tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN November 12, 2014 11:00am-1:01pm EST
i'm probably one of two azerbaijan experts. i'm going to cut to the chase and tell you that the parliament has never been elected. every member of parliament is a member of the ruling party. yet u.s. taxpayers paid for an orientation program for these new parliament earns, all of whom won elections that the u.s. embassy in baciu described as not making international standards. it gets worse. the u.s. government rejected these elections and then they trained the winners. usaid even paid for a new website to make this illegitimate parliament more efficient. this is not farce. this is all publicly available in usaid's reports. a final assessment carried out by two outside experts found this parliamentary program, $5.6 million program did not change how parliament functions or how ordinary people in azerbaijan relate to or understand the parliament.
since azerbaijan's independence, in 1991, u.s. aid has spent $55 million on programs to make the country more democratic. the country remains more undemocratic and is becoming more and more authoritarian. the u.s. government presses on with multimillion-dollars programs in azerbaijan. in 2012 us aid issues a $1.5 million call, i want you to listen to this. that would enable key society organizations to better respond to the president's vision and calls for more meaningful and state civil society partnership fulfilling the government's commitments to various international human rights instruments, end quote. the idea of u.s. taxpayer dollars going to implement the supposed democratic vision of azerbaijan's authoritarian president reinforces the notion that foreign aid is a scam. i'll give you an example from kazakhstan.
this is a typical program. you'll see this in every part of the world. i'm a eurasia specialist. my examples from the region, usaid worked with the $1.5 million to increase the capacities of kazakhstan's leading organizations. well, there's a problem here, that presumes that kazakhstan -- that we were going to pump up the capacity of civil society organizations so that they could better represent the interests and reflect those of the government. the problem is kazakhstan has a parliament that does not derive its legitimacy from constituents. they actively manipulate t elections. so the program makes absolutely no sense why does usaid continue to fund these misguided programs in authoritarian countries with no interest in reform? it's simple, bureaucratic self-interest and the assumption
that more is always better. we can end this waste with emphasis on triage indicating allocating more money where there's a chance for change. the model, a well-known model, does things very differently, it's from small grants directly around the world and it selects the most promising ideas from indigenous organizations. russians are trying to fix russian societies. there's a lot of wisdom in this model. it acknowledges that outsiders have a limited role to play in political transitions. in my opinion, it's an absolutely unique model and one that should be commended and bolstered. practically speaking the rule that i've come up with when thinking about a division of labor, as carl encouraged us to do, only operate in countries where freedom house ranks is not free where usa id should practice in partly free environments. >> we're going to have to get to
the conclusion. >> sure. my two other points i'm going to summarize them on strategy. on strategy, we ought to deploy our shrinking resources in places where democratic outcome is likely. so that means no multimillion-dollar programs in afghanistan, azerbaijan, kazakhstan, russia or uzbekistan. these countries are not in transition. and we shouldn't fool ourselves thinking that they are. my final point is on competition. competition needs to be encouraged and transparency is a vital aspect of competition. there are noncompetitive mechanisms in the field and those need to be eased out. so in conclusion, i think that democracy assistance communities needs to have a tough conversation about the meaningfulness of its programs. as a program officer i was appalled when i went through old files and saw that we've been implementing the same tired strategies for more than ten years. this needs to change. taxpayers deserve better as do aspiring democrats. thank you.
>> thanks very much. let's have a round of applause, first of all, for our panel. they did the hard work up here. and now i would like to ask you all to very quickly sum up your conclusions of what we said so far. you each have three minutes. which is not vermuch. but let's keep it crisp. thank you. >> okay. i'm not really sure to begin. there's a lot of interesting things that were just said. so i guess, i would just pick up on a few points that the other panelists made that really resonated with me. as i'm not a eurasia specialist, i'm learning a lot from them. i think one point that i'd like to hit on, i think some of the -- some of the structure problems that melinda identified with the field-based model, i
think occasionally, some of the donors' interest concerns that i tried to emphasize and my presentation can be lurking in the background. i think that i have observed pretty similar legislative assistance programs -- large legislative assistance programs in countries like jordan, where, you know, there cabe magnificent attempts to build the parliament's capacities. and while their parliament no longer exists because it's been dismissed by the monarchy. i think they originate from some of the same dynamics that melinda is talking about. some of the geo strategic are in place. so i would just emphasize the continuing role of donors's interests. even as we look at the structural and competitive aspects that were highlighted.
and i think the comments the idea that some actors have -- there's a debt to be repaid. a really ardent commitment to promoting democracy. i think these are the donors that are willing to make the hard tradeoff against exceeding interests and financial pressure to promote democracy in ways that are most likely to make change. i'm sure that is under my time but let me give it to my fellow panelists to finish their remarks. >> so, i'd like to return to this idea of reforming u.s. democracy promotion by encouraging its cooperation with actors, democracy promoters from other democracies around the world. again, i will speak from my experience in central and eastern europe but i think there are important strategies.
i think a democratic innovator, as well as its capacity are a good match for the first hand experience with democratization as well as local knowledge and ties with a lot of new democracy that are regional players. some such cooperation has already begun, but i think there is room for improvement so allow me to put forward four such ways in which i think this cooperation can be more fruitful which in part responds to some of the criticism that we're seeing about the democracy promotion efforts of new democracies. the first one is that a lot of u.s. engagement with those actors has been talked down. and it's mostly in the form my colleague talked about of u.s. diplomats putting pressure on those governments to do democracy work. i don't think that works.
a hungary is a great example here. there was a lot of investment both from the u.s. and western europe in getting hungry to support democracy in its neighborhood and that did not work. now we see that was for the better good of the neighborhood. but i think what is more important here is that what the u.s. can do instead is invest in organic bottom-up civic border solidarity and cooperation. and political corresponding cooperation and local government solidarity and cooperation. that brings me to my second point which i think part of the reason we talk past each other is we have different visions of what democracy promotion should be like. for me democracy promotion is about solidarity, among actors who are interested in making their countries more democratic ones. oftentimes, that kind of solidarity is possible and
especially important when both sides of the donor recipient are struggling with challenges to democracy at home. so the fact that central and eastern europe, at the moment, in a moment of delusionment is not the moment to discourage democracy promotion. in fact, we've seen the efforts be activists or politicians who are pro-democratic sitting together and what is it they can learn about each other. >> i'm terribly sorry -- >> okay. finishing up. what i've seen from central and eastern democracy promotion, oftentimes it is not just about what those countries have done at home but what they have done that didn't work and maybe their counter-parts should not repeat. >> great. thank you very much.
what's your takeaway? what stands out for you? >> well, one thing is i definitely agree that there's a lot to be done with the central european geos. their experienced, relative cheap to run. they are not corrupt too much. so there's definitely a lot. the problem is, there's a growing gap between those who would work for the ngos and the frustrated society at large. frustrated and apathetic. and there's a lot of losers but there are those who are attempting to use this frustration and to change it into a better grip of state over the society. one question maybe to melinda, and i don't think you really -- that was the way you were
heading. but there was something about kind of pulling back money from the most close regimes. i completely agree with the logic. but how do make sure that, i mean, the societies are not monolithic, so how do you make sure that shows who are trying for democracy in those regimes, that these are alive? you know, or they have some money to distribute, whatever they have to distribute, how to make sure is it to make sure it's going to happen? and one last remark, maybe coming back to the first panel, we did not address the fact that -- i mean, we use poland in central europe as a reference point for a good transition. but we didn't say that this happened when pro-democratic promotion was the highest priority of both the european and united states.
