tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 9, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EST
to do the jobs you have to overwork to was that you do have, and it is a volunteer service. you have to you have to pay them if you want to keep the good ones. so then your personnel cost are going up. pretty soon you are just eating out any savings that you thought you were getting. i'm glad you made that. you are entirely correct. t-test ..
>> you look at how much of our economy some commerce depends on the international movement of people and goods and services, an important point to make when you look at america >> america's interests are relatively benign compared to other great powers and are benign compared to the rest of the north the sense we're not empire builders. we're not seeking preferential treatment. we're seeking the right to be -- our citizens, people, goods, to about treated on a fair and equal basis as others and be protected -- whether it's in terms of international commerce or being here in the homeland. that's an important point. we're not in the traditional great powers sense we're not looking to conquer other territories, to enforce or impose our ways on others, and i think that there is a shared bipartisan consensus that we're looking to live in piece with others who want to live in peace. we don't have imperial
amibitions but it's not enough to say we want to be left alone. that's not an option. our real option is do we engage those risks at an early point where we can mitigate and reduce those risks or gather force and strength? it's much better for us now to be engaged in asia and reassure our allies and rebuilding our navy and protecting our interest handto wait for china to continue to gather strength and influence to a point where we may find fewer willing actors who want to ally with us. saudi arabia sees a resurgence in china and they want to ally with us but that window is only open so long. >> a point we made early in the paper, if you read it, hope you will focus on that. that america is unique for a lot of ropes, and exceptional for one of them is we define our
national interests in defense of in a benign way and we're perfectly willing to have others enjoy the rights we're seeking for our own people on exactly the same terms on which we enjoy them, which is one of the ropes, for example in asia, the countries in the regional countries there, are comfortable with american presence and prime si in the region but not so much with china because china does not necessarily define its national interests the same way. well, i thought, chris, maybe we could take some questions. i want people to have plenty of time. so let's do that. how do you have the moderator does it? call on them? okay. i'll just point. yes. [inaudible] >> okay. thank you for your remarks, governor jindal. a followup on senator cruz's remarks. he addressed the drone issue and
what national security risk that was. i wish you would address the same topic but relating the u.s. deciding how to dispose of property and how that affects our national security. >> i didn't hear the senator's remarks but i'll answer your question. i don't know if i'm repeating what he said. i thought it was a mistake for us to relinquish -- it wasn't just republicans who said this is dangerous. i've also for several ropes very concerned about this proposal for the government to be more -- i know this is slightly -- we're talking about fbi but foreign policy but i have similar concerns about the government -- the federal government trying item pose itself in terms of defining and imposing net neutrality through more regulations through the fcc. my concerns, twofold, the internet needs to be a place where it continues to be operated openly, free speech, and open access, and i worry
about the government getting in the business of deciding to pick winners and losers or advantaging one group over another. i certainly am very much more worried it being done by an international body as opposed to an american jurisdiction and laws. my first concern about the american governments that we have seen a series of scandaled that to me were unnationallable. gone back ten years and ask met did i think the irs would go after conservatives, i would have said no. i don't think that the department of justice would spy on an ap reporter. i didn't think that would have. we've seen that happen. the american people are less and less trusting of our government because some of these -- accumulation of these scandals and the violation of civil rights. i'm very worried about first the government trying to pick luter or regulating the internet. what mat hays it effect, one reason it's so widely used and liked is it the fact it is open, level playing field, and you have access.
secondly, absolutely, i'm worried about -- i think we have in the last several years gone more and more towards abbie indicating our rights -- abdicating rights towards the international body. first united nations -- we didn't talk about this but the president reside recent announcement of his deal with china in terms of climate, and you look at that, and carbon emissions. you look at that. we're making an agreement where we're going to do harm to our economy in the short term for uneven forcible promise that in 2030, china will then choose to no longer increase their emissions. well, one, doesn't that ultimately give china a great incentive to increase emissions in the short term to get the baseline up? i thought that was odd. and also completely uneven forcible. almost like amnesty the way the president's done it. his way of going around congress, knowing he can't get something approved by congress to take unilateral action to hurt our economy, hurt our
manufacturing bases in particular. so i do worry about this trend towards deferring tober national bodies and given away american rights and prerogative, whether -- the expugn other groups. >> with regard to the climate change point, economic growth for the ctp, the communist party of china, is a regime stability issue. their ability to deliver a better quality of life to their people is part of the basis by which they are claiming legitimacy in the absence of democratic elections. so, to think that they are going to take steps which slows economic growth in the name of the priorities of our administration, the international community, would be very skeptical of that. i don't think that -- now, if they have issues with pollution but not so much -- it's entirely different type of setting, and those they are going to work on. so, again, this could be a
situation where we have to do something and the country that we made a deal with doesn't have to do anything. i'm really -- i know you are, too getting tired of that. what's what new start was. yes, sir. >> not only the united states, all planet, increasing weapon, military and sophisticated new technologies for killing of self. it is endless. you have end. and live in paradise or nuclear, chemical weapons. what is end of all of this? i ask this question because i -- general united nations. i helped absolutely different --
i believe is this billions, billions of dollars for nothing. >> in term of the question about the weapons, i certainly -- i might get the quotes off but i think that the essence applies here. i do hope the lion and the lamb lie peacefully together bit don't expect that in the lifetime, and still want the united states to be the lion. i think the best way to achieve that peace is for america to be stronger, and i think that unilateralry making ourselves weaker has never led to peace or victory, and so i'm -- i absolutely share your hopes and prayers for peace. i've got three young children. i hope they will be able to grow up in a world without strife and violence ands could. i fear in a world populated by
human beings that's not going to happen. i think that what is more likely to happen is we can met gait the risks, reduce the threats, reduce the chances of violence, the level of violence, and certainly continue to build towards peace. the reality is we have made progress of the. i don't mean to be completely pessimistic. the reality is you look at countries that decades ago were at each other's throats are now reconciled allies. you look at germany and japan, integrated into a post world war ii, a peaceful framework, coexisting peacefully with countries that handbat war with, vicious wars and deadly, costly wars. we can make progress but i think the best way to prepare for peace is for america to be -- to ironically prepare for conflict. a weaker america invites more violence, more aggression, more instability, and more persecution. a stronger america, stronger and stronger allies decreases that chance and leads to more stability. >> here's a chance to point out another point we make in the
paper we didn't talk about before but it's a good one. it's wrong to view the order -- for the united states to view the world as full of enemies. most of the countries in the world, we should view-we think, as allies or at least partners, potential partners for certain things. we talked about an agreement with china on pollution. not a bad thing. we worked with the russians on locking down loose nukes. but there are some countries that are potential adversaries in the sense they define their national interests in awould that brings them into conflict with us of. the right kind of management should prevent those country from becoming enemy i but there are few rogue states and transactional movements who are just evil and their vision of the future is their boot in everybody else's face. that's quote from the paper. the united states needs to defend and needs to be strong in dealing with those groups. let's go over here. yes, sir. >> i'm sorry. i don't -- can't see the names
from here. >> my name is cammy, the pakistani spectator. my question is about senators mccain's statement. he was here earlier today and he asked this question to pakistani general sharif who is in washington that if current status in afghanistan would be sustainable after we leave completely, and the general said no. so, do you have any plan b in the case of general's prediction turn out to be true, and second related question that isis, they are doing in pakistan and next target might be india. so is there any preparation for that? thanks. >> one, i think you're exactly right and the general's on the ground have made this point itch hope the administration has learned. i'm not confident they have. i hope they'd learned from the lesson of the failure in iraq. they did get a status of forces agreement. the new leadship in afghanistan seems to be working better with my government.
