tv [untitled] May 23, 2012 11:00am-11:30am EDT
in fact, enhance our strategic goals and our interests? >> it would. it would give us the opportunity to be able to engage when it comes to navigational freedoms and navigational rights. we can argue for those now. we can do what we do, but very frankly, we have undermined or moral authority by not having a seat at the table with these nations to make the arguments for these rights. >> i have a letter here for the director of national intelligence dated may 16, 2012, in which he confirms that the convention would not prohibit intelligence activities in any way. this is another one of those myths that get thrown out there. i want to enter that letter into the record. the intelligence community made the same confirmation to this committee during the bush administration, did it not, in 2003 and 2007? >> that's correct.
>> so, general dempsey and secretary panetta, i would ask you each the same question. do you have any concern or any belief whatsoever that joining this convention would harm the u.s. military's ability to collect intelligence? >> having been in a key intelligence position and now as secretary of defense, this would in no way inhibit our ability to conduct intelligence operations. >> general dempsey? >> it would not affect our intelligence operations. >> and is it not accurate that the russians are about to send their fifth mission up into the arctic this summer and the chinese are currently laying claims that may, in fact, impinge on u.s. interests and claims? mr. secretary? >> that's correct. >> general dempsey? >> yes, sir. >> and our ability to affect that is, in fact, enhanced by joining the treaty, is it not?
>> as i said, sir, the seating to the convention would allow us to have another instrument with which to engage any nation that would potentially threaten our interests. >> now, mr. secretary, mr. panetta, we heard arguments also that we don't need the treaty because of customary international law gives us the rights we need. you addressed this to some degree. the whole issue -- i guess codifying a preference for not embracing this treaty, could you speak, general dempsey, sand mr secretary, since you are the direct line commanders for sending people into conflict, how you'll react to the notion that we should just leave aside and rely on the fact that we have the strongest navy and our military force?
>> well, first and foremost, there's no question that we have the strongest navy in the world, but if we're going to engage in diplomacy everywhere we go to assert our rights, the end result of that is going to be conflict and could very well jeopardize our national security if we resort to that as our primary means of asserting our rights. sending the destroyers in, sending the carriers in in order to do that. the better approach is to have those carriers, have those destroyers, make very clear the power we have. but then sit down and engage these other countries in a format that allows us to make the kinds of arguments that we have to make when we engage with 16 0 other nations as to
navigational rights. i mean, that's the way we do it. we are strong because we play by the rules. not because we go against those rules. >> and, madame secretary, isn't it a fact -- i've certainly run into this in discussions with people. and you and i have discussed, and i think you have, too. the lack of our presence in the treaty is, in fact, thrown at us by various questions today. and they needle us about our inability to assert our rights. can you speak to -- let me put that in this context. some opponents of the convention say we don't need it in order to get the legal certainty on the extended continental shelf. we could get it by a series of bilateral agreements like mexico, russia, so forth. could you speak to that? >> first, we have not been able to realize all the potential
benefits, because we are not a party to the treaty. we cannot fully secure our sovereign rights to the vast resources of our continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. we cannot sponsor u.s. companies to mine the deep sea bed for valuable metals and rare earth elements. we cannot count on what's called customary international law, that it won't change or be subject to either being ignored or undermined overtime, that we cannot control because we're not taking our seat at the table. we only get future stability and what the legal framework is if we are party to the convention. and, you know, many of the provisions in trying the convention are very favorable to us. and, you know, finally -- to your point directly, chairman
kerry, we do find -- and i certainly personally find that when i am, for example, working on claims to the south china sea that affect our treaty allies, like the philippines or japan or others, the fact that we are not a party really undermines our position. and i would bet that there are many in the world who hope we never are a party. and they can go on and, you know, plot the way forward, set the rules, enforce them as they choose, putting us further and further at a disadvantage. >> thank you very much. senator lugar? >> thank you, mr. chairman. each of you have been covering the ground that i'm about to cover again, but let me just say that again and again during testimony in 2004, 2007, we had
a position that was not being heard, not being understood. let me introduce some of the opposition today so that we have the benefit. editorial page, b4 of the washington times of tuesday, may 22nd, 2012. frank gaffney rigwrites about t situation. on the other hand the members of the u.s. senate trouble themselves to study or at least to read the text of law sea treaty, to immediately see it for what it is, a diplomatic dinosaur, throwback to a bygone era when u.n. negotiations were dominated by communists, soviet union and travelers of the third world. adversaries were transparent. they sought to establish control over 70% of the world's surface, create an international
governing institution that would serve as a model for bringing national states such as ours -- and extend wealth to themselves. lost codifies must subject us to mandatory residency lougs and force them to be a stacked deck adjudication. i suggest that dick morris and his wife, eileen, who have just published an important book that addresses a prime example of the title "screwed:how foreign countries are ripping off america and philandering our country and how leaders have helped them do it."
