tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 7, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT
>> thank you. so we've run out of time. if you would kindly take one moment to fill out the blue evaluation form in your packet, we would be grateful. also we had a question earlier about consolidation, and i wanted to men's thtion that we back to you to bring you another briefing on the subject of consolidation on november 20th. so please watch your inboxes for that. and please join me in thanking our panel for a very interesting conversation today. [ applause ]
to thing about the psyche and the character. we are not trying to focus solely on putin. we will come back to him and the questions we will field in the second half will probably focus on current events. but the event grew from a project that cliff and i undertook that was trying to get at the question of what would russia's long term security choices be and to some extent how could america's policy influence and affect the way russia made the choice. it was trying to divide the inter-russian mind beyond or a part of russia.
i think many of you have seen the book. mr. putin. new and expeneded. it came after the crimea crisis. he is understanding one of the best books in my judgment is called "the price of the past" that helped understand post-soviet russia. and other books and an article called "russia's virtual economy" steve came to brooking
about half a dozen years ago. one of his writings is called "the opportunity" and i had a opportunity to help out with that book. and steve worked in the arm space and was u.s. ambassador to ukraine as well. so as arms control declined, he has focused a lot of attention on the croyss of central europe and now working on his next book which is on ukraine. like many of you, i am more worried about this than i might be and more worried that we have to think about shoring up the current for that and other problems with russia.
today's event focuses on the starting point of the notion of what is inherit to the psyche of the russians and what extent can we define paradimes e plain them and try to root them in russian history and politics and try to discern which way the russian state may be headed and to the degree we have influence on that how we might exercise that influence. we looked at the notion of this and it came trying to think it ten years out of the road. as you are aware, hecht stay another decade in power. and there is every possibility he might try. there is a separate question of what extend the russian
population is really with him. and what extent the political syst system could go in a different way. before going to cliff who will explain the frameworks and steve to comment and give his take on where russia might be headed let me quickly risk for you the five main philosophy concepts we think russia may consider as it defines it longer term policy. the first one is going to sound unlikely. we are trying to think beyond putin.
we will get beyond this. there are feeling that we are knocking on the nato door or trying to join. going back to the field we will be there. there is the notion of the minimalist russia and this russia decides to mind its own business. northerly climate and many other things about the basic coumaric it could in theory decide to emphasis economic development which would be desirable in many ways. we describe this russia as a minimalist russia and not interested in throwing its weight around. the third concept and perhaps
final thing is russia is trying influence ways that russia, and the way putin is behaving these days. thank you for being here today. we will turn to cliff and steve and i will get into a discussion. >> thank you steve for taking your time to explain that. as mike said, he is an expert on everything these days in the news.
on this project we did was our joint work, and for me, mike was much of the brains behind it. this was so refreshing. mike has been here a long time. he has been here a long time at brooki brookings institute. working with mike on this was refreshing specifically because i think mike is described as an expert on every issue in foreign policy but he is not an expert on russia really. and that turned out to be for me incredibly refreshing. here is an expert on security and defense issues and most notable on budget and capacity
of military, looking at the problem of a country he knows a lot about, maybe not everything, but he is able to step back from the narrow and blinding view a russian expert may have and ask fundamental questions about this country, history, culture, and its geography and contraints. the same way you would look at the military budget and the capabilities and possibilities of the united states and other nato countries and that is exactly what i think characterizes what we have done and what i hope comes across to those of you who take the time to read this very short article. it is brief and telegraphic almost. is the notion of realities. there is a reality constraint no matter what we may think president putin sign-up to.
it will be there in the future as well. it is perhaps most important to keep that in mind. we started off with eight scenario. we have a playoff system. work through them and down to three. finalist here. you have to read the paper to know what they will mean. you parade them around and throw them around and that is what what this is about. this is not about expanding your empire and domain. it has a strong domestic
dimension in the united states. this is what we would need to adjust for everything we think about russia. that is what we might say will be a potential outcome. the other one is not different. we ended up as what we said would be likely and it is somewhat more aggressive russia. we call it besieged russia. both of them are in the middle of the spectrum. i think they are five and six on the scale of starting with the absolutely utopian russia that is just the nicest guys in the world and it is like austria all the way to run that would revise the soviet union. so that is one-eight. we are talking about somehow it is most likely the russia of the
future, 15-20 years, is going to end up somewhere in the middle of there. that is because of the forces of realism, and we think they will compel a consensus with ups and downs of some volatility to move in that direction. the reagan russia i am not going to go greatly into detail. i would like to talk about the more aggressive reagan russia that has steps but doesn't always use them. and this is the minimalist russia and it would be driven more with consideration for the economic realities of a country
like russia and realize that there are limits to what you can spend, what you can spend on the military because you are damaging your economic strength. if you think perhaps this is the name of the game and you can focus on that and back off the global activism on your own economy because you point out the reality. i want to focus on this because i think it is unknown or maybe not familiar that there is a debate in russia, a vigorous debate, among the elite because
that is all that counts there, and i don't think the pure minimalist varient would be satisfied with having its nuclear source above all, providing the accurate protection it needs and it would back off from global politics and maneuvering in the sphere and develop its economy. this group is led by the liberal ec economist and by business elites. this is not a utopian envision.
