tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 6, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EDT
goal. plan to get to that in september. the american people are being sent a clear message. they send us your to get things done and we are getting things done. now we have a chance to debate the bill. we've heard about the numbers of amendments we've been able to consider. we've heard about the bipartisan efforts in all committees to salsa really difficult issues. so i would like to see that same spirit to be joined and have these appropriation appropriations bills considered have been debated and have them vote on. this is what we should be doing. we've gotten it out of committee on a bipartisan basis to vote in committee, accusative total of 277. i look for to september with great debate. >> questions for our chair?
>> about the appropriations, and democrats been saying and over again it doesn't have any of their players and then come to block them until they get some kind of negotiation. why not take him up on that offer and what is the downside of talking with the white house and the democrats on the bill? >> just my perspective, as you see the numbers i recited moving through the appropriations committee with the ranking member and other members, we debated a lot in our markups that are fully flushed a summary difficult issues, and i think we stayed within a budget. we stayed with the numbers we all agreed on and so i think we can have a discussion the let's have it on the floor of the united states senate. i think it's a place -- the best place to have it. >> one of those budget areas where we did not gain bipartisan support as we moved that
subcommittee through the process, but it was not because there was not great work going on between myself and my ranking member on that subcommittee. so when you suggest that much of ways contained within these appropriation bills does reflect the priorities of the democrats. i would strongly disagree. i think you look at the support we received from many of the appropriations bills and we did a bipartisan support. where the wrangling is is is their desire to have us bust the cap that were set under the budget control act that were set by this congress and was signed into law by this president. we are just trying to abide by the budget control act. >> question for senator hatch.
estimates show dynamics would lower the cost by about $10 million -- 5 billion. do you think of the committee should have maybe done a permanent long-term bill this session? >> yeah, i think we can do that. i'm glad to see dynamic scoring. over extended good times if we do we will see which one is more accurate under different circumstances. you know, i think so. the finance committees past 37 bipartisan bills up and every one of these committees is doing the job that just hasn't been done for years and years and years. i'm really pleased standing with my colleagues up and make these points because democrats cannot
say this. this is wonderful, at least cover viewpoints recorded. at least we've been heard. at least when been able to put some of our language into the bills. we're going to continue to work with our colleagues and make sure that everybody is part of the system. it's a sea change from what was over the last i would say seven or eight years. i'm pleased with what my colleagues have been saying here today. >> just one other statement in response to your question. in our transportation bill barbara boxer go no further people are part and jim and barbara boxer but when you had to get this done. she gave in some areas and i did, too. we passed the bill with 20 to nothing, unanimous. we had to work with the democrats and were still working with democrats.
my only point was we tried to get this done when we were minority, couldn't do it. now we don't i think some good work. >> thank you all very much. [inaudible conversations] >> here on c-span2 we are live for politico's playbook a breakfast with mike allen. this morning gas va secretary robert mcdonald and correct the record founder and journalist david brock corrected the record is a strategic research team that supports hillary clinton the discussion should get underway shortly. live coverage this morning on
>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome political as chief white house correspondent mike allen. [applause] >> good morning. thank all of you for coming out on august early morning. really appreciate it and welcome all of you in live stream land. in this morning a special welcome him we are very honored to have employers of the veterans administration veterans affairs department joining us. so all our va friends thank you very much for joining us on the live stream. we really appreciate that. we are honored to have secretary or robert mcdonald, sector of veterans affairs who has been in office for exactly one you. people celebrate his anniversary with us and then after that we have a doubleheader today. after my conversation with secretary mcdonald david brock was the founder of trent lott,
american bridge 21st century and media matters will be here but when i was asking him come what they want listed escher official title, david brock told me once what he was cultivated which is hillary's rabid defender. he will be with us after we talk with the secretary. i'd like to thank the bank of america for making this a series possible. around the country breakfast lunches, dinners. bank of america's matties conversation possible. we are grateful for the partnership. and this morning we have with us bruce runyan, director of military affairs at bank of america. and 411 years he was in the u.s. army as captain runyan. captain running in open to politico. >> mike, thank you. >> thank you very much for being here and thank you for making this possible.
[applause] >> bank of america's pleased to continue partnership with politico to highlight topics that are important to americans. this morning we are here to talk with secretary of veterans affairs, sector bob mcdonnell. very important for the bank in which is over 10,000 veterans at the bank and as many more servicemembers transition we continued to higher and reporters continue to hire the. we focus on areas such as housing, transitional housing education and wellness and economic empowerment that it's important that the great partnership with the veterans administration. secretary mcdonald has been since he joined have been a great partner of ours and to staff and replace about that but i like to talk briefly about his leadership. and so at an early age of secretary mcdonald entered west point where he graduated in the top 2%. off to the army what he spent five years in grade schools like
arctic warfare and desert warfare and jungle warfare. later on in into proctor and gamble where he quickly rose through the ranks, leading business in toronto and the philippines and in japan eventually rising to the rank of ceo. entering his tumultuous time in america's economy 2009-2013 the increased the stock or the organic growth of the company by 3%, largely due to his leadership. when he left the ceos office the stock depreciated about 60%. he spent about a year on the sidelines again exhibiting leadership a gentleman who had led at the highest levels in america, raised his hand and told his wife i think i want to go the secretary of veterans affairs. we are delighted to have you. a couple other testament to his leadership. he and his wife are committed to
values-based leadership and they founded the mcdonald cadet leadership conference at west point. that's important. is a west point graduate a real testament to his leadership is the naval academy gave him leadership excellence award for those of you who don't know there's a lot of back and forth between the army and navy. for the naval academy to honor secretary mcdonald with leadership in my opinion is the apex of his recognition. so without further ado up like to welcome secretary bob mcdonald. [applause] >> thank you very much for coming in. >> terrific to be here. >> we are honored to have with us via employers about the country. you either bostick maybe you should say hi. >> well, i would like to say hello to them. the majority of our 300,000 plus employees do a great job everyday caring for veterans and there's no higher calling in the world than to do that. as you may know about a third of
them are veterans already. it's a veterans caring for veterans. or as i like to say euros caring for heroes. spent as was mentioned we came into government, at the top of the corporate world and people at va knew that things were going to be a little different from your first day. you coming to the intentionally disruptive. tell us about the conversation you had in the elevator right you got the job. >> at the time i was nominated by president obama and then going through the confirmation process i was going back and forth to capitol hill meeting with senators to make sure they knew me and do what i wanted to accomplish. i stepped any elevator on the way up to my office and thus i gentleman there and i said how's it going? i like to talk to people in the elevator because you learn what's going on. and he said, well, i'm breathing.
i said well, i'm taking and you better come to. i just felt the need that we were not providing good customer service to veterans and all of us neutered to be preferable taking ass in order to provide better service. spent at the end of july to in for your we appreciate your marking it with us. one of your innovations has been my va. what are hallmarks has been bringing customer experience mindset to serving veterans. how has that gone? >> we are into beginning. right now as we speak our leadership team is on site working with no. he is a dear friend professor at university michigan. it was jack welch's mentor at ge. we are working with noel to cascade our strategy throughout the organization but my va is very important because it's the long-term transmission that we
need at va. five simple strategies. number one but the veteran first everything we have to do with look through the lens of veterans. we're learning about customer service from the purpose customer service organizations in the country. people like disney, starbucks usaa and others. number two, but got to do a better job taking care of them posner does not a better customer service or position that cares what the would you have no hope for caring for the better if you don't care for employees. we haven't done a good job of that. number three and to support solicitor our intro support services need a lot of work. our financial system is written in cobol, a language i wrote in 1973 at west point. our scheduling system which is a common phoenix-based to 1985. it looks like green screen ms-dos. we need we need to put in a
culture of continuous improvement, number four. we are training people in the organization so they can lead the change in the system they work on. and number five last but not least is we're creating strategic partnerships. there's tremendous goodwill out there to care for veterans and were trying to embrace that. as you know we're in the midst of our summer of service. we started the sum of 75,000 volunteers. we have open houses the week of june 20. we want to give that up to 100,000 volunteers. is another ethical reason for this as well which is i bought we are not allowed to care for 15% of veterans, roughly 15% who got less than honorable discharges. chuck hagel when he was secretary and ash carter are going to look at all those discharges to see if they should be we evaluated. but in the meantime we need those external partners because we want those veterans cared for. >> those of you for joining us in life streamline please tweet us your questions.
