tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 4, 2016 7:00pm-12:01am EDT
on iran there will be trouble because always both sides expect even though there's a declaratory position on the iran deal that they're not looking for a broader political settlement, they are looking for political performance. and certainly on the u.s. side we are, we need to be careful of that. thank you. >> thank you very much, bob. appreciate that. it's a very interesting and useful story. fills in a lot for us. i asked george if he would be willing to discuss and add his thoughts on the agreed framework. and then maybe bridge us a little bit into some of the issues we're dealing with today. >> i'll be brief. thanks, jim. i think the two presentations we just heard were really good so let me just be brief and say that there's lot of value in
thinking and talking about the agreed framework in relation to the iran nuclear -- i don't we'd be having this discussion if it was just a retrospective on the agreed framework. we would be talking about the dprk challenge. but there is this thing to compare it to which is the joint comprehensive plan of action and it is worthwhile because throughout the run throughout the negotiation of the iran deal and afterwards, a lot of people brought up the dprk experience and usually negatively. this will never work. you were fools. et cetera. so, i think having this discussion remains a useful thing. i had written a paper last year that's out on the table that kind of tried to talk about similarities and differences between the agreed framework and what was looking to be an
agreement with iran. so i don't want to go through all those other than to say -- and you heard in it a sense -- and dr. akiyama has a very good slide that i think illustrates the differences but also in bob's presentation, there are a lot of differences in the deal themselves and the text and the length and the detail and so on. there are a lot of differences between the two countries, between dprk and iran and to me that's the most important thing. we can elaborate interest. their sense of identity, their sense of confidence, their sense of where they stand in their region, where they stand in the world, the natures of their policies that in iran kind of people's expectations and demands really matter. iran has elections. susan maloney is here who is an expert on these things. they have elections at different levels but the presidential elections always end in a surprise which is kind of
interesting when you think about the elections that the dprk has, for example, or china or russia or other places. even though iran is like a terrible dictatorship in u.s. discourse, politics matter there and public opinion matters and that had an influence on, i think, their willingness to negotiate and also has an influence on how this plays through. i think the u.s. is different now than it was in 1994, but also, very similar in ways that i want to elaborate on because this is a big problem. in u.s. discourse, and maybe somewhat in tokyo as well, we tend to focus on the bad guy, the people that had the nuclear program that was the problem whether, whether it was dprk or iran and we don't focus that much on the reliability of the u.s. as the lead negotiator.
and on its capacity, but more importantly, its willingness over time to fulfill its obligations. and these are relatively long term commitments. anything that's a major nuclear problem will have some long-term implications. you know, bob talked about the agreed framework. you know, what the north koreans mad to dismantle could be dismantled quickly. but the construction of reactors which was part of the deal, no matter what the vendor tells you, you know, it's going to -- probably double it. so that's inevitably a longer term process. with the iran deal it turns itself, you know, the meaty ones go between ten and 15 years but verification is 20 to 25 years and some of iran's commitments are indefinite. and then there are part that is we have to deliver that are over that long period of time.
that to me is the -- needs to be understood and assessed more honestly in the u.s. than we tend to do which is, again, the reliability of the u.s. system in delivering what is supposed to be promised. so we've already alluded to with the agreed framework, the fuel oil. what a struggle that was to get congress to appropriate funds for the fuel oil. and i remember bob used to run around, you know, not quite frantically but desperately trying to do this. it was quite unbecoming at that time the world's sole super power that one had to do it this way. then there was a relatively undefined process of normalization. but if that had been defined and you'd actually started to deliver on it, the "s" storms in washington over what that would have entailed and meant would have been enormous. you can go on in terms of
questioning whether and how long, you know, we would have implemented these terms and along the way what the other party is supposed to be interpreting about kind of whether they should keep complying or whether they should start hedging. well, i think the same thing goes on in iranian minds and for very good reasons. and it has been at the forefront there. you know, will the u.s. deliver? and so, that's one of the reasons iran insisted on getting sanctions relief up front. they wanted to have a payoff, obviously, which they are not quite getting in the way they thought they would but they also wanted to test, you know, the u.s.'s commitment and there's lots of reasons to question whether we will be able to sustain that kind of commitment through -- i'm sure we will through the presidential campaign. whether we will after the results of the campaign, i don't know. we don't know what the new congress is going to look like.
like i say, i hope i'll be retired. i might be dead by the time the jcpoa kind of expires or doesn't expire it comes to its culmination. but who can predict what the american body politic is going to be like? but there's still deliverables in there. and so, if you are the counterpart, this is a big -- this is a big issue and something we don't pay enough attention to. we see it on other issues whether it's cyber norms and you go to other countries and they say we would need it in a treaty pup say why? because we don't think u.s. commitments are worth anything. we watch what happens in congress. we want a treaty. i laugh. i say, why do you want it in a treaty? we just tear up a treaty, too. they say, yeah, but it's hard tore do with a treaty. they point you can abrogate. then you have to apologize and say, well, there are no more treaties because no one can get
67 votes to ratify a treaty on inspector general so you're going to have to take an executive agreement. this becomes very difficult and we've seen it on climate change recently. [ inaudible ] other things. so the vignettes that bob was talking about, which is just a short slice in time on the dprk deal, we'll be having these stories about implementation of the iran agreement as well and then that relates to alliance relation. so our allies are wondering about our consistency and wondering about iran and trying to figure out what it means for them in five years and ten years. we were talking earlier and nobumasa akiyama was talking about japanese banks because there's a problem now with the iran deal which is even though sanctions are supposed to be relieved, a lot of actors, private entities and other around the world, aren't seeking business in iran because they are worried about either how the
thing will be interpreted or whether there will be new sanctions imposed by congress and no one wants to get in trouble and the cost of compliance is too high. so they just say, forget it. we'll stay out of the iranian market. from iran's point of view, it's not a violation of agreement. it feels like a betrayal. the capacity of your banks and your other actors to make this judgment depends somewhat on the sense of constancy and kind of reliability of the political process. but if you're advising one of those banks, go now and don't worry about the presidential election or what might happen next january, nothing will change, you can't make that, but it has an effect on the behaviors. [ inaudible ] >> thank you, george. i'm going to facilitate a little discussion up here and then maybe around 3:15 open it up to
public question. but i want to start off with this issue of -- maybe this goes to bob a little bit. but when i started researching for this event, the impression i had was that we took a tougher line, a firmer line in terms of what we were willing to allow vis-a-vis reprocessing or other kinds of an elements of a north korean nuclear capability with north korea than we did with iran. in the case of iran we're talking about just widening this gap or opening up a longer time horizon by which iran could pursue a weaponized program or at least we'd have greater visibility into this program but we were kind of complete, verifiable, disarmament in the context of -- but listening to your discussion, it sounds like
in the beginning, at least, it wasn't necessary. the north koreans were kind of willing to offer it. that it was really in the context of the follow-on implementation and the political side. so i guess -- is that fair to say that we almost didn't have to be or you didn't have the debates about how firm or how principled the agreement had to be or was there an immaterial plemt of that in terms of -- >> i think it was a simpler time. [laughter] this was the first time we had actually done something like this. they had never done anything like this. and i think at base then was the key question that's at base now when people talk about north korea and we just experienced that in the other room. if i ask for a show of hands here, how many people think
north koreans will actually under any circumstance give up their nuclear weapons in some sort of omnibus deal? how many think they would? one, two, three people. well, okay. i rest my case. at that point, there was a lot of skepticism, certainly in the intelligence community. the person, the guy that headed the ic then particularly. but i believe then that we could do a deal, and there was some talk, by the way, that we could do this deal provided the deal was based on the assumption that regime would collapse before too long. and i kept saying, wait a minute. we're not doing it on that basis. i can say -- the reason i can, senator mccain, who i have great respect said, i hate this deal but i can support it if you told me that that was the basis for the deal.
that it was going be in place until the regime collapsed. i said, that's not the basis for the deal. that's not how we did it. then he said, i hate it and i won't support it. so i think we could be in the same situation now. it's just that the predictions of the demise of north korea are constant and, you know, remember the soft landing, hard landing. but the north koreans didn't plan on landing. you know, they were just going to keep on flying. so i think the deal then was really based upon, for both of us, the idea that they would give up their nuclear weapons program. it is possible. it wasn't for them. in other words, i confessed to you before, i don't know when they started their negotiations with the pakistanis, with that johnny appleseed guy, h.q.kahn. a.q. khan.
but they -- if we knew for sure that was the only basis on which they did the deal, we'd say, okay, then they never planned to give it up. but i don't know that. so for me this is still a deal that went to fundamentally our objectives which were pretty simple and then we made them a little more complicated by insisting that there be no reprocessing and we said no enrichment, although you can't find the word enrichment in the agreed framework because we refer to the north/south declaration on denuclearization agreement which prohibits enrichment with great malice aforethought we didn't write it into the deal because he figured that would open up another three years of discussion if we did. >> thank you. let me direct this a little bit to you, but anyone can comment on it. i mean, missiles, for example, were not -- we had separate negotiations with the north
koreans on their missile capability or their program. and that was not specifically linked to the agreed framework. there are other aspects of the deal. i wanted -- i guess i wanted to ask you to think back to that time and from tokyo's perspective, was tokyo looking at this as kind of, you know, unsatisfactory? it didn't go far enough because it didn't capture all these different pieces, or was there general satisfaction with the content, the accomplishment it was just this idea afterwards that the fact that then japan got recruited into being part of kyoto and eventually putting forward about half a billion dollars, i think, ultimately is what they were in for. i think the south koreans put in about a billion or so toward the program. but how do you recollect the view from tokyo at the time
especially, in this context of what was in and what was outside of the deal? >> yes. obvious, i'm out of government so i didn't have a kind of insider information so my observation is from outside. but actually tokyo's condition for putting the money into the kyoto was to address the abduction by the framework of the deal. i think that reminds me of the prioritization within the japanese government on dealing with north korea. and so, the threats, nuclear threats posed by north korea at that time was not really imminent. there was no proof of credible capability of north korea and there's no sense of urgency on the side of japan. but on the abduction issue, i think there was commitment by
the government at that time to deal with. so i think when the japanese government at that -- also, i would like to remind that the japanese government, ldp, was very fragile politically at that time so i think we need to sort of mobilize various issues and then they're now, of course, abduction issue is so much of consensus among the public. so i think -- so it's domestic political context prevented the japanese government from sort of dealing with the nuclear no plif ration as the top priority. that's one thing. may i ask one question to professor gallucci? >> sure. >> so when you -- in your analysis, when's the real key
program for north korea, by not complying, not implementing the agreed framework, either failure of heavy oil or fuel oil or the failure of providing the security guarantee? >> so, someone may wish to correct me in both instances, but we did not fail to deliver the heavy oil. we failed to deliver it on the schedule we said we would deliver it on. we just didn't do it because as george points out i was running around with my hat in my hand trying to get money from various places and in our budget to pay for this heavy fuel oil. hard work. so we didn't meet the schedule. but i don't think the deal would have failed because we weren't delivering heavy fuel oil quickly enough.
on the other issue about security assurances, we -- if you look at the framework it says we'll offer essentially negative security assurances and what we had in mind was something like the npt negative security assurance. maybe moderated a little bit. after all, if you go back in time we had just lived with ukraine and we had in mind something like that. but we never got there. they never said, where's the security assurance? so i wasn't going to run up and say, hey guys, we still owe you a security assurance. i don't remember it as an issue. i think woe have tried to stay way from the ukraine language and stick to the npt language would be my guess. >> not that the ukraine language worked that well for the ukrainians. but i'm saying that the policy is correct, but if you're
drawing implications from that -- >> i've got you, but it's not us that should be whacked for the ukraine language. all right? it would be the russians. i thought you were going to say, you know, were they unhappy about delivery of the lwr because that was also going more slowly. probably true. but i can't imagine that the fundamental north korean decision to, from my perspective, materially breach, materially violate the framework was because of either of those. i think it was because they never intended to give up the weapons program "a," or "b," because they did intend to but expected much more politically from us that they never got. i like to believe in "b" because hope springs eternal. >> and if we take that to today
where we are with north korea with all the water that has flowed under the bridge and skepticism that has built up, the advancement of the program, if i could ask all of you to think a little bit, if we were to try to enter into a discussion with the north koreans about denuclearization or somehow alleviating the risk or the threat from the program, in the iranian case arguably they had not gotten as far as north korea is now. but in the most recent iaea declaration about past activities one could argue that they were relatively forgiving or at least did no demand detailed accounting of or one criticism i've read about the program they've not accounted for all activity up to date.
but they're primarily focused on looking forward on, again, as i mentioned creating this wider gap and to relief the pressure on this issue. if we took a similar approach with north korea and say, you know what, we'll be forgiving to everything that took place to date but eliminate the program now and the means by which could it could develop more nuclear weapons, et cetera, i'm not necessarily advocating that but is there -- is there an opportunity there or are we just so far gone with the north korean program or where the regime is today that there's really no opportunity to do that? >> my sense is that part of what the agreed framework is what you
have argued. between 1992 and 1994, there was this tension. so the iaea, and i'm a proliferation purist for saying they've allow the inspections and do all these things to fully account for what they've done in the past and part of the spirit of the iaaf greed framework yeah being a great to get that but the vital thing first let's stop it from going forward. in a sense the logic that you were talking about already was tried with the north koreans once and -- [ inaudible ] with iran it's a bit more complicated insofar as there were those that would argue the past is the past. but there are still over the years ahead moments where the iaea has to offer its conclusion about iran's program and whether it's purely peaceful in order to provide some of the
deliverables to iran. if the iaea can't get the answer to those questions it will have a much more difficult time making its conclusions. that story hasn't been fundamentally -- >> so, imagine this with me. the reality right now is this. i'm making this up. but reality is as follows. north korea has 12 fabricated nuclear weapons. twelve. it has a stockpile of fissile material that is composed of 30 kilograms of plutonium and 50 kilograms of enriched uranium. okay? all right. 12, 30, 50. let's say that's reality. we don't know that, though. the north koreans know that. could you do a deal in which the north koreans say, we'll end our nuclear weapons program, there will be no reprocessing plants,
there will be no plutonium reactor grids, no reactors unconnected to a grid. there will be no uranium enrichment facilities, none. not only not producing uranium but have no need for that right now. no enrichment facilities. they commit to no fissile material. not in the future separate plutoni plutonium, not in the future produce enrich eed uranium. and they turn in their nuclear weapons and fissile material and give us six nuclear weapons and a bunch of plutonium but not all of that. we don't know they gave us only a portion of their stocks but we certainly can monitor probably the program. promatic. is that a deal you would take?
well, sense i don't know they are lying, yeah. would i ever be able to verify down to single digit nuclear weapons hidden somewhere in north korea? not a chance. what about the fissile material? not a chance. we're talking about something that would fit in your hope chest. so there's your deal. to me makes perfect sense. >> and then -- well, please. you want to react to this? i have a final question for you before we open it up. >> it's a quick footnote. this talk reminds me of the thoroughness and the completeness of this verification. the project of verification is impossible. so if the perfect verification is impossible then should we give up the objective of sort of a reduction? probably no. and i think we have to come up
with the lack of thoroughness by some sort of political measures to get the confidence. i think if we have kind of -- able to buy ten years and ten years for the contest building and reduce by political means, but for that maybe we may have to make a compromise. in terms of the goal which we have to achieve. so that be 100% straight, 100% denuclearization, but some elements but still with a sort of security assurance that we have to provide in return. we have to get sort of a thorough acceptance of, for example, the safeguards arrangement with iaea including our arrangements with protocol and implementation. so forth. >> well, this fits into the last question i wanted to ask you because you had talked about in
the context of the agreed framework of the 1990's that the perception from tokyo was that the perceived threat from north korean nuclear weapons was relatively low. at least on a scale of other issues between the two countries. that's much higher now today. between the missiles and nuclear weapons is the threshold from tokyo now different than the threshold in washington? are we in a potential situation we have to be careful of in the alliance where maybe washington may become willing to accept something that would be now unacceptable from just a purely security threat perspective? >> thank you. i think that my answer is actually contrary to what i said -- i've said just a moment ago. the thing is, at this moment, i think the threat perception on the nuclear capability of north korea is much higher than in the past and that is a kind of a
common perception within security community. i think the gap is perception between public and security community. and the public perception is still dominated by the issue of abduction. so the policymakers are more willing to work on them even probably much harder line than the past or even the united states. but i think the political environment may not allow to do. for the government to pursue this line. >> yeah. thank you. well, let me give you people in the audience a chance to ask our panel some questions about north korea and north korea's relation with iran and the two countries. we'll start here with this woman. we have a microphone that will come to you. just let us know for the sake of the video who you are, where you're from. >> stephanie cook with nuclear intelligence weekly.
i had two sort of slightly separate questions or comments. one is it seems to me i'm really interested with what bob said about north korea at some point sort of crossed over a line and either it was always intending to or something happened inside the regime and it crossed over. and iran, as far as we know, may have not gone that far. and if you get a deal and it works before that point occurs, i mean, have you, you know, have you kept them on sort of the safe side of this equation? and if you don't, as obviously happened in the case of north korea, has it gone too far? i mean, are they now -- should they be sitting around a disarmament table rather than a nonproliferation -- in a nonproliferation context and negotiation? it's just -- i just wanted to
ask you that because i think once a weapons program takes hold it's like a virus and the military side of the government has -- has basically won over the nuclear establish or is in control of the nuclear establishment. it's very hard to go back from that point. the second question i wanted to ask is, especially the view from japan, about the statement by donald trump that he thinks we should let south korea and japan go nuclear, that we shouldn't pay for the military shield, and if there's any relationship between that and u.s. pressure, you know, more public statements about japan's preprocessing program. >> should we take the first one first?
