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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  December 11, 2015 10:02am-7:01pm EST

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coverage here on c-span3 as correspondents talk about reporting on war and other world conflicts. at 1:00 eastern, germany's ambassador participates in a conversation about how various countries are dealing with syrian refugees. c-span2 will have live coverage. britain's defense minister is in washington, d.c. today meeting with defense secretary ashton carter. they plan to talk to reporters after their meeting at about 3:15 eastern and we will bring you live coverage. this evening, donald trump is holding a campaign rally at the iowa state fairgrounds in des moines. you can see it live on c-span at 7:30 eastern. this weekend on c-span, saturday night at 9:00 eastern, executives from pandora and spotify on how technology impacts the entertainment
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industry. >> there is certain parts of the day where music is not the only thing you want to listen to. morning commute is one that we are testing right now. when -- if you are on the subway and you are in your car, maybe you don't only want music. maybe you want some news, a weather report. you want to see -- if you are on the subway, not while you are driving a clip of jimmy fallon or something like that. there's some other content you want to experience during that period of time. and that's kind of the hypothesis we are testing to see if people are interested in experiencing that. >> then sunday evening at 6:30, gop presidential candidate, ohio governor john kasich at the council on foreign relations on rebuilding international allian alliances. >> thanks to my 18 years on the house armed services committee i knew that the only way to solve this problem is to call for an international coalition to defeat isis in syria and iraq. we have to join with our allies,
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with allies in the region, jordan, egypt, the gulf states and saudi arabia, to organize an international coalition to defeat isis on the ground and to deny them the territory that they need to survive. those with long experience know that an air campaign on its own is simply not enough. >> for more schedule information, go to our website, israeli president reuven rivlin was in washington, d.c. and talked about changes in his country, including israel's demographics and how it's impacting the government. he spoke at the brookings institution answering questions from a moderator and the audience. this is 45 minutes. [ applause ]
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>> thank you so very much. thank you. i see that the english language is much more richer than the hebrew, because i read the translation when i was speaking about the new israeli agenda. and it was translated into english as the new israeli order. it's not a new israeli order. we have no orders in our democracy. at least we hope that we will never have orders in our democracy. so i really believe that the translation that they spoke about as a new agenda is a new order, maybe the ambiguity, but it should not be translated into that. dear members of the brookings institute, i must say that yesterday i was asked by the
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president of the united states, barak obama, what i'm going to do today. and i have said to him, well, i will be first thing in the morning at the brookings institute. he said, i see that you are going from strength to strength. so god bless all of you. well, as you have said before, i'm a jerusalemite, son of the son of the son of the jerusalemite. goes back to when my ancestors came to jerusalem. it was defined at the time as jerusalem the villa. and jerusalem the leader. and we came 100 years before zionism as a political movement because we believed that jews should not only pray three times a day to god to return us back to jerusalem, because our head
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of the family said to us, why should we pray three times? if we would like to go to jerusalem, let's go to jerusalem. and we came to jerusalem. and at the time, jerusalem was not heart of the country. there were very few people inside the walls of jerusalem. and they welcomed us and we lived together, jews, arabs, armenians, everyone who was situated in jerusalem and jerusalemites all together. and we have prayed and we did everything in order to bring prosperity to jerusalem and to try to bring jerusalem to become the capitol of the believers of all the world. of course, we believe that jerusalem is part of the idea that the jewish people have to return to the homeland. and even to build their own state at the time. and we were in very good friendship with all our neighbors, with all our cousins.
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we have never thought that we have war with each other once we talk about our beliefs and our religion. of course, we had differences of opinion. who the land of israel belongs. we believe it belongs according to the promise and according to the beliefs of the jews that we have to return, because we have no other place to go to. when i was born a seventh generation and more than here for 12th generations, because there are members of my family that are much more -- they have their generations to come every 20 years while we are very lazy, so it takes us 30 years for a generation, but there are faith of generations in jerusalem.
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we are the ainncient families. there were there for 17, 18, 19 generation. one of them is the late president of israel, god bless his soul. so when i was born in 1939 -- and it was a long time ago. a century ago. we were in jerusalem only in the land of israel only 200,000 jews. and we live together. within four years, there were an extra 200,000 jews from all over the disasters of the world war ii. and until '48, we were already 700,000 jews. when the first prime minister of israel announce after getting the approval from the united nation, it announce the state of israel. since then, we are in a conflict. but we have started the real
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tragedy between the two people who are living in the land of israel 150 years ago. because unfortunately, people in israel once we are talking about the conflict believes that on both sides, unfortunately, even from the king garden, that jews and arabs are doomed to live together while it is our destiny to live together, there's no other way to live together, because this is the reality. in our, we are talking about a state of israel. and, of course, side by side we have to talk about the conflict with the palestinians. because jerusalem, for example, is a microcosm of other ability to live together or to be in war forever. jerusalem is a microcosm in the city that we have about 800,000 inhabitants, jerusalemites all of them, we have 300,000 israel
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palestinians or jerusalemites, not either israeli citizens. all together, we are being in the same city living together in the same city and ups and downs that cause a lot of difficulties. i really believe that the tragedy goes because we have no confidence one in each other. no confidence whatsoever. and in order to be able to discuss the tragedy, in order to be able to try and to find way to bring to an end the tragedy, we have first of all to have confidence one in each other. and we have no confidence. the israelis don't believe the palestinians. the palestinians reject from time to time the very idea of the existence of israel's estate, not only as a jewish
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state. that brings us all the time to ups and downs, to understanding from time to time. a few years ago, once woee were talking about the palestinian entity, about president abbas, that change the strategy. and i believe he knows very well that the future of the palestinian people -- and i never was one who learned how to patronize anyone. i'm not patronizing anyone whatsoever. because of that maybe members of the israeli parliament have decided that i -- they prefer that i will be the president of israel because we don't agree about the idea of the future of zionism, but they agree that when i talk to them, never i patronize them. so i really believe that without patronizing anyone president abbas knows very well just now that only a few years ago the hamas was a problem to the palestinian community.
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unfortunately, now, most of the palestinian citizens, the palestinian people believe that the hamas is the solution and not the problem. and that bring us to very, very delicate situation. and i would like immediately to go to the real idea of cooperation. and i believe that the breach, the foundation of every breach to bridge the gap between the disagreement between us and the palestinians and the lack of ability to trust one of each other is to start and to begin with the israeli citizens, arabs and jews all together. because when they will understand that the israeli citizens are serving in the israel -- they are part of the hope. they should be part of the israeli hope.
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they are part of the israeli hope for -- to be able to really succeed as a human being, as a citizen. not only as a member of one of the communities. well, when i was born, we have absorbed the jewish people, so many people who came from all over, from 70 communities. everyone had his own tradition. everyone had his own way to pray and to worship god. everyone had his own foods. everyone had his own habits. and we have absorbed each other. the polish have absorbed the yemenites. those have absorbed those people who came from russia.
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everyone absorbed the people who came after them. we all were in the feelings that we have to build the jewish state, that we are one community in spite of differences of opinion between right and wrong -- i mean, left and wrong or whatever, between people who believe the way of zionism where zionism should lead us to, everyone really understood very well that we have to be together, because there is no other way to bring to the succeed of the idea of the jewish people, we turn back to the homeland. so we were 80% of the population all together. we knew that we have to serve in the army, because there is no other one to protect us but the idf. and it was our army. everyone had his own children in the army.
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and we had the same idea that we have to be together in spite of all differences of opinion. and jews cannot live without differences of opinion. we don't know if we should light from the first to the eighth or from the eighth to the first one. so the idea of our tradition is that we have all the time to debate. but we knew one thing that we are one community. even people who believed in god more or really held the 630 more or less because they were even people who have held only 30, they were brought up in a synagogue and they didn't know that there are other synagogues. we always said in every jewish person, you have three people
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who goes to this synagogue and that one goes to the next synagogue and both of them will never enter the third synagogue. but, of course, we had the idea together. and there were minorities. and we have established the democracy of israel in a parliamentarian way of acting democracy. and we couldn't achieve the ability to lie down and to bring to approve the constitution and why it's so. because we fought the majority -- the majority from the left side to the wrong side or from the left side to the right side or whatever, we felt that without the understanding of the minorities, we could not actually bring to the approval any kind of constitution,
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because the constitution, first of all, have a task and a role to keep the rights of the minorities. and we had two minorities. at time when we were 80% of the population of israel in the idea of zionism and the idea of bringing the state of israel to prosper, we were talking to the minorities. and there were two minorities. the arabs and the ultra orthodox. and they rejected the idea that the israeli state would be defined as a jewish democratic state. the arabs said to us, well, if we are all in israel -- we accept israel because we are citizens of israel in spite of the idea that our people are in war with our state, we are rejecting the very idea that
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israel would be defined as a jewish state because if it's democracy, let it be the state of all its citizens. you can decide from time to time what would be the nature, but don't put it into a sort of constitution. once we will have majority if it is possible to change the definition and to change the character of the jewish state not to be a jewish state but a state of all its citizens, then we would not agree to give our support to any kind of constitution that will say israel say jewish state. we have said no. we know the need for the next few hundred years to remain israel as the jewish state because the jewish people have no other place. we have to keep in our hands the only prerogative to have the right of return to every jew to his real father land, to his homeland. so they have rejected.
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they said, we will not approve. we will not give our support to the idea that israel will be a jewish state -- defined as a jewish state. but israel state of all its citizens. and the other minority, the ultra orthodox people in israel, they are 20%. once we are talking about the power of voting and power of the decision, because both of them are participating in the election. and if the whole population goes with the 60% of the population going to the polls, they arenĂ¡; going almost 80% or 85%, once they have to decide upon the future of the democracy of israel. so they said to us, okay, we understand very well what is the democracy. because you explain it to us. it's not too important for us,
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because we know that everyone has been keeping the rights of everyone. so we trust. in god we trust. all other can be -- they have said to us, we understand what is the meaning of democracy, because you explain it to us. and it is quite clear to us. but what is the meaning of a jewish state? is a jewish state is only -- is it something that goes into other understanding of a jewish state? so that was a rejection until now about defining israel as a jewish democratic state as long as we are not defining what is a jewish state. and to their opinion, it's the 630 that every jew has to keep. and i appreciate. but i cannot give my hand to the idea that people cannot think of
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all the values we are keeping. and we are being appreciated by the entire world. so at the time when we were 80% and there were no tribes, there were communities -- communities that have held their need to identify themself and to declare themself as something that is different. but they were only 20%. they went to their own school. they could influence the community -- the atmosphere in israel. but they could not be decisive. once we had 80% of the center, some of them were even -- when they were secular, because when they were brought up, the first synagogue that they went to in israel, in jerusalem, was an orthodox synagogue. so when they went to -- they understood and they believed that judaism is no problem to do
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whatsoever. they have never was brought up in new york or los angeles or in washington or all over. they found out that they would like not to fulfill every one of the orders. they did it according to their belief and to their way of living. but we are and we went to different schools. and we learn different programs. and now i only showed the people of israel the mirror of our community. i'm not so sure that they have the solutions. i'm not so sure that they have the idea how we can solve problems, how we can bring it to an end. but what i have put before the population in israel is the idea that we are now not minorities
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because every one of the tribe is in the same -- they have the same -- they have the same size. thank you so very much. now i understand why i have a diplomatic ready. so now we are almost 50% four tribes. and everyone think differently. children are not beating on each other. on the time when 80% served in the army, the army was the part of the jewish -- of the israelis, of all of them. besides, most of the israeli citizens, israeli palestinians if they would like to call themselves israeli palestinians, they were citizens that didn't serve in a large -- in the army. the army was really the melting
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pot of all other of the majority, real majority that lived in israel and now we have less than 50% who are serving in the army. this is a problem. so the only place that israelis could meet within five or six years or ten years or within one generation would be at work. which means that they will find themselves really strangers, one to each other. they have to pay tax in order to make the country able to pass budget and to go on the preference of priorities once we are talking about the budget. the security and the burden of security that we are facing. in those days, much more. because of that what i have done is to show the whole israeli people and population that we have something to think about. because it is not anymore minorities and majorities.
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it is a real consideration of minorities. that is something we have to take into consideration. i can talk to you about those problems for hours. i really believe that once we are talking about the palestinians and the israelis, the first way to build confidence is with the israeli citizens, with the israeli arab citizens and between the two communities to let them understand that they have the same hope of every israeli and it's quite difficult to convince them not because only it is very hard and difficult to convince them, but because they don't want to listen. it's sometimes because you have no really things to tell them and to say to them. let's go together. so i really believe that building the bridge with the israeli arabs is something necessary to show the palestinian that peace will come when we will be able to understand that we are living
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actually in the same space of earth with two states. one state. three states. a confederation. whatever. first of all, while although people think on both sides that it is not the hope of the life to live together. nevertheless, it's not too difficult to live together, because it brings you some advantages and the hope that maybe it is our both interest and mutual interest to get to the understanding that in order to bring to an end the tragedy that we are living is to cooperate and to start to understand that we are not doomed to live together. it is really our destiny to do so. and it starts in israel. and it starts with this problem. to bring all the strikes to become communities who has different way of living. nevertheless, they know that we
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are one entity. that we are one people. and the hope of the people pshgs t , the new agenda of israel is the hope of every citizen of israel to succeed and to get to really ability to find the israeli dream part of his life. thank you very much. now i will answer questions. [ applause ] i apologize. >> mr. president -- is this on? mr. president, it's a special honor for me in particular, of course, from brookings. i'm also a jerusalemite, as you
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know. it's really particularly special for me. you may not know that president rivlin is one of the biggest fans of a famed soccer club in jerusalem. >> first time i was the president i was the president there. >> i will confess straightaway and i hope in the spirit of unity we will forgive this. i grew up near a different soccer team. that's the last i will mention the other team. >> now we all have teddy. >> you spoke about jerusalem and your family being there from the early 19th century, long before the modern zionist movement. jerusalem is on many people's minds here in d.c. as well. when you look at the city, you look at the violence we see in the streets, but you also look at the microcosms, more so in jerusalem, with a third ultra orthodox, a third arab, a third
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secular and other. what gives you the most hope? what gives you the most concern? where do you look for the city in 20, 30 years. >> for 19 years since '67, all the population in jerusalem on the arab side and the israeli side really believed that we can live together. they had a hope. they knew that the israeli government is very precise about holding jerusalem united. we started to cooperate. until the first intifada. that was one of the ups and downs. because we had ups and downs during the years, for centuries before those times. so unfortunately, we as people who believe that we have united jerusalem, we kept three refugee camps in jerusalem.
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we, after being intimidated by the need of security have built walls. we have made it quite difficult for jerusalemites to really fulfill their rights as citizens of jerusalem. you know that the mayor succeed at the time in the year 1984 to achieve a mass majority in the jerusalem municipality because more than 20,000 jerusalemites from the arab neighborhoods voted for them because they said, we have to decide upon our future as citizens. and we would like to influence. even at the time there was a gentleman by the name of senior. i was a member of the municipality.
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they warned us, the israelis, listen to us. if you are not going to return back from the idea of uniting jerusalem or implement the israeli law on all other jerusalem, i'm going to run to become the mayor of jerusalem. i said to him, welcome. i would like to be your deputy. they were very much annoyed about my announcement. i said, if you are really supporting the idea of the jerusalem act of israel, then i'm ready to really to contribute and everything that you will become part of the israeli experience, part of the israeli way of running jerusalem. i welcome you. of course, the first intifada and the second brought us once
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again to the problem that we failed to find really understanding and believe that we can live together. i believe that there are a lot of projects at the time, for example, the wars -- the electricity company of east jerusalem, we thought that maybe we could combine them with the israeli electric company. i said at the time, we have to keep the electricity company of jerusalem to be operated by them, because we need people from the palestinian side in jerusalem to have the ability to run, to manage and to be part of the people who are running jerusalem. and they were hesitating. i really believe that the way and the belief of all the jerusalemite -- i know that most of jerusalem are quite satisfied
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besides the understanding that the palestinian people would like to define themself as a nation. they would like to have their own self-determination about the nationality. but when we are talking about day by day life and the cooperation and the ability of everyone to cooperate and to be with the hope that he can achieve his needs as a person, as a human being and to -- when he goes to school and when he goes to the university, he can afterward find his way inside the israeli hope or the israeli environment, then, of course, we can come to the idea that we are one community. unfortunately for the time being and as it is developing just now and the hate and the really -- not only intimidation.
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because only today one more, we are in the position that we could -- we have the mechanism to find a way to bring to an end occasion that we need understanding from both sides. when we had words with the states, with egypt, we afterwards went to negotiate and not immediately peace but cease-fire. afterwards, we managed to bring to peace and to sign a peace treaty and to even live in peace for the last 40 years. but nevertheless, peace that brought us even today to the understanding that once we are talking about fighting extremism and fighting fundamentalism, we have to cooperate because it is the best interest of both people. it is a mutual interest of us. we can find a way in order to live together. but now once we are talking
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about incitement and once we talk about this in face of the internet, facebook that comes into every house of every one of us all around the world, and we find that we have no mechanism in order to bring to an end the riots and the violence that we are facing in jerusalem. only today i am -- my heart is with them. something happened in the vicinity of jerusalem. those matters are being more and more disagreement. it brings people in the children gardens to believe if you are a jew that arab is a murderer and that the jew is evil. once we are talking about bringing up and really educating our children, that is something that goes for generations to
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come. the hope is that everyone will believe that we can hope we can live together. because if jerusalemite being situated say to us, okay, you have closed -- because it was your need to protect the burden of security, bring you to the idea that you have to build walls between the two sides of jerusalem. i'm closed in the sight of the israelis. i'm part of israel. let's assume that i would like to be part of israel. what possibilities do i have? do i have a chance? do i have a future? do i have a hope? can i go from my school directly to the hebrew university to find job? that is something that goes to the burden of the majority. we have to find by all means the
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possibility to cooperate. when they say we don't like to cooperate with you because you are patronizing us or you would like to impose on us the idea of israel, we are in problem. because we are not going to give up the idea that israel exists as a jewish state. so really it's not only a dialogue. the very affect that everyone can use the israeli hope, that everyone can achieve the israeli hope is the real task and the real goal that we have to operate in order to find a way of cooperation between all people all around. and it will be very -- it's still very, very complicated to do so. but we have to start with the first step. >> i want to -- with your permission -- operationalize a bit what you presented to us. you mentioned a scene of israel now that has tribes. strikes that study in separate educational systems.
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they teach, uas you said, different values. in one case in a different language. this in a sense represents change from a melting pot idea, from the early state, to a multi-cultural approach, at best. how can this be -- the challenge that you presented to israelis, how can that be met? should languages be different? you are a propoe nenent of teac arabic. >> when you live in tribe, you all live in a real threat that somebody wants to impose on you something that you would not be ready to be imposed by. we are living according to our tradition, they would say, according to our principles. according to our values. we can cooperate, but you cannot impose on us. and we find day after day that it is almost impossible to impose. because if you impose something
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on someone, whenever it would be possible for him, he would rebel once again. so we have to find the understanding that we are live in communities. but the communities need to cooperate. because we are living also as one country, as one people, as one people that have differences approach to life with differences approach to beliefs, differences of approach of the way and even of values. but we have to have common values in the understanding that every one of us can live together with the other side. the meting pot has to be something jut now found by every one of us. you are saying the right thing. most of the arab israelis knows hebrew but fluently but they
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know how to talk hebrew. very few of the jewish people in the state of israel who knows arabic at all. their parents, some of the parents who came from arab country, they knew. once we are talking about the people of israel. at the time we have tribes from all over the 70 areas that have come to israel. i, for example, a grandpa. i'm a grandpa to nine gran children. five boys, four girls. two of them are yemenites. you have no mistake when you see my grown-up grandchildren that are serving in the army just now. you are very sure they are
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yemenites. you cannot be mistaken. i don't believe that in his way of thinking -- he believes in the israeli who fought lukeike profit of israel, he was not sure that he will have two grandchildren yemenite grandchildren. i have three iraqi didnan. wonderful children. they are from iraq. nothing to be mistake about. don't tell anyone, but i have another three that are ash i can nazi. no, s not everyone can be perfect. so the whole community has changed. but we cannot bring together those communities who are --
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they are not forced to live alone. their tradition, because one was ultra orthodox believe that giving the ability to one of his grandchildren to go to serve in the army, for example, it will bring him to the possible hesitations about what he believes in and about what he was brought up. but in the meantime, the separation between the communities bring us to lack of ability to run the economy of israel, to run the security of israel. and they understand it very well. now we see more and more ultra orthodox youth joining the israeli army. because after that, they can go to work. and after that, they are part of the community. they can keep their tradition. they can keep their belief. if you impose on them, they will say no way, no way. if you would say, okay, we are
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living in different communities, we are living in a sort of different track, but the need of the unification of all of us for our mutual purpose, for our mutual to become really something that could be defined as an israeli hope for all of us, that is the way in order to bring to understanding between all of the communities. i am saying so. i'm not so sure that it is possible immediately. i'm very, very -- i'm not too optimistic to say, you know -- to be correctly -- it's not to say the least. to be correctly -- politically correct. it's not politically correct. but nevertheless, i really believe that without imposing they will understand the arab communities had at the time ten
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children, 13 children. now the jews have ten children, 13 childrens. the arabs are living in a way that they would like to give all the abilities. i'm not patronizing them. they understand that they would like to live according to way that they can support and they can bring their children to the best chance that everyone has in order to progress in his life as a personality, as one of the community. so not imposing but coming to understanding that the responsibility is on all of us. it's not something that you say you have to -- i'm a minority. you have to take care of me. because minorities are saying, we have been -- we have to be protected by the majority. now there are no more majority. every majority can become a minority in no time. we are four actually -- four communities that create the israeli experience and israeli
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experience being led only by 38% of the population is something that cannot be done once we are talking about years to come. i really believe convincing one each other, showing one each other that we can live together, to live together and separate. separate and together. in the same -- in the same nation, in the same population. i really believe that that will have -- it is something that will come to the minds of everyone, because this is necessity. it is something that we cannot live without it. >> thank you, sir. you outlined in your talk four challenges, four tasks for the israelis. among them was creating a sense of security for all citizens. also, krcreating a new sense of israeliness, what israeliness would be in this new agenda. >> israeliness would be the hope of every israeli from all
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tribes, from all communities, that you have a chance to progress in israel. although he belongs to one of the communities that are living all together in israel. once you will understand that you don't have to meet -- for example, we have some programs being led by the presidential house to bring together children from ultra orthodox schools from israeli arab schools from general schools and from national orthodox schools, all together. they are meeting every month. there are such meetings. 100 meetings between all those schools from all over israel. and we are doing a lot in order to let them operate through the
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internet, first of all. and then they meet one each. and they see, we are all the same. actually, we are dealing with environment problems, with not something that goes into the merit of the differences between the communities about general ideas. and they find themselves sitting all together. they come home. i must say that some of the parents are refusing to let the children to go into such meetings between all the groups, especially when we are talking about a jewish school and arabic school. in the state of israel. both schools in israel. nevertheless, when we are meeting, they see actually that they are the same. they have the same ability to understand different issues they are dealing with once they are in connection through the internet. after that, they meet.
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after that, they become friends. after that, they are going to summer camps together. that could bring us to the understanding of every community from all over that it is possible, that it is possible. okay. we are different. okay. we have conflict between nations. okay. we have a real cultural war. we have really differences of opinion about how to worship god or how to behave. nevertheless, we are one unit. without one, without the other, it is impossible. it has to start from the beginning from the high school and even from the elementary school. >> mr. president, you have to make it to capitol hill. we could continue for hours with this -- >> wait. i will return back. >> thank you very much. >> it's a real pleasure. to meet you. i have heard about the institute many times. i appreciate. i read reports from your
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sessions here. i was very proud and i'm very honored to be here. i'm very happy. god bless all of you. thank you so very much. >> thank you very much. thank you. please remain seated while the president leaves. here and very happy. >> thank you. please remain seated while the president leaves. every weekend on american history tv, c-span3, 48 programs of programs and events that tell our nation's story. saturday afternoon at 2:00 eastern, historians and authors on the life and legacy of
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stoically carmichael, a voice is for equal rights and the black power movement in the united states. and an organizer for the all african peoples revolution party. they are joint by student nonviolent field secretary charles cobb. >> stokely called it an apprenticeship in struggle. i think he's right. no matter where you come out five years later, stokely embraces pan african and others the democratic party. >> at 8:00, history elizabeth gray on the use of ohm yum in the 19th cent and public opinion of its abuse by men and women. >> the attitude toward women drinking at the time is this was very inappropriate. a woman should not drink. >> why would laud anyone look to something as an alternative. >> sunday morning at 10 on "road
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to the white house rewind," al gore. >> you have seen new hampshire change from a time you were losing 10,000 jobs a year to a time now when you are gaining 12,000 jobs a year. that is because we have had fiscal responsibility. president obama and i put in place a plan that turned the biggest deficit into the biggest surplus. >> al gore lost the nomination to george w. bush in one of america's highly contested presidential elections. american history tv all weekend, every weekend, only on c-span3. >> president obama signed a new education law yesterday. the bipartisan bill replaces no child left behind and allows
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state and local officials greater flexibility in how to respond to underachieving schools. the president is joined by outgoing education secretary arne duncan and several members of congress. this is about 20 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, to introduce the president, please welcome antonio martin. [ applause ]. >> my name is antonio martin. i am an eighth grader in middle school. president obama came to talk about how important education is and why we need to make our education system better for all students. i care about education because it opens up a world of possibilities for students, including me.
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i want to be an engineer. and i work really hard in school. i love science and math and all of miey teachers helped to enri my love of learning. i have the option to be in drama and orchestra. my drama teacher is amazing. and she really wants the cash to do well. at kenmore, art is integrated into all subjects. in my world geography, we use color to emphasize important ideas. i think education is important because it gives people a chance to improve their lives. it helps people become who they know they can become. the minds of the future are in school with me, and the future blossom from our minds. education is a very important resource that this act will strengthen. and now it is my honor to introduce the president of the united states, barack obama. [ applause ].
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>> good job. antonio, don't leave me hanging. well, thank you so much, even. please have a seat. welcome to the white house. first of all, i want to thank antonio for being such an outstanding role model. back in 2011, when he was much shorter, i visited kenmore middle school and saw firsthand their great work helping students like antonio achieve their potential. and that's why we're here today. this is an early christmas present. after 10 years, members of congress from both parties have come together to revise our national education loan. a christmas miracle. a bipartisan bill signing right here. so -- >> [ applause ].
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so i was telling them we should do this more off. i love when we are signing bipartisan pills. today i'm proud to sign a law that will make sure every student is prepared to succeed in the 21st century. the goals of no child left behind, the predecessor of this law, were the right ones. high standards, accountability, closing the achievement gap, making sure that every child is learning, not just some. but in practice, it often fell short. it didn't always consider the specific needs of each community. it led to too much testing during classroom time. it often forced schools and school districts into cookie cutter reforms that didn't always produce the kinds of results that we wanted to see. and that's okay.
