tv Secretary John Kerry Testimony on State Department Fiscal Year 2017 Budget CSPAN February 23, 2016 8:00pm-10:39pm EST
secure and responsible alternative. if there were, this president would not have failed to articulate it in his plan. mr. president, a plan that is a legacy speech does not safeguard the lives of the american people. i yield the floor. >> tonight on c-span two, secretary of state john kerry testifies before the senate foreign relations committee. then an update from the white house on the fight against isis. senators discuss the vacancy of the supreme court and senate republicans decision not to consider any nominee from president obama. >> the obama administration proposed 2017 budget the state department would be allocated 50 billion dollars. john kerry carey answer questions about the department budget at a hearing.
he talked about humanitarian aid programs to promote climate change and security and diplomatic missions. this is two and a half hours. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> many of former relations committee will come to order. we welcome everybody here and many of us had a chance to talk to some of those in the
is to do everything we can through diplomacy. to solve the many problems that exist around the world and to do everything we can to keep our men and women in uniform from being utilized more than they are today because of diplomacy. that is why you're here and that is one of the reasons he went into the narrative in your written testimony about things happening around the world. i just wanted to thank you, i appreciate you being here. my opening comments are going to center around things happening around the world. we saw you in munich last week, we had quite a candid conversation. i conversation. i know you gave a talk there at the conference. my observation is that i know that senator purdue was there and others, i i do not think that i have seen europe so unsettled, ever in my lifetime. i think their confidence level is at an all-time low.
i think they are concerned about what russia is doing to destabilize the area using refugees as a weapon of war. again, i do not think i have seen it at that level before. they are looking for u.s. leadership, no question. in syria we had a frank and off the record discussion regarding, you had just entered into an agreement relative to citation in syria and their concerns about what russia would actually do. i think many people thought they would do with a have done which is to further solidify gangs, kill more people, move into aleppo as they have. i know you have negotiated another one, i realize i realize that what you have at your disposal is negotiation. i think that many of us have been asking what happens if in
fact the cease-fire does not hold. i do not think russia believes that anything is going to happen and i think that is why they continue to make gains at some point they will make all the gains they need and be ready for cessation. they also are right now selling or announced that they're going to sell to iran, su 30s which is in strict violation of the un security council agreement, and it puts the jc poa in place. it is my understanding that they can impact come to the un security council and asked for permission and i would love to understand if you expect that to happen. china today is beginning to militarize, if you will the gains they have made in the south china sea building sophisticated radar facilities, we understand through announcements, we do not have this verify, even our developing missile system, these quote islands are basically underwater
and high tide but are not being utilized in their regard. north korea we have passed something here in the senate and house last week, the president thankfully signed it to push back against them. i understand there was some peace overtures towards them, prior to that occurring i would love and hope you will expand what that was about and where you see that going. then in libya, we have have 5000 isis members there, i know we took some hits against them in the outskirts of cirque last week, i think many people have thought that maybe what the administration was going to do was going to assess a much greater effort there so that instead of it being incremental as it appears that might be, there be something done on a far more shock and all bases to really set them back while we had the ability to do so. i look for to talking about and sharing with us your thoughts on all of these issues. i think you
for your narrative on the front-end, thank you for your service, and i certainly thanks senator cardin for his distinguished ranking member leadership of this committee and will now turn to him. >> mr. chairman, thank you for convening this hearing. it is always a pleasure to work with you. secretary kerry it is a pleasure is a pleasure to have you before your former committee. i first start by acknowledging this is the last budget that president obama and the administration will be submitting to us. i just want to reflect a moment on your extraordinary leadership in advancing america soft power through the effective use of the diplomacy and develop assistance. secretary carry, you understand you understand more than anyone else is former chair of this committee the importance of diplomacy and development assistance to our national security. for that, i congratulate you on an incredible record of accomplishment a secretary of state. you understand understand that military must be our last
resort and you have carried that out through developing partnerships with other countries in coalition so that we can be effective with our soft power. the most recent recent is the hope that we have in syria through the cease-fire to stop the killings and to allow humanitarian access, which is critically important first step to resolving the conflict within syria so that we can focus on isil without the fighting going on between the assad regime and the opposition. you did it it in a way that does not compromise our position in regards to president assad's position position and his accountability for war crimes he has committed. i also want to thank your staff, they have been incredibly assessable to us in providing information that is vital to our need. so we think the entire team for what you have been able to do. i generally support the president's budget, they think it speaks to the right priorities in regards to the state department.
it deals with the threats emanating from iso-in the middle east, and north, and north africa, $4 million to fight violent extremism, it supports the rebalance to asia and recognizes the challenges we have in asia relative to china's provocative actions in the south china sea and north korea's nuclear ambitions. i was pleased to see that we have enacted, as he chairman pointed out, the north korea sanction build. the president signed it into law and we are all stronger when the congress in a ministration work together to advance the market for policy. the budget deals with challenges in our own hemisphere, particularly mention the central american, northern triangle. we still have the palms of unaccompanied children, to our borders. i was in honduras and el salvador and i saw firsthand the violence in the communities through gang controlled areas.
we must do more in order to make the country safe. the president billion-dollar request i hope we will support that dealing with the governments and protection of communities as well as the security issues in central america. the budget deals with russia's aggression in east and central europe, particularly the support the $953 to promote democracy and promote integration. it is the first anniversary -- we know russia has not complied with the military aspects but it is in, and upon ukraine to comply with the good governance aspects if there's going to be peace in ukraine. this budget allows us to advance those challenges. the budget provides for the continued support of israel, 3,100,000,000 dollars in security assistance recognizing the process of negotiating the next chapter in the memorandum of understanding. it provides u.s. leadership on climate change. i was pleased to be part of
members who are in paris, we saw firsthand america's leadership, your leadership, and the international community coming together. this budget carries out our commitments. i will refer a couple of times to the visit, we're just at the southern part of africa and we saw firsthand the impact and the continued droughts of the survivability of those countries in the southern part of africa. their their way of life is at jeopardy today because we're there during the rainy season and we saw no rain. this is the second year in a row that they had this impact. the new york times today points out that research sees the fastest the rise in 28 centuries. twenty-eight centuries. the budget does deal with caring out our commitments on climate change so that we can continue
of what is needed globally to deal with the crisis at a time. the budget deals with africa caring out with african leaders summit the commitments that were made there on power africa, try trade africa, all things that are very important. it carries out our values from providing international leadership on the refugees, he met a terry is global, and child health, it deals with the zika virus in latin america and it deals with a free generation. mr. secretary, when we were in libya we had a chance to visit and see firsthand and visit and interview with 30 or 40 aids patients. one asked that we relate to the leaders of our country the these
things, they're literally alive today because of the u.s. efforts. there is a whole generation alive today as a result of u.s. leadership. it makes a huge difference what we do on development assistance around the world. we now have a stable country, libya that wants to work with the united states and it is a direct result of our involvement. it also thank for including $60 million for trafficking, senator corgan has been a great leader on that issue. and we appreciate the funds that have been inches i am positive on the budget that has been submitted but i want to conclude on two points i'm not as pleased about. first, there is not enough allocation and good governance sense and democracy in this budget. the small amount of money that we put into a democracy building, we saw that in the four country we visited, mozambique, zimbabwe,
>> we don't just wait a year and have to be put into position. i know know this committee believes that. you work extremely hard, thank you for your diligence and senator likewise thank you. this is the way we advance the objectives of u.s. policy whether it's to try to create jobs or travel with americans abroad. i think you again for really pushing, obviously, get a politics. i asked your favorable and prompt effort on other nominations, there still some hanging out there particularly, he has done a diligent job, doesn't make the choices about
policy and she should not be the prisoner of those choices. she does what she is instructed to do and she does it very well. so mr. chairman you my prepared statement, i'm not going to give you all of that but i do want to give you some initial comments in summary. first, you have mentioned the number 50,000,000,000, a little a little over, it is equal to about 1% of the entire budget of the united states. that 1% mr. chairman, i am just convinced more and more after these last years, even after serving on the committee is a minimum price of the leadership role that the united states of america plays on a global basis. it, particularly at a time when we are engaged diplomatically, more deeply and more places simultaneously, on more significant issues
simultaneously than any other time in our history. the scope of that engagement i am also convinced is absolutely essential to protect the interest of our nation and to keep our citizens safe. i think it is even growing more so with the numbers of failed and failing states where the government money that was just referred to as so critical. we can talk about the governance money a little bit today. we are confronted today by perils that are as old as nationalist aggression and as new as cyber warfare. by dictators who run russia out of a global norms and by violent extremists who combine modern media with medieval thinking to wage war and civilization itself. the last century was marked by state actors and states going to work with each other. world world war i into, vietnam,
korea, so forth. the century is defined much more by nonstate actors taking actions against states and against, as i i said the broad norms of society. i would emphasize today and coming her, despite the turmoil we americans have many reasons for confidence. in recent recent years our economy has added more jobs than the rest of the industrialized world combined. our armed forces are second to none, it is not even close. our alliances in europe and asia are vigilant and strong. our citizens are unmatched in the generosity of their commitment to humanitarian causes. we are the largest donor in the world to the crisis of syrian
refugees, over $5.1 billion. i see, we see, all, all of us a lot of handwringing nowadays. i for one, with all of my affection and respect for my colleagues around the world that i work with, i would not switch places with the foreign minister in any country, nor do i year and to retreat to some illusionary golden age of the past. here and now, we have enormous opportunities and we are trying to seize them. in the past year we reached a historic multi- lateral accord with iran that you have played a role in and it has cut up that countries pathways to a nuclear weapon thereby making the world safer for us and our allies. if if you doubt that, read this beach by the head of the forces of israel who said that now because of this agreement it was
no longer in a essentials strip israel to iran. that is from their security in israel. in paris you mentioned the effects that we are seeing in the world today, we are trying to limit the most harmful consequences of climate change and we are determined to implement that accord i'm eating our targets here at home and helping friends abroad to reduce carbon pollution and move their economies forward at the same time. just this month we signed a -- to open up job opportunity in 40% of the global gdp. also to strengthen strengthen america's leadership within the entire pacific. we are asking congress to approve that pack this year and we can accrue its benefits as quickly as possible when we do. in europe, we are sharply
upgrading our security reassurance initiative with a fourfold increase in support and giving russia a clear choice between continued sanctions or meeting its obligations to a sovereign and democratic ukraine. we are helping columbia to help end the longest civil conflict and aiding our partners in central america to limit reforms to reduce the pressure of illegal migration. we are also seeking supplemental funds to minimize the danger to public health created by the zika virus. in asia, we are standing with our allies in opposition to threats posed by belligerent north korea, we are helping afghanistan and pakistan to counter violence extremism, deepening deepening our strategic dialogue with india, supporting democratic gains in sri lanka.
