tv Defense and National Security Part 1 CSPAN February 20, 2018 8:00am-9:05am EST
>> many of these authors have will appear on booktv. you can watch them on our website, booktv.org. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors of the weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> here's a a look at our live coverage today on c-span2. first congressman adam smith, ranking member of the armed services committee talking about defense and national security. >> thank you very much. it's a great honor to be here. i always appreciate what with csis.
we have been in normal sample to be throughout my time on the armed services committee. they know pretty much everything is good at some of his nose of the things we can ask questions and learn and it's a very, very complicated world. it is noble and unsettling the first time about how long i've been for group of people that we actually the budget deal. normally that is what dominates all my thoughts. the only caveat i will throw out is have that money for two years. eventually you do get a debt and deficit that are so high that you put in a very, very bad place. and that is going to happen. i can't say when exactly but when that happens all aspects of government and the military will not be excluded black to figure out how do we live with a lot less money than we thought we were going to have. i think that is one of the most important conversations that we should be having, that the pentagon and the government level is how can we make the most of this to your gift that we been given, and not think
that it is simply something that is going to keep happening. it's economically impossible for you to keep happening and distinctly possible for it to go the other way in a massively. we we were together playset. but as for security cooperation goes, it something i worked on for a long time. it started when it was the chair of the terrorism subcommittee and we had jurisdiction over socom psycho to travel the world and basically see everywhere that special operations command box, not everywhere, but a lot of the places. admiral also produces it whenever i met with him he would start of every meeting by saying today we woke up in 87 countries or 75 or whatever it was but it was a good blueprint for where our military presence was throughout the world. understanding where socom was. what's the purpose of security systems? what are we trying to accomplish? putting aside for the moment the
really intense conflict zones which are get you in the second, what we're trying to accomplish, actually socom is a great euphemism for. they refer to as preparation of the environment. i always like that. basically what they meant is we want to make friends in different parts of the world whether it's south america or africa, the middle east, south asia so if things go horribly wrong we are better prepared to deal with it, on the one hand. on the other hand, were hoping those relationships and what we do will stop things from going horribly wrong. because that's part of our mission not just in the military but in the state department and the entire foreign policy. and that is to maintain stability in as many places as we can. that's the tiniest little bit complicated right now. all of you are very knowledgeable. you can look around the globe and certainly of afghanistan as homologous that are problems that you've a dozen other countries as well better in some state of instability combined
with having the presence of terrorist organizations threaten the west. we are trying to figure out how can we work in those countries and countries around them to bring a more secure environment. the key to all of this this isa whole of government approach. what we had and what we tempted to reform with the 2017 ndaa reforms on security assistance was as a result of iraq and afghanistan, a result of all the stuff resting on his very suddenly and in an emergency situation we sort of made it up as we went along. we knew we had to spread a lot of money around in different places to try to keep the peace, try to keep the stability that's really what this is that you are trying to make friends and figure out if you're working in the philippines, what do they need so they will cooperate with you. i always harken back to a story, a retired socom officer told about when he was in libya in the early '80s and he said the single best thing that he had was a dentist.
everybody in libya wanted a dentist as long as he provided that it is they would tell them everything he needed to know and they would help them. a bit of an overstatement but in essence that's what we're trying to do. if you are in one of conflict zones like afghanistan and somalia, obligated by the factor operating in an insecure and five, what really complicates that in terms of security assistance is you pass out this money, and security assistance is not just about training people how defend themselves. training other countries. the programs spread across a wide range of things. you had dod dollars going to build schools and drill wells and provide healthcare, do whole bunch of different things. that all under that umbrella of, i guess you'd call it if you from new jersey walking around money, what you need to sort of keep the peace in the neighborhood, and it got very, very confusing in terms of who was controlling what.
we attempted in 2017 to consolidate all of this money, at least at the dod under one person, under the under secretary policy. so that we can keep ordination of that money within dod. but for all this to work it has to be a lot more than dod. because depending on the country you may need different things. certainly you always going to need security to do anything but you also need the rule of law. so the justice department could potentially be very involved in figuring out how can you put in place a basic system of law that people can rely on. healthcare, is enormous important as i mentioned. special operations command runs with the call med caps where the bush opens it will be all day with a bunch of doctors to help you out. you've got that. agriculture. i don't know anything about agriculture. i grew up in the suburbs that it is a very, very important and a lot of parts of the world.
