tv U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power Warns Against Ignoring Russian Aggression CSPAN January 17, 2017 8:53pm-9:56pm EST
events and ceremonies. watch live on c-span and c-span.org. also on the free c-span radio app. >> ambassador samantha power delivered a final public remarks today at the atlantic council in washington d.c.. she focused on russia and how the next administration could counter that amir putin's interventionist foreign policy. donald trump is named south carolina governor nikki haley as his choice for un ambassador. this is an hour. reel america five . [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon.
my name is john hurts the director of the center. thank you for coming out this afternoon. we have a big treat today. ambassador samantha ãshe will talk to us about russian policy. you will have her bias. i will not read it. let's say she had a distinguished career as a journalist and author. even more distinguished career in the government. a voice of conscious as well as sound diplomacy. and with that i will turn the platform over to her. before however, i met say if you want to follow the conversation, it is at # russia factor.[applause] >> thank you so much. thank you. i have had the privilege of serving in the obama administration for eight years.
first, in the white house and for the last three and half years as a us ambassador to the united nations. i've never had a more meaningful job and now i have just three days left. this is my last major speech is a member of this administration. and much as i would have liked to use it to urge young people to go into public service, or to make the pragmatic case for strengthening the united nations comes i feel that the circumstances require me to focus on a much more immediate subject. a major threat facing our great nation, russia. before getting to the core threat posed by russia, i want to stress from the bottom of my heart that the most, some of the most rewarding and impactful work i have done at the united nations has come in the times when my russian
counterpart and i have been able to cooperate. back in 2013 together we initiated a resolution to get the most dangerous chemical weapons out of syria. russia, as you all recall, was a key pillar and imposing sanctions on iran for its illicit nuclear programs. sanctions that were essential in bringing iran to the table so that we could forge an agreement that cut off iran's pathways to a nuclear bomb. russia worked really constructively with the rest of the security council to select the best candidate for a new un secretary-general. a leader with tremendous experience and vision. while people tend to look to the cold war as a paradigm for understanding the nature of us/russia relations, the reality is that for pivotal parts of our shared history, us
and russian interest have frequently aligned.we fought together and both of the 20th century world wars.indeed, had it not been for the colossal sacrifices made by the soviet union and world war ii, in which they lost more than 20 million people, many times more than any other nation friend or foe. the war would have dragged on for much longer. millions more americans and people of other allied countries would have lost their lives and fascism might well have prevailed in large parts of the world. not to mention that the post-world war ii order may never have been built. russia's immense contribution in that war is part of their proud history of standing up to imperialist powers.from the mongols in the 16th century to
napoleon in the 19th century. in addition, many of the challenges that russia faces today from violent extremism and china's territorial expansionist aims, to national industries and jobs that have been rendered obsolete by globalization. ones that we also face here in the united states. so let me say from ãthat it is very much in our interest to try to solve problems with russia. dialogue between us is absolutely imperative. having said that, anyone who has seen my debates in the un security council with russia knows that i and my government have long had serious concerns about the russian government aggressive and destabilizing actions.
