ahead with the freeze or cut cut off of enrichment in my view is a highly problematic issue in highly unlikely, but nevertheless they're still divided and the p5 plus one. even more, our country will have to segue amusing sanctions as a pressure tactic to achieve an object is. hopefully was to get negotiations going to using sanctions as trading materials to get a good agreement. and that isn't easy. it isn't easy to get people's minds up on capitol hill about that segue given all the suspicions that iran. i think they care my senses the u.s.-russian positions remain very close and we are in many ways closer today to achieving
what that closeness of position can produce than we have been for some time and that's also a good sign and that may well allow us to take common interest -- common objectives and potential for a win-win into a further field and never leave it to my friend and esteemed colleague, steven pifer, to talk about that. >> thank you. first of all let me also thank you for organizing this panel and for inviting me. i'm going to break my comments down into three pieces. first i'd like to agree with which we agree and tom said and that is -- i don't think it's as bad as it appears. it is certainly much better than it was in september 2008 when sergei arrived to take his position in the aftermath of the
russian georgia conflict when it was at its lowest point since the end of the cold war. when you look at those traditional factors that cause disputes or conflicts between states, they're really absent the u.s.-russian relationship. we don't have any ideological disputes. were not in any conflict over resources. seven moscow from time to time talk about alaska, but so far that's not the official russian position. so there still is some scratchiness. a larger part of that is to perhaps domestic politics in russia and the united states to impose limitations on the relationship and perhaps create some issues that complicate the relationship. so that's my first set of observations. on the second point, a couple comments on business or one of the unfortunate things going back to tom when you were in moscow, one of the things we wanted to do with how could you build a trade and economic
relationship between the united states and russia? is good not only for the economy, but good for the politics of the relationship. i'll give you an example. the u.s. chinese trade stock $500 billion a year. what that means them as a sharp dispute between beijing and washington, there's people thinking we have to be careful here because there's real money at stake. if you look at the low level of interaction between the united states. that is something unfortunately missing from the relationship. i think there have been some success stories. certainly i think knowing is a private example of what the united states and russia can do together. but there's too few of those success stories. this does turn on as russia decides what investment crime is going now. when i talk to american businesses, i still hear their perception is precious to her to be pleased.
as russia can yield some of those issues, there requires systemic corruption, you're going to see that trade investment increase. that may turn to my arms-control initiative at brookings. also sergei and i first met with her arms controllers. in its native has served at the american embassy in moscow. he was here in washington on your first or second. if you look at the relationship in moscow over the last 40 years, u.s.-russia before the u.s. soviet has been a number of times for arms control is useful both in terms of promoting a more stable u.s.-russia strategic relationship, but it was also a broader impact on the relationship and a positive impact. the reset is an example where the early success in terms of
negotiated s.t.a.r.t. treaty had a positive impact on the broader relationship. i do hope that i've perhaps tom suggested if we cooperate on syria and iran but that impacts the overall relationship. can we look at arms-control is possibly a driver of better and stronger relations? and i think there's some opportunities out there. even when the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty is fully implemented in 2018, united states and russia will still have that yet another federation of american scientists, about 4500 nuclear weapons apiece. and that means each of those countries is on the order of 15 times larger than the next third countries. i think they're significant room for reductions. the russians i think recent ballot issue, which is the relationship between offense and defense. that means addressing differences now between washington and moscow on the question of missile defense. ..
and with -- him playing the role of -- [inaudible] we would say that i think both steve, i love these support and i will start with him because it's something we need to address. we're addressing. and there is a -- subgroups. these are co-chaired by people on both sides on ministerial level, and this commission is on working, creating, delicate conditions on countries to work together. which is good. we are working also on improving
the investment climate in russia. it's in our best interest. it's one of the examples of working together. , by theby the way, yesterday there was a -- [inaudible] with a number of big companies. present including. the a significant number of americans. sitting and discussing with us how best to breed a climate that will be inviting more investment. i would like to say it's not that it's sometimes portrayed. i have a spoke ton a number of american companies that have been operating in the united states, and all of them say they are not going -- they see a huge market. what is the lisle system.
and other companies understand how to operate in russia for the companies for russia. which is not to say we are somewhat different from other countries. we have just answered that -- , by the way, with some assistance of the united states in the final phase of negotiations. and the framework. and the -- is exactly what creates an environment that is understandable by all investors and trading partners in russia. negative benefit and the membership at first in a case that was presented they need to be resolved through normal
mechanism to that there and created by all of us toward an economic field together. i would like to say that the argument that russia is -- in term of economic environment. we are a market economy. we are a young market economy. most probably we are yet to further mature is something we are working on each and every day. but by the same token, we also like to see -- being represented here working in american environment. some are -- but maybe russia to the market. and some of them on the russian side and american side why they are not russian the markets are huge on the united and say want to see a political relations
with them. and there is a kind of vicious cycle. some look at political relations as a kind of indication as to how relations can develop and yet it's an economic relations on a mature -- substantiate better political relations. all of this goes hand and hand and needs to be developed. we are very much interested in doing so when the u.s. government can look up in the calendar the meetings before the new year, and i found, i think, a dozen meetings that will be addressed on both sides. and how to increase chances of these countries to be more comparable economically. on arms control, arms control has been very important
dimension of soviet american and russian american relations. even as we speak we have a good agreement that is being implemented to further reduce strategic events in weapons. but we are going level lower and lower. the lower you go, the more important the interrelationship between offensive and defensive weapons. and we have to understand how the defensive area is going develop around in russia. for us it's not clear. and in that sense, that kind of understanding will be difficult to go further address the credential. more over, there are other countries that do possess nuclear weapons. some are penalized with the united states. we simply would like to implement the to be part of the
dielgt. we need to creases the interdependence between different part of security relationship ballistic missile defense. what has been -- somehow going the weapons on the ground. how the in the future of strategic offensive weapons with no nuclear warhead are going change the calculation in a strategic. we need it to not only understand it but we want to have it a conversation that will bring home the elements these relationship in more practitioner predictable and reliable. we are not here yet.