>> so i may not be right on point for your first question, but i would say that iran had a well developed nuclear weapon program to get a triggering package, do the work to develop that triggering package, to get it to dissipate delivery systems. i mean, they had a program to do all that. and to the best of our knowledge they didn't get the fissile material and they may or may not have done enough of the other stuff. as a matter of fact, at one point the ic as you know concluded they had stopped doing the other stuff. but i don't know if they concluded they stopped because they were done or stopping because they wanted impact or whatever. it's a real nuclear weapons program. it seems now to be in cryogenic
arrest for some period of time. the north korean -- but i mean, i don't know where the iranian program is but if it is where in the public literature says it is then we have stopped them short of. [ inaudible ] i think we had stopped the north koreans short of because i don't think they actually had -- i think the ic was wrong by saying more likely than not they had one or two nuclear weapons. i think that was wrong in 1994. obviously, though, after we discovered that it was part of an axis of evil they went ahead with their program and produced fissile material and nuclear weapons. so different circumstances, different timing and if we had
to do a deal now, you would have to be dealing with fabricated nuclear weapons which is why i put that funny scenario on the table just to try to persuade some of you that you shouldn't walk away from this one because you can't figure out how to verify it. i mean, you adjust your standards. a great line from the general when he was testifying and the marines started to accept draftees in vietnam and they said, they asked the commandant of the marine corps, are you lowering your standards to accept draftees, and he said, the united states marine corps will never lower its standards. however, we no longer meet them. [ laughter ] now i'm of the same view here. i don't want to lower our standards but i think you're going to just have to change things around a little bit and take account of reality. >> george, do you have? no? before we get to the trump question and the japan piece, i have to say my own peace that i think donald trump fails to
understand the fact that -- you know, how much japan already contributes to the alliance over there and probably cost the united states more to bring them back from japan than to leave them deployed there. not to mention the disadvantages of having nuclear proliferation in the region. but do you want to talk about how this is being viewed -- >> can i interrupt for a second? >> first, i have to say that i would pay my own money to have you explain that to trump. [ laughter ] >> it could be a new reality. "shark tank" and now some version there of "think tank." >> thank you. i sort of expected that i would get this kind of question. of course, we are very much embarrassed that -- to hear that the potential -- possibly the potential president of the united states sort of encourage us to think about nuclear option.
two reasons. one, the mainstream security people understand that nuclear option is not the best option for japan to defend ourselves. secondly, the u.s./japan alliance is beyond japan's defense and more playing a role as goods. for east asia and beyond. so our sort of gut feeling about his statement is the united states really giving up the world leadership position? because if that policy really happens i think naturally that leads to the united states position of losing the position against china, against russia, and then that undermines what he tried to pursue, you know, strong united states. but then what about the implication in japan's choice of
the fuel cycle? i think there's now really strong connection between the two. but one thing i could say is if, you know, the history of the u.s./japan relationship or japan's fuel cycle program from japan's perspective history of getting the freedom of policy choice from the united states. if you look at the details in the '70s and '80s, the negotiation between japan and the united states, kind of harsh. it's not like something between allies but more about kind of -- you know, not like north korea and the united states, but it's similar tension i think between two countries. so japan really hopes that united states respect japan's own decision and if united
states puts sort of explicit pressure on japan which it would make much harder for the japanese to decide, you know, on the nuclear fuel cycle. so i think this issue must be addressed in very quiet fashion. thank you. >> i have some other questions here. i will go to this gentleman then over there. >> the question is -- >> can you lel us know who you are, sir? >> i represent advanced hospitality. nothing to do with nuclear weapons. or this thing. but i'm a student of history. the question is, especially, robert gallucci is here who has the perspective of history, is it because of their own security reasons that they felt boxed as happened in israel's case and iran. recently. doing that. it happened in india a couple of years back. happened in pakistan's case.
[ inaudible ] -- feel comfortable when we are -- towards -- partner and ask for -- it happened in south africa. okay. they had the program. it was in brazil many years back. a program. which were a couple of years back. isn't it because of that? and question is to robert because he has more perspective of that historical perspective of people -- >> older, older. yeah, older. i heard you say let's give it to the old guy. i heard you say that. >> no, no. >> no, no. i'm sorry. it's all right. it's all right. i hear that from my kids all the time. so, as you probably know, in academia there's a huge -- well, quite a lot of literature about why countries acquire nuclear
weapons and they build models and give explanations and the dominant reason is the one that you put forward these decisions are driven by a perception that security will be enhanced, the country's security will be enhanced by the acquisition of nuclear weapons. the india case, the first test in '94, very hard to make that a security argument. particularly because they didn't do anything about a test. this guy forgets more about india on a daily basis than i will ever know on the nuclear issue. so there are other factors that go to prestige, internal issues, bureaucratic issues, but i think fundamentally you are right that for most of these countries it's a security issue. not so much brazil and argentina, by the way. i don't think. but certainly, pakistan looking at an asymmetric commission of force balance of war balance.
north korea as the north koreans told us in the first week of negotiation we need the nuclear weapons because we saw what you can do in iraq, regime change. this was before iraq two. this was just iraq one but they were stunned by what we had done. and certainly true for israel who's looking at the soviet union at the time. but having said that, i mean, one of the things -- questions i -- popped in my mind is when you say what you said, i want to say, yeah, and what does that mean? you know? yes. most often it is security driven. but it doesn't mean there's no replacement for that. it doesn't mean that there aren't other ways of meeting a state's security needs. that's what we thought we were doing in the case of north korea. and in other cases, it wasn't security. i would say that certainly with south korea we had an alliance and we were able to use the alliance to lead the south koreans away from a nuclear weapons program and similarly
with taiwan. it wasn't a formal alliance. it was good enough to persuade them that they didn't want to do that. so the u.s. extended deterrent. very important to countries making a calculation about whether they get nuclear weapons or not. some cases we won't extend a deterrent. pakistan asked us explicit, we said, no. all right? so it differs from case to case. i just would discourage you from thinking once you've settled on the reason for a country's wanting to acquire nuclear weapons that then you have an irresistible force. i don't think so. >> this is -- this is paul. foreign people daily. i have two question, actually. the first one is, united states and the china worked closely to get a nuclear deal with iran and
on north korea issue, do you think that the two nation will work togher to take more actions to pull back north korea to negotiation table, like to restart its six-party talks? and my second question is, which is sovereignty nations and non state actors, which one can cause more threat to international nuclear security? thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. i think i'm going to respond to the first question. on the -- how the united states and china work together for bringing north korea back into the negotiation. i think the key in my view is to what extent china is able to implement the sanctions scheme. in particular, in the past, the north korea has been relying on
any -- supply -- imported items including oil from china. and i don't think it's wise to stop the supply of oil from china because it may lead into the collapse of the regime. but still, you know, some supplies from china prolong this sort of life of the regime. so but at this -- as long as the supply continues, then they're able to manage the situation. but so i think the -- if possible at all we may want to further strengthen kind of a crippling sanction which was posed against the -- iran and the tightening supply into the other party leaders and military branches of the north korea. if possible. but i think it would be probably difficult in the case of iran.
but in any case, if the china is serious about bringing north korea back into the negotiation, i think the key, you know, china's a key player. [ inaudible ] >> go ahead, please. >> on the which is a greater threat, you know, nonstate actors or state actors, my answer is, state actors because the -- for a bunch of reasons, but one of them is the material that terrorists would need in order to make nuclear weapons is produced by states and in the possession of states as far as we know. in all likely that's what would be feasible only so it will be states that will either make mistakes or not have the right policies or not implement those policies that would enable the terrorist to get a nuclear explosive. in the first place and then all the other things that state proliferation does, as well. >> i have a question in the
back. >> hi, my name is michael. i'm a researcher. my question is about how does kim jong-un's succession in north korea play into how they north korea sees the nuclear weapons? the example that comes to mind is they claim to have nuclear weapons before kim jong-il died and so this is a legacy of kim jong-il and thus giving up nuclear weapons would be tantamount to reneging on his legacy. >> so when you say the succession, you mean to kim jong-un, not necessarily thinking of the next -- [ inaudible ] >> i wish that was all we had to worry about. i mean, i understand the question, i think, but i wouldn't be surprised notwithstanding the worship that
exists in the dprk for the kim dynasty that if they decided it was in their interest, if the youngest now kim jong-un decided it was in his interest personally and the regime's interest it would find a way to reconcile that with the policy of his father. by the way, he was behind, we thought, every bit of the negotiations in 1994. much more so than kim jong-un. the real hand back there was kim jong-il. >> and yeah. i would tend to agree. i mean, if you really wanted to, kim jong-un could go back to kim jong-il and use some of his statements where he was focused on a denuclearized north korean peninsula and there are ways to rationalize that i think if he wanted to. okay. i have time for just a couple
more questions but i'll take -- [ inaudible ] we'll take a couple together. >> this is for robert gallucci. >> let us know who you are. >> samara daniels. [ inaudible ] i am very curious as to what may be one or two main reasons why you give -- given the scenario you presented and there was a deal struck with north korea. under what theory would you accept it? i mean, what is the strongest reason for accepting that? what -- what would be -- [ inaudible ] >> okay. so -- >> and then, i'm sorry. >> i'm sorry. we'll collect the last -- >> get peter up here. >> and then in the back. >> peter sharp. miter corporation. primarily for bob gallucci.
you're talking as if the countries concerned were unitary actors, and i don't know about north korea, but i know about the united states and i have my, you know, fair amount of information about iran. they're not at all unitary actors. you could describe the deal struck with iran as a deal struck between a government under siege in washington and another government under siege in teheran. in each case being beaten up by people who didn't want to see an agreement at all and in each case beaten up by people who saw the agreement as the precursor of a wider political agreement that they would detest. and i imagine that at the time the agreed framework was negotiated there were suspicions in pyongyang that the united states didn't really mean what
it was saying. you meant what you were saying but that you didn't really have the backing of u.s. political system. so, don't we need to evaluate the possibilities of reaching agreements and a possibilities that the agreements will stick in terms of a multiplicity of actors in each of the countries concerned? >> university of maryland. i have a question for professor gallucci. you said earlier that north korea may have been willing to give up its nuclear programs had there been a political settlement. can you elaborate on what you mean by that? do you mean something outside of the literal deal? thank you. >> okay? >> yep. >> okay. so i've got three questions.
what was i thinking when i proposed that little scenario where they -- the north koreans held on to a few nuclear weapon material in a box? what i was trying to do is ask you all to think about the real world. because if you make a deal with north korea and it's comprehensive -- it's comprehensive. we're going to get everything. they say, we're going to get everything. i'm just being realistic. how do you know? are you really going to find out? right now, do you think they are building weapons? i do. do you think if we make a deal and they commit to giving everything they will give everything? i don't. so you know, when i think about that, there's good news. good news is you can't verify to that level. you don't say you are. they get to have this little insurance. right? we say we have a comprehensive
deal, and we do. so all i'm trying to do is take the reality of the situation and point out some of the benefits of it. which is you can do a deal. that's all. the second question -- peter's question was the unitary actors. i did a piece on -- the proposition was bureaucratic politics in the vietnam war. i'm all into that. i'm over the top in that. i think it's interesting when you put the bureaucratic politics on top of the nuclear deal. i think of our country. i know our country better than those countries. we can't -- maybe the situation has changed. when i was in government, a long time ago, we couldn't have done a bureaucratic map of north korea. we would say, there's military. we would say, there's bureaucrats. there was a party. no texture. this was not like talking about france.
iran, we probably got more texture. i'm not sure how good we are on iran. with us, i'm very sympathetic to anyone negotiating with us and wondering what the executive branch can accomplish given the nature of american politics these days. i think you've got a very good point. the person who is going to go and do the negotiation had better have some talking points on that or he is going to be staring for a while. so it's hard. it came up specifically in a case of -- which i talked about, in the case of the assurance that came from the president. i didn't have to tell them that the president was happy to sign this, because he actually couldn't deliver on it. they knew that. they knew that it was dependent on the congress. okay. we will take the president's signature. it's not worth nothing. thank you very much. so i think other countries are aware and we ought to be. the only thing i would do as a
safety tip to you, peter, is say this is far more demanding on the intelligence community than what the intelligence community produces that kind of political texture is often not there. it might be wonderful on technical and not so good on political issues. the last question was -- i can't read my writing. political -- what was the last question? say again. yes. okay. so i didn't -- by that other than -- look, very soon after we did the deal in 1994, we were supposed to go and open liaison offices. we had the north koreans here looking around the property. they got lost in victoria's secret. all kinds of things happened. we said that we were going to take the east german -- which
was now german and that made them unhappy because we wouldn't pay a lot of money for that. south koreans were less than happy about us doing this before they had their elections. but that was one manifestation of a political settlement. opening liaison offices. we had blocked off foreign service -- it never happened. that's one thing that just never happened. they thought cultural exchange was in the offing. immediately, we got this proposal for this synchronized dancing group of young girls to come to the united states of america. and they brought it to me because i was still doing north korea. i hadn't gone to bosnia. i said, are you crazy? they will be on the kennedy center stage. they will be 12 and they will move as one. how did that happen? you did a deal with this country that takes young girls and puts
them in -- all i could see was, since there was no human rights component to the deal, nothing like that, we were in for a world of hurt here. this is not a nice country. it's not a nice regime. and i worry about everything falling apart. we had no kind of political basis for engagement with them. i think that they thought that there would be a political relationship with the united states that would make it implausible for the united states to launch regime change. now they would be normal. we could do investment. they kept saying in north korea that you don't have to remove your troops. troops are okay. so they had an image of a relationship with us which nobody that i could find in washington had as well. so i think they were grossly disappointed. it's not that we didn't -- it's not like a material breach. i'm not equating this.
i think they expected more than they got. >> indeed. george, any final thoughts? >> i wanted to ask on this issue of unitary actors or the bureaucratic model. when japan is managing this with the united states, for example, you have the north american bureau working with the relationship and working with the ministry of defense, but you have the asian bureau working on north korea and the abduction issue and these issues. now we have a different context with iran and a new set of bureaucratic actors. how is that kind of managed -- is there tension within the inter-agency system in the japan side or not too bad? >> democratic countries, japan always suffers from the bureaucratic politics. for example, in the case of the dealing with iran, there's
always -- there has been always conflict of interest between the bureau or agencies which promote relationship with iran in the context of energy security and the context of business and those who trying to strength the alliance and try to tighten the pressure on iran. for example, in the case of the oil field in iran, which -- which japan held the rights fo . exploration, there was a battle between the united states and japan that within japanese government they were trying to retain the possibility of rights in the oil field. eventually, they followed the decision by the foreign minis y ministry. to respect the alliance.
then now they went after things that were in place. when the sanctions were lifted, the sectors rushed to be in iran. so it's always difficulty in japanese political apparatus to balance the interests of alliance and its own interest. >> thank you. we're going to have an opportunity to get more even more deeply involved in the iranian issue in our next session. we're going to take a break right now until 4:00. right? if i'm correct, 4:00. but now please join me in thank ing everyone. thank you. [ applause ]
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robert scher talked about cooperation with australia and japan. this is about an hour and a half. >> good morning. thank you, everyone for coming. i'm michael green, senior vice president for csis. we are pleased today to release a new report prepared by andrew shearer, which is available out front if you didn't get one on the way in.
maritime cooperation creating federated capabilities for the asia pacific. andrew has been here at csis for four or five months now. working on this project based on his experience in multiple stints in the australian government. he is now a distinguished visiting fellow at csis and has come out of senior positions in australian government most recently the national security adviser to the prime minister tony abbott. he was national security adviser to john howard and has held senior posts in department of foreign affairs and trade and ministry of defense and here in the embassy in washington where i first met andrew about 15 years ago when i was on the national security council staff. andrew will talk about the paper. then we will have some commentary from robert sc her.
this is a shop that owns the world and works on strategy plans and capabilities. bob spent much of his career working specifically on southeast asia and u.s.-australia, including positions in the asia office of the secretary of defense policy planning among others. bob is well-known for his expertise not only on planning and strategic guidance but also on southeast asia. this report builds on growing momentum for strengthening not only u.s., japan, australia cooperation in the maritime domain, but growing momentum in the u.s., japan and australia to align and make more interoperable our bilateral alliances in asia.
