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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  September 30, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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debate between senator tim kaine and governor mike pence, we look at past vice presidential debates is saturday night at eight eastern on c-span started with a 1984 debate between george h. w. bush and geraldine ferraro. >> you can walk around saying things are great and that's what we will be hearing come within her that on those commercials for the past elements. i expect they expect american people to believe that. >> a deliberate 11.5% interest rates. they delivered what they called malaise o they delivered interet rates that were right off the charts. they delivered take-home pays, checks that were shrinking, and we delivered optimism. >> the 1980 debate with dan quayle and lloyd bentsen. >> i have far more experience than many others that sought the office of vice president of this country. i have as much experience in the congress as jack kennedy did win
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he sought the presidency. >> senator, i served with jack kennedy. i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you are no jack kenne kennedy. >> and the 2008 by special debate between joe biden and sarah palin. >> let's commit ourselves to everyday american people, joe six back and say never again. >> the middle class needs relief, actually. they need now. they need help now the focus will change it with barack obama. >> watch saturday on c-span2 watch it on and listen at 8 p.m. eastern on the c-span reader app. >> deputy secretary of state tony blinken now on the regional impact of the syrian conflict. also u.s. relations with russia
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and the fight against basis. the senate foreign relations committee heard from him yesterday. >> the senate foreign relations committee will come to order. we welcome our deputy secretary of state, tony blinken. i know he was in turkey until yesterday evening, and we moved to hearing back a day. i would note that we've been trying to get secretary carrie into for some time, but that has not been possible. i don't want to diminish your appearance because we're thankful to have you here, but t think for obvious reasons he's not been willing to come. i think the focus of today's hearing will be syria, and iar don't think anyone here can be proud of the united states role
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in what is the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time. and what we've done to enableme that to happen. as i think about your appearance here today, i think in many ways it will be helpful to us as we think about the next administration, and as we think about the next secretary of state. and as we think about the relationship that needs to exist between executive branch and the secretary of state's office. i know that you came over from the national security staff so you're at the white house. you came over to the state department. i know sometimes the executive branch folks would have on people at the state department and i know, for instance, you are two other yesterday but the president ordered you quote to turkey instead. it speaks to the the overlap that exist sometime between the
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executive branch and the department of state. as an observation, the entire syrian conflict, again is something that we are not proud of. i think anybody here is proud of. it's interesting that many of the people in the foreign policy establishment have, even though i think they would you the obama administration's foreign policy generally speaking as a failure, i think that's just an observation that i believe history will write. it's interesting that secretary clinton has received support. for much of the foreign policy establishment is so well-known that she's supposed to encountel so much of what has ended up happening and has lessened our standing in the world. i think that's the reason many
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people migrated. in the foreign policy establishment to work and are supporting a. i think all of us are aware of are trying to get what happened in iraq, trying to do more to support the rebels but i think that's just widely known. what is interesting to me as secretary kerry coming in, he came in with, he came in with a lot of excitement. many people thought he'd lived his whole life, if you will, to be secretary of state. he'd been involved in foreign policy since being a young person. he fought in vietnam and madead his will -- may disdain if you will. that moved i think he by many, by me, moved to anger as we watched what was happening in syria, was happening in iraq.
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now we have breakfast with him just a week and half ago and to me he has become somewhat of a sympathetic figure, and that he's out there trying to do with this, for instance, the situation in syria and yet there is no plan b. there is no support from the white house. we that general colin in your. we knew in march of 2015 who is on his behalf working hard to create a no-fly zone, was talking openly about. turkey was supporting the and yet no decision from the white house. the clearest example to me of why our foreign policy has been such a good was this weekend. i know ben and i were trying to set up a meeting to try to deal with the issue of jaff chastityy to come to some other option that might -- jasta -- for the victims of 9/11 and yet not undermine some of our sovereign immunity issues.
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i know i been talking to the white house for some time justr to engage with us over the weekend i talked to secretary twice, secretary twice. and we agreed the best way to resolve this was to have a meeting, a meeting with chuck schumer, john cornyn, with dan and myself, and meeting with senator reid and senatoror mcconnell, just to sit down and see if another option could be developed that might cause us to move in a direction so that would be an outlet for the people of 9/11 to have an outlet of some kind, and yet maybe not have some of the adverse consequences that some of us fear. secretary kerry couldn't even get the white house to call a meeting. let me say that one more time. the outburst yesterday on the white house over what happened is remarkable, when they wouldn't even sit down to meet with the secretary of state and
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us to try to create a solution to a problem that they felt was real. so i have to tell you, i think, all of you guys write books after you leave, i think it's going to be a fascinating walkwt through, what i believe to be a failed presidency as relates to foreign policy. and unwillingness to roll up f sleeves and deal with the tough issues that we have to deal with. and certainly there is no way to deal with them without conversation. and did not have a plan b always maybe you'll share a plan b in syria today where diplomatic actions cannot be backed upe because russia and assad relies there is no plan b. never has been a plan b.iz so i look forward to your testimony. i know i'm being a little tough on you today, but i think it'sui in response to just see him again why this failure has occurred, and that is the white
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house's inability to sit down, to get involved, to be willing to put forth taft consequences when things don't occur. and again, nothing could be more evidence of that van the unwillingness to even sit down and try to propose another way of dealing with the situation we dealt with yesterday on thero senate floor. to with that i turn to my good friend, senator cardin, and look forward to his opening comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary blinken, thank you for being here your chairman corker and i have been partners during most of this congress on this committee and we shared very similar views about foreign policies and priorities, and we've had an opportunity to work together on many, many issues. as i was listening to senator
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corker at the beginning of his comments, i felt we're going to be able to continue that withof his nice comments about secretary clinton. because i share those views on secretary clinton'sextraord extraordinary talents to conduct foreign policy. anti-shia senator corker's frustration on jasta. i think that was highlighted through circumstances that neither he nor i could control, nor could the administration control. and that is that the timing of jasta required us to take the veto override before the recess. i think if we could've had the veto override during the lame-duck session, we would've had more opportunity to explore ways in which we could try to accomplish the needed removal of sovereign immunity that stand in the path of the victims of 9/11, but do it in a way that does not cause the risk factors that this
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legislation causes. neither senator corker nor i quite frankly the leadership or the president could affect the timing, because the timing the president had to act within a a certain number of days, that congress was required to take up the veto message immediately ane leslie at unanimous consent, which was unlikely to be able to be got worksite think it was a position where options were nots as robust as i would have liked him to have been. that included th the presidents options. so i'm not as critical of senator corker this administration or secretary kerry. i know secretary felt pretty passionately about the jasta legislation. he expressed his views. i had a chance to be with secretary kerry on the plane for a considerable third of time and use that opportunity to explore every opportunity we had here today with jasta. i very much admire secretaries -- secretary kerry's optimism