and it's not exactly arms control. but this force together in time together with agreement on further reduction and weapons. and the united states agreement is -- [inaudible] in russia and simply russian-american agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation. something that one available russia and the united states and the united and soviet union for decades. and interesting two years ago. developed a huge field of possible cooperation between our two countries. building term of supply of you uranium by the way we -- to your country as a result of this so called agreement that is expiring this year. it's for ten years. we were using uranium extracted
from nuclear warheads to the energy level to the electricity system. and the head of russian economic energy told me in term of the kilowatt -- [inaudible] probably the biggest suppliers of the united states and the sources outside of the united states. and also an agreement has proof to be reliable implemented. and it's scientific research and -- [inaudible] in the future we will see more and more interaca on the
development. because the united states and russia understand the that in the long-term we will have to develop new generation that will be more proliferation resistant and inherently safe. and i would label that kind of cooperation with this particular field. field that tom alluded to. >> thank you. when -- [inaudible] by young experts interest to them global -- that's what they to have --
this is a result. the position but and i -- for you the u.s.-russian relations now. i think we have to get through this. and new concept what it should be. i agree there are a lot of positive things because of nature and people -- [inaudible] for instance i agree that success but not because of character of international relations but the vision a lot of things was done because the ambassador here during his -- [inaudible] russian republic opinion you're going to be -- russian media as hear about russia. so generally speaking, i don't
think it's a great situation. i think i don't know how hopeless for us to change the relation, i hope new generation will try to challenge it and take it over and tone 15 years. we'll have no discussion about missile defense, it's our discussion after twenty years of breakup of the soviet union. it's a very low trade level insulting for the economies. i think it's a good idea to think about how you can challenge those three, you know, gentlemen. i think we didn't change the nature of structure. it's still we talk about the same thing, you know, how many
warheads we have. about soviet space -- and steve, you know,. what is the gender. we have a new world, a new soviet union, america is moving somewhere, who knows where. somewhat -- so what is in your agenda? i don't see it. i see it like an action on the reaction of each steps. enrich each other to -- i don't know. so my -- there's no strategic vision. i don't know including myself
capable for strategic relation and great society. i want you to be here and now we'll have time for the operations. please come over to the microphone and introduce yourself and ask your question, please. to the ambassador, my question is; it seems to me for after the breakup of soviet union -- correct me if i'm wrong the policy -- [inaudible] america always was a reaction
-- if there was a -- [inaudible] they try to put missile defense system. they do it in syria, they do it in -- [inaudible] we have to do this. whatever i -- reaction to american steps. what can they offer this year and actually the chairman the chairman of a year of the that the chairman of for years it was
a basic shape in global agenda and do we have it? i the don't think so. again, the state department agenda and you mentioned all of this items. it's basically what united states can offer. i'm not offering it's good to offer. but that's what is at the table. can russia bring something to the table? can the table be turned if it would be more proactive in the bilateral relations. thank you, that's my first question. >> thank you. first of all, i don't like the idea of challenging the others. what is strategic agenda relations. you know, first of all, i do not agree that russia didn't offer a
for going to be discussed. we did conduct previous successful meeting -- but once again your first argument everybody is is looking for drama in the russian-american. it's i can easily criticize. what i'm suggesting is that -- [inaudible] we had an agenda it was well coordinated with the united states that have been of the organization year before. because of what the things especially in the economic field that needs to be coordinated they take years and years to negotiate it and to implement. and i find it very encountering
that we were able to work together while you and we were -- presidency trying to understand each other's priority in a way it will be reenforcing each other. i think sometimes not appreciated very much by political specialtist -- specialists. thank you. secondly, reaction to -- [inaudible] ballistic missile defense. yes, we had to ask. it's not -- in to alliance countries that are important to the united states. we simply see an extension that is trying to take over the whole
space under its umbrella. and what is is providing security environment for the members and not for the others. that may use dividing lines but little bit moving through the years next to -- it's not it's nato moving to us. and so far the relations between the russian -- haven't developed to the extend we will feel very much relaxed about what the organization is doing. however, i would say develop in the relations that are critical. the first russian ambassador create credibles to the secretary general. i remember how high expectations is and -- [inaudible] moment for the development.