the argument i want to make today goes beyond any particular action russia has taken. to the broader action and what it means to the security of the united states and the american people. today i will set out how the russian government under president vladimir putin is taking steps to weakening the rules the order that we have benefited from for seven decades. our values, how security our prosperity and our very way of life are tied to this order. and we, and by we i mean the united states and our closest partners must come together to prevent russia from succeeding in weakening
can seem quite abstract so that may be very concrete about what is threatened by russia's actions. the order enshrined in the u.n. charter and other international agreements in the aftermath of the second world war was built on the understanding that all of our nations would be more secure if we found ourselves -- found ourselves a set of rules. these included the roles that
the borders between sovereign states should be respected, that even in times of war some weapons and some that takes should never be used. that wild forms of government might vary from one nation to another, certain human rights were inalienable and necessary to check state power and that the nation that breaks these rules should be held accountable. now, as we all know a lot has changed in the seven decades since that order was created. when the united nations was founded there were just 51 member states, a fraction of today's 193. some great contemporary powers were not yet independent nations and many countries that did exist did not have a say much less an equal voice in developing its rules. in addition, some of the threats that we face today such as
violent terrorist groups and cyber attack's would have been unimaginable to the architects of that system. so there are many reasons why the rules-based order conceived in 1945 is not perfectly tailored to the challenges that we as an international community face in 2017. and it is reasonable to think that we need to update those rules with more voices at the table, some of which we will not agree with. yet it falls to as the system may come, the vast majority of countries today recognize that we all benefit from having rules of the road that constrain certain kinds of behavior, to enhance our shared security rules that must not be rewritten by force. now i also acknowledge that there are times when the actions the united states takes in the interest of defending our
security and that of our allies can be seen by other nations as offensive moves that threaten their security and we need to be alert to this which is why dialogue is so very important. some may argue not unreasonably that our government has not always lived up to the rules that we invoke. as president obama made clear when he entered office while the united states tries to lead by example there are still times when we have fallen short. yet under president obama's leadership we have shown our commitment to investing in and abiding by the rules-based international orders. the same cannot be said for the russian government today. for years, we have seen russia take one aggressive and destabilizing action after another. we saw it in march 2014 not long after mass peaceful protests in
ukraine brought to power a government that favored closer ties with europe. when russia dispatched its soldiers to the ukrainian peninsula of crimea. the little green men at the -- as they came to be called denied any ties to any of them, rammed through a referendum at the barrel of a gun which mr. putin then used to justify his attempted annexation of crimea. we saw it months later in eastern ukraine where russia armed trained and fought alongside separatists. again, russia denied any role in the conflict it manufactured again flouting an international obligation to respect the territorial integrity of its neighbor. we saw it also in russia's support for bashar al-assad's brutal war in syria. support is maintained even as
the assad regime blocked food and medicine from reaching civilians in opposition held areas. civilians who were so desperate that they had resorted to the eating leaves. even as photographs emerged of countless prisoners have been tortured to death in assad's prison, their bodies tagged with serial numbers come even as the assad regime repeatedly used chemical weapons to kill its own people. we saw it in 2015 when russia went further by joining the assaults on the syrian people applying its own troops in a campaign that hit hospitals, schools and the braves. first responders who were trying to dig innocent civilians out of the rubble. and with each transgression not only were more innocent civilians killed, maimed, starved and uprooted but the rules that make all of our nations more secure including russia, those rules were eroded.
we saw it in russia's efforts to undercut the credibility of international institutions like the united nations. for example in an emergency u.n. security council meeting last month then secretary-general ban ki-moon told the member states that the assad regime forces and iranian militia were reportedly disappearing men as those forces parts of eastern aleppo. in response to representative russia which is providing air cover for the offense is not only claimed the russian investigation had uncovered quote not a single report of ill-treatment or violation of international humanitarian law against civilians of eastern aleppo end quote but also accused the secretary-general of basing his information on fake news. minutes later syria's representative to the u.n. at code russia holding up as proof
what he claimed was a photograph of the syrian government soldier helping an elderly woman. the only problem was that the photo was taken six months earlier. in june, 2016 in volusia, iraq. in the same period we also saw russia's systematic efforts to slow down the division and democracy and to drive a wedge between the united states and our closest allies. russia had done this by supporting illiberal parties like france's national front which has a xenophobic anti-muslim platform. on the national front was having trouble raising funds for 2014 campaign a russian bank with ties to the kremlin step in to loan the party more than $11 million. while the aim -- while that may not seem like a large amount compared to the u.s. national campaigns it was roughly a third of what the party was aiming to raise in the national fund made
