tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 17, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT
have to do, and unfortunately, casualties are there. it is unacceptable. there has to be zero tolerance. but please bear in mind that is the environment we are working in. the final point is with the relationship with foreign countries and others. the prime minister and cabinet have been very active in doing an outreach to all countries. he has done a tremendous job going to all the major conferences where i know for a fact that previous prime ministers didn't for language barriers and other things but prime minister abadi has done a tremendous job of reaching out and more so by accepting delegations. and his trip to the united states is one sign of that. the key message we have is we know we have relationship with neighbors we need to address. we know there are camps where there is pro-iranian, pro-american pro-saudi, pro others. but we are key part of that
region. we can be a partner to anybody who wants us to partner with them in the fight against sectarianism and others. we are there, and we will still be there. iran will always be our neighbor. bear that in mind in any evaluation you have. the region itself is going through tremendous social, political upheaval. the arab spring has been hijacked. no clear mandate to the governments in the region governing pre -- as in comparison to pre-arab spring. so please bear that in mind. so in that sense, i would say that in iraq you have a reliable partner, but at the same time, help us to help you in the fight against international terrorism. somebody asked us the other day, a question a senior official said to me he said lukman
let's say we get rid of isis will you be a partner with us against isis elsewhere or are you content with just iraq? my response is no. we know we will have a responsibility that we will take seriously, but we have an urgency now which we want you to help us with, and let me thank both professors and the audience before the q & a. thank you for your time. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. [ applause ] >> i want to invite those who i see people standing in the back. i've got some seats up front. i'm selling them for a good price. if you are too embarrassed to come down, you can come down to the room next to this one. i want to try to get people seated. professor ababas kadhim? >> thank you very much. thank you mr. ambassador for the
overview of the current situation in iraq your outlook into the future and how the vision of the iraqi government and you are in this town the best to speak about what the iraqi position is on all various issues that you addressed. i will talk or i will take us to what we might call post-conflict iraq because the panel -- part of the aspect of its title deal with the future of iraq and where iraq is going. and just like the ambassador succinctly put his talk and a few points i'm going to put it in three letters all of them are "r." so the three "r"s. washington loves these kinds of classifications. the three "r"s are reclaiming the iraqi territory, reconstruction, and
reconciliation. what each one of them means to me. reclaiming i'm fond of this word. my first academic book was "reclaiming iraq," so reclaiming the iraqi territory, there is nothing that can be done of meaning without extending iraqi sovereignty and iraqi authority over the total iraqi soil and governing the entire map of iraq. you cannot leave and govern or semi-govern or weakly governed spaces in the country and then do any kind of governing from baghdad. this is and it has been one of the problems in iraq. too many ungoverned spaces that led to flares of violence flares of weakness, and let's face it, isis was a phenomenon
of an ungoverned space in the country. or spaces in the country. so that is an important aspect, and it has to be coming first before the other two. and before even talking about any kind of future plans on all fronts, the extending of iraqi authority over the total soil, getting back mosul, getting back anbar and getting back those territories in a true sense, not in a sense of the fashion of squeezing a balloon, where you squeeze one place and the terrorists go to the other and they go to the place you liberated and you are chasing them and they are chasing you. and that is not going to work. the united states tried that in iraq before, and we only succeeded when we moved from the squeeze method to grabbing and holding the land that you liberate and then moving
forward, sweeping your way until you get the extend all of your authority over the entire soil. so that is an important task right now, and i think the government is aware of this, and they are working that way. but there are -- with this, you have to do more than one task. unfortunately, for the last 12 years, iraq has not done many issues that would have made life easier for now, not just because of the iraqi government -- yes, the iraqi politicians and the iraqi political process bears much of the blame for what has not been done -- but definitely there are other governing issues, arming and procurement of arms and military equipment et cetera. these are all complicated
processes as you know very well in this town how it goes. but definitely you have to do both of these things. iraq needs credible force that can do what i just said, extending the authority and keeping the authority strong -- equally strong throughout iraq which means we have to do redo the iraqi military. iraq now has 10 divisions running at 50% personnel, and the rest of it to make it functional is really from the pmu's, popular mobilization units, and there were two divisions that were recently constructed that are at full capacity. so that is not what iraq needs at this point. it needs much stronger -- it needs an air force. it needs logistics, which is a very important part. this process has to go hand in hand, reclaiming the land and building a force that can be enough to hold iraq inside iraq
in peace and also deter future aggressions if it happens, god fore -- forbid. this one is reconstruction, and i do not need reconstruction as a series of contracts to restore the houses, restore the roads, and whatever the war and conflict have destroyed. but i am talking about reconstruction in the sense of our historical understanding of the term "reconstruction" when i speak to an american audience, the post-civil war united states, the reconstruction era. reconstruction of not was just destroyed by the war, but reconstruction of politics, the political infrastructure, economic infrastructure, the social infrastructure, and the construction of the nation that can function into the future and doesn't fall again with the next
challenge into the same trouble that we were just -- or we are coming out of. and that is very important. iraq does not and should not take this task alone. i do not believe that we have in iraq enough expertise to do this. iraqis as a government, as a political class, need to be humble a little bit and look at what other countries have done in post-conflict situations learn from their own history and the history of others and seek as much expertise, rather than invent the wheel or give the task to again, similar to the quota system of politics in iraq, and then end up not doing the job right and having to redo it time and again. so that is the other issue. the third is reconciliation. and the last two, reconstruction and reconciliation should go hand in hand.
they don't have to be one after another. reclaiming iraqi territory has to come first before anything else. what is reconciliation? a couple of days ago, professor serwer and myself were at a conference and there was a talk about, you know, the conflict between two of you, those who are urging us to think in the box and those who are urging us to leave the box and think completely out of the box. here i think we need to think out of the box. the box in iraq has been the following -- as follows -- reconstruction, or sorry, reconciliation meant giving more positions to politicians from this faction or this sect or this ethnic group or that one. and if you already gave 33% of the positions to a group and all of those politicians did such a lousy job that their own people revolted against them, giving
two more ministries to them will not solve the problem. out-of-the-box thinking is to look at the construction, reconciliation, where it has not been done in iraq. iraq for the last 12 years had been doing nothing other than reconciliation but in the wrong place, among politicians. and every time a politician doesn't get a job we'll go and raise, you know, become a rabble rouser and then again it's like we never done any reconciliation. you need to reconcile the people with each other. we have not done any reconciliation at the popular level. as long as there are people who are disenchanted and disenfranchised. i'm not talking about one group or another. there are people who are louder and they get the media and there are people who are silent. i can tell you that every iraqi right now out of the ruling class is disenfranchised, disenchanted, living in subhuman conditions.
there's just some people are probably less vocal about it. and because of their backgrounds. let's face it. if you ask every iraqi they will look at where they were and where they are right now. the shia think life is great right now because they have their lives as a right not a privilege any more. it looks better, a step forward. but i would not argue that a place in busra is better in any way of governance or services or anything like that that is from haditha or any place, et cetera it is all right now underserved. it is all unserved in many places and the problem with iraq right now, it is -- you really need to get out of that fixed
idea of reconciliation by reconciling the political group to reconciling the people. if the people are content, are happy -- they are happy with the system. we know. that they are unhappy with the government and the ruling class. we don't find iraqis saying let's go back to dictatorship or let's destroy what we have right now. they have a problem with the governance, not that constitutional framework, not the way iraq is going. these are three things. if we start thinking about them creatively, i think we are going somewhere. if we do not, then we are not just risking but we are guaranteed to run another round of trouble in iraq and the ball is in the court of the iraqi government, the iraqi politicians. i -- again also i would say the international community, that is dealing with iraq because we all have to think
about it in the right way. thank you very much, and thank you, again, mr. ambassador. thank you, professor serwer. >> thank you. >> the floor is yours. [ applause ] . >> i am going to open the floor to questions. i see the microphone that i was looking for. you have to come to the microphone so that the audiovisual stuff will work right, or the microphone will be brought to you if you're in an inner slot. the floor is open, and i ask you to identify yourselves before you speak. i'll take two questions at a time. one there. >> thank you very much for a very interesting panel. i wanted to -- >> please identify yourself. >> from insight iraq. i want to talk on the three r's.