a description as to why it's not a discussion you want i can have it. >> sure. all i'm suggesting is the reality are not such it's moving toward the united. the united states and their allies moving with their military assets for a task. and at the same time we did proprose an agreement for european concept of it. we are still looking for interest as a response that would favor security for equal bases. we don't like in europe being far from russian borders next to russia borders. yes, sometimes we have to react, and we have to be realistic about the relationships and the environment around us.
sometimes we have to take steps to ensure the security. >> thank you. >> my question to our american diplomats. given 25 years in -- [inaudible] it's like a constant topic when you hear american expert, american diplomat, or american politician talking about russia, it's usually punchline we don't know what they want to do. we have no idea -- [inaudible] we have no idea what do with putin or russia.
it seems weird i never hear so many things we don't know about other countries. [inaudible] have no clue what to do. and it's very strange, you have, you know, unspoken and direct. you can talk to your friends. you have your about -- moscow to talk to everybody. i think moscow is quite easy place to go now. i don't think putin is very difficult guy to understand here his concept and vision. it's very clear. i don't think there is -- [inaudible] and putin. can't develop the -- with russia and not to jump from left to right or, you know, be it's like improvization after improvization american force. soviet union was predictable country that was a stable american force -- [inaudible]
there's no -- [inaudible] >> i think some has to do with the frustration that both sides deal with the daily flow of events and not stepping back. some has to do with the failure to go back to some of the major objectives. i think always thought that russia should be a full member of the international community. we thought that russia should be part of the world economy. we look forward to a number of cooperations the joint contribution we both made to international strategic ability was appreciated and significant. the fact was that over a period of time, of course, we had
different idea about different issues and many of them dictated i did domestic policies. many dictated by the area events. many dictated by the different perception what the other side was doing. and my own view is there is no great strategic secret to what the u.s. would like to see with respect to the future. i gave you three principles that went back to the post early post communist days. and i don't think they have radically changed. my feeling is that we could enjoy better communication. we could enjoy a process of fewer surprises. we could enjoy, perhaps, a process of even more exchanges and travel than we have before. and we could enjoy a process of what i would call
decoldwarrization. to some extent. suspicious on both sides is unfortunately still there. a number of us, as we go around our country usually the third or fourth question is premised by saying the soviet union. and it means russia but still the soviet union. i can tell you there is in russia the counter part, which is nato. and each one in a way, kind of stand for a kind of cold war syndrome still managing -- hanging on. each of us has our own [inaudible] i don't know they add to the clarity, indeed positiveness that one ought to have, but that is just russians. of course we know that.
by dpef in addition. by practice, somehow it seems to fall short. in any event, i think those are the kinds of things that are out there. mr. putin, it's a very independent man. i'm not sure he's totally predictable. at least not in the eyes of the united states. different and sometimes shocking and sometimes -- as we characterized it tonight. it. >> thank you. >> let me add a couple of comments. >> first, i wouldn't -- i would agree with tom that america's understanding of russia is not as bleak as you portray. [laughter] respond to a couple of things. i think there's a significant overhang from the cold war. as tom said, people think of
russia and think of the soviet union and the nato issue. and when i was at the -- counsel staff we were beginning the process of nato enlargement. that the time we sought to build a relationship between nato and russia we hoped would defuse -- and in retrospect how hard it was going to be. it was not nato saying we want to enlarge. it was demand driven. it was responding to request from countries in central europe that nato as being fully integrated to europe. ..
so i think we have to move past some of the bogeyman of the past. i think in those countries their limitations by domestic politics and i will give you an american example and the russian example. i i think unfortunately there still is from the the american congress a certain anti-russian bias and i will cite a couple of examples. the jackson danika admin may continue to abide to russia well more than a decade after russia met all the requirements and i tried back in 2002 and 2003 to argue and we could not get congress to move. i think you see that same sentiment. let me say i think what happened to mr. magnitsky was totally
important but when congress passed an act the single out russia when there were obviously countries where they are equal or greater human rights violations the message that was sent to russia was not one of outrage. the message was the american congress wants to pick on russia. the flipside of that i think is there's a certain amount of anti-american sentiment in russian society and one of the troubling things i have found in the last couple of years is i think the kremlin for domestic clinical reasons has encouraged that idea and that there has been this idea of america as a potential adversary which complicates relations and specifically complicates relations in a globally connected world is that there may be an intention to do this for domestic reasons. but people in the white house and the state department bases in the things being said by the
united states and it doesn't put them in a particularly positive mood about russia. so i think we both operate or i can't say we because i'm no longer in the government that those working a u.s.-russia relations to some extent their lives are constrained or meg markham dictated by the domestic environments in the united states and russia would still display something of a hangover from the cold war. >> the united states is a great expert on russia. a. [inaudible] russian culture russian -- i don't think it is american politics but it's my opinion. >> would you like to address the audience for a question? we have used 90% of the time. >> okay. your turn. >> i'm from american
universities executive director of the initiative for american culture and i'm proud to know that there know that there are a lot of american students here today. my question for all three of you you have all worked closely with the leaders of the countries. how do you assess the importance of the personal relationship between the men in the kremlin and they all have been men and the people -- the men in the white house and you think there is a risk and an overreliance on the personal relationship between the leaders to the general institutionalization of relationship between the countries? thank you. >> who wants to start? >> i think personal relations are in politics everywhere especially when it comes to the leaders of these countries. but i think that what is needed is first and foremost the ability of people to be honest and truthful in what they say to
each other and whatever they do and to be able to hear each other. i think during the last decade we have enjoyed that kind of understanding even with our differences between us were quite significant sometimes. the ability of our leaders to talk honestly and to the point hasn't changed. >> i would just add that there is no battle between institutionalization and leaders. there is synergy. the degree to which good institutional relationships helps prepare leaders for conversations and talks is very important and my sense is that the ability of the institutions which are essentially the embassies and the conversational organizations we have together to examine everything from military to health to space are