if we think about the reagan version of being more attuned to political reality, the culture of the russian mind, the desire for national pride and nationalism, also attuned to domestic realities because you build up a big military and produce a lot of stuff and a lot of stuff being produced means factories are cranking out whatever, tanks and providing jobs for people maintaining therefore the social and political piece inside russia. i have argued that is probably the more important reason for having this defense industry program russia has. it is about keeping the jobs in the heart land. but the minimalist russia is attuned to this political reality. these guys are patriots and they
call themselves enlightened and they don't question the need for russia to defend itself. they don't question the fact that russia is threatened by the outside world. their argument tends to be that we cannot -- it is counter productive to overextend ourselves in military spending and foreign adventures and we have to concentrate on getting our house and economy in order. and ones that might be considered more likely. what we have in brief, and this
is important to realize is the notion as i began realism is ascerting itself. more than a hundred years ago, after the japanese war, the prime minister at the time, a person who putin has referred to as one of his heroes, victor the prime minister wrote a letter to the army and he said i think it would be smart if russia would go ahead and learn the lesson from the war, acknowledge it is actually a second-rate pow er i should stop trying to prevend like it is a first-work power and vow for a global leadership position and get its house in order.
he wrote "we need to begin a new phase of our life. a phase of consenable construction and we need 25 years to focus our own affairs and back off from international relations". pretty interesting quote because it didn't happen. other things intervened in the 20-25 years. but he was neither the first nor the last of prominent russian figures. going back, there were advistores close to the czars and these were realist who thought if we don't get our own system in order we will not be able to play globally and they stressed the breathing space
notion. the idea we need periods. stalin said ten years. others 20-25 years, in which we need cal pm and we can phoseingn our affairs. another person said give the state 20 years of calm at home and broad and you will not recognize russia. this is the notion of the strategic regrouping. it is not abandoning. the aspirations of russia's role as a great civilization and force is acknowledging the reality that if you push too hard, too fast, too aggressively, overspend, you will undermine your own position. and this is part of the minimalist creed that is important. my final point is don't dismiss changes in vladimer putin. he may well remain in power.
remember he came into the office in 2000 with a variant of this minimalist creed. at least the idea of the breathing space and expressed it in his document. and he has been, always, then and now, had people with influence hon him on him. today, as i said, it is a rather strong group in terms of intelect. putin's long term associate and former finance minister who still has people like george and others. and a view days ago, a report was issued that was said it may be a good thing we got booted from the g-8 after the crimea
thing because we are forced to face we have been relegated back to where russia belongs. in the lower division. we don't belong there. and there is a guy no body remembers anymore. they made a big manifesto in the papers and it attracted a lot of comments in the social media. but he said the same thing these guys are saying. and i think we have to only assume not that this is serious, but putin must sanction what he wrote. that being my point, these thoughts and scenario are alive
and well in russia and we should keep them in mind. all options in a way are open and that is why i hope this little paper that we wrote it be a handy outline as people began to think forward. five to ten or 15 years for planning, and how we would rerespond to the this and take it into account. we have a scoreward, outline, it is like at a ball game. till it in. the game is not over. we have what we think a handy way to think about these issues. >> cliff, thank you. >> before going to steve, i will ask you to fill in the score card for the three options you focused on most. minimalist russia, reagan off russia, and beseized russia.
i will ask one brief question. if you had to rate the odds of each of those being the most influential paradime based on what putin is doing and the united states is doing and what you see going on within russia itself. do you have a likelihood or is it too soon? >> implicit in what i was saying is the story is the interaction of the three you could say because and we talked about having another russia that would spend $150-$150 billion a year putting it into a second tier.
the entourage around, they are very much concerned about russia's economic strength and role in the global economy. they don't have the illusion that russia can cut itself off from the world economy. economy. they cannot possibly go for these more hardline variance in life. so i would suggest looking
at the way that these things, the realities, the economic realities of the minimalist version, the political realities, these three in the middle. and they are tempering each other. i don't think you really will easily get up your call politically driven, throw all economic constraints to the wind kind of approach, not likely. it will still be somewhere in the middle which is why we landed in the middle. >> thank you. over to you now. feel free in addition to comment in any of those you wish to layout your own view of how you think about russia's future. >> let me commend the article.
i think it's important to look beyond. they became prime minister. he will be out of the presidency and 2024 at the latest. and so then who comes after, and that's a hard game to play, although in terms of looking at these various models it's probably at least as likely as the 1st knew comes in after looking a lot more like kim. that is sort of the way. in the next 56 years. and i think they have done a good job of ruling out the less likely paradigms.
and debate going on. he used the phrase sober realism. i hope your right. from the.of view of american interest, that is the best to deal with. in terms of basically, russia's future is not going to be based so much on its place in the international stage militarily but on focusing on economics at home the competitive free-market economy. i'm not sure how likely that is. the 2nd paradigm, the two remaining ones, the one is most of the american interest.