so how do you bring all of that together and have whole of government cooperative approach? i think getting dod money coordinator is important. what's going to be even more important is getting some of that money out of dod and into the hands of the people who build schools and drill wells and provide healthcare and set up the rule of law, and to set it up so that there is a cooperative experience within the country. i did a trip to africa in 2009 i think it was, in which we visited a lot of different countries to try to get an idea. so how are we doing? we went to morocco and rwanda, congo, egypt, and really it very from country to country how will our government worked. a lot of it depended upon the ambassador. because if this model is working correctly, the ambassador is in charge of the country and that was something we also went to yemen on that trip, i was stuck
about my trip to africa and say with a human and peoples a yemen is that in africa. yet, but we just jumped across the sea and we jumped back. but in human thought was a conflict at the time. the ambassador had a very large military presence there, and he wanted to be in charge of it. because it's his country and he wasn't. so he did really know how to operate with the other people in their because you had these bifurcated command structures theoretically in charge of the whole. if this is working properly the ambassador works with whether the military leader is, socom is frequently a huge part of this, and then all of the other agencies are underneath it and they all have an idea and a plan for what they're going to provide. in kenya or libya or somalia or whatever. and structured, organized, spending money wisely. right that it is a cross purposes. the 2017 reform is a start but we need to get to the whole of
government approach in order to properly do this. at the end of the day what we're talking about is counterinsurgency in the good sense. counterinsurgency has got a bad name because it becomes synonymous with nationbuilding. that's not what it is supposed to be. we can all agree at this point out what happened in iraq and afghanistan that showing up in any country in the world particularly one that is completely different from america and saying all right, we're here, we will rebuild your entire country and show you how to run it, not a good idea. counterinsurgency in the lower form is simply small little bits of help to help a country maintain stability. it works best to the millennium challenge corporation that works with governments to say okay, we'll give you four dated the what is your plan works what are you trying to accomplish in education and health care and elsewhere? that's got to start from the state department and work through the defense department, in my opinion. i'll close with this and will
take your questions. that's one of the biggest conflicts out there. dod has the money at the end of the day when the state department and all these other people are battling to influence over a given country, if the department of defense happens to be there in any sort of force, they are the ones with the huge pot of money. it's 55% of the discretionary budget. the other 45% is spread out over everybody else. there's a tendency to have dod do whole lot of different things that they shouldn't be doing. one example was given to me when i was in kenya at dinner, there was this great argument between a young woman with the state department and the two navy seals who were traveling with me about state department versus military running the country and how security is where it all started, the military wasn't doing it but how are you going to do that. but the state department woman had a good story about how this branch of the military from the u.s. had gone up and started drilling wells in this town at
the northern kenya where the used wells. so without talking to the state department they just went up and did it. and pretty soon people were either trying to resist the u.s. or just paranoid, started spreading rumors that the wells were poisoned pics and nobody would use them because you can't trust the u.s. military because the u.s. military is here to crush you and take over your country. that's why you need a more cooperative effort. that's what you need diplomats involved, engaged. while we're talking a massive increases in the defense budget and cutting the state department, we're kind of making it more difficult to do this comprehensive approach. this comprehensive approach is vastly preferable than dropping 150,000 u.s. troops into a country and trying to pacify it. if we can do it for a small amount of cooperation from other countries and other agencies we definitely get more bang for our buck but also more successful in
what we are attempting to do. that fight will play out. general mattis said it best when he was trying to defend the state department picky set if you're going to cut the state department you better give me 54 divisions because i'm going to give them. regrettably while he said that, it's kind of exactly what is happening. the pentagon is getting a lot more money. the state department is not. a lot of these other places in government are not either. so basically as you talk about security cooperation, don't forget the whole of government approach. yes, we need to train troops in trouble spots of the world so that they can keep the peace and the security, but security is about a lot more than the military. so i will look forward to your questions. again, i think csis are hosting this event. thanks.
>> thank you very much representative smith. i know your back is bothering circuit to stand and walk that's totally fine. >> i don't have to do that. actually it's not my back but that's another story. >> oki. apologies for that in. so let's start when you ended up, which is this idea of whole of government and comprehensive approach. challenging to say the least right now as you said the state department is going through at best described as a restructuring, but heavy pruning or siege force approach on them. what do you think it sort of the next stage or era of congressional viewpoint with regard to where we go on this comprehensive approach? do you know if we will get to a point where dod is well resourced and takes a lot of these missions that's because of money is there, what then becomes the next age of where we
can go to make sure that we had the kind of security that looks more like the whole of government that you hope for? >> i'm not known from optimism. i think that's unfair by the way. i'm not being pessimistic. it is what it is. i certainly try to assess the situation where it's at but it will start with something positive that's going on and that is on working with congressman ted yoho along with senator coons and -- to do a fairly conference of the form of development aid. that puts more power in the hands of usaid and actually improves that particular leg of the stool, if you believe the defense development diplomacy approach to foreign policy. it's quite promising. it's ironic because this is something that was central to my approach prior to 2008, and he worked with susan rice and gayle