all very valuable and very significant added to the agenda. they cannot overcome obviously crises of the moment but they can add what i call a continuing base which can be built upon and my own feeling is that in some areas such as steve outlined perhaps the middle east, where we have a common interest that seemingly fits world needs where the two of us can stand together on a very difficult problem and help change minds. that is of the highest order and to me that helps smooth some of the bumps. where we have only negatives we resort to the policy of ankle kicking and where we are engaged in ankle kicking it then panders to the domestic opposition on each side that steve i think so
usefully described. and that is what leaders have to find a way to overcome. if leaders believe that ankle kicking with each other is the key to their domestic success than we are going to see the relationship misused and sublimated and pushed down and there have been times i think wanat has been unfortunately the way in which people have preceded. so leaders are paramount and very important. they can overcome a lot of a lot of difficulties and they can add a lot of extra noise in the system if they choose to do so. it is the institutional relationship that produces ideas , agreements and i think response to their interests in moving things hopefully forward. >> i would say, human personal relations have an impact but first and foremost the
u.s.-russia relations is national interest and institutional relationships and certainly a good relationship between the american president and the russian president does help that i do do overestimate that. an example i would give by all appearances i saw when i was in the u.s. government for the first couple of years there was a very positive very warm personal chemistry between george w. bush and vladimir putin. but if you look at the american russian relationship from about 2003 to 2008 it's one of steady decline so you can have a very positive warm relationship that i wasn't able to arrest that so that leads me to conclude that personal relationships human beings count but i wouldn't overestimate it. >> can you hear me? i am from the region embassy,
attorney. i spent the summer there is a student. it may be wonder of the problem was seemingly a lack of progress between the relations to the u.s. is that the usa is washington and we talk about russia but talk about moscow. what is currently being done to enhance relations between the cities. the city seemed to be less burdened by world politics. the u.s. and russia are becoming more autonomous. what is the development on that because russia is a lot born in moscow of course. >> i will say that the u.s. is more about washington as well. there are a variety of circumstances in different parts of the countries and we stand to
gain by developing more region to region partnerships and ties. it's something that used to be developed. we have tried as the government to encourage that kind of relations. we have seen a number of regional implications come to the united states in meeting with people but it's still something that we want to develop significantly more, including the kind of changes that you alluded to, students and others. today i think there is a long way for us to go before we can see the level and i will give you an example. i would ask it and eastern russia. we are so close.
it's only three kilometers from the u.s.. we are the closest neighbor of the united states except for canada and mexico but recently we had to have a conference to bring everyone together to convince them to do -- each other. if you want to find -- you will have to apply first to to -- fly first to tokyo and shanghai so that regional relations need to be certainly encouraged and we are trying to do that. i hope we will see more responsiveness on this issue on the american side as well. >> let me be frank. i think that we have perhaps instituted many more exchanges from the u.s. side. they can't work without cooperation from russia but i think this was very much the idea beginning in the late 1980s they carried on but even before that. when i was ambassador to russia
although there russian fulbright students and then others who were parts of exchange including jim billington's long and successful exchange program which reaches all over russian brings russians here and americans to russia conquered they'll organize their own alumni organization so things took off and they have been moving. none of it has been perfect. i think these have been large measure been either supported or carried out through ngos. we have seen the recent russian cracked down on ngos and the stigmatization of ngos as foreign agents as a real impediment i thing to being able to carry this forward. i don't think it represents cooperation. i hope it represents only a kind of short essays in u.s.-russian relationships and i hope we will find a way to move ahead because i think that it is, as you
pointed out from your experience , that it is those kinds of human relationships and something i mentioned earlier in a response to a question as being very important. >> just a brief answer. >> you see with the americans do. >> i think there is a lot of potential for these sorts of exchanges that go to areas outside of washington and moscow to help write down some of the stereotypes that linger in both countries. and i was distressed to hear from sergey that there is no direct air service between moscow -- [inaudible] that's unfortunate. but i guess it was in 1996 or 97 i had a colleague who left the
u.s. government and got invited to it conference in anchorage and he called me and said you have no idea what's going on between alaska and the russian parties. he said we had no idea in washington where at the regional level they had set up lots of things that made sense in cultural terms and business terms in educational terms and somehow we have to figure out a way to create an environment where those sorts of contacts prospered in the way the two governments in washington and moscow no longer contract the interactions because i think that is what is going to begin to change how the two countries look at one another. >> i would like to briefly mentioned something that tom had to say first. talking about times where you have better conditions -- to invite russians here. and it was specific and not
necessarily ngo money. it was a political instrument at that point. the current situation has changed for a number of programs that we had available years before to bring americans to russia. they are already number of grams and we are expanding it bit by bit and also we have a number of private initiatives. a wonderful program whereby he brings young professionals. they give them the opportunity to work there, to live there together with their families and meet with these people from time to time and it's a very interesting program. i hope it's going to be expanded but on the great down of ngos
i disagree. there is a policy. there is a policy to make it more transparent to russians as to who is -- when it comes to political discourse in russia. ngos have participated. comparing what we have is transparency but if you are doing things involved in political life in russia and the money that comes from other countries you need to say it. you need to be transparent and people need to understand what is the agenda and whose agenda so there is no crack down. there is more transparency and you might look into your -- and look at the russian ngos that are working here. they always comply. you have a number of
prohibitions for foreign ngos to participate in tuesday's in connection with and not back so we have yet to compare whose system is more open, yours or ours on this particular issue. >> okay, thank you. >> i am from eurasia group. my question -- i actually have two separate but related question. the first is about security cooperation. ambassador kislyak you mentioned exercises over the pacific that were targeting terrorism and ambassador to -- ambassador pickering you mentioned in a negative light potential of distracting clear communication between the two countries.
