tv [untitled] June 6, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm EDT
a remnants of the baptist party in the north. fortunately we've had no casualties for the attacks. zero to three attacks a week on the presence, compared to about a thousand a week, which i can remember very well five or six years ago. so that's positive. we want to make sure that that trend continues. the reason for the trend is there's five mill about the groups in iraq right now. first there's al qaeda and iraq. al qaeda in iraq remains active. they're able to strike every 30 to 40 days. sometimes those attacks are quite spectacular. senator casey mentioned recent attacks just this past week. al qaeda in iraq is now striking at a level that is about the same as it was over the course of last year. e that's a serious concern. we need to work with them on that. the second group operates in the north.
they primarily only target us. then there are three militant shiite groups. there's hezbollah. sadr's army is now part of the political process. those three shiite military groups have really gone to ground. i was just discussing this with the general matis. our withdrawal seems to have traken their ability to recruit and sustain operations has been deple depleted. they almost stopped attacking us. i remember when the iraqi army went into bosara and took hundreds of rockets for the groups lying in wait to strike us. and i watched this very carefully with all of our assets within the u.s. government. in terms of internal security
and the the iraqis being able to secure the country, they're not doing a bad job. they secured the capital to host the arab league summit. that would have been unheard of three to five years ago. so they're doing very good internal security. they're working to try to close some of the capability gaps. >> thank you. i have another couple of questions. but i think it will run over if i pursue those right now. but would the chairman --? >> senator, we allow like an extra minute. >> okay, well that's good. let me -- i'm changing direction here a little bit. i want to ask you about the future stability of iraq, iraq, and the ability to have a sustainable water supply in the
tigress and euphrates river. this is the birth of agriculture. they're threatened by increase water use upstream. we're seeing this in rivers across the region. how will you work to develop the sustainable use of water. how can they get the scientific and engineering talents to find a long-term solution to the problem? >> senator, it's a really great and overlooked point. the water situation in iraq in the region is very serious. if you look at iraq's agriculture, it used to be the great basket of the world. today agriculture is at best 20% of gdp. but agriculture in iraq uses 90% of iraq's water. that is not sustainable. and it's to the point where if they get the agriculture going
again, they're going to have a serious water problem. maliki and the government hosted a conference to this discuss this with some of the regional neighbors in baghdad. maliki said we face a real crisis. we have a common way forward within the strategic framework agreement. it calls on cooperation between the u.s. and iraq to address issues like this. and to call on the expertise. i know there's some in new mexico. to call on the expertise to help the iraqis think in systematized way. do they need dams? do they need to redirect some water supplies? and to work with turkey in particular, to address this problem over the long term. all i will say is it's been overlooked. it's been overlooked because iraq has been involved in a serious sectarian war. now that they're coming out of that phase, these very important issues need to rise to the highest priority within our embassy. >> thank you.
thank you for your courtesies, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. ambassador, i want to ask you about the the so-called llrc in sri lanka. i guess a two-part question. one is, you heard me assert that i don't think they think they made anywhere near the process. but assess where sri lanka is, as it relates to the implementation of the results or maybe more pointedly the imposition of accountability for their actions at the end of the civil war, number one. will the united states and other countries in the national insist upon an independent investigation?
>> thank you, senator. the lessons learned and reconciliation commission relations were, of course, front and center as a topic when the sri lankan foreign minister met with secretary clinton last month here in washington. >> we asked them to provide regular and public updates of the implementation of what is the government's own commission. particularly with regard to demille tirization of the north to setting a date for provenn shl elections in the north. focus on human rights protection, including increased space for civil society to
operate. increase focus on media freedom. the benchmarks met on the recommendations set out by the llrc. >> as a result of that meet iin were we enlightened by it? any indication that there's progress, momentum, results, deadlines? because we got, you know, it's been six months, and the concern here is obvious, it's about huch nature when you have that kind of interim conflict in the winter in the side of the debate. they win. they have power. and they have their commission set up. the question is will they ever
be able to implement recommendations and should we have an independent investigation? >> senator, not just the u.s., but many international partners, of course, voted in march. in geneva at the human rights council on u.s. sponsored resolution. reconciliation and accountability. there has been an international call for progress on accountability because one cannot have. without the accountability there are credible, serious allegations i completely agree on crimes committed on both sides in terms of violations, i should say.
