tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN September 22, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
that campaign has had considerable, considerable progress success indeed not only on osama bin laden but three number twos in about an 18-month period. and that is a very, very much diminished incapability central headquarters for al qaeda. but it has to continue to be disrupted because we don't own the ground nor does pakistan fully. beyond that, we're in a situation where a relatively modest number of u.s. forces providing assistance to our afghan partners, we are able to continue to accomplish the mission that we went to a afghanistan to achieve. we cannot forget why we went there and why we stayed. it was because afghanistan is where al qaeda planned the 9/11 attacks and conducted the initial training for those attacks. our mission was to ensure that never again would afghanistan be
a sanctuary for al qaeda or other trans national extremiste. it is now being done with a relatively number of u.s. forces. there still are casualties but way less for us. in the meantime, afghan force are very much fighting and dying for their down help achieve the mission that is so important to us and to them to not allow the force, retake their country, to taliban that did allow al qaeda to camp out on its soil and plan those attacks. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and general, thank you and your family for your service to this country. it is good to have you back here today. we appreciate your ideas, your advice a great deal. one of the things i want to ask you about is you emphasize a need to work with the kurds, turkey, israel and other allies
to interdict extremists groups. we have had the authority to cut off the shipments. what are the challenges and what are your recommendations on this? >> the challenges have been there have been devious and difficult operational security carried out by iran when it has provided forces to hezbollah, hamas. we have a unique situation with hamas right now that is quite extraordinary. that is egypt, for first time, is cutting the tunnels and absolutely obliterating the tunnels that used to enable basically free movement of goods, including weapons and ammunition, from the sinai into gaza. that is no longer a reality. and that is a major development
in that regard and a big help to us. beyond that, i think we make gains in ava right of different technologies in forms of intelligence, whether it's maritime, big data, or variety of other advances that can help us interdict that flow flow, maritime flow first as it has, to some degree, limited flow to the houthis. where the saudis, qataris, other gulf cooperation council are engaged in rolling back the action of the iranian-supported houthis, which i mentioned earlier trying to get with the point of a gun that they couldn't get at the negotiating table. >> i see this as part of the nuclear agreement that was just put together. what you were talking about, a promise and stand with them to push back from corner to corner
here. one of the areas is lebanon as well, hezbollah. how do you feel we can be most effective interdicting material, missiles and others in hezbollah? >> i think what we can most effectively do is assist our israeli allies with a provision of intelligence from a variety of different sources. and they have certainly not shrunk from taking action when there have been meaningful movements of military capabilities going from syrian to lebanon, for example. the concerns that president netanyahu discussed with president putin yesterday i believe it was is undoubtedly included a discussion of israel saying we will continue to take action if hardware that matters moves from, say, damascus into the valley and lebanese hezbollah.
>> i wanted to follow up with a question about baghdad where you say so much has to be determined. when we were in iraq not too long ago it was pretty clear that the shia leadership in baghdad was not creating any confidence with the sunni leaders and the tribal belt out in anwar and other areas. i know supporting abaddi is critical. the leaders are tied to iran so closely. getting some understanding in them that it's not going to work against isis unless we have our sunni tribal leaders with us. and they're not going to be with us until they start to feel the shia leaders in baghdad understand that, give them in effect a piece of ownership of the country. >> well, what's very, very important is the elected prime
minister of the were country recognizes the criticality of inclusive politics. that is hugely important. it's also important to recognize the people right now are quite supportive the actions the prime minister is taking because of the lack of basic services. >> he has a real window. >> he has a window. this is a very tenuous situation. pause, again, opposing him are the very forces that hard to believe saved baghdad when the islamic state was threatening it on the belt. and then these are the forces that some people are aligned with. they, by the way, at least a couple of these forces are led by individuals who were in detention during my time as a commander of the multinational force because of their involvement in the killing of
our soldiers. they are leading not only mi militi militias, we have to painstakingly day after day, engage, use our convening authority, our support for the establishment of iraqi security forces not beholden to a particular political party with iranian support and so forth. but this is going to be a close-run affair. make no mistake about it. prime minister abbadi crossed the rubicon in the form of reforms he is pursuing. keep in mind, when he did away with the vice presidents, he did the jobs that maliki and allowy and the former arab and speaker of the parliament. these are considerable figures. and i think it was the right move, a very strong move. but i say going to have to be shored up in every way that is possible not just by the united states but my the coalition and
more importantly by forces within iraq that want to see their country move forward again as an inclusive country rather than one that practices exclusive politics that are carried out in many cases at the force of a gun. keep in mind the outrageous activities that have taken place in baghdad where one militia basically kidnapped i think it was 18 or so turkish workers, moved them from baghdad to basra without being stopped and is holding them ransom for not particularly clear objective other than turkey stopping the know of isis into iraq. there have been very, very public threats against serbian leaders, including the prime minister. so this is a moment of real consequence, considerable drama in baghdad. and i think we have missed how significant it is to see this
number of iraqi citizens in the streets expressing their outrage at what's going on in baghdad. a prime minister who is moving to take action in response to that. but very powerful elements that are going to oppose him. >> thank you again for your service to the country. thank you, mr. chairman. >> isn't it true that the major political influence is iranian in baghdad? >> it is certainly a very important one. i would have to think through what other one might possibly rival it. but i can't come up with one. having said that, chairman, as you know, iraq has never wanted to be the 51st state of iran. and use that support like a crutch when it's required. the problem is one gets tentacles into parties and associate, it's hard to get it back out. >> senator fisher? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service is
and being here today so you can provide us with very important in sights. our approach in syria and iraq seems to be that we're going to be relying on local partners to be the boots on the ground. just how far do you think these local partners are going to be able to take us? >> well, again, they will go as far as as in their interest to do so. we just have to be realistic about that. that is reality. that's why i mentioned earlier we should not think the kurdish peshmerga, for example, can be pushed much farther below where they are in iraq right now. or frankly, the syrian peshmerga. you might get a bit farther. employ them for specific operations. they can't ultimately hold the areas if they are predominantly sunni arab.
so in that sense we have to be realize ig. they have a stake, however, in doing generally what it is that we want done, which is to defeat the extreme -- the most extreme of extremists, the islamic state. and ultimately to create a contest with which a bashar al ass assad, although it's difficult to shape what syria will have at that point. >> they speak about patience and risk and weighing of the patience needed and against risk we're looking at. how much patience should we be exhibited towards our local partners in iraq and syria? how long should we stick with them before we reach a point where we've assumed too much
risk and there may be no options left that the united states can look at? when do we reach that point and is it tactical stalemate where we want to be? >> well, look,id, we are not where we should be. and the tactical stalemate is actually a fairly dynamic stalemate. this is not a stalemate where one trenches and so forth. there is a lot of movement. we are rolling back isis in certain places, inflicting very heavy casualties on on them. i would not want to be a leader in the islamic state in iraq or syria. because i think it would be very hard to get a life insurance policy if you were in those shoes. having said that, there is a lot of reinforcements flowing in. yes, we have pushed out of this
area or that area. but then they go to ramadi. they go into lightly defended palmyra. this is still a lot of movement. and isis is on the defensive in certain areas, without question, in many areas. but still has the freedom of action to exercise initiatives certainly in some places. the key with our partners is of course we should be impatient, push it as hard as we can. but you can't rush to failure. that's what can happen if we push it too hard. >> i believe in the opening you said what will be the relationship to the iranian power as we see this after the agreement and that the united states used to be a counter to
iran. and now we may be looking at accommodating them. can you tell me what you feel would be the challenges and if there are any opportunities to both of those positions? if we find ourselves as -- >> sure. >> or if we find ourselves as being there just to accommodate iran. >> again, what i said is there are concerns in the region that we might accommodate iran. that we might work with them and now russia and bashar. >> it challenge said our credibility recently from the secretary of state in syria, for example, though as well. it goes to our credibility in the region. >> credibility matters. it is all about u.s. credibility and what does that mean for the south china sea.