there are structural elements in the society in the region and so that might help it. but we should realize that this is not the case anymore. i mean, the democracy promotion is not that close to our hearts as it it was in the 1990s. so we should not blame everything on the societies. but we somehow kind of scale back our own ambitions. >> melinda, maybe you can respond to that a little bit. >> absolutely. i'm going to do my take-away. then i'll respond, if that's all right. on sarah's points, i think she's right, conditionality is important. this is made in the literature owe and over again. the democracy promotion much more difficult because we have a lot less conditionality. maybe we need to think more creatively to create more conditionality. i hear you on delivery. there's a tendency to focus on programs that are results heavy. so there's a tension. you want to give implementers
enough room to be able -- this is difficult work. it often takes years and years, i think there is a tension in delivery. i agree with you on that. and tsveta, you didn't give the example today but observed a program, a us aid program, local governance program. usa was trying to take a local governance program to ukraine and it didn't fit at all in the context. she said, it would have been much better served if we had taken the polish model much more similar and applied it in a ukrainian context. i think there's a lot of wisdom in that. and michael made good points. programs continue to be more technical and not political. and carl said this morning, political part of this is extremely important. and i as like michael's take on looking at small and medium-sized business owners. to answer your question, i see a
division of labor. i don't think we should cut off all assistance to very hopeless countries. we should continue to use the national endowment for democrat cease to keep the flame alive. they know how to work in authoritarian regimes than anybody else. ambassadors also have small funds that they can give to that. >> i wish we had a bit more time but let's open it up for questions. this woman here, yes. >> national endowment for democracy. melinda, that you so much for bringing up azerbaijan. i think is an interesting case study for a lost the themes that have come up here. first of all for the pole of europe, the argument about central europeans being such a great model. the idea that europe is not only a model, but the idea that membership can promote better democracy in the applicant countries.
azerbaijan has carried out the worst crackdown ever. it has arrested dozens of activists. the best human rights people. the best journalists are in jail and this has happened while azerbaijan was the chairman of the council of ministers, council of europe. so it only works, europe, as a magnet, as a prize, can only work if europe is true to its values. if it enforces -- >> question? >> yes, so what do you think of that? is that a counterexample? and for you melinda, also on azerbaijan, with these people in jail, some of them have received funding from usaid from european donors. donors are already announcing new grant competitions. with top people in jail ,there's an opportunity for government to bring up a whole bunch right now. what should usaid and europeans donors and others do in a
situation like this? all your best people are in jail. you have millions of dollars to spend. european commissioner announced new $3 million competition. how should people handle it? >> melinda, i think that one's for you. >> i think the second part's for me. >> why don't you tackle it? >> i'll jump right in. i really share your concern, miriam. i can't believe that many of the people i've worked with in azerbaijan are behind bars. and i think tom was really clear on this point, that we need to use our political and moral leadership to stand up for them. carl made this point, too. democracy isn't just a program. it's also using our moral leadership to say you that can't get away with this. and holding a state to the commitments that they'd made. so i've seen azerbaijan and donors have more money. and i've seen a horrific program -- i think mostly aid-funded programs in uzbekistan and azerbaijan gongos. on
and i don't think we should be funding gongoss. we need to be doing a better job figuring out who is and who is not. you can't quote and take seriously some as a democratic reformer. >> for those of you who don't speak the language. a gongo is a fake ngo. >> and there's plenty of them in the regime." we need to do due diligence. when there's no one to fund, put the money in countries where there's no openness. mainly in this region, ukraine, moldova and georgia. >> does that cover it? i'm sorry, i think we'll have to move along. yes, this gentleman in the middle here. >> thanks.
i.r.a. straws. i'm head of something called democracy international which is a legacy organization from the cold war era democracy promotion. i have a question with the connection of this with the first panel. they've been wonderful on the specifics of the democracy promotion efforts but there's been a question about multiple standards, double standards, multiple considerations in life. that said, it's a weakness of central european democracy promotion has strategic purposes, i would say that's a strength. the first wave of democracy promotion has a clear concept in the '80s when communism collapsed. >> so the question? >> and the question is have we gone from doing more good than harm, we were controversial, have we gone from doing more harm than good because we forgot the constraints that could make
us sometimes do more harm or good? >> who would like to tackle it. >> well, i run out of time. otherwise, i would have elaborated on that point. the way i see the strategic take here is a double-edged sword. on the one hand if there's a clear rationale that backs democracy promotion it makes a country provide resolute, sustained and in that way have a positive impact. on the other side, such a strategic rational serve to make those efforts inconsistent because those countries are tempted to back their guy rather than necessarily watch out for improving the democratic process. to me, there's a tradeoff there, just as discussed in the first panel, it's something that the country has to educate the public about, have a
conversation and decide where along the continuum it's willing to sit. >> i actually have a question i'm going to ask very quickly. it's a question for michael. or whoever wishes to answer. so we talked about hungary, but we sort of danced around it. the prime minister gave a speech where he said, we want a liberal democracy. we're tired of this liberal democracy stuff. so it would seem that western democracy efforts in hungary have failed, let's just say that. how did they fail? what did we do wrong? i realize the answer may be a long one but let's try to boil it down. >> well, first of all, we should also be clear about when the prime minister was announced liberal democracy, what he was actually doing was denouncing democracy. he kind of attacked parts of liberalism here and there, but what he was attacking was democracy. i think that it was basically the stuff of my presentation, but i will say one more thing --
>> sum it up for us. one sentence. >> well -- >> he's an academic. >> there's too much -- >> two sentences. >> i will say one more thing about the presentation. a famous historian said history is like a pendulum, essentially. we are too much pro western. we look up to the west. we are kind of hurt by never getting to those standards so we try to denounce the west. this is a dynamic that's been going on for ages, and i'm afraid hungary is getting the pendulum back now. >> so it's really not our fault? >> well, it is our fault. because we thought that the pendulum was never going to go back. so we set everything on autopilot. that is why i was criticizing technical aspects of transitions. >> all right. had to ask that. how about the gentleman in
the second row from the end there. yes, thank you. >> hello. i'm probably one of the only africans in here. i come from zimbabwe, where all -- where the state is captured all institutions as you know. i see the international community, including the united states, supporting tame progress. i think you spoke out tame process. being castigated. for being too political. and we know that institutions will never reform but my question is on the role of the neighboring countries, impeding democracy. particularly south africa, in the case of zimbabwe. on the one hand, south africa is supporting the political
retribution by taking them in but it is aiding the regime. what do you think should be the role of the nehb countries, particularly in the southern african context in promoting democracy in a country like zimbabwe? thank you. >> sarah, do you want to tackle that? no? >> i can say a word. maybe others will have something to say, too. one of the things i take from sveta's comments, neighboring states have a lot to offer but don't always seize the opportunities. knowing about this specific case, it's the same for neighboring states to not take opportunity to play a constructive role with better insight, perhaps, into local and political dynamics. and one way to assume a lot of economic and other forms of leverage.
so i would -- >> i think, again, i'm not the original expert, but what i've seen is that original actors have a very important role to play. and sometimes, it takes encouragement to realize that potential. sometimes, that encouragement is by the people in the recipient country that are struggling for democracy, reaching out and asking both fellow civic activists as well as politicians particularly asking them to articulate the rationale why democracy should be in the country. other times it takes international actors. oftentimes through international actors or the u.s. to encourage democrat cease promotion. the fact that it's turned from south africa and zimbabwe, i would not take as discouragement but take as a challenge that that could be resolved. >> very interesting.
yes. right here. >> following on the last question, does government funding lead to tame programs because government has other interests? and if so, do private sector groups and foundations are they more likely to be aggressive and can they pick up the bulk of democracy funding if government chooses not to do it? and if the u.s. government is not actually promoting, it's a private u.s. foundation, what's of the impact on recipient countries, does it help or hurt the cause of democracy promotion? >> so who would like to take that? >> i'll say a word. yeah, that's what i think. i think that. i think government programs face a lot of interests that make it difficult. in these certain countries to fund and design programs that would be most effective at
supporting democratic change. i think private actors have a much greater scope to pursue those kinds of programs. that's certainly my perspective. i would also add, however, that it's not just the government on our end of things that plays sometimes a difficult role and competing interests but the government roles taking place. i think that's where the comment about field-based versus grant making model is also relevant because no matter how the program is being funded, if the program is funded through a field-based office, certain pressures that will tame the programs. so i think that the delivery makes a huge difference, but it's not the only factor i would highlight. >> i would say having a field office is a real thing.
country directors wonder about authoritarian and semiauthoritarian countries, they worry about their field staff and security all the time. you get threatening phone calls. people are followed. this is a real things in these types of countries. i have a slightly different answer than sarah. this a $3 billion a year industry. i don't see how you raise $3 billion a year in private interest. i would worry if money is coming from, i presume, companies, i look at corporate responsibility programs. companies have interests as well. we would be naive if we didn't recognize that with corporate social responsibilities, a lot are oil countries or interests that will produce the same kind of lame programs we've identified. >> the the gentleman way back there in the white shirt, please.
