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tv   [untitled]    April 25, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm EDT

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and when american influences diminished, for example, by the one nation, one-vote formula of the u.n. general assembly on the u.n. human rights council we see absurd and often appalling results. multilevel international organizations can be a forum for forming international coalitions, but as we have repeatedly seen over the last few years, the more difficult the problem, the likelier bad actors will spoil meaningful solutions within the current system of international organizations. for example, we can't always rely on the u.n. security council to achieve consensus on major threats to international peace and security. as we've seen on north korea, on syria, on iran, china and russia simply will not join that consensus. when they do not perceive the problem as a threat to their narrow national interests. instead they exercise think veto or threat of a veto to thwart effective and timely response. the security council remain as very valuable forum, but not an
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indispensable one. we can't walk away from the problem, because some members of the security council refuse to act. and those instances where the veto power of either china or russia impeeled the world's ability to deal with a significant threat it is the united states that will have to organize and lead coalitions with or without security council resolutions. and this concept, by the way, is neither novel nor partisan. president clinton acted exactly this way in kosovo with congressional leaders like senator lieberman. everywhere we look, we are presented with opportunities for american leadership to help shape a better world in this new century. and we have to view these opportunities through the context of the fact that in every region of the world other countries look apprehensively at the growing influence of newly emerging powers in their midst
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and look to the u.s. to counterbalance them. and in some instances these emerging strategic realimts are not inevitably destined for conflict. for example, if china chooses to conform its rise to the international order, there is much to be hopeful for in the pacific region. on the other hand, there is no reason for opt niche about iranian designs regional dominance in the middle east and it's indeed in that region will multilateral cooperation is most urgently needed right away. whether in bringing an end to the bloodshed and assad tyranny in syria or in helping egypt over come economic hardships and move towards the establishment of a true democracy, or in addressing the threat posed by nuclear iran, america shouldn't try to solve any of these problems alone. but neither will any of these challenges be addressed without strong and creative american leadership. no other nation has the influence, relationships or the reputation for seeking lasting solutions to intractable
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problems than the united states has. iran's nuclear ambitions, by the way, are more than just weapons. iran wants to become the dominant power in the middle east. but given iran's history of human rights abuses, fermenting sectarian conflict and sponsorship of terrorism as a tool of state craft, the world must never allow that to happen. fortunately, preventing a dominant iran is a goal we share with virtually every other nation in the region. now, certainly, we welcome russia and china's cooperation and in facing this challenge, but the prospect of a nuclear capable iran is so unacceptable that we must be prepared to act with or without them. and we have a host of willing partners in every region of the world who share our concerns and are relying on our leadership to compel iran to abandon its ambitions. now, preferably we can succeed through coercive mean, be open
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to negotiations with iran, but always remember that they should not be deem add success when they only need lead to further negotiations. stronger pressures shouldn't be postponed and the expectation of our forbearance will encourage iran to act in good faith. nothing in our experience with iran suggests that it considers such gestures anything other than a lack of resolve on our part. ultimately, however, we must remember that their imbusinesses so far have come with a high tolerance of pain. therefore, as we work through the united nations and with the international community on sanctions and on negotiations we should appropriate on a dual track. we should also be preparing our allies and the world for the uncomfortable reality that unfortunately if all else fails, preventing a nuclear iran may tragically require military solutions. the goal of preventing a dominant iran is so important that every regional policy we adopt should be krachted with that overriding goal in mind.