does what happened in syria a few years ago from implications for that? the answer is, yes, it does. at the end of the day, if iran's foreign policy is continued to be dictated by the revolutionary guard quds force and enables proxies like lebanese hezbollah, houthis and murder us shia militia in iraq, then obviously we have to counter that malign activity. if, on the other hand, iran changes spots, whatever it change its approach and so forth, by all means if the conditions change we should be always alert for opportunities to work with what used to be a former enemy. we have done this throughout our history. i think the chances of that are
not particularly high. but it's not something one can rule out if something happens as a result. perhaps iran being reintegrated into the global economy in deciding that it wants to be a responsible world citizen instead of trying to reach regional gemini. >> thank you, senator. >> general petraeus, thank you very much for joining us today. thank you for your many decades of distinguished service. >> thanks for your own service. >> in your testimony you have broken your main areas of focus to iraq, syria and iran and recognize the interrelated nature of themment i want to start with the section on iran where you emphasize the nuclear deal, whatever its short-term implications cannot be seen as ushering in a new age of accommodation or conciliation of iran's interests in the region. given what's a happened in syria
with russia entering the picture, how do you think that our arab and israeli partners in the region view our posture towards iran's influence in syria? >> well, i think they are actually waiting to see right now, frankly. i think that's why i inserted the point, i talked to a number of those individuals and on a quite regular basis. and they have suppressed concerns about the future. and they want to see us continue to counter malign activity if it continues. beyond that, i think the very clear iron clad statement about what would happen if iran moves to weapons grade uranium enrichment has to be very clear as well. that would speak volumes. >> you recommend in your testimony a few concrete
suggestions for policy direction for each of iraq, syria and iran. there is one related to iran. additional actions to demonstrate that the theater remain set to carry out military actions against iran's nuclear program if necessary. would you elaborate on what you meant by that? >> thank you, senator. we developed a plan that would attack iran's nuclear program. it was quite thoroughly developed, rehearsed. and the theater was set. in other words, as senator ernst would appreciate, we had munitions positioned, we had the fuel. everything is there so if you need to conduct an attack like that on relatively short notice, you can do it. the theater has remained set by
and large ever since. i think there's the possibility of adjustments now because some of the countries in the region i think would be more accommodating. so, again, i think it's time to very publicly lay out. how we have posture said our forces. not giving away secrets. but assuring that the region knows and iran knows if need be we can do what is necessary with our military forces. >> what message does the absence of a united states navy aircraft carrier in the persian gulf accepted to iran, syria, russia on the one hand and the sunni gulf states on the other hand? >> it says there are limits to u.s. military power. what i don't know is whether that means there is none in not only the arabian gulf but also
the arabian sea. in the past, we have actually had two out there or at least a minimum of one. although the one might sit off the coast south of pakistan. if there's none in either of those locations, again, that's a statement there are distinct limits to what we are capable of doing. >> moving northward to syria you write in one of your proposals, tell assad that the use of barrel bonds must end. and if they continue we will stop the syrian air force from flying. i suspect that he will not listen to us if we tell him that, so we must stop him if we want them to stop. did you propose this policy to president obama while you were in government? >> yeah. when syria started i was director of the cia, not in uniform anymore. and certainly didn't have any responsibility for military
actions with respect to syria. >> did you support that policy that others recommended? >> i don't remember a recommendation. i don't remember barrel bonds at that time, frankly. this is the very early stages where there was no lebanese hezbollah, no isis, no orasan group. >> and now there is russia with missiles and fighter aircraft. can you explain what it would look like if we were to stop from using these barrel bonds given the presence of russia in such heavy numbers now. >> i think russia would get a little bit of advanced warning. this doesn't mean you have to pen a trait into the integrated air defense of what might be left of the integrated defense of syria. you can do this with, again, lots of different forms of cruise missiles coming off ships, subs, and planes. >> thank you.
my time has expired. >> thank you, senator. i will recognize senior mccain. >> general petraeus, this testimony has been quite helpful. i will go to where i'm confused and really interested in your opinion. we have had a lot of testimony before this committee the last year and a half, most recently general austin's posture hearing in march of this year that talks about the in stability we're seeing in the region as kind of a spiking of a long-standing sunni/shia divide at some points relatively calm and other points pretty significant. and yet i've also heard others say that might overstated. it could be more arab v. per that or it could be all of them. i want to ask your opinion on this. do you think the sunni/shia
divide, the sectarian divide is is widening? and is that a significant contributing factor that the challenges we are seeing? >> i think there has been a lot in the sectarian divide. i think what you see in syria is very much a sectarian civil war. but i would also point out there are also ethnic overtones. in syria alone you have a syrian/kurdish that wants and has achieved greater autonomy. and of course you have the same in iraq. and frankly in other countries you have what might be more of a tribal or islamist versus nonislamist which is the case in libya with a real civil war. largely between sunni arabs or tunisia which has been a political contest where the two leaders actually agreed to agree with each other. at least not to be opposed to
the bitter end but actually reach some compromise. >> to the extent that -- multiple factors. that's my sense from my limited experience. but to the extent that some of the divide -- some of the instability is caused by a widening sectarian divide. would you agree it is pretty important that the united states not unwittingly sort of plant our feet on one side or the other of a sectarian divide. sunni versus shia is not the u.s.'s issue. we do need to be careful and be mindful of not giving the impression that we are taking a side in the sectarian fight. >> i think that is accurate. and i think all we have to do if people say well, you're on the side of the gulf cooperation counsel, countries, sunni, arab, we would merely point out we have started the shaia in iraq.
a shia majority country by far. >> indeed. another strategic challenge tkr -- it seems like the areas we have done best is where we worked in close cooperation with the kurds. i was with senator donnelly in erbil in july. but sadly no success doesn't create some of its own challenges. on the syrian side, it struck me as odd that after a lesson time of trying to get turkey more engaged in the battle against isil, it was when we started to do a lot of work around kobani and elsewhere to get some success. there has been tension between turkey and some of the very elements that kurdish elements
in syria having success against isil. >> sure. >> how do we maintain the nato alignment without them cutting the legs out from the kurds. >> turkey has been an ally for decades. very, very important country in the defense against the warsaw pact, soviet union. and continues to play a very important role. it is significant. general allen and others did great work to get access into is the air base and to get pledges by turkey certainly to make the movement of isil through their country into syria much more difficult. but clearly there are historic tensions between turkey and their kurdish population. very sadly very tragically there is now much greater violence as a cease-fire than their various explanations as to why this has
happened and whether the blame lies in the capital of turkey or out with the kurds themselves. this is another complicated issue. they tried to reinforce kobani with peshmerga, found it difficult to move that until the u.s. offered its convenient authority and brought people together and hemmed push that through. so they are important, unless you are caught between arab and kurd or arab and persian. when that's the most important.
and then there is a tribal overlay and an islamist versus nonislamist in countries like, again, libya, tunisia and frankly in egypt for that matter. >> great. general, thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, sir. general petraeus, thank you very much for your service is to our country. over the last year or so the prime minister of israel has suppressed his concern with what i would call a nuclear concession agreement. king abdullah of jordan has been before us and requested, as he said, first of all, on the day it was announced that one of his pilots had been incinerated he said thank you for the f-16s but he says it would be very
appropriate if we could also receive some of the aroundments we have been waiting for for literally 24 months. in the spring of this year, saudi arabia, and bahrain, qatar, egypt, uae, when they began their campaign in support of or at least in their attempt to make headway, we found out about it as a nation after it had occurred. it seems to me that does not suggest on any one of those occasions a deep degree of cooperation and trust of those traditional partners that we have. you mentioned the need for coalition maintenance. could you give us your assessment on what needs to be done right now to perhaps begin the process of building and maintaining that coalition that we have been relying on in the middle east for years? >> sure. and some of the elements of course from my opening statement
where i talked about, again, first and foremost reassuring them iran will never be allowed to enrich the weapons grade. and improving requests for various weapons systems that have taken a long to be approved and wouldn't seem to threaten any of the balances about which we are concerned. that's particularly interesting now that there is a convergence of interest between israel and the gulf states as an example. the integration of different capabilities of the countries themselves take ballistic missile defense, early warning systems and so forth. again, this is something we had been pushing. secretary carter has pushed this, central command. there's more we can do in those areas as well. again, this is really comes down to a question of whether we will be there when they need us most.