heavy, domestic policy influence. over the last several years the play that has been a major russian nationalism but also the world stage. a large dents of grievance. if you look at the way that they come and talk, it is genuine grievance against the west. with the objective of hemming and russia, the revolution, arab spring, these were not manifestations of local populations unhappy with that government. these were planned, instigated, and organized by the cia and western european security services targeted russia. i even go back to some, the soviet union collapse was engineered in the west. that narrative has huge
holes in it. there is not a good basis. when you look at what he says, he says is so much he appears to believe this. >> what is accepted is probably a far more intense propaganda campaign domestically than even in soviet times. that's the kind of russia we have to deal with now. in the article they outlined to alternatives from russia full-spectrum, special full-spectrum, special operations forces but also conventional forces. and i think that is the kind of russia that mr. putin now aspires to. it is not just nuclear force a special operations forces. they're talking talking about revitalizing the russian fleet, russian navy going out, going after in a way that has not been the last 20 years. whether they are able to achieve that and if they can't very heavily dependent
on nuclear forces, perhaps theforces, perhaps the special forces but does not have the full-spectrum capability. porcupine russia, it's going to require more attention from the united states. were going to have to think about russia. geopolitical terms and in military terms in a different way. so we have seen rationale asserting itself and using military force i think it's important to recognize that whether russia applies, there are some very significant constraint somewhat russia can do. i will just go through some of them. first of all, can russia
sustain the accelerated level of defense spending we have seen at a time when the russian economy is because of the low price of oil, western economic sanctions having some impact 2nd, can the russian defense industrial base deliver in terms of what russia wants? and this has been widely seen as one of the more corrupt sectors of the russian economy, a question, can they deliver high-tech goods, particularly when they are now sanctioned in terms of what the west is doing, blocking the flow of high-tech? and in some cases there is -- there was an interesting article last week that said russia is considering selling through brand-new bridges in the construction because they have no engines. the engines were gas turbine
engines built in the ukraine and the ukraine has now set we will provide those engines. the defense industrial base may have a hard time. i think there is a question. can russia match the west? some say it's not the issue of whether they can close the gap can russia increased that from growing? the russians about three years ago and great fanfare unveiled the new t 55. the fifth-generation fighter the f-22 has been deployed for more than ten years now, but there again a deputy minister of defense a few months ago said they are going to abuse to 12 aircraft. working in the way that the russians want or can afford. limitations on high-tech.
if you look at russian air actions in syria over the last five or six days, it seems there droppingthey're dropping lots of dumb bombs, not very many precision guided weapons. virtually everything that the american air force drops and sometimes they at the wrong target. it's precision guided weapons. i think there are limitations in terms of the russians ability to integrate high-tech and the forces. the limitation and demographics. in 2017 the number of russian males who turned age of military service will be half of what it was in 2006. that is a limitation if you want a big army. you have an army that is still largely dependent, 50% are, 50 percent are conscripts, people who get one year of training and are out. most western militaries would consider a level of performance for someone with just one year in the army can achieve, particularly
aspiring toward a modern high-tech military. the other constraint that we can see is, do the russians make mistakes that get them into difficult situations? it may turn out that the russian military actionq was a mistake. i think we mayi] well be seeing the russiansç inserting themselves. a come back to that of the moment. these constraints don't mean we have to worry about russia, but you know, in terms of the adjusters remake, we can be smart. looking at two or three main areas, strategicareas, strategic nuclear forces. that is going to be the foundation for russian security. if they have to cut back defense spending able to vote still to a building or modernize the strategic nuclear force. i don't think we have to worry a lot about that because a lot of what the russians are doing now is
replacing old missiles and bombers that they would and should have replaced five, seven, ten years ago. but in the 19 '90s they simply had no money to do it so the modernization program , russia's going to buy 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles. thatthat sounds like a large number except it's basically the number they need to replace the missiles, the older missiles that will come out the force of the same time. i don't worry that much as long as to conditions apply. continuecontinue to observe the limitations in the new strategic are structure treaty which both sides continue to do in the united states goes forward with the steps to modernize its own strategic forces which are now being timed out. second consideration, not strategic nuclear forces,
tends to worry about that because it gets into russian doctrinal questions and is also the issue of russia's treaty on in a ballistic and a medium-range missiles. but a build up a nonstrategic nuclear weapons simply because we have a different approach. there is no advantage in a competition for the united states in large part because our doctrine says those weapons a relatively small role. the signal is were on the verge of escalation of the strategic level. unconventional forces, we should be thinking more seriously command that is looking to maintain conventional hedges, particularly in the qualitative edge so things like precision guided munitions, those sorts of assets which have been strengths that are multipliers, we want to maintain. i would argue in the sense of deterring and assuring
the turning russia but also allies in central europe and the baltic states, it probably would be smart to build up somewhat the american military presence. i'mpresence. i'm not talking about anything large. currently the united states has persisted the rotation of units in poland. white infantry, that would be useful in terms of deterring russia, also in terms of assuring the states infantry would not be a huge offensive threat to the russians. again, looking at whatever paradigm the russians in the choosing is well within the capacity of the united states, particularly when your looking at countries that marshall economies that are 15 times the size of russia's. the west ought to be up to the challenge. having said that, i think that, i think russia is now in the besieged paradigm. what does that mean? i think some cooperation is possible, but it will be