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sometimes reform efforts require you try something, it doesn't work. you learn lessons and make modifications. so my administration, when we came into office, tried some different things. we tried to lead a race to the top. that's why we abilitiy acted to give states more flexibility in how to improve student achievement. they were receiving waivers from some of the requirements of no child left behind. but the truth is, that could only do so much. and that's why for years i have called on congress to come together and get a bipartisan effort to fix no child left behind. it took a lot of time. it required a lot of work. but thanks to the tireless efforts of many of the people on this stage and some people who are in attendance here today, we
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finally reached that deal. there are some people that i especially want to thank. first of all, senators lamar alexander and patty murray on the senate side and representatives john clyne and bobby scott on the house side, as well as their dedicated staffs. this would not have happened without them. [ applause ]. and i just want to point out that it's not as if there weren't some significant ideological differences on some of these issues. >> laughter. >> no, there were. this is an example how bipartisanship can work. people did not agree on everything at the outset. but they were willing to listen to each other in a civil
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constructive way and to work through these issues compromise were necessary while still keeping their eye on the ball. and i think it's really a testament of the four leaders of the respective committees that they set that kind of tone. and that's something we don't always see here in washington. there wasn't a lot of grandstanding, posturing. just a lot of good, hard work. i just want to thank them for the outstanding work that they do. [ applause ]. i also want to thank my outgoing secretary of education arnie done. duncan. arnie has dedicated his life to the cause of education. and sometimes in the nicest possible way he has gotten on people's nerves because he has pushed them, prodded them and
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tried to make sure that we set high expectations and we are holding ourselves accountable for children's performance -- or the school's performance and how they are delivering for our kids. and had he not been, i believe, as tenacious as he was, i think that we would not have as good of a product as here today. so i could not be prouder of arne duncan. [ applause ]. we are going to miss arne duncan a lot. in addition to great staff he assembled that will be staying on, we also have a great replacement for arnie and dr.
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john king, who is going to be doing outstanding work helping to implement this. [ applause ]. so in addition obviously we have had some outstanding advocates. we've got our teachers unions. we've got our civil rights organizations. we're got philanthropies, active and involved in the governor's organizations and school districts have also been involved. we want to thank them for their contributions. all the stakeholders have really buckled down to make this day possible. and the law comes at an important moment. over the past several years, the good news is our students have made real strides. we have seen states raise academics for all students. that means we are in a better position to outteach and outcompete other nations at a
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time when knowledge is the single biggest determinant of performance. drop-out rates have hit historic lows. the number of high schools so bad they are called drop-out factories has been cut in half. we are training tens of thousands of outstanding math and science teachers. more students are graduating from college than ever from. more than a million black and hispanic students are now going to college. so there's real good work that's been done. a foundation to build from. but we're here because we all know there is a lot more on work to be done. as wonderful as antonio's school is, as wonderful as a learning experience as a lot of our young people are receiving, we know that there are other schools that just aren't hitting the mark yet.
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in today's economy, a high quality education is a prerequisite for success. they have to master the basics and become critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers. and our competitive advantage depends whether our kids are prepared to seize the opportunities for tomorrow. so we need to build on the momentum that has already been established. we've got to learn what works and do more of that. we've got to get rid of the stuff that doesn't work. that's what every student succeeds at does. first, this law focusing on a national follow oven suring that all of our students graduating are prepared for college and future careers. it helped us make so much progress already, holding everybody to high standards for teaching and learning, empowering states and school districts to develop their own strategies for improvement, dedicating resources to our most
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vulnerable children and helping students and schools improve and focusing on the lowest performing schools and closing those big achievement gaps. second, this bill makes long overdue fixes to the last education law, replacing the one size fits all approach with a commitment to provide every student with a well-rounded education. it creates real relationships between the states, which will have new flexible to tailor their improvement plans and the federal government, which will have the oversight to make sure the plans are sound. it helps states and districts reduce unnecessary standardized tests, something we talked about a couple of months ago. because what we want to do is to get rid of unnecessary standardized tests so more teachers can-can spend time in student learning while at the same time making sure that parents and teachers have clear information on their children's
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academic performance. number three, we know that the early years can make a huge difference in a child's life. this law lays the foundation to expand access to high quality preschools and creates incentives for innovative approaches to learning and supporting great teachers. and finally, this bill upholds the core value that animated the original elementary and secondary act signed by president lyndon johnson. the value that says education, the key to economic opportunity, is a civil right. with this bill we reaffirm that fundamentally american ideal that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make out of their lives what they want. so this is a big step in the right direction, true bipartisan effort. a reminder what can can be done
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when people enter into these issues in the spirit of listening and compromise. but of course now the hard work begins. laws are only as good as the implementation. and that means we're going to have to be engaging with the schools and communities all across the country. educators, school leaders, families, students, elected officials, community leaders, philanthropies, all to make the promise of this law a reality. by the way, it will will take students like antonio. he's doing his part. he is taking advanced classes to get started on high school credits. he plays the violin. he plays sports. he volunteers. he owns one share of stock in tesla. so he's clearly going places. i'd invest in him if i could. but one of the reasons antonio is thriving is he's got great teachers and a great principal
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at kenmore. they saw that spark in him. they are help to go harness his energy, and his talents. that's what we want every single child in america to have. we just want to give them a chance. and so many of them are full of that same talent and drive. but we let them snip through the cracks. or we're not creative enough in thinking how they can be engaged. or they just don't have the resources they need in the classroom. or they fell behind early because they didn't get the support that they needed given the tough circumstances they were born into. and we want to make sure that through this piece of legislation, with our hard work, with our focus, with our discipline, with our passion, with our commitment, that every kid is given the same opportunities that antonio is getting. i want this not just because
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it's good for the students themselves, not just because it is good for the communities involved. not only because it's good for our economy, but because it really goes to the essence of what we are about as americans. there was a time i think when upward mobility was the hallmark of america. we've slipped on that front compared to other countries. and some of it is because where we used to be so far ahead of other countries in investing in education for every child, now on some indicators we have been lagging behind. hopefully this is going to get us back out front. there's nothing more essential to living up to the ideals of this nation than making sure every child is able to achieve their god-given potential. and i could not be prouder of the people on this stage and those of you in the audience who
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helped us take just one step closer to that reality. so with that, let me sign this bill. all right. [ applause ].
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[ applause ].
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all right, everybody. [ applause ]. here's a look at our live coverage today on the c-span networks. noon eastern, live coverage here on c-span3 as correspondents from the "new york times", cbs, and "washington post" talk about reporting on war and other world conflicts. at 1:00 eastern, germany's ambassador participants in a conversation about how various countries are dealing with syrian refugees. c-span2 hrf l live coverage. and britain's defense minister is in washington, d.c. meeting with defense secretary ashton carter. they plan to talk to reporters after their meeting at 3:15
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eastern. we will bring you live coverage. this evening, donald trump is holding a rally at the iowa state fairgrounds in des moines. you can see it live on c-span, 7:30 eastern. >> this weekend, saturday night at 9:00 eastern, executives from pandora and spotify on how technology impacts the entertainment business from this year's aspen forum. >> are there certain parts of the day music is not the only time you want to listen to music. morning commute. maybe you don't only want music. maybe you want news, weather report. you want to see -- if you're on the subway, not while you're driving, a clip of jimmy fallon. there's some other content you
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want to experience during that time. that is the hypothesis we're testing right now to see if people are interested in experiencing that. >> sunday evening at 6:30, gop presidential candidate ohio governor john kasich at the council on foreign relations on building international alliances. >> thanks to my 18 years, 18 years on the house armed services committee i knew many months ago the only way to solve this problem is to call for an international coalition to defeat isis in syria and iraq. we have to join with our nato allies, in egypt, jordan, gulf states and saudi arabia to defeat isis on the ground and to deny them the territory that they need to survive. those with long experience know that an air campaign on its own is simply not enough. >> for more schedule information go to
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>> canada's new prime minister justin trudeau. members ask about canadian efforts against isis, the syrian refugee crisis, and president obama's terrorism speech. he is leader of the liberal party. this is courtesy of canada's cable public affairs channel. >> questions? [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, mr. speaker, last night president obama stated that air strikes are a key pillar in the fight against isis. in the last week, we have seen the obama administration, germany, france and the uk step up their efforts and sayre strikes.
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meanwhile, the prime minister ordered our cf-18s to step down. why are we stepping down when our allies are stepping up? >> canada has spoken clearly in this past election. they want canadians and our military to continue to engage in the fight against isis. and we are committed to continuing to do that. however, we have made a clear commitment to withdraw the six fighter jets and engage in a continued way militarily, humanitarian efforts and refugee efforts. i engage with our allies and they have reassured me we are continuing to be helpful. thank you. [ applause ]. >> honorable leader of the opposition. >> well, mr. speaker, let's just be clear about what isis is. they are a death cult. they sell children and women
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into sexual slavery. they target and kill gays and lesbians. they have murdered christians and muslims and yazidis. yet our prime minister says he will take our cf-18s out of syria and iraq. just how bad does it have to be before he leaves them there? >> honorable prime minister. >> there isn't a canadian in this country who doesn't think isis are a group of terrible terrorists who should be stopped. the question has always been, how best to engage. how can canada use its extraordinary strengths of the men and women of the canadian forces to support in the fight against isis? ongoing right now continue to be air strikes. we have committed to end those air strikes and transform equally militarily to make sure
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canada continues to be a strong member of the coalition fighting against isis. [ applause ]. >> honorable leader of the opposition. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, last night president obama also said his closest allies have stepped up their air strikes. then he went on to name france and germany and the uk. but no mention of canada. mr. speaker, stepping backs from the fight against terror is not stepping up. can mr. speaker admit he is more committed to his ideology than he is -- >> [ applause ]. >> honorable prime minister. >> just a couple of weeks ago, mr. speaker, i sat down with president obama and discussed and confirmed that canada continues to be a strong
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supporter of the coalition against isil and continues to be especially gauged on a humanitarian level, refugee level and indeed on a military level. right now we are in discussions with our allies about how best canada can continue to participate and help in the fight against isil since we are withdrawing our cf-18 aircraft. [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, last night president obama had some harsh words for isil. he said the threat of terrorism is real. but we will beat it. we will destroy isil and any other organization that wants to do us harm. can the prime minister assure us that he shares president obama's views, the honorable prime minister? obviously, mr. speaker, canada and myself and the liberal party and canada will continue
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resolutely in our desire and conviction to continue to combat isil together with our international partners. but what we won't do is keep talking about it and giving free publicity to isil. because they use propaganda to spread. [ applause ]. >> of course, mr. speaker, the prime minister has referred to his meeting with obama. very strange that just a few days later when talking about his trusted allies, he talked about france, the uk, and germany. we don't want slogans like canada's back. how is the prime minister going to defend canadians against isil? >> honorable prime minister. >> as i've always said, mr.
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speaker, canada is determined to combat isil. we will continue to remain committed and involved militarily. but we will withdraw our jet fighters because we have been talking about it for months with with canadians. and canadians trust us to continue to take strong action against isil in a way that's appropriate for canada. thank you. [ applause ]. >> honorable member. >> mr. speaker, i'd like to begin by congratulating the prime minister and by ensuring him that the nep will be in opposition that will seek to help the golf fulfill its promises to canadians. but a lot of canadians are disappointed that the prime minister brought along in his
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suitcase to paris the plan and the targets of the previous conservative government around greenhouse gases. can the prime minister commit here today in 2016 greenhouse gas emissions in canada will go down, yes or no? the honorable prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to congratulate my colleague on his elections. the fact is we have -- we brought a new plan to paris. during the election campaign, we made commitments to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in green infrastructure, green and clean energy. we have a whole plan to achieve what the previous government failed to do and that is produce ghg.
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>> so is no plan to reduce ghgs next year? >> once it finally decides on canada's targets, will this government make them binding by turning them into a climate change accountability law here at home? [ applause ]. >> prime minister. >> one of the things my honorable colleague seems to forget from time to time is canada is a federation with 10 provinces that all have different approaches and different requirements. we have committed to sit down and engage with those provinces, listen to them, and work out not just targets but a plan that is going to ensure that canada meets its international and domestic obligations to reduce emissions and develop a strong
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economy. [ applause ]. >> and now the member. >> i thought he just said he had a plan. during the campaign, the liberal leader said we would "restore robust oversight and thorough environmental assessments. but last week the environment minister said projects initiated under the conservative system will, quote, continue on that path. can the prime minister reveal whether pipelines, for example, now under review, will undergo a thorough assessment that includes greenhouse gas impacts or continue to use the woefully in adequate system left by the conservatives? [ applause ]. >> honorable prime minister? >> it is very clear, mr. speaker, that canadians know we need a strong environment -- strong economy and strong economy at the same time. that's why they want an environmental assessment we can trust. we will launch a public review and make the changes needed to
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restore is public confidence in the environmental assessment of natural resource projects we will modernize to make sure it reflects regional views and has sufficient spaoert sees in environmental science, indigenous traditional knowledge. >> the honorable member. >> so the pipeline projects will continue under the old conservative system. during the election campaign, the prime minister said with reference to canada post, and i quote, we are committed to restoring door-to-door delivery." and yet there was nothing in the throne speech. and his minister of public services said last week that the service would not be restored. so who is telling the truth? will the prime minister -- >> the honorable prime minister.
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>> thank you, mr. speaker. the fact is we clearly committed to providing canadians with the services they expect from canada post. we will work with canada post. we have imposed a moratorium on the installation of community mailboxes. and we will keep working with the ministers and our partners to ensure that canadians get the services they need. [ applause ]. >> i would like to begin, first of all, mr. speaker, by welcoming the honorable minister of finance to the house. the prime minister made two fundamental commitments to canadians. one, the deficit wouldn't go above $10 billion per year. and, two, any tax increases
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would be revenue neutral. unfortunately, mr. speaker, neither of these are true. >> wow. >> and it seems we are leaving it in the dust. how much will these broken promises cost canadians? >> good question. >> [ applause ]. >> minister of finance. >> well, mr. speaker, thank you very much. and i'd like to thank the honorable member for the question. it's a pleasure to be here and a privilege. we made commitments to canadians during the course of our campaign. we recognize that the economy is slowing. it is slower than we expected. we're going to make significant investments in our economy through infrastructure investments, make sure we reduce your net debt to gdp. we intend on get to go a balanced budget. we look forward to serving canadians in this way. thank you. [ applause ].
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>> the honorable member from milton. >> we will hold the minister to his promise of balancing the budget. by increasing taxes. indeed, this government already says they're going to increase taxes. guess what, it is not going to pay for what is happening on the other end of the balance. there is no revenue neutrality here. my question for the minister is this. will he admit he is going to admit later on today supposedly, this indeed won't work for him. will he admit that increased taxes on retirement savings and the complex reengineering of how children receive their support is not going to work either and is also flawed? >> minister of finance. [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, i would like to thank the honorable member and say i think this will be fun. i will say we're starting today with a very important part of our plan. we are starting with middleclass tax breaks, a key part of our
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initial -- >> [ applause ]. >> honorable member from milton. >> mr. speak isser, one thing is for sure, this government is very good at giving out money but are they good at growing the economy. oil is at $38 a barrel. we are understanding that 185,000 job losses in the oil and gas sector in 2006 are possible. this affects everybody who works in the sector, including people from alberta. this sector was not mentioned even once in the speech from the throne. why is the economic engine not a priority for this? >> honorable minister of finance. >> mr. speaker, we have inherited a situation that is more challenging than was foreseen in the budget. we are looking forward to making significant investments to help the growth of the economy.
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we recognize the challenges that canadians are facing. we look forward to doing better in the years to come can come. >> honorable speaker. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. during the election campaign, the prime minister made two major commitments. first, to run a deficit of $10 billion. today canadians make up and say it is not true. it is unrealistic. can the prime minister stand up and tell the canadians how much the broken promises will cost them? >> mr. speaker, we aspire to be transparent and open with canadians. our goal is to give canadians a clear understanding from the
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fiscal situation of which we can make assessments to make a real long-term difference for qaa a tphaeud yanns. that's what we plan on doing. it will show how we can improve our collective future. [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, the throne speech left out entrepreneurs. not a single word or concrete plan to help entrepreneurs and small business and small manufacturing businesses. on this side of the house, we think the real wealth creators are our entrepreneurs. why has this government left them on out? why have they done nothing to help entrepreneurs and wealth creators? >> honorable minister of finance. >> mr. speaker, i would like to thank the honorable member. our goal is to help
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entrepreneurs, to help businesses across the country by setting forward plan that will allow us to invest in our country so we can make our country more productive and increase growth going forward, while helping those struggle to go get by, which is exactly what we're starting with today. [ applause ]. >> honorable member from grant. >> mr. speaker, liberals are already increasing payroll taxes, tax-free savings accounts and implementing tax. they are planning to get rid of boutique tax credits without any details of who will be affected. can the finance minister tell us whether he plans to eliminate tax credits for first time home buyers, students, apprentices, families with children in the sports and arts, or all of the above? [ applause ]. >> honorable member of finance. >> thank you, mr. speaker. what we can tell the house today is we are starting our program
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to help canadians. today is the day where we have said we will reduce middleclass taxes by asking those canadians who are doing very well to pay a little bit more. this is an important first start in our tax program, it will make a fair replace for canadians and better place for all of us to do business. [ applause ]. >> honorable member. >> thank you. mr. speaker, the liberal government is now admitting the tax plan doesn't add up. we will have to make changes. it gives maximum benefit to wealthy canadians while giving nothing to nearly 70%. we have proposed constructive change to make sure benefits go to 90% of canadians. will the government work with us by fixing the government's plan and making the tax system more
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fair? hear, hear. >> [ applause ]. >> honorable minister of finance. >> mr. speaker, i want to first thank the honorable deputy for his question and say congratulations on his election. say your plan when looked at in totality over the coming months will show 9 out of 10 canadian families will be better off through our projections because of our changes. we will raise 315,000 canadian children out of poverty. so our plan will start by reducing taxes and move forward to help canadians across the country from coast to coast to coast. >> honorable member. >> mr. speaker, under the liberal tax plan, the median income earner gets nothing. those between 90,000 and 200,000
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get the maximum tax break. does the minister think a median income earner is not part of the middleclass, or will he work with the to cover 90% of canadians? >> honorable minister of finance. >> mr. speaker, we are looking forward to working together with all of our colleagues in this house in trying to come up with policy to help best move canadians forward. we will help nine out of ten families to be better off. it will raise 315,000 children out of poverty. we know that we can start with a tax cut for canadians in the middleclass so they will have more money to help our economy. and we can move forward with other initiatives to help other canadians even more. [ applause ]. >> honorable member. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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mr. speaker, they admitted their campaign promise to bring 25,000 syrian refugees to canada by year's end was not in their ability to achieve. lebanon, turkey require exit purvie purviews. can the minister of immigration tell the house exactly how many exit permits have actually been issued by these governments for refugees since november 4th. >> immigration refugees and citizenship. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i congratulation my colleagues for her reelection and her rise to the noble post of immigration critic in the opposition. and i would simply say that we have pursued a totally open communication policy with
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canadians from the beginning, from the beginning we have said, yes, there are issues surrounding exit permits from lebanon. we have also are dealing with jordan and with turkey. and we are working extremely hard on the ground to secure those exit permits so we can -- >> honorable member for calgary. >> mr. speaker, my colleagues focus on talk about rising to the occasion, given there are only 24 days left before the end of the year, can the minister of immigration please inform the house since he wasn't able to answer the question on exit permits, how many syrian refugees have been identified for settlement to canada, the exact number, and how many canadian permanent resident visas have been issued to syrian refugees since november 4th. there's only 24 days left. >> mr. speaker, i am delighted
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to answer that question. pause when i ask every provincial immigration minister how many immigrants, how many refugees from syria his province could receive, do you know what, we were oversubscribed. if you take all the numbers presented by every provincial minister, that number exceeds 25,000. most people are not here yet. but it is a huge indication of early support and enthusiasm from our provincial governments which spreads across the whole country, mr. speaker. [ applause ]. >> honorable america from markham unionville. [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, even the
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liberals target requires significant resources to achieve. we still need to process application and other immigration streams including claims from other parts of the world, spousal application. can you explain how to process syrian applications will impact other areas of our immigration system. [ applause ]. >> honorable minister of immigration. >> mr. speaker, i asked my department this question. i was skeptical when i was told it would have no impact on refugees from other countries. but i insisted. while some are being diverted to the cause, no resources are being diverted for other refugees. so i can say very clearly other refugees will not be affected by the syrians.
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[ applause ]. >> honorable member for calgary forest lawn. mr. speaker, our government provide assistance to syrian refugees. but security on the ground is key. our government and this is important in getting isil militarily and providing aid. the new government decided to sit on the sidelines on on making even more dangerous for the people. will the minister of international development explain the logic of helping the war by not engaging? >> honorable minister of international development.
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>> mr. speaker, last week, we announced we would increase funding by $100 million to help with humanitarian needs in the field to help unchr support and accommodate a large number of refugees. and $90 million to help people in the camps, refugees who are currently in the neighboring countries. [ applause ]. >> thank you, mr. speaker. establish a nation-to-nation relationship with aboriginal people. we salute that and offer our
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full cooperation. after decades of broken promises, this time, mr. speaker, must be the right one. but we are still waiting for the details with respect to the $2.6 billion promised during the campaign for first nation's education. can-can the nation tell us when the government will make these intentions known? [ applause ]. >> honorable minister of business affairs and urban development. >> mr. speaker, i thank the member and i thank him for all the work that he has done on this issue and particularly on the u.n. declaration and the rights of indigenous people. you have taught us a lot. and so it is -- >> [ applause ]. this government is committed to a nation-to-nation relationship. and we will begin that very important work of reconciliation.
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we will kneeled the help of all members in the house. [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, i'm hardened by the minister's language on reconciliation. she does know reconciliation has to goodwill on the ground. children are face bacterial infections from dirty water. we can all change that. i'm asking the minister could she tell us what the timeline is for an action plan. until we can get results from these communities. >> hear, hear. >> the minister of in tkpweupblg tphous affairs. >> thank you for all of his hard work not only in his community but first nations coast to coast to coast. [ applause ]. as our government has committed
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to an nation-to-nation approach, it means we will have to work with first nations for us to be able to achieve this goal. i look forward to making sure that happens. we will have realistic timelines and goals and the budget assigned. [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, during the four-day first department i have many questions.
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i'm very proud of our government and the fact that last week it took steps that the minister of public safety would tell us what canada plans to do to stabilize the community. [ applause ]. >> honorable member of public safety. >> i'm delighted to have my first question in this portfolio from that distinguished member. >> [ applause ]. when people need to be removed from canada, according to the law, one of the factors taken into consideration is whether that can can be done safely. the most recent information
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available to us indicates that removals can cannot, cannot be done safely at the present time. consequently, the tkpwofts of canada effectively immediately has announced that the canada border services agency has impose said an administrative is deferral on all removals from canada to berundy. [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, they told canadians we want aliner military. we know that is the code word for cuts. the parliamentary budget officer said, the most significant occurred from 1995 to 2004. mr. speaker, that was under the previous liberal government. are we going back to the future? can the minister of defense tell us what he is cutting. >> honorable member of defense. >> mr. speaker, first of all, i
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want to say it is a privilege and an honor to be standing for the first time in this house. [ applause ]. our government is committed to the men and women of the armed forces. we will be making sure that the plan increases remain in place and making sure that when we send our men and women to the important missions around the world they actually have the ca capabilities to achieve that mission. thank you. >> mr. speaker, the throne speech was 1,700 words. and not one of those words was isis. in the past few days we watched leaders of france, united kingdom and the united states announce they are stepping up in the fight against isis. back here the liberal deposit is stepping back. canada is back all right. way back behind our allies in the fight against isis.
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why won't the prime minister stand shoulder to shoulder with their allies in the fight against isis? [ applause ]. >> the honorable minister. >> suppressed the view of this party. our view is we will be more optimally effective with our allies to fight this awful terrorist group if we stick to 2% and focus on where canada will make a real difference. [ applause ]. >> the honorable member. >> mr. speaker, i was lieutenant colonel in the canadian forces. i underwent those cuts. in the speech last week, the liberal government said it would
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be streamlining our current fors capabilities. can the minister tell us instead of seeking out efficiencies what the divisions of the canadian armed forces will be faced with budget cuts, mr. speaker. >> honorable minister of defense. >> mr. speaker, this government is commit to go making sure that the canadian armed forces has the right capabilities. every department needs to strive for efficiency. our deposit plans to do so. making sure we have the right resources at the end where our men and women need it the most. thank you. [ applause ]. >> honorable member. >> here and abroad our country will simply be staying on the sidelines and offering training. will the minister of defense tell us why canada is not being a leader in this fight against
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terrorism. >> minister of global affairs. >> mr. speaker, canada will do its share to fight the terrorism effectively by focusing on training. the training of military forces and police force, help for governance, and these will create conditions that can strengthen. and we will be doing this very courageously, mr. speaker. [ applause ]. >> honorable member lady smith. [ applause ]. >> mr. speaker, 26 years after 14 women were murdered simply for being women, for dare to go study engineering, violence against women remains unacceptably high. working together, we in the ndp
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believe we can work together to end violence against women. but federal leadership is required. the new government promised a strategy on gender violence, including an immediate strategy against gender violence. can the minister please tell us when the government plans to call this important inquiry. [ applause ] >> the minister for the status of women. >> thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you for the excellent question. we're excited to move forward on this file. murdered and missing indigenous women is a tragedy that affects women, their families, and their communities. we intend to move forward with incredibly quickly and with a great deal of respect by ensuring we work with families and communities and national stakeholders to make sure we get it right the first time.