there is no question there have been strains. no question that some of the episodes in recent years have generated some concern. we have to be careful not to overdo it. there is an in satiable desire for certain -- you know, the requests never stop. but i think we do have to reassure the countries. and i have laid out opening statements on how to go about that? you indicated we should make it crystal clear we would not allow uranium enrichment to occur. >> to weapons grade. >> to weapons grade? >> right. >> do you think that's missing or one of the items that was missing in the arrangement or the proposal that the administration has brought forward. >> i think we can make it more clear. and frankly, if congress and the white house were to do it together if this was seen as
iron clad. this congress, this cows will be around 15 years from now. it will be their successor's successor. establishing a u.s. policy that becomes, again, very, very foundational would be a very important move. the president did in a letter to one of your house of represents congressman adler lay this out. but there is a little qualification later on. this is absolutely clear straightforward. and i think that opportunity is there. >> finally, with regard to reconciliation, i noted one item we talked about about building. i just wanted a clarification. that is with regard to isis. do you see any reconciliation
with eyes dismiss. >> certainly not their leaders, middle leaders or the pluck of the rank and file. this is such an extremist organization that it is troebl beyond redemption. i wouldn't rule out the possibility of a few misguided souls that want to come back to the fold. a fair amount was made that i said we should deal with al nasra. i said we should try to strip away. it has had a number of groups that probably would have been classified as moderate sunni. it had resources. and they did not -- and because it, probably more importantly, is actually fighting against bashar al assad and the forces we were supporting had to accept that they would not do that as a condition of our providing them weapons and training.
and i do think there is a possibility there may be some sub elements and certainly some fighters that could be wooed back. it was not popular throughout the ranks in iraq in february 2007 that i said we are going to have to sit down with people who have our blood on their hands. that did not mean we sat down with the leaders of iraq, al qaeda, iraq. there were a number of individuals we did in. there were 103 sons of iraq. by the way, there were shia arab sons of iraq as well. ones that wanted to shed their ties with the militia particularly after the militia were defeated. >> thank you, sir.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here today. the middle east is an area that is very complicated and there is a lot of in stability there to say the least. if you look at iran, isil, al qaeda and the military. >> i mean, there are all sources of in stability and problems that extend beyond the region. >> would you be able to rank? >> i don't think i can, no. on a given day we might be more with the plot by the islamic state, which might actually do enormous damage in europe to one of our allies or inspire something in the united states. on another day it might be the actions of iran and providing lethal munitions to hamas for
indirect fire objects on israel. >> in the 10 years you served in the middle east, has it also been thus there. it could have been the taliban. always just a whole range of entities who created tremendous in stability in that area? has it always been that way in the middle east? >> no i think the in stability in the middle east is much greater now than when i was commander of u.s. central command from 2008 through 2010. for one thing, we have had the air ran spring. so it's not just a result of extremists elements, bashar al assad, or iran. it is the throwing over of long time dictators who did achieve a agree of stability in their one. but at such great extent the people rejected that. that is probably the single
biggest cause of the in stability. and what you see then is groups like the islamic state and indeed in some -- to some degree, iran and others, that are taking advantage of ungoverned or inadequately governed spaces. i think one of the lessons of the post arab spring, if an area is ungoverned or inadequately governed, extremists may seek opportunities in those locations. >> hence your caution about assad. and if he were topple them, who would come in to take their place? there is some that say we ought to support the partitioning, so sunnis would have their areas. and i believe you said today that would be a bad idea. did you say that? >> i did. >> and do you see any kind of
scenario where petitioning in iraq would leave to some level of stability in allowing that country to go forward? >> it's a wonderful question. i have no intellectual objection to the concept of a shia stan, kurdstan, sunni stan. who is it that draws the boundaries? so, again, there is some very serious practical issues here which, if not resolved, result in a civil war. you will have syria part 2 except iraq. intellectually, academically, okay. but tell me how you're going to get there where the politics are so fractious.
they feel alienated from baghdad. this is not an amicable divorce. this will be a civil war. there has been displacement during the latest violence, as there was in the 2006-2006 time frame to a considerable degree. the concept for how they survive, how all of this work are quite problematic. >> would you say that any kind of partitioning should come from within. it certainly shouldn't be imposed upon them? >> very, very good point. >> you have not had much luck doing it that way. >> well, the boundaries are drawn by outsiders. and you see them be owe on a little bit rated now to some degree.
you have raised a very, very important point. and that is whatever the future is, it's going to have to be agreed upon or it is going to be fought over stpwhrfplt thank you. mr. chairman, i do have one more question. i'm running out of time. >> please go ahead. >> thank you. over the weekend, the u.s. began military-to military talks with russia following the arrival of additional military equipment including tanks and fighters already in aircraft in syria. i just wondered what would your primary objectives be if you were holding these talks with russia? >> making sure nothing goes bump in the night. there is not an operation carried out by either side that is misconstrued by the other, ending up in shooting where there doesn't need to be shooting. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the same as we have ship-to-ship conversations with
iranians. we had ship-to-ship with iranians. >> thank you. general petraeus, i a poll to have to step out. i was here to listen to your opening statements. and i have to agree with the chair. i think you did an extraordinary job setting the discussions on some of the concerns we should have in the region. i want to go back. and i apologize if you expanded on this. if you did, just let me know and i will go back to the record. when you were talking about safe havens in syria, could you give me an idea what that would look like, over what reasonable time frame could we do it. could it have a positive impact on the refugee situation in the region.
give a better idea how that will play out. >> i don't think i can give you a timeline. it will start with a declarat n declaration. it will begin with barrel bonds. >> what strategic positions are we taking to end the barrel bonds? what precisely would the u.s. military and potentially coalition partners do to make sure it ceases. >> if you have a policy that says it stops. and if they don't, our military can figure out how to bashar's aircraft from flying. on then clarify, senator, the enclave is important. the refugees are giving up. they would want to go back if there's any hope. an enclave gives them hope.
over time you will see a continued exodus. it is already overwhelming borders and countries in europe. >> once you create an encl a ave, on the one hand it could be a safe haven and on the other hand be a huge target. we have attempted to train the free syrian army as a potential it it put them in some sort of defensive posture so they could themselves could create the areas they came from. how do we make sure we have the security of these so they would be perceived as a safe haven in the region verses the mass exodus we are seeing now? >> first, again, there is a policy decision that says we're going to protect you against all enemies. not just against the islamic state.
and i think if they understand that and you put assets over there, you could equip them with radios, devices, so we could alert if they are experiencing pressure. i don't want to make light of this. this is very complicated military activity. but it is doable. >> and guide and a assist. >> that's right. >> shifting to a different direction, iran. last week the president doubled down on his position to not allow petroleum exports from the united states. at the same time they were going to allow iran to lift oil. as many as a billion barrels a day. they made a price point $130 a barrel for them to really start balancing their books.
>> i don't think so at all, senator. not iran. >> you think it is is lower? >> i think it's a good bit lower than that. >> i may have my facts wrong. >> they wouldn't sell the extra million barrels. you're saying -- >> let me finish the thought process. based on your military and intelligence experience, do you believe that the united states being able to also participate in the global markets and being able to export i'll and other energy products to other nations who may be independent on iran at the same time iran is benefiting economically from it is a strategic weapon we should be looking at? >> this is not just based on military intelligence. i'm chair of big private equity firms in our country. first of all, by the way, the analysis on crude oil exports
shows not only would the price of wti go up slightly so the producers would be better off, it would have an impact on crude prices which would come down to global price, which is a lot of what we would find. and the price at the pump probably would go down. it is very interesting. i think cbo did the analysis of this. one of our analytical organizations here i think on capitol hill has looked at this. beyond that, i don't think we should get involved in markets as a country unless we want to do something like sanctions. again, you wouldn't do it -- if you wanted to use sanctions or economic tools as a weapon, fine. but otherwise i think you have to be careful about intervention. >> mr. chair, i apologize. i'll be briefly. the 139 was the profit they would have to pull off to fix their fiscal problems.