so with friends in fast-growing africa, we are very grateful for the interest of this committee, senator coombs and others, senator fly, others who have been very focused on it, we have embarked on initiatives to combat hunger, increase productivity, and power women, train leaders, leaders, fight back against terrorist groups like al shabab. now of course, this administration recognizes the threat posed by violent extremism x dens and beyond to any region and it is not going to be addressed solely or primarily by military means. so the approach that we have adopted is comprehensive in its long-term. diplomatically we are striving to and conflicts that fuel extremism such as those in libya and yemen, we also work with partners more broadly to share intelligence, tighten border security, and prove governments,
expand access to education, and i might add the coalition we put together 66 country strong is gaining traction in many sectors where it hasn't previously worked on these kinds of things as jointly as we are now. as you know we have forged a coalition 66 to defeat da'esh. just a quick word on our strategy, we are combining our power without of our partners to degrade da'esh structure, strength it's territory, curb its finance, hammer its hammer its economic assets, discredit its lies, slow its recruitment and block any attempt to expand its network. militarily we are intensifying pressure through coalition airstrikes, more advisors, stepped-up training, improved targeting, and a systematic
disruption of their supply line. we can go in greater detail in your questions. to consolidate territorial gains we are stressing the importance of stabilizing communities free from da'esh, syria and iraq. we we are helping the government of baghdad as it seeks to professionalize the security forces and we continue to strengthen our regional partners, lebanon and jordan. we are supporting a broad-based diplomatic effort which i know we'll talk about today on the syria war. two weeks ago we announced a plan to ensure access to humanitarian supply for all syrians in need. i'm pleased to tell you that 114 checks have gone in, people, at at least 80000 people have not had supplies in years now have supplies for the next month, at least. we have resulted in food and medicine reaching places that have been under siege for months. we will continue to work closely with the un to see that
humanitarian supplies are available to the country. the united states and russia are cochairing the international syria support group, cease-fire task force. force. yesterday president obama and president putin agreed that the cessation' should begin on saturday morning, include all groups willing to participate with the exception of --dash and any other terrorist group designated by the un security council. we are reminded each day in syria that every attack, every casually, every loss, every loved one that is bond from the air or otherwise provides fresh grounds for the conflict. as long as the killing goes on this devastating cycle will feed on itself. that is why we have urged all parties to the sport the
cessation of hostilities now and it is why we have argued repeatedly that there must be a diplomatic solution as difficult as it is to get there, there must be a diplomatic solution to this war. the only way forward that preserves eight unified syria is the path and vision of the syria support group, ratified by the un security council and endorsed by the responsible opposition. the request the escalation of the conflict, transition to a new new system of governments, new constitution, and election, and hopefully a syria that will be committed to peace and stability with its neighbors and within itself. mr. chairman, the success of our leadership on terrorism and other security threats is linked to other not america is leading the fight to protect what we care about. the truth is, we are in arena after arena, all the years i set on this committee i never saw us having to deal with quite as many fronts, quite as many challenges as we are today.
so this year we seek your support just at the forefront of international humanitarian response including the worldwide refugee crisis, to strike a blow for global health and he talked about it, and to carry out important programs on behalf of democracy, freedom of the press, human rights, and the rule of law. to launch a new strategy focused on the equitable treatment of adolescent girls and to adequately fund to the people on the platforms that enable us to serve america effectively around the world. so my colleagues, mr. chairman said this is the last budget the obama administration will submit, on behalf of the foreign-policy national security of the united states. i ask for its fair consideration, i welcome your questions and appreciate your counsel, and i seek your backing. above all i want to say how privileged i feel to have the chance to work with all of you and support an agenda that
reflects not only the most fundamental interests and values of the american people, but also carries with it an absolutely convinced the hopes of the world. thank you. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i cannot agree more that the hopes of the world very much depend upon us. i think you for your testimony. before. before we get into other longer discussions, you didn't mention afghanistan and i was there a couple of months ago and witnessed the continued duplicity on pakistan's part, outright, blatant where they continue to support the taliban and give safe haven to al qaeda. most of us has been and seen the tremendous amount attack spare
money that has gone into changing the context of both areas but they continue to give them safe haven. so recently they have asked to be able to purchase f-16s. i would rather than purchase them from a u.s. company than some other company, but they also what u.s. taxpayers to subsidize more than half of that purchase over time. do you agree with my position that that should not occur until they stop what has continued now for 14 years while we have been in afghanistan. >> mr. chairman, we are evaluating all aspects of the counterterrorism efforts in respect to pakistan's impact on afghanistan, obviously. i just met with prime minister sharif a few weeks ago and we discussed our concerns about the
need to rein in particular terrorist groups that are either home grown in pakistan or are using pakistan as a sanctuary. we have been very clear they have to target all militant groups. >> but if i could, i don't want to -- we do know that they know exactly where these people are living. right in pakistan, in neighborhoods that they could interdict while we are having this hearing. they are not.
i do not want to go into a long discussion about our relationship with pakistan, i do hope that ultimately you will support the position that i have laid up in my capacity as chairman that that zero u.s. taxpayer dollars will go to subsidize pakistan's purchase until such a time as they do the things that we know they can do to stop helping to destabilize afghanistan where men and women and u.s. uniforms have lost their limbs, lives, and huge amounts of taxpayer monies have gone to support a country as it evolves in other ways. >> it is a very complicated mix mr. chairman. i know you know this. the government itself, the military has been very cooperative and very engaged about the fight against terrorism. they have lost tens of thousands of people themselves. they have had 160-180,000 groups in the country conducting a sweep in major operation, they
drove the accounting network into new locations and it is an ongoing process. there are obviously we should do with this in a classified session, entities that complicate our efforts very significantly. we have had those conversations and i'm happy to go into it in greater depth. i understand your reservations about it but their military has been deeply engaged in the fight against terrorism. they have several groups there of concern we should talk in a classified sessions sessions about what we should do. >> there hedging their bets and continuing a long line of duplicity which is the greatest threat against american soldiers. i agree the relationship is complex. how should we look at our relationship with russia? they
have done more for a country that has a very little economic resources to break europe apart in the modern era, it has never occurred what they have done in your crane, what they continue to do to threaten the politics and excessive debate the refugee issue and really use it as weapons of war. in syria i don't think anyone can say that their role has been constructive as they continue to kill the folks that are our friends and allies. now in iran, after we we have negotiated after this agreement has been negotiated in strict violation of the un security resolution that put it in place they are now getting ready to sell russian fighter jets to
iran in strict violation of that. so what is our relationship today with russia? >> our relationship is one that is also complicated because obviously we have different positions with respect to rid ukraine and syria. it leads to the support of assad and the question remains to be if they are serious about the political process on the other hand, russia cooperated quite significantly in the iran negotiations. russia joined with us and helping to remove the chemical weapons that were the declared chemical weapons under the chemical weapons treaty on tran treaty from syria. they have cooperated us bring in
this effort diplomatically. they cooperated with us in the vienna meetings, they cannot have happened without russia's input. in fact without russia's cooperation i'm not sure we would've been able to have achieved the agreement we have now or at least get the humanitarian assistance in. in the last days russia has sent its special envoy in the syria issue to syria to talk to the assad regime and make sure they are in agreement to move forward with the diplomatic process as well as to honor the humanitarian requirements. they sent their defense minister to iran to do the same. so it is step-by-step. there are no illusions, eyes are open. nobody on this committee should have any illusions. russia made it clear years ago that they support has side. this is not a surprise to us. it is not a surprise that they
are following through with their support for assad and they are also threatened by terrorists. there may be 2000 or 2500 chechnya's who are fighting in syria. the russians have a serious concern about the return of those chad sheehan to russian soil or places of interest in stirring up there muslim population and/or other objectives they may have. so the bottom line is that we are proceeding on a step-by-step process by which the delivery of actions is what speaks. in five days we will meet again in geneva in the next few days to work on the modalities of the cooperation so that -- so that
we are both understanding how we are proceeding against isil. there could be a significant benefit, there could be in that we wind up having greater effort against isil and can speed up the destruction of days. but this all will be in the proof of the actions in the next day's. >> again i think you. >> may say i really appreciate your comments at about europe. i cannot agree with you more. europe is deeply threatened by what is happening. there talk about different border measures that may be taken. i think it's imperative for the united states to be prepared to help europe as much as necessary in every way possible to address what is happening in the pressures being put on them. in the next days we'll know
more. now what i met with president putin i said to him very directly that the test is not a test that will be proven in six months or a year and a half when the election is scheduled, we are going to know in a month or two whether or not this transition process is really serious, or three, whatever. we will. we will have a sense of that. they are to have to make some -- assad himself will have to make some real decisions about the formation of a transitional governance process that is real. if there isn't, as you read in the newspaper and are probably hearing, there certainly plan b options being considered. >> i do not think they think plan b is realistic and i think that make the very difficult for you in your efforts. again i want to thank you for your efforts on our behalf. i do think the break on the
humanitarian side was a good thing. i think you have a very tough hand of cards that you're dealing with and we appreciate you being here today and for your service to our country. with that -- >> once again thank you for your service to our country. thank you for sharing with us today. let me follow up with syria. obviously the first challenge was to stop the shootings between the government and opposition supported by russia. also to allow humanitarian access so the humanitarian crisis can be eased, at least hopefully it will stop some of the flow of the refugees and that it will take some of the pressure, internal pressure in order to be able to get an a negotiation as to the future of syria itself. that is the objective here. i strongly support that.