my hoch is they understand we cannot create that vacuum in afghanistan. now this administration continues to commit itself to these artificial deadlines, but these political deadlines but die hope they've leonard the importance of at least leaving a residual force that is able to help the afghan government and people protect themselves, counter the taliban, counter isis, counter al qaeda, but you're right, the generals have absolutely made clear they need more resources and that america is going to have to fill the gap that some of our allies may be leaving by not living up to their commits to we have to make sure there's a residual force to help trains' support. the leaders are right to ask the afghan government and people to help themselves. but we need to be ready to -- especially when it's in our critical interests to void the growth of isis. you ask the beside eye skis in pakistan and the threat to india. we need to recognize that isis is absolutely has as it
amibition the ability to become this -- not just transnational in terms of a region in the middle east but to spread across the globe and pose a threat to us near our homeland, whether through affiliate with a loose association with isis or others taking direct marching orders, and i mate be more of the former. isis absolutely has that amibition, which is why we cannot view it as our goal to contain them or expel them. we have to eliminate them. we have to work wherever that is in the world, whether it's the pakistan india region, in the middle east, in other places. we need to understand what is at stake here. they're motivated by an evil ideology. a group that is crucified innocent civilians-killed religious minorities, beheaded quite graphically and visibly prisoners. they've absolutely crossed every line imaginable in terms of
moral lines, and clearly this is a force of evil and a group that needs to be exterminated, not contained, not expelled or storm senated. whether in pakistan or -- terminated, whether in pakistan or middle east, wherever they my right to to create affiliates or grow, we need eliminate the and work with others to eliminate them. this isn't she america's fight alone but we need to draw others into the fight and it's in their interests to do so as well. >> it's important to remember the point of both conflicts wasot just to remove a particular regime, but to work with the people of the country, iraq and afghanistan to help create a new government that would become a working partner with the united states on behalf of mutual interests and that was really where the benefits -- we would have enjoyed the benefits of the conflict in a sense in iraq, and we had that opportunity in our grasp, and
gave it up. yes, behind the gentleman who just -- that's you, sir. >> i am alex with the alexander hamilton society. thank you for your remarks today. my question is, in response to something said earlier, you talked about how we have a great speaker in the white house, and this is true. so one of the questions i have is even if we can beat the curve of defense spending and bring it back up, it will be years before we see measurable results in termed of new captain abled. one concern today is conventional -- states that use convening almeans are now using hybrid means, russia being the latest example on the ground and also china in terms of what it can do one day. what can the u.s. do in the meantime, in the near term and mid-term can to try to deter this, even if there are other -- around the world that require to
us meet unconventional hybrid threats with a conventional force that might not be the right military power. >> one, you're right it will take time. but i think those early investments send an important signal. so even president carter changed course his last year in office and started recent vestes in the army after the soviet union went into afghanistan. then ronald reagan came in, double-digit increases and spending got the attention of other countries very quickly. even though it took a few years for that to result in nor approaches and more technology, it quickly signaled to the world that america was serious and caused, i would argue, change of behavior and ultimately caused -- helped speed up the fall of the soviet union. that's why even though i'm not -- i think we need to continue to try to give this president the opportunity to do the right thing. i'm not optimistic he will suddenly change his ways but let's give him a chance. president clinton started signing balanced budgets after the republicans took congress.
signed welfare reform after vetoing it. carter changed directions his last year. there's still time for this president to change directions. secondly, when it comes to these -- you talked about -- gave as examples national actors like russia and china. there are other pressure points on those countries as well. for example, think putin took great notice of the fact that germany, under merkel, has now sent a message to him that his behavior is not acceptable and that was a wakeup call. he was also -- i think his treatment of australia at the g20 conference was another wakeup call. part of his calculations is economic, part domestic politics, part international prestige he feels like they lost after the breakup of the soviet union. so are there other ways to change the calculation. i argue more oil and gas production, more export of our petrochemical products. a huge pressure on the russian economy in addition to sanctions, and so as europe is able to diversify their energy sources, it's huge pressures 0
russians and now they're trying to sell their resources to turkey, who has got great concerns with what they're doing in syria. so all of a sudden there are ways to change the calculations of these countries to make it clear to them that it's not in their best interests to continue to violate international norms, to threaten american interests. the same is true of china, as dependent as we are on china to finance our out of control government spending, they're also still dependent on access to our markets and depend on our guarantee of the safety of travel and commerce on sea lanes and there are ways to pressure china, and part of that is being visibly present in asia. the president was right, things we can do with the tpp in term0s strengthening our ties to countries in that region and giving them another outlet in addition to china. it's not simply as -- strengthening our ties with those countries has a twofold purpose, not simply as a handle but strengthening our relationships with countries that want to built that relationship. to the third point i want to make, very, vermont question
because that was fine and good when responding to national actors you can also apply your question to nonnational -- subnational, transnational actors who can threaten our interests. those become much harder to deter and to counter. that's why it's so important to root them out, to destroy them where they are to take the fight to them. then we also have to harden our infrastructure. the reality is we have to take steps to secure the homeland and again, that -- there are tradeoffs and costs of involved in doing that. it's not free cannot easy to do. so but we have to make ourselves less vulnerable. oning there that president announced this deal allowing this i.t. deal with china. that's fine and good. i wish he raised the issue of cyber warfare while he was over there. a huge threat to our economy to our national interests, and a lot of it originate inside china, not all, and so i think when it comes to these transnational, subthan groups we have to take the fight to them. unlike national actors, its harder to put these pressures on
them. have to take the fight them to disrupt their able to attack us and have to harden our own infrastructure. it has a cost in terms of resources and inconvenience and friction. that's a balancing act. you can go overboard i'm not suggest -- that can interfere with our freedoms and way of life. but there are things we have to do to harden our own infrastructure against the transnational actors. >> in the middle. >> carl sullivan. earlier asked the question, a prior session, about the brettan woods agreement and whether it might bring stability between nations of gold money, and as a governor, i'd like to raise a question in a constitutional context. andrew jackson end end the second bank of the u.s. saying that a circulating coin and silver -- gold and silver coin money was meant to protect the wealth of the laboring class
from being inflated away by the largest corporations, financiers and politicians, conjuring more and more crest into exist, for example, financing an ever expanding military complex. no state shall make anything but gold and silver and opinion in tender and payment of debt. seems at the level of governor, the states could require the federal government to re-institute an honest circulating money. i just ask your perspective on that. >> i think that -- i want to address the bigger issue you raise. when we have -- we just recently just exceeded $18 trillion of accumulate edit. we have quantitative easing has said they're taking action because congress and the white house couldn't or wouldn't, in terms of what they saw as threats to our economy. i think we need to stop and -- step back and think about that. we have an unelected body, the fed, saying, we're going to take action because the elected
leaders, elected and accountable to the people of the united states, decided not to or wouldn't take that action. and you go back to the systemic debts that we're running, this president has never proposed a balanced budget. not -- five years out. hasn't said i'm going to get it to tomorrow. we had a saying in louisiana after the explosion, were you hear that help is coming tomorrow, doesn't mean it's coming tomorrow. just mean it's not coming today. i think to your bigger point i'm very worried for a lot of ropes, the dollar -- it's been the reserve currency around the world, and for many reasons the stability during the chaos. many reasons why the fed has been able to get away if with the things they have done, but it's not going to be free forever and the reality is we cannot simply print our way out of this crisis. we cannot borrow and spend and tax our way out of this crisis. what happens when government is running at historically high levels of gdp.
