tv Discussion Focuses on the National Security Council CSPAN January 6, 2017 3:53pm-4:55pm EST
tech ambassador blackwell has a long and distinguished career as a diplomat, academic and author of books and papers on every area of foreign policy. -- became president over the chicago council on ebola affairs and ambassador to nato. his was a senior fellow at the brookings institution where the specialized in american foreign policy. matt defer to miss right teaches public policy the university of maryland and -- on economic foreign policy and held senior research positions at think tanks. he has authored a lot of books, one that is particularly -- in the shadow of the oval office in
2009, the cull bin make of a deng indicate of work they did together. including histories of staff and related agencies from jfk to george w. bush. the book itself was historical analysis of national security advisers who searched the presidents, what that they did, how they did and what their recommendations how they role should be undertaken. it gets work that hassen invaluable to many in my position and yours. let's get started. as you know the session is on the record. we'll talk among ourselves and then open the floor to questions. our tighting today is reforming the nsc. some that assumes it needs reform. changing the way it operates is no not a new concept. jimmy carter thought it was too
powerful. under ronald reagan it was seen at disorganized and under george w. bush, to big and powerful under barack obama. ambassador blackwell you have worked for a number of national security council and presidents what is it needed for a smooth-running nsc. >> good morning, and good to be with you. let me put it like this. i think many in washington and the audience would regard the model for national security advicer as brent scowcroft, and i worked for brent, so let me just say how did brent do the job in first of all, the national security advicer obviously has to have a close relationship with the president, has to have a temperment that is congenial to the president. doesn't necessarily have to know
the president when he takes his position as national security adviser. curiously, henry kissinger had one five-minute meeting with richard nixon at a cocktail party before he was offered the job. burt over time hat to have -- had to have the relationship. second, it's a big management job because get before the president decisions he needs to make and then being sure that the decisions he makes are implemented, is a big management job, and some of eye the nsc advisers who have not done haven't bought the consen traited on their advice to at the president at the expense of management role, and third, and this may even be the most important, he has to have a temperment, because he needs to
be or she -- needs to be able in instinctively to be fair minded in presenting options to the president. of course the president will usually ask the nsc adviser what do you think but that of the nsc adviser at best -- certainly brent -- would present to the president in a fair-minded way the various options that various members of the cabinet supported. so, just to conclude, this is a very tough and challenging job, and it's because of that, that i spouse two-thirds of the national security advisers since the kennedy years have actually failed in their job and have been replaced or quit.
>> in addition to permit of the national security adviser the struck -- structure is very important and administrations have produced a document, talking about how national security policymaking will be structured. you participate it that process for president obama. can you talk about how that works and how important it is. >> in part in order to do the job in way that bob has described it, you need to have a process in an organization that facilitates that, particularly the last point. the able to understand what other people and other agencies think and then how to present what they think in an objective and trust fulfilling mandatory the president. and over the course of the last 50 years, the way in which that process has been put together by presidents have changed.
except that since brent scowcroft in 1989, coming out of a commission record hi prepared as a result of the iran contra affair, have had a relatively similar kind of structure where you have a prims committee chaired by in the national security advise evers who hose whens are membered of the national security council, minus the president and the vice president. and so you have the senior cabinet figures coming together on a regular basis, chaired by the president's national security adviser. you then have the deputies committee, which is the number twos in most of the departments, sometimes number throw, depending on what department you're talking about. that is trying to manage the process almost on a day-to-bay bay day and is the crisis management facilitator. then you hearchanged from administration to
administering -- you have the aassistant secretary elf enter allege -- currently the enter agency policy commit years, ipcs, that sometimes get chaired by the departments and sometimes get chaired by the nsc. always a big fight about that issue. on whether the department gets to chair it. over time, the reality is, because the central mechanism is in the white house, it tends to be chaired by the nsc. so even in the obama administration, where initially there was an -- one the first memorandum by the president laid out the interagency process. the was some thought begin at the state department either chair organize co chairing some regional ipcs.