you have alluded to this but i hope you can be more clear as to what comes next. there seems to be a fundamental disagreement between the united states and russia as to the future of president hassan. it has been silent as to the accountability of the assad regime for its war crimes and a lot of us are determined that when leaders commit war crimes that they must be held accountable for their actions. i understand it will be a process. at the end of the day there needs to be a government in syria that has the confidence of all of its people otherwise it will be back fighting again and will not be able to concentrate against isil forces which is the objective here. can you share with us briefly how do you see the next step unfolding when we can get to a result where there's truly a
government in syria that has a confidence of all of the population? >> let me try to lay this out as clearly as i can. and certainly how we see the options here. russia, the united states, and iran, and our allies all say that we want a united syria, the vast preponderance of the players say they want a non- secretary and, even secular syria in which all minorities are protected, in which the people of syria have the right to choose their leadership in the future. the russians agree to that, the iranians agree to that, all of our allies agree to that fundamental preset. so we are united on this vision of where we want syria to be the question is getting there. we believe deeply and we have
argued this to the russians and to the iranians and others, that even if you wanted to, even if someone did strike a alliance and said that as i could be part of the future, the war will not stop. as long as assad will is there you cannot stop the war because of the grievous events that have transpired over the course of the last years. people do not see how someone who has gassed his own people, driven so many of them into refugee status and displace, tortured them, starve them, barrel bomb them, how how he is somehow going to be the glue that brings them back together is beyond anybody's understanding. there are forces out there that will never stop fighting him. so if you want peace, by
definition we believe it has to be without assad. with the russians and others have said is, the searing people have to decide that. but this political process that we have created is what they say is the mechanism by which that decision could begin to be made. >> what timing do you see, are we talking months, years? >> we are talking months because there is no way people will be patient enough obviously. first of all there's a six-month period that has been laid out for the political transition to try to be put in place. if it's real and really happening, that can move. if if it isn't as i said earlier we will know. if they are stalling, if there is an absolute stonewall, there's no progress if nothing happens it will be hard to keep people at the table. i have no illusions about that. there are people whose will say this is a farce and walk away. i think we'll see very quickly whether or not countries are
serious about this transition and whether assad is serious about it. now president putin said and has a publicly that they are committed to this process and they are support for us is an important component. >> for holding president assad accountable for the crimes he has committed, has there been any understanding reached either for impunity. >> no. there's been no discussion or determination. we have said publicly that we've talked about the crimes that have been committed, using gas against your own people is a war crime, using starvation is a war crime. >> let me turn to the area of the opening comments about
democracy funding and anticorruption which is critically important. i do think that you have showcased the importance of anticorruption activities. we have talked in the ukraine, if we get russian to leave ukraine alone, ukraine survival depends upon the internal reforms in its own country where the people have an honest government and that is one of the major reasons for the protest that occurred in ukraine. when we look at countries we are dealing within asia including the tpp, we have countries with serious corruption problems within the government and we try to take steps with the tpp to deal with the issues. we deal with a contractor country with the impunity of central america of people being held to the crime without any accountability. i would hope this year we could work together. this committee and your leadership to develop a protocol
where we make it clear that we will not tolerate the government that does not move to deal with the corruption problems, were talking about developing an index similar to what we do with trafficking persons of corruption. there's been transparency evaluation done with countries can you share with us steps that you are taking to provide a more permanent structure within the state department to deal with the problems of corruption and good governance? >> i am glad to bring that up. i gave a speech just a few weeks ago in which i talked about the challenge of global corruption. it is one of the most difficult challenges that we have faced in
trying to deal with extremism, trying trying to deal with counter narcotics, trafficking in persons, and the levels of corruption i have to say are higher than, are greater in impact than i have perceived previously in my years of the committee and otherwise. it is having a profound impact, impact, it steals the future from young people. in a sense the tunisian uprising in the arab spring was born not out of anything religious motivated it came about as a result of corruption. the police officer was refusing to allow a tunisian fruit vendor to sell his wares and wanted to bribe and so forth, so when he got slapped around it was one slip too many and he self emulated and that's what ignited the revolution. i see that in other countries. nigeria was reported that former generals stole some 50 billion,
some extraordinary amount of money out of the country. yemen we know enormous amounts taken out of the country. there are many other countries. we know this is happening. we are very focused on this issue and the standard and the state department is led by the bureau of national narcotics and affairs. it is an all department efforts and we promote standards in many different ways. we battle our proposals to countries on our best practices and i that with respect to ukraine, the imf has put very strong ten-point program in front of a government that they need to address in full in order to get further support for the
imf. that has a a very significant reform package of it. we met in the last weeks, the brooke vice president of i met with president per shank go and were clear about steps that need to be taken and work closely with him. that's really the best way to do this. i know there is an instinct that people want to put hard lines in place legislatively and they have a to coney and do this or else message. that is often ends up severing our capacity of having an impact. what i found were able to do working with countries is actually get them to move on things to make changes, we are working where cochair of the g20 working group and we have advanced standards internationally on transparency and so this is an ongoing effort. it is is not going to be resolved overnight obviously. the more we focus on it the
greater the prospects are that it will have an impact and it will make a difference. we are making a difference difference in a lot of places. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, mr. secretary think you for coming here and testifying. thank you for your service. i've to take this opportunity i need to put on my chairman of government affairs had, we have jurisdiction over national security and i joined in letters with chairman corcoran others and we have sent you number of letters and you been responsive in parts. i appreciate that. i want to go through a series of questions, don't need real long answers but i just want to establish second per my foreign relations had on as well. first of all, as secretary of state you and receive classified material, correct?