the u.s. gentlemjapan alliance . australia alliance were born together but not in intimacy. in some ways the opposite. the australian side played us quite well. in 1951. and helped to design the alliances we know today to maximize australian interests and the u.s. australian alliance were part of this large grand bargain. that started changing particularly after the cold war. i think in an operational level it really began in the clinton administration. when i was in the bush administration, we began in 2001 the tsd, try lateral security dialogue. and things as andrew will tell you have really just accelerated from there. what andrew is going to present to you is based on his work on this area for about two decades,
including the tsd, including the quad quadrilateral and it reflects strategic thinking on both sides of the aisle in the u.s. and japan. but i should emphasize that andrew's paper is his paper. also that bob scher is here to comment, to give us the state of play in current u.s. policy, not necessarily to endorse this report. we often have court administration officials comment when we issue the reports, usually polite enough to say we're doing all that. usually polite enough not to say, this is the dumbest thing i've heard. it's usually somewhere in the middle. it gives us context for understanding what the government is doing, thinking about and what opportunities there are going forward. we will hear from andrew and then comments from bob. then we will open it up for your
questions. thank you. andrew? >> thank you very much. thank you everyone for coming along today. i really would like to thank mike and csis for the opportunity to spend time here. i have old friends here. it's fantastic to be back here as a visiting fellow the last few months. i would also like to thank bob for coming along. bob likewise is a very longstanding friend. it's very good of you to give us your time. we know how busy you are. finally, i would like to thank the folks who reviewed my paper and gave me some really good feedback and probably saved me from some errors, if there are errors left there, then they are mine, not theirs. i just want to take -- pick up from where mike set things up. the starting point for this project really is the work that csis has been doing on federated
defense. and this is the idea that the best way to respond to a changing and in many ways a deteriorating international security situation in an environment when we are all increasingly resource constrained is to integrate our defense capabilities much better in the interests of a set of -- in the interests of some very substantial long-term shared aspirations and interests in our countries. and in particular, when it comes to the asia pacific, to respond to what i think is a rapidly growing series of challenges. some of these of a trans-national nature. things like piracy and responding to humanitarian disasters. mike mentioned the december 2004 tsunami. but there was the japanese
tsunami earthquake disaster, of course, as well. and there will be much more of that. and then we're also seeing, i think, undeniably, increasing tensions in it t s in the regio. in the south china sea, for example, we're seeing a more -- more active russian posture with russia modernizing its pacific fleet and bringing some very capable submarines, for example, into the mix. and then you've got a very unpredictable nuclear armed dictator in north korea, of course. so i think an undeniably deteriorating regional security environment, particularly in maritime asia. and then perhaps driven by some of these trends, the proliferation of some very sophisticated weapons systems
throughout the region. china is a big part of that and russia as i mentioned. but we're also seeing an increasing number of countries acquire precision cruise and ballistic missiles, for example. new intelligence surveillance reconnaissance capabilities, electronic warfare capabilities. and cyber capabilities and, yes, submarines that are starting to change the balance of power in asia and make it much more difficult for the united states and its allies to operate in the region in the way that they traditionally have. this challenge has a raw quantity of dimensions i terms of the number of modern weapons and platforms that are in the region now and will be in the region in the future. but also a dimension in the sense we're seeing the introduction of new capabilities that are changing the strategic
landscape. they are the things i mentioned earlier. at the same time, of course, we're all resource constrained at the moment. budget cuts mean that the size of the u.s. navy, for example, has been falling. other countries in the region are not spending massive amounts on defense. although, australia and japan have committed to increase spending, particularly on maritime capability. generally, we're seeing a reduction in the resources of the u.s. and its potential coalition partners and an increase overall. so the task of managing this challenge and monitoring it is becoming greater. then as i said, we're seeing gaps in capability. notwithstanding the u.s. rebalance, there are limits to resources in terms of humanitarian assistance, in terms of amphibious capability,
in terms of assets, undersea assets. the u.s. attack submarine fleet actually around the mid 2020s will start to get smaller, not larger, for example. and gaps in cyber, missile defense and maritime security more broadly. for that reason, i really chose to focus my paper on maritime security and how we can take the framework of federated defense and start to actualize it in terms of real capability. in the region. then i narrowed it down to japan and australia for a few key reasons. one is the policy framework that mike mentioned, strengthening cooperation among those countries has been established policy for a very long time. i also chose those countries because they're probably the united states' two most capable maritime partners in the region. and when we're looking to
achieve the sorts of strategic affects that i'm talking about in the paper, including deterrents and the capacity to reassure appliances, you need high-end partners. you need to collaborate in southeast asia and china. but to build integrated high-end capability, you need to start with the most capable partners. then australia and japan have both themselves been shifting their defense policies in the direction of more emphasis on maritime security and both of them have a stated commitment to increase their maritime capabilities. so they're already highly capable partners and they're going to become i think it's fair to say even more capable partners over the next ten to 20 years. now the submarine piece of this equation is the one that generates all the excitement, of course. there's no doubt that c-1000,
which is australia's program to replace the current collins class fleet is one very important opportunity to strengthen maritime cooperation between these three countries. there's no question of that. but this agenda is much broader than just the submarine piece. and the last chapter of the report really is an attempt to draw out an action plan that hopefully will encourage officials -- i'm keen to hear from bob about this -- in the right direction as i see it. and that is to start making some of these more networked, more intere integrated capabilities real. a critical part is to start around isr and networks our intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance capabilities much more effectively. in particular, to build a shared picture of what's happening in the maritime environment,
because we know from our time in government that when governments share a common appreciation of the strategic environment, they're more likely to act in concerted ways in pursuit of shared interested. here i'm talking really about things like networking our maritime surveillance aircraft, u.s. and uaustralian and gentlem japanese, unman ne ened items a also i think potentially cooperation in radar where each of our countries have sophisticated technological skills and systems in place already. then there's the undersea part of this. undersea warfare is going to become increasingly important in the asia pacific. again, everyone talks about sub
are a me submarines. more important is anti-submarine warfare. i think it's fair to say that the asw skills have not had the attention that they used to get during the cold war. we have had other priorities. we need to start rebuilding those capabilities in australia and here again i think the networking potential and our ability to leverage australia's geograph geography, japan's geography, create a web of integrated asw capabilities that can take some of the load off of u.s. resources, which are going to be increasingly stretched by this picture that i've tried to set out in the paper. when it comes to submarines, of course, this is an australian decision. it's going to be a very consequential decision, indeed. it will shape our force
structure and the options that are available to australian governments for decades. hints, i guess, that the level of excitement around the decision making. it's also, of course, a massive commercial opportunity. i think it's the largest sort of openly available defense industry contract that's on the world market at the moment. the successful partner will, obviously, gain huge key does wh kudo when it comes to building s submari submarines. the point i would make there and in the paper and in other things i've written, includin includin mike, when it comes to assessing the key capabilities that the different partners bring to the table and also things like cost and schedule and risk and so forth, all sorts of things that should be under consideration, i'm not taking a position on
that. the point i make in the paper though and more generally is that partnering with japan and the united states on submarines is a potential game changer at different levels. at the strategic level, it can have the effect, i believe, of imbedding japan more in a regional security architecture that can help to allay japan's strategic anxiety and that's a good thing. that's a stabilizing thing to do, i believe. at the operational level, a fleet of interoperable submarines can have more impact and can deal both with the kwan quantitative and quality capabilities in the region. the defense industry part of this is important, too.
supporting japan's efforts to expand its defense industry and the international dementiimensi important in terms of locking in japan to a broader regional security architecture. for those reasons, i think it's undeniable that there is a strategic dimension to the submarine decision and those factors should feature in that decision. capability cooperation in the submarine project is a good example is a really important area for the three countries to work in. i say in the pain they're per w think about combined capability when strategic requirements are being formulated and at all stages through the capability acquisition process. that's a way to reduce inefficiencies, reduce duplication and drive int
interoperability. someone said amateurs talk about strategy and professionals talk about logistics. i think it's undeniable when you look at some of the checkpoints in terms of, for example, precision guided munitions for coalition operations in the region, that if we integrate our logistics chain much more look at things like common stockpiles of munitions, mutual supply and prepositioning and also working together on sustainment of our systems, particularly if we can move in the direction of more shared systems and platforms, there would be enormous benefits there. amphibious capability, australia and japan are both building their own amphibious capability. i think it's fair to say it's early days in both cases. this is where working with the u.s. marine corps is so incredibly important for us as we build that capability and
where the u.s. marine rotations come into play. this should be a two-way street. for example, when you read about the shortage of strategic sea lift that could constrain u.s. amphibious operations in the region, we should be very ambitia ambitious here and we should look at building the capability to deploy u.s. marines and their vehicles and weapons and aircraft off an australian platform, one of our large 27,000 ton amphibious shs, for example, or a japanese vessel for that matter. and generating a pooled amphibious lift capability that can work across the region on problems as diverse as humanitarian responses through to stabilizization operations and so forth. just a few other quick things before i wrap up and hand over to bob.
the trilateral machinery as mike mentioned has been in place for a long time now. i say in the paper that i think it needs to be updated. we have a defense -- security and defense cooperation forum which is an analog to the trilateral dialogue. i recommend that be up graded to the deputy second level to cut through in the three systems. there should be working groups in areas i mentioned this morning to take forward individual initiatives in that framework. i think we also need to bring india in. india is an incredibly important potential partner for australia, for japan and for the united states. and we should do that, i think, at a pace that is comfortable for india. but if you look in particular at areas like isr and
anti-submarine warfare, then i think india has a huge role to play. and there are some real synergies in particular with australia's strategic geography. lastly, of course, we do need to continue to engage china. we already do trilateral exercises. i think there's scope for more of that. we need to work with them on hhdr and counter-piracy and build up habits of working together and cooperation, because that will create greater transparency and hopefully greater confidence. i will leave it there and hand it over to bob. >> so i'm very happy to be here to discuss this paper. it's not just because andrew and mike are old friends and colleagues. i would do it for that regardless of what's in the paper. but also because i really do applaud efforts to continue to
examine how we in the united states with our friends, but particularly with our allies, how we work together to promote and defend our interests in this key region of asia. this is a paper that looks to do that. and it was well worth the time, even on the weekend, to take a quick loo being k at the paper e you thoughts and impressions and about how that fits into the way we think about our policier tos asia at large. as i real the paper, there really are two key premises. i think they're worth pointing out and are all to the good. one, we in the united states and with our allies as well have to be able to adapt our longstanding alliance system that used to be predominantly, if not in some cases solely, a hub and spoke system. i think andrew points this out. the federated process -- the systems that csis is looking at. while hub and spoke was the
predominant nature of our relationships in asia, it can't be the only way we look at it. i do think that we haven't only looked at that as the way for many years spanning a number of administrations. but that we have to continue that progress. also the second premise, if you will, is that maritime issues are and will continue to be critical to the prosperity of asia. it goes without saying, but nonetheless it's worth pointing out. looking at a map, you have a hard time -- don't have a hard time understanding why maritime issues are so important for asia for security and prosperity. if you put these two together, it was an easy sell for me to take a look at ideas about how we could increase trilateral cooperation and that alliance network and focus that on maritime issues. let me deal with each of those a little bit more detail from my perspective. first, the idea of increasing multilateral cooperation and
doing so with our most capable allies and doing that together. it's on the face of it makes sense. these are two allies with which -- with whom we work very closely. we have very good interoperability with them. why wouldn't we look to seize opportunities where they exist to work together? that wasn't always the case. and that wasn't even -- when that was the case, we didn't always jump on that. but i think in today's world, not just because of budget issues but certainly i think that's the way to go. in fact, i think that's -- i will jump ahead to a quote i was going to use later. before the president went out to asia late last year, one of the lines in the fax sheet, if you will, is the following. our priority is to strengthen ko cooperation among our partners, leveraging their significant and growing capabilities to build a network of like-minded states
that sustains and strengthens a rules based regional order and addresses regional and global challenges. couldn't have said it better myself. i might have. i don't know. nonetheless, that is -- as a principal, this all makes perfect sense and it's something we need to continue to look at. we really need to look at developing new patterns of cooperation. how can we get our friends, our allies to think about things not just in that hub and spoke process but looking to work more together? i would argue the united states wasn't the largest proponent of the hub and spoke system, but we were willing to work with our friends and allies that way when that was most appropriate and when that was what they were looking for as we emerge and as a new security environment develops and allies become more capable, friends become more capable, we need to look for other way chz s of doing this. we are doing a lot in large
multilateral forum. you have seen around, the esa, all of the other large multilateral forums. those are, in fact, i think important pieces of our foreign poll six it's one of the things we have done and put an emphasis on during the obama administration. that, however, does not mean that those are the only way to do things or the best ways to cooperate in all cases. i think as you look at some of the more advanced capabilities, those are not yet ready for all of that activity. so we need to look at see where we can have those combination of friends and allies and where -- with what missions, what capabilities will be the most profitable and be flexible. asia has the advantage and disadvantage of not having a set in stone very clear multilateral forum. we should take advantage of that where we need to and try to build on it where we think it's
not a strength of our relationships. second, maritime security is absolutely one of the key issues. it's a right one to focus on. it's a critical domain to our security. to the security of the united states, to our allies, to our frernd friends, the region at all. it's for economic prosperity for all of those. what's interesting as we look in the security environment is that we can no longer assume as we had for i would argue many years that the maritime domain will go uncontested. so understanding that as a premise, we need to look to like-minded nations of how we can best ensure the security of the global commons, the ability to operate in and through the maritime domain as we have done and as has benefitted the united states, our allies and the region for decades. so australia and japan are obvious first choices for this. for reasons that we have all talked about.
i do think that there are other countries that are capable of doing this and i think we should look to that in the future. india, korea, singapore are some of the first that come to mind. but i do think that with the clear shared interests and the shared view of the opportunity and the security challenges in the region, uaustralia and japa are the right places to start. this is true given what japan has recently done and with the abe government has done to push a view of japan's security that is beyond its near borders and understanding that it's a broader perspective that they can and should be a participate in. we should explore these ideas and look at them. i look forward to looking at andrew's paper in greater depth. i'm sures oth others will do th. but i'm in no position now and i don't think anybody would want me to sort of say this is the
right thing or this isn't. i do think it's -- what it means is it's well worth looking at. as i said, it fits into our overall policy. i would say that arguably the thing that i would ask us to look at as we look at this -- these proposals, i think the areas are about right. isr is a big one. undersea is a big one. amphibious capabilities, other capabilities and logistics, these are all good areas to be examining in greater depth. what i think we need to do with the rebalance as we move forward -- i guess what i would recommend to a follow on administration is to continue the operations that we're doing, continue the ways we're looking at things now. but also look at what we can do together. what missions, operations. it shouldn't be about where we are. it shouldn't just be about what capabilities we bring. it shouldn't just be about what our -- enhancing our allies and friends. it shouldn't just be about
geographically distributed and politically sustainable. it should be about all those things. you have heard them. you have heard them continue to be said. one of the things about government is you get to repeat yourself and maybe eventually someone will believe that you mean it. we will continue to say those things. we also need to talk about for what. for what are we doing all these thi things? why are we looking to cooperate on a range of issues? why are we putting our best technology forward into the pacific? so we can work on things together. some of these things will be at the high end. some of these things will be at the lower end. we shouldn't forget any of those pieces. making sure that we are better as unilaterally from the u.s. with our allies and then broader with the set of allies and friends in doing operations that span from humanitarian assistance to disaster relief all the way up to ensuring the maritime, cyber, space domains
and global commons are able to be operated in freely. all of those things we should look for cooperation and should be able to focus on what we're doing next. it will always be with our asian allies that we will see this. because this is where -- you have heard these things. i won't repeat the statistics. this is where our interests are intertwined. given that, those are the things that i think this fits right in. i really do thank andrew for inviting me to be here, i say that before the questions and answers -- and to look at this early on. i think the premise makes perfect sense. we need to take a look at what things bright people are thinking about elsewhere. thank you. >> terrific. thank you both. let me start the questions and we will open it up. i think in andrew's presentation, you heard how much australia could benefit from
this in terms of bringing up the royal australian navy, perhaps getting greater security dynamics in north asia. there are going to be enormous advantages in this kind of agenda for the u.s. japan alliance as well. i think our japanese allies will see what alliances look like when you have integration of senior level commands and staff. not a joint and combined command like nato but much trust and integration on an individual level across different commands, intelligence sharing. i think there's going to be an open window for both alliances. not just the australia and japan side and starting to see what the gold standard is in various areas. that's a huge advantage. i like, bob, that you put this in a context as did andrew, the u.s. and japan and australia and
in particular japan and australia have been cooperating on regional architecture since -- for those of you you know, apec and various early architectural innovations. a lot came of japan and u austral australia. it was japan and australia telling us to keep our act together and keeping us focused. that larger context really drives this. let me first ask each -- andrew, the japan, australia security cooperation is 100 years old plus. right about this time 100 years ago if i'm remembering history, japan and australia were sinking submarines in the mediterranean. the japanese navy got the troops there. so there's a long history with an obvious interruption.
my sense is in australia, particularly since 15, 20 years ago, views towards japan shifted considerably in a positive direction. on the other hand, beijing is very clearly opposed to anything like this, even if it involves building regional humanitarian exercise relief. from china's perspective, this isn't our intention in three allied capitals, from the chinese perspective, that's window dressing for a containment strategy. i would expect that chinese official criticism of trilateralism with japan and korea and so forth will increase. i guess my question is, what's the debate like in australia about this? reading the defense white paper,
it sounds like the answer is yes. if you could give the washington audience a flavor about how you do this while at the same time maintaining relations with china. >> sure. thank you, bob, for that context. that's absolutely right. as mike says, our partnership with japan goes back a very long way, indeed. in fact, it's interesting. going back to the formation, it was done through the lens of what had happened with japan. and it was when we had the security guarantee provided that australia felt ready to sign a commerce agreement as early as the mid 1950s, which shows you how quickly australia was -- as
our foreign minister said, was prepared to move on and see the potential in the relationship with japan. really, that relationship is incredibly important, because australia provided the raw materials that drove the japanese boom and created so much of the asian economic miracle. our strategic relationship with japan came later. we have partnered very closely with japan on economics and increasingly in terms of regional diplomacy and building this sort of architecture in the region that mike outlined. but i think it was really only when we worked with japan in southern iraq in the mid 2000s that the strategic potential of the relationship started to become clear, particularly in tokyo. i think australians are seen that for a while and were keen to move in that direction. but for experience of working with the adf and building that
level of trust with the adf and seeing how closely the adf was integrated into the way the u.s. military works was powerful in terms of tokyo's thinking. since then, we've seen extraordinary development. there's a logistics agreeme s so facilitate more exercises and operations in each country so the architecture of the relationship between australia and japan has come on in leaps and bounds. now fuinally, of course, i thin just a few years ago most of us in this room would have thought it unthinkable that japan would be a potential international partner for australia's future submarines. a massive amount of development there. then, of course, there's the china piece. as i said, this paper is about maritime security in asia. it talks about russia and it talks about korea.