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and his unrelenting pursuit of peace in every part of the world, and we had a chance to experience that firsthand at columbia, as a sought after by decades of civil war, the peacev agreement signed this past monday and i was proud to be there with the secretary kerry. secretary blinken, welcome back to the senate foreign relations committee. it's not everyday that we have a star from "sesame street" with us. for anyone who was not seen secretary blinken's guest appearance with grover, i encourage you to watch them, discuss reviews with everyone's favorite furry blue monster before the president's summit on refugees during the u.n. general assembly session. we know that you are just returned from a trip to turkey. we look forward to learning about your discussions there given turkey's critical role in the success of the counter-isil campaign, ending the conflict in
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syria, and for broader regional stability. so it would be good, i know this thing is on syria and turkey is clearly a major player here. charged with oversight of the state department, the members of this committee have a fundamental interest in the success of u.s. diplomacy and u.s. leadership in the foreign policy arena. macy secretary kerry is correct in his belief that the tools of diplomacy should always be theet preferred method for stopping violence, saving lives, and restoring stability. i want to commend the dedication of secretary kerry, yourself, and all of our nation's diplomats who have worked around the clock with both allies and adversaries to forge an agreement to end the violence in syria. that's what we need to do. there is no way to end of the civil war through military. we need to be able to have a negotiate a diplomatic solution where all sides respect a
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government that respects its rights. but now we are clearly at an inflection point. the u.s.-russia ceasefiree agreement was based on the assumption that russia could compel the assad regime to ground its air force, that russia would compel the assad regime to allow immediate and unfettered humanitarian access. we have clearly seen that neither of these two objectives were achieved. russia strives to be considered a peer, one that is essential to solving global problems. gl but i seriously question therusi reliability of russia in thisust regard. we must reevaluate our approach to russia, in the middle east and beyond the middle east. russia continues to attackck ukrainian forces in donbass. it illegally occupies crimea. it has hacked into our computeri systems and sought to destabilize our electoral process. these are not the actions of ae
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partner, but an adversary. i think we have to recognize that. with our focus on russia, cannot lose sight of iran's nefarious role in syria and beyond. we know that iran is backing the assad regime economically and militarily. irgc commanders have died fighting in syria. iran has mobilized militia died fighters, provided intelligencea to support syrian and russian targeting, send in lethal aid, and mobilized hezbollah. there must be consequences for these actions, and there are plenty of tools we have at our disposal. i reject the utterly falsee at o narrative that iranian and russian activities in syria constitute counterterrorism. i look forward to hearing from you, mr. blinken, on what more deny states is considering and how august can be your partner. turning to iraq, the counter-isil fight is just the forst step in restoring stability. i am cautiously optimistic that
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the military operation to pushst isil out of mosul is resourcedum and planned to achieve its goals. but beyond military operations, i want to raise the alarm bells about winning the peace. about i i think we win the war. but can we win the peace? iraqi leaders in baghdad must get their act together. the past few months of political infighting and mud throwing instill no confidence that leaders in baghdad, erbil, andle other provincial level are prepared to put the iraqi people first. we know that the iraqi security forces, kurdish peshmerga forces, and other forces cannott fight or bomb their way to a stable iraq. what will come after isil's defeat? q. i am not confident that iraq's leaders are sufficiently engaged to respond to the humanitarianbe crisis coming when hundreds of thousands of civilians fleed mosul. i am not confident that iraq's leaders are effectively in control of popular mobilization forces to prevent sectarian reprisal violence. i am not confident that iraq's leaders are committed to ance b
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recovery, stabilization, and governance plan that will give all iraqis a stake in peace. ce weeks ago i would have said that the situation in the region could not be any worse. now we know that it can. russia is guilty of war crimes for bombing a humanitarian aid convoy. assad is barrel bombing aleppo with impunity and using water access as a weapon, as if denying humanitarian aid was not sufficiently deplorable. these are crimes against humanity. e crim the longer assad remains entrenched in damascus and thenc longer isil and nusra front remain active in the region, the more depraved this situation becomes, the more hopeless are innocent civilians, the more susceptible are vulnerable populations to violent extremism, and the more strained are governments in jordan and lebanon to respond to these pressures. at risk is an entire generation of children in the region who have only known war and friendly
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governments who want to standemt within the been unsuccessful. at risk is an entire generation of children who will only know refugee camps, who do not have access to clean water, healthcare, school, and employment opportunities. this situation cannot continue. the u.s. must provide more decisive leadership to protect the civilian population.. >> i appreciate your comments. i think this is what we've been saying since the about 2011. my comments about secretary kerry being a sympathetic figure really are not negative towards them. keys out of their without the ability to do diplomacy because everyone knows there's going to be no backup effort in the evene
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diplomacy fails, which is a recipe for disaster. we've known that now for five years. so again it was more of an indictment of the president that our secretary of state. but with that, our deputy secretary of state tony blinkenn who we appreciate being here today as a substitute, and we thank you for your service and look forward to your abbreviated comments, your written testimony without objection we entered into the record. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. let me start by thanking you personally as well as the committee staff for your courtesy in rescheduling this hearing today. as you know it was originally going to be yesterday. i very much appreciated. it did allow me to make this trip to turkey which unhappy talk about. and secretary gordon, thank youo for the meeting in new york with grover. by far the most informative and interesting session. mr. chairman, ranking member
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cardin, most of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to discuss the civil war in syria and its regionalim implications. now in its sixth year, the crisis has destroyed the fabric of life in syria, killed at least 400,000 people, triggered the worst human displacement crisis since the end of world war ii, put neighboring countries of first asylum under enormous pressure, exacerbated regional tensions, and helped swell the ranks of violent extremist organizations, most notably daesh and al-qaeda. the conflict continues to be fueled by patrons and proxiesa'n with divergent interests and priorities at a time oforities unprecedented upheaval across the wider middle east, as governments pursue new models of political rule and vie for new positions of regional influence in short, the syrian conflictin presents one of the most complex challenges we have faced.the unt
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the united states is clear eyed about our role and responsibility. the civil war in syria is not about us, nor can it be solved solely by us. but it challenges our security and strategic interests and our moral values. so we are working to leverage our countries unique capacity to mobilize others to in the civil war and contend with its consequences. even as we lea we the internatil coalition to counter and ultimately defeat daesh. we are also working to facilitate aid to civilian to try to reduce the human something. our primary task is to defeat daesh, which poses the most immediate threat to our citizens, our country, and our allies. we built an international coalition with 67 partners. we devised a comprehensive strategy to attack daesh at its core in iraq and syria, dismantle its foreign fighter,ta financing and recruitment networks, stop its external operations and confront its affiliates. we are aggressively implementing that strategy.