significant gains in that election through with the national elections coming up in france this year the national fund had said it's looking again to russian financing for help. little surprise that the party leader has repeatedly attempted to legitimize attempted land grab of crimea. russia has also used hacking to sow distrust into the democratic processes of some of our closest allies and undermined the policies of their government. consider the case of germany. according to german intelligence agencies groups linked to the russian government carried out a massive may 2015 attack targeting the german parliament energy companies, telecoms and even universities and just last month german domestic intelligence agency reported an alarming spike in what is called
quote aggressive than increased cyber spying and cyber operations that could potentially endanger german government officials, members of parliament and employees of democratic party's end quote. the agency attributed this to russian hackers. the head of germany's foreign intelligence service said the perpetrators aim is quote delegitimizing the democratic process end quote. in other instances russia's interference and democratically-elected government had meant far more direct. late last year officials and montenegro said they uncovered a plot to violently disrupt the country's elections, topple the government, install a new administration loyal to moscow perhaps even assassinate the prime minister. montenegrins prime minister had been pushing for the country to join nato, a move that russia openly opposed. the plotters reportedly told investigators that they had been funded and equipped by russian officials who have also helped
plan the attack. it is in this context that one must view the russian government's latest efforts to interfere in america's democracy. if their intelligence community found and as you are narrow familiar we know that the russian government sought to interfere in our presidential election with the goals of undermining public space in the u.s. democratic process, denigrating one candidate and helping the other candidate. our intelligence agencies assessed that the campaign was ordered by president putin and implemented by a combination of russian government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries in government paid controls. we know that in addition to hacking the democratic national committee and senior democratic party officials russia also hacked u.s. think tanks and lobbying groups.
and we know that russia hacked elements of multiple state and local elect laurel boards although our intelligence community's assessment is that russia did not compromise vote tallies. but think for just a moment about what that means. russia not only tried to influence our election, but to access the very systems via which we float. at first glance these interventions by russia into from parts of the world can appear unrelated. that is because the common thread running through each of them cannot be found in anything that russia is for. the common thread can be found only in what russia is against not in the rules that it follows but in the rules that it breaks. russia's actions are not standing goal up a new world
order, they are tearing down the one that exists and this is what we are fighting against, having defeated the forces of fascism and communism we now confront the forces of authoritarianism and nihilism. there are multiple theories as to why the russian government would undermine a system that has played a crucial role in helping build and that is fostered unparalleled advances in human liberty and development. perhaps as some speculated as to distract the russian people on the rampant corruption that is consumed so much of the wealth produced by the nation's oil and gas, preventing it from benefiting average citizens. perhaps it is because our rules-based order rests on principles such as accountability and the rule of law that are at odds with
russia's style of governing. perhaps it is to regain a sense of its path forward or to give back of the countries that it blames for the breakup of the soviet union which president putin has called the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century. it is not my aim here to theorize about which if any of these motives lie behind the russian government's actions which not only threaten our democracy but the entire order upon which our security and our prosperity depends. it is instead to ask what are we going to do to address this threat? first, we must continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to determine the full extent of russia's interference in the recent elections, identify the vulnerabilities of our
democratic system and come up with targeted recommendations for preventing future attacks. the congressional hearings initiated last week a bipartisan inquiry announced on january 13 by the senate select committee on intelligence, the joint analysis report on russian cyber at 250 and the joint intelligence committee prepared at the request of president obama are important steps toward achieving these crucial object does. the purpose of such efforts is not to challenge the outcome of any races in a recent election. the purpose is to identify the gap in our defenses that russia exploited as well as other gaps that may not have been seized upon in this attack but the russia or others would take advantage of in the future and a purpose to determine the steps needed to close such gaps and strength and resilience of our
system. because it would be deeply naïve and deeply negligent to think that those who have discovered vulnerabilities in our system would not try to exploit them again and again. and not just russia but all the governments and nonstate actors who are undermining our democracy as a way of advancing their interests. indeed in our day has happened repeatedly and we know there were also hacks in our presidential elections. in 2008 and in 2012. that these efforts be bipartisan is absolutely essential allowing politics to get in the way of determining the full extent of russia's meddling and how best to protect our democracy would underline our core national security interests. it is healthy for our parties
and our political system to debate issues such as how to expand our metal class or what role our nation should play in the wider world. what is not helpful is for a party or its leaders to cast doubt on these unanimous well-documented assessments of our intelligence community that a foreign government is seeking to harm our country. second, we have to do a better job of informing our citizens about the seriousness of the threat the russian government poses. here to our unity is crucial. when we sent conflicting messages about a threat russia poses it sends a mixed message to the american people. a recent poll found that 37% of republicans hold a favorable view of president -- up just from 10% in july of 2014.
