tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 22, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EST
for instance, senator john mccain ran for president on a robust platform of addressing the carbon pollution that causes climate change. senator collins worked with the current energy ranking member senator cantwell on a very robust climate bill that would have put a cap on carbon pollution and paid a dividend back to the american people. senator mark kirk voted for waxman-markey when that bill was up on the floor of the house the famous cap-and-trade bill. senator flake wrote an article in his home state paper expressing the value and merit of a carbon fee when it's offset by reductions in other taxes as a way to help workers and address the pollution problem. over and over again, there were these joint actions all the way back to when i first came to the
e.p.w. committee and senator john warner was its then-ranking member and he wrote warner-lieberman when our colleague then, senator lieberman. then came citizens united, then came the massive influx of polluter money into our political system, much of it dark money. and at about the spring of 2010 and citizens united was decided in january of 2010, that was the end of the conversation. and so here we are today. we are just now reaching an agreement on several votes by which i believe our republican colleagues will for the first time since citizens united -- some of them at least -- acknowledge that climate change is real. indeed we just heard my friend senator graham come to the floor and speak right there saying that climate change is real,
that humans had a significant role in krauseing it cause it and it is what something we needed to pay attention to. so this is new today after five years of more or less silence, i've spoken on this floor, as everybody knows a great deal on this subject and nobody has ever come from the other side of the aisle to respond to me, except for the now-chairman of the environment and public works committee to maintain his view that climate change is actually a hoax, that is perpetrated by the scientific community in order to get grafntses andgrantsand funding. so it's been a long drought. it has been a long, long drought, and frankly it has been a drought that does not reflect the best traditions of this body. this body has taken on big issues in the past. it took on civil rights. it tried to hold this country together over the issue of slavery. this body has been significant in the history of the united states at important junctions
and here we are at this important junction where our energy policy needs to chairntion andchangeand half of the body basically was mute. today that seems to have changed. that to me is very significant. so i look forward to a vote on my amendment. as i said, it's very simple. climate change is real and in the a hoax. i hope that that is something we can agree on as a body. if we do, then it becomes a predicate for beginning to advance an important conversation. i am not going to agree request all my republican colleagues about their views on how to respond to this problem and i don't expect my republican colleagues to agree with all of my views on how we should respond to this problem but the dark days of denying that there actually is a problem may very well have seen their first little break of dawn right now. and if that's so, that is exciting news. because, as many republicans have noted republicans like
secretary schultz republicans like secretary paulson republicans like ronald reagan's economic advisor the economist arthur laffer, there are smart conservative ways to address this problem. and i continue to think that the idea that senator flake signed off on all those years ago is still the right one to do. raise a fee by putting a price on carbon that reflects the economic fact that it creates harm for so many other folks the so-called externalities what the economist would say. the costs that burning carbon causes to fishermen home orientation to people that live by the sea -- those costs build them into the price of the product. that's economics 101. and then take every single dollar you raise and lower working people's taxes.
i am completely comfortable with that notion. and that is one that has been over and over again brought up in the context of republican and conservative discussions. including a very good recent paper jointly authored by a writer from the american enterprise substitute. so i had the pleasure -- i see the deputy minority leader on the floor here -- i had the pleasure of traveling with him and with our ranking member on the judiciary committee and other colleagues to cuba. and when we spent time with the cuban officials cuban religious leaders, cuban just regular folks on the street, over and over again we heard the same phrases coming at us, that it was a time of hope and it was a time of promise. well if it can be a time of hope and a time of promise in cuba, let's hope it can be a time of hope and a time of promise in this body on climate change and it starts with admitting that you have a problem, just like in so many
other areas of human life. so i hope that, frankly every member of the senate will vote for my amendment. and we appreciate the opportunity to work with the new majority on ways that we can address this telling problem. i'll close by saying this. i am never going away on this subject. it is too important to my home state of rhode island. there is no senator in this body who, if they had an issue as important to their home state as this issue is to rhode island, i would not expect and respect to fight all the way through to the bitter end for the interests of their state. my fishermen are not finding the fish where they've been for generations. people who've owned homes on the shore are losing them into the sea in big storms. these are real consequences. and we, i promise you one way or the other are going to do something about it and i hope this is the dawn of that new
day. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, let me thank my colleague from rhode island. he and i did travel to havana, cuba earlier this week. interestingly enough, sat down with the scientists and the people responsible for the oceans and other natural benefits in cuba to discuss global warming and the conversation started in the same place. even these scientists, there's no question they can see the impact and they started their predictions about the rise of the ocean levels. and the senator from rhode island knows this far better than i do. but they anticipate that the ocean levels will rise over a foot in just 10 or 20 years and then twice that over a period of 50 years or more. and will have a profound impact on the island, the arc pell archipelago
of cuba, and the united states. senator whitehouse of rhode island more than any other senator has really brought this issue home, not just to his home but to the atlantic coast states. and has reported on the impacts they face. now, i live smack dab in the middle of the country in illinois and i can tell you that we appreciate that there are changes taking place on this planet that are not in our best interests nor will they leave our children and grandchildren a better place to live. the obvious question we face is, what will we do in this generation? and this bill s. 1 which was chosen by the republican majority has given us a venue to finally raise some important environmental issues which have been ignored for too long. i know that the object of this bill was to build a pipeline trans-canada a canadian company, wants to build a pipeline through the united states. they may or may not sell any oil from it in the united states. we had a vote on that yesterday.
