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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 21, 2014 9:00am-11:01am EDT

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non-government actors in the world. and we are incurring some costs in other parts of our relationships. in our advocacy for activists in places like russia becomes at some cost to our bilateral relationships in those places. ..
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there is a movement for democracy among people that work there, thinking it matters more and more to their work. and that is also true in the united states. during this last 25 years in the united states government. these last 25 years it has become part and parcel of every diplomat's dna to appreciate that the democratic character of governments that we partner with affects their international posture and policies as well and our military establishment and intelligence agencies i think increasingly understand that and increasingly weave that into their engagements with their partners as well but it's not a universally hello view yet but an emerging and broking view so i think we will continuing in this direction at least another 25 years and hopefully have a few more successes to talk about
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when we meet 25 years from now. >> thanks very much, tom. i am going to open the floor to questions. i do ask that you keep the, your questions to actual questions. we've had some very long and very detailed presentations here. i know this is an issue a lot of people have opinions on but i want to restrict the discussion to questions and answers. so please focus on questions and not comments. so we'll take this person right here. we'll get a microphone to you. >> thank you. my name is a meriam from the collaborative for civic education. we one projects to help civil societies you through civic educations and one of those is a institute for iranian civil society. my question is, when does u.s. policy harm democratic development? it seems like we're focused on
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ways that we help it or don't help it but not focused on ways that we can and do sometimes harm it. one case in point for me, and i was surprised that people didn't really mention syria. in syria we had a case and it wasn't just for a few days, it was for a considerable amount of time when there was a peaceful, liberal, democratic opposition to assad and president obama, the approach was support that wasn't really support, red lines then that weren't really red lines and now we have a fight that is not really fight and what the result has been an emboldened iran and embowlenned russia and these things aren't good for democratic development. >> the question is, when does u.s. policy harm democracy. >> with a focus on syria. >> focus on syria. someone who wants to respond to that question.
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>> all i can say that you're basically putting a little bit of flesh on the bones of the argument that i was making. >> could you spell that out? >> you don't understand what i just said? i don't think it was wise not to, to allow, not to support the secular struggle in syria. i don't think that was wise. i think that was the view that was taken by panetta, by petraeus, by clinton. think it was a mistake and i don't think it was helpful and i think it helped produce the problems that we have today. there were a lot of other things that helped produce the problems that we have today. you know, i would like to see us do much, much more in ukraine. and when we don't, we open the way up. we give a green light to some very bad actors who feel they
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can take advantage, i think we really need to be looking at not just, you know, providing democracy assistance in ukraine. they need to be able to deter foreign aggression and we have to be able to help them, if we don't we're not helping democracy. >> in the back here. >> thank you. i'm leon weintraub, university of wisconsin. i would like to ask the best way to respond to efforts by authoritarian governments in russia and elsewhere that pass legislation that tries to isolate local civic society groups to say, if you so much as accept a dollar from any other outside source you have to register as an agent? obviously they're painting them somehow unpatriotic and other ways? do we attempt to fly under the radar or should we take a more active response to these
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efforts? >> i addressed that in my remarks. i said that president obama made a very good statement last month at the clinton global initiative where he laid all this out. we really need follow-up. a lot of this has to do with political support, political backup, to the activists on the ground. let me just say regarding russia, there are some people who jump to the conclusion that when putin speaks everything, that's the way it goes. the groups in russia, you know, have refused to abide by that law to register as foreign agents. they're fighting back. and for what it's worth, you know, our grants program in russia has been growing over the last number of years. it's at a peak right now. so they're not running away. the people who are running away, i regret, are a lot of the western donors who have just
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withdrawn from the situation which is a mistake. you need to reengauge with concrete support to activists on the ground and political support to push back against this kind of aggressive behavior. putin says is the what we're doing is same thing we do. it's not. it is a violation of international law. it is consistent with international law and non-government organizations in transparent way, to speak support, financial support for their work. there is nothing inconsistent with that. i think we need to push back very, very hard. >> thomas. >> as the u.s. has done. foreign agents law enacted years ago after putin's return is earlier effort from six to eight years ago and regular late ngos and restricts their access to the international community. we're not as persuasive with the government of russia as we have been with others. they have taken our advice how to organize ngo laws and
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international funding for non-profit activity. as president obama said last month on the margins in the u.n. general assembly in the meeting carl referred to it is our policy to continue to support civil society around the world especially in places where they're under pressure from their own government so we're continuing to do and year working with other governments and other international organizations to do that. so is a wide range of ways which those in russia and other countries that want to access not just funding but want to be part of the international community can do so-and-so we're working to make more and more opportunities available to them including from our embassy. there is an embassy program to provie grants to russian groups that want to work with americans and vice versa. so as carl said, the endowment continues to work there. the u.s. government continues to support civil society in russia. the only thing that changed the russians obliged us to close the u.s. aid mission so there is no
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u.s. aid mission but that doesn't mean our support of civil society in russia as diminished in any way though meriam's comment said, there are russian organizations that decided to manage their own environment in such a way they don't want to receive grants from the outside or the u.s. or other governments so they're making their own choices but when they want our support they get our support. >> any other comments? nik? okay. let's take right down here. we'll get a microphone to you. >> thank you. it's difficult not to hear the discussion of democracy, u.s. support for democracy and hear it synonymous with countries who share u.s. interests, economic interests, security interests. i know you have raised some specific countries that where that's not the case but overall democracy seems synonymous with u.s. interests. now, what do you say to country
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who is are, who are doing well like china, like russia, comparable to its past? who view, who view these democracy movements as inherently subversive, as attempting to subvert their specific national interests to one of simply u.s. interests, u.s. global hegemony. >> anyone? >> i'm happy to say something but -- >> exactly. >> i have a lot to say. >> exactly. >> let me respond briefly. i think it was, already put forward here by this panel that democratic movements and democratic countries don't always agree with u.s. policy. so that is the discussion we can have with democratic governments and democratic societies. we do that all the time. we don't automatically agree with france or canada or
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australia on every question that comes down the pike. so we're perfectly comfortable to democratic process that may lead to governments that may disagree with us on one policy question or another. it is not about u.s. hegemony in the world as you put it. it is about how people decide who they govern and how they govern. in china there is not a real discussion about public policy in china. there are no critical views of about the economic system. there is no critical views about the treatment of religious minorities or what is going on in hong kong for example. china is example of a certain kind of economic system but based in large part on political repression so that is, we don't know, we don't know if the chinese people support that system because they're not allowed to be asked or answer that question. so -- >> well they have, look, you have charter '08, signed by very
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hard, hard for people to sign a charter. over 11,000 people immediately signed that charter and main author is now in prison. what do i say to xi? i don't talk to him. the u.s. responsibility to talk with him or talk to putin, it is not my job. there are people in those countries you need to recognize. they are people who are aspiring toward a different kind of a life, a life that will give them, you know, a little bit more recognition and dignity and so forth. the only question is, whether we're going to recognize those people. it doesn't mean that our government does knot have an obligation to maintain, you know , stable relations with some of these countries, but you know what is going to happen in china is not going to be because of what obama says to xi. you have really revolutionary forces at work there.
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we'll see how successful china is, given the fact that their middle class is growing, you have geometric growth of the internet, communications. it has some very, very severe problems and i think, you know, we published a lot of articles in the journal of democracy and i think the feeling is, and larry is just back and he may talk about it today. i think you should question larry on this but he is not gloomy when it comes to the prospects for china. you know when you say russia which is doing so well, well, yeah, compared to stalin's russia it's doing great. and i really, i really think, frankly, i think it is enormous progress but actually in some ways, i mean putin, he took over 15 years ago. it was fsb taking over. they felt, they were taking over from people they considered to be traitors, feckless democrats, people who were giving up
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russian interests and they were going to assert russian interests. he's a problem. >> [inaudible] >> the democracy, look, a movement emerged, a movement emerged in december 2011, the snow revolution they called it, where they wanted something different. they wanted real elections. they wanted protection for human rights. you call it overthrow. i call it rights and democracy. they want ad more open political system. they were objecting the to fact that putin said, i'm coming back. medvedev, you move avoid. it was almost like it was an arranged, something arranged without having any consultation with the people and i think that is one of the things that stimulated the protests. he comes in and he cracked down on that. we'll see where it goes.
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gkovasky gave a speech about strategy in the future. there are alternative voices there. they are not a majority and i don't suggest they are. there are alternative voices and we'll see where russia goes. the economic crisis will deepen, no question about that, with oil prices going down, it will sharpen the contradictions and a lot of people feel that the putin regime could collapse. the question really is, is it possible, is it possible for it to be replaced by something better or will it be replaced by something worse? we don't know, but if that does happen i think we should hope that the people who offer a better alternative, are in a position to exercise some influence in that transitional situation. >> right here. >> thank you. please identify yourself as well. >> thank you for the panel and your time. >> identify yourself please?