that never happened. was pretty much abonned to pretty early on. for one september reason. the assistant secretaries who were supposed to chair the meetings aren't actually confirmed into six or seven months into administration so somebody has to do the job do person in the nsr there is on day one because they don't have to be confirmed. so, those are the big decisions that you make. and for every administration is do we have the same process or a different process of interagency mapping. -- management. that does not need reform. there's a question how many meetings and how frequently and how you run them that is less a process or an organizational one than more a process question. and then there's the larger issue which we may want to get into later, what is the competence that the nsc covers vis-a-vis all the other issues that are out there,
international economic issues or course terrorism issues and -- counterterrorism issues and that is an issue that is right now being debated win the trump transition team. >> they've done an admiral job of describing the structure and persisted since 1986 and 1987. but of course, driving a lot of this and sometimes -- is the development of the role of the president and the relationship of the president to the national security adviser. and this -- we have a book we can recommend to look at. that basically this is varied enormously from president to president and often defeats dream offed reformedderred.
at the beginning of the obama administration there was an unusual amount of ferment in the national security, wanted to improve the process. impressive reports, multihundred page reports were written, a lot of people wanted to return to the way president eisenhower rand nc in the 1950s. only problem was, number one -- and apparently general jones, the first obama national securities adviser and the president did nod and they never hit it off in sense -- re epicketted general jones and general joan respected the president but never hit it off in terms of day-to-day policy management relationships and the pea work for barack obama for a long time, political ages jumped into the vacuum and the then-deputy, who essentially
did a lot of the national security adviser job until that was changed. so you find episodes where the structure is one way and the personal relationships don't work out and, therefore, they get -- and since the president is dominant -- we're all particularly recognizing that right now -- with a somewhat unusual president about to take office. the point i would make is for every president there are idio sin contractsies and style previouses and they say how the process operates. >> withbe go to the specifics of what is happening now, want ited to talk about the size of the nsc staff. brent scowcroft said his was 50 people and he thought that was just about right. but it's pretty much doubled in every administration since then
to the point where you had more than 400 people working on the nsc staff in the obama white house, arguably they were not policy people and need more technicians than than they need to but there war lot of policy people there, the administration has said it's worked to make it smaller and in fact congress has moved with legislation in ndaa this year to mandate some argument over whether they actually have the fewer do that. anyway, have the done it in legislation. but can't be more than 200 people. how important is that? does five dictate function? dozen function dictate size? >> at the very -- on the very top handful of issues, probably not very much, because those are handled by the president and the chief people, the secretaries,
deputy secretaries and so forth. what i think it does matter is on a lot of other issues. most of these -- if you have a couple hundred policy people which the obama had until at least near the end of thed a administration most. them never see the president except maybe to shake his hand won when they're hired and fired. most of them don't have any relationship with the national security adviser but have a mandate to work in their policy areas and they're aggressive people, trusted in making a difference. so they take initiative, try to control what goes -- so as a result you have increases the difficulty of people in the agencies being able to take initiative and lead effectively with the national security adviser and it makes it -- because there's still only one national securities a serieser, one president, one cabinet
level, it creates a bottleneck because the people are generating ideas and they're good poem, they care, they come to government because the want to make a difference. the large number is the enemy of the good and the scowcroft idea -- even when i wrote a piece in 2000 for brookings, which we basically said we think 40 to 50 is about right. now that did not include homeland security so if you add that, it get as little bigger. but with under wish bush and then barack obama eight gotten bigger. >> a couple of points on this. first, the idea that congress should legislate presidential staff in the white house, may or may not be allowed to do it but
it is not a wise thing to do. the president gets advice from the that he or she wants to get advice from and it's not for congress to decide it. number one. two, in terms of policy staff, as you have written, karen, the national security council under susan rice has actually for the first time really since brent scowcroft said, let look at what is the right size of this organization and have taken a very serious look how many people they have no and have cut the staff dramatically, particularly on the policy side. so it's now under the soon to be mandate of 200 policy professional staff. they've also tried to furring out how to streamline the process by which the decisions are made, including the plant
principals meeseing and dep -- meet examination the dep tide. third point to echo mac's last point can the more people you have, the more busy they will be on issues they shouldn't be busy on. and the core thought that everybody should wake up from the national security adviser until the lowest policy person is what i am concern about something the president ought to be or is interested in? the answer is, no. then don't worry about it. let somebody else figure it out. you have byron bureaucracy that wores about what president shouldn't worry about and staff should only worry.the things that the president is or should be -- i'll underscore choo should be -- concerned about. and when you have 50, 60, 75,
maybe 100, people, you probably have enough to cover that broad range of issues. with, again the caveat depending on how broad the range is, including trade policy, the domestic homeland security and disaster response policy, so the larger the nsc the larger the staff will will be. that's a key organizational decision that the president needs to make early on in the administration. >> possible, you have sign this from the inside through several administrations what your view about the size dictating function or function dictating size? >> let me first say i agree entirely with what has just been said. in every respect. i just observe there doesn't seem to be an obvious relationship between the size of the nsc staff and the call the of the policies -- the quality of the policies that
presidenting following. may may even be an inverse relationship. if we think of the great great difficult mustaf the presidents get the kind of organization they'd want. this president will get the kind of organization he wants through this national security adviser, and whether that orrs on -- errs on the side or large or small doesn't matter. as long as it's reasonable. don't think 400 is reasonable because it has the effect, as my colleagues have said, of getting nsc staffers work quote, on behalf of the president, victimized in policy -- involved in policy not a president would be interested in. i think 100 is right. could be at more, little less, but certainly not as large as it has been in recent administrations.
