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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 28, 2015 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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can come together on a bipartisan basis when it comes to this budget. in this area of medical research there is plenty of room for us to work together. there has very only been leadership shown on the other side of the aisle. we are going to help to try to move that forward both in the senate and in the house on a bipartisan basis. .. doors. people of all political stripes agree this is a good investment for the future of america. mr. president, i ask that the mr. president, i ask that the
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today secretary of state john kerry talked about u.s. policy in the middle east. he focused on the israeli-palestinian conflict and the syrian civil war. from the carting the endowment washington d.c. this is 45 minutes. >> thank you all, very much. [applause]. bill, thanks. thanks so much for welcoming me to your new home. i very touched to hear the comments from bill's caliber because as you know, he really was the state department premier
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career diplomat. now that you have been away almost a year i know you are missing all of the travel, the early morning meetings, the late-night calls, and you are just dying to return, right? but all kidding aside, ladies and gentlemen, the door to the state department for bill burns is always open. from pres. obama to the entire security team, to me, to the secretary of state there is no better diplomat, no one who could be better led by then the carnegie foundation of peace then by bill burns. please join me everybody for same thank you for a remarkable career for this man. [applause].
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now, if i have behave myself, which is never for certain i am going to try to restrain my voice, not be as passionate as i want to be about every word i am muttering today. i am trying to save a little case of laryngitis and make sure i do not exasperate it. i leave tonight to be enough for two days of important meetings that i want to make sure i can actually talk during those meetings. i appreciate the chance to speak today, to you. an audience of experts and students who are on their way to being experts, but all of you who spend a lot of time thinking about some very serious issues. the truth is, for generations carnegie has been training the foreign-policy leaders of the
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future and generating, at the same time real time solutions for those of us who are practicing at that time. it is an understatement to say today that we are facing a very different worlds. a world of remarkable complexity all of you have probably read henry kissinger and diplomacy, and countless other books, as i have an henry would be the first to tell you, i've had the privilege of having lunch with him during the united nation meetings, he never had it coming at him with a number of different places in crisis and in a world that is as multipolar as it is now. a bipolar cold war with the former soviet union and the united states and west was
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pretty clear about what choices were in many ways. it did not mean they were not tense or difficult and there were not some proxy wars avenue we have seen in vietnam and elsewhere, but it truly was not see what we see today which is a world of violence which is not state on state. with a few exceptions, it is non- state actors who are confounding states and the global order. that presents very different challenges. so, i can tell you that despite the complexity, that i am certain of this, the united states of america is more deeply engaged today in more places, on more important issues, with impact, then at any time before in our history.
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i could document, i am not going to run around the whole world, i, i could start with north korea, south china sea, and then afghanistan, pakistan, india, and roll around the world, i am not going to do that. i want to focus on one particular and particularly important area of the globe today, that is the middle east. i am not even going to go into all the aspects of it. twenty years ago, next week after attending a peace rally israeli prime minister was murdered by an extremist who claim to be doing god's will. at the funeral, king hussein of jordan, the one time enemy turned partner in peace. declare, i quote let us not keep silent, let our voices rise high enough to speak of our commitment to peace for all
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times, and and let us tell those who live in darkness, who are the enemies of life and truth faith that this is where we stand, this is our camp. at the same ceremony rob means granddaughter, a teenager said that quote others a greater than i have already eulogized you but they never had the pleasure to feel the caresses of your warm, soft hands, to merit your warm embrace, to see, to see your half smile that always told me so much, that same smile which is no longer frozen in the grave with you. these quotations remind us that beyond all of the cold statistics, beyond the headlines of the daily newspapers, beyond the clapping, talking heads on one show or another, and each
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early, perpetual talkshow circuits, the impact of violence in the middle east, there is humanity. there is a humanity of people just like us who you're simply to help one another and to share affection for one generation to the next. beyond all of the complexities of the region, there is also something very basic going on, a struggle between people who are intent of opening wounds or leaving them open and those who want to close them and who want to heal and build a future this is the glue that holds the
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components of our strategy together. we do have a strategy. whether we are backing an electoral process electoral process in tunisia, mobilizing a coalition against terrorist, trying to halt a sudden outbreak of violence, as i was last last weekend with respect to the temple, or striving to put in place new foundation for prosperity and stability. our goal is to help ensure that builders and healers throughout the region have the chance they need to accomplish their tasks. now, i've i've heard some americans wonder aloud, why should we care about the middle east? after all, we are on the verge of independence so why not just walk away. the answer is it would be directly and profoundly contrary to our nation's interest to try to do that.
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we have to remember that the middle east is home to some of america's oldest friends including our ally, israel and also our many arab partners in this now, more complicated world. we also learned from 911 that regional threats become global very quickly. we have seen that id is transmitted by terrace in rocca and most will can reach impressive bull mines in minneapolis and mississippi. we are aware as well that events in the middle east can affect perception on every single continent. people on every continent are influenced by the spiritual and ethical traditions that have their roots in those ancient lands. i hear about this everywhere ago, people are amazed. it is good to see the former prime minister here. i am amazed. he knows what i am talking about, all over the world. or and ministers, prime ministers, presidents, they say
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to me no matter where i visit, you have to do something about the middle east. you have you have to change this because it affects us. it is true of course that we rely less on middle east oil than we used to. but it is also true that the energy market is global. any serious disruption of gulf oil supplies can quickly harm our financial systems, lower lower exports, cost millions of jobs, that's an interest. so the middle east matters and it matters way beyond oil my friends, it matters a lot. in the context of this world when we're trying to bring people together to see the future. that is why it is so important that carnegie is launching this ambitious project this week called arab world horizons. to examine trends that will shape the middle east for decades to come. i encourage you to begin this project with a healthy degree of
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optimism. before you conclude that i have had too much caffeine. [laughter] let me emphasize that i mean what i just said. i mean it. a couple of years ago we asked the mckenzie company to study the economic prospects of jordan, syria, israel, egypt and the west bank, a good starting place for all of you is to go back to the arab report, study report report on economic growth a number of years ago which was stark in its appraisal of what had not happened that should have happened in many of the arab countries in the region. interestingly, my good friend the foreign minister recently also commissioned a separate study which similarly showed what we looked at through mckenzie company where we looked at every sector from farming, tourism, my friends, the
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potential for growth is simply extraordinary. the potential of this region to be a driving financial center, harnessing incredible technology and capacity in people in many of the countries is simply extraordinary. just imagine the future where people from the nile and other places are free to work and travel as they please. where every boy and girl has access to a quality education. where. where visitors are able to flock without fear to the world's greatest tourist attractions. i mean, think about that. the world's greatest tourist attractions. i have driven by them, i have not even had time to stop at some of them. the place where john the baptist christened so many people, including jesus. the temple near it, a muslim
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mosque which is one of the oldest in the region and most important. the extraordinary history of the generation of struggle that has taken place in the middle east. there there is something there for everybody. even an atheist as a budding architect would have trouble not having an interesting time. where you have neighboring countries are actually eager to trade, i hear this. i hear it from the ministers in the each of the surrounding countries, how much they wish things could change so they could begin to engage in a normal commerce of the region. they are ready to cop rate on projects that link their economies together. now sadly, we have become so accustom of dwelling on the problems in the middle east that we sometimes forget what is staring us in the face is incredible opportunities and we all ought to be doing more to focus on those opportunities, because those people and all the countries are
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beginning to lose it believe in any of their leaders. palestinians do not have believed, israelis do not have beliefs, people in the surrounding arab countries do not believe. what it takes is real leadership, real decisions, real events real events on the ground to begin to change those hopes. so we ought to be doing more, all of of us. here i specifically include governments in the region, we need to take advantage of these huge opportunities that exist today. let's be honest with each other, apart from petroleum, middle eastern countries right now simply do not produce enough of what the rest of the world wants. they do not trade, efficiently even among themselves. they are are not making wise use of their human capital. only about one woman in four participates in the economy, and employment is at 25% or higher. this leads many young people
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because of the pervasiveness of social media are completely aware of what everybody else in the world has and they do not. everybody is connected 24/seven. you can be impoverished but they still have a smart form phone, they can still google and facebook, they can still figure out what the other person has and they can talk to those people, and they do. and very simple declarative sentence. so what happens happens to all that energy and ambition? in the united states the average age is 35, the middle east and north africa it is under 25. many of those countries have populations where it is 60 or 65% under the age of 30 or 35. so the region's future really depends on the choices that these young men and women are going to get to make. but who are they going to listen to? we need to talk about that as you have this conference.