smith on the campaign at the time, this was a big focus of ours that we're going to reform the way we do foreign aid. foreign aid is spread out over like 40 different agencies and it's in little boxes and pots of money that you can't, it's very, very difficult of it. raj shah, not the one in the white house, the raj shah who was use the id guy for a while, is as bright as human being as of ever encountered, and today does a marvelous job at usaid and so did gail after but we never did the report we never did reform because the state department wouldn't let go of it. the state department wanted to control it. i voice out that was a mistake. we should have i think a separate department of development sort like to do in great britain. but it's a turf thing and state department, under the obama administration eight years we did nothing congressionally. raj did what he could within the confines of the law but now we
have the possibility of reforming that and that would be a big step towards getting us to a better place on a whole of government approach it usaid had more power and authority. >> there always has been it seems that washington this debate over whether truth struck reform as possible and whether one should think big to make some of these bigger structural changes or one sort of absent a major crisis, what is forced back if you will into working with what you have. do you fall summer on the spectrum? it sounds like it's a few there is a chance for a fundamental structural change that can help us on security assistance. >> i think there is a chance. it's always worth working on as legislators. that's what we do, legislate. so i would never say we should walk away from it. i think the challenges to getting there are daunting because of the current structure and also because of the money problem that i alluded to in my opening remarks, eventually bite
us. everybody is short of money. we are living way crazy beyond our means and so then you tend to get sort of locked into patterns and you don't have the freedom to innovate as you should. but i think there's the possibility we could get to a better whole of government approach. >> speaking of spending, we hear a lot in washington about how difficult it is in many of us experience it to try to explain anything like security cooperation or preventative defense of whatever the comprehensive approach, , whater the term is, two people are just thinking about why they want their tax dollars going and the value trying to explain the value of that when folks are looking at whether they want their taxes raised or the want benefits decreased or whatever the issue may be. >> they don't want either one of those things by the way. >> what is the compelling case, if any, that you have found works if you will in terms of talking about your travels, your
experiences in this sector and the value that they can provide to americans? is there a a way to sell this successfully? >> there is. there's a rather sizable problem with it which i obligated after explain how we do it. i have been giving this the sph for a long time, and constituents tend to be very straightforward into focus, what's this this do it for me? i spending money on this, how is it helping? if we're spending money all across the world how is it helping? there are sort of four ways it helps. free practical and one that is a more, i don't know, idealistic argument. but to begin with the united states of america is still the largest economy in the world by a comfortable margin. it's funny everyone keeps talking china is catching us,, freaking out about china. we had this conversation is armed service committee that
very soon they will be passive. i looked up the number and time rounding a little bit, but year we had $19 trillion in gdp. they had 11. i don't know, if you have 19 to, pretty comfortable lead. we are still responsible for about 20% of global consumption which means we have more invested in global stability than anybody. so number one is economics, if you want to continue to grow we need access to markets. would you rather have access to a market like, i don't know, can you or somalia? there's got to be something there. we have interest in maintaining the severely stability will coo grow the economy so that we can sell stuff to them. bottom line. so there's the economic argument. then there's the healthcare argument. basically the disease spreads like that. good article by the way about how the fact that the cdc and
health and human services were not really being run by anybody at the moment is a a problem, maybe part of the reason we had more people die from the flu this year than we had any point in recent memory. if you have instability in these other countries, then pick your favorite disease, the bird flu is going to cause one year and there was swine flu, and now it's the swine flu. this is going to spread, ebola of course. making sure that countries have stable healthcare systems protects us as well. then there's the fact that instability leads to terrorist groups who would very much like to kill all of us. you can stop that instability is less likely that somebody is going to attempt to kill you either here or whether traveling abroad. so those are three very practical arguments why the u.s. is invested in global stability. this is what we're talking about is a pathway to global stability. in the last argument, depends on
the audience whether or not i try this one out, is that america ought to stand for something. whatever problems we have here, there's never been a society in the history of the world that has been as wealthy and prosperous as we have been since world war ii. and we were a country that was built on lofty values and principles. and if we can help spread that across the world, help people, we ought to do it. if you want to make it a christian argument, it's basically love thy neighbor and help whoever you can help. it's the good samaritan story basically. you should help anyone you can help and we are in a position to help a lot of people. there's a lot of suffering in the world, and actually we have been more successful at this than people realize. in fact, we engaged, i forget what the numbers are, but the
poverty level globally has gone down a heck of a lot. you know that. someone at csi knows this. poverty was cut by a third of whatever but down a lot. we ought to be proud of that. we have to be proud that, loosely speaking, freedom, democracy and capitalism, they work. they make the world a better place. the part that gets in the way of all this is what you said about what do the people want to sped their money on. again i will start with the good news. pew research does this fascinating fall if they do it every jew. i haven't looked recently because in a way it's rather depressing. they asked the american people, here are the 18 areas where the federal government spends money, roughly speaking. and in these areas what would you like to see cut, increased, or kept the same? the answer to the question of what the working people would like to cut is nothing. literally nothing. in fact, most of the categories,
social security, medicare, medicaid, defense, transportation, healthcare, you add up, keep at the same and increase it. that number has to be less than the decreased number or they don't want to see anything cut. it's like two-thirds, 70% of people want to see either increased or kept the same on all those things. even foreign aid, as tangential as it is, as difficult as it is to make this argument consistently ekes out a a very narrow victory in terms of the number of people who want to spend more money on it or keep at it the same as opposed to those who want to cut it. so that is the support for that. the problem of course is that what the american people want, if you look at the polling, this is why by the way i'm not fond of pollsters, unless i'm in a very, very close race, if they are doing the poll, it's shocking how accurate it is.