>> i would like to play a little devil's advocate. we know congress has a low rating in this country, 15% of 14%, which is a same. it depends on congress not dictatorial president we have here. finally, we try to spread democracy throughout the world through violence. somebody mentioned some dictators use savage violence. we use super savage violence invading afghanistan, iraq, yemen. that does not bode very well for a country that claims it is spreading democracy. our own democracy is spreading, too, just as many other countries. >> i'm terribly sorry but we have to get to the question. >> given that, what is the credibility and most of all,
also 99% are -- you use the term gongo. i'm glad you said that. i was not aware of that term. >> who would like to tackle that may maybe? >> maybe just a few words. i would take this criticism very seriously and that's exactly what i do when i say we politically and what is wrong with democracy and why these are being presented at forums like these. this is something we take very seriously. the question of violence. i think it was very clear, whoever said in the first panel, that democracy through violence is not a way. and i think we discovered that. and we have to use that as a reference for not what to do. but i wouldn't use that as a reference for not making democracy help to flourish in different countries but once again, i think we really have to start at home. that was actually the whole point of my presentation.
and to think hard about our own democracy and how -- what -- what are we ready to sacrifice for that and so on and so forth. i actually thank you for your critical remarks. >> i think we probably have time just for one more question. so this gentleman right in the middle. >> thank you. i'm a fellow at national endowment for democracy. i'm from afghanistan. initially, i was not interested to pose the question because the context was quite different but looking at that person's question, i'm interested to ask melinda about her comments that she actually advocates for closing the cases of democracy assistance in countries like afghanistan. i was just wondering, if you're going to support democracies in
the countries where the grounds are paved like a piece of cake, you're ready to go there, then why you're not interested in supporting countries who are literally supporting and advocating for democracy looking even to afghanistan actually primarily a military approach. recently it changed to a civil approach. closing the case of democracy in afghanistan means you're wasting millions of dollars you've supported in afghanistan. and it means that it it literally is calling it, a narrow-minded pakistani narrative of afghanistan. afghans do not deserve to be democratiz democratized. let them do it through the taliban approach which is totally not correct. >> what's the question? >> my question is how are you going to -- how are you going to close the cases? while there are many interested
and many functioning organizations and democracy activists in the field? of course, looking to ease the examples like ukraine which has open society, and georgia, your own example is quite a different history but why not support the countries who need the support? thank you. >> thanks very much. >> thank you for that question. so i want to get back to the question of division of labor. that's what my remarks were primarily about. i'm not saying that the u.s. should not give any assistance to afghanistan and to courageous democrats there. to the contrary, i definitely think we should be but i think that's a role for the national endowment for democracy and not for a multimillion-dollar program which been highly ineffective. there's lots of examples i can point to. usaid programs. i view these as sunk costs. and as larry diamond will probably say during lunch, you have to have a state in order to do these programs. you have to have a functioning
state. and that's a key part of this. and we haven't talked very much about that, i think most of us in this room would probably draw a large distinction between nation building and encouraging democratic transitions. and nation-building is something entirely different. that's -- i'm not an expert on nation-building, and i think it's extremely hard -- it's extremely difficult. and you have to be fully committed to it. i think my comments are mostly directed at encouraging democratic transitions. >> and the biggest question comes up at the end. you wanted to say something very quickly and then we'll go to the next -- >> okay. let's talk about that among ourselves then. so thank you very much. i'm going to call him back up here and he can take my place and tell us what we're going to do next. >> i want to begin by thanking this panel so much. you were asked -- [ applause ]
we were asked several questions at the beginning of this conference what is the future and what is the alternative in terms of democracy promotion. and i think we just learned a huge amount in terms of how to approach this issue. again, thanks to the panel. now we're actually going to move to lunch and hear what larry has to say about these issues. what i'd ask you to do, go across the hallway, grab your lunch, and then we'll keep going into the cafeteria, and hopefully we'll be able to begin lunch by 12:40. thanks to all the panelists and participants in the first panel as well. and we move on to lunch.
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defense, deputy commanding general in europe major general interviewed at a form hosted by center for tranlg and international studies in washington, d.c. this is about an hour. >> good morning, everybody. >> good morning. >> lead by example and turn off my ringer so everybody else in the oddians can do the same. >> very honored to have the opportunity to take advantage of the ausa conference and its wide attendance to have the general here for the conference stop by as well and talk to us about the interesting things that are going on in u.s. army europe.
the major is deputy commanding general in europe. he previously served as commander of the joint multinational training center, multinational training center. >> multinational training command. >> in germans. enlisted as nr man, pennsylvania native, deployed all over the world, spent a lot of his career in the pacific but managed to bounce around to other places i recently learned. so again he's going to talk to us about what's going on with u.s. army europe, what's going on multinational training there and hopefully give us some perspective on how things have changed in the last six months,
which i manage the outlook is a little different than it was a year ago. so sir, over to you. >> i think we took these steps well over a year ago when i went to -- got an assignment to joint national training command, general odor, a told me i'm sending you over there. i took over in june 2013. he said very clearly, and this was several months before, your mission is to get u.s. army back integrated into nato. part of our plan planning and training forces for operational command in iraq and needed transition to operational preparedness. so this was a plan put into action by united states army and u.s. army europe well before current security crisis in eastern europe. we did that with restructuring of forces in europe to better integrate with nato. we knew we didn't know what
would be next, operation contingency. we wouldn't do it alone. if we were going to respond to each other, we needed to train, work, live together and to understand and build that inner operability. the next exercise we did confined to that, we were going to use nato response force dedicated by united states army come from the united states twice a year to exercise our contribution to the nato response force brigade size element. this was in the fall. due to sequestration we couldn't bring it over. we didn't want to die on the vine, used brigade hair quarters, mechanized battalion from czech republic, platoons
from nine different nations, czech artillery. we created a multinational brigade and gave them a full exercise against full spectrum of military probabilities they would encounter. that was the full principle getting after operational preparedness. we learned a lot of valuable lessons. we learned inner operability was a buzzword. nobody defined it. some people think it's putting two people together. we saw firsthand it's more dependent on capacity of military professionals coming together in one formation and facing a common problem and trying to develop solutions against that common problem. that's what the alliance i think was very strong.
we have a strong alliance in eastern europe. when we come together, we're better than we are separate. that was one big lesson we learned. we learned we have a common doctrinal framework provided by nato and u.s. army needed to open that book again and learn the framework. and the doctrine that we are native skills and understand the doctrine that was neglected somewhat. we had common framework and well experienced formations and that provided a great exercise. that has since -- we have combined with aligned force, nato response first brigade in ft. hood texas came. this time we had, i think, 14 different nations, over 4,000 soldiers. again, did a tremendous exercise. now we are conducting, as i speak, combined all three which will have 16 different nations. we have done other exercises as well.
we have safer junction which was the brigade headquarters. it wasn't a u.s. brigade. it was a lithuanian brigade with u.s. airborne battalion underneath it. again mechanized force from czech republic, civilian battalion companies and platoons from albania, serbia and other nations. we had many nations. well over 6,000 soldiers. this time we did what was different. we just didn't train in germany which we normally do. we expanded and did an air field seizure and simultaneously in latvia and lithuania with the airborne brigade. we landed nato c-17 planes and were able to drive striker vehicles out of the c-17s. we seized an airfield several countries away while training and conducting a large scale exercise there. we're building on that nato
operability. we're building on that partner capacity and we're doing this well before the crisis started. it certainly has increased since. i'm really here to report my mission to get over there and get the u.s. army in europe with nato, it's successful. we have a strong alliance that can respond to security concerns today. they responded as a member of a very, very strong alliance. >> can you talk about how nato operations in afghanistan and lessons learned from that -- i don't know if this is true. iminferring perhaps incorrectly, but there are positive lessons from that and also potentially negative ones. operational there have created things where we wouldn't get the same feature. i don't know if that's true. can you talk about how you
are attempting to leverage lessons learned from isaf and how you're thinking about your training going forward. >> i think both are true. i think first, the number one lesson from my perspective is the strong relationships we built while facing -- while in combat with our allies. we have trained and deployed together, side by side. many contributing nations to the conflict in afghanistan has forged a special trust and deep respect and created this bond and a strong relationship that is very powerful. every nation deployed there has a really experienced force. and that experience i think we have in europe and nato now, probably the most experienced force we ever had. i know united states we say that
a lot about our services, that we're the most experienced in history. i believe that to be true. but the same is true with our allies. to share that experience now costs our nations nothing. i think that lesson is one that can carry over to whatever the next conflict can be. some of the challenges we face is that because you are falling into a mature theater, a mature construct, some of the challenges of inner operability, classification sharing, foreign disclosure, all those rules are set for a mature theater in afghanistan to when you do exercises or you do named operations, as we're also doing in europe now. you have to work through those ahead of time. you have to understand and respect the sovereign rights of the nation as part of that alliance. it's not just one set of rules. it's established and you have to establish that so you can rotate forces in there quickly. each time we build up a new exercise, you have to go through and take the steps. i found out as i tried to bring
over for an exercise, they are ready to come, pay their way, do all the right things. i didn't think it was a big deal of bringing over battalion of tanks into germany, but i realized i didn't own the border in germany. there were procedures i had to learn and say germany has something to say about this. there's just procedures you have to go through. all of them are in place. we have agreements with some nations. some we have to get in and work those out as we go through. we're seeing that in the baltics right now. in april in response to the crisis in ukraine, u.s. army and europe with the airborne brigade baltic states, estonia, latvia and also policyholder. our mig is to reassure the governments when you join nato it meant something, something to the united states.