that's what happens when we are struggling spending much more than we're taking in, historically than we have. one of the numbers we cite the report we're spending more as a share of our economy on government than we have had in the last 70 years. when while spending the least amount of our economy on defense which is a jarring contrast when the defense is the only thing in the constitution that the federal got is told it must do. the only thing. you must defend the states. it's the one power given to the federal government. it's told they have to do. to your pin -- is weighing to jump in whatever else they're financing with this it's not an ever expanding military industrial complex. they've been cutting defense. spend $800 billion on the stimulus package. none went to defense. it was maybe 50, 60 million for military housing. in fact if it had we would actually have spent the money on something the government is supposed to spent it on and we would have gotten something. i interrupted.
[inaudible question] >> but to your point, do worry that you really think about it, when you think about the path we're on, you look at the structural debts we are rupeing up, unless we start taking action today it's hard to see a scenario we avoid the devaluation of the dollar, avoid a rap growth in inflation. my worry it doesn't happen gradually. that one day -- and nobody knows exactly when but one day you could see tremendous pressure put on interest rates, on american debt, by bondholders. it hasn't happened because of the dollar's reserve but -- i served in congress for three years for a couple of terms. i think that -- i'm glad -- i'm personally glad the senate is now going to be republican hands and we have majority but i don't think we should just think it's all going to change with a republican majority in congress. we have to make structural changes in our spending. here's some things we need to do. need a balanced budget amendment
in the constitution. needs to be a super majority vote before they can raise tacks. i think that it needs to be a super majority vote before government spending grows faster than the private sector economy. i think also i would add to that term limits to our members in congress and prohibition from them leaving to go and be lobbiest0s or go and work for special interests. people tell you've, you can't do that. that's install the louisiana state constitution. for example, we cut our budget in the face of the recession. we didn't raise taxes, can he want print a bunch of dollars weapon cut our budget 26%. our private sector economy is doing better. i have one final suggestion. we have a part-time legislator. i'd like to see a part-time congress and pay. the differently. we pay our legislators per diem. i'd like to see us pay congress on per diem are but stay them for every day they stay out of d.c. rather than coming to d.c. that's a very important question and it's important for even
republicans to acknowledge that, look, the debt and spending grew tremendously when republicans were in control. this president's been -- taken it to a whole new level in terms of his spending and expanding government, but when republicans were in control, the deficit was growing and spending was growing. we have got be serious, and that's why it may seem odd to hear a fiscal conservative say we need to invest in defendant. i'm not for no government. i'm for a limited effective government. and that means getting government out of things it shouldn't be doing and focusing on defense. it is amazing, if you had -- i asked the question ten years ago about the irs spy -- the irs going offering conservatived and the doj spying on reporters. ten years ago if you asked me would the federal government create a new entitlement program when we can't afford the ones we have, never thought that's what we be talking about today weird. seeing reckless spending. happened on a bipartisan basis people and hopeful that the people willies ton, the people in d.c. willies ton voters and
say enough is enough. let's not just cult the growth. let's cut spending, reduce the size of gov and prioritize what we're doing. if we don't we're headed for a day of reckoning nat will make this previous fiscal challenge mild in comparison and that's not anything of us should want for our children or grandchildren. we're borrowing-spending our children's and grandchildren's money today. i'd argue none of us as parents should that could now families. why are we doing it as country through our government snow. >> unfortunately we're out of time. i want to thank you, gov, and i -- >> thank you, senator. >> the breadth and the depth of your knowledge on different top aric'll turn it back over to chris griffin now.
>> this is 45 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> looking at the second of the major obvious crisis we face in world today, putin's challenge to the west. to moderate this discussion it's a real pleasure to welcome, jamie can you chick, a fellow with the foreign policy initiative and also a correspondent for the daily beast. previously he reported for the new republic, for radio free
europe, radio liberty. jamie has traveled the world and written from multiple locations and has particular expertise looking at eastern europe and russia. so couldn't have a better moderator for this conversation. jamie is a great colleague and friend and you'll enjoy his talents as a moderator. >> we have an amazing panel today. i want to be brief in introducing our panelists, first, david craner who just stepped down after four years of the director and president of freedom house and now the mccain institute. previous to that he served in the bush administration and the state department, expertise in moldova, ukraine, europe. then we have a tv reporter and anchor for voice of america. she is covered ukraine extensively, and its two democratic revolutions, shed the
widow of an investigatety reporter who allegedly murdered by government authorities in 2000. after her husband's death she formed a foundation in honor of her late husband which is dedicated to promoting the right0s free speech. to my left is peter, an author and television producer who spent many year in moscow, doing -- producing reality tv and writtenning this amazing new book which i cannot recommend highly enough. nothing is true and everything is possible. it is the motto of today's russia. also the co-author of a report for the institute of modern russia, the menace of unreality, about kremlin disinformation. also very worth reading and we have several copies out front. the theme of the panel putin's threat to the west. it's important we understand the topic as the threat atlanta
putin poses to the threat. not just ukraine but to the values and the liberal international order that the united states has upheld for the past 70 years. each of your speakers has particular expertise in certain parts, certain areas of russia and ukraine, and i'm going to start with david and i wanted to ask you, david, now that you're out of freedom house, you can say what you want. >> now that i have my freedom. >> right. you've been lib rated from freedom house. the past six years, the obama administration foreign policy, how much can we attribute what's happened with russia, the tear to you're racing in the bilateral relationship, the aaggression we have seen, the go gros abuses of human rights in russia invading neighbors, hutch can be attributed to specific policies of the obama administration and missteps they have made or how much was was'