in the aftermath of the bombing in boston there was a lot of outreach on the russian side to the americans saying we could have cooperation in this sphere and then yesterday there was a bombing in the lead-up to the sochi olympics. what is the state of security cooperation between russian and american forces? has there have been progress since boston and is there real communication that will make american companies who will be in sochi more comfortable that there won't be a terrorist attack there? finally my second question, what real granular achievements do you hope will come about in the relationship as a result of the sochi olympics?
as opposed to sort of broad, broad positives. >> thank you. first of all as to the sochi olympics, we are determined to win. [laughter] secondly in any case the partnership always means -- [inaudible] i think this environment will certainly be dominated by sochi. i would say special services have existed for quite a long period of. how efficient they are is not for me to decide or to estimate but i know one terrorism and the potential spread of nuclear weapons and especially on terrorism fighting american traffic there is a very practical cooperation not theoretical and not slogan exchanges that people working on
particular issues. the reality shows that -- but it has existed and i hope it's going to continue to develop further. people who specialize in security certainly talk to each other. >> bill jones executive intelligence review. i would just like to mention to ambassador pickering the quote the beautiful -- that you had as a tribute to mark twain and i say that as a native missouri and to give him credit where credit is due. i would like to ask one of the areas of corporation of course traditionally during the cold war was cooperation in space. the latest of course with the space station. the u.s. and russia still remain the preeminent space powers and they are no longer alone but i think you can still consider them preeminent. both of them have problems.
russia has problems with the proton rocket and there is kind of a lack of vision and the sequestration which is hitting today but that still remains an area corporation. now we have a new item on the horizon which we saw is the asteroid threat. we don't see that too often but it does occur every now and then and it will continue to occur as we go down the road. our own ability to deal with this is in fact our space capabilities and developing those capabilities. russia has made that -- the defense against asteroids the prime aspect of the space program according to statements just the other day of the new head of ross cosmos and the u.s. is trying to land a man -- an asteroid out there. i don't know what that's going to lead to put at any rate they are aware of the danger.
i don't know any other area where partnership of some type is a daily occurrence. i have visited the through russian cosmonauts training in houston and it feld like a family. they know each other and it's kind of the brotherhood because they do the same mission. they know that task by the two countries. our interest fully coincide, fully coordinated. when you had problems with the shuttle programs it wasn't until
a long discussion in the united states whether you can rely on the russians or not to ensure access to space while it's legal to do so because they knew each other. because they knew that they can easily and reliably work together. be level of ordination as to what the two agencies yours and ours are doing on the space station is unprecedented and it's something that we already take for granted. i would say there is some normalcy in our relations. the space cooperation is a good indication as to how it needs to be done. when it comes to the idea it's a very popular and captures the imagination. it's something that our space agency has been working on for quite a while. it wasn't only yesterday that they came up with this and i
know that we were interested and are going to be interested in partnerships with the united states. but we need to understand what piece of the program is going to be adopted in russia and what are the plans of the united states before we can coordinate but certainly i believe personally it's my point of view that we stand to benefit from working together on this issue. >> do you want to add anything? >> why would you say that? >> i think space operations are so complex and so expensive and so much in the joint countries interest that makes sense to clock rate. [laughter] >> we have four more questions. try to keep it short piece. then parkins. for though -- until recently for the last 200 or so so russia has been a great power and a superpower but then 20 years ago there has been a
loss of status in the breakup of the soviet union and how has that loss of diplomatic military power affected russian foreign-policy? is their desire to reclaim that to some extent and on the other and how is it affected the state department attitude toward russia where is 30 years ago they were the priority and now they are one among many. >> okay, american universities. who wants to start? >> sergey. >> oh eight. [laughter] first i would take an issue as to whether we have lost the status of superpower however the whole notion of superpower is some ring that needs to be defined. i will read to you a summary of the report by the research
service of the u.s. congress that was issued today i think. it's about rush and broad what russia presents to the united states. .1, russia is still the nuclear superpower. secondly, russia influences significantly the interest of national security of the united states in europe and the middle east and asia. russia -- it's not me. it's them. russia plays a very important role from the point of view of arms control nonproliferation and fights against terrorism. russia owns natural resources with great range and scope than anybody else including the united states. and the list continues and i recommend that you read it.