that is an alarmingly high proportion for a leader that has had journalists, human rights activists and opposition politicians murdered, for one who was ridiculed our constitutional safeguards and try to tip the scales in our elections. i know that some have said that the focus on russia that we are bringing you simply the party that lost the recent presidential election being sore losers but it should worry every american that a foreign government interfered in our democratic process. it's not about the leader we choose, it's about who gets to choose. who gets to choose their leader? that privilege should belong only to americans. we must also forcefully reject the false equivalency between the work that the u.s. government in the russian government are doing in other
countries. there is a world difference between supporting free and fair elections and investing in independent institutions that it dance human rights, accountability and transparency as we do and on the other hand trying to sow distrust and democratic processes, misinformed citizens and swing elections toward illiberal parties as russia is doing. third, we must reassure our allies that we have their backs and we must ensure that russia pays a price for breaking the rules. that means maintaining a robust support for nato and making clear our nations steadfast commitment to treat an attack on any nato member as an attack on us all. we expect all of our nato allies to do their part in keeping the
alliance strong which includes meeting the pledge made in 2014 to spend at least 2% of their gdp on defense, a commitment that we and the obama administration have pushed relentlessly. we also need to increase cooperation in intelligence sharing to deter, detect and defend against the next generation of hacks and cyber threats particularly as trance germany and the netherlands look forward to national elections this year. that also means maintaining the sanctions placed on russia including those imposed by president obama in response to russia's meddling in our elections. now some have argued that the most effective way to get russia to start playing by the rules that under gird its international order is by using sanctions. if only we reduced reduce the pressure they claim russia will stop lashing out against the
international order that they have it backwards. these impeded measures on the russian government when they haven't changed their behavior will only embolden russia, sending the message that the best way to gain international acceptance of its destabilizing actions is simply to wait us out and that will not only encourage more dangerous actions by russia but also by other rule breakers like iran and north korea which are constantly testing testing r they can move the line without triggering a response. similarly flawed as the argument that the united states should put recent transgressions aside and announce another reset with russia. yes, the obama administration tried this approach in her first term. in 2017 is not 2009.
in 2009, dimitri megadeth was president of russia and were able to find common ground on issues such as counterterrorism, arms control and the war in afghanistan. more important, in 2000 russia was not occupying crimea fueling an ongoing conflict in eastern ukraine and bombing first responders from syria nor most importantly had russia interfere directly in the u.s. election. yet it would be a mistake to think that all we need to do is to defend ourselves and our allies against the threat that russia poses and to rely on the same tools we have been using, that if we just close the gaps in our defenses and forming for me republic ratchet up sanctions, shore up nato, do all that it would be a mistake to believe that we would be able to protect a rules-based order.
we have to do more because russia has an edge in one respect. turns out it is easier to break institutions down than to build them up. it is easy to sow skepticism than to earn people's trust. making up fake news as the reporters here today is a lot easier than reporting the facts required for rome news. put simply, in international affairs 2017 it is often easier to be bad than good. let me give just one example. on september -- september 16, 2016 a. meyer member humanitarian convoy of the arab red crescent was bombed in the syrian city killing at least 10 civilians and destroying 18 trucks filled with food and medicine intended for desperate syrian civilians.
