tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 20, 2016 8:00am-10:01am EDT
because this is a clearly a question that affects the region in order to attack this horrible, horrible situation that we are facing. so that is the second objective. the third objective that the president has set for us is the, what in the u.s. probably you will say rule of law, but in our terms we call the coming together of the argentinians under democratic institutions. and the notion of coming together, the notion of being able to work with each other no matter what your view is, where you come from, what your thinking is and being able to work out your differences because you have institutions that are solid, that is absolutely critical for a country that has had quite a few
rounds of changes of profound impact without having a lasting view of institutions, particularly institutions that have strong democratic roots. so this is what we are doing. it is very simple. it is very complex. and the president promised to deliver many things. and i will say, not first, even nine months, the first six months of argentina, the first six months of this administration. it proved that what he promised is what he did. and we have reopened the, particularly in economic terms, to the world. we have eliminated all of the hurdles that existed to business with argentina. the president has taken many bold decisions in this regard and one of the ones that clearly has had a huge impact is the
agreement with the holdouts, that was there for many, many years and cost our country a lot in terms of opportunities. we are now working on the hardest part which is to translate all the policy decision, all the framework decisions, into things that impact the lives of each one of the argentinians every day. you know, going from macro to micro is always difficult. that's exactly where where we are. we have launch ad very ambitious infrastructure plan because we have a design, of productive argentina that requires to be competitive and one of the
issues we have to be competitive is to update our infrastructure. be that in terms of the roads, in terms of railroads, in terms of ports, in terms of energy. argentina having been a net exporter of energy for a long time is now a net importer. so we have to reshuffle and invest in the basic infrastructure needs, not only to make argentina competitive but also to have a better integration within the south of the continent and make sure we can look at atlantic & pacific in a manner that is absolutely connected and interconnected. we are working on that. we are working on the question of bringing interest of private sector investment. we just had earlier this week an
investment and forum on business and investment. had 1500 very, very senior people from companies come in to see what is it that we can offer, both on initiatives that the government is leading like the one i just described on, on infrastructure. but also to see sector by sector where are the opportunities and of course in agribusiness, it's a key sector for us. as you know, that is one of the sectors where we are competitive. we produce today food for 400 million people, 10 times our population. we have a plan to become a producer of 800 million people in five years time and that is part of the need to build and rebuild the infrastructure to be able to carry that through. and also, we are very, very much dedicated to go from being the
grainerry of the world to being the supermarket of the world. to bring up value chain and we add value in argentina and we are part of the solution to one of the biggest risks the world faces which is the food security risk. that is true in many parts of the world and i think argentina can represent an opportunity in this regard. so we're bringing sector by sector into the country. we're working hard not only the basic agribusiness i shall describe but on the other extreme of thed ladder which is technology, which is, natural tendency to be creative that argentinians have that have proven so good in the e-commerce, in the i.t. arena,
in the technology arena at large. in the mead you yaw. so we are trying to decide which are sectors where we have competitive advantage and look for partners that come from all over the world to join efforts with us and invest and create again job opportunities. i'm not going to bore you with what which are trying to do vis-a-vis argentina and their own challenges. we are cognizant that we are emersed in a region with its own challenges and it is very, very important to us to work well-connected with our neighbors. america being our first priority and there we are trying to take
it to the next level of in closeness of working with the market. we have started conversations with the european union exchange of offers have started. first offer is disappointing i have to say. but as always is the case we have to work from now on develop the offers into something that is mutually to manufacturing. latin america, south america, it is very natural that you work in concentric circles to see and integrate yourself in the world but we are investing in our relationship with the north america, u.s., canada and mexico. we are also working hard in renewing our commitments
european union with china was started by the prior government, we have reoriented base on priorities of this administration. we are looking into business in the rest of the world, both in asia, in the middle east and in africa. and africa as an opportunity not only as a market opportunity because africa is so much in need of some things that we produce but also as a cooperation opportunity to try to help develop areas where we have a competitive advantage that can be sought as a cooperation opportunity. so we have a very, very broad agenda. i will say we have almost no stone left unturned. that means we have many fronts and we're trying to do our very best to work in a manner that comes from big concept, big
ideas, landed into things that america a difference for our people. and without elaborating much more because i don't want to take more time i will be ready to engage with carla and with you all in a conversation. thank you very much. [applause] >> well that was spectacular and i can't tell you how pleased we are to have you with us. thank you. i will ask the minister a couple of questions. and then i will be turning it over to you. so think about what you can ask with very few words in the short time that he we have. but you mentioned her mercosur
and many believe its current setup is obstacle to vibrant argentine trade. i wonder -- let me ask you, what reforms, if any that you see that mercosur needs to reinvigorate the integration? and some have suggested that if the members have a free-trade agreement instead after customs union, they would be much more flexible and and engender much more growth. what are your views on this? >> it is clear mercosur is short of delivering what the initial expectations were, particularly from both presidents from brazil and argentina. so it is true that throughout time in the recent history brazil has hidden behind
argentina and argentina has hidden behind brazil. every now and then we took turns so, i think we are facing a huge opportunity now because both countries agree that we need to take a deep look and really go into serious, serious thinking about what is needed. we don't have a secular formula for the solution. what we think is, first we have to be truthful to what we have agreed, which we haven't been. that we need to eliminate all of our years among ourself and many that are still there and eventually take a deeper look whether there is a better model that we could go ahead and take. i hate, and i will be very clear, when we put excuses to
ourselves, that we have to invent something new because what is working, what is supposed to be working is not working. because while we invent something new, we're creating new excuses not to do things. so our view now is let's get into business, let's do what we are supposed to do. in the meantime let's talk about anything that we feel should be of help and we are ready because the president, as i said, is very open-minded president and he is ready to take on any issue. >> we wish you well in that endeavor. let me ask you another question. argentina has played a role from preventing venezuela assuming presidency of mercosur. deadline of december 1 for argentina to comply with the membership requirements. and tell me, if the political
situation continues today as it has with respect to venezuela, what do you foresee? is argentina prepared to vote for venezuela being suspended, dropped from mercosur? >> first of all, i think we need to be very careful to separate the political situation of venezuela from the issue of mercosur. >> okay. >> mercosur is a common market. >> yes. we have other environments, other organizations where we deal with the political issues. we have done a very, very strict review of compliance. we have found that, when i say we, it is the four founders, not only argentina, but four founders of mercosur, we have found there are certain questions that are basic prerequisite for compliance that venezuela has not yet adhered
to. there are different views to deal with this we agreed to give venezuela time to approve these. most of these are is approval of treaties that should go through the legislation and should be endorsed. so we are hoping that venezuela will deliver on their commitment to be part of mercosur. should that not occur i think we need to regroup and decide what are the next steps. but there is no intention that venezuela will be dropped out because we hope that venezuela will go into the commitments that were made to begin with. >> in your foreign policy responsibilities, let me ask you another question about the venezuela currently hosting the 17th summit of the non-alignment movement. there will be, i think, about 160 delegations that attend.