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thank you. [ applause ] >> translator: mr. speaker, 26 years after the polytechnic tragedy, too many women are still vick intimidattims of vio because they are women. when i worked in a shelter, i had to turn women away. women who are victims of violence must have access to this essential service. and the minister tell us when her government will invest in shelters? >> the minister for the status of women. >> thank you, mr. speaker, for the excellent question. as a former executive director of a homeless shelter in thunder bay, i can tell you there's
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nothing more heartbreaking than to be able to provide women a safe shelter. we will ensure when women need a safe place to say, barriers will be eliminated, and more than that, that we move forward to transitional housing that will eliminate the need for cycling sheltering. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you, mr. speaker. the newly admitted minister continues to confuse canadians with statements that it's not her job to promote trade. this deal has been years in discussion and is the gold standard. she claims to be pro trade. when will she stop stalling and sign this deal? [ inaudible ]
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>> the honorable minister of international trade. >> thank you for the question, mr. speaker. our government supports free trade so strongly i couldn't wait to answer that question. we understand how important it is for middle class prosperity. we also understand on a deal this big, it is essential to consult canadians and have a full debate. i must say to my honorable colleagues he is a little bit mistaken on the facts and he suggests we could be signing the deal now. the deal is not open yet for either signature or ratification. he might want to have a coffee with the honorable member off abbottsfield who is well-versed in how trade deals work. [ applause ]
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>> translator: mr. speaker, the government is closing its eyes to the problems facing farmers. in the throne speech there was no mention, no mention of it, not a word on agriculture. the liberals banned the word "agriculture", from their dictionary. mr. speaker, our producers under supply management want to know if the agreement on compensation under the tpp will be respected. can the minister of international trade, can she clarify her position with respect to this compensation? >> minister of international trade. >> translator: thank you, mr. speaker. our government supports free trade and we understand the importance of international fof the country and for middle class prosperity. as regards the tpp, we will be
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transparent, fully transparent and hold a full debate in parliament. finally, we will defend to the interests of all farmers, and there i side it, canadian farmers. with my colleague the minister of agriculture i've already met with farmers on this subject. this is a commitment we've made, mr. speaker. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the world trade organization ruled the united states country of origin labeling was in fact blatantly protectionist. this is a rule that has cost our farm families $3 billion on a annual bases. our government was prepared to rule expeditiously. the invisible minister of agriculture has been invisible on this and other files. he wonder if he will finally do his job and defend the interests of farm families. [ applause ]
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>> the minister of international trade. >> thank you for the question, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the discriminatory legislation was in place for eight years during the previous government's rule. i welcome the ruling by the wto. the fourth time the wto has ruled in our favor with a record $1 billion quantum. we are pursuing this matter. i welcome the fact that the house of representatives has repealed it. we're calling on the senate to do the same. senator pat roberts has already today, chairman of the agriculture committee, called for repeal. i would like to say to the honorable -- >> honorable member for vancouver center. [ applause ] >> mr. speaker, this morning the
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wto sided with canada for the third time on the matter of discriminatory legislation. the nullification and impairment cost canada about a billion dollars a year and cost mexico about 228 u.s. annually. will the minister tell us how this ruling will affect canada's pork and beef products? [ applause ] >> minister of international trade. >> i thank the honorable member from vancouver center for her question and i am delighted to be back in the house with my cherished colleague. we welcome the wto ruling. this is a vindication of the canadian position. we are working very hard in washington with the senate. and we are very pleased congress has already repealed this. and i do want to say to canada's beef and pork producers, the minister of agriculture is a
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former farmer. i'm a daughter and granddaughter of ranchers. we're in your corner. if we have to retaliate, we will. [ cheers and applause ] >> the honorable member, thompson caribou. >> mr. speaker rememb, this gov was not given a blank check. on june 2nd, and the truth in reconciliation report was released, the prime minister pledged his support for all 94 recommendations, the full list, no exceptions. can the minister of indigenous affairs tell us the full cost of keeping this promise? >> the minister of indigenous affairs. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the member for her question and for the work that we will get to do together on this really important file.
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we are so pleased to see that already the provinces and territories have taken up those calls to action that are theirs, that the universities in this country have already committed to help with the things that are theirs and that we will be able to do this. it was inappropriate for us to cherry pick out of the 94 recommendations. with political will and leadership and partnership, nation to nation, we'll get this done. [ applause ] >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> translator: during the election campaign, people told us that they wanted to keep their home mail delivery service. in my region, 50,000 families lost their home mail delivery, including 20,000 in junceare.
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the minister is going back on her solemn commitment. can she commit at least that there will be no further community mailboxes installed across the country? [ applause ] >> the minister of public services and procurement. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my honorable colleague for her question. yes, we can certainly commit there will not be any more roadside mailboxes installed. we put a stop to that, which meant that anyone who did have roadside mailboxes would get their door to door mail delivery resumed. so we are in a position, mr. speaker, where we have committed to home delivery. we are going to have a complete review of canada post. and they will determine the next steps. [ applause ] >> the honorable member for yukon. >> translator: thank you, mr. speaker. >> i represent the people of the yukon.
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over the past several months, canadians have made it clear they want a more accountable government. during the election the prime minister made a commitment to implement a prime minister's question period. i now ask, mr. speaker, if the prime minister could please update this place on the status of this important promise. >> the right honorable prime minister. >> mr. speaker, canadians voted for change and we're committed to delivering that change. i have asked the house leader to work with other parliament cell s to initiate discussions with other parliamentarians in the opposition. i look forward to participating in a prime minister's question period sometime in the future. [ applause ]
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>> the honorable member from kingston. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, in the past 15 years, voters rejected proposals for reform. it seems un-democratic or even anti-democratic for the government to assert in the throne speech that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the voting system. wouldn't it make more sense for the government, once it has designed a new system, to follow the example of british columbia, ontario, and allow canadians to vote for and against the proposed new electoral system? >> honorable minister of democratic institutions. >> i thank the honorable member for his question. in this election, canadians were clear that they are expecting us to deliver a change. this will be the last election in our history.
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we've committed to listening coast-to-coast, and including them in the process and in the conversation that will change the history of this nation's democracy. [ applause ] >> translator: mr. speaker, my question is for the prime minister. in last week's throne speech we saw that the government would undertake work with the provinces to put in place a new healthcare agreement. during the election the prime minister sent a letter to his quebec counterpart, referring to the 2004 healthcare agreement where quebec had the right to opt out with full compensation. will the prime minister respond and establish at 6% the increase in health transfers while respecting quebec's right to do opt-out with full compensation? >> prime minister of health.
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>> mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to speak about the canadian healthcare system which has provided healthcare to canadians now for well over half a century in offering universal publicly insured healthcare. it's something canadians hold dear. i have had the wonderful opportunity to be able to speak with my provincial and territorial counterparts. we will be meeting together in january to discuss a new health accord which will provide ongoing healthcare for canadians in years to come. [ applause ] >> translator: mr. speaker, my question is for the minister of health. the quebec national assembly adopted legislation that would make it possible to include medically assisted dying as part
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of the continuum of palliative care. in accordance with the strict will of a person who is in the terminal phase of life. the prime minister even lauded quebec's legislation. can the minister of health guarantee that the six-month extension requested by the federal government will not be detrimental to the coming into force of quebec's legislation? [ applause ] >> the honorable minister of justice. >> thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you to my -- [ applause ] >> and thank you to my honorable friend for the question. the topic of physician assisted dying is highly complex, sensitive, and we need to ensure that we have a real discussion with canadians that focuses on healthcare, that focuses on personal choice and ensures that we protect the vulnerable. we are committed to assuring and
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working with parliamentarians and asking this house to strike an iae all party committee to examine this issue. >> translator: mr. speaker, the prime minister plans to go ahead with a new child benefit and we'll see the details of that measure in the next budget. in the meantime, parents are still being ripped off because of taxes on the enhanced universal childcare benefit that came into force in the summer and the abolishing of the child tax credit. will the prime minister commit to making the uccb tax-free for 2015, even if he intends to put in place a new benefit in the next budget? [ applause ] >> the honorable minister of finance. >> mr. speaker, i would like to
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start by thanking the honorable member for her question. we intend on bringing forward a new canada child benefit in the budget for 2016. we believe this is the appropriate way to get at this issue and will do so expeditiously in order to ensure that canadian families can do better as they pursue their options for how they want to raise their children. [ applause ] >> with the end of question period for today. we'll be live here on c-span 3 at 1:00 eastern for a look at reporting from war-torn areas, an event originally scheduled for noon eastern time. reporters will talk about reporting on awawar and other wd conflicts. also on c-span 2, germany's
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ambassador on how countries are dealing with syrian refugees. and the defense minister of britain is in washington, dc today to meet with u.s. defense secretary ashton carter. they plan to talk to reporters. we'll bring you live coverage of their press conference. tonight we'll be live in des moines for a campaign rally for republican presidential candidate donald trump on the iowa state fairgrounds, live on c-span. every weekend on "american history tv" on c-span 3, 48 hours of events that tell our nation's story. saturday at 2:00 p.m. eastern, stokely carmichael, an organizer for the all african people's party. >> stokely called the sit-in
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movement an apprenticeship in struggle. and i think he's about right. no matter where you come out five years later, i mean, stokely eventually moves africa, embrace pan-african socialism, other people braembrace the democratic party. the attitude toward women drinking at the time was that this is very inappropriate, that a woman should not drink. why would laudannum be something she would look to as an alternative? >> and we look back to the 2000 campaign of al gore as he tours the state of new hampshire. >> for the last six and a half years, you've seen new hampshire change from a time when you were
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losing 10,000 jobs a year to a time now where you're gaining 12,000 jobs a year. and that's partly because we've had fiscal responsibility. president clinton and i put in place an economic plan that has balanced the budget and turned the biggest deficit into the biggest surplus. >> al gore went on to win the democratic nomination but lost the general election to george w. bush. "american history tv," all weekend, every weekend, only on c-span 3. ahead of our live discussion on war reporting which starts in about an hour, we'll take a look back at russian president vladimir putin's state of the nation address to lawmakers in moscow last month. he spoke about the fight against terrorism and relations with turkey after turkey downed a russian jet. this comes to us courtesy of rt
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news. >> translator: members of the federation council, deputies of the state dumas, citizens of russia. first of all, i would like to thank russian servicemen who fight international terrorism. today, here in the st. george hall, this historic hall for russian military glory, we have our pilots, our servicemen, participating in the antiterrorist operation in syria. we have helena pashkena who lost
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her husband in this war on terror. we grateful to you and to the parents of our heroes. [ applause ] let's honor the memory of our servicemen who gave their lives to fulfill their duty, the memory of all russian citizens murdered at the hands of terrorists. thank you. colleagues, russia has long been fighting at the forefront of the war on terror.
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we are fighting for justice, happiness, the future of our people, and entire civilization. we are familiar with the aggression of international terrorism. russia first faced it in the mid-'90s. and the people of russia were the target of terrorist attacks in moscow, bombing, terrorist attacks in the airport and mountain moscow metro. those attacks took away thousands of lives. and we will always remember what happened back then. it took us almost ten years to defeat terrorists. we basically forced them to leave russia, we drove them out
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of our country. but we are still fighting some remaining cells and still from time to time we face terrorism. we had terrorist attacks in belgrade a few months ago. recently a russian plane was bombed over the sinai peninsula. it is impossible to defeat international terrorism alone, especially when borders are open and the world is witnessing mass movements of population from country to country. and in a situation where terrorists receive financial support on a massive scale. we haven't resolved the issue of afghanist afghanistan. the situation in afghanistan is far from promising. and countries in the middle east like iraq, libya, and syria, which looked quite good only recently, are now areas of anarchy, posing a threat to the
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whole world. and we know why that happened. we know who it was who decided to change the regimes in those countries and impose their own rules so they got us into this mess. they destroyed those states and then they distanced themselves away from the situation. they are opening the way for terrorists and extremists. terrorists in syria pose a special threat. many people there from russia and other c.a.s. countries receive money and weapons. they build up their forces. and if they win there in syria, sooner or later they will come to russia as well, and will continue with their terrorist activities here. we have to be prepared, and we have to defeat and eliminate them before they get here. this is why we made a decision
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to launch this military operation based on a request from the legitimate government of syria. our forces fight in syria for russia. they fight for the security of our people first and foremost. our army and our air force have demonstrated their efficiency. russian armed forces are effective and we will use this experience to further enhance our military capabilities. we are grateful it our engineers, our workers, everybody who works at our defense factories. [ applause ] in fighting terrorism, russia acted with extreme
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responsibility. our decisive action was supported by the people of russ russia. our people understand the total threat that comes from terrorism. their position is patriotic and moral. i strongly believe that we need to protect our heritage, our culture, our history. we need to learn from the lessons of the past, in the 20th century, when people were not willing to join the forces to fight nazis, they had to pay in the lives of tens of millions of innocent people. today we face this new barbaric ideology. and we can't allow these people to achieve their goals. we should set aside all our
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differences and join our forces in one united antiterrorist front that would act based on international law and under the united nations. every civilized nation today has to make a contribution to defeating terrorism. we don't need declarations. we need specific action. this means there should be no safe havens for terrorists, no double standard, no contact with any terrorist organization, no attempt to play them, to use them to achieve your purposes. we know who it is that profits in turkey by letting terrorists sell the oil they stole. the terrorists use this money to recruit new members, to plan new terrorist attacks against our people, people of france, mali,
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and other countries. it was in turkey that terrorists from the north caucasus. they are still there. yet people are still kind and talented, they like to work. we have a lot of good friends in turkey. and they should know that we do not equate those people and some of the ruling elite in turkey who are directly responsible for the deaths of our servicemen in turkey. we will never remember what they did, how they helped terrorists. we have always considered betrayal the most ignoble act.
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those who try to justify terrorists should remember that. i don't even understand why they did it. any questions, any problems, any differences, maybe we were not even aware of them. but there are other ways to resolve them. we were open to cooperate with turkey on most sensitive issues. we were ready to go as far as their allies even were not willing only allah knows why they did it, i guess. and i guess allah decided to punish the ruling clique in turkey by stripping it of their sanity. but we will not respond in a nervous and a dangerous way.
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our reaction will not aim to achieve short term political goals or anything like that. no. our actions will be based on responsibility before our people, our country. we don't want any saber-rattling. but if somebody thinks that by committing this vile crime they can get away with the tomatoes or some restrictions on construction workers or something like that, they're wrong. we will long remember what they did, and they will long regret what they did. we know what needs to be done. [ applause ] we have mobilized our armed
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forces to defeat terrorists. our security agencies, our law enforcement. but everybody should realize their responsibility. the government, political parties, mass media, everybody. what makes russia strong is that all ethnic groups should develop freely here. our diversity, our cultures, our languages, our mutual respect, our dialogue between russian orthodox church, judaism, islam, buddhism. we should confront terrorism and xenophobia in all forms. we should treasure our harmony and accord between our ethnic groups. this accord is the strong foundation of the russian state. [ applause ] >> in 2016, we'll have a
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parliamentary election. so i would like to address the leaders of all political parties, everybody who will be involved in the electoral process. i would like to quote outstanding historian kazorian. if you don't respect yourself, others will not respect you either. love for your country should not make you blind. you shouldn't tell people that you are best than everybody else. we russians should also be aware of where we stand. yes, we should be aware of all our problems. but we should remain a single nation. we should remember that russia is above all for us. [ applause ] competition should be fair and equal, should follow all the rules.
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we should respect the electorate and respect the outcome of the results. the election should be fully legitimate. colleagues, i believe that everybody involved will pay special attention to corruption in their platforms. and corruption is a big factor that deters russia from developing properly today. today, government officials, judges and so on have to report their incomes, their tax declarations, also construction contracts, other kinds of contracts, if they involve relatives, close family. all of this will have to be reported. if there is some conflict of interest, this should immediately attract the attention of overseeing law enforcement agencies and society
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as well, of course. just recently members of the people's front reported to me about some cases they uncovered where there were some violations uncovered. i would ask the prosecution service and law enforcement in general to respond to such cases promptly. law should be hard on those who cause the damage. of course it should also be humane to those who just made a mistake. today every other criminal case that goes to court involves some insignificant petty crimes, and people, some of them very young, go to prison. when they stay in prison, it has a negative effect, usually, on their future lives and causes them to commit more crimes.
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i would ask you to decriminalize some of the crimes, reclassifying them as administrative offences. [ applause ] but there is an important "but" here. if they commit the same offense again, this will be regarded as a criminal offense now. courts should be more objective. i suggest we strengthen the institution of a jury and expand the list of cases that a jury court can review. and i know that human rights activists insist we should have 12 members of the jury. but it's not always easy to come up with 12 people, and this is actually quite expensive. so we could consider reducing
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the number of the members to five or seven members of the jury. but they should be fully independent in making their decision. colleagues, last year we faced serious economic challenges. oil prices dropped. prices for other export commodities dropped. and russian financial institutions no longer have access to international borrowing markets. i know that we are facing difficulty times today. this affects our economy and living standards of our people in general. i realize that many people ask these questions, when will we be able to overcome the current difficulties, and what needs to be done to get there. the situation is difficult. but like i said earlier, it's not critical. even today, we see some positive trends. the exchange rate has
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stabilized. inflation rate is decreasing compared to 2014. capital flight has been reduced. this doesn't mean we should relax and sit back and just wait for the situation to improve miraculously. such an approach is unacceptable. we should be ready that commodity prices and external restrictions will continue for a long period of time, without changing anything, we will spend all our reserves and our economic growth will fluctuate around zero. but this is not all. we should also consider global trends. we see the global economy changing quickly. we see new economic partnerships emerging. fundamental changes taking place
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today, countries secure the initiatives in the international division of labor. russia should not be vulnerable. we should do what we need to get done today. we should use our competencies, our advantages. of course the government should explain to people what is happening today, why we are doing what we're doing. we should regard people as our equal partners. what should be our key priorities? first, competitive production is still concentrated in commodity-producing industries. if we change the structure of our economy, this will allow us to address different social issues, create jobs, and improve the living standards of our
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people. it's very important that we have success stories in agriculture industry, smes, small to medium enterprises. the most important issue is to increase the number of such enterprises in every sector. our import substitution and export support programs must work hard to achieve this goal. number two, a number of industries are now the ariat ri construction in particular, railroad construction. the government needs to provide specific target programs. and financing has been allocated. we need to support low-income people, the most vulnerable groups of our population. we need to make benefit programs more targeted.
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we need to take into account the needs of people with disabilities. we need to focus on their vocational support and training. we have done a lot to improve demographics in healthcare and education. the main benchmarks for these sectors have been set in the may documents of 2012. we need to adjust those documents. the level of responsibility in the standards must be increased. and i would like you to focus on them and focus on improving and fulfilling these targets. certainly we need to focus on fiscal sustainability. now, if you look at 2016, the
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deficit should not be higher than 3%, even our revenues are lower than expected. and i would like you to take this into account and to focus on it. overall, i urge all of you, the members of the federation counsel and the deputies of the state duma, you need to focus on this. fiscal sustainability and the overall stability of the country are interrelated. so think of this. budget planning. now, every cycle of budget planning must start with priorities. we need to toughen control over the movement of state funds, including federal and regional subsidies to agriculture and specific industries. they need to be transferred to the end users' treasury
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accounts. there should be no misappropriation. very often we lose billions of rubles due to misappropriated customs on lubricants and other products. we need to introduce a new mechanism of customs duties and excise taxes. we have various options, we have discussed them. i expect the government will submit proposals in the coming years. the tax environment should not change for the business community. number five, we need to bolster community confidence and trust between the business community and the authorities. this year we have completed the plans that were set forth for our initiative to improve the
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business climate. we see there are good trends, but we should move forward together with the agency for strategic initiatives and the business organizations need to make sure that the appropriate laws are enforced. i believe that the freedom is a major economic and social issue. we need to expand those liberties. and this is our solution to any restrictions that someone is trying to place on us. that's why we have now sought out the cooperation of the small and medium enterprises. and i urge the governors and state companies and banks to provide any kind of assistance to this cooperation. interpreters, currently, according to surveys, don't see any progress in terms of supervision and control.
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well, we've been talking about that for a long time. when we've been cutting supervision and barriers. we may cut them in one area but there are an even bigger number in other areas. there is an even -- a whole army of controllers. it doesn't mean we should not oversee the business community. but i expect that by july 2016, the government will submit a list of duplicating functions that could be removed. one of our business communities have prepared at least for 2016 the law enforcement have opened almost 2,000 cases on economic crimes. and out of 200,000, 46,000 were
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brought to court. in some of the cases, they collapsed during the court proceedings. so only 15% were proven. it means that 83% of interpreters have lost their business. it means they were pressurized and then let go. and certainly we don't need this to improve the business climate. it only undermines the business climate. and for law enforcement to focus on this, the prosecutor's office should use all of its tools to make sure the investigation is appropriate. that there has been a long debate on it. certainly the prosecutor's office needs additional tools and functions. that's what they're trying to do. as you know, we've tried to separate the prosecutor's office
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and the investigative committee. and certainly the prosecutor's office has additional functions. they can discard certain cases. but we need to analyze the practice. if we talk about economic crimes, arrests should only be used in extreme cases. we can use home arrest, house arrest, or any other restrictions, like a travel ban. we need to protect our citizens from frosters. we need to respect and protect the rights of those who lead a business in a proper way. last year we declared an amnesty of capitals that are supposed to come back to russia. the business community is reluctant to return the
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capitals, which means that there's not enough guarantees. and i see that there are a lot of debates in the community right now. and what is being said is that some of the decisions are better than previous decisions but are still not enough. the government needs to consult the supreme court, law enforcement agencies, and the business community to adjust the decisions. i would like to extend the amnesty for another six months. colleagues, the government will provide as much support as possible that those who want to move forward and be leaders. and that's what we're doing together with the business community, based on the needs and the goals that our country is facing. we will provide -- we are providing support for a super substitution program. we have found that supports in
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the industry. we need to provide another 20 billion rubles to support this program. we're also sure tax and other kinds of support and benefits for the interpreters want to take part in the import substitution program. there is a mechanism of the special investment program and regions can decrease down to zero the revenues tax. so that investors could have a payback period as soon as possible. the regions are very concerned with their revenues. but they need to have an incentive to bolster their economic base. and certainly even if the economies of the regions grow,
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federal subsidies should not decrease. the government needs to have the right to buy up to 30% of the products created as part of special investment contracts. as for the rest, this has to be export to external markets so the companies still have the stimulus and the need to cut the costs. when similar programs were introduced in other countries in order to get support from the states, they had to meet tougher conditions. a certain portion of the output should be sold, was supposed to be sold at external markets. why? well, that's an incentive for a manufacturer to produce high
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quality products. we said that we have different conditions than in other countries who introduced tougher measures. but we need to proceed from the premise that the products produced should be the top international level in terms of quality. so we will support competitive industries and enterprises. certainly no one should think that they could be able to sell substandard products for three times the price to the state. russia must be winning international markets. and those who want to take part in this effort will get support from the russian export center. we need to make this as a tpi, one of the major key performance indicators.
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the business community asked us to set up an agency for technology development. and we should do this. it will assist in purchasing licenses, technologies, and engineering services. russian products and services must be sold to international markets. this must be the foundation for the russian economy. certainly we need to dispel stereotypes. and certainly if we believe in ourselves, we will achieve a great result. [ applause ] the very last example is agriculture. ten years ago, half of the food was imported from abroad. we were critically dependent on imports. right now russia is among the export e exporters last year.
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the total amount of exports was 20 billion u.s. dollars. that's a quarter higher than our arms sales or a third higher than our gas exports. so i would like to thank the agricultural producers for this achievement. [ applause ] we need to set a nationwide task. and by 2020, provide russia with all of the food made by domestic producers. so we have vast water and land resources. and this is the foundation for us to become the biggest of organic, high quality products and foods. western producers have long forgotten how to produce them. we well know the demand for these products is steadily increasing. in order to ensure this, we need
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to target those farms and enterprises that have a high level of efficiency. that's the foundation for the support of the agriculture. and i am referring to medium and small enterprises. everyone should be efficient. we need to cultivate millions of acres that are currently idle. many farms and many regions are not doing anything. we've been talking about that for decades. but nothing has been changed. so if there is an owner of land that doesn't use this land, this land should be sold. [ applause ] so we need to take back the land and sell all this land at an auction to those who have the
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desire and the capability to cultivate the land. so by june the 1st of 2016, the government should provide a list of proposals including the necessary legislation. and i call upon the members of the federation council and the deputies of the state duma to introduce amendments into the appropriate legislation. we need to have our own technology of cultivating and harvesting crops. and certainly we need to have new technologies in breeding cattle. we need to tap the potential of the business community, the russian academy of sciences, and russian research institutions. in my previous address i said we launched our technology initiative. certainly it will take 15 to 20 years to implement the bre
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breakthroughs that we achieve. certainly we'll see even today that there are a lot of teams that can come up with cutting edge ideas. so we could introduce a lot of energy efficient technologies. russia could be the pioneer in many areas, even in the coming years. certainly we need to modernize our enterprises. we have more than two dozens of development institutions. but, you know, some of them have become a dump of bad debts. we need to upgrade these and streamline the work of these institutions. and government is doing that. we need to certainly tap into the investment potential of the
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domestic savings and would like to request the central bank and government to come up with a program on how to improve the market of corporate bonds and certainly it must be profitable for citizens to invest in it. a coupon yield should be -- should not be tax ed in transport, construction, and agriculture we have dozens of major projects in the pipeline. we must produce a positive effect, not just for specific industries, but overall to the development of big territories. and it must be private market projects, to increase the efficiency we need to introduce target amendments. they need to remove barriers and assist in developing
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infrastructure, so the products are later sold to external markets. sometimes certainly war minister cannot resolve issues. that's why we need to introduce a mechanism of supporting large scale major projects. we need to have a special office set up for this. i would like to call upon mr. medvedev to introduce his proposals on this issue. and certainly e-trade, e-commerce is an efficient tool. we have a lot to offer and russian companies need to internalize. colleagues, we welcome foreign investors who have come to russia for the long term, even despite the challenges that we are facing at the moment, we very much appreciate their friendly approach. and certainly they see some of the benefits in russia to
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unleash additional opportunities, increase and grow our economy. our country is taking part in integration processes. we have now moved to a completely new level within the eurasian economic union. we have free movement of capital goods and labor across the countries of the union. and we have agreed to develop our eurasian union together with the silk road that's the initiative of china. next year we'll hold the asian summit and i'm sure we'll have a joint positive agenda of cooperation. i suggest we start consultations with the asian and new countries about to join the asian talks regarding new economic
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partnership. together our countries account for about one-third of global production in ppv terms. optimi goods across boarders. we can harmonize our standards and and open access to each other's labor on capital markets. of course this partnership should be equal and should respect each other's interests. for russia, such partnership would create fundamentally new opportunities to supply food, energy, engineering services, health care services and tourist services to eastern countries and play a leading role in forming new technology markets. and also this will give some trade channels via russia.
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we'll develop our infrastructure, logistic centers like black sea, murmansk hub, modern seaports on the baltic sea, in the far east, enhance our air transportation systems in the arctic and other areas we will consider the situation with our river transport at one of the upcoming state council meetings. the arctic sea will also play an important role. we'll extend benefits that vladivostok enjoys currently. two other points, that is request that some companies contacted us about. companies that operate in this strategic area. [ applause ] it is extremely important for russia to develop this region socially and economically.