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and we are succeeding. our conferences campaign to systematically britain territory from daesh and tonight it's sanctuaries. cutting off its financing, stemming the flow of foreign fighters, combating its narrative, like citizens to return home, cutting the twisted foundation of which dashes global ambitions rest. we are deprived daesh of about 25% of the territory it once controlled in syria and more than 50% of the territory it once controlled and iraq. we now face a moment of both strategic opportunity and urgency. the opportunity is to effectively eliminate daesh'sre geographic caliphate by taking back the last big pieces it holds, mosul in iraq and raqqa and dabiq in syria. with support from the coalition, local forces are preparing to launch these operations in the period ahead. these battles will be hard by
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the consequences to daesh will be devastating both practically and psychologically. but this opportunity is matched the urgency. as the noose around the issues tightening we've seen them try to adapt by plotting or encouraging indiscriminateg attacks is in place as possiblel this but to bring on destroying their actual oppression network especially in raqqa women in these operations are plotted, a planned and directed. in iraq two weeks ago and then in turkey this week.ld discu i held discussion with the partners on the campaign plan to liberate mosul, in raqqa. not just militarily but also to ensure the we meet the humanitarian stabilization and governance needs of nearlyly liberated territory. it will be discovered that ensures that daesh once defeated state defeated. senator cardin, i think you're exactly right that innocents are equations almost what follows the military defeat of the daesh in iraq conservancy. ultimately, we will not fully
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succeed in destroying daeshti until we resolve the civil war in syria which went a powerful magnet for foreign terrorist organizations to draw strength. the objectives and processes that we agreed to earlier this month with russia were the right ones. avenue of the cessation of hostilities, the immediate resumption of unhindered aid deliveries, the degradation of an focus on daesh and al-qaeda industry, the running of the syrian air force over seven populations, the beginning of the student led negotiating track that can provide a pathway out of the conflict thing possible the restoration of thee united peaceful secret the actions of the assad regime in russia aided and abetted byed by jihadists boilers now this plan to undermine this initiative can destroy what was the best prospect for ending the civil war. the september 19 attack on thee u.n. humanitarian aid convoy
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near aleppo was unconscionable.a it's been followed by the regime and russia renewing a horrific offensive in aleppo that includes the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians and apparently intentional attacks on hospitals, the water supply network, others of an infrastructure. yesterday secretary informed the foreign minister of russia that unless russia takes immediate steps to end the assault onak aleppo and restore the cessation of hostilities, the united states will suspend u.s.-russian bilateral engagement on syria including this township of the joint implementation center. at present on the stretcher we also actively considering other options to advance our goal of ending the civil war and starting a political transition in syria. we continue to maintain close links to the moderate oppositiok to support their viability. its importance osha member how this crisis in syria begin, not with barrel bombs or chlorine but with peaceful protests of citizens who were calling for peaceful change. documenting pedestrian that we
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birdwood is to as a outgrowth and, indeed, the cost is rising every day. for the region, for europe, most of all for the syrian people. we will continue to work with the coalition built to defeat daesh and we will explore and as appropriate pursue every option to end the civil war and bring about political transition the syrian the people want and deserve. think it very much mr. chairmano >> i'm just going to ask one question and then may interject as we go along. your is it from your perspective having been both at the white house and now the stateou department in an important role, is it your observation that the only way for us to be successful in our foreign policy endeavors and for the secretary of state to be successful is for the to be a close relationship between the white house and the second estate, and the knowledge thatg the white house will back up the initiatives that the secretary of state endeavors to achieve?
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>> i think, mr. chairman, in any administration you certainly want -- >> that's a yes? >> executive branch. >> we've had, i know, numbers of the proposals from the state department, including the no-fly zone in a northwest triangle of aleppo and the air exclusion zone along the turkish-syrian border that the turks were supportive of. why is it that in that case, in the case right now where secretary is out there on a tether, you just mentioned that we're going to cut off bilaterao negotiations on syria. i mean, i just have a feelingot this is just a much of a price to pay from russia's standpoint. so there's been discussion of plan b. secretary talked to several of us in munich in february about
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the cessation discussions, and it's going to be a plan b if they failed. i've never seen signs of a plan b. i know russia doesn't believe there is a plan b. assad doesn't believe there is a plan b. iran doesn't believe there's a plan b. so when i say, whatever for tone sympathetic figure, how can a second estate have any chance of success in ending the murder, the torture, rape, the bombing of innocent people, the killing of young people? how does a secretary of statee have any chance of success when the white house is unwilling at any level to have a backup to what he' he is doing if diplomay fails to? >> mr. chairman, on all of these issues including syria we worked through a very deliberative process involving all of the agencies relevant to the issue. at the nfc with the state department, with the pentagon
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come with intelligence agencies, et cetera. and we try to work through thesw things deliberatively and make the best possible assessment of the best way to advance ourto interests, and to evaluate both the benefits and risks of any course of action. that's what we've done in this case. a policy that emerges is the product of these collaborations, that the secretary of state is very much fully a part of. .. i think it's useful for a second to step back and ask yourselves this question, how do civil war particularly ended and we know from experience. >> i don't want a history lesson. i would just like to understand what plan b is. the plan b has been referred to it since february and was supposed to be leveraged to get russia to quit killing innocent people, to get assad to quit
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killing innocent people. just explain to us the elements of plan b. >> two things mr. chairman. two things mr. chairman, in the first instance, plan b is the r consequence of the failure of the result of russia's actions of plan a. what's likely to happen now, if the agreement cannot be followed through on and russia reneges on its commitments, which it appears to have done, is this is going to be bad for everyone but it's going to be bad, first and foremost. >> i understand all of the context here. i think this is important because russia has a profound incentive in trying to make this work. it can't win in syria. it now gets to the point where the civil war actually accelerates. all of the outside patrons are
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going to fill in more and more weaponry and they will be left propping up ashad and a smaller piece of syria. >> what is plan b. give me the elements of plan b. so two things, the consequences to russia as well as to the regime will begin to be felt as a result of plan a not being implemented because of russia's actions. second, as i indicated, the president has asked all of theo agencies to put forward options, some familiar, some new new that we are very actively reviewing. when we are able to work through these in the days ahead, we wilr have an opportunity to come back and talk about them in detail. >> so let me just say what we arty no, there is no plan b and when i referred to sec. carey as a sympathetic figure, i say that because he gets up every day,
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some say he should resign over lack of support or at least threaten to, but there's no support. it's impossible to be successfuc in negotiating an agreement wite someone if there is no consequences. in this case the consequences that you are lying out is that russia will fully determine the future of syria.tu >> i think russia is going to bear significant consequences as a result. >> that hasn't been the case and i know that's what the president said when they came in and stepped into the vacuum a year ago. i rest my case. the promisee without any plan of failure is something that cannot be successful and again, based on my experiences this weekend, with the administration who is unwilling to even sit down and talk about a solution with the
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people who are involved because they think this is bad for our country, but unwilling to sit down and talk about a possible option, it just leads me to believe that we will continue to have non- success in syria, non-success success in other areas and again, all of us have tremendous sadness over the fact that our country has idle he sat by after encouraging the people of syria, ambassador ford was cheering these people on. we have made commitments to the opposition which, i remember meeting with the general in turkey, we, we couldn't even get him the trucks we committed to. it's a statement without a plan, it's a statement of redlines without follow-up and again, i fear more bad results are going
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to occur. with that i turn it to senator menendez.nd >> let me think the ranking member for yielding time. we have had a train derailment in new jersey with fatalities so i need to get back. i appreciate the priority, this is an incredibly important priority. i think think we had a lot of missed opportunity that this committee has passed with a strong bipartisan vote to train and assist the syrian rebels, moderate syrian rebels at the time that that could be done and gave the president the power and the wherewithal to do that. it wasn't done then and then when it was done it was done so feebly that those trains were largely eliminated. instead of having a safe zone which many of us call for which would have given individuals thw opportunity to have an ability
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for security and may be to organize those who might want to fight for the country, that wasn't done and i see what's happened to date and the one thing your written testimony, you talked about dash but you say that we are not going to succeed. [inaudible] they have terrorist organizations that thrive in ungoverned areas. that's the problem here, having missed opportunities, now creating a vacuum where russia comes in, i keep hearing the equation that russia will come to an understanding that it is paying very large consequences for its participation. that doesn't change theirte
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calculation at all. as a matter of fact, they avoid ashad in this process. i think the temporary truce that was created never had a real calculation to actually effectuate the results that secretary carry intended which i would've applauded but it was to give ashad the ability to rearmo and reorganize and then immediately incredible despicable attacks made against umana tearing calm voice. my question is this, i would've asked what plan b is too. i don't get a sense that there is one and that worries me, i don't think we should wait for the next president to start devising something that moves in that direction. i understand that sec. carey has threatened to end bilateral talks with russia over syria but i can't fathom for the life of me what those talks are
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producing anyhow. russia seems to agree only for the purposes of giving aside time to rearm and regroup. what leverage do we really have. what are we doing here to russia to change its calculation because now, whether we like it or not, they are the major i have had a totally different view that russia does not share our angles. they do not have the same interests as we do. they have a different set of values. what leverage specifically do we have, why are we still engageda in a conversation where we have a partner that continues torp undermine our purposes in syria as well as the international community which is why, i understand some british and french counterparts walked out of the meeting recently at the un. >> thank you senator.