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the current situation in syria is an example of such an approach. the fall of assad would be a significant blow to iran's ambitions. on those grounds alone we should be seeking to help the people of syria bring him down. but on the foreign relations committee, i've noticed some member, are so concerned about the challenges of a post-assad syria that they've lost sight of the advantages of it. first, iran would lose its ally and see its influence and ain't ability to cause trouble in the region reduced. hezbollah would lose its most important ally, too, along with its weapons supplier and the prospects for a more stable, peaceful and freer lebanon would improve. secondly, the security if our ally the strongest and most enduring democracy in the region, israel, with whom we are bound by the strongest ties of mutual interest and shared value and affection would improve as well. and so wit prospects of peace
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between israel and its arab neighbors. finally, the nations in the region see syria as a test of our continued willingness to lead in the middle east. if we prove unwilling to provide leadership, they will conclude that we are no longer a reliable security partner. and they will decide to take matters into their own hands. and that means a regional arms race. the constant threat of armed conflict, and crippling fuel prices here at home due to the instability. the most powerful and influential nation in the world cannot ask smaller, more vulnerable nations to take risks while we stand on the sidelines. we have to lead, because the rewards of effective leadership are so great. forming and leading a coalition with turkey and the arab league nations to assist the opposition by creating a safe haven and equipping the opposition with food, medicine, communication tools and potentially weapons will not only weaken iran, it will ultimately increase our
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ability to influence the political environment of a post-assad syria. the spread success of political and economic freedom in the middle east is the in our vital interesting and will certainly present challenges as newly enfranchised societies elect leaders whose views and purposes oppose and even offend ours. but in the long term, because governments that rule by the consent of the government must be responsive to the material needs and demands of their people, they are less likely to engage in costly confrontations that harm their economies and deprive their people of the opportunity to improve their circumstances. the expansion and success of political and economic freedom is critical to our interests, and in every region of the world. and nowhere more so than in our own hemisphere. it's no coincidence that the rise of economic prosperity in the western hemisphere is directly re related, directly coincides with the democratic
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gains of the previous two decades. mexico, peru and colombia of three examples of nations that have weathered the global economic downturn in a stronger position than of. our goal for our region should be pretty separatefroerd forward. trade freely and live peacefully with one another. other than overcoming our own past indifference and the lack of focus on this goal, there are two other challenges. the first is venezuela and the other countries and over anti-americanism. they make a lot of noise and we can't ignore their anti-democratic abuses or their growing closeness to iran, but our greater challenge, really, is a second and more subtle one. and that's the effort of some nations to replace our influence with their influence and to use protectionism and unfair practices to pursue that aim. the anecdote for both of these prabs is re-engage energetically in the region. first we must be a clear and
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consistent advocate for freedom, and to be free isn't just limited to elections. it's a way of governance. and venezuela, bolivia and ecuador, using powers to undermine fundamental freedoms by attacking the press, the courts and their political opponents. second, we need to commit to being a reliable partner as our neighbors cope with significant security challenges. both mexico and colombia need our continued commitment to win their respective wars against criminal organizations. and we must also make it abundantly clear that we will not tolerate iran exporting violence and terrorism to our hemisphere. third, we must reject protectionism, and instead embrace the ultimate goal of a free trade area of the americas. the recently approved free trade agreements with colombia and panama was a good step. we need to move forward to bring canada and mexico into the trans-pacific partnership and fourth, move aggressively to
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form a strong energy partnership with canada, mexico, brazil, colombia and a post-chavez venezuela pap stable western hemisphere displacing an unstable middle east and increasingly ba legitimate rint russia has the center of the world's energy production will create countless jobs for americans and energy security for the world. an in asia, the question whether china's rise will be peaceful and respectful of their neighbors is one of our biggest long-term challenges. but we must make it abundantly clear that we are firmly committed to our defense agreements, and firmly committed to our allies to the freedom of navigation. on our seas. and then growing strategic importance of asia actually heightens, not diminishing, the importance of europe. the u.s.-european cooperation is a valuable deployment our work with our east asia allies. see, all of us, asians, americans, europeans have a common interest in seeing china