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>> with dedevelopment agencies within the government. question for dr. hoffman and mr. thomas as well. development versus democracy, especially in africa and around the globe, when, is there a time for development, is there a time for democracy? we talk about the dynamic system we're in. how do we decide we need to focus on development versus democracy? do we implement them at the same time or in that dynamic timeline of countries especially africa but around the world as well? >> i mean i don't, i think that many people in here has written about this i don't think there is any inherent contradiction and certainly the argument we shouldn't push for democracy because it somehow will derail development, i don't see how that's, i can see certain countries like rwanda and oath
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though i can't and are -- ethiopia are developing and not democratic. there is no reason not to support it there. there is no reason not to give it assistance there. i see other countries where development along a democratic trajectory can be complicated at certain times. it can be prone to instability and core have shun. if you look at growth rates in sub-saharan africa the past decade, africa is fastest growing region in the world. some countries that have very high levels of instability, like kenya is a chaotic democracy, is growing quite rapidly. i spend a lot of time there. they have incredibly dynamic private sector that doesn't feel threaten ared or too concerned about instability there that comes around election times. even in nigeria, you talk to nigerian business people.
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they have strategies. they leave country infor a couple weeks and put money in overseas bank accounts but it is a thriving country. the notion that there is tradeoff there is one forwarded and tested in the past and i think rejected in most cases. >> tom you want -- >> point out world bank experts agree. developmental advantage to dictatorship. >> i want to use that as opportunity to elaborate on a point i made briefly in my remarks. there is obviously interrelationship between he will development and economic growth and democracy. we're looking through international media assistance, where they will inbed development strategies a support for free media. i think there will be critical for development that there are more independent, free media in countries seeking to make economic progress. without free media, without exchange of information, without accountability on corrupt governments and free information and free media can bring, you
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will not get real development. >> to state the obvious, that has been a part of u.s. development strategy support independent media through usaid programs and my office supports number of operations and training programs. so -- >> talking about inbedding it in development strategies so development institutions and agencies more ex-police officers italy support free media. not drl or the u.s. state department. >> usaid does. >> it noise at priority. imloose talking about europe and talking about the global development agencies. it is not there, tom. >> we'll bring adrianne into the conversation. >> foreign policy research institute. some of you alluded to the increased u.s. leverage in the world and diversitieses around we all talked about it this morning. my question is, what are, what, i know that, you carl, and tom
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and barak, you at the world bank, are trying to get others to do part more of the job. you said overwhelmingly are the main supporter of democracy around the world. european endowment for democracy have been created. there are others. you have been taking issue with that. my general question is, what are the prospects for and what is the methods of getting to a point where other democracies help a lot more? it is not always the case that the u.s. is the best point man. sometimes international entities, sometimes other countries will be much more credible. >> that's a good question. let me just say next month i'm off to korea where we're going to have a meeting on resighsly that subject. there is now the creation of a asia democracy network bringing together actors from all over asia. the korean government is looking outward as we look more, as we've been sort of withdrawing a little it about, they're beginning to become more active.
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they're trying to encourage. that they may interest in central asia. that is based in korea, provided by the four korean ngos. they have want a korean ned that will provide institutional resources to exercise more of a role in asia. there will be people there from the european endowment for democracy. there will be people from the u.n. democracy fund and ned family institutions ndi, and institution for private enterprise to talk about different models to encourage korea to take the step and we've done that with a lot of countries. >> several hands up. as best i can we'll take three questions then we might be running out of time. so one, two, and three. >> alan from the foreign policy research institute. number of the commentators have talked about the tradeoff between security and democracy. would i like to ask about the
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tradeoff between democracy and liberalism. in other words, if we have democratic elections tomorrow throughout the middle east and muslim brotherhood governments come to power, is that good for democracy and is it good for the united states? >> second question was right here. bring a microphone right here to this gentleman please? right here. raise your hand again. it was this gentleman right here. so can we bring the microphone to him? stand and identify yourself as well. >> hi. dominic from american university. i guess i would play off the tradeoffs. carl, you mentioned this in your point four about placing other values. economics there is a lot of emphasis on global trade, deregulation, economic growth, these things which have some economists have said contributes to wealth inequality to what
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extent does that conflict with democracy, the levels of wealth and tying it into global trade? >> last question right here. just this gentleman right here if you could stand up and identify yourself. >> my name is calvin willis. student with democracy governance program at georgetown university. my question for mr. milia but rest of you, based on the crisis of democracy at home and how we better promote that as agents of foreign policy more or less. especially in the state department where we have to maintain image of solidarity and support for u.s. policies how we run government at home. how we come home from work abroad and make ourselves better democracy and in turn, turn that around to work to our advantage abroad. thank you. >> take those three questions. >> you choose the order. >> start with the first question, question about democracy and versus liberalism in the world today.
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of course. majoritarian democracy is not liberal democracy. just an election is not democracy. when we think of democracy we think about the, not only separation of powers, the bill of rights, individual rights and so forth. and that is going to be a long and difficult struggle, a long and difficult struggle. i think the middle east is maybe the weakness of liberal values you know, in democratic, in democratic aspirations is probably most dramatic but it exists in other regions of the world. when we talk about democracy, when freedom house rates countries according to its survey it involves not just political rights but also civil rights and we, that is very, very central. so, you know, we don't accept as something which is democratic if it is majority uses it to impose
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its power. on the minority. that is what i was talking about when i was speaking in my remarks about the problem of the democratic backsliding. >> economics and trade? >> that's you, barak. >> yes. i mean i think this is, this is critical in much of part of the world where i live. i see this from south africa to egypt. it was problems of lack of, i mean i think of the bank, i think we have it right. i think it's about shared economic growth and in particular jobs. and when the contradictions between the elite and the regular people got so severe in egypt, in tunisia, perhaps not so much in other countries but that was ultimately, it was about that. so i think this is critical. i know that in much of sub-saharan africa you've got a,
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there is a very large youth bulge and most people are under the age of 30 and, the growth there is not producing jobs and this is a harbinger of a very big crisis. in fact it has been the biggest crisis in south africa for, and it is very unstable situation. so, i think that, also in the middle east. i think that also in syria. that, as large groups of reasonably, well educated but unemployed men of working age is a sure sign of instability, no question about it. >> you know sidney hook, the late philosopher once wrote an essay, gave it actually as a talk, called the social democratic prospect which he said we put fred dom first but if you have levels of inequality so great it ultimately will undermined the kind of political freedoms we cherish. so inequality is a very, very
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fundamental problem that has to be addressed. the only thing i would say i believe a free and open society with rule of law will do better managing issues of inequality. china has grown, opened a mill dill class but that only lays groundwork for political transition if they continue along this road. you will need rule of law to continue that. last point, people have right to organize and defend their interest in democracy and that can lead to greater protection for them and greater respect for their economic rights. >> we almost -- have a last comment. >> will you go back around at end? >> i think we have run out of time. i want to get to nikolas in the conversation because there are not questions directly to nikolas and as we talk about the role of democracy and development and in terms of how
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we create long-term interests. where does these issues play in terms of the short-term goals? tom also talked about balancing these very important considerations. so from your perspective as you take a more real polltic view of the world, where do you place issues like democracy and development? and to what extent, by focusing on realpolitik issues do you face backlash when the ultimate revolt comes and we're unprepared to deal with that reaction? >> what is interesting about many of the questions, it comes back to the point the ambassador raised in his opening remarks, democracy, what point of the foreign policy pyramid should it be? is it the apex or one of many issues or going whether syria, ukraine or middle east or anywhere else? we do struggle where are we going to put this and i think that coming back to this
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question of real politic, we found, that that if country is tied to us because it has existential security threat, when it changes government, when it becomes democratic, it doesn't usually abandon the with the united states. the south korean activists jailed in the 1980s, come to power later on don't repudiate the u.s. alliance. as long as north korea and the peoples republic of china exist there is a reason for south korea to remain tied, regardless of values connection but there is simply a hard security connection as well. i think understanding those dynamics is important. understanding dynamics of interest, when you have a growing middle class that has economic ties to the united states or has ties to the u.s. business economy and to what we do here those can help to smooth over when there has been transition from authoritarian to democratic regime without jeopardizing the security interests.