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two things. first we believe that the effort that we have made to reach this agreement with russia was the best way to effectively move toward ending the civil war. how to succeed it and we will know in the hours ahead whetherr russia is responsive of not or not, the hostilities would be restored, you would get the syrian air force out of the sky, it would be focused as it claims it has been on iso-ld >> we understand the benefit if it had succeeded. >> it's not going to succeed because russia doesn't want to. >> i know this may not fully resonate, but first, russia escalated its engagement in syria because it's been therete
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all along. it was at risk of losing its- only foothold in the middle east. it came in harder in order to a save aside from falling in a time that it looks like he would i think that was overly optimistic. it's now in a position where having gotten in, it's very, very hard to get out because asad cannot win. the leverage in the first instance is that consequences for russia are being stuck in a quagmire that will have profoundly negative effects. it will be bearing the brunt if the civil war escalates as aonsu result of outside weaponry. it will be seen in their own country in their own country and throughout the world as complicit in the slaughter of sunni muslims, 15% of their own population.
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>> do we agree they are already complicit on that. >> indeed but this is only going to get worse if the civil war gets worse as a result of their action. any efforts they have been making to peel away countries, for example, on ukraine, i think the international discuss at the actions are taking in aleppo will make that more difficult than it already is. all of these are there, but as i said, we are very actively looking at additional options we can bring to bear to advance our objectives in syria. those are ending the civil war and getting a transition.he >> i know what the objectives are, i just don't know what the suggestions are that can be levied. get inc. mr. chairman. what has happened has happened. i think history will reflect
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decisions that were made and whether they were the right decisions at the time. we need to learn from the past and decide how to move forward. there is no question there is an urgent need to protect civilian life in syria. the united states needs to act globally. i am encouraged by your comments that they will be very significant consequences for russia's actions.anslated i look forward to seeing how that is translated into foreign policy and working with other countries. we need bold, us-led actions to protect civilian lives. we need that now, i look forward to revealing with you the options that are be considered and the actions that are being l taken in the significant consequences surrounding russia.
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i want to ask you a specific question. could russia have stopped the asad regime from what they have done in the past few weeks and does russia have enough influence over the asad regime to change their behavior? >> i believe the answer is yes. >> number two, iran has been extremely engaged in syria. i have not seen the u.s. take action or work with the international community to take action against iran in regards to their support of terrorism in syria. are we restricted because the jc poa? my understanding is the terms of the jc poa do not restrict us but has there been diplomatic restrictions as a result of the jc poa that has limited our ability to hold iran responsible
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for its actions in syria. >> the answer is no, senator. >> why have we taken action against iran? >> we have and indeed we continue with regard iran. >> with regard to sanction activities in syria. >> yes >> new sanctions? >> yes there have been new sanctions in iran that have been seen to support the regime. >> i understand we have sanctions that are related to the various actions, other than the nuclear activities but i'm not aware that we had increased those sanctions are looked at ar ways in which we could apply more pressure against iran. it's my understanding that we've been pretty guarded in these activities. >> we put together at the outside various sanctions regard to syria to isolate and put pressure on the regime and those sanctions also include
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sanctioning individuals or entities who do business in very ways with the regime and military, et cetera. in that context, my understanding is that they have been sanctioned. >> you said the president inspect instructed them to look at all options in regard to the current prices in as part of that taking actionetd against iran? >> i don't want to get ahead of where we are in our discussions, but iran is clearly, along with its proxy the most serious impediment to ending the civil war and its support for the regime. as i said at the outset, i believe given the support that russia has provided, they've gotten greater since they increased their engagement, it
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to has the capacity to change the regime. there's no question that iranta and hezbollah are the mostegime. important supporters of the regime.ld w >> i think you would agree with me that since the greater jc poa has been agreed upon, iran has shown no slowing down of their activities in syria. i would hope that we would see some aggressive u.s. leadership to make it clear that that conduct doesn't get a free pass because of the jc poa. i would hope that would be part of the options that are being considered. let me also say, in regard to russia, it's not an isolated problem we are having with russia. russia has attacked america through cyber, trying to compromise our electoral process. russia has violated immense agreements and is causing
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ukraine to be compromised today. i could list a lot of other activities that russia is participating in. as we look at very significant consequences that russia willt play as a result of their failure to live up to the cease-fire agreement, i hope that in that equation we will go with those other activities so there is a very clear message to russia that u.s. leadership will not tolerate that activity. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. ranking member, i am sure if there is a plan b, i would love to have a classified briefing. i think we all understand it is nonexistent and the only thing that is existent is words. >> thank you secretary for being
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here and your statement you mentioned russia six times, as you should they are they are clearly involved, but there's omission, i do not believe you mentioned iran a single time. until the senator just raise that i'm not sure it was discussed in terms of his role in this region. earlier you said you couldn't guarantee to the american people that the funds iran has received as a result of payments that were made in the jc poa have not been used for terrorism. i think it's common sense thatnm they would do that. they're guarding council instructed its central bank to transfer $1.7 billion billion dollars to the military of iran. i don't think that number is a coincidence. we have seen the top irg see commander. [inaudible] i think the first thing we need to point to is the fact that these pallets of taxpayer dollars have ultimately helped
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them help russia target innocent syrians in the quest to increase the dominance to the region and prop up the side.gain i again, i don't know know how we justify the transfer of all of these funds to the iranian regime knowing that the reigning regime is deeply involved in propping up the asad regime and in the process providingpr assistance to all of these. how do we justify that? >> thank you senator.s first as we know, you been soo focused on this for many years, iran has been engaged in the support of terrorism and destabilizing activity including syria for a long time. during sanctions, before the agreement, during the negotiation of the agreement ani indeed since sanctions have been lifted.. their conduct has been consistent throughout. again, they were doing this
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before when they had the sanctions regime in place because of the nuclear program for the one thing that has changed as we have taken a nuclear weapon off the table which is profoundly good for our interest in the interest of our partners and as we set all along, we fully expected that they would continue to take these actionsse in various ways and in various places after the agreement and that's why we have worked on to continue to increase our counter we have worked with our golf partners building up their capacity, we just signed a record breaking agreement withal israel and we continue to implement sanctions. >> i apologize, the 11 thing that's changed, basically were involved in terror before and there involved in terror now and i consider aside to be part of that. the only thing that has changes we have made it harder for them to acquire nuclear weapons
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capability.. they now have access to millions and millions of dollars thate they didn't have access for and they now have millions of dollars more than they once did for there's no evidence they'red using it to build hospitals, bridges, roads, sponsor sponsor food programs around the world, we don't see convoys from iran providing food and medicine to those suffering in syria. we see an increase support tors the asad regime and support for terrorism. the only thing that has changedd as they now have more money than they didn't have a year ago, billions of dollars. >> the vast bulk of the resources that they have as access to as a result of the agreement or the settlement,em these funds have been dedicated to the economy, not to regional activities. under the nuclear agreement, weu believe that i have access to roughly $50 billion dollars that have been frozen or restricted in foreign accounts.