including north korea, iran, syria, and many others. the last summit was held in 2012. what do you think will come out of this meeting? >> i have not been involved in the organization of the meeting. it is clearly a group that draws, as the name itself indicates, tries to be a neutral, non-aligned to what was at the time the big powers in the bipolar world. the reality is there is no bipolar world any longer. so it is hard to be non-aligned when there is no full alignment of any sort. but, but, i think it is a platform that brings together most of the countries from the south. that allows to have
conversations around issues they define in their priorities. i don't know what the themes are of this summit. i am of the view if people want to come together and have a conversation and have an exchange there is no reason why that shouldn't happen. my sense, having been in a multilateral organization for some time, that it is better for people to be sitting and talking than to be fighting. so in a way i think it is worth just looking at what happens and wishing out of that there would be a sense of it belonging to this world because we have a lot of common agendas that we need to be working on. >> argentina will participate? >> no, argentina is not a member of the non-aligned movement. we used to be. we're not any longer. >> not any longer. let me ask you another foreign policy issue.
for more than a century argentina and great britain have had quarrel about the falkland islands. they even fought a war in 1982 over the issue and this past wednesday, just two days ago, the two governments issued a communique ending restrictions on a number of industries, enabling them to function on the islands and agreeing to allow flights in and out of the islands and planning, promising to discuss in the future shipping, fishing, and oil and gas drilling. how do you see these negotiations proceeding and what time time frame? can we see the end of this 100 year war? >> well it is not 100 year war. it is 100 year difference of opinion, serious difference ever opinion which had a war in the
middle unfortunately. and, and what's, first of all we have said we're ready to relate and communicate with the rest of the world as long as the basic principles we believe in are met. clearly the uk meets these conditions. and we have also said that in relating to the world we believe in the principle of parito. you should be aware i'm an engineer. so i use sometimes engineering terms. so i believe in this 80-20 principle. where normally you have 80% of things where with whomever you're talking, a country, another person, another institution, you can agree on. and you work on that. and i said 20% were either, you don't agree or you agree to disagree. or you work to get to an agreement.
in the case of the uk it is clear our, what our 20 is. it is malvenas. we have a deep, deep difference with the uk. it is something argentina has enshrined in its constitution, the right to have maldives as part of our territory. this is something deeply rooted in our society, in all of us. having said that, we are working on the idea to present the uk also participated in the forum that i described with quite a few members of the private sector and representation from the government. on the malvina is, we have a few this may take long to be totally resolved but there are things that can be done in the meantime without, without giving up our sovereign right.
this is in the communique that we signed. we talked about sovereignty there. that is the first thing that is there. in the meantime we have agreed to work together on quite a few fronts. you know we have seen some of the things needed and trying to see how we can find ways to jointly work in that area that is so important to argentina as part of its oil space. that is what we're going to do. none of these have a prescriptive timeline but it's a good first step towards, again, sitting at the table and trying to find solutions. >> you mentioned in your remarks president macri's priorities and in february he came to the council on foreign relations and laid out his foreign policy priorities and one of them was
to develop a more cooperative relationship with the united states. and so let me ask you, what two or three policy areas would your government like to pursue with washington, and also, what would you like to see washington do to facilitate a closer relationship between our two governments? >> well, first of all, since the president was here back in february many things have happened. president obama visited argentina in what we consider was a very successful visit and very successful encounter between the two leaders and their teams. secretary kerry has visited also. we have had a much more detailed work and many other leaders from the administration have come to follow through what we have initially committed.
first of all we are now engaged in a high level political dialogue. there is a direct communication between the two administrations at different levels. we are trying to sort out some of the hurdles we on both sides imposed to each other on trade. some have come a long way. we look to see that the decisions taken by argentina, by the administration, reflect, for example, on the credit rating of argentina which is something very important. this is not something that is totally in the hands of the administration. but, we believe that a decision can send signals to financial institutions that do have the responsibilities for this. of course we're looking for more cooperation with the private sector and signals that the administration sends are
important but we're also working more specifically certain injuries. we're cooperating on the sector i described, the marco traffic. narco traffic. cooperation with the security institutions. we found our security system was quite dismantled. we're seeking support on capacity-building, on equipment. we're working on things in that regard and we're working very closely, coordinating multilaterally with climate change, things that are of importance to us but also to the u.s. and we also have a few things where we may not agree, as with anyone else but we can all live with that. >> well, we're glad you're in the position you are. let me turn to our members and remind you this is on the record. ask you to stand. give your name and your
affiliation. and make your comment or question relatively short so that your colleagues can also participate. yes. far table. yes. >> thank you. i would like to know how, how argentina sees the role of cis, especially with all these democratic challenge in the region, especially in venezuela. thank you. >> well, first of all we value the role of the oes. we feel oes as an institution is one of the oldest institutions of this sort in the world, regional institution. oes has some incredible established institutions within oes and the human rights aspects of oes are significant.
we believe the human rights council and all the elements of it are very important. the court, you know, we really value oes. somebody asked us when we were just coming into the administration, there was this discussion about versus oes. we said clear both institutions are different, they have different purposes and both of them should be retained. so we are very engaged in. oes. we think that it's an opportunity for the whole continent to come together. although it's true within the continent we have a lot of asymmetric relations but the more to work together and try to find common views. so we are vested and invested in the oes. >> yes. at this front table here. >> [inaudible]
sorry. >> i don't think your mic is on. >> i will get it right eventually. alan west, formerly with the department of state. i understand argentina is candidate for membership in the oecd. can you tell us where that stands, please? >> well, we have written to oecd indicating our interest in becoming a member of oecd but we also said in our letter we're interested as long as oecd is interested in us as a member. this is not being picky. it is there is a reason for this, and there is a discussion within oecd whether the expansion you should continue or maybe number of members that are in the oecd is enough.