in this brigade, even prior to that time and certainly since, it has been the most deployed in the united states army. the 137 airborne brigade is literally in many, many countries. we didn't go to deter or defend reassure those nations and build up multinational partner with those nations. we trained constantly. that was our mission, to train with our allies in those countries. we did. we just recently handed over that mission on the 13th of october elements of the 1st brigade and the division from ft. hood, texas. instead of preparing troopers, we have m1 tanks and bradleys and stryker vehicles. they have assumed the mission of operation atlantic resolve with the named operations. so as they came over for combined results, they put one task force with resolve and put the other combined arms
battalion with the begunery and they go to force-on-force exercise and complete live fire exercise. >> can you talk a little bit about how the change in security environment in europe is affecting u.s. army europe's thinking about future requirements? obviously we have been on a trajectory to reduce our structure and presence and consolidate -- i mean, we've been on that path for 15 years or more. more explicitly in the recent strategy documents. as i think you alluded to, our partners are asking us for slightly different and/or additional kinds of things. so, given the budget environment, given the downsizing of the army, and all of those other -- and the existing plans, how does u.s.
army europe dealing with what arguably is a growi ining divere and capacity and clearly regionally forces can help to address some of, that but how would you characterize the command's thinking about this? >> simply put, i would say it reinforces our plan. i think the plan was right. i really, really do. i think if we look at it from a unilaterally perspective, we fail to see what our purpose in europe is and that's to be a member of an alliance to provide a collective smart defense for europe. when you start with -- to get us reintegrated in nato. during the cold war when we had 300,000 u.s. forces there, it was a very different environment. but because of that commitment, because of the commitment of the alliance, we now have a larger nato member nations.
we have result of our success. not just we had a plan to cut forces and we have a crisis and we have to increase it. i think it reinforces. i think the crisis shows that our strat gid to shape the size, to consolidate the infrastructure, we're saving millions of dollars of u.s. taxpayer dlarollars, consolidat those bases, getting the right size to be a contributing member of nato was the right approach. if you do the math and look at the federal force structure that nato can put out to any security challenge, it's quite intimidating. so we're not -- we may be lower, but the alliance is greater. and we're stronger and we're trained, ready, equipped to respond. i think where we took our
guidance was from -- really the general said his vision was to build a smart defense through europe through connected forces initiative. and connected forces initiative is a lot like interoperability. nobody knew what that meant. it meant different things to different people. but army europe really started to dissect that and said what does it mean to us? how can we help build that vision? you know, conceptually, it made sense, but what was the real plan? how did you build those formations to come together to really present a lethal, agile force that be deployed for crisis anywhere? so, we developed our connected training initiative that would support it. who knew it would be wrong if every force came out of afghanistan, went back into their own borders and fought their own budget cuts and con straighting on their own. they probably weren't going to win that. neither would we. we shared our training areas and facilities we already had
purchased, paid for, funded, which are very good, we could now build a greater training capacity that's much better than just, as you would stand unilaterally or alone. this really helped and it opened up the possibilities of doing bigger exercises, more frequent exercises, and a lot less expense. so i think this has helped. and it reinforced the strategy of regionally aligned forces for the u.s. army and rotational forces is a solid concept for us. now, we don't think we got everything right. some challenges are faced with that. and i think the budget is impacting that. so, it's a very good point. so, it's not all going well. last year we brought in equipment availability set of armor brigade headquarters, at tanks at bradley to outfit at least one battalion, artillery
battery. but it wasn't enough. we think we needed more. general owed narrow recognizes that. it will be there, and be ready for operational atlantic as we see now. i know that sounds very optimistic, but i think it was served -- that plan served as a forcing function, too. with the crisis, it became a greater forcing function for nations to look at it. across the board as we travel through eastern europe, a nation's commitment to nato, their 2% contribution from their nation is really -- they wear like a budget of honor. some nations are making that 2%, some nations aren't. they almost call each other out on it. that's good. it's good. because a lot of folks at least from where the united states military, sometimes we think in
our own government back here, sometimes we think we're the only contributing member of nato. what i see is that's not the case. we see nations who understand the security threat better than we do because they're living it. it's right there. it's an immediate impact so they understand their contribution is required. but they also wanted to see that their contribution is building a collective defense. it's not just being wasted o you know, without building that -- without cooperating with the alliance and strengthening the alliance. so i think that has an impact. so, we're seeing that. we want to do more. when talking about the budget crisis will affect us most, it will affect the u.s. army. if sequestration continues, levels could be forced down. general odierno spoke this week. that's what keeps him up. we have to do three things. we have to man the force, train the force and modernize the force. they all cost money.
if we don't invest in those and you lose money, it has to come from one or the other. he knows he cannot take the force any lower so he's going to lose readiness. as he described this week, his fear is that we could have a repeat of what we had in the beginning of the korean war. a task force smith, which oddly general sullivan, when he was chief of staff, always forced us that that would never happen again. not on our watch. we're never going to send untrained, unprepared forces into conflict because the price will be the blood of our servicemen and women. and so that is the real impact looming out there if sequestration continues, what will the impact be on our readiness. >> one last question and then we'll open it up to the audience about the national guard partnership program, which i think has been widely acknowledged as an extremely successful, meaningful effort, particularly in europe. how do you see the partnership program? is it going to expand?