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they need half a trillionping u dollars to meet their needs. as i said, they haven't gauged a laugh in these activities before, during and after and also unfortunately a lot of the support that they're providing to terror and proxies is not ve very resource intensive. that's why, even as we have implemented the agreement which is our is a very good thing for our allies and partners,. >> even if we assume what you said is true cap that the money has been used, if that were the case, that domestic economy would then produce more revenue that they could use to fulfill the funding needs of their priority which is terrorism in the propping up of aside. the point to the average americans watching this issue, here's the bottom line. you have the supreme sponsor of terrorism who now has billions of dollars more than they once did and we are supposed to believe the bulk of it is being used to prevent economy and it's
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not being used to increase theha aims elsewhere in the world again, i think think this is just another example of how this deal and others have provided more resources to the iranian regime to continue to do what they did. one of the things they did but the money they have been given is that they are able to fundhe their initiatives and their airstrikes. they are decimating aleppo and creating a situation on the ground that we have not seen in decades anywhere in the world. >> thank you for being here this morning.g. sadly i have to say that i share my colleagues views that despite the best intentions that our
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policies in syria will contribute to where we are today there was a news report that just came over the russiaor rejected our demand for syrian cease-fire and they have vowedo to press ahead with their operations in syria. i guess that says to me, and i think the news has been very clear that russia has escalated the civil war in syria. they intend to continue to do that. asad continues to do that. e i'm not going to beat the plan b horse because i appreciate that you have not been able to share with us what might be being considered. maybe your not able able to talk about what options are being discussed that we might still
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have in syria, but it seems to e me that we need to look at all of those options because theopts current offer is not working and i appreciate the arguments you're making, i just don't think they're working. >> let me go on to a couple of other areas where i'm interested in what you can share with us. on the leader summit, on refugee , i thought yourr appearing on sesame street was r good thing, nice to let long young people know what's going on but can you talk about which states have been particularly generous, what has has come out of that summit, what is being looked at to implement the commitments that have been made at the summit. >> thank you very much, senator. >> as you no, we are facing the
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largest number of human displacement. this is a global crisis. the president brought together and to take action and do something about it and that's exactly what they did. there were three objectives that we had going into the summit. who wants get more resources into the chinese support system because as the committee knows, unfortunately it's underfundeded and overmatched by the scale and scope of the problem that were facing. we wanted to get more resourcesr
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in and get more countries that haven't participated as much to participate or do more. we succeeded. we have countries told to put in for the next year about 30% more than they did in 2015. were looking at billions of edition dollars for the system. second, we were looking for countries to make additionalr commitments and we thought to double the number. third and finally, we wanted to help build the resilience of countries that are receiving refugees, the countries of first refuge and asylum. they have four extraordinary burdens with millions of refugees in some countries. we want to increase support them but we also wanted them to makeb additional commitments to make sure that children can go to
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school and adults can go to work because as the senator said, we do risk a lost generation if they're not able to run on the need 1 million places first students to go to school and another 1 million jobs. these are significant and real and concrete. that said, ultimately, the answer to a lot of this has to be result in the underlying conflict that are causing people to flee and leave their homes and families and put their lives and their children in jeopardy. we recognize that and that of course is why it's so important to work to end this conflict in syria. we did make a major advance in the critical thing will be to make sure the countries make good on their commitment and will be looking at that very carefully. >> thank you. my time is up so i will wait for the next round for further question. >> thank you, senator murphy.
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>> thank you for being with us today.nk a, and then a question. at the heart of the most spectacular u.s. foreign policyc failures of the last 50 years, is hubris, is this idea that there is a u.s. solution, usually of a u.s. military solution to every problem in the world. you can read vietnam and iraq and libya through that lens. this idea that is being offered on this committee by both sides of the aisle, but there are these clear alternatives to the current policy in syria or iraq i would lead to a radically different reality on the ground
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is fantasy. i hate the place we are in today. it is an ongoing global tragedy but this idea that there is a magic moment in 2012 that we could've parachuted onto the syrian rebels and they would've overrun aside is not true. russia and iran have had, for very long time, equities in that country that are unequal to ours. they are always going to come to the defense of asad. this asad that -- this idea that it would magically change the idea on the ground is a fantasy as well. our own military leaders have thrown cold water on this idea because it would involve some major ground forces to make it meaningful and there are very few people in this congress were willing to support the major deployment of ground forces.i ju i just say this because maybe,ng just maybe every bad thing that happens in the world isn't the fault of failed u.s. policy and maybe just maybe there are times
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and places where there is not always a u.s. answer. i think we can be incredibly helpful. i think we can work with partners to make the situation better. i read the last three years as a continued ramp up, albeit very slowly, of year u.s. military engagement in syria and the situation on the ground is getting worse and worse and worse. not better and better and better i think history should probably teach us that those two things are likely not a coincidence. i do believe there are decisions the administration is it looking at. this is a hard problem with no easy solution. pterate from an : us-led solutions.
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let me ask you a question about where the failing of hubris could get us in trouble in the coming weeks and months and that is in those old. so a new announcement that we are going to put 600 more u.s. military personnel on the g not an investment we are going to make a diplomatic surge in and around mosul to try to solve some of the governance problems in that city.y. so share with us, maybe share with me in answer to my skepticism that a military surge is ultimately going to solve the political problems that you correctly identify as the most intractable. we don't have a military quagmire in iraq. we could solve the military problem in a heartbeat of putting in another 200,000 troops backing.
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we have a political problem. so mosul seems to be to been example of where you have responded to pressure to try toy make progress i announced a military surge. i have no doubt that with 600 or 1200 or 1400 u.s. troops we will get the military objected that we want in mosul, but how does that give us the political solution? it is an incredibly diverse province, and what allowed for isa to overrun molded first place was nothing military. it was a political vacuum inin that city. how do we make sure there is a political component so that our military hubris that we often have doesn't get us in the samen exact situation that it is over and over again in that region? region? >> if every chance i would like to come back to your opening comment i want to answer your question. mosul is and will be the culmination in the iraq sight of
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the theater of the counter isil or counter daesh campaign. as i said at the outset in my opening remarks, it's a vitally important opportunity to deny isil its physical geographic caliphate which is been at the heart of its narrative and at the heart of its ability to project success. so it's vitally important, but your comments are also vitally important because you're exactly right, that this cannot be and is not just a military effort. we are working on multiple tracks at the same time in a coordinated fashion.n.tracks on the military piece, making sure that all of the forces arer coordinated under one plan with iraqi leadership but bringing in all of the critical elements to put the iraqis agree force, the kurdish peshmerga and critically tribal elements. there is now an objective of raising about 15,000 memberss from the tribes and we will on track to do that.