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what ideas will command their loyalty? what might excite their imagination? individually, each one of these young people is a story that will end either in frustration or opportunity. collectively they present a profound challenge because of the combat rate,. [inaudible] there is no single way, not just one way. [inaudible]
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there is a gap between what graduates actually know and when they leave school. [inaudible] [inaudible] it is time we remain so engage. that is why we have invested in a variety of worthwhile programs, everything from the rule of law initiatives and jordan to public, private partnerships in the palestinian authority. we had worked so hard and i had the pleasure of working with him to implement. we also know the pace of progress will depend in part on improved security.
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that is a major goal of u.s. policy in the middle east, we do not just mean security of one country or another, israelis have to be secure, palestinians have to be secured, people in gaza have to be secure. everyone has to be secure. it is our common enterprise now to fight for that security. so here i go back to the struggle i mentioned earlier about the destroyers and the builders. if the builders are going to succeed, they will have to be protected from the dangers imposed by dangers, strife, weapons of mass distraction, and america's security strategy in the middle east is precisely designed to try to aid in each of these areas. that is why pres. obama play such importance on achieving a negotiated solution to iran's nuclear program. as all of you know, this this man over here, bill burns played a critical role in helping get those talks with iran off the ground.
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and in helping forge the interim plan that set the stage for the final agreement that we have reached. that is an agreement that is imposing dramatic constraints on all aspects of iran's nuclear activities. ten days ago the deal became official, the implementation began. that implementation will require two thirds of iran's centrifuges, the shipment abroad of 98% of its stockpile of enriched uranium, the destruction uranium, the destruction of the core of the heavy water plutonium reactor. the whole process will be monitored by the iaea and no sanctions will be lifted until that agency verifies that iran has done exactly what it promised to do. now, this gives iran every incentive to lives up to its commitment. just as it did, by the way during the 18 month leading up to the final agreement. people don't realize is that
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almost more than two years of iran's compliance with the interim agreement has now taken place, you have not heard of major breaches or anything because it has been adhered to. so, i hope now that everyone who is for the agreement and for those who were against it will come together to support its a full and verifiable implementation, that is the goal. i promise you, i am absolutely convinced that he the united states will be safer, our allies will be safer, and the world will be safer if iran doesn't have and isn't anywhere close to getting a nuclear weapon. we believe, as our energy department, intelligence
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community, and military know, that because of the verification measures and transparency of this agreement, we will know whether or not they are. as you recall, when negotiations were going on there speculation about what an agreement might mean for relations between washington and iran. was it possible that a breakthrough in the nuclear issue would be able to open the door to broader cooperation? somewhat welcome that prospect, some to be truthful, were, were alarmed by that process. so, i want to be clear, we meant exactly what we said, the iran deal was considered on its own terms, not what is he going to do here, just nuclear terms, it was it was the right thing to do whether or not it leads to other areas of cooperation. we are not making any assumptions about iran's future policies because we base our process approach on observable facts. what we we see is that iran continues to engage in play and the secretary and division in the region and it continues
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to detain several american citizens, and our estimation without justification, and to ransom policies are one reason why we are working so closely and supportively with our partners in the region, including the gulf states and israel. in fact, we have established an unprecedented level of cooperation with israel on military issues, we are correlating in forcing sanctions and in trying to stop the tears organization such as has months and has below from getting financing and weapons that they seek. we also support israel's right to defend itself and its citizens, we do that in many ways. we also support all of the gcc countries in the work we did in camp david and we will continue to do, and i even reaffirmed when i was out in the region a couple of days ago. within the past week, i've met
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with prime minister, with king abdalla, king solomon of solomon saudi arabia, and others. we all agreed of the importance of ending the violence in israel, jerusalem, gaza, and the west bank. in making it clear that the status quo at the temple mount will not be changed. i want to be clear the kind of violence we have been seen in recent weeks hurts everyone. the innocent victims and their families, the jewish, the palestinians who year and to have their aspirations realize, it hurts everyone. this is yet another indication of the folly of believing that efforts of permanent peace and reconciliation are somehow not worth pursuing. i cannot imagine the notion of
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just doing up your hands and walking away and saying, good luck. the current situation is simply not sustainable. pres. obama has said that publicly many times, i have set a publicly, it is absolutely vital for israel to take steps that empower palestinian leaders to improve economic opportunities in the quality of life of their people on a day-to-day basis, and it is equally important for palestinian leaders to cease the violence and to offer something more than rhetoric. instead, propose solutions that will contribute in a real way to the improvement of life, to the reduction of violence, and to the safety and security of israel. firm and creative leadership on both sides is absolutely
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essential. a true true state solution with strong security protections remains the only viable alternative, for anyone who thinks otherwise you can measure what unitary looks like by looking at what has been going on in the last weeks. the united states absolutely remains prepared to do what we can to make that two state, two people living side-by-side, in peace and security, to make that possible. another core element of our security strategy in the middle east is that on the coalition we have localized to counter and defeat the group now as i sell. the list of crimes for which i sold, or - is responsible is truly mind-boggling. it is truly disturbing as anything i have ever, related in my life. -our smugglers, kidnappers they
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butcher, they butcher teachers, burn books, they execute journalists are doing their jobs trying to report on the truth, they execute execute people just for their religious beliefs. they execute them for who they are, by birth, nothing said, nothing nothing done, just because they are different. in iraq isil has been auctioning off women and girls, teaching people that the rape of under aged non- muslim females is a form of prayer. according to da sh they live in virtual paradise but we are beginning to see how different the reality is. they're all multiple reports of das h executing fighters who signed up and then had second
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thoughts and were trying to get out. consider the case of a teenage boy who had been recruited in syria and sent to iraq. one morning he approached a shiite mosque in baghdad, he unbuttoned his jacket, opened it up, up, told the guards i am wearing a suicide vest but i do not want to blow myself up. the boy said later that he had volunteered to wear the best because it was the only way he could think of to escape, he had joined das h to serve his religion and fight a sod, but when he witnessed the execution of a young person very much like himself he decided to reverse course and get out. this past summer the terrace picked up sledgehammers and smashed half a dozen statues in the ancient city of palm era. they destroyed the roman arches, they blew up historic tombs and destroyed a 2000-year-old temple. then they sees the city director
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of an equities, the man was tried to protect history and they made him kneel in a public square and they cut off his head. the man was 83 years old, old, he spent a lifetime saving history. he had been in charge of preserving the mayor's cultural heritage for more than 50 years. my friends, between this saturday night and sunday morning we are all going to be turning our clocks back one hour, das h and groups like it want to turn the clock of civilization back a millennium or more. we simply cannot allow this to continue. that is why president obama is ratcheting up what we are doing. under pres. obama's leadership, leadership, we have led a 65 member coalition to take on the ash, for more than a year we have been doing that.
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we have saved communities, colonic, to see 100,000 sunnis be able to return to their homes. we have seven we have seven the beginning that this would be a multiyear effort. i think we have already accomplished a lot. we we have launched more than 7300 air strike, we force das h to change how they are attacking. we have liberated communities and made a difference in the nature of this battlefield. i spoke earlier about the impact of our policies on ordinary lives, last week, just -underscore to you the degree to which we are ready to take this fight, and the degree to which we are raising our capacity.