i mean, it's -- i don't think anybody's necessarily suggesting it needs to change at all, but how do you envision it fitting into u.s. army europe's future strategy? >> well, that's a great question. it is vital to the strategy of the partnership program. and because of the resizing of the force, again, that's put more focus on this plan. i think we're better able to synchronize that and what we're trying to achieve in each one of these nations. recently i talked to my former high school basketball coach has a long-standing relationship in lithuania because of the pennsylvania national guard relationship with that country. good friends that he calls. and he helped me -- he's been retired. he retired as brigadier general, for many years now. but he put me in contact with people he knew in lithuania. we get great benefits when they come over once a year. we get things done, we get things built, we get them
trained and ready the force. but the greatest effect we have of that is these long-term standing relationship we have with our allies. you can't accomplish that just in training. you've got -- those relationships are fostered over time. and i think they're the very, you know, fiber to make up this fabric of the alliance, very strong. so, we have a, i think, better, more well-coordinated effort of the state partnership program. every nation that they are partnered with wants more, not less. so our vision is more, not less. but they have been crucial to everything we do. and even on part of the -- it helps contribute to funding to some of the exercises that we do. so instead of being a separate entity, we're just that guard unit will come to that specific country for a specified time, we're able to synchronize it with a larger exercise so that nation gets a greater benefit and we get increased readiness
in the active guard, so the total force, it benefits it. absolutely critical part of our strategy. >> if people could raise their hands if they have questions and then we'll come around with mikes. if you could briefly identify yourself and be concise, if you would, it would be appreciated. thanks. we'll start in the back and move forward. there's one behind you. you can't see that. >> stanley cuber. i'm looking at an article from reuters earlier this month on german defense capabilities. it says, quote, the military says only 70 of 180 boxer armored fighting vehicles, 7 of 43 navy helicopters, 42 of 109 euro fighters and 38 of 89 tornadoes are operational,
unquote. that's a huge shortfall in operational capability. given what's going on in europe now with regard to the economies, germany in particular, where will the money come from to make these forces operational? >> i don't track the operational readiness rates of the german army, but we do track our own. so i know that's a challenge on every given day. you have a current slant where you may have 3 of 29 tanks. at one point last -- a couple months ago, 3 tanks were operational of 29 we had. three days later, 29 tanks were operational. it's a snapshot but it is a concern. but i will say that currently, germans have the baltic air police mission up in astonia. they're there, they're ready, they're capable, all their
aircraft are flying, they're able to respond to violations at that air space, which are happening quite frequently. and so they provided a trained and ready force for that. they've also been a great force and provided trained and ready forces to the mission in afghanistan. in my previous position at jmtc i was partnered closely with the brigade, part of their brigade deployed to northern afghanistan in sharif, the rest of the brigade was back at home in various different states. we're gutting units to send them to an operation and leaving some at home. sometimes that readiness level when you look at it, i can speak from the u.s. perspective. when you look at it, when we send a brigade one place and keep battalions in other places, it looks like we're not ready. it drives general odierno nuts. we are meeting their requirements. we're doing exactly what we have been trained and ready to do. we're well equipped for the mission. although it's a tailored
mission, so therefore you don't bring all your equipment at certain times. we're fortunate enough that as as the 12th brigade came back from afghanistan, the commander, marcus luben thal, became the chief of staff of u.s. army europe. now we have a chief of staff, german general, who is the chief of staff u.s. army europe, and he has really opened the doors even greater to increase our partnership and readiness levels between our two nations, which is quite good. i can speak to a couple brigades. i know i've been on the ranges with them, i've seen their equipment. it's first rate. it's well capable. and they're ready to meet their requirements. i know every nation has a challenge, though, with their defense spending. i'm not going to -- i won't discount that. i can't speak to that readiness, but i will say the formations that i have been able to train with have been ready -- i mean,
trained and equipped and ready to deploy. the last live fire we did at -- for combined resolve 2, we completed live fire. we had a u.s. armor battalion, a romanian tank battalion, a georgian infantry company, dismounted infantry and we did a combined arms live fire, but first we did it in a virtual world so the commander could fight large formations over a large areas. so virtually he was fighting from nurm em berg to czech republic. as he went into the live realm, the first round fired downrange came from german aircraft. called in by soldiers from hungary who was the jtac and led the mission and then led the georgian light infantry followed by romanian tank battalion and then the u.s. armored battalion
attacked from a different flank. so what i'm seeing is increased interoperatability and partnerships we have created and we have trained towards. i'm sorry i can't talk specifically to those readiness rates, but what i can tell you is the forces i'm training with and we're training with it ready and well equipped. >> i'm sorry. we had a gentleman -- i don't know if he still has a question. yep. >> thank you. peter pennington, brit. my question is linked to the previous one, slightly broader. two threats. cno two days ago said here that if he had a real nightmare it was isolationism as a policy here in the united states. i'd like your comment on that. and then the second threat follows on, austerity. every country in europe is being lent on heavily to reduce their
debt. almost to the state where any price will go. spain, 27.7% unemployed, dreadful figure. do you see that as your threat? >> well, i think the -- i think the threat to isolationism is one that -- i mean, i'm proud to report. the u.s. army europe and all the land forces in europe and really the total services have worked very hard to prevent that from happening. our mission was to get integrated and create this interoperatability and this multinational partner capacity. and i think by building that capacity and then showing the leadership of nations that are contributing these forces, we have shown them that isolating is not a good strategy. so, i'm confident from the military perspective we have shown that we're stronger together than we are alone.
and that -- and i'm also confident that we have shown our leadership that the stability in europe is certainly still within vital interest of the united states. i'm not an economist. i know there's many challenges in the european union, but i do know we have seen growth due to the previous commitment, security commitments from the alliance in europe, but i know it's not without challenge. but i do believe that part of our mission there is to provide that security environment so that the economies can flourish and that they can try to solve these challenges and try to get to the right agreements that are going to allow these nations to prosper. and i think that we are and will continue to do that, because i do believe that the complex environment, the complex threat that we're seeing, is a threat to europe, is a threat to their economy, and that this
collective security environment is definitely needed. so, i said i'm not an economist and i know the european union has challenges, but i do believe the security we can provide together will help effect, you know, and at least allow set conditions for good economic decisions to be made in the future. >> if i could follow up on that. to what extent are you concerned about american isolationism and growing american isolationism? and how, if at all, do you perceive that? does it affect you in your job? >> i think that -- well, it's a great question. i think one of our fears when general oe de oda near row sent
general camp pell over and sent me over, globally it would be wrong. globally we would put our nation more at risk if we did not have forces deployed to build a collective security cooperation we need in various nations. there's a requirement for us to be there. but i also learned when i got to europe that, you know, we weren't explaining that to our national leadership enough. that why it's important to have u.s. army forces in europe. and i don't think we were explaining it to the leadership in germany either. and it's a fair question. and it's an active question. we need to address it. we are required. we're not going to respond alone. it's a global economy. it's a global threat. therefore, we have to have global security cooperation. it's absolutely vital. we don't need 300,000 u.s. soldiers in europe anymore. 28,000 is going to be enough because the alliance is bigger, it's more competent and trained and ready and we're going to make sure we have it. so, it's absolutely the wrong approach if we think that pulling back will somehow be
more secure. we will be less secure. but i think it's a duty and responsibility of the united states service members and the military to explain that to our national leaders. because it is a fair question. i think we have to answer to the people that our salary and pay the tax dollars and that are investing in the security what they're getting for their money. also, it's tough and we're in an area that we're not in a congressional district, but we have to explain it to our national leadership. and so it's a fair question and one i think we've done so. and i think through the last recess we had a series of staff delegations visit. we had congressional delegations visit. and we show them what they're getting. and i think they come out with a better understanding that we've got greater cooperation, greater -- really strong collective defense, but we also have strategic access for future conflicts that could arise. and we're reacting right now in liberia to the ebola crisis because we were there.
u.s. army, africa from italy, could get there. we have forces there. we have established relationship and cooperation and access. we don't want to have to go in -- i think it was best said when i did an exercise with some nato partners and we were evaluating the purpose of it. one of our doctrines calls for forcible entry operations in case of a crisis. we might have to forcibly enter in a country and seize an airfield or seize a pier or something. what we get now with this cooperation is we get early entry operations. we're there. the presence is there. the security is established. the cooperation is established. and that -- the key task to that is presence and relationships. and we are preventing more conflicts than we can possibly measure. so, i'm afraid of that rearing its ugly head again. but i think that we have explained it and we will continue to explain it when asked. and we welcome any and all
visitors to come and see it firsthand, so take me up on it. >> i think, let's come up here. where's the mike? goes straight over on the aisle and then up here and up here and then we'll go back and over to the other side. right there, yes. >> estonian embassy. first, i want to say how much we appreciate the u.s. troops in estonia. we hope they'll be there for a long time. i have two questions. first, a part of u.s. force rebalancing was reduction of forces from europe. do you see any chance that given the current crisis in ukraine, there will be -- this decision will be revised and some of the forces will be put back again to europe? and second question is, what is your take on the very high readiness task force which nato decided to launch at the summit?
>> thanks. first question is would more u.s. forces come back to europe or -- >> do you see any chance that there will be a decision to put some forces back to europe, which we've thrown because of the rebalancing. >> okay. thanks for the question. we were in estonia when president obama visited and gave his speech. and that meant a lot to reassure the allies. i know it was a great day whto in estonia when my president came to visit. but his statement, i think, did a lot to reassure. the u.s. response is -- i think there is a much more than adequate force now. as nato expanded we really have from a military perspective, from a land forces perspective, we have a lot of forces in europe. we just can't look at it from the u.s. army perspective that i
constantly counsel soldiers in my army of that. that our army is nato. it is the alliance. it's not just the u.s. it's the alliance. and together we're very strong. the rotational forces that we're using, the regionally aligned forces and that concept, will provide the right amount of force to guarantee the readiness levels that would be needed in case of crisis, you know, or conventional forces required in europe. and then if there are more forces needed, more forces will come. but it won't -- i don't envision we're going to increase permanent u.s. forces' structure. we don't need it we've got the bases about right. i think this is a result, too, of everybody's commitment during the cold war. this is a result of our success. so will we continue to send forces over? yes, we will. will there be enough to build on the readiness for collective defense? yes, they will.
