tv Secretary Kerry Susan Rice and Michael Flynn Discuss U.S. Foreign Policy CSPAN January 10, 2017 7:19pm-8:01pm EST
president obama knew that we had to laser focus on these immediate challenges but he also always kept the long game in mind. in a rapidly changing world we needed to position the united states to advance our core interests over the long-term. that meant investing in the foundations of america's strength and influence especially our economic strength. it meant countering threats of around the globe while ensuring the gains outweigh the costs. and not overextending ourselves in places less central to our long-term interest while rebalancing towards regions that are. and it meant expanding our definition of national security to include transnational
security threats of an increasingly complex nature. as president obama always says to us or we looking around the corner? by looking around the corner the works it in the sequestration are partners today the united states is positioned more strategically to meet the challenges ahead. that began by getting our own economic house in order because american economic security upholds american strength and while too many americans are still struggling our economy is far stronger. in 2009 hundred women was approaching 10%. it is now at 4 .7%. 20 million more americans have health insurance. we have seen the longest streak of job growth on record, 75 straight months of gains. the poverty rate has fallen at the fastest rate in almost 50
years. while median household income grew, at the fastest rate on record. meanwhile we have wound down troops in iraq and afghanistan to a substantial amount. this is not because president obama has been shy about protecting american interests. rather was a recognition that our resources could best be used to prepare our military to face new challenges, to reinvest in military readiness, to build 21st century capabilities for 21st century threats and to ensure that our military remains the finest fighting force on the face of the year. we averted the prospect of a dangerous and costly new war by imposing crippling sanctions on i ran which we leverage to reach a deal cutting off every pathway
to an iranian nuclear weapon. already i ran has dismantled two-thirds of its installed centrifuges. they have shipped out 90% of their enriched uranium file and built the iraq plutonium reactor core with concrete. even if i ran were to walk away from this deal their breakout time has gone from two to three months to about a year and if they cheat we are now certain to detect it. i know there has been a lot of debate about this deal but it's hard to imagine that no deal or war would be preferable. we also negotiated the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty to american and russian nuclear weapons answer a series of nuclear security summits the president rallied world leaders to help secure loose nuclear material and keep it from falling into the hands of the most dangerous adversaries.
at the same time we have put in place a sustainable counterterrorism strategy. instead of risking blood and treasure by deploying large numbers of american ground forces we centered our approach around a range of functions through training and supporting local forces to working with international partners to help choke off foreign fighter flow's and finances. by appearing to -- adhering to clear guidelines and strict oversight and are direct actions we further group global support for our counterterrorism mission other strategies might produce faster results but victories would be short-lived and we will be in this fight for the long-haul. it is a fight that must -- we must wage and win. osama bin laden is dead and core of qaeda is a shadow of its former self.
we forged a 68 member global coalition that has moved key issa leaders, killed thousands of fighters and rollback almost half its territory in iraq and syria. while we have suffered horrific attacks from boston to san bernardino to orlando, we have built unparalleled counterterrorism capabilities to protect our homeland from foreign terrorists and homegrown violent extremists. as we face near-term terror threats we also strategically rebalanced so that the united states is playing a larger and long-term role in the asia-pacific, a region that accounts for 40% of our global economic growth. for if our top 10 trading partners and five at lower treaty allies. by the end of this decade a
majority of our navy and air force will be based out of the pacific. while managing our complex but increasingly durable relationship with china we strengthen cooperation with treaty allies like japan, south korea and australia. forge deeper partnerships with emerging powers like india and indonesia and intensified our support for regional institutions. i saw the potential of these new relationships during president obama's historic visit to myanmar, laos and vietnam. as a key part of this rebalanced president obama fought to set the rules of the road for trade to ensure fair competition, protect the environment and raise labor standards. we did this through the transpacific partnership and if we don't define these rules of the road others will for us.
china is already pursuing its own regional trade agreement. lower standards and fewer protections. failure to move forward on tpc is eroding america's regional leadership and credibility with china standing to gain strategically and economically. even as we emphasize the importance of the asia-pacific police seized opportunities and other emerging centers of growth for the first time in half a century americans are flying directly from miami cuba creating afterward -- opportunities for cubans and americans. shedding that historical baggage removed an irritant. thanks in part to our opening to
cuba u.s. relations with latin america have never been better. and with this year's peace agreement in columbia the longest running war in the hemisphere came to an end. likewise we devoted renewed attention and resources to africa expanding access to electricity bringing business leaders together to grow opportunity and supporting africa's next generation. while reaching out to new partners we strengthen traditional alliances and relationships. deepen transatlantic ties working with nato partners to bolster ties in europe fight terrorism and counter isil and impose economic costs on russia for its aggression in ukraine. we concluded a 38 eulian dollar military assistance package with israel, the single largest in american history and we updated
our military assistance relationship with egypt. we led the united nations in the toughest ever sanctions on north korea and mobilizing resources and actions to address the refugee crisis and make u.n. peacekeeping more effective. recognizing the borderless challenges will only increase from cyber attack's two dangers arising from fragile states and climate change. we have broadened our conception of national security, strengthen cybersecurity and cyber norms. they face the biggest refugee crisis since world war ii. we provided more humanitarian aid than any other country in the world and after rigorous vetting welcome to tens of thousands to america. not simply as charity or as an expression of our values but as an investment in security and stability.