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in absence of those interests, in the absence of those business and security connections you can then have this sudden, reversal as you pointed out, that when a government is seen as authoritarian, if u.s. is seen as backing a authoritarian government, then when you have the transition occur you don't have the constituencies in place to maintain, to continue maintaining a good relationship with the united states. we also come back, we talked about our internal democracy and i think ultimately, perhaps in future sessions we'll get at this further, we also have a question of, you know, we are democracy ourselves and our foreign policy reflects what the american people want. the american people generally want a low-cost, intervention policy around the world. we're happy to support democratic movements. we're happy to support and give aid up to a certain. then the question is, when that costs, when those costs are hit, political leadership either has to make the case to the american people why this matters, why you have to sacrifice, or, political
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leadership backs away, okay, the costs are too high now so we're not going to do it. syria was a great question of. that we could have support ad movement there but there were costs involved and i don't know that people are willing to pay those cost, or at least to justify that into a, into a domestic audience. given we are a democracy, our foreign policy can't, ultimately cops back to that question as well. the american people get the final vote and they will determine what mix of values, what mix of realpolitik and values and promotion of democracy and i think americans would like to do both but again when they come into conflict any i think they end up with debate. >> 30 seconds. >> boots on the ground or doing something? there is something in between. >> of course there is something in between. i'm not saying there is either or. >> suppose the choice is clearly to the american people. >> i think job of political leadership to do that. >> i think we can thank all of
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our speakers for a very interesting panel. and thank you all for coming. we're going to take a 10-minute break. we'll resume here at 11:00. punctually. please, ten minutes. [inaudible conversations]. >> now the british house of commons defense committee holds a hearing on the u.k.'s response
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to combating the threat posed by isis in iraq and sire why. during the second meeting called an evidence session, they will hear from the official from the naval postgraduate school, former deputy supreme allied commander for europe and former defense staff of the british army. that will be moments away with live coverage here on c-span2. again we are waiting for the start of a british house of commons defense committee hearing on the u.k.'s response to combating the threat posed by
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isis in iraq and syria. should get underway in just a moment here. we'll have live coverage of it for you on c-span2 when it starts. while we wait, discussion on early voting from this morning's "washington journal." >> host: early voters, there are over two million of you, joining us on the phone to talk about this, michael mcdonald, associate professor at the university of florida. studying this election, elect is the website. professor mcdonald, are you doing a real, real time rally, excuse me, real-time tally of early voting on your website? >> guest: well, it comes close. we do lag a little bit because election officials have to process ballots and some ballots may be in the mail still but as of when, election officials report the numbers, i try and get the numbers updated as soon as i can. so right now, as of this morning we're looking at over 2.5 million people have already voted in this election.
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>> host: do you see some trend already? >> guest: we're seeing high turnout at least among early vote in key senate battleground states. particularly iowa is of much interest. we already passed the halfway mark of early voting compared tv 2010 in iowa and that is five days earlier than it occurred i. 2010. so we're on pace in iowa to have somewhere, maybe around 400,000 or so people vote on prior toma the election which will be a record for midterm election in that state. >> host: so does this mean then that this can help with predictions of how the election will turn out? >> guest: it can and can't. there is so much activity going on. one of the things that ist driving this early voting in a state like iowa is both the democrats and republicans have invested very heavily in voter mobilization. the democrats have something called the bani k street h
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project, which is early voter and election day mobilization project that uses sophisticatedr voter targeting to turn outvo theirte the republicans have been lagging behind this from the democrats but they're trying to play catch-up. so americans for prosperity invested $125 million doingin voter mobilization to kick-start what the republicans see as disadvantage relative to democrats. it is paying off. we see both parties have higher early vote turnout than they did in 2010. democrats are actually doing better. so republicans have invested money and they're catching up more with the democrats but right now the democrats still lead in iowa. so things have changed quite a bit. i hesitate to say right now because we still have a couple of more weeks to go as to what it tells us who's ahead but what i can say that turnout will be high in iowa and likely, what i'm seeing here is that nothing
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that contradict what is the polls are saying which it is going to be a close race. >> host: all right. so iowa is not the only state. how many other states have early voting and what impact is it having on this election cycle? >> guest: virtually all states have some form of early voting. some states require excuse to cast an absentee ballot. it is about a quarter or so of the states still have absentee ballot excuse required early voting. the other states have adopted much more liberal laws in terms of early voting from anywhere from no excuse absentee balloting which is something minnesota adopted for this election, to all mail ballot voting which is something that colorado adopted for this election to in-person early voting which is number of states have. in fact texas was the first state that had in-person early voting. so there is a broad range of different types of early voting out there. i tend to put them all under onf rubric of saying it is just earlyll voting even though
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election officials would quibble about that characterization as to how their voters vote. >> host: are more people participating in early voting than in years past and why? >> guest: yes. so part of, there are a couple reasons here for the upward trend we see in early voting. we see it both in presidential elections where we see higher volume of early voting and midterm elections we see a little less, still in both presidential and midterm we've been on upwards trajectory. in 2010, 25% of the votes were cast prior to election day. we're probably looking somewhere, 27, 28% of the votes will be cast prior to election day. as i mentioned there will beto some states out there where there is large volume because oregon or washington or colorado, run all mail ballot elections. in colorado, it is a state that moved, to having all mail ballov elections. as i mentioned, minnesota now has, no fault absentee voting. one of the reasons why we're
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seeing more early voting that states are adopting more m permissive early voting laws. that is one part of it. the other part, once you have a state that evers early voting people tende to like voting that method. theyeo like convenience of voti. getting it out of the way whenen they feel comfortable about voting. so once you adopt a more permissive early voting regime more and more people tend to use the early voting as part of their early voting experience. finally what we have is the both political parties invested very heavily in early voting activities. we've got on top of those two things yet the parties pushing more and more people into voting early. so all of those things together have been driving up the number of people who are voting prior to election day. >> host: the website is you can go to it and see numbers of early voters. michael mcdonald saying you have over two million, almost 2.5, is that right, michael mcdonald, so far?
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>> guest: we're over 2.5. i wouldn't be surprised by end of the day we're nearing 3 million to document. >> host: when you go to theho website, do you break down what trend you're seeing, what trendt are breaking toward state lines? >> guest: yes. within some states are not only reporting raw number of early votes but some additional demographic information and party registration. that information gives us some clues as to the state of the race. what is changing and what will change over this week and next week, as states adopt, states move to in-person early voting, what you see, is many people like in-person early voting so the numbers are really rocketing up very quickly now that we have states that moved to early voting. by the end of the week i would expect four to five million at least people have voted. >> host: go through other key states. north carolina, what is happening there with early voting? >> guest: north carolina is a state right now doing mail
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balloting only. the state legislature had changed the early voting such that there would be only one week. so in the past we would have in-person early voting going on right now. now it will be next week. democrats have been very concerned about the reduction of early voting days, there are expanded hours. we'll have 97% of the hours next week that we had two years, two years ago when we had two weeks of early voting. more hours on the weekend and more hours in the evenings. that may make it more conveniens for people to vote. i'm not sure what effect will be but we still have to wait next week what will happen with the in-person early vote. right now we have mail ballots. we have 17,000 insofar. neck-and-neck race between democrats and republicans. republicans just passed democrats this morning. in the update this morning they passed it which is good news for republicans but bad news, usually they're leading democrats by more than 10 percentage points in party registration in the state. they still have to catch up a
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little bit where they typically are in a midterm election. >> host: let's talk about georgia. in-person early voting started this week in georgia. you wrote in the "huffington post" this week, one week, 72.5% of georgians cast in-person vote and 27.5 cast a mail ballot. >> update from yesterday we're at 80% of the folks cast early vote. at end of the day all the in-person early voting person will be up 90% of the votes wily be cast in person early. these votes are coming in very quickly now in georgia. we have over 160,000 people who have voted in we don't have party registration in georgia. we have race that i can get from the voter registration file and make some, similar sort of calculations where we think the electorate stand and it looks as though the democrats are hitting
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about what they hoped to have a electorate in georgia in terms of race. right now, about 68% of the, people who have voted so far are white and so, 32% are non-white. we, that just puts, democrats need to have a bare victory. looks like that georgia is ahi state that it is very close and it is reflective of what we're seeing in the polls in the state. >> host: if you want to dig down into these numbers more, go to the website, elect michael mcdonald, associate professor at university of florida. thank you for your time. >> guest: you're welcome. thanks for talking. >> again, starting shortly we'll go live to london for a hearing with the british defense committee. they're meeting today to discuss the u.k.'s response to isis in iraq and syria. the independent is reporting today, the british aircraft have
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been ready for flights over syria in the war against isis. armed reaper drones which were moved from afghanistan will be used in missions in the heartland of islamist extremist. the independent learned this british airstrikes against isis after a come vote authorizing with military authorization in iraq, and david cameron would seek second confirmation from mps. the government says there is no permission to carry out reconnaissance flight or armed action, the latter as matter of national security such as rescue of british hostages held by isis. we expect to hear more in the meeting expected to begin here shortly live on c-span2. campaign 2014, bringing you more than 100 debates for the control of congress here on c-span. here's a look at some of the montana senate debate which took place last night. >> you know when our founding
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fathers wrote our founding documents, they did not ever intend for corporations to be running the show here. they absolutely intended for teachers and electricians and plumbers to be making decisions that affect is and our citizen legislature and i have found in meeting mon tannians. they're a little afraid of being part of the process. they don't think they're not smart enough to do it or have the right background. the reason i stepped up to the plate to prove you do not have to be a silver spoon-fed politician, a career politician, to represent working families and that the best person to represent workers in this state is one of us. >> follow up to that with amanda. i think we are getting to your experience. do you think you have the experience to represent the state in the u.s. senate with one year in the house of representatives and your background as a high school teacher? >> absolutely.