international human rights law and international humanitarian law. so we do look for near term progress, benchmarks to be met, particularly on setting a date for the provenn shl elections in the north, specifically demilitarization in the north. if confirmed, senator, i can absolutely commit to you and to your colleagues that human rights issues, protection of the ability of civil society, it's a civil society in the media, to do their job. will be on the top of hi agenda. we can have principled engagement that keeps prince l rights protection, rule of law at the forefront. >> look, i know this has been a priority. but when people see almost no progress in the implementation
or recommendations, this question of an international investigation is going to present itself continually. i realize it's sensitive. it's a difficult question for the administration. it's not going to go away until they see -- until the world sees results. so the question won't go away. number two, i urge you upon confirmation to use every bit of energy and persuasion and con jo conjoling and anything else you can bring to bear on the leadership? sri lanka to get results. in the end, people won't be satisfied until we see the results, meaning progress on the recommendations. senator? >> thank you, mr. chairman. you commented about the kurds, and i'm interested in that. and i would like to pursue that
a little bit further. it seems to me as an outsider looking at this. the kurds seem to be doing well on their own. the construction that's going on there far outstrips what's being done in baghdad and in other parts of iraq. and they just seem to be progressing. having said that, it would seem to me they're being left alone to a degree because of the for lack of a better word, chaos down south. what is your view as to what's going to happen as this thing -- you blame this on personalities, i think i picked up from your statement. once they see what's happening with the kurds, and as you pointed out they're moving away and are happy to move away. and seem to be doing very well
moving away. >> can i get your thoughts on that. >> it's far deeper than personality. they could take centuries to really resolve for good. between the kurds and the arabs, there's obviously issue on the dispute of internal boundaries. that still remains unresolved. it would be my commitment to work through the process designed through article 140 of the constitution. to get the size together. to does an equitable resolution to the boundaries. also, nothing could go further to stem the centrifrical forces. that's from the national
patrimony. we have made a go a that the over the years. made some progress in 2007. and had a package of laws that were pretty close. my last trip in baghdad. in the midst of a political crisis, i found a new urgency to return to the table on the issue. if i'm confirmed, it will be a central priority to do everything we possibly can. we can do shuttling and figure out where is there areas of agreement? without consensus on how to manage the national hydro carbon resources, the forforces can accelerate, and i'm deeply concerned about that. >> you think the parties are amenable to that resolution? >> some of them are, and some of them aren't.
there's a lot of division in baghdad among all the many parties. one of the key things to do is to try to find the leaders in a compromising frame of mind to work sometimes behind closed doors to build compromise. and it can be very difficult. i can't underestimate the challenges of this issue. the kurds want to develop their resources in their region and under the constitution, they have a right to. in baghdad they want to develop the resources in a national way in which the baghdad government has a say. and they have a the right to. we find to find a compromise within the constitutional frame work. my hope is as iraq's oil production is increasing and is one of the good news stories in iraq right now. they are producing around 3 million barrels a day for the first time in really 30 years. iraq's own estimates $10 billion a day by 2017. as i said in the written statement, we don't think
they'll meet that. plateau about 5:00. as the resources are being developed, there's a new sense that something has to be done with a consensus for how they will be managed with the revenues shared? >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator? >> go ahead. >> thank you. you discussed this issue of hydrocarbons? and i think in the long term they want to reach a total of $12 million per day. that would be pretty incredible in the region. do you think iraq is on track to
achieve the goal? and what helped them with the petroleum output over the last year? and while we were there, there was a lot of reports that the security wasn't good enough or oil companies from around the world move in and do the job and get the oil back online. apparently now they're going up dramatically. i think they're up past what it was from the invasion. and they look like they're very aggressive. i know you're not an oil expert. i mean, you're over there talking to them, and you've been over there a while. do you have a sense of where they're headed on oil output? >> thank you, senator. we addressed this briefly in your office.
there were two key evens in 2007 and 2009 that have led to the major increase in oil. in 2007 during the surge period, we really convinced the iraqians they have a single point of failure in the national security problem and how the oil is exported. and if you go out there, it's kind of like the movie water world. it's very vulnerable. and it's old and rusting. and we're that terminal to fail. iraq would not be able to export oil. about 80% goes through the south. so a plan was put in place. and general petraeus was part of this. they were part of really urging the iraqis to do this. they need to develop new offshore infrastructure. foster wheeler had a big role in the engineering in actually pulling this up. the first single point started delivering oil in february.