we have partners to beat back ebola in west africa and invested in global health security. we elevated development is a key pillar of our foreign policy and as a result over 18 million children today are getting better nutrition and nearly four times more people are receiving lifesaving hiv/aids treatments. we have worked to shore up travel reduced corruption and encouraged entrepreneurship and we have cultivated hundreds of thousands of young leaders from four continents. i'm especially proud that we have put the ultimate borderless threat, the threat of climate change front and center. rallying the world to achieve the paris agreement we took the potential to put the planet on the path to a sustainable future we have begun to integrate
climate impact and tour national security planning. thanks in part to our clean power plan, the new energy efficiency standards and unprecedented investments in clean energy carbon emissions are down 9% since president obama took office while the u.s. economy has grown over 10%. as important as our strategic rebalanced we have positioned ourselves for the future by strengthening america's moral authority. that started at home when we affirmed the ban on torture and reform our intelligence gathering. he continued assisted strongly for the rights and dignity of all people around the world. for citizens in myanmar to elect their leaders for dissidents in china, journalists in ethiopia and the ladies in white in cuba
to speak or organize freely from oppression. for women and girls around the world to enjoy freedoms and opportunities that are their birthright, for the rights of people everywhere to love who they love. as a result of the strategic foreign-policy decisions i do truly believe the united states is better positioned to confront the challenges that will face the new administration. these challenges are formidable. the global security landscape is as unsettled as any time in recent memory. i kid discusses the link that given the shortness of time that they mention just three challenges. first american space and more diverse array of threats from a more diverse range of sources than ever before. this includes everything from stata or's such as russia and north korea to terrorists like
isil often enabled by new technology. and it includes transnational threats that can reach our shores like climate change, pandemic with the illicit flow of drugs and weapons. second, as a global leader in primary stakeholder the united states faces the challenge of upholding an international order strained by rising tensions among major global and regional powers. and frankly deep governance challenges within the states. russia continues to threaten the global order in ukraine and syria and efforts to interfere in democratic elections. china is assertiveness and most notably in the south china sea has tested whether the u.s. china relationship will be defined by her differences or by what we can achieve cooperatively.
europe buffeted by russia economic uncertainty a refugee and migrant crisis and russian aggression needs american support now more than ever. against this backdrop as we have seen in the horrific tragedy in syria the arab world will likely continue to struggle for stability. perhaps for a generation or more in the face of these challenges it might be tempting to turn inward and therein lies the united states third strategic challenge. we must protect ourselves and the international order we helped build without subordinating -- subordinating of values or bending our alliances, partnerships and cooperation that have yielded unprecedented global prosperity and progress. given these complex and often competing issues you'll understand why henry kissinger
once commented and i quote there cannot be a crisis next week. my schedule is already full. the demands of serving as national security advisor are constant. colin powell describes his job as being quote judge, traffic cop, truant officer, arbitrator, firemen, chaplain, psychiatrist and occasional hitman. i like to think of it as being the quarterback without the glory or the high pay. no doubt general flinn you'll find your own analogy but the bottom line is in an uncertain world you and your team will be shouldering extraordinary responsibility for keeping america safe and strengthening a global order that has prevented a war among major powers in the
last 75 years. that is why president obama's directions and our entire national security team have been working for months to prepare for and facilitate a smooth transition. this goes beyond party or politics. this is what the american people expect and deserve. as i noted steve and his team set a very high bar which we have been committed to meeting and were possible exceeding. the nfc has produced over 100 memos covering everything from the interagency policy process to our plans and protocol to address the many nightmare scenarios that could arise. we have made our entire staff available to meet with a brief incoming -- the standoff continues as i speak. as part of the transition i've had constructive meetings with