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i'm sure by now most folks have read in their local paper about my background, growing up in poverty right here in billings and the adversity that i experienced. most people know that i have dedicated my life to education because it is the pathway to overcoming the adversity that i have experienced. the experiences that i have had in a working class family in the state of montana absolutely make me the best person to be our voice in the united states senate. >> congressman dane? >> representative and i agree we need a more citizen type legislature serving us back in washington. we need more men and women with real world experience bringing that back, taking skills learned in the private sector outside of washington to lead the country. growing up in bozeman, my dad is billings senior bronc. my grandmother lived in the same home on avenue c until she
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pasted away a few years ago. i watched my mom start a construction business from nothing. we moved in 10 different houses in bozeman, staying ahead of the bank. i put myself through college at montana state university in engineering. i think we need people with experience growing jobs, growing businesses. we talk about jobs. i'm only candidate on the stage who has been out there created hundreds of good high-paying jobs here in montana. >> quick rebuttal, amanda. >> i have to apologize to all of the teachers out there for what you just heard, that teachers are also very important job creators in our state and in our country. >> our campaign 2014 coverage continues with a week full of debates. tonight at 9:00 on c-span, the south carolina governors debate between five candidates, governor nikki haley, vincent shaheen, independent tom urban, independent steve french and
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independent morgan bruce reeves. thursday night, live 8:00 eastern, iowan fourth district debate with u.s. representative steve king and democrat jim maure. more than 100 debates for the control of congress. we're now live in london for a hearing with the british defense committee. they're meeting today to discuss the u.k. response to isis in iraq and syria. should get underway in just a second. >> we will look at the second round of evidence on reports on our enchoirry into iraq and syria and we're very lucky to have with us today dr. douglas porch. dr. porch for those that don't know him, is one of the most distinguished u.s. academics on the subject of military strategy and counterinsurgency. he is currently the distinguished professor at the naval postgraduate school in monterey, california.
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he was professor of strategy at naval war college in newport, rhode island. taught at united states marine corps university in quantico and u.s. army war college as well as the navy defense college in rome. his most recent book, is specifically on counterinsurgency which is essential to our inquiry because all these -- weeks around the ground and surge and what general petraeus's attempt in 2006 and 2009 with the situation in iraq. welcome doctor porch. to begin, just wondered what you felt are the options which are potentially available to the international coalition and its partners in response to the current crisis in iraq and syria and which you think would be most effective? >> okay. now let me say two things at the
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outset. first, disclaimer. i am now retired from u.s. government service. so what i say is, my own opinion and not the opinion of the naval postgraduate school or department of navy or department of defense. from the second thing i think i have to point out, i'm not a middle east expert. i do military strategy, military history. that's my area of expertise. so i think you should keep that in mind. but, obviously since we've been involved a lot in iraq and afghanistan and this, my students, who were midlevel officers, that is, 0-3s and o-4s and one of the motivations writing my book and coming back from these two place, telling me, sir, this stuff doesn't work. i also lost two students to
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green on blue as they called it in afghanistan. i have seen their marriages collapse as a result of repeated deemployments in these areas, their frustrations. so i've sort of vicariously lived their experience and their traumas as they have seen friend and colleagues, sort of evaporated in ie dell. attacks and various other things. so, this is, this is my motivation for this. and you know, they sort of come to me and we talk about this in class. i teach a stability and reconstruction class from sort of historical perspective and you know, there are two questions. we did this in germany and japan after world war ii, why can't we do it now? why doesn't it work? why can't we do a marshall plan for afghanistan? so these are some of the yes, sir questions that have come up. and why if the british were so
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successful in places like malaria, why can't we do this -- malaysia. this is sort of where i was coming from. and looking at this historically and challenging the historical record, how successful were they? i believe you spent a lot of time in malaya. why were the british successful? why did they win? when does one win insurgency. does one win with hearts and minds? so my book was an attempt to look how western democracyies fight of what caldwell called small wars. i concluded there are a lost sacrifices one has to make in this. that if you're going to be successful, you've either got to be extraordinarily brutal and therefore you pay a huge price in terms of civil military relations. and military professionalism.
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these small wars actually erode military professionalism in many respects because the insurgent is not regarded as a lawful combatant. and because he is not a lawful combatant or she, in this case they can be treated however. we have hola, we have the battle algiers, we have my lai, and abu ghraib. we have atrocities are sown into the fabric of counterinsurgencies. that was where i was coming from. now what you have got to do to be successful in my opinion is to have the right political environment to succeed. >> dr. porch, sorry, is it possible to focus quite hard at moments on iraq and maybe we could expand on what your sense is of general petraeus's surge? >> general petraeus was fortunate in many respects.
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his timing was impeccable. al qaeda had overplayed its hand in anbar province. he, al qaeda had annoyed the tribes, many of them. so that when petraeus arrived with the surge, some say that it was petraeus who imposed this. others, other interpretations it was actually the people on the ground who understood there was a, there was an opportunity here to sort of flip the tribes much the tribes were looking for a protector. so what in effect we did was a typical colonial tactic. you take the minorities and you arm the minorities, so they can protect themselves. and i'm sure, i imagined what the sunnis thought was that they were going to get protected like the kurds and so therefore we managed to flip them, temporarily. we see how ephemeral that tactical success was. as soon as, as soon as we walk out, then the whole situation
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deteriorates. >> why did it prove to be so ephemeral? >> well, because the government, because these people weren't detected. so the government attacks them, kills many tribal leaders who were loyal, armed by the united states. so, in essence what's been happening is the failure of democracy in the middle east. i mean, since the beginning of the colonial state, the postcolonial state in the middle east, we had such faith and hopes for democracy and it just, the faux republics have disappeared. democracy building in iraq did not work. >> now we have people saying, fast forward to 2014, we have people saying what we need to do is we need to get people in to clear, hold and build the sunni areas of iraq. that could be anybody. sometimes people talk about the kurds. sometimes they talk about the iraqi army. sometimes they talk about our
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neighbors and sometimes talk about the international coalition doing it. general idea, go into isil-hold territory you clear and build. does this seem to be a strategy? >> that is grand at that time tick and but it is not a strategy, right? what increasingly happened, sunni identity, has focused or become identified with anti-shism and in this case anti-earn westerners, specifically anti-americanism. who will be your local ally? at the will be a local thug, maybe, could can get some temporary advantage out of that. there will not be any great loyalty unless you we're going to sort of reconfigure the middle east. and create a sunni state in, what is it eastern syria and western iraq. that might be a possibility. but right now you know, the
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sunnis feel encircled and isil or isis, however you want to call it, is the most radical movement and they, they have taken the lead. they are the protectors. now some people think obviously sunnis, not all sunnis agree with them, but right now i would argue they probably have legitimacy. >> before i hand off to my colleagues, there are people who say what we need to do is get boots on the ground and we need to go face-to-face with the enemy. does this seem like a sensible strategy? >> so what? what are you going to fight? they will start putting ieds everywhere. you will not have support from local population. what will happen, i can tell you, my students say, this language and culture, as soon as i lose two of my guys, i don't care about hearts and minds. it is people who are hiding these bad guys and we're going to take them out and we don't really care about that. so that is going to make the situation worse. it will lead to more atrocities
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in my opinion. that is what we're going to see. boots on the ground will not get you anywhere. you have to build a viable political structure. war is politics. the problem with coin, its tactics in search of a strategy. i don't see a strategy. international coalition is not a strategy. >> what will it achieve? what the coalition is doing at the moment? >> every time we intervened since jimmy carter in the 1980s we make the situation force. we create power vacuums, we alienate people and create ungoverned spaces. we're sort of living consequences in my opinion of the succession of policies. i think the trendlines for the middle east, for democracy in the middle east are dead. so you have to say, what are we trying to achieve there? what is going to be of the end state? are we going to rebuild syria?
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we couldn't rebuild iraq successfully in any case. we built it as a shia state in essence. so you got ruffle 20% of the population feels they don't have any stake in that country anymore. if we put boots on the ground, how is that going to be perceived? well, we're there in support of assad, who is a shia and in support of iran in support of whoever replaces maliki. in other words we'll be there in the support of the shias. how much cooperation are we going to get from the local sunnis? i ask the question. i think very little again. i'm not an expert on this area but just seeing the trendlines i wouldn't think it was good. you will get a lot of people killed in my opinion, not just western soldiers but you will get a lost iraqis killed as well. sunnis killed as well. >> but currently the strategy is not to put boots on the ground. >> yeah. i don't -- we're going to bomb.
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what does bombing do? it creates collateral damage. radicalizes population further. it legitimizes isil, isis. it probably encourages foreign fighters to become involved here. is what i imagine and radicalizes maybe indigenous populations, islamic populations. a some, a few in this country in the united states, in france, elsewhere. . .