basically inevitable once vladimir putin came back in to power in 2010 or 2012? >> jamie, thanks and thanks to fpi for invite knowing be on this panel. it's great to be here. let me start by answering this way. the by-administration policy wasn't terribly good on russia either. i don't thing the obama administration policy has been better. i don't think the obama team learned from the mistakes we made in particular we did not, despite claims that the bush administration took a finger-wagging lecturing, patronizing approach toward russia on human rights restroom stopped raising to the issues for the moe part and we went silent. i wish we are were guilty of the charge that we took a finger wagging lecturing approach to russia on human rights. we didn't. and we also didn't do much after russia invaded georgia and that was i think also a mistake. so the obama administration came
in, wanted to wipe the slate clean, start over. i think that idea wasn't necessarily wrong in concept, but the execution of it was. and i had warned, as others did, there were some concerns that we had about the reset approach, that the administration would go silent on democracy, human rights issues continuing, essentially the silence from the bush administration, but a major difference they would throw the neighbors under the bus. it would be a russian centric approach and that the other countries in the region, including ukraine, would be neglected. the third thing warned about in 2009 was the missile defense decision, and unfortunately i would say all three of those concerns came to be true. but more fundamentally i would say the administration lacked real understanding what was happening in moscow and it didn't fully appreciate the nature of the putin regime, which is a thoroughly corrupt, rotten authoritarian regime where putin is hell bent on
staying in power no matter what, including if it requires jailing, killing, opponents, critics, itch avoiding neighbors -- invading neighbors, and putin and his kremlin circle are determined to stay in power in order to proctthe ill-gotten gains they've gotten over the years in power, and it becomes a vicious circle. so the bulk of the problem i would argue is in moscow. the problem is here in this city has been a lack of understanding that the problem is in moscow and the inability to develop a serious relationship with the regime that goes in such an ann the cal direction that we aspire -- antithetical direction we aspire to. >> it's been seven months since russia invaded ukraine and i use that word very specifically because so many people in this town and other capitols don't want to use the word but it's clear russian invade ukraine in march. you saw senator mccain here earlier. he told us that ukrainian people
have basically lost hope in the united states. i was in ukraine last month. monitoring the election. i got a similar message from him. would you agree? do you think that the ukrainian people are basically in this for themselves at this point? >> that's how they probably feel. unfortunately, they -- nothing they remember in 1994 they signed that budapest agreement. they always repeating that, we signed that agreement, and united states and russia guarantee dish mean, take the responsibility to guarantee our sovereignty, territorial integrity. it didn't happen. i'm explaining to them that unfortunately, yes, we signed an agreement but that was very simple piece of paper. they didn't -- the agreement doesn't have particular responsibility what has to be done if something like invasion
happen. so, they do feel betrayal -- be trade -- be trade by -- be trayed by western posterior and they're asking for help. they're fighting this war -- i'm impressed how in two or three months the ukrainian army become a real force, because i think putin's goal is to destroy -- weaken or destroy the ukrainian military and economic capables. and they were able to actually fight back, and at this point, putin controls on 10% of the one area. it's not a big territory. >> crimea. >> crimea, right. but crimea actually the most
pro-russian region in ukraine there are eight of the russian-speaking region inside ukraine but crimea are most pro-russian. i think putin actually failed in understanding that. he thought if he would be much more successful stirring up the pro-russian feelings in those territories. but he mixed up russian-speaking with russians, and it's not the same. and that is why i think that what what we have, the situation we have right now, that he is trying to -- he failed to see there was no uprising, pro-russian uprising in the east of ukraine and now he is using every possible force to take to take over. it don't think he can hope he would give up.
>> peter, had the previous two speakers talk about hard power and invasion of country. can you tell us about the threat that they russian disinformation pratt poses to the west? -the there's a difference between disinformation and propaganda you have written about. can you tell us how that represents a threat to us? >> i and my coworker, michael, researching what we thought would be the subject of russian propaganda and realized very quickly that we actually needed a whole new glossary to talk about what the russian were doing. since the middle of the 2001's the russian military have been developing a different theory of war, which is total and permanent war which doesn't necessarily involve connective action and where the focus is on information psychological operations.
we have cy opens,, d can psyops in russian every is psyops. and the way they talk about information has nothing to do with public diplomacy, persuasion, messaging, spin, all the stuff we're obsessed with. they talk about information, using information for sub version, demoralization, essentially as weapon. a whole different way of approaching the concept of what information can do. obviously their strength is in russian language and in populations populations where they watch russian tv because there they have full control over the media, or at least partial control of the russian language media. so someone like latvia or estonia are in a bad situation. everything is -- basically
society becomes the sort of endless military phase one operation. before the actual soldiers come inch faces are phase one operation about shaping opinions and blackmailing and creating the context for military invasion. now we have phase one operations all the time in latvia and estonia. so they're like, what do we do? if we ban their tv children we stop being democratic. it's a way of attacking democracy from inside rather than from outside. so, i can go on and on. >> this is -- there is something that is actually more pernicious and even more frightening about this conflict with russia now? if you look at the cold wear, very predictable. soviet communist with an ideology, it was in a book, you can read i, marxism, leninism, allies were communist parties. today it's completely different
story. very hard to decipher. the kremlin has allies from hungarian fascists to german ex-communist, and it's an incredibly adaptable ideaol. if they even have an ideal and is his predictable. would you say this current cries, a new cold war or whatnot, how is it different from the old and is it more threatening? that's for all of you. >> i think this part of the cold war incredibly unhelpful. the problem -- the danger is -- i just throw out stuff about the cold war and throw about the great game. the danger for me is russia is pioneering this now, this new form of third generation nonkinetic. does this become the new paradox? we mentioned isis, doing something very similar with information. doing it bottom up.