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a u.s. special forces operation carried out a rescue directed against the das h prison in northern iraq. our troops freed 6969 hostages who were about to be executed one by one with a mass grave that had already been done. i have spoken spoken to people in our embassy, i spoke to her special person who is in baghdad, he told me and he went and visited the people who had been released. he said he could not imagine their emotion, their gratitude to pres. obama and the american people. they told. they told us the enormous debt they feel to the family of master sergeant joshua wheeler who gave his life in that operation. i think that is a debt to we all zero. i will say to you what i've said many times, throughout my life, we are deeply privileged to be represented and protected by the
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quality and caliber of the men and women of the armed forces of the united states. we express our gratitude to them. meanwhile, [applause]. meanwhile, i want you to know the combination of coalition airpower and the iraq he ground forces is being felt. we are supplying iraq with armored bulldozers, my clearing equipment that is making it much harder for the ash to h to go out and resupply its fighters, and iraq he forced just retook the oil refinery, strategically located on the road that links baghdad. we have pushed das h out of 17 commenters of territory and we have secured the turkish syrian border, that is about 85% of the turkish border. the president is authorizing further activities to secure the
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rest. we know that some of our key allies, the the british, the french, the turks are stepping up more with their help. president obama recently gave a green light to send more ammunition and aid to our allies on the ground. the president has made clear that we are determined to degrade das h more rapidly. i want to underscore, as well that military operations are but one of the many components of what the coalition's doing. we. we are working hard to counter the ash propaganda and deterred foreign fighters from joining it. in in partnership with the uae we have established a center in abu dhabi that is offering positive messages across the region and internet and all through social media, talking about politics, religion, the responsibilities of faith. we are striving to cut off das h funding so it becomes bankrupt politically just as it is morally.
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ultimately, to defeat the ash, we have to end the war in syria. that is america's goal. and thinking about how to do this, you you have to think about how the conflict be it began. early in 20 2011 father and son had ruled more than 40 years. hassan sent thugs to beat up the young people who are protesting in the streets and looking for jobs, looking for a future, that is all they want to. but but the thugs went out and beat them up. when the parents got angry at the fact that their kids were met with thugs, they went out and they were met with bullets and bombs. that is how this started.
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so having made peaceful change impossible, assad made made war inevitable and he sued turn to hezbollah for help, and iran, and russia. this exasperated tensions between sunni and shiite communities and pave the way for das h to emerge. the result has been for a half years of nonstop horror. this is a human catastrophe unfolding before our eyes in the 21st century. you know the numbers, we have a fundamental responsibility to try to do something about it. one syrian in 20, has been killed or wounded. one in five is a refugee, one into has been displaced. the average life expectancy in syria has drop ice 20 years. my my friends, the challenge we face in syria today is nothing less then to chart a course out of hell.
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to do that, we have to employ a two-pronged two-pronged approach. intensifying our counter das h campaign and, on the other side are diplomatic efforts to try to bring the conflict to a close. these steps are actually mutually reinforcing, that is why we are stepping up to fight against the ash by resupplying the opposition fighters in northern syria to help them consolidate the gains they have made across territory and to begin to pressure the chief city of isil, which is iraq a. we are also enhancing our air campaign to help drive the ash which once dominated the syrian turkey border out of the last 7t controls. at the end of the day, nothing would do more to bolster the fight against the ash than a political transition that
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sidelines assad that so that we can unite more of the country against extremism. we have to eliminate the mindset which was encouraged by the beginning by both her side and the ash, the only choice syrians have is between the two of them. either of terrace or you have assad, no, that is not the choice. this is a mindset that fear the dictator side with the terrorists and vice a versa. this is the mindset that has transformed syria into a killing field. field. we have a different vision, i just returned from meetings in vienna that included a remarkable session, broke some new ground where we had russia, turkey, saudi arabia and the united states. i will head back to vienna tonight to take the next step in our discussions about representatives from a
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broadening group of nations, including iran which will join one of these multilateral gatherings for the first time. while finding a way forward with syria will not be easy, it is not going to be automatic, it, it is the most promising opportunity for a political opening where recognizing what is happening, where syria is being destroyed, that europe is being deeply impacted, that jordan is a being greatly put under enormous pressure, lebanon, turkey, and so many millions of syrians who have been displaced within syria itself. the most compelling of all is the tragedy that syrians are living every day. the best opportunity we have is to try to come to the table and recognize there has to be a political solution that everyone is talking about. as part of this diplomacy i have had many conversations with my russian counterparts, as
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everyone here knows russian airstrikes in syria began about four weeks ago. so there is fundamental choice here, is it russia there just to shore up or are they there to help bring about a solution. we we will know, we'll put that to the test. contrary to the claims of the officials in moscow, it has to be underscore that most of the strikes thus far have been directed, not against the ash but against the opponents of the assad regime. that is not in our view, a way to bring the war to a close but that will be part of the discussion will have in the course of our vienna meetings. the likely result of that strategy, by the way will be to further radicalize the population, prolong the fighting, and perhaps strengthen the illusion on assad's part that he can indefinitely hold his power. if that is what he thinks, i have news, there is no way that a number of the other countries involved in this
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correlation will let up or stop. it will not happen. there is another thing that is critical, russia, the united states, and others share an amazing amount of cotton untran, ground on this. we actually all agreed that the status quo was unattainable. we agree that we need to find a way to have a political's solution. we agree that a victory by das h or or another terrorist group has to be prevented. we agree that it is imperative to save the state of syria and the institutions of which it is built and preserve a united, secular syria. we all agree that we have to create the conditions for the return of the displaced persons and refugee. we agree agree on the right of the syrian people to choose their leadership through transparent, free
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election with a new constitution and protections for all minorities in the country. we agree on all of that. surely, we can find a place where one man does not stand in the way of the possibilities apiece. so, we agree that all of these steps can only be achieved in syria can only be saved through a political settlement. so my message to foreign minister and president poon, all concerned governments, is that we each have a responsibility here to contribute to an early and to the syrian disaster, through a transition, already agreed upon in the context of the geneva communiqué which would unite the country and would give it a chance to bring back its citizens and live in peace. that is the purpose of the inclusive diplomatic process that we are continuing to pursue beginning with this trip, back across the atlantic this evening. before closing, i i would make
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two additional points quickly. first, to skeptics who say that democracy can't make it in the middle east and north africa, i reply with one word, tunisia. [applause]. here, where the arab spring was born we are not finding a paradise but we are finding a place where leaders of the opposing factors have been willing to put the interests of their nation above personal ambitions. where civil society is playing a vital role in spurring political dialogue. where power was transferred peacefully from one leader to the next in accordance with the rule of law, and where diverse
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perspectives including both secular and religion are not being repressed, they are actually being encouraged and taken into account. what is happening in tunisia is important for the people there obviously, but guess what it is instructive of the entire region. tunisia is showing what it means to be builders in the middle east. my second point is more of a plea. please do not accept the view of some that the middle east must inevitably be divided along secretary and lines, especially between sunni and shiite muslims. nothing kills the propaganda of dsh and other terrorist organizations more than the smith. this simplistic and cynical view is not only not true historically, it is not true today. after all, coalition to defeat
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dsh includes every sunni region in the northeast. last june when the ash suicide bombers attacked and killed muslims while they are praying in kuwait at the start of ramadan, 27 were killed, what happened? the speaker of the parliament immediately rushed to the site of the tragedy, 1300 people volunteered to give blood the first day, sunni religious leaders urged their followers to show solidarity by praying at shiite mouse. the government blew the bodies of the victims for burial in accordance to family wishes. back in kuwait, 35000 people of every single sector came together and attended a funeral for others who were killed. they stood up and said the mosque would be rebuilt. a sunni businessman volunteered
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to do the job for nothing. das h will rise or fall on its ability to drive the people apart. that is precisely why i say it will fail. on that horrible evening, 20 years ago when i was being descended on city hall steps in tel aviv and he walked towards his car and towards his killer, there is a sheet of paper in his pocket that would soon be stained with blood. on the paper were the words, to sheer, a song of peace. words that warn of the prominence of death and replacing hate for something better. the middle east today, my friends is still marred by the sounds of spectacle of violence but it need not be. the region is also pulsating with life, it is the homa
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populations that are energetic, youthful, forward-looking, and, forward-looking, and far more interested in plugging into the world's economy than slugging it out with historical foes. it is in them that we place our faith. it is for them, and for our horizons that we dedicate our collective efforts. it is with them that the united states of america is determined to turn back the destroyers and build a future that is characterized by prosperity, by peace, peace, and by dignity for all people. that is a worthy fight, thank you all very much. [applause]. speemac, next washington journal, representative jackson-lee of texas talk about the two-year budget deal that passed in the house and the
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house speaker election. then we have more about the budget deal with congressman of, pennsylvania. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern at c-span, you can train the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. >> it is a very touchy business being a son or daughter of a dictator. he would would not one a wish this kind of like a most people. the collection of very interesting, sometimes interesting luring stories is stories about. t, son on truck about politics, about democracy. >> this sunday night a q&a, national review senior editor on his book children of monsters. it looks at the lives of children of 20 dictators, and including stalin, mussolini, saddam hussein. >> we talk with some knowledgeable people. i cannot talk to family members,
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which was usually the case in the preparation of this book. there are only so many around to talk to, only so many willing to say what they know or divulge their feelings or experiences at all. i was digging around for any scrap, any tidbit i possibly could because the sons and daughters, most of them, some some are famous and important, some become dictator -- but most of them are footnotes. you really have to dig to find out about them. >> sunday night at eight eastern and pacific. >> retired general talked about the coalition strategy against the terrorist group in iraq and syria at a senate foreign relations committee hearing. he is joined by assistant secretary of state, and patterson. senator bob corker chairs this to a half hour hearing.