>> we don't know a lot about what the president-elect trump wants from his national security staff. we know that he has already changed the structure somewhat act least we know that from appoint. that have been made, not because there's been any structural documents released but has apparent revived the separate homeland security couple which the obama administration subsume assumed into the nnsc. created the national trade council and appointed headed in white house, all of whom report directly to him and all of them have staff. and so i wonder what any of you think about what that says about how smoothly the system is going to run, what hit his interests or and how he bend to the purr see them. >> first. on the issue of the homeland
security council, the homeland security couple exists the obama administration. the council, which is a group of people that meets at the principal level. we dope note whether the -- it's tom boss certain as he nome homeland security advisor at si says adopt to the president for homeland security afavors and the -- the same title as -- >> she reports through susan vice? >> , she reports directly to president but the chang the obama administration is they abolished the homeland security council staff and mentalled it with the nd-merged it with the nsc. the question it will we have a separate staff dealing with home lamented secured cyberterrorrism
and the cyber security. but that's a -- we just don't know how that it is going to happen. the larger point is exactly your point. that on the big issues dealing with the international affairs, ranging from homeland security through national security, to economic affairs and trade, we are now going to have four individuals who are all in the white house, directly reporting to the president, and the question is, who is going to coordinate the coordinators? these four people who are being coordinating various parts of the government and then they have to coordinate with themselves because, strappingly enough, foreign economic policy and trade policy are not that different, and many of our national security and foreign policy issues involve both trade and counterterrorism, ate. so the coordination of the coordination function win the white house is a recipe for more staff because who is going coordinate the coordinators?
more staff, obviously. and the recipe for potential conflicts. now, everything we know about donald trump's management style through the campaign, he seems to like that. he wants to have different people coming forward with different points of view. he is creating a white house organization that will do that in spades and haven't even talk about the domestic side and the chief of staff side. so have a lot of people reporting directly to him and he will make the -- presumably the decision. >> the president's often create organizations to signal priorities. there were -- every president since richard nixon has had a white house staff that have dealt to some degree with international economic issues out outside of the nsc. however, bill clinton when he ran in his campaign, really wanted to emphasize economic issues and announced would create-and did create the national economic couple, the nec, pair for his first couple of year was parallel to the nsc
because bob rubin was a strong here it but then it became an a once consequential entity. then president bush created the home happen security -- the staffs were mental -- mentalled -- mentalled mortgaged it. as a defender of the second economic staff you would like to have everything under the national security adviser but historically, national security advisers have not responded adequately to the economic agenda, and because of that, the -- it has tend to be neglected and move to other people because of the driving forces between politics and congress and industry and that push evidence it that way.
so you had a -- i think the biggest redundancy is this culmination of a national economic council and a non national trade council. obviously overlap there trump has done the national trade council because he wanted to revolutionize trade poll and i and created a new organization. but it is going to be either one of these advisers establishes clear primacy and the defers or that there's chaos. >> bob you mentioned it was important for the national security adviser not to be dispute area is. let's assume for the moment that the national security advicer has primacy month the people in term of national security. general flynn, who has been name as the national security
adviser, very distinguished intelligence officer thought the military career, former head of the defense intelligence agency, where he ran into some problems with the pentagon and the white house, so some concerns have been raised he in fact does have a reputation for being disptasious and someone's focus has not been on a wide range of national security issues. how do you think his characteristics fit the ideal as you described it earlier? >> well, i really don't want to speak to that because i never met the man, so i don't know washington reputations or formed in many different ways so i don't want to -- i do want, though, to reinforce something just said about a national security adviser and economics issues.