some will make political campaigns out of it. i wanted to talk about the reconstruction one. when we think of reconstruction in the united states some will say it took 100 years until the 1960s until it was fully implemented, shall we say. my question is, how do you see -- sorry on the reclaiming of land it's obvious we have to reclaim ninevah but what about the disputed territories between the rest of iraq, how do you apply the thinking of reclaiming to those disputed territories? >> thank you. let me take another question right here. >> thank you. executive director of a iraq foundation.
i like the three r's, too. my question is about reconciliation of people. of course, i agree with you. it is just how do you think of doing it? >> doing what? >> reconciliation of people. >> at the popular level. >> right. >> mr. ambassador, would you like to start us off? >> sure. i mean, kirkuk, disputed territories and others. sometimes people think that should be a historical discussion because the situation after isis because the facts have forced themselves. that might be true and maybe in an academic sense, but in the reality to the history of iraq in which the tribal society,
people's pride is important for them or perceived pride is also as important. people's understanding that things were not taken under duress, but it was more in what you might call a constructive way. for us, for the constitution to be implemented, there are a lot of outstanding questions. there are sometimes loopholes in the constitution which people have taken advantage of in that sense. so there is a lot of dialogue to be made. getting rid of isis has been an important factor for all parties. that's a good sign. people are not taking advantage of that now. they no longer are resigned to the fact that isis can be used for the politics of iraq. because everybody is losing out. political class, the majority of the sunni politicians are in exile because of that. the shia primarily although
they feel safer now than before, they also know that isis will keep being a threat to them certainly with a kurdish krg over a 1,000 kilometer border with isis moving forward. so in that sense i will say the kirkuk question is still outstanding. there are initial discussions riding the oil share and others is there. we have not resolve the consensus for the counting our peoples in the census. with that still an outstanding issue. i would say what we have done is try to do initial steps of confidence-building measures. one thing which is part of the three "r" and part of the point that is important to understand or to highlight, sorry, and that is we are not a very reflective society. we do same mistakes for a number of reasons. "a," and these are what you
might call the heritage of dictatorship, it didn't allow you to think. let alone it allow you to have the infrastructure of civil society or others to come up to a decision to reflect in a very open and constructive way see where the box is, inside, outside the box or others. that was not allowed. so here now we are learning democracy in a harsh way, in a tough area, in a tough neighborhood, and as a result, because you are not very reflective, we do make mistakes again and again. that is not something i like, but that's the raeltd -- reality of it as well. time itself, the whole region is relative. i am not talking about from any standpoint here. i'm talking about in the politics point of view. time is still relative. it's what you might call a [ speaking foreign language ] culture. that in itself is a very problematic issue.
and by the way, this frustrates the majority of our western partners. when they talk about it, they ask when did we know? we say [ speaking foreign language ] what does that mean? it's another issue to bear in mind. we need to define boxes. i give the doctor -- i grant him that. that box might be a time line or a precondition or others. but because of the myriad of parameters involved in decision-making, we sometimes think we leave it to god. that is another problem we have, an area we need to look at. i would say, to be honest, in a very open answer to you a frank answer is that the jury is still out as to how do we resolve these disputed. there are confidence-building measures. it is important that we trust each other. element of trust because of the interdependency which we now realize.
there was a -- you know they say when children are brought up they go from dependency to independence to interdependency. we are at an interdependency phase. post isis has told us that, that we need each other. it still has not told us how do we need each other. that is for us to find out in our politics. >> personal reconciliation? >> i also have a word about reclaiming. when i spoke about reclaiming i was speaking about reclaiming of ungoverned spaces, a space that is well governed by the region or by the federal government is fine by me at this point. and now here, maybe the ambassador and myself are coming from different points of shoe. he is more with the -- again there are what the government prefers and -- >> they pay me for it. >> and they pay you for it. but i'm talking about my
personal convictions that i held all along. i think at this point who governs kirkuk, it does not matter. this is not similar to isis getting hold of mosul or getting a hold of a chunk of anbar. the disputed lands between the center or the federal government and kurdistan has to go with the reconstruction and reconciliation phase. that's where you need to decide because at the end of the day it makes a difference if kurdistan is going to tomorrow to be -- tomorrow here is long-term or short-term to be another state -- then it matters who governs these places. if it's not, who cares where 10 kilometers falls here or there. one orf the things that has to have over the reconstruction, it has to -- i mean the iraqis have to settle the issue of the future of kurdistan in the immediate future.
there has to be a decision, a referendum, whatever it is, to end that question once and for all. and i believe that the kurds if they decide to go for a state, then it is their right, no one in the 21st century would tell you to stay with a country or not. but that would be the reconstruction and reconciliation phase. how do we make the reconciliation? i'm thinking here of two issues. one is good, local governments, good governance at the local level will deny the politicians who want to create trouble for the government, for the system, and also the other demagogues will deny them the support and backing. you know, i supervised a thesis one day when i was at the old times on the nts on the ahman
experience and how the sultan changed his father's policy of shooting people to investing in those areas to making their life better, to change the place to a world-class place and then the people who were in that area who were raising weapons against the government would tell their leaders we do not really need to re revolt any more. just go away. you are looking for your political future, and we are happy with what we are getting. that is the kind of system. and again, this has to go all with the country. there's more disenchanted with in basra than in anbar. the other part is to think about the reconciliation, really to think about a national level reconciliation rather than just looking at the political class. you need to look at all the experiences that were there -- and whether -- and you don't
have -- iraq has different, of course, set of historical facts. you need to borrow from the others, not copy their systems, but definitely, there needs to be a very good international effort. it has to be done scientifically. not the haphazard way that the iraqis have been going about it. these are the things that i'm thinking about, just make people's lives better. you will not have politicians who will support you with demonstration and isis every year or every six months. >> as i teach these three r's, not the other three r's maybe i can offer a sentence or two about the reconciliation issue especially at the more interpersonal level. i think the literature is very clear that the absolute prerequisite for reconciliation is acknowledgment of harm. in the iraqi case, it will have
to be mutual acknowledgment of harm in several different directions. that's a very difficult thing to do. it is not easy when you feel you have been harmed to acknowledge the harm that has been done to others. but that is the step that gets you out of the spiral, the downward spiral of violence. i haven't seen it happening yet in iraq but i look forward to the day when it begins. i have two questions here, somewhere. let me -- >> thank you. >> introduce yourself. >> thank you very much for a sweeping and very candid presentation, and thank you, dr. kadhim. you are an ambassador in
washington after all. we want to hear about washington. as ambassador to washington and you wish to encourage the united states support for prime minister abadi's government and for the change that happened since september 2014, what do you ask for? what are your bullet points when you speak to the u.s. government, to the u.s. congress, to ask them to support the iraqi government? thank you. >> you're contemplating revealing all the secrets of the iraqi government. >> we want you to be as candid as you were in your presentation. thank you. >> thank you very much. i'm from the education for peace in iraq center. thank you for the ambassador and
for dr. abbas for their remarks. my question is, analyzing a situation that happened in to tikrit. mr. ambassador you mentioned the iraqi sunni tribes played a role in the clearing of tikrit and expelling isis from the city. how important it is for the iraqi government to have the best dissertation of the tribes, not only for the outcome of the operation to clear mosul? >> to your second question -- it's a prerequisite. it's a must prerequisite even if we have the capability. unless it's for example a mosul dam or something elsewhere we think it is catastrophic.