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>> it's reached its extreme limit. it can't go north into turkey, it's not going to take baghdad because there's plenty of shia militias that are going to defend baghdad. it's not going to overthrow assad. so they're dead, right? where's it going to go? there is a sunni area that's got a few low grade oil wells. it makes a little bit of money, but i would say, you know, one of things you may want to think about is do nothing. >> okay. it's jensen and jeffrey, sorry. >> i'm a little puzzled. one of the questions is there's a humanitarian catastrophe occurring across a large swath of the region that these people, isis, are, without question,
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pressing forward. they may not make baghdad, you're absolutely right, and kobani would be a bit of a disaster if they were to take it, and people are being persecuted for their beliefs and their religion. are you really saying that as a civilized western nation we should basically do nothing at all and hope politics should sort it out? is that broadly your thesis? is. >> well, i think you should think about that as an option. i mean, there are a lot of places we're doing nothing. africa, for instance. >> do nothing -- one bad thing doesn't mean we do nothing for all bad things. >> well, but then what can you actually do there? what are you going to accomplish by intervening? >> i'm asking a question. >> you are asking a question, i think you're being a bit unfair in doing that. if, and i'm trying to go around, if you accept the premise that there are some wicked things occurring -- >> i agree with that. >> -- and seriously a complete basketcase, isis is doing,
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iraq's a basketcase, not even thinking about libya and elsewhere, there is a perfectly legitimate quasi-pacifist argument that would say warfare achieves nothing, we can't see our boys being brought back in body bags, therefore, let's do nothing and hope the united nations and politics will sort it out. i'm paraphrasing your views disgracefully, but perhaps the argument if that's one which you're advancing, or are you simply saying -- i'm trying to get at what you are proposing. >> well, war is politics. you've got to have a viable political goal. i don't see a viable political goal. if you don't have a viable political goal, why would you throw british and american soldier into that situation that they can't accomplish anything? that's my point. i would never say war can accomplish nothing. i'm all for -- [inaudible] and these people, but i don't, you know, what's your goal? what's the center of gravity? what do we take?
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that's going to change the dynamic of that situation? i mean, that's why i say you have to ask that question, what's the end state? because if you can't envision an end state, then why commit troops? >> jeffrey. >> doctor, the u.k. governments has hired a private company to train the peshmerga in bomb disposal, and in the past you've been critical of the use of private companies more such contracts. -- for such contracts. in the context of military establishment that is being downsized in many cups, what is -- in many countries, what is your current view on the use of private companies in such a realm? >> well, i mean, it seems very -- [inaudible] and maybe using private companies to teach mine clearing is perfectly all right.
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the experience that the united states had in iraq and afghanistan was fairly disastrous. these men were out of control in most cases. they were not subject to local laws. we had several atrocities that were committed by private contractors exercising what, you know, when i was in the u.s. army we called at the time of vietnam we called reconnaissance five-five, you start striving down the road -- driving down the road and start shooting to the sidessed -- sides and hope that would trigger the ambush. that's one problem. another problem is they cost a lot of money. a third problem is when they're trained up, when they train up indigenous soldiers, then they are siphoned off to do things like work for private contractors themselves.
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i mean, i know karzai at one point wanted to kick them out because between desertion and defection by private contractors, the best police and soldiers that afghanistan had were basically defecting. so the army had to be rebuilt all the time because of this. so i don't think that's a good use of one's money. in my opinion. it has a bad track record. >> just -- [inaudible] >> on this report very briefly, the don't intervene option, surely on your assumption that actually isil's expansionism is at an end. now, how can we be -- given the paucity of iraq's own army and
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the potential vulnerability of ball dad itself? >> well, of course, one can never be certain. but everybody treats isil like it's the -- [inaudible] it's not even the viet cong. these are guys running around in pickup trucks, right? >> but we're beating -- [inaudible] the official army hands down. >> well, again, we haven't got to the subject yet, but one is security assistance. and i wrote an article about that and how, you know, the sort of failure of security assistance meaning training up indigenous armies, foreign legions and how this has not worked in modeling, it has not worked well in central africa, it didn't work in vietnam. the only place that it worked particularly well has been in colombia. and in the united states, there's this great search how do we take the colombian small footprint model and transition it to another place. now, i would argue just like the marshall plan or post-world war
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ii rebuilding of germany and japan, these are -- colombia succeeded in contingent circumstances. i mean, we've been -- it's, you don't have a clash of civilizations here, right? you've got a very catholic, christian country that has been cooperating with the united states since 1942, i believe, to protect the panama canal when we thought that was under attack by the japanese. they have a good military that was demoralized, they had a president, whatever you think about uribes' politics, he fired a lot of generals, and he got strategy, and he imposed a strategy on his military. that was ultimately very successful. now, are you going to have those conditions in these other countries? you're not going to get it in mali, you're not going to get it in libya, and so i think it's folly to think that there is a model that you can transition from one area to another.
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again, i've got -- i had a number of my students who were involved in security assistance in all of these places, and they said, well, you know, you don't really know what the local hierarchy is. i mean, just because the guy says he's a general doesn't mean that people are obeying him because you have all these sort of sub, you know, tribal hierarchies beneath it. and then they don't use equipment properly. and, basically, you're working -- and this gets back to the, to the question about contractors -- you really work on a very low tactical level. in militaries they really need to be reformed from the top down, and the approach is often to reform them from the bottom up. and this doesn't work well because, you know, tactical proficiency in the sort of operational vacuum leads to all sorts of problems, you know? one of the things i did at the
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naval postgraduate school was regional seminars for our foreign area officers, and these are officers that are defense attaches, assistants, they learn languages and all that sort of thing. and i remember one of them said, a lieutenant colonel in an unnamed african country, said i just can't sleep at night because i know i'm training an army that's preying on its own people. >> thank you. dr. porch, we are talking here of the consequence of the illegal force invading iraq, and we're having to deal with those consequences. and -- [inaudible] two christian gentlemen, apparently. and i wonder if we could just -- could i just ask, you in biblical terms are suggesting we should walk by on the other side whereas i would ask you should we not be the good samaritan to
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all these people who are in danger, as we speak, of being obliterated? >> okay. why are we in the middle east? what is the national interest of britain and the united states to be in the middle east? well, initially, it's to spread democracy, right? this is what we were going to do when we invaded iraq. that hasn't worked. now the mantra is that, well, we have to protect its energy security. well, energy security environment has changed radically now, and we have to sort of ask ourselves do we really need the middle east anymore? i mean, what purpose does it serve? now we're fracking, now with natural gas, with all these other sources of energy, maybe the middle east is not that important? maybe we can sort of walk away from it? if we do that, then we have to say, all right, then what do we have to prepare for? one of the things we have to prepare for in the short term
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are disruptions of energy supplies until we get our fracks or whatever else we -- fracking or whatever else we want to do, prepare for humanitarian relief because there's already been lots of bad stuff that's happened. so, you know, prepare for that. and that, it seems to me, would be, would be one of the things we could do from the christian perspective or the humanitarian perspective. and then work politically with allies in the region to try to stabilize the place. maybe through turkey, but turkey, i noticed they let the peshmerga through today to defend the town in the north, kobani, whatever it's called. but, i mean, there's so many agendas in the middle east. the sunni/shia one is only one. you've got the gulf states have their own agendas, turkey is going to demand a huge price. it's, and all of these things
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are going to change. they can flip overnight. so how do you even plan a political advantage? and you put your soldiers in the middle of that? >> do we have a moral obligation? >> i think we have -- again, i'm speaking personally -- i think we have a moral obligation to do what we can do. i don't think we have a moral obligation to do what, to accomplish what we cannot accomplish. i think we have a moral obligation to our p own people and our own soldiers first, and i think there's a strong moral argument to say don't put them in a situation in which they will get killed or they will have to commit atrocities. because all of this is going to come home, right? it's going to come home in the periphery, the -- you're going to have military atrocities, degradations of -- [inaudible] degradation of military professionalism, you're going to have to strengthen the surveillance state, you're going to have mill tarrization of the
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police. this is what you're going to have if you do this. >> coming home, of course, from a british perspective is estimated there are 500 british citizens who are, should be charged with treason who are currently fighting in what is called -- i don't really want to give it the title, the islamic state in iraq. which i think gives it a status which it doesn't warrant because they are terrorists. but that's -- they are there fighting against british interests, arguably. and, of course, if this continues, they may wish to come home, be in the united kingdom. where just possibly they might wish to continue their terrorism and atrocities in mainland
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britain. so don't you think britain has a -- >> all i'm saying -- >> -- has a role to play? >> all i'm saying is that you risk swelling the numbers of those people if you intervene. that would be my suggestion. >> can i just, you did mention turkey. that's a particular area i'd like to pursue, if i may. to what extent will turkey's support or perhaps more accurately lack of support impact on the capacity to degrade and destroy the terrorist forces? >> well, again, you've got me out of my depth here. i am certainly no turkish expert, and i have no insight into erdogan's mind. but we know he hates assad. and if we're going to intervene in syria, presumably it's to reinforce some sort of shia-assad regime. and so that's going to be one way we'll have difference of opinion.