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evolve in a peaceful and democratic direction. and we have a common interest in seeing china abide by the rules of the international economic order. the united states, europe and east arab ha represent 71% of the world's economy. that's a lot of leverage. we should use it to address problems, such as china's disregard for intellectual property rights. gross human rights violations. unfair trade practices, currency manipulation. in addition, u.s.-eu partnership is critical in approach to russia. some might disagree, certainly the proceed works i feel we've gotten precious little from russia in return for concessions on nuclear weapons. the reason is russia's domestic policies shape its -- to act in ways that make it harder to integrate russia into the global
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community and the free international order. now, putin may talk tough but he knows he's weak. everywhere he looks he see threats to his rule real and imagined. so he uses state-owned media to preach paranoia and anti-western sentiments to russians. he faces a rising china to the east, and hostile islamic forces to the south, but he tells his people that the biggest threat they face is from nato. some of our allies in europe increasingly feel that our recent reset with russia tended to ignore in some cases undermine them. we need to reenergy and lead a united coalition with european nations to tackle issues ranging from missile defense to the continued enlargement of nato. furthermo furthermore, if we are successful in forming a western hemisphere coalition taking advantage of the shale gas revolution, we will be able to help our european allies reduce their coerced dependence on
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russian energy as well. a reenergize the european coalition can help empower forces within russia working to end corruption and open their political system. if that happens then we will be closer than ever to the bipartisan american vision, endorgsed by both the clinton administration and the bush administrations of a europe whole and free. faced with historic deficits and dangerous national debt there's been increasing talk of reducing our foreign aid budget. these are not just military once. they can be humanitarian ones. in every region of the world we should always search for ways to use the usa and humanitarian assistant to strengthen our influence, the effectiveness of our leadership and the service of our interests and ideals. when done so effectively, in partnership with the private
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sector, with faith-based organizations and with our allies, foreign aid is a very cost-effective way not only to export our values and our example, but to advance our security and our economic interests. one of the programs that i'm proudest of, the effort that began under president george w. bush with robust congressional support and has continued under president obama. and that's the combat aides in africa. millions of human beings are alive today because the united states and others in the global community are paying for their anti-viral medication. this investment allows to us say without any hint of exaggeration that by 2015, the world could see the beginning of the end of aids. something that was unthinkable just a few years ago. we need to continue this kind of foreign aid investment, but not just in pep far but in malaria control and vaccines and agriculture initiatives to make similar strides in preventing
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hunger and establishing a healthy global community. now, this was by no means intended to be a comprehensive analysis of our challenges and opportunities around the world. after all, we could dedicate entire speeches to the emergence of function states in africa or the challenges posed by the arab spring. my purpose was not to catalog our interests in every corner of the planet. my purpose was to argue that the world is a better place because of america's engagement in it, and it will continue to get better only if we continue to engage. i disagree with the way in which the current administration has chosen to engage. for twlil are few global problem wes can solve by ourselves, there are virtually no global problems that can be solved without us. in confronting the challenges of our time, there are more nations than of capable of contributing, but there is still only one nation capable of leading. and i disagree with voices in my own party who argue we should
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not engage as all, who warn we should heed the words of john quincy adams not go go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. i disay gle y disagree because around us we see the face of american influence. it begins not with our government but with our people. millions of people have been the catalyst of democratic change in their own countries, but they never would have been able to connect with each other if an american had not invented twitter. the atrocities of joseph kony would be largely unknown, but in fact, millions of people know about it, because an american made a film and distributed it on another american innovation, youtube. and even in our military engagements, the lasting impact of our influence on the world is hard to ignore. millions of people emerged from poverty around the world, in part because our navy protects the freedom of the seas, allowing the of-increasing flow of goods between nations.