the republicans overwhelmingly said they would not require them to sell their oil in the united states. they may or may not use american steel to build their pipeline. we had that amendment yesterday. the republicans voted overwhelmingly that there's no requirement to use american steel to build this pipeline. and yet it's characterized as a -- quote -- "american jobs bill." it's hard to understand that characterization. but if nothing else whatever happens to this bill and it may not have a great fate ahead of it if it's not changed significantly the president's already promised to veto, but what the senator from rhode island just said is significant. after years of denial from the other side of the aisle about the issues of global warming we may have reached a point -- may have just reached a pointed -- where we're -- reached a point where we're finally finally on a bipartisan basis going to acknowledge the obvious the scientific facts which have been given to us over and over and over again. that is a step in the right direction. i want to thank my colleague
from rhode island. let me take two minutes to say a word about my pending amendment which may come up for a vote shortly. it's amendment number 69. what i've said on the floor is there's a dirty little secret about the keystone pipeline. you don't take canadian tar sands and turn them into gasoline and diesel fuel without filtering and refining out some pretty horrible things. what's filtered out is called petcoke. and petcoke is going to be produced in the refining process if this pipeline is ultimately built. over 15,000 tons a day of petcoke this by-product of this refining process. and if you look at it and you think to yourself, what impact will have that? it can have a very negative impact. my city of chicago, i'm proud to represent, as well as other communities, petcoke piles have become a challenge to the public health of the people in the community. i am asking in my amendment that we establish a standard of safety when it comes to petcoke that we establish a standard of
transportation and storage of petcoke to protect american families and children from the hazards of breathing petcoke dust. it's a simple public health amendment. senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president thank you. colleagues i almost hate to use my minute because i am so eager to hear what is said during the minute that our energy chairman will follow me with, but i'm hoping that after many years of darkness and blockade, this vote can be a first little beam of light through the wall that will allow us to at least start having an honest conversation about what carbon pollution is doing to our climate and to our oceans. this is a matter of vital consequence to my home state the ocean state my home, rhode island and to many of yours as well. i hope this is a place where we can get together and have a
strong positive vote that sends a signal that this senate at this time in our history is ready to deal with reality. thank you very much. ms. murkowski: mr. president mr. president, i would yield the minute on our side to the senator from oklahoma. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president i ask for order in the senate. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. inhofe: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that i be added as a cosponsor to the whitehouse amendment. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. inhofe: mr. president. mr. president, climate is changing and climate has always changed and always will. there is archaeological evidence of that, there is biblical evidence of that, there is historical evidence of that. it will always change. the hopes is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change climate. man can't change climate. i ask my colleagues to vote for
least at this stage theoretically, but at some point really, the possibility of paralyzing an opponent and highly without killing anybody. and that could be a very tempting solution for a nation which is of course increasing their significant economically but does realize there's an enormous military disparity between china and those. and that i think such as that we have to be far more inclined to raise those issues with the chinese, which we have done to some extent, but even more important, to engage in deterrence by having the capability to respond effectively or to prevent an attempt from being successful. now, on the point you just raised, which was about putin and how to contain him right? >> basically come his reaction
in his reaction to this economic crisis that he is confronting. >> he is confronting a very series economic crisis which is trying to deny but i think he's in the denial phase. but it's quite interesting how many of his former associates but political allies expressed growing concern. now, here it the real question is international is with the russia economy imploded in some significant geopolitical significant fashion first, or will ukraine implode in some significant geopolitical fashion first? because what putin is doing is not part of a comprehensive military invasion of ukraine other than the specific seizure of crimea, but it is so to discourage the organization of
economic, costs and demoralization as a consequence in a regime which is expressing the will of the ukrainian people for a closer cessation with the west, but is a regime that came to power after 20 years a very significant mismanagement on ukraine and economy. the kind of needle sticking which putin is engaging against ukraine produces not only blood in some relatively moderate fashion, but annoying and painful, that could produce a much more serious economic crisis in ukraine could sell. this is why i think that we have to in a sense more credibly convince putin that it is in his interest not to engage in this needle picking, because we can make it unpleasant for him for
example, by arming the ukraine's. while at the same reassuring him we're not trying to engage the ukrainians in membership in nato. the arrangement would work out together with others and the others were more important to us with finland in 45-46, has worked pretty well. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, gentlemen. not only for your testimony but for your extorted service to the country. about two years ago in 2013 i believe you co-authored an open letter about the iranian negotiations suggesting it was time now to support these negotiations. and specifically saying, additional sanctions now against iran would -- in the negotiation our risk undermining or even shutting down the negotiations. letting ask first general scowcroft and then dr. brzezinski, is that still your position? if congress adopted the sanctions, did you feel that would undermine negotiations and