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obviously, you are the can key can provide bases disturb you are the can key can provide bases -- obviously, turkey can provide bases, one of my questions was what exactly were you guys thinking of lawrence of arabia to dismantle the ottoman empire? i mean, it's looking pretty good now. we're almost getting nostalgic for this. but i really, i mean, if he's got a lot of leverage on us, and what will he demand in return for his cooperation? that's my question. >> dr. porch, you've made it clear that, at least if i understand you right, that the u.k. should not join the u.s. and the american allies in carrying out airstrike in syria. >> i understand there are domestic political pressures to do something and that, you know, i mean, you all are politicians. politicians have to make compromises, and they have to make, you know, political choices; political choices in the short term and in the long
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term. i can understand there are pressures to do something. and bombing is the easy thing to do, or drones is the easy thing to do. but it's hubristicn my point of view. it will escalate the situation, you know, without any viable political end in sight. >> my last question, dr. porch, is it has been suggested that if the terrorist group isil is depleted, that they would be replaced by something worse, although i don't know what could with be worse. and if so, what should be the international coalition's strategy? and is it flexible enough to take on a new threat should the terrorists in their current form be defeated? >> well, al-qaeda emerges in whatever form.
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isil is the latest one. wherever a rebellion against a shia regime. they're always going to appear. you've always also got to realize that the middle east is one of the most wired regions in the world. i mean, there's no al-jazeera for latin america, for instance. but al-jazeera, in way, has played the role of unifying islamic, i would say, public opinion, certainly arab public opinion from morocco to the far east. and any of these rebellions are presented as justified popular uprisings. and they're going to get support all over the region. >> that's interesting. thank you very much. >> briefly. >> at the risk from possible -- [inaudible] what you did mention was -- [inaudible]
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don't you think it's a legitimate reason to take action against isil to prevent -- [inaudible] >> well, there is a difference of opinion about what threat that poses to homeland, both yours and mine. one argument would be that the threat is inflated, that intelligence organizations now have a vested interest in -- [inaudible] now, the threat could certainly be there. i'm just saying that is one of the arguments. on the other hand, i think we have intelligence services in both of our countries that are pretty proficient, i would argue, in tracking this down. now, and that if you intervene, you're actually going to have more threats, not less. that would be my answer. >> before we let you go, return to the -- [inaudible] the basic model on how to deal
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with the predecessor -- [inaudible] which was al-qaeda in iraq go in, clear, surge, hold, build. the position that's now being proposed seems to be, from your precedent, that you contain isil and you somehow create the space or the time for the iraqi state to get in there and clear, hold, build and create these effective, legitimate, credible state structures, and the iraqi army gets into most of them, gets into anbar and somehow turns the situation around. how can i characterize that properly, and what would be your analysis of that theory? >> i would think that's the best case scenario. do i think that's going to happen? no. we've already seen how the shia regime handles things. other thing is like in afghanistan, you're going to have a safe harbor across the
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border in syria, whatever you want to call it. it's just like the taliban in pakistan, you can't get at them. they're going to continue to stable aize. and then what are you going to do, are you going to be like the french in algeria where you invade tunisia because you've got the fln across the border? i mean, it just expands. it doesn't stop. that's the trouble. these things keep escalating. at some point -- i think this is the moral question -- [inaudible] otherwise we're in for a lot of money, a lot of lives lost and a lot of treasure expended, in my opinion. >> thank you, dr. porch. brief point before our next witness --
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>> committee is fortunate to have, again, general -- [inaudible] who's most recently served as the allied commander but as otherwise had a very distinguished career in which he has in kosovo, in iraq, indeed, in -- [inaudible] combat british military and is with us today to provide a perspective of a very, very recently retired general. when did you formally leave the military? >> formally left on the 7th of august. >> very recently, in fact. i'm going to hand it to my colleague, derek -- [inaudible] >> i just ask, you've been
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critical of the government's strategy. i'd like to sort of put a question to you in two parts. do you -- are you -- would you be confident that the current trajectory of the military is clear and confident about what the government's strategy is in iraq on isil? i mean, answering that question, do you believe that actually whatever that may be, that that could be attained by airstrikes alone? >> i can't answer for the current everybodying military as to whether -- serving military as to whether they are clear or not. >> i'm asking you what you think. >> if you're asking me whether i think this is a credible and sensible strategy which is going to achieve a policy, i think i'd start by looking to define the policy -- >> yes. >> i think we have seen at least on two occasions in sunday
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papers articles written by both the prime minister and the foreign secretary highlighting a threat that isil causes in fatherly apocalyptic terms and -- fairly apocalyptic terms and excising them from the face of the earth or words to that effect, i paraphrase that. now, if that is the case and that is the government policy, then i don't think that the strategy, such as it is, is going to achieve that. >> why not? >> because i think it's -- our strategy is about integrating ends, ways and means in the pursuit of policy, and i quote from the pamphlet on strategy. [laughter] the policy needs to be clearer, the ends need to be clarified, the problem needs to be scoped. you then need to determine how you are going to resolve the problem, and then you need to
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allocate means to achieve that. and that means putting your money where your mouth is, in a sense. and what we've seen, i'm afraid, from the government is the degree of what i've described as gesture strategy. a lot of noise about the nature of the problem, but actually precious little in terms of resolving the problem. because if you go back, to example, to the protection of the yazidis back in august, what did we see? a lot of noise about protecting yazidis, deployment of two c-130s to drop relief supplies. well, you don't protect people by dropping relief op top of them, and the results of that are plain to see. >> i said -- [inaudible] be the military command taking decisions, but i'm trying to push you a little further because i think you partly answered it. you've said what the government, prime minister and foreign secretary have said, but do you see a strategy? i'm trying to pin you down to be a little bit more succinct.
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>> well, as i think i said, i mean, a strategy -- >> you said objectives for strategies. >> well, i don't see a strategy. >> right. >> because a strategy requires the application of not just military force, your previous interviewee, dr. porch, stressed the importance of politics. i absolutely sanction that. but it's about political, diplomatic, economic, humanitarian as well as military in order to achieve the aims of policy, and i don't think we see that. >> on what -- [inaudible] put the military in terms of trying to do their job? >> well, if you, if you ask the military to take the lead in a political vacuum, you're asking for problems because there is no such thing as a purely military solution. and you can't expect the military to apply force without
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the other levers of power being applied at the same time. so if that is your strategy, it's going to fail. >> now, a number of distinguished of our armed forces have said, you know, this will not work without ground forces. would you like to comment on that? >> yes -- >> public strategy in the first place. >> if you have, if you have a threat and if you take the threat posed by isil which is potentially looking at defeating and undermining a state in the middle east, iraq, given the collapse of the iraqi armed forces back in june and, frankly, they don't seem to have got withen much better -- gotten much better since then, the only way you're going to stop that if that's what you're going to do -- in other words, your policy -- is to apply military force. and you can't apply partial
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military force what we're seeing at the moment is dribbling. politically expedient air power. and if you're serious about it, you've got to be prepared to apply all the levers of military power from the air, if necessary, from the sea and, in necessary, on the ground. and i would have thought that if you're serious about dealing with eye -- isil, your first step is to try and do what you can to build up the capability of regional powers to deal with it themselves. because we all know the challenges of getting engaged in the middle east. but with it may be you don't have time to do that. it may be that your national interests say that you've got to stop them earlier, you don't have the time to build up a regional capacity, so you might have to deploy force yourself. but i think the capacity building point is the keyish hue to be looking at. and you don't build capacity in armies unless you are prepared
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to get on the ground and do it alongside. and i think the afghanistan example is a very good example of where capacity has been built up in line with strategy, it's been built from the bottom up, and i think it's a great credit, actually, that isaf by the end of the mission at the end of this year will be able to say, nato will be able to say that it has built a capable and adequately capable afghanistan defense force. but that's required significant cost, significant expenditure and significant expense of both blood and treasure. and that's what it takes. you can't just do, you can't stand up, expect private security companies to do a little bit of ead training and call that capacity building. >> following on that very important point you just made, what went wrong with the iraqi armed forces then? >> well, i repeat -- >> and were you surprised? >> well, i mean, i saw one, one
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specific area. in my view, and i think i've certainly said this to the inquiry and it was certainly in my report, i think we adopted a hands-off approach to training the iraqi army. i think we adopted an approach that was excessively risk averse. we did not build up a relationship of trust. we did not train alongside, live alongside and, if necessary, fight alongside the iraqi. we stood off at a divisional level and expected them to do it. and be, certainly, the results were plain to see when the iraqis, some iraqi formations were put into the fight in baghdad in 2006. that said, i think the americans did a much better job because they were prepared to engage and get stuck alongside the iraqi army on the ground and did extremely well. roll forward a bit into my last experience of working alongside the iraqis was deputy --
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[inaudible] when the very small nato training mission working alongside the americans back this 2010, 2011 was actually achieving a significant effect in professionalizing the iraqi army through training in officer cadet schools, staff colleges, mentoring senior officers. the training mission was training iraqi oil police and the like, and that was having a significant impact on the iraqi army, and through that, the state of iraq. of course, that ended in 2011. >> what's your view about the fighting capability of isil? because dr. porch suggested that it was sort of a group of, groups of fighters which wasn't really an army and really, you know, do we want to be spending a ground force in against them and stirring up a hornet's nest? >> well, i don't -- i haven't seen the intelligence assessments of isil, and i know about as much as -- but the key point here is isil only needs to
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be were one bullet better than s enemy, and it's clearly one billion better than the iraqis. now, the fact you have a jihadist movement which has managed to equip itself with the means and capabilities of a national army through equipment captured from the iraqi army, so it's got tanks, it's got or armored vehicles -- it's got armored vehicles, it's got guns and, therefore, you need the capabilities to deal with those. now, i'm sure in terms of professionalism, procedures, the like, it would be absolutely no match for a well equipped western army. but the fact is it's probably going to be better than the iraqi army it's up against. >> [inaudible] >> general, if i understood your thesis correctly, mainly that if the policy was laid out as far as to remove the cancer of isil and requiring the strategy of limited airstrikes against iraq