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investors are interested in new mechanisms that we offered there, including priority development, territories. i would ask the government to find ways to offer better tariffs for areas in the far east where they are much higher than on the average in russia. and also i would ask the parliament to consider offering land to people for free in the far east. we've invested a lot of funds to develop vladivostok and see changes taking place there. amur is another city where we need to do the same. this is a high-tech city that produces products which are in much demand and it also has a well-developed defense industry
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however infrastructure there is underdeveloped. this applies to sports, culture, health care facilities. all those things are not up to the standards. this is why it's hard to attract young people to work there and companies operating in this area really need young people so we need to focus our resources and use them to address different issues in this city. of course we will not resolve all the issues today or tomorrow but it's important for us to realize what needs to be done there. colleagues we have a long-term agenda that should never depend on our elections, election cycles or the current situation. and obviously this priority is to preserve our nation and help our future generations to develop. this will determine the future of any country and our country is no exception so let me start
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with demographics. for three years in a row we've had natural growth. yes, it's not that big but it's growth nonetheless. i'd like to emphasize that according to estimates we were supposed to face another demographic crisis by now. we would have an era of the '90s in one generation and those were predicts specialists gave us, even in the united nations but we don't see this happening, primarily because half of the children born today are second or third children in the family so families want to have children. they believe in the future. they believe in their country and they expect that the government would support them. next year, the maternity benefit program will expire. it covered over six million
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families in russia, including some in crimea and sevastopol but we realize these are not sufficient to overcome to demographic difficulties of the past. of course we realize that this is a heavy purd for our budget and like we said earlier we have to consider whether we will be able to sustain this burden. we can we can do that i think we should extend the maternity benefit program for at least two more years. [ applause ] another important element of our demographic policy is developing pre-school education.
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we've opened new kindergartens for about 800,000 children providing places in kindergartens for all those families and i know that the head of the dharma paid special attention to this program and i thank you for doing that but we still have families who face this issue, they can't get their children into kindergarten and as long as this problem exists we can't relax so i would ask the government and the governors to pay special attention to this issue. now a few words about health care. our overall goal is to increase life expectancy and over the past decade we increased it by over five years and next year according to some preliminary estimates it will exceed 71 years. but the problems that we need to address, we still have a lot of
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them. next year the russian health care system will switch completely to medical insurance principles and companies, insurance companies that work in this area should protect the interests of their clients, including cases where clinics previews to provide necessary medical services and if thing like that happen those clinics should in some cases be even banned from working in this system. next we started providing high tech medical assistance. we used to have 60,000 high tech surgeries in 2005, then this number increased to 715,000 by 2014 and people don't even have to wait to get this high tech surgery.
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but, still, there are surgeries that cost a lot and they're performed, usually, in the central hospitals and major cities so i suggest we consider this issue for a very long time. we consider where to find additional finds. we have members of the government here. we have governance here. you all know how it really works. it's a territorial based system so it supports territorial clinics first and foremost so chiefs of federal, central clinics where these high-tech surgeries are performed, they worry a lot because they don't get sufficient funds. so what we suggest is to finance such surgeries. we suggest we set up a special federal fund in the insurance systems and i would ask our parliament to pass all the
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necessary amendments the next spring. [ applause ] but even that is not enough because as we make these decisions, people still need help so we need to make sure that they receive the necessary medical assistance directly from the federal budget before we make all the necessary decisions. [ applause ] we also know that the national health care project provided by the new equipment for the ambulance service we purchased a large number of modern ambulances and so on. of course these vehicles require repairs. this is what the provinces should do. they are responsible for taking care and providing necessary funds to do this. when we did this ten years ago, we had this agreement that we'll make this investment from the
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federal budget but then provinces will be required to support and provide necessary repairs after that and this did not happen. i know that your situation is difficult, but like i said earlier, you have to get your priorities straight. you can't just wait for the federal budget to come in and help you again. of course in some cases we may have to do that but this is not what we agreed on anyway, i would ask both the government and provinces to review this issue and work together to address because people complain that sometimes they can't understand why clinics have to be combined or cultural -- social centers have to be combined, consolidated and so on and so forth. we keep talking about the need
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to change the structure of those organizations. in some cases they are overblown and that's true. but with we have to be very care informal dealing with this issue. we have to real's that there are certain benchmarks, you don't have to do that every time. and people would have to travel to get help. i would ask you to take this very seriously and for the government to prepare and present their proposals on developing health care institutions in different parts of russia. we need to find the right way for us to do that. helping families with children.
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they really care about people. in november, we had a forum and based on some recommendations i would suggest the following. we will launch a special presidential grant program to support ngos working in small town and rural areas. second, ngos that have a proven record will have a special legal status with the government and they will enjoy certain benefits and preferences. and finally, i think it would be appropriate to send about 10% of local social programs to ngos so that ngos could be more involved in those social programs. we all know exiting laws, we're not imposing anything, but i
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would ask municipal and local authorities to consider this. on september 1 this year i had a meeting, you know, in sochi at the gifted children center. we really have very talented children, young people, and we have to do our best to make sure that our children today get the best education possible, engage in creative activities, can choose a profession they like and achievement self-fulfillment, no matter where they live. no matter how much their parents make. they all should enjoy equal opportunities for a good, solid start in their lives. [ applause ] we leave this now. you can watch the last few minutes on we take you live to the mayflower hotel in washington, d.c. for a discussion hosted by the women's foreign policy group on war and diplomacy. the inside story of covering the
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world's conflicts. >> welcome back and introduce today's moderator, wfpg board member elisabeth bumiller who is the "new york times" washington bureau chief who previously covered the pentagon and the white house. elisabeth? [ applause ] >> thank you. i'm going stay right here. i'm delighted to be back. thank you, pat, thank you. ann, and to our panelists. i'll briefly introduce you to our panelists. you can read as well as i can but i have a few things i can add. here's helene. she's one of our pentagon correspondents at the "times." she's reported from 64 countries including most recently from --
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having some technical problems here, trying to bring you to the discussion about war and diplomacy, the inside story of covering the world's conflicts. we were trying to get that from the mayflower hotel in washington, d.c. where the group is meeting today. if we can get back to that, we'll be hearing from correspondents from the "new york times," cbs, and the "washington post." from the "new york times" we just heard there for a moment from elisabeth bumiller. then we'll hear from helene cooper. from cbs, margaret brennan will join the group. and from the "washington post," missy ryan. i'll also let you know today getting under way over on c-span two germany's ambassador on how countries are dealing with syrian refugees speaking live from the group new america in washington, d.c.
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and the defense minister of britain is in washington, d.c. today to meet with u.s. defense secretary ashton carter. they plan to talk to reporters after their meeting at about 3:15 p.m. eastern time. we'll bring you live coverage of their press conference. and tonight will be live for republican presidential candidate donald trump at the iowa state fairgrounds live on c-span and that will be at 7:30. again, trying to get you back here to the war and diplomacy conversation happening in washington, d.c. looks like we are not able to get back to that discussion. but we'll try to have it later in our program if we can record it and get it back up on our web site.
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in the meantime, we'll look back at a conversation we had with former transportation secretary ray lahood. >> ray lahood, if you search the internet for your name and "book," the stories that come up are like this. "promise bipartisan, obama advisor found disappointment." those are the stories that came up about your new book. is that fair? >> i don't like that headline because i think the president tried very, very hard. i believe that bipartisanship is in the president's dna. i cite a number of examples of that in my book. i still think he believes in bipartisanship and he practiced it when he was a senator from illinois. he and i practiced it together when we were members of the illinois delegation. he practiced it when he named me secretary of transportation, a long-time republican and so i think the story that peter baker
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wrote in the "new york times" was pretty accurate. i think the headline didn't reflect my feeling about. >> it in your book, though, you talk about the fact that right off the bat you felt shunted asid aside. >> not me. i just felt the president, like most presidents has a core of people in the white house that he relies on. reagan relies on three people, baker, meese, and deaver. obviously george w. bush relied on rove and andy card. nixon relied on haldeman and a few others. every president does and so i wasn't too surprised by that. but on -- and on some of the things that the president tried to get done early on they asked me to make calls and to try and intervene but i was not a part
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of the inner circle. the inner circle were the people who helped the president get that job. >> you have a chapter in here, you have some pages on an actual cabinet meeting that happened. i want to read just a little bit. this was a memo that was passed out. you, referring to the president, call on each member of the cabinet to report two minutes each on highlights from their departments. you will call on the cabinet in the order in which their departments are created, then you will call on the cabinet rank officials then theize in we are the chief of staff concluding. in my two minutes, ray lahood, you write, i focussed on department initiatives buts that promoted economic recovery. the president met briefly with reporters following the meeting. he told them he had delivered three messages to us, first, that he was proud of the work we had done, second we have to take some extraordinary steps to shore up the financial system and finally he charged us with
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bringing out more efficiencies in our department. i refound this first cabinet meeting to make these points. one, the meetings were much more highly scripted than i anticipated. two, the opportunity to give candid at vice to the president was, frankly, nil, and, three, the meetings suggested to me how isolated the president was from those who did not fall within his inner circle. >> well, i think that was an accurate reflection of that particular meeting and in the beginning when we came in in '09, the focus was on two things -- getting the economy, which was in abysmal shape, we were in a terrible recession, so many people out of work so we were sort of assigned as a result of economic -- the economic stimulus $48 billion to spend within two years and put a lot of people to work and then secondly, really, the idea that the president wanted to get out
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of iraq. and so cabinet meetings were really revolving around those two big issues and i think most of the time the president was spending in the oval office and in meetings was how do we get the economy going and how do we get out of iraq? the part about getting the economy going, part of that fell to us because we got $48 billion in economic stimulus that we had to spend within two years and the president assigned vice president biden to oversee that entire process so i developed a great relationship with vice president biden. he's an endearing friend today because of the time we spent together on trying to get people to work on transportation projects. >> last chapter, reflections on a career of public service. "during my 35 years in politics and public service, is often with a front row seat on history, i do not ponder the meaning of passing events.
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time slipped by too quickly and i am not by nature a reflective person. as i move to the sidelines to write this account of my career, however, i am struck by two intertwined principal qualities of politics that concern me today -- pervasive partisan stridency and the absence of leadership. >> well, look, there's no question not withstanding the congress just passed a transportation bill in a very bipartisan way. they passed an education bill to fix some things that were wrong with no child left behind in a very bipartisan way, prior to that, over the last two years, we've seen a government shutdown, we've seen people elected to congress under sort of the republican banner although they're tea party people who don't believe in government, came here to vote no on everything and we've had a terrible stalemate and people really came here with the idea that their number one goal was
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to do everything they could to make progress and so i just think it is pervasive. the partisanship is very pervasive. so i was pleased that the congress passed the transportation bill in a bipartisan way and the president signed yesterday an education bill to fix some things with no child left behind and -- and now the congress is working on trying to get out of town and passing omnibus. hopefully that will be bipartisan. it looks like speaker ryan and leader pelosi are working on that. >> i want to show video from 1994 and see if you remember this. >> my name is ray lahood. l-a-h-o-o-d-from illinois. i-l-l-i-n-o-i-s-. you don't pronounce the "s."
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i'm from the 18th district of illinois. our freshman class introduced and passed a resolution today to continue to work of a task force that studied congress over a period of two years and the committees of congress and as you all know we have eliminated three committees, the district of columbia, merchant marine, and post office. and the purpose of our resolution today was to continue the work of the joint committee on the reorganization of congress to establish a task force that will use if information that the joint committee has available to add at least five freshmen members to include the leadership of our conversation over a period of time to study the entire committee structure to determine if there's duplication, if there's inner jurisdictional
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problems and to report back to the conference no later than the end of september our results which will be whether there should be further elimination of committees. >> that was almost exactly 21 years ago. >> i just turned 70. i wish i looked that young and had that dark hair these days. >> that was right after your first election, when you first got elected. >> right. >> what was that like to be part of the first republican congress? >> it was extraordinary. i had worked as a congressional staffer for 17 years and worked as chief of staff for bob michael, a republican leader, so i know -- when i came here i knew a lot of members of congress, i worked on the house floor. i certainly knew all the people in leadership, i knew speaker gingrich, tom delay, dick armey. so there weren't any surprises in that regard. the thing that i was surprised about on election night is that republicans won the majority
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because having worked for bob michael who served in the minority for 38 years i never dreamed that republicans could come back into the majority after being out in the wilderness for 40 years but because newt nationalized the collections and put the contract with america out there for the american people and a lot of members ran on that it was -- it was an exhilarating time to be in the majority, to have the opportunity to vote on all of these items that people had talked about as part of the contract with america within the first 100 days. all of the reforms we talked about and so it -- it was an exhilarating time. >> ray lahood, you -- by the way, the numbers are on the screen and we'll take those calls in just a few minutes for ray lahood. in your opinion the chair presiding the day bob livingston decided to not run for speaker.
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what was that day like? you write about in the your new book. >> there's a chapter on impeachment and the reason we wrote about it is because it was clear that speaker bing rich already announced he was not going to stand for speaker and his staff said to him who is going to chair the proceedings? and he said ray lahood. because i had developed a good style of chairing the house, a style of fairness and bipartisan and making sure we followed the rules and -- >> and you knew the rules. >> and we knew the rules. that was very helpful. so when the speaker's staff called me and said "speaker gingrich wants you to chair the proceedings" i thought, well, this is going to be my one minute of fame in the house of representatives. on the second day of the impeachment proceedings as the house opened up, bob livingston from louisiana who had already run for speaker and was known to have the votes to be elected
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speak y speaker wright after the impeachment proceedings were over, we were going to go and elect him speaker and he would have been elected in january but because of some disclosures about infidelity not dissimilar to speaker gingrich's disclosures that came about earlier he came to the house floor and i recognized him and he said "i'm not going to stand for speaker. i'm going to resign from the house after these proceedings are over." and the air went out of the the chamber. >> did you know in advance? >> i do not know. no one knew and as i said democrats and republicans were scrambling around because the chamber was pretty full that morning unlike other -- i think people rised this was the second day. this was the day we were going to vote on the articles of impeachment. i think people wanted to hear what the new speaker was going to have to say and, boom, he was
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out and in the halls of congress there were republican members like tom delay and others who were scrambling around trying to figure out who the speaker was going to be and, frankly, tom delay orchestrated the election of denny hastert from illinois to be the next speaker and, you know, that came about over a period of four, five, six hours when ordinarily you think it takes a year to get elected speaker and the campaigning that goes on to do that which is what livingston went through. so bob livingston made that announcement and as i write in the book, a democratic member -- i'm in the chair and a democratic member comes up to me and says -- >> i think it was mel watt. >> it was mel watt. >> democrat of north carolina. >> who's no longer in the house. he's at fannie and freddie. he came up to me and said "if i could put together the vote, some of us have been talking, if
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i could put together the democratic votes, would you consider standing for speaker?" and i said "no, that's not going to happen. there are already people on my side of the aisle deciding who the speaker is going to be and it's not going to be ray lahood." but i think that talks about how people viewed me as somebody who was bipartisan, who had friends on both sides of the aisle, who had a -- an ability to reach people on both sides and so as time went on ultimately dennis hastert got to be speaker. the other thing that happened that i wrote about in the book is another democrat came up to approach me in the chair and said "should we suspend what we're doing here while we try and figure this out?" and i made a decision, i didn't check with leadership or the speaker's office or talk to the parliamentarians. i made a decision that this was such an historic day after all that had gone on that we needed
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to proceed with the votes that were going to take place on the four articles of impeachment and we did proceed and democrats walked out as we called for the first vote but came right back in and we finished the day up. i think one of the things i'm also proud of, peter, is that after everything was over, all the republicans met in one of our rooms in the capitol to talk about who the next speaker was going to be. this was after all the votes were taken, the housed a your honored and i went to that meeting and speaker gingrich started the meeting off by saying "now you know why i picked ray lahood to preside over impeachment. because it was done fairly in a way that reflected dignity upon the house. everybody has their say and people voted and they gave me a standing ovation." so i was very proud of the fact that we carried it off in a way that distinguished the house of representatives in a very, very
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controversial historic time in the history of the house. >> you quote dick gephardt in your book "seeking bipartisanship." "we need to stop destroying imperfect people at the altar of an unobtainable morality." >> well, the point that he was making is that, you know, we all have our imperfections and that, you know, we've got to look at the fact that president clinton was elected and he had his imperfections but, you know, obviously then leader gephardt's point was that these were not impeachable offenses and that's not what the judiciary committee concluded and not what the house concluded. >> "seeking bipartisanship" is the name of the book. former transportation secretary ray lahood, former congressman from illinois. first call is henry in clive, new york. democrat. go ahead, henry.
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>> thank you for taking my call. what i wanted to say is that everybody keeps talking about obama is not a strong president. obama is a strong president but remember the head t head of the man running his senate said he was going to make obama a one-time president. now they got obama in a box and obama can't do nothing about -- can't get a low kigs together to fight because they won't vote him the legislation for him to go to war. and those people over there like germany, france, and all of them, they ain't gonna help obama unless they know the country's behind him. >> all right henry in clive, new
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york, thanks for calling in. the president is in a box. >> well, if you look back at the nature of the presidency and you look back at other presidents obama is a strong president. i think implementing national health care, getting us out of iraq, although obviously we're back in there to a lesser extent than we were in' 0 t when he began his presidency. i think there are a number of other things he will have as a strong legacy. but what he did as president certainly is what no other president was able to do and that's pass national health care. and he also brought a very, very
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lousy, bad economy out of a tail spin. we're in much better shape today than we were in '09. he helped the automobile industry, the american automobile industry. he put a lot -- helped put a lot of people to work. he put a lot of emphasis in the economic stimulus on making sure that our economy could come back and be strong and he deserves a lot of credit for that. >> however, you are critical of his decision to give nancy pelosi the legislative levers to work with the republicans and that he didn't work directly with the republicans. >> peter, during the first two years it was a democratic majority and i think even though rahm emanuel who was chief of staff then really reached out to speak on both sides of the aisle and made the effort to say we want to be bipartisan and i think the president wanted to be, i think in the end they made a decision that we've got to get
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the economy going. we've got to get this economic stimulus, we've got to pass this $870 billion bill and i think speaker pelosi said, hey, we've got the votes to do it, let's go for it." and i think that hurt the president's ability. left to his own instincts, his own bipartisan instincts which i believe are really there i say in the book they're in his dna, left up to him i think he would have said let's try and continue to get some republican votes but in the ens there was a sense of urgency about getting the economy going and i think speaker pelosi at the time said we've got the vote, let's do it. >> gary is in kentucky on our republican line. go ahead, gary. >> thank you very much for taking my call. i love c-span. thank you, mr. lahood. i have a couple questions. do you feel that before health care was enacted, wouldn't it
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have been a good try from tto le commerce law ban from state to state and open that up between states to -- for insurance companies in california, say, to sell me insurance here in kentucky? and the economy here in my state, we're a coal state, the economy was horrible and my county thousands of jobs have left and, you know, i know every president -- second question. i know every president tries to be bipartisan but george bush did executive order and obama has done executive order more than any president in history. don't you think that kind of slaps the republican leaders in the face when he does executive order and says he has a pen and a phone and bypasses them? >> all right, gary, thank you. >> the purpose of the executive orders is when the president can't get congress to even go along with introducing legislation or having debates on
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bills and i think that has been the case for president obama. when congress has been intransgent and congress has been stubborn about their willingness to debate issues that the president thinks should be debated or the put bills in the hopper and have a debate i think he feels that his only other alternative is to sign these executive orders. other presidents have done it so it's certainly not unprecedented. for a year, the white house tried to work with republicans. i know senator baucus who at the time was the chair of the finance committee tried to work very, very hard the with republican senators on getting their views on national health care, on implementing national health care and in the end they made a decision that they just couldn't come to a compromise and so the congress ultimately
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passed it. could there have been a better way of doing it? could they have included issues you raise about the commerce clause and states selling insurance? probably. but i think there was a sense of urgency that they needed to pass national health care. >> joe is calling in from sun city center florida, independent line, ray lahood is our guest. go ahead. >> caller: hi. >> good morning. >> good morning. my name is joe. what's the host's name? >> peter. >> caller: pete. okay, nice to talk to you. >> thank you, sir. >> caller: first time caller. okay, i'll give you a little bio of me. i was raised in a democratic family, raised by parochial school nuns. i cried when kennedy was killed.
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i voted for everybody up to carter and then mr. reagan came along and i noticed, you know that the guy was tough, people were scared of him and personally myself i'm laid up in a hospital bed in front of the television request no knee bone a and. >> joe? joe, we're kind of losing you here so if you could get to your question or your point for ray lahood? i'm sorry, we lost joe. well, let's take that opportunity, mr. lahood, if we could and go into present-day politics.
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he was refounding his transitions lout the years. what do you think about 2016 and the race going on currently? >> peter, i've been watching this kind of activity for 35 years of my public service career and i've never seen a -- certainly on the republican side a process like we have now i think the fact that we have such a celebrity like donald trump in the race who's never been involved in politics, never run for political office is using the most unorthodox methods to get elected, to get the nomination and -- but there certainly are a wide range of candidates on the republican side. it looks on the democratic side like hillary will probably get the nomination and so it -- like all these presidential campaigns it will be very, very interesting. >> have you endorsed? >> i like jeb bush.
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i do. i think he was a very strong governor in florida and i like his positions on many issues and so i like jeb bush. >> all right. going into a democratic administration as a republican are you suspect on both sides of the aisle? >> well, i don't know about suspect. i think people have always viewed me as being bipartisan and i don't think anybody was surprised when president obama nominated me for secretary of transportation which is which has always been kind of a bipartisan agency. norm mineta who served over here for 30 years served in president obama's administration and so i don't think people really look at ray lahood with a jaundiced eye or with suspect. i think they look at me as more somebody who has worked on both sides of the aisle and -- but
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i've been a republican all my life and i'll continue to be a republican and i tell people i could haven't gotten the job with president obama had i not been a republican because he was looking for a republican and our friendship, obviously, has endured even since i left the job. >> february 12, the 2009, my worst day on the job. >> that was the day of colgan air crash. >> in buffalo? >> buffalo, new york. 49 people boarded a plane with the idea that they were going to arrive in buffalo safely like thousands of people do today and because of pilot error and very -- very bad conditions, icing on the wings, pilots doing the opposite of what they should have done, those 49 people perished. as a result of that, we implemented new rules and regulations on pilot rest. both of these pilots had flown from the west coast to the east coast before they ever started flying the plane so eight hour
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flight, then they're expected to get in the plane and fly it and they were poorly trained. they did the wrong thing when the plane iced up and they cashed the plane. but because of the families and because of our emphasis on safety at dot we implemented more rest for pilots and better training for pilots. particularly those flying these regnal jet which is a lot of communities are using now. >> amtrak funding. new formula written into the transportation. do you support it? >> i'm glad the congress passed a transportation bill. we need a vision, we need a plan. i like the idea that they included a provision that if there's a profit on the northeast corridor, which is really where they make their money, that profit, that money gets plowed back into the northeast corridor rather than being used for other lines like in illinois or other corridors.
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i like that idea. i think it's a creative way to make sure the northeast corridor, which does make money and ridership is at an all time high that they can get new cars, new equipment, and the money will be there for it. i think it's a pretty creative approach. and i noticed in today's paper they included a pro sfligs there to raise the limit for people, particularly those that were killed or injured in philadelphia for the liability that's been incurred by their deaths and injuries. so i think amtrak is doing well and i think we're treated very fairly in the transportation bill. >> martin is in richfield, wisconsin, republican line. hi, martin, you're on with former congressman, former secretary of transportation ray lahood. we're talking about his new book "seeking bipartisanship." >> caller: good morning, c-span, and good morning, ray, thank you for your service to the country.
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>> thank you. >> i'm interested because with your obvious large depth of knowledge of american politics and having served the country. you mentioned the tea party, you mentioned some positive things and not so positive things about barack obama. how do you think history is going to view barack obama? because in my opinion, he's really the father of the tea party with his partisanship that he exhibited with his administration, he might not have been such personally, as you pointed out. but he started everything with what happened his first two years and i don't think we would have a quote/unquote tea party in the republican party if not for him. interested in your take. >> i don't agree he's the father of the tea party and i don't think he would agree with that, either. i think that the tea party came about because of -- and the leadership of the team came about from people who are anti-government, who don't
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believe in government and helped elect people to come here and washington and shut the government down. they ran speaker boehner out of office. as i said, ayear ago they shut the government down. they vote no on everything and that certainly has nothing to do with president obama's philosophy. and i i don't think he would associate himself with the tea party or consider himself to be the father of it and i don't either. >> john boehner a friend of yours? paul ryan a friend of yours? >> very much so. i served with john. he, i think, will go down as a speaker who worked very, very hard to get things done and make things happen. he had the unfortunate circumstance of having a group of people in the republican conference who came here to be obstructionists. who came here to do everything they could to put a stop to
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things that, you know, they didn't believe in and they had some ability to do that. this is the tea party crowd. this is the crowd that basically shut down the government, ran john out of office and -- but he did a good job. he was a good speaker. he worked hard. he was a good leader. paul ryan, i've known since he came to congress and i admire him very much. i particularly admire him for stepping up into this very important leadership vacuum and filling the vacuum and doing in the a way that i think distinguishes him and distinguishs the speaker's office. i think paul was going to be a very strong speaker. in my book i talk about one of the real pillars of leadership is listening and i think paul will be -- is and will be a good listener. he' already doing that. and part of listening is
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carrying out what people have to say and i think paul will do that. i'm very high on paul ryan and he is the next generation of leadership in the house of representatives and the house of representatives is very fortunate that somebody like paul ryan is willing to step up and fill the void and fill the vacuum and provide the leadership at great sacrifice. he gives up the chairmanship of the most powerful committee in the house and he makes great sacrifice, he and his family both make great sacrifice in terms of their time and energy that they'll have to put in to be successful. >> barbara is calling in from pearl, mississippi, republican. >> caller: yes, hi, how are you? >> hi, good morning. >> yes, i would like to know from the guest that you have on today how easy would it be for the presidential nominee, donald trump, if he becomes the next
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president to pass on the initiatives buts he has been talking about about immigration and what can be done to fix the health care laws pertaining to people that have insurance? because i know prior to this law we always had great insurance but after this law was passed we wound up with very high deductibles. we have a $6,000 deductible and the insurance through your jobs where you're paying $100 a month for insurance plus you gotten a $8,000 deductible is very high. so how can those issues be addressed? >> implementing policies by the president. how easy is that? >> well, it's difficult because under our system of legislation passing, it has to come before congress which is an equal
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branch of government separate from the administration. separate from the executive branch. and we've seen how difficult it is for president obama to enact some legislation he's wanted to do. if you just take the issue of whether there's global warming and clean air legislation and so forth it's been very difficult. but i give the president credit. he did pass national health care. he did get us out of iraq. he's working very hard on a trade bill. he supported this education reform, the transportation bill. so it can be done but it has to be done in a bipartisan way. no one of the 435 in the house, no one of the 100 senators g getters their own way. when congress solves big problems, when they address issues, they're almost always solved in a bipartisan way with
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compromise and that's the beauty of our system. to the issue of can trump get anything done, i don't think donald trump will be the nominee of the republican party and i certainly don't think he'll be elected president. but whoever is elected president will have to work with the men and women that come here from around the country elected by the people and reach compromise and work in a bipartisan way to solve the country's problems. >> so when the 435 of y'all would be up there and you would hear a candidate say "i am going do x." would y'all kind of look at each other and say "good luck to you"? >> well, i think what people would say is not only good luck but come on up here and talk to us about it and we'll see what happens. >> that talking to congress, does that make a big difference? >> it really makes a big difference. one of the things that we did,
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peter, i co-chaired four bipartisan retreats, a couple with david skaggs from colorado and a couple other democrats and our whole notion was if you know somebody it's much more difficult to criticize them. if you know their spouse, much more difficult. our first bipartisan retreat we had over 200 members of the house, 150 spouses and 100 kids. first time a congressional kid ever met another congressional kid. first time spouses ever met other spouses. when you know somebody, you develop friendships, then you develop the opportunity to talk to one another and that kind of rapport and that kind of relationship building can go a long way to really people talking to one another. so if you read robert carroll's book about president johnson and what he did, he'd invite people to the white house. he'd have them over for drunks and frankly president reagan did the same thing.