just -- i may be not quite right about this but i was just sitting here thinking, has there ever been a serious economist who has been the national security adviser? i guess -- i don't think there's another one, maybe i'm forgetting. and they tend to be national security types, generals, admirals, or people like condi rice who spent her career on east, west sew and soviet issues and i think that inevitably downgrades the economic dimension. now, mac one di's -- bundy's deputy was a distinguished economist from harvard but usually they're not an economist who is a deputy their. think the structure, given the preoccupation of this
president-elect's -- with economic issues and have had gone the separate structure makes sense. on the broad issue of temperment we have to see -- but what i aim confident, having watched myself a half dozen imagine security advisers who successfully and up successful close up, is a disptasi ow uos permit gets get gets them in trouble because others will have a one-on-one meeting with the president saying we have a problem here, and in most cases, if it-the president has to choose between a secretary of state and national security adviser the choose the secretary of state. so, we'll see. this is an experiment which is about to occur and well'll see houston turned 0. >> have another love out senior cabinet official now who did not have experience in the executive
branch or in government at all, who are used to running their own shows, and so it will be -- you can see the possibility of conflict on that level. i want to -- >> add just two points on what bob just said. one, the only person with some economic brown who is national secured adviser is sandy burger who trailed walt. he was one of those very broad people, but i would agree fundmentally with the neglect of big economic trade issues by the national security system. the way this has been resolved, starting actually under clinton, is that the key person doing international economic affairs on the nec reported -- reports to in the nsc. mike ferman is one of the more stronger and powerful people in
that position. both the deputy advisor under robe o own and a deputy in nsc and personal merged. that. one other point on temperment. the key characterishing in the national security adviser is someone who can create the trust within his cabinet counterparts, particularly the secretary of state and secretary of defense, they're views will be represented fairly on a day-to-bay, minute-to-minute basis to the president. the national security as vicar, just because of the nature of the job, sees the president every hour on the hour almost, and at the beginning of the day, and at the end of the day, and the secretary of state and the secretary of defense and everybody else needed to know their views are going to be presented fairly, openly, and they need to trust that. the moment that breaks down is the moment when the system
breaks down and it happens -- i don't know whether it's two-thirds of the time but is happening way too often and it was brent scowcroft's great skill to be able to be very, very close to president. probably closer than in eye national security adviser. he wries wries wries wries the h the president and never any doubt the recommended jim baker and dick cheny and others fairly and fully and that's the key to success. >> win were doing our project we organized a roundtable of former national security adviser which brett was a member of the group. said when you become the national security adviser you have to spend the first year, year and a half, establishing trust, and you have to get the so the cabrera cabinet believe
people in you and are you that go around the and how have condition flick kissinger -- can be very nice are formism that we used from david enshire, a long-time veteran no longer with us but an expert on that, said trust is the coin of the realm. you have to run a good organization, and the george h.w. bush was a wonderful -- was a pair gone -- paragon the people. his son's administration was not such a paragon, and problems arose from that. >> well, want to ask our members to join with your questions now. to remind you, that this is on the record and i'll call on you and wait for the microphone.
state your name and affiliation, and i know i don't have to ask you to speak concisely and to limit yourself to one question so that welcome get as many as possible. yes, sir. >> high. cam kerry from the -- i want to pick up on the theme of how you integrate economic issues into national security council process? i did a paper at brookings last fall which i'll plug briefly, addressing that question, drawing particularly on the experience of the snowden disclosures and the response to that, which was initially treated as a national -- purely a national security issue but
had enormous reverbations beyond that. one is to look at the composition of the national security council, the own oned a -- obama administration psd1 says that if economic -- international economic issues are on the agenda, then the adviser for international economic affairs, the secretary of treasury, the secretary of commerce, other economic advisers, are at the table. but the proposal is you change that default? so that ordinarily those people are at the table unless those issues are not in the agenda? the presumption is that things have some impact on those issues. and i think the notion that the
economic councils are a solution is certainly important, but you still need to integrate those issues. so i wonder if you could comment a little built more on how you make sure that economic agencies, advisers, have visibility into what is going on, but may have an impact on the issues that may not be seen by the people who make make up e nsc. >> who wants to take that? >> one thing that the clinton administration did when it established the nec was to have a staff of people who were dull-headed and working for both the ne and the nsc in charge of international economic issues. so the staff level you had integration. then in the george w. bushed a marges the elevated that to the point of having a deputy assistant to the president who was dual, headed and did midnight --...