perhaps this an opportunity not only in the nuclear realm but in other areas of concern? >> yes, senator, it is. i think that the system, the regime in iran is different to we don't know how different and we don't know what the results will be. but this is their behavior is quite different from when i might have a shot -- when ahmadinejad was head of the government. and it seems to me that we to try to take advantage of that. the foreign minister has served
in the u.n., at nato. you some other with the west. the president, they are talking different that the mullahs are not merely as vociferous as they were before. does that mean anything? we don't know but it seems to me it's worth testing. and i think two things are likely to happen if we increase the sanctions. they will break the talks and a lot of the people have now joined us in the sanctions would be in danger of leaving. because most of the people who joined us in sanctions on iran didn't do it to destroy iran. they did it to help get a
nuclear solution. >> and dr. brzezinski? >> basically i have a similar perspective. not to repeat, but in addition to what he said i think the breaking off of the negotiations or the collapse of the negotiations would arrest and reverse the painful and difficult process of increasing moderation within the iranian of political life. we are dealing with the older generation of revolutionaries come extremists and so forth but there is an iranian society significant change which every visit to iran now notices towards a more moderate attitude and more moderate lifestyle more tempting inclination to emulate some western standards including even how in tehran women are dressed. all of that i think indicates
that iran is beginning to evolve into what it traditionally has been, a very civilized and important historical country. but we have to be very careful not to have this dramatic and the southern -- sudden reverse. not to mention and negative consequences for global stability this would have and the reduction in willingness and iranian willingness in some fashion to prevent the extremists and the fanatics that are attempting to seize control over the muslim world from prevailing. >> thank you. dr. brzezinski turning very quickly as my time is expiring in september, last something for your asked to comment about the situation in syria and you indicated that the american role is definitely required but that role intentionally has to be very carefully limited.
is that your view today or give any of the comments on the situation -- >> that is still my view. it's not because -- it goes even further. i never quite understood why we have to help or at least endorsed the overthrow of assad. i'm not sure we really knew what we're doing when we made the statement because it wasn't a real action following on that. what has happened, however, in the last two years or so since that happened is a demonstration of the fact whether we like it or not assad does have some significant support in syrian society, and probably more than anyone of the several groups that are opposing him. so that has to be taken into account. i don't think that those who oppose him perhaps with the exception of the relatively small and weakest group among the resisters, who favor us he has a bigger, better standing than anyone of them combined,
that there is some sort division in the country across the board. but he is still there and they think if we want to in some fashion promote the end of the horrible bloodletting of the progressive destruction of that country, not the promotion of democracy, i think we have to take that reality into account. >> general scowcroft, quickly your comments at all on this comment? >> i pretty much agree with zbig on syria to. i wouldn't rule out that at some point we can get some support for resolving a most difficult situation from the russians. they have a big stake in syria. and it seems to me that
somewhere there is the possibility that we could have a cease-fire and assad maybe step aside and we would agree that russia would play an important role with us in resolving. and i think among terrible choices, it's one we ought to examine. and the russians have made a few promise in the last few days that they might be interested spirit may i just add one more point? i think existing borders in the middle east have run out of life. they whenever authentically historic. they were created largely by west colonial powers. i think part of the competition
we face, particularly in view of this intense violence, not only just in syria, is the problem of stabilizing the region which does different so to speak different preconditions for different borders or arrangements than the ones that were imposed right after world war i by the west. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for this hearing and i look forward to serving with you on the committee no one innocent, also in america travel into the depth of experience as senator mccain. it's an honor to serve with them, and hear his ideas on so many of the important issues of today's life. while reading dr. kissinger's book, world war -- general scowcroft, he talked about the west system, and your remarks touched me a bit. it does appear in the region to
china not being part of that history. at least with the people of the middle these were also not part of any kind of understanding of what went on at the conference. to have a miscommunication? i will ask both you of you, in a sense of artist and of the nationstate and the reality of the nationstate in that area? and a better understanding might make us more effective in responding to the challenges we face there? >> i think that's possible, but i think the middle east is a unique place. for centuries it belonged to the ottoman empire which loosely governed it. been with the collapse of the ottoman empire after world war i
i, the middle east was redrawn, the map was we drawn on the agreement, quite arbitrarily to pursue the interests of the british and the french had any. zbig said those borders are in danger. tenuous, they don't represent much of anything, and it's a very difficult region now. and unique in it's not participating basically in the european -- or western the system, the russian system or the chinese. >> do you think as dr. brzezinski has indicated that we may be moving redrawing
some of those boundaries, or boundaries of being altered in the next decade? be the one of you who would like to comment on that. >> i don't think we ought to engage in that. one of the things i think we should do though is to start mending our relationship with egypt. egypt is a big player in the region, and because of its domestic problems it has fallen on, they played a small role in the recent uprising, but i think we need help. hopefully we can get more from turkey, but i think the chances of are making it worse rather than better are worrisome. >> i think both of you for your insights, very valuable to us