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he had a lot of democrats down. bob michael was leader then and he would suggest a few democrats to invite down and president reagan would do it. they get to know one another and boom, they'd begin to work on issues. and that is very, very important. relationships are very important in trying to pass legislation and solve problems. >> i'm going ask you about two trends. maybe you don't think they're trends. automatic pilot on financial issues up in the congress and the less and lessig cannes of the president's cabinet. >> well, the president's cabinet i think plays an important role with certain committees and you look at the homeland security committee now and you look at
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director of the fbi or secretary johnson or dealing with these terrorists so, you know, they play an important role but i do think that, you know, if you have a strong president then obviously congress is going to look to the president and the cabinet perhaps plays a lesser role. but some of these issues they play a dominant role. i think arne duncan played a big role in the legislation signed by the president on refining no child beft he hind. i know secretary fox played a big role in the bill the president signed a few weeks ago so i think our trade ambassador mike froman has played a big role in working with congress on this trade legislation so it depends on the issue but i think cabinet members come in and out
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as the issues bubble up to a certain extent. i don't know if i know exactly enough about that to comment on it. >> well you know with the crs, the continuing resolutions, that's what i was looking at. regular order. >> i think paul ryan wants to get back to regular order. he's come in here late on this particular budget. this particular cr and this particular omnibus. i think he'll tell the budget committee give us a budget, then the appropriate rors hold a bil and it comes to the house floor. i think that's what paul would like to do as the new speaker. and if he got that done, that would be quite an accomplishment because that hadn't been done around here in decades. >> mike is in new kensington, pennsylvania, he is a republican. mike, you're on with ray lahood. >> caller: yes, mr. lahood,
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thank you for taking my call. >> good morning. >> good morning. i am -- i disagree with your characterization of tea party people that don't like government. they do believe in government, they just believe in limited government. and i think our federal government haas gone far afield of what the founding fathers ever intended the federal government to do. but my question is your comme comment -- my question is the davis bacon act. i think that the davis bacon act restricts minorities and it keeps from hiring policies in our construction projects. and also i think it keeps artificially high the price of public service construction j s jobs. how do you feel about the davis bacon act? i think it should repealed? >> i support davis-bacon, i supported it when i was a member
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of congress. i think it does help people who build roads and bridges earn the wages for very, very difficult work. these people are limited because of the hard work they do and i think davis-bacon has earned many folks to earn a good living and to be able to take care of their families. the reason that i say that -- you know, i take your point about tea party being for limited government. my point is when i say they don't believe in government, they're the crowd that shut the government down and that's my point. if you don't believe in government, shut it down, we don't need it. but i take your point on limited government and i think it's -- i think it's a good point. >> i had begun my four and a half years in the cabinet, you write, ray lahood, with four expectation, all four proved to be unrealistic to some degree. the administration did not use
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my experience and network of relationships to build republican support for the president's major policy initiatives but, even when they tried, which was not often, the results were mixed. neither did the white house consult with me on strategy for obtaining such support before taking legislation to the hill. too many times i came late to the game or the inner circle didn't let anyone into the game at all. >> yeah, look. i think again when you look at what president obama was facing in '09, terrible recession, focusing a lot on the economy and relying on a handful of people to give him the kind of advice to get us out of the economic mess that we were in, my point on that was when they put the economic package together, $48 billion is a lot of money, real money, that came to dot but the assignment went to the vice president. so i did have that relationship with the vice president, with
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vice president joe biden on economic stimulus. when it was all said and done, they wished they put $480 billion in because of the good things we did and the people that went to work and, again, we weren't really consulted that much on what the the number was going to be or what the figure was going to be. if i had had something to say about it, it would have been more than $48 billion. and so i just think again, when you're president, you're dealing with these tough issues like the economy, like a staterrible recession, like trying to get the automobile industry back on its feet, like trying to get out of iraq. then, you know, your time is limited and the number of people that you can talk to is limited. but that's the way it was. >> why did you leave congress? >> frankly, because i felt that i had done everything that i could possibly do. i was on the intelligence committee for eight years. term limited off of that. i was on the appropriations committee which i sought to get
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on because i wanted to get things done for my district. i tried a little venture at leadership and didn't make that. and i felt that ofafter 14 year it was time for somebody else. and we'd accomplished a lot and i like the idea of going out on top. i think in these public service jobs, they're not lifetime jobs. there is only so much that you can do. and after 14 years, i felt it was time to do something else. i had no idea i was going to be secretary of transportation. i had no idea this rare privilege would have been offered to me, but it was the best job because i think we made a difference. >> who represents peoria these days? >> a fellow by the name of darren lahood who i'm very proud of. we're proud of all of our kids. he's our oldest son. he ran in a special electionirr
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proud of. we're proud of all of our kids. he's our oldest son. he ran in a special electionnrr proud of. we're proud of all of our kids. he's our oldest son. he ran in a special electionen proud of. we're proud of all of our kids. he's our oldest son. he ran in a special electionen proud of. we're proud of all of our kids. he's our oldest son. he ran in a special electionn ld of. we're proud of all of our kids. he's our oldest son. he ran in a special electionlah. we're proud of all of our kids. he's our oldest son. he ran in a special election he worked very hard. he had a tea party opponent and he got 70% and now he was -- has been sworn in and is representing the 18th district. and i know he'll be a great congressman and carry on the long, long tradition. our district was once represented by abraham lincoln, everett dirksen, bob michael, ray lahood and now darin lahood and we're very proud of that. >> in those 35 years that you've been here in washington, have the parties gone this way? i mean there used to be quite a mix in the middle. >> yeah, there was. i think the parties have gone to their own corners. the republicans have gone to the right and the democrats have gone to the left. i think because it's maybe a
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result of real partisan party opportunities to elect maybe the more extreme people in the parties. and our district in i will notice is a conservative district, but illinois i think is still considered a democratic a conservative distric illinois i think is still considered a democratic state. but it's a way i think for the parties to reflect the more extreme points of view. and i don't see that changing in the near term. >> al is in watertown, vermont on the independent line. al, you're on with former secretary of transportation ray lahood. >> caller: thank you for caming my call. i think ray would think i'm an extremist because i'd like to see the constitution where we
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have two year terms in congressman and there is a lot of turnover. what he's advocating for is an incumbent party where families send their sons in. he calls that bipartisanship when you can get in a cozy party and cut deals. really what should happen is the debate on policy should happen in public. the omnibus spending bill obamacare was all passed without me seeing it. never even had a chance to call high congre my congressperson on that. in terms of shutting the government down, yeah, i think it should be shut down occasionally when you're spending more money than you're taking in year after year after year. you got fuss a mous in a horrib position and guys like ray lahood are responsible for it. >> al, first of all, members of the house do serve two year terms. now, if you only want them to serve one two year term if
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that's what you're suggesting, that's a pretty dumb idea frankly. i do think that if you're on social security or if you're a veteran who served our country and receiving a veterans benefit, if you're getting medicare to take care of your health care, i don't think you you think it's a good idea that the government shuts down and that those people are out of those benefits. and our government provides a lot of good services, there are a holt lot of wonderful people work in the government and serve the american people. and we need to think long and hard about obviously the opportunities that our government provides to our citizens. >> and joe in phoenixville, pennsylvania, democrats line, you're the last call for ray lahood this morning. >> caller: i'd like mr. lahood to talk a little bit more about
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his idea of bipartisanship starting with the question when obama assumed office, he was confronted by an opposition party that vowed to do everything they could to defeat him. and they have never stopped that effort. how do you expect that he would have been able to reach across the aisle and get those people to work with him in the face of such an attitude and what did you expect him to do to overcome that? >> well, i do positithink that president made some very strong efforts. i think his chief of staff rahm emanuel i know for sure made a lot of efforts and i think the president did, too. and i think it fell on deaf ears. and that was not helpful. and so we are where we are. >> how is rahm doing in chicago right now? >> well, he's struggling.
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but i think the fact that he's admitted that there are some real issues in the police department. he fired the superintendent of police. he's asked for a committeecitiz investigation. he's accepted the idea that the justice department will do an investigation. he went before the entire city council and apologized to the citizens of chicago. i think he's recognized that he needs to get back some ability to really have the confidence of the people of -- the citizens of chicago that voted him in office this year. >> have you spoken to ccan denn haste hastert? >> i don't know anyone that has talked to him. i have not. i know people have reached out to him and i don't know of anybody except for maybe just a
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very small group maybe in the yorkville area where he lives in illinois. but i don't know anybody around here or anybody in illinois politics that has spoken to him. >> and how is your new republican governor in illinois doing, bruce rauner? >> he's doing what he said he would do. he said i'll stand up to 30 years of democratic control, the crowd that has made our state a huge mess. we have huge pension liabilities. we have an unbalanced budget. we have huge deficits. the state does not have a budget now because governor rauner has said there has to be changes. we have to make reforms in our state government in order to really -- in order to really make these changes. and so our state is in a stalemate right now, but i do
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think that he's doing what he said he was going to do and i think people need to give him his due for that and i certainly do. and many of us support what he's trying to do. >> over the years ray lahood has always come over here and taken calls from our viewers. we always appreciate that. seek bipartisan shship is the n of his autobiography. against minister of britain is meeting with ash carter. they will be holding a press conference at about 3:15 eastern time. we'll take you there live here on c-span3. and then tonight live coverage of donald trump in des moines at a campaign rally at the iowa state fairgrounds. that will be on c-span at 7:30. this weekend on c-span, saturday night at 9:00 eastern, executives from pandora and spotify on how technology impacts the entertainment
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business from this year's aspen forum. >> are there certain parts of the day where music is actually not the only thing you want to listen to, so morning commute is one hypothesis that we're testing right now. that if you're on the subway and you're in your car, et cetera, maybe you don't only want music. maybe you want some news, weather report, you want to see if you're on the subway, not while you're driving like a clip of jimmy fallon or something like that. there is some other content you want to experience during that period of time and that's kind of the hypothesis we're testing right now to see if people are interested in experiencing that. >> and then sunday evening at 6:30, gop presidential candidate ohio governor john kasich at the council on foreign relations on rebuilding international alliances. >> thanks to my 18 years -- 18 years -- on the house armed services committee, i knew many honestiy months ago go in a the only way to solve this problem is to call
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for an international coalition. we have to join with our nato alliesgo in a the only way to solve this problem is to call for an international coalition. we have to join with our nato allies to organize an international coalition to defeat isis on the ground and to deny them the territory that they need to survive. those with long experience know that an air campaign on its own is simply not enough. >> for more schedule information, go to our website, all persons having business before the honorable the supreme court of the united states are admonished to draw near and give their attention. >> monday on c-span's landmark cases -- >> you're under arrest. you have the right to an attorney, you have the right to remain silent. anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. is that clear? >> yeah, okay. >> are you sure you understand? >> that's right. >> he was 23 years old in 1963
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when he was arrested in phoenix on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a young woman. after two hours of police questioning, he confessed and signed a statement saying his confession had been given voluntarily. at trial, he was sentenced to 20 years. but his lawyer argued that he had not been told of the right to both an attorney or the right to remain silent. the case went all the way to the supreme court. follow the case of miranda versus arizona and the evolution of policing practices in america with our guest jeff rosen, president and ceo of the national constitution center, and paul cassell, university of utah law school professor specializing in victim he's rights and formeder district court judge. that's live monday night at 9:00 eastern. on c-span, c-span3, and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch, order your coach of the landmark cases companion book, it's available $2302308 for $8.95 plus shipping at
2:03 pm cases. the pakistan ambassador to the us talked about counterterrorism efforts and regional security challenges. the discussion was part of an ambassador speaker series put together by the world affairs council in washington, d.c. it ran about an hour and ten minutes. i'd like to give you the appreciation for the man who fought his way through the security to make it here to be with you tonight.
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ambassador jilani. my name is tony foster. i have the privilege of being the president and ceo of the world first council d.c. the man who comes to our podium tonight is a friend. personal friend. friend of the united states. and a very superb spokesperson for his country and not only here in the u.s., but globally. united states has had diplomatic relations with pakistan since its independence in 1947. approximately 500,000 members of the pakistani diaspra reside in the united states. the u.s. is pakistan's largest bilateral trading partner with 15% of their textile, rice, other goods being exported to the united states. in addition to the important economic relationship between the united states and pakistan, there is a critical allied
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defense and antiterrorism relationship as well as humanitarian, cultural and educational program priorities in place. in october 2009, the u.s. congress passed a enhanced partnership with pakistan. that demonstrates and reaffirms the u.s.' long commitment to cooperation with the pakistani people and their civilian institutions. in may 2014, following prime minister sharif's visit to washington, the u.s. and pakistan established a joint action plan for trade and investment over five years. in january 2015, the u.s. pledged 50 million to help pakistan facilitate the relief, reconstruction and return of federally administered tribal
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area communities displaced by counterterrorism operations. they did so because pakistan is a partner in the global war on terror. pakistan has had a cooperative and long standing relationship with the united states on counterterrorism efforts. particularly since 9/11. pakistan has provided the u.s. with access to a number of military airports and bases along with other logistical support for the war on terror. pakistan has also captured more than 600 members of the al-qaeda, the taliban, isis and has been an increasingly important member of the global community of nations fighting with the allies on the war on terrorism. just a little overview of the population of pakistan and its ethnic groups.
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15%, pashtun. 14%, cindy. 8% sarika. and 8% mujarks. 38% of its population lives in urban areas. education is a critical national priority. as literacy rate in pakistan is currently 58%. pakistan is the nuclear power and has a strong military. within which women play an equal and prominent role. his excellency is a career diplomat who has served as ambassador of pakistan as well as being the high commissioner to australia.
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he supports obama's policy of avoiding the use of words like islamic and muslim to describe violent extremism and terrorism movements. i will say this personally, i agree with both on that point. he said around the world, only a small number of muslims engage in such activities, so, it is unfair and counterproductive to paint the entire community with the broad brush of extremism. this is not an activity, it is exclusive to any religion or group. he is also honest in acknowledging many countries
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need to do more to be part of countering the regional and gobble impact of radical extremists. he is happily married to shasta and they have three lovely sons. one works for the united nations in rome. and the other two are studying at prestigious universities in the u.s. and i know their grades are high. because their parents inspect their report cards on a regular basis. we are honored to welcome ambassador to the podium in washington, d.c. as a friend of the united states of america. a respected diplomat in the global community. he is here as part of our ambassador series. we are also honored to welcome another distinguished pakistani. dr. mahidi, our discussant for this evening. dr. alfaz is a nonresident
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fellow at the brookings institute where she researches the development of security and political economy in pakistan. i will tell ambassador jilani and dr. alfaz that you have tonight a great opportunity, an opportunity to share your knowledge and your perspectives with an educated, informed audience that we're pleased to see includes a number of students at universities from across the united states, we're also delighted that cspan is covering this event tonight and we thank brian lam for his public service in making the remarkable television resource available to the united states and the world. so let us give a warm welcome to ambassador jilani and ask him if he will be kind enough to address us tonight.
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thank you so much. >> thank you so much. a wonderful welcome and providing this forum. to me to share my perspective on some of the important issues besides pakistan u.s. relations. i would like to touch on the regional security challenges and also, the kind of initiative that is the government of pakistan has taken to promote education in the countries and the country and also, reforms of the system.
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pakistan/u.s. relations is one of the most relationships for my country. it is a unique relationship which has seen many ups and downs. since 1947, we have been part of every initiative the united states of america had taken, also globally. i have been -- we talk about the ups and downs in this relationship, i have no doubt that the current phase is certainly one of partnership and building convergences. in the past several years, we have had our respective shares of complaints against each other. certainly, we have realized that
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we need to send the past and look to the future. and with this in mind, we have opened a new chapter in our relationship between pakistan and the united states of america. some of the important developments which are taking place internally in pakistan and also the kind of regional and global challenges, i would call them and be faced with that fundamentally alter this relationship making it more robust, sustained and strategic. internally, pakistan over the last several years has gone through a silent revolution. and tony has very ably captured
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the current mood in pakistan. we certainly are i say this for strong reasons for saying that. first, democracy, though noisy, it's getting stronger by the day. it's taking strong roots. our media is ruthlessly independent. we have a vibrant, active, civil society. there is a lot of focus on revival, performance, an end to extremism and terrorism. development, human rights and empowerment of women in the country. there is also a national
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consensus against extremists and terrorists and because of this national consensus that we have developed, we have been able to break the back of extremists and terrorists organizations in the last one year. the school tragedy in which 150 innocent children were killed by the evil forces, we have been able to develop a national consensus, and taken action against these forces and today, when i speak to you, extremism is on the bridge in some of the other countries and pakistan, it is declining. we have no doubt that in the next coming months, we will be able to eliminate this
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phenomena. i feel that pakistan is certainly better positioned to meet multiple challenges. we have no doubt that a strong u.s. partnership will only strengthen our ability to stability in the region. we consider the u.s. as a vital partner. today, we have more convergences than divergences. i remember that last year, secretary kerry rightly pointed out that the big objectives uniting pakistan and the united states of america are bigger than those which divide us.
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and i think that again that has come from secretary kerry. the strategic partnership must be based on mutual interest. understanding of the respective security concerns. realistic expectations and also, a positive narrative about each other. there is also a need to identify areas of common interests at the bilateral, regional and global level. bilaterally, ladies and gentlemen, since the revival of the strategic process two years ago, we have come a long way. we have established six working groups.
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working group on education. counter terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation and strategic stability. and the scorecard is certainly very, very impressive. we are making very good progress in these groups. we have a plan of action. other cooperation on law enforcement has resulted in the enhanced capacity of our security forces. in the energy sector, again, we have a wonderful cooperation going on.
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in the last one year, because of the assistance provided by the united states of america, we have been able to add about 1400 megawatts of energy in our national grid. we are getting the fullest support from the united states of america on some of the megaenergy projects and mind you these developments have also enhanced the american ranking in the eyes of the pakistani public because the focus on education, the assistance we are getting on economic development is all these areas which are seeing very, very positively by the people of pakistan. it has been a very important
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sector of education. education was a key item when our prime minister recently came to washington, d.c. on the -- of president obama and the joint statement that was issued at the end of that meeting that also referred to education cooperation as one of the most important areas of cooperation. defense cooperation is very strong. the kind of challenges that we are faced with are not only the regionally but also related to daesh and other such elements emerging on the scene that would require closer cooperation with pakistan and the united states of america.
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again, on the nuclear issue, again, we have developed broad convergences on most of the issues. again, we have shared interest in peace and stability in south asia. peace in our neighborhood certainly would enhance our domestic security besides economic development. pakistan is located at the cross roads of three important regions. south asia, central asia and the middle east. we can act as a bridge between prosperity and developing region. we are also pursuing, regional interconnectivity projects in our region. china and afghanistan, one big corridor. about $46 billion.
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besides that, we have -- pakistan and india, by blind and thousand, which is a electricity connectivity project from publics passing through to pakistan. ladies and gentlemen, at the global level, again, we have an excellent cooperation on some of the most important issues. here, i would like to say that you may recall a in the early '70s, pakistan played a pivotal role in in building bridges between u.s. and china and we
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brought about an approachment between these two important power centers. and we did this on the belief that the china and united states of america would bring about peace and stability in the region. we would like to renew that role. in our region, in the middle east, we enjoy very close relationship with the middle eastern countries and being a good friend of not only the united states of america, but also other neighboring countries including iran we can play that role. talking about the regional security challenges, i would confine myself to basically two of our neighbors.
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one is india and the other is pakistan. india/pakistan relations unfortunately, the history has not been a glorious one. we have attempts to undermine each other and this has been the story of pakistan/india relations since 1947, but at the same time, there is also a realization that war is not an option between two nuclear neighbors because all the previous wars we fought were we fought them literally bows and arrows.
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economic development cannot take place in the region, economic development cannot take place in pakistan and india without a peaceful environment. there is also a realization that forces of extremism and terrorism thrive in an environment of tension and hostility. because the such elements the rivalries of two countries, the further of the situation. i am happy to inform that in pakistan, almost all political parties, if you look at the elections which have taking
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place in pakistan toward three successive elections, the political parties in their manifesto have clearly articulated peace. our prime minister, his party also won the location on a slogan. peace through economic development. or economic development through peace. majority of the people in pakistan avoided for this peaceful environment in the region.
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prime minister of afghanistan, he was the first leaders in south asia to congratulate the prime minister when he was elected as the prime minister of india. he also participated, took a visit to india to participate. but unfortunately, i would turn the last two years as wasted years, wasted years because we could not assume the dialogue process despite many understandings reached between the leadership of the two countries. we were disappointed, but we did not relent in our efforts and we continued to make efforts to engage in there. i'm encouraged that after last week's meeting between prime minister of pakistan and prime
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minister modi on the sidelines of the climate summit in paris, the two leaders agreed that the national security advisers and the foreign secretaries of the two countries, they should meet. they met in bangkok and now, today, when i am talking to you, the indian foreign minister is visiting pakistan for the heart of asia conference, which is basically meant to show solidarity with afghanistan and we feel these interactions would certainly reduce tension.
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our hope is that the initial interactions, the result in the revival of a serious sustained, uninterrupted process between our two countries. we share almost 27 kilometers border with afghanistan. borders in the sense that you would be surprised to learn that every day, 60,000 to 70,000 afghans, they undertake visits to pakistan to earn their livelihood. they come in the morning, either they go back at night or the next day.
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or sometime they stay in pakistan for to earn their livelihood and go back after a few days. many of them there also stayed back. we are hosting for the last almost 35 years. we are doing this because no other country decides afghanistan has suffered as much as pakistan has. due to the three decades, more than three decades of turmoil in their country and early settlement of these that would be extremely beneficial for our country. we carried out military
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operations in what had become a safe haven, they were initiated in june last year and it's a matter of pride for me. to announce we have been able to clear the whole of these elements of every shade and color. it was a gigantic operation in the sense that it's a key study. we developed a national consensus before we went in. a million civilians, the tribal civilians, brought them to safer locations, scattered out operations and then, now, we are trying to rehabilitate those one million people back in their homes.
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we did this not only to bring peace and stability in our own country, but it was meant to bring about peace and stability in afghanistan. unfortunately, some of these elements, they have crossed over to afghanistan and now carrying out attacks not only in afghanistan, but also in pakistan. we feel that there are two parts in afghanistan. one is a military victory. over the insurgents. the second is the negotiated piece through a process of national reconciliation.
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over the last 14 years, military solution has remained elusive. we had shed a lot of blood. blood and treasure in order to think about that peace and stability, but that has not come about. accordingly, what we have suggested is that yes, we should try and bring about peace through negotiations in afghanistan or through a process of national reconciliation. we have suggested that pakistan would be willing to play a role for not only the revival of the interrupted reconciliation process between afghan and taliban, but also, with the government, but we will be able
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to bring about other -- take other steps in order to make peace in afghanistan. we have undertaken a lot of projects in afghanistan. the infrastructure development projects, we have built hospitals in afghanistan. we have built schools in afghanistan. we have built the network in afghanistan. and also we are trying to help afghanistan economically. every year, we offer 6,000 scholarships to students to come and undertake studies in pakistan. and these 6,000 scholarships that we offer, they're in addition to the, in addition to the education facilities, which
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are -- tomorrow, president would be visiting pakistan because of the conference being organized in pakistan, prime minister of pakistan, they would jointly address the meeting. lastly, education is certainly one of the primary areas of focus. the document that was approved by the cabinet last year aimed at substantial expansion of enrollment of all children as well as improvement in the quality of education. the government is committed to
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increase the public education. also, increased public expenditure on higher education from the current 0.2% of gdp to 1.4% of gdp. recently, in 2012, the government passed the right to free education making all five to 16-year-old children eligible for free and compulsory education. launched recently, a comprehensive plan of action has been initiated for upgrading school infrastructure. human resource development teacher, training curriculum improvement and forms.
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projects are aimed at achieving universal primary education as well as improvement in the adult literacy, especially for women. malala as you know has become a role model for all young girls in pakistan and we are witnessing increased enrollment by young girls even from the remote areas of pakistan including in the tribal areas who are coming forward to get education. i was surprised to learn recently when i went to pakistan, that in the medical institutions in pakistan, the girl students, they outnumber the boys. so this is a recent phenomenon that we're witnessing. in our banking industry, again,
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it was something that was most of the banks are employing more women than men, so there is a lot of competition going on. degrees in order to join the banking sector. which were the exclusive demand of men again, we see about 30 to 40% of women getting admission in those institutions. we have the largest of fulbright scholars. the scholarships. every year, 200 boys and girls come to the united states of america to undertake studies here.