the russian do it top-down. what if other -- what if this is the future? and we have aday luge of misinformation and no capacity to deal with of the. that frightens me. russia's aims, you're quite right. they're very, very different and very, very sort of like adapted to various -- they want one thing in serbia and do an operation. there's a grandnarrative and its o it on way russia is at war with one country, this one. they don't care about estonia. a couple of people don't but most don't. if they can find a narrative trick, a little informational provocation to underminus, to show that 1991 transition was a joke, america is a paper tiger, then america's reputation is undermined. we're in a state of pure information war. but the consequences can be really quite bad if americans
credibility undermine the way the russians want to see us. >> infortunately for a long tomorrow -- you asked the first question about do we have -- what the result of our -- that we didn't do anything, seeing what was going on in russia. i think, yes, we are very improved from our policy and the policy of previous bush administration. unfortunately we were closing eyes on everything what russia did in the last 15-20 years. the first proxy war happened in -- and then again georgia, now the wave ukraine. but we didn't do anything back then because we thought, okay, something going on in that part of the world. it just is the soviet union just
broke up. nobody understood really what goetz ago '. and russia back then were already trying to take territory and destabilize the regions around them to control them. so, -- what was i talking about -- >> closing our eyes. >> yes, and we're still -- i think we're still in denial a little bit, and the western society kind of played a part because look how russia developed? it's all plutocracy and corrupt activities. they used foreign banks. they used foreign governments. they used european banks to wash their now and are now so powerful it's hard to find a way to fight with them. and i think that the decision to actually put sanctions on russia
is a very good decision. first we have to destroy them economically and then see what we can do else. >> the price of oil may be helping. >> if i could just pick up on that. i argued for sanctions since day one. supported the legislation passed in 2012 over the objections of the obama administration. but sanctions alone aren't going to do the trick and this is where i think not helping ukraine defend itself against russia's invasion, russia's aggression, is an enormous mistake. the ukraine is not a member of nato so we don't have article 5 responsibilities with ukraine but nevertheless ukraine is a critically important country in the heart of europe that is essential to fulfilling the vision enunciated by george h.w. bush years ago of a europe whole, free and at peace, and if russia doesn't stop with ukraine, it's ukraine today, it will be moldova tomorrow, estonia, latvian not necessarily tanks crossing the border -- >> 55 guys in the government
building. >> also stirring up locals, buying locals. the other point i would just make is, what distinguishes and makes russia a bigger threat to us than china is china tends to be regime neutral, which is to say china is willing to work with other governments around the world whether they're democracies or authoritarian regime. they don't necessarily view the advance of democracy in other countries, even in asia, as a threat to china itself. russia views the progression of democracy, liberalization, efforts to integrate into europe, as a threat to russia. put a put views i at a threat because it if can happen in ukraine it can happen in russia. that's what spooked him bottom the events in november. spooked him in 2003 in georgia, 2004 in ukraine, and so what he does is he says the u.s. state department is responsible for that, because he refuses to believe that indigenous populations on their own could demand democracy, rule of law,
end of corruption, and having worked in the state department and no disrespect to my colleagues there, they couldn't organize a parade of c street. [laughter] >> go back there, be careful. >> not after that comment. >> and state department goss great work. i worked there eight years but they don't spawn and foment revolution. >> plainly. >> but it appears that we're viewed as being responsible and behind all these movements around the world. we wake up every day and n putin's mind thinking about russia when in in fact most of the mistakes are we don't think about russia. missile defense, having worked in the bush administration when it was first laurened, had nothing to do with russia. then we did try to bring russia in on missile defense. with the rice gates meetings and the russian counterparts in
20002007-2008. the reset policy which could not be more accommodating to russia in trying to extend a hard and restore relations and put a put views us as a threat. going back years, not just in past year. >> maybe mitt romney might have had a point when he said russia was our greates global adversary. we're going to up it up to questions. who would like to ask -- over there. >> i am a member of the alexander hamilton society of the mason chapter. i just had a question based on putin's obsession with security and the fact that he -- there's stipulation he might want to try to create a buffer zone around russia again. do you think that if he does try anything like this, that our
baltic allies might secede to him based -- out of the fear that they think we might not come to help, base owned what happened historically? >> i actually -- i want to give credit to the president for his trip to estonia in september. i think he did give reassurances to the baltic states. that said two days after the president was there, russian forces kidnapped a security -- estonan security force from the estonan certain death was a huge signal not just to estonia but to us. but within estonia recently, and in touch with people in the baltics. i think they're nervous and they should be but i think they feel that article 5 does mean something, and i think nato deserves some credit for doing what it's done to beef up the security of neighbors of russia. but that said, we have to think not in the old school terms of
thousands of troops and tanks crossing the border. it's stirring up local populations along the russian, estonan and latvian borner with lithuania. that's where the problem can possible. peter you said it, halt via in particular is vulnerable because of the banking influence of russia and the russian money and chris walker is here. he knows latvia better than i do. so i think there should be reason for concern but i don't think for a alarm. >> i think one of the great unreported stories has been the real -- maybe not surprising but very disappointing reactions from the governments in central and eastern europe. in particular the czech rub, slovaca, hungary. the defense minister of -- the prime minister of slovakia both said that stationing nato troop inside their territory would be -- remind them of the warsaw pact invasion of 1968. that's is a remarkable thing to
say. both countries are nato member members. both of the men were old enough to remember what the invasion was like. you have hungary, a complete separate story because it has a whole day's panel worth about that country. who would -- i think that in general the american foreign policy community, we figured this part of the world was done. we -- they were liberate end from communism, have liberal democracies. let's move on to sexier topics in asia and the middle east. what the ukraine crisis exposed is just how real shallow those assumptions were. >> but i would like to emphasize the issue of propaganda, and actually russian-speaking -- a lot of russian-speaking population in baltic states, considered the most pro-russian town in baltic states. so, the russian propaganda is very, very successful, and have
to be very careful actually and alarmed to that propaganda. look at rt, what they're doing. look at -- recently i was in ukraine, just a little story. i was in ukraine with vice president biden, and we were trying to go with president poroshenko to put flowers nor fallen and there were victims of people who died, and they were upset with poroshenko. we didn't do enough for them so they were just upset. so he laid flower and they start screaming. so biden decided not to go. and it was -- it's very kind of simple story, happened, nothing to do with biden at all, and the people were there just to -- just the poor people who lost their loved ones.
right? so story coming from washington, i see is from political. political put russia today and end up with story on their web site and wrote an article and said, why is vice president biden dodge mobs in -- angry mobs in ukraine. where did they get it from? did they at least research what is really happened? spend five minutes checking the information? no. it's easy to take something from russia today, put it on their web site and we are reading it, and repeating it, repeating the lies. i mean, for some -- i thought maybe ten or 20 articles similar articles around in western media. we have to be very, very careful what we are here putting on and not these -- >> you address in your report.