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that's part one. party was making sure that we have in place all of the capacity we need to do with what allegedly documenting crisis of seizing mosul and in particular internally displaced persons. the u.s. project and it could be up to 1 million people forced to flee mosul as a result of the effort to liberate you. we're working very hard with you and come with iraqis to put inin place everything that they need to care for these people with food, shelter, medicine your ann that also is on track. it's challenging but it's on track. we've raised the money to do itt third, stabilization of mosul itself so that people something to go back as quickly as possible. we pray significant resources. have a plan in place to restore basic services, basic security. fourth and finally, you're exactly right, governance. because elizabeth basic governance structure is in place and everyone agrees to it, we are going to have problems after
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the liberation to we worked very hard with iraqi government, with the kursk and with other actors to make sure there's basic agreement on what governance will look like in mosul centered on the governor who is a constitutionally appropriate person for the province, the provincial council but also persons designated by baghdad and viabl but rubble to supportm in the city itself in effect divided up into eight quadrants with someplace to make sure that as much as possible those makiny decisions are very closely representative of the people for whom they are making decisions.o so this is a coordinated effort and you're right, it has to bring all of these elements and that's exactly what we're working on. we've tried to learn lessons frome the past year in fallujah when it was liberated as you know we saw some reprisal atrocities committed by the shia pms, popular mobilization forces. we have made sure that for mosul
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there will be no southern or shia pmf went into mosul city, similarly no kurdish peshmerga going in. and as i said a significant hold force comprised of members of the sunni tribes from the region both in the street forces in in the police. so we try to learn from that and also as they are screened before they go to find refuge provided to them by the government and by the united nations, we want to make sure that process is done as quickly as possible keeping comes together and again without any of the divisive elements be part of it including the shia pmf. we very much have that in mind. just very quickly on your initial comment i do think it's important that we not be bound by history but we be informed by. in the case of syria, we do know this. civil wars throughout history of into basically in one or three ways. one side wins. that is not likely to happen anytime soon.
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the dynamic we've seen is this is one side gets the advantage the outside patrons of the other side, and with more and right the balance. that's been what's happened. so what the dynamic is, outside paid to make sure no one loses in theory but it's very, very hard to make sure the one side wednesday the second way these things in his the parties exhaust and so. tragically what we see in history at least is that that takes on average 10 years. syria is in year seven. [inaudible] >> when there are most -- multiplicity factors that called it takes longer the third was outside intervention in the military or political. military intervention of the scale necessary to actually end the conflict is technically possible but then whoever does that is going to be left holdinb a very, very heavy bag with all of the unintended consequencesnn
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and i don't think united states nor for that matter russia or any other actors prepared to do that. at least in effect outside powers, the united nations and others trying to put in place and as necessary imposed some kind of political resolution. that's a we've been working because we see that as the best way to try to in this. >> thank you. i always appreciate my friend senator murphy's comments and perspective, and i think hubris certainly is something that can be the downfall of all of us. i will say that hubris also from the standpoint of making big statement of what the united states is going to do raises people's expect nations. i think we certainly have made bold statements about what we're going to do relative to syria that were followed up with almost nothing. and in that case we call the
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sons and daughters and sons in daughters of those in the syrian opposition to be slaughtered as they waited for those things that we stated we're going to do but never did. >> thank you, mr. chairman very much. secretary blinken, last october former president jimmy carter wrote in the "new york times" that since 2011, the unitedes states preconditioned that assad must go, has reinforced escalation of serious civil war and inhibited serious discussion about compromised solutions. last wednesday president carter published a follow-up piece in the times calling on the entireo international community to focus for now on just one imperative, stop the killing. he wrote the discussion should focus on the goal of to rarely freezing the existing territorial control without the government, the opposition of the kurds giving up their arms. additionally, measures should be agreed upon to stabilize
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conditions in territories controlled by these belligerents with guarantees of unrestricted access to humanitarian aid. secretary blinken, what do you think about that proposal? the united states could advance that even in the absence of russian or serious agreement by proposing a chapter seven u.n. security council resolution requiring all parties to immediately stop the killing, stabilize civilian populations and ensure full access too stab humanitarian relief for all victims of this war. russia's ongoing atrocious behavior in aleppo makes it clear that they would not support such a resolution. however, it would put them on notice that at the united nations we are about to this global discussion of the need to just stop the killing. can you talk about president carter's proposal, what you think about it? and putting aside the assad moscow movement for the time
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being so that we can just begin to put into this humanitarian crisis. >> thank you very much. forgive me because i haven't read aside like to be able to read it in detail but i have heard your description of it. first, in effect what we've been trying to achieve with russia's support is cessation of hostilities that would in effect in the violence. the provision of imaging assistance to people who need it in beseiged areas, and a as i sd is as i said as well taking the syrian air force out of the skies over civilian private areas and getting everyone tott focus on the common enemy which is daesh and al-qaeda or al-nusra. so in effect those were the first steps that we thought were so critical. if we're able to take those steps we would then have in place the conditions under which all of the parties could begin
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to negotiate a political transition. >> but it's broken. so what do you think about taking it to the u.n. or taking it to a chapter seven, escalating this thing to a point where everyone is going to be forced to sit down to discuss it, syria, russia might not like it but at least we are going too be focusing upon the core problems of stopping the killing. >> so we are actively looking at what more can be done at the united nations. >> would that include -- >> sure, except of course rush would almost certainly veto a chapter seven. >> that's why. let's have russia veto it. let's have russia, let's pin the tail on gadhafi. but that the culpable parties he put in place. let's not allow them -- i figure such an atmosphere of ambiguity. it's just so complex in syria come in aleppo, so many parties
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involved that it's just very difficult for the world to understand who has the capability. >> you are exactly right. that's added to the publication because with a multiplicity factors, all of them have different priorities.ity our priority has been in the first instant daesh because it opposes the most immediate threat to us and to our interests.s. russia's priority has been to keep assad in place with at least maintains little in see. >> exactly. all that is true. >> so all these things, the status of the most interested i think in checking iran. so in all of these ways because people come to this with different issues into the prayers it makes a more public it. i think you're right that further turning up the heat at the united nations is something that went to very close look at. >> the ministrations announceded this week it would increase the supply of arms to kurdish militant groups in syria to enable them to play a leading role in the future of its if you take raqqa.