all these polls come , if we doo a poll right in may as well just ask the first three people to walk at the burger king somewhere here but if you do it right, statistics, it just blows my brain the way that in every race i've done, i hire good pollsters, they are right. just spot on, right on the numbers. but the problem with pollsters is not wind up only to see is going to win an election, do you have something to worry about. it's when you try to figure out what's the message that's going to work to persuade people to vote for you? that's the part i i would justs soon not pay them for. because basically what they do is they figure out if you tell people you're going to give them something for nothing, they like it. really. i i learned that when i was six years old. so when it comes to the government, there are three basic things. 80% of the people support a balanced budget. and by the way today, not ten years from now or 15 years from
now but whatever you economist would think about, we've got to balance a budget day because fiscal responsibility is good. cool. so what do you want to cut? i told you that story. nothing. in fact, we want to increase a a bunch of things. all right, how high do you want taxes to go? no, no, no we don't support any tax increase. as i jokingly say, you can do a full, you can get a majority of people to support a tax increase if you can convince them that it is not going to impact them directly. now, the problem with that is very quickly, the group of people that are impacted by it withstand a lot of the money that they have to convince everybody that it could impact them, and then your lead evaporates. the estate tax is a great example of that. the position of the american public right now when they look at congress is want you to balance the budget, we want you
to do it without cutting anything and without raising taxes. and we are 21 21 going on 20 t0 in debt and the projected deficit for this year is a trillion dollars. any of you can do that? no and gave me a magic wand got elected to this job. as much as i want to talk about how we got to make the case report eight, i can make the case report eight. you've also got to have budget in which it fits and given peoples position on revenue and spending and balanced budgets, that is impossible. what i'm trying to do about this other than simply tell funny jokes about it is to tell people this. it's like hello, let's talk and have an honest conversation about the numbers are so we can talk about do we want -- is going to be okay to not balance the budget for a while but it's not okay to send the debt of over $30 trillion.
there are numbers here, so let's work on this. there's some revenue we need to raise, not cut. so have an honest conversation. instead what pollsters tell you, you get the full back, you're in a close race, you run ads talk talking all the things are going to -- a fiscally responsible you are. people start to believe it. that's why i joke lucidity of the day the state of you speech ought to be banned. they said it's in the constitution. that's not technically true by the way as george orwell pointed out. in the state that you speech, visitor democrats and republicans can i walk out of every student speech with exact same reaction. really? we had that much money? i had no idea. it's an excuse to stand up there and promise anything. why? because before you give a speech or pollsters told you this is what the people want to hear. i can go on but you get the point. until we solve that problem we
will be up against it in virtually every area of making the federal government function. >> that probably brings us back to the point you are raising before, that the department of defense have the money, has some of the money and -- >> a lot of the money. >> and you wanted to, come alog with your colleagues in the 2070 national defense authorization act, better align perhaps the resources with the kinds of authorities you think appropriate for this sector. as you look at now that the legislation has passed, the dod has begun its supplementation albeit not terribly far end, what will you be looking for in security sector reform for signs of success, signs that dod is not beating the intent of the authorizers? >> i mean basically to make sure, this is where the ig comes in, that the money is being spent the way we said it should be spent, that it's not drifting
over into a program that isn't being run by the person who said was supposed be in charge of all the money, that there are no little programs over here they are calling something different that really fall under the head of security assistance. this happens a lot. one of my favorite stories, we went out and visited a village where they were making hats. interestingly looking hats but i guess the culture. and selling them. it was a missed program. i don't think it exist anymore but it was a dod program. like so the department of defense is making hats. why? part of security assistance. to the extent we can write in, and i'm not saying it's a bad idea to help the people at something that they can sell and get markets going forward, it's just something we ought to have a better idea that this is part of what dod is doing, and it
ought to be better coordinated. the way we can tell if this is working or not is, is the money really being controlled in this one everywhere he told them to control it. so basically we can see it and evaluated and figure out whether or not this is the correct use of those funds. >> and do you think are you looking ahead already to newgrounds, if you will, much in the acquisition sector will tend to be in a state of continual reform, is this an area where you're looking at in the cycle for the such reforms of what we be listening for in the hearings to determine whether or not the time is right? >> i don't think so, other than to pass under the law that says no, no we really meant it. i don't think we need to do that. i worry a little bit in the acquisition reform area that every year we get something new and in the pentagon spent six much time to get what the hell that is. i think we have to give them a chance to implement what we