could you maybe give us the readers digest version how do we on the one hand maintain our traditions traditions of free speech while on the other hand needing to respond to these lies and disinformation and propaganda? many people that say that rt should be shut down. not a legitimate news service and they should be kicked out and the grier government is fining them for breaking the broadcasting stanfords how much do we balance these concerns? >> it's a very good question because it is a subtle question. let say at the british situation. the key idea in russian information war is something called reflectssive control, which is very, very big in the '60s and '7s so. when we think about information or usually about making people like us. so we go to afghanistan and play
some pop music and suddenly they'll be dancing and byte shirts and there will be academicracy, which worked really well. the russian thing is different. the idea being reflexive control is you get inside the other side's information processing system, intellectual system, and then spin it from idea. so say they the americans started this, when they claimed they're building star wars and stuff. the russians spent loads of money and the american weren't doing and it the soviet undown was bankrupt. the russians say if america does it to us, we have to do it back. is the point of russia today to get the british to ban it? much more p.r. -- there's already -- immediately they have -- if we get taken off air, go to rt.com. hasn't even start yet. almost at the pushing off. come on, come on, ban us. and they're doing this bizarre
dance if you look at the way they're trying to regulate them. you have to be more impartial. i feel like then -- where is the alternative? you're being one-sided, and bizarre watching them because the british are incredibly aware of what the russians are up to. so in america, of course, this isn't possible because you have the first amendment and hallelujah and thank god for that but there is a -- the first amendment is like the right to lie. exactly. so what does one do? nice to look at the idea of regulating the system from understand. this is -- russia is exploiting something that exists. i'd like to see a kind of transparency international disinformation, internationally recognized rating system which would not rate propaganda just rate disinformation. something like an r.t. or maybe some american channels. while the bbc would get seven
out of town. so start regulating ourselves a little bit. again, my theory is what r.t. is doing now, everyone is going to be doing tomorrow and this is much more pernicious than fox news being obsessed. >> in the back right there. >> thanks very much. part of the fbi leadership network. i'm not a russia expert but something i've always thought about is with regards to ukraine, it's been a tug of war, if you leave ukraine as is, it will be a tug of war into the future. putin will always have his tentacles in there. there is anything to the idea of a strategic concession, concede crimea, and maybe some of the other eastern parts, so that the electoral balance is now fully tischs toward this western
parties so a smaller ukraine, a more united ukraine, one that can be a more confident member of the west, there is anything to that idea or would that be the first pin falling and then the other countries? >> a very good question. i'll leave that to david and -- >> marsh you can calm down. >> the short answer is, no. it would be appeasement. putin would view it as weakness and his appetite whoa only be whetted, not saidded. ukraine was a peaceful country before all this. ukraine was not a divided country. crimea wasn't looking to break away from ukraine. crimea was part of the ukraine since 1954 and putin wants to revisit international agreements and notched are understandings, particularly in the post cold war period which opens up an
enormous pandora's box wimp shouldn't facilitate that. we should take the same approach toward crimea we dead toward the baltic states where we never recognized their annexation and we should maintain that position and keep the sanctions in place until crimea returns to ukraine. the first sanctions were imposed in march of this year because of russia's annexation ofian and until that's undone i don't see any reason to lift the sanctions or see any reason to recognize crimea as part of ukraine. you can't even pretend -- part of russia. can't even pretend the referendum was serious. no one can organize a referendum in two weeks, and given that there were troop0s on the ground, even if they were the wearing identifying insignia, people are intimidated by the environment so it was a farce of a rep rein dumb. the west was right not to
recognize it. what is note able is no other country in the former soviet union has recognized it. so they're afraid and if we conceded crima, all of those countries would be terrified. >> like pakistan, where there's -- >> where putin recently said he didn't think it was real state. >> bulgaria doesn't have a -- cannot make their own decision. he would never stop, unfortunately. >> that said, when i was in ukraine -- you can back me up -- there are ukrainians who would agree with you, particularly in the west, who say enough of this stuff. we don't want our sons dying for these people. and never really considered the ukrainians. that's a minority. i'm not trying to -- >> look, i think -- he knows better than i but the reason poroshenko's party came in second is more ukrainians think pore shane co -- poroshenko has made too many concessions there
are putin. i have some empathy for his position because the west isn't leaving him much choice but he has been engaging with putin too much because putin is not inside compromise. putin's goal in ukraine is destabilizize. he wants to make ukraine ugly and unel appealing to the west so the west will lose interest. he wants to do that to all of his neighbors you. think, what a stupid idea to create instability along your borders but instability to putin is minute better than having moldova and georgia and ukraine move closer to europe and democracy size and -- and is a threat. >> i couldn't say anything better. >> peter, do you have anything? >> the lady right here in the second row? i think we have a microphone for you.
>> my name is -- i'm with the lithuanian american communities for many years. i'm on their public affairs council now. you're all preaching to choir as far as i'm concerned. but i do want to ask -- we heard senator mccain's comments this morning where we talked about leadership and standing up to the russians and not buying into the argument of brent scowcroft and others that we have seen in this town that the russians will merely escalate and we can't win that escalation. our organization has been part of a coalition loanying the administration congress to make sure we get military assistance to ukraine, and the only credible argument they seem to be making out of the national security council no one else in this government does it, only the people at the national security council, so do your own mathematic there -- there isn't enough u.s. public support and
yet the german marshall fund's recent study that came out in september shows 43% of americans believe that there should be a military assistants to ukraine. now, that's more than a plurality. i realize it hasn't gotten to 51% but what would you say to those nsv staffer right now. >> i'm not sure this is the real reason this administration doesn't want to give arms to ukraine. it's its because they don't want to anger moscow -- >> provocative. >> view the baltic countries as nuisances in the way of a larger grand bar dan -- bargain to be made and we have seen this in the administration's foreign pollsive with iran and other adversaries. let's sweep aside these pixy issues, whether it's human rights, where we can bargain.
>> there's a lot of things going on undercover. i had a chance to talk to -- on the trip to ukraine recently, and they're trying to -- i don't want to be their advocate. no way. i think ukraine should get much more than they're getting now and military support for sure. but there's a lot of -- first of all, what they're trying to do to keep the coalition together, the european and united states coalition, against russia. and it's not an easy task. because europeans have a lot of interest, financial interest, in russia, and it's very, very difficult to keep them even to hold sanctions, not even anything further. so, that is first task they have to keep that coalition together, because russia is interested to
divide and conquer, and they want division between europe and the united states. we cannot let it happen. second, yes, i think if president obama is asking 300 billions for to fight ebola and not asking anything to help ukraine? that means he doesn't recognize russia as a serious threat, and that is very unfortunate. that's what i see. i think russia is one of the first threats to the -- to europe and the world. they're supporting terrorism everywhere, starting from syria and ending in far right movement in europe. we have to take it seriously and have oh have pro-active policy. unfortunately, at this point we don't. and the american foreign policy machine is such a -- it's so difficult to turn around, and
kind of plan and think. it's kind of changing all the time. i don't think there's enough understanding in washington what is really going on. >> i was ragging on our check and hong garyan friend early. i think a lot of this problem comes from the model of our event which is a need for american leadership and if your a small country and you feel listless and see no leadership from washington no help for you, someone might say, we got to make our deal with the big guy to the east because we can't count on washington. and i think that to some extent is driving a lot of these negative trend you're seeing in the countries we have assumed after the cold war would be our strongest allies and supporters of the transatlantic relationship and haven't been. they've felt left out. >> one sentence about russians and propaganda. one goal of the propaganda is induce the feeling of betrayal.
>> helplessness. >> two quick points. one is the push for providing assistance to ukraine is bipartisan. this is not a republican issue beating up the democratic white house. you have senator menendez, i don't know about murphy. the legislation passed in the senate foreign relations committee on september 28th. 18-0. nothing passes 18-0. that is a sign of strong bipartisan support for providing the ukraines the means to protect themselves. second point -- i support the administration hazard -- administration's sanctions approach but the public in repeated rejection of ukrainian requests for military assistance is an enormous mistake. it telegraphs to putin what u.s. limitations are. it's -- the "washington post" coined a phrase, gratuitous
clarity. we're far too clear oregon what we -- on what we won't do. >> the opposite of strategic. >> i want putin to wonder, that guy at 1600 pennsylvania is unpredictable. and instead we go out of our way to say what we won't do and we essentially open the door to putin and let him walk in. that a huge mistake and you're right, our european allies, canadians who have been great on ukraine, are not going to get out in front of us on this issue. they need to the united states to take a leadership role and we're not doing it. >> more questions. this gentleman right here. >> tim francis. i'm from -- but always interested in europe. and the one country that hasn't come up in conversation yet and the one that is probably the most firm against russia is poland. and just wondering you had
comments 0 on the polish take on ukraine and their feeling about dealing with russia. >> i think we got a pretty good indication of the polish take when former foreign minister second core ski's private conversation was leaked where he said that his country's alliance with the united states was worthless. not something he would say publicly but talked to folks behind the scened and they'll express similar sentiments. >> a sentiment is the same as ukraine. ukrainian. they were able to go ahead so far economically and being effective as a state, that ukraine has to rely on foreign right now as a leader in european union for support, and one think it took is in europe now, the leading the council -- ukrainians are very, very hopeful that europe will be much more on the side of ukraine.