>> yes. i don't send it personally, directly, i send through the executive office. >> okay. so you never use your e-mail system to actually create classified materials. >> no i do not. >> i never open the computer on my desk. >> members of your staff do? , i understand i have white hair to. >> i wanted separated from me. >> so members of your staff do, correct. >> yes. of course. >> so they use a system call class that, correct? >> yes. >> you are aware, fully aware of our enemies capability in terms of hacking into. >> indeed. >> would you allow, so you do not use, you don't -- would you allow any members of your staff to use a nonofficial, nonsecure
server for transmitting classified information? >> just yes or no. >> we have very specific procedures in place in the department. i brought in an inspector general, i wrote a a letter asking to review our entire process and so in today's world, given all that we have learned to what we understand about the vulnerability of our system, we do do not do that. >> so the answer is no. for every classified piece of information that is transmitted there is a log kept at the state department, correct. >> yes. there's a log kept on every thing. everything is kept. it's not just the log is the substance of the message is kept and filed. >> i would think that is a
relatively condensed log though. pretty easily accessible? >> i do not know the answer to that. >> there is a finite number of classified. >> we had 275 post and arsenic classified every single day. i can't tell you how many millions. >> are the logs differentiate by individual though? >> i do not know precisely. >> will find that out. in september 21 letter, 2015, one of our questions was to secretary clinton has a official secretary department email account signed to her for accessing classified emails during classified e-mails during her time at the state department. we received in every appreciate the response from julia fry field that states, to answer question five, secretary clinton did not use a classified e-mail to the state department. an account was set up on class never her calendar but it was not use. another question we have asked and we have not been responded to his, i would like access to
those logs in the state department for the classified material that was transferred between the administration within the state department and secretary clinton. you have not responded to that yet, it's been about five months. is there a reason why why we don't have access to those logs. >> i don't know the specific reason because it is not been discussed with me. >> is there any reason i can't get access to those logs question marks. >> i don't know the answer to that. >> so for questions record out will want to response to that. >> so you understand, i appointed a transparency coordinated, and experience ambassador, janice jacobs to assist us to make sure we responded rapidly 12 request. >> we have more than 50 simultaneous investigations going on. we have an unprecedented number
of foia request. i've had had to cannibalize euros to get people to. >> which is my next question to you know how much money you have spent and how much manpower your put on a? your been evaluated these email since march 2015. do you hum know how know how much the state department has spent is reviewing. i think, we would have to assume that every piece of information that passed over secretary clinton's nonsecure server is in the hand of our enemy. we have to assume that it is prudent to do so. you know how much you have spent and the manpower associated with it? >> as i said to you, we have over 50 investigation, investigation, nine different committees involving hundreds of specific requests for literally, hundreds of thousands of pages. i am concerned about it because
this is tying up diplomats. >> has the fbi recovered any of the 55000 e-mails that were supposedly white from. >> i have no knowledge of the fbi. we we do not touch or know anything about them. >> have you in the e-mail. >> you allocated 2.4 million in years 2015 at 16 to respond to you and we have been able to step up at the level of our delivery answer respond to that. >> said based on what you have reviewed, the classified material because where up to 1700 different e-mails that have some level of classified material on the. is the state department aware of anything that you had to mitigate the damage from? take any action from the state department? to mitigate the harm by the potential fact or the potential
that our enemies might have access to the classified materials on secretary clinton's server? >> i would not be able to discuss that in an open session. i can tell you that department we have come i don't know what the other agencies have done, that's one of the reasons it's taken a while. if we have anything in an e-mail when one of our professionals read the e-mail that involves another agency, then every agency has to have a chance to read that and see if their interests are in fact at risk. that takes a long time. >> ..
>> i think we should be working together on the subject of today's hearing. senators corker and pardon, i thank you for this hearing and thank you both for your leadership. it is extraordinary the way you work together. it is important that we do that to restore faith frank in this government. i want to say how much i appreciate your confidence.
i know it's controversial. but i also know how hard it was command value are doing that also your continued support for israel is so important, and thirdly your opening relations with cuba and forth the global climate change negotiations. and 5th, your efforts to bring russia to an agreement regarding syria. it was way back through four years ago that sen. durbin called a bunch of us together to meet with the russian ambassador to say we work together so that there could be a peaceful transition in syria
, and there was the russian ambassador, the most brutal meeting i have ever been to. it was horrible. and, you know, always says let's work together for the future of the world,world, the future of the syrian people. he was impossible. and so frankly i'm not being diplomatic you have to be. i blame russia and iran for what is happening there, for the quarter of a million deaths since we had that meeting with innocent women and children. andchildren. and so i am going to ask you, if i have time to have to subject matters i want to cover with you. cuba and syria. i am a strong a strong supporter of the president's decision to reestablish diplomatic relations. i was proud to join you at
the reopening of the us embassy in nevada last august, and it was so emotional to see and speak with the same marines they took down the flanks 50 years ago and raise the flag again and see how excited they were to be there and to do that. and to me it is through engagement. the best chance the cuban people had. and i respect my friends. disagree with you and the pres., but really we tried isolation for 50 years. how did that go? and so i thinki think we have to move forward and get tested. people have a right to believe what they want, and i have no animosity toward them. theirtowards them. their reasons deeply held,
but those folks are living in the past. walking to the embassy last august i felt like i traveled through time. the building which has not been upgraded and over 30 years was clearly in disrepair and understaffed. the administration requests $3.8 million for upgrades in its fiscal year 2017 budget. whether or not one agrees with the new policy, tell us because i no so many americans are traveling. they are not enough hotel rooms. that is why air b&b is doing so well. could you comment on why we really need this, these funds to rebuild the embassy? secondly, what are your priorities with respect to cuba, what does the president hope to achieve with his upcoming historic march? >> thank you.
being able to do the diplomacy, normal diplomacy, and we were able to negotiate successfully a 50 percent increase in staffing, so we are eager to reverse this shortfallthe shortfall which will be helpful in terms of helping business and travelers and americans. we have not increased in a direct hire staff since 2014. and cuba, our embassy there has hosted over 40 congressional and executive branch official delegations just in the year since the president announced the opening of diplomatic relations. we also negotiated greater freedom and better monitor developments in the ability to travel outside havana and
interact with cubans outside the capitol is obviously important to our relationship and security and support of the cuban people. we also were able to negotiate a number of containers going down in order to help refurbish some of the embassy which is not had any in a long period time. we have concerns. i won't pretend. the president said at the beginning and that everything will change overnight. maybe down there the next week or two to have human rights dialogue. >> what does the president hope to achieve? >> to press forward on the agenda of speaking to the people of cuba about the future. obviously he is anxious to press on the rights of people to be able to demonstrate and have
democracy and be free and be able to speak and hang a sign. >> he is going to speak directly to the cuban people, and that is really good. my last question is as the person who has engaged the most, do you believe they are truly willing to commit to a cessationa cessation of hostilities in the syrian area and a peace process that allows the eventual removal? >> my assessment is we have an opportunity to test the proposition that they are committed to a political solution. and if indeed indeed the only outcome that anybody believes can occur as a political solution we have no choice but to try to get the modalities in place
to get to the table and argue about it. as the senator said, my tools of the toolsare the tools of trying to reach an agreement, use whatever leverage we have to get an outcome. the outcome we have gotten is to have everyone who is a stakeholder at the same table. all of them agree in this process to have russia joining us with china and france and britain as the five permanent members of the security council that germany and others in order to get a un security council resolution outlining the framework for a political settlement. and russia voting for it. if we are going to test whether the words mean anything we have to put in place a process like we have here. sen. corker mentioned aleppo. they have been bonding. imagine what would happen if we did not have an agreement to end in two weeks of one week. you have to begin the
cease-fire sometime. you can't begin in on day one. you have to sit there and say what are the rules, who is going to live by what? in this case that was particularly difficult because of the different players that you have involved. >> if i could reclaim my time, i hope it's not a rope a dope deal. >> it may be. >> not that not that you have another option. >> of humanitarian assistance flows, the gun silence with the exception of the effort, if they do and lives are saved than that is to the benefit and it does not mean it is automatically going to have a positive outcome will have a say this, russia has been accomplishing its hands in the meantime. folks, even if russia took
for holding territory has always been difficult. if the order is an end, if the turks and saudi's and others continue to support opposition in the opposition continues to fight this can get uglier. russiauglier. russia has to be sitting there evaluating that, too. the question is at some point in time someday someone is going to have to sit down at aa table and drive an understanding about what syria's going to be. it may be too late to keep it if we wait much longer. that is what is at issue. i no that this is the best way to try to end the war. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> appreciate the testimony so far. >> this is something that all the sudden concerned about. it is just not an honest way for me talk about the trip to southern africa. provide some oversight that our government as. it isit is a challenge. we have seen a decline in the elephant population in the past ten years. writers are being poached.
kruger in south africa. we went into about whether held illegal seizures of rhino horn and ivory and i held to warns from one white rhino on the black market with about $600,000 comeau one set of rhino horns. because for about $60,000, more expensive than any precious metal or anything else. and those countries are very worried that criminal networks will come in that will fund conflicts and instability like they have in central africa and elsewhere.
so i would say the programs we have going in those countries to help these countries actually respond to this threat are important and we have to keep going with that. also, the issue of trafficking, the report that we have that is an important number to induce these governments to out more in this area but it is concerning when it was raised when the government responded, hey, we have tried to respond. after we left of her newspaper articles expressing some confusion about where they were and where they are. express some confusion about how they respond.
you look at what we are trying to induce governments to do one of the things as the government of the country should make a serious and sustained effort to eliminate severe forms of trafficking. those items are maybe a little too subjective. if we want to use this as an effective lever to push these countries more we want them to be i would suggest maybe we need to work on some of these measures to make them more concrete and precise. do you have any thoughts? i know this is an area of concern. >> well, thank you. this is not on everybody's mind, but it should be. i wish it were something that we were able to do more about. these same criminal networks that engage in wildlife trackers also engage in trafficking in human persons ,, narcotics trafficking.