twitter machine hashtag playbook for breakfast. we will ask you a question. what was the best tip of starbucks gave you about customer experience speak with our children is a dear friend and -- >> is he going to run for president because i don't know. you have to ask for our. i said he is a dear friend. i'm not a political person. my political part is a veterans and every day all it is think about caring for veterans. howard come in howard's book onward, he writes about experience when he came to be ceo of when he walked into one of his stores and the smell of the place was burnt cheese rather than coffee. obviously, appetite has a lot to do with older and since. what happened was that introduced the breakfast sandwich. the cheese would melt in the oven and the smell would pervade the store.
other than trying to convince him to buy fabrice which was a procter & gamble product does not like coffee, we could get to small a copy i think what that instance demonstrates is the importance of the ubiquity of the experience. what we've got is we've got to make sure that every veteran that we touched feels the warm embrace and ubiquity of it whether it's the music we play whether it's of the way we meet greeted him at the door. whether it's a starbucks that we have in our facility what they like to eat with her buddies men or women. so with the 360 degrees ubiquity. >> what did you learn from disney? >> the importance of the cast member. disney does a great job in caring for its employees. they call them cast members, and the important knowledge that is as you leave the disney area and you go on stage, you are on
stage your this actually is replicated in our new orlando medical center where we have all of our exam rooms around the periphery and our patient care teams meet in the middle. and we have a unique system. we use the care for veterans, patient carrot and stick is not just a primary care doctor but it's the other people i work with primary care doctor. they are all inside this area meeting before they go out on stage to be with a patient. >> a headline says be a leader, that you we embrace the customer. you have met some internal resistance. there's some people who don't want to be disrupted. >> its natural that when an organization is in crisis, the natural human endemic is to turn inward to you turn inward, you could focus on intro things.
you generally stop trying to stop caring for your employees. you forget about the customer and it's the survivability, the bureaucracy. what the linda chavez is to go into a situation like that can be disrupted but be disrupted by getting people to turn outward and being extra. i think i've been over 190 different va sites. every time i go i do a town hall meeting so i can learn what's going on. i meet with the leadership, the union leadership the stakeholders because i want to know what's going on and use that input into transformation plan. >> you have a problem that under the best case scenario president obama will be president for accurate a half. they know you're going to be gone before too long. how does that affect the foreseeable change? >> aa lot of people have said that to me and i just i love that kind of challenge. i don't know that i'm going to
be gone and acting like i'm going to be gone. when i came in and we put together the roadmap to veterans day which was her first 90 day plan we had three strategies. rebuild trust, improve on my trips, the third one which i insisted upon was to do the right thing for the long term. my va is all about that. we are doing the right transmission long-term. we are embedding it in the organization. when i bring somebody in from the outside because i rely on a lot of friendships to bring people in bring private sector in from the outside i always american with someone within the va so that if in fact, we go a way that we somebody within the va has been indoctrinated and understand the importance and the centrality of customer service. >> one of my colleagues who serve this country is a veteran. i asked a question to ask? he sent me a note and he said, so the secretary speed i like it
names. this is why i give out my cell phone number i like to talk to veterans. >> secretary perry early on hold a reverse lindsey graham and gave his real cell phone number on c-span. >> sure. it's right here. >> what is at? >> pardon me? (513)509-8454. >> some innovative young reporters are dialing a phone number right now. >> i look forward to talking to them. >> many people have asked about but i did it for a couple of races. first of all leadership is a deliberate. i did not to deliberately say to the organization that i'm accessible. i want to talk to every veteran. i want to know what's going on. it's amazing to the number of calls have issued originally the calls and attacks without i need help. now some the calls and attacks are you changed my life. we stood up 18th of people led
by very capable lady named debbie and she has this team of people who was the case management for these people. this is not a sustainable way we want to care for people but in the meantime we've hired a chief veteran experience officer named tom allen. and tom has over two decades of experience at mcdonald's and has run several businesses himself, and he's helping us learn what good customer experience is about. people like disney are helping us. we set up an external advisory board that has passed an account on the. one of it is a taliban fred wrote a book called if disney brand your hospital, and he's helping us as well. >> one of your leadership principles you talk about over the years going back to your days at west point is to always let your soldiers before you do.
what is the government analogue to that? >> i think the government analogue is to put the needs of your organization about herself. i'm not going ask anybody in va to do anything i wouldn't do myself, and i'm certainly going to work at least as hard as they do if not harder to demonstrate to them that they are more important. similarly i'm going to fight for the. obviously, if somebody does something or that violate one of our values we will take disciplinary action. on the other end we are going to not get involved in the politics of the situation. keep focus on veterans and fight for our employees. >> what about congress? >> what about congress? >> you are willing to stand up for veterans against congress. >> congress has a role to play as well. we have to work together to identify what the needs of the veterans are, and i don't have much tolerance for using veterans as political pawns.
>> andinto some members of congress targeted at? >> that's for you to judge. you were in the political space, i'm not. on about caring for veterans and that's what i'm about. >> my colleagues had to ask you about the immensity of it all. he points out the va is as close as we've come to big government provided health care system in the country they can't even get its head around obamacare insurance. >> the va is can be a would be a fortune 10 coming. we have a budget of about $170 billion. we have 340,000 employees. the procter & gamble company when i was ceo had 120000 employees and sales of about $85 billion. so it is a large organization, as i studied it this country, first of all veterans cannot do without the va. american medicine cannot do without the va. and i would argue the american
public cannot do without the heat because many members of congress said to me why don't you just blow up the va and give up vouchers? it's a very strong three-legged stool that shows that necessity. number one can research. $1.8 billion a year on research three nobel prizes or who did the first liver transplant? the va. who invented the first transplantable pacemaker? the va. who invented the nicotine patch, the shingles vaccine? the va. who knows more about post-traumatic stress ntbi? i could go on, i won't. second training and education. we train over 70% of the doctors in this country. we provide internships. we are the largest employer of nurses in the country. this work is very important to the american medical system. third is the clinical work we do for our veterans and omar bradley set this up in 1946-47
and a line to be the very best medical schools in the country. our veterans of the care they get at the va. we are making it more accessible speed and let's talk about the demographic. who are the patient's? what is the average age and income speak with you raise an excellent point because in 2014 if i asked you what do you think caused the crisis that occurred in the in 2014? most americans would say to me that it was probably the fact we have been fighting wars in afghanistan and iraq for more than a decade. my business analysis says that's not the case but it's instructive. the year i graduate from west point in 1975 we had 2 million veterans over the age of 65. 2017 will have 10 million over the age of 65. that's a five times increase from 1975. what actually occurred in 2014 was the aging of the veteran
population which put tremendous stress on the system. i talk about the essentiality of the va. va is at the canary in a coal mine for u.s. medicine. this is happening in u.s. medicine but happening more slowly and not as visible. we are seeing in the theater my point is, let me finish with this thought, we've got to build the capability today that we will need 30 years from now for the afghanistan and iraq veterans who age. if we don't build that debate we won't have it. >> what is one step about your current demographic? a memorable figure about the people you serve. >> believe it or not we are still serving about 100 descendents of the spanish-american war. >> so people, my point is it doesn't go away. the war doesn't end. va doesn't become an essential. the way you look at vieques you got to think about what you are 30 years hands. we have a sacred observation to
defense of out the worst in this country. that obligation is for the life and the army likes to say soldier for life and that's the way we think about it. >> your staff gave me some stats and facts about how the va has improved. in the past year and everyone in this room knows this was one of the most troubled department in government. we knew there were a lot of problems. locations, backlog of claims which were time. at six under 11000. >> may 2013. >> that the walking of two under section 9000. on monday morning it was 110,000. how do you get it to zero? >> we continue to follow the same strategies that can build on top of the strategy in the beginning was digitized process. we've gotten rid of about five tons of paper and everything that is digitized. we are doing great work with our veterans service organizations on developing a fully developed