limited. so this channel which has been set up between the us and russian military to de- conflict ongoing air operations makes a lot of sense. those military forces operating close proximity. we want to have some conversation so there is no miscalculation. the.was made over the weekend. you want to make sure you avoid mistakes like that. i tend to be skeptical about broader cooperation because it seems to me that there are a couple of big obstacles. one is washington and moscow did not agree on what happens. that is a huge political obstacle. russia on the one side and the united states, european countries, saudi arabia and the gulf well believe that any transition must include the departure of the
sovereign power. that is a big obstacle. the 2nd obstacle that has become clear is we may not be fighting the same things in syria. us military action has been directed at the islamic state in isys. the russians havethe russians have said different things. i wednesday when the federal council was asked to rubberstamp russia's use of force my guesses the spoke to place after the russian air force in syria received its marching orders. the head of the presidential administration said our goal was exclusively islamic state. the next day they said islamic state and extremists extremist is a really broad word when used in russia. if you take part in a peaceful demonstration in moscow and all that he ukraine flag you could be charged with extremism. on thursday in new york foreign minister lovegrove made an interesting comment
that it fit looks like a terrorist, ask like a terrorist, walks like a like a terrorist, fights like a terrorist, it's a terrorist. based on what we have seen the last six days the russians are not dropping many bombs. they are basically conducting military activities designed to support the regime and targeting a lot of groups, including those we would consider relatively moderate opposition. i would amend what he said. russian policy, if it looks like a terrorist, ask like a terrorist, walks like a terrorist, or if we choose to bomb it is a terrorist by definition. i think that will be a problem. we're going after different things, very different objectives which will make it complicated. one last thing, specific implication the united
states on the west impose no-fly zones over syria. that option has become difficult but not impossibly difficult. being prepared to shoot down an aircraft. that's one thing. shooting down russian airplanes will be something different. >> thank you very much.much. we can come back to syria in just a moment or anything else you wish. i have one question for steve before we do that and then we will go straight to all of you. before my one question, let me add a clarifying comment. you heard cliff refer to the possibility of russia spending a hundred and 50 billion a year on military rather than 50 billion, being too relatively extreme choices along the spectrum. steve talking about a porcupine russia, or a
muscular russia. to map map these things because we're throwing a number of terms that you, steve his, steve is currently going along with what we have an article. of course that corresponds more to this $50 billion a year entity in terms of russia's military. russia essentially spends about as much as a large european nations each spend on their military. hundred $50 billion a year russian military budget by contrast is, of course, the muscular russia, the one that puts russia clearly into the number three spot, the clear bronze medals but internationally in terms of its overall military budget and either way it's going to stay tied for the gold medal that will be the aspiration in terms of nuclear forces. they would be presumably still less than china's budget.
so this would allow russia to continue to his tell the world the story about being the great eurasian lab. i just wanted to tie some of those pieces together. my question for you going back to be seized russia. in the article, and other people have made similar kind of arguments, there are two more dangerous russia's are spectrum. one of them is the greater russia where prudent or a future leader could aspire to control most of the world today. this will include parts of latvia and estonia, parts of the sensors general public. that's a pretty dangerous russia. then there's the bishop in russia which is any former soviet brother should be brought back. >> is a little play.
he may try to annex or create frozen conflict. >> it's a really good question. two comments. i think it would be unwise. i worry a little bit about kid you see element scenario in each ofin each of those countries the population is about 25 percent of aggression. i don't think that is high probability, but it's on zero. four years ago i would've set at zero probability. when i talk about doing some things to beef up nato presence, is basically presence, is basically to take steps to determine that kind of scenario. having said that, my 2nd comment would be when i read
the article, at the end of the day i probably do discount the greater russia model because when you look at basically re- occupying territory, and the kremlin has said going back to 2008 that russia has this unique and questionable right. they claim a right to be able to defend ethnic russians or russian speakers wherever they are and whatever their citizenship. if the daily show about a year and a half ago that said that people ought to be a little worried about that. taking on those territories means that the russian economy has to subsidize them. my guess ismy guess is in moscow they are not very enthusiastic about that. it is interesting to me when he wants to ukraine case, within a month after russian special forces call little green men by the ukrainians seized crimea.
russia had annexed crimea, and there is a history there. 60 percent of the population or ethnic russians. going to colonize crimea. designed and intended to be the home port for the russian proxy elite. in the year and half of conflict you can see no suggestions out of moscow that they want to annex and taken that part of eastern ukraine. and a big part of that is they recognize setting aside a huge damage has been done due to the 18 months of conflict, that the russians and russian separatists instigated, even before then economically that was going to be an area that required subsidies. my guess is the economic argument is a big constraint on those in moscow who want to build a greater russia because they don't want to go back to the model where basically russia was subsidizing the pieces of the soviet empire. >> and we go to you and look forward to your questions.