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would not achieve it. and in order to achieve that policy, the strategy would have to be very much more extensive use of the military levers -- [inaudible] as you describe. that's quite a sense bl thesis. politically, of course, the latter is extraordinarily unlikely. there will not be an all-out war against isil with british forces there. given that's the case, what should the policy be? >> well, you need to ask the policymakers that. i'm not here as a policymaker, i'm here as an ex-professional soldier, and my military recommendation is if you want to destroy isil, you go do it properly. >> okay. i say, of course, we can't do that -- >> that's a political judgment. >> of course it's a political judgment, but there's an apex between policies and, i mean, you know, the previous witness, broadly speaking, i think i'm not misquoting him, and you were in the room at the time, i think -- [inaudible] i think given the reality of
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politics, namely we can't have all-out war in iraq or syria involving british, american troops at this stage at least, are you not advocating broadly the same thing? namely because we can't do that, the current -- [inaudible] use of limited airstrikes in iraq are pointless and, therefore, we should do nothing? is that -- >> no. i think at the very least we should do whatever possible to build up capability with the iraqi army and whatever anti-assad forces in syria that we deem might be suitable to be built up into a force capable of taking on isil. >> [inaudible] >> general, you sort of answered the second sort of part of question i was just about to ask which is if we are going to train people to do things, and whether that means instructing them and putting them in jordan or whatever we do or whether we do stuff in country or whether we don't, trying to help them
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gairntion regain the capacity or gain the capacity in the first place is one of the things that's going to be attempted. the iraqi army, your point, absolutely 2010-'11, there was a lot of money trying to assist the iraqis in training their army, but interestingly enough, that was about weapons systems. it was done by contract and selling arms, all the rest of it. so the point about contractors coming in and or the of like aid in the iraqi state by their choice to train their army, they were training them in weapons systems but a component whereby they'd stand and fight for their country, their allegiance has been somewhere else. so what do you think we should build into this training program? i would say we start with noncommissioned officers. that's what i would say. what would you say? >> well, i think you build, you build everything that an army needs into a training program. >> but do you start with the officers and -- >> i think you, i think you
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clearly, i mean, you start with the individual, both soldier, nco and officer, you build up the capability of the team whether suction, platoon, company and battalion. you insure they have the capabilities in terms of weapons systems. you insure they know how to use the weapons systems as individuals and collectively as teams. you insure they have the start systems in order to be able to deploy those capabilities and the supply chains in order to insure that the logistics is there for them to do that. >> leadership and intent? >> and leadership. leadership training is absolutely integral, of course, to the building up of the individual officer and nco. >> and started that rather than teaching them to shoot the gun, because it seems like a lot of them know how to pull the trigger. it's unique, it's wail -- >> you've got to start with the foundations, and the foundations
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are individual basic training whether soldier, officer or nco. >> follow up from -- [inaudible] to jeffrey. you remain surprisingly optimistic about training the iraqi army. but it might be possible to say that this was tried. i mean, we saw this. the staff you're talking about, the u.s. army, put a lot of effort and a lot of money into it. when i went to see them in baghdad in 2008-2009, they were living alongside the iraqi army, very proud of doing that. all the way from the private soldier all the way up to the officer level. and what have we ended up with? we've ended up with this incredibly corrupt, shia-dominated, iranian-dominated army. and now you're essentially proposing that we return to try to do the same thing, but presumably this time with less resources than we had before, without the american soldiers embedded at every level. why should -- [inaudible] isn't this suggesting something
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that a's completely impossible? >> i think you highlight one essential point is it's not a sectarian force in which one section is able odom nate over the others. and, arguably, in 2008 this was a relatively sectarian-free armed force. and since then, of course, you've seen the shias being -- the sunni being alienated and the predominance of the shia -- [inaudible] >> but isn't the problem then, general, if it was sectarian-free force in 2008 but within six years the whole thing collapses and becomes a sectarian force again because of the politics, because of iran, because of the government, it looks like that's what we achieved, a temporary stopgap. we train them um, we walk -- them up we walk away, and in six years we're back to square one. >> well, yeah. i would think, certainly, by 2011 when we were renegotiating with the iraqi government, the mandate of the nato training
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mission, that this was not an entirely unprofessional organization. and as a result, particularly -- and i think what you say with that nato training mission which was only about 150 people, the focus on officer training in the academies, in staff colleges and a higher staff level of training was definitely, without question, improving the professionalism of the iraqi army. and through that it was providing a stabilizing force in the iraqi state. of course, 2011 the discuss of forces agreement is not, is not signed, nato has to pull its training mission out very quickly and, actually, it's worth mentioning, i had -- i met the iraqi defense minister in about april of that year. they recognized how valuable the nato training mission was. the iraqi government was keen to maintain it and, indeed, was
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prepared to part fund it as well because they recognized how valuable it was. and, of course, you then see the end of that at the end of 2011. and i think from that, from then on you get increasing shia domination, you get the impact of the syrian civil war, the rise of al-qaeda in iraq or aka isis, and then i think whole thing begins to implode. but i stick by what i say. you don't can necessarily -- the idea was we're going to do it properly. but nevertheless, you can achieve quite an impact at a higher level with a relatively small focused professional mission along the lines of the nato training mission. >> can i just ask you a bit of a geeky question, really. police forces, the other part of the security element, to you see that as all part of the same training, or do you see a separate set of arrangements for that? how do you see that because of the experience we've had in
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afghanistan, i want to know what you have to say about that. >> i think it is very much part of the same set. and, actually, again, the nato training mission is a good example. as well as training the officers as i just described at different officer levels and cadet schools, being a multi-national nato force, it had a significant contingent from italy who did a superb job in training the iraqi police and the iraqi oil mis. and -- oil police. they had a very good scheme of doing that. and this highlights the value of a multi-national force where you can bring in different disciplines to focus on the police as well. and, indeed, afghanistan is similar because the training mission consisted not only of the afghan army, but afghan national police and afghan civil police. >> so it's not an army, it's a security force. >> it's a security force, yeah. >> general, do you think the u.k.'s current force structures
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are optimal in terms of our capacity to respond to a crisis such as that in the middle east at the moment? >> no. >> and in saying no, which is very, very clear -- [laughter] i mean, what do you think needs to change? and especially in terms of not just the middle east, but the potential situation in eastern europe as well? >> well, i think what we have seen with army 2020 the is a hollowing out of the force structure. i think that, i think the army's done as good a job as it can do with a very difficult set of cards to play. but i think that reducing the army by 20,000, expecting the army reserve to be able to fill the gap, i think what we see is a very hollowed-out force structure. and although on paper the army
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is meant to be capable of deploying up to a division, i think the reality is that whatever is behind the shop window in term of sustainability and logistics would be pretty wafer thin. so i think the chances are that it would not be able to do its job. >> so if in addition to our current commitment in the middle east and our declining commitment in afghanistan we had to deploy troops with nato and in eastern europe, are you saying that it's difficult to see how that could happen successfully under the current structures? >> i think it is, yeah. >> you saying that, essentially, what we're sending is what we can send rather than what we might like to send or what we need to send? >> no, i'm not. because i think we could send a lot more than six tornadoes. >> what could we send? >> you'd have to ask the chief of the general staff the
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details. >> you're becoming a politician. >> the army 2020 structure, according to the rubric, you'd be able to -- you should be able to send up to a division, if necessary. now, i think if you looked in detail at that, you would find that extremely difficult to do. and if you remember, i mean, go back to the first gulf war in 991, a division of two army by braids and a -- [inaudible] -- by divide, and the -- [inaudible] the result was that that was a force which the american core commander at the time, general freddie frank, described its ability to advance across the desert was relentless because it was so well logistically provisioned which is what you need. i don't think we can begin to match that. >> general, in terms of the current crisis in the middle east, do you think that's likely to have an impact in terms of the isaf withdrawal from afghanistan and how that is
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managed post-withdrawal? and are there lessons from iraq, for example, that can be applied in relation to the withdrawal from afghanistan, or is it too late for that? >> well, a lot of questions there. i think, firstly, the impact on drawdown in afghanistan of isaf, of course, the isaf mission finishes in just over two months' time. effectively, certainly as i left the shape of planning was really by the end of october the force level in afghanistan would be pretty much the same as the post-isaf train, advise, assist mission which we were planning at that time of round about 12,000. so i think what you would have seen anyway by now is the majority of isaf will have drawn down, and you'll see pretty much a flatline now through into the training, advise, assist mission
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when the isaf flag is drawn down at end of december. so i don't think it will have a major impact on train, advise, assist mission in afghanistan. that was one question. remind me of the others. >> there lessons to be learned from iraq, for example, this terms of how this is managed, or has it gone beyond that? and what do you think the impact is in terms of withdrawal from afghanistan in terms of the earlier question about our capacity to deploy in two separate theaters of war? >> right. i think i the lessons, i'd slightly change the angle here and say i think there are lessons from the afghan can experience which can be applied to iraq particularly in the capacity-building field, and as i said earlier, building up an army from the grassroots, building up the respect of the confidence, the capability is, in a way -- which doesn't done, frankly, in the british experience in iraq -- is relevant to what might happen -- >> and on that point, do you think that the afghan army
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likely to perform better than we have seen with the iraqi army? >> yeah. i'm on the to mystic -- optimistic. providing, proriding -- there's one caveat -- the international community stays committed in train, advise and assist and also, very importantly, providing the money. because don't forget, afghanistan did not collapse after soviets left in 1989, it collapsed when the soviet union collapsed in 1992 and the money dried up. so i'm optimistic that providing those two caveats are satisfied, the afghan security forces will be able to contain what will be an ongoing insurgency in afghanistan. >> and on final point, do you think that the drawdown from afghanistan will ease the pressures in terms of force structure and our capacity to deploy? >> well, it certainly should, because you're not committed
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anywhere. and actually, we see now with the deployment, the drawdown of afghanistan, u.k. force levels committed on operations overseas is probably at a all-time low since about the low figure, since about 1968. >> [inaudible] >> just ask sir richard question, you are key is a member of nato -- turkey is a member of nato. would you care to comment on it refusal to get involved with something that is a humanitarian disaster on its own doorstep? >> well, all i think i would say that, yes, turkey, of course, is a member of nato and has been a loyal member of the alliance since its formation. but, of course, nato is not engaged in any operations in iraq at the moment. >> nato nations are, though.