passed. i will complement both the current dod and the predecessors, ash carter, bob work and frank kendall i think did as good jobs anybody i really tried to change some of the fundamentals of the acquisition process. and i think that is, shanahan and lord are also doing a a fabulous job as are the secretaries. i am very impressed with our service secretaries and the fact these are people who are like we will not keep spending money, let's figure out how to get better. let's figure out how to buy more commercial off-the-shelf technology, not to get trapped in programs that wind costing attend the money and not producing anything. at the end of the day at all of the legislation we pass in the world isn't the most important thing. it's the culture. the culture at the pentagon. does the culture reward behavior that is in line with the reforms we have proposed, or doesn't it? if it does it will happen. if it doesn't it won't matter how many times we passed a law
saying it should. >> once your stance on afghanistan in particular and how the united states is doing in that whole of government approach to both training of afghan secret he forces and then more generally in terms of a conference of approach to the country? >> we are getting better at training their security forces under think we've done a decent job. you can't talk about afghanistan and how we are doing without sort of summer olympics, not the winter olympics, but in diving there's a degree of difficulty. the degree of difficulty in afghanistan is very high. it is not a particularly well organized well structured society. they have a lot of guns and the like to fight, and that makes it very, very difficult. we are i think making progress in terms of training the afghan forces to protect themselves, but it is never going to be a
country that is secure in the sense that we would like it to be. there was an article i think in the "new york times" can i get things online these days, basically said what are come we can't get the outcome we want so what are the best of the worse options? they listed six but essentially they were all the same, which was you will have central government that can basically hold on, and then you will negotiate with a bunch of local warlords and chieftains and powerbrokers in different provinces to try to stop an insurgency from taking over and giving safe haven to transnational terrorists. that's the best we can hope for. that's not bad, , i mean, certainly better than to descend into a libya or somalia or pre-2001 afghanistan situation. so my sense is we're doing the best we can and we learned a ton
of lessons from the afghanistan experience. they are hard hard-won lessons from their and iraq, but i think they're implementing these policies as best as they can right now. >> syria? training and may be sticking strictly to the issue because it's such a broad category, sticking strictly to the issue of the u.s. support to forces on the ground for you don't want to ask me about norway? [laughing] >> i had to ask you about norway. even norway has been in the news. >> they have. a little cross-border dispute. it is relatively small. >> just in the sense of the street sector. the united states has been providing aid, attempted over time have struggled with providing a effectively. i think most people would say, have struggled with it, particularly the nonstate actors. what's your sense of the degree to which we can hope for, the united states to be capable over
time to learn how to work effectively? >> it's not a matter of learning. learning. it's a matter of, you know, it's funny, i mentioned afghanistan up talked about how tough it was and did you came up with the place that is even tougher. the reason syria is tougher, most people know, assad is not going anywhere. not with russia and iran backing him to the degree that he is. he's a brutal and popular leader. leader. our allies in the area want to kill each other as much as they want to fight against assad. the kurds are great. turkey has a tiny little problem with the kurds. that crosses over. then you've got, it's a mess in terms of figuring out who our allies are and in coordinating with them. we don't have at least in afghanistan, we do have a clear set of people are working with. a constantly sort of spinning
situation in syria. so until we can resolve to broad situations in syria spills over into our backs i think both of these situations are important. number one, , till we can get turkey and the kurds to get along, and i don't know, i mean, there's so much rivalry and the kurds are split in like five different factions. they've got their problems there. if i were advising the kurds i would say take what you got and for heavens sake leave turkey alone. if you are able to carve out an airy and iraq and in syria, take it, , tried to make peace with turkey. but that's going to be a problem because there have been, and i don't agree with the way erdogan is running turkey by any stretch of imagination, that you can't
deny that the kurds have attacked places in turkey. what are you going to do? we need to resolve the situation because i want to support the kurds. the kurds are worthy of our support. i think it worthy of an independent state. i think the countries around it would be wise to say we will give you an independent state. because if they were to have that they would have less reason to be concerned about their neighbors. i think the u.s. should do more to support the kurds in that claim. not just against turkey but crucially with iraq as well. because the baghdad government, and i think a body is doing, i do want to say is doing his best as can because i don't know enough to say that i think he is certainly doing better than, like he did, trying to work with the sunnis and the kurds. but, of course, once the