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[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]
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[inaudible] [inaudible] >> this meeting will come to order. we think very much our witnesses for being here. as. as a matter fact i will start there. i want to and very much enjoyed the service of and patterson, who is not leaving so i will not focus on her this morning. we thank her for her
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professionalism. in her various assignments around the world's, we appreciate so much her professionalism. general alan, i have to tell you, we admire so much your service to our country over the last 43 years. your willingness to do what you have done most recently in the state department, your direct, transparent, always helpful manner and dealing with all of us. we wish you well as you move onto another chapter here very soon. you're very kind to be here. i know you do not like to these kinds of hearings. >> i love them chairman, actually. >> as you know we try to have general alan in a closed session. i've always found him to be so much helpful to us in that type of setting just because of the
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tremendous knowledge you have about what is happening on the ground and your ability to communicate it effectively. i know it was decided that we'll have an open hearing in this manner, i hope that won't inhibit you much sense you are on the way out the door. we cannot thank you enough for your tremendous a restart country. thank you. >> thank you chairman. >> we will focus more on syria and iraq, amb. sec. patterson will focus on the entire region. yesterday we have had a two and half hour session with secretary kerry, sec. patterson was a part of that, or at least witness what was said. i know today you'll have the opportunity to talk more broadly about the region. general alan will focus more so on iraq and syria, but look, we're having a series of hearings that i think the american people and all of us are somewhat confused about what our efforts are. i know many americans believe we are disengaged from the middle east, yet we still hav,
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to attack and diminish the threat posed by this brutal terrorist group. i think general alan i just want to express appreciation and the members of the committee for your public service throughout your entire career. i thank you very much for that. >> is a chairman pointed out, we had a series of hearings in regards to the middle east, some have been very specific and it its focus. this one is more general as to the current challenges in the u.s. role and strategy in the middle east. i think first we need to underscore our interest in this region of the world. yes, it is to stop the spread
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and use of weapons of mass distraction, it is clearly to underscore our commitment to israel's security, it is for top counterterrorism and by lennox dream is them, it is good govern men and respect to human rights. that is an area i've concentrated on the u.s. makes it very clear with respect to human rights you cannot have long-term stability and security in a country, considering the energy resources in that part of the world, freedom of navigation, free flow of congress, and it certainly ending through regional civil wars. recognizing that is critically important not just force the ability and in the region but the humanitarian crisis we see today by the refugees fleeing civil war in syria. so, against this backdrop of broad u.s. interest, what are our objections and hashem's
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shape u.s. strategy going forward. that is. that is the purpose of today's hearing, to understand the strategy that the united states is employing. we we certainly want to enable all citizens for equal opportunity. there are substantial challenges in so many countries in that region, we have now completed the iran deal, the consequences of moving forward, we do not expect iran to change its behavior. how do we counter its problematic activities in that region concerning terrorism, missiles, how do we deal with the problems in yemen? how do we deal with the problems and 70 other countries with that region? i look for to a robust discussion of our two witnesses today. >> witnesses today. >> thank you. thank you senator. our first witness is and patterson, assistant secretary
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of state. thank you for being here. also as us today is general alan we thank you, you both have been here before, if you'd summarize your comments in about five minutes. without objection it will be entered into the record and we look for to taking q&a. if you would start and i appreciate it. >> thank you mr. chairman, members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear today. i am honored to appear with general john allen, we both were backed with troops from the region. you received a full readout of the secretary strip yesterday. i will submit post them up record. the roots of non- president stability we are witnessing in the middle east are deep and systemic. to protect jewish interests we have to recognize and cope with the challenges that states across the region face.
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reach political legitimacy and institutions and enormous democratic, and a lack of concessions on the role of islam and politics. our most urgent priority is combat isil which is is preying on weak states to terrorize citizens and to create a massive humanitarian disaster. there are no easy or quick fixes for these dodging challenges. however, there are some suspects stories notably in tunisia. i look for to next week's ceremony to celebrate the national dialogue for tet winning of the nobel priests prize. we are committed to helping it continue to grow and prosper. prime minister has made progress and has courageously take the old corruption. we have a long road ahead but we have stopped iso-territorial expansion
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territorial expansion and are helping stabilize areas liberated by isil. the administration succeeded in finding an agreement to remove the biggest threat to our security. i ran obtaining a nuclear weapon. we are fully confident of the challenges ahead with implementation of the plan of action. the u.s. will lift sanctions once they verified iran has completed the steps. building on the historic summit that president obama held with cap david and may, we're helping our golf allies counter iran aggression by building our military capabilities and limiting to ron's ability to support has below. in lebanon lebanon we are strengthening the armed forces, targeting hospitalists structure and urging the governor to elect a president. egyptians are voting in parliamentary elections and where helping cairo fight isil,
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strengthen its border in libya and create jobs for political stability. >> a mac >> .. india meant yemen tieser representative of the former president to reach a direct
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confrontation. we are de-escalating its military campaign and ensure unfettered humanitarian access for systems to the yemeni people. syria has been the subject of intense u.s. diplomacy. there is no military solution and the international community cannot afford to continue the status quo which yields unending humanitarian catastrophe and refugee flows. russia's military ventures is directly and that u.s. moderate opposition forces and the assad regime is losing territory and control. we know moscow does not want another commitment in syria. secretary kerry told you yesterday he believes now the time to make a maximum effort to end the searing conflict. the solution can only be out during political transition. the russian turkish counterparts were brought together in vienna
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and agreed on this and in today's secretary kerry will bring together larger group to help begin a political process again experience to negotiate a possible solution. we have no illusions about the prospects for success. our differences with russia iran and the saudi regime -- assad regime are benefits -- essential but giving the people government that respects them is more important. mr. chairman the middle east and north africa is a deeply troubled region where profound challenges contained a better economic successful and politically stable future for the vast majority of people across the region hope to achieve. at the same time most of these countries are counting on the united states for support as they navigate this period of instability for security cooperation for economic hardships and a leg up in the 21st century. thank you.