if needed for more? yes, they will, but that gets to the concern of sequestration. as the chief said, if we need a large force to respond to respond to a large crisis somewhere, our fear is we won't be ready and he'll be forced to send forces that aren't ready into a conflict and that price we paid with blood. so, the second part of your question. i want to make sure i remember it. i'm sorry. >>. [ inaudible ] >> yes. so, as the nato summit ended, i was in latvia watching the insertion be executed. we had nato ambassador there, joint forces were there, nato took command of that part of the exercise. i think this will take time to develop. i'm excited about it. the u.s. is more than willing. we know we're going to have a role in it. i think it's needed. i think it's, perhaps, a bit overdue. but i do believe that our training and exercises that we have been conducting over the last year or plus are showing us
that we can build a multinational brigade rather quickly through constant training. we can provide the force structure needed. i think what we need more work on is the readiness levels and the development and training of the nato core level headquarters that are transformed and now coming online, we need to do more of that so they can do that type of large-scale mission command of those type of forces. if they asked us right now to put a multinational brigade together to rapidly respond, we could do it within nato. we are training that much together. we could put that force package together really quickly. so, i'm excited about this becoming more permanent structure of contributing nations providing to that ready force, which i think is going to be needed. and i do believe -- i think one of the, i think, as long, too, as we give general breedlove the ability to at least exercise
that it without having to get back to the alliance for everybody to agree on. we don't want to stand up a ready force and not allow the commander who is responsible to not test it. i know committing it is another step that would require agreement from the allies. but trayen it, deploying it, building its readiness, that's one of the key decisions that came out of that. very much looking forward to help training and exercising with that force. thank you. >> i think we had one here and one here, one there and we'll go to this side. >> thank you. you were talking about some of the intellectual challenges. of inoperability. i was wondering if you could mention some of the logistical and technical challenges. are there some things should be doing to sort of better enhance interoperability. >> yeah, thanks. that's a great question. like i said, the first step on interoperatability is, one, try to find a common understanding of what you think the word
means. people use that a lot and people default well, we have to have a technical solution. like i said, it's not just a technical solution. obviously, it is. even within our own forces. we have to be able to have constant sustaining, we have to have shared information and common situational awareness. that is part of interoperatability. but when you bring nations together and you have experienced warriors looking at a problem set, you know, together, that really is the power of interoperatability. that makes us greater than the individual. the challenges we have are many. logistics is one. especially in the training arenas because we have to look at agreements and who's going to be able to contribute what and those things up front. the biggest challenge we have is with communications. simply put, with just the equipment we have right now, we're unable to talk to our allies. that's a pretty harsh statement. now, we mitigate that because we're able to exchange what we
call interoperatability cells, small packages that extend, so from a u.s. brigade i put a small package of my communication suite into a battalion that's subordinate to me and that allows them to see what i'm seeing and talk directly back and forth with me. so, we're mitigating it that way. but that can't be the long-term solution. we have to get a system within nato allies we can talk to one another. right now, i think it's about 13 different systems. general ben hodges has worked on this for years. it's his number one problem statement. we can't talk to each other. we have 13 different systems and we can't talk to one another. some were built by the same manufacturer. because of security concerns and encryption, they won't talk. we have to get beyond that. if we're going to be allies, we have to be able to share and use the same network. we don't believe, though, that any one nation is going to
provide the solution and everyone else has got to fall in on that solution. that's probably not the right answer either. we have to come at this solution as an alliance. once of the steps we're taking to better define the problem and educate industry and what our capability gaps are is during the next exercise called try lance, from turkey to reach his full operational capacity, his last exercise to reach that as land comp staff, we'll hold an industry day. we've invited industries from all over the world. not just u.s. and we're not asking you to come to show us what you make. we're asking to you come to show you where our gaps are and we can have a discussion on what may be the best solutions in the future are. because we can't -- it can't become so sophisticated that every nation can't afford it. that's not a good answer. and it's good -- it can't become so classified that it's above nato's secret. it has to be able to be shared
and understood. that's an initial step. in the meantime, we will take mitigation measures so we'll fight tonight if we need to. the next measure will probably be, how do we make unlike systems talk to one another? we've done that before in the world of simulations and things, that we know there are some good work-arounds until we can get to a common operational system that's agreed upon by the alliance, purchased by the alliance, and is fielded to the alliance. and that's where we're going. and i think that's the number one. there are others, but i would tell you, too, every nation is looking at their modernization program with an eye on nato interoperatability. that's very powerful. that they're not just being sold something because it's really good. they're asking the question. okay, it's really good, but is it going to allow me to be interoperatable with my nato allies? if it's not, i'm not adding to the connected forces initiative. i'm disconnecting the forces. so, it's powerful to see leaders of these land forces within the
alliance asking these questions. that is very powerful step in the right -- very powerful step in the right direction. >> here. and there and then over. >> she said in her hearing a couple of weeks ago in the european parliament that she was going to be devising a new security strategy, that would be one of her priorities. have you any advice for her? >> yes, come see us do a multinational exercise. at hoen felt, latvia or lithuania. one thing that really helped us is we're very transparent in what we're doing. as you saw this week in the
unveiling of army operational concept during ausa, this is not just a military -- it's not a problem that the military is the only solution on. this is a whole of nation, all of the alliance, all elements of national power to be presented against the problem set. to win in a complex world, we have to put multiple dilemma. on the adversaries we face. we face many adversaries. and that's not just a lethal force on an adversary. it's got to be more. i think any leader that's coming into a new national role should go and look at their militaries and understand the goodness of this collective defense, the goodness that we get from putting this alliance together. and i think that will help them see the problem through our lens and then we can see the problem from their perspective as well. we can make sure we're not working against political objectives by using military means. and so we have a better common understanding. so my advice would be, come
watch us train. we've done it with parliament y parliamentariens from many different nations, ambassadors from many different nations have come to see our training and have offered good advice. and some of them have participated in the training to be a national representative that would give us the national caveats and challenges that sometimes we wish away during an exercise. like it's not going to be a constraint. so that's been pretty powerful. so if you see her, tell her to come. >> right here and then -- sorry for not giving this side their equal due. >> thank you very much. er is first of all, let me join in thanking my estonian colleague for persistent and hopefully permanent presence in my country. two qui. one about initiative, the second about concept. the first one about european reassurance initiative, which was rolled out by your president
in warsaw in june. so the question is about how much you want to participate in, let's say, in the portion of those initiatives and the, let's say, tangible effects on your side, army europe or armed forces in europe. the second about the concept army operating concept, which was rolled out two days ago by general odierno, and specifically the threat from some nations including one european. so, any comments on this one? thank you. >> well, i think when the president comes to warsaw and pledges $1 billion for reassurance, it's a powerful statement of how he feels of the alliance. and then goes to estonia and gives the speech that he gave there. there should be no doubt by anyone, he's committed. we have been asked as a military to look at what would be the
initiatives we can do in concert with the nations that we're attempting to reassure. we want to bolster readiness and training. so one of the things we're looking for for that initiate dif -- and i believe it's going to get passed. it's going to be funded. we're going to be asked how we're going to do it. we want to make sure we bring over more equipment availability sets, that we have the sets we need that are in europe that can be used to train with and also be deployed if needed. we want to make sure they have the strategic access that we have. so, we've looked at -- and the training capabilities required. so, in poland we've looked at the training areas. there's some upgrades we may be able to make to those training areas. same way in the baltic states. we have gone and surveyed all of those. we have surveyed rail heads if we have to move this type of equipment around in europe for training or operations, that we'll be able to do that, bolster those up and give us better access for training and could be guaranteed for strajtic
access in time it increased. it's not meant to build something that's going to require every year to be funded. we're not looking at anything like that. we're looking to try to build the readiness of the alliance through training and readiness initiatives, the things i just mentioned. i think we'll get more equipment. i think we'll get better training areas. i think we're going to get more training exercises. and we'll be able to also fund a continuation of operation atlantic resolve, which will keep forces rotating through poland and in poland and also in the baltic states and perhaps other eastern european nations. as far as the threat in europe, i think we -- it's a very complex threat. we have foreign fighters transiting throughout europe because it's a threat to every single nation. but that's also helped us as a forcing function to share intelligence toek with our allies. we know it's not one nation
that's facing this. that this could be a lone wolf attack. it could be an attack of just opportunistic person that may already reside in one of these nations there. so it's forced us to better share our intelligence and face that threat. we see an increased threat in turkey and turkey has responded that they are meeting that threat and protecting their borders. but they're a member of the alliance and we have forces deployed there as well. but also the threat from russia is very real. your military leadership has done a tremendous amount to educate my army and soldiers on how you see that threat. same way in the baltic states. there is a tremendous amount of information influence to try to perhaps mislead or mobilize citizens of those country in the wrong direction by giving them misinformation. i think we have to be cautious of that. we need to be able to inform
people in russia that these things are not true. so, it's a very big challenge. and i think it's a very real threat that can destabilize -- can destabilize europe and destabilize the alliance. and i think we need to make sure we constantly monitor and we reassure. that's why the president is committed, you know, we're going to continue to rotate forces through "operation atlantic resolve." >> okay. take these two up here. >> gary sergeant, sf guy, even a nato planner when i was at the pentagon when i was an iron major. my question is, i think it resolves around a bunch of things, ebola in africa, what's going on in the baltics, what's going on in ukraine. and in one word and also directly relates to regional
alliance. it's foreign internal defense in one form or another. sf guys do a real good job, special forces guys do a really good job with the lower unit, you know, foreign internal defense overseas, language skill sets. you know, how do you get the general purpose forces to provide that capability globally? i think europe and u.s. army europe does it better than others, but how do you get the guys that are sitting back here and, you know, the big talk at ausa was regional alignment, you know, national guard problems and, you know, where do you do the force structure? >> that's a very good -- i think the foreign internal defense expands out. it's almost regional internal defense. have you to build that collective force to do that. i've seen over these years in afghanistan and iraq our forces are doing it well. perhaps some of our special forces have been way from that task that they do so well.
