tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 17, 2015 7:44am-8:01am EDT
studentcam contest. students can discuss what issues they want to hear most. at the washington ideas festival former secretary of state madeleine albright sat down for an interview with atlantic magazine correspondent james fallows. they discussed the civil war and u.s. engagement around the world. this event was cohosted by the atlantic and the aspen institu institute. >> thanks very much. at a great honor and pleasure to be with former secretary of
state, for him -- former u.n. ambassador madeleine albright. a lot of foreign policy discussion we heard the last day of half has been very dark tone. the world is going to know. the u.s. is retreating. things are going to put the russians are gaining ground. we don't want to deal wit with a crisis. which are overview? are things as bad as the tone, the description largely went with party lines but there is a town of just things are bad. what is your overview comment speak with the world sms. that's that's a diplomatic term of art but i am not feeling dark about it. i do think that there are whole post of issues that were not there before. some due to globalization. some due to the rise of technology. questions of identity, and what the role of the united states is. and i do think that president clinton said at first but i said it so often that i got identified with the word
indispensable. we are indispensable but there is nothing in the word, the definition us is alone. i do think that what we are seeing is how the united states operates with partners to do with some of the more competition issues that we have seen. >> one of the most acute issues, we are discussing it earlier today is of course the refugee crisis. you originally came to the united states with her family as a refugee. you've written about america's obligation to do more for the refugees from syria and elsewhere. tell us what you think we should do and whether that is conceivable that this moment in the united states were the targets of anti-immigrant or foreigner, at all. >> i do think we need to do more. i think the united states is as the pope might ask a country of immigrants where i think people are very grateful to come here. i know i am and will always be. i do think that what has to
happen is to figure out if we want others to do what they are supposed to do, which is bring the refugees in. ultimately, i'm so thrilled to be an american but i think most people actually want to live in the country where they were born, which means we have to work to try to resolve the issues that makes people actually pick up and leave and walk for miles and be afraid of drowning and then being treated like animals when they get to wherever they are. i think that we do have an obligation to do more. >> you have a background in practical politics before he became an august diplomat. how can you imagine the democratic party presumably making the case for opening the borders to more refugees? >> i do think that one of the issues that's always out there is how domestic and foreign policy goes together. there's no question that there is a sense in america we are tired from two wars and kind of
a sense of why aren't people more grateful to us for everything we have done. i think it has to be argued as a wacom what is interesting no matter what people are very proud of our values. i do think that everybody would be on top of each other. let me just say this. i just was at the clinton global initiative. we were having a session with the king of jordan. we were talking about what the neighboring countries have to deal with on the syria issue. so jordan has refugees not only from syria but also iraq and the palestinians. and i said something like it's as though in terms of racial it's as though the united states has 40 million refugees. somebody corrected me and said no, 60 million. so just visualize this country that is a frontline state, a small country that is in a very difficult position and they have so many refugee camps. we are a very big country.
i fly over it fairly regularly and there's a lot of space speed talking about refugees, we are talking about accommodating the result of all this turmoil in the middle east. is there anything the united states could or should be doing differently right now but the underlying cause in syria in particular? >> i do think so. i think we should have done something earlier. i think that what usually hard is that foreign policy doesn't come in for your segments. we are dealing with a lot of the results of what happened with the war in our back. we can talk more about that but that is really what has happened. i think the following things if i may, i do teach and i see every country makes foreign policy based on five factors. the first factor is objective, which what's the location, geographical, what is the resource base. interestingly enough that doesn't change that often.
it has no without oil issue. the second is a subjective which is how does the country feel about it so. i think people feel they are tied. the 30th of the government is organized. the executive, legislative relations in our case plays a huge role. fourth is the bureaucratic politics that are reflected in what the budget looks like and the fifth, the role of individuals. we should despite the tiredness and the budget issues needed to deal, go back and look at what we could be doing and syria in terms of establishing safe havens and working in some way to get a transition. and if, in fact, of the issue is about elections, after our elections there, they have to be monitored internationally and be free and fair and have a lot of people there absorbing what's going on. >> a lot of europe riding and work in your post secretarial life has included concern issues of governance, global and as
reducing ways in which the united states can think of government its foreign policy more effectively. tell us what you think or practical steps, practical ambitions on the global governance front. want anytime of day has been centrifugal forces what a reasonable ambitions? >> i believe that our value system and avoid that people want to make decisions about their own lives. there's a lot of people who say x. people are not ready for democracy. i think were all the same everybody wants to be able, you begin by thinking about where your kids go to school or what language, et cetera. then it goes up the chain in terms of trying to make decisions. then i am chairman of the board of the national democratic institute and people think of it always ask elections. elections are necessary but not sufficient.