being part of oecd has in many added values. i always like to say complying with many of the rules that oecd establishes puts us in a straitjacket but helpful for the future. sort of a long term perspective but it is also true that it's a very heavy investment. so we are ready to go for it as long as we have partners that are willing to come along with us. and we are trying to get the sense whether that's the case. the president has spoken with most of the leaders of the oecd saying we are ready to tango. now we'll see whether the other side is ready. we feel that is worth making that investment, with one caveat. we also need to be very careful that politically the speed of
implementation is something that one needs to be very mindful of because there are so many things on our plate that we need to stagger what is it that we do and how fast we do it. this is something that we have also shared with the members of oecd. pen -- again, we're ready to tango. >> question here. >> thank you, madam minister. very interesting to listen to your presentation about the objectives and priorities of the government and the broad agenda that is associated with it. my question is, is there anything in the agenda that offers some idea about the restructuring of argentina's economy which is pretty much natural resource based into modern economy that is competitive? in this context, do you have a model in mind of the country
that you want to emulate? is it new region, countries like brazil versus chill lie or looking farther afield like korea and vietnam. -- chile. >> first of all it is true that our country is is strong natural resources-based economy but it is also true that our country is one of the richest countries in the world in natural resources. so, i learned a long time ago that one needs to be on the strength and move from there. once you try to build on weaknesses to where you get to what you want to get is much more challenging. so what is it that we feel we must do? i said it in my introduction. we believe that we have to build on our competitive advantages, and move up in the value chain as we do that. so clearly, clearly,
of a chilly angela to what it represents in our gdp, it's almost nil in our gdp. and i like when the president say that for some reason got put all the minerals to the west, not to the east. so the area, that mine is another area where we can do a lot. but here again not only the raw mining, but building up the value chain. we have the largest resource in argentina. we have reserves of some of the minerals that are more critical in advanced technology, and so we need not only to exploit the minerals but to build batteries in argentina. that's another area where we are very, very much in the position
of the outside being relatively simple and it's part of what we're trying to do. it's clear also that argentina has an opportunity in the softer side of the business. because there is first well educated population, especially young population, population that is very creative, as a said earlier your when you look at startups in latin america, four of the five largest startups of latin america come from argentina. i'm talking about the technology sector. even though there were no incentives in argentina to help in doing so. so that's another area. becoming a service provider to the world in certain areas is also important. so do we have a single country
that will be our mirror? we don't. we are trying to look at best practices by sector. we are contracting role plan for our production and productivity to increase, and we're trying to compare sector by sector, and learn from the best ones. korea could be on government and implications it has, it's clear the case of chilean minerals. but i think we have many things to learn. >> in the back table, the gentleman sitting with the computer. >> thank you very much. i would like to try to topics. if you could please, minister, give us an update on the plan for argentina to receive 3000
syrian refugees, that we haven't heard until recently. and i would also like to do a follow-up on venezuela. is argentina ready to say that the mediation done by the three former presidents has been achieved in a significant outcome, and there is a need to try a different strategy? and also -- >> that's three. >> but the oh, yes. involved a charter in may when he called a special meeting. since then my question is, what should be the next step in his assessment on venezuela. what should be the next step, there is a stagnation there. so anything you could share, appreciate it. >> if i can ask you, can you remind me of the first one? the refugees. well, the president is going to
be making more specific announcements. next week these on his way to new york. but what i can say to you is that we have put together a plan to expand what argentina had been doing in the past. because one needs to say it's not new that argentina is receiving refugees, but what we want to do is do it at different pace and with a different force. we are expanding on how to receive refugees in a manner that allows them to have the coverage when they arrived, that they are not left on their own. this is based on a few principles. the first principle is that argentina is a country of migrants and refugees. many of us have grandparents or great grandparents who came to argentina either being migrants are being economic refugees or war refugees.
so what we feel is that the question of serious requires shouldering by everybody underworld and we're trying to drop in the ocean but we're trying to do it and do it in a responsible manner, meaning we're trying to have first 3000, have it covered by the fact that there are two very large populations in argentina of syrian and lebanese origin, that can be of help to integrate these people, that we have 5% provinces where the governors are totally ready to work on refugees. and trying to put together all of these in a manner that is well sustained and allows us to feel that we bring people back and be productive as soon as they arise. having a poverty level of 30%,
it makes us very responsible vis-à-vis what is it we do when we open ourselves. we don't have the possibility of affording as a government to bring people in and cover everything because we cannot do that with her own people. so we are trying to work with civil society come with the private sector. and with some of these organizations to make sure we get that next, that allows them to insert themselves. so the details will be announced by the president next week, so if you allow me to leave it there. regarding venezuela, first of all, we believe that dialogue, and i said in a different context a few minutes ago, is the way to sort out issues. it's clear that the venezuelans have voted twice in a very different way sending very different messages.
the executive is there through a democratic process, through the results of election and forgiven powers by the people. it's also clear that last december the venezuelans decided to leave the total majority to the opposition in the legislative. so what our reading is, is that venezuelans have told their leadership, come together and sort this out. in that regard we are absolutely convinced that the need for the dialogue is there. you said that nothing has happened with the dialogue of the three presidents. i would not dare say be so absolute. probably i could say that it has moved as far and assess as one would like. there is some news in our view
very important. you may have seen they have sent a letter offering the good offices of the vatican ii intervene. we have a push for that for a long time, and we believe that if the vatican joined forces here with the moral authority of pope francis in the world, but particularly in this region, there is an opportunity to sort things out and to help the parties find a solution and a way forward. so we are trying to do our very best, hoping that that's the way to go. particularly because other options in our view are really not good options. then on the oes, it's true that the secretary-general was able
to present his view on the democratic, in the case of oes. this was done under our presidency of the council. you may recall that. and now it is being dispatched among member states. what the secretary-general infuse his analysis of all options of things that can be done and can because either under a democratic umbrella, that has been discussed. in fact, there will be conversations in the next weeks among member states. all of these is not something that happens overnight. when you have a multilateral engagement, it takes time. so i think that the fact that this is been under consideration is very important because it's part of the role of oes.
>> thank you. i thought it was very interesting but early in his tenure president macri went to chili for the specific length some of her i was way her i was what it might come a relationship between argentina and the pacific reminds? thank you. >> you know, tribal did a few things that were interesting as signs to a region. before becoming the president or the still present elect we flew to brasilia in santiago in the very same day. and this has a lot of meaning for us. it's clear that brazil is our largest partner to its clear that we cannot think about ourselves without thinking about brazil. but it's also clear that we believe, deeply believe, in the bios beyond the perspective of
ourselves and of the region. this notion of having a view of atlantic versus pacific is just plain wrong. if i were not here, i would say plain stupid but i cannot say that. [laughter] it's just wrong. so our view is, and this was discussed between president macri and the other present at the time but it's not something you. people can say now, well, you're starting something new. no. this was discussed then and we agree that there's a combination of outlines the pacific they can become a vicious circle. after that we were invited to become -- and we decide to accept that privilege. so we are no observers of the pacific alliance. we think that in the end, south
america, latin america has to really strengthen its integration. i like to say that we measure integration through results. when you look, for example, the level of integration in the past 10 years, and you look at the direct for investment within the region, or trade within the region, it hasn't yielded much. so we need to talk business and we really need to get serious about integration. and put that in terms that go beyond labels, they're really get to the heart of it. >> michael. >> thank you, carla. thank you, minister. you mentioned your opening remarks that argentina is we orienting its relationship with
china, in light of the current priorities of the current government. can you describe a little bit what that means? in what ways? >> clearly, the prior administration signed an agreement with china. we have decided that that's something that we want to maintain, but we want to maintain in the terms that are aligned with what the government feels are the priorities. so we have had a very, very fruitful conversation, a series of conversations. in fact, trying to already met twice with president xi jinping, and we have somehow prioritized that many key example. there was an agreement around a contract, more than agreement, signed around the power plants in the south, and we looked into it and we decided that and our
chinese counterpart has agreed to do it. the chinese have proposed a couple of options on power plants, nuclear power plants, which we are now considering in light of our overall study plan on energy. and we are discussing with them. they were discussions around a plant-based, not a plant, that was approved and was being developed in the south regarding -- which had all kinds of questions regarding the use and application of the base. we start with our chinese partners and said listen, we understand that we have only civilian objective, a peaceful objective, but we would like to make that clear. and we now have signed an agreement and an addendum to the
agreement to make a clear and specific. so what we have done is start with the chinese, who are serious players in the region, serious players in the world, and have decided to make sure that our relationship is based on mutual trust, but also on mutual interest. >> yes, act table. -- back table. >> thank you. teresa from carter capital. if such a pleasure to have you, and i would have to also tell you that every single person i know wishes the best of success to the president macri administration. but on another topic, if we are so lucky, you're so lucky to be the secretary-general of the u.n., what would be your top say, three or five priorities for the united nations?