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a sunni city, back from isis. what are the risks of relying on a kurdish force for military operations in a sunni arab city? did you discuss this with the turkish government before you make that announcement? >> i was in turkey just this week, and we are working with her turkish partners analyst very close at how we continue to campaign in syria to take i territory away from daesh.we >> what was their perspective on using kurdish troops? >> as you know we worked in northern syria with something called the syrian democratic forces. that has some components. one is the syrian arab coalition, predominantly air forces and also includes kurdish forces, in this case the ypg. and the turks have not beenturk comfortable with support to this
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kurdish element of the syrian democratic forces, and its opposite cost some tensions are but it has resulted in taking back a critical transit pointsub for daesh in an out of syria into turkey and out of turkey. a treasure trove of information about the external plotting camr from that. and so we need to be able to work with effective actors on the ground in syria. that's a we've done. that's we will continue do but we also need to do in a way that respects the concerns and interests of our turkish allies. so we are in the midst of conversation with him about the best way to move forwardki including on raqqa. >> if i could just going back up to mosul again in terms of your statement that it will be a sunni government officials, sunni police that will be in charge of mosul.
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does the government in baghdad agree with the? have they signed off on that quixotically to keep the shia t militia -- >> that is their commitment. just as it is the kurdish commitment to keep the kurdish peshmerga out of the city. and the core of the force thatat liberate mosul will be the iraqi security forces backed by the coalition with the support of the peshmerga. the tribal elements that are being trained, equipped, brought on board with the goal of getting 15,000 of them will be perdomo be the holding force once the city is liberated. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, ranking member. >> i just want to thank our secretary for your help here. just keep us involved on the options being considered with regards to see. in regards to mosul, it could be
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a wonderful advancement, because militarily things look like they're in place. i share senator markey's concerns that in practice we don't see the ethnic reprisals that we've seen happen so often when territory has been reclaimed from isis grips. so i think that's going to be more difficult in getting the confidence necessary. so i just urge us to work together. in regards to turkey, i would enjoy getting, talking to, not to question your, as was successful we are in getting our nato partners constructive and keeping the border closed but also did with the kurdish issues that don't distract us from dealing with isis. gct i thank you very much. i look for to continue thisveryc discussion. >> i, too, want to thank you for appearing today, and thank you for your service, and mostly your responsiveness.
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i do want to say that i think history does teach us a lot, and i think running your foreign policy in a manner to be not what the last person was calm and that being your total basis for decisions leads us to a place that has been very negative for u.s. national negav interests. and what i hope is going toop happen as people watched and understand that foreign policy is much more complex, it takes much more engagement than just a policy of not being your predecessor was. i'm hopeful that the next president in the next secretary of state can learn from the failures that we have witnessed. and hopefully in some former capacity what you've learned
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from this will be helpful in that regard. >> i would welcome the opportunity to pursu pursue the conversation at pursue the conversation at a time when every this can be. from my experience were more engaged in more places in more ways than ever before.ul there's a debate about -- >> negative trend. >> i think there's a lot of positive but i would be happy to pursue the conversation. >> i would welcome that and i would welcome that with secretary and others also, which i know has been difficult to achieve. that without the meeting is adjourned to the record willthat remain open through the close of business monday, and if you could fairly problem with all the other responsibilities have responded to those, we thank you for being here. the meeting is adjourned.being [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> coming up live at 7 p.m. a debate on the u.s. presidential election. former house speaker newt gingrich and/or ingram debate former michigan governor jennifer granholm and former labor secretary robert right should, all or part of the munk debate from toronto. the african-american history museum opened last weekend. the ceremony readers tonight at eight on c-span with president obama and the first lady, former president george w. bush and his wife laura, congressman john lewis, and others.od morni
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>> good morning, tony. >> caller: thanks for having me. >> host: thanks for joining us m today. sort of explain to us in simplen terms it began was going to happen to the internet oversight tomorrow? >> caller: that's actually a big question right now. originally the obamaginning administration had planned beginning on october 12 transition oversight of the domain name system to the international community and this global non--- nonprofit. and the people terms that means this is where on your browser like google chrome or whatever after typing in, it's the cats that makes the website show up when you type it in. that was the whole plan. it's been two years of that sort of the obama administration to ensure the international community has a greater say, has greater oversight over the system. things have hit a block first folks in congress want to blog but ultimately they didn't
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prevail. and now we wait and hear from the federal court in texas which is why a challenge from a groupo of state attorneys general who think the obama administration's plan is unconstitutional and as a judge later today says that he wants more time to take a look at an issue, and he imposes a permanent injunction on it, that transition that was lit for october 1 to happen that it may not happen for quite some time.e >> host: i'm going to read from the story about this challenge.rneys it says in the lawsuit the attorneys general for arizona, oklahoma, nevada and texas intend hundre u.s. government p. that it would be so unchecked that it could "effectively enable or prohibit free speech on the internet." doesment does this argument has merit? >> caller: a lot of folks in the obama administration at a lot of technical experts say it
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certainly doesn't. first they point to studies from government watchdogs to say that, in fact, it is any do is use government property. they argued there really isn't a free speech issue because what we're talking that isn't a continent what you're seeing on the internet but just the day-to-day oversight of the architecture, the things that the group called i can really is already doing just what is government kind of standing ove him. this all bubbled up just a few days ago with folks like senator ted cruz began to use the september budget bill, the most recent containing resolution to try to block the commerce department from proceeding with its transition.wer folks like santa cruz have said this might empower the likes of russia and china who seek to censor the the argument was ready with republicans on capitol hill butt if you talk to tech companies like google and facebook and amazon or you talk to tackle the experts come all this it is that the obama administration's plan
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doesn't do any of these bad things republicans have said and really they just point to the republicans as strong to stall on the issue at the obama administration has put a lot of priority on in the past few months post the a little bit more and the "washington times" commonsense proponents of the transfer state engineers, business, technical experts, civil society groups should lead internet forward rather than use government were as conservatives such as senator ted cruz of texas say president obama is diluting american power and thus creating space for rogue actors such as china, russia and iran to yield greater influence over web access. tony, this is something congress can stop? >> caller: it might be something that congress can stop. folks like senator ted cruz wanted to use the most recent bill funding the government in tulsa timber to block the commerce department from proceeding. the -- the essential could use the power of the purse. but senator mcconnell, leader
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mcconnell, others in the senate ultimately prevailed on that issue and they didn't include that provision in the most recent funding bill. that being said remember that the only keep the government running until december.xas and we of the world in which the court comes back today in texas and says we need more time to study it, we walked away the constitutional issues, that creates another opening for congressional republicans who want to try just one more time to block the obama administration. we've also been have next year. we have a new president. we have this issue hanging over 2016 and we've heard both every clinton and donald trump one yen on this very blog issued about the domain name system. as you might expect clinton has taken obama's psychic she believes the international community should have a say ind the oversight, and donald trump unexpectedly rushed to the q defense of ted cruz just last week, and ted cruz with a quick to point to support from trump despite the fact that you were pretty bitter opponents on the
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2016 primary trail. that collection altima has some consequences even for the future of the internet domain nameometg system. such as go back to somethingni else you senator the international community has been so vocal on this, particularly because of what the u.s. did when it comes to surveillance. it's been since the '90s that washington has tried tomain nam transition oversight of the domain name system to world control.s what quick and it was leaked reom edward stout to getet governments around the world looking at the reports about thi u.s. was having its thumb on thn internet traffic from many other webpages that are then loaded around the world. government was he pushed tuesday for the government could have more of a database it what happened over the architecture of the unit. that's why the obama administration pursued its plan to do what its plan to do what keep the government including the us out of it. do what i can expertise from folks at icann, they want academics really be the ones
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that guide the future of the internet and not the likes of russia and china who are very angry at the extended use of u his. >> host: thank you so much for joining us, tony romm, senior technology reporter from political. >> caller: thank you for having me. >> former israeli president shimon peres was buried today in jerusalem leading off with a procession president obama and former president clinton speak followed by burial. [speaking in native tongue] [inaudible conversations]
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[speaking in native tongue] >> to the peres family, president netanyahu, the leader and president obama and all the distinguished leaders who have come from around the world.