cling to get the claim, it's ready to be processed. the other things we've done in terms of digitizing the process is bring something called the vbms which is the computer system that allows us to do it in an automated way. that allows us to move those claims around the country depended upon which of our service centers has capability. the other thing we've done is we've asked our people to work mandatory overtime. this is the part i don't like. we've had employees working mandatory overtime to process these claims. the average time weight now it's less than 125 days standard but mandatory overtime is a prescription for disaster we are trying to get out of the. the problem is we have more people in the budget. we most result in the choice that had more people in the budget for celebrating these claims. when congress when it passed the choice act they stripped of those people out to we are back with a 2016 budget asking again for poor people for the claim
portion because we got to get people off mandatory overtime. we are having people work from home so the two hours that used to commute taken now to claims instead. >> twitter questions coming in. when the questions this isn't the secretary of where that 35,000 combat veterans are a bonus listed as pending for health and moment because of a means test? >> if the individual would give me their name and phone number i would be happy to check out their particular incident. normally get those claims and accusations because somebody as an individual issue. i like to do with specifics and not generalities. customer service is about one on one care spirit to e-mail me preview info -- >> could i have your cell phone number of? >> what role and telehealth
point in increasing access for veterans of? >> à la health is huge. in the last year we got like 700,000 appointments and telehealth. we are the leader in telehealth in the country, perhaps in the world. telehealth is huge in providing access -- telehealth is basically using broadband and digital technology to get your health care come as much as possible. so, for example, i was in one of our facilities and the nurse i was with, nurse practitioner had a stethoscope that was automatically connected with the lifeline, the internet. she was taking my pulse or listening to my heart, and that was being read across the country. that kind of thing is possible capable of something we didn't already. another aspect of that is mental health. doing mental health appointments in telehealth provides the confidentiality and security that a lot of veterans like and
they are allowed to stay in their home. so would like to use it for mental health as well. >> in and we'll we'll bring you into the conversation. if you have questions coming is a question of my colleague who is the editor of politico go. he said last week it was confusion about the blue button initiative that vieques used to get veterans to download their medical records. you think the va needs to change the name or take some other steps to get engagement in order to improve their care? >> to respond, i wasn't confused at the point i was raising i was talking to a group of people working with us on electronic medical record, which is open-source, open system.
i said what's blue button? maybe that's an idea. our websites have unusual names. i mean what's wrong with veterans.gov or that's.gov ox wheeler trying to do rather than looking everything the length of bureaucracy towards the customer, let's look at everything from the length of the customer back towards the bureaucracy and let's make our decision that we can make things easier. >> while we are in the e world heather podesta is with us and she has a question i think we'll just try to get a microphone that way. while we're doing that i will ask you can view it on 60 minutes and it has to is the worst behind you and i predict your edge i will ask you what is the worst problem that remains
at the va? >> the worst problem is as you approach all of these targets that we set all these goals whether it's ending homelessness, ending the claims backlog, getting access to care it's such a large system in such a large need you've always got one left. is this idea how to get every single person it's at the starfish story coming in, about the old bathroom the starfish into the sea and a minute of the clean up the whole beach but it matters to each starfish he throws in the water. i feel like that but i need to clean up the beach because if there's one veteran that is homeless that's one committee. >> maybe you said this year that claimed backlog when is it to get to zero? >> by the end of the calendar year spirit still on your watch. >> yes. hi, heather. i'm bob.
>> thank you mr. secretary, for your extraordinary -- [inaudible] >> thank you. we have a lot to do. >> i am curious if you are more about -- one of the pillars you talked about. there are also some solutions available, and curious as to what va wants to do -- [inaudible] >> scheduled is a really big issue, heather, and as you say that our solutions. we taken kindly to track approach. one track is to put him fix his to our current system knowing that that's not the solution. because as i said my first trip to phoenix which mike referenced referenced, i sat down at the computer screen and actually
worked the scheduling system may so big it really is a green screen. and just like where to make things simpler for veterans we have to make things simpler for our employees. so putting fixes in to the current system is one approach, the fastest approach. separately we are going for an off the shelf system that we are going to implement as quickly as possible. so we will start putting it in place. it will take some time to do it in all of our facilities. the third thing we have to do is we've got to match our people are trained and this is why i'm eager to have a simplified system. while there have been things that have gone wrong in the va we holding people accountable for those things. for example there was a person who manipulated data in georgia who was indicted two weeks ago. and as time goes on these measures of accountability will
come out. i really believe we've got to make things simpler. that arafat and today complaining about our execution of the choice act. yes, okay there are seven different ways to get care outside the system. congress has passed laws and repeatedly as these laws get layered on top of each other you end up with this complexity that is not only complex for the veteran to understand the incredibly complex for the employee to understand. we need a simple but all that. congress has asked me and we're suggesting that we simple but all that to one system. what i'm looking for heather come as we finish this is we've got to make a scheduling system simpler. we have an app now on a smartphone seek and you scheduled on a smartphone and got to make it easier for everybody. >> and you went on meet -- >> i'm bob. >> when you went on "meet the press" in february, chuck todd ask you about how many people
have been held accountable for the problems at the view. you said 900 people have been fired since i became secretary. too much later headline in the nuke times, the people lost jobs in the scandal. has been enough accountability? >> i think there has. >> will there be more? >> the number now is over 1400 people who have been terminated as i became secretary. >> what do you think it will wind up at? >> i don't know. you see, part of this is a layered approach. this is actually take but there's disciplinary actions the fbi takes. there's well over 100 people being investigated right now the scheduling issues, right? the as those investigations come out the fbi investigation takes priority. then you hear about -- but you know what for all of our critics accountability and and/or decision is more than just firing people. what we got to do is make sure
there's a sustainable system in place so that people are rewarded when they do well. people held accountable when they don't do well. we are providing feedback. one of the things i did is i sat down with the chairman of our house committee and i took into the relative performance ratings over 2014 of the va top employees. there are about 400 over 400 or so. what i showed him was number one, nobody in veterans health administration is giving a performance bonus for 2014. nobody. nobody is rated outstanding. how can you be rated outstanding if your secretary has to -- right? we have the best distribution in government of those ratings from top to bottom, and i would argue the best distribution compared to the private sector but why do i know that? because i ran a company and the private sector. accountability is a lot more than just firing people.
accountability is also the fact that when i came in i found that doctors dollars or 20% below the market so we raised the salaries. accountability is not to be much more holistic and just firing people spend my colleague has a question. we will get her. lots of people still dissatisfied the conservative group concerned veterans for america gave me a 10 page document, the a lowlifes list. what facility are you still most concerned about? >> i think first of all you have to understand the political nature of the concerned veterans of america. i have met with pete many times. i know the people attacking politically, that fund his organization. we are not in favor of privatizing the va. in fact, one of my biggest concerns and i met with sylvia burwell recently, sexy of health and human services, is how do we
inform the doctors that we send letters to in the private sector to always ask the question have you served in the military -- secretary of health and human services. if i'm sending veterans and the doctors not note the military culture, does not understand how explosive great traumatic brain injury, that's dangerous for the veteran. i've got to make sure those people, this idea privatizing the va is antithetical to the. >> you have disagreements because i think there's a role for government. i do think there's a role for government. if we didn't invent the shingles vaccine, who would do it works if we didn't train 70% of the doctors in the country, who would do it? that's not in their proposal. i think come you got to look at this rationally from the standpoint of the veteran and those veterans who have risked their lives for our country and what we owe them. not from a political agenda.