because the strikes were carried out in a region where only the assad regime and its russian allies were flying the attack was widely reported as likely being carried out by the regime or russian forces. yet rather than accept any responsibility, rather than even try to get to the bottom of what had happened the russian government did what it always does in the face of atrocities with which it is associated, deny and lie. russia's ministry of defense initially said no airstrikes have been carried out in the area by russian or syrian planes and expert analysis of video footage of the strike show that the aid convoy had been destroyed by a fire. then president putin's press secretary said terrorists had been firing rockets nearby suggesting that they were the ones who instruct the convoy and then russia claimed the u.s. drone had been detected above
the convoy minutes before struck suggesting the convoy had not been hit by the air. two days, three stories, all false. yet russia's willingness to lie, turn reporting on the attack into on the one hand on the other hand story even in respected outlets like "the new york times" the bbc and "cnn" and russian government controlled networks like already played a critical role in this effort rapidly disseminating those lies while questioning the accounts of witnesses. as already's on editor once said quote not having our own broadcasting is the same as not having a ministry of defense. when there is no war it looks like we don't need it however when there is a war it is critical end quote. in other words lying is a strategic asset.
it didn't matter whether russia's accounts were at correct for inconsistent. all that mattered was that russia and jack get enough counterclaims into the news cycle to call into question who was responsible. by the time the u.n. issued ever port on the incident more than three months later concluding that the convoy had instruct by an airstrike that could out only have been carried out by the assad regime are russia the finding and russia's cover-up received almost no attention. deny and lie. at times it can start to feel the only way to outmaneuver and adversary and battered by the truth is to beat them at their own game. that would be deeply misguided. if we try to meet the russian government in its upside down land where right is left, black is white, we will help them achieve their goal which is creating a world where all truth is relevant and where trust in
the integrity of our democratic system is lost. we don't need to chen up our own propaganda networks, bankroll our own army of controls and inundate social media file forms with even more fake news targeting our adversaries. we have to fight misinformation with misinformation, fiction with fact that documenting in spreading the facts just like any faction in fake news takes resources. a report by the uk parliament on the russian government spent between six and a million and 1 billion a year on propaganda arms like already. we need to be spending at least as much an arguably much more on training and equipping independent reporters, protecting journalists who are under attack and finding ways to get around the censors and firewalls that repressive governments used to block their citizens from getting access to critical voices.
this leads to the fourth and final way to address the threats russia poses to the rules-based international order. we must continue to see ways to engage directly with the russian people and coming back to where i started with the russian government. it can be see to forget that virtually all the taxes the russian government is using to my democracy abroad are ones that they fine-tuned at home on the russian people to devastating effect. after all when russian soldiers are killed fighting in a conflict in eastern ukraine that the government denies it had any role and, it is russian mothers, widows and orphans who are denied the benefits and recognition they deserve his family members of soldiers to the mafia and the russian government uses to sow corruption abroad and it is
russian journalist and human rights defenders have been harassed, beaten and even killed for uncovering their government abuses. so we must be very careful to distinguish between the russian government and the russian people. we cannot let america's relationship with the nation of more than 140 million people, people who have made remarkable contributions in the world who have a proud and rich history and culture and whom we fervently wish to see prosper be defined solely by the nefarious action of a tiny subset of their government. and yet we have less contact with ordinary russians today than at any time in decades. this is no accident. the past few years the russian government has closed 28 u.s. government-funded american -- which offered free library thing which training and events about american culture to russian
citizens and to shatter the american center in moscow which hosted more than 50,000 russian visitors per year. it has also expelled government supported an independent non-profits such as the national endowment for democracy and the open society foundation which has spent decades fostering school society and the rule of law in russia. as the kremlin closes off these outlets for reaching the russian people we must find others to take their place. we also cannot give up engaging with the russian government. we should do this in part because collaborating on issues of shared interest will allow us to show not just tell what we know to be true that our nations have a lot more to gain by working to build up a system of shared rules and principles then tear it down and in part because by working together we may be able to rebuild the respect and
the trust needed to tackle unprecedented global threat that we face today many of which cannot be solved without one another's help. let me conclude in 1796 our nation's first president george washington used his farewell address to issue a stark warning to the american people about the danger of foreign governments trying to interfere in our democracy. he told his audience the following quote against the insidious wiles of foreign influence i conjure you to believe me fellow citizens, the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake since history and experience prove this influence is one of the most painful foes of republican government.