if you have a question that you want to target primarily toward one person, please indicate that as well. the start up here in the front row. >> thanks very much to all three of you. fascinating discussion. as i listened to it, i was thinking, it seems to me possibly in error that the two of you and your paper have considered a realm of realistic options, some more realistic than others, but it sort of given what we know, given, given ukraine, given syria these five options are the ones that you have identified, the two that you focus on mostly. i wondered if and in your
thinking if not for this paper, just in general, if the assignment instead have been, what does russia need to do in order to regain the place of similar stature in a 21st century world? whether in thinking about that you might have -- of than trying to think about, you have mentioned a reagan off model. i've been trying to think that whether the one that was in my head and i want to ask you about is whether or not russia is capable of, under any leadership, putin or otherwise, whether given its history and its culture,
is there any likelihood that instead of taking sort of more militaristic approach that it is taking and ukraine in syria that it could have said to itself ten years ago, we have got to get off the oil and gas one crop economy. we need to grow our economy. the future of that is clearly in the realm of technology. so we want to become -- we want to compete with the west and the relevant technology. i don't know whether you want to call that require new model for the asian tiger model, and this is a thought experiment , is it -- would it have been possible ten years ago,, is a possible now, would it be possible ten years from now? for russia to say, this is how were going to do it, not with a larger military, not with the model the people have been seeing, but to
really become a high tech, 21st century, advanced manufacturing technology kind of economy. >> that gets right to the heart of what you have worked on your whole career with the russian economy. >> i think that is a utopian idea that russia could move to the forefront of technology as an entire economy. just too many legacy problems. not the fault of most of the current generation, generation, just a fact that that many decades a very distorted economy that cannot be just undone by changing the economic policy. the best of policies can't undo the physical changes in that economic structure, geographical changes that you have with you.you. you just have to deal with cities of a million people are more that are not that viable as cities.
we deal with regions that are underdeveloped or coal mining towns that have to shut down because the demand is down. i grew up in a town that's 50,000 people and had a textile mill that employed 10,000 people. the. the most depressed place that you can imagine. think about 15, a million have people, and think if there were a dozen or more, that is just part of the problem. abandon the utopian ideas, think about realism. just accept the fact that you have a long way to go up to the 2nd level competitive area which does not mean that is not a goal worth aspiring four. i don't want to go into a long discussion, but it's recognizing that pride in the country does not have to
be the most populous read the most nuclear weapons or most anything in that way it can be because of your civilization and culture which can be separated from the military great power aspect of it. if you have the goals of becoming a great power, find work for and see where the competition is these days. but none of that is happening in russia right now. there is an economic reality to it. the economic utopianism of such an idea of thinking that russia kelly forward within a decade or two or three. who is going to do this? the only person i hate to say it the russian economy is going to be vladimir putin, and autocrat.
absolutely retrograde when it comes to economic are progressive economic all liberal economic policy. if you have more democracy in russia you have the worst economic policy than now. you would have really bad economic policy. this is the dilemma that russia has. if the scale back your expectations to think about the political and economic realities the matter how you looking at this. is the way we did in the paper and the way we assume that even the russian leadership has to do. everything steve said about the constraints on russia being big, powerful, military might is irrational. russia's tiny. he correctly pointed out, the russian economy, gdp is on order of magnitude smaller than only the united states. at nato onto that and double
it. it's a fraction. just a few percent okay. japan was only one 10th the size of the united states and world war ii. the way to concentrate in be nasty. it should not be ruled out. but we tied say in the paper, we need to hedge our bets against the really may be tiny but really has to rushnasty russia that happens to have as many nuclear weapons as we do and various other forces. and don't go overboard. russia is not the biggest threat that the united states faces. >> i don't know if you want to comment on that part. playing economic potential.
part of the former soviet union that had a lot of the economic military manufacturing scientific capacity but has turned into a much poorer countries in russia. >> ukraine economically has a lot of the same problems in terms of overcoming a legacy of 70 years of communist rule. i think the difference, hopefully the difference for ukraine is, i think that this leadership which has flaws, i think that they have a model for the ukraine andand it is western oriented, moving more toward a market economy. the question will be overcome. still enormous and ukraine. that also the way ukraine has an easier challenge in russia, ukraine really does
not have this aspiration to be a great power or even a regional power. they would like to see the russians let them have defeat them. this is not just the ukrainian elite. they will still aspire to be in all european state. they would like to be a member of the european union, understand that it will be very reluctant. for the 1st time ever you now have a majority of ukrainians saying they would like to be a member of nato which is something that is not going to happen for the foreseeable future. not prepared to put them on a membership track. you have polls showing 50 percent saying we want to be a nato. being invaded by another country will do that.
aside from that they do not have the aspirations you have the kremlin to be a major player on the international stage. designing a set ofa set of security paradigms, you rule out the more and versus and turning once. >> this question please. let's take two at a time. one behind the other. on my right right there. then behind also. >> good afternoon, gentlemen. thank you for an interesting discussion. my question is on something that many people in this room probably are thinking about because it is not the hot news of the day, but in america's own backyard over the last ten years we have seen russian engagement and latin america. i have been wondering what you think russian strategic goals are and where you
think -- what you think russia might do in the next ten years and latin america. thank you. >> if you get in the microphone to the woman right behind you. >> former usaid, ukraine. you have presented three very rational value free models of what might happen in russia, but it's something that you are only barely eluding two. the fact that russia is the major plutocracy, a huge drain on resources they enrich themselves. i would like you to comment on where that fits into your picture. >> do you want to start this round?