and then another the next page, hydrocarbon resources under the continental shelf. sounds pretty dire. fortunately, it's not true. under international law and long-standing u.s. policy, we already have access to these areas. dating back to harry truman who issued confirmations and congress has passed laws, establishing america's maritime laws and no one has challenged them. as you pointed out, we do have a navy and opponents of the treaty perhaps would say why get involved in all of this nonsense? send the fleet out. shoot it up. if, in fact, you've got a problem. what is this navy for? now i tried to mention this briefly in my comments. that even a thousand ship level,
we cannot cover all of the disputes of the world. in other words, if we're asserting sovereignty, we don't care for these people. communists who, in fact, have negotiated this for 70 years and so forth. we have the navy. we don't really have enough navy. what we ought to have then is an additional hearing on how many ships, how much more military budget, how much more infrastructure we need to do it our way. and say let the rest fly by themselves. i take your time to listen to all of this because essentially you presented a very strong case. and people from industry are going to present a strong case. and they will be pilleried as capitalists who are looking out for their own stockholders, for their own interest.
without sovereignty and the ability to shoot it out, we are really up to it. i don't know who else will come in. some peaceful types who will say peace in the world is important. i'm afraid they're going to get short shrift through this particular argument. how, secretary panetta, would you begin to describe really the military problem here? in other words, we do have the navy and we are not going to stand by. and we are worried about the south china sea and all of our allies are coming and replacing marines in australia and pivoting, as you describe it, policy. what are the limitations, if there are any, to our ability to just shoot it out? >> well, senator lugar, again, i think it is a question of looking at the facts that we're
dealing with. the fact is that we're dealing with a world with a myriad of threats. we're not just dealing with the soviet union. we're dealing with a myriad of threats in the south china sea, rising powers in the pacific, with north korea, with iran, with transit in the straits of hormus, with turmoil in the middle east, ale series of challenges, not to mention war, not to mention terrorism. all of those are the threats that we confront. and the reality is that we are now in a world in which, frarngly, in order to be able to deal with those myriad of threats it's not enough for the navy to go around the world asserting its strength to solve those myriad of threats which i
just defined. the only way we're going to do that in this world is to have alliances with our countries and deal with another approach so that other countries, as well, understand the threats they confront and deal with those threats. that's the kind of world we're part of. that's the kind of world we live in. it's for that reason that the law of the seas becomes important, because it is one of those vehicles in which to engage the world. 160 nations have conceded to it and we say to hell with them. we're not going to participate in that. then 160 nations will determine what happens as to the law of the sea and we won't be there. that he the reason, from a national security point of view, from a very practical point of view, from the point of view of what's the best interest of the united states that we have to c
acede to this convention. we say that every time we argue with iran, with north korea. we argue on the base that they're not abiding by international rules. they're not abiding by the international standards that we've established. and here we are, trying to make the same argument with regards to navigation and we aren't even a member of the convention. that's the reason. >> thank you. >> let me just say, since there are a few seconds left, senator lugar, that neither president truman's proclamation or any act of congress has ever defined the outer edge of the continental shelf of the united states. other countries can prohibit the united states from coming in to an esc. we can't, because we're not party to the treaty. the only way to protect that outside of this is to have -- to
a acede to the treaty. so, there are further reasons in answer to mr. fuller. we'll have mr. fuller in here and others who have oppose it to have a chance to explore this. senator hernandez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for beginning this series of hearings, which i think is incredibly important. couple of years ago, i chaired the beginning of one of these on your behalf. i think it is even more important today than it was then. i appreciate all of our distinguished witnesses and their service to our country. general dempsey, when you took an oath to the joint chiefs of staff, you took an oath to protect the united states of america. is that not correct? >> i did, sir. >> and is there anything in this
treaty that you believe undermines the oath that you took, both in your service as well as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff? >> there is not. >> so you believe that the treaty continues your ability to defend the united states of america? it doesn't undermine any of those abilities? >> it protects our ability to do what we need to do for this country. >> thank you. secretary panetta, do you have any concerns that this treaty would impinge on either the rights or ability of you as secretary of defense to protect the air, sea or land territory of the united states or conversely, would the treaty impact the ability of the department of the defense of the service branches to navigate or engage in navigation of freedom operations? >> no, it would not. it would enhance our ability to be able to navigate.