it is a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise, and it is destroying him in the future for lots of countries that could rely on ecotourism where the things, but it is also eliminating species from the planet.on the planet. there is one rhino i saw the other day, one right -- one white rhino. when i was in kenya recently i visited the preserve where there were a bunch of orphaned baby elephants because the parents of been killed in the poaching has been reduced significantly because they now have warns out there. there is a price you pay. it has to be stopped by enforcement. you cannot have impunity in the system. man's part of a criminal enterprise and what has
become a klepto country of one kind or another it is extremely hard to do anything about this. we need to galvanize countries together and unfortunately this is one of those things that takes resources. you got to be able to provide shelter, refuge, provide enforcement mechanisms, train people, make sure that there is no impunity. and until this moment there hasn't been a significant enough effort. i no you're you're contemplating legislation. we would welcome talking to you about it. the one concern we have goes back to what we were talking about earlier. we are cooperating with a lot of countries. if we get in to being
worried about the prospect that if there is sort of a frontal assault and we lose the cooperation rather than make the progress, it's something we should talk about. what is the best way to get the return on investment. >> last question, i just wanti just want to commend the administration for what they have done on cuba. i have said that we -- there are still obviously big concerns with the cuban government in the area of human rights, but it should not be lost on anyone the improvement in the conditions of cuban people since many changes of been made.made. a few years ago in the present lifted restrictions and lifted the caps on remittances, that in combination with changes made in cuba have meant that
nearly 25% of the cuban workforce is now outside of the government whether there running private hotels for air b&b with the bed-and-breakfast, private auto repair shop, beauty beautyshop, beauty salon. and these people who have that ability now our separate as much as you can be. enjoying richer, fuller, more free lives than they would have otherwise. we are moving in the right direction and i commend the administration for the steps that have been taken and was the president well on his visit. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> i want -- slavery and trafficking awareness week. whether hearing on this topic. i want to thank the state department for working with
us. this committee passed unanimously the end of modern slavery act. we had a down payment on that and we are working closely with the state department to get to the right places. this has to be a global effort. i know you know that this committee those that and we look forward to continuing to work with you. >> i appreciate your drive and leadership. let me join the chair and ranking member and saluting you for your service. while i may have disagreements on policy i never doubt your commitment to america's virtues and promoting those virtues abroad. let me make a comment or to which i did not intend. i guess it it is the political hunting season. but if you keep shooting and
you don't land in a think maybe there is nothing to shoot at. i think the global needs that we have comeau we would be far better off if the state department focused on that coming on cuba, just say, human rights and democracy are never about the past. they are eternal from my perspective. and yet all i can say is that there is a difference between the president traveling to cuba and when he traveled to burma. when he traveled to burma we had someone released from house arrest, had the commitments to release political prisoners, got the red cross access to prisons and so forth. they were concrete and tangible
progress. if anything comeau we are going backwards. some of the people released have already been rearrested and are serving long terms in prison. so much good faith. we have 1400 arrests this year alone. that isthat is progress. 1400 arrests. that because i say it but the un commission -- the cuban commission on human rights says it. the two major entities. going to have a transitional and generational change. i'm going to continue to speak out on that issue because human rights are important. what we have done is nuclear programs.
iran, want to ask you, invoking sanctions unrelated visit items or proliferation >> pursuing action sanctions on proliferation of missile technology. >> that is accurate. >> okay. now i looked at what has transpired since our agreement. we have seen to ballistic tests in violation of un security council, missiles tested, american sailors detained, the barter 04 innocent americansfor innocent americans held hostage for the freedom of
21 iranian criminals including those convicted of conspiracy of material support to a state sponsor of terrorism shipping sensitive dual use technology money and other materials. clemency tomorrow morning the government 1.7 billion. that was never talked about. and it was done so quickly in the payment made so rapidly that even the victims of terrorism did not have the wherewithal. the challenges outside. support to shia militias that exercise profound control, support to the
syrian regime, the devastating war that we all know about the financing of billions of dollars and so i i look at that and i don't see where the counterweight is. ii have a sense we are creating a permissive environment. look at iran's ballistic missile launches we waited an inordinate amount of time knowing the united nations ultimately wasn't going to act and didn't and when we finally did provide some sanctionable action well after the elements of implementation will we have 11 entities that were sanctioned but instead of sanctioning the banks that were financing those entities so that we have a
more far-reaching consequence we are playing whack a mole. and so we have the ability to be far more aggressive on those things that we care about. andabout. and another is a desire to try to create the space for the moderates even though they were just blocked by the guardian council, way in which they are virtually no moderates being allowed. i look at that and say why is it that we aren't being far more aggressive? and finally mr. chairman, i would like to introduce into the record that gal report that i had commissioned. it talks about the entity that we are putting all the marbles and, the international atomic energy agency straight.
let me just say that some of the preliminary findings cost concern for me about what is capable comeau what the iaea is capable of. directly to future problems with monitoring, verifying, and meeting requirements. it talks about the limitation, limited budget from an irregular funding many regular funding source, human resource shortfalls, important equipment operating, limited capabilities the lack of authorities, obviously the iaea activities on the cooperation of the iranian state, thirdly that will they are focused virtually all of the resources to pursue the jcp away there going to have very little resources that china with other proliferators.
and finally among other items their own estimates of identified the need for approximately 10 million per year for 15 years over and above the present budget. it is an agency that is understaffed for purposes, losing technical assistance, has now a singular focus which i applaud but i want them to pursue other proliferators in the budget that does not have the wherewithal to sustain it just for the focus of the jcp away. shouldn't a ran who violated international law ultimately be the entity to pay? shouldn't they be the ones to pay for the very essence of the verification and monitoring that they caused the need for the 1st place?
>> you raise a lot obviously. let me just try to quickly say, i appreciate your personal comments. i icomments. i am grateful for that. i also respect enormously your commitment. in a dedicateda dedicated when it comes to the issue of human rights and freedom and it always been clear about it. have ait. have a difference maybe in the tactics about how to get there. it is our sense that we have already seen some improvement in empowerment now employing warning for cubans. it has grown significantly. as the flights come in this transformation taking place. anyone who had been there previously has observed this
can do so. the bottom line is they took out from 19,000 centrifuges down to 5,060. that technical andrea out and destroy the filling it with cement, can never be used again. thereagain. there is no enrichment taking place and so forth. >> are also extremely focused on that. we are meeting again. the postop our assistance in the billions of dollars in terms of sales, we have
i appreciate the answer in the questions. if we could do is try to stay closer to our timeframe. >> i will try to honor the time. thank you for your energy and effort. we may have disagreed on the details of some, but i respect your effort to represent diplomatically. it is a very dangerous dangerous world. with regard to the budget next week senator cain i commend the ranking member of the subcommittee comeau we will have staff talk about more details of the budget request, but i want to know for the record today the state department while of 25 percent to my recognize it is still 1 percent of our total spending. i also recognize the world is more dangerous today. we seetoday. we see the world as having to real major crises. what is the global security crisis, but when we look at
the state department budget as well as defense budget we would do well to consider it in its full perspective. you mentioned this last week. it seems to me we have an interlocking to crises. the mobile security crisis, the rise of traditional states ever more aggressive from asymmetric threats and terrorists from indonesia to algeria, we also see nuclear proliferation threats and honestly cooperation between north korea and iran. we have a cyber warfare to mention the military is trying to adapt to. and what we don't talk about is the growing arms race in space. interlock with that is our own debt crisis threatening
our ability to fund and i'm coming to a specific question. before i get to that i would like to ask a quick question. originally we were told the number that they would be given was somewhere between a hundred and 150 billion. the balance issues but cash is about 50. we heard iranian officials talk recently about it. >> it is below the 50. >> we can talk about that in a classified setting. >> the next question, just last week the refugee situation was described, the migrant situation in europe as being weapon eyes. i know you were there and commented on it.
relative to defense spending in europe well under 2 percent for a generation purpose looked to the united states to be the big brother and now we see through seeing that under spending in our military. about 100 basis points less than our 30 year average. i'm not suggesting we need to spend 200 billion more. the administration strategy to deal with prudent in light of his growing dangers from this issue in europe, particularly in the susceptible states of eastern europe they used to be satellites of the soviet union. these are very vulnerable states. what is your strategy? >> our strategy is to support them to a mucha much
greater degree. the nato assurance program is in place. we have put significant effort into the larger numbers in addition as ii mentioned in my opening statement we have taken our expenditure last year, taking it up to 3.43.5 billion and assistance to the frontline states in order to make it very, very clear that we are there and to support ukraine in addition. a very significant amount. so we are making it clear that we are there to help. the weaponization issue is a serious one.
we have seen the dial dialogue it turned up and down. i might add not only by russia. and so againand so again i'll be happy to talk about that, but i think it is imperative for us to be prepared to do more with respect to helping europe to be able to withstand this onslaught. this is -- you really cannot overstate the impact politically of the potential of another million refugees, and do you think europe can take another million? >> no. it is not doable and we have to -- i think that would have profoundly negative -- >> and i you also heard people talk about the growing refugee crisis from the sub-saharan crisis as
well. >> 50% of the people going and are not from syria. they're coming from bangladesh, pakistan command afghanistan, africa. it is a major challenge the very nature of the european union. >> about 60 percent are male under 35. 20% or so20 percent or so were children. a good number of those were from afghanistan. let me ask one other quick question. i would like to go back to north korea, director of national intelligence just this year commented that the export of ballistic missiles including iran and syria and its assistance to syrian construction illustrate dangerous technologies.