>> not many people know that. >> all i would say is i think the congressional research service probably has provided a fair and interesting estimate of the situation. i don't think there is any loss of interest in the state department or in the united states. i think there are other countries that we know of including china which we have discussed here that are gathering strength as well and are becoming part of the panoply of world powers that we'll have to deal with and to some extent that may have diminished the bipolar nature of the cold war relationship in the post-cold war area. i think that we are a multipolar world. not all polls are equal and i don't mean your neighbors but i mean in fact not all countries
are equal but necessarily those that play in the larger field are significantly more important and each of this is trying to develop a set of relationships that deals with that. and they are quite a complex web as we go ahead. i don't think u.s.-russia china necessarily in a set of individual relationships have gone to the two against one phase that kids at the 3-year-old level in the park are necessary succumb to but i think in many ways these presents some very unusual and very unique challenges. i certainly don't dispute the conclusions of the congressional research service that sergey read out. >> i might add a bit of a different perspective. i think is the congressional research service coordinates their issues between the united
states and very important questions on which american and russian interests will intersect and perhaps even sometimes reflect but i think the nature of that relationship is different from the relationship between the united states and the soviet union 30 years ago and part of it effects the changes in russian after the collapse the soviet union and part part of that reflects the price of other nations china and india in section as a a result if you look at the american presidents agenda i think the american president spends less time thinking about russia than his counterpart back in the 1980s did with regard to the soviet union. ..
but our concerns of european colleagues are significant part of, and security, and it's part of lan that is so important to us because russia is europe, and the united states also is part of the oece and the former framework of the conventional reference regulation agreements. so, the security in europe certainly needs to bring all of us together. there are a number of other issues. where we work together. g-5 plus one. the u.ons call it 3 plus 3 because there are three europeans there. the size of russia and europe is the same as the rest of europe. so, a number of issues where we can and we do work together,
together with the europeans, and i think that in many instances, like g-5 plus 1, in the lead of the negotiations on half of all of us. >> i say, negotiations take place because countries willing to participate are prepared to make compromises and have things to offer as well as things to receive. bringing people into negotiations because they may have different ideas but not a central part of the negotiations is a little more than awkward and begins to create the notion you're bringing in lawyers for one side or the other to work on the problem. we join together with the europeans and china with respect to iran and other areas where we have multilateral negotiations which are worldwide in scope and we're all there together, all trying to find answers to a set
of problems. i think it would be a serious mistake in u.s.-russian bilateral negotiations at this stage, with respect to further reduction of strugglic strategic weapons, but at the next stage people who hold nuclear weapons but not at our level, need to be part of the process of transparency, and this is an interesting comment on your suggestion, because it takes us into an area where they may not yet be able to be part of the compromises but need to be -- understand the way the process went, and there's the reverse of your point. the two big players might have something to help them understand rather than the other way around. >> i would just add, as far as nuclear reductions, a bilateral
u.s.-russian negotiation by definition is going to be easier, than if you have china, britain, and france at the table. but at sergei roz -- sergei's point is that it has to bebop lateral. the question is when. there could be one more u.s. u.s.-russian negotiations and getting the numbers down to 27, and then move to do something with third countries. start with baby steps. ask the british, for instance and chinese, give us transparency, what's the total number of weapons you have. so not do -- and then say, we're not going to ask you to negotiate a reduction or legally binding limitation but would you take on as a unilateral commitment you will not increase the number of weapons as lock as
the united states and russia are coming down. if you can get to that point, the next step has to be more of a multilateral negotiations. >> multidimension, i have disagreement with the negotiations. everybody talk about missile defense. >> i am emmy smith from georgetown school of foreign service. can you hear me? i'm interested in the differences in american and russian world views, and the impact -- and how it impacts -- in other words, how we think differently is affecting our relationship and reflected in the media. this question is for ambassador, i was hoping you could tell me what in your opinion are key differences in our world views and our mentalities and what can american political and business
actors in power now do to better understand and engage with russian policymakers. thank you. >> that's quite a question because it requires an hour of explanation. i would try to be very brief. i remember one conversation with a friend of mine, and we were discussing the differences in the world perception that we have in some of americans have. then i remember telling him that when we discuss in russia what we can do with multilateral format, the language is we use is, we in the united nations, will do that and that. we will pursue in the united nations with other countries that initiative. look at the american language. we can work with the united nations. that's the biggest problem for
us. because we all have to abide by the same rules. we all are part of the organization and the system that it created. that we created together, and for us, what is important, that all the relations develop on the equal footing and on the basis of the international agreement. >> last question. >> i like that -- >> introduce yourself. >> i'm ihar. and i'm organizing several meetup groups here with 6500 people. i'm pretty good in social media
marketing. so, i am -- i want to start with the idea which our norwegian -- he said, like, the relationship start not with the presidents, not probably with the -- i want to continue and make like one step fuller and basically the american constitution is not with we, the president, not, we, the cities, at it we, the people, and i would disagree with nikolai when he said that it's not strategic decision. maybe not. but like other speakers talk about people to people relationships and starting all the -- starting with ambassador kislyak and so forth. and since i'm organizing this groups and since i'm pretty good in building relationships, and i
happen to teach the corps -- introduce russian culture, so i train like 16 u.s. pilots of the marine corps to speak russian and understand, and i would say, yes, there is a bias generally? general population, but basically we stand together and we watched -- so, i'm getting back to the point. what is the -- since i was raised in the soviet union, and i met the end of the soviet union, the city communist youth party, i understand the power of soviet -- inherited something
from them. for me, if i want to, let's say, enhance, to help these people to people exchanges, not just travels, but just through, let's say, right now it could be video conferencing, or roundtables doing business in russia, studying russian, so on and so forth in terms of opportunities from the american embassy -- from the russian embassy. i'm sorry. >> what should i go, to which person, and which magic words i need to say, because if i just will go to russian cultural center, they will say, why you here? what should i do or say in terms of -- >> sound like a guidance.