>> or maybe do investment in the fields in the future. >> that's what i was referring to. finally, i want to maker sure i understand the answer to your question. do you believe that the united states being able to extract more energy in the jurisdiction and provide that energy is a part of a strategic play to hedge against iran to fund activities and more of the bad things than they are already doing? >> we are going to produce all the oil and gas a that we can. if we're making a profit. if we can enable cups like iraq to revive their oil industry as they did, it helps iraq. it funds their government. by the way, they were running a fiscal deficit now. but, again, this is really about market forces much more than
getting involved in this as a country. the fact is that the energy markets right now because of the shale gale, most significantly with crude oil and the global markets. and the next big thing will be liquefied markets because of the approval of six or seven plants for the united states. and that's going to be a challenge challenge for president putin. as i mentioned earlier, putin's hand is getting weaker. he is running enormous deficits. very costly ventures outside his country. he has a limited amount of foreign reserves left to fund this. and he doesn't have access to the markets because of sanctions on him and the many of his major banks. so i think he has problems down the road. when it hits ln g is hitting
asian markets you will see a compression of natural gas prices even though he is selling it off the pipeline and we will have to liquefy and regasify. >> thank you for your insights into what's happening in the middle east. i know last week general austin was here. he got questioned by a number of committees about the training mission. unfortunately, what he had to say about that mission suggests to me, and i think to others on the committee, that it has not accomplished what it was supposed to. and my recollection is you were for a similar project before it started. i wonder if you have thoughts of what can be done at this point? i think as it has been
operating, it has not been successful. so what should we be doing? any way to right it? >> first of all, you can't abandon on to other areas? >> you can't abandon it, because anything you want to accomplish in syria has to be enabled by a sunni arab force on the ground, whether it's the defeat of the islamic state or creating a context in which the assad regime might be able to go to the negotiating table, or stemming the flow, the exodus of refugees from syria that is overflowing european countries. >> so how do we make -- >> the central issue is we have to pledge and then take action to support these fighters against anybody who comes at them, whether it's isis, which we want them to fight, or assad or jabhat al nusra or other
elements. so again, we're going to have to support them against all of these. they want to fight bashar. we at least have to enable them to fight bashar's forces in a local way without, as i mentioned in my statement, creating the conditions where bashar goes before we have a sense of what it is we want to see follow him or what will follow him. >> thank you. in your testimony, you talked about establishing enclaves in syria that would be protected, which i interpreted as what's normally described as safe zones. is that what you were suggesting by the enclaves you were talking about? >> safe havens, i think. >> i had -- >> and by the way, they could be in the south as well as the north. actually there's a reasonable one in the south, arguably, contiguous to jordan. >> last week we heard at the foreign relations committee from
michael powers of mercy corps which has done a lot of humanitarian work in syria, and he expressed grave concerns about establishing safe zones. he suggested that it would be very difficult to keep them actually safe without a lot of investment of additional air power and troops. he also thought they could become a target for extremists and that they could be used by some countries to reject refugees. how would you suggest we address those issues? >> we have to defend it. what he's saying, you just can't declare everything a safe zone and expect everybody to honor that. again, this is the key. the forces that we support aren't going to stay supportable. they won't even stay alive, as we have seen, if we don't take
very active measures for them to pursue. i don't really like the words "safe zone." there's nothing safe about a safe zone unless you're willing to defend it. people will vote with their feet whether they're willing to stay or even come back or impart with a number of the others. so we would have to invest in supporting that zone. it doesn't mean i don't think that you have to have our boots on the ground in that enclave, although again, at some point, security is adequate, i would be comfortable doing that, just as we were can thoomfortable doing iraq. >> finally, one of the things that i think we have not done as successfully as we need to is to counter the isil propaganda. and do you have thoughts about
how we could be better responding? >> this is a really, really difficult problem, because of the magnitude of it, the sheer number, the way that machines are used to amplify, to magnify. i think we've got to get smarter at that. i've talked to people at google about various techniques that could be used on our side in the same way they're used on their side. we did have a program at centcom during part of the time that i was the commander, where we had what we term credible voices. these were native speakers, sometimes dialect speakers, with academic training in various religious disciplines and so forth. and they were quite effective. the problem is it's very costly. and again, whether that effect is really measurable is something that could be debated. so i think we do have to partner
more effectively with those that really understand the at the beginning of, and then we have to activate those who are willing to engage in this. i don't know that it can by any means be all government. i just don't think we can generate the critical mass that would be sufficient for this task. >> my time is up, but should it be spearheaded by centcom or state department? >> the problem with it being spearheaded by state department can be best explained by an episode when i was a centcom commander, and the undersecretary the state, high ranking government official, came to centcom to ask i think for 1 or $2 million from us, when we provided somehow, to help them with their program. so state department has never been adequately funded. i don't know if senator graham is here, he's the subcommittee chair, i think still, of the key
committee and has generally agreed with that. we have always called for state to do more, yet we have not given them the appropriations nor in some cases the authorization to do that. >> thank you. >> thank you. admiral mccain. general petraeus, thank you for appearing in front of the committee today. you can see from the attendance at this committee today that your opinions and your thoughts are very highly valued. so thank you for sharing with us today your thoughts. >> thank you. >> i would like to go back to the kurds a little bit. i think we've talked a lot about it, and everybody has asked questions, but maybe not in all manners. so the kurds have been a great ally to us, and i've heard of that from many of the men and women who have served in that region. they've been a great partner for 25 years or so.
and they have a healthy respect for the rule of law. they've been very helpful with a number of minorities, ethnic minorities, religious minorities. and what can we do to better provide support for the kurdish regional government, the kurdish pashmirka. i believe we need to double down in this effort, regardless of whether they may push beyond regional boundaries. but they do provide an area, whether we can engage them in shaping operations, whether it is to provide an area for us to base. can you give us some thoughts there? >> i can. the fact is we are based there. as you know, we have headquarters, we have operational headquarters. we have very close relationships in both my military and intel lives, we were very, very closely linked. i think the single biggest
issues are the provision of weapons and other supplies, to streamline that. i've said we have to support prime minister abaddi. we need to strengthen him. we can't bypass him on these issues. ideally it doesn't have to touch down in baghdad, it can go directly with them. some of coalition members are doing that, with our tacit approval, if not our applause. i happened to be there for a conference in the earlier part of this year and had a lot of people come and plead that particular case. the other is to determine, you know, the krg, the kurdish regional government, is in very difficult financial times right now because of the price of oil going down by 55%. it's not only reduced what they get but it's reduced the amount
from which the 17% they get from the central government is. and so they're having a very difficult time. they're supporting hundreds of thousands of refugees on their soil. anybody who goes up there and flies over this will see a camp every few kilometers. and indeed they're fighting a war. again, if we could provide additional assistance to them that would be of support, i think that would be very valuable also. we have very much enabled them. we helped them hold off. had it not been for decisive action actually at a critical moment last year, it's very possible that the islamic state might have gotten closer to the capital of irbil. that held that off. then it has really retaken most of the area around the kurdish regional government. candidly, there are no more disputed internal boundary areas in iraq. they are generally controlled by the kurdish regional government
as a result of the operations that have taken place with our support. >> very good. i appreciate those thoughts very much. i would tend to agree. i would love to see more assistance going to the krg, of course in consultation with the iraqi government. i applaud you on that as well. if we could turn to turkey just very briefly. we've talked about the fact that they have mobilize d. what away seen is through the mobilization of forces, instead of pushing back against isis, there's been a turn to mobilize against pkk. what do you see the impact is to those coalition forces, the anti-isis coalition forces? and what are the greater implications of that and thoughts, maybe, from some of those coalition members? >> i don't know that this has a huge effect on u.s. or coalition
forces. they're not being diverted to assist. there's a certain slight degree of support that we have provided in the past, in the intelligence realm, that i don't imagine has changed a great deal. what i think is very significant is what's happening within turkey as a result of this, the sheer escalation of the violence, a situation that was relatively calm and seemed to be heading towards one in which there was greater and greater reconciliation between the government in ankara and the sizable part of their population in turkey that is kurdish, with the allowance of meeting certain desires of that kurdish population. and all of a sudden, the wheels have come off the bus. and whether this is connected with a future election in turkey or something else, it is very distressing to see, because again, the violence on both
sides now has escalated very, very rapidly and quite considerably. >> thank you. my time has expired. thank you, general. thank you, admiral. >> general, first, courage is an element of character, and courage to admit mistakes, particularly in an open forum such as you did at the beginning of your testimony today to me as a huge indicator of character, which i think is the essential quality of leadership. and i want to compliment and acknowledge that you did something that wasn't easy this morning. and it's very meaningful. a question about russia and syria. the recent buildup of russian troops of course is very worrisome. on the other hand, russia was, you should pardon the expression, an ally when it came to getting rid of chemical weapons. is there a geopolitical opportunity where russia may recognize the danger of isis to them, to chechnya and that
ideology, and there could be common cause with them, not to dump assad precipitously, but to work on a negotiated agreement where assad would be moved aside? because assad is isis's evil twin. he brought them into being. >> exactly. and continues to inspire recruiting. it's magnetic attraction. >> exactly. talk to me about the possibility of talks with the russians. i believe countries act in their interests. and in this case, they have an interest in not seeing isis met amore foes into -- metamorphose into terrorism in their country. is there an opportunity to work with the russians to move asaid a -- move assad aside? >> this is not something i would rule out at all, senator. they're worried about the effect
in the caucausus. so the problem is if they had wanted to have done this, if that was really their goal in life, they could have contacted the coalition of more than 60 countries and said, where you could you bed down our aircraft, how can you integrate us into the air tasking order, we would like to drop bombs on isis just like you guys. >> it appears, these recent moves, they've just said, we're going to shore up assad no matter what. >> you're right, it's national interests. their national interest is to preserve the naval base they have down on the coast, and then the air base. >> perhaps there's a way to assure that without necessarily guaranteeing the presence of assad. >> there could be at some point. again, if there are serious negotiations.