>> pullback became an ask you this. what is the most legitimate remaining criticism of the va? >> i think i think the criticism of me not at the va. i'm the leader, i take responsibility. i accountable. i think the criticism is i'm not moving fast enough. if there's one veteran without a roof over their head tonight it's my fault if there is one veteran without their disability claim handled today, it's my fault. the first day at west point you learn your for answers to any situation. yes, sir no sir. sir, i do not understand. i tried to answer a lot. they thought i was hard of hearing. but i was a salute to the fourth and is most powerful, no excuse, sir. anytime if it is not getting the care they need it's my problem no excuse. call me on my cell phone and i will work on it spent a very knowledgeable defense report has
a question for you. >> i wanted to ask you for the purposes of working with -- [inaudible] >> i think that's a great point. a great point that one thing one of things i noticed when i joined the va was that i didn't think we were embracing the goodwill of the american people enough including contractors. i found that confer example of my first trips was the boss and i went to harvard medical school to recruit doctors and nurses. i also went to boston to work at our facilities. while there i major i visited an organization called home-based which is funded by the boston red sox foundation. homebase is a wonderful
organization. i was told by those who run homebase and also by a dear friend who owned the new york mets that we were seeing major league baseball contribution to veterans as competition rather than as complementary. and i wanted to make sure we saw this complementary. what we've done is we've established a strategy. one of our five strategies from my va is all about strategic partnerships. we hired a guy from the private sector. is a west point graduate. he was the mayor of flight michigan at the age of like 20. is one of several companies but he's coming to help us settle these strategic partnerships. his name is matt calder and zeno addresses matthew that metropolitan 2 at va.gov. anyone who wants to be a part of the viacom we want you to. we know we can do this by ourselves and we know we can speed up the process if we use all the help that everybody can
give. the goodwill of the american people is immense. there's the ethical issue i mentioned before. homebase country that 18% of veterans with less than honorable discharges. we can't. we really believe in strategic partnerships. come join us. >> i think with a question right here. thank you. >> thank you. i'm michael levin. i work for congresswoman jan at. bob, mr. secretary. much of the conversation has focused on health care which is understandable given that's the immediateimmediate crisis you were brought into solo but i do know homelessness is a concern of yours as well. you're out in los angeles at the opening of the village in san pedro. what other steps are you taking to alleviate that concern that
christ is? >> thank you michael. great question. we've been working very hard on working to eliminate veteran homeless at the we have a deadline at the end of you. the president is all behind us and the first lady. wewe've been going out and meeting with mayors. one of the things i discovered waking in the job there's lots of unfinished business. one was michael mention if we have a lawsuit going on in los angeles for over four years that paralyzed us paralyzed us run eliminating veterans homelessness in the city with the highest degree of homeless veterans or the highest number of homeless veterans. so i had to solve the loss of. working with partners out in l.a., people i knew. i got to know even better we created an agreement. they're all that working together as a committee. thing i've learned is we and the federal government can't do it by ourselves. again partnership is important and what we need to do is get all levels of government working together. we can provide the hud-vash
vouchers. but we need the local mayors local governors to help us. every time i go to a city now i need with the mayors can meet with governors and we make sure you have an allied plane one of the biggest issues we face is in high-cost cities around the country getting the landlords to rent for the hud-vash voucher on a. you're shaking your head i know you know this. so what we did is a mayor and i or the governor and i in the case of hawaii, we use of the governor as well we have a mayors the challenge, and all the landlords into the room and would talk to them about how this is good business to rent to veterans. because it's not just getting the better and under a roof but we surround the better with care, whether it's with mental health care, medical care competition care, whatever it is. we surround of the veteran with care with caseworkers so that veteran becomes a good reintegration into community.
>> high, ma legal, how are you? how your daughter? >> doing well. question for you. you said you're not a very political person. he mentioned to outreach efforts to congress when you came into the field to your letter you underestimate the political aspects of this job? we still see plenty of anger and a couple of conflict between the va and congress in recent months. they feel like they need to recalibrate that relationship? do you feel there's more room to grow? >> no. overall i think the unanimity around veteran issues between va and congress have been fantastic. i mean, you know arguably the work of congress suggested recently to give me the financial flexibility to use money that was set aside for community care to pay for care in the community was a good thing. as you know i've said many times
that the waco that runs is not like a business. i have over 70 line items the budget where i can move money from one pocket to the other pocket xo in this particular case we needed roughly $3 billion to pay for care in the community that was in a budget of $10 billion for care in the community and we couldn't take money out of that without going to congress. the question in a situation like this is a business situation this week give them a better choice. they all have a choice. they can go in va or go into community. but i don't have choice in building the money. i have to keep going back to congress every time asking permission which gets another opportunity for them to talk about mismanagement and whatever else they want to talk about the last you mismanagement was not getting veterans in to get a this year is getting too many veterans into care. >> but as you said that aspect, that transfer was a four month
come into being a four-month fight which is a pretty nasty accession to get you from folks on the hill spent i will take the accusations as long as we could job done for veterans. i'm not a politician but i'm not running for anything. i have one purpose. i don't need this job and the purpose is to care for veterans and i'm going to do the very best i can. what you're going to see his congress will work with me to run this war like a business. in essence come in when i was concerned this is what the answer. they said went like a business. i'm trying to do that but i need laws passed in order to do that. financial flexibility think one of them. >> this isn't just in the building. the resistance to the destruction and the more business oriented approach has also come from the hill speak with put it this way. i probably get on average five-foot a day from members of congress about you should do this, you should do that. they are all about giving additional benefits. no member of everything about taking away a benefit.
on one hand congress passes the laws to give benefits. congress to appropriate the money to pay for those. when you have a mismatch, guess who gets caught in the middle and guess who gets blamed? so i've got to do is work with members of congress and industry mentors anonymity and we are seeing that work together against a common objective spirit when you try to explain that to them they say what? >> most of them agree. if you watch my hearings, sometimes pretty good, pretty good business explanation of what's going on most of them agree. i think the financial flexibly thing talk about what leo rocca. generally ag appropriations committee and the authorization committees members have agreed. so we will see. >> we are about to get the hook my penultimate question for you can when you're at procter & gamble to emphasize what you called values-based leadership and on the web you have all the leadership lessons you've
learned over the years. my favorite is you say companies must do well to do good and must do good to do well. explain. >> talking in the private sector in particular. the purpose of the procter & gamble company is to improve lives. and the employees in the company are inspired by that purpose. so you can create products that improve lives and trash the environment at the same time you have to create sustainable products. one of the things i was most proud of the clinton global initiative a few years ago i made a commitment to the procter & gamble company that by 2020 we would save one life in our by providing clean drinking water. we invented the chemistry that allowed us to cling 10 liters of water in developing countries in about 20 minutes -- cleaning -- the average woman in a
developing country walks 14 kilometers a day to get water and firewood for her family. water and and firewood to boil the water. it's a huge issue and over 2000 children die today from drinking non-clean water. so i think if you have a purpose for the company of improving lives, you have to make that purpose pervasive in the company. out to be part of your philanthropy as well as part of what you do commercially. >> reading your leadership manifesto what i believe in, it's clear your christian faith is important to you. >> it is. i'm a devout christian, spirituality has been part of my life. obviously, in my beliefs i wrote those in a secular way because i was leading a large global company. but i think spirituality is important and i think it's an important part of what we did in the va. we have chaplains. you choose the faith you want to follow but we have chaplains
and the spiritual nurturing of our patients is as important as the physical nurturing. they both go hand in hand. i don't think it's a surprise that when you serve in the military you have a chaplain that goes into battle with you. in my case the chaplains who we had in the 82nd airborne division were dear friends and ones who helped care for me spiritually and help make your spiritually for the men who served with me. >> as we say goodbye, you are from cincinnati. you go home a lot. would your last meal be -- spirit can i have and all of the above? spent what is your favorite cincinnati food? >> i love them all. the ice cream is incredible spent what flavor of? >> i would probably start with dessert. it's a wonderful, it's chocolate raspberry. or it is raspberry with
chocolate chips. the chocolate chips on the size of candy bars. >> great country spend it is a great country. >> what they like about the pizza of? >> one of the things i like about is the philanthropy of the family. you go to a cincinnati reds team which is my favorite team and our own is a great ear different. i think if there's 11 strikeouts in a game by the reds pitcher everybody gets repeated you can imagine what happened in the stadium educated to nine strikeouts, and strikeouts. i worry that in local other increase the that of the opposing player because when you get a free pizza is great. >> real quick, he went to a real deal fantasy camp. >> i did. i turn 60 years old in 2013, and so for my birthday dinner that evening my family kind played a joke on advocating a letter from a cincinnati reds thing that attracted me for fantasy camp. my son had turned 30.