end quote. more than 220 years later washington's warnings strikingly relevant. for if anything the vulnerabilities of washington saw in his words to tamper with domestic factions and to practice the art of seduction to mislead public opinion, to influence or all the public councils were his words. those have only multiplied with modern technology. unlike in 1796 it is no longer enough for us simply to protect our own democracy against foreign interference. we also have to protect the integrity of the entire rules-based international order on these foundations our security and our transparency rest. yet while so much has changed since washington issued his warning the essence of the
threat has not. he goes to the creation of america itself, and nation borne out of a simple yet revolutionary idea, that it was the american people, ordinary citizens and not a government domestic or foreign who should enjoy the rights to shape our nation's past. that is a right that we have had to fight to defend throughout our history and while in recent decades we may have felt confident that no power would dare try to take that right away from us we have again been reminded that they will try. just as the threat is fundamentally and changed since washington's time so is her most effective way to confront it. and that is by renewing the faith of the american people and our democracy. our democracy's vitality has
long depended on sustaining the belief among our citizens that the government by and for the people is the best way to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, to preserve the freedoms we value the most and to expand our opportunities. it is not that we have a perfect system but a perfectible system, one that the american people always have the power to improve, to renew, to make our own. that is the engine that is powered a republic since its creation and it's the reason other nations still look to america as a model. and it is precisely that faith that the russian government interference is intended to shake. the kremlin's aim is to convince their people that the system is rigged, that all facts are
relevant, that ordinary people who try to improve their communities and their country are wasting their time. in the place of faith they offer cynicism. in the place of engagement, and difference but the truth is the russian government's efforts to cast doubt on the integrity of our democracy would not have been so effective if some of those doubts have not already been felt by many americans by citizens who are asking whether our system still offers a way to fix the everyday problems they face and whether our society still gives them reason to hope that they can improve their lives for the better. in this way and we need to reckon with this, the attack has cast a light on a growing sense of divisiveness, distrust and disillusionment. but we know here in america not only what we are against, we know what we are for so just as
we are clear-eyed about the threat the russia poses from the outside and unifies in confronting it we must also dedicate ourselves to restoring citizen faith in our democracy on the inside which always is a source of america's strength and always will be our best defense against any foreign power that tries to do us harm. i thank you. [applause] >> congratulations ambassador power. that was comprehensive. you raise a lot of very important questions and i would like underscore some of these
things with you. and let me start with perhaps the most important part of your speech which was your summation where you linked the nasty intervention by the kremlin and our presidential campaign with some vulnerabilities in our society and he said that in fact putin's intervention cast a light on these things. so, what would you suggest and this is almost a metaphysical question, what would you suggest we do to make ourselves strong internally so that we are not susceptible the lebanon at jurors trying to influence our political efforts? >> thank you and thank you so much. i should have said at the outset to you for having me and for the
accommodating the time change. >> to accommodate a star. >> oh yeah for three days. look you are asking not only a core question about the subject of my speech today by the core question that all of us as citizens are asking with greater urgency for some more urgency since the election them before but this has been, this divisiveness the polarization and echo chambers that we increasingly inhabit, the way in which the technology has allowed us to cater to our preferences and thus to envoy -- avoid inconvenient new facts that are at odds with their pre-existing opinions. these divisions, the ways in which new studies are showing that people who have strong
views whether it's on abortion or on climate change or even infrastructure and how we approach of the structure is to have some views and to give them new data are what are seen as independent sources they tend to believe more strongly what they believed even if it's conflicting data. whoa, what is that going to mean? i think you know there is also an alienation from institutions and i think that number one we need to be crossing lines and as citizens taking on the responsibility of seeking out views that are contrary to our own but those of us privileged enough to be in public life or public service which is the privilege of a lifetime i can tell you by one who is about to move out of it after eight years. we have got to find the people who put their faith in us and