but gee politically, a prerequisite is we get the engagement of locals. whatever it takes, whatever we need to do that, but we are determined to have the localities to participate in it. and also in the -- what you might call or they call it here the post-stabilization forces. that's also another issue. so that's an area where we are working on more so many mosul, by the way the scale of the city, the police required the officers the local services needed provided and so on. bear in my we have a clock that is ticking and we of refugees inside the country. refugees always create social upheaval in any area they go to because of the nature of that problem itself. accommodations, schools, everything else. we need them to go back to their homes. it is an area we cannot afford time but politically we know we have the preconditions of
localities. as far as washington is concerned, and i am an open book and in that sense there are quite a few requests we have made. the key issue we have had has been the administration. the administration has been very understanding of the challenges. because of the people and the traffic flow on both sides and because of the close relationship, so many conferences and others where the prime minister has met senior officials and whether paris, london, elsewhere and others. however, we do have an issue with congress for them to appreciate the politics of us. an issue of blaming everything on prime minister maliki, we need to move away from that. we have to move away from that challenge we faced because of the common interests we have. understanding of politics and the nuances of it is a mission for us to do.
we are here to sell our project. we need customers. we need others to buy into it. we need to explain that, and the prime minister is here to do that. we also need to appreciate that there are certain politics in washington where both houses and -- where there is a partisan, bipartisan cross-party issue and we need to understand that and communicate our concern. we do need the u.s. support and some time that does mean we need to not just appreciate the politics here but we want them to appreciate our politics as well moving forward. the partner we have in the region is not a vision of something but a necessity of the fight against isis. so here's it's important for us to cooperate understand each other and i would say not just work with each other but
synchronize our approach to this. here, the united states has an important role in the region. their partners need to be our partners moving forward. our mission needs to be embraced by them as well. iraq is a democratic entity. people like it or not, that's the reality of it. people have that decision. with all the upheaval we have had over the last 12 years the trend of democracy moving forward in relation to elections at least. people tell me the election is not democratic. i give you that for granted. but the key indicator, the key prerequisite for us, is moving in the right direction, at a very high cost. we are -- our people want to move as far away from dictatorship. the last elections and the incoming prime minister is a
sign that the people want to move away from dictator. we need to move away from that, and we are here to tell that project to the americans. support in intelligence sharing, ammunitions, other things as well is important. also with the post-yemen situation, polarizations are taking place in the region. we are selling to them we have all the islams of that region. we have shiites, sunnis, nationalism, iraq is a fourth line in that aspect in relation to oil prices and everything else. appreciate the situation. an earthquake has taken place in the fault line, stabilized, supported. and it's important for our american partners to hear it from the prime minister himself and his delegation that this is what we're here for. economic support moving forward because of the current crisis we have. so there are a lot of issues. is this what you might call a --
determinant visit? i would say no. it needs to be one among many to have that discussion. and same in traffic flow of baghdad as well it's important for that. we shouldn't have our politics by exception. it should be the norm but end resulting at that. there is a lot of work to do. frank discussions about iran, that's an area. we will be open about that. we have never been secretive about it. no secret handshakes or anything like that. it's clear problems we have. it's a clear and present danger we have. we need to address that. we will have that discussion. and we need to understand where fit in in relation to the post-nuclear discussion. what's the status of iraq in that aspect of it. where do we fit into the post yemen situation? do people want to split on the left or the right in this polarization?
we don't want to be on the other side. we have important challenges for our country. these are areas for that prime discussion. >> one here, and then i will try to get to this side next. >> thank you, i had a specific question. first you mentioned about the mosul operation and the involvement of the localities. what do you mean about the participation of the localities and what level of the baghdad government is expecting participation from the localities because there was a background briefing by the officials and they said in april or may it's in reality -- there will be an operation in mosul and it's up to the baghdad decision, they said. is it a realistic forecast in terms of this operation? and participation of the localsy
localities secondly, yemen. what is the position of baghdad about the idea to form an army within the arab league countries especially which will be used sometimes for the groups, maybe oriented by the government? and third, in terms of your relations with turkey, how would you characterize the cooperation with turkey between the turkish government and the baghdad government in terms of the struggle against terrorism that you mentioned in your speech? >> only the turks get three questions. >> hi, margaret rogers. i'm a consultant. i just returned from my fourth tour in iraq. i started working in iraq in 2005.
i appreciate the three r's as well. and the challenges with reclaiming iraq. while you have addressed these challenges, i would like you to try to be a little more explicit. while what i see as the major media coverage of iraq from a westerners standpoint is sectarianism, a war within islam and this is overwhelming the middle east. is, in fact that is what is really going on? the second one is iran controls baghdad. the third is that iraq is actually broken forever now into three or four countries and cannot be put back together. because you know the challenges of persuading our policymakers to support iraq given the american's desire to withdrawal. i think you have to make a more compelling case that there is hope in iraq. just try to make your message stronger about how you are to
address these key areas. >> mr. ambassador? >> i will start with the second question, or second three questions, i think. >> hope, the whole project is about hope. the -- the suffering of having car bombs in every district poor districts in shia towns and villages and suburbs of iran over the last 12 years has been about hope. that's what they have suffered. and the high proportion representation at the elections has been about hope. people talk about the marginalization of sunnis and others, but if you look at everything with the car bombs and everything else, it has been in shia towns. i think people are reading things as they want to read it not in the reality of it as well. we may not have been doing a good job of talking about the country with numbers and so on, maybe.
but going back to the key point, we are developing a new country based at the -- with the ashes of dictatorship all over with the traces of cultural balance all over. that's key important point for people to realize that. i am not giving you the blame. i am just giving you a diagnosis of the problem. which means that the three r's and the governance which is a key important attribute is still missing there. we need it. we need more decentralization. i can assure you i have seen many vice ministers, sometimes ministers and director generals who say, ambassador, it is not for me to make that decision. they always want to take it upward. that is the culture they come from. they don't want to be blamed for any change. without having an adventure or risk taking, how do you develop your society?
these are social consequences. it takes time. it may take generations but we have to get the right step. so going to the key issues where there are sectarian and among islams or not. i know the relation to boko haram and tunisia and in paris this wasn't the sunni situation. this was an entity called the self islamic where it is not islamic but try to have a political power. it's all about power. there is an ideological basis or some of them. i'm not denying that. but as much as i was in england for a long time the northern ireland situation was not about catholic per se it was all about power. it was not iras were ideologically catholic organization it was all about power and vice versa.
so here is the issue we need to distinguish. otherwise if we go into the sunni shia situation unfortunately everybody else miss out. the organization seeks to destroy the norms of nationstates. they want to declare their own par paradigm where diversity is not allowed. in relation to iran in our relationship with baghdad, somebody asked me today, a journal list and about the iraq-iran war and others. i said to him, by the way, iraq still has major challenges with iran in relation to 1975 algeria agreement. we still don't agree to sign it. now, after 12 years. so that i think, is a clear sign that an issue -- if we have
control as people talk about that surely we would have signed that ages ago. so here is an issue of nationalism. and we wouldn't. we have a need with iran. we have a desire as a neighbor. as much as you have mexico and problems with immigration or canada -- i don't know what problems you have with canada. i hope none. but let's have that. >> we've fought several wars with them. >> canadians want to be american and americans want to be canadian. that's another issue. but as much as that problem, we have with iran. it's not an issue of we don't want iran to get involved. we do want them to get involved because we have a common threat. but at the same time do we want them to control? no. we by the way -- last week our prime minister met with the leaders of congress at the summit and he said to them in my recent discussion with iranian
officials they said because of iranian pilgrimage over there because of the freedom in iraq we pose a threat to iranian national interests with freedom. maybe that is true or not, but the point is we are distinct and we want to have our own way of life. we respect our neighbors and we have common threats. and let's not forget they were first to provide officer unconditional. for others there was conditionality. as to the point of most all and the operations and so on, there have to be riots in peshmerga involved. and the various communities have to get involved as well. there have to be various communities involved. we don't want to resolve one problem and create other problems for us. that's an issue we have to address. peshmerga in mosul is an important sign for us.