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>> well, that is a different thing. that is a different thing from saying that nato is involved. there has been no decision taken around the north atlantic council, so nato nations may been engaged unilaterally, but that is not saying the alliance is engaged and, therefore, it is up to turkey and turkish national interests what they should or should not do. and i think if i may, sir, i think standing on, standing on the sidelines, we're a very long way away from what is a tough neighborhood and telling other people what they should be doing. it's not a clever way of doing business. >> i recognize that. i use that as asking it's turkey's domestic situation which is the dominating factor in its decision not to get involved? >> i suspect that it's probably turkish national interests more than anything else. turkey -- [inaudible] of our interests, our duty to
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protect. >> derek and then john. >> do you think what little we've -- [inaudible] so far will have a negative impact on our relationship with the u.s.? >> yes, i do. i think there's a real danger that we have, we have given up by default a position which we were or proud to have of standing shoulder to shoulder with our number one ally. and i think that could have long-term consequences. >> such as? >> well, i think there was a time when the americans could always rely on us, as i say, standing shoulder to shoulder. i think one of consequences of this will be, could well be a further distancing of america from engagement in europe.
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and instead of being able to say that we were alongside, in a sense we join a long list of other allies who are not prepared to deliver when america makes the call. >> john. >> thank you. so by that rationale, we ought to be joining the u.s. ask those members of the coalition who are extending over the border into syria? >> well, if we want to continue to have influence with our premier ally, we need to be prepared to commit alongside. and that willingness to commit significant military force into a coalition or an alliance with the americans, i have, i think, given significant influence x. if you don't give it, you're not standing shoulder to shoulder,
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you don't have influence. it's as simple as that. >> and can you try to communicate that, translate that into something which is tangible? because i absolutely understand what you are saying in the general terms, but in terms of the influence that it can give us, how, how can you say that is in the interest of the united kingdom and its citizens? >> well, i think by committing alongside the americans, we have a say in outcomes which we would not otherwise have, an influence on those outcomes which we would not otherwise have. >> okay you. you could say, i'm not taking this view, but you could say what good did that do in iraq reconstruction. >> because we really messed that up. >> you could say that, but i think in return that if we had done it properly, we would be in a -- >> and did we not do it properly
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because we weren't listened to or because we, too, got it wrong? >> i think we failed to do it properly for a number of reasons, and i look forward to the inquiry recording on this. i think it's time -- [inaudible] we could spend a long time discussing why we didn't do it properly. >> just finally, if i may, to return to boots on the grounding you were very clear about the need to follow through i and to things properly, but your response on turkey and not seeming to he hector other countries who are much closer to the danger, the gravity in the region is a point well made. does that mean that the hopes of persuading other nations, arab neighbors, other groups to commit to, to commit ground forces is, in your view, probably futile? >> well, if the u.k. is trying
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to persuade other nations to commit more than we're prepared to commit ourselves -- >> i mean, that's -- [inaudible] for a number of our members the it's clearly -- [inaudible] we'll help you in some way. >> yeah. i mean, it goes back to the same point. you know, if you are prepared to commit and stand shoulder to shoulder with people, they may be prepared to commit. but if you're going to stand in the back of the room and shout go forward, go forward, oh, i'm not going to come with you, you don't stand on very firm ground. >> sure. thank you. >> [inaudible] >> general, strategy, you talked about strategy, is the mission to destroy isil? >> the mission is what -- >> what is the military mission? >> well, the military mission will be determined by government policy. and i don't know what the mission is.
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on the one hand, i hear destroy isil. on the other hand, i hear humanitarian relief. >> like we have had before. >> i don't think we've got clarity over -- if you don't have a clear strategy, you can't have a clear mission. >> okay. let us assume that the mission is to destroy isil. and as you say, we are picking at the edges with air power. at the very best, we're going to contain isil into, hope my, the perimeter which -- hopefully, the perimeter which it is currently occupying. and we are hoping, big hope, that the kurds will, and the iraqis will get their act together and be able to deal militarily and destroy the enemy, which is isil, themselves which is a pretty tall order, i
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think we would agree can. agree. we're also hoping in this, john all cox just imply -- wilcox just implied that the arab world would actually put up troops to back iraq and the kurds which is, cleary, not evident. id that question of the defense -- i asked that question of the defense secretary yesterday, what is the arab world actually going to put up beyond something from air power. we have declared, we have declared -- again, repeated yesterday -- that there will be no infantry on ground from the united kingdom and, apparently, the united states too. and i just can't see where we are going to have an end game. because in the end, i fear that if as we started this
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conversation isil is such a threat to this country, prime minister said it, foreign secretary said it, such a huge threat, in the end we may have to commit ground forces into action in the middle east. and we may have to eat our words on whether we will actually put infantry, armor, artillery on the ground in support of those people on the ground. in a way, i'm not asking a question, i'm asking you to comment. have i got this wrong? >> well, i was going to say, and your question is? >> i'm not sure i have got a question, chairman. my point is, i just can't see how we can do anything else if all those things happen in the arabs don't cough up, the iraqis and the kurds aren't good
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enough, isil stays there terrorizing, are we just hoping for a miracle that the people who are terrorized by isil will rise up and destroy them, eat them? >> well, i think you highlight the importance of a political process or a political approach that achieves that political aim. >> i mean, it's going to be very difficult to get politics into that area anyway. but it may well be that military would have to go in to get the politics in. that's, perhaps, my question. is military required -- is there a military requirement to go in there so the politics can operate better? >> i think that may well be. if your, if the scenario you postulate came to pass or comes to pass, we are left with the basic fact that if you want to destroy or neutralize isil, you can do it militarily, or you take the time to build up local capacity to do so.
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and that's going to take time. you either contain, in which case it might not be enough, or you have to deploy force to destroy. >> general, before we let you go, you talked a lot about training, and just to finish on the training. if we were training sunni forests to take on isil -- forces to take on isil, what exactly would we be training them to do? are we trying to create the kind of force that we created in the 1980s against the soviet-backed afghan government? in other words, are we training up people in guerrilla tactics and laying ieds? or are we training up a counterinsurgency warfare force which is going to clear, hold and build sunni territory? and if the latter, is that going to be in the form of tribal militias, the sort of sunni
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awakening sort that we had in 2007-2008, or is this going to be a fully integrated part of the iraqi army? ..


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