it's not the kind of thing that you would just rule out unny qu -- unequivically. if they enter this fight, then we're going to see real complications. and ultimately you could end up -- you don't want to be in direct conflict. look, russia is an important power. it has carried out very pro voc at the beginning ive actions -- provocative actions. we need to establish what is unacceptable actions. ukraine, as an example. we have to do that here. we've got to see this develop a bit further, recognizing, again, that there is a very clear way for them, if they want to attack isis, and that would be to join the coalition. >> changing the subject, you talked about barrel bombs and air power.
is there an alternative? and i'm keenly -- i'm very aware of the problems, but an alternative of providing closely vetted syrian opposition with man pads or serious weapons concluded neutralize assad's air force without mobilizing a major air war and coordinated strikes and essentially escalating the conflict? >> you could take care of barrel bombers from the ground or from the air. this is has been an issue in virtually any of these kinds of endeavo endeavors. >> since afghanistan. >> exactly. the concern of course is that one gets out of hand and drifts over somewhere else and takes down a civil airliner. and so the risk in this has to be very, very carefully measured and mitigated. there are some techniques, some technologies, some other things that can be employed. i'm not sure that we have not done that or that other
countries haven't done that. but it's a very risky proposition. and we have to exercise enormous caution if we employ that. >> and those mitigation factors would be crucial. >> yes. >> do people wake up in iraq and think of themselves as iraqis, as sunnis and shias, or kurds? >> add sadly, i think it's more their ethnic identity as opposed to iraqi. having said that, i remember when the iraqi soccer team won the asia cup, that night there were cheers from basra to baghdad. so there can be unifying features. the most important force in iraq is still there, the distribution of oil revenues by the central government to the provinces, the
ministries and so forth, including the kurdish regional government. >> thank you, general. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and general, good to see you again. i also want to echo what senator king said about your comments earlier. we very much appreciate you earlier and what you did, what you've done for the country. i know there's been a lot written on the search -- the surge and that strategy. to me it's an important example of, you have strategy, you have rhetoric, and then you have important action. the president and others announced what we were going to do and then we took action. i think one of the broader strategic failures that we're seeing with all the chaos in the world is that we, in many ways as a country, at the high levels, whether it's the president or the secretary of defense or others, we're talking
about things, red lines in syria, bashar al assad has got to go, even secretary carter gave a powerful speech when we were out there, on the built-up violence in the south china sea. but none of these statements have been followed up by action, unlike what you did with the surge. what happens when, as a country, we talk a lot abobut don't act? >> first of all, i think we have taken action. and i have to be somebody who sits here and says -- >> where have we -- >> we killed osama bin lad in. >> i gave three captioexamples. >> i was going to say, this is not a record of unmitigated lack of action. but in my statement i said that inaction in some cases has consequences. i think that is the case with
some of the cases that we're dealing with in syria, without question. >> so what do you think happens when we don't take action? >> well, if you do not act, others may. others will question. again, you know, the art of this is figuring out when to take action, and of course what action to take. this is not an argument that you should always take action all the time and that will solve all the problems. >> should you take action -- what i'm talking about is not just random action. i'm talking about action to implement stated policies that you've already announced as a country. are you hearing in your travels throughout the world that the united states is losing credibility in terms of our national security and foreign policy? >> look, there are some questions out there. what i was going to do is point out where there have been
actions, because this is not, again, a record of no action. there have been some very, very courageous actions. i took very tough issues to this president and he took action. if those where action was not taken really matter, then obviously there are consequees, they accumulate. i do think that the syrian red line that was not a red line, which had a decent outcome in the end, as was pointed out, 90% or so of the chemical weapons gone, but the way we got to that was quite a circuitous path. and to be bailed out by president putin at the end of the day was, again, a very interesting outcome. that is not the kind of case, i don't think, that instills -- you know, and again, a great sense of confidence in the united states. >> let me ask another in terms of actions. you know, in another area of the world, in the arctic, we're
seeing a lot of strategic interests from the russians and other nations for reasons of natural resources, transportation routes. and you've seen a really pretty dramatic aggressive move by the russians in terms of a new arctic military command, four new bcts there, 40 icebreakers, a lot of heated rhetoric there. and then in terms of the u.s. action, if we were to remove our substantial arctic fources, say the only airborne bct in the arctic or asia pacific, what do you think that would do in terms of additional russian reactions in that part of the world? >> i have expertise in a reasonable number of places in the world but i'll defer to you on the arctic, i'm afraid. >> let me ask one final question, general. there's a bit of a strategic irony going on where some of us
think that in certain parts of the world, we're withdrawing. and you and i have talked about the instruments of american power, not only the military, but things like energy that we've talked about, the ability in terms of finance, resurgence of manufacturing in the united states, the best universities in the world by far. i mean, the list, agriculture, the list is very, very strong, where we have so many advantages over other countries, long term advantages. how do we utilize those in a way to show we are still the country holding the cards, on so many different instruments of power that countries measure power by? >> well, first of all, we don't own all the cards. but rumors of america's demise have been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase mark twain. i teach a course called "the coming american decade."
i've just done a monograph at harvard on the great new emerging economy, north america. when i was asked a year or so ago in london, after the american century, what? they expected me to say the asian century or the chinese century. i said, the north american decades. the bottom line is our economy is fundamentally -- there's a lot of challenges and issues we need to resolve, some with the help of this body working to it with the other body, all that notwithstanding, at a time when the number two economy is slowing down quite significantly, we don't yet see the rise of india, the eurozone has got a very differentiated recovery. the u.s. has continued. we may be in the longest recovery in our history. it has not achieved escape velocity. there are aspects of it, again, that are not great. but when you look at the rest of
the world, and when you look at the fundamentals of the united states, whether the values that we share with our two neighbors -- i mean, you don't see mexico asking china to pivot against north america the way every country with a maritime boundary with china is doing to us. so there are enormous strengths in this country. you've enumerated a number of them. i've laid them out elsewhere. there are a number of actions that this body, again, could take to address issues that are really headwinds to us capitalizing on this tremendous opportunity because of the energy revolution foremost, but also the i.t. revolution which enables the others, the manufacturing revolution that is beginning to gather steam, and the life sciences revolution that is starting to gather mow men tum as well. we have a number of really great, again, fundamentals here
that are going to keep this country and north america writ large in a very enviable position. i would not want to be in any other economy than this one right here. and i now get paid to analyze those kinds of factors and elements. >> thank you, general. thank you, mr. chairman. >> general, thank you very much for a lifetime of extraordinary service under difficult circumstances. >> thanks to you for yours. as i noted in a response to a local newspaper article here, you served nine stints under my command in iraq, centcom, and afghanistan alone, each of those was a week or a bit longer. i was very skeptical before the first one. i didn't appreciate the great opportunity -- >> we can understand the skepticism.