isis is a problem for the whole society, not just for localities. so as far as yemen is concerned, we have said we do in principle support having a formation of arab army to deal with issues. but yemen is not the right project to implement that. the problems are more domestic. people are projecting it as a regional problem. it's more domestic issues need to be addressed. we need to give them the leeway. we need to support them. certainly, we think there needs to be a more political discussion rather than a military solution to it. i don't think there is enough breathing space for politics to play a role. in turkey, if we compare the relationship to a year ago, 18 months ago, i think we have a good traffic flow between the countries, the leadership. the prime minister has been there, the prime minister of turkey has been to iraq. and i would say it's a more
predictable relationship. we appreciate the issues of the threat turkey claim in relation to its own terrorism problems, domestic problems. but at the same time we say, please don't compare isis to any other organization. this is too big of a problem. regions have to play a significant role in stabilizing syria. and for us, iraq, without involving syria we always have the backdoor window open. we need to close that. we need better discourse into the results in syria. the timing that was talked about was not an iraqi timeline. we drive this. we need help. we support. but we drive this. and any time anybody talks about us at all for them to explain, not for us. >> i'll catch this one in the back row. thank you. >> johnny from voice of america.
the many core issues between the central government and kurdistan region haven't been addressed so far. if this continues, what guarantee deal have that kurdistan region with -- will stay in iraq. the popular mobilization forces have been seen as the guards. there is a lot of fears and hesitation that if they were crushed they will turn their gun to the kurds. if there is any guarantee that is not going to happen? thanks. >> thank you. >> and let me take one here, too. >> ambassador, thank you very much. my question is regarding the participation of the peshmerga in the region of mosul. the question is while baghdad is
cutting the budget from the kurdish employees and cutting all the sources from baghdad to the kurds, why peshmerga should participate in a fight that it's not its own fight. and right now they are fighting isis. thank you very much. >> i am astonished by somebody saying it is not their fight. a thousand kilometer border, a threat to all yazidis, and all minorities, destruction of property, culture heritage destabilizing the unity of a country is all signs of somebody's fight. i would think with isis, it's everybody's fight. it can't be just somebody's fight. [ indiscernible ] >> i don't want to talk about
the geography of the kurds. i have some of my own views here. but what i would say is it's a fight for humanity for civil law, for integrity of persons let alone of nations of states to prevail. that's the key issues we have here. isis is a threat in the ideological and physical sense to not just the heritage but to the future of our societies in the region. by the way, let me be clear. when i talk about isis, i am not talking about the brand of isis i'm talking about the ideas of isis the way they have projected it or has been materialized. let's forget -- if i'm isis and i want to change the name, i am talking about the new name, the new mutation of isis. we had al qaeda before, people
thought it was a locality, they found it couldn't be contained. more passports of different nations have more affiliation to isis than any other day than before. more european and others. we found them in baghdad and elsewhere. here we talk about a threat to the stability of the region. if players in the region don't take that upon themselves they shouldn't call for international support. we need to take ownership of that problem also. if it is ideological, we need to address it. if it is political problems. there is enough wealth in iraq to suffice every society. in relation to natural resources, heritage, history, so on. so there is a bigger picture. the kurds and everybody else need to be strategic in their thinking. is it use that for now or move forward. by the way, let me be clear as well. the kurds have always seeked
independence. they have the right for that. they joined the project after 2003, after, what, 14 years or 13 years of independence after 1990. so they have joined the project agreed to the constitution. we all need to work together to define that understand the limitation revise that constitution co-exist, have that interdependency. if they independence, then let's have a different chat about it. but let's not associate that with isis. isis is a big threat for us. we need to measure up to that fact. otherwise let's not call for international support. i think my -- the issue regarding salaries and everything else, recently there has been some payments made. it's an issue ongoing discussion.
i don't see the iraqi politics as what you might call a key milestone. i see it as a gradual development. that gradual development is one step at a time. fair enough. it's a marathon run. i don't see it as hundred yards or 400 yards or a sprint run. this has to be a marathon run. we need that building measure. we should be less conditional in our discussions. simply because i think the threat is bigger. not just the state of iraq in sense of 1920 borders i'm talking about co-existence of society. last thing i want to see is less strategic relationship between the communities because of a threat or because of fear or intimidation of each other. your neighbors will not move away if you have a border or not. they will stay your neighbors. the voice of america first
questions regarding the kog and so on i tried to answer that. the hashid is a natural healthy development once the state wasn't able to protect its citizens. should we be in this position? no. we should only have the army and so on. but is it a necessity? we have to deal with that? yes. are we working with the results scenario how do we let the state have the control, we're talking national guard and other. it's a long project for us. not a neat project. but it's a necessity for us. >> thank you mr. ambassador. i'm going to use these last few minutes to see if you both have something to add? >> i'm going to yield to the ambassador because he's the guest of honor but i was going to answer a question i think that remained unanswered from
the lady to me. that's all right. it's fine. on the media. that's the part i'll talk about. there seems to be a lot of -- i mean, again, we all appreciate the press and its role and we can't live without it. >> i can live without it. [ laughter ] >> well, beyond that you know, i think that there seems to be an alarming group think among the reports that are about iraq about what is going on. it seems like, you know, all of the, you know the reporters depends on whether they report for a conservative, a liberal an american whatever. all of them speak in the same language, talk about the same things looking for the same troubles to report on. and when they don't find anything they just look for anything. the first you know here is one of the biggest battles that
happened in iraq. major liberation of tikrit is a major event that is probably the most important event since mosul was taken. and what does the first report from the press on it, looted some shaving cream and toothpaste. and i'm kidding you not. you go back to that report. and that's what they were looking for. before the problem came about. that's sad. there's also seems to be a tone of you know people conflicting the shia and iran and shia. there's a deep rooted or some really deep symptoms of anti-shiaism among many experts in the west journalists.
it's a classic book on this arab shia that co-authored the book and, you know, no one can skip i want reading and looking at the narrative that has been formed. unfortunately, those who control the media from the government side from the shia side, seem to be met that with silence, they don't want to escalate and that's backfiring because if you don't control the narrative or at least balance the narrative the other side will become the truth to many minds. remember you're dealing with people who don't have the nuances or inner sense of what goes on there. there's a lot of -- i think when you hear reporters talking about the same thing there's a problem. you know one is taking from the other and we all know about that. the experience from 2003, 2007, how many awards were taken from the five-star hotel and the
green zone where people would send poor iraqis to report and then just put it in nice english and send it back to new york or to washington. you know, all of that. and, you know, when you go and investigate none of the reporting was really going on. same thing here. you know, it is easy to think in the journalistic box and to say the same thing because you don't have to be challenged and there are a few exceptions here and there. it's just amazing i wouldn't call it conspiracy but amazing you know, agreement, let's put it that way, quote-unquote among all these people who love to disagree on everything yet they agree to the last point and late dot and last crossed t on talking about the hash tag and all of that and if you don't find anything how about shaving cream and toothpaste. again, i take what i needed to take. >> mr. ambassador.
>> two points. i think it's important for people to appreciate iraq in the sense of the one parameter which is to do the balance between justice and peace. it's a tribal society. an issue of justice or perceived justice is very important but at the same time they want to move forward and bring stability and peace to their society. how do we get that balance? if we look at all the experiences whether it's northern ireland or south africa or elsewhere belgium or elsewhere the key issue we have here is how do we balance those two parameters justice and peace. it's a difficult problem before us. we're trying to get it right. but, it's an ongoing project. please bare in mind when you look at iraq in that mindset as well. the other issue which i'll finish with, is that the level of change required within the iraqi society is different than
in the majority of other countries. in other countries more so with arab spring people were disagreeing in egypt and elsewhere what is the level of change. is it just, for example, the presidency or the system of government or the whole state or the whole nation state or the type of government royalty versus republican and so on. that type of discussion is no longer taking place in iraq. isis tried to define their own narrative but apart from that it's all to do with the nuances of the politics, which means it's a good sign for us to work on. we need to resolve the governance. people still associate democracy with services. well there are two different requirements. we can have the best democrat but doesn't mean they are the best governors. that's an area for us to work with. international support would be very helpful, but please bear in mind the uniqueness of iraq.