you had at least 30 to go to fantasy camper i was always his coach or manager in baseball. never got to play with and he and i went together to we room together and we played two games a day with professional uniforms professional umpires on professional fields. and my coaches were wrong and a become too great guys. the only problem is, and i said this before but my senator active on social media. walloping with him and and his grip on the other didn't appreciate him putting on his facebook page dedicated to room smelled like bengay every night last night spent i think -- [laughter] >> thank all of you for watching live stream land. in many cases your fellow veterans. we thank john from the bank of america for making this
conversation possible. thank all of you for coming out so early in mr. secretary, thank you for a fantastic conversation. >> thank you, mike. [applause] >> and now david brock. david, thank you for coming out. appreciate it very much. so this is the big day and david brock is our debate day guest. david who founded correct the record who is sort of the embodiment of the left wing. >> in some ways. i make them having been in the right wing and being a very early part of what hillary clinton eventually quickly identified as the right wing conservative. but the difference is that with much more of a ragtag operation back in the '90s and what we see today the atlantic magazine referred to as a right wing conglomerate. we all know about the incredible
amount of money they're willing to put down in this election to defeat hillary clinton. it's such a big number, different times, not just degree i think. we saw all the republicans. there will be a debate tonight that the more important debate maven last week in whether other competing for the affections of the koch brothers. bottom line is with that kind of money being spent i think that whoever the candidate on the republican side is they will be beholden to the koch brothers and their agenda with the exception the koch brothers probably didn't plan for the republican front-runner to be a billionaire himself and that somebody probably can't control. spent we invited david brock is the most visible, vocal passionate defender of hillary clinton which is a full-time job. david brock, at this moment are you more irritated with fox news or "the new york times"? >> "the new york times." that's an easy question.
you know look -- >> let's ponder for a second you can complaint about "the new york times," coverage of investigation of e-mails the handling of the clinton e-mail. what if they just made a mistake speak with well look, institution of journalism make mistakes all the better i think there are a couple of issues. one, it's not the first time. there's a pattern. the first e-mail story they broke was also botched and they had to walk back. i think the second thing is the way they handled it, i think there are questions that readers of "the new york times" still don't know about how all this went down and for -- >> what isn't known about how it went down? >> i think the issue is how did this happen? you know, in the case of 60
minutes when they botched the story that was also said the republicans possibly this was there was an internal investigation. there's no review going on at "the new york times" i'm aware of what happened here but the sourcing is questionable at the bottom line here, i started meeting matters in 2004. people don't have to take my word for the your own colleague recently wrote that the reality that we are living in with them because they're out to get hillary clinton. ..
everybody wants to be first appeared in this case i'm not inside the newsroom but it's a much possible they rushed the story out good that is something we don't know because we don't know about the internal workings of the story. but the incentive is to try to be first into nail that pray. i think that goes back at least longer to 1992. the press hasn't learned from those mistakes and a lot of people in our repeating the same
errors. whitewater was designed to show the clintons to be untrustworthy. the same playbook is playing out today. i just think back in 1992, but that he's not the latter-day watergate and the mainstream media sometimes as a vehicle for that. >> you're one of the most sophisticated understandings of the former investigative reporter yourself. what can secretary clinton and the clinton campaign do to turn around the dynamic? >> number one i think this goes back to the 1992 question that has to be answered. that is partly where some of my groups come in. but you can't let these things had out there and be unanswered. a lot is beyond their control, frankly. what is in their control has
been going really well. you can't necessarily control your press coverage, but there is room for organizations to get in there and monitor all the price out there. you've got to give people the factual and edition under which if you let this stuff go carmena can attack as peer >> is very difficult to drive davidow to get him to express his views. treat us your questions at cashback tran -- tell us about your empire. >> okay, so there are -- actually there are 12 distinct legal entities, but basically five missions. so media matters is the mothership started in 2004. that is a cross-section of
national price every single day posting about 400 critiques of media coverage. then came american crew and that was an innovation on the democratic side in the way that research was done an innovative model. >> say exactly what they do. >> so, we are combing through the public record. for two years now and we've been tracking and doing research about the republican fields right now are further ahead than any organization never has been a candidate. this is the data collection operation. we have trackers, 50 young people in the field and in the
states. not just the presence level but the senate race. >> every event they can get into they don't. when we have a negative news, we put that out. when todd akin talks about legitimate train a love in. in missouri we put that out on youtube or the so-called cap of jeb bush. we were first out of the box putting the video up >> who spotted it >> we have to move so quickly that i don't even know that we have done some rain. -- something. the trackers move very quickly and it's probably one checkpoint in d.c. >> my colleague daniel libman recently did a story about
trackers. what is the new frontier and the cutting-edge and tracking technology. >> we have done some innovation not so much technology, but the next thing is perhaps a tracker is not entirely passive. but to start being more aggressive and the questions are getting other people to ask questions. that is something we are going to do more of. the whole tracking affirmation is now going on both sides. what i have found if you innovate, you can't copy it. so we started american bridge. and so now both sides are using tracking operations and we always look for a way to get a competitive edge vintage. >> so this bird-dog idea is very
fascinating. in the past trackers have been trained to be quiet to stand back. by the change in philosophy? >> i think one people are being used to attract. if you look at chris christie shut up and sit down that was the question that irritate him him clearly. jeb bush deer in the headlights on what the paycheck fairness act was. he didn't know what it was. >> that was one of your people? >> that was the video. >> governor christie was one of your people? >> not the question or comment node. you can change the dynamic with questions and then you get michael kinsley saying something they really think. >> this will come from asking more aggressive questions.
how will slowly see this new more aggressive philosophy? >> on the technology side, the details i don't know but we have been able to act much more quickly to get this video out than ever before. it is down to a matter of minutes. >> secretary clinton has a problem that has nothing to do with fox news for "the new york times" "wall street journal," hillary clinton loses crown. the nbc poll secretary clinton missing 10 points among white women from june until july going from 44% of white women having a favorable view to 34% and other shocking number appeared in the first three months suburban women had an 18% positive view of her and since july at dramatic turn by five points now have a negative view of her. what have been.