>> i would just add that freedom house -- i was kidding about gaining my freedom after leaving of it's a wonderful organization. freedom house just recently issued a report on how ten countries in the eu promote democracy beyond their borders, and poland came in second after weeden. i think poland deserves a lot of credit for what it has done. and it's in a difficult position. because of geography and because it is the exposed point for nato. i think for the most part the pols deserve a lot of credit. the baltic states deserve a lot of credit. they've been incredibly brave given they have been targets and victims victims of gas cutoffs. food cutoffs, cyber attacks, in 2007, in estonia. they're on the front line, and i wish more countries in the rest of europe would follow their lead. >> peter, anything?
time for one more question? one more question. this gentleman right here. >> lieutenant colonel -- defense fellow. i understand the information warfare and the new front that's been opened there. the harsh arrest is that you have a country that still has the largest combined strategic and tactical nuclear forces in the world. how do you feel given the modernizize going on within the strategic forces in russia, that how do you feel that putin views his nuclear forces and hough they will play out in the world in the mid-to long range? >> a few years ago you had the former chairman of their armed forces, threaten to use nuclear weapons preemptively if nato continued to enlarge 'the reaction in this city was, we've heard that before. let british off. remember in 2008, the night that barack obama won the u.s.
election, then russian president dmitry medvedev threatened to put missiles in dough lynn grad because -- this shows how poorly the creme lip forwards the united states -- that john mccain was going to win. he wouldn't have down it with president barack obama if he thought he was going to win. so the russians have become rather reckless. one, in talking about use of nuclear weapons, including there's been concern about deployments of some missiles to crimea. they become incredibly reckless and dangerous with use of military aircraft buzzing nato allies in and ou member states s and others, flying along the met tier raran, and turn their transponders off, which greatly increases the risk there's going to be a terrible accident where one of those planesll crash into a civilian airliner just like russian supports shot down the
malaysian airliner which none of us has mentioned during this 45 minutes i'm amazing how quickly people forget the 298 people were murdered by a russian missile. so, the russian military is much better shape than it was in 2008. it struggled against georgia. it's struggled against ukraine but because ukraine is not georgia. ukraine is a much bigger entity to take on. i think it's a mistake to continue as we have in the past to sweep these threats and sweep this talk under the rug and say, oh, that's russia being hero. -- being russia. it has too be taken more serious his particularly when putin says i could be in kiev or warsaw in two hours. ...
>> the zen gentleman will come as you make your way back from lunch. if you are just joining us when the egg second director at the foreign policy initiative. welcome to the foreign and defense policy conference we will start off this afternoon first looking at the crisis of the middle east than moving to a panel discussion about russia. that we could not have a more distinguished panel with our ambassador. but was it is framed as the
crisis as it progressed it is the chaos of the middle east. to moderate this conversation we have the founder and president of the institute for the study of for an organization whose work i highly recommend. also in the course of her career has spent iraq and afghanistan and a decisive history of the war in iraq. the queue for joining us today to honor this discussion. >> thinks to those of you
id when he was deputy chief recently retired from the point of service with the distinguished career in the middle east but in particular, he was at the forefront to the people. and is an advocate of the issues says retiring from that particular time from the middle east is to. please join me to welcome our distinguished guests. [applause] let me start with the big overarching question that people ask all the time.
this situation and chaos in the middle east are we facing a hopeless challenge? how would you characterize that threat? >> thanks for those kind words and also for putting this on to a. it is good to see so many faces that i recognize from prior chaos from the middle east. [laughter] i a of celebrating the anniversary of my first chaos of crisis when we were put on us defcon to a lurch as we were about to go to cyanide because of the yom kippur war were to rescue the objections. since then it has been a roller-coaster ride.
continues meet the way to a germany in this situation in the middle east pulls me back. this is a continuing crisis source situation in the middle east. my second point is the situation with isis is a new and dangerous situation. and i will tell you why i think it has to be stopped and defeated and destroyed. we will see if they can achieve that. but first of all, unlike other movements that there is a lot of similarity it has seized a huge amount of terrain with large military
forces and economic things despite the actions coming and threatens the very fabric of the center of the middle east endangering what the president has repeatedly said with our allies to fight terrorism. and i always forget the fourth one. i will come back to that. [laughter] how could i forget? the free flow of oil we have issues that they will threaten if not destroyed.
but how did they come about? but the recent work by henry kissinger and from pakistan sirocco a set of weak nation states however a week they are. only a handful of states as we understand israel iran into turkey in kurdistan and the rest do not have the acres that the nation states have banned for that region is faced with a regional millenials approach to growth histories to organize society in religion. and the messianic movements
and we keep seeing it emerging from the islamic world. it is accepted by nfl is supported by a few to lead to continuing problems. we have dave version over that even with the muslim brotherhood and of the muslim brotherhood did it is a problem we have had to do deal with and i don't see a quick end to that but the reason it is a different now is the elements first of all, the arabs praying wish had a lack of legitimacy to take almost any action that made sense to their
population and reverting back to violence gore basically shut down everywhere but ft asia. that builds up a tremendous amount. the second is the united states. we would try to do it with a minimum of force or push back. the of manifestations we're not trying to deal with the and dewine functionality but over the past 13 years and under the bush administration recited no more of that. we will fix the underlying problems than the obamacare administration reacted to settle for extension.
a and again those four interests that are vital have drawn us back to deal with isis belatedly. we can get into more detail with the discussion with the strategy and tactics because of the nato meeting administration has a plan that whether that gets us there but there is so whole side of it that even on the iraqi side the issues will find the ground troops to take the territory back. retrained at 50,000 are to people under its control and an uneven with they need to consider that this will be a long term problems so we have to deal with it to mobilize 60 countries it is
hard to get them all together but it is about the truism. but nonetheless tie-in is not on our side. given that situation the three new elements the problem of legitimacy but the grave questions of america's willingness to sustain this security role in the middle east which is a threat to everything i am not sure it would be better to take risks against these guys now rather than waiting. said robert was in syria and the administration had lips
service but what happened? i suspect but i will rest my case right there. >> faq ambassador. >> from the american foreign policy is to think for the opportunity to talk today. i know there is such a thing as an expert so let me share my experience with you. but first this situation today is difficult and in some ways unprecedented we do have three nations states. and though iraq is cater did
shi'ah competition that is played out big time like iraq and the yemen and even lebanon. these are all issues that is difficult for the united states to control. but because they involve fundamental issues highlight governs itself. but i can tell you this is very difficult and we should treat that with great caution. to have a realistic expectation. with arabic or anybody else.
countries have greater access to affirmation with a social meeting is a huge year and a growing. with access to satellite information these our population said deal with more that can be positive for negative. did it is all whole other level. there is a reason it is changing and we need to address said. we'll understand the meanings of those and allies
within the countries themselves rather than an american or military stuff above all it needs to be from the local population. let me stop there. >> thank you very much. is. >> that is an extraordinary historical run down. if there were three recommendations. >> number one. do whatever he tells to. [laughter] from iraq, we every tree in
the advisory teams on the ground these are small numbers of highly trained professionals with the iraqi forces says they awake in the era of it drives or the iraqi army there is a huge difference between how these people perform and how those of other complex and how they perform. we don't have the luxury in inadequate way and i understand why the administration is dragging its heels that this is something that is contemplated.