we would be able to be at the table to protect our interests and protect our claims. >> in fact, doesn't this treaty, if we were to ratify it, give us the wherewithal to extend our reach to a third more than the territory that we have beyond the 200 miles exclusive zone, economic zone? is that correct? >> that's absolutely correct. >> in recent months, as i'm sure many of you know, i've been following iran with laser-like focus. in recent months we've heard iran threaten to close the strait of hormus in response to u.s. and european sanctions. beyond our own ability to respond in the national interest and security of the united states, which the administration made very clear at that time when that threat took place, my understanding of the treaty, that such an action by iran would violate the treaty because of the treaty's guarantee of the
right of innocent passage, even for u.s. vessels. is that a correct statement? >> that is a correct statement. >> the other thing that i focus a great deal on in our subcommittee role is proliferation of narcotics trafficking. certainly my concern about proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. what benefits would the u.s. derive p weapons of mass destruction to and from states such as iran and syria? for example, would joining the treaty advance efforts under the initiative such as providing a basis for taking action against vessels suspected of engaging in proliferation activities? >> right now, sir, as you know, we use customary international
law to assert our right to visit. this would be documented in the convention of the law of the sea and preserve the right of visit, which would help -- which would enhance our use of the proliferation security initiative. >> do we believe that joining the treaty would help our efforts and further undertake our efforts? >> i believe it would, senator. joining the convention would likely strengthen the psi by attracting new partners. >> finally, this treaty allowed us on a traditional basis such as the limits on the continental shelf and international sea bed authority, the body that regulates the exploration, development, exploration of international areas beyond national jurisdiction such as
oil, gas and nonliving resources under the sea bed and subsoil. however, because we have not ratified the treaty, we have been relegated to subserver status on the commission. what impact has the inability to ratify the treaty had? >> first of all, there are a number of observers who actually view this convention as a huge win for the united states. it's called the u.s. land grab because what it would mean for our ability to extend our jurisdiction far beyond our shores. unfortunately our failure to exceed to it limits our capacity to do so.