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>> general allen. >> chairman corker ranking member card and esteemed members of the committee thank you for providing me this opportunity to update you today on the progress of the global coalition to counter isil. i will refer to it as isil and da'ish is the arabic acronym. alongside today one the premier diplomats of our time time ambassador system secretary patterson. as the committee knows the challenges in the region are great and i returned to washington on friday from a consultation with our gulf orders and on the heels of the trip to amman's bag dad and interview where he met with the most senior leadership for wide-ranging discussion on the counter of isa strategy. this in turn follows a meeting on the heels of the u.n. general assembly where president obama convened a meeting of the counter isil coalition in key international leaders and groups engaged encountering violent
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extremists. spent a busy time and i might add that the u.n. general assembly three other nations announced their membership to the counter isil coalition tunisia nigeria. as they appear before this distinguished committee today it's important to take stock of the dire situation that was unfolding a year ago. i still have advanced unimpeded into iraq. u.s. government personnel in erbil and baghdad were under severe threat and isolated siege to the sinjar mountain where they intended to annihilate the a cd population. mosul had fallen to create have fallen and we witness atrocities unparalleled in our experience. a year later the coalition apply significant pressure on this group getting isil with more than 7500 airstrikes nearly 6000 of which the united states has conducted taking out as the pentagon announced last week just as a measure of the effect
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70 senior and mid-level isil leaders from me, roughly to every other day. with 18 coalition coalition members have been trained more than 14,000 iraqi and peshmerga soldiers to date we denied isil freedom to operate in over 30% of the populated caramel -- territory and iraq held just last august and the iconic city of tikrit has been liberated in 75% of the population has returned. isil has been almost completely pushed back where iraqi air force aircraft flying u.s. supplied f-16s have provided close air support operations on the ground in four columns of iraqi troops are closing in on ramadi the capital of the elan bar province which we anticipate the coming months will be the next liberated city. this coalition knows the situation in serious no less challenging as ambassador passenger suggests and the russian presence is further complicated matters, which
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ambassador will address with us in questions and answers. united states continues to support ground ground forces in american syria to take back territory and we now have cut off all but 68 miles of the 600-mile border of turkey and today some of those forces are within 30 miles of isil's nerve center if you will come it's capital rocco. beyond the military aspects of the campaign it will inevitably receive the most attention let's not forget the pressure we exert against this group along mutually supportive lines of africa while we have taken back isil's primary border between turkey and syria we must stress the turkish border is the last line of defense in combating this phenomena. as i have our dimension we are working with turkey and local partners declare isil from the final 60 miles of the border and prevent the further infiltration of foreign fighters. the russian incursion into syria
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will likely make this more complex. we need all nations working together at each link in the chain of the movement of foreign fighters from the point of radicalization to the point of violence and to the point of return and rehabilitation. you also recall earlier this year and may our armed forces conducted a special operations raid on isil's financed oil antiquities. we took from them seven terabytes of information hard drives thumb drive's dvds, cds and paper and exploitation of that information material is giving us important insights into the organization of isil and its economic portfolio. as isil continues to brutalize and extort these populations for cash the coalition escorted efforts to stabilize areas liberated from isil's grasp. several nations including the united states with the support of congress remains sizable contributions to the fund for immediate stabilization in iraq which we created with u.n. development program.
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this all the national fund multilaterally supported has enabled iraq and iraqi authorities to respond quickly to urgent needs requiring iraqi's to reestablish critical and essential services such as water or electricity and medical services. the ravaged communities isolates in its wake bear witness to isil's true nature one we are actively working with coalition partners to expose ensuring that an arab face and muslim voices are messaging strategy. one example the state department said the first to gigi counterterrorism communications have managed a multimedia campaign of testimonies from isil defectors generating some 900 news articles and reaching an estimated population and an audience of 90 million. to that end we as a people must never ever accept organizations like isil can become the new normal. let's never use our moral outrage and what we have seen this organization do and is doing every day.
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taking the fight to isil requires he be patient in our efforts and requires close quarters with this committee and her colleagues in congress so he can constantly evaluate our tactics and strategies of the where are resourcing them appropriately. i want to thank you chairman and ranking member carson for this opportunity to continue this process of ordination conversation and as i end this term i want to tell you sir i enlisted in the service when i was 17 i spent my adult life in the military but i spent the last year working closely with the state department and i want to thank this committee for the support it has given to the state department, the foreign service in and the magnificent professionals in that organization. when i think americans and those who serve today i call on americans do not just thank the men and women in uniform. they should be thinking our diplomats and employees in the state department as well. thank you. >> thank you, thank you very much. i think i will start with
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especially what happened with iran's nuclear agreement. there is a renewed effort to try to understand what our middle east policy is and for congress congress to play a role in at predicting the administration is attempting to do the same right now and as i look at libya where we basically went in for the short-term short term and left the country ungoverned still and govern in many ways, is a look at egypt where we had folks that were trying to cause the country to become not a secular country but one that was very focused on religious ideology and so someone comes into change that and then all of a sudden we are not really helping them or holding support because we don't like the way they did it because of humans rights issues. in iraq in 2011 we had a check the box mentality where we were
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done with iraq and obviously we are back in a different way now and in syria our policy has been the sod must must go and yet assad is there and we haven't done much to call for a seib to go. we had it testimony in yemen where folks supporting the government. in iran obviously we could totally turn the tables relative to our relationship there and obviously they are going to be at the table on friday. in israel somebody spent a long time and it's hard to tell if the administration is friend or foe at present and i wonder if you might layout or us what the middle east vision has meant for the administration and if that has changed in recent times because of circumstances what it is today because it's really hard as you look at all the pieces to understand if there is a concurrent middle east policy
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and something we might learn from the administration today and at least what that is. >> well thank you mr. chairman. obviously it's a deeply troubled and deeply conflicted region but i do think we have is certain principles in the region and the first is her counterterrorism policy. that is obviously been at increasing challenge in libya and other places in the region and yemen as well. i think that's our first priority. the second is human lives and democracy and economic growth. we have tried to promote this. i think they're very much under the radar particularly some of our economic policies at this time to promote entrepreneurship, to promote employment to try to get some of these enormous issues that are destabilizing the region so that's also a key element of our policy. finally i would be the first to admit mr. chairman that we have
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been absolutely absorbed by the crises in the region such as isil in syria and libya and we have been unable in many respects to implement successfully these longer-term strategies and focus on the underlying difficulties in the region. let me point out however that i think we made a very considerable progress in some parts of north africa. i think relations with our gulf allies have improved quite dramatically due to the work on the camp david summit in their security and trying to reassure them of our permanent commitment to their security. i think there are some positive elements as they can point you in our policy but again i would be the first to admit that we have been quite absorbed by crisis management during this administration. >> my sense is that three years ago maybe administration had won
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one -- in the middle east and today it has evolved to a degree. have there have been shifts if you will relative to how the administration is looking at the region because of these crises that you are talking about? >> mr. chairman i was here three years ago and i think there was perhaps overly optimistic impression that we could focus on democracy promotion and economic growth in places like egypt and north africa and l'enfant. that is proven to be extremely difficult over the past three years or focus has changed to the counterterrorism initiative which was always a high priority and essentially to develop what general allen is carrying out which is a coalition to fund isil and other terrorists in the region. we shouldn't forget about the persistent presence of al qaeda in yemen so i would say we have
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evolved. >> general allen this friday there was a meeting and secretary kerry seemed optimistic about yesterday and are closed briefing and it's hard to square for me anyway it's hard to square sort of the facts on the ground with the potential for some grand diplomatic solution on friday when you see what russia's efforts that seem to bend more of toward a free syrian moderate groups than they have toward isis. you have a lot on the ground are working with them. i'm wondering if you have any thoughts from your perspective censure military background is so respected, if you look at the facts on the ground today where do you see a diplomatic solution going in syria that is reconcilable and something that represents u.s. national
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interest? >> chairman as we have said the foreigner conversations and attempted to portray this as is one of the most complex situations that i have seen in my career. the ground in syria is rife with conflict in a number of different levels and a number of different directions. much of course of what we see in syria if not virtually all of what we see in syria is a direct result of the assad regime and a direct result when in 2011 legitimate voices of the syrian people called for reform rather than to listen to the voices to embrace the opportunity and that created the situation that we see today which is large segments of the population which we might call moderate serious are seeking to defend themselves
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elements of the population have gravitated towards al qaeda so al qaeda has put down roots in the country in a very serious way and that isil found itself free to incubate if you will to create the organization that has today which merely push syria over the edit and add edge of nearly pushed iraq over the edge. we have a complex environment on the ground which until just recently last several months i didn't see that we had many options in terms of being able to influence. in the aftermath of the couple of things which is our work with syrian elements that we could in fact work with having taken back much of the syrian turkish war. that has given us options both in terms of closing off the border but having access to syrian partners with whom we can deal as well turkey is now in this game and away that we have not seen months ago.