>> the first was to be within the region itself to prioritize. but because of the strait and the conflict puts on other countries that are friendly to us like jordan and turkey. that would be first priority. second, jim laid-off military steps but i would say in addition there needs to be regional political effort at a higher level. we're not on the same page of syria. but with all due respect to those who shared a career that is not something an
american ambassador can fix we're not a the same way as well that is not something the ambassador wants to deal with. that will require a high -- and with. but not only with the islamic state but a broader set of issues relating to the asian states with stability verses reform. in places like egypt that should not happen again. there has to be prioritization end engagement consistently and my third bit of advice to the administration would be
don't give up the reform and greater respect for human rights but understand you have to balance with security issues. to my mind looking at the arabs praying you don't have to have the big day to create democratic governments. you do need to have a gradual and physical improvement so of the population has a sense that little by little things will get better weather beginning measures have continuity or whether that the allow weighing some common not all the greater freedom of maneuver in these countries.
the two nations since clearly a move that a faster speed. i think it would be a mistake for the americans to ignore human rights and the fight against the islamic state because in part by syria in the previous government in iraq. even with the root causes as you address reasonable the counter terrorism policy. with a full parliamentary democracy but we do need tusis step-by-step improvements.
>> with the number of interesting and provocative statements it is my pleasure to call on members of the audience. first call please wait for the microphone so our guests can listen to your question is. plus your questions in the form of day question. in and get the insights into the situation. >> my name is j. i am part of the alumni leadership network and i served in iraq about 10 years ago.
so why is it the administration's policy to maintain the iraq integrity given everything the kurds have done with isis they have been the best allies they did open tomorrow if they were independent but now they sell oil to turkey and they are recognized as their own state in turkey has lechers internally why is that such a problem with our administration? i heard secretary kerry talk about the integrity? thank you. >> that is a good question. on for much of the middle east have sympathy with people who pose that question and i know the blood would be more deleterious but we have to
have of plan b. with a lot of help from the united states. but several points. first of all,. the united states has to stand for something in that is behind almost everything we do and one is the nation state system of. those at the head into line legal issues in the practical problems that ensued when yugoslavia breaks up. where to put the southern border from kurdistan? that is the question for you [laughter] >> there is a framework for the election on the status
on occur cocaine and there is georgetown but i don't think that is so of surmountable they could not come to an agreement. they agree this week on will sharing. i don't see why they cannot come to an agreement of the border. >> there are two reasons, i picked the easiest if they could come to a group from georgetown, that is the first time in my 40 years of experience in the conflicts all around the world. with the destabilize reaches people identify with their own kind whether we like it
or not. with arabs, christians, of the kurds they all have their own agendas each seeks their presence is a legitimate and i was talking about the standpoint while the others should go away. but they will not their procreative the bloodiest of borders. the second problem is i am not only a former ambassador to iraq but also a turkey. for various reasons, turkey is very close to the kurdistan regional government. however if there is one thing that the turks will draw a brutalizing is anything that smacks of kurds getting together they will never supports it and
whatever the problems we don't want to do destabilizes turkey. so we should go no further than turkey on the independence for kurdistan and the turks from the record for thou warn. >> thanks. the topic of this conversation is restoring american and leadership. you have done a good job to talk about so how do you think the middle east sees the united states that it could be or should be or will be playing that role into the future? >> i will start with that. [laughter] i hate to be the bearer of bad news.
there are zero opinion polls done by reputable - - reputable groups and research organizations and public opinion to the united states from morocco to others is extremely negative it has to do with the longstanding positions on the though east peace process, iraq, and the american war there. that has to do with perceptions of islam in general and there is real anchor is syria where i spent a huge amount of time but americans seem to be -- to be more concerned of the islamic states but assad
regime has killed 160,000 so why are the americans so concerned throughout the islamic state that has killed 30 or 50 times as many people? that is a problem but not something of public diplomacy problem it is a policy problem. and it will require some fairly serious thinking about where we are going in the region and are removing in a direction of opportunities down the road? again that will take it pretty serious to explain our vision of college is dead is compatible in terms
with no foreign country that is powerful because it makes people nervous. it is the political thinking elites. most but they've made the difference because the people follow them. if we have the right policies, we will do a lot better among the people if they feel they can count on us. we are liable for an 11. and it goes well beyond governments and not the entire population that would be basically a bullet -- willing to do that.
>> but to be very blunt it is impossible to do contain the islamic state is in even in iraq without dealing with syria. if nothing else, the islamic state having deep strategic depth in syria is constantly a problem in iraq. let me give you a little historical context we were in iraq for the of warner when retried to shut down that syria border we never able to do it without between three and four american and combat states in the most western
conference -- province of iraq's. three american and brigades plus for more army divisions a total of roughly 20,000 american soldiers plus 40,000 iraqi soldiers and even then it was always a challenge. so now we have a group more capable than the syrian intelligence during the iraq war in much more capable without a tear -- dealing with the border i don't see how the strategy of iraq can be a success. they will certainly make gains did have made gains there is a little bit of good news from iraq. the islamic states is losing
grant - - ground north and south of baghdad. it is retreating which is good but it has not yet been fighting to the sunii heartland and the shechem militia that has been making the progress in northeastern baghdad, when they start interacting with the sunii populations, there we have a problem. and you cannot ignore them. on the syrian side i have to tell you it is so bad now that the options that would have been quite useful three years ago, is much more difficult but i go back to
the most fundamental issue. it is not something that would be contained because the islamic state, it is the state has an army to control territory it runs schools and hospitals. it is a state. it is the bigger threat. you do not destroy a states but will require puts on the ground. i sincerely hope we do not have to have fifth americans on the ground i spent four 1/2 years in iraq to have the iraqi government to get the boots out of iraq but now we need boots on the ground there needs to be serious thinking here about who it will be?
undoes aside? or the people? there are not a lot of other options. i would submit with that grim reality of wars. also it does not have the manpower to do take on the islamic states. >> so the is administration idea is going to fight the islamic state that is the biggest. now i will get off of my soap box. >> so explain how whether
the united states is a never in a empowering iran or other states in the our region? for the policy of the iraqi and syria? >> i was more worried the 24th of last month than i am now but there is a and agreement with the iranians but fortunately they refuse to almost any terms. some of that momentum is no longer with us. it did say consensus to cause a little more shovel alien to then it a