and coming up in 2013, we believe, will be the sea bed mining action on rules for mining, something that if we were exceeded by then, we would heavily influence and would certainly influence in favor of our interests and our companies. so, the convention bodies that are determining the rules are proceeding wous without us. we are on the sidelines and do not have the authority needed to do much more than try to, you know, wave our arms and get attention to make points. but we would have direct influence and as i said in my testimony, we would have what amounts to a veto because of consensus rules. >> a gift of god that allows us
to have access to atlantic, pacific, arctic and gulf territorial waters that this is critically in our interest and also energy interests and private sector interests as well in terms of ratifying. is that a fair statement? >> that's an absolutely fair statement. >> thank you very much. >> and if i could just augment that by saying, senator, that because of guam, because of the hawaiian islands and the alutians, no other country in the world has as significant an extended zone as we do and we're not taking advantage of that. senator corker? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to each of you for service to our country. secretary clinton, i noticed you enjoy enjoyed your testimony more than most. i don't know if it's just because january is just around
the corner or not but you seem very happy today. i'm glad to have you here. i have been around here a while now. and this is sortati ativof a la moment. it's been around for 30 years. we're in a presidential race and the democratic side and republican side have not wanted to bring to the floor, so i have my antenna up slightly. i do want everybody to know i'm in a neutral place. i, too, want to make my decision on this treaty based on facts and not myths and certainly plan to go about learning as much as i can about the facts of where this treaty places our nation. so i listened to the testimony. again, i enjoyed all three of
you. i'm listening to cases being made and at the depths of exploration we're talking about, we're talking about really big oil. and i just find it interesting. i don't think this is a prejorative comment. the administration has not particularly been a fan of big oil. matter of fact, we've restricted our own lands to their access in many ways. i just find it an interesting point that's being made by an administration that has been anything but friendly, quote, to big oil. why all of a sudden on this particular treaty such a big deal is being made out of that? if you could just answer me briefly, secretary clinton, i would appreciate it. >> senator corker, i'm always happy when i'm appearing before this committee, to be back in the senate. so, thank you for the warm welcome. you know, i really believe that
the united states has an opportunity in developing our natural resources, which are currently doing, particularly with unconventional gas and the steps and progress we are making in that arena, which are extremely important to our future. yes, there are discussions and debates over, you know, where to do it, in whose backyard and the like. we are making progress. for the first time in many years, we are a net exporter. as someone who spends a lot of my time promoting american jobs around the world and finding how interested people are in perhaps being able to import from us, i think that's all to the good. it's also important that we take advantage, that we have the opportunity to take advantage of what may be possible in the furtd.
i don't want to close the door on anything. that's what i fear we're doing. it's the opportunity costs of not exceeding to the convention now. i am not an expert in oil and gas exploration and drilling. what the oil and gas industry tells us is that they are now in a position to take advantage of this and actually our majors are among the very limited number of such companies anywhere in the world. and to shut the door on their ability to doing that, i just don't think is economically smart. i think if you look, we are positioned well and want to continue to be in the future. >> second point, legislation relating to carbon and cap and trade was discussed for a while. then, obviously, it didn't pass muster here in the senate. the epa has taken steps to, in many ways, make pieces of that happen through regulation.
one thing that the treaty does do is regulate pollution in the ocean from land-based sources and one thing that you didn't mention in the comments about some of the negativity toward the treaty is that a lot of people believe -- again, i'm asking the question after reading. i'm not saying i'm one of those. a lot of people believe that the administration -- my antenna is up -- that the administration wants to use this treaty as a way to get america into a regime relating to carbon since it's been unsuccessful doing so domestically. i wonder if you might respond to that. and if the treaty does put us in a situation, in your opinion, to be subject to lawsuits from people because of carbon that's emitted from the united states affecting the ocean bed. >> senator, i appreciate your raising the concern, that
somehow the convention is a backdoor kyoto protocol. it is our assessment, our legal assessment that there is nothing in the convention that commits the united states to implement any commitments on greenhouse gases. under any regime or climate change policies. it doesn't require adherence to any significant emissions policies. we would be glad to present for the record a legal analysis to that effect. >> how do we exit this treat sni typically treaties have ways of exiting. again briefly, i want to ask one other question. how would one exit this treaty if we became party to it? >> again, i will submit it into the record. but it's my understanding that just as we exceed to certain treaties, we can end our acce
accession or membership. >> lastly, is this treaty subject to ratification that happens in the senate when treaties are -- that is correct? >> yes, that is correct. >> there's a langs that stipulates no changes but you're saying the senate has the ability to -- >> we always have a resolution for ratification that is prepared. i think there was one prepared in past times when it didn't get to the floor, but it was certainly part of the preparation work leading up to a potential vote. >> and on that note -- and this is not directed at you in any way -- we did have a resolution of ratification under the stark treaty. we've had some conversations about this in the past. and i know that there are pieces