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and they were selected from the tribal areas of pakistan and they are doing extremely well. these young students who come here for education and go back and go to the economic development of the country. we are working on the development of pakistan u.s. knowledge corridor and as part of this knowledge corridor, this would involve students from both countries and exchange of academics from both the countries. so, ladies and gentlemen, i think i have certainly crossed
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my time limit given to me. i will stop here. i will be happy to respond to any questions you may have. thank you so much. >> so is the mike on? great. i will start off with a couple of questions, then open it up to audience q and a. thanks for a great, great speech. since you ended on the topic of education, i thought we would start with a question on education. so you mentioned successes and the focus on education currently. over the years, we've seen a lot of improvements in access to education and enrollment increases certainly and obviously a task that is still continuing. but if you could comment a little bit more on curriculum
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reform and improvements in learning and quality of education because donors like the u.s. as well as other donors across the world tend to focus a lot on these quantity of education indicators, but if we could learn more about what improvements have been made, that would be a good place to start. >> a couple of important indicators. for instance, i'm sure that you have come from pakistan and i suppose that you also came from the same education system that i came from. my children came from. my interaction with the universities, that convinces me
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that many of the students who come to the united states of america, the early education system in pakistan, they do extremely well. they compete and is a reflection of the good quality education that i was talking about. certainly there are areas which needs improvement because in the division of pakistan, in order to defeat soviet union, you know that a lot of these came up. what the government is trying to do is introduce a form of -- the government has already formed a committee to look into the curriculum to be part with
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the -- any distortions, they could be removed. as i said, more and more of the girl students, you know, the enrollment has increased. the more and more women are getting education in the professional constitutions. one is really hopeful that the future looks very, very bright for these pakistani boys and girls. most of these pakistani students, both boys and girls would come to the united states of america or go to other european countries or to australia for higher education. all going back the pakistan, which is again a very positive trend at the end of this.
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>> if i could sort of ask one more on education, in terms of education in pakistan, pakistan also has a public education system and a private education system and a very elite private education system and some of the people we see who do really well in the u.s. are there efforts to bring that sort of elite private education system. are there efforts to bring that public education system to par with the more elite private education system or to improve the quality so people can compete in a global environment from that public education system? >> i would say that it is a -- certainly the effort is being made. in order to bridge the gap between private education, schooling education and public school.
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i'm a product of the public schools. products of the schools and public schools, provided very good quality education. the private schools, they have become sort of -- the quality of sometimes education is not as good as is provided in the private schools, but certainly, an effort is being made by the government to address this issue and they're addressing this issue by improving the school buildings, providing good facilities in the school, to provide better training for the teachers. the idea to develop the kind of infrastructure that would make
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the public schools equally attractive for a young student to get admission. >> so moving to security issues. you mentioned some of the successes of the military campaign. and certainly, we can see it with the numbers, terrorist attacks have gone down. fatalities have gone down. i've been in pakistan twice this year and it's quite palpable, the fact that the internal security situation has improved. a two-part question relating to that. the first is how it has impacted bilateral relations with the u.s. and two, what is being done in terms of the longer term national action plan in terms of sort of a counternarrative to terrorist groups, so it doesn't arise again.
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>> i remember that a couple of years ago, when every interaction we had with the u.s., the areas of pakistan, or the activities of various terrorist organizations, well, i think the -- as during my talk, i talked -- i mentioned about the development of this national consensus in the country. these forces. so in line with the national consensus, taking action against all groups. and i think with that, it has certainly helped in developing a much better understanding between us and the united states of america. and here i would also like to mention that when we talk about the military operations,
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we certainly owe 00 a debt of gratitude to the u.s. administration, members of the congress, and also many other institutions including the common people. for the siupport that we receivd from the united states of america. we got precision guided ammunition and the helicopters and the f-16s, which was certainly a game changer because we were talking about an area which was the most treacherous of the areas and without the sophisticated military equipment that we used in order to clean up the area, we couldn't have achieved our objectives. >> thank you. those are good answers. we will now move to audience q and a, if you could line up over
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there. we'll go first come, first serve and if you could keep your questions brief and to the point and also, have it be one question instead of sort of a set of questions. and ask a question. no statements by themselves. >> every glar spent dollar spent on the military is a dollar not being spent in social needs, in particular education. what is the motivation behind doubling pakistan's military budget? >> i don't think our military budget has been doubled. >> i thought you said something about going from 2% to 4%. >> no, that's for education. >> oh. totally different. sorry.
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>> we first that the two person of the gdp we were spending for the last many, many years, that was certainly insufficient to promote education and to provide areas of pakistan. so, it is accordingly with that objective in mind that the government has decided to double the allocation for education from 2% to 4% by 2018. >> that's good news. what is happening as far as the military budget is concerned? >> sorry? >> what is happening as far as the military budget is concerned? >> well, you see, the point is at the moment our military budget, you can make a comparison that we have a very serious situation to address not only on our eastern border but also western border, which certainly required some kind of a military expenditure. but you can compare the
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situation that, for instance, our budget, military defense budget, is less than the increase that was introduced by india in their, you know, budget last year. so, you know, you can well imagine the kind of challenges that we have faced. >> thank you for coming and speaking with us. my question is sort of more targeted towards education and vocational training and more specifically efforts to integrate the tribal regions into the local economy and education and for students in those tribal regions. >> well, you know, again, it is extremely important that as we have cleared pakistan from the evil forces in the last one year, it is extremely important for us to build the infrastructure and also to provide quality education to the
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children of the tribal areas. many years ago there was a very good suggestion that came from members of the congress to establish reconstruction opportunity zones in the tribal areas of pakistan. but unfortunately that proposal did not go, you know, move forward because of certain reasons. we feel that given the kind of challenges that we face and the kind of resource constraint that we have, it would require collective effort on the part of all of us who created that situation in the first place in the '70s. so, accordingly, i think we are getting a lot of assistance from the united states of america. but the point is that in case you need, say, $3 billion or $4
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billion in order to build the kind of infrastructure that you're talking about, the input that you're getting from the external sources is very small and we have to basically prioritize our own expenses. so, but i think the -- this is an area, there is a lot of understanding of this problem that we are faced with. and hopefully as we intensify our dialogue and perhaps try and revive the proposal that rema remained dormant for a number of years, i think that would bring a lot of prosperity to the tribal areas. >> thank you. >> thank you both for coming and talking to us today. ambassador, you touched upon the importance of economic development to peace in the region, and you talked about how
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pakistan is engaging with countries in the region, with the u.s., to expand its economic development. but could you touch on the domestic policies that pakistan is pursuing to reduce graft, corruption in pakistan and to otherwise make pakistan a better environment for new and growing businesses? >> well, again, i think this is a very important issue. because corruption as i mentioned are the issues which have been constantly being debated in the country. but here again, i would like to mention that democracy has done a lot of good to pakistan. people of pakistan, they feel in particular the government has not done very well in terms of governance or has not been able to arrest corruption.
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people will vote them out. and this is the phenomena, this is a constant phenomena that we are witnessing today. i think with the -- i mentioned about the ruthless nature of our media because media is trying to pick holes in almost everything from, you know, whether the members of the parliament, whether the bureaucracy, whether -- you name any institution and that comes under a lot of scrutiny as far as the media is concerned. then there are civil society organizations, educating this issue. so, i would briefly mention that these developments have also done a lot of good to us, because in pakistan the situation has improved significantly, because in the last, for instance, two years if you look at the reports which have come -- which have been released by the international financial institutions or international rating agencies,
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the rating -- pakistan's economic outlook has improved significantly. it is, again, because of the steps that the government has taken in order to ensure good governance. the steps taken by the government in order to arrest corruption, to go after corrupt elements. and i think -- and also because of the economic reforms including the taxation reforms which have been introduced in the country. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming and talking to us today. as a student at george washington university, this is -- i learned more about u.s./pakistan relations tonight than i have probably in my entire life. this has been illustrative, thank you. you mentioned briefly how pakistan in the past has helped with its good relations with china and the u.s. with fostering chinese and american ties.
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if you had to make a personal prediction, how do you expect that pakistan could help strengthen u.s./iranian ties in the future? >> you know, again, it's a very, very interesting question. for the information of all of those in the audience who do not know, i also look after the iranian interests in this country. since -- ever since the relation between the united states of america and iran, they were severed, this responsibility was given to pakistan to look after the iranian interests as the u.s. government looks after the u.s. interests in iran. we are doing, again, this because we enjoy very good relationship with both the united states of america and iran.
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we share about 1,000 kilometer-long border with iran, and we feel that with the kind of rapprochement that is in the offing between iran and the b-5 plus countries after a successful outcome of the negotiations on nuclear issues, i think that's a very good news for countries of the region. because the region could not afford any more tension after the afghanistan tension we've been witnessing for the last many, many years. so, it has certainly generated a lot of hope in our region that the future looks very, very, very bright as far as regional connectivity projects are concerned or in terms of increased cooperation between iran and the united states of america is concerned.
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i see that we can feel that the ice is certainly melting between the two countries. we hope that the agreement that has been successfully negotiated between the b-5 plus countries and iran that would be implemented by both the sides, because after its implementation the sanctions are going to be lifted and the lifting of the sanctions is something that would also open up enormous opportunities not only for the countries of the region but other regions as well. >> one more question. i believe you mentioned also chinese increase economic participation with pakistan as well as pakistan's participation with other countries in the region. how do you expect that this will affect pakistani and indian
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relations given that india and china have not had the most friendly relations in the past? >> i think the lessons that we have learned from the history is that the economic development in one country also benefits the neighboring countries. because this economic corridor that we are developing between china and pakistan, the economic corridor will be developed from the western part of china, linking it with the port in pakistan. and the construction of the waterway between and also a railway track between these two places. this would also involve construction of -- or establishment of industrial zones on the entire length and breadth of this economic corridor. so, you can well imagine that the kind of prosperity that it
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is going to bring in the region, not only between china and pakistan, because a lot of investment is going to take place in those industrial zones. now, as far as the investment is concerned, every country has the opportunity, for instance, we had also engaged with the united states of america, that they can also invest in some of the projects which would be undertaken. so, i think that economic corridor is certainly going to become a factor of great economic stability in the region. >> all right. thank you. >> so, we have about five minutes left. what i suggest is that a couple of you ask your questions, and then we can go to the ambassador, and then the last two people if we have time. >> thank you, ambassador, for a very interesting talk.
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i work on education development in east africa and south asia at the world bank so i'll throw a bit of numbers at you in terms of education development in pakistan. so, in the past five or six years pakistan has received more than $2 billion in education investments in public education. but as far as the results are concerned, we don't see those kind of numbers coming from the country. particularly pakistan is still one of the five countries in the world with the most out-of-school age children. so, what is so different in the government strategy today that you think that these numbers will change when $2 billion couldn't make a difference? >> yeah. but, you see, the point is you're talking about $2 billion for a country with a population of 200 million people. so, you're talking about a country where the literacy rate was about 60%.
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but today i wish that i had the figures with me, but in the last two years the enrollment, for instance, has increased for both boys and girls. as i mentioned we have introduced compulsory education. and also we have provided incentives to the children in the rural areas, where because of the economic reasons, the parents would not send their children to schools, but now as part of this initiative that you're talking about, we're now providing children in the remote areas of pakistan or the parents, we give them incentives and the cash incentives in order for -- in order to basically lure them into schools. that's one thing. then the number of schools which are being established. the number of buildings which are being upgraded and the
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number of other universities which are being established, that requires huge resources and $2 billion that you are talking about, that's certainly would not be sufficient. but we are talking about is we need to invest massive resources into this sector. this is a sector which i have absolutely -- i'll be frank and candid that i must confess that it has -- it is a sector which needed much more attention in the past, but luckily that attention that it requires, that is being paid. >> thank you. >> thank you both so much for speaking this evening and sharing some really interesting thoughts and inkrisights. i'm curious to know if you could share some of the outreach efforts you have undertaken in washington and in the united states as the top pakistani
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diplomat in america during your tenure? what have you done? what are you currently doing? and what would you like to achieve in the future? >> yeah. you see, my job as ambassador of pakistan is not only to promote the interests of my own country in this great country, but also to also build strong relationship between our two countries. i can also -- you know, i can only build that strong -- build the relationship stronger by -- direction with the members of the administration. i'm very fortunate, i'm very lucky that i've got a very good relationship with almost every institution in the united states of america. whether it is the state department, whether it is the department of defense, whether it's the intelligence community, commerce or treasury or usdr,
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education. so, all these are relevant areas. economic cooperation, trade development is another area of my responsibility. and i have reason to feel satisfied that in the last two years or so that i've been here we have -- we have organized a number of conferences both in the united states of america and in pakistan, attended by very prominent businessmen from both the countries. congress is another important area of direction for any diplomat. i spend a lot of time on congress. i spend at least two or three days in a week interacting with members of the congress and also with the senior staffers, because they also play a very, very important role.
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and i have reason to be satisfied that we see that there is a lot of positivity that is emerging in our -- in the u.s. congress as far as pakistan is concerned. think tanks is another area of interaction. i interact with think tanks on a regular basis. pakistani-american community is certainly another important community we have. it's a very vibrant community that we have. so, again, you know, these are the kind of -- and media certainly is another area of -- that i have to focus. >> thank you. >> do we have time to take a couple more? okay. we'll take one more question. >> thank you for your comments tonight. tony spoke earlier about the importance of words and branding i think is a very important issue with respect to terrorism. in the past several weeks we've seen a lot of overblown and often hateful rhetoric emanating
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from the media and from political figures with respect to that issue. would it not be helpful to us around the world if we were to describe the failure of isis by virtue of the fact that millions of people, hundreds of thousands of people, are fleeing their so-called paradise? >> you know, again, a very important issue, but then this is a serious, you know, phenomena that we are talking about. this has -- this has developed again because of our own acts of omission and commission. and what is needed is to have -- to develop a collective strategy and collective efforts in order to defeat the forces like isis that you're talking about.
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you know, the discussion talked about developing a counternarrative which is extremely important. and the counternarrative, we need to basically convey this message that every -- in every country. and when i talk about every country, because this is a -- whether this radicalization process or support for isis, this is not confined to one country. we are talking about, you know, pockets throughout the world. so, we need to develop a counternarrative which is -- which is more convincing than the -- than the narrative being put out by isis. and as i said that we also need to educate our people. for instance, in pakistan, we have embarked upon a campaign.
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you must have seen this report by "washington post" of yesterday that isis will not be able to make inroads in pakistan because of the narrative that we have created in the country. we need to create the same kind of narrative almost in every country because in our parliament, the members of the parliament, they are discussing the kind of ruthless behavior of -- and the un-islamic behavior of isis. in the mosques also, the religious scholars are also talking about -- about this phenomenon. so, with that, i think we need to educate the misguided people who sort of subscribe to this particular ideology. >> shall we or no?
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yes? okay. yes. >> thank you very much. thank you very much to be here and you really discussed a little picture of pakistan. i hope things get right soon. despite the operation and despite the successful military operations, the jihadi factories are still working in pakistan. the best example is the red mosque in the center of islamabad where the cleric still challenging and still calling for the imposition of the islamic state. the female students taking oath openly, and they're more than thousand of students armed in that mosque. nothing is doing there. and secondly, nothing is being done against the band organization in pakistan. can you just discuss. >> to be very honest, i would
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not believe the assessment for the simple reason why we launched operations in north waziristan which was a huge successful, simultaneously we also launched operations against various other extremist organizations throughout the country. these were intelligence-based operations. and we are also producing results. i'm sure that you are familiar with the dreaded organization which was also responsible for the killing of -- the ethnic killings, so that has been utilized. similar other organizations or many other extremist elements they have been taken out. this campaign is ongoing. this was a phenomena as i mentioned if you look at the figures of the last several years, there has been a marked reduction in the incidents of
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terrorism in pakistan. according to some of the independent organization, this reduction is almost 60% to 70% in violence and extremism. these are ongoing efforts. obviously you can't have a magic wand to bring an end to this phenomena which was spreading in many countries. but the good thing is, the positive news is, that in pakistan we have been able to contain it. and the government is taking actions, and these are ongoing actions. and i'm sure that you will get some very positive results in the days to come. >> if i may just add a quick follow-up to that. is there a sense that these groups are also being -- >> we have adopted a policy where we will take action against every extremist
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organization irrespective of its shade and color. >> excellent. great. thank you so much. >> ladies and gentlemen, before we go back and have something to eat and drink, and i hope you'll stay and join in the after-discussion conversation, it's my pleasure tonight to have the honor of presenting something. which i hope is here. there we go. every ambassador who speaks at our ambassador series we honor with an ambassador's award and it's my pleasure tonight to honor his excellency ambassador gilani, ambassador of pakistan
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to the united states for his outstanding diplomatic leadership support of global education and international affairs. so, i hope you'll join me in congratulating ambassador gilani. >> thank you. >> this is not given. it's earned. and believe me, he's earned it. >> thanks so much. thanks so much. >> please enjoy the reception. republican presidential candidate donald trump is holding a campaign rally at the iowa state fairgrounds in des moines this evening. you can watch it live on c-span at 7:30 p.m. eastern time. this weekend on c-span,
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saturday night at 9:00 eastern, executives from pandora and spotify on how technology impacts the entertainment business from this year's aspen forum. >> are there certain parts of the day where music is actually not the only thing you want to listen to. so, morning commute is one hypothesis that we're testing right now is that when you're -- if you're on the subway and in your car, et cetera, maybe you only don't want music. maybe you want news. weather report. you want to see -- you know, if you're on the subway, not while you're driving, a clip of jimmy fallon or something like that. there's some other content you want to experience during that period of time. and that's kind of the hypothesis we're testing right now to see if people are interested in experiencing that. >> then sunday evening at 6:30, gop presidential candidate, ohio governor john kasich, at the council on foreign relations on rebuilding international alliances. >> thanks to my 18 years -- 18 years -- on the house armed
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services committee, i knew many months ago that the only way to solve this problem is to call for an international coalition to defeat isis in syria and iraq. we have to join with their nato allies, importantly with allies in the region, jordan, egypt, the gulf states, and saudi arabia, to organize an international coalition to defeat isis on the ground and to deny them the territory that they need to survive. those with long experience know that an air campaign on its own is simply not enough. >> for more schedule information go to our website the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, samantha power, was on capitol hill this week testifying before the senate foreign relations committee on u.n. peacekeeping missions. her testimony is followed by former bush administration diplomat and foreign policymaker john negroponte and foreign policy expert bruce jones of the brookings institution.
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this is 2 1/2 hours. >> senate foreign relations committee has come to order. thank our witness. i know she has significant responsibilities right now at the u.n. security council. ben and i had a chance this week to meet with her and all the members. quite educational. i hope on both sides. but we certainly appreciate you being here, and certainly i will introduce you in just a moment. but today's hearing will review united nations peacekeeping operations and explore
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opportunities for reform to make u.n. peacekeeping work better in the u.s. national interests. as a permanent member of the security council and the largest contributor by far to the u.n. peacekeeping budget, the u.s. has a particular interest in how u.n. peacekeeping mandates are set and operations are carried out. the united states cannot be everywhere all the time. there's an important role for u.n. peacekeeping and supporting u.s. interests for security and stability around the world. today's u.n. peacekeeping is evolving in many ways. traditionally missions have focussed primarily on negotiating peace agreements and inserting blue helmets to separate conflicting parties over these agreements and generally monitoring and keeping the peace. u.n. peacekeepers now are being asked to take on new and difficult responsibilities, such as civilian protection, disarming active combatants or developing the capacity to
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engage on the anti-terrorism front. these new missions and mandates raise many questions, which we certainly will be exploring today. what are the risks when u.n. peacekeepers actively engage combatants in a war zone? the u.n. peacekeepers forgo their neutrality in these instances and if so, what are the implications for our interests? if u.n. peacekeepers are asked to provide logistic support in humanitarian crises such as the ebola outbreak in west africa, what challenges does that raise? i am particularly concerned with recent disturbing reports of sexual exploitation and abuse by certain u.n. peacekeeping troops. the current u.n. policy is zero tolerance, but such abuses continue with disturbing regularity. so, it's our hope to find some commonsense ways to address these issues and explore -- in exploring these and other topics such as u.s. peacekeeping
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assessment. we, again, want to thank our distinguished witness for being here, and i'll turn it over to our ranking member for his comments. >> well, thank you, chairman corker, and i very much appreciate you convening this hearing on an important topic. and i want to thank all of our distinguished panelists today, extraordinary individuals who have given so much to our country. we thank you all for your participation and your continued service to our country. particularly ambassador powers. good to see you here. i have long believed the united nations at its best could be a powerful partner of the united states advancing global peace and security with far less cost and more effectively than if we act alone. when you had the u.n. presence, it's a global presence. and that's far preferable than having a u.s. or sole one-country presence. the u.n. does many things right. they assist more than 60 million refugees and displaced people fleeing conflict, famine and persecution, with lifesaving
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assistance. provides food to 90 million people in 80 countries. it vaccinates 58% of the world's children. saving no less than 3 million lives. recently it launched the sustainable development goals which if fully embraced could have a powerful impact globally on reducing corruption and poor governance. in short the u.n. is capable of and has already done a great deal of good in the world. but i believe that the u.n. could be stronger and much more effective if there were greater transparency and accountability across the entire organization. the u.n.'s continuing anti-israel bias is unhelpful in our shareded interests in the peaceful, stable middle east. in the case of syria the assad regime continues its barrel bombing and slaughter of civilians and those responsible for war crimes have yet to be held accountable. but let's be clear, the united states could not ensure international security alone, nor should it have to. the united nations and
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specifically the u.n. peacekeeping remains one of the best burden-sharing tools we have to end war and protect the civilian population and secure territory by drawing upon the financial and human capacities of all u.n. member states the u.n. helps share the responsibility of promoting global stability and reduces the need for unilateral intervention. u.n. u. united nations peacekeeping has protected innocent civilians with 120,000 police personnel currently serving as part of 16 missions on four continents, u.n. peacekeepers now represent the largest deployed military force in the world. there are more u.n. peacekeeping missions today because peacekeepers are being asked to do more in increasingly dangerous, remote and deadly operational environments. we need to recognize this and make sure that the united nations and the troops contributing countries are given peacekeepers who are placed in harm's way the protective equipment, training, support
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that they deserve. peacekeepers themselves are often seen as legitimate targets for attack by extremist groups and others. we saw that recently in the horrific attacks in mali where terrorists linked to al qaeda killed 20 people including an american from maryland. the u.s. peacekeeping mission in mali has suffered 42 fatalities at the hands of the militants since january 2013. we know the peacekeeping is a cost-effective tool when compared to other military options. the budget only makes up 0.5 percent of the world's total military expenditures. i think this is a particularly important moment considering we are debating the omnibus and dealing with the fiscal issues of our country and trying to balance the budgets. let me bring it closer to home. the u.n. peacekeeper cost per year is about $16,000. in 2014, each u.s. soldier in afghanistan cost 2.1million.
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moreover, according to the study by the gao, u.n. peacekeeping operations are 18 times less expensive than a comparable force. i think the chairman has raised a good point about reform in the united nations and the way they do their budget. the scale of assessment should be reworked and i'm confident ambassador power is focused on it as well. i have long been concerned about the disturbing reporting of sexual exploitation and abuse. as the largest contributor to the united nations and as the permanent member on the u.n. security council the united states has a responsibility to assure that the united nations jum ho uphold professionalism in the peacekeeping operations. the failure to hold the countries accountable for
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allegations of abuse is unacceptable. u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon recently announced a series of proposals at a meeting. that's only a start. more must be done by both the united nations and the member states. i look forward to hearing about how the united states could continue to push for these effective reforms. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses and having a robust discussion. >> thank you, senator cardin. we have two distinguished panelists today. we want to thank all who are here to share their wisdom. obviously our first person is the permanent representative to the u.s. mission to the united nations samantha power. we thank you for being here today with a very tight schedule. we also thank you for bringing haley back who served so well with senator coons here and was one of the bright people we had here on the committee amongst many, but we thank you both for being here. if you could keep your comments
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to about five minutes or so, we'd appreciate it, and then we look forward to "q" and "a." thank you. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman, ranking member ning t thank you for making time to be here to discuss peacekeeping. this committee is acutely aware of the extent to which conflicts on the other side of the globe can come back and threaten american security. we've seen time and again how conflicts can displace millions of people, upend markets and destabilize entire regions. all too recently and all too frequently we've seen how such instability can attract and enable violent extremist groups exploit the vacuum of authority to terrorize civilians and recruit new members or attack and launch new attacks. u.s. peacekeepers play a vital role to address war, violence
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and instability. as president obama said in september, we know that peace operations are not the solution to every problem, but they do remain one of the world's most important tools to address armed conflict. peacekeepers can help resolve conflict, shore up stability, deny safe harbor to extremists and protect civilians from atrocities, all of which serve core american interests and reflect deep american values. while ensuring greater burden sharing by the international community. this administration has consequently been working aggressively to ensure u.n. peace keeping operations are better able to meet the demands of international peace and security, which has been noted by both the chairman and the ranking member, those requirements have changed considerably just over the last 20 years. peacekeepers today are undertaking more missions. the number of uniformed personnel has risen from fewer than 20,000 15 years ago to over 100,000 today. they're assuming greater risks.