>> yes, advise this. >> well, you know, exchanges to be useful need to be one total planned and organized. otherwise, political tourism or, at beast, or just waste -- at best, or just waste of time. and i've seen a number of programs during my years here, some of them were more successful, others less so. so, first and foremost, we have to have people on both sides that are interest in exchange and understand what they want to focus on, whether they agree as to the most important things that people want or need to see. then come a number of
organizations as to how to get money to finance it. one of the most difficult issue. how to best organize the treaty in order to be able to see what they want. so there is a lot of organizational work. to don't have magic cal words to be said at centers. you need to find partners that share your interest, and want to work with you. i think that's the best recipe i can offer. >> thank you. >> i think two years after breakup of the soviet union we have a very different global world. it's very different than used to be during cold war, and international relations are quite different.
diplomacy is quite different. possibilities are very different. and i think choices and the level of danger is quite different, and very often people don't understand it. i think one of the biggest problem in u.s.-russia relations is lack of fresh ideas, lack of breakthrough ideas, lack of, like, intellectual dead end, because perhaps three great experts in the u.s. russia relations, come to conclusion, get rid of cold war mentality. that's, i think, very depressing conclusion after 20 years of trying to shape u.s.-russia relations. have new agenda in many ways.
i think extremely important need for u.s.-russia to be strategic allies, if not friends, at least allies. not to count endlessly warheads. it's kind of insulting for both countries not to trust each other. i understand you have trust, but at the end of the day, but i think we have to do something very intellectually drastic to change the way u.s.-russia relations -- otherwise gets boring and bring drama to make us interested in u.s.-russia relations. so that's the best for the next generation and for us, of course, and i think we learn today from this three wise men, great experts for you, keep
u.s.-russia relations in very different shape today. otherwise people like our first speaker, relations would be much more. for some reason -- america, too, a demand for kind of morphing of u.s. -- relations. >> we're leaving the last few minutes of this to go live to listen to secretary of state hillary clinton. she is at the american center for progress' tenth anniversary. >> so, first, i have to say, a very profound thank you to john. john is the founder of the center for american progress. he was our president for eight years. [applause] >> he is our chair today.
and his dna is in every corner of this. our focus on innovation, our focus on new ideas from every part of the organization. fighting for principle, standing up for what you believe in, aggressively, aggressively, but always accurately, fighting for progressive values, and so it is my honor to really stand on his shoulders and i want to thank him for the great leadership he has provided us all these years. i also want to say a few words about our guest speaker tonight. you know, we have talked today about the challenges we face as a country. climate change. inequality. we have had some successes them affordable care act is a success. we have to make sure it's
implemented properly. but it is a success. and it's one that k.a.p. was a central part of. ending the war in iraq was central to us and has improvedded the lives of people in iraq and the american people and what i'm proud of is to be part of an organization that has done that through making policy. over the next ten year's we'll change on our greatest challenges, the threat of climate change, how we ensure that we are growing together and not growing apart. and it's my commitment to work on all of those issues. but what i do want to spend a moment just introducing our speaker, who -- cap has always been a place that fights to make
the country more fair, more just, and more free. our speaker has done all of those things over the course of her career. if i could just take a moment, a personal privilege, it is absolutely the case i am really at the center for american progress because hillary clinton ten years ago thought that we needed a place that provided accurate information, provided evidence, in an often evidence-free zone of washington. looked at issues around the corner, not just the headlines of today and those are thing wes have always done. also importantly, i was really lucky to work for her on and of for ten years, and when i did, had the privilege of looking at leadership up close and learning some really important lessons, lessons i have tried to live up to every day. which is to focus on issues, be
the voice for people who are voice log, care about every single american and improving their lives. working on issues when people aren't paying attention, when the cameras are off, and doing what is right for all americans, and honestly, fighting for what you believe in, and even when you get pushed down, getting right back up, and fighting even harder. and in the course of her career, hillary rodham clinton has been all of that and so much more, and as we celebrate our tenth anniversary, i cannot think of anyone better to celebrate it with than my former boss, my mentor, and my friend, hillary rodham clinton. [applause] [applause]
>> well, happy birthday, cap! it is exciting for me to come at the end of what has been by all accounts a fabulously stimulating and exciting day, filled with leaders and thinkers about what it means to be a progressive in our country. i'm delighted to share this stage with two people who are particularly important leaders in the progressive movement. i've had the pleasure of working with mira for many years, and i have seen her intellect and energy and action on so many occasions. she brings a passion for problem-solving and ideas for serving others, that is inspirational, and of course, i've seen her grow from a 27-year-old staffer, into an