we know that iranian officials reportedly participated and were there during nuclear tests. is anything you can tell us about what the state department is doing to monitor that and any potential corporation? >> yeah. atyeah. at this point in time we do not assess that there is a violation. we have in place restrictions on of the un security council resolutions to be able to act if there are. the -- director clapper is on target and we agree with that assessment. we are working closely to address that. i think we are on the of having an agreement with china.
we are very helpful. we know we have made progress in coming up with a substantial and improved un security council resolution with respect to what we would do comeau what we will do. so we are taking both national steps and multilateral steps. the event of the conversations with south korea on the missile deployment of defensive system deployment and we obviously have other options available to us. you know, this doesknow, this does not interfere. we are nevertheless going to take actions. >> thank you. secretary, let me echo what
others have said about your excellent service around the country and value are doing to try to bring piece to many of these difficult regions. iregions. i am glad you mentioned roberta jacobson in your opening. other senators mentioned her. i worked with her extensively.extensively. a very capable career state department person. as you said, she does not make the policy about cuba. if you are objecting to the policy, it doesn't make any sense to hold of her nomination. i went down last week to the senate floor to offer her name. i can tell you, this is an area, nominated for mexico.
this has a real impact on my state. the state of new mexico borders with mexico. we have dramatic trade in the last 15 years the started at about 7.5 million. we have all sorts of cooperative kinds of things. wethings. we work with mexico at the state level. and so i am just wondering from your perspective what is the impact of not having an ambassador and recognizing that we have had -- this is been vacant for six months and is one of our very strong trading partners. >> well, thank you. they spend a lifetime in service to our country.
gaining skills over 20 and 30 years. there's a reason we send them to the countries because they are particularly suited to helping us to advance america's interest and build a relationship that help to explain our values and choices. in this world right now notwithstanding instant communication an e-mail in the way in which we can communicate directly, having ambassador on the ground those relationships, knows the people who understand there difficulties it was a sense of the politics of that particular country help us to get our policy implemented. here we are with the north american security dialogue in canada told the foreign
minister of mexico and canada and myself. here's north american interest energy challenges, border challenges, narcotics trafficking of violence, the challenge of mexico's help to help us prevent the flow children coming out of honduras, guatemala and coming up through mexico. you can run a long list for counterterrorism, the knees we have a daily basis to have our nation properly represented by an ambassador is absolutely critical. we make ourselves look silly. and we insult the country that doesn't get the person. what is this, punishment? and i don't understand. i spent years and years appear.
we usually got to the point we can have a vote. not one senator or two senators preventing the country from doing with the country needs to do. i would hope that we just have about the let the democracy decide whether or not the senate will say that roberta jacobson should go to mexico and help us with all these issues. >> thank you. i would applaud senator corker trying to move the nominees forward. what has ended up happening is they get bogged down on the floor. like to shift to another area because it is one that we work with mexico on fixing and problematic situation and central america. we have many unaccompanied minors who are staying at
the air force base. the real centralthe real central question is how are we with these three countries that you have drug fueled violence, corrupt governments, very weak governments and how are we going to move ourselves in a better situation? that is what i am concerned about. we helped significantly of these three countries. i would like you to discuss progress with respect to implementing the us strategy for engagement. has there been any change in migration patterns with the
funding requested the 2017 be used differently and how long do you think you will have to work on this to make an impact? >> well, for a fair number of years. we were able to celebrate the 15 years. i remember in this room a lot of people wondering what that would do. save the country together with the country's commitment and its leaders to try to stand up to the narcotraffickers. today columbia is one of the strongest countries and all of latin america and doing an amazing job. so these investments are
critical and is what the administration has decided to do and is doing with respect to a number of countries of belize in costa rica, working with all of them to try to address the causes of these folks sending there kids in the danger, and it has to do with violence, violence against young people. we have found that will really does make a difference is to help these countries to help themselves. we are engaged in a major effort to try to professionalize law enforcement and i think we have 750 billion.
and 359 million is for bilateral assistance. i am convinced follow through this will reduce the numbers of people and will significantly strengthen those countries and our relationships with them. >> thank you for your testimony. i continue to believe one of the greatest threats we face is the accumulation of debt. we have given away over 300 billion foreign aid, accumulated over 10 trillion in debt.
someone say it's only 1 percent of the budget. if you cut 1 percent of the budget you actually balance your budget within five years. the other thing is that most of us give quietly to charities or church. you don't give out of borrow money. it is equally absurd for country to borrow money to send to pakistan. the other argument is whether or not it actually works. it works. there is quite a bit of evidence it may be doesn't work. iraq has treated the liberation. you can make the argument
that are closer allies with the ran than us. they don't seem to do what we asked them to do. they have broughtthey have brought some of the sunni uprising on themselves. in egypt over the last ten years and given them 60 million, some estimate as much as half of that was stolen. even liberal institutions have reported as much is 60 to 70 percent of foreign aid is stolen. the duplicitous nature of pakistan who had best can be described as a friend in me that really duplicitous is probably the best way. we have given them 15 million. i don't think i will convince you that we don't have the money to be sending all around the world.
we just simply don't have the money and it makes no sense to borrow it. i don't think i will convince you can assault rather has to the specific question. do you think it would make any difference if instead of demanding, if the demand for something more like an internationally monitored election within a certaina certain period time command is that something that is already been offered up? what is your best guess as to whether russia were syria my treat that as more of the possibility of starting point if it were an election that some sort of predetermined date. >> senator, thank you. i would like to come back. russia and iran have accepted the idea of an internationally monitored standard election. they are already there.
that is part of the laydown. the problem is that the opposition will not accept the idea because they believe -- they just don't have confidence. >> the opposition is going to have to accept something. a sod is not going anywhere. we are the ones supplying the opposition. >> we will see. the opposition has been compromised in significant ways. if you cannot end the war, is it really worth destroying an entire country and region?
the question is whether or not people come to their senses and understand. i mean, forwards could end this war. i will not run. you can immediately move to resolve all of the other issues. so i think the opposition and everybody believes he cannot unite the country. >> but don't you think the opposition's position is greatly weakened? they are one of 1500 groups. >> the opposition has fought
fiercely and they continue to fight and pushback against the odds. and i think president putin has to understand what everyone understands, which is that this war cannot end. if russia wants to sit there and fight, you know, that can be there choice. >> if you think about it, the whole disaster and the mass migration and the killing, if you could accept the end of the world with an election in a year, that is a victory to end the war. war.war. sure, he has a terrible guy. the middle east is full of them. the thing is that i don't have any love lost, but there are also too many christians that would choose them over the opposition. i think if you could negotiate something, negotiating is given.
our position is that he has to go, you have seen where it is going. >> you can't impose and then the notion that they have to live with a guy who did all these things. that is the fight. we don't have the ability, nor should we. this has to be a syrian resolve process. >> they only exist with our support. >> i don't think so. we didn'tcreate them out of whole cloth. the revolution began when a sod attack young kids who went out into the square and demonstrated for jobs and for future. ..
the values of those people put out to the willingness of country to join together to fight ebola and to deal with aids. >> i guess you could make the argument that our support for someone like mubarak leads to of anti-americanism. >> would the see teargas shells he suppresses his crowds with you concede reaction is not is a pleasant one for america. cfs correct in there have always been and balances and difficulties in some of the choices that we have made. i don't disagree with you about iraq. there are a lot of problems in iraq but right now we have a challenge which is to try to save iraq and help iraq to save itself from da'ish and it's in everybody's interest every country in the region wants to destroy da'ish so we need to do that. i think there are a lot of ways we are still the richest country in the world. we still have the strongest
economy in the world and we will for some years to come and hopefully forever but certainly sbc a rising china there is a time when automatically by virtue of size and people its economy will be larger whether it's stronger is a different question. but i would say to you that we have a huge imperative here to remain deeply engaged because if we don't there are too many young people out there, too many countries where the population under the age of 30 to 35 where you have 60 and 70% of the country under that age and if they don't get educated and they don't get a job opportunities in this world in which everybody is connected and knows what everybody has and doesn't have, then i fear the evil that will fill their heads and the way in which they could get co-opted
into enterprises and efforts that are very very dangerous for all of us and so we'll have a responsibility here to see them and to try to do something about it because that is a national security threat to united states of america as well as all of our friends and allies read. >> is there a timer on your side? >> is the former chairman would help the current chairman when he gets towards the end of the time to have less expansive answers. >> i would be delighted because i have another meeting. c thank you very much mr. chairman. i will try to do my part as well. just quickly one thought on this analogy that senator paul was making regarding our family may not are all money in order to make a charitable contribution to their church. i think for a lot of us that's not we -- how we view these investments in foreign aid.