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and long after the last american soldier has left afghanistan, god-willing, there will be millions of strong productive and independent afghan women, because today they are the first girls in generations to attend school, thanks to the generosity of the american people. we do these things because we're a compassionate people, but we also do it because it's in our national interests. because perhaps more than any other nation on earth, we understand that a world that is freer, more just, more peaceful and more prosperous poses less of a threat. now, look i know this is a time of great uncertainty. a time when many wonder if america is in decline. and once again, as bob kagan points out in his book, however, there have been other times when we felt less than confident about the future. we need to look no further than the decade of my birth for an example. in the 1970s, we experienced setbacks against communism in
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asia's. 's the collapse of trust in government, oil, high interest rates, soviet expansion, the hostage crisis in iran and disco music. [ laughter ] american was worried that something had permanently changed for our country. we couldn't be certain our standard of listening would improve generation after generation. and even less certain that we could maintain america's primacy in the world affairs. then as now a serious school of thought emerged to confirm these words and it gained attention in our national debates. we had a nice run but nothing lasts forever. the argument went. our problem, too numerous. our resources too depleted. our economy too dependent on dying industries. our public institutions too inapartmentable and our rivals too potent for us to keep pace with much less stay ahead of. and now, they said back then, the most important responsibility of public officials is to manage our
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decline intelligently and to mitigate its consequences at home and abroad. we know now, of course, that's not how it turned out. by the end of the next decade, few were speculating about the, what the world would be like without america's leadership, because we were once again in a unique unipolar moment when american power an influence seemed virtually unchallenged. well, now we're worried again. and that's understandable. the pace of change in the world is so fast, and the challenge wes face are so numerous and serious that many americans worry we can't sustain our way of life at home. much less maintain the burdens of leading the world. the financial crisis, the steep drop in the value of our homes, have a deep recession and excruciating recovery, stagnant wages, public debt a lack of confidence in the ability of our government, political system, to solve problems, soaring energy prices, two long war, new and complex threats to international
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peace and stability, and the rapid rise of china as an economic competitor and a rival for global influence. there are plenty of reasons to worry. yet, with all of these problems, there's absolutely no reason why america cannot remain a global super power in this new century as well. we have a huge head start in dealing with the challenges of transforming. of transforming. we have the advantage of concentrating more energies, inno strags on figuring out future. our continued power is possible but not self perpetuating. it will require us to do what every generation of americans before us has done. confront and solve the pressing domestic challenges of our time. it may not seem that way if you follow the daily news coming in from around the world. but this new century is a time of great promise. it is not the promise of a perfect world, not one without injustice, violence, conflict, hunger or disease.
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it is the promise of a better world, better than the one we have today, better than the one we have ever known. a world where democratically elected leaders govern as responsible democrats and avoid conflicts with our neighbors, a world where oppressing women or sell children is not acceptable. a world where aids is a disease of history and starvation is no longer part of our future. a world of extraordinary innovation, a generation born since the spread of the world wide web of the most skilled collaborators ever. now that everyone everywhere can talk to any one anywhere at any time, they can talk to each other. and come up with new ideas that are still unimaginable to us today. above all else, the 21st century provides us the opportunity for more freedom, a world where more people are free to grow their economies, free to pursue their dreams, free to become
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prosperous. i left my last page of the speech. did i leave it with you? above all else the 21st century provides us the opportunities for more freedom. a world where more people are free, free to grow their economies, free to pursue their dreams, free to become more prosperous. this is the promise of this new century. but it will not happen if we're not engaged. it will not happen if we do not lead. why does have the to start with us some say. why do we have to do it? we find our answer in the words of a non-american. this is why i needed this. in an address in 2003 tony blair said, this is a quote, you might have been there that day. his quote was, i know it's hard on america. and in some small corner of this vast country out in nevada or idaho or these places i've never
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been to but always wanted to go, i know out there there is a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happy, minding his own business, saying to you the political leaders of this country, why me? and why us? and why america? and the only answer is because destiny put you in this place in history in this moment, in this time, and the task is yours to do. and so it is. for this century is a time of tremendous challenge. but it is also a time of tremendous promise. this is indeed the world america made. and it is freer and more prosperous than it has ever been and it can be even better. as americans we cannot make that happen ourselves. but the world cannot make it happen without us. thank you very much. [ applause ]