>> in general i oppose corruption. to the extent that corruption reduces the amount of research, i can live with that. on where russia is going and latin america, i tend to put that in the category of its mischiefmaking.mischiefmakin g. it is designed to because. and for a long period from 1991 until1991 until 2005, 2006 the russian navy was not going to cuba or venezuela. and that. that was basically because they did not have the money to go that far. greater flows from the russian government and they begin to look more to the military and begin to be able to buy the fuel. and you saw the presumption that was something that was knew.
but if you went to the 70s and 80s part of it is tit for tat. if the russians are unhappy about the fact that the american navy enters the black sea and visits georgia, visits ukraine, they see that as there backyard. the differencesthe differences those countries don't want to be seen in russia's backyard. i don't think it's something the us military spends a huge amount of time on. the russian press sounding. we now, our aircraft fly along the east coast of the united states. and it's kind of a weird
article. broadcasting are bragging about the fact that you're flying bombers and being escorted, most bomber pilots i know, it's a bad thing. >> good response by steve on the latin america question. i don't think russia has the soft power capability or the hard power capability any particular great concern to us. the tit for tat mischiefmaking. i don't think it's a popular term to explain. motion motives, behaviors, leadership. it does not make sense to me i will simply refer you to the book written. we have a very different
explanation of what motivates people and what the concerns are. they.out and this is part of the reason for the misunderstanding, the corruption is extremely important in russia. it's not clip talker see. it is literally used as a means of control, people command especially those with economic interest to deal with. it's a mafia stylea mafia style thing. you get people to commit crimes and have control over them. i won't go any further because it's in the book. >> two more questions. >> gentlemen, lawrence group i have two projects. what i would like to offer, what do you think of rt? i was flipping through it and there was less night. is that putin's mouthpiece?
>> go over here. >> i've been doing it, too. here. where do you see russia going with the new annexation of crimea? now that there connected, what do you see, using that as well as a populace? newfound patriotism. >> take a brief crack at the question. down the road from my colleagues. i've been there a few times. you may know that on the ukraine issue i have a position that is slightly more tolerable in the russian space and steve's
which means that rt treats me a little better perhaps been some americans, but is still some of the most challenging media experiences you could ever want to have. is a very strong point of you. you have to always ask, are you getting through, being given the opportunity to express your disagreement? or is there a tramplinga traveling out of that? it is sometimes off online. i will report back to. it is always tough. it is still worth it. again, you are being pushed. the other american guests were on the show they have a view of us seems consistent.
>> sure. a different view. i do not think that it's a serious media outlet. serious, insightful, and thoughtful person. i think he confers credibility there are experts on russia. >> i think it gives a little bit more credibility than they deserve. the annexation, the annexation of crimea was usually popular in russia. again, crimea was the only part of ukraine and the way
it was taken over by little green men the way the kremlin refers to them. it was bloodless. they made a decision not to oppose it. in addition the ten or 12,000 russian sailors and service people, there are also eight or 10,000 ukrainian military. and so if you fight a quick six-day campaign you don't use a lot of military, no casualty, that will be popular. but i'm not sure it has wide implications. the question of russia's involvement in eastern ukraine just go and look at
social media and you have ukrainians, that establishes the russian military. graham phillips, reporter who's widely seen as pro- russian. the men a story about the attack. and behind him i three tanks and those three tanks, the shepherds of being stained. they have reactive armor, gun sites. you have ever been in a romanian military. last week there was a picture of a rocket launch system only in the russian military.
interesting thing about the russian kremlin, to this day they deny that there is any russian military presence in eastern ukraine which shows they very quickly understand and the kremlin that there is no positive gain to build outing crimea by going to grab additional territory or even admitting their involvement. >> it's a good one. how we react to the media. one could do an analysis of what to use. all kinds of state run media all over the world. i think it comes down to what you as an individual see, not just the journalists, the individual journalists integrity, but those are on the show.
pretty much any russian media especially when i know what the context is and what they want to get out of me. really nice interviews let me talk forever. i got my.across. it was clearly what i really thought. i have to say, this happens in the us. newspapers, broadcast media. what you do then, there on my blacklist. i have a folder on my e-mail and bad people. i'm just not going to deal with them anymore. the problem with the russian situation, so blatantly so and is not enough that you don't like the journalism. you just can't trust what you are saying and doing
will not be exploited. i can see the point of you about even appearing. accurately relating what you said, bigger context for that. i don't think anyone has ever told us do or don't appear for any meeting. >> i had one footnote. hopefully reducing the potential for monkey business. also part of what i tried to do is be clear about differences but also to remind the russian viewer of why i think that there should be a basis for us russian collaboration if we can get beyond these silly followers which i am emphatic and attribute primarily to president clinton. or how we collaborated on
iran sanction policies, to policies, to remind people that we have a basis in the history of cooperation and if we can stop they can stop. maybe we can get back to that. whether that messages of any utility or not i don't know. so here in the six throw an image woman over here on the outside. >> i am from afghanistan. my question relates to the recent happenings in afghanistan where the war is slowly shifting from the southern to the northern borders of central asia. one theory would be that. after russia's annexation and ukraine situation, the west particularly nato in theand the united states was on the back foot.