fighting stops, they turn on the kurds. they started fighting them as well. we've got to resolve the difference between the kurds and the turks, and the kurds and baghdad. then we can talk about how our security assistance is going. because you can't really do it in a situation that is about fluid and we don't have a clear set of allies that are even close to be on the same page. >> it gets back to diplomacy point that you -- >> i wouldn't want to be the different in charge of that, but yes, diplomacy absolute has to be a central approach. we have to resolve the dispute and the only way to do is diplomatically. >> let me ask one more question and then i will turn over over to the audience ages on the lady vetting. people inside the dod, you for both sides of the value brings attention it brings in terms of limiting the operators since of ability to train where he or she
believes he needs to. do you think we have it about right today? and what you see as sort of a future trajectory for human rights issues. issues with regards to security system string? >> i think we do have it about right to date and a very what about the future. it was most problematic really in, get my directions press, west african where you had the molly government falling apart. you had, forgetting the name of the country but it was another ally in there that had a coup and withhold support were trying to assemble folks who can work together while not treating people to overthrow their own government. it's a tough balance to strike. the people say we should just
get out of there, we shouldn't think any of these people i disagree with that. it's too dangerous and neighborhood. there's too many people who want to do harm to the united states and our allies. we have to at least try to find a way to work together even admitting if we're working with the country that human rights record we get support, we need to get out. the future i'm really worried about because, you know, you've heard a lot recently about the return of great power rivalries. mostly on armed services committee we talk about that in terms of how much more military equipment we need to build. i think that misses the point a little bit. russia and china, russia more than china but each in their own way are promoting, i mentioned earlier, one of the things we as americans should promote is our values and the right values, values being freedom, capitalis capitalism. my name is anna smith. how can i not be in favor of
capitalism? i do stand the downsides of capitalism but it is better than cup talker see which is typically what replaces it. economic freedom and political freedom and promoting that is what will lead to a more stable world. when you chilcot peoples economic and political freedom they can to get really activated individually rise up in some sort of violent revolt. so spreading that come it's important russia has decided that the actual have an ideology. it's authoritarianism. it's strongman and, yes, i mean man. putin is actively trying to undermine democracy as a way to promote authoritarianism. i think it started because he wanted to protect himself in russia. he didn't want the rush of people noticing that the economy was in the toilet and he wasn't providing for them. so he set up this rivalry against the west. but now i think he believes it. he believes that the opposite of
strongman authoritarianism is mob rule. certainly we've seen some of the stuff that is going on eastern europe. we've seen his efforts in elections here. and also western europe, now is trying to prop up a dictator in libya. yes propped up assad. so if there is a concerted effort to undermine human rights because he wants the opposite approach. china isn't as invested in that i don't think. they just don't care. if your democracy agenda could human rights record, fine, we will do business with you. if you don't, we will do business with you. as they grow economically, i know i pointed out there still a good distance below us, but $11 $11 trillion is nothing to sneeze at and they are not in the type of debt that we are in. so they are out there. they are everywhere. i remember when i was in the
democratic republic of account, a whole bunch of chinese businesspeople with her. one of the most disconcerting things, we were in jerusalem, walking this big square, there were like 75 chinese flags all over the place. i was like what the hell is this? they were in town so they want to make a warm welcome for them. they are starting to spread influence. potentially that's good. if you have another partner who is invested in global stability and prosperity, that's a good thing. but if they are invested in a way that undermines human rights and freedom and democracy and capitalism, then we are sowing the seeds of war and discord. so we have to contend with russia and china in the efforts to spread authoritarianism and we had have to do all that wite president who seems to lack the enthusiasm for the task, let's just put it that way. >> we are going to go to
audience questions. when i call on you please stand come see her name, your affiliation and a question only, please come and one. start right up here and wait for the microphone, please. >> thank you very much. my name is mike from pacs advisory. on thursday i will be speaking to the ministry of defense advisors course about corruption so the focus of the question has to do with that. as a factor in return on investment. you emphasize stabilization, and in almost all cases where the u.s. has intervened to try to end conflict, haiti, boston, kosovo, afghanistan, iraq, efforts have been obstructed by criminalizing power structures, patronage regimes. so the solution to that as you point out is a whole of government approach, elections allow for transition of government, parliamentary oversight, civil society the
public, media, et cetera. >> question. >> the question, how do we do that? would you support legislation that would mandate for security assistance above whatever threshold that the pentagon do assessment of the corruption risk, develop a whole of government accountability of strategy and provide support for advisors were out in the field on how to deal with corruption speedy that's a good idea. yes. in fact, i just said i don't want to add more reforms on legislatively but i think that would be a smarter way to do it. it would sort of be like the millennium challenge corporation for the pentagon. and say look, if you want to go into ethiopia virginia or the philippines or wherever, give us a coordinated plan or we will fence off some of the money. i think that's a good idea.