accomplished leader. so, i really think we owe another round of plague and appreciation to meera. [applause] >> what can i possibly say about john podesta that do could him justice. there's no one like him in washington, dc or probably anywhere else. when my husband needed a sure hand to steer his second term in the white house, he turned to john podesta. equal parts the thinker and doer, fighter and facilitator, brilliant, yet always modest and level-headed, and when president obama needed a respected leader to oversee his transition, he again turned to john podesta, and whenever i needed a vice, either on grand strategy or day-to-day tactics, i turn to
john as well. he is our indispensable man and someone who has carried cap on his shoulders for so long, and i am deeply grateful to him, and i know the voice of god, which is appropriate introduced him, but i think we should also show our appreciation again to john podesta. john and meira and i have been discussing what it means to be a progressive in america and the world for years now. we may have different experiences and backgroundses but we share a set of values that animates our work and our lives. the values of justice and freedom, of opportunity and equality, that everyone, the world over, deserves to have in their lives and their societies, who deserve to have the chance
to live up to their god-given potential to participate fully in the economic, political, social lives of the places where they were been and live. and so when you look at these values and how much the united states had to do in thrusting them into human history, and nurturing them and protecting them for so many years now, it's always a little surprising that we have to keep fighting so hard on behalf of them to make the case over and over and over again, but meira and john and so many of you roll up your sleeves every single day, to build the case for a progressive agenda. it's based on data and evidence, not ideology. it's a foot for policies that -- a fight follow policies that will actually achieve results and better people's lives. i well remember when john and
sarah wartell first came to see me about this new idea they were working on, progressive think tank that would stand up and fight book -- fight back in a city that had a lot of think tanks on the other side of the aisle. that would champion our values, develop smart policies based on sound research and scholarship, and then would advocate and engage in the public debate. at the same time, meira and i had been talking about how we could see this happen. we were working on the very same idea, and at the end of the clinton administration, i knew that if we didn't have an infrastructure in place to continue to build on what had been accomplished, and to hold the line on any effort at retrenchment, we would not be doing our jobs. so we began to talk, and the results are that meira, john, and sarah, joined forces and cap
was born. now, there were skeptics back then. many people in washington thought it would be impossible to raise the money and build the top notch staff that could compete with the more established institutions, especially on the right. but they underestimated both the talent of this team and the hunger in the country for bold, new, progressive policies. so cap grew incredibly fast. tracheed eminent scholars and experienced practitioners. it began quickly influencing the important debates about foreign and domestic policy, and in particular, cap's efforts to put the cause of quality, affordable health care, for every american back on the national agenda, was essential. so, the ideas that sprung from
cap began influencing the debate, and it no longer seemed unusual or a little bit of a novelty to have cap at the table, making the case for progressive policies. now, cap's combination of avoweddedly progressive values, evidence-based policy formulation, and forceful advocacy, has made it unique not only in washington and america but around the world. as i traveled as secretary of state, it was not uncommon for me to be asked about cap, particularly by leaders who were hoping to have an infrastructure to support their views in their countries. so, we have seen what happens when you marry the importance of ideas with activists who know how to carry those ideas forward. the movement in our history, for civil rights and women's rights,
for organized labor, for clean air and water so much more, have been advanced by men and women who gather the data, marshal the arguments, wrote, spoke, marched, advocated, just like cap, and we have seen, unfortunately, what happens in our public debate when they occur in what i do call an evidence-free zone, where people make claims and arguments that have no basis in evidence, but which are ideologically motivated. when politicians choose scorched earth over common ground, families have felt the consequences. workers furloughed. businesses suffering. children thrown out of head start programs. poor mothers worrying they won't get the help they need to buy formula and food for their babies. we're careening from crisis to
crisis, instead of having a plan, bringing people to that plan, focusing on common-sense solutions, and being relentless in driving toward them. so cap is needed today as much, if not more than, than it ever has been, because as we look ahead to the next ten years, there are very big challenges facing us, facing our country, and facing our world. and we will need your help. there's so many examples that youd during the day. so many issues you work on ever day, and i'm just grateful -- and that's what i came to say -- i'm grateful that cap exists. i'm grateful that people support it generously. i'm grate of the it attracts such talent and incredible energy and determination to make a difference on behalf of our country. progressive ideas have helped
make this country the greatest force for human liberty, dignity, and opportunity the world has ever known. and i know that cap will continue leading the way, looking over the horizon, while keeping one's feet firmly planted in the here and now. helping to renew america's promise and greatness for years to come. so, happy birthday. thank you. and let's keep going. [applause] [applause] >> have fun, guys.
♪ >> you're watching c-span2, politics and public affairs weekdays. featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. >> at the white house today, president obama called on congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. the house of representatives dismissed until monday. this is 15 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, the president and vice preside o