and immediately increased by 200,000 barrels a day. other single points in the gulf are slated to open over the course of this year. it's a major engineering feat. if it increases it by 2.5 million barrels a day. it's a tremendous story. from twefb and getting the iraqis to where they are now. the bidding rounds in 2009 were iraq for the first time invited companies in to fend for their fields. and it was a success. i used to hear from iraqis say you have to get them in here. but it happened in 2009. they drove a very hard bargain. because of the contracts there's
now other companies helping the iraqis develop their resources. very quickly, where do we go from here? the iraqis are not thinking in terms of a system and how to get the oil going. he's doing an incredible job with it. we now have very deep ties with the iraqis. they recently had a meeting with the department of energy in showing the iraqis how to think in terms of a way to develop the oil resources. a number of do outs came from the meetingful it's an important way. we can talk to the iraqis about high level strategic issues and how we can cooperate.
it's going to be really critical. >> thank you for that answer. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator lugar? >> i would like to pursue further just for our own knowledge what is occurring in tajikistan? how would you describe the relations with russia or with china? or with other countries that may have strategic interest in that territor territory. >> thank you, mr. senator. that's a very good question. tajikistan, i believe, shares good relationships with the country.
we have good cooperation with them on the northern distribution network. they are a doing a lot to help in fighting crime and narcs. we believe it's not a zero sum game in central asia ya. we also had good cooperation. i've served in embassy moscow. i would say that the situation is very good. that tajikistan shares good relations with its neighbors. if confirmed, i will make that a priority. the civil war occurred there, a
resolution of that, and the beginnings, at least, of the government, that aspire apparently to democratic tendencies. but try to describe the evolution of the government. and how active is the legislative -- how active are persons demanding human rights? what's the lay of the land? that's also a very good kwi, and one that concerns us. in the 20 years of independence, we haven't seen the growth of civil society and the growth of democracy that we would have liked to have seen. this is something the obama administration has engaged on.
and part of the reason she visited was to be able to engage with civil society. there is one independent islamic party that participates in the parliament in tajikistan. however, i would say we need to do more to open civil society there, and to improve the human rights of tajikistan. if confirmed, this will be a top priority. we have national security interests there, but our interests in improving the human rights and the rights of people of tjikistan are also important. >> the reason i ask the questions in that order is the influences governmentally from china and from russia we have
illustrated our own ideas and espoused those i'm just curious in terms of the complexity. as we will end with regard to our thoughts about their governess or elsewhere where they can be helpful. with recognition of the cross current, historically as well as presently. has there been a trend towards the human rights aspect and towards developments that we
would find compatible with our ideas of governments? >> as i mentioned, i don't think the trends have been perhaps as extensive as we would have liked. they don't share the same history of democracy that we do. they're a young country. they're working towards improving the human rights situation there. which will help journalists there. so we have seen some progress. some journalists who have been arrested have been released. but there's still a lot of work to be done. and i would say russia does have interest in tajikistan. the concern is for security and for extending the flow of narcotics.
i think we'll continue to work on that and make it a priority. to make sure we're all helping them to move in the right direction. like wise for the experience in that answer. >> thank you, i'll go another round. i know we're coming to the end of the hearing. i want to get to the special immigrant visas that you know about. basically if someone in iraq and a citizen in iraq has helped the american forces in ways that put them at substantial risk.
and these are individuals that live under threat today. i know the process has been expedited and the u.s. has admitted as many applicants in fiscal year 2012 as it did in all of 2011, so there is progress. if you don't, if you could get it to us. the number of cases of special immigrant visas. how many are in the pipeline nor the principled applicants. if you could just tell us about that. >> thank you, senator. this issue is very important to me. it's a very personal issue to me.
i have known iraqis who have gone into this program and were never able to get a visa. e it's very personal to me. as you may know, we also have to have security checks to make sure that the american people are protected. there was a financial backlog, which you're right. we have admitted more siv cases into the u.s. than we did all of last year. and i've been told the numbers for the third quarter look to be substantially higher. the number is about 850. senator, i will get you the exact figures on the number of cases that are being processed in the backlog.
i visited with the national security staff, who did a terrific job in streamlining the processing of the cases and making sure that we have the personnel and the right resources and effectively and efficiently. the embassy plays a key role in that. we wan to make sure the cases can be processed from the embassy. i pledge to you i will do everything i possibly can to make sure that the cases are processed efficiently with reasonable security checks to make sure the american people are protected. but iraqis feel welcomed. they know where they stand in the process. >> thank you very much. miss eliot. i want to ask you about the northern distribution effort. i guess on two levels. number one, the importance of it is so apparent as we drive down afghanistan to get