>> first of all, this is in the hands of people who would decide based on a greater scheme, so i am in their hands. you know, my view on the united nations is that probably it has been over a review, over transform, over a change in layers. so you have an organization that is often very functional, because different people have taken partial looks on what should be done, and in the end the cost of coordination to get things done is such that it is impossible to be effective and efficient. i have a few that the u.n., first, should be what i call
issue centric. that we need an inspirational leadership that rallies the troops into but also rallies member states. and discusses issues. and rent issues you sought out how to build a solution to that issue. still be organizational centric, in which each part of the organization puts its stake in the solution because that's the way to survive. you start to reverse and you think about what is it that people you are there to serve require come and to reverse engineering from the. sorry for the engineering reference again. so my sense is that the u.n. needs more than reform, which many people talk about. needs to get practical and define itself issue base. in doing so you can start to
understand how is it that things should be done, and eventually you get to the reform aspect of what is it that should be changed and why it should be changed. i say this as the first priority because normally people will ask you how will you reform the u.n.? then you get into the discussion of adding a layer, adding a certain level. i say that i will go into getting things done, and i think i have one competitive advantage. i'm not an insider trying to understand what is needed, and i'm enough of an outsider to understand how this should be done. so that's how i see my priorities vis-à-vis the organization. vis-à-vis the world of the big problems of the world. i believe that there is a strong need to the secretary-general
playing a very, very significant role of bridgebuilder of facilitator. this is a moment where things get stuck very often, so having the notion of the secretary-general who can reach out and talk quietly to parties and proposed options and alternatives is very important. but at the same time be ready, should that be necessary, to stick your neck out and say we are going to use article 99. for the ones who don't know, it's the arcti article or the secretary joe brings issues to the security council. one needs to be very careful with that but needs to be ready in the search of solutions to use it should there be a need. and the other thing is that one also needs to balance a lot at invest a lot on prevention. and begin the good office of the
secretary-general is not security but also on climate change, on the main issues that the world is facing today. i'm coming from the oceans meeting. when you look at that, we don't do prevention and action soon, we will get into trouble. so that is something that the u.n. needs to move into. i see my good friend here. he's been a champion of but these, and it has been to mr. bai the fact we haven't gone far enough because clearly, member states are ready to give money when a disaster occurs but are not so keen to give money ahead of time. i think that's central to the change that we need to do. and my sense is that the agenda, the climate change agreement, and a couple of other things that have come to fruition what about the next secretary-general to do it.
>> well, that was a wonderful response going to a very difficult question in many respects, and right within our time. the minister has to return to argentina, but i think you will all agree with me, argentina is extraordinarily fortunate to have someone with her background, know-how, and brainpower. and we as a friend of argentina and will enjoy working with you in the months and years ahead. so thank you so much for being with us, and congratulations for all you are doing, and your great thoughts. thanks, ambassador. >> thank you all. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> president obama speaks at united nations general assembly in new york city. this is expected to be the president's final visit to the u.n. as president. live coverage at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span your. >> senators rand paul in christopher murphy have drafted a resolution which disapproves of a pending on sale of 1.15 billion from the u.s. to saudi arabia. they discuss that and the u.s. role in the middle east. this is just over one hour.
>> okay. well, thank you all for coming. we are delighted to have senators paul and murphy. i don't think they need an introduction. if they do i'm surprised you are here. we are going to be talking about the middle east in general, and relations with saudi arabia in particular. our relations, that is to say, america's relations with the states of the middle east has become increasingly complex over the past few years, to the point where i think many of our friends in the region have no idea where we are on just about any issue. to give you an example from saudi arabia, if you're sitting in riyadh, on the one hand you
see that the united states is prepared to sell you literally $20 billion worth of arms. on the other hand, you see that members of the senate on a bipartisan basis are concerned about the more recent sales. and these two gentlemen are here to talk about that because they are sponsoring legislation to that effect. on the one hand, the united states is supporting the operations that saudi arabia is conducting against the houthis who are sponsored by iran. on the other hand, the united states tells saudi arabia to show the gulf with iran. if you're sitting in riyadh, how do you figure that out? the same swords, and by the way, there's been syria where for such a long time the united states said, mr. assad should go, which is where saudi arabia was you know seems to be saying mr. assad can stick around for a while. which saudi arabia county gets puzzled about.
that's just one country. if you look at israel, italy to egypt, if you look at the other countries in the gulf you see the same degree of confusion. it's one huge question mark. so to help enlighten us we have our two senators, and doubly senator paul is going to speak first and give us his views, and then senator murphy, and we are a bipartisan center and actually it works out nicely to my right is republicans, to the left -- [laughter] senator paul, over to you. >> well, thank you and thank you to the senate for national interest for having us and for this discussion. i think there are lots of aspects of foreign policy where right and left can come together and what party does it make so much difference. there's been a bipartisan consensus on foreign policy in this town for longtime. unfortunately, i think a bipartisan consensus may be wrong and it needs to be another consensus talking in another fashion. i'm excited that this week
senator murphy and i and senator franken and senator lee will introduce legislation. it's a privileged resolution. this is very unusual in the senate in the sense that will be voted on. it has to be voted on within a period of time. so the plan that is they will introduced on interviews -- on wednesday and almost never happens. privileged resolution is extorted. the power to do this was given to us by the arms export control act of 1976, but this resolution will say to the president that we disapprove of the sale of arms to saudi arabia. your next question might be, what will he do? he could veto it. the house could sit on a. there are a lot of things that may happen that i think it elevates the debate and allows congress to be part of this decision. some might ask why would congress have anything to do with foreign policy? is in foreign policy debate with of the chief magistrate, the president? according to our founding fathers it was intended to be our baby with.
the initiation with specific take away from the presidency and given to congress. and if you look at madison's words discussing this, madison said that the branch most prone toward his executive branch, therefore, with studied care the constitution to that power come invested it in the legislature. we've gotten away from that. you might also ask how can arms is to be anything to do with initiation of war. it's just sale of arms to an ally. in this case there is a war going on in yemen. we are refueling the planes that are dropping the bombs, giving the target that we people positioned their up into guided missiles into their targets. i think we are actively part of a war in human edited almost no american knows that we are involved with it. that initiation of war we can debate the pros and cons of whether we should do it. we can debate whether it's in our vital national interests but we can't just up and have no debate. i think it's absolutely
important i think it's a big deal that we bring this forward. this and other issues have brought senator murphy and i together. the discussion of whether not want to go to war that congress should authorize it. so the authorization of use military force, there were two in the last 15 years from one to go after the people who attacked us on 9/11, and that's and what it said. and any other for the iraq war. neither of those apply to human. neither of those frankly up like you syria. they need to be debated. about two years ago in the foreign relations committee they were discussing and water bill and i insisted on an amendment to authorize force, the use of force in the middle east and to debate that. we had a pretty good debate without a conclusion, but we begin the debate. unfortunately, it did not go to congress. caucus point the finger. republicans say democrats should do. democrats and republicans should do and that my wishes and yet we are at war without a debate. when you talk to our soldiers who fight, everyone of them that
i encountered, plots in fort campbell's, lots in fort knox, sock it to the other from the naval academy. every one of them says they want the people to have debated this. in fact, there is an american soldier right now in court suing over whether or not it's a constitution war, a valid order for them to go to war since congress has not authorized the war. i don't think these are arcane points but i don't think they are moot point. it's incredibly afforded congress be part of foreign policy. it's what our founding fathers intended. i think this debate this week over whether or not we send arms into saudi arabia is an important and found one. i'm very excited to have senator murphy being a partner in this end without like to turn over to the senator murphy. >> okay. thank you very much. thank you to the center for the national interest for inviting us here. this is my first trip and i hope it's the first of many. let me associate myself with
every single one of the sentiments of senator paul. i think we are as a congress at risk of putting ourselves out of the business of helping to set and conduct the region policy of this nation. it's really easy to declare war when it's a well-defined enemy, when you're fairly certain that the end of hostilities there's going to be a neatly wrapped up peace treaty. it's much more difficult to declare war when the enemy is the shadowy and diffused, when a victory is harder to define. but the responsibility to declare war isn't conditional upon a difficult the parameters of that declaration are. and by congress' refusal to authorize the war against isis through its refusal to authorize the current operations that are happening inside yemen, we are at risk of never ever again being relevant. at least in our lifetimes, on
matters of war making in foreign policy. so i think this is serious in his presidential. but rand did a great job of making this case so we drill down on the particulars of what we care about this arms sale. this arms sale is in part designed to replace weaponry that has been battle damage in the saudi and the saudi led coalition fight against the houthis inside and around yemen. the question is whether it's in the u.s. national security interests to continue to largely unconditionally back the saudis play in this civil war. the first thing to say is that this is not a proxy war inside yemen. there is no doubt that the iranians have taken advantage of the houthis march and made the decision to supply them and assist them.