>> yes. and under duress i accepted colonel lindsey graham of the judge advocate general corps of the u.s. air force reserve. and i must say, after every single one of those visits, you came back and provided a real nugget and one of these big ideas that helps us come to grips with one of the serious issues we were confronting, starting with issues we had in iraq and carrying through various legal conundrums that we had with karzai in afghanistan. and i am non-partisan, by the way, mr. chairman, honestly. >> i really appreciate that. the bottom line is i enjoyed the heck out of it and i learned a lot under your command and working with people in the region. so let's try to see if we can make some sense out of the world as it is. there's two things going on at once, i think, in the mid-east. a fight for the heart and sound like of islam, and a demand for social justice, particularly by young people and women.
do you agree with that? >> certainly among the two biggest issues. i don't know if i would put some economic issues, that might be in the social justice category. but that would be another element. >> the only reason i mention it is i want the american people to understand that young people are not going to live in dictatorships for our convenience any longer. do you agree with that? >> they're not doing it for our convenience to begin with. but i think the real point here is that the age of the dictators is certainly under a certain degree of strain. and we've seen it boil over in libya, tunisia, egypt, syria, to some degree yemen. >> would you agree that america should take sides in this struggle and side with the young people and say, yes, you're right to demand a larger voice about your children if you're a mother, you're right to want more economic opportunity, we should embrace what they're asking for? >> i don't know that i would do this as a universal declaration.
but i would certainly have that in the back of my mind as i looked at each and every case. >> well, i'm going to do it as a universal declaration. that's just me, though. now, on the other side of islam, do you agree most muslims reject radical islam? >> yes. yes. >> and that is -- to suggest otherwise, you really don't understand the region, that the biggest victim of radical islam is other people in the faith. >> it's generally muslims. >> and you have been there more than anyone i know. don't you agree with me that the good news for all of us is that we can partner with people within the faith who are willing to partner with us and destroy this radical ideology, and it's going to require these partnerships? >> correct. we have sought to do that. >> so when people say they're all the same, they don't know what they're talking about. >> i'm a presbyterian.
i don't think all presbyterians are the same either. >> nor do i, general. people tend to look at the middle east and say everybody is the same, everybody is radical. they miss the boat. most fathers and mothers don't want to give their sons and daughters to isil. >> correct. >> so that's something we need to build upon. in terms of iraq, the president has said the goal is to destroy isil. that is the right goal, do you think? >> "destroy" is a high bar in the military lexicon. i would love to destroy them. we did destroy al qaeda sadly t resurrect themselves in the form of isis. >> absolutely. we are where we are. the surge did work and it was a marvelous thing to witness. do you think more ground forces would help lead to the defeat of isil in iraq?
>> what i've laid out here today is indeed a requirement for additional forces, not ground got forces. additional advisors at brigade headquarters level, probably augmentation. what's going to happen is you will get a critical mass at some point of sunni forces. and it will start off -- set off a chain reactions, as we did when we had the anbar awakening, where it rippled up and down the euphrates river. i suspect we'll have more locations where we'll have advisors and assistants. >> would a couple of aviation battalions help, army aviation battalions? >> it would help. you're going to incur greater risk, obviously. >> definitely. >> you're now getting into this in a way, we have attack
helicopters, which we have employed. now you're starting to add numbers considerably. i would be concerned about possible ramifications of that. >> and i'm over, but i do want to talk about syria. is there anyone left to train in syria that would have the capability to both destroy isil and push assad out? is there an indigenous force left to train? >> i think there are forces that if we pledge to support them against everybody, not just fight the islamic state, and start out by actually allowing them to solidify control over an enclave before we launch them or push them into an offensivoffen. >> what about a regional force, would you support the creation of a regional force with two goals in mind to destroy isil and push assad out? >> i would have concerns about that. to have neighbors go into one of the countries in this region, again, every country is different, and -- but to go into a country that is already as
fractured as is syria, i think there are some complications with that. >> finally, assad should go? he must go? >> he has to go, ultimately. but the keyword there is "ultimately," underscored, in bold letters. because until we have a sense for what will replace them, we need to be very careful not to push him out, because what comes after could actually be even worse. >> how many people do you think are left that would be willing to fight both isil and assad, and how long would it take to train this indigenous force? would you have american boots on the ground as part of that training? >> i would put them certainly on the ground, first in turkey and jordan. i would certainly be willing to put them into an enclave when it's solidified, secure, and you're not going to put people in genojeopardy of ending up in orange jumpsuit in a cage. you give me the assumptions and i can give you a timeline.
there's a host of assumptions we would have to make. >> thank you very much. >> general, on behalf of admiral mccain, let me thank you for your testimony, insightful and thought provoking as always, and always for your incredible service to the country. your dedication to the men and women you led was unshakeable. thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator. >> the hearing is adjourned.
you're watching some of the players here on the floor, still saying their goodbyes, talking about with some of the people who attended this hearing. if you mid-any ssed any of it, got it on cspan.org in our video library. turning to the pope's visit in washington, d.c., showing the barriers going up. this is along the upper end of what's called embassy row in washington, d.c. just some of the preparation ahead of pope francis's arrival at 3:45 eastern time. we're going to be taking you there live. you can see the pope's arrival and his greeting by president obama and the first lady, 3:45, 4:00 eastern time. we'll be taking you there live.
all persons having business before the supreme court of the united states are admonished to draw close and give their attention. >> earnest miranda, petitioner versus arizona. >> rowe against wade. >> marbury v. madison is probably the most famous case. >> dred and harriet were on land where slavery wasn't legally recognized. >> the presence of federal troops and marshals and the courage of children. >> we wanted to pick cases that changed the direction and import of the court in society and that also changed society.
>> so she told them that they would have to have a search warrant. and she demanded to see the paper and to read it, see what it was. which they refused to do. so she grabbed it out of his hand to look at it. and thereafter, the police officer handcuffed her. >> i can't imagine a better way to bring the constitution to life than by telling the human stories behind great supreme court cases. >> fred koramatzu boldly opposed the forced internment of japanese americans during world war ii. after failing to report for relocation, he took his case all the way to the supreme court. >> quite often, in many of our most famous decisions, they're ones the court took that were quite unpopular. >> if you had to pick one freedom that was the most essential to the functioning of a democracy, it has to be
freedom of speech. >> let's go through a few cases that illustrate very dramatically and visually what it means to live in a society of 310 million different people who helped stick together because they believe in a rule of law. >> "landmark cases," an exploration of 12 historic supreme court decisions and the human stories behind them. a new series on c-span, produced in cooperation with the national constitution center, debut ing monday, october 5th, at 9:00 p.m. and as a companion to our new series, "landmark cases," the book. it features the cases we selected for the series with a brief introduction into the background, highlights, and impact of each case, published by c-span in cooperation with
congressional quarterly press. "landmark cases" is available for $8.95 shipping and handling. get yours at cspan.org. yesterday republican campaign managers discussed their candidates' strategy in the 2016 race. this is moderated by national review editor rich lowry. it's about two hours. good afternoon and welcome to google. i'm lee dunn. i help run the elections team here. i wanted to welcome everyone to what should be an interesting afternoon. behind all the brilliant youtube ads launched this cycle, behind most of the creative debate one-liners and the best-staged town hall there is a brilliant campaign manager. today we get to hear from the campaign managers. at google and youtube, we're once again proud to partner with
"national review" to bring you the program and inform all americans about the elections process. this promises to be an unpredictable and exciting 2016 cycle. americans are hungry to know more about the candidates. we've seen a 60% increase in election searches since the 2008 cycle. we're proud to do our part today by live streaming this event with "national review" on their youtube channel, so i hope you go back and watch it again. we're most proud now all americans can watch this event today, even if you're not part of the beltway aelite or living here in town. so now i want to turn it over to our host, the national editor -- or the editor for "national review," rich lowry. >> thanks, guys. thanks for being here.
thank you to google and youtube for co-sponsoring this with us. i would like to say that my logistical suggestion is we do all these interviews in bean barring chairs separated by a foosball table, but that apparently was too radical for our friends at google. i just want to thank these campaign managers for taking the time to come out here. they're truly in the arena. there's nothing easier than being on the outside and criticizing people for all the things they're supposedly doing wrong, which is what i do for a career. i've never run a campaign, i've never run for office, i've never had to deal with the press corps every day the way you guys do, although i may have gotten a hint because eight weeks ago my wife and i had our first baby, a beautiful little girl. that's just a little bit like dealing with the press corps.
she's inasisatiable. and if you displease her, she'll whine and cry. we have the chief strategist for rick santorum. thank you for joining us. >> glad to be here. >> let me start out with what seems to be one of the big questions confronting your campaign as well as some others. it seems from the early indications that people aren't interested in traditional political experience. they aren't interested in anyone who has been around the block a few times. and your candidate was in the senate for a while, but left in 2006 and has run for president once before, and has been around for a while now. how do you make him fresh and new, or is that even necessary? >> let me start by doing two things, just so we're clear.