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that they think is given as a platform regionally to have options. so at this particular juncture we are trying to develop a situation which is to contain and degrading defeat its wishes a strategy in a pub itself and seek to reduce the violence in the region and to undertake some kind of a political transformation or translation, away from assad as a connective tissue we hope between the two of those. the strategy on the strategy on the one hand and ultimately the policy objective on the other to do what we can to support the syrian elements within the population that can defeat da'ish and the incredible voices in the transitions i think secretary kerry is trying to leverage that opportunity. think the russians have made that it opportunity and a challenge in that regard and i'm not giving the russians any credit for what they have done
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but the point i'm trying to make is that the russians are going to find themselves in the relatively near future and it very difficult situation. going to be very difficult for them to disengage or ultimately to justify their presence in syria and for a whole brady of reasons. i could be more expansive on that if you would like but i don't think assad isn't a particularly strong place. i think the russians to intervene because assad was teetering on the edge. i think the russians are assisting him to do stable and recover that alawite homeland and to reduce the violence in syria. i think what they are discovering quickly as if that they are not part of the political transition they are going to be part of the problem in the album is going to be with in ways alone make it very difficult. it's a complex situation at various levels and i think what
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secretary kerry is seeking to do is to leverage any potential opportunity that we have right now to begin the conversation that can put in place a process of political transition. thank you. >> senator cardin. >> thank you again very much both of you for your testimony. secretary patterson i want to underscore one point you made for comment and that is one of our objectives is human rights issues. as we start to talk about a negotiated settlement in syria if president assad is not held accountable for his war crimes it will be a clear message that this scene will play out again somewhere else in that region and i just urge you that the way the united states provides leadership is to make it clear that we understand serious future will be without assad and
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a clear message about me but it's also important that president assad be held accountable for the atrocities he is committed to his own people. you said said in your testimony we believe russia's decision to intervene militarily in serious losing that. general allen hewitt upset the same basically the same message that we have to move towards a diplomatic and russia's case they clearly are intervening militarily to bolster the assad regime. all the information that we have seen is that the interest in isil is secondary at best and their primary interest is to deal with the stability of the assad regime which is contrary to a lot of our military interest in that region. so secretary carter indicated yesterday before the armed
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services, the senate armed services committee that changes to the u.s. strategy are underway. general allen can you share with us how our military strategies in the region are being reevaluated, recognizing that there is no military solution here. we need to get a diplomatic solution. how do we readjust their military strategy in order to reach that object it? >> i would say a couple of things. first, we see da'ish is a regional issue and we try not to view the da'ish as a segment in iraq and the segment that is in syria. as is the case in an environment where we have to deal with da'ish and my point a moment ago i talked about how far we have come in a year where sub one was for all intents and purposes splintering iraq and eric himself away have done enormous
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damage to syria. we really took them on head on for all intents and purposes and the intent of the first year of this coalition and our operations was two grant them to a hault and set the conditions ultimately to begin the process of defeating them. that is what is the underway for the first year and i think what secretary carter is referring to is that we find ourselves now in a position where we are able to bring pressure to bear on da'ish if you will around its periphery so for example of bilateral agreements that we have entered into with the turks to facilitate the closure of the final 98 kilometers of the border to empower syrian opposition elements to pressure raqqa, to empower syrian elements to push south, to pressure other da'ish areas.
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in iraq to see the peshmerga who have been so effective continue the process of pushing out and interdict in key lines of communications between mosul and raqqa to pressure and recover ramadi. all of those activities is what we are seeking to accomplish. >> is a more complicated today because of russia's military escalation in syria? >> not really. the russians are operating primarily in the northwest of syria and along the spine of syria which is well west of most of da'ish. we would have been happy if the russians truly joined us and what they said they would do which is to deal with da'ish but the vast majority of the targets they are attacking, the vast majority of the assistance they are providing sustainable lies the regime and attack other elements of the syrian population between -- beside da'ish.
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that would have been helpful but that's not what's happening. >> with regards to the isil campaign russia's presence has not been a major problem. in regards to dealing with the underlying problems in syria, the fact that there are so act as inviting the opposition, i seem secretary patterson that does present a challenge for us. >> yes sir senator cardin but it may also present an opportunity and that is what the secretary is trying to leverage. i think it's important to remember that russia went into syria under considerable pressure from a variety of directions. i think they will soon find out the pashto new world is against them. we have heard from many of our golf partners that in terms of jihadis and extremist they haven't seen anything yet because they will be drawn into syria in even greater numbers to
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fight against the russians and of course the russians have their own problems with domestic extremist amount on their border they may find out this is not such a good deal as they had anticipated. >> could you share with us, switching gears to iran for one moment to post iran deal the environment. can you share what steps are being taken to deal with the fact that iran is moving i think more promptly than we had anticipated in order to obtain sanction relief. we know that the work is a painting sponsor of terrorist activities. what steps are being taken to trace iran's ability to enhance sanction relief, to be able to counter their nefarious actions and activities working with our
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partners to make it clear that we won't tolerate that type of activity? >> thank you senator cardin. chairman dempsey testified in front of this committee some months back and what he said i thought was very well put which was along the lines is the nuclear agreement is one of the elements of the nuclear capacity and wanted elements that we have great concerns about. the first step we have taken senator cardin is to work very closely with israel and with her gcc allies to help them combat this iranian threat and we are under no illusions about what iran is doing in the region. in fact some of their activities have stepped up in recent months but we are working with her gcc colleagues on issues like protection from cyber incursions. we are working with them on an anti-ballistic missile defense system. we are working with them on things like special forces training. we have a very robust
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intelligence sharing efforts with their gcc allies and in fact have help them counter some iranian extremist terrorism on their soil. we have a lot of activities underway. we have a very specific intelligence focus on the course have our large military presence in the persian gulf and the gulf of aden. so we are very mindful of iranian adventures and on the financial side we continue to designate, think web designated 44 designations since this was underway so i think we are taking steps. >> will we be monitoring their cavities and considering sanction relief will give them an opportunity perhaps to help their own people but also to increase their terrorist activities and sponsorship? >> very much so and when the money is released the iranian
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economy is a chance and they will be in great demand i think to provide for their people and to rebuild energy infrastructure and other public services. but we are very mindful that some of this money could be directed at activities for instance in yemen and bahrain and we will be watching that closely. >> prepared to take action. >> very much so serve. >> thank you. >> secretary patterson thank you for your service and general allen thank you for yours. prepare to take action, there's an adjusting article written by bret stevens in "the wall street journal" yesterday talking about iran's violations of resolution 2231 and the new demands made by supreme leader, any. i guess i would like to get your reaction to that. the test firing of ballistic missile. mr. come on a's demands as of
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the road were best described by the middle east media research institute. demand one, u.s. much -- must -- sanctions against iran for supportive terrorism and human rights abuses must also go. mr. come on he is changing the timetable for iran to ship out its rich uranium and most modified plutonium reactor. he also read rates his call for a huge r&d effort so iran will have a lease 190,000 centrifuges when the nuclear deal expires. secretary patterson you said the administration is under no illusions about what iran is doing. seems like that whole agreement i think you are under illusion and delusion itself in terms of what iran is going to be planning on doing here. they have been emboldened by this agreement. i'm not seeing any kind of modification to the positive on their behavior. i have seen the negative.
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.. there is a hardliners from 1970
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who really haven't evolved since 1979. there 79. there is enormous tension in their body of politic. >> again, address the actual behavior, we are about to see tens of billions of dollars being put into the economy possibly but in the military of our self-proclaimed enemy. how's that going to turn out? >> let me give you one example. the ballistic missile. i read mr.'s stevens, we think it is entirely possible that this is a violation of the un resolution that you mention.