there's no question it's a vast sense of money from the sense that people who don't, aren't able to mobilize resources of that nature that there is not necessarily a place for them in modern politics, that's not going to get solved any time soon it looks like unfortunately but also instead of everything being an excuse to sound off and to affirm a prior belief look at what our policies are delivering for people. are we curious even to find out and of course i was coming here in the coming months and there's a lot that's uncertain and i don't want to weigh in on any particular policy or make any predictions about how things are going to go but you know maybe out of the fact that a single party controls the branches of government there cannot be at
least some opportunity to deliver more. we are disappointed that so much of what we sought to deliver was blocked and indeed as the president and others have noted some of the very people doing the blocking have benefited in recent elections from people sense that things were two blocks. that's unfortunate but maybe for everyone no matter what side of the aisle you are on for this alienation that people feel the polls we have been looking at for years and trust in institutions and all that we know about how much more extreme each of us are becoming in our corners, maybe that can be a plus and indeed some of the topics i talked about today you do see more bipartisanship this week looking into russian hacking and so forth then we saw a few weeks ago. so maybe an issue of this
magnitude could be a means of people coming together and maybe we just need to find if you like that as our training wheels. >> thank you. now i will ask the question was meant to be my first question. what you said in your speech was very congenial to those working on those issues for the past several years and you made a point which was absolutely dead on that mr. putin has his aim on the international order of the past seven years and even the past 25 since the end of the cold war. you also correctly noted that to make this argument is a little bit abstract so here's my point. it seems to me almost self-evident that the extraordinary civility particularly over the last 25 years in the great power wars and the cold war the extraordinary prosperity of the past 25 years which has benefited us all has been right
the result precisely of this order. how do we convey that so that the next time the poll was taken republicans do not think mr. putin is a benign actor? >> i think we start by having more of this conversation but even as you were talking and even as i was talking now so have to take note of the fact that while you and i may hail to order such as it is an and imagine the counterfactual is of a world without rules or a world where you have more rope breaking going on at any given time in fairness to the people who aren't feeling so great right now, the world because of isil's rise and the number of displaced people in the world which is that the greatest since world war ii, climate change there is a sense also that the rules-based orders and delivering sufficiently anymore than are national or local
systems are delivering. and so again this is a self-fulfilling prophecy because when you are blocked on the u.n. security council because one of the permanent members won't even allow you to have a seven-day pause to get food into aleppo, then you are a citizen and looking at this going man that u.n. security council would have broken institution and one country as the power because of veto to dictate what the premier body for international peace and security says and does. so that's an issue but i think as we have taken the fight to isil, as we work on something that like cyber needs vastly more attention and resources on it that is countering violent extremism so as to avoid the inspired attacks which have become more frequent rather than a top-down organized attacks
that we became familiar with threw out qaeda and so forth but making the international system, having some success stories and some bright spots and even if it's something small like making sure the president-elect actually is able to take office in a tiny country but for the u.n. and for all of us to be able to come together on something very small finishing the job against isil is a territorial matter taking most local taking raqqa and showing what coalition's offer and not just coalitions, coalitions that are examining targets according to how they stack up against the laws of war. one of the reasons mosul is not simple is we are not carpet bombing the russians and the syrian government carpet bombed
aleppo. we know it's a victory that wind up creating isil three-point ohs is a very measured, complicated and very challenging way we are proceeding as methodically as we can in support of the brave iraqis who are taking the fight to isil but i think success and i will say as one bright spot as i mentioned in russia's role we have selected a new u.s. secretary-general who is all about results. he is right there in cypress within days of taking over the job to get us across the finish line. you could in one of the most protracted conflicts of our time. i would be again the sense in which when we invest in diplomacy we need to invest more in mediation and political solutions at the u.n. than merely peacekeeping in some of