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yesterday the prime minister did something that was unthinkable back in the dark ages when i was president of the united states. he sent out a tweet and the tweet reminded us of a simple fact. it was israel's first day without shimon peres. for more than 70 of 93 years in one way or another in and out of government, he was a public servant. i was honored to share almost 25 of years with him and first in common efforts with prime minister of the blessed memory
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to forge a just and lasting peace between israel and palestinians. and then just as friends. someone who listened to, learned from and laughed with him and always was in awe of his endless capacity to move beyond the crushing setbacks in order to seize the possibilities of each new day. i am honored the family asked me to tell you what he meant to someone who is not a citizen of this country i love so much. but who was nevertheless loved and inspired and i think in for many ways is representative of millions more he touched though
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he never met. israel watched him grow first from sort of young genius doing his best to build undefeatable defense forces. through a long life to become a wise champion of our common humanity. someone who wanted the best for all children. yes, the israeli children but also the children of his navy base and the larger world. the previous speakers have reminded me again a clip i saw last night on television where shimon was being interviewed by charlie rose and he looked at him sort of saying, i'm going to serve a softball up to you and watch you hit a home run.
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what do you want your legacy to be? and he said, i'm more concerned about tomorrow than yesterday. our complicated brilliant friend steered by a simple straightforward creed. perhaps in no small measure to constant religious urging. they're already being lived in israel by many young people in spite of all the troubles. you heard the prime minister talk about the dedication of a new high-tech park. he's been talking to me about that for 25 years. and there are young people now throughout the region who are
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trying to break both the mental and the material chains that have held them in bondage perhaps in no small measure to inspiration he provided. as has been said, his critics often claimed he was a naive optimistic dreamer. they were only wrong about the naive part. he knew exactly what he was doing in being overly optimistic. he knew exactly what he was doing with his dreams. he never gave up on anybody. i mean, anybody. you heard the prime minister talk about their beautiful friendship. it followed a very tough
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campaign. but shimon always kept the door open. we shared so many wonderful times but my personal favorite was sitting with him in his old foe and personal friend sharon at his 80th birthday listening to the back and forth was a sight to behold. it was worth the price of admission as the saying goes. in addition, it was a perfect peres night. the stage was full of young people talking about what he had meant to their lives, including a young ethiopian member of defense force who is was met at very young child at the airport as part of the operation he supported. i ended, however, with choir of
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israeli and jewish children singing john lenon's wonderful song, imagine. shimon could imagine all the people living in the world today. he imagined the things all the rest of us could do. he started off life at israel's brightest student, became the best teacher and ended up its biggest dreamer. he lived 93 years in a state of constant wonder over the unbelievable potential of all the rest of us to rise above our
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wounds, our resentments, our fears, to make the most of today and claim the promise of tomorrow. it must have been hard for him to do this. it's easy to say things like this at a memorial service and it's hard to do. first, he had to master his own demons, forgive himself for his own mistakes and get over his own disappointments. the monumental effort required to do that grew his heart to be bigger than his brain, which is really saying something. that effort also, i am convinced, is what made him forever young.
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now he is gone, leaving only a blessed memory and a powerful example. that's more than enough if those of us who loved him from near and far accept our duty to keep his gifts alive. so for the rest of our lives, whenever the road we travel comes to a dead end or is good we seek to do hits a stone wall or the hand of friendship we extend meets only a cold stair, in his honor i ask that we remember shimon peres' luminous
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smile and imagine. >> the honorable barack obama, president of the united states of america. [speaking in native tongue]
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>> generations of the peres family, president riblon, prime minister netanyahu, members of the israeli government and the kenesset as a state and government and guests from around the world including president abbas, his presence here is a gesture and a reminder of the unfinished at peace, to the people of israel, i could not be more honored to be in jerusalem to say fairwell to my friend, shimon peres, who showed us that justice and hope are at the heart of the signest idea.
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a free land of a homeland regained. a secure life in a nation that can defend itself by itself. a full life and friendship with nations who can be counted on as allies. always. a bountiful life driven by simple pleasures of families and by big dreams. this was shimon peres' life. this is the state of israel. this is the story of the jewish people over the last century. it was made possible by a founding generation that counts
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shimon as one of its own. shimon once said, the message of the jewish people to mankind is that faith and moral vision can triumph over all adversity. for shimon that moral vision was rooted in an honest reckoning in a world as it is. he said he felt surrounded by a sea of thick and threatening force. when he family got the chance to go to palestine, his beloved grandfather's parting words were simple, shimon, stay a jew. propelled with that faith, he found his home.
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he found his purpose. he found his life's work. but he was still a teenager when his grandfather was burned alive by the nazis in the town where shimon was born. the synagogue in which he prayed became an inferno railroad track that is carried him to the promise land, also delivered so many of his people to death camps. and so from an early age shimon born to the cruelty that human beings can inflict on other, the way each group of people can dehumanize each other and in particular maddens of antisemitism which is run like a stain through history.
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that understanding of man's ever present sinfullness would steer him against hardship and make him vigilant against threats to jewry around the world. but that understanding would never harden his heart. it would never extinguish his faith. instead it broadened his moral imagination and gave him the capacity to see all people as deserving of dignity and respect. it helped him see not just the world as it is but the world as it should be. what shimon did to shape the
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story of israel is well chronicled starting with building a model community. they called him to serve in headquarters to make sure that the jewish people had the armaments and the organization to secure their freedom. after independence surrounded by enemies who denied israel's existence and sought to drive it into the sea, the child who wanted to be a poet of stars became later to build defense industry, who laid the foundation of the armed forces that won israel's wars. his skill secured israel's strategic division, his boldness
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sent israeli commandos and rescued jews from ethiopia, his statesmanship built an unbreakable bond with the united states of america and so many other countries. his contributions didn't end there. shimon also showed what people can do when they harnessness and science to a common cause. he understood that a country without many natural resources could more than make up for it with the talents of its people. he made hard choices to roll back inflation and climb out from the terrible economic crisis. he championed the promise of science and technology to make the desert bloom and turn this tinny country into a central hub of the digital age making life
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better not just for people here but for people around the world. indeed, shimon's contribution to this nation is so fundamental, so pervasive that perhaps sometimes they can be overlooked . for a younger generation, shimon was probably remembered more for a peace process that never reached its end point. they would listen to critics on the left who might argue that shimon did not fully acknowledge the failings of its face or perhaps more numerous critics on the right who argued that he refuse today see the true
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wickedness of the world and called him naive. but whatever he shared with his family, his closest friends, to the world he brushed off the critics. and i know from my conversations with him that his pursuit of peace was never naive. read the names of the family that he lost. as a young man, he had fed his village by working the fields during the day, but then defending it by carrying a rifle at night. he understood in this war-torn


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