general flinn and my team has met extensively with them. the discussions we have had in the suggestions i have made i will keep between us not the least because much of it is highly classified but i will say that i'm very proud of the professional manner in which we have conducted this transition. this was a tough and hard fought election but our national security must always remain above the fray. i'm also extraordinarily proud of the nsc staff we have built and the general flinn will inherit. when i return to the nfc in 2013 having served there in the 1990s i was struck by how much it expanded in that period. while i continue to believe that president must retain the flexibility to staff the nfc as
we wish we work hard to recognize and reform the nfc. we have reduced the staff by over 15%. today's nfc operates on a policy staff smaller than the staff of the u.s. ip and many think tanks. as we have streamlined we remain convinced that one of the nfc's greatest strength is the career national security professionals who comprise nearly 90% of staff they are the brightest and hardest working staff in government and i'm extremely grateful for their service and sacrifice. but ultimately the issue is not mainly about the size of the nfc , it's about the role of the nfc. every president will decide that for himself or herself. i will simply say as others have that departments and agencies are the ones that need lead in
formulating and implementing policies. the nsc staff is uniquely placed to ensure that the president receives a truly integrated perspective, takes into account the president's agenda and their risks, costs and trade-offs of any decision. so general flinn inherits a vital job at a challenging time and while it is no secret that this administration has profound disagreements with the next one i intend to make myself available to him just as my predecessors have for me. we are all patriots first and foremost. our security and democracy should be above partisanship. has president george h.w. bush wrote to president clinton after their own electoral battle and i
quote your success is now our country success. i am rooting hard for you said president bush. general flinn, i am rooting hard for you. in a few hours i will accompany president obama to chicago for his farewell address and this has me counting my personal blessings. my grandfather was a janitor who emigrated from jamaica in 1912 with my grandmother who was a made and a seamstress. standing here as a national security advisor to the president of the united states i am filled with gratitude for this country and the opportunities it has provided me and so many others. when i think about the difference i have been privileged to see in the united
states and our government make in the lives of america and people around the world i'm deeply honored and humbled to have joined in this journey. i will continue to do my part as best i can and in the years ahead i am confident that patriotic americans of talent and good will will ensure that this great country stay strong, secure and prosperous, a beacon of hope for all the world. thank you very much. [applause] [applause]
[applause] [applause] >> thank you ambassador rice for those remarks and for your service to this country. i would now invite general plan and ambassador rice to move to the side of the podium as they have done and to exchange the symbolic handshake representing the handoff responsibility from one administration to the other. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] thank you both.
lieutenant general michael flinn president-elect donald trump's pick to be our 25th national security advisor. lieutenant general flinn last serving government as director of the defense intelligence agency. after a distinguished 33 year career of military service. during that career he held various intelligence votes and served several deployments in afghanistan and iraq and he served in these positions with great distinction. please will come lieutenant general plan to the podium. [applause] >> i want to thank susan again but i would like everybody to give her another round of applause after an amazing speech. [applause]
an appropriate place institute of peace and i want to thank everybody for the kind welcome not only here last night to really sort of backing the government that i want to thank the u.s. institute of peace and for peace and i especially want to thank steve hadley and many of the national security advisers and other cabinet officers for their graciousness, their time and their counsel over these past two months. with the current and former national security advisers in the way of current and former national security council staffers and others that are in the room here today this really represents the collective wisdom and experience of some of america's greatest national security thinkers, practitioners and stewards and what i would like to do is make up brief pause because i'm in awe of secretary albright was sitting here that front today and i would like everybody to give her
a round of applause. thank you so much. [applause] as susan just demonstrated and as secretary albright has also demonstrated just a grace, dignity and an elegance and a commitment to this country that goes beyond our wildest imagination to people outside don't realize the sacrifices and what you see in.arise, ambassador rice and secretary albright and i think that transcends who we are. it is americans that are our greatest asset and our american people, the american people that we have across this country. that said the gravity of this moment is a bit overwhelming as a step back into government for what i know is a monumental task ahead. transitions are hard enough.