>> okay. i have one way in the back. >> thank you very much. [inaudible] i think you covered everything. i don't think you left any to ask many me any question anyway question will be going back to afghanistan, the south asian region, chinese expanding militarily in the area, and as far as afghanistan is concerned people are still asking when time will come for them to see a light at the end of the dark tunnel? and finally, what you think presidential running to pakistan, if pakistan is still doing, helping the u.s. combating terrorism, or they are still going back, what they've been doing for the last 20 years? thank you. >> just on tracking, i could .3. one was china, is any hope for afghanistan, and is pakistan
getting any better. >> was yes, sir. peace and stability in the region. >> in that region, china is problematic because on the one hand, i have this court of optimism about the idea that if there is another power in the world, as i said, that is invested in stability and prosperity that has a lot of money, that is potentially good. but china continue to insist upon doing it in a, thorton thingy up i i can't will use h, just unfriendly fashion, okay? battening on everybody's toes even when they don't have to. and we have to be a counterpoint to that. the increase relationship between the u.s. and india is a very positive thing. ash carter was really focus on. the new administration has picked up on those will with south korea, with the man come
all the countries in that region. we have to be a counterbalance so that china, , china will be o much better off. we can take a military, and militaristic approach to this if they would work cooperatively with the neighbors. they are the biggest kid on the block and that ain't changing. they're going to have an influence on power. they should try to bring and what else along so they feel good about the experience. but until that time we will have to be a counterpoint. we want a presence in the no matter what. right now counterbalancing china's instincts is important. right at the end of the and afghanistan, i sort of answer that. it's not a particularly bright light but there is the possibility of the kind of stability that i described. i can't imagine a time in my lifetime when they stop fighting in afghanistan. i hope i'm wrong. i'm wrong a lot so i hope this is one of those times.
as far as pakistan is concerned, i don't think things are getting a whole lot better. they have too much extremism deep within the bowels of the government, the military and their intelligence services that are part of the reason that afghanistan is so unstable. it goes back and forth across the border in pakistan continues to play i believe this double game with the extremist. on the one hand, they are fighting them. on the other hand, they use them when they think it's useful to them. i haven't seen much change. nor do i think it's going to change, and the president can't in some hot, well, this president doesn't get in hot water in that sense because you have to perceive something like that in order to think that you're in it. but he was very critical of pakistan, and it was blowback from pakistan. i wish talking strongly, we're
going to cut off some of your money, but the two problems with that. at the end of the day that stuck with a change the fundamental problem of extremism in pakistan and the need to reform in the way that frankly much of the muslim world needs to reform their governments saudi arabia, kind of trying to do. pakistan needs to reform. but second, we still work with pakistan on a ton of things. a lot of which i can't talk about here, but we still work with it. we still need them. if we cut them off and they go looking to china to fill that gap, that's not good. so i think where pakistan and afghanistan are concerned, i don't have a ton of optimism for things getting better in the short term. >> we have probably time for two more questions. i'm going to group them and to them together. we have one right here. the mic is coming. >> thank you for such an articulate discussion of the need for ford engagement.
my name is max kelly and i'm a defense consultant. i spent the last seven years at national defense university looking at lessons of interagency stabilization. our work came to two to sink conclusions for the sake that are relevant to this conversation. the first is that building schools or training forces in and of themselves do not contribute to stability or preventing fragility. they only work when they are serving a truly politically informed politics first strategy. our second conclusion was that no agency or institution in the u.s. government really has that as its mission. no institution even special forces don't have as their core logic, their core training, their course selection process building the internal politics of other countries from the ground up. and all the way up. not stopping at the level.
so the question is, the institutions that were stillborn during the last 15 years to try and actually create the capacity, they were stillborn. they never went anywhere. is there any interest in congress in trying to revive or reinvigorate that capacity? >> okay. if you don't mind, leasehold onto that because on the record one at a time otherwise so let's just go to the second question and then maybe you'll be lucky and it will be roughly the same question of the wife will do our lightning round. >> my question, i will be short. thanks so much congressman. your opinion about perspectives to the assistance, security assistance, specifically ukraine, georgia, since there are different types of challenges, external and internal, they all struggle with speedy i didn't understand. >> he's asking nothing special considerations for conversation you want to get to the issue of
security assistance to ukraine. >> ukraine and south caucasus. >> the answer to your question is that is my dream come all right? from a legislative standpoint i would love to revive that process. i would love to have that organization in charge of it. it's part of what may or may be followed up with special operations command, is they are the closest thing to a group that could do what we're talking about. because it's what they do. let me amend that question a a little bit. most people think of special operations went meant as the go kill bin laden. they keep indoor century people and they really good at it. during my time with them i learned that by and large it which people didn't think that was all they did. that what they really fall in love with his idea of going into a country or a village or town that's fallen to pieces and help keep it together. a ton of thinkers at all levels,