it's inescapable that china's military modernization program, the anti-axis area denieal capabilities its building, the south china sea, china say driver of what's happening in our region. i don't think they should be seen as containment. containment is not actually possible if you look at the degree of economic interdependence, even if anyone wanted it. this is about increasing, if you like, the puool of capability t respond to a lotgencies as bob . that should be in the interest of the region, including china. the other point i would make is that i do think there is a deterrent piece to this. as work that csis and other
institutions have done and is recognized in u.s. government documents, that the balance of power in maritime asia is shifting. it's shifting in an unfavorable direction. we need more high level capability to sustain a favorable balance of power and ultimately a peaceful and stable region that is underpinned by open economic institutions and respect for core principals like freedom of navigation. that's the end point. that's the prize. those have been the pillars of prosperity in the asia pacific for 70 years and what we're interested in here i think what everyone is interested in should be the next 70 years. >> most of these questions i think will fly to andrew. let me ask you one, bob, before we open it up. you mentioned a range of areas from diplomacy to surveillance
and so forth. can you say a little bit about our initiatives? it seems to me by design probably, but we're creating a new forced posture in the pacific that links our alliances, in the sense that, for example, marines will go to okinawa and as part of the rotation they will do time in darwin. so there's that connection as well. maybe you can tell our audience more about where that's heading. >> certainly. we have had this sort of tag line if you will for an awful long period of time of politically sustainable and operationally resilient. it's repeated not just because we're comfortable with it but because it represents what we're trying to do in terms of posture within the region. if you think about a number of years ago, would you hayou woul our posture is -- you would equate our posture with our
footprint. you would say it's in northeast asia. while that might have been overly sim mris 'ti overly simplistic, it wouldn't have been wrong. this is stuff that ideas that were started across multiple administrations, but to take a look and see what we could do to do a better job of understanding that we had interests far beyond just northeast asia, that we needed to look about how we could distribute our posture and operate effectively with friends and allies from northeast asia through southeast asia and into the indian ocean. in order do thato do that, you o have the agreement, the exercises with the countries. so we started that. we continued that effort in the obama administration. i think what you have seen, we have some things that we point to a fair bit. we will continue to point to it. some longstanding ones in singapore of how we operated with the support of the government of singapore.
you will see some of the australia piece that we have done in terms of expanding our cooperation and our ability to operate with australian forces from northern territories of australia, particularly air force and navy. we have done a fair bit in the philippines and gotten to the point where we can have more rotation aprro rotational basis. this links together to say that it's important that we be able to operate with friends and allies and operate relatively seamlessly with them across and around the region, not just in northeast asia. this really -- again, i really do think that -- i think a lot of people who work on europe a lot and come into asia think it's a down side, that there is no clear regional architecture like nato. i understand why they do that. i now have to spend a lot of time in europe. i have come to appreciate the
nato alliance in a way i hnlt before. it's so hard not to respond. but i also think there are clear advantages to having a more flexible process whereby you don't have to get the agreement of all 28 nations if you will in europe to do anything. that is by being able to work with countries that you share similar interests and take advantage of those. then you can build on that. i think we have looked to put our posture in a context of not just being places but doing things, but in order to do things with other countries and do things around the region, we to have that posture. the big piece -- the distributed sort of network of our marines coming off of okinawa leaving obviously critical pieces in okinawa, but then also being operated in guam and being able to really have that ability to operate with other countries wherever we think we need to is
really the key advantage of this distributed posture. if i may, one thing which i will -- as the u.s. government official up here, i feel compelled to say that while there is a changing balance of military power in the asia region, i still feel extraordinarily comfortable with the way it is now. obviously, we need to continue to track it. we need to make sure we and all allies can operate in any and all environments with the best technology that we have and in operational ways that are relevant and are able to -- we're able to secure our interests. but it's not just about numbers, as the paper points out. it's about capabilities. i do feel the need to say that i'm not willing to accept the trends are inevitable. i feel very good about our capabilities unilaterally but also i feel better about it when i think about our capabilities with allies and friends. >> good. same question to you, andrew.
>> when you look at the u.s. force posture agenda which bob outlined very well and particularly doing things not just being places, i think what comes through very strongly is a shift in emphasis towards southeast asia. wouldn't surprise anyone that we think that's a good thing in australia and we support the rebalance and what the u.s. administration has been trying to achieve with it. i think as i say in the paper, australia is becoming increasi g increasingly important in this context. i mean, yes, as a capability partner but also just because of our strategic geography. so, for example, the marine presence is important for the kind of capability building reasons that i mentioned a little earlier. and i think it has a wider regional importance. if you look at it, i actually think that the air force part of
the u.s. force posture initiatives in australia, the capacity for northern australia to accept increasingly large rotations of u.s. long range aircraft, including isr platforms and bombers and so forth, is ultimately more strategically significant even than the marine piece. then i think the potential for u.s. navy rotations from the west coast of australia will grow, too, as the strategic importance of the indian ocean continues to rise. i think you are going to see australia become more important in a forced posture sense. in the report i talk about this concept of australia as a sanctuary but also a springboard in terms of our access to some very critical real estate, including some of the maritime check points in southeast asia
and out into the eastern indian ocean, approach to southeast asia. here i think the sort of isr cooperation between australia and potentially india could be very important and some work together in anti-submarine warfare as well. >> thank you. you will find in the report on page 30 a very useful map that shows where some of the critical points are in maritimes asia an how the geography bear on that. why don't we open it up. identify yourself and keep it short. >> the last 15 years, the policy of japan, australia, cooperation has made tremendous progress.
mike was in the nsc. the policy level, the architecture, there seems to me we got to the point, particularly in terms of responding to china -- i don't mind the containment word myself, i think that's what we're all about, but putting that aside, we got to the point where the rubber needs to meet the road now in terms of capabilities. i agree fully with your report. you have outlined exactly what needs to be done in terms of the networking integration of capabilities that are needed to get the force multiplier effect that we need, because we all have limited resources. but the context of the rubber meeting the road or not to me now, the issue before us is the submarine program. strategically, you have outlined the issues very well. but how competent are you that australian government will make what i would say is the correct decision on this in terms of the strategic and the operability of
our forces? i can't see the germans and the french caring that much about the south china sea and east china sea that they will have the follow-up capabilities. how confident are you the decisions will be made for the right reasons? >> thanks, kevin, for the question. the first thing i would say is that i'm not privy to the competitive process within the defense department at the moment. i had a hand in establishing the process and each of the international partners have expressed their support for the process. they like it. they think it's a good robust process. i think that's incredibly important. this is a $50 billion acquisition up front and probably another $100 billion plus going forward for sustainment.
absolutely huge for australia. just a big project full stop. i'm not, because i'm not privy to the inside of the process, i'm not going to comment on the relative merits of technically if the japanese or german or french submissions, i'm not in position to and it's not my job to. that's for defense. what i can say, though, is that if the capability can be modified to the minimum extent possible to meet australia's strategic requirements and that particularly applies to range, and if the japanese proposal is solid on cost and schedule and if it's the best way to mitigate the risks that we have experienced with the cullins class submarine, then i think
the strategic logic of going with the japanese is compelling, and i as an australian taxpayer, and someone who worked in the australian government, i have no reason at all to believe that the process won't explore those issues in great detail with great professionalism and i very much hope and would expect serious, sensible decision just because of its importance for future generations. so i think that would be my answer. >> i'm certainly not going to be in a position to judge it, the outcome. i just, i think what i understand is spot-on. so there are a lot of variables that are, you know, beyond my ability to judge in terms of technology and cost and andrew didn't mention but you're aware of industrial participation and labor relations.
there's a lot to this. i actually did my dissertation on these kinds of decisions and how they affect alliances. when you are talking about this much technology and this much strategic capability, these are of historic consequence in terms of the direction or trajectory of a country's defense policy and foreign policy. so it's not surprising it's under the magnifying glass in tokyo and around the world. you see articles in the financial times and so forth. the u.s. has to stay neutral of course because we have three allies competing with whom we operate at sea. but i think when you control for or set aside for the moment all of the important technical, industrial and other decisions, it is striking to a lot of people here at least that one of the submarines under discussion operates in the waters of the pacific, and the industrial base
and foreign policy of that government is committed to exactly the same strategic objectives in that region. and as i understand it, the bid made it clear that there would be some consideration of these strategic factors. so it's not surprising the u.s. government has to be quite careful on this, but the nice thing about being out of government, of course, is you can sort of opine based on what we have seen of the dynamics in the region. i assume you don't want to answer this? >> just given the elephant in the room to prejudge or predict any other questions are coming, let's be clear the united states doesn't take a position on this except for the fact this is a sovereign decision of the government of australia to make the best decision they think is possible. i certainly expect and hope all the considerations mike and andrew have laid out and everyone else has laid out would be part of that decision but in terms of whether or not we have a position, the only position is that we will work with whatever submarine the australians choose
and we hope they go get through this process. >> i think chip is next in the front. >> chip gregson. freedom of navigation was rightly mentioned as a principle which begs the question, whose freedom of navigation? for instance, how do we help guarantee vietnam and the philippines the right to freedom of navigation in their own exclusive economic zones, fishing, seabed mining, that type of thing? >> thanks, chip. bob might have something to say about this, too. it's an excellent question. i think part of it is that as we know, these countries have limitations on their own capabilities to basically enforce their own interests and their own legal rights
consistent -- so i think good works have already started in this area, building up their capabilities. starting with sort of coast guard type capabilities to monitor the sorts of problems you mentioned around fishing and so forth. i know that the united states has gifted a couple of retired coast guard cutters, i think to the philippines. it's interesting, australia has done something similar to malaysia, some of our patrol boats have been gifted to malaysia to help them with precisely these tasks. japan is also active in this. i think what you mentioned is a particularly good case where strategic cooperation needs to kick in and i think already has, frankly. so rather than sort of duplicating and having an uncoordinated approach to this, we have a shared agreement of
what these countries really need, how we can best help them get there and do it most efficiently, and that's to my mind a really sort of good practical example of the sort of cooperation i'm talking about. >> certainly, chip, as you know and many others in the room know, the actual -- it gets complicated in terms of defining easies when you don't have a judgment on who owns what land feature. it's not as complex as sometimes it's made out to be but nonetheless, it is a difficult situation. it's one of the reasons why we hope that everyone will cede to the way the customary international law looks at these issues. we believe that that's the right venue to deal with the disputes and we support what's going on now in terms of any dispute resolution that could be going on with the case of the philippines brought. and we will live by whatever answer the international tribunal comes forward with. all of that i would argue is immaterial to the fact that
every country who has a maritime boundary deserves to be able to address threats within it and deal with and have some sense of maritime awareness, be able to do its rightful positions regardless of what you believe the eezs or territorial waters are. that's really where we have been focused is on the capabilities piece. obviously other folks in the u.s. government are dealing with the diplomacy and the other pieces but we i think as andrew pointed out have spent a lot of time working with our friends and allies who we can help with building these capabilities. we have some of this is arms sales, some of this is gifts and different ways of doing that. some of this is the maritime security initiative which i think you have seen up on the hill and secretary carter has announced. so that's how we are focused our efforts is making sure that every country has the capability to do what it is within its rights and in fact, what responsibilities within the international environment. but the core answer i would argue to your question is, it's
freedom of navigation for everyone. this is a core interest for the united states. it is a core interest for other countries. and it's something that we have all lived by in international norms and rules of behavior for the past decades and it's something i think is critically important to figure out how we can best maintain and why, and continue to demonstrate and show as well as argue that it's in everybody's interests in the region for that. >> let me, i have other people on the list but to flag bob's point and put you on the spot, we very well may have in the coming months a decision in the arbitration on the philippines case and i think man experts expect, we can't predict, it will be unfavorable for beijing and the chinese side is unlikely to accept it, and may take action to demonstrate that it's a paper tiger. so this is a hypothetical. you're off the hook, bob.
but what do you think, andrew somehow would this maritime security cooperation manifest itself in this kind of scenario which i personally would say is at least a 50/50 prospect looking at it today? >> i guess i'm on the hook because i'm no longer an official now. >> welcome to the nfl. >> i think this arbitration outcome is obviously going to be very important, not least because i think that the way the rules of the region are shaped now is incredibly important, given the sort of trajectory the region seems to be on. it's better that the rules are established now than at a point when things are more out of hand down the road. so it's very important. i think the initial point is that there needs to be a very strongly concerted diplomatic piece that comes in in support
of international rules, the international rules based order in this case. the region obviously has a massive stake. australia, for example, is an exporting country and about 60% of our trade passes through the south china sea. so it's vital to us nationally that as bob said very eloquently and mike's also said, the freedom of navigation is just incredibly important to us all. it's not just the region, though. this is where i think sometimes our european friends probably need to stand up a little more. the eu after all is an institution founded very much on the rule of law and you know, supposedly liberal way of looking at world order and i think it's very important that
the european countries get solidly behind the rules and principles. because even though south china sea is quite a long way from london and paris and brussels and berlin, disorder in the asia pacific is not going to remain isolated. to our region, just as disorder if not chaos in the middle east is going to stay isolated to europe and europe's backyard. so i think this really does need to be seen as a global political and security problem, not just a regional one. the u.s., australia and japan can help to fashion an effective diplomatic response and you would like to think that they will be very well, very efficiently joined up if the moment comes. >> thanks.
satu, over here. >> yes. i'm from the east-west center and the center for naval analyses. thank you for ea terrific presentation. question one, what kinds of constraints do you see in implementing the vision particularly andrew, that you outlined in the report? is it a political alignment in the capitals, yes, it saves resources but it will cost some resources to do the work that's being proposed, too. it's -- there's going to be some expenditure. other considerations mike asked you about, china, the china consideration. that's question one. question two, couple of you, maybe all three of you mentioned including india in this effort. i just wonder given the asymmetry between the u.s./india relationship and india's relationship with both japan and australia, in terms of the kind of agreements you mentioned,
logistics agreements and access agreements and stuff, what's the best modality? is it pulling india along to get to this stage of being able to work with us more as allies, or is it insisting on the foundational agreements and other mechanisms first in order to dock on to the fed rated system that you're proposing? thank you. >> thanks. i think some of what i'm talking about is already starting to happen. it's been fairly quiet and it's been somewhat fitful, but australia and india have been patiently kind of step by step building a stronger strategic relationship. we have a joint declaration on security, i can't recall if that's the exact title but it's
sort of that foundational document and interestingly, very much modeled on australia's historics of 2007 joint security declaration with japan, and then the japan and india piece is also developing quite strongly, similar, again, a similar sort of institutional framework's in place, there's more exercising going on, more exchanges. so i think the, if you like, the architecture is developing. it's at this stage developing principally bilaterally but i would say it's a kind of concerted bilateralism that we're seeing and it's heading in the right direction. and sometimes, you know, quite surprisingly, quickly, australia, japan and india have now established an official trilat which sits next to the
japan-u.s. one. that's a really good thing. i don't think it's either/or. i don't think we should wait until the perfect edifice is constructed. we should keep building the perfect edifice but in the meantime, when we can, when it makes sense, when it's in everyone's interest we should bring india in. mike mentioned the 2004 tsunami in the indian ocean. that was a perfect example, where from almost a standing start, the four countries generated pretty impressive military response to that tragedy because they are like-minded, lot of shared values, there's a lot of sort of latent interoperability and lot of capability which when it's pointed at the same problem can be very effective. i think there will be more things where on a case by case basis, we can reach out to india and say, you know, we're thinking of doing this, what are your thoughts about it, how would we go about it, would you
like to join. and it's that kind of process rather than sort of having some big high level goal and sort of waiting until we achieve it. >> i think -- so first of all, like andrew's paper pointed out, we are at a place where we think we can do more trilaterally between the u.s., australia and japan but that's been working for awhile, those patterns of behavior have built up. there have been a lot of meetings, a lot of things. i participated in my fair share. i think everyone around this table has. and they can range from incredibly intellectually stimulating to painful diplomatic and defense sort of sharing of talking points. and we have done less of the latter more recently and more of the former. i think that's, you know, you have to build that up, those patterns of behavior, that pattern of comfort. i think with india, it's a great
goal. i agree wholeheartedly. i think we will have to go at it both ways. i don't sense that we want to be in a position in the united states of looking at it as only through the trilateral lens. we obviously have bilateral pieces we want to do. and you know, i still remember fondly thinking that it would be easy within my tenure as deputy assistant secretary covering asia, we have these foundational agreements done, it was great and it's both disheartening and comforting to see that it wasn't just my problem. that in fact, this is just hard and it's hard with any country. it's not easy with any country. it's just newer with india. so we have to look at it both ways and if trilateral cooperation or quadrilateral cooperation comes out of this, all to the good. but in the end it's always going to be driven by what every individual country sees as its self-interest. if that's not the driving premise behind it, i'm concerned about it. i don't know why.