i feel like a little bit of a fraud. i'm not a campaign manager. our campaign doesn't have a campaign manager by design. rick, as you know, ran for president in 2012. we also basically did not have a campaign manager. we structurally have positioned campaigns differently because we feel like this isn't the 1960s anymore. i'm the lead strategist and media consultant on the campaign. what i'm finding kind of enjoyable, because i do a lot of press for the senator as well, going on the air and stuff, is i'm getting asked the exact same questions i got asked four years ago, where they said, you have a candidate who lost his last race by 18 points. >> i hadn't brought that up yet. that was further on the list. >> i'm there. he lost it by 18 points. he's running last and all these other things. i'll tell you, last time with two weeks to go before iowa, he was in last place and won in polling in iowa. the only reason that was notable
was he was behind john huntsman who had pulled out of iowa. now, two weeks later, rick santorum ends up winning iowa. and just to refresh everybody's memory, he won 11 out of the 32 states and tied in two others, michigan and alaska. probably the belief was if he would have won michigan outright, romney would have gotten out of the race. to us, understanding the fluidity of these type of raises. you look at the cnn poll yesterday, scott walker is under 1%. i remember sitting and having a lot of questions about three months ago, people asked me how are you going to stop scott walker. so if you go back four years ago, in the lead was herman cain, michelle bachman, romney was there, gingrich was there,
rick perry. most of them didn't get past iowa. you have to look and understand how these races are. there's not one primary right now, or there's not one caucus. there's a lot of mini ones. different people are running against different people. in other words, sure, santorum is probably running against huckabee to some degree, and maybe cruz is running against chris christie. whatever it is. so there's multiple primaries going on. second of all, nobody is going to win this race by getting a bunch of 50% in states. they're going to win by getting a lot of 15% and 18%. so you start running a race that way and it's different. i've been involved in the last four presidential raises. i was with rudy guiliani. i can tell you, it was the strangest experience of my life. we would sit in our, would mean and we would see all these places were rudy was up by 15 points and nationally up by 15 points, yet we knew that he was
going to have a lot of trouble because he wasn't going to conservative enough for republican primary voters. and so i think everybody's got to take a deep breath and understand, this is unlike any other election. it's like those raises on steroids. if you look, john mccain probably came this close to getting out of the race, and he ends up winning the nomination. so, you know, again, i feel like i'm answering a lot of the same questions. we run a race. we don't do it on money. we do it on volunteers. there's an interesting statistic. last time in iowa, rick santorum spent $22 per caucus vote. perry spent $768 per caucus vote. and so the other benchmark that i keep noticing everybody's trying to use is money raised. and money raised doesn't mean all that much anymore in republican primaries, because trust me, when people walk up and vote on primary days,
republicans, they're rarely basing it on ads. and i do ads for a living. at least they aren't when there's 20 or 16 candidates. when you get down to one or two, then they matter a lot more, in my opinion. >> let me press you on my initial question. do you reject the analysis that pretty much everyone has bought into that carly, carson, and trump, collectively being above 50, says people want outsiders, they want new and different? are you reading that more as just an artifact of temporary polling that you've seen before and saw last time and everybody is overinterpreting? >> first of all, i do think there are some exceptions this time compared to every other election. every place i go, people say, are you kidding me, donald trump, are you serious? and the truth of the matter is, and i'll be the first to say this, i went on cnn three weeks ago and said, after the first debates, donald trump, i believe his 15 minutes of fame will be up. i was dead wrong.
the reason is i didn't misunderstand donald trump. i misunderstood the people supporting donald trump. i think a lot of those people supported ron paul last time. because we see where the outrageous the behavior of trump, he seems to solidify his base even more. to them that's evidence that he's not going to be like everyone else. rules of engagement start going out the window when this starts happening. there is a desire for people outside of washington, without a doubt. in the early stages, that's all they know about some of these candidates, is they're anti-washington. herman cain was an outside washington candidate who went way to the top because of that. but it people could tell you very little about herman cain and whether he should be president. over time it was proven he shouldn't be president.
i can't tell you whether that's going to be proven about carly or ben carson or trump. what i'm telling you is we've gotten nowhere near where people have made that determination. >> if you look at the difference between last time and this time, you mentioned some candidates are running against specific other candidates rather than the rest the field. you mentioned mike huckabee. correct me if i'm wrong, i would put ben carson in that category. i would put ted cruz in that category. maybe there are a couple i'm missing. doesn't that make for a more credible proving ground in iowa? >> and a much more credible field. last time, we had the top three in iowa. once you have the top three in iowa, there's the reset, not the romney reset but another reset, where you shuffle the deck and have a smaller number of candidates. we felt we would be the
conservative alternative because we felt the other candidates moving forward would not be that conservative. we saw the path. this time i would like to say there's 16 people running, and none of them are probably the front runner. you know, in fact my argument with the rnc that i've been saying about trying to limit these debates, i think this might be the greatest field of any party in history. i think it's a remarkable field. and i think you're seeing that when somebody like a scott walker is struggling, who in my opinion is a very, very credible candidate, and so i think it's -- you know, they're all well behind in some sense. you look at the polls in iowa, if you take the people who are at 1% and people at 7%, it's the vast majority of the candidates right now. i mean, that just shows how good the field is, not how poor the field is. i think it's different for -- i think in some sense they're all long shots at this point. >> there was a suggestion from
sean spicer in an interview the other day that there won't be an undercard debate next time, instead there will just be interviews, and you can read beneath the surface there, it sounds like an attempt to sort of rush people off the station and out of the debate. do you think that interpretation is correct? and if so, what would you do to push back against it? >> i saw the comments, and i think that is how a lot of people interpret it. i think it's a huge mistake at this point to say, okay, we've had two debates, we think everything is settled. last time my client, rick santorum, participated in 23 debates. the rnc said, no, we'll narrow it down to ten, 11 debates. okay, fine. 23 is probably too many. everybody got that. but now we're saying not only are we reducing the number of debates, we'll pick and choose the person at 3% is in and the person at 2% is not. that's ridiculous. case in point is carly fiorina.
what if they would have decided that in the first debate? carly fiorina would have never made it into the second debate and the higher level. i just think at this stage there's nothing advantageous for anybody to do that. >> obviously the 11 on the stage this time around was too many. >> i agree. i think they shouldn't have done it the way she dthey did it. i think they should have been eight and eight or seven and seven. i don't know how many of you watched the first debate. it was pretty well covered. they would have done just as well in that second debate. there's no doubt in my mind. santorum is out there for 23 debates and did great last time. right now, to use some of these as a factor, to say that somebody at 4 or 3% is in and somebody at 2% isn't, they're statistically tied, but that makes no sense as a party.
they still have variations. they're still running on different things. this presidential primary is not about a winner. it's almost like three-dimensional chess. who is in and who is out will greatly change the field. donald trump, even if he's not the nominee, has greatly changed this election and will change this elections. and so you could take somebody out who you say shouldn't be there, but you're giving somebody an advantage by doing that. i just think it doesn't make sense, when you're talking about people who are two-term governors, two-term senators, people who have won iowa, both huckabee and santorum last time. it just seems absurd to me. >> is rick basically back, though, to what he did last time, just pounding the ground in iowa, visiting pizza ranch after pizza ranch? >> he visited every county. you have to. right now i'm doing the governor's race in louisiana.
i'm doing a number of governor raises and senate raisces next year. every campaign has to be run different. santorum hasn't been an elected official since 2006. so he's not an elected official who can raise money. believe me, it's a lot easier if you're a governor or senator right now to raise money. he doesn't have a tv show like trump or mike huckabee did. his last name isn't bush. he has to deal with the fact that he is not going to ever have money like they will. on the other hand, what he does have is an asset that he's developed over time. that is, in the republican primary, the most conservative or most likely to vote, and they see him as a very trusted conservative. then if you go go into the pro-life community, evangelical community, home-schooled community, those people trust him. at the end of the day the people in iowa voted for somebody they wanted to believe in, and he
ended up winning iowa. >> let me hit you with two lightning-round questions that i hope to ask everyone. what is the one moment or move from the campaign or a candidate so far that made you think, wow, that was good, i wish i had thought of that, that was shrewd? and two, what was the most endearing quality of rick santorum that all of us on the outside may not be privy to that you are? >> first, trump signing the pledge to support any candidate. >> why? >> there was a shift in the republican campaign, if you watched it carefully. for the first time they started to believe they could win. i think they've trying to become more credible. i thought actually in the debate he tried to be more careful in how he chose his words. he has to prove he can be the standard bearer. >> do you think he can win?