so we need to get back into that understanding. but i think the first step is to, one, understand the environment you're operating in. step two is to build those relationships. and i think they can be done with the regionally aligned concept because you learn and focus on an area, much like the special forces have always done it, but then they've been deployed outside their region of expertise. by giving a region, you're given that study and knowledge to be built up. by participating in multinational exercises, you're building that partner capacity. i think that's required to strengthen -- to strengthen that alliance that helps the region build that internal defense from a collective defense standpoint. so, we're fortunate in europe that we have an alliance that drives that mechanism in. but i think in the pacific, having served there for many years, our continued exercises and relationships that we have and our partners in the pacific, i think they help build that. and we -- you know, by knowing
each other, training with one another, you're not meeting each other for the first time in time of crisis. and i think that this strategy in this way that our army is going is the absolute right approach that will help do that. >> thank you. embassy in washington, d.c. thank you for our tight cooperation with your forces. just a short question and a request for you to, if you could comment a bit, the new developments in crimea, keep in mind the increasing of some military measures adopted by mr. putin, and how these measures would influence the measures of counteracting by the nato forces in that area? having in mind deploying nuclear
forces and so on -- marines and -- >> i'm not sure i got the second part. on the first part, we have trained and we partner with ukraine and ukraine military for quite some time, so we are -- i feel very strongly about this because i have many friends in the ukraine army. and the united states has stated very clearly no nation has the right to invade another nation and simply take land away from them. but we know the way ahead is still, you know, extremely complex. we just completed an exercise in western ukraine where we were helping -- trying to help build the capacity of the military there so that they could respond to their -- you know, these security threats to the east that are very real. so, i think the best way we're continuing to provide that support, we're continuing to provide training.
we're continuing to provide advice, but in response, we're just -- i'm -- the purpose of how -- and i don't know the strategic purpose or the strategy behind putin. and i won't suggest i do. but i do think that -- i'm not sure that the people in russia are really getting the full story. and i think that one thing the international community can do is to reach out in some fashion to at least inform the people of russia that they're not being threatened by the west. that they are actually -- their government and their leader is actually the aggressor in this one. and innocent people in ukraine are being harmed and killed. and i think they need to hear that and be exposed to that information. and i think that's one thing
that the international community should and can do. i don't know if just reacting to every new crisis is going to persuade or stop this aggression, but i think, you know, informing the population, you know, just might. and that's -- okay. >> okay. >> i think we have time for one more question. i'm sorry. we'll do two. ray f you could ask your question quickly and we have time for one more. why don't we take them both and -- >> okay, sure. >> ray, csis. in 2001, '2, '3, secretary rumsfeld executed a plan to reduce both our permanent force structure in europe, bringing back brigade, 1st armored, as well as closing some military installations. is there any discussion today, either at ucomm level or joint
staff osd to not reduce force structure but as we do more rotational forces, but in concept and execution, is there any discussion about reducing or consolidating our permanent u.s. military installations in the europe -- in european theater? >> let's take that question and then answer them both. asked you about more increases. >> from slovenia embassy. europe union has come currency and has open border, but you described something very different when you're describing how to move forces, so is there any other future for european defense going forward? >> that's a good question. i was in slovenia a little while ago for immediate response
exercise, so very beautiful country. i think the constraints we have are sovereign constraints about moving personnel and equipment back and forth, but it's educating us well on agreements we should probably have pre-established to allow in time of crisis that we can -- that we can do this, but also in time of exercises that we can but the right force posture in the right place while still abiding and respecting every nation's laws. and i think the more we exercise and understand on multinational participation, the more and more we learn, and the more we learn we need -- how we need to go about this and our connected training initiative has helped us, so we're also doing places where we don't need to move large formations from one place to another but we can still tie them in through simulations so we can still allow the higher headquarters to exercise them. literally, we could do an exercise from estonia all the way down to slovenia and have that connected virtually and
allow the core to command it from poland and simulate a large-scale maneuver exercise in eastern europe. we can do that right now. so, i think that we're going to get better at this. you know, there's procedures, there's agreements that have to be in place with shared logistics and all these things. these are laws. we just have to get better acquainted with as a military. there's nothing wrong with the laws. we just have to know what they are so we don't execute them incorrectly. on thele consolidation of bases, it's a plan we've been working on for a long time. it made absolute sense as we drew down the size of the force, we had to consolidate the bases to meet the right force structure. and after -- never serving in germany, never being assigned there and go for my first time, i was thoroughly amazed and impressed at the detail and execution of this plan. people always say that when they say military plans, we get accused of doing a lot of things bad. this one, we really got it right. we got it right because we
worked with the host nation. we worked with everyone. we understood what we were going to have and where we needed to put it. so, we had to build, consolidating doesn't mean you reduce and cut bases. you have to build up increased capability in some so we can reduce others. but this saves us millions of dollars every year in operational costs on these bases. so, we saved our government a lot of money. we were able to give infrastructure back to our host nation partners that they needed. we were able to reduce the u.s. presence there that, you know, the price of our success, and i think it was the right approach. but how we did it and where we put it gives us great operational reach, strategic access and access to training that's going to be required to meet the future conflicts. >> so, does it -- now that we have -- now that we're planning for more rotational forces and the like, should we -- is it time -- can you go further? >> well, i think for -- we have what we need to have to facilitate the rotational forces. so, right now in estonia we're
staying on estonian bases. in poland we're staying on poland bases. it's there. the infrastructure because of this connected training initiative, because of these long-established relationship, we have access to what we need and thank you to to the host nations and nations we're in, they're very aaccommodating to us. we're an expeditionary army. we have equipment and we can go and do this rotational type of footprint in places without building new bases. and it's very important. so, when you hear u.s. forces in the baltics, in poland, it's not a u.s. base we built or are asking taxpayers to build for us. it's provided by the host nation. what we'll do with the reassurance initiative is build those things we need to do to increase training capacity and readiness within our forces and increase in our interoperatability amongst one another. that's very critical. but there are some people that think we're trying to build permanent bases in these places and that's -- that's not part of our -- that's not part of our
plan nor our vision, nor do we see it as required in the future. we have the access we need. we need to improve training facilities. we need to improve rail and port access in those places that will help set the force and build on the interoperatability we're trying to achieve. >> thanks to all of you for coming. thanks so much, general pichlt att, for taking the time to come by. >> thank you for having me.
the associated press has declared republican dan sullivan as the winner in alaska's u.s. senate rate beating mark begich. mr. sullivan is a marine corps reservist and assistant secretary of state under george w. bush. the ap says it became evident tuesday when the state began counting about 20,000 absentee and questioned ballots that the incumbent could not overcome his opponent. senator begich, who has returned to washington for the lame duck session, has not conceded. a spokesman says the senator believes every vote deserves to be counted. a senate committee will be questioning obama administration officials today about the u.s. response to the ebola outbreak as lawmakers begin evaluating an administration request for $6 billion in emergency aid to fight the disease in west africa. we'll have live coverage when senate appropriations committee meets at 2 p.m. eastern. we want you involved in the conversation. what's your view of the ebola response funding request?