come with regard to strategy, dr. brzezinski, i believe it was mentioned earlier that we've got a cold war strategy. everybody bought into in a bipartisan way. the reality is i think it's much harder for us to have a strategy in this more complex world, maybe not but it seems to me that it is. i would share your concern as i've been here now 18 years that we need to be a bit more humble and what we can accomplish. i just the world is complex, people are not able to move from one century to the next overnight and we need to be more responsible and thoughtful about how exercise american power and care. but in developing a strategy, dr. brzezinski, d.c. some things that we might all could agree on and the next decade or so -- do
you see some things -- that would be positive for the united states? >> i can certainly think of a lot of things we should agree on. i'm not so sure we will agree but in order to agree with have to talk to each other. i'm not quite sure that in recent years particularly in the face of a novelty of the challenges that we face that there has been enough of a bipartisan dialogue about these critical issues. highest level, including obviously you members of his very distinguished committee irrespective of who actually controls executive office. i think we have to ask ourselves how is the world different today. i am a little skeptical about the resilient system as being in any way relevant because it emerged in europe when they were already in a being different country with some territorial
definition. this is not the case in many parts of the world. china was unique in having a real advanced dates earlier than europe but the rest of the world is now coming into being and that contributes politically into being, and that contributes to much of the instability and uncertainty, what's happening. what are the real borders in the middle east? a lot of the countries in the middle east speak the same language, for example. why should they be here or there? osha they all speak the same language? should they have single state if they eat the same like which was or should religion be only determined? i offer this process will take a long time before it settles itself, and i think we should not be directly involved in opposing solution. >> thank you both, and i appreciate that. i would say with regard to members of congress particularly members of the senate i believe we talk
together more collegially and with more common understanding about international relations and defense issues that we do about most any other subject. so i think we have not the kind of intensity of this agreement, there's some some pretty big intensity going back against to the iraq war and so forth i think we are getting past that and hopefully we can be more effective in working as a united country, because that's essential. thank you. >> thank you chairman. mr. scowcroft and dr. brzezinski welcome. i read last year a piece by thomas frieden that i found was very interesting where he described the islamic state and the situation in the middle east today by saying that there are really three civil wars raging in the arab world today. one, the civil war between sunni islam within sunni islam between the radical jihadists and a
moderate mainstream sunni muslims and the regime. two, the civil war across the region between sunnis funded by saudi arabia, shiites funded by iran and three, the civil war between sunni shiite us and all of the minorities in the region. the christian, the jews, and the alawites. he wrote the when you have a region he said by that many civil wars at once it means that there is no center, only size. and when you intervene in the middle of a region where there's no center, you very quickly become a side. i'm curious if either of you would agree with that assessment assessment, and if you would also turned which you spoke about a little bit earlier regarding how important fighting on the frontlines against the islamic state be conducted by iraqis and other regional arab partners and members of the coalition as opposed to western
or u.s. troops. >> well, i agree basically with it. i think there are fortunately, several states in the middle east that do show this, to show signs of the capacity for conducting a responsible role. and we have to rely on them. i doubt that they're going to prevail very quickly, these are the countries that were mentioned, but i don't think we have any other choice. i think getting involved in the interval dynamics religious conflicts, sectarian animosities of the region is a prescription for a protected engagement of the kind that the protracted engagement of the kind that can be for district attorney national interest. got to be sure there are some circumstances in which we have to act when we were attacked after 9/11 we have to respond. but i remember being called in with i think brent and henry
kissinger, too the session that made the basic decision and we were participants in making the decision, but, you know, we could say something. i remember fully endorsed taking military action against obama and his associates, al-qaeda. but i walked up to the secretary of defense at the time, don rumsfeld and as such in, look let's go in knock them off do what we can, destroy the taliban which held government control in the country, and don't get engaged in developing of democracy. now, maybe i was wrong. maybe time will demonstrate i was wrong but certainly i don't think anybody anticipated it would be 10 years. and by still another 10 years. and certainly the rest of the middle east if we were to try that it would be far, far longer. so i think we have to face the fact that the region will
probably be in some serious trouble for long time to come at our best ought to be on those countries which, like the european countries in the air of formation have already acquired some cohesive of state. and i mentioned in my comment not try to do the heavy lifting of those. and if we did get the russians and the chinese to more cooperative and they have a stake in being more cooperative, we would be better off. and each of them in fact may be tempted to sit on the sidelines and think well, the americans will get more engaged by this will improve our interests in competing with us here or there. and i don't think that is a smart solution in the long run for them, but it takes someone like a to guide indicate to them that we would like to collaborate with them in some limited steps in helping the moderates in the middle east in different ways. because they have different aspirations. >> and mr. scowcroft, do you want to add to the?