so when india sees it greater in its interests to be part of something like this, i think it's important that we be able to accommodate it and until then, there are lots of things that we can do with india, both of our countries independently, bilaterally and we should look at any of those opportunities. >> bob just confirmed my theory that the great attraction of trilateralism for the u.s. is watching our allies negotiate status of forces agreements with each other and sit on the sidelines and say now you understand what we have to go through with you. i don't know if you want to address constraints. i think there is a constraint issue, of course. japan has budget limitations weechwe all do. australia does and india does. when you move to add australia and japan on to the pretty intense u.s.-japan exercise schedule or for india to add
japan, costs money. it takes people out of their training cycles. what's been impressive to me, though, i that delhi, tokyo and washington have been willing to do it. part of the reason i think is they operate at a very high level and i think the indian navys from what i hear from officers gets a lot out of exercising with japan. in terms of competence and knowledge, high end asw and other training opportunities, and not necessarily always with the u.s., too. there's something about exploring -- the gap's not as big but also just for political reasons, delhi, in particular, it's nice to have other ways to have high end exchanges. i have been impressed even in the u.s. with budget constraints and bob deserves a lot of credit for this, i think that despite challenges in the defense budget, the exercise schedule with allies, partners, trilateral, bilateral has been maintained pretty well. to the credit of osd and pacific
command which shows you there is leadership and strategic drive behind this. but there are going to be constraints, i think. in some ways i think the real -- you asked about bedrock agreements and so forth. part of the reason you need those is to reduce the costs because if you have these kind of arrangements in place like an acquisition cross-services arrangement and so forth it will cost less to do it together. it's kind of a chicken and egg problem but you raised the right one. did you want to address constraints? >> yeah, sorry, i didn't finish off on constraints. i think mike's dealt very well with the resources. around politics, i think you're right. i think the broad underlying trend, i foeel like the structural trend is in this direction but no question there are windows of opportunity to advance these objectives. we're in one now. the three countries i have written about and i would put india in this category as well,
broadly seeing the region the same way. they have broadly the same sort of if you like grand strategic objective and i think there's a good convergence in the capitals around this. but that's not to say that that sort of alignment can't be sort of knocked around by politics. i remember, for example, that the government when it came to office in australia sort of disavowed quadrilateral cooperation very quickly. i actually think they did it very soon and probably it hadn't been fully thought through but that's just one example of how changes in the sort of political realm can i think not stop this trend or reverse it, but can sort of temporarily hold it up is how i put it. i think there's a very strong convergence with the four countries we have been talking about. the other point i would make is around just a kind of cultural
change that this requires. we have talked a bit about the hub and spokes approach but building up real interoperability is partly about widgets and machines that talk to each other properly but it's much more about people getting used to how other people do things and building up those real habits of close working. i think australia and the u.s. have always been close, but the sort of sheer operating tempo that our mill taitaries have be working under together since 9/11 really means they are integrated, joined at the hip. in other areas i know the united states, with for example japan works incredibly closely. it's how we take those very close working relationships and sort of broaden them out and
encourage a mindset and this is hard. like even in militaries, achieving genuine jointness is a sort of life-long project, really. we are saying we want you to be genuinely joint among yourselves and we also want you to be genuinely joint and combined with the australians, the japanese, south koreans as bob said, the indians. that's a really big change. it's going to take time for our uniformed services and bureaucracies to kind of make some of those changes. >> thank you. it was a great report, the important things are all there. but in the real world, we have to make choices among capabilities and budgets. i want to push you a little bit on that. the case for asw, talking to
navy people, is pretty strong. we are falling behind, we need to catch up with our own selves having had this hiatus since the cold war ended. you have a case for amphibious capabilities in your paper. if i had to trade off between the two based on what i know, i would say the amphibious side could probably be left behind. what's your reaction to that? >> great to see you, doug. i certainly don't dispute the importance of asw and i probably, if you really sort of pushed me, i would probably and i have to rank them, i would probably put asw ahead of amphibious but i don't think it's a clear trade-off. australia for better or worse has bought these two nearly 30,000 ton ships and has committed to building its own amphibious capability. japan for its own separate but i think similar and related reasons is making quite a
similar investment in an amphibious brigade. so those things are happening and those resources are kind of sunk, if you like. the piece i'm hopefully not, i know that was probably a bad metaphor, invested. what i'm talking about is much more the human piece of this interoperability. you know, mike is right about the exercise schedule but let me give you an example. operation talisman saber, the big biennewel exercise with an amphibious flavor to it last year had about 35 members of the japanese self-defense force participate. that's great. it's a small start. that doesn't really cost anyone anything to do that. and i think scaling that up over time so that the three amphibious forces are working
together can start to build what i'm talking about and you know, there have been exercises, we had an event here the other day where the japanese military attache was saying the u.s. marine corps ospreys landed on a japanese platform. being able to do that sort of stuff isn't going to cost vastly more resources but i think is a really powerful force multiplier and in australia, we know that disasters happen and the assets in our force anyway that are the most stressed tend to be these kind of ready reaction amphibious type capabilities. so asw, incredibly important but i think we can do both. >> i'm just going to comment on one thing, because you have hit a raw nerve here which is where was it, we have fallen behind. so again, not just because i'm the u.s. government official, but i wouldn't trade our navy for china's navy, right, or --
so we all, i think, it's just worth clarifying because i think people, not you, but i think in general, you know, we are the relative dominance and that we have had for decades is clearly not as great as it is going to be. we do need to find different ways of operating as a result of that. whether or not we are able to do it, i of course do believe we will be able to do it and believe we have made the investments to be able to do it. i do think it's not just about that one particular mission. it's about the sort of, the way a lot of people and a lot of people frankly in the region are assuming certain things of where we are, and i think that if you look at the absolute terms of what we in the united states bring and what we bring with our allies which is one of the real important pieces to being here, i take our situation every time over anybody else's and i think that's something that it's important that we maintain.
it's something important that we look at and something important that we continue to understand is our relative strength. >> it's a question that won't go away, though. i think you're right about that. it's a little bit reflected in tn current debate in the navy about posture versus capability or presence versus capability which gets at the same choice. i think it's a little bit of a false choice in some ways. but researchers are constrained. we were asked in 2012 to do an external review of the rebalance and in fact, andrew was in between stints as national security advisor and helped us write part of it. we concluded that it's easy to say, but you can't just rely on the war-winning high end detrnts because then you leave open all scenarios short of war. that's where wars come from. they don't just start one day. it comes because the regional dynamic changes, states get weak, balance of power changes,
vacuums are created. so the amphibious capabilities are critical in a way submarine w warfare isn't for that sort of peacetime shaping mission but if it doesn't work, you really want the other. it's going to be a tradeoff. i think although i find the navy's debate about this a little artificial, i do think it's the reality that all three governments are going to have to, from the top, shape this. because if you leave it to the services, they each have their own answers. or even within the services. the submarine community and warfare community will have different answers. there really does need to be an intelligent plan from the civilian leadership, from the military leadership, to start balancing this. it's not an either/or, of course. and that's why i think the paper is so important and what bob is doing in government is so important. last question. we obviously need a follow-on report. last question.
>> speaking of resources. and budgets. >> hi, andrew and bob and mike. i have a very different question. bob, you used the phrase raw nerve. i want to hit a big-time raw nerve. donald trump. to what extent, whether trump is nominated or not is irrelevant. what we are seeing among all the major candidates is a drift toward isolationism. look at the free trade attitudes, for example, of haevy major candidate. to what extent is this drift likely to slow down what all you guys are trying to do? is it already -- we know's t it affected perceptions in japan big time. mr. trump has broken a taboo and said go nuclear. how nice.
but beyond that, how might this affect all of what we have been talking about? because clearly, there's a mood in this country that i think certainly people in this room don't entirely agree with, i suspect. but there's a mood here that's creating perceptions wherever i traveled around the world over the last couple of months. what is going on in the minds of those who want to do what you want to do? >> well, we will build bases all over asia, we'll make mexico pay for it. mine, i will start and maybe we will run out of time so bob doesn't have to answer. i have to say, i have had an experience which is probable similar to yours. pretty senior levels among our allies in asia, this went from chuckling to nervous chuckling to in the past week or two since the statements about nuclear, real concern. not just about the i think low probability that we have a trump
presidency but that the core of the international system, the united states, could be, you know, the place for this kind of debate at the level of leading candidates. it says, in other words, something about american staying power. what i try to point out is if you look at opinion polls in december last year, which is the most recent poll on this that i have seen, in the pugh poll, for example, 70% of americans support tpp in that poll. well over half supported free trade broadly. the polls done by the chicago council on global affairs and others show the highest level of support ever for the u.s. japan and u.s. korea alliance. we don't ask about australia because we think people may take it for granted, mistakenly perhaps, but highest ever. when asked should the u.s. come to the defense of japan if they are attacked, it's the highest number since these polls have been done in decades.
and there's no institutional basis, no institutional way, no constituency in the congress, for example, to actually enact a policy of retreat. it's very hard to imagine republican or democratic senate armed services committee saying right, got it, let's dismantle our alliances and change all that. i think the bedrock of american internationalism, if you look at polls and congressional leadership and public opinion polls and so forth, is pretty strong. but let's see what the polls look like next time. maybe this will start to affect views. i don't know. i'm not certain it will but i'm not certain it won't. i think it is worrisome but the b bedrock of american internationalism is a lot more solid than you see in the headlines. that would be my answer. >> obviously, a timely question. i'm going to filibuster now so
that bob doesn't have to answer. more seriously, the comments that are being made are obviously of concern because they really do strike at the heart of some of the pillars of u.s. engagement with the region over not just eez but centuries, really. mike has done extensive writing about this. u.s. economic engagement, open economies, forward u.s. military presence and the alliance system have really been the bedrock of the success of the region and so of course countries in the region are going to be concerned. i'm, i have to say, more optimistic. those of us who know america and respect it recognize that from
time to time, you do have these convulsions and one of your endearing attributes is you kind of let it all hang out and so i think -- i think that the more sober people in the region recognize the sort of america that is represented in some of these comments is not really america. i think mike's talking to some of the kind of structural factors that will reassert themselves after this kind of wacky election campaign's out of the way. but i'm not downplaying it when someone seemingly without a moment's real forethought blithely says that japan and south korea should acquire nuclear weapons. it's not a trivial thing at all. or that nato shouldn't exist.
take your pick. but i do think that if you like sanity will ultimately prevail. >> i'm happy to actually speak on the record on this and ensure that we get no more questions. i will tell you what i tell people when -- friends and allies when they are concerned about this. there is always a streak of isolationism within the united states. it has existed for centuries. it is not anything particularly new. but in the recent, in our recent history, every time that has surfaced in the end, our interests have been clear to anyone who is charged with protecting and defending the united states. and that's that it is in our interest to have an international approach to these things. and i think regardless of who becomes president, in the end, it's our interests that will make sure that we always, that we see the world the way that we see it now and it's been across
administrations, across everything, and while it's a -- i will say that andrew said the word convulsion, what it is is a long-standing trend but we always over the past century have gotten to the point where we realize our interests are not best served by that. i suspect we will always do that. >> so it's probably not appropriate to end a u.s.-australia-japan discussion particularly given our common cultures as colleagues made up of the riff-raff of europe to quote the brits but as churchill said you can always count on the americans to make all the rigwr decisions before they make the right one. and as lord carington said in a meeting when we were having convulsions and the europeans were complaining yes, yes, it's true but they're the only americans we have. as churchill said during the war, the only thing worse than going into this with allies is going in without allies. the good thing we have in the u.s. going for us is our allies
actually, we have to work on japan and korea a bit but our allies actually like each other. you know, if you look at history, that's actually a rare and important thing. so this kind of trilateral effort i think we are going to see more of. it's been great having andrew here. we look forward to further work from him and also, thank you, bob. bob's title shows that he was the strategist but also has to implement this stuff. thank you for your service in m moving this all forward. thank you for coming.
during campaign 2016, c-span takes you on the road to the white house as we follow the candidates on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. on the "wall street journal" website at wsj.com, this headline. donald trump's path to clinching the gop nomination, narrows. joining us on the phone from milwaukee is reed epstein, who is following this story. thank you for being with us. >> good to talk to you. >> let's begin with the latest polling that shows right now, senator ted cruz is ahead in the republican primary over donald trump. if that holds true, what does this mean for trump's path to the nomination winning on the first ballot? >> well, regardless of how trump does in wisconsin, on tuesday, he's going to have to fight all the way through june 7 to have any chance to get to 1237 delegates.
even if trump were to win every state, all of the delegates available in every state, from wisconsin on, he wouldn't get to 1237 until california, new jersey and three other states vote on june 7. so we will see two more months of this no matter what. trump's path if he don't do well here in wisconsin gets pretty narrow. if as expected ted cruz picks up 33 to 36 of the delegates out of wisconsin, john kasich could win three if he wins six congressional districts around madison, trump would have to win 70% of the bound delegates that are left on the calendar going through to june. now, that doesn't include some of the unbound delegates that will be awarded out of states like pennsylvania, colorado, wyoming and north dakota. it doesn't include delegates that are right now bound to candidates that have dropped out of the race like marco rubio who
may either support now or at a convention or on a second ballot at the convention wind up being free agents. just to become the sort of undisputed nominee of the party which is about what trump needs given a lot of the turmoil over his candidacy and over a lot of the angst from what we have seen from the delegates about supporting him, for trump to be the outright nominee, he needs to win on bound delegates. at this point after wisconsin, he's going to have to win seven out of the ten bound delegates left on the calendar. >> let me ask you about these unbound delegates. as you said, a majority from pennsylvania, also from north dakota, colorado and wyoming. why do the states have unbound delegates and who does that favor? >> well, so this is part of the system republicans have set up where each state gets to set its own rule about how delegates are elected. so north dakota didn't hold a primary or caucus but this
weekend they held a republican state convention, where they elected 25 delegates who are all -- will all be unbound at the convention, meaning they can change their allegiance at any point between now and cleveland and during the convention, they could change their allegiance. ted cruz's campaign believes that 18 out of those 25 delegates are loyal to him but there's nothing necessarily that's requiring those delegates to stick with ted cruz. they could defect to trump or kasich or someone who is not running, perhaps. >> if the path is narrow for donald trump, is it safe to say that it is impossible for senator cruz and ohio governor kasich to get anywhere close to the first ballot in cleveland? >> well, it certainly is impossible for john kasich. he has no chance. his campaign openly says that they are in this for a multiple ballot scenario at the convention. that's what his play is.
senator cruz at least publicly still maintains that he's going to win the nomination outright and get the 1237 delegates. if you talk to some of his advisors privately, they will acknowledge that that's essentially impossible for him to do at this point. if you look at the bound delegates alone, there aren't enough left for him to get to 1237 to win on the first ballot. he could in theory win if he were to collect all or almost all of the remaining bound delegates and win some of the unbound delegates and win delegates that are right now credited to marco rubio and some of the other withdrawn candidates. that's a bit of a stretch for cruz given that we know that he's going to have some trouble in the northeast, particularly in new york, where donald trump remains pretty strong. the cruz campaign is banking on a repeat of what's happened in wisconsin over the last two weeks in some of the future
primaries where he's had effectively a one-on-one battle with donald trump and is winning. the problem is, wisconsin, if cruz wins, is going to be the first primary state that cruz has won in more than a month. and it's really a situation that doesn't necessarily lend itself to be repeated elsewhere. in wisconsin you have a united republican organization from the governor on down, including the conservative talk radio hosts in the state who are all aligned against trump. you also have an electorate that is well informed and turns out to vote in typical elections leaving a much smaller universe of first time voters for trump to activate. there's where he's run a lot of support in other states. >> based on what you are seeing and hearing on the ground in wisconsin, can you give us a sense of the mood of republican voters? >> well, certainly the cruz voters are very excited about
putting a stop to the donald trump momentum, showing there's a lot of sense from wisconsin republicans sort of what constitutes the wisconsin establishment republican are anxious to show the rest of the country that they can stop ted cruz or stop donald trump, excuse me. so you see politicians who i have talked to here over the weekend saying that they are not necessarily big fans of ted cruz. i talked to a state senator named alberta darling who represents the milwaukee suburbs who was initially a scott walker supporter, then a jeb bush supporter, then a rubio supporter and now she said she's voting for cruz because she doesn't want donald trump to be the nominee, not necessarily because she has any great love for cruz. there's a lot of that in wisconsin. it is essentially a united republican party, the activists, the conservatives here want to
stop trump and they are using cruz as the vessel to do so even though they are not really in love with him. >> reid epstein, who is in milwaukee writing for the "wall street journal." his work available at wsj.com. thank you for being with us. >> thanks, steve. campaign 2016 continues on tuesday, april 5th, with the wisconsin primary. live coverage begins tuesday night at 9:00 eastern. tune in for complete election results, candidates' speeches and viewer reaction. taking you on the road to the white house on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. white house cabinet secretary brodrick johnson visited his alma mater, the university of michigan law school, to talk about what it's like to work at the white house for president obama. he focused on the president's my brother's keeper task force which he chairs and his observations about president
obama's priorities in his last year in office. this is about an hour. >> good afternoon, everybody. welcome. i'm susan collins, from the gerald r. ford school of public policy. it's great to have all of you join us this afternoon. today it is really an honor to be introducing broderick johnson who joins us as part of the university's month-long martin luther king jr. symposium. in that context as well, it's really a special pleasure to have all of you here with us for today's policy talks. broderick is assistant to president obama, white house cabinet secretary and chair of the president's my brother's keeper task force. i suspect that some of you are a little curious to know about just what a cabinet secretary does. well, just briefly, thurgood marshall jr. was the first
person to hold this important position under president clinton and as you will hear more about a little bit later today, broderick johnson in that role is the primary liaison between president obama and the many cabinet departments and agencies so during his lecture i'm sure he will share quite a bit more about that with us and also about the interagency federal policy process. so much to look forward to. many in the audience may be quite familiar with my brother's keeper which is president obama's challenge to cities across the country to address the disparity in opportunities for men of color. detroit took that challenge head-on. in fact, one of the ford school's alumni, ebony wells, was a huge part of setting up detroit's response and i have heard from our guest that detroit is really developing a particularly strong program in that context and so ebony, i wanted to invite you to stand so we could recognize you. thank you. [ applause ]
well, before chairing the my brother's keeper task force, broderick was an assistant in the clinton administration and he previously served as chief democratic counsel in congress. he's also been very successful in the private sector. he was a vice president of at & t and bell south corporations, a partner with the large international law firm, and in addition, he co-founded a strategic consulting business. so those who know broderick may know only parts of his very distinguished and varied career but i suspect that all of them know where he studied law and his great pride in being a university of michigan alum. go, blue. so before i turn the floor over to him, i just want to say a word about our format. our special guest will speak for about 20 minutes, then we will open things up to the audience for questions. about ten minutes from now, our staff will be circulating to collect your question cards. you should have received them as
you came into the auditorium today. if you are watching online, please tweet your questions using #policytalks. then professor ann lynch, ford school professor with four students will facilitate our question and answer session. so time to get started. please join me in welcoming broderick johnson to the podium. >> thank you. good afternoon. i'm going to try to set my book here without hitting a delete button on these screens here. if i do, i'm sorry. well, it's great to be here in ann arbor. it's great to be back on this beautiful campus. you know, when you're in washington all the time, and you get a chance to go out to a campus like this one, you feel a sense of energy, the excitement, the youthfulness.