and my final point is please don't look at iraq through the prism of iran or any other isms. it needs to be looked in its own unique way. it's a very blurry picture. that uniqueness is what i hope the american appreciate more than anything else because of the last 12 years project. however, we have no desire but to have good relationship with all countries including the united states. we may not say thank you enough. that's part of our culture, unfortunately. but we do need that and we do need and want to have that relationship with the united states strategically. thank you. >> mr. ambassador it's in our culture to say a loud thank you to you for being so frank with us, and for you know you are a marathoner and i guess we're
only halfway through this session. but our time has run out and it is time to thank you very much for a terrific hour and a half. [ applause ] the multinational arctic council meets next week to discuss objectives for the arctic region in the next two years. next here on c-span 3 a look at the council's upcoming agenda fold by a house oversight subcommittee hearing on how employees view the agencies they work for. the u.s. becomes chair of the arctic council next week at its meeting in canada. the center for strategic and international studies held a meeting today. this event began with alaska
senator lisa murkowski who serves as chair of energy and natural resources committee. she talked about energy development in the arctic and how the region vital to u.s. security. this is 50 minutes. >> good morning everyone. welcome to the center for strategic and international studies. my name is heather conley, senior vice president for europe, eurasia and the arctic. i'm extremely proud that the arctic is in my formal title. we here at csis in our program have a tradition. we host a public conversation just a few days before an arctic council ministerial. so we have had in 2011 the road to nuke. in 2013, the road to karuna. today, we have the road to iqaluit. senator murkowski says it is also said iqaluit. so iqaluit or iqaluit, but we're off to nunavit next week.
and i could think of no more perfect speaker to offer some reflections just eight days before the united states assumes the arctic council chairmanship than a person who has been in nuke and karuna participating as part of the u.s. delegation to speak with us and that is senator lisa murkowski. chairwoman of the senate committee of energy and natural resources. she serves as a member of the senate health education, labor and pensions committee as well as the senate indian affairs committee. so, senator murkowski, you could not be better placed to help give us these insights. senator murkowski, i think of you as one of the key leaders, people seek you out to hear your thoughts on u.s. policy toward the arctic. you fearlessly hold hearings
when the u.s. government shuts down, keeping that focus on the arctic. you are someone who encourages the administration to do more and applause them when they do, yet you are very clear in your analysis when you -- and criticism when you think the u.s. administration has not quite made the mark. but clearly you are tirelessly working with your other senate colleagues to tell them why the arctic matters to them. we're so delighted the senate now has an arctic working group with you and senator king from maine providing that leadership. you often talk about the arctic opportunity, economics, scientific, environmental, and national security opportunity. and clearly next week the united states has an extraordinary opportunity to show leadership in the arctic. so with your applause, will you please join me in welcoming senator murkowski to the podium. [ applause ]
>> thank you. thank you. heather, thank you. and good morning to you all. it is always a good morning when we can gather together to talk about places of great opportunity. and i can think of no other place on planet earth where we have more opportunity than the arctic. as was mentioned, and as we all know, those that are focused on the area of opportunity, next week, a week from today, the united states will assume the chair of the arctic council for the next two years now. this is truly an exciting opportunity for us. for those of us who have been pushing for some time now to really place the arctic in a space of greater national priority. certainly heather, those of you here at csis have embraced that position. and i really thank you for your continued interest, the advocacy
on the arctic issues. not only today, but in the years leading up. but your presence today, those of you who have joined us, those who are joining by the internet, you're showing your interest again in a topic that is really quite keen right now. i don't -- i probably don't need to impress upon you why the arctic matters to the united states. i would suggest to you that perhaps the biggest challenge that we face right now on arctic policy is not with other members of the arctic council, including russia. it is not with the rest of the international community, which is taking a very interested focus on the far north. it is not with the permanent participant groups, representing the indigenous peoples of the arctic, who are truly impacted
more so than anyone else by the decisions of the arctic nations. but i would suggest to you that the biggest challenge for the united states is the united states itself. we face hurdles both at a public interest level and a government policy level. from the public interest perspective, i think it is a fair question to ask why should -- why should somebody from alabama or from arizona care about the arctic? and i suppose there could be those that would say, well, why should alaskans care about policies that relate to using corn for ethanol or the security of our southwest border. i would argue back these are all national priorities, national impacts. well, we know, we repeat it all the time, we are an arctic
nation, because of alaska. but every state, every state in our union has some kind of a stake in the arctic. whether it is from trade, nearly 20% of the u.s. exports go to the seven other arctic nations, that's significant. we have the research activity, the national science foundation has provided arctic research grants to entities based in 44 different states, plus the district of columbia. i remember having a conversation with my colleague from iowa, some years ago, and it was kind of a trick question to him, about arctic and arctic policy. i was able to remind him that in one of his iowa state institutions they host an arctic research program there, kind of caught him by surprise. but that's important that they
recognize their connection. but there is also the national security matters, the arctic touches every corner. the arctic touches every corner of our nation. and we must remind everybody of this. from a security perspective, the arctic is centrally located for multiple areas of operation, from the asia pacific and north american to europe and to russia. our ability to reach each area via the arctic significantly reduces response times with increased activity in the arctic in both commercial and military levels, our ability to project power and have rapid response capability in the region is of even greater importance. of course, from an economic standpoint, we talk about the shipping routes and the advantages of shorter shipping routes between europe and asia or the west coast, with the potential to cut seemingly 12 to
15 days off of transit schedules, allowing for quicker delivery of goods, lower costs to consumers for all americans. so, again, a benefit regardless of where you come from in the country. our natural resource potential, we talked about it a lot in alaska. but we recognize that the -- that the resource potential in the arctic is very, very high. usgs estimates roughly 412 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent natural gas lies there in the arctic. the dredge hauls we have seen suggest high concentration of critical and strategic elements like rare earth elements. our neighbors, russia to the west, canada to the east, they continue with very, very purposeful national plans, combined with state interests to develop arctic resources and really pushing to advance
commerce in the north. and their plans are helping to create jobs. we're seeing economic growth in areas that have historically faced extraordinary challenges. even the non-arctic nations are embracing the opportunities that come with diminished polar sea ice. i think this is one area that grabs the attention of folks here at home because they're looking at these non-arctic nations and saying, well what interest does india have here? and they should be scratching their heads about that. they should be asking that question. because if there is an interest, from non-arctic nations, why here in this country are we not looking with greater interest? but when you think about the non-arctic nations, they're reaping the transit benefits.
they are looking to possibly move forward with resource extraction or exploration and development activities. and so when you think about the u.s. position and whether we engage or whether we don't engage, we need to appreciate that this level of activity is going to continue whether the united states engages or not. increased access in the arctic also means enhanced scientific opportunities to better understand the region, its environment, its ecosystem, and how the arctic might impact other areas of a nation and the world. we talk about maintaining the arctic as a zone of peace to allow for greater international cooperation and coordination in a harsh environment that requires specialized skill and equipment. so areas that we can be collaborating and working together are important. so, really, regardless of where you live in this country or what your interests may be, there is
a nexus. there is a connection out there to the arctic that explains why our arctic priorities should matter to the entire country. but our challenge here is enabling this non-alaska portion of the arctic to recognize that nexus. so heather mentioned that senator king and i have joined together. we're kind of book ending the country between alaska and maine. we formed a senate arctic caucus, not only to look at our national arctic policies and priorities, but really to place a greater focus on each individual state and how it is connected to the arctic. we think this is something that other colleagues can take home and use to highlight our arctic opportunities with individuals and communities. so when we sent letters of
invitation to the other members, it was not just let's focus on arctic together, it was accompanied with a white paper that was put together by a great arctic intern, i'm going to do a shout out to kyle who has done great work for us, but reminding the senators from alabama for instance that 25% of alabama's total exports go to the seven other arctic nations. to my colleague john mccain who has joined the arctic caucus because he saw that in his state of arizona 16% of total exports go to the seven other arctic nations. and so, again, making -- making that connection there so the arctic is not so remote, so far away. now we all recognize the role
that admiral pap assumed as the united states special representative for the arctic. i think senator kerry selected an individual who's obviously very knowledgeable about the region and someone who can bring that knowledge to the rest of the country. but he can't do it alone. so how we can work together not only support his role, but ways to develop interest in and greater awareness in the arctic is something that i challenge each of us to do. one suggestion i have this morning and i'll suggest next week in iqaluit is to make the -- or allow the arctic economic council a greater opportunity for some visibility.