special operations command. when i visited the philippines, when i visited in kenya, they are all thinking about all these questions that we've said in a way that nobody else is. comprehensively. security is the first instinct but since the other guys have to try to keep the peace in some very great tough parts of the world, they are the most qualified in terms of thinking holistically about this. yes, the state department should be in charge, but state department doesn't have the security focused and it's absolutely true what my navy seal s-corps were saying during that ten in kenya, that you can get all you want but if people show up and shoot you, your dad. we're the ones who can stop that from happening. so personally, there was a time like in the days when, briefly in some document summer in the pentagon, the special operations
command is typically a supporting command. in other words, they are not really in charge of anything. they do with the air force or the army, however, tells him to do. but they were the supported agency in the global war on terrorism. they were supposed to be the ones coordinate exactly what we're talking about. that slowly went away. so i would love to see that happen. i would love to see us get back to a place where we had a central organization that was in charge of this. now, personally, if i could just sort of move the u.s. government around like hotels on a monopoly board, i would take socom and usaid. i would make them hybrid and put them in charge of this. i don't know, take 12 people from socom, 12 people from usaid, sager, you've got an agency, do this. i think those of the two groups that are in the best position to do. the state department would freak
out in a heartbeat. if there's anyone from the state going to get a nasty phone call for even suggesting such a thing. but those are the two groups are really most on the ground dealing with it and they are diplomats as well as all the other things that they do. the problems the state department in being charge of all the stuff is they've got so much stuff to worry about that they don't get down into the weeds on the level that socom and usaid does. those of the two groups. i would take like i i said tha2 smartest people from socom and 12 square some usaid, century ago, here's $50 $50 billion, ge the world. i think they are in the best position to coordinate that. everyone would say wait a second, i'm not taking orders from those people. what you talking about? but if i were god and i could make these things happen that's what i would do. i think it would be in the best position to coordinate it. the ukraine and georgia sort of
bring us to the russia question. i could give a long-winded answer but i already explained what rush is doing and why it's so bad. in the case of ukraine, in particular, i i agree with what the trump administration has done. because while russia is a profound threat for all the reasons that we know, the end of the day they are playing a weak hand. the demographics are terrible. the economy is terrible. they are not altogether that strong. they will push and if nobody pushes back, they will just keep pushing. so in ukraine and georgia we have to raise the cost of what they are doing, which is what i supported the decision to start sending, i think we're sending them offensive arms are just better defensive arms, but whatever. we decided we are going on them better to raise the cost of what rush is doing. and we have to wait out putin.
there is no solving this problem as long as putin is in charge/alive in which i think is pretty much the same thing. because he has made his decision. he has decided that his role in history is to bring down the west and all that it stands for. like i said this is somewhat heartfelt. this is not as far as i can tell just some maniacal madman trying to rule the world like some stupid james bond thriller. he honestly believes that if his way doesn't work, mom will will take over. you see the story about he was in berlin when the wall fell, which is really unfortunate, because it had a real negative impact on the way he'd use democracy. essentially he was surrounded by a mob and they were going to kill everyone inside but he bluffed his way out of it. that's what he fears. he fears mob rule and he thinks only way to get around is
through an authoritarian regime. that's what he's going to prop up. the west is for the opposite. we're for representative democracies, and he's going to play as your son came as as he's around. that's not going to change. whether it's obama or trump or bush, you can look into his soul. you can do a reset, whatever you want to do, it ain't going to change. so what do we do? we have to wait them out. it's a bit complicated weighting that game because on the one hand, you do want to keep the pressure up so he doesn't go early into a story or anything like that. on the other hand, as any people that said, including i think you guys, a storm rush is a problem. a week rush is a problem. because if russia looks like it is failing, lord knows what putin would you externally in order to try to prop up support. so like i i said we got to wait them out. i don't know what comes after
putin. boris yeltsin was an unfortunate post of soviet choice, and it's a complicated society in that, well, there are people here know a lot more about russia than i do. i was in russia with john kelly of all people. should i called him? i will. we were just walking around red square. this was in 1990 so it's not long after all this changed and he just what it said, i still have a hard time understanding this. we spent 70 some odd years fighting these people is basically the worst people on the planet. and now all of a sudden it's all good and we're supposed to get along. you know, how does that work? he's right in the sense that russia, some of the basic things we take for granted about a free society, they have no history of it. like ever, all right? ..
enchts post world war was a molt in history not likely to be we need big powerful countries that have invested in peace and stability. to get there we, obviously, have to be part it have china has to be part it have yanked has to be part of it and russia has to be part it have. it's not going to be part of it under putin which is why i say we have to wait him out. and fig out how to maintain tie there so even which will get a
reset back to 1994 to do it differently this time. so that russia -- integrates into the world instead of it doing to be the opposites. >> and impressive array of issues we threw at you and i want that you think for your services and the cheat, and if everyone can please join me a round of applause -- [applause] >> and we're live this morning for a discussion from the atlantic counsel here in washington about iran's missile program. hear from policy scholar and if national security officials about iran's transfer of short ring rockets to iranian backed militant groups in yemen and
good morning everyone. i'm barbara sladen director future at the atlantic count and i'm very happy that we have yet another extremely topical panel as you all know, the trump administration has apparently requested some sort of understanding or o follow on agreement on the subject of missiles. regarding iran to have on o the nuclear program so very topical to get real experts to talk about the nature of