went around the world china, russia, the gold states and others are using economics for geopolitical purposes, but i would add that most secretaries of the treasury are not enthusiastic about involving their issues in an interagency process. that's the mildest way to put it in their port don't come to
those of meetings unless their colleagues become interested in treasury issues and my experience at the white house was hard to get the secretary of the treasury over to the white house for issues come up with reasons i said. >> to amplify exactly what bob said, it sometimes isn't the question whether they are invited, but often the question whether they show up and in a certain moment the invitation and there's a lot of meetings that, in fact, they don't think their expertise is important and so it gets downgraded to who shows up and ultimately no one shows up. >> often the case with the obama administration there were so many meetings at the white house that the level of people who attended started to go further and further down all the time. john, you had a question? >> i have a question about the
staff square nation functions. obviously, the staff's primary function is stuffing the president and pushing the president's priorities, but they also have to coordinate all of government, so even though you made the point which is the president does not care about it then staff should worry about it and let someone else to do it. that president does really need to care about a coordinated government and there is a tendency, i think, maybe perhaps in a republican administration in particular that, well, let's hire strong cabinet secretaries, let them do their jobs and the nsc staff just staffs the president and standard way. you just can't do that. we have a government that has got to coordinate with each other. cia has got to coordinate with state defense and defense, we saw what happened with the bert-- first bush ministration. justice now is doing things that we coordinated with the rest of government, so there has to be a
coordination function of the nsc staff. there can also be too much courted nation if every single thing done by every department for approval is what drives people crazy, so was the appropriate level of coordination across government that the nsc staff should do, which largely-- largely goes on the below the president's eye level. >> excellent question, sort of the key driver wastebasket larger in the white house, because the peace opposition is the white house is can only one that can coordinate and i think it's time to ask the question if that is true. like others in this building, i was an ambassador in a coordinated by definition because as chief you have everyone from every different agency part of your coordinating function and it used to be the
case, not like coordinations can be new. it used to be the case that assistant secretaries were very powerful people in the state department or defense department or justice department and infected much of the coronation after that level and i think we want to go back, seems to me, to a system where political appointees who are senate confirmed so they stand at a higher level actually have more power to do the job they are supposed to be doing and that includes the court and 80 job in the idea that it can only happen in the white house lead you to, three, 400 staff folks. information flow is one thing. you want to have as much information flow, but that i did the only person who can coordinate an interagency process is someone who sits in the white house, it's just wrong. there's no reason why that
assistant secretary for europe can't coordinate russia policy with folks, including white house, but actually the state department, strange idea, but from the white house state department it is equally far coming from the statement the property to the white house as it is from the white house to the state department. just think about that. you can actually do coordination in a different wasting a if you do it that way you have to have an informal group at the secretary level that includes the defense per se may include a defense-- intelligence person the pain on the and who are congenial and don't fight with each other about policy, but they work together and realize-- administrations that have been able to establish coordination at the cabinet level also tend to be more effective in establishing it that the
assistant secretary level. >> you have to give a someone convening authority and i think the-- you mentioned about the ipc's and i think the obama administration specifically in their initial directive had a whole paragraph same ipc's will not be interagency headed by department. they will be in the white house headed by a person in the nsc staff, so i think this sort of control from the white house was in their head from the start. >> in part because it tries to answer john's question of coordination and the opposition that the only person who doesn't have a stake in this is in the white house and therefore is the only person who can convene and control. i'm not sure that's true. >> or the person-- >> and if they don't, if there is no coordination then you throw it back into the nsc
written process, but in many cases it does get coordinated. >> bob, jump in when it's a bit awkward. >> on the fine. >> on that american university and i am audrey. my question is where do you think us long-term strategy is made the on that the interest of any department agency or policy area? or is the complex-- concepts simply in a restricted. >> doing today, take:? >> when i was at the white house the last time in a george w bush is administration i was deputy national security advisor part teaching and planning, so i started out as condoleezza rice had asked to try to do that in the secretary of state, colin