take the aic on a road tour. now, we know in this room that the arctic economic council is a forum formed by the arctic council to bring businesses together with arctic communities, to promote greater economic investment. but i think it would be important for the aec to visit throughout the country, go to the different states, go to the city chamber of commerce, promote investment in arctic communities for economic development and at the same time what you're doing is raising the collective knowledge awareness and interest in the arctic. so this suggestion of bringing this to a higher level by utilizing the aec brings me to the second hurdle, that's the federal government's arctic policy goals and agenda for the arctic council chairmanship in the next couple of years.
i would suggest the effort at this point in time by our government in terms of where we are in assuming this chairmanship position is incomplete. and heather noted that i have been quick to applaud the administration when i think things are moving as they should. but i'm here to offer what i hope is constructive criticism when we have -- we have not yet done what we need to do in these arenas. and i would hope if you get nothing else from my remarks this morning that you will take away, that you will remember the people who live in the arctic. this must be a priority for us
as an arctic nation. now, for many who have never seen the arctic, many non-arctic residents, they view the arctic as this pristine untouched environment. i described it as something akin to a snow globe that sits on the shelf and it is pretty and it is contained and it always looks the same. and please don't touch it. please don't shake it up. but our arctic is an area that is home to nearly 4 million people. humans have been living and hunting and working there for thousands of years. they have been harvesting the natural resources of the region. they have been developing the land. they live and work and raise their families there. just yesterday i had an opportunity to see a series of advertisements, the corporation that sits up in the north slope
area. stunning commercials about i am a -- and the one that is probably most powerful is a series of pictures of a whaling captain who also happens to be the ceo of this native corporation, moving from shots of him out on the ice looking as traditional and ancient as any inupiat might and the next shot of him in his office looking just like those of you in suits and ties and leather shoes. and it speaks -- it speaks to the reality of the people of the arctic today. and so we must always remember the people.
a focus on climate change, its impact on the arctic and how to adapt to a changing environment is absolutely warranted. i don't have concern with that. but it cannot be our sole and singular focus. and it cannot be held over or held against the people of the arctic. it should not be used as an excuse to prevent those who live in the arctic from developing the resources available to them in order to create a better standard of living. my objection and the objection of many who live in alaska, is that this administration has placed climate change policy goals above everything else, including the welfare of those who live in the arctic. it was just about a month ago, a little over a month ago, we had a hearing before the senate energy and natural resources committee, it was a hearing
specific to the arctic, the first one we had in the senate, some members of the committee commented on what they perceived to be the irony of alaska's strong support for oil and gas development, while noting the impact -- the true impact climate changes, having on our states, our communities and our people. they suggested that alaskans should be leaders in moving our country away from fossil fuels. well, one of the witnesses we had at that hearing was charlotte brower, an eskimo, she's the mayor of the borough, she's the wife of a whaling captain, she's got six kids. she's a grandmother of 25. and as the mayor testified, oil development on alaska's north slope brought 200 years worth of economic development and advancement in a period of
roughly 30 years. let me repeat that. 200 years worth of advancement in 30 years' time. pretty remarkable. also very challenging. but as a result of responsible resource development, more people on the north slope of alaska now have access to medical clinics that could provide care for themselves, their loved ones. they have improved telecommunications. and search and rescue equipment for hunting parties that previously would have simply disappeared on the ice, never to be heard from again. they have access to other modern amenities that we certainly take for granted, like a simple flush toilet. so those who oppose resource development, you've got to look at what -- what the situation is for those again who have lived
and worked and raised their families in this area for thousands of years. those who would oppose resource development would prefer the inupiat eskimo remain using whale oil for heat instead of using the resources of the region to advance their quality of life. and the mayor reminded us that it was just a few decades ago where there was no natural gas to heat their home. where truly it was a time when you collected the drift wood that would come down the river for heat, for your home. there is some pretty powerful stories from some people who are still in leadership positions today who describe that the
reason that they wanted to go to school in the morning was not eager for the education necessarily, but because the school was the only place where there was heat. you're from barrow, alaska, you're going to go to school. there is no irony in the people in the arctic benefiting from the economic opportunities available in their region. there is an irony in deliberating limiting their economic future while claiming now it is for their own good and somehow in their best interests. now, administration officials have said that the united states arctic council agenda found the sweet spot between national security and environmental goals. what is missing, i believe, from the equation, are the views of those who actually live in the arctic like mayor brower.
what is missing are the economic development opportunities that would actually benefit those who live and work and raise their families in the arctic. and a prime example of the disconnect that occurs when policy is being driven from thousands of miles away here in washington, d.c., we saw it play out at an event last september entitled passing the arctic council torch, also sponsored by csis, but every speaker who came from an arctic location, whether it was from alaska or the yukon territory, the northwest territory, nunavit, they praised the development for the people of the north. all of them spoke about the need for economic opportunities as the priorities for those that live in the arctic. those who came from outside of
the arctic, whether from government agencies or universities or elsewhere, they focused their remarks on the need to have a bold, aggressive agenda on climate change. what we saw there was, i believe, an intent to use the arctic council as a bully pulpit to promote climate change policy goals as if economic activity in the arctic is driving climate change. the contrast was pretty significant. at least for those of us from the arctic here. arctic policy is a difficult balance to achieve as the vision in the arctic varies, depending on who you speak with. but, we must find a better place if the u.s. chairmanship of the arctic council is going to be viewed as a net positive here. the obama administration will be
in charge as we assume the chair of the arctic council next week. but it will not be this administration that then hands the gavel to finland in 2017. we will have a new administration. and given -- given what is coming up and these presidential elections, we're going to see new administration, new cabinet, and potentially different priorities for the arctic. but, really, the only way to have a lasting arctic policy, a policy that goes beyond just the two-year period that we have in front of us, we have to institutionalize this. we have to -- we have to make it a policy that is supported across the aisle and supported across the nation. that's what will make it enduring. and so i am challenging not only
this administration, but i'm challenging people around the country. let's view this opportunity to chair the arctic council, to lead on a vision for the arctic that is enduring and it is truly for the benefit of all in this country. those who recognize that we are an arctic nation, and those who are just beginning to discover the excitement and the opportunity that we hold as an arctic nation. with that, i thank you for the opportunity to be with you. i look forward to some questions in a bit. [ applause ] >> over here? thank you. >> perfect. >> senator murkowski, thank you so much.