this is sort of the response where the united states and nato allies are allowing this shift in geography. the taliban/ias il are able to disrupt or somewhat potentially destabilize central asia by being based there. and the recent one week fall was one of the indications. i will be interested in hearing what your thoughts would be. would such a thing be possible? does it make any sense? do you see a logic in that narrative? >> over here. >> i am from egypt. i want to ask about now syria airstrike, russia airstrike in syria. and the egyptian which are supposedly -- egypt is allied to us, but the
support russia. and this is official stance of egypt now. and they are saying that it is because the us, it does not exist in the middle east that's why there filling the gap. so what do you think of the rusher will the middle east? >> we will just see. >> hello. my question,question, when we were talking earlier about the differences between see structure and reagan off russia, it appears to me that in ten or 20 years if we are observing this we may not be able to
tell the difference between the two. my fear is that the us would see a reagan off russia and interpret it as a deceased russia and then we would respond, is calculate, and eventually force a conflict or for some type of confrontation were russia then goes into deceased russia even though they did not want to. how would we be able to tell the difference? >> i just want to thank you for that question. it begins to tie the pieces of the discussion together. one of the implications for american policy, thinking of these possible russian futures. >> russian motivations in syria. there are several motivations.
one is russia wants to support us sought. they do not want to see him go down as a result of the conflict. part of that is because if you are sitting there in moscow you don't have your e-mail -- very many national allies. second, to the extent that your model is worried about color revolution, things like that, this is seen as another western inspired plot to bring on a country. a 3rd part, the russians have asked the questions. if the sod goes what comes after. and that's not reassuring to moscow. another part of russia's involvement syria is trying to maintain the sum total. they may calculate the united states is trying to reduce its footprint in the middle east and may see an opportunity to increase their presence.
syria really is the only entry point that they have. those motivations, just one brief comment on reagan off. >> how about afghanistan. >> that's more than afghanistan question. on reagan off, this is where i tend to see disease is a better model than reagan off if you go back to 1983 when the embassy was bombed beirut and then you have the horrible attack which killed 200 plus american marines, basically president reagan made the decision that this is not worth it can be pulled off. but we basically back down. i'm not sure vladimir putin would do that, and this is the risk to rush in syria, well i am sure they are taking the necessary steps, the ground force presence, my guess is the current numbers, it's force protection.
they want to secure their bases. what happens if isys or another opposition group mounts an attack, succeeds and there are 30 or 40 russian casualties? i don't think putin does a reagan and says this isn't worth it. i think he doubles down. they may go in with the intention of limited action. events may driveevents may drive them in part because of the way mr. putin looks at the world to a much deeper, much more expensive, much more costly involvement than they originally anticipated. >> thank you. >> okay. i want to link a little bit to the question them mark asked and the one about the idea that russia's filling a gap that the united states leaves. because the question of distinguishing to me between these two scenarios, and similar enough on the surface, they could easily
be confused. reagan off, big military, mainly for show, mainly for purposes other than actually using it to achieve direct military goals of conquering territorial people whatever, and the other one which is literally doing exactly that so maybe same size military, same for structure, whatever problem with a different motivation and mentality behind them. here, i think i will come back to something i said before. it's even more difficult to distinguish between the two because i think that it is at least possible to think about some of very blatantly aggressive over actions on the part of the russians now or in the future that are really not designed to achieve what everyone is claiming, that they want to take over the mideast arrival the us in the mideast, establish a stronghold in the mideast for obviously challenge the
united states as a new international order, us leadership, or start a knew cold war, marco rubio, challenge the us leadership. rather, is it possible that what is going on, including crimea, including syrian out are these almost bluff like demonstrations we are big and back and you have to listen to us. we tried to tell you. we tried to tell you all the time. you can't make these decisions about nations in theirand there leaders and regime change in stuff without thinking about the consequences, especially without thinking about how it might impact someone else so we have to send the message. for instance, in the case of syria, here is what happens when a country goes around and do something without
worrying about the other guy. how do you like it? now we are all obsessed. russia's going to screw us up in the mideast and syria. it is basically that message , how do you like that? but you are not intending to commit big forces. they cannot. russia can't save a sod. they can't defeat ii sil. there is nothing that they can do in my opinion that we have failed to do. all they can do is make people kind of think that and get all worried about it. crimea, nice, quick little operation, grenada like. do something and get support. however, he miscalculated. what steve said is important. in the reagan off option, and the russian context you're trying to do things that show, give people the
impression you have all this power at home and abroad with the potential for miscalculation and misperception, how are we supposed to no that that was just a demonstration. excuse me. we did we did not mean to conquer half the ukraine. people interpret this in a way, you are being too smart which is the real risk. but then maybe we should get into the question, what can we do to avoid these sort of misperceptions? >> i agree with that very important. what can the russian military do in syria? where is the silver bullet? what capabilities to the russians bring to the game that the us military has not been able to apply? but that seems to suggest the whole risk of his venture, if they can't predict success than most people think they will fail, they are starting off on a
doomed trail where it is potentially a big risk. >> let's say that they are just trying to force us to act and don't intend to solve or to succeed in syria so of course they are intention in that scenario is they will never even push it to that point. but it can easily be trapped in a situation where it did not work and we have to go further and further. like you say, the put mentality is not to give up. a great story in our book about him learning lessons of life one of which is to start a fight don't ever back down. it's kind of dangerous in itself. ..