>> i largely agree with zbig on the. i think we have to be a participant in the middle east, but we should not want to be an owner, and we ought to help those states which we think are trying to produce if you will, a modern system. that's why i mentioned egypt because egypt is a serious our and they are of -- power and they are of the region and they do have great capability. we don't have much of a discussion going on with them now but there's of the new government, and i think that's one we should look to. turkey is an ally of ours.
the turks are in a very difficult position now with syria, but it seems to me that we ought to be careful and use force where it accomplishes specific ends. but for example, to try to go in and end the syrian more i don't think we want to own syria. it is a very very complicated country, as are some of the others in the middle east. and i agree with zbig acyclic. we have to be in the middle east i'm not of the middle east. >> thank you both. >> i want to thank both of you for being here thank you so much for everything you've done for the country. i wanted to follow up on your
comment, dr. brzezinski, i found a very interesting about putin and that, in fact you were concerned about some of the statements that have been overlooked that he has made that have referenced nuclear weapons. and including some of the overflights that russia has undertaken in scandinavia, portugal, other areas. so i wanted to follow up in light of the potential that editing actual violation of the inf treaty that we've seen that in a general scowcroft but you've also written about as well. in fact, i think, general, you wrote an op-ed in august 2014 that they should be a real concern to native because they have embarked on an across the board modernization of their nuclear forces. and, of course if russia's develop a nuclear ground-launched cruise missile in violation of the 1987 inf treaty, that system could
virtually reach all of nato europe. so how do you view both of you the idea of the violation of this treaty in light of where we are right now and some of the statements that you've heard putin made? what should our concern be about that? and thinking about, i appreciated your comments, dr. brzezinski, that we had to show commitment and determination to putin and that will hopefully cause them to stop being so escalatory with what he's doing with ukraine. and also this treaty. so i'd like to get both of your thoughts on this violation, what it means for their nuclear programs, our interactions with them. >> well, i don't think he will go all the way and violating the nuclear treaty. i am more concerned about is misinterpreting what has happened recently. let's go back a little more than a year. i wonder how many people in this room or on this very important
committee really anticipated that one day putin would land military personnel in crimea and seize it. i think if anybody said that's what he's going to do he or she would be labeled as a warmonger. i think he is also drawing lessons from the. and i will tell you what my heart, night train, one the literally mean one day he just seizes estonia but literally would take one day. there's no way they could resist. and then we will say how horrible, how shocking, how outrageous. of course, he can't do anything about it. it's happened. we are not going to assemble a fleet in the baltic and then engage in amphibious landings and the storm ashore like a
normative to take it back. we have to respond in some larger fashion perhaps but then they would be voices that would plunge us into nuclear war. i think deterrence has to have meaning. it has to of teeth in it and asked great a situation in which someone plan an action like that has no choice but to anticipate what kind of resistance will i encounter? and this is why i recommend what i do recommend, pre-position at some forces. limited but not provocative. an american company in estonia is not going to invade russia, and putin will know that. but he will know that if he invades estonia you will encounter some american forces on the ground, and better still some germans some french, some bricks of course. i think if we do that kind of stuff we are consolidating stability including nuclear wants. on the same goals of the ongoing
conflict in russia and ukraine but i don't think putin lands to invade ukraine as a whole. because that would be too dangerous and you cannot simply predict what will happen. but this continuous pinprick in can't involve some escalation to it is already involve escalation. there are russians at least in the hundreds, ma according to some of nato accounts in terms of several thousand fighting within ukraine against an established country. this is something that cannot be ignored. so you can have sanctions, yes. in the long run they create an attitude, a concern in russian society which will deprive putin of his popular support in this ecstatic since would become a superpower again. but in the short run we have to deal also with his motivations. the only way to do that is to indicate to him by tangible
steps such as defensive arming of the ukrainians that we will be involved in some fashion in making that military engagement more costly. and at the same time to indicate to you that we are prepared to send him a sick note about non-nato participation for ukraine. that to me is a strategy of responding to the possibility that you very rightly raise. >> and without, without taking those steps easily as hussein the economic sanctions alone will not deterrence be? i'm afraid economic sanctions alone will damage in the meantime because of what he had a free hand in doing, ukraine, then russia. there's a kind of implicit race a switch economy will collapse first. the ukraine government is still not in full control of its entire society. it is putting together rapidly a makeshift army and it's getting
very little support, very little support in that regard from the outside but i'm not suggesting that the ukraine is be armed to wage war against russia but i do urge that we do something to make putin ask himself before he escalates, am i going to be in something much bigger than so far? and what will that do to make? that's all that's involved but it is essential. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciated this hearing that you're having here for all of us and information. i am so sorry you see some running back and forth but we have veterans meetings and the overlap sometimes and i'm source i hope i don't ask the same question that of an but anyway my main concern is i'm trying to learn as much as human as possible about syria iran, the whole sanctions on iran as you know we're in kind of a tug-of-war right now should we should we not. the president has been very emphatic that absolutely no
sanctions, don't sign it now you'll mess up the deal if you do. and i understand that my colleagues are concerned about all the time it is, and really haven't had a secret briefing tells where they are. had they succeeded? are they taking their centrifuges out of? should we keep the pressure on? should this be something the president should be able to use if they don't follow through and do what they're supposed to do this is where the sense of the senate and the u.s. congress is and they will follow through so it is best to work with me? these are all things i haven't made up my mind yet on that and i'm trying to, so a little bit of help there. also syria. i know we have an awful lot of people think very strongly. i believe america has to be strong but i don't think they can succeed unless they have our it seems director leadership in kind of prodding them. and also our airstrikes can be as effective as they should if we don't have good ground intelligence and support. i understand all of that. i just don't believe we should have massive forces on the ground as far as we've had in
the past. that's just my belief. i'm so my colleagues differ with that. i think we strategically with our special forces, like ops we can do certain things but let's want to take the ground were in the part of the world is never going to be cured. but make no mistake if they fool with america we should hit hard. with all that being said do you believe with the syria track to train and arm some of the syrians at $500 million is what we set aside for that i think, does that have the possibility of being successful? should we do something different without to be more successful? and how about the kurds what they seem to be the only people who want to fight in that part of the world, the want to defend, want a country and what identity. are we doing enough and can we do more and how windward to get the turks to participate? and the saudi to participate. it's a big thing but syria and iran is the two things would be very helpful to me. to whoever we want to start and i think i need both of your opinions, if possible.