it warms the heart and back in d.c., by the way, you all should know my west wing office is filled with michigan paraphernalia to remind me of this place, but also so that i can strike up conversations with people who come and visit and they're like oh, you went to michigan and then about a half hour later, we finally have stopped talking about the university of michigan. so it's all over the place and i'm quite proud to have it there. i have really appreciated not only having gone to this school and graduated from this school from the great law school, but many, many important moments of my own life which i will get to in a few minutes, but suffice it to say this place has had an enormous impact on my life and my career. i have got maize and blue running in my veins. when i hear the fight song i get teary-eyed depending on what the score is when the fight song comes on. when i think of michigan, i think about many, many things.
i think about president ford and stories of how he stood up against segregation when he was on the football team here in the 1930s. i think about fellow alums and dear friends the law school like former senator and former interior secretary ken salazar who was my first year mentor here at the law school. he was a third year student who kept encouraging me and telling me that if i studied just a little bit harder i would make law review and that whatever happened, life was going to be good. i think about my dear friend, valerie jarrett, who is also a graduate of the law school. senior advisor and long-time friend of the president and first lady. i think of great games in the big house over many seasons with law school friends of more than 30 decades. i also think about lee bollinger, my first professor back in 1982, and he became dean of the law school and president of the university. and as you all know, he stood relentlessly in defense of affirmative action and i think
of my friend and president of the alumni association, steve grafton, a white dude from mississippi who navigated a largely white alumni association board to take an overwhelming position supporting affirmative action and opposing prop 2. then there are a lot of very personal moments for me, very poignant family moments which i'm going to share a bit with you all, because michigan has become a true legacy for my family. i think of my late mom, who became a huge wolverine fan. had not attended college but she adopted the university of michigan really as her alma mater. we would spend many afternoons, phone calls back and forth about the michigan game. she would call me and say did you see that? did you see that mistake? did you see this great play? i would say mom, the game's still on, why don't you call me in a few minutes. and one afternoon in 2011, i was able to bring her here the big house for the first time in her life with my youngest son at the
time. and it was cold and thank you very much. it was cold, but it was really warm for us to be there and share that moment. my mother was decked out in maize and blue literally from head to toe. i also think about my late father, who set foot on a law school campus for the first time in his life in 1983 for my graduation. and i proudly put that moment in the context of fulfillment of many of the dreams my dad had about what would happen for his sons, his daughters, his grandchildren and i became really the epitome of the bridge for that for a generation. you see, when my youngest son came to visit the law school in 2011, he was only 10 years old. his father first set foot on a law school campus when he was 50. so the idea that his grandson at 10 could go to a law school campus was really quite the full
ilment of his dreams. i remember really really vividly my son asking me after i had brought him through a tour of the law school at 10 years old, the idea of like visiting a law school late at night on a saturday night wasn't the coolest thing, but he was intrigued by all of it and i remember he asked me, he said dad, if i decide to come to school at michigan, if i decide to come to school at michigan. not do you think i could maybe qualify. it was clear in his mind, maybe it's because of all the investment in his education so far, that he could come to school here if he decided to and that would be a choice that we have and not some far-off dream that it would take many, many civil rights movements to change. and then when i think of michigan, i think about my wife michelle norse, formerly with national public radio who gave the commencement speech at this university in the win tr of 2014. she received an honorary doctorate that day and closed her inspiring remarks with a bit
of maize and blue poetry. she said it's great to be a michigan wolverine and the crowd broke out in great applause and i'm glad i told her she should do that, because it was the icing on the cake to what was really otherwise quite a memorable day. thank you very much, dean collins, for your most kind introduction and for having me back here. you know how much i love this place. so michael barr is here as well. michael and i go back to the clinton administration and we have a secret between us about a job he took that i didn't take that he did a great job at and i'm glad he did, because it helped to save washington, d.c. but i'm really surprised that my friend sally gindy is here. so little bit of history. i was between undergrad and grad school, i didn't know wha wanted to do except continue to study philosophy. there was a program in bowling green, ohio, a master's program in something called applied philosophy. have any of you applied for that
program? okay. so the best thing about it is that it let people like sally and i decide applied philosophy would best be applied if we went to law school and became lawyers. so i can't remember the last time i have seen you but it is so great to see you. we decided on ann arbor because we came up here one weekend and the football team was playing and it was like i got to go to school there. sally, it's great to see you. love you. it's really wonderful to see you. greetings on behalf of the 44th president of the united states, president barack obama. the president has visited the university of michigan more than any other sitting president. sometimes he pokes fun at me about my wolverine passion. i don't know why. but he gets it. i remember back in the spring of 2014, the president visited this campus after the gbl team went
to the elite eight. his bracket, there was a big deal made about the president's bracket every year. but he hadn't picked the wolverines. so then he had to come here. and as he stood before our pretty raucous crowd that included several of that year's overachievers like jordan morgan and glenn robinson the president manned up and admitted his misjudgment about the team. he also admitted that his bracket, quote, was a mess. those are his words. we're talking about a man who barely makes mistakes in sports politics and government. one of my job as cabinet secretary is to make sure as long as i'm there he does not make that mistake again. working in the white house is really the hardest job, particularly this time, that i've ever had. the cabinet secretary job, some people would describe it as herding cats. michael, you know better than
that. i would never describe it as herding cats. i say this with all sincerity. there are great members of the president's cabinet throughout. it's great to work with them, but we do have often surreal challenges, unexpected crises that come, trying to get things done with a congress that often times has a lot of challenges working within itself. but i get to work with hardest working people on the planet. there are many improbable and remarkable moments for me. for example, being able to drafl with the president and first lady when they went to selma last march. being in the east room of the white house a few weeks ago when the president announced executive actions on guns. and watching him get as emotional as i've ever seen the president that day. briefing the president in the oval office along with other advisers. and you look around and you say i'm in the oval office and i'm briefing the president, and i have to say something very
intellige intelligent. and then about, i don't know, maybe two or three months ago, i ushered coach harbaugh into the oval office. this was a monday after the michigan state game. and coach harbaugh had already agreed to come to d.c. to do something with the first dade lady. but the president wanted to meet with coach harbaugh that day, but watching their rapport was quite something. even talked about harbaugh's khakis. i have to admit the president did not ask coach harbaugh, hey, where can i get some of those slacks? be it was really quite a conversation. there were some similarities between the two of them that are quite positive. now, you all didn't invite me to share a host of personal anecdotes and stories about my life here. i've got a lot more. in the q&a if you want to ask for me, i'll give you more.
but let's talk about what i do for the president and why it's so rewarding and so incredibly consequential. >> as was mentioned, i have two primary roles. i serve as the cabinet secretary, an i serve as the chair of his my brother's keeper task force. i'll talk about both of those a little by and how they indeed intersect. then i look forward to having a conversation with all of you and your questions and suggestions i look forward to. i was asked to join the senior team at the white house in february of 2014. this white house. but it's been my privilege to have known barack obama in 2003 when he was a u.s. senate candidate, to have helped advise him in that race, in his presidential race the fist time in his re-election campaign, during his two successful terms as president. i should also add that it's been my distinct honor to get to know the president as a friend. he's quite a human being. when i got the call in late
2013, it would have been the professional mistake of my life, bar none, if i had said no thank you, mr. president. i can't even imagine saying that, but some people do. but i didn't. and it's a good thing that i didn't. because again, it's hard, but it's incredibly rewarding. the institution of the cabinet is as old as our democracy. article 2, section 2 of the constitution states that the president, quote, may require the opinion of the principal officer in each of the executive departments upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, closed quote. today eastbound cabinet includes as a head, so 15 departments. everyone from the secretary of state to the attorney general to secretaries of relatively recently established departments, such as department of homeland security. the cabinet also includes the heads of agencies that have been extended, cabinet rank, like the epa and the smul business administration.
the cabinet wears many hats. the part of the board of the director of the president. he or she serves as lie sai i don't know being the eyes and ears of the president and vice versa to the cabinet. he or she coordinates among various departments and agency efforts around the many, many policy programs of the 2k5r789s and he or she worng works on implementation and communication with the president's agenda. the president regularly engages with his cabinet. the team i have in the white house coordinates much of that with me. we have formal cabinet sessions that are held nearly every quart per .you all have seen some of the press around those. you see the spt in the cabinet room and a pool spray will come in. ooitder video or still press. the president will have some remarks at the top, maybe about the subject of the day that he wants to get out and have the press carry. and then, of course, members of
the press try to ask the president questions. they yell questions at him and they're ushered out of the room pretty quickly at that point. i real my fwirs cabinet meeting in may of 2014. i asked people who had been there throughout the administration whether i should be prepared to answer any questions or address any issues. the cabinet meeting they all said no, it never happened in the list/of history of the republic. of course you know he turned to me and said broderick, would you present what's going on in your cabinet? i said yes, of course. i had no idea what i said after that point. >> we've actually adopted various new approaches to engaging the cabinet with the president. for example, there are department-specific briefings that focus on updates,
challenges and related accidents, using a specific one-on-one engagement between the president and relevant cabinet secretaries. we also have 1345u8er group meetings that will be based on issue areas. for example, we have a trade cabinet, a climate cabinet. these are informal designations of groups but they get together and they've done that throughout the time i've been in this white house. president obama has always been clear on his guidance to all of us that we have to anticipate challenges, proactively address them, and be candid in opening how departments will stay on track to meet the priorities and objectives. this president is a leader who digs deep into substance. it's like he has a highlighter in his head. you can give him a 30-page memo, and you would think he would get lost in all of it. he has so much information and so little time because he has so much time to read. michael can attest to this. it's like he goes right to the subject -- or right to the
question at the very moment when it needs to be asked. and you sit there and say this man is unbelievably smart. i've eseen it time and time again. he hates small talk. and happy talk. so don't be the cabinet secretary that comes in and says mr. president, everything is great, we're doing just fine. if it's not. if it is, that's great. but it better be. he doesn't belief people should air brush over the challenges they face. >> the president's cabinet is focused on implementation of his priorities in the time we have remaining in the next 11 months. policy priorities, but also management priorities and rule making. and quite honestly, we don't expect to get a whole lot done with the congress. that's not the top of our list of expectations. although an exception for that will be around criminal justice reform, and we are quite optimistic about being able to get a criminal justice reform bill to the president that he can sign before he leaves office.
the cabinet embodies that approach in a number of ways. let me share a kwoup of cross agency collaboration examples. >> two weeks ago, the president visited detroit to talk about the resurgence of that have great american city. and in case anyone has forgotten, when we inherited the white house when the president took office in 2009, a crisis on wall street had plunged this nation into a great recession and the effects were being felt certainly in detroit and throughout communities deeply connected to the auto industry. so in addition to actions the president took to support the american car manufactures to bet on their ir sur jens, he bet on the entire cabinet to support the recovery of detroit. the question was whether or not detroit would survive. these are just some of the examples of what happened. the department of treasury certainly reached out to provide capital and state and local
finance to the city of detroit. the department of energy helped install or finance new l.e.d. lights that bring security to a community where there are many people worried about their safety. while saving money and reducing carbon footprint. as i said, i was with the president on his trip to detroit. and look, we know there are challenges that still remain in the city of detroit, especially around communication. but without is on its way back and the president has directed the cabinet to remain present in detroit and continue to invest in detroit and look for ways to make change happen in the city of detroit. >> climate change. the end of 2015 saw one of the most consequential moments. the most historic agreement
coming out of the top 21 negotiations in paris. there are many people who said that's just not going to happen. that nerp not going to be able to achieve much in paris. again, this whole cabinet neede to get involved in a tightly coordinated approach. for example, for the epa, promulgating rules on clean power and clean water, for the department of interior, for the department of energy, standards and renewable energy standards, incorporating climate considerations into policy and glant making and for had you had which recently announced grant to cities and states so we can mitigate the effects of climate change. secretary kerry has made top priority in virtually all of his engagements in other nations in china and india.
with regard to criminal justice reform, the current attorney general and her team have continued the work that was done by the previous attorney general eric holder, looking at what we can do to reform criminal justice. opportunities for many in our society to who want b a second chance. it leads me then to talk a few minutes about my brother's keeper, which we also referred to affectionately as mbk. 2 1/2 years ago, the president spoke from the white house to the entire nation in response to the verdict in the trayvon martin case. the president smoke about the angst and anger that parents and families were feeling and about the challenges facing too many of this nation's young people, especially boys and young men of color. in those remarks, the president
observed trayvon martin could be his only son or 45 years ago, he would have been trayvon martin. the president said, quote, there are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative re-enforcement. there has to be a lot more we can give them in the sense that the country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them. the president and i talked about what he could do to lift up a the importance of this work and the president was very clear that he wanted to go big on this. he wanted to do something significant. he also convened people from the private sector to engage in this work opinion he gave the ceremony in the east room of the white house. that demonstrated how this was a
priority of this president, just by where he held the ceremony to launch this great effort that boys and men of color are confronted with. during the speech, the president reflected on how personal the work is with him. he said i could see myself in a lot of young men. there were young men behind the president that day on the stage. he went on to say the only difference is that i grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgfing, so that when i made a mistake, the consequences were not as severe. he continued, quote, the plain fact is there are some americans who in the aggregate are consistently doing worse in our society groups that have had the odds stacked against them in unique ways that require unique solutions. groups who have seen fewer opportunities that have spanned generations, and by almost every
measure, the group that's facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century in this country are boys and young men of color. so here are some of the measures the president was alluding to. i could go on and on with many, many negative statistics, but i just want to site a few. boys and men of color are more likely than it appears to be born in low income families and live in concentrated poverty. to live with one or no parents or attend poor performing schools. boy and men of color too of receive harsher penalties for same infractions as similarly charged white males are least likely to be given a second chance. finally, they're more likely to live in communities with higher crime. black boys, for instance, are 6%
of the nation's population, but more than half of the nation's homicide victims. the president thinks about these issues in a very, very personal way, as i've mentioned. he talks about it as often as he possibly can. for example, a few months ago when he visited el reno federal president in oklahoma, he said he met young people there who made mistakes that aren't that different than the mistake he is made and the mistakes a lot of us make. the difference is the guys he met at that prison did not have the kinds of support structures, the second chances, the resources, that would allow them to survive or get beyond those mistakes. the dit parity is mind numbing. we an economic obligation. we're compelled to act because
there is an economic imperative if our country is to remain globally competitive. we cannot continue to have so many millions of young people missing from this society. a recent cent report from the president's own council of economic advisers showed that if we close the gap that exists in labor force participation between 16 and 54-year-old men of color ennonhispanic white men of the same age, total u.s. gdp would encrease by 2%. there's an economic imperative as much as there's a moral obligation. mbk is about obliterating the barriers or kids face and building stronger communities and stronger opportunity strains. in less than two years, we could not be more excited.
soup charged private sector investment and collaboration, let me talk about those work streams. first, federal policy. over the course of the past two years, the mbk task force, an interagency working group of a dozen federal agencies has led to new and expanded grant opportunities out of the department of labor, department of education, department of energy. in july of last year, i joined arnie duncan and loretta lynch at a correctional facility in jes sup, m m.d. they were testing new mod models to allow incarcerated americans to receive pell grants to pursue secondary education. and of course, we've already received hundreds of applications nationwide.
the way out of prison has to be a good education and a good job when they get out. the president visited newark, new jersey, which is one of the stronger nba communities. to highlight the entry process of formally incarcerated individuals. >> ento announce new actions aimed at helping americans who have paid their debt to society, rehabilitate and reintegrate themselves back into their communities. it was during that visit the president announced a round of what we calleds mbk federal policy deliverables, responding to recommendations that were also a part of the task force on criminal yus. first, banning the box for almost all federal judges until later in the hiring process. so that again, once someone has served their debt, pay paid their debt to society, they get a fair shot at a federal job.
another one was department of housing and urban development or department of justice, working together now with the national bar association to seal an expunge records for hundreds of young adults who have made mistakes but who need a fresh start in housing. the department of energy education awarded millions of grants to help formally incarcerated youth and young adults successfully re-enter school and other educational programs. there are dozens and dozens if not hundreds of new programs that have been launched across federal agencies. there are now more than 200 communities that have accepted the my brothers keeper community challenge, representing 49 state stat states, the district of columbia, 49 tie bral nations. the 50th state is going to have a primary next week.
anyway, that's the hint. it's been remarkable. there are some states in this country that have as many as six to eight to 12 mbk communities. and what it's done is brought together the public sector and the private sector, local government with the help of foundations and others who have been doing this work for a long time to get together and design cradle to college and career action plans. that's the work that's being done in communities all across this country. and it's evidence based. and it's goal oriented. it's both ur gent and long term. in detroit, mayor duggan
announced their action plan by more than 100 leaders and youth in the detroit area. the next five years, detroit plans to recruit and match 5,000 new mentors to employ 5,000 additional men to reduce suspensions by 50%. and enroll its 4-year-olds in preschool. and they have matched strategies to get that work done. in boston, the boston foundation has invested millions to expand street safe outreach programs to youth at risk of violent crime. and they're doing this in coordination with the boston police department. and the mayor's public safety initiative. in philadelphia, philadelphia has already reduced school-based arrests by 50%. two weeks ago, more than 90 million dollars in new investments and mbk programs in philadelphia alone. $90 million just in philadelphia.