powell said forget it. and there isn't going to be any strategic planning generated out of the white house. it will come from the agencies and presented to the white house and it can amalgamate and become the envoy to iraq because our policy in iraq is such a mess and i spent much of the next year in baghdad, so i'm pretty skeptical of a strategic planning being generated by this small nsc staff. suffered from the national security advisor himself. perhaps, the best example of strategic planning coming out of this process we have been discussing was henry kissinger and the opening to china and all the rest and that was basically
out of kissinger and nixon's head. so, we will see whether this national security advisor has that capacity. but, i don't think it's generated upward to any significance extent by the nsc staff. >> when henry kissinger was national security adviser he'd invited a political scientist named bob osgood to join his staff basically to do long-term planning. he treated osgood unlike a lot of his other staff, as with the utmost respect and difference and osgood-- i remember interviewing him and, i mean,-- and i think the reason is really a process that is overheard to come. issues-- the national security advisor gets his or her leverage
from the day to day issues, managing them for the president and these are urgent and if you have a president who is deeply involved in foreign policy as most, not all have been, that tends to drive. the nixon administration wasn't interested in being able to move strategically, but i think as you said, bob, absolutely right it came from nixon and kissinger's head, not from a staff or institutional procedure. >> yes? >> to the earlier point that they should be able to correlate from a different agency and present to the president, if you could briefly give us an example of when that process worked well when it was well executed from
the beginning towards that you. >> i will give you an example of there is a good book on this, by the way on how we got to today. after he truly disastrous by two administrations figuring out what to do with bosnia tony led a process where he asked different agencies to come up with their best ideas about how to resolve it and state department effort and defense department effort and madeleine albright was at the un. those different efforts were put together and in a series of meetings in a series of discussion with the president over a number of days that led to a strategy for trying to get the issue resolved one way or the other and the one where the other was either through negotiation or through withdrawing the un troops and lifting the arms embargo and striking and in fact using the
military means in order to get the process, the peace process going. that led to the implementation of the postdate period, which may not have been successful of at least getting to date and ending the war, but it ended the war. in 1995, it's now 2006, 16, 17 and while the situation is bosnia in some ways is not that much different from what it was in 1995, one thing is different. knowingness killing each other. in in that sense it was remarkably successful. run, actually out of failure, which is usually what happens. the policy wasn't working and then saying how do we get new ideas together and that's when
the national security advisor, when they play their roles right really become if you want to be strategist and planet-- planners in order to resolve the issue that in the case of bosnia had to be resolved before the 1996 election. in the case of iraq, recognition by the president that it wasn't working and we needed a new policy, eating of everything going on domestically and that they did. >> steve has played a crucial role in doing that. >> i think those are two good examples and a third is the unification of germany within nato from april 1989, when eastern europe started vibrating all the way through september, 1990. this was when germany was unified under-- in nato and that was one, not that was born out
of failure, but born out of an utterly unanticipated event, which was gorbachev and the loosening of control of eastern europe and the consequences and the president in this case the president in the spring of 1989, seen these events basically created the policy of going as fast as one could toward germany unification and involving gorbachev the plane that process and it was really basically a trilateral endeavor of bush, and gorbachev opposed by as we recall, but it was responding to events, so there are numbers of good examples when this works, but if you go back and say, at
least in the case i'm most familiar with, which is the one i just mentioned, it was because of the trust in baker and the cheney and brent and the president worked their way through tactical disagreements without a bump. that's what it takes to implement the kind of policy and the examples we have been using and we will see if the trumpet administration is capable of that skin that one other thing on this. that trust actually went down level of the administration. you bob and others working in that team equally trustworthy and worked as well, so it's bringing the interagency process and the trust down through the levels of government and that is
absolutely critical. >> that was one of the problems with the george w. bush administration where you had the -- people of the top level when all the way down with people. >> in the obama administration, that level of confidence in cooperation trust actually does go down quite far. there's always competition and different abuse, but people work together at a very different level and when that happens things can move. >> we only have about five more minutes, so let's try to get in two or three more questions. way in the back there. >> hello, i'm from google here could could you on the dynamic bequeathing-- between regional and functional and is it preferred to have cyber as its own entity or have cyber experts within?