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two-thirds are operating in active conflict the highest percenta percentage history and their responsibilities range from disarming armed groups to facilitating humanitarian aid to protecting civilians who wish them harm. 98% of u.n. personnel are under orders to protect civilians as part of their mandate. this is not the peacekeeping -- your mother's peacekeeping, your grandfather's peacekeeping, it's evolved significantly. while peacekeeping has never been more important to american interests it's never been more demanding, those why in september president obama issued the first presidential memorandum on multilateral peace operations in more than 20 directing a wide range of actions to strengthen and modernize u.n. operations including by building partner capacity, providing u.s. support and leading reform of u.n. peacekeeping. i just want to briefly, mr. chairman, touch on a few key lines of effort that we have
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pursued. these are described in greater detail in my written submission. first, we are care working to e countries with the will to perform 21st century peacekeeping have the capacity to do so. we have a rapid response partnership or aprep. through aprep the united states is investing in the capacity of six african countries that have proven themselves leaders in peacekeeping. in exchange these countries have committed to maintaining the forces and equipment necessary to deploy rapidly. this initiative builds upon the global peace operations initiative launched under president george w. bush which is our primary tool for building partner nation peacekeeping capacity and it will help ensure that more soldiers will be fully prepared. i hope the senate and house will fully fund this important initiative in future years. second, we are expanding the
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pool of police contributing countries and bringing advanced militaries back into peacekeeping. in september president obama convened a historic high-level summit at the u.n. to rally new commitments to peacekeeping marking the culmination of a yearlong effort initiated by vice president biden at the previous assembly. nearly 50,000 additional troops and police were pledged. more of these troops will come from advanced militaries who bring with them equipment and expertise that is critically needed on the ground. we saw this in mali, in january this year, when dutch attack helicopters helped bang ladesh. as one part of our contribution to global peace and security looking specifically for ways to leverage our military's unique capabilities to support peacekeeping operations including by enabling faster
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deployment by others. third, we are working to ensure a higher standard of performance and conduct once peacekeeping contingents are deployed. specifically in two critical areas. the complete fulfillment of their mandates and the combatting of sexual exploitation and abuse. the additional troops will prove invaluable to both goals by allowing the u.n. to be more selective about which troops it deploys and giving it the leverage to repatriot poorly performing troops and police when necessary and especially, of course, in instances where there are credible allegation of sexual abuse. with respect to mandate when peacekeepers deploy in volatile situations they have to be prepared to use force to defend themselves and to protect civilians and otherwise carry out their mandated past. too often in the past peacekeepers have shied away even when atrocities are being perpetrated. a report in march last year found that in 507 attacks
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against civilians from 2010 to 2013 peacekeepers virtually never used tos are to protect those coming under attack. thousands of civilians likely lost their lives as a result. this cannot continue. and a growing number of leading troop contributors agree. the 50,000 additional troops and police should enable more capable, more willing troops and police to staff these missions. the same is true on sexual exploitation and violence. and let me just state the obvious here. we share the outrage of everyone on this committee. all the american people who are focused on this issue. peacekeepers must not abuse civilians. sexual abuse and exploitation have no place, it goes without saying, again, in any society. it is especially abhorrent when committed by those who take advantage of the trust that communities are placing in the united nations and those responsible must be held accountable. addressing this scourge will require continuing the important efforts begun by
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secretary-general ban ki-moon to strengthen the implementation of a zero tolerance policy including bolstering reporting and accountability measures and pledging to set up an immediate response team to investigate certain cases. it will also require more vigilance and followthrough from troop contributing countries. there must also be far more transparency in these investigations to track cases and ensure that justice is served. the u.n. should be able to take advantage now of this newly expanded pool of soldiers and police by suspending from peacekeeping any country that does not take seriously the responsibility to investigate and if necessary prosecute credible allegations. the fourth and final priority, mr. chairman, is to press for bold institutional reforms within the u.n. itself. we've seen the u.n. secretary make profound changes to peacekeeping from improved logistics and sustainment to a more comprehensive approach to crisis situation that integrates military police and civilian tools but much, much more needs to be done and we've spearheaded efforts to enact further reforms
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including longer troop rotations to preserve institutional memory, penalties for troops who show up without the necessary equipment to perform their duties and we'll continue to work aggressively to cut costs. the u.n. has already, thanks to u.s. leadership, cut the per-peacekeeper cost by roughly 17% since 2008. we are also working to advance the reforms proposed by the secretary-general's high-level independent panel on u.n. peace operations which are intended to address inadequate planning, slow troop, deployment, breakdowns in command and control and a current set of rules around human resources and procurement designed for the conference rooms of new york and not the streets. let me conclude in all of the areas i've just described we've seen improvements and the united states has played an instrumental role in making them possible. but there is much more to be done. we are not satisfied with peacekeepers fulfilling only parts but not all of their mandates. with peacekeepers standing up to protect civilians in some but
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not all situations or with soldiers being held accountable for crimes or misconduct, some but not all of the time. the role played by peacekeepers today is too important. for the sake of our own interest and security as well as the millions of innocent people around the world whose lives may depend on peacekeepers we'll continue to strengthen peacekeeping so it's tailored for the 21st century threats peacekeepers face. we appreciate your interest and support and continued dialogue on these matters. thank you. >> well, thank you very much for those comments. senator isakson and i were in darfur years ago, and just infuriated by the caveats that the u.n. peacekeepers had. they could only fire at people when they were fired upon. you had women going out collecting wood from their villages being raped, abused. people being murdered by the
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terrorists. as we've evolved these missions and people now are placing themselves as peacekeepers more in the center of conflicts, in some cases taking sides, how has this changed the way the u.n. is viewed in these peacekeeping missions? i assume you believe this is international interest for us to be in this -- you know, certainly i do. but how has this changed the way these blue hats are viewed in these areas? >> thank you, senator corker. it's an excellent question. i think one of the lines that the u.n. struggles to walk is that it has on the one hand peacekeepers that are charged with an aggressive enforcement of mandates which entail protecting civilians and not just peacekeepers themselves as was once the case. you have that on the one hand and then you have u.n. country m am programs that look
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indistinguishab indistinguishable, passing out food, providing shelter, trying to provide counseling to those who have been victimized by sexual abuse. it's been challenging, the blurring of functions across these missions. but the only thing worse than confronting that challenge of having people in society distinguish who does what is actually having people in these societies rely on peacekeepers, know that the mandate says protect civilians and have those peacekeepers bunkered and more interested, again, in necessarily -- in collecting a paycheck and then going home than actually being out and about and delivering on the promise of that blue flag. so, again, it varies per-conflict area. i think we've come a long way. but as i noted, the statistics are not inspiring. i mean, there are still many troop contributing countries who send their troops in without the very strict guidance that you will be sent home if you don't enforce the mandate you're given. >> as i understand it, i know, i appreciate the comments senator
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cardin made about the cost. but as i understand it for some of these countries, even though the cost to us is far less than having u.s. soldiers there, it's still the pay for these soldiers is far greater than they would otherwise receive in their own countries and actually that money, i guess, goes to the countries. and so they're benefiting financially these countries in sending troops there, is that correct? in some cases. in some of the lower-income countries. and is that feeding the situation of actually having troops there that are not, if you will, carrying out their mandates in an appropriate way, not qualified, not equipped? talk to us a little bit about what is driving having folks within the peacekeeping missions that are certainly not conducting themselves in a professional manner. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman, again, it reflects a real understanding of the dynamics in some of these missions. again, the performance is
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uneven. the motivation is uneven. the incentives for troops is uneven. if you take, for instance, rwandan peacekeepers who do get a more substantial stipend by serving peacekeeping missions than if they were at home. but they were totally driven by what happened in their country 21 years ago and actually view protecting civilians as a way of showing the world what should have been done when the genocide unfolded in rwanda. contrast that with other troops, again, who institutionally are not given the guidance from capital that they need to be out and about, that, yes, there are risks entailed with patrolling, but there are risks also entailed by being bunkered. i think on the question, the very specific question of the stipend, as senator cardin said, this is a very good deal for the american taxpayer. these are extremely difficult environments not only because of the risks of militia and government forces targeting
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peacekeeping, peacekeepers as they're out and about, but also just the conditions in terms of logist logistics, access to water. i mean, these are missions that are not expending resources in the manner that our missions do when they deploy internationally. the logistic tale is not nearly as fulsome. i think it's important to inc t incenty vincent incenti incen incentivize the missions. but i think senator cardin's point is very, very important. we are getting a lot out of the 100,000-plus troops who are active in the conflict areas. if you look at mali or lebanon, places that are really cutting-edge theaters in terms of terrorism and extremism, and if it weren't u.n. peacekeepers
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who were there putting their lives at risk, it may come to the united states at some point in order for us to advance our security. >> as it relates to the issues of the abuse that's taken place that is obviously abhorrent, you know, look, in fairness, i think people on both sides of the aisle have concerns about the u.n.'s ability to actually put reforms in place. we understand how the u.n. operates, and i know you talked about the leader's desire to create reforms. we sent a letter suggesting that we have on-site court-martials by the countries, by the way, these particular soldiers actually report ultimately to, not by the u.n. itself. we also made some other suggestions. what is your sense that those types of reforms can be implemented relative to peacekeeping? >> well, as ambassador negroponte behind me i think
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will attest, through the life of the u.n. you have a challenge always on reform in the sense that there are two places you have to secure, will and followthrough. the first is with the countries that comprise the u.n. so, every troop-contributing country to peacekeeping has to be prepared to look at the kinds of ideas that you put in your letter, that we've been pushing in new york and implement in their own military, changes to ensure followthrough -- oversight in the first instance, followthrough on the investigation and accountability whether a court-martial or some kind of prosecution in civilian court. probably there's no one size fits all solution because every country has its own set of procedures, again, for following up on abuse of any kind. and the u.n. has to be more aggressive in shining the spotlight on the countries not taking the steps needed. i think we've seen improvements -- this is, again, not one should cite as an
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improvement. it should never have been the case that it was otherwise. but where those individuals who were alleged to be involved in sexual abuse now are not being paid by the u.n. they are being recalled to their capital, training and vetting now is changing so that there is training on preventing sexual abuse and exploitation. you had an idea, i believe, in your letter about a claims kind of commission. i think the u.n. is looking at creating a victim support trust fund which is something, of course, we would wish to support as well. it's going to require going back to member states and getting resources to put into that, but maybe some of the docked pay of those against whom there are allegations could be used in service of such a fund. and then i think having more aggressive on-site investigative capacity so that less time passes between an allegation and actual followthrough. lastly, the two aspects of reform come together in order to secure reform, meaningful reform, that actually matters for potential victims or people
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already victimized, there has to be more transparency between what's actually going in the field and what we're hearing in new york. too often we hear exploit from ngos and journalists rather than from the u.n. itself. if we were to go to a developing country and try to enhance their capacity -- the training on the front end but their capacity to investigate on the back end of the allegation, we have to know who is accused of doing what and be in a position to offer support. if there are countries shirking their investigations, we've got to know if there's a recurrent pattern of not actually taking seriously the zero tolerance policy. >> thank you. my time is up. as a courtesy, i want to move on. i do hope through questioning at some point, i know the president has made additional pledges to the u.n. beyond our normal peacekeeping budgeting and i hope at some point it will come
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to light as to where those resources are planned to come from. but thank you, again, for being here. senator cardin? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, ambassador power, for your service to our country. i want to -- as i said in the opening statement, i'm a strong supporter of the mission of the united nations and the incredible progress it has made in global issues. i want to talk about transparency and accountability. it's come up quite a bit on several subjects. one of the i think clearest ways to try to help the safety of civilians is to hold president assad of syria accountable for violating international war crime-type activities. so, do we have your commitment as our ambassador in the united nations that we will seek full accountability by president assad for the war crimes that he has committed in any of these
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negotiations that take place in regards to the resolution of syria? >> thank you, senator. well, let me say that one of my more unsuccessful days in my office since this body was good enough to confirm me for my job was pursuing a referral of the crimes, the war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out in syria to the international criminal court. that was a resolution we brought to the u.n. security council, notwithstanding our own nonprescription in the icc, we believe that that is a venue that should be looking at chemical weapons attacks and barrel bombs attacks and systematic torture and, of course, that effort at a referral was vetoed by russia and a veto supported by china. >> i do understand there's going to be negotiations that will involve the united states, and united states is going to have to sign off on those negotiations. do i have your commitment that the -- your position at the
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united nations will be to hold president assad accountable for the type of activities you just described? >> the ultimate settlement in syria is going to be between the opposition and the syrian government. we -- the united states position on accountability i hope is well known. we are absolutely supportive and have been aggressively supportive in building an evidentiary base so as to ensure that assad and other people responsible for war crimes are held accountable. >> it's not up to the government and opposition to determine whether a person has violated an international standard on conduct of war, war crimes are global. it's a global accountability. >> i think there two separate issues. one is what is the standard or the threshold question for what forms of accountability -- for where accountability should be provided or whether prosecution or a truth commission -- there are a whole set of tactical
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questions of how accountability should be pursued. there's a related overlapping question of what the terms of a political settlement would be. i mean, this is not something that is on the verge of happening, so i think the details on accountability have not yet been fleshed out and it's something we should consult on, but i want to underscore the final agreement has to be something that both the opposition and the government can get behind. >> i understand that. it doesn't quite answer my question. let me make my position clear, and i think the members of this committee. if president assad is not held accountable, there will not be support for any solution in regards to syria. i'll just make that pretty clear from the beginning. let me talk to issue number two on transparency and accountability. the chairman has already talked about that. the abuse allegations. if this is not done in an open manner, whether it's complete understanding and disclosure of
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what is taking place, the confidence factor of those responsible for these abuses being held accountable will not be there. >> i agree completely. i mean, as i said, there has been insufficient reporting back to the security council. we have now taken sexual abuse and exploitation made it an issue to be discussed in the security council. >> i've seen the specific recommendations and they're good, but they have to be followed through. it has to be done in a way that the international community, the activists, can be confident that those who are responsible have truly been held accountable so this will not happen in the future. that i think is the important point. it's not just a closed investigation, but that we have an open closure of this issue and a commitment on how to go forward in how these matters will be handled.
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>> it's fair to say that victims who come forward do so at their own peril and don't do so with confidence. having taken that risk, there's even going to be accountability on the back end, and that has to change entirely. if it does change, you may well see more people coming forward. >> let me get to my third point on transparency and accountability and that is the budget system at the united nations. it's anything but open and clear and transparent. that's nothing new. it's been that way for a long time. it's hard for me to understand why our assessment on the peacekeeping is 28.36%, if i'm correct, which is almost three times higher than the next country and is significantly higher than our general allocation for the u.n. budget. that doesn't seem to be to me a transparent way to budget. can you briefly inform us as to
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the u.s. position of a fair allocation of budget? >> the formula on which the u.s. share of the peacekeeping budget is a very complex formula. let me say in brief that it's some combination of our share of the global economy, plus a premium we play by being a permanent member of the security council and getting to dictate whether a mission comes into existence and whether it doesn't along with the other permanent members, so we pay a premium for being a permanent member. we were able to secure the cap on our regular budget. the formula would have us pay at a higher right if not for the 22% cap that ambassador holbrook secured going on 15 years ago. the one thing i want to stress is our emphasis is on ensuring
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that countries that are contributing more to the global economy are paying more of their share. we are in the midst of scales negotiations now on our share of the peacekeeping budget. our emphasis has been on ensuring countries where you can see their economic growth, but you don't see a correlation in terms of their contribution. the chinese contribution to peacekeeping has more than doubled in the last ten years, and i think we can anticipate that the chinese share is going to be up around 10%, which would be a triple. the russian contribution has doubled. >> we should point out china is still less 1/4 of the united states and russia is 1/8 of the united states. the 22% cap, we understand that. that was well deserved the way that came out.
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it looks like that the united nations is equalizing through the peacekeeping percentage and that the 22% cap is being violated because of our higher contributions to the peacekeeping efforts. i just urge you the more transparent this process, the better it's going to be, i think, received politically in our country. and we do think the 22% is a fair number, and we think it should be honored and it should be honored in the peacekeeping. >> i want to underscore when the agreement was secured on the 22% cap no similar agreement was secured as it related to peacekeeping. in fact, having the 22% cap actually helps us in the peacekeeping realm because 22% becomes a baseline on which these premiums are agreed to.
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i want to stress we share the same objective. we want to get other countries to step up and pay their share. if you look again at what this means for u.s. national security, i think this is a version of the argument you made at the beginning, that having the -- even when you compare it to nato where the united states bears the lion's share of defense investments, that having the rest of the world paying 72% of the peacekeeping budget is a good deal for the american taxpayer. >> my last point, the safety of civilians is critically important. you stressed the increased number in the commitment in the meeting in september. it's not matter of numbers of personnel. do they have the will to go in and stand in front of civilians
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to protect them? we haven't seen that. i'm not sure i was comforted by your reply that we have a greater capacity by number. if we don't have greater capacity by will, the civilian population is going to be at great risk. >> the point that i emphasized in my testimony is we have succeeded now in getting contributions -- commitments i should say from advanced militaries. europe had gotten out of peacekeeping by and large over the large -- last 20 years. we think, again, giving the u.n. the choice -- now it has a pool from which it can choose. if there are people who show insufficient will and want to spend more time in their bases, we think having this pool of forces, which include more professional and advanced militaries and better aviation and engineering and infantry capabilities, giving the u.n. that selectivity is going to mean over time the performance of these peacekeepers is going to improve. numbers alone don't mean anything if you have 50,000
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commitments of people with no political will. but we see sustainable commitments from those who we think do have that will. >> i want to thank the ranking member for bringing up an issue that is brought up consistently certainly on our side of the aisle also. i want to thank him for that. with nato, which i know is not within your jurisdiction, we have become the provider of security services. and our nato allies, generally speaking, the consumer of security services. the same thing is happening with the peacekeeping at the u.n. i know it's a different set of actors, but the very people that stymy our efforts to enforce -- china for instance is taking advantage of us. but i think we continue to be not as good as we should be at forcing other nations to be
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responsible, so i want to thank senator cardin for bringing this up. it is infuriating, infuriating, to have the lack of transparency that does exist at the u.n. i think over time it will erode support. it's not particularly high because of the many issues that we see going unattended like not dealing with the ballistic missiles that are being fired in iran. i'm glad there's bipartisan concern. i hope you can address it. senator perdue? >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me echo that too. i want to compliment the ranking
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member for continuing to bring this up. i want to talk about that in just a second. right now, we're spending about $2 billion just in the peacekeeping force in the united states. i think that's our contribution. because of the assessment, we're some $345 million in arrears in terms of what the u.n. says we owe them. i'd like to point out also, mr. chairman, it's not just the percentages here in relation to the size of the gdp. it's also, i think, should be taken into account the percentage of the gdps in this countries that spend on their own military. that also bears to the global security situation. i think given the situation we have in the united states 35 to 45% of what we've been spending is borrowed. i have two quick questions. first, i want to thank you for what you're doing. given your high school years in georgia, we claim you and we're proud of what you're doing. i want to talk about hezbollah and lebanon.
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some 12,000 troops are there of the u.n. resolution in 2006 strengthened the mandate there to preclude the illegal transport of weapons into lebanon and yet we know today they have an estimated 120,000, 150,000 rockets, some of these guided weapons, and it is very troubling. it looks to me like if that mandate were directed to keep weapons out of lebanon, they're failing against that mandate. we've had reports that there have been threats about reprisals if they report violations. what can we do to strengthen there and preclude the transport of these dangerous weapons? >> unifil has played a role since 2006 in calming the
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situation, but there's no question that hezbollah has been able to maintain and expand an arsenal. we have and continue to urge uni fil to be more aggressive in patrolling and monitoring about violation of the unifil mandate. you've seen more transparency on the part of unifil. part of the problem is when you have -- when you're not at war with those terrorist organizations, you're using political pressure particularly by lebanon's own sovereign institutions, which are themselves very weak, you're shining a spotlight.
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you're trying to ensure interdiction of weapons before they even get into the theater in question. so unifil is not a perfect fiction for everything that ails lebanon or for the threat posed by hezbollah, but it has a responsibility to be vocal and to take very seriously its reporting mandate so countries in the region, including our friends, know what's happening in an area from which threats have come routinely in recent decades. >> let me ask you to add a comment or two about syria. can you speak to their role now and how are they interacting with idf? i have one last question.
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>> thank you. you're right that there's been a reconfiguration. this is something idf has done in israel. given the stakes here, it is a response to al nusra made advances on one side of the line. >> actually kidnapped some of the u.n. forces. >> exactly, senator. they did and the release of those forces had to be negotiated. i say even that incident showed it's not the same as civilian protection, but an unevenness in how the different units responded which is life in the u.n., some holding onto their weapons, refusing to be cowed, others handing over their weapons, unfortunately in a manner that left idf weaker. we again view this as a
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temporary relocation. we still believe the prior configuration is the stabilizing configuration, but i think the israelis are aware that the circumstances don't lend themselves to putting the observers on the other side of the line. >> the last question i have with the time remaining, ambassador, is the chairman mentioned it, but the violations of iran, we've been concerned that iran would violate our agreement incrementally. they're violating the u.n. agreement with the launch in october. then we have reports in the last week or so of a second launch. what's the u.n. doing in relation to the violations and the sanctions that back them up? >> this is something i've had occasion to talk to the chairman about. it's music to an u.n. ambassador's ears when
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resolutions just roll off the tongue of members of congress. resolution 1929 has been an incredibly important foundation to the sanctions regime. as soon as we confirm the launch, we brought it to the security council. we now are going to be discussing it on tuesday, the u.n. machinery always works slowly. the panel of experts is looking at it. we provided all the information we have on it. in a way, the security council is an important venue for
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increasing the political costs on iran when they violate resolution 1929. i would note, of course, that the jcpoa is aimed at dismantling iran's nuclear weapon program so that the threat iran poses in any aspect of its military is much diminished. the security council sanctions body operates by consensus. this is something that over time benefits the united states, but on something like that it means we have to convince all members of the committee to support our desire, designations, or any further form of accountability. >> what is the u.s. moving forward? so trying to secure a nexus between this launch and any particular individual and entity is a challenge we need to take on. looking at the security council and our bilateral tools complementary is important in this record. >> thank you. we both emphasized with the security council, we thought
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they might got a d-minus. an "f." total hoax. nonaction here is just going to empower them to continue to violate. i think what the ambassador just said is the u.n. is going to do nothing. nothing because china and russia will block that from occurring. i do hope they're preparing their bilateral efforts. it's disappointing, but we provide the resources that we do and yet we will have countries that will not cause other countries to live up to their obligations and block that. so very disappointing. senator coons? >> thank you for your tireless and dedicated service, your advocacy for human rights and leadership for representing us at the united nations and your passion for the difficult and
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demanding mission you're carrying out on behalf of our mission. i shared the expression of the active enforcement of the jcoa and security resolutions. i was pleased to hear there's an upcoming meeting of ministers around the u.n. security council and look forward to continuing to work closely with you and secretary lew and others in the administration to make sure we're using all of the tools that we can to ensure the sanctions remain in place and to impose sanctions should iranian behavior demonstrate a necessity of doing so. and some of the very real challenges, whereas you noted in your testimony, there's a
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disconnect. so start, if you will, on whether there's a mismatch between u.n. security councilman date s for the president's leadership in revamping militaries and not just logistics and intelligence but troops. how do we connect mandates and the capacity to deliver in the field. >> stu, thank you, senator. let me come back to something that senator corker said before, which is the contracts with nato. i just want to underscore this. this really is an example where we have national security interests in peace keepers in troops from other countries performing ably. this is not a nato situation
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where we are carrying a disproportionate share of the trooper. we're carrying a large share of the finance burden, and u again, that's something we're working to ensure is allocated more fairly. i think on the mandate troop contributor disconnect, which is real, and i think it's written across the board, something you have to do is get more quality groups. it has been, as you know well, a supply-driven market, as far as the u.n. basically goes with different countries, you know, standing army, you know, that exists in new york, the secretary general doesn't have anything beyond he can extract from u.n. member states. and that process.
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they want to go back to traditional principles of peacekeeping from the way it was done back in the '70s and '80s and that's not the world we're in. so i think the first answer is you increase the sophistication, the training, the professionalization on the troops but there needs to be more prioritization in the way that the mandates are put in place. it's hard in the real world to prioritize because you look at a situation like that in south sudan or that in congo. and what a task those peacekeepers are slated to perform. would you give up?
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would you give up demobilization? would you give up human rights monitoring? would you give up attention to child soldiers? of course not. and so you need to make sure that the missions are right-sized. you need maybe to do some sequencing in terms of building out some of those capableties over time. and the u.n. country and their own bilateral assistance needs to be involved in state institutions. i would challenge all of us to imagine what any one of those countries would be like without this, you know, somewhat stabilizing presence but it is not going to be a cure-all for as long as you have state institutions that don't function or leaders that are corrupt or militia on the loose or interested in carrying out horrors against their civilians.
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>> i continue as an appropriate for to advocate for funding peacekeeping so it's very encouraging to me to see your he had gaugement on reform. so for this to reflect our values, we need to make real progress around accountability. let me just ask sort of a last question and take whatever time you have left to answer. i'm concerned about the peacekeepers both in africa and globally. china made a pledge of 8,000 peacekeepers. and i'm concerned about how you see that planning on going forward and how we can sustain that investment. >> thank you. basically, told us anything he can do to ensure that these
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commitments are followed through on, he's prepared to invest his own time. so we are dealing with the set of challenges at a level that i don't think we've seen before with the aggressiveness that we haven't seen before from the united states, notwithstanding the fact that successive administrations have seen the value of this tool in the american and multilateral toolbox. i think that on the china question come together a little bit. >> i any the china question comes together a little bit. we have a major issue in terms of the delay between the time a mandate is given to u.n. piecekeeping force. this is their ability to train and get configured and get their
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equipment lined up. aprep is designed to take the six militaries, all of whom have a good record within peacekeeping of being aggressive in protecting civilians and having the political will to go to dangerous places. and we aim to then ensure through deepening our provision of equipment and the particular forms of training we offer that they can get into the theater more quickly than they have been up to this point. they need to acquire over time to lift sustainment and, again, this ability to if not be formally on stand by, to be ready to go when the 911 comes. china's commitment to the 8,000
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troops is very large piece of business. i don't think we yet have a sense, nor does the u.n., of how they imagine allocating that set of forces over time. right now they have just deployed their first infantry deployment ever in south sudan. the reports are quite promising in terms of how active those troops are out and about but also protecting civilians in the displaced person camps. so, you know, we need to look and see how the u.n. chooses to use that commitment. rapid response, if that were something that china could put on offer where you could actually use less time, a mission is needed and the time that troops show up, it took in south sudan, you know, we're two years after the original deployment and they are tl deployment and there is still not a full troop strength. so we would welcome rapid
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response. of course, we need to make sure that any peacekeeper that deploys has the mindset that they are willing to protect civilians and put themselves at risk because of the mandate. >> senator gardener? >> thank you for your time and testimony today. of course, thank you as well. senator perdue was asking about the security violations. in october we referred the matter to the united nations and called on it to, quote, review this quickly and recommend appropriate action? on october 22nd, i believe you stated and i quote, the united states will continue to press the security council to respond effectively to any future violations of any u.n. security violations.
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all relevant measures is and will remain critical. so as of today, as the united nations security council sanctions and the answer is no? is that correct? >> beyond having security council discussions of the matter, there's been no follow-on action. discussions are a form of u.n. action. it's a little bit like a hearing, as a form of congressional action. so we've had multiple discussions. >> the tuesday meeting, could you describe the actions that will be taken to that tuesday meeting? >> we will hear back -- well, we will actually not probably yet hear back from the panel of experts but if we're in a position to confirm the recent launch, this is something that we would bring to the council. we're not in a position to confirm those reports if warranted. and, again, we'll get an update from the u.n. on when the panel report is going to come back.
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>> so this launch needs to be confirmed but last launch we haven't taken action? >> again, we have taken action. >> what are those actions? >> we confirmed the violation. we brought it to the u.n. security council and launched the pam of experts investigating the matter and will bring it back. >> what other actions has the administration taken in response? other than taking it to the panel and talking about it and having a meeting? >> we have tools at our disposal that the treasury department is following up on. >> what unilateral measures are we considering? >> i believe sanctions designations, bearing in mind that most actors -- i shouldn't say most. many of the actors involved in ballistic missile launches and in the program itself are already sanctioned under u.s. law. >> and are we considering relief as a result of these actions? >> the jcoa, as you know, the
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sanctions relief will not occur until after the initial steps have been taken but i want to underscore again that the point is to dismantle the nuclear weapons program and that's an important emphasis for us. >> so more important than the ballistic concerns? >> i don't want to talk about relative importance but taking away iran's -- this is something we can all agree on, ensuring that iran does not develop a nuclear weapon is a priority. >> you referred to actor in the middle east and by not imposing safrgss, by not designating individuals or doing anything other than talking, aren't we allowing a vacuum of authority? >> this administration has put
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in place, in the case of the iran sanctions regime, as you know, this body in the first instance and then amplified and extended by what we've done at the u.n. the most devastating sanctions regime in the 70-year history of the united nations. so i don't think there's a void or a vacuum. iran has seen the consequences of violating international norms. we also have a sanctions snapback provision that i think few around the world would have thought that we could have secured as a result of this deal which would have allowed any single country to snap back and sanctions are a really important tool, the sanctions that this congress has put in place is a reason that we're in the position now to ensure that iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. >> but nothing has been done other than a meeting coming up on tuesday with a panel of experts on a ballistic missile
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violation? >> we have increased and will continue to increase the political cost to iran when it violates u.n. security council resolution. >> can you give me an example of that? >> the work that iran does to try to ensure that the u.n. security council does not even discuss ballistic missile launches, i can assure you, is a test to the stigma that they still association with our bringing these issues before the security council, the same with the panel of experts discussing this and documenting any violation. this is something that iran, which, of course, wants to become a nation like any other nation within the u.n., they find it very frustrating that they continue to be scrutinized. they've never recognized, as you know, the security council resolutions. so the fact that the council keeps functioning, keeps the spotlight on, increases the political cost is an important step.