we view them as integral to our national security policy as the investments we are making in the submarines and jet engines and helicopters reproducing connecticut so this is not something we are doing out goodwill. this is an part in parcel of a broader national security strategy. second the overview that you begin with the u.s. and the state department engaging in more places in the world than ever before squares with the reality that a lot of people believe exists which is al gore gore -- world that is more chaotic than ever before. the truth of the matter is the number of people across the world who are dying from acts of violence and dying as a result of poor is actually declining and has been declining for a long time. and it speaks to our ability to find ways out of conflicts other than war, something we haven't been so good at in the past that we are much better at today and so i say that as a means of congratulating you on a number
of semi-multiple medic achievements that are important in and of themselves the text in the agreements whether it be the i ran nuclear agreement or the cease-fire but they also remind people all around the world of the gains that have been achieved, the lives that have been saved because we figured out over time that is important as it is to have a strong military is more important to take risks on diplomacy. more than pan out then don't pan out. which brings me to a question. you got in this budget i think a near doubling of funding forces counter -- countering violent extremism. it's a smart investment. i know you want to spend more if you could because we are cutting off the roots of extremism before it gets to branch is a smart strategy that my word is the impact of these funding increases are going to be blotted out that advantage by
virtue of this widening proxy war between i ran and saudi arabia in the region and certainly playing out in extent and syria but i want to ask you about our policy in yemen today. there's a bbc story today that says yemen conflict colon al-qaeda joins coalition battle for tidy and the other night -- underlying analysis there is deep integration between elements of al-qaeda and elements of the coalition a coalition that does include united states on the ground but in terms of support we have given her the saudi air campaign and si see the conflict in yemen i have a hard time figuring out with u.s. national security interests are given the fact that the result of the coalition campaign has been to kill a lot of civilians, has been to sow the seeds of humanitarian crisis
and to create space for these groups, these very extremist groups that we claim to be our priorities in the region to grow weatherby isis are al-qaeda in yemen. so i just want to ask about the future of the u.s. involvement on the saudi side of this conflict in yemen and to just talk to us about why we should continue to fund munitions request from the saudi government that end up in that fight. >> senator, good question and the answer is very straightforward, that the saudi's are part of our coalition, part of our gcc link to pushing back against nefarious activities in the region and the saudi's were threatened. directly by the combination of the houthi in some iranian input
and as a result built they had to defend themselves. we supported their right to do that. now we are urging them very strongly to get into, to get to the table and to negotiate a resolution to this. we believe there is a certain rightness to that and it would be better for everybody if we were able to achieve that. now there are some competitions with that obviously. you have former president who has made life difficult in this whole process and our hope is that we were working with they all hahne's the saudis and other friends in the region to try to see if we can't now get back to the table. the u.n. is gauged as you know. they are supposed to be talk
better to take place early in their hope is that this can and take a lot of civilians have unfortunately been impacted as a consequence of what's been going on, but i think the heart of the matter is that we are urging diplomacy at this moment to try to see if we can bring this to a close. i think it would be to everybody's interest if that would happen and also it would provide capacity to be able to focus more on da'ish and the forces that are there distracted from the da'ish effort to realign and refocus. >> are rudimentary answer is that the alliance between the united states and saudi arabia requires us to come to their aid when they feel threatened and i guess my pitch is that i hope
that would not be the default proposition if this proxy war widens in the region. i think it frankly provides incentives and impetus for the proxy war to widen if the saudis know that wherever they go the u.s. is very close behind. >> as the proxy war precedes the more room there is for these groups to grow. dannatt there's a distinction between a proxy war as you describe it and the threat that the saudi space as a consequence of what's happening right on the border and across their border so we chose to support that. we would not be supporting a proxy kind of effort and that's one of the reasons i say to you we think it's important to get to the table and negotiate. >> thank you senator barrasso. >> thank you mr. chairman secretary nice to see you again.
the american people are facing significant issues here at home type budgetary environment and you are requesting $1.3 billion for the global climate change initiative that his legislators were constantly searching to find resources to help many people around the country communities dealing with unemployment with water systems and poor roads substandard hospitals failing school so how do we talk to people at home and say the rope priority of the administration is sending 1.3 billion taxpayer dollars overseas to international bureaucrats in the name of climate change rather than dealing with these issues at home? >> a very simple answer. the american people are extremely practical, enormous, sense about things that affect them. you pick up the newspaper today read about the flooding that people are suffering as a result , directly a result of climate change. the flooding cost taxpayers money. we spend billions of dollars last year.
$8 billion i think in reaction to storms in the united states which are of greater intensity as a result according to the scientists of the impacts of climate change. >> i don't know if every member of the committee would agree that that climate change is an issue related to wildfire's drive -- droughts and storms. >> the question is why are we spending it here rather than sending it overseas to bureaucrats? >> as there are 20 major nations of the world that account for about the vast majority, the majority put it that way because the less developed countries are now growing in their missions as a result of their audit practices but the result is if we don't help some of these countries that have no money better burning coal without any kind of restraint on how they burn it we regrettably will also
suffer so it's in our self-interest to help these countries to make better choices about what their energy future is going to be and also by the way it opens up jobs for americans because we are hamas advanced with respect to most of those energy technologies so we can be creating more jobs for americans as a result of getting countries to invest more thoughtfully and their energy future. it that they can afford to do it on their own so what we are doing is actually helping people to make a transition to a clean energy future which is good for everybody. this is going to be, there'll be 50 gillian dollar senator spent on the whole gamut of energy choices over the next 20 or 30 years. that's jobs for people all over the world. this is going to be the single biggest market the world has ever seen and so i think you know this is an extremely smart
investment in our security as well as in our economy and i think what americans are presented that choice, and that they are ready are overwhelmingly in support of our doing something about climate change. >> i will switch to series here. during her confirmation hearing january 2013 arrest about the situation in syria and you stated every day that goes by i guess. i specifically asked you about prudent supportive assad in syria and at the time in her confirmation hearing there were more than 60,000 individuals estimated to have been killed in a crisis in syria. the estimate this past weekend is that it's now up to 470,000 syrians killed in the crisis in syria so sensitive your confirmation hearing until now and that was the number and adjust the surveys, that's 300 k. more killed every day over the last three years to russia
continues to support the assad regime. its bombing civilians in opposition to syria. putin is attempting to change the battlefield dynamics to bolster the assad regime and to weaken the opposition in terms of anything related. his support of the assad regime includes bombing civilians, bombing opposition groups. the current edition of the economist, prudent bombing in syria by the subnet text both aleppo's main hospitals were systematic way destroyed by russian airstrikes last year. they said nobody should be surprised despite signing the agreement russia would continue with airstrikes against those of regards as terrorist. which i point out is an elastic term for putin. today's "new york times" editorial relying again on unreliable mr. putin they said putin a cease-fire to miss a tactic, a penne smokescreen, a
goal. it becomes a family puzzle is what john kerry american secretary of state that he could achieve there is agreement with mr. lavrov to after decimating the assad shame with its bombing russia has now made a joint statement with the u.s. that it will agree to a cessation of hostilities february 27. that is the only thing worse is inconsistent with his failing to keep his word. what consequences specifically what consequences do you support imposing upon russia if it violates the cease-fire agreement and it is just a smokescreen or some kind of a charade? >> well an answer to the question what does john kerry think he could achieve, the consequences for russia if they do violate, my job, the job of everybody in the state department is to try to warn the
failure or absence of diplomacy and our job is to try to see if there is a way to bring this to an end. i'm not sitting here naïvely vouching for the fact that this is going to work but the alternative is that i said in my office and it is a bunch of countries while the war rages on and nobody makes an effort to stop it. that's the alternative. you would be criticizing me if i was doing that. usa wasn't their diplomacy to try to find a solution and? it is a well-known fact that i have also advocated for strong efforts to support the opposition, strong efforts to make sure we have the leverage we need to be able to achieve something and there is a significant discussion taking place about plan b in the event that we don't succeed at the table. so look put yourself in president putin shoes.