so i'm hoping to pull it back or see the russians put back as that would be one way to sort of give some specificity to these different images we created and linked into current events. if reagan, by the way something we haven't gotten into his detail on how to think about the future of ukraine brewery have different points of view. in terms of thinking how we handle you can't -- ukraine crisis and what kind of security strategy we think about to the extent we can steer the russians towards a reagan model i think there's utility for that. that's a different conversation for a different day. my last comment however is on afghanistan and i don't think that we are trying to encourage our enemy to move northward and
ultimately put pressure on the russian or parts of the soviet union. what we saw in kunduz and by the way quite the tragedy and there have been a lot of them in last week including most recently the hospital bombing. that's something i've criticized and the tragic loss of 10 americans and jalalabad of the c-130 crash. despite that we are seeing the afghan start to take back a good chunk of kunduz so don't give up yet. there's room to be at least hopeful here because this is not another mosul. there has been an immediate counterattack in there some reason to believe that's partially successful but kunduz fell on the first place because of local politics. politics in kunduz were a mass and my colleague is there right now in afghanistan and i'm sure she will write about this when she's back to she's been warning for a long time, she knows condi is better than i i do and this is a region where there has been a lot of militia actors competing for influence in ways
that strengthen the overall government. a historic karchi creation is roughly a third bashed in the group from which they are said to hill. as a population base and if there started cherlin mischief it's a clever way of using force we should respect the taliban military decision-making. i am hopeful that they have gotten more than they more than they reckon with in the afghan army or police are going to do a better job than i counted on so i remain hopeful on that front. i think we have time for one final question which will use as a way to wrap up. the gentleman in the blue shirt lease. just one question please. >> i would like to go back to mr. sub three's comment on ukraine and link, i want to ask
if the u.s. and the european union decided to provide massive economic assistance to ukraine no military assistance but in support of reforms in the e.u. also made sure that e.u. membership or ukraine is far in the future and not something that is likely to occur sand. how would that affect russia today? would it make them feel more besieged? >> to be there if you want to start back? >> i think it's an interesting question because it gets to water. subject is in ukraine? the kremlin did not have a grand strategy. a lot of this is making it up as he goes. crimea and the aftermath of yanukovich leaving and the appointment of a new government as is a target of opportunity
but i don't think it lays all this out. you do not have a russian interest in acquiring that territory. here's there's a brief period where they talked about the southern 40% of ukraine breaking away. they quickly became disabused of that notion when they saw there was no public support in ukraine. so what the russians have been doing is using it as a way to destabilize the government and make it harder for the government to succeed. the question is could you get the russians to change that decision and in terms of the objectives that moscow articulates a year ago he could have seen the basis for a win-win solution. poroshenko was talking about power and talking about status to russian line which. he said, he wasn't saying no
nato ever but he was prepared to take off the table and he said we are prepared to have a dialogue and talk about how do you ensure russia doesn't have a negative impact on ukrainian russian economic relations. there was no interest shown by the kremlin a year and half ago picking up on that. and that leads me to conclude that the russians again destabilization and i don't know we have seen a change today. certainly the good thing out of eastern ukraine is a sense of timber there has been a real cease-fire and maybe we will see in the next 100 days whether withdrawing heavy equipment what that will do. there is reason for skepticism. one of the things that's been talked about when putin and poroshenko were in paris on
friday was this question of local elections. the two agreements a local elections will be held in accordance with ukrainian law and have the occupation authorities standing up on their own elections. now there were some hope the french president would say we hope we can postpone the elections but we think we can achieve it as per the accordance with ukrainian law with the observers and president putin spokesman went out and said well yeah president putin is going to send an envoy because he wants to talk about this. that's just the refuge. if russia wanted the election to be held in accordance with ukrainian law russia has the way, the influence and the power to me could happen immediately. and so my guess is we are still seeing the russians goal which is destabilization of ukraine. maybe they are less focused on military and maybe at this point
they don't need it but i'm not sure we have seen a change in russian objectives. my last point would be because of what happened over the course of the last year and a half and the hardening of public opinion in ukraine to things like we want to join nato that may create a difficulty in president poroshenko in terms that might allow a win-win solution. it's probably closer than i was 16 or 17 months ago. >> steve is such an expert on ukraine and i'm not on the 11 hand that question is so hypothetical i don't even know that i can begin to answer. the idea that there would be massive amounts of economic assistance from the e.u. and from the united states and ukraine is so remote that i just don't know. think about it. there's no way they are we are
going to do that. let's assume that it happens or it was a real possibility. i don't think putin the economic stability of ukraine is any particular threat. the military and the political threat and the eastern ukraine situation is where the heart of it is but the russians have plenty of lovers to destabilize ukraine economically that they haven't used. but that's not really in their interest that they will be employed if they think that's necessary to prevent a literal threat that ukraine might join nato or sanctioning of missiles in ukraine that they would regard as a threat. >> i will say one last parting conclusion this will have to be at which is that i would like to hope that we can increase the odds of a minimalist or
pro-western russia with some kind of dig new idea on european architectures and again there's disagreement on the panel here. not everybody would agree with this but i would like to see along with russia they guarantee the sovereignty and security of sensual europe as part of the deal by which those countries would not join nato, not now and not in the future and this would be conditional on russia verifiably upholding its end of the bargain and i would like to see that kind of an idea considered. i think the chances are that it might increase the odds of a more benign russia that we write about in our article but obviously i'm risking provoking a new conversation just as we are about to finish up so i will stop there. thank you all very much for being here. [applause]