that was wonderful address. and i love that national prioritization. as we heard make the arctic council a national imperative. i want to give you a warmup, ask you one or two questions that are on my mind and as i look across this room, there is so much incredible arctic experience, knowledge, expertise, i'll unleash the audience on you for the remaining minutes that we have with you. my first question deals with u.s. preparedness for arctic development. so earlier this week i believe the comment out of the coast guard had made a statement that the united states is a -- is a bystander in the arctic. you and representative don young had really tough hearings with coast guard officials saying where is the plan, where is the readiness? i think there has been discussion of you and legislation on infrastructure, some infrastructure legislation. it is not just icebreakers which we tend to fixate on but deep
water ports, aviation assets it is maritime domain awareness. even if we, the united states, decides not to develop, others are, will have increased shipping, will have increased human activity. what is your sense of where the -- where we need to be and the budget? that's the hard part. how are we going to pay for this? >> well, i have expressed concerns and i will continue to express concerns about our readiness. now, i don't fault the coast the coast guard gets it. they know that we are lacking in deep water ports. they know that we have not sufficiently charted our arctic waters. they know that we need more navigational aids. they know that the communication gaps that exist up there must be addressed. and i think that they are internally -- they're quite concerned because they know
where their budget is. we talk about an icebreaker. if coast guard were to take that out of their budget, they would have literally nothing for anything else. so when we look at the infrastructure and the infrastructure needs in the arctic, this is not just the responsibility of the coast guard who is tasked with ensuring that the safety in our arctic areas. this is, again, a national priority. this needs to involve multiagencies. it needs to involve everybody within the department of defense. it needs to involve the agencies within the department of interior. it needs to involve homeland security, obviously, but, again, we have got to kind of get out of this little silo that the arctic is your responsibility. part of what we have been dealing with to this point in
time is this mind set that anything that has to do with the arctic is an alaskan earmark. it is not going to happen if it is viewed that way. alaskans don't view it that way. and neither should anyone else in the country. and certainly not those in the administration. so i have been pressing cabinet members, when they come before the committees, whether it is my appropriations subcommittee that i'm on, or energy or wherever, where, in this budget, are we demonstrating that there is a priority? because all of the agencies have been tasked to come up with your strategic plan. they probably spent more money coming up with strategic plans that go sit on a shelf than coming together to collaborate in defining how we're going to accomplish these things. we have known for years now that we were going to be assuming the
chair next week. putting together strategic plan is one thing. but making sure that we have demonstrated that priority by placing it within the budget, initiatives within the budget, that's where you demonstrate your commitment. and we haven't seen that yet. >> so we hosted dr. john holdron here in january, early february, to talk about the creation of the new -- the executive order that the white house released on creating this arctic executive steering committee, which he chairs. and i asked a very similar question, where is the budget? lots of strategies, but in the small print, each agency has to use within its existing re sources, which means -- >> take it from a pot that you're already struggling to address the needs within your department. so tell me who is going to say, okay, we're going to put all these other things, all these other responsiblities we had and we'll move the arctic to the top.
>> you think this new steering group, the deputy cabinet level, subcabinet level, do you think that could provide that rigor to say, you know what, omb, we're going to fund this or you're in a wait and see mood. >> i'm from missouri. >> show me. >> don't tell alaskans i said i'm from missouri. let's move out to the geopolitical, geostrategic environment. this week we heard from nordic ministers that characterized russia as the greatest threat to europe's security, particularly
northern europe security. at the same time we heard that from some of our own military leaders as well. general hodges, others at the same time we had the senior state department official that is very engaged on the arctic saying russia is a partner. i am struggling with the concept of partner, yet i'm seeing extraordinary aggressive actions, missing civilian airliners, a lot of military exercises in the arctic. i'm getting repeated calls. maybe you can help me how you answer this question by reporters saying is this a new cold war, what are we seeing, what do we understand? i'm growing increasingly concerned. the foreign minister will not be at the iqaluit ministerial. they're sending a natural resources and environment minister. what signals is moscow sending us right now on the arctic? >> well, i, for one, perhaps take the signal of aircraft in areas that are unexpected and unwelcomed and very aggressive. i take that as a pretty strong signal that causes me great concern. there is a -- there is a pushing
of the envelope here with russia. that if it is not getting the attention of our leadership here in this country, i'm not quite sure what else we need to do. now, you heard me say today and as i go around the country, that the arctic should be this zone of peace. i absolutely believe that, adhere to it, but i also recognize that within a zone of peace, there is respect that you show for one another. and what we are seeing right now is a -- an aggression in a way that, you know, we're not -- we're not going to make the front page of the news, but we're certainly on a-2 with the aggressive behavior that we're
seeing out of russia right now, and it causes me to wonder if they are not taking advantage of the fact that we have said, we want to be your friend. we want to be your partner in all of this. if you want to be a partner, then you behave like one. and you show that level of respect. and that's what we're not seeing right now. so i think that we need to ensure that our signals are equally strong. and we say that's not acceptable. it's not acceptable. and as much as we want to be working together, we want to collaborate on scientific opportunities, we want to collaborate on areas of the
environment, let's not say one thing on the one hand and then our actions take us in a different direction. we need to call russia out when russia needs to be called out. >> very strong message. all right, i know the audience is waiting. we don't have that much time. i would like to collect a few questions if i may and ask our audience to keep them short. if you can introduce yourself, we'll be good. brooks, sometimes speak very directly into that microphone, so thank you, please. >> senator brooks yeager with interior with bruce babbitt. i wanted to compliment you. first of all, and ask one question. i come from the conservation side of the debate, probably, afar as that goes. on the other hand, i spent a lot of time up north and agree with 90% of what you said about the benefits that oil development has provided to towns like barrow and wainwright and the need that they have of continued money to enter into the
commercial world economy and be part of something while protecting their subsistence and traditional ways of life. so grant -- and i wanted to congratulate you also on talking about the realities of the budget. having been in government, it is time for conferences where the agencies come forward and say pretty things to end and for omb to be at the table saying how much money they're going to pony up for what is a white house priority. it is or it isn't. you can't just add it on top of the debt that the agency is already struggling with. that won't work. i agree with you entirely. question is the following. the thrust of your remarks and substance is there is the debate between those who are concerned mostly with climate change and with the natural resource health of the arctic, and those concerned with the development of the people of the arctic. i wonder if it there isn't a
space somewhere in between where one can be concerned with both. specifically that development can occur in some places and not in others and in a discriminating way rather than an overwhelming way. then the question is, if you're mostly concerned about the human development of the arctic communities, how do you make sure that the money from development doesn't shoot straight to houston? and actually some of it stays in the arctic? it is nice to benefit from royalties. that's not enough honestly. how about jobs for the people up there. what do you do -- what is your program about that? >> thank you. i think i saw -- we have caitlin right there. >> caitlin, rule of law committee for the ocean. i don't have a -- the arctic nations, russia by far has the most integrated development
plan. they have gone through their budgets for different sectoral plans, pulled out the arctic onces and created an ark arctic commission. is that something we should be trying to work with on economic development -- building a regional arctic economic growth. if we don't do it, i assume some of the port production -- port operation facilities in southeast asia will be in there, so it is not something we can stop by not participating, but it seems like that region is an area that could be separated from the normal moscow/washington tensions we had forever. and have something that focuses more on the back channel for building a partnership in that region of the arctic where we want to see reasonable economic development. the russians want to see economic development and reasonable environmental
protection. seems like there is an opportunity to work together there. in spite of the strategic issues that have gone on even after the cold war. do you think there is an opportunity to build that regional partnership between alaska and the russian far east in spite of the tensions that we have in our more strategic level dialogue? >> we'll take one more. right there, right beside you and we'll let you -- >> you'll remember all the questions. >> i'll do my best. >> following up on mr. yeager's question about where the money is going to come from, to address these challenges, would public private partnerships be an option to consider and how would they be developed? >> wonderful. okay, so we had that -- getting the revenues in, and where is the money and how to keep the administration focused on that, budget, russia, how to find the opportunities. alaska has done extraordinary
work on the collaboration and resources and where do they go? >> let me speak to brooks' question first. it is a key one. we want to ensure that the benefits of development flow to the people that are in the arctic. and i mentioned in my comments the benefit that the -- that barrow, that nuxit, that wainwright have seen with the value of natural gas coming to their community. now, that was a very direct agreement between the producers and the people of those native villages that resource would be made available to you, to them. that was transformative. you talk to the people in
barrow, that was transformative. you know, you've been there. one of the things i believe very strongly, we must incorporate is our ability for increased revenue sharing. i have a revenue sharing measure that directs a portion of the revenues derived from offshore development, for instance, directly to the governmental structures within the north slope that would receive -- that would host the development, but also then return benefit directly to them. i think that has to be a significant and a key piece in ensuring that they receive that financial benefit. you speak very clearly to the reality of the people of the north. they want to ensure that they can be a participant in the cash economy. they want to ensure that they
have certain amenities whether it's clean water, sewers or our level of energy coming to them, but they also want and require that access to the subsistance lifestyle that sustained them for life immemorial, how we ensure that there is a level of development that allows for that benefit, but still provides for a level of management of those resources. this has got to be key, and you suggest that they're -- perhaps there are certain areas that would not be subject to development. i think, in fact, that there has been that discussion and that there is that direction that when the caribou are migrating or when the bowhead are coming up with shell's exploration plan, for instance, they are out
of the water when the bowhead are migrating to allow for the whale, captains and their crews to be out and have a successful hunt. that's -- it's pretty serious the accommodations that go on to provide for that level of subsistence and that must be key. to caitlin's comment about about economic cooperation with russia. i do think there are opportunities where we can be working together whether it's search and rescue capacity or -- kind of establishing these maritime -- i don't know if i want to describe them as a commercial hub, but servicing points, if you will, and having the opportunity to build on -- on
the strength that russia will put in place or that we can partner with. i don't think that we should assume that if russia moves forward that we don't have to and this notion -- that we can sit back and everyone engages and that somehow would reap those benefits. i don't know if that is realistic. while i express my skepticism with what we're seeing with russia right now i do recognize that we have built relationships. we certainly have between alaska and the russians directly as the neighbor there. we can build on it, but i am also very cautious in recognizing that the political tensions that we are experiencing with russia right
now perhaps erode a little bit of the desire for greater reliance and cooperation. i am very cognizant of this. i would like to see a greater collaborative effort, but i think we know whether it's from a research perspective and all of the other arctic nations have been very willing to work with us and russia has been perhaps a little more closed about sharing their data. so we can talk about cooperation, but again, it's got to be a two-way street here. and our final point -- >> the funding again. how does that development go back. private partnership. >> well, i do believe that this is so much a part of our answer is private public partnerships.