>> do they say why? i don't know what happened. all i can say is a few things about the polling. one common poll numbers come down the more active you are as a candidate. that is what happened in this. virtually every poll secretary clinton is beating the republican fields and leading her democratic plan. her favorability has stayed relatively steady in the midst of the onslaught we already described with benghazi, e-mails and the clinton foundation. at this early stage, perception of candidates and the numbers don't have the time. i think she is pretty much weathered the storm. >> order your worries at this point? >> what are my worries? i don't have any worries. >> you'd be the first person in
politics and certainly the first person in the clinton camp if that were true. >> if she is not president it will be what. >> look, i think that there is a theme under your control in the campaign and i mentioned earlier in that sphere we are seeing she's doing suddenly. something in your control could go wrong. you could make a mistake. is there something that will make a difference. i find not unlikely. we've seen the playbook. they won the reelection twice in these types of scandals.
so boosting the strategy strategy and we know that. >> the fact that she is so well known a clearly defined person in american politics is that advantage are vulnerable? >> it could be both. the problem if people believe that they know hillary clinton and yet they don't there's an awful lot in her 30 year public record don't know a lot about. i think that will come out in the campaign and that would be a huge plus for her. i studied her. i don't know which books you've got, but i wrote a book about hillary clinton published back in 1996. you know i went to reprocess as a reporter of looking at her
record firsthand. i was incentivized in the conservative movement. you've got that one. enso every incentive was to find ways to attack hillary clinton. what i found and the reason now -- one of the reasons i support her if somebody has this lifelong commitment to public service. every step of the way she had choices to make, made the choice to follow her passionate advocacy, embodiment of the everyday american values that people relate to. the mayor added that to strength and integrity and there. and the right-wing you couldn't even say that hillary clinton did a good job or even chelsea without that being a possibility. that was integrated so well by my colleagues at the time. i feel like i earned that the
hard way and i wrote in the book that i thought it was possible some day that she would he pass or greater historical figure than her husband and i was almost 20 years ago. still believe that today in the hillary clinton campaigns are seen a lot of what i saw. >> hillary clinton is a greater figure than bill clinton. >> it is possible sure. >> how do you think history -- >> i expect we will win this election. that would likely lead to reelection. the obvious in here as first president and how people are ready for that and i think
that's going to happen. >> does that single fact make you more likely to be president than not? >> you know, i think it'll play a role. as a know the histories is very harsh to win a third term. i think that's certainly one of the reasons the prices will be broken. but it's not just for a woman. i think it is for this woman. >> you mentioned are fascinating personal story and one of the early books you mentioned, on the bio david brought hard-hitting journalism. so how did the right turn you left? >> well, basically to make a long story short i was prompted to do two things at once.
i was trying to be politically active as a conservative and i was trying to do journalism. at some point whether it's inevitable or not, there is a train wreck that happened between telling a party line and going with what you are finding a journalism. i very specifically learned in the first book i wrote that the sources around clarence thomas had a seriously misled me that the book was written in good faith but after the fact i don't want to say it was used but that's part of the story. it shook my foundation. so it wasn't like one day i woke up inside supply-side economics doesn't make any sense. it is about the character and integrity of the people i was working with and how --
>> if you have a question for david brock indicate and will bring your microphone. what are you hoping to learn about republican candidates? >> a lot of the attention is on donald trump and rightly so it is very interesting. the more interesting thing i will look for if i will be watching jeb bush news wise. i think the political story of the last week is the way hillary clinton took them on a tremendous reputation as a moderate, showed him to be a riot action area look at showed that it is the approved institute and its almost waiting for him to advocate. that is from the minors.
he did nothing. i think that showed he can't stand up to hillary, >> humorous backstage, he did not respond. the only thing that happened was somehow there is a reach of facilities here. hillary clinton should be for her to me and to brad s. kind of a class entitlement. he's obviously running a general election campaign primary and the contradiction is that you want to stay above the fray like that and you get hit and crumble that would show you to be very weak and tepid and on the other hand, if you get in the fray that asserted against your strategy. what i am looking for tonight is
either republicans stand up and say i'm the guy who can stand up to hillary. >> what governor bush was saying is he's trying to run a different campaign. he said in the past he wants to run a joyful campaign. >> yes, in the tradition of the kinder inkjet letter h.w. bush, the compassionate servitors that is the strategy i think. the question is how do you handle the competition of the primary. day i think what we will see tonight is there are stylistic differences. basically on every issue that will come through as well. >> do you worry more about marco rubio or scott walker? >> i would be worried about this one. when i said i wasn't worried
earlier i didn't mean i felt this election was going to be a cakewalk. i think you've got to be prepared for any eventuality here. if you saw the republican style tradition, you would think that would be jeb bush. i think anything could happen it could be back. i just don't know. it means that an insurgent non-establishment candidate could end up with the nomination. >> and if he is the 1964 example is simply not viable at the election. >> that would be someone who has 45%. >> is secretary clinton becomes president clinton, what will your role be? >> i think to do everything i can but the organization mentioned.
>> are not going into the west wing? >> i'm very satisfied with what we are having is an independent organization. if we are successful her in the election, the next task will be you could still have very rough terrain and i think we will try to ensure the way we do that, which is the republican opposition. a couple other organizations has an ethics watchdog and some independent journalism as well. i want to put all back to work work for a progressive government >> and if she leaves, what will you do? >> well, that is a good question. i don't have the answer to that. i'm not planning for that.
>> do you think you will be unlikely to remain in washington? >> not necessarily. if you go back to media matters in 2004 obviously right now we correct the record which is working with the campaign is that clinton alliance? we were very young and went able to defend john kerry affect tivoli and we've done the same for leaders for a president obama and planned parenthood. the organizations are not founded around any particular candidate and they will live on no matter what i do. >> you mentioned to media training. they've been accused of the boundaries with the clinton campaign including supporters of early-stage. where do you see the line between what you can and can't
do? >> well, the line is area communications are through the internet. what we are not doing our big advertising campaigns. that is the distinction to work with the campaign, which we are doing. it's going very well. we are extremely busy with a lot to do. >> you have a book coming six weeks from now that you work very hard on and write your esophagus called -- you saw the cover had playbook. it is called killing the messenger, the right-wing plot to be real. hillary hijack your government. what is the big idea in this book? >> it is basically about the arc of scandal that has involved the
time from who was benefited through my time working through these progressive organizations. so the guy who invented it basically has three parts. one for those who read banned by the right which is a memoir that takes the reader from that time, 2002, to the present. some of these battles with the right wing. number two it was based in part in the spring of 2013 where he was trying to update my critique of the right wing conspiracy and what it looks like today. three, what was touched on is what is the republican playbook against hillary and why is that all bs?
if i take you through all of these examples. >> the value of that if people start to understand what propaganda is and the effect over time. i'm trying to precondition people to understand we've seen this for almost 25 years now. we know what it is to be conservative. >> as we said goodbye too letter-size questions. you've had an apartment in new york for a while. what's it like to be a part-time new yorker? >> i love it. i work about a week of the month. i am working up there and they raise a lot of money for the organizations. but the downtime is just different. >> you talk about the difference
in the culture. >> well, d.c. can be a bit of work no play. >> when he >> when you say there's more to do, what do you like to do there? >> is a lot more places to go. i've been here for a long time since 1986. washington has gotten better. >> anybody who has visited your offices here in organizations, anybody who is visited you at work knows colby. >> with god about 250 people in these organizations. toby is 251. we got grandfathered in. >> what is toby's role?