but they arranged to have a command and control relationship over the houthis. and so to give as simply as a clean clarified between the saudis and iranians misunderstand the nature of this conflict. second, if you talk to yemen needs on the ground they want to you that this is a u.s. bombing campaign, or a u.s.-saudi bombing campaign. a few every civilian casualty is having an american in print to it. and so we have to take seriously the fact that we can't in some way, shape, or form every single civilian death. and as much as we have been pressing the saudis to get better, they are not. in a 17 hour period earlier this summer, they bombed another doctors without borders facility, a school and the principles house next door. and even when we tell them not to bomb targets, like a key bridge used for the supply and resupply of connecticut believe, they ignore us and still bombed
those civilian facilities. so we bear responsibility for the way and the method in which this war is being conducted. but second, even if you believe that there is an important message to being sent to the iranians through u.s. participation in this fight, we all have to ask ourselves, what is our chief and primary goal in the middle east? is it to send messages to a rant or is it to defeat extremism? the fact o of the matter is this support has allowed for both al-qaeda and isis to gain foot prints and photos inside yemen than ever before. aqap is most likely branch of al-qaeda to strike the united states again. their recruitment has spiked because of the space is gained through the civil war in yemen. portrait of time that control of a major port city by which they were earning more money than ever have before in history of that organization. and so from u.s. national security perspective, if we are helping to radicalized yemenis
against us, we participate in the slaughter of civilians, and we are allowing extremist groups have plans and plots against the united states to grow stronger, how can that be in our security interest? i think this is a question of the caucasus relevance on matters of foreign policy but i also think this is a direct and immediate question as to whether we want to continue to fund and supply a war that is hurting our national security rather than advancing it. stopping one arms sale does not put an end to the of ministrations participation in these hostilities, but a positive vote or a very strong vote would send a bipartisan signal that things have to change and that's what i'm very proud to be working with senator paul on this resolution. >> thanks very much, and thank you both for making the case so clearly had allowing a lot of time for the many people who are here to ask questions. i'll take the prerogative of the chair to start.
by the way, when you all have a comment or a question, apart from a court tried to keep it short, please identify yourself. i'll do the same. i'm dov zakheim, vice chairman of the center. a question for both of you. clearly you have made a very strong case can there are many merit to the case, but as a result would congress be sending even more mixed signals to the saudis than they are already getting? and without to make things worse, not better? and as a corollary to that, would that drive them into the hands of the one man who is more and more influential inabilities, namely mr. putin, who seizes on every opportunity to push us out and push himself and? what are your reactions to that? >> i think it should not primarily be our goal what
message we are sending. our first goal in the first part of the debate is is in our vital national street interest to be involved? i view the weapons that we manufacture as not being completely private. they are not like the items that you see stock in wal-mart. the u.s. taxpayer has paid for the weapons that we have in our defense department. i think the taxpayer retains an interest in a vague way, ownership and that, that's why congress has specifically said that we can veto arms sales. we've sold $100 billion. i saw the figure in an article a couple weeks ago. i almost didn't believe it. we have sold $100 billion to saudi arabia in the last eight years, and so i think that this is, i don't know that this is going to be a mixed signal but i don't think they have a shortage of weaponry from what they got from us. but i think it's in to be so short and, whenever you read things in foreign policy people
say we need to do things that are international secured interest. sure, but that's a debate. the only way we debate that is by todd but the issues and get to the specifics senator murphy was reprinted. we also have to debate intended versus unintended. the complexity of the middle east is such that we are often getting the unintended. don't really question the motives of most of the people in congress or the president. i think they want what's best for you getting the unintended consequences. one of the unintended consequences of a syrian war is millions displaced. i think the same can happen in yemen. i think saudi arabia frankly should be taken refugees from syria as well as the yemen. i like the way, i think as thomas frieden described them as both arsonists and firefighters. you know, they are throwing fuel on the flames in one sense but in another sense they are also attempting to help. so may send a mixed message but there's an a mixed message to us as to their loyalties by
spreading wahhabi islam throughout the world, people, hatred of america can't even our country that supported schools that preach hatred of our country. that needs to end. there's an article by the former ambassador -- yes. recently talking about saudi arabia, you know, sort of mea culpa, we're going to do better. i think holding back arms they give them a chance bid to show that they can do better. >> i would just we state this important point that senator paul made about the dramatic increase in arms sales to saudi arabia during this administration. we are talking about a six to eight-fold increase in the dollar amount of arms sold to saudi arabia in the obama administration versus the bush administration. we should recognize the baseline fact that we are selling more
and giving them more than ever before. to argue that the should be some scaling back or somebody's on arms of scale, some level just recognition that the pace is very different than ever before. i would actually argue we should be sending signals to the saudis that our support for them is conditional. if consistency is your ultimate goal here, then i guess we should answer the call anytime the saudis ask. but if your goal is to create a more functional relationship between the united states and saudi arabia, and occasionally you have to say no. and the fact of the matter is that they've asked for our help in fighting the disease. it is not in our national interest to answer that call -- the houthis. it makes sense for us to tell them that we're not going to be with them this time. the with plenty of other moments when we will be with the saudi dissident instance where it may be in their interest to fight this war inside given to it is
not in our interest. about what to do with what senator paulsen. i think it's time to take stock of this relationship. every year saudi reps and his commitment to us that either they've made mistakes in terms of funding the wrong people abroad, or the story really isn't like the newspapers tell it. the fact of the matter is that there isn't directly proportional relationship to the nut of saudi and wahhabi money that goes into parts of the globe and success of terrorist recruiters in finding people that will follow them into the fight in places like afghanistan and syria. take a look at the balkans as an example number one. there is a direct relationship between the focus of gulf state actors on creating a bedrock of conservative sloth is teaching in the balkans and the ability of those recruiters to recruit out of those areas. they continually tell us they will get better. they can to tell us they're focusing more on being the
firefighters that are then picked up last year that they told us they will get better on the targeting. they don't. i would argue that for our relationship to be a less consistent and a little bit more conditional. >> okay. throwing it open. john, ambassador. they will take to on the outside. [inaudible] >> i agree with much of what both of you have said in terms of that which is reprehensible about something that makes us wince. however, we are charged with being, lacking in empathy. we have a deficit on that front. so the question is how would you try to show an empathetic view and analysis perspective assessment from riyadh's perspective? we are with you on america's perspective, most of us are certainly many of us, and i entered what's missing here is