is $6.1 billion enough or too much? let us know what you think on c-span's facebook page and on twitter using the #cspanchat. congress returns to capitol hill today. both the house and senate gavel in at 2:00 eastern. the house is scheduled to debate ten bills, including one to update the presidential records act. in the senate votes are expected on judicial nominations and a child care grant program. tomorrow off the floor both bodies hold leadership elections for next year. watch the house live on c-span, the senate is live on c-span2. the c-span cities tour takes book tv and american history tv on the road. traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. this weekend we partnered with charter communications for a visit to madison, wisconsin. >> for everyone, the field is large, it is a glorious service.
this service for the country, the call comes to every citizen. it is an unending struggle to make and keep government representative. >> bob lafall is probably the most important political figure in wisconsin history. and one of the most important in the history of the 20th century in the united states. he was a reforming governor. he defined what progressivism is. he was one of the first to use the term progressive to self-identify. he was a united states senator, who was recognized by his peers in the 1950s as one of the five greatest senators in american history. he was an opponent of world war i. stood his ground, advocating for free speech. above all, he was about the people. in the era after the civil war,
america changed radically from a nation of small farmers and small producers and small manufacturers, and by the 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, we had concentrations of wealth, we had growing inequality and we had concern about the influence of money in government. so, he spent the later part of the 1890s gives speeches all over wisconsin. if you wanted a speaker for your club or your group, bob would give a speech. he went to county fairs. he went to every kind of event that you could imagine. and built a reputation for himself. by 1900 he was ready to run for governor, advocating on behalf of the people. and he had two issues. one, the direct primary. no more selecting candidates in
convention. two, stop the interests. specifically, the railroads. >> watch all of our events from madison, saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3. the center for american progress recently held a panel discussion on post-secondary education investments and federal state funding collaborations. other topics include college access and affordability. this is about an hour, ten minutes. >> good morning. welcome to the center for american progress. i'm happy to see so many people here this early on a monday morning. after a delightful fall weekend in our nation's capital. we are here today to release a report, issue brief and interactive website that highlights findings of a significant body of work done over the last several months by the post-secondary education team here at the center for
american progress. we call that body of work a great recession, a great retreat. public investment in higher education is vital to the performance of our economy. americans public colleges and universities offer sit zebs a dependable path toward personal economic growth and opportunity. and educated workforce also delivers a substantial return on public investment. and educated workforce is needed for economic expansion through sustained employment, higher earnings, new and continued business development, and ultimately higher tax revenues. but there are troubling signs after the great recession, states have withdrawn public investment in higher education, and many students from low and middle income families have been pushed out of public colleges
and universities. for this reason we call on -- for a new federal/state partnership to ensure that high-quality programs remain affordable and a central tenet of the american dream. throughout the last quarter of the 20th century, the share of students from low income families going to college steadily increased. however, the college-going rate for low-income students has slowed. this last decade despite significant investments by the federal government and programs like pell grants and the american opportunity tax credit. the additional in pell grants alone totaled more than $50 billion, but the federal investment has not been sufficient because during the same period, states were disinvesting in higher education. since the onset of the great
recession, 38 states in blue decreased the amount of direct funding to public colleges. eight states, in gray on the slide, have neutral changes in funding. changes in funding. just four states in orange increased the amount of direct funding to public colleges. i found it interesting that the four states that increased the amount of direct funding for public higher education were states like north dakota, wyoming, illinois and west virginia. we know that what has been happening in north dakota, additional tax revenues through energy exploitation. but they didn't have to reinvest in higher education, but they did anyway. all 50 states decreased the share of revenue from state government reflected in blue on
the chart. 47 states increased their reliance on tuition revenues from students and families in orange. so despite the increase in funding, the share of revenue from state governments declined in all but three states, north dakota again, connecticut and maine. increasing the reliance on tuition and fees. at all income levels and at both two-year and four-year institutions, the states that cut the most in orange charged the highest net price. and higher net price means greater borrowering and higher levels of debt which diminish education access. and the cuts were focused on community colleges, which saw enrollment increases by 20% while enrollment at public
four-year colleges increased by only 10.6%. suspending per student has been cut in 45 states compared to 39 for public four-year colleges. so we have called for a new compact between the state and federal government to revitalize state funding in public colleges. the public college quality compact calls for states implement four key elements. create reliable funding sources for public higher education, make college affordable, particularly for low income students, improve performance, remove barriers. states that qualify and wish to participate in the compact will receive funding based on a
formula that takes into consider the number of veterans and pell grant recipients that participate that graduate and do so without debt. now, it's my great pleasure to introduce carmel martin. carmel is the executive vice president for policy at the center for american progress. carmel will be moderating the panel today. carmel manages the policy across all of the issue areas and is a key member of the executive team. before coming here, we worked together at the u.s. department of education where she was assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development. in that position, she led the department's policy and budget development activities, served at senior adviser to the secretary. prior to coming to the department of education, carmel served as the general council
and deputy staff direct he for the late senator edward kennedy, as chairman of the health, education and labor and pensions committee. she also previously worked at the center for american progress as the associate director of domestic policy and in the senate as chief councsel and senior policy adviser to former bingaham and special counsel to tom daschle. she holds a j.d. and a master's degree in public affairs. carmel and the panel, please come up. thank you.
>> i'm going to start by introducing our very prestigious panel. and dive right into discussion. on my right, we have ted mitchell, the under secretary of the u.s. department of education. he has served since his confirmation earlier this year. in this role, he oversees policy programs and activities related to post secondary education, career and technical education, adult and federal student aid. ted is charged with planning and policy to have the u.s. have the most competitive work force in the world by the year 2020. next we have david baime who serves as senior vice president for government relations and policy analysis at the american association of community colleges. in this role he directs the efforts for the nation's close to 1,200 community colleges and
their students. we're happy to have david here today to speak about the association's strategic plan to boost as much as 50% the number of degrees and credentials awarded at institutions by 2020. next we have sarah audelo. sarah's work focuses on ensuring that the next generation of americans have access to an affordable and high quality education. she will discuss how these policy proposals have the potential to lift millennials toward great economic prosperity. prior to joining generation progress, sarah was director of domestic policy at advocates for youth. and finally, we have ralph wilcox. the university of south florida
is the ninth largest university in the united states, serving more than 45,000 students. the university of south florida has made significant strides on student completion through its student success task force it has closed graduation gaps across demographic groups while racing the percentage ever low income students enrolled achieving access and degree completion. he formerly held leadership at the university of houston, the university of memphis and hofstra university. maybe i will start with ted and ask to you talk to us about how the department of education is thinking about the issue of accessing completion but specifically how to create stronger partnerships with states so they continue to invest in public post secondary education. >> thanks for having all of us.
it's great to be here. the report is a fabulous start to a conversation that we need to have. as you noted, david, there has been systematic disinvestment by states throughout the great recession in higher education. i think it's critically important as states' economies and the national economy improves for us to remind our partners at the state level that where he this are is not okay. that taking what was a fairly balanced three party compact between states and families and the federal government and unbalancing that in a way that as you have shown really does disadvantage the students that we are most concerned have access to and through college needs to change and it needs to change dramatically. in the department, we have as you well know, carmel, we have for the last several years put
in our budget proposal opportunities for the federal government and states to work together on many of the lines of contact we're discussing here this morning. the state higher ed performance fund that we have proposed would seek to reward states that create stable funding platforms, that make sure that their commitment to low income students remains in place and that would also move states toward a more performance based budgeting overall. so we want to continue to have those conversations. we see great virtue in aligning federal resources with a state's willingness to fund higher education and to make that
funding centrally available to low income and middle income families who we need to get into college and across the finish line if we're going to meet the president's goal and i think if we're going to meet our moral imperative of providing opportunity and access to the middle class for families across the country. >> ralph in the face of pretty deep cuts in terms of state investment, your institution has been able to make strides in terms of completion. can you talk a little bit about how you are able to do that? in our report we are calling for greater state investment but also changes in policies at the institutional and state level that hopefully bring down costs but increase outcomes. it seems like you have done the latter. >> we have. first of all, thank you, carmel, thank you most particularly for including a voice from the universities and colleges on this panel. while it's a thrill to be here with policy