they are hard enough and anything that we do but transitions and transfers of power from one united states person to the next are historic and this one is no exception. to me, one of the most significant moments in american history was at the very beginning of president john adams was not reelected and had to hand the presidency over to his archrival thomas jefferson. it could have been a constitutional crisis but it wasn't. why, because we have a peaceful transition of power and that is the tradition that has bound us all ever since. as for adams and jefferson in their final years they became great friends and their correspondence is one of the best examples of patriotism and bipartisan sense of national purpose among all of our leaders that have ever existed. the model to the world, as a model to the world at least in our history the united states
has set the standard for the peaceful transition of power and it is a model that continues to be the envy of the world. we stand today on the threshold of a new era as we continue to navigate the remainder of the 21st century, century a century that has presented us with numerous unpleasant surprises and looking ahead this century clearly represents one with even more risks but also with many opportunities. i want to personally again thank ambassador rice and her entire team for their preparation, the transition materials as ambassador rice highlighted that they provided to us, the initiation of various mfc reform measures that she has already undertaken in the time that she and her team took to help guide us and to help us be as well prepared as we can be prior to a not very sunday. as i stated these early years of the 21st century have proven
to be extraordinarily challenging as old familiar threats, challenges have reasserted themselves and new ones have emerged lending this period of time a feeling of great uncertainty and in certain parts of the world reverberating up evil. given the hyperaccelerated nature of the time in which we live and active adversaries that are moving at warp speed though these 21st century challenges are among the toughest we as a nation have faced in decades, and many decades. this is why we are absolutely committed to leading a national security council for president-elect's vision to make america great again, that has as its primary mission, its primary mission -- the safety of the american people and the security of our nation. that mission is to be supported
by an overarching policy of peace through strength. as we examine and potentially realign our relationships around the globe to keep in mind the sacrifices and the commitments that many of our allies and our partners have made on behalf of of our security and our prosperity as well as the security and prosperity of other freedom loving nations around the world. in fact alliances are one of the great tools that we have and the strength of those alliances magnify our own strengths. one of those strengths, one of those strengths is to be unapologetic in the defense of liberty. this is the core element of american exceptionalism and white america must and will remain a superpower. the exceptionalism that defined america from the start became the standard by which every other free people measures
themselves and the standard by which we should measure ourselves. america might have its ups and downs but the assumption has long been that american power will only be there reliable, strong, present and ready. we have always been the indispensable nation and we always will be. to that end, we must consider the elements that make us indispensable and i will touch on a few. this requires extraordinary foresight and vision that is able to transcend political ideology a matching long-term strategy that lays out a roadmap to keep us on track despite the massive hurdles that we may encounter along that path. the right processes to review the assumptions to determine validity and meaning that form our strategies and lastly some
means of measuring whether it's working or not and being honest and accountable to ourselves. given those elements and even an extremely difficult times we have never lost our sense of america or what it means to be an american and the idea of american exceptionalism. faced with some of the darkest days of civil and foreign wars, economic depression the many recessions we have gone through. the leadership at home or hostile threats from abroad. the american people always maintain their faith in the uniqueness of our democratic experiment which produced the greatest force of economic growth and innovation and the greatest model for liberty the world has ever known. that has not and will not ever change.
this is the essence of american leadership. whether we like it or not the world needs us and in fact demands it. what has changed is the nature and character of america's enemies into new and dangerous technological environment in which they operate. that's why we are committed to having a national security council continued to serve as the fulcrum of national security and national security decision-making and the most effective way possible. on the national security council we will serve for primary functions. we would buy suppressed on national security issues. we will formulate national security policy and in coordination with the interagency process. we will monitor how policy is carried out and we will also ensure that the president is properly prepared and staffed with the many national security related events that we are like the two encounter.
i would add one additional function. i want to add that president-elect trump, we need to help them work with our partners in congress on both sides of the aisle despite the difficulties that we will face. serving as the national security advisor is an awesome responsibility and it gets to the very essence of protecting and defending the american people, our homeland and our constitution. given those responsibilities it is our mission to ensure that the president the national security community and the american people continue to be well served. in order to achieve that we are absolutely committed to continue carrying out those necessary reforms begun by previous administrations. all of this will be done in the spirit of working toward common national security goals particularly protecting americans values and principles.
as we confront the serious threats facing us we also recognize that what makes our country exceptional is what we are defending every day and that is freedom. we must never fear, we must never fear who we are or shy away from the values and the principles that america represents. again we have a lot of serious challenges in front of us, make no mistake about that but we will face them. we will face these challenges undaunted with the reenergize sense of response ability and purpose. lastly, finally i will tell you k.t. mcfarland and i are very excited. we are ready to get started and we are very much looking forward to working with many of you in the room today and around washington d.c. and throughout this great country. thank you so much and god bless america. [applause]
[applause] [applause] >> thank you both for your thoughtful remarks and for that symbolic gesture that is an important hallmark of the peaceful transfer of power that makes this country so special. we are now going to take a break for lunch and you will notice that we do not have any programming schedule during this time and we would encourage you to mingle and sit the people you have not met before to enjoy our lovely building and each other's company. we have provided tables and seating and a variety of
locations all around this building. on the third floor and the international women's comments, above us on the second floor in the leland atrium and all the conference rooms in the area and behind us where we have had coffee breaks. i've been on the board for four years. i couldn't find all of these places but not to worry, there are staff around who will direct you to a quiet corner where you can meet and have direct conversations so please enjoy your lunch and we will see you back here and a little over an hour. thanks very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] ♪ >> the presidential inauguration of donald trump's friday, january 20th. c-span will have live coverage of the day's events and ceremonies. watch live on c-span, c-span.org and listen live on the free c-span radio apps. president obama is in chicago for his farewell speech to supporters. yo