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how this is handled, we got to the security council and asked for an appointment of a group of experts, this is the procedure. the experts will report back to the security council and we'll decide what action. >> and we will continue to lift the sanctions, we will allow tens of billions of dollars to be injected into military self proclaimed, correct? >> we can stop the sanctions relief at any time. >> will we question what the question is will we. >> of course, if they are in violation. let me also say about the ballistic missile defense, here's where we are trying to work with our allies. we have worked with the country very intensely in the past few weeks to develop a regionalized ballistic missile defense system. we are taking steps with iran and so our allies can better counter these aggressive types by iran. >> so we are looking at arms building a result of the iranian old. it's what you're basically describing here. does the is the ministration happy with the result? his administration happy with iran's actions following the agreement. >> sir, the ministration is under no illusions.
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>> it seems as though they are. we were told yesterday that iran actually wants a secular syrian. you agree that? do you think iran was a secular syria? do you believe that's true? that they're looking for a secular syria. >> i don't know if they're looking for a secular or religious syria. what they're looking they're looking for is a syria that protect their interest in their asked access to hezbollah. >> i appreciate your service, i realize as a military man you certainly have been constrained. it is complex, i have been told by a number of people, military experts, i am not one, that although difficult and obviously with sacrifice, if we were willing to bring everything we can to bring to bear against isil we could defeat them
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militarily relatively easily. again, we have been constrained by the fact that we said we will not put boots on the ground, we have not got a coalition that is not putting the type of military assets to bear against iso-. what would it take? is? is that true? is what i'm hearing false? do we have to be patient? do we have to be patient because we are not willing to bring the stuff to defeat them sooner rather than later's? >> to be very clear, of course it is the role of the chairman of the secretary to bring these kinds of recommendations to the president. let me make a couple of points. the united states has on parallel military power in the world today. it's enormously effective, our capacity capacity to generate and to deploy that military power is unquestioned and irresistible. if we chose to do that. in dealing with this crisis, you
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have to ask yourself one of two questions. the first is, to do it yourself? or to empower the indigenous forces to do it for themselves, the result of the first is that you find yourself with large numbers of your forces in large numbers of casualties and some extended period of time on the ground, in an area that is always destabilized, and with the great likelihood the kind of antibodies that will be formed against the united states there will make it very difficult, if not impossible for us to pull out in any short. of time. the alternative the alternative though, is empower the indigenous forces, which is the course we have taken. it is less satisfying up front because we haven't been able to deliver the massive capacity the american military machine against this enemy. we would love to crush these folks. please let me finish them at her. in doing that, what were seeking to do is build the capacity of those indigenous forces, where their
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iraq he security forces, the tribes, or partners the tribes, or partners on the ground in syria, in whatever way possible so when the solution is ultimately achieved it has been achieved by the people who have to live with it. that is a very effective way of doing it as well. the first gets you the outcome that you look for in a relatively quick process, but the tail end of that is very difficult outcome. the other takes a longer to gain momentum and ultimately achieve your injected but when you achieve it it is the people themselves who have achieved it. that is what we seek to accomplish in this case. >> what about the middle ground in the coalition like the first gulf war? the u.s. provide about two thirds of the troop strength, half million soldiers, but coalition partners about 250,000, they paid for 85% of their effort. that effort. that was a true coalition, is very effective. we are not assembling that type of coalition, if we we did, just a quick question, how quickly and what with the troop level be? what would we need to actually
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defeat isis sooner rather than later? >> i will not speculate on the troop to task requirement there. i think we can simply assume that if the coalition sought to put together the kinds of combat power that was put together for a comeback storm the outcome would be different that it was today. the result of the liberation of kuwait was that we were able to hand quite back to the kuwaiti people who were able to govern it. we don't have that kind of partnership and the ground in syria. we are desperately attempting to hold on and develop the capacity of the government in iraq so that it, in the end is able to govern her a sovereign iraq. we are seeking an outcome of two different environments. two different operational environments. the one coalition work very well for that moment, president bush was wise in his administration put that together very well. this is a different environment, an environment where we are down we want the solution to the
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crisis to be handled and ultimately sell by the people who have to deal with it to begin with. >> thank you. >> senator menendez on the un security council resolution 1929, iran definitely violated, there's no violated, there's no question about it. we know that russia is going to block any action being taken, i know you're going through the steps. we know they're going to black, think the vast majority of people on the committee want to know is, knowing that we know the outcome before it starts that there won't be sanctions, there won't be penalties put against iran because iran says russia will block them, we want to know, unilaterally what the united states is going to do, because we know functionally nothing is going to happen at the un. i think that is the question we all have. i think you have another one coming warning you to spell it out. i think there is. >> i think there is confusion there. absolutely we know we know that russia will block
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this. the real question is unilateral sanctions. >> and there is not a snapback around us. >> will go through the process at the un security council and the panel of experts and decide what will do. >> all of which we know will lead to a dead end and therefore we will have to take unilateral action, or we'll begin the process by letting iran violate on the front end, the very agreement that we just negotiated. that is kind of where we are. we know are. we know that i would like something a little more clear coming from the administration. >> thank you mr. chairman, let me think both of you for your service to our country. i truly appreciate it. i want my questions to be viewed with the full respect that i have for both of you but trying to peers the veil of optimism and try to understand where that optimism close run. both of your testimonies were very optimistic.
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i would like, madam secretary for you to explain to me, not where supposedly the confluence of russia and iran's interests are with us in syria, but where they diverge. >> cert they diverge in all sorts of ways. >> me some examples. >> the iranian president there as i mentioned is to ensure the role of hezbollah in the region. that that is obviously a high priority. the russians are there not only to shore up aside but also to exert regional influence and exert their naval base. so those are two obvious ones which they differ. >> so what i am trying to
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understand and i believe there more to diverge on because when i listen to the administration i hear the aspirational goals of the convergence of russia and iran's interest in syria and somehow make them potential partners. it seems to me, that if russia wants, for example is the permanency of their base, their naval base there, and influence i don't know about the region because that is one of my concerns here, what we are allowing after 45 years of democratic demonstration seeking to close the door on russia's spear of influence in the middle east. it it seems to me we are swinging it wide open. that is a concern. so fresh i just wanted space and influence in syria that is something that i am sure we would have negotiated without
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having gone to the depths of the crisis we have. if iran, truly wants a secular syria which i find incredible to believe, then that is something we could have negotiated for some time we did not even need an accord for that. so, i find it difficult to understand how iran and russia are going to end up with the same and goals that we have at the end of the day, which is a side has to go in some, and now it is after a transition, we want to unified country, we want a country which all people can live in. so how does that reconcile with russia wanting greater influence in the middle east, which is the message he sends when he has a
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side visit him and russia. that message is, is, you have to come through me. at the end of the day, to the region, so at the end of the day we see regional partners flocking to have conversations with russia, where as basically their conversations were largely with us and our partners in this coalition. i think we are opening a door to and influence that is not going to service well. >> senator menendez, i respectfully think the prospects of russian influence in our region are exaggerated. our influences in the region and many have paid a visit to moscow live pretty securely under a large u.s. defense umbrella. it protects them from iran, and from other threats. they know, because they are not stupid, that the russians cannot replicate that. they know that the russians may
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supply some military equipment but they also know that the partner of choice for their military development is the united states. so, yes we see the pay visits to moscow, i do think the chances for russian penetration in the area are frankly exaggerated. >> okay, so you you do not have that concern. why, if all russia wants and all iran wants is the same angles we want, why haven't we had to have thousands of people die, millions displaced, and at the end of the day we could have negotiated the same opportunity that we are now talking about negotiating with these two countries? >> i do not think we ever said we have the same goals. "that is there could be a congruence of interest that could, well in fact be temporary. >> at the at the end of the day, if your interests ultimately don't end up in the same goals, how does the end game and that
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being the one that you want to see. you are inviting these two countries to engage with you because at the end of the day, i would have thought that the end result of what we want is going to be shared by these two countries, if not why would you ask them to be involved if the end goal is not to be achieved with them. >> from a practical matter, they are on the ground so they have to be involved in the process. >> okay, so before they were on the ground, went russia now got engaged. by the way, you said iran is going to need this money for domestic purposes. but iran has upped its participation in syria even in the midst of the economic difficulty interface, which is counter to the argument that when their flush with money they're going to use it all to mystically because when they are lacking money, they are still engaged in upping the ante as
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they are with has below merit participation inside syria. >> sen., the iran and russia involvement in syria is nothing new. so this is a question of degree and acceleration, it is nothing new. they have both been there for years. they have been active for years. it is not a question that our interests coincide across the board, it is a question, and this is what secretary kerry is trying to do, is to define an opening that he can leverage and not just with the russians and iranians. remember the saudis and the turks, and a wide range of europeans were being decimated very seriously affected by this refugee crisis, they are also involved in this process and trying to find an opening to which they can find a diplomatic solution. >> well, the purpose of leverage is to come to the ultimate goal that you have. you said to me that while they may have interests, at the end
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of the day they don't share our ultimate goals. so, i find it difficult how to get to the ultimate goal of what we want to see him syria with partners who do not share our ultimate goal, who may have interest but at the end of the day their interest may not be sufficient to ultimately be assuaged or taken care of and still have our ultimate goal. i don't get it. it. let me make one, because my time is up. on the question of iran's blistered missile tests. this is a critical test of the administrations willingness to challenge iran when it violates international law. if it fails to do so it will send iran a message that the international agreement that they signed can also be challenged and violated with impunity. i do not see the difference, because you have security council resolution that call for
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iran not to have the missile test that it did, it really did it, blatantly did it. it seems to me that iran's view is that the expectations or aspirations of the united states, to make it a partner will ultimately overlook their violations. if that is is the case, we are in an incredibly dangerous. i hope that regardless of what happens at the you end that we are poised to act by ourselves and hopefully in concert with other countries who may feel the same as we do, and actions that send a very clear message to iran, otherwise the nuclear agreement is bound to be broken time and again. >> thank you senator. >> thank you for your testimony.