>> on iran i don't think anybody knows whether i'm not negotiations will work, but we are in the course of negotiations now. >> correct. >> and i think we should see them out and not take steps, which would destroy the negotiations. >> we were told come in all due respect, sir we were told the first time if we would sign a letter showing that we intended the sanctions would take place that it would, it would weaken the presidency. we went ahead and signed anyway and it hasn't weakened the hand but there's been extensive that we don't really know where we stand as far as the negotiations but that's the hard thing i'm having a problem with. >> it is hard but i think the outlines are sufficiently very
complicated but clear that a think we're on the home stretch, and to change our strategy now might work but i wouldn't do it at this stage. >> i understand. >> i would wait and see if the administration is successful. >> and transport your thoughts on syria training, the commitment we have there, if it might be a better investment somewhere else, different direction. >> i'm not sure who we would train because, in fact the groups hostile to assad are much stronger than those that seem to be inclined to rely on those. and after what has happened over the last couple of years i think the are not terribly many syrians who want us to wage a more intense war because they
don't know what a war would be. the other groupings have the advantage over us of being either more sectarian are specifically identified as such, or identified with a specific set of regional goals that have some historic connection to the world as the syrians perceive it. so i think some sort of cease-fire and discussions about the future probably would be the better outcome for us than participation in the war. as far as iran is concerned don't forget we are not beyond negotiate with iran and all of the parties negotiating include our closest allies, russians and the chinese favor a continuation of the negotiations for reasons specific to their own interests. if the negotiations broke down the whole process would collapse
and then what would be the alternative? should with an attack and bomb them and thereby make the war in the middle east even more explosive? we have to ask ourselves, why should we do this? a very good simple practical question to as. i don't see any benefits to the united states in the transpiring to we have made some progress. whether we've made enough progress i don't know, but the negotiations have been carefully conducted or not, i don't really know either because i haven't been there. but i do have a feeling that there has been a lot of common kind of steak with key countries in the world which we should unilaterally abandoned just because we are being pressured to do so. >> thank you both so much. i appreciate it. >> i'm sure you noted yesterday the signing of an agreement between iran and russia military cooperation deal in front u.s.
interference and regional and international affairs. senator tillis. >> thank you mr. chair. my question is more broad in nature. with the changing of the administration require some changes in foreign policy strategy, and i'm interested in your view over the past five or six years, more are less. if you were engaged in a strategy formulation, what things would you do to suggest we stop doing? what things do you suggest that we would start doing, and what should we continue? in other words, and objective assessment in your view of things that are working of things that need improvement. in the middle east. >> in the middle east wow. well for one thing i think we have to continue doing what we have perhaps started doing which is encouraging those states in the middle east that
have some historical identity and some capability to act rather than to wait for us to do the job over all. and i think the countries we've all mentioned in varying degrees are tempted to have something done but would prefer us to carry heavy water and they are not very clear about their aspirations. that leads us into very difficult position because if we undertake to do what is necessary, we buy the whole shebang. we buy the whole conflict and the becomes our baby. if we sit back obviously it may deteriorate so we have to find some formula in between. i happened to be secretary kerry i think has been trying very, very energetically to find some viable compromise. and it's difficult as hell to achieve it in these conditions. and perhaps this very painful process that we are now missing
in that region will continue for some time to calm but the better part of wisdom in these circumstances in my judgment is the one that brent and i have been both advocating which is the policy of very selective engagement which prevents the other side particularly the killers, the fanatics extremists, the sectarians from winning but everything we can do that. we don't have to do much more than that to maintain that point. >> can you give examples of what selective engagement would look like, in your view? >> somewhat along the lines that is currently being practiced, in fact, which is air strikes probably some special forces, intelligence political assistance, financial assistance, and a willingness perhaps to change our position on some issues such as to meet the clear motive we're trying to give it a assad.