our partners have used. does it not have legitimate interests, legitimate concerns can legitimate goals that pretty much terrible hours? not all. they're hardly rest of the blemish, to avoid a default, but when we refer to them sometimes as presently as free riders, they could turn it around and say that we were there free riders. they have $750 billion in our financial system. we don't have a penny in tears. -- in mayors. speak i think there many places in which our interests align, and this may be part of what senator paul and i made, may differ. anytime i talk about my desire to try to recast the relationship, i admit there are plenty of very positive things that the saudis do in the region, partnership on counterintelligence is critical
to the ability to facilitate the ongoing the thought, very important to u.s. national security goals. but i would argue that we are no longer, that our interests are not aligned in fundamental ways in the way that many new senators and congressman are taught when you shall. show up. i think we've largely turned the other way and allowed for the saudis to create a version of islam which has become the building blocks for the very groups that we're fighting tod today. and we have played with them, we've asked them to stop. and the evidence suggests that they have not. over the course of the last year and have we have beg him to be better about targeting. we have told them the targets not commit and they have not listened. and so i do think it's time to question whether this alliance
is as clear and as solid as many of us may have been told it was, as essential as it may be today, as it once was. i think the saudis need to show us something in return, and i don't see a lot of evidence over the last five years for that to be the case. there are plenty of other places which we will continue to coordinate. or maybe of the called for assistance we can answer. it comes to the civil war in yemen i get to see a reason why it's in our national security interest. >> i would say that we don't only show empathy through arms. i think we can show empathy through trade. i'm not proposing to cut off trade with saudi arabia. i would also propose that the more interconnected economies are, the better. the fact that china owns quite a bit of our debt and saudi arabia owns quite a bit of our debt, i wish we didn't have so much debt but the fact that we're in detroit is actually a good thing. the more you trade a lesser
likely to fight. i think that's good. the other thing, this is always use with regard to aid us with if we don't give aid and if we don't get more aid, we don't like them enough. maybe you should be about trade as well. but also saudi arabia could be more open to allowing investment in american or other outside ownership of companies within their country. we allow it in our country. they could start changing into schools and sickening hatred of america and hated to the west with it is their schools teaching tolerance. there have been some good news. people have talked about, you know, a reformation within islam that there are many people within islam saying things that we are just a hearing because we are so preoccupied, and necessary so, with bombs. but we are not hearing the other side of more tolerant islam that is tolerant to other religions. i need many professional muslims
in my workings as a physician and also in this country very tolerant individuals, and would live and interact in a coordinated way in our country. saudi arabia doesn't seem to be example find that. i think they could do a better job frankly. i do think it means we always have to be selling them arms. i think it could be some limitations. i think it could be some better behavior by withholding it rather than continuing the open arms sales. >> i'[inaudible] it's the popular perception, at least in this town, was that the obama administration agreed to help saudi arabia and yemen largely due play get 'em over the iran nuclear deal to ensure that it didn't -- [inaudible] by prime minister netanyahu and others.
also in reference to the point that dov zakheim raised, the saudis might, putin might find a way to play with the saudi slush the iranian issue. it would seem to me at least that the russians and saudis have a long history of distrust to one another. and to this day i think the russians believe a lot of the problems of chechnya were a result of u.s. and saudi influence there. so do you see with putin moving closer to iran at this point that there really is chance for mischief with saudi arabia? >> i'm not as worried about this idea that the saudis are going to run to the arms of the russians, especially consummatef their signals that the russians have shown interest in
coordinating with iran with respect of the conflicts in the region. and i do perceive our initial moves to partner with saudi arabia on the conflict in yemen as part of a broader strategy surrounding the iran do. no one in the administration said that to me but i think it stands to reason that that you are interlinked. frankly, my preference, my preference would be for congress to make our support for this arms sale conditional. the initial legislation that senator paul and i proposed would've allowed for this arms sale to go forward, should they be tangible progress on these issues of the targeting of civilians and clear evidence that the saudis and the coalition were going after al-qaeda entices targets, not just who the target.
you know the emirates have done very good work going after aqap, but it than that without assistance from the saudis, by and large. i understand why the administration decided to support them in this fight, but given the fact that they have shown no willingness to listen to our concerns, i think that is the time for us to withdraw that support. had the saudis conduct this operation in different manner, have to use u.s. refueling capacity to run as many missions against aqap as they are in the transit in and around sana'a then we would probably be having a different discussion today. but that -- in sana'a. but that has not been played out. >> we begin the discussion with some of the question of what are the unintended consequences b bt i think one of the unintended consequences pushing assad that was great a space in which isis accrue. i do think anybody really come when people talk of who created
what, they credit themselves. nobody wants places other than themselves to be successful. however, i do think it's an unintended consequence of pushing assad back. will be the unintended consequence of bombing the houthis? if the saudis defeats the houthis, who takes over? frankly, isis has a toehold there as well. so i think we do have to be very concerned with that. wasn't this, was distant and the arms sale done to placate them over iran? yes. and to think more than just by taking. it is essentially fueling an arms race. because iran, whether we like it or not it will take some of this money has been released to them. you can arguably say it was theirs but don't take that money and buy conventional weapons with the saudi arabia within by
conventional weapons to counter act that. one of the great ironies of the middle east right now is looking at all of the weapons, all of these weapons. there's a certain degree of irony to sink u.s. tanks rolling in from turkey and fight against u.s. arms enhanced of the kurds. there's some irony to go into the little town of aleppo in saying pentagon backed kurds fighting cia backed syrian moderates in pitted battles with two different branches of our government support each side of the battle. it's a messy place and we really need to step back and be wise about our decisions. it doesn't mean do nothing but i think we have often done too much. >> the example you just gave was proof that we do have a whole of government. it's just that we support everybody. you have a question back there. >> i just wanted to spin this
question around -- in terms of if the obama strategy trying to -- [inaudible] enabling its average always been in movies to be careful enough to take ownership of the region, and that means engaging in security matters on their own without the penny so much on u.s. military. so in that context, do you hear a call for canceling arms sales, gives it another one of those mixed messages of hate, take ownership of the region but we are not going to keep the weapons to do it? >> i would just say that in this case the saudis are not taking ownership of this, and that they cannot conduct this operation without major u.s. tactical and strategic support. i don't know what the answer to this question is, but if the
united states had decided not to supply the refueling capacity, i decided to not sell them replacements for the munitions that they have dropped, did not replace the battle damaged tanks, were not on the ground inside yemen, not providing intelligence, would they be participating at the same level that they are inside yemen? the answer may be yes and the initiation will tell you to will tell you the edge is just more people would be dead today because the targeting would be even worse than it is with our help. but i think that's an outstanding question. so i understand what the ministry is doing, which is pulling back and try to facilitate some ability for sunni states to take care of the sunni problems, but that's not this. we are still clearly negatively involve in this question, and in the civil war. and i agree with rand. i think it's deeply problematic that we have not weighed in on this question.