d.c. has recruited 500 volunteers. they've given more than 100 student paid interintern shis. again, in response to the president's call to action, foundations and businesses and social enterprises have responded to his call for action. thus farer more than half a billion dollars of grants. the earlier this month, the
activities shared across the country. this mbk's all-star month. we'll see a lot of tension around my brother's keeper and mbk. just recently in "usa today," it's published in the usa today. there was store are you about mentoring and how it relates to the president's initiative. there's a loot of effort brought to this by the private sector. to sum all this stuff up, let me just say the following. last may when we were with president obama in the bronx and he was there for the creation of
the mbk alliance, he took a moment during his remarks to speak directly to the youth who were zbaterred there. and again, i say these things in the president's own words. these are very, very personal issues. he said there's not one thing, not a single thing that's more important to the future of america than whether or not you or young people all across this country can achieve your dreams. the president is clear this will be important work for him after he leaves the white house aez his capacity will be among his priorities. whether it's my secretary hat on or whether it's to help lead mbk, everything that i get to do is about disrupting the status quo, focusing on what works and uniting diverse stakeholders to realize the president's vision for a more fair and equitable society. where everyone has a fair shot and everybody is in the game. and while admittedly social
transformation is complex and often measured over decades, i can personally see from the trips i take across this country that we are getting closer aechb closer to that goal every day of a more fair and more eck quitable society. but again, we have a long way to go but it is making a difference. i couldn't be more excited about the future that we will be able to leave behind after we leave the white house and beyond. i would ask you not to ask me any questions about the iowa caucuses. i'm not going to talk about those at all. it's a relty that we're getting closer to the end of this incredible administration. i don't b gloat, so this isn't a gloat. let's just stipulate that. democrats suffered some pretty significant losses across the
count country we love to assign labels to the president, to the administration. there are some commentators referring to barack obama has the lamest lame duck in american history. he was going to run the clock out. and some even said the president was tired and looking defeated. and i listen to some of that stuff and say they just don't know. that has not been the case. the president also said he called all of the his senior advisers into a meeting and talked about how we're entering the fourth quarter. and a lot of interesting things happen in the fourth quarter. the president is a huge sports fan as many of you know. in the fourth quarter, the first part of the fourth quarter, 2015, under the president's leadership, the follow things happen. we had 12 more months of job growth, adding to a parallel record of consecutive months of
job growth. we reached an agreement to combat climate change. we reached an agreement with iran, with other countries around the world that verifiably cuts off all of its paths to nuclear weapon. we advanced relations with cuba. we achieved conclusion with an historic trade agreement. we saw marriage equality upheld in 50 states. we saw an agreement to improve k through 12 education. we saw the president's announcement of executive actions to better protect communities and children ray cross this country from gun vie leps. all we will continue to do is not the result of an accident or lucky timing. it really is the result of a president who has steely determinati determination. his vision is focused on the
future and he makes sure we work on the same approach. we're halfway through the fourth quarter. the president and all of his cabinet are going to hustle on every play and every down. let me finish with football analogies. there's a basketball one. there ice no defense happening. we're not just there to say oh, please, do this to us. we're looking for an opportunity to execute until the very end, just like they do in the big house in better times. so thank all of you to listening to me. i look forward to your question, your observations, your suggestions. as long as you're not about the iowa caucuses. thank you for listening and go blue. thank you very much. >> good evening, everyone.
i'm a ph.d. student here in education. and my research is in using collective impact for change in education. and part of that work is actually working with my brother's keeper initiative here. and it's great to see some of the county leaders here this evening. >> we encourage you to continue to write your questions down. the first question here is for mr. johnson. what do you think is the goal the largest problem faced by people of color? >> there's certainly the material problems they face that relate to poor schools, living in impoverished neighborhoods, surrounded by violence. all the things we need to know to be true and that we to address.
there's also problems that have to do with the changing the narrative. by the way they view themselves, the way they think people like us view them, the way we view them. so much of what we do is based on the expectations that people have about us. so i think as much as anything, it's about changing the narrative in all those many ways. >> did you say there were some young people here from washington county that you work with? or did i misunderstand? >> you want my mike? >> i was mentioning the washington county of my brothers keeper and community members that are here this evening. >> would they raise their hands? great, thank you. thank you very much.
>> my name is eric riley. i'm a senior. this is on ur inequality and how we incorporate social justice in urban development. and the second question we have today is how do you expect things to change with a change of leadership. and what will be your next steps professionally. >> do i have to answer the second question? the first question is how we continue to work after the end of the obama administration. as i mentioned, we have been working across federal agencies, whether it's the labor department you recollect education department, even the energy department around national labs in s.t.e.m. education and opportunities, trying to make sure that we are able to make changes that people will be able to point to that
will make a difference. we look at the a lot of program s in the way the greatest disparities are. while i can't say that my brothers keeper will be an initiative of the next president, i know that we are going to try to make sure we institutionalize change that whatever we call brings about change we believe to be important in terms of changes. homefully it will continue to progress rapidly and well. it may be through that and other efforts that the president will continue this work. and for me personally, i will stay engaged in this work for the rest of my life.
because it means that much to me. as well. and then i'll find sof other things to do after i get some rest. >> this question -- so this question comes to us from twitter. how does the if the respond to criticism that mbk either does not do enough or is misguided in scope? >> is that a softball question? various heads of agencies view their role in the fact that it's a clearing call of the president that people really pay a lot of attention to it and feel accountable for making changes within federal policy. then also looking at how we've been able to get private sectors involved in this work that either weren't involved or couldn't figure out how to collaborate with other folks on the ground to make a difference. and the third thing i would say,
i grew up in baltimore which is a pretty tough place when i was growing pup, it was tough and it continues to be tough and it's certainly seen its share of unrest over time. we have to be able to prove it makes a difference. it's not going to be about happy stories. kids who smile and say they feel like the president loves them and their country loves them. we want to make sure we prove that's true, but it's done in intangible ways. i'm confident it's making a big difference. and we'll have statistics to show that.
>> they look at specific milestones and they determine depending on the circumstances in their city, for example, in some cities, youth unemployment, summer jobs is a bigger challenge than others. or expulsion of 3 and 4-year-olds in preschools is a bigger issue in some communiti s communities. that's true of 4,000 3 and 4-year-olds suspended. little 90-pounders. where you say come on. there are a lot of complications about that. we're able to make sure that communities have the flexibility urks of course, to do the work that is important to where they are. the fact that so many communities have agreed to do this work and are building sustaining work. it's not work that's like, okay, this will expire on january 20, 2017 but have three and four-year plans in place already
to do the work going forward. >> is is in regards to your most rewarding and difficult cabinet members to work with. >> they're all great. >> there's no more than that. i love my job. >> how can cities like flint, michigan, improve all the reforms necessary to improve conditions for its residence, environmental improvement, criminal justice resorm, mbk, private sector economic development.
>> flint by no means can do by itself what it needs to do across the board in those areas that you mentioned. we've been able, as i mentioned with regard to detroit, saz has been the case with baltimore, we sent federal teams led by by as much federal assistance as possible. i don't know whether or not that will be the case with flint. a place-based model of work needs to be replicated by the federal government, whoever is in charge. it has to be based on a broader view of the needs of flint as in any other city.
>> i mentioned that communities get together and they develop action plans. they're not going to address one of the six milestones, whether it's from cradle or reentry programs, about whether they're going to get the private sector to invest in collaboration with the public sector in those communities. the city in philadelphia, either based there or have strong operations there.
maybe they haven't been talking with each other. it's always been about franchises and where they were going to put their next restaurant or whatever as opposed to what kind of jobs might be available for young people or apprenticeships or whatever else. >> did the po tus wait too long in his administration to launch mbk? >> no. any issues whether it has to do with american economy an jobs ksz vgs ever having to do with health care, having to do with education opportunities and reforms that would lead to what we've seen in terms offen creased graduation rates and attendance and colleges. i think, again,ing what i say about mbk is that the president was profoundly affected by what happened in the trayvon martin situation and just decided that
it was an important opportunity, given where the country was then and given b the circumstances to pull us all together in one particular initiate i, that was not to say we had been ignoring those issues before because we weren't. >> what is the likelihood of mbk remaining a key program. and are there better chances under a democratic president of the united states? >> i'm not going to talk about partisan political stuff, except to say that we have -- well, this isn't except to say, because this is, in fact, true. we have found a lot of support among republicans, particularly in communities in claeps. we had a republican mayor who was one of the early mayors to enbors mbk. we've seen that in prez know, california. a run mayor did it as well. and we've gotten a lot of
expressions for support. again, that funding can come through a variety of other things around department of education funding. we've seen a tremendous amount of support for republicans around mbk and religious conservatives as well. it's one of the least partisan things we' developed by those who want to view what we do as partisan, which was not the case. how is the mbk task force encoloneling cities, especially with boys and young men of color to declare itself an mbk city? >> the good news is i don't think there are in of those left in terms of large, medium-sized cities. there aren't many. there are still some. you know, it's honestly keeping up with the 200 or so that are already mbk communities and
making sure that all those communities are doing their work effectively is a challenging mission for us. this is something that has to be driven in local communities. folks have to decide what kind of community they need to become. they need to make those determinations really. >> how does mbk talk about those often the ground, with the planning and implementation of mbk. are there leadership roles for black and brown male youth in the decision making? >> it is mandated, so to speak, under the mbk construct that your action plan address how you make sure locally that you have young people involved in the planning of the work. that's one thing that goes to equality of mbk plan. so that's baked into what communities should do. second, though, i've gone around
probably to two dozen mbk communities the past year and always insist that the listening sessions, so to speak, or summit that they have, include young people in both the planning but also in terms of who i can speak to. and i can't tell you how many times i've gone back to the white house having had a young person say tell president obama i said such and such. i remember once the president i had -- it's probably about a year after we started the mbk and "the wall street journal" wrote about mbk. i was feeling pretty happy about that. the president asked me not long after that, those aren't those editori editorials. how are we doing with mbk.
he asks when he's out on the road all the time. >> how do you think that "my brother's keeper" works to address issues of young men of color without the eraser of problems that young women of color may face? >> up with of the things i think we need to highlight more and should have highlighted better is that federal government cannot design programs that are race or gender exclusive. >> there's the constitution, and then there's just fairness. we have an emphasis on boys and men of color. some of the disparities that trouble the society, especially the case with them, everything we designed around mbk is gender or race neutral.
if you're attacking issues where the disparity is the greatest, then it's going to have the greatest i impact on boys and young men of color. by no way is what we're doing under mbk especially from the federal task force work helping girls and even helping all children quite frankly. >> i believe this is going to be our last question. >> oh! >> and it's a two-part question. so that's okay. >> do you have a one-part question? >> what's your most rewarding experien experience. >> what experiences helps you with your current role for mbk? >> so can i say something as
sort of frivolous as going to see -- what's his name? my memory is fading too much, too. so it was one saturday, it was early in the semester when you don't have to study as hard as you do later in the semester. going to see a michigan notre dame game and going to a jazz concert that night. and it's terrible. the name of that jazz musician. he's a trumpeter. he's deceased now. yes, miles davis. thank you very much. that was a trick question. i knew who it was. >> that was the most fun weekend i had in school. the most rewarding thing was not as a student. but it's been really quite frankly as an alum. and some of the things that i mentioned about my own children and my mom and stuff.
they provide religious opportunities that are priceless. i'm really so drawn to that i think in terms of my job now. what prepared me is the rigor of the studies at the law school and also the sense that if you're willing and able, kbhit yourself to do public service. and for me, i've been able to do public service and also private law firm and other work. but just a commitment to public service that i left here with since i needed to make a difference and give back. it's all very true. good way to end this question. thank you so much.
>> so my thanks, of course, to our special guest. i would also like to thank all of you for joining us, for all of your questions. i hope you will stay for continuing the conversation out in the great hall. an i hope you'll consider coming back next monday. we'll be hosting u.s. secretary of labor thomas paris. and so hope to see many of you back. >> he's one of my favorites. tell him that, please. tell him he's one of my favorites. tell him. >> and so just a final thank you. your thoughts, perspectives, all your experiences. we've learned a lot. >> thank you very much.
manuscript, this national treasure isn't what we thought. while also trying to chronologically think about what was madison encountering at the time. keeping those two narratives straight was quite tricky for a while. >> boston college law professor mary sara builder discusses her book "madison's hand" which takes a critical look at the notes james madison wrote during and after the constitutional convention of 1787. >> madison took the notes on sheets of paper, anticipate then he folded the snees half, he writes on the front, across the middle and the two pages across the backside. then at some point he sewed these pieces together into a manuscript. the last quarter of the manuscript, the holes that he had sewn didn't match with the earlier one. and this confirmed my suspicion
that the very end of the manuscript had been written later. that was a really wonderful thing to be able to see in person. >> experts discussed whether he can play a role in the country's future. this is about an hour. >> let me introduce our speakers. i'll keep the background short since. the biographies in your pack the es.
>> so this is, again, the power profile. i wanted to frame the discussion a little bit about thinking about what that mean, what the opower and the profile, the personality and the exercise of government power. . profiles are something that you can have more than one ofs a assad certainly has in his career. there's only one option for the power where you can't keep so many faces. let's bring the three of you back to the morning of march 30, 2011. syrians are on edge, dozens of protester, which seems like a lot at the sometime have been
killed. there have been pictures of child protesters who have been tortured. there's a great deal of pressure on the regime. he's gfing a highly anticipated speech to the syrian parliament. and tr's an expectation that's hardened into an assumption that he's going to announce major reforms. that doesn't happen. he talks about being duped and conspiracy. maybe you can talk about the shock of that moment. what it meant for this idea of who he was and the exercise of power in syria. >> i had the opportunity to connect again with many people
people who defleect edefected. there's a lot of confusion and potential intrigue in certainly the weeks and the days since the disturbances. what i learned from many of these people who were involved in the preparation for the speech is that there were many different drafts. one person that was a close friend of assad, who is no longer in the government, he saw the draft about an hour before bashar went to the syrian parliament to deliver his speech. it was full of concessions and announcements of reforms.
so when assad gave his speech in the parliament on tv and this guy was watching on tv, he was shocked to see it was another version. and in this mine and other people who i met who were involved in that particular situation, they believe that some of the security chiefs got to assad. and there was a tug of war between a number of individuals. some that he cracked down and that ultimately, the security chiefs convinced assad that they could put down the uprising in a coup of weeks and they could go back to normal. in my view, this was his moment. a lot of people in syria, opposition and pro assad were waiting for this moment.
could he be the person they thought and hoped he could be. finally stand up to the hard liners and do something. and obviously, he did not. and there was a great deal of disappointment. there was a lot of d disappointment between syrian people and government officials i spoke to. not just the opposition. >> andrew, why do you think he picked up one draft rather than the other? i think he saw what happened in cairo and happened in tunisia. and i think he feared that it was going to happen to him. i think that would be certainly a key factor, i think. it wasn't just that there were drafts. that was well known. davis is completely right. it's that they were actually given full paragraph to write in "the washington post" as a prelude to this great announcement. and then when it completely ended up being the reverse, i
realized that we were going down a very, very different road. and i think it's -- you know, one of the things that truck me the most living in syria, especially was how much more unpredibtable bashar was than his father. they used the word moody. in this case, i think he probably was on the horns of a dilemma. he could go down the road that david had mentioned 4 or he could shoot his way out of it. >> i think what we've seen from assad is the regime is extremely brittle. he can't really reform.
it can expand, but it can't reform. if they desemiable their regime, it will fall apart. say, i'm sure most people know, but assad and his family members are members of the alawite community. maybe you could throw in a little bit about what that means about the personalities of the regime and about assad's own connections. >> well, i'm sure
together. the coastal cities were sunni cities with large christian minorities. they weraloite servants, but they didn't live there. the sifrt sense us taken by the syrians showed they didn't havahavae alawites in the cities. the integration that's taken place, has taken place since then. and it's important, but not that important. it's modern. the alawites when they came to damascus in large numbers were called -- and i heard that word many times living there in 1981-'82. at the time, these mof dean people are alien from -- who have come in from the outside. and this has been the dilemma. the alawites were met -- the muslim brotherhood from the beginning, in the 1950s and '60s, saeed ha wa, described
thethe alawites as unbelievers. it would be like the first caliphate having to reconvert -- >> and yet assad married somebody who is from outside that community. >> yes, he has he. and so has the jordanian king. this nation building, the saudis made love not war. they made war first, but then then made love and tried to unite their kingdom on the marriage bed. assad was doing the same thing. but nation building was part of the process. but the alawite community felt very estranged. and when they -- when this first shooting began, the security
people were telling everybody that they had been rolling up two or three cells of jihadists every month for the last several years. since the war in iraq. and that if you let this demonstration, the young boys, most of them didn't know the bloodshed that had proceeded. they wanted reforms. but if you let them begin to go down that road of losing power, that the jihadis were going to take over. i think the regime people felt sure of that. so if assad had been tempted to go down the road of reform, the people around him said, you're a fool. you're naive. you don't understand the region. we're the ones who have been keeping these jihadis down. we've been rolling them up. we've been controlling them, manipulating them, sending them into iraq. you can't do this. you will be swept aside.