the tools you and i have worked on but i think there is a reason that even absent or alongside russia's intervention with a nature that i've described people feel the international order needs to deliver better so again but the mistake would be for certainly as there's going to be a lot of political transition in the coming year to think there's a workaround or some door number two where you could have void it. we are the only body where the countries the work and give her and give the major threats whether terrorism climate change pandemic, you name it this is the body that we need to invest in to strengthen. >> in your speech you offered for policy prescriptions for the west. the last one was doing gauge with the russian people. how do we do that? >> you may be more of an expert than i but you know we have
dramatically just one example scale back the kinds of programs we had 25 years ago on the information side. and if voice of america, the radio free europe brand which we hear from so many people in europe and in russia shapes their understanding of the outside world a wholly different scale of investment and that also i mean i mentioned i think we even have here today some russian journalists who are in our country coming through learning about this country and exchange programs. again now has not been a great time to be expanding the people-to-people tides because that is done at least by government at a governmental level with the other governments but as we think about life after
transition investments in these kinds of programs dedicated efforts of the scale that we used to bring to this enterprise i think would be extremely important. put information in the classic exchanges. there's not that much to do under the sun and indeed that the knowledge is for all of their downsides which we talked about at the possible for there to be contacts among young people even in middle school and high school and well before you get to university exchanges. >> i don't want to put you on the spot, well anyway. there is an effort which might kill two birds with one stone. a bipartisan effort to introduce legislation so this is both republican and democrats working together and also addressing it.
would he think about that? >> i would have to look at the bill in question because i know chairman royce and others have been with us for a very long time. i can vouch for the polls but that was in 2014. there hasn't traditionally been an issue with bipartisanship on this account. this is a very new phenomenon so i hope initiatives like that again without weighing in on the specifics that articulate in light of what i described in what we have all experienced over the last few years but not just because of that but also because it is so in our interest to have a strong relationship to enhance mutual understanding. my speech lays into what russia has been doing very sharply i
realize that i want to stress in my time in new york in the point i made in the beginning which is when the u.s. and russia are in the same page on something which is why we invested so much in trying to come to agreement on whether we can do joint targeting in syria against terrorist actors, when we are on the same page or rolling in the same direction that's when the security council become so much more functional. that's when the international order pays dividends not just for the people who are vulnerable out in the world who need the system to work but also for our common security which because we are the countries is much more at stake in the general mail you of the international system when things go awry then for some countries. >> let me ask one last question. there has been talk and i will just call it talk about the possibility of an early putin
trump summit to include a deal. what advice would you have on this possibility? >> i think for the last hour i offered my thoughts insofar as high-level engagement is going to be critical and particularly in an authoritarian or populist authoritarian system like the one in russia sort of one-stop shopping on one level. however we have to come into conversations is a general rule and certainly with president putin understanding our interests, understanding the gaps that we want to shore up an understanding the costs of
allowing a government particularly very powerful one and one with a security council seat but the cost of allowing history to be erased. history can't be erased. the costs are too great to too many people and the jeopardy to our interest is too formidable. so i think of course high-level contacts are going to happen, should happen. of course again we root whole heartedly for different kind of era but a campy one that glosses the path or papers over the fact that you are talking about dealing with the leader who has his own opponents intimidated
and in some cases killed. this is not your average, this is not the symmetrical, this will never be a symmetrical relationship absent a sea change so that elements of what we need to keep in place are there and one of those elements is dialogue but not from a position of weakness or forgetting history. >> think you very much for sharing your thoughts. sarah thank you so much. thank you so much everybody for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> what did we learn? we learned that we elected congress that makes the law and the present executes the law, the courts review the laws but that isn't exactly have the system works. much of what we think of as the law consists of rules and regulations written by pure credit agencies but aircraft are not elected by anyone and too often serve for decades. >> incoming vice president mike pence spoke at a meeting of u.s. conference of mayors where he talked about the trump administration's policies affecting cities including proposals for job creation. this is 20 minutes. [inaudible conversations]