this certainly looks like acts of war by the united states against the who see people -- the who see -- >> aren't there other ways to engage? for example, i actually do want more engagement but i also want to see more diplomatic engagement. i think the most important aspect of peace in syria is engagement with russia. so when i was active in the presidential debates you may remove or whatever else sync it wanted to punch russia in the nose and he wanted a no-fly zone and they're ready to shoot down russian jets, i was saying i think russia to be part of the solution. i'm not naïve enough to think that russia is always good or that there i was going to do the right thing, but they've had a base in syria for what, 50 years. i don't see them leaving the icy tempered active in the region. if we engage them, but if there is a solution it probably does involve russia countr.
the second negotiations between turks and kurds. as i go around the country and talk, isis is like 20, 25,000 people. that's how many fighters they have. the turks have 600,000 in the army. the peshmerga to 200,000 iraqi army has 200,000 to the jordanians i think of several hundred thousand israelis have a million but they are surrounded by 2 million people who don't like them. it sounds like we need to do is have a diplomatic arrangement where we all are not shooting each other and they are all training their fire on the enemy of civilization, the enemy of peace. but there are long-standing problems between the turks and the kurds. every time i say it should be really easy, why don't the kurds and turkey move across the border to the new kurdish area and forget about claims in turkey? but i haven't a lot of people say that that will be easily done. there needs to be some kind of truce between the turks and the
kurds, and that is the more engaged, not less engage. i do think diplomacy is important and i think that's what people must take the whole concept of what a foreign policy is, that if you don't always believe that arms are the pentagon to always believe war is the answer, it doesn't mean we are shirking the region, going to do nothing. i think trade and diplomacy are important things. i think they go both ways. the more we are intertwined with an east not just buying oil but having presence there in the middle east, i meant through private business. i'm not talking about military installations but through private businesses. the more we are intertwined, the better. >> thank you. rachel oswald, "congressional quarterly." certainly around the wednesday vote, i've heard some expectations -- but at the same time it comes as the victims --
[inaudible] there is potential veto override happening. so i see two things linked in that these are two things that saudi arabia opposes and there is a bipartisan congressional support around. so even if this kurdish resolution doesn't seek, do you senators think that the ground in congress is changing and that future revolutions of this light may find more support? >> let me follow that up with a question as well, which is this. you rightly said, senator paul, that the russians have been in syria for decades. and i think, when i talk to folks in the region, even if they're totally opposed to assad, they recognize that the russians stick with allies. based on this question of what you're trying to do, doesn't that send the signal that unlike
many on the other side of the aisle under george w. bush. the two military excursions he was involved with, afghanistan and iraq. president obama ran in 2007 in one of his most famous statement i have quoted back to him as well as that no president should unilaterally go to war without the authority of congress unless we are under imminent attack. so one day we were having lunch, not just he not just he and i not just he and i., but several of the republican of the republican caucus that after those words and i said what about the war in libya? there was no congressional authority. do you no longer believe in what you said? he said no, there was an imminent attack. i said really? yeah, benghazi. i said you've got to be kidding me. your standard means imminent attack of a foreign city allows for the president to unilaterally initiate war.
that is a standard far different than what he presented in the most of us believe the president should be allowed to respond to an imminent attack of the united states. the same should be debated whether congress should be involved at the initiation of war whether we win or lose. we do those probably, but i think we bring attention to the issue. there's been no debate in our country come as your debate in the newspapers, on television whether we should be at war in yemen. none. or the ramifications of the war in yemen. almost zero. no real congressional debate over the war against hayes says or how it should ensue. >> the short answer to your question is yes, i think things are changing in congress when it comes to our perspective on the u.s. saudi relationship. i think you are seeing more willingness to challenge the nature of the relationship enacting positive.
i'm probably the loudest critic of our relationship, but i don't argue we should throw it out. i may realistically it i am somebody that believes there are important parts for appliances, but alliances go both ways. if your partner is doing things is not in your interest community to preserve the ability to start questioning your participation. it is be uncharitable to suggest the russians engage in value-based alliances. they are the classic realist player. as soon as a country decides to part ways with the russian national interest, fresh anomaly parts ways with use, but occasionally invade. the russians and ukrainians were partners on the verge of signing a new gas deal but the minute the ukrainian people decided they didn't like that deal, then there are russian troops inside of ukraine.
so i don't worry that russia is sending a message that we will always be with you come thick or thin. i think it's important for us to send a message that we do have value space allies in this world. they are inherent. they're in asia. that today, i don't know that we have a values-based part or in saudi arabia in the way that we do with many other countries we have treaties with other countries that we will hold up our end of the bargain. there are other alliances where it needs. >> thank you go for your initiative and are very clear explanation today of what you're
doing regarding congressional authorizations for the use of military force. if they were to be new to supplant the existing ones, which senator polyps are, don't really cover much of the military activity was undertaken in the middle east. how would each of you like to see such a resolution and let the objective should be, with the scope should be and how to limit should be either geographically. >> i would argue there should be a temporal limitation in a range of three to five years. let's talk about the authorization of military force against isis because they can also debate and authorization of military force against their duties, which i would argue would be appropriate given the circumstances. with respect to authorization, to be time-limited in three to five years.
i would argue a geographic specificity to it. the administration can propose what this geographic parameters should be. isis now has claimed affiliate in dozens upon dozens of countries of warmaking authority to the executive that ever someone claims to have an affiliation you now have authorization and i would argue a tax limitation as well. that is such a disaster -- disastrous mistake in the fight against isis they should be included in the authorization. we want to be relevant as the body that it would be appropriate to debate. >> senator murphy and i are close on this issue, maybe slightly different on the exact details. i do believe it should be temporarily limited and tax
limited. i would probably go for a year at a time. people say why would we come back every year. congress is so messy they never vote for anything. when we been attacked, we've been pretty unanimous. congress was unanimous to respond to those after world war ii within 24 hours we were fairly unanimous. i don't worry about times our national interest are clearly affected being able to go for something in congress. the other times have been less clear and still are less clear bonobos have been much closer. with regard to jabber fee, my site voted for a resolution basic with no temporal limit, no geographic limits and no tactical limits and i voted against it. the democratic side had some limit and i voted against that 12. it is different than fighting germany and japan.