i don't quite understand why we're so eager to get him out of office. is he that much worse than some other regimes in the area? what is it, was he out any? was he conspiring against us? there was specific regional regions why the war started, why countries in the region i don't think that was our cup of tea and was we got involved in it. and i have the whole problem. >> thank you mr. brzezinski. mr. scowcroft community, and we need to be in the middle east but not of the middle east. can you give me an example of what that means in terms of policy execution? >> yes, i think it means we should guide help assist but not be a player in ourselves.
that is ground troops. i think what we are doing in syria it's okay. it was an emergency. i think that we should not carry the burden on that much less being in the region, or of the region ground troops. we don't know what the vast -- what the best outcome is for see. it is very, very complicated. we need to help our friends. we need to encourage others to be more helpful. the turks for example have a heavy interest in the kurds, not necessarily the kind of interest that the kurds want them to
have. so we need to be careful all the way through, but help those who want to do what we think would improve the situation without it belonging to us. [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i want to join in thanking you for holding this hearing to provide some intellectual and conceptual content, the very challenging work record have ahead of us in these next two years but and i want to thank all of our witnesses, not only for being here today but your long-standing service to our nation in uniform and as national security advisory that you've contributed enormously to the readiness and the preparedness and the performance of our armed forces in protecting our national
security. i want to focus on an area that really i think you mentioned in your opening statement mr. scowcroft, cyber, a new emerging form of warfare perhaps are difficult to imagine in the days that each of you served as national security advisor, illustrating how the nature of warfare really is changing. and perhaps ask you, each of you, how you think we need to be better prepared, not only in the mechanics of cyber intelligence and cyber warfare but also in the education of our country as to the importance of this very complex area which is also probably going to be an increasing importance.
>> i think that cyber is of increasing imports. i believe we are just touching the surface and that we could profit by some innovative thinking about how we can approach that problem and how we can get other countries like the chinese, for example involved in ways that are helpful. and we may have to try several different things, but the potential danger of cyber, not just to us but to those who are practicing it now, should enable us to have some serious
discussions with other countries. but we also need a serious discussion within the united states, too, because of the government and some of our industries are not cooperating the way, at least my understanding, are not cooperating in the way which would really move the ball forward. and this is a ball that looks different to different people. >> do you think that our response, for example, to the sony attack should be more robust and vigorous? let me pose that question to both of you. >> well, i think you need to know more about it before you answer the question. because it depends who really pushed the attack, and what can best, what kind of reaction is best to move the ball forward and to give us a better grip on
how we can deal with this difficult situation. >> mr. brzezinski, do you have any observations? >> i don't have an answer. i have a comment. this is a hypersensitive issue both in terms of what it involves and of the need for secrecy and dealing with it. basically we have to seek to objectives. one is to develop some predictable immunity against some preemptive action by hostile force. and i alluded to the possibility. and that will require major major effort and major expenditure, and probably move us into a field which we haven't yet fully sufficiently explored. of the second is to have a preemptive capability a preemptive the capability that prevents some action of that
sort. or matches some action against us, tit for tat, instantly. i don't want to be too specific about who the enemy might be. i don't think we need to create public hysteria on this subject but it certainly stands to reason that there are some countries in the world that might think that cyber warfare against the united states is the best way to preempt the whole issue. we have to change the balance of power. i think we are still on the very, very early phases of responding to the. 4344 will start to get rid of groceries about the position of nuclear weapons. >> i want to thank you. my time has expired and we barely touched let alone scratched the surface, but i would just offer the observation
that our private sector probably is less prepared than it should be, and our military or at least our civilian leadership has the opportunity to provide more incentives and maybe more compulsory measures to assure that we are better prepared in the private sector against these kinds of attacks. because certain kinds of attacks are as much a threat to national security whether they are to our financial system, our utilities, even a corporation like sony or i shouldn't say even a corporation like sony which employs and has such an important impact on our society. so thank you very much for your responses. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you. thank you both very, very much. some observations and conclusions that you've made seemed a bit, don't reconcile me but we'll talk about that in a moment. as to the iranian situation, you agree with me that whatever chance there is to get a deal with the iranian nuclear ambitions, we should take it? whatever opportunity we have to get a peaceful resolution, we should pursue that diplomatically? just say yes. >> yes. [laughter] >> if i understand the question. >> i'm not trying to trick you. i agree with that but one thing we should never allow to happen is for iran to get a nuclear weapon. do you both agreed with that? >> yes. >> yes. >> that would open up a nuclear arms race in the middle east. whatever probably of today would
get exponentially worse. so how do we find a peaceful resolution to the iranian nuclear ambitions if the primary goal that i should with you and everybody else in the world? do you agree that the iranians in the past have been trying to develop a bomb, not built a peaceful nuclear power program? they've been trying to get a weapons speakers i think there was a phase out that. >> do you agree with me that congress may actually make things worse if we passed sanctions that we should have a say about the final outcome through a one two three nuclear review process under the atomic energy act does that make sense? let the negations go forth without sanction but when a bill is reached, would be okay for both of you to go through congress had a chance to review it as if it was, in fact, a good deal? with a be a good outcome? >> i don't know spanish i don't know that i'm equipped to say