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>> thank you very much, senator rubio. this program is being web cast, i want to repeat that again, if you want to reach us by twitter, the hash tag is bl rubio. we do not have a great deal of time. i know you are both rushed to get back. rushed to get back to the hill. senator rubio, i'd like to say, you start by speaking of your longtime passion for foreign policy and clearly in your speech you demonstrated that. and you made this point about the continued role of a strong america and a leadership sponsored by america. how concerned are you, however, because this also comes through in your talk, about the rise of the new isolationism perhaps sponsored by a number of people in your own party. that's why i'm raising it. >> i'm not sure that this inward
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looking tendency is new. as bob points out in his book and i in my speech it has always been a tendency of america to not want to get engaged in the world if we don't have to. we don't really enjoy telling people what to do. we've done so because history's called upon us to do that. so i don't think -- i think that combined with some of the domestic issues that we're facing and the challenges i outline lead to the natural tendency of saying maybe it's time to look inward again. i think it's the responsibility of policymakers like ourselves to remind people that there is no such thing as just an american problem. that every aspect of our lives is directly impacted by things that are going on around the world. i think that's always been true but increasingly true give at any global nature of our economy today. and so i think that's why it's critical for us to explain to people that in fact, everything they are going to do from the price of the food they are going to eat to the quality of the air they are going to breathe is directly related to decisions
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being made overseas. >> let me be specific and ask you about afghanistan which is a subject you barely touched on in the talk. but if you take a look at the latest polling data, it's clear that more and more americans are getting fed up with a continued american involvement in afghanistan. are you confident that the afghan armed forces will be able to pick up security for themselves in a time frame that is, quote, acceptable to the u.s.? >> that partly will depend on us and largely depend on them. partially it will depend on the commitment we make to ensuring that that comes about. for example, i think there has been tremendous progress in some of their elite forces, special forces that conduct specialized operations and great reason for optimism there. as far as the rank and file of the military force there is is more concern. part of the concern, part of the instability about its future is because folks in the region are not quite clear what our long term commitment is.
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in essence, if you're in the region and you think the americans and nato are going to be gone in a few years you start hedging bets, figuring maybe it might not be smart for me to be too cooperative because the people who are running this the taliban in a few years, in their mind, are going to make us pay the price. part is just long term agreement that hopefully will be -- the details will be announced soon, you may be more aware of, hopefully will give some certainty about the role that the countries are going to play. >> nerlds, you're saying that our remaining in afghanistan is more important nan the desire of the american people to get out. >> i think desire of the american people to get out is reflection that we've lost lives and treasure there. you cannot put a dollar figure on that in terms of the number of people have seen loved ones lose their lives or injured. there is a certain level of natural fatigue. i think it's critical once again, and i don't believe the time frame in afghanistan is an indefinite one.
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but i think it's critical for public policymakers to clearly explain and persuasively explain why our engagement is so important. and not only does it honor the sacrifice and the work that's done but strategically it's important. in addition to having a functional afghanistan that no longer is the place where future attacks against the united states could be coordinated from, for example, our presence in a strong and stable afghanistan will provide us many more options to deal with increasing uncertainty in pakistan or other nations in the region. >> stable afghanistan is a good strong stable possibility. >> i don't think it's going to be canada but it has the opportunity to create for itself a functional nation state. again, a lot of that will be dependent upon our commitment to helping them get there. >> you spoke about the importance of american leadership especially in the middle east. let me ask you and try to bring in senator lieberman as well. you speak about the u.s. helping to create a safe haven,
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providing food and medicine, communication equipment, and then you add, quote, potentially weapons. now, the word potentially does not seem to me a clear definition of american leadership. what do you mean potentially weapons? >> sure. i'll answer that first. first of all, we have to ensure that whoever it is, if ultimately we equip them or our allies equip them we understand the nature of who they are, their ability to protect these weapons from falling into the wrong hands, they have to show us increased structural capacity. you can't give that over to a force that's largely disorganized and can become -- the weapons could fall into the wrong hands 18 global marketplace. i think we need to see progress in terms of the development, more organization around -- >> how long? >> it all depends on how long it takes for them to organize. it's a catch 22. >> where is american leadership. >> in helping them get organized. one of the criticisms i hear we don't know who the opposition is, they are not


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