>> again, i told you, before i would have said no. but the oddity of what i'm seeing out there is incredible. i'm dealing with a lot of state elections where i'm seeing trump's popularity. let's put it this way: i never thought thatterman eherman cain ultimately be the nominee because i thought he had problems. i think there are scenarios with this many candidates in the race that trump has ownership of something. think about it. chris christie was supposed to be the plain talking one, right? well, trump stole that from him. that's gone. trump has stolen something from almost every candidate that has hurt them and helped himself. so therefore i think with this many people in the field, i don't know how you can rule him out at this point. >> in 28 seconds, the most endearing quality of rick santorum that the rest of us aren't aware of. >> my opinion is, as a media
consultant, he doesn't change my ads. i had a romney lookalike chasing with santorum shooting mud at him. >> are you sure you shouldn't have changed that one? >> i thought when santorum saw it he would say i was crazy. if he didn't change that, he wouldn't change anything. >> john, thank you so much. we appreciate it. take care. good luck. [ applause ] >> welcome, thanks so much. chip englander of the rand paul campaign. chip, i'll start with a version of the same question i asked john, which is, there seems to be this emphasis on candidates who are new and different, who don't represent politics as usual. and i think a year ago or so, a lot of people would say, well,
who does that describe who is very likely to be a candidate? rand paul. but that doesn't seem to have applied to him yet. what's your thought on that? >> i think there's no question that there is a tremendous hunger they're sick of the system, you know? and they want to shake things up and i think that's something that ultimately does play to the senator's credit and, as you mentioned, a year ago that was something that was maybe very strongly associated with him. the reality is, and john talked about it quite a bit, it's a fluid race. things go up, things go down. you might have seen some of the news just breaking now about governor walker and is he going to get out of the race t race tonight and this was a guy who a couple months ago was in first place. so it's an incredibly fluid race. you look historically, he talked about with rick if you go four years ago in august in first place michele bachmann was in first, in september rick perry was in first, in october herman cain was in first, then it was newt gingrich. none of those folks finished in the top two in iowa, new hampshire, and nevada. four years before that you
had -- right now huckabee and mccain were in single digits, you had howard dean up by a bigger margin than trump. a week out from iowa he loses by 20. so this is how these things go and that's what makes it fun. if it was easy, everybody would do it. >> another factor people will raise with you guys that has shaped the environment in a way that's perhaps been difficult to deal with is it seemed the with beheading of james foley that public opinion shifted in a more hawkish direction. certainly among republicans and a lot of people think that's made it harder going for rand than they would have thought. so, one, do you accept the premise that there's the shift in public sentiment and, two, has it made the sledding tougher for the campaign? >> well, you know is, rand, he follows the ronald reagan foreign policy doctrine of peace through strength. so he believes america should have the greatest military in
the world and shouldn't be afraid to protect american interests but that doesn't mean that we should be for intervention for the sake of intervention. he did oppose unnecessary interventions in libya and he opposed the arming of al qaeda -- isis' allies in syria. the reality is, we're -- isis fights with us western arms. and we have to be careful on our foreign policy approach and have a responsible foreign policy to keep america safe. >> but did you feel that shift in public opinion? do you think that's a real thing? >> i wouldn't want to talk to the politization of beheadings. i think everybody is concerned about national security, as we should be, and as rand is. >> it's not that the beheading itself is politicized, it's just that after people saw that and were appalled by it, you looked at the numbers and even more ground troops in theory to fight isis and some polls you've seen
majority support for that, i believe which seems to be an issue environment that's much different than immediately after the end of the bush years when there was a really reaction on the right we were involved too much, these interventions didn't work out, we can't do in addition building. >> well, rand thinks we need to have boots on the ground it should be their boots on the ground. we don't want to send our young men and women to go and die and the reality is that's where a lot of americans are and where the classic republican foreign policy has been historically. >> so i hate to do this to you but let's talk more about trump: a few weeks ago rand began to go after him hammer and tongs and the result of that seemed not to be evident and certainly didn't seem to help rand. what was the thinking behind that tactic? are you guys going to keep it up
going forward? what's your thought on that? >> it's interesting, nate silver at 538 a few weeks ago did an analysis of the media coverage out there and found that trump was getting more coverage than all the other candidates combined. so that's an extraordinary share of voice in the race. so if you're not engaged trump you risk completely falling out of the conversation. and if he's going to be the front-runner then we need to have a conversation about where we stand and what that means as a party so that's really about jump starting that conversation. >> so it wasn't something that senator paul particularly expected to gain from? just something that you guys considered necessary given trump's status in the race? >> well, i think that rand speaks from the heart and he speaks about the things that he cares about and i think that he worries about having somebody
that -- i think there's many parts of trump's record that are concerning to lots of conservatives out there. and primaries are the time to litigate those things. >> so there are people who will tell you in iowa -- and, to be honest, most of them are associated with ted cruz -- but they'll tell you that ted cruz has been able to eat into rand paul's libertarian support out there. do you think there's any truth to that? and how's iowa lining up for you? >> i'm sure ted cruz would tell you that ted cruz is doing very well and i don't blame him for that. i think things line up very well for us in iowa. the reality is, you take a look at the iowa caucuses. so caucuses put disproportionate value on passion and organization which are things that we do very well at. there's 131,000 people who participate in the iowa caucuses four years ago. there are 120,000 students in
iowa. four years ago, ron paul finished 3,833 votes short of winning the caucuses and they were january 3. why is that significant? winter break. this time it's february 1. this will be the first time in over a decade the caucuses have occurred when school is in session. when students are going to be afternoon. so so you look at that math and you can see how much opportunity there is out there. so the caucuses and organization and student strength, those are where we are very well positioned. >> so in other words some of those kids who are at cpac and love rand paul and make him the win other of the straw poll will be in school in iowa? >> yes, absolutely. >> at the time of the caucuses? how do you reach them? >> iowa has doubled the population of new hampshire by half the participants because it's a caucus state. and when you look at how many students are there, iowa also it's not one of the bigger
states but it has schools like university of iowa, iowa state, those are two of the biggest schools in the country. so there's a massive student population there. it's very disproportionate. you were mentioning the cpac straw poll, just that this past weekend it was mackinaw straw poll. since they canceled the iowa straw poll, this was the biggest straw poll of the year so far and this past weekend, rand paul won that finishing just ahead of carly fiorina. carly is obviously riding a wave from the debate last week. yet we still won that. that's indicative of the strength of our organization a and the passion felt for us among our supporters. >> talk about this that aspect of the organization. something ron paul was kind of pioneer at was digital, the online, the e-mail organizing, how have you guys followed that up and taken the ball down the field? >> yeah, the reality is if republicans are going to be competitive it's -- this is this isn't as simple as we need to go capture what obama did
digitally. if republicans next year do what obama did, we'll lose. there will be a whole evolution in digital and we're running the savviest best digital campaign. it's a crowd sourced digital campaign. we're the only campaign that has released our logos, the only campaign that has bumper sticker and t-shirt design contests. we're putting out videos every single week. we're the first candidate to do a snapchat interview. we did a periscope interview. we have millions of followers between twitter and facebook so we have a real emphasis on it. the reality is is that facebook and -- a lot of these digital things have become the 21st century door knocker. >> so the other side of the coin in these campaigns is big dollar fund-raising and there have been reports out there that senator paul doesn't necessarily like doing that so much which i wouldn't blame him for, i would hate doing it myself, is that true? >> listen, i've been working on
political campaigns. my first cycle was 2000. a lot of candidates out there, this is one of the important parts of the campaign, it's not -- and he works at it and he does it. he makes those calls. those are stories put out by bad guys but -- [ laughter ] >> do you want to llanfairpwllgwyn- gyllgogerychwyrndrobw- llllantysiliogo-gogoch -- name names of bad guys? >> no, he does the necessary things to be successful. >> john, just before he came on was talking about how everyone is working against the a certain set of other candidates and not necessarily the rest of the field. do you think that's true and who is rand paul running against? >> i think we are running against ourselves. i think we've got -- i think the reality is is that, you know, the country has nearly intractable problems and people want a bold transformational leader and i think senator paul is that person and that means getting out there and talking about our flat tax, our plan to balance the budget, his support of term limits and requiring congress to read the bills. i think we do those things,
we're in great shape. >> now, he is real hell on career politicians. some critics, though, look at the maneuvers that happened in kentucky so he could run both for president and for senate is by changing from primary and caucus and saying well, if there's anything that would define a typical career politician type move, that would be it. >> well, the reality is if you look at most -- it's been common in presidential elections for things like that to occur. four years ago paul ryan was simultaneously running for reelection and vice president. four years before that you had joe biden running for reelection in the senate. it's a fairly common thing. >> i think that's making my point. it's something politicians do all the time. >> well, paul ryan, is he a typical politician? >> he doesn't claim not to be a career politician, i don't think. >> i think that will be up to voters to decide but i don't think anybody would ever classify rand paul as a