what has to happen is to develop some institutional structures for governance, rule of law, the capability of having the right of assembly, commercial code, any number of things. they take a while and americans are the most generous people in the world with the shortest attention span. what we have to do is figure it takes a while. you can't impose democracy. that's an oxymoron, but you can't attack provide the nuts and bolts and talk about the relationship of the elections to the governance. i have said that democracy has to deliver. able to vote in each. there has to be an economic component in terms of what the deliverables are on this. i think it's the right thing, and democracy, it's not just american democracy. to our other aspects but i do think so we have been in the eyes of a number of countries,
and someone said so what's the main aspect of democracy? and i say compromise because they say like you guys? at the moment were not the best example of. >> that's the next thing i want to ask him i've lived outside the united states for a long time. i am always impressed the u.s. is so robust in so many ways except national level governance right now. you were talking earlier about reduces secretary of state were jesse helms had an affable working relationship with you. can you describe more about that? how you think we can recapture the golden age of jesse helms? >> you will not believe this. in what happened was i was ambassador at the u.n. and to get a phone call from them saying that i had been invited to a college in raleigh, north carolina, that was celebrating its bicentennial. i thought i could get out of it by saying yes, i would be happy to do it if you would come with
me. so he called back and he says i have rearranged my schedule, i'm coming. wanone of the things that happes if you invited by somebody and they're supposed to introduce you, they will not say you were a complete jerk. then he invited me to come to his alma mater. i was asked questions about the united nations and the chemical weapons conventions and berries issues. what happened was we been driving around north carolina at first looking for barbecue places, and he was bionic with artificial hips and we were getting out of the car and hanging onto them. all of a sudden there was a picture about the odd couple. we disagreed on many, many things, but he said when asked into a second estate, we will make history together. he was very, very instrumental in terms of nato expansion, any number of different aspects. we do disagree on things i think we saw what it was like to represent america.
in some way either in congress, he was chairman by then, and the secretary. we found things to agree on anything, about my five factors. i think we have to get some bipartisan support for foreign policy. >> you have standing to speak on this, the rest of us don't have come of what it is like to conduct diplomacy when they sort of surface level attention in washington is so great. hasn't made a difference in how the obama administration has been able to carry out its foreign policy, that domestic politics are so divided no? >> i have always been a believer in the interaction of domestic and foreign policy. i have been an advisor to many presidential candidates and often foreign policy is an important come at a used to do this to make myself more important to say domestic and foreign policy go together but they really do. i think it's important for us to recognize that. i had just been in new york and i met with a foreign leader, and as a foreign leaders said we
don't understand when we see you as more monolithic entities. and when some member of congress is something totally outrageous, i think you have one of them. no, that basically they don't understand. they think that this somehow is all connected. the other part is that you think as a democracy we go to explain our foreign policy to the american people. you can't have a foreign policy without domestic support. i happen to believe that americans are better off when the united states is involved, is respected and understand that we are the indispensable nation. [applause] >> in our final couple of things i'd like to talk about actual al politics which is bound actual politics which has been a theme of the discussions. if you are accessing the likely foreign policy of the republican administration, donald trump or
otherwise, how different they think it could be from the last eight years, eight years before the? >> given what i've heard, that in very different, i think there's a real difference if i may say so, america is essential in foreign policy but it doesn't mean dictating to everybody. and what is the real aspect of diplomacy is being able to put us up into the other person's shoes, and understand that every agreement cannot be a zero-sum game. we need to respect the countries that we deal with. we can't insult everybody, and i think it is very important, i think it would be very different. i happen to think that what president obama is doing is understanding the partnership aspect of the indispensable. americans don't like the word multilateralism. it has too many syllables and it ends in is am.
[laughter] is this partnership and understand what the world is like that you need to have partners. if you look at issues like climate change or nuclear proliferation or the spread of disease, no matter how powerful the united states is we cannot do it alone. just by virtue of what the subjects are. >> finally on your front of your successor, secretary of state hillary clinton, if she became president how would her foreign policy likely differ from the past eight years? also, how should we feel about being a situation? >> i know her very well and admire her and i think should be the best prepared person to be president of anybody that we've had in a very, very long time. [applause] i think she's able to link that domestic and foreign policy given her own experiences, and one of the major things she did as secretary of state was to store america's reputation. you can't militarize democracy and you can't invade countries for no reason.
and so i think that she really would be amazing. [applause] i think that she has said that she made a mistake on the e-mails. she has apologized or it, and i think that i am very lucky because i went to college sometime between the invention of the ipad and the discovery of fire last night and they didn't use e-mail. >> thank you. we have only a few seconds. what is the thing you fear most optimistic about in the foreign policy of the united states now? >> that we will have president clinton, and no, what i really do feel very optimistic about is that we have the capability of really making decisions, of trying to sort out what is not just best for us but the rest of the world. i'm often asked if i'm an optimist or a pessimist. i am an optimist who worries a lot. so if this doesn't happen automatically. we have to work at it and we're going to have the help of the media. i have to say that.