and last year in the omnibus. no, it was in the word a built, we advanced a measure that would allow for not necessarily public private, but utilizing our state institutions and in the state of alaska we have the ada, the alaska industrial development authority that would allow for partnerships that could help build out whether it is a deep water port or other infrastructure there that i think is an important step we did not advance the public private partnership concept because there were some that were a little anxious about what happens if you have an oil company that would come in and want to do that private partnership. i'm looking at it and saying if
we are building out an infrastructure project that is going to benefit the region, let's talk about this, so i think this is an opportunity for us, particularly as we face the reality of budgets that do not allow the for the level of commitment to the arctic region that i think we need to address. so i think that that is a positive avenue to explore, and i think that we should be doing more in that area. >> senator murkowski, thank you so much. this was so timely. we wish you very safe travels next week as part of the delegation. we look forward to seeing the outcome of the canadian chairmanship and the arctic economic council which is a major deliverable to the chairmanship and then the torch is passed to us and we look forward to the hearings and the leadership and guidance that you
will provide. please join me in thanking senator murkowski for being with us. [ applause ] >> thank you. [ applause ] >> because we have more to come, [ applause ] because we have more to come, one thing, go refresh your coffee. we have a talk about economic and energy development. >> can i put in one final plug before people stand? >> yes. sorry. >> you can see i get very energized and animated about arctic opportunities, but what i am finding exciting is what is happening with young people and their interest in the arctic. in my senate office the enthusiasm for these issues is almost infectious and what i have seen i have a couple of young people here in the audience today that have gone on
to law school to focus specifically on the arctic. i've got one who is a student at georgetown who has been helping me in his spare time because he is so focused on the arctic. and i really do feel that when our young people view this as their future, they're going to drag the rest of us along, so to the young people out there who are aiming high aiming north thank you for your enthusiasm. this is what's going to make the difference. >> that's even a better way to end this conversation. thank you so much. thank you all. [ applause ]
this event looked at a study of the arctic region commissioned by secretary earnest moan ease. it included an energy department official and official from exxonmobile. it is an hour and 15 minutes. >> thank you so much. we are now going to turn to a discussion very much in keeping with senator murkowski's conversation about the need for economic growth and the importance of energy and resource development and we are going turn to a panel that i will tell you a secret all four of us on this panel have one
thing in common, but i know one thing we have in common and that is we all participated in the national petroleum council research study. i was just a supporting cast member on the subcommittee and the co-captains of the subcommittee are carol lloyd and paula grant from the department of energy. so what i will do is introduce the wonderful power panel and to talk a little bit about the study which was released on march 27th and i know carol has done the study and you may have never heard about it and we wanted to share with you this study and more importantly talk about a broader array and maybe go beyond the study and before i
do that let me introduce the wonderful and distinguished panel. dr. paula gant assistant secretary for oil and natural gas and the department of energy's office of fossil energy where she administers both domestic and international oil and gas programs. she previously worked at the american gas association at duke energy and she has a very impressive academic background. we have miss carol lloyd who is the engineering vice president at exxon mobil's upstream research company. she also has a long, distinguished career with the engineering manager at exxon oil and imperial oil and she is the smartest person on technology i have ever met.
so if you have some real technical, write to her. write to her and finally to my right we have ms. drew pierce, senior policy adviser for the environment and natural resources and government affairs group. drew is an alaskan and she has been secretary of interior on a -- adviser to two former secretary of the interior on a range of issues specifically with alaska affairs and she was appointed by the george w. bush's office coordinator in the office of the federal coordinator for alaska national gas transportation projects. that's a title. that's a mouthful, but drew is a legislator. she served for 17 years in the alaskan state legislature and she will help us in a very powerful perspective from the state of alaska. so we have some great slides. each of the panelists have a short presentation and we will begin with paula from the department of energy's
perspective, turn to carol for the the industry perspective and drew's going to do cleanup and then we'll ask questions and welcome you into it so with that, again, thank you, paula, the floor is yours. >> thanks, heather. it's a pleasure to be here today and thanks everyone for coming in from this beautiful spring day. i'm very pleased to see that spring has finally arrived in d.c. i think it was warmer in alaska when we were in juneau than it was in d.c. so it's a funny world. we are really thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about the arctic and alaska and our oil and gas resources here today. it's a very important moment in our history as we think about the arctic and we'll share a little bit of the administration's perspective and sort of where our head is right now on the arctic. i think many of you know because you're in the room here focused on the arctic that the president has set a national imperative for the u.s. to take a leadership role in ensuring
stewardship of the arctic as set out in the national strategy for the arctic a couple of years ago and the following implementation plan. our leadership and our presence in the region would be vital over the coming decade to ensuring continued u.s. leadership and in setting standards of behavior and norms of behavior and activity in the region and the -- as the climate changes and sea ice begins to be less prevalent in some areas we're seeing an increased amount of activity in the arctic and from a commercial perspective and the significant increase in shipping activity are from a military perspective with demonstrations of activity on other parts as well as an increased presence in other countries looking at opportunities even if they
aren't arctic nations in the regions so there is tremendous opportunity for the united states to lead as this activity increases and it's within this context that the secretary in 2013 that the national petroleum council conduct a study looking at what is the nature of the oil and gas resource in the arctic and what are the technologies and practices available and are needed to ensure that those resources are developed in a prudent manner and prudent encompasses as carol will talk through the results of the research work. prudent encompasses the idea that the resources are valuable and that developing them has national and energy security benefits must be developed in a manner that minimizes the negative impacts on other
natural resources like our air and our land and our water as well as taking into account the benefits that can be accrued to local communities that can contribute to the resource development. so it's -- that is the question or the request that the secretary made of the national petroleum council. carol, in a bit, is going to walk you through how the mpc responded to that request. i want to talk just for a couple of minutes and heather has admonished me to be brief. there's so much to talk about in this area that the secretary was very pleased to receive the results of the study as heather mentioned at the end of march and it's very timely, as many of you know the u.s. will assume the chairmanship of the arctic council in the next couple of weeks, actually, and we have an opportunity to work through our leadership of that council to
ensure not only leadership in stewardship of the arctic environment, but also to find ways to enhance international cooperation and through the arctic council we have demonstrated an ability to the cooperate internationally on science and technology and that really forms the core of the secretary's request. it's a question about what the science and technologies needed to ensure the prudent development of oil and gas resources and in particular what could the department of energy do to further advance science and technology. one of the key aspects of the recommendations that you'll hear about today is a recognition that in order to develop and realize the promise of oil and gas resources in the alaskan arctic that it will be vital to secure the public confidence that those resources can