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i would like your candid assessment, i am not making a value judgment on the direction it seems we are going, i am not sure we have all that many options. we we are talking about the transition in syria which would be started with a side in place but would not and with him in his place. how realistic is it assumption that we can back a transition like that and assume that he will begin the process but not end it. >> i think yesterday the secretary said that it would be in extraordinarily difficult, this process. we have been trying to do a version of this and many of the elements in this transition process were laid out in the geneva accord several years back.
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i think there is a renewed interest to undertake this again with the russian involvement, with the refugee crisis in europe, sure i think it will be very hard. but assad cannot remain in place because he has fundamentally destabilized and we will not be able to effectively combat isil if he remains in town. it will be hard, of course. >> do you have any thoughts general allen? >> i agree with the assistant secretary. i think this is going to be difficult but i think beginning the process and the conversation is worth the effort, frankly. >> secretary patterson, if some sense of where the eu is and how much more motivated they are perhaps now after the refugee crisis, it has reached its peak, hopefully, how much more motivated are they to help seek a solution with partners there.
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>> they seem very focused on it, shall i say. yesterday there is a meeting that tony lincoln attended and then there is a meeting in vienna that will involve the eu, the major european powers as well. i think the refugee crisis, which has potentially very disruptive effects throughout the europe we have seen a renewed interest on their part. >> general allen? >> they are very focused on it senator. i think the concerns they have both in terms of the effect they have in their society and their border can control, all of the things i focused them very significantly on this. this is not just an issue for europe but also an issue for their renewed willingness to work with us in the coalition as well. >> to have any demands that we
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do not have? are they entering in this thing with the same, they understand the difficulties, as you put it up starting this process of diplomacy here. are they comfortable with what seems to be the framework given the reporting we have seen that we would become to both the transition. that was dark with a side remaining in power. are our european partners comfortable with that? >> it is difficult to make a general assumption. i believe the process that secretary carries seeks to undertake will take us through the modalities for the transition. various voices will be raised in that process as to whether he has to go immediately or goes during the transition or is gone by the end. that will be worked out as a modality during the process. i strongly believe that our european partners, in the coalition or the eu are keenly interested in this political
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process. we are clear this is not going to be resolved in a military sense in syria. this is an opportunity, this opportunity, this is a moment when that conversation can begin to bring all of the relevant external players to the table to begin that conversation. that is an opportunity we should cease. >> thank you mr. chair and thanks to our illnesses. since the beginning of the war on isil in august 2014, we have, we have seen united states troop deployment levels increase. we have seen deaths of u.s. citizens, first the execution of u.s. hostages after the bip bombing began in august 14, then the death of american supers men who are deployed in the area, not combat related death and then sadly the the death of sergeant wheeler last week. we have seen isil growing into more countries, originally iraq and syria and now claim privacy in afghanistan, libya, libya, yemen, somalia, we just deployed troops to cameroon. we have seen the acceleration of
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the worst refugee crisis since world war ii with the syrian refugee plane syria in camps in neighboring nations. we have seen inflamed violence between turkey and the kurdish population in turkey and northern syria. now we have seen a russian military entrance into the and accelerated way into syria. we had testimony yesterday from secretaries carrie, carter and general dunford. while some of that was classified i'll be delicate the way i describe i describe it, the thrust of the testimony seem to be, as i listen to both sets of testimony that we are about to, it has been reported that we are considered, we are about to additionally escalate u.s. military activity against isil. that will have a cost and likely will take some time.
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would you agree that the state admission that the u.s. has of defeating isil is one that will take some significant period of time? >> senator kay and i agree with that. we have said that all along. the countdown of issues that you have presented us, the witnesses, are an accurate accounting. those are going to have to be addressed, not just regard to dosh, but as a secretary has pretrade this morning, and ultimately adjusting some of those causal factors that create the in's debility that give rise to ultimately organizations like al qaeda. as you correctly point out, the emergence of what we call global isil, has been less about the
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spontaneous development of isil as an organization that we know in iraq and syria than it has been the potential for creation of connectivity between existing groups in various places. each of which, emerge from the fabric of society there because of various causal factors. the ability to gather them together in a network is something that we are very attentive to right now with the idea of how we can deal with the branches, deal with the network, while we continue the process of dealing with the platform which is the core isil platform in iraq and syria. >> i don't mean to underwrites the fact that there been successful efforts that u.s. has undertaken, i go through the litany just to show that frankly since august 2014 the isil thread has been growing and mutating and spreading. that means the u.s. efforts, vis-à-vis isil, which this congress should oversee and in my view authorize will also have to grow and spread and it will likely take time. family moved to an where we have
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been successful but where it has challenges. that is our partnership with the kurds. in july i was very impressed with the cooperation between united states and the passion marga and military operations in northern iraq. in ghazni discussing our operations there, we had success in working with the kurds in northern syria as well, success doesn't have the worm and the apple, there has been an inflamed tension between our nato ally turkey and the kurds right on that border and atrocities back and forth across the border. how how do we propose to maintain the partnership with the kurds in northern syria that has been somewhat successful militarily while also maintaining the level of cooperation we need to with turkey to shut the border into the other things that they are doing to buy it battle isil question what. >> is one of the most complex challenges we face right now.
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we discovered potential for the relationship for the y pg last year when you recall, bonnie was unfolding. the many different defenders of that, many defenders not just kurds, others in the city as well in the aftermath of that discovered that the syrian opposition elements in that area, kurds and others, could in fact be empowered and advised ultimately to deal with das h to seal the border from info tradition in turkey into syria. at roughly the same time in july when we completed the agreement with turkey to open their airbases and close their final 90 kilometers of the border, that is when the problem with the pkk lid off inside turkey.
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you are correct, turkey is an old friend, it is a treasured nato ally and the pkk went to work inside turkey once again on the turks responded. we supported supported the turks, pkk is a designated organization and the turks did in fact take steps to defend themselves. we worked with the turks in a very delicate process. for us to maintain the relationship with the p1 idea of the wing, south of the border so long as there is no aggression across the border one way or another. we we work very hard to try to manage that. there have been some reporting recently that there may have been some come we are not sure that is accurate. as of the implement occasions and the potential problems with the turks over this rea


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