>> who was to take that? >> just as a larger issue, the confidence in government is not in the white house. it just isn't. you can't have all of the experts in the white house because if you do you will just take over the department. that's with expertise lies and that's true for regional, partial, for everything. the people that you want in the white house are the people who know where the expertise is and can bring it to therefore the decision-making process, but if you bring it all into the white house than the white house-- why bother and it's this constant tension that is believed that the only way you could coordinate is to read expertise, that leads-- it is the ability to think through where the
government is six expertise and how do we bring to bear through the decision-making process and let us implemented-- implement it. as it was what-- once per every morning when i wake up i look in the mirror and say how cannot have one less staff person, not one more, but one less. what is it that we are doing that someone else can do better. >> the question you raise is a basic dilemma of government. functional or regional expert and really depends on the nature of the issue, i mean, if it's predominantly, i mean, if each issue with china is predominantly economic and trade issues you try to give that to the economic people. if it's more security than you give it to the china people, but it's not automatic or easy and i think cyber would be an example which in principle is a functional issue, but then as he said it doesn't mean she you
have to pull everything into the white house which can treat ms. >> yes, sir? >> good morning. i'm from george washington university. do you have a view of the role of the united nations? obviously since it's been elevated to a cabinet level position and created another poll of us foreign policy making as a functional matter and i would be grateful for your views. >> i think the un ambassador should report to the secretary of state, like every other ambassador and that's where it belongs. it too should be an instrument of american foreign-policy, not a separate entity. so, i would move it in the direction of reintegrating back into-- i'm sure as ambassador,
rubin, you would have loved to have been a member. [laughter] >> and i as ambassador to nato would have loved to have been a cabinet mother-- member. i don't think we would have been as effective if we had been in every principles meeting as an independent actor as opposed to people who are part of state or state defense in my case apparatus and so the idea that the un ambassador somehow has a separate standing and i know my great friends and colleagues who have been un ambassadors will disagree, but i believe that you grading it back into the place where belongs, which is the state department is probably the right course. >> if you look at the history and starting with jean kirkpatrick who is a person great stature brought in by the reagan administration and i think they wanted to have her and her views in the cabinet and i would dare to suggest that many of the un ambassadors since
then have been women, that it allows also the president to have another woman in the cabinet. >> on all for having women for secretary of state secretary of defense, so i don't think that's the issue or the way to solve it >> i'm with the committee to protect journalists and as we are talking about deemphasizing the nse i have a question about where you believe human rights belongs and whether it belongs in the nse and one of the ways we participated in consultation is that there are these global engagement centers and consultations held with organizations broadly on many issues, so can you talk a bit about what happened then to the ability to integrate civil society into policymaking processes and where you believe human rights belongs?
>> probably human rights as it tends to be in practice a country issue took it tends to be-- abuses are taken by national governments and get the strong press and the state department often has effective organizations dealing with human rights, but it's a real dilemma because how do you feed that-- how do you make that across the line between the function and concern of human rights and the country relationship with multiple interests and i don't know that there's a clear organizational answer. i think of a president is concerned about human rights and willing to give priority to certain cases as advertised, that would probably make a difference. bud, creating specialized offices often does not make a difference. >> this came up in jimmy carter administration where president carter was preoccupied with human rights during the campaign
and set up a special office in the white house on that subject, but discover that he had essentially two different policies towards every country, the one of the secretary of state and the one of the human rights person on his own staff and after a while the human rights person at left and the position was downgraded, but that brings me to this final point about coordination that we haven't talking about throughout , which is if you are not careful you are going-- any administration faces the danger of having several policies at the same time being articulated to other governments and not to get-- gets back to the crucial function of the nse advisor to try to be sure on behalf of the president's that the president's policy as the president has
decided is implemented and there is only one. i was in the reagan administration and especially in the early years on any given monday there were four, five different foreign policies on any particular issue being pursued by various agencies of the us government and basically until colin powell took over as national security advisor, so this is absolutely crucial and it's very hard to do. >> i think that's a good note to end. thank you all so much for being here. thank you to our panelists. [applause]. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> it's official, in a joint session of congress this