yeah he can drop alms and he can move the battlefield and he has changed it for assad, no question about it. he has had an impact for assad but is that going to end the war? the answer is no and i think president putin is smart enough to understand that if he just sits there over period of time those people have supported the opposition will get different weapons, more weapons and they will continue to spike and you can wind up with a syria that is utterly destroyed without a capacity to put it back together again which we have today. that is happened before. the roman historian tacitus wrote about carnage. they named the desert and called it peace so you can make a desert in the desert and call it what you want but i'm telling
you this war will not end with assad there. just wanted as long as assad is there so president putin can bring in more. he can start additional bombing but i assure you that because of the sect. nature of this if he thinks he's going to be better off fighting on behalf of the dictator who is driven most of his people out of the country or into refugee status, kill a bunch of them if he thinks he's going to be better off with supporting hezbollah and the irgc and i ran and asaad against an increasingly sick. divide that is defined by shia and sunni that is a very very dangerous thing. >> i'm low on time but at the same there are no consequences for putin's violation of the cease-fire. i have not heard one for me with
regard to this administration. >> there are number of things being talked about right now. i think it's out there and people know what they are but i think this is the moment to try to see whether or not we can make this work. not to find ways to preordained its failure and talk about all the downsides of what we are going to do afterwards. >> u.n. ambassador samantha powers's pastor talked about all the failures of russia or the violations with cease-fire in the ukraine. seems we are seeing this picture again. >> with tape we do not let see what plan b is or is that that's what it takes. >> think you. before we go to senator cain i have had terse words with the secretary and in public before and it's not my job today to defend him. i think ever since august september of 2013 when we did
not take the actions of this committee offered us against syria russia and others have none we are not going to do those things and i think the secretary is negotiating a situation where there's no plan b. russia knows there will be no plan b so in spite of his energetic efforts and less the other knows that there will be consequences we no there is not going to be under this president secretary kerry probably knows. and russia knows there is not going to be any consequences and that's what makes it difficult i think. >> that would be actually senator honestly appreciate your comments but it would be a mistake for anybody to calculate that president obama isn't going
to decide if this doesn't work there aren't another set of options. i just don't buy that and i don't think anybody who presumes that is misjudging this president and his record of making tough decisions and doing what's necessary. the president's first choice is to try to see if this can be resolved diplomatically. it's my first choice in the first choice of the security team but there are plenty of people who are thinking about okay if it doesn't work then walked, including the president and his face who has a responsibility to make the choice that anybody who thinks that there is impunity for violating this going forward is making a grave mistake in my judgment. >> that senator kaine. >> i'm way late for the meeting and i'm going to save my questions for the committee hearing next week. let me just offer a statement to
you mr. secretary. as a member of the committee but as a citizen we owe you a huge thanks. you played a major part in the freezing free relationships be nice if this had as a senator working with senator mccain. you infer is a very painful relationship between the united states and vietnam and there was controversy associated with it and it could have failed and there was no guarantee it would have worked but he you played a major leadership role in doing that. now if secretary of state you played a major leadership role in taking two other relationships the united states has had better been frozen with iran and with cuba and putting them into a new chapter critic. again there's no guarantee that diplomacy works but i think our experience shows that there is a guarantee that the lack of engagement fails. it will be a long time before we will know the outcome of cuba and iran and the work you've
done diplomatically just like it's been a number of years for us to realize her past work with vietnam where they are now begging us to be there security partner, picking us to be there trade partner. that was an obvious when you did what you did back in the early 1990s and yet that's been a path of progress. even though we saw challenges in vietnam nobody wants to go backward and go back to present relationship. i'm not a historian but when i think what i know about american diplomacy in american achievements the roosevelt at the end of the russo-japanese war was an achievement, german and martial and the marshall plan that was an achievement. the nixon opening to china was achievement and the northern ireland accords that was an achievement but i think the work that you've done on these three very tough historically problematic and challenging relationships working with other senator mccain and what they strong encouragement of president obama cares about
diplomacy think it is i think it will rank in the very top ranks of american diplomatic achievements and again no guarantees of success but the absence of diplomatic effort is almost a guarantee of failure that does want to thank you for that and i will save my questions for next week. >> thank you very much. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you mr. chairman and mr. secretary thank you. i don't have as broad a perspective to provide things to u.s. senator kaine did but certainly appreciate your tireless efforts to promote american values around the world i actually want to bring it back to a broad strategy and i think you have been very supportive of the special immigrant program which has been designed to help those people who helped us on the ground in iraq and afghanistan.
i think you may be aware senator mccain and senator reid from the armed services committee and i sent you and secretary johnson a letter to weeks ago asking you to reconsider the department's initial interpretation of the language from last year's defense authorization bill because i believe the department's initial reading of that language is inconsistent with what our intent was when we passed that bill, that we have disqualified many afghan applicants who really worked to serve this country and to not be disqualified because they face serious threats of their disqualified so i don't know if you have any update on where the department is on this but i would urge you to take a hard look at reconsider the initial interpretation. >> we couldn't agree with you more senator and thank you for your ongoing concern about this. we share that concern.
we do not want people who had art expressed approval before september of last year to suddenly be caught up. inadvertently that would be grossly unfair and dangerous obviously so two things. one, we are reviewing it in the legal department had we are trying to see whether or not the law can be interpreted in a way that we can just make it happen appropriately. if that didn't work or doesn't work then we are going to work with you very clearly to quickly legislated change their remedies the senate burton problem but agree with you, we just don't want people treated that way and it would the eight gross miscarriage of justice if that happened. >> thank you. i appreciate that.
to stay on the subject of immigration, one of the things, one of the most horrible outcomes of the civil war in syria has been a refugee crisis that has been created by pac-10 implications not just for syria for the middle east and so many of our allies, for europe and they have highlighted a growing refugee crisis around the world that is getting worse and not getting better. i was surprised to see that the budget reduces the migration and refugee assistance and they international disaster account of the budget. given the crisis we are facing is hard for me to understand the rationale for that said kenny speak to that? >> i think we feel as if we have first evolved -- the pipeline but secondly i think we don't have a way of protecting exact
what the demand is going to be. we just committed another $925 million to deal directly with the refugee crisis. i think 600 some million directly for aid and then another, the difference would be for education and relocation and so forth. but our sense is that if we don't have enough we are obviously going to have to come back and discuss that with you but i think we have an ability to be able to have some flexibility. >> that's one of the reasons you know it's a double-edged sword. we don't like oco because it got in the way the budget baseline. on the other hand gives us flexibility to respond to these crises in there have been more of them which is why oco has evolved the way it has. >> and i appreciate that but put
munich colon with senators hart and corker did say that's not the way we had to be solving our budget problems. let me go to the e.u. because i mentioned the threats imposed by the syrian refugees to the e.u. union. obviously they seem more threats than any time since world war ii given russian aggression and ukraine and other countries on eastern borders, the e.u. given the threat for further terrorist attacks. the potential exit at the u.k. from the european union. can you talk a little bit about how we are trying to respond to some of those challenges and how this budget strengthens our ability to do that and what more we can do to support your? >> the first thing we have done
most recently is agreed to work with them on the nato, the deployment in order to try to prevent the flow of refugees coming across the city of greece. we are talking with them about what further extensions of the european border may or may not he needed in an effort to deal with this. the president is having discussions about that today. as i said earlier we have tossed up our budget to all of the front-line states with respect to this movement of refugees. the most important thing we can do, well in addition to that we pledged 925 million i talked about in london for the refugees but one of the things that is motivated our policy is this notion where the world's largest
donor and this thing could keep on going and we can keep writing the check but what we would rather do is push forward on this other friend to see if we can't get an end to the flow of refugees by the cessation of hostilities and a legitimate diplomatic process. while i've said again and again here not going to vouch for this work we had to put it to the test we have no alternative but to test it. with all the doubts of each of us will carry to the table we have to test it and then we will know if people are serious and that gives you a whole different set of choices. but that would have the most profound effect of all on europe and it's the one way to deal with the issue in a more lasting and effective way. >> thank you. my time is up and you have been here long enough but i just want
to add as a postscript that i support the efforts to counter violence extremism and that's absolute critical as we think about how we are going to fight back against terrorism and isis and other terrorist groups. i would hope that we are coordinating with the department of homeland security which has undertaken a new initiative around countering violent extremism so i would just hope that the state department is working on this issue that we are working with homeland security to make sure that it's a coordinated effort across government. >> we are working very closely with them. check thank you mr. chairman. >> i just want to make a comment i was looking at my colleagues comment. when i first came to the
congress it was not a popular thing to do and today i don't think you have any trouble at all mr. secretary getting the political support for a 50 billion-dollar appropriation bill based upon u.s. involvement globally and that's a credit to the evolving leadership in our country to explain the importance of our fowler. they're the only country the world that has military might and i agree with you president obama will use that military might when it's needed but it should be a last resort. these are universal values that we are willing to engage internationally to promote. we have the ability to accomplish some really good things for the world because we do get involved in those issues. i just really want to underscore your record and the obama administration which is then able to advance this national security of america and we are proud to be your partners. we have been able to get some
things done together. thank you mr. secretary. >> i thank you both. the committee has been a terrific partner and we really appreciate it. when we came in the amuf you were there and you've taken the lead of my appreciate the chair and ranking members relationship. >> we appreciate your indulgence. you have been here for two half hours on a bipartisan basis. people have extended their appreciation for your tremendous effort on behalf of our country and i know the details of the budget we will get into more with staff but we appreciate your parents today we appreciate your work on behalf of our country and to look forward to seeing you in the next setting. the meeting is adjourned and if you would answer questions we will leave the record open until the close of business thursday, we would appreciate. the meeting is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
america line for us to look up to the envelope at the back of your phonecall, who you called, when or how long also was essentially the outside and below. >> every election cycle will remind us how important it is for citizens to be informed. >> the home for political junkies and away to check the government as it happens. >> it's a great way for us to say in foreign. >> there a lot of c-span fans on the hill.