>> i just hope he's not a double agent. let's put it that way. >> all of you who are watching them live stream and come especially the eight people. i think i collect that "politico" who put on these events in a thank you all for coming out. david brock, thank you for a great conversation. enjoy the debate. watch the debate from 9:00 to 11:00. at 11:00 pop on "politico".com. i will be there with my colleagues. please come and we will see you then. [inaudible conversations] ♪
>> transfer tax the government and security issues in afghanistan hosted by the u.s. institute of peace. >> at afternoon, everybody. my name is nancy lynn burke president of the united states institute of peace i'm delighted to welcome everybody here today for a conversation on beyond afghanistan dangerous summer. i'm glad to see so many people here. washington is not empty not in
august. and obviously afghanistan remains an important issue for all of us to think about them grapple with. at a chance to go to afghanistan with andrew wilder rvp for south-central asia back in march for there is this hope and optimism permeating afghanistan with the relatively new unity government. president donnie's average to pack as since the reform agenda could be here at u.s. i.t. as part of his visit to washington in march. so fast forward to july august, the fighting season came back on with a vengeance we've seen an increased president a sub to an unexpected news are expected in some cases about taliban leadership. we are delighted to have with us
today to read very distinguished speakers who will bring us their fresh perceptions with both their experience as well as recent visits to afghanistan about this point and very fresh in fact. two of them off the plane and we are happy to work that out. we are particularly honored to be able to host ambassador gasparino, and pakistan. ambassador feldman has played a pivotal role here since 2009 he's been at the heart beat of supporting our engagement with afghanistan and played a particularly important role in supporting the pakistani lad talks between kabul and the taliban and the experience in
the region has been an important part of his ability to make a difference on a critical set of issues. he will be joined after he makes remarks by steve hadley who is the board chair former national security adviser and longtime public servant. that conversation will be moderated by andrew wilder vice president here at u.s.a. p. for south-central asia. with that, please join me in welcoming ambassador feldman to the stage we are very happy to have here to talk about your perception of the region right now. [applause] >> thank you nancy. i'm glad to be here to give my
valedictory address of the special representative for afghanistan and pakistan. i visited the region last week to pay my farewell calls and look forward to preparing no-space steve and i appreciate having the flexibility to do this. the relationship with usip has been a familiar one in which expert and policymaker shape each other's thinking. thank you for that. i started speaking six years ago when ambassador richard holbrooke offered me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the inception to serve as the deputy and ultimately became a special representative myself a year ago. now that i'm transitioning back i wanted to reflect on the
successes achieved while acknowledging many challenges that remain. i was incredulous recently when the unit is testified to congress and the deputy was asked to write as diplomacy achieved in dan. and demonstrated the need to highlight the significant development in the region fostered and sustained to the assiduous diplomatic efforts. it was diplomacy that facilitated and nurture the afghan effort to create the government nationally. diplomacy is put our bilateral relationship pakistan on firmer footing now that many footing now than any point in the ministration. it was diplomacy that opened an historic opportunity for afghanistan and pakistan to work together towards a common interest in peace. it was diplomacy that supported afghan determination to fundamentally change the role of
women in our society. diploma be -- diplomacy that secured the government and security forces in afghanistan and it can only be through sustained diplomacy with international community and especially countries of the region with the opportunity for success in afghanistan preserved. >> they don't just spontaneously generate. i'm extremely proud to have been a charter member of the innovative and montréal team created by secretary clinton and ambassador hallberg and secretary kerry's own region and the power of diplomacy. due to the achievement i believe srap will serve as a prototype to more nimbly respond to the future. every day that dedicated team many of whom are here today has
honored richard hallberg's memory by seeking to fulfill his definition of diplomacy minimizing conflicts, saving lives and achieving results. you will note the list of momentous achievement and afghanistan. access to education improving the role of women and girls come and girls can help ahmad chalabi, infrastructure gdp growth. afghanistan is not the country was in the taliban was ruled. political stability is a mention of afghan security. one year ago the prospects for stable leadership with the uncountable options included in president carter's eyes turn and threats to the government. after a request for intervention, secretary kerry made two visits to cobol and august when he famously brokered the compromise that resulted in the government.
after achieving agreement on parameters of the framework, i was left behind in kabul to hammer out in the next six or seven weeks a political agreement between president ghani and ceo of poetry the first democratic transition of power in afghanistan's history. coalition governments in the most mature democracies grappled mightily with implementation and in afghanistan it is no different. president traina levins government has made appointments of anticorruption initiatives to the recent establishment of the special commission which was for failing to meet with last week. for this to achieve reform, and must operate in a more manner. this includes empowering ministries and provincial governors to assume much of the work and engaging more comprehensively with the full
range of afghan stakeholders. the parliament, civil society, opinion leaders domestic media and ultimately the afghan people. those who feel excluded from the government paved the way for spoilers to attract and create unnecessary instability. that is why i urge my colleagues to seize this last best opportunity to demonstrate the government is durable and functional and can translate the rhetoric into tangible policy implementation that will benefit the daily lives of all afghans. in that message to those outside the government is support the unity government in ventura, pet success. this is the legitimate government reflective of the millions of votes cast by the international community will continue to support. afghans don't deserve alternative that weakens rather
than strengthens society. political stability will optimize and address other related challenges. the economic climate is whether the shot and draw down of resources and security challenges alluded to throughout the country are severe at the taliban has launched a violent by killing many civilians in conflict casualties. we always anticipated this to be a difficult fighting season pose a real challenge to the security forces that they have held their own. while the temporary gains, the nsf is retaking territory and not fiercely challenged in a major urban center capital. it has proven it was ready for the security responsibility transferred to it from date of last year and we will continue to support the subs tix as it does the skills and reshis undaunted
courage and commitment. one final word on the progress we've seen in afghanistan. we and our allies should be proud of the role that our assistance has played including that administered through unprecedented civilian surge. development will always be difficult work and there are at times accurate reports of ways given challenges faced by one of the world's poorest most conflict affected and least institutionalized country. and to be clear american or afghan government employee or contractor who will greatly benefit must be held accountable. despite easy allure of.yeah reporting, we must continue to assess the overall impact of our efforts and not just focus on the easiest mechanical accounting of project execution. we must redouble efforts to the
account feasible but not fundamentally chill initiatives that are critical to achieving our core security interests. degrading al qaeda and its affiliates and ensuring that in the sand is not once again become a safe haven for terrorists who threaten national security. these are hard goals and important ones and there will be failures as we find the right mix of initiatives to achieve that. but that risk of failure is one worth taking. and pakistan diplomats said at the front line protecting national interests. diplomacy has brought a bilateral from a tumultuous later several years ago to its current strength in a stable position based on a more honest and realistic set of expectations. the principle vehicle has been our strategic dialogue were responded on key areas of strategic alignment to deliver
results including countering terrorism nuclear concerns and prompting stability through reforms and trade energy initiatives. this dynamic has been notable progress in targeting al qaeda leadership in countering the threat posed by ieds. there is a renewed effort by the pakistani leadership to bring greater security throughout the country as demonstrated by the ambitious undertaking of the north waziristan operation a year ago and further accelerated in the aftermath of the massacre last december. our assistance has been of great value which has rebalance portfolios to the unisys and in the disproportionate reliance on security systems. in particular our ability to better brand by high-impact signature projects and energy
and economic growth and development in higher education contributed to perceptions of the u.s. high-level commerce secretary this year showcased potential of the relationship which can be unlocked if pakistan continues progress on the reform agenda. yet despite progress as with other complex yet crucial relationships the u.s.-pakistan once challenges we now does guys in a transparent manner befitting the partners? we have concerns against those in the region. about with the actions by pakistan to more clearly establish the red of sovereignty in the military and civilian leadership must make good on their commitment not to differentiate between terrorist groups. just as they pursued they must
take ably forceful actions against groups like the haqqani network which pose serious threats to american and afghan resources and lashkar-e-taiba which has the potential to destabilize the region. but they also say a word about pakistan's democracy. i have heard any alleged the u.s. is ambivalent about democracy in pakistan but that could not be further from the truth. we realize the process of strengthening and embedding democratic rules to be gradual but it is critical to pakistan's future and i know this is also understood by both pakistan civilians and military leadership. it's been almost a year since democracy was reinstated into an half years years since the country's own first historic transition of power and continued challenges. a year ago the sharif government was beset by protests and rumors