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>> well, in october, this committee -- many members of this committee sent a letter to the secretary of state and the letter talking about a range of unilateral and missile-related activities and penalties under domestic authorities and engaged in activities but we've done nothing, imposed foreign e entities as a result of this, right? >> i want to just underscore the defense -- broadening approach which is our response to iranian ballistic missile launches is also a defense response. it's also the proliferation security initiative. it's everything that has come out of camp david and our engagement with the gulf countries to ensure interopen
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ability. >> they have launched twice. is it working? is that working, if they've had two launches, one in october, one recently -- >> one has to -- if one is thinking in terms of regional defense, one has to take measures in order to try to ensure that our partners in the region have the tools to defend themselves. even if you had a designation against someone involved in the ballistic missiles program, the number one deterrent and preventive measure is going to be regional defense. and that is where our emphasis was. if i were here and we had designated another actor bilaterally, we find one that has not already been designated and designate, i don't think that would address your concern about iran's ballistic missile program, nor should it. again, iran has systematically
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ignored u.n. security resolutions over the life of the entire international security council regime. the sanctions were in the system and would be sanctioned if they were engaged in iran. >> this systematic ignoring of the solutions, doesn't that give you concern about their willingness to comply going forward? >> that's why we have snap back. that's why we have verification on the ground. it's not an agreement predicated on trust, particularly in light of iran's past behavior again confirmed by the iea report. >> thank you. >> senator ca >> i think regardless of how people may have voted on the agreement, we understand that it is what is governing our actions with iran and i think on both
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sides of the aisle, regardless of how people voted, we want to make sure the agreement is implemented in the way that it was laid out and i think there's been a concern on both sides of the aisle that there's an err of permissiveness that's being developed that will cause the likelihood of any pushback over time to become less real. and i think that's what he's getting at and i think people on both sides of the aisle have been concerned about. 1929 says ballistic activity. unfortunately, it says "called upon" and i don't know whether they view that as permissive language but this is an issue that many people on both sides of the aisle are concerned about. what we're say is, again, not very vigilant steps being taken and it's setting a precedent for the future. with that, senator kaine?
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>> you gave an interview to the pbs newshour on december 4 and noted more progress needs to be made in uniting the anti--isis coalition. would it be clear to our ally, to our troops and to isil if congress was willing to finally debate and vote on this matter after 16 months of war? >> yes, senator. thank you for your leadership on this from the very start. i think people are puzzled as to why, given the priority, the people i work with at the u.n. are puzzled given the priority that the american people and bipartisan basis in both houses of congress attach to the anti-isil struggle and all of the attention to it that it has, you know, has come over the course of the last two years as to how we can't arrive at some
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consensus to be able to enshrine legislation that is true, which has the bipartisan backing of the american people and the congress. so i think it would be a really important signal if we could get that done. >> i have not done the research on this. but just from headlines and my memory, it strikes me that at least three of the u.n. security council nations, britain, france and, i'm sad to say, russia, have had their legislative bodies vote to confirm and approve after the debate their military activity against terrorism and iraq. >> germany, for example? >> denmark. >> yep. >> last week, the chairman of the senator armed services committee said this -- he did not say this approvingly.
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but when he was asked when an authorization, it may require an attack on the united states of america, closed quote. in terms of you being able to do your job well, would it be a good idea for congress to wait that long? >> no, it would not be a good idea for congress to wait that long. i think it would -- this should be one issue that everyone in this country can agree upon, even those who have differences and tactics, over the number of trainers or the different operations as they are unfolding, everyone should agree that defeating and degrading isil and showing the world that this is something backed by congress, rendering these
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operations, it would be invaluable. >> the president started this war against isil and a year ago friday, the only vote that's happened in congress, december 11, 2014, authorization reported out to the senate floor and no action was taken on it. the rand corporation issued a report to the pentagon saying that relying upon the 2001 and 2002 authorizations at a minimum involved legal gymnastics that were not helpful and urged congress to take action. it is just my hope that we will do that and it is my hope that it won't take a kind of c cataclysm. you talked about european nations having scaled back
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peacekeeping operations. columbia stepping up in step step and saying they want to devote 5,000 troops to the u.n. pie peacekeeping mission. we sometimes wonder whether u.s. engagement on a diplomatic way can make a difference. columbia is an example of failed state to international security partner in a way three administrations the clinton administration, the obama administration have had a dedication to that. talk about nations like colombia coming in to providing peacekeeping forces for a first time and the degree to which we can encourage them. >> thank you, senator. we view that commitment in very much the same way. it seemed also a real reflection of, you know, however difficult
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the peace process is and there's a lot of work left to do. but their confidence that they are going to get to where they need to get to free up resources, to be part of peace and security. latin america has a huge contribution to make, one of the significant features of the president's summit was a number of latin american countries to do peacekeeping out of hemisphere because they have been dedicating their forces in haiti. i want to particularly commend uraguay, work for us, this is how it will work for you. i want to commend mexico which has announced it will break new ground and be involved in peacekeeping for the first time amidst discussions and the form that will take. if we could just touch upon -- it's such an important point,
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the dividend for us, in terms of conflict resolution, i'm back from sri lanka, in the wake of its defeat of the lte, the people who coined the suicide bomb really regressed in terms of creeping authoritarianism, horrible atrocities carried out in the war and no accountability for that. there's been a change in government. not only do we see them domestically taking on issues of accountability with the population but we see their behavior within international institutions transformed. the stand they take on human rights resolutions, syria, north korea, et cetera, is shifting. so i want to just dwell on this point because sometimes one looks at the u.n. and it's just
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this black box where we're not getting the returns that we want. we're not getting the votes that we want. the way that the u.n. changes over time is countries that comprise that change. and, you know, they become more at peace within themselves. they democratize and get stronger and the critical countries that we have to work with. more than half of the countries in the u.n. are not democratic. that affects the extent to which it's going to be human rights enforcement, et cetera. thank you, sir. >> thank you. the vote has gone off and senator isakson is next. after him is senator menendez. i would ask, if you would, to chair the meeting while you're asking questions. >> i'll be very brief because i've got to go to the floor, too. >> senator murphy is next after menendez. if we could keep it going and i'm going to bolt and come back and thank you both very much.
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if minuenendez is not back. >> i'm going to be very brief. it's required that every member of congress and samantha powers and if that book had been read, a lot of the problems that we're talking about, the peacekeeping resolutions and things like that, we'd be a lot further along than we are today. it's a great book. everybody should read it. my first question to you, are we as a country adopting the -- >> we're not a substantial contributor of peacekeeping so these principles so far have been embraced by, you know, the big countries putting thousands of troops at harm's way. we have 40 police officers and 40 military officers, all of
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whom we're incredibly grateful for. we haven't yet but more for that reason than a substantive. i can convey that back. >> let me make my point. when i read your speech, it was in the printed speech, you talk about the principles which they were developed from which is a learning lesson from what you pointed out in your book. their key peacekeepers need to affirm that their troops will be have the authorization to use force when necessary and don't have to call back to headquarters to get approval, correct? >> that's correct, sir. >> that's our problem in the middle east. we don't have that type of authorization for the rules of our own troops and i commend you for raising it on this question but it's a bigger question in terms of our being able to be effective and that is, having
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the troops for peacekeeping or for war, to have the actual authority for use of force they need to carry out their mission. it kind of struck me that we were congratulating sri lanka and yet we as a country have very limited rules of engagement authorization right now in our own country. that's my reason for bringing the point up. >> if i may respond, senator, briefly while you're hear, you know, my impression is not that i think that what president obama has conveyed to secretary defense and to the chairman and to his commander, general austin and the commanders on the ground is a desire to, you know, offer strategic guidance, discuss any big shifts in the strategy at a senior level and make sure that
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we are, you know, on the same page. but there is a huge amount of tactical and operational flexibility that these commanders have. and i think you've seen certainly the president say publicly what he has conveyed in the situation room which is if there are ideas for how we can pursue this campaign more expeditiously, in ways that, you know, increase the security dividend for the american people sooner, i want to see those ideas and i'm in these meetings, we were discussing the way ahead in our anti-isil strategy and i, again, have not heard the commander is not getting the flexibility that they seek. >> thank you for your answer and thank you for your service and my last question is not a statement. i think you're doing a terrific job but i would underscore, as i
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leave, senator cardin, the more tra transparency, the better. the more transparency we can have, particularly on who is paying what and how they are paying their share would be helpful to the u.n. mission to carry out its intent from the beginning. >> senator, that gives me a chance to invite you to new york so you can get immersed in those budget numbers firsthand. but we would really welcome visits by members of this body. and we give you a good and deep tour of the u.n. and so many of the africa-related issues that you've worked so hard on. as you know, the u.n. is on the front lines. >> invitation accepted. >> okay, great. >> senator murphy? >> thank you, senator isakson. good morning, ambassador power.
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on the eve of the president's speech, there was a series of media postings by a wonderful reporter of the "new york times." she wrote a wonderful piece based on those observations the next day and the title was u.s. strategy and the idea is that if you really understand the fundamental, the building blocks of the religious per vision of isis, it is built upon a prove guess s prophesy, a belief. and i suspect that that acknowledgement is part of what made the president in that speech talk about not only things that we should do but things we shouldn't do. i understand we're not going to be putting u.n. peacekeepers on the ground inside a complicated, violent civil war anytime soon. but from a broader perspective,
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can you talk about, as we try to confront organizations that are in countries like mali that have peacekeeping forces, that are trying to go to the west and, in particular, the united states into a military confrontation, why multinational and multiethnic forces are going to be better positioned than a majority force and, as part of that answer, maybe talk about the contribution that is made to peacekeeping or could or would in the future. >> thank you, senator murphy. it's a complex question and set of ideas within it.
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i think a key to effective deployments in legitimacy and in the context of sexual abuse is a perception that the whole world is behind a peacekeeping mission and it's very important and was important for the president to secure that kind of regional support. the one thing i would note in area where is terrorists are active and mali now with 44
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deaths of peacekeepers over the life of a mission that has only been in place for a few years under scores that there can be a mismatch between u.n. peacekeeping and even robust peacekeeping which we support and the principles show that other countries support and these kinds of environments where extremists and terrorists may make the united states their number one target but if there no americans are around, they are going to target dutch peacekeepers, et cetera. this i agree very much with the logic of the article that you've described and found it very powerful. and i will use the question as an occasion to alert the committee to how the extent to
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which peacekeeping has been seen as a soft target for terrorists and extremists in those environments that they inhabit. and that's something we have a significant national interest in hardening these missions to ensure that they have the training that they need to operate in these ever more not only complex environments and you combine conflict and the actual fact that the peacekeepers themselves are a target and how the defense department has been responsive in this regard, we are doing more and more counter ied training for peacekeepers. talk about not your mother's peacekeeping, if anybody would have imagined at the outset of peacekeeping that people would have to train against ieds that were presumably targeting the peacekeepers themselves, i'm not sure that peacekeeping would have ever gotten off the wrong.
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having countries that know the language, that have cultural overlap with those countries in which their operating is very important. the only other challenge is that sometimes countries could be too familiar. it was to ingest more distance and one wouldn't be seen as being a stakeholder on one side or the other. all of these factors need to be taken into account. >> let me add my sentiments to senator isakson. thank you for your time and i'll turn it over to senator menendez. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you. in appreciation to the chairman's courtesy, let me,
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first of all, say i appreciate your service to our country. and i have a high regard for you and if left to your own devices, on some issues you might be more forward leaning. you don't need to respond to that. it's just my observation. having said that, however, let me enlarge this conversation about peacekeeping. i know some of my colleagues have broached this subject already. it's very important in terms of the what the sense of the core of the hearing is about but part of the way to keep the peace is to make sure that the will of the international community is observed and that it isn't violated and if it is violated, there are consequences so that hopefully a continuation of that breach doesn't lead to the outbreak of war and, therefore, what flows from that. and so i want to come to the issue of iran.
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i know several of my colleagues have pursued the core of the missile test. first of all, i'd like to ask you, would you agree with me that for well over a decade, iran, as you have said, a response to some of my colleague's questions, did moved their nuclear program to a point. in which it got so big, almost too big to fail in the bank context, this is actually too big to end. so they violated the international will purposefully and in doing so were able to get to a point that they largely wanted. would that be a fair observation? >> yes, they violated international resolutions and built up their program. again, i think this is probably not the venue to get into the extent of the program. but such that -- >> that's pretty well
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documented. and on plenty of plenty discourse as well. but the point is, they violated international resolutions for the better part of a decade. >> absolutely. yes. >> and during those violations, they progressed for a good period of time without the type of sanctions regime that was largely generated by the congress, not by the executive branch. and so i look at that and look at your acknowledgement that they have not looked at resolutions and i say to myself there is a history here and a pattern. if you'd go visit the archives building with me, all over its mantel it says and i have a real concern that what we have here is a lack of will by the united states and, as a leader in this regard, by our partners in going ahead and making sure that iran understands that you cannot
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violate the international will without consequence, which i consider even though i did not support the agreement that to the extent that the agreement is going to produce any benefits, iran must clearly understand that there will be consequences for not following that agreement. and the message seems to me that they are sending and have sent in various considerations is quite contrary. so we basically have no real action. i heard your responses about referring it to the committee and having discussions. i get the u.n. process. but the bottom line is, there's been no real actions. no consequence. now they have a second test and we are talking about verifying but at the end of the day it took place and there will be no real consequence. we would like to see the security council be the venue for a multilateral consequence but we hear nothing in the interim about an individual
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consequence. we see a set of circumstances which i predicted, as well as a whole host of others, that we were going to basically sweep this under the rug and the rug dismiss it which is now the resolution that is presently being circulated at the iaea to close this chapter, because we want something bad enough. we are willing to go ahead and overlook and in doing so i think we make a grave mistake. we did it with cuba because we wanted to create relations with cuba because they shipped missile and migs under tons of sugar to north korea and nothing happened to them. when we want something bad enough -- when i say we, the administration wants something bad enough -- they are willing to overlook and that is a dangerous proposition. a dangerous proposition. so what is it that we are going to do to send a real clear,
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unequivoc unequivocal, unambiguous message to the iranians because we're all assured here that notwithstanding the nuclear portfolio that we could be robustly active and take actions on nonnuclear issues. well, this is a nonnuclear issue. and conversations is not an action. >> thank you, senator. so, let me use this also as an occasion since senator corker is back to sort of -- to address a comment he made earlier which is in keeping with what you're saying which is his impression of a kind of greater permissiveness in terms of -- and your statement that somehow if you want it bad enough you're willing to overlook, et cetera.
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you know, the way that this administration and our predecessors responded in new york to prior recurrent as it happens over the life of the regime violations of u.n. security council resolution hasn't changed. there's no deference in the way that we go through this procedure, what we seek to do in new york at the u.n. security council. and frankly there's not even much difference in terms of the kinds of resistance we face from predictable quarters. the security council regime as you well know built out and forced multiplied on the sanctions that congress put in place, and it is that regime that caused iran to make a series of concessions that, you know, for i think the three of you here were not deemed satisfactory, but went well beyond what would have been achievable without the sanctions regime and gives us the confidence again that this is a good deal and one that will
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dismantle iran's nuclear weapons program. the objective we have -- >> with all due respect, i'm not talking about the deal anymore. we're passed that. i am talking about making sure we have enforce menments that a meaningful. >> agreed. but, again, because sort of the accusation is that we are seeing things differently than you because we have a vested interest in seeing this deal implemented. we have a collective, as i think all of you agree, vested interest in seeing this deal implemented because we don't want to see iran ever obtain a nuclear weapon. that is our objective. we've put in place measures, whether it's the expanded verification and monitoring and even the pmd for all of the dissatisfaction that's been expressed about the report and our approach to it,
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fundamentally thei iae was able to get access that it hadn't in the past. the snapback of the sanctions regime is an incredibly important tool in our arsenal and it is leverage. senator corker said the other day at the security council that we will have given up all our leverage on the front end. that's just not true. we will have that hanging over implementation, reporting of violations going forward, and we will have in our toolbox the bilateral sanctions measures that as a way of responding to lesser incidents of noncompliance and lesser violations. so, again, the u.n. security council is one venue and we will do as we've been doing for a decade which is call a spade a spade, bring forward violations, increase the political cost, ensure that iran is isolated for its violations of 1929 now and 2231 once implementation day progresses. but we also have a set of other
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tools aimed at getting at iranian bad behavior, including -- >> mr. chairman, if i may, since my time has expired. let me just make a comment. i appreciate your anxious. you're very good at answering but not answering. so, let me just say that you talk about snapback. those sanctions that you admit and the administration has increasingly admitted brought iran to the table. they expire this coming year. and you all negotiated away, at least as i read the agreement, the ability for the administration to support a re-authorization of it which i intend to push for. because the snapback means nothing if you can't snap back something that is meaningful. and the administration just won't talk about that re-authorization because as i read the agreement, they're not dax they don't have the wherewithal to agree to a re-authorization. they gave it away. and then last point, you know,
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another example, enforcing resolution 1701 the transfer of arms to hezbollah, you know, during the review of the iran nuclear agreement in defending the lifting of the u.n. arms embargo the administration repeatedly emphasized that u.n. security council resolution 1 1 1701remains in place. and that prevents the weapons -- the transfer of weapons to hezbollah and we're going to make sure that's the case. since the announcement of the jcpoa hezbollah has continued to receive arms from outside of lebanon. so, what steps have we taken to stop the transfer of arms to hezbollah? >> thank you, senator. i addressed this question earlier for senator purdue. but it's a very important question. i think the point that was made over the course of the discussion about the jcpoa is
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that authorities that this body was under -- and we were understandably concerned were going away or could go away at some point under the jcpoa, many of those authorities were elsewhere in other security council resolutions so i think that was the invocation of 1701in that context. look, as i said earlier, hezbollah is a terrorist organization. and unifil's job is do everything in its power to deter hezbollah from amassing weapons to call a spade a spade and to call them out when they are to alert us and other stakeholders to anything that comes to their attention that, again, is alarming in this regard. you know, as you know over the life of unifil i think it has had constructive effect on events on the ground. i don't think the government of israel would support its per petuation if it hadn't.
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is it a panny panacea for hezb? i don't think it will be. we've sounded the alarm and shine the spotlight and do the things it can do, but, you know, in terms of armed confrontation with hezbollah that's not something unifil is doing. it's one of the stronger missions because of the your rowro european presence and we hope to have a broader pool of troops to draw from to make sure the mission is right-sized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just say that no consequences is a green light to violations and that's what i see us doing. >> turn to senator markey while senator menendez is here. while it is true it is highly unlikely that the u.n. security council will take any action relative to the violations of 1929, is that correct? >> again, we are -- we have already taken answer.
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>> the answer is yes. >> we have already taken action. we've brought the issue to the council -- >> but as far as sanctions, penalties, it's not likely that russia or china will go along. >> i share with your assessment on russia and china. >> when you say it's untrue what i said, relative to -- >> that the administration was being more permissive in terms of sanctions violations. that's what i heard you say. >> still, we'll see. nothing's happened yet. what i said was that the leverage shifts to iran. they are at break neck speed dismantling so that they get the sanctions relief they're after which we would expect. now people believe that in january or february they will get all of the sanctions relief they're after. and for you to say that snapback is a real tool when it's contingent upon the countries participating implementing back those sanctions and we have countries like rush sha and china which probably, likely, we
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know are not going to push back against this issue, if there are incremental violations, all of the leverage is with iran. that is a fact. it's not incorrect. it is with iran because there's no way that this administration is going to consider challenging an incremental violation because they know all iran has to do is step out, and they know that russia and china and candidly probably our western friends in your roam a europe are not really going to force them to comply. it's a true statement, not an untrue statement, that the leverage ends up with them because they have what they want. we've given it up. and we have partners at the u.n. security council that are not going to cooperate with us. senator markey. >> let me interject for one second. i apologize to senator markey. i think a lot of us share that frustration. i just urge us to work with our
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european allies on the timing of a response to the violation of the ballistic missiles. we all share the frustration that there's unlikely to be sanction action by the security council. but i do think we have -- if we demonstrate action with our european partners particularly in the p-5, i think it would be a signal to iran that these types of activities aren't going to go unchallenged. >> senator markey, would you mind if i just respond very briefly? i'm so sorry. but just i want to underscore that when we went to the council once we confirmed the violation on october 10th, we did so with the united kingdom with france and germany. i think doing something like that irrespective of what outcome we're -- what further tangible outcome we were able to secure from the council is going
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to be very important and perhaps even broadening that. mr. chairman, i just -- the one thing i feel compelled to say is that when you say they're going with break neck speed to dismantle, it's very important to remember that that's a good thing. that's what we want. that break neck speed, the dismantlement, that -- so understanding, again, that there is pay for performance as part of the deal, that the way that we have incentivized them moving forward and sometimes the way it is discussed you would think that is not a good thing. that is a good thing. that is the point of the deal. to dismantle their program. >> i understand them dismantling antique centrifuges and we're allowing them to continue development of r-2s, r-4s and 6s and 8s. i understand that. again, i don't want to redebate the agreement. what i think we're focused on
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right now is the international community knows that they violated 1929 and in essence they're violating the spirit of called upon not to do this and we all know that the u.n. security council is not going to take action. that is what is important to us because we believe after they get the sanctions relief, after they dismantle these antiques, that they're using right now, these r-1s they'll push the envelope and we believe that you and others there by not taking even bilateral actions yet are helping create an air of permissiveness, even though we like and respect you, we have a policy difference here. this is not directed at you. it's directed at the u.n. security council. senator markey. >> thank you, mr. chairman, very much. thank you for all your great work, ambassador. i know it's global and complex, but you serve our country so well. thank you.
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could we come back if we could for a second to syria. when i look at assad, when i look at all of his supporters inside of the country, he has upwards of 30% of the army as sunni soldiers who won't be viewed well when there is a peace agreement by the other sunni soldiers that have been trying to depose assad for all these years. and similarly, the alowhite soldiers that are fighting for him. and secretary kerry and his team are doing a great job in moving towards that. there will have to be protection for these people to avoid and to -- i think they would be fool icial not to anticipate this what happened in iraq. what happened in libya. what happened in egypt. so, they're going to be looking
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for protection. and that kind of looks to the u.n. it looks to these blue helmeted soldiers to come in and to give some level of guarantee that there will be protection for them if they lay down their guns. otherwise, i don't see a resolution of it. i don't -- i just see a protracted war where no matter how hard you try to negotiate a peaceful settlement, you just wind up with an ever-continuing conflict. so, could you talk about that a little bit and what role u.n. peacekeepers could play in a post-peace agreement. understanding that we're far from that. but just looking at, anticipating a potential role for the u.n. or some other multinational force to move in and to give some guarantees. otherwise i don't think assad's ever leaving.
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you know, you just look at it from a perspective of human nature and looking at what's happened in all these other countries, they'll be dead. they'll be killed. i mean, the revenge motivation is going to be so high given the tragedy that's affected these other families and we have yet another cycle that we've participated in. so, how could the u.n. or another multinational force play a constructive role? >> well, you've -- there's no shortage of very complex dimensions to imagining a political settlement for syria, but you put your finger on i think one of the hardest issues of all, which would be any notional reintegration of syrian moderate opposition forces with syrian government troops who have been -- whether -- the air force which have been involved in barrel bombing and chemical weapons use or the infantry.
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be extremely difficult. i think that -- as you say, we're not at this point of the discussions, but in order for there to be an agreement on a political transition by mutual consent, which is the catchphrase from geneva and is the operative principle for vienna, that is going to be one of the questions that both sides are asking. because it cuts in the other direction as well. when moderate opposition forces go back to their home communities from which they've been purged, what happens to them if the forces in control are, you know, remain, you know, in large, you know, government forces. so, where that confidence building comes from, who the guarantors are of any kind of reintegration, what -- this gets back to senator cardin's question earlier, what the accountability mechanism is
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whereby there could be some healing or, you know, truth telling and punishment for those who committed the worst violations. all of those modalities have to be worked through. >> on both sides. >> on both sides, again, yes. absolutely. now, in terms of the near term, you know, we have isil with a protracted -- you know, very extensive presence in syria that is shrinking, but nonetheless would be a significant consideration for any outside country thinking about deploying affiliates to syria. part of what is being worked through in vienna is definitions of who is a terrorist and who isn't so there can be at a strategic level that everybody could go at these forces together. but i think what you would need, if -- you know, if one were going with a troop presence from the outside, would -- you would have to make a judgment that a
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troop presence would do more good than harm, that it would invite and create more confidence. to have that confidence those soldiers on the government side and sunni moderates on the other side are going to have to believe that those troops are going to protect them if they get attacked. you look at u.n. peacekeeping missions as the first part of the hearing that's not always the case around the world, right? that some troop contributors that's not a role they play eagerly even if that's part of the mandate, so you could look at a regional force or a green hatted force of some kind. you'd still ask that question, are troop contributors ready to invest themselves in enforcing this agreement, you know, is that something that, you know, some of our allies would be a part of. and the only caution i would give in terms of a regional force which is something that i think being looked at and, again, all the costs and the benefits of all of these permutations have to be thought through. on the one hand you'd have the language.
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you'd have the cultural affinities, but in the case of many of the regional players, they have been stakeholders in this conflict, so the idea that they would be seen as impartial. so, finding a confidence building mechanism that doesn't run afoul of being seen to be a party to the conflict and where they'd be willing to put their troops in harm's way on behalf of this agreement is going to be one of the challenges we have to think through if the parties deem an outside force a necessary part of this political agreement. >> yeah. i don't see how you can avoid it. i just think that the recrimination co-efficient is going to be historically high. the carnage has just been so great on both sides, the bitterness, the acrimony won't settle out for decades. and we need some mechanism as an intervention that allows for a period of reconciliation, of healing, and i think in the
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