that. >> welcome we have in the past approved 24 agreements regardless of the nuclear programs between the united states and foreign powers. all i'm suggesting is let the administration pursue a deal with the p5+1. if they reach an agreement bring it to congress for all review and our approval to you think that makes sense? would that be a good check and balance speak? >> well, i think that depends also on the other partners of the negotiations. we are not the only once negotiating. >> congress is not going to let the french or the arrange tell us what to do. what we are trying to say to you and the administration is that we don't want to disrupt but we don't want to be dealt out either. we would like to have a say and under the atomic energy act section 1-2-3 in the past congress has review deals between the united states and foreign powers regarding
civilian programs but would that be a provocative thing for congress to do? look at the deal after the fact? >> well, that being a stuffed i think he will do it anyway won't you speak as well, the question is should we do it? >> i think that depends on the nature of the relationship with the other parts and how much you are all informed. i think you'll make the judgment yourselves whether you want to do it. >> fair enough. let's get back to syria. this whole conflict started when people went to the streets in syria petitioning assad to have a better life within city. do you agree with that that's how this whole thing started speak with that's one of the things anyway. >> you just made an observation that most people now are going to say i have dignity. i'm not going to let the guy down the street tell me how to live. we can now read and see how life could be. and that's a good thing. to you both a great that the individual in the world being about to know the difference
between a good life and about what is overall a constructive effort? >> it certainly is. >> you want to live -- can you understand why millions of syrians believe that assad serious not what they want to pass on to their children? can you understand why people throughout the world, don't want to live in totalitarian dictatorships for our convenience? i can understand that. there's a competition here, i did, but the big thing sweeping the world, to become is that young people have had enough living a life that none of us would adopt for our convenience. i would like to help those young people in the process, not blow up the world. so do you agree with the president that the goal should be to defeat and destroy isis? >> to destroy what? >> defeat, degrade and destroy isil. i should be the united states' goal? >> well, i will speak for myself. i think it is important that we
do what is necessary from the standpoint of our national interest. >> i agree with that. >> at its isil kills our people we certainly should act speed do you agree with the goal the president has stated that its it is in our national interest to degrade and destroy isil? >> and i support that but it depends on how we do that. i don't want us i don't want us to become the only protagonist -- >> do you agree with that general? >> yes. >> do you think the strategy in place today is working to achieve that goal? >> no. >> i agree with you joe but would you like to comment state with i don't know whether it is working. i think we'll take a long time because when situation in which -- >> a mix -- absolutely to good answer. i just got that from russia i just got back from the middle east. no one thinks it is working to the best solution for my point of view would give an islamic coalition together. doesn't have to be all arab.
and islamic coalition to go in on the ground in syria and take isil down in the name of islam saying you do not represent this great religion. we are here to take you on and destroy what you stand for. does that make sense? would that be a good outcome to the root religion a coalition within the religion to go in and take isil down? >> if it is formulated in the region and not created by us yes. >> i could not agree -- >> i think if we tried -- >> finally, finally should we support such an effort giving capacity to that we'll we have unique capability? i'm not advocating 100,000 american troops go on the ground in syria but i am advocating that the longer this problem goes, the more likely we're going to get hit here. i am advocating that america can't sit on the sidelines and let 300,000 syrians get slaughtered because it's complicated. i'm advocating that we defeated
this in any to mankind, not just to islam, and the we get the islamic world engaged -- enemy. but we provide capacity when they have will. that we would provide airpower provide special forces intelligence capability. gentlemen, what i will not accept is the status quo that it is okay to not go after these guys because it is not at every level in the world it is not okay. so my only plea is that you have an open mind to a ground component where we play a role not the leading role, before it is too late. thank you both for your great service to this country. >> would you like to make a response to that tirade? [laughter] spin all, i wouldn't call it a tiebreaker i thought it was very sincere and impassioned. but i don't think it deals
sufficient with the publications of the region. different countries in the region, some regimes which we can work with. there's some which are playing a double gang, and last but not least, there is, unfortunately unexpectedly much more support for assad in syria than we would have wished or probably anticipated, otherwise why is he still there and have not been overthrown and? >> general, would you like to make a comment on the exchange that just took place at? >> well, i think -- >> because i think it was important. >> syria is a most difficult place. it's next to lebanon, probably the most next up in terms of physical mixup of a different groups of any area of the middle east.
i think i understand the concern. i am reluctant sitting here to get into executive legislative struggles, but i think we ought to do what we can without getting ownership again, and we have not only a syrians to worry about, we have to worry about the turks, too, because the kurds are very heavily engaged there. and they have different notions about their own future. >> people talk about the view support a no-fly zone turkey has been asked to protect their army from further destruction, and no-fly zone to give people a chance to regroup? >> i think we i would, i would
consider that but i would not use air power to do it. i think there's some 20 airfields in syria. we could bomb the runways of all of them with missiles, and keep bombing them. and in effect ground and air forces. i would have no problem with that. spin doctor? >> i would probably have no problem but it don't think that solves the problem the larger problem. >> i think you. i think it's been a very important exchange. ..