of a coup. civilian and military leadership have come to an important event with the centrality of civilian led democratic institutions is critical to pakistan's future. diplomacy is often given new life to the relationship between afghanistan and pakistan. president ghani deserves great credit for opening the movement with pakistan and particularly such a deliberate and strategic manner. we similarly appreciate pakistan's effort to further an afghan led, asking the reconciliation process that the u.s. has long maintained it is just such a process we strongly support without preconditions which is the surest way to end violence and achieve lasting stability in afghanistan and the region. it is clear there can be no long-term stability in
afghanistan about pakistan's support and pakistan has taken unprecedented action to facilitate the passion of the government resulting in the heating on july and. they openly and with permission from their leadership that within official in representative on the allegation. needless to say the news and mullah omar's death last week complicated picture with an important opportunity. taliban think of themselves as a movement that urged when the civil war. now they have to decide whether they continue to fight for to finally end the violence that is sent to afghanistan's development has become instead part of the legitimate political system and a sovereign guided afghanistan. conservative american diplomacy has resulted in sustained engagement of the international community and the key nations of
the region. since the beginning of the administration, when import mechanism has been the international contact group we launched with the srap including more than a third for muslim majority countries. i'm especially optimistic regional powers have come to see supporting a stable and free of terrorism is in their interests. there's been a marked and protect it change in the region over the past years. one example we welcome china's engagement in afghanistan and pakistan we see none of the tentative but complementary to our own efforts. in 2009 on my first official trip, beijing refused to have the word afghanistan or pakistan on our agenda. today we've embarked on a series of collaborative development projects can be those first time
with the chinese. rss is for broader regional integration into diplomatic endeavors to convene key neighbors such as the heart of asia process and economic initiatives such as energy conductivity between countries were fully implemented the promise of the afghanistan pakistan trans-trade agreement. our interest in stability in afghanistan and pakistan is no less acute than i was 14 years ago. the achievements made in an outcome that the cost of an immense investment in blood and treasure by not just the u.s. but by our coalition partners and most of all by afghan and pakistan. those assessments can be redeemed and interest secured only by continued diplomacy. i am deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn from america's finest and the story tip or not enter myself carry
the time for a year working with what remains of ambassador holbrooke strictly touted most dedicated team i've ever seen. i will watch with passionate interest as they continue this critical one. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> thank you ambassador trans-is. it is encouraging to see so much interest in afghanistan but all the other crazy and worries that today doesn't look like it is. we will turn it over to mr. steve hadley, chairman of
the board and if nancy notably got off the plane this morning from a fairly grueling 10 days of travel. we had about two and a half days in pakistan and then we were in kabul for four and a half days and ended with three days in india. on the flight back, steve told me this is the longest business work-related trip you'd ever taken. with that, over to you steve. >> it was a great trip. i will talk a labyrinthine in more detail at what dan talked about number go up to questions. i was last in the region three years ago when i was surprised how dramatically things have changed. one of the things stand out about was the transition political security transition that occurred in 2014. if you attack to any of us in 2011 and said how is that going
to work out, we would've been very skeptical and i think we are delighted the ways were out. there is a new unity government in power and the security forces are taking responsibility for the whole country. they are holding their own. that is good news. unity governments are not designed for efficiency in effect to miss and it shows in this government. delays in appointment not moving as quickly and some loss of patient and one of the things dan and ambassador emphasized remarks in the government knows it is time to step up and perform and it needs to show progress on the economy.
the withdraw really caused an enormous economic crisis. they need to get on with it and show people some success. a new strategic communications be explaining to their people what they are doing. there's a good story but you wouldn't know it if you've added in the newspapers. second of all, security forces have a greater challenge than i anticipated. one of the things i didn't fully realize was when the pakistanis finally decided to move into north waziristan, something we wanted them to do they did it in 2014 pushing a lot of extremists and terrorists into afghanistan at the point of the security transition to afghan forces the time when they were least able to do with the problem in my spare now balance
because a lot of the extremists want our and check in area that had been quite calm and turned it into a battleground. secondly if you talk to out and commit they will tell you at the same time pakistan decided to engage in reconciliation process. afghans believe they also double down both of the hedge against the reconciliation and quite frankly the way this in her hand in the negotiations. the government faces real challenges. that said, there is an opportunity. president ghani reached out to pakistan and away the cost of fair amount of criticism. but he said the pakistanis he was prepared to take their interests into account, was
prepared to take steps against the pakistani taliban veteran afghanistan posing a problem in pakistan if they would take the lead and produce the taliban at the table and started reconciliation process. our sense is they believe president ghani is genuine in what he said that he wants in a relationship. pakistanis have some reason to look at reconciliation. in december last year, terrible attack killed over 100 young people at a military institution training and educational institution as a wake-up call. the problem that the pakistani taliban, the tcp threat they pose to pakistan and pakistan is beginning to understand pakistan
is a stable afghanistan and pakistan is going to deal with his own terrorist problems. i think matt has begun to have an impact on pakistani views and resulted in these talks. the taliban may be deciding that time is not on their side. the afghan security forces did not collapse at the transition as many people thought. they are stressed, but they are help in the appearance of this next day is a problem for the taliban because they were awaiting away some supporters. the pressure of the pakistanis put on them are real. after the two year belated announcement that mullah omar's death has raised a lot of questions in the minds not just of afghans et al. abeyance of who they were fighting for the last two years. who was issuing the orders and
the fact that pakistan is up front in terms of the reconciliation process raises the question of the taliban as an agent for packets and that does not bode well for your recruiting among afghans. the taliban has a reason to enter in this reconciliation process. it is certainly uncertain as to where things go from here. one interpretation is the discord in the announcement of the death of mullah omar is in fact taliban leadership and the pakistanis taking for skeletons out of the closet and setting the table for negotiations. let's hope that is the case. also a good chance the movement might split and somehow the movement may come under the black flag of the islamic state. so a lot of uncertainty as to
where this is going. despite a lot of skepticism lingered in afghanistan, mostly this reconciliation effort is worth pursuing and i very much think it is. there is another thing to focus on that diplomacy has done all the things dan has described but it is also the case diplomacy has been backed up by security efforts by the afghan security forces and the ended its military pressure in part brought the taliban to the table and the taliban themselves are using military force. i would echo dan's point. we are at a moment when there is actually the possibility of reconciliation and peace in afghanistan and we should give that effort are full diplomatic
support your we should be putting pressure on the pakistanis to produce an agreement and we should rally the international community to put pressure as well. also, this could be a devastating time. we need to support the government politically. we need to help them get their economic situation going to get some people somehow. it would also be a terrible time for us to withdraw support for the afghan security forces know that they are under pressure. one of the things we the united states can do to advance the cause of peace and support the effort the afghan government diplomatically pressure the taliban on the economic goblins but also make clear we are going to continue our support for the afghan security forces and we
will continue the training program and the ss program that goes on, and maybe even expanding because of the increased military throughout the afghan security forces face. a threat that we did not understand why we designed the transition in 2014 did not fully appreciate when a division was made down to a level of a thousand at the end of 2016. i think we think that issue in that decision needs to be reconsidered because this president had a lot to say afghanistan is now fighting from the middle east and now with the appearance of daish. it needs our support and we need a counterterrorism capability and afghanistan with afghan courses to deal with those terrorist forces and keep them
at a subway had the opportunity for negotiating peace for taliban and other terrorist groups do not threaten afghan countries in the region of the united states. so there is hope out there. there is an opportunity for peace that will require the afghans to do the things they talk about but it's also going to require us to do some things to show a commitment to the process a commitment that has the last beyond 2016. if we do not do that i have no doubt that it will probably doom this opportunity for peace we have in front of us now. afghans are courageous people and they deserve our support. >> thank you, steve. earlier today i was reading a news report about the taliban
trying to form a unity shura. i thought there is no one better than ambassador feldman to work on forming disunity to work with the unity government in kabul. that could be your next job. many of you in the room joined us for the public session we had made jim just after i turned from a trip to afghanistan. ..