we are not really fighting a government that is going to be clear when the three com. let's say, for example come you pay 200,000 american troops tomorrow. how long do you think victory would take? certainly we can do it in the day, today's commit three days as we had been stored, they would disappear. but what we have one? who's going to go in the aircraft carrier? i think they disappear. but i think that i love to believe in some people don't like to characterize this, but civilized islam will have to defeat radical islam or people who i think are truly reject any real teachings of islam because i don't think they'll ever accepted for months because
many, even those who are radicalized to live there css pagans are foreigners or satanic or whatever. they won't accept victory from us. that is on the ground need to be islamic boots on the ground. i think there are plenty of those in the area who don't think isis represents islam and they can be stamped out. i also like going back to the article thomas friedman wrote about containment and amplification. while we continue the madness we have our friends over there. i would support times, but it depends on how you get the arms. i think over time we should be getting many more directly to the kurds. that still help the iraqi government as well, but the kurds have shown themselves to be the best fighters in the region and the most successful and do better with more arms. the $100 billion suit in the saudi arabia would be better
spent going to the kurds. i think also that some of the weapons we've given the saudi arabia and some of my weapons we kind of had a big bowl full of weapons that we're passing them out if you like america, raise your hand. can i have a shoulder to air missile. we have no idea what the moderates are. no idea who the people are taking the weapons off these ships. many weapons from saudi arabia did wind up in the hands about missouri or isis. if we look at a aumf significantly limited the time, geography and is on the ground need to be people. [inaudible]
[inaudible] under the circumstances they would not ask any more to comply with the cease-fire. president putin made the statement that this was a horrible crime. now president assad made and announced that she's no longer complying with the cease-fire. then there was an announcement by both sides in november. now there is new information from moscow that the russians would have it here in 10 years this offensive. some of them are just announced
theme -- [inaudible] [inaudible] >> that's an interesting question. i will leave that to senator murphy. [laughter] >> that question has underlay beneath it the assumption that is ever present and never great in the city that the united states can solve this. he started the assumption that the united states can solve this. you're never going to come up with the right answer. that is i'm not going to give you the answer you want because there isn't an answer that begins and ends with the united states. if you start with the premise
the united states can solve common unit and that getting an answer that makes it worse, not better because your underlying assessment is fundamentally flawed. the hippocratic oath needs to apply to foreign policy as well. first, do no harm. as senator paul said i'm in full agreement. we have been so friendly to provide arms to anyone we think is ultimately going to fight the batter guys in tight that we've now ended up in situations in which u.s. items are used against each other. 10 and 20 and 30 years from now we will see more and more instances in which we threw both sides of the conflict. when you watch those videos and see those pictures, that's a totally and completely unsatisfied to reinsert that the united states cannot solve this. but how terrible must it feel to people inside syria that the
united states isn't that the very least helping to empty out the country of everyone that wants to flee. at the very least we should be reconsidering our commitment to take a amount of 10,000 syrians. we should be putting in every time necessary to help make sure that every refugee wherever they are in that region gets that. i don't think we can solve this alone. we should stop trying to fight u.s.-led, u.s. dominated solutions for this crisis. there will be a solution. we will participate that it will be led by the united states. what is most damning is the fact that we are not doing what is necessary to try to provide humanitarian relief, to bring refugees to this country and instead tried to come up with an answer to a question that's probably fundamentally flawed. >> you did answer the question. gentleman in the blue shirt. wait until you get a mic and
then tell us who you are. >> u-boats repeatedly taught about saturday's menu specifically mentioned in doing so in this country. i wondered if you would favor anything clamping down on their ability of especially america. congressman brad has apo that is called religious freedom reciprocity act that would lower funding and religious sect cities in the u.s. in their country. the >> you know, it is very sensitive issues the top of a restriction on religious foundations or churches or mosques or anything even if the money is coming in foreign sources. i'm a huge believer not only religious liberty, the freedom of speech as well, believing it should never be limited. however, some limitations can occur when you advocate islands
and the overthrow of the government. so yes, we also -- you could approach it in a slightly different way. you could also take away any kind of tax exemption, that she has to prove your case. i think yes, we should think about things like that. i'm not saying that advocate a specific bill, but for me it would be the abdication of violence in britain has begun doing some of this and it's insulting when you find someone who lives in your country and is using the system for electing not the system and attacking him calling for the violent overthrow of the country. they be thought through before you come to the conclusion on it. >> the gentleman next to the gentleman in the blue shirt. you had your hand up, too.
>> hello, my columns -- [inaudible] i wanted to cycle back in the fact the united states was an active participant in this war. my question is about the obligation the united states has been faced with credible allegations of violations of humanitarian law that we need to stop modern sales until there are credible investigations. do you think either of those two have been checked and if not why not switches back. >> i think he made a good point. it's a point that needs to be emphasized. this isn't just about selling arms to saudi arabia. i'm not a military person but that sounds like you are intimately involved in the war.
we selected targets and refuel planes. this isn't just about selling tanks and they pleased don't invade your neighboring country. one more point to one about the arms export control act of 1976 that as the disapproval revolution. in the resolution the items we sell to our friends, presumably only selling arms for a friend, it says that they need to be solely for internal use in legitimate self-defense, which i think the war in yemen is a violation. that's not for internal use or self-defense. i think that debate is happening. nobody's having the debate. we are going to have a debate this week on it and hopefully people will begin to discuss whether it's a good or bad idea. the key bar south of the four
and they are also right ways to "star wars" and wrong ways to fight wars. i believe i heard the american bar association issued a resolution in either tacit or implicit support of the legislation we discussed today. international lawyers and international human rights lawyers believe we have an obligation of the country to suspend arms sales when we acknowledge that international human rights agreements are being violated and they are inside saudi arabia today. one way to fight a war his work with aid organizations to make sure you're targeting is correct. i've heard multiple reports from organizations in my office telling me that they are not in contest with the coalition to provide the assistance and targeting in the way they have been in other conflicts throughout the world. there is clearly -- there is
clearly a right way to fight an engagement and a wrong way to fight an engagement. right now there is the u.s. imprint in part because simple things feed done inside the admin to reduce casualties. >> we have time for one more question. [inaudible] [inaudible] in my view and in the afternoon totally unjust.
connecticut. i will never make a decision that compromises u.s. national security in order to grow defense jobs in my state. that's the question we are asking ourselves here. if aqap joins a foothold inside yemen such that they can constitute a mastering the two attacked the united states the day after another few thousand americans are killed, there is no one who wants to hear that we participated in this war because they create additional jobs in the united states despite the fact we knew it was according to the detriment of the u.s. national security interests. i don't deny the defense industry is a major player when it comes to jobs in this state for the united states and saudi arabia as stronger import. the first job is to protect the country from this job and i
believe we put this country in jeopardy again if we don't get serious about bringing a settlement to the war inside yemen. that is my first obligation as a senator. >> i think senator murphy put it very well. our job is to vote for that country. defense contracts are not something that would come before individuals. when i think about how i will vote on any discussion or any decision with regard to more, i think of the young men and the neighboring town who lost both legs and an arm. that's who i'm voting for it is who's in the national interest of our country and do we want a strong defense industry? sure we do. i'm all for it for legitimate concerns and i were the strongest national defense and the world and we do. we should never see it as a jobs program and that we vote on it based on jobs versus
consideration of the individual you send to war. speed well, i have three takeaways of this discussion and i hope you share them. the first is a wonderful example of sensible bipartisanship. it really makes me feel good as an american. secondly, we've seen a very good case in foreign policy. again as these, the constitution says so. james mattison says so but it's good to know a few hundred years later it's still important. finally, whether you agree with the legislation of easter we heard a powerful case and that is, too. i want to thank the senators. thank you off for an excellent discussion today. thank you. [applause]
procedural vote to advance the bill. the vote has been rescheduled twice as numbers for behind-the-scenes to come to an agreement to move forward. we could hear more about this from majority leader mcconnell regarding remarks. and now live to the senate floor. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, every good and perfect gift comes from you