and so he shot, and that's where we've been ever since. and i think it will be very difficult for him to let go, without feeling terrible revenge for the community and of course his family. >> it's interesting, on the subject surrounding the speech, i actually wrote a letter to him through a contact i had in the syrian government, and i never knew whether or not he read the letter. and it was advising him or whatever, just making some suggestions regarding what he could do in terms of reform, presidential term limits, some of this sort of thing, trying to encourage him to be the person that we all thought he could be, that sort of thing. the interesting thing about it, i learned from two different people that he did, in fact read it. what's interesting about it, is not so much that he read it and rejected everything i said, but that there were people from two
different sources who were close to him who brought it to him and wanted him perhaps to go down this road. i agree with my friends andrew and josh that, you know, i always thought that assad -- again, many people hoped he would change the system. it seemed the system changed him. and that this system, con flexive dwulsive reaction. they use the hammer, not the velvet glove. >> this is an interesting question. it gets to agency. i went back and looked at the coverage of the speech and "the times" report included this line. mentioned all the things it did accomplish, and didn't accomplish. was to explode a narrative that had been written about the president since he had took office 11 years ago. that his efforts at reform were being blocked by holdovers from the era of his father. but in a way, you're saying that it didn't so much explode that
narrative, but say, and they've won, and the holdovers have won. it brings to the question, did assad at that moment have power? >> the holdovers were gone. by 2005, you know, ba'ath party regional congress, that summer, he was putting his people in. after the assassination and withdrawal from lebanon, he may have lost beirut, but he gained damascus and used that episode to secure his way in power. when i visited him in 2005 and early 2006, his people were in the cabot, they were in the ba'ath party regional command, in the military security apparatus. so there's no excuses in terms of, you know, him being forced to do it. it was his decision, and he had power. and he could have gone one way. it's easy for us arm chair historians or political scientists to say, you should have done this, made reforms and
fought against the system. i had a top hezbollah guy tell me, he had the people with him, he could have used the people against the hardliners. >> so he could have pushed back against this message that you'll be swept aside -- >> he could have, but there was a gun to his head, perhaps. >> or was he -- i guess the question was whether he was holding the gun. [ laughter ] but the whole idea, the idea of this young, aspiring reformer with the fashionable, british-born wife, was this always a delusion? was it our delusion? was it shared by syrians as well? was it ever real, or were we always taking the style and not really looking at the substance? >> i think that a lot of syrians certainly believed it. and early on, it was easier to believe because of course his father's term -- he had just died. and the only way was up, really. they had survived.
i think bashar promised a lot. and there was the damascus spring and then later the reforms. there were a lot of reforms that were launched. and it was into that, that i came to syria and saw first hand, and people were giddy with the idea of reform. because what had happened in the previous decades, not just under the assads, but the political turmoil since independence until assad, they really wanted to have some sort of soft landing to this. unfortunately that didn't prove to be the case. >> just to throw in a reminder, assad was only, i believe, 34, when he came to power, which is ten years younger than marco rubio, for perspective. >> and they had to change the constitution to get that. >> to 34. >> i don't think there's a lot of contradiction between those things. in the sense that i think assad came to power, he was fairly naive. he let most of the people out of prison that his father had imprisoned for decades.
muslim brothers and so forth. the prison numbers got down quite low. he thought he could modernize. without changing politics, he thought he could put a chant in everybody's pot. but the reality of power remained the same. he -- he may not have understood that he was going to have to do that, that he was gonna have to -- that he would face another hama and in a sense come out with guns blazing, but he's learned that. that's what he's learned over the five years, that he's got to win this war, or else he's going to lose. and that's what he's done. he probably didn't realize that he'd ever have to do this, and i think that the awkwardness of those speeches that he gave was of seeing a boyish guy, who was naive, trying to deny that he was going to shoot everybody. and he finally learned slowly that that's what was going to happen. >> i think one of the things,
you know, talking about when he came to power and the expectations, the expectations in the west were way too high for him. the first time i met with him and after we exchanged pleasantries and i explained what i wanted to do and all that stuff, i told him, mr. president, the biggest mistake you ever made upon coming to power in 2000 was letting it be known that you liked phil collins music. the british rocker. and he looked at me kinda weird. but i said, no, because that information was disseminated and it reinforced this image, this mythology that was building in the west that because he was an of that will molgs, non-traditional path to power, because he spent 18 months in london, studying ophthalmology. >> his father hadn't trained him the way his brother trained. >> he had several years after basil, although he was being groomed even though they deny it.
he was supposed to be this modernizer and reformer, because of this unusual background. what people don't understand and what a lot of us have been saying for years is that, he's a child of the arab israeli conflict, the superpower cold war, leb anonlebanon, and hafa more than 18 months in london, phil collins music and other things from the west. so there was this image that was totally inconsistent with reality and the reality of the syrian system. so when the expectations were not met, certainly in the west, therefore the disappointment was that much greater. >> what josh mentioned about how brittle the regime was, i remember the thing that struck me and when i realized how rigid it was, so when i -- for a time i worked for one of as-malad's charities dealing with world development and that charity,
which did a lot of good work, did a lot of research in rural areas and did a lot of the -- had mapped with the u.n. a lot of the explosions that happened after the hama massacre, when everybody stayed home and there was this huge spike in birth rates. and so the ngo that she had created was putting out all of this information, including to the palace, about here's this problem, here's this big problem we're going to have to deal with, and you're essentially sharing a bed with the president, and still despite all of the advice that would come out of that ngo, just in that narrow sense, there were -- the resulting reforms did not accommodate that growing population. so in a way, he had a sunni wife who was switched on and off to be able to map this kind of stuff, gave that advice to the presidency, but still at the same time, the system couldn't accommodate it. it simply couldn't change, and
then eventually those people overwhelmed the system when they came out in the streets in 2011. >> for five years after that speech, somewhere between a quarter of a million and a half million people are dead. four million people in syria are refugees. it almost -- we've talked a lot. give us a sense of what do we know about assad explains just the brutality of the war, the barrel bombs, the cities that are made to starve, the indifference to civilian life. the way the war has been waged, not just its persistence. >> if i could take a stab at that, i've tried to compare what's going on in the larger middle east, to what happened in world war ii in central europe. all these nations pull into palestine, multi ethnic, religious empires, lines were
drawn. people who didn't want to live together were stuck together. in world war ii, that explosion took place. and the borders weren't changed, but the people were changed to fit the borders. poland was 64% polish, 100% by the end of the war. that was true right down through romania. 12 million germans cleansed from central europe. six million jews. yugoslavia came later. seven nation states made out of it. you could argue that ukraine is being sorted out today. this is the great sorting out. as i've called it. the middle east is going through a great sorting out. we've already seen that with the jews being booted out of every city in the middle east and europe. they collected in palestine, they're the only minority that was able to in a sense become a majority in palestine. but all the other states were minority states because of
colonial experience. sunnis in iraq, alawites in syria, and those minorities are clinging on for dear life. because they see it as a zero sum game. 20% christians in anatolia, all ethnically cleansed during the turkish revolution. almost all the christian minorities gone from iraq as a result of this sorting out. and the sunnis and shi'ites fighting it out. now, syria's the same way. the alawites look at this world. they say there's no more christians in turkey. there are no more palestinians in palestine. of course there are, but there's not going to be a two-state solution, probably. the marinites lost. they look at a grim future. if they lost, high chances they would be ethnically cleansed. so they barrel bombed. they would use any methods in order to destroy their enemy.
and they have. and that's because they see it as a quintessentially, you know, existential fight. and so the numbers haven't arrived to eastern european numbers and of course it's religion that defines in a sense nationalism in the middle east not ethnicity as it was in central europe. so it's quite different. it's alawites, sunnis, jews, shi'ites, marinites. but what we're seeing, how do you put that back together? america wants to put all those people back in power-sharing units. they're trying to destroy this giant sunni state that's been created by isis. and to put everybody back into these 1919 states and make shi'ites and sunnis and everybody get along and i fear it's going to be very difficult to do that. >> what role, though, did assad play, do you think, in making
this more of a sectarian and less of a political conflict, which it had some hints of -- maybe it never was one, but in himself becoming more alawite than he'd ever been, of other sides, seeing it more in religious terms, what role did he play in that? was there a deliberation, was there an attempt to appeal to those sentiments? >> well, you know, it's much more nuanced than, you know, the alawites versus the jihadis, sunnis and so forth. the alawite leadership in syria, they've cultivated ties with the sunni business class, mercantile class. bashar played a particularly active role in cultivating orders, largely sunni, and it's much more mixed, his power base,
than most people figure. many alawites were alienated from their fellow alawites who were in power. now they're coming together, congealing because there's no other alternative. and that's kind of the binary situation that assad and his supporters have been trying to create in syria since the beginning of this crisis, that he is the only alternative. he's the least worst alternative. and the other -- the only other answer to this, the only other alternative is this jihadist state, with isis and al nusra and that's unacceptable to most syrians. >> i think one way that he's made it sectarian and dave is right, it's complicated. it's not like all minorities back assad -- the sunni community is extremely diverse. the one way he has made it sectarian, the biggest problem for the regime in syria is reliable manpower. because of the president's
response to the uprising, recruiting that reliable manpower from the majority sunni population is difficult. so what he did, and what has subsequently happened, they re-organized the syrian forces. it's not just the syrian air bombing anymore. you have the syrian defense forces which were partially trained up by the kuds force from iran, but also invited in hezbollah and shia militias from iraq, pakistan, and afghanistan. and that's not new. what causes problems is when they start showing up in places -- when these shia forces start showing up in places where there aren't a lot of shia, like in southern syria, for example. so with that, unfortunately, it plays into the jihadist narrative that there's this, you know, iranian-backed alliance supporting assad which is true, but they take it a step further
and say the united states is in league with it, and that caused all -- they use it in different ways that end up costing americans their lives. >> talking about power, power means you can do something. or that's one meaning of it. could assad end this? could he do something that would end this in some way? even theoretically, and what would that look like? you're laughing, so you get to start. >> he could walk out the door. that would end it. but he's not going to do it opinion. >> but would that do it? >> no. >> we talk a lot about the structures and -- >> let's put it this way, he's not going to do it. i was in brussels, leila was there with me, about a month and a half ago. and there was a group of ngos working on this situation and, you know, talking about and we were informing stefan, making
recommendations at the time the negotiations were going on. and i just made this impassioned speech, if you will, that there's just no way they're going to give up power. there's just no way. they will fight. they think -- and i saw this even before the uprising, that the well-being of the country is synonymous with his well-being. this bubble, this alternate reality that he talked about in his book, presidents for life, it's constructed around the authoritarian leaders and they see the world in a different paradigm, and the nature of threat is different. and they define that threat and what to do about it in a very different way than people outside of the bubble, even in syria. >> i think he thinks he's going to reconquer the country, russia's going to help him, and that will help him make everything right. and the foreign jihadist conspirators will all be kicked out and that syria will be
saved. that's his slogan. that's what he believes. that's what he's intending to do, and i think he believe its. >> agreed. >> but speaking of leaders in a bubble, let me ask you, we're about to open up to members, questions. so let me quickly ask you just a lightning round thing. it's next year, you're advising president trump -- [ laughter ] -- on dealing with assad. you're not going to get him to read a briefing book. so what's the one phrase you want him to keep in mind when he's dealing directly with assad in the way that he wants voters to keep low energy in mind when they're dealing with looking at jeb bush or lying ted. what's the slogan you want him to have in his head when he's dealing with that name, that nickname, that one little phrase that sums -- that would be helpful for president trump? >> you mean directly engaging
withasa assad? >> maybe not in a room, but in dealing -- yes. >> i don't think any american president will be directly engaging with assad. >> or indirect. >> or indirect. but you're saying, how would you essentially deal with this? >> what would you tell him, when he he's like, jeb was low energy, he was lying ted, who is this guy? >> it gets back to the original set-up. which guy is this? how do we figure out, is it bashar the reasonable reformer or the hardline dictator who's killed all these people? the only way to cut through that, that i know of, you would have to put him into hard dilemmas. and the only way to put him into hard dilemmas, you have to be willing to follow through on whatever dilemma you put him into. >> this is president trump, you just have to give him one sentence advice. [ laughter ] >> i'm not sure there is really an easy, one sentence -- i would say, set up your dilemmas well. >> i would say, if he was
meeting with assad, and i'm president trump right now -- [ laughter ] -- which is the first and only time this will happen, i'd say, mr. president, you have to give up enough power. the crux of any sort of political settlement, is, you have to give up enough power, if you're still in power and remain in future for the foreseeable future to satisfy the minimum demands of a critical population of the rest of the syrian population that has moved on, and that has gone on with their lives and have been empowered after five years without the state. >> so he's a guy who's got to give up some power. >> ain't gonna happen, but -- >> i would say, it's a bad deal. [ laughter ] that's what i would say. it's a bad deal. he's said it himself many times. this part of the middle east is a bad deal. we can spend trillions of dollars -- >> so your advice is stay away from there? >> get out of there. >> the guy to stay away from? >> there are more shi'ites from
one end of lebanon to the other end of iraq. there's a majority. iran and russia are committed to a shi'ite cress ececrescent, if. a new security zone that's theirs. we can fight them for it. and i'm argued with many people, there are people in washington who want to fight russia for that security belt. >> and i bet there are people here who have questions. how about you right there. oh, and identify yourself. >> claire ross goff. so much of this conversation has been about should assad leave, will he leave. is that irrelevant? what i'm hearing you say is the institutions and the regime without assad is still unworkable. >> that's a great question, because it has been the tension running through what you've said. >> i don't think it is. i think many of the middle eastern states are too brittle. you take out the leading family, it's like taking out saudi
family from saudi arabia. what would you have left? you would have nothing, a bunch of tribes fighting each other. probably in jordan if you got rid of the hash might family, it would crumble. in syria, the generals would fight each other, the same way the sunnis fight each other. they all want power. they've been played that way to keep them balanced, so they'll have to fight each other in order to consolidate each other. so if russia were to pluck him out with his brother and all of his attendants and his loyal people, you would get a hole in the middle of that regime that would cause chaos, coups, instability, and russia won't do it. because assad has rigged, he has made the state into a reflection of himself with alawites stacked and his family at the core. because he knows that a lot of people are trying to do just what we're talking about. and america's been trying to do it for decades. he needed to coup-proof that
regime and he's made it into a mine, so it will turn out to be an afghanistan if they get rid of him. >> indeed that's russia's -- one of their main arguments. what has regime change done in the middle east? with the u.s., particularly in iraq, and what happened in libya? you've had the collapse of the state. so regardless of whether or not you like assad, this is keeping at least what's left together, and any hope of something that resembles syria staying together. >> the problem, though, it's not stable. you know, if this is stability, i realize it can get more chaotic, but the sectarian war that's generated and attracts foreign fighters, the number of migrants and the cleaning that josh was talk about, those kind of things are unhinging european security. unfortunately assad staying is going to mean instability to a very high degree, and the question is whether we can live with that or not.
>> thanks. >> good afternoon. the atlantic council. looking at the instabilities that you all described in syria, iraq, et cetera, is it in our interest to sort of facilitate and develop the oftencible alliance with the sunnis and draw russia and iran in a protracted conflict there? because we don't want them to dominate that area. can we do that? are the sunnis capable of doing it? or we need to take a neutral, sort of obama-like position and say, well, we're talking to everybody, but we're not committing? >> i think you've spoken to it a little. david, do you wanna -- >> i have taken the position in some places it's popular and some places it isn't, that the obama administration has carried
out the correct policy with regard to syria. i tend to agree with what josh has said. in that trying to interpret and calibrate your actions in an area like the middle east, especially in what it has become, is just foolhardy, in my opinion. the mistake the obama administration has made is in managing expectations around this. the biggest mistake in this -- certainly assad's initial mistake of cracking down hard on the protesters was the west assuming that he was going to fall. following what happened in egypt, tunisia and elsewhere, and of course that didn't happen. and what that did is, by saying he's a legitimate -- by telling him to step aside, or step down, it backed the regime in a corner where the only choice was to fight in order to maintain power. in my mind, in meeting with
russians from very early on, they had a better understanding of the situation in syria very, very early on that assad was going to stay in power and that this thing was going to be a protracted conflict for a number of years. >> patrick theros, u.s. business council. served damascus in other days. i noticed the word ba-ath never appeared in your conversation. are there any larger sectarian institutions left in the levant, or have they gone away? >> yes. theoretically, you have not just the ba'ath party still functioning and the syrian state. what does it mean anymore? theoretically, it's there at the core of the regime.
it gives the veneer of some sort of pan-arab rallying eth os or whatever you want to call it, theory. but the sectarianism which was always right below the surface in syria, i think now is the primary dynamic. josh was talking about the shia crescent. it used to be when i first lived in the middle east that sunni and shia didn't come up as much. in syria, it was always discouraged. now people talk about it a lot. even businessmen from damascus that i meet when they come to beirut, speak in those terms. which is interesting, because it's in a mixed area where these things traditionally didn't mean as much. >> the woman in the back. >> thank you. hi, barbara slaven from the atlantic council. great panel, i agree. one of you, perhaps it was david
lesch said we thought that assad was freddo and he turned out to be michael. so i hope i'm quoting you correctly. given everything that you said, what's the purpose of these peace talks that are going to resume, supposedly in geneva? what's the best possible outcome? is it just a continuation of a lesser level of hostilities so that aid can be distributed? do you have any expectation that it would actually lead to a quote/unquote settlement? >> yeah, good question. i have a good friend of mine who is a u.n. liaison in damascus. remarkable guy, i saw him in one of my trips to beirut last year. and i put to him kinda that same question. i said, you're putting your life in danger in all of this for what? because it's almost an impossible task. and in a very emotional way, he said, we have to try. people are dying.
the country is falling apart. and so you have these remarkable people that are trying to do the impossible. and they've given up these grandiose attempts in many ways and some of the u.n. special envoys, they came in and they announced they wanted a holiday or a three-day holiday, and these things never had a chance from the beginning, but there's political pressure to do something dramatic. i think there's been a change with the u.n. approach to this, after a lot of people got to them and after the reality of the situation, that you have to try this incremental slow fix. and you have to work on the humanitarian issues. now, on the other side of that, the u.n. approach is the small steps, hoping to build up confidence and trust and the ink blot ceasefire type of approach. but now you have russia and the united states as well, trying to
congeal the regional allies behind a common approach, and that's been a positive thing, in my view. but no -- as long as assad is there and saying such things -- and i'm not -- we were talking about this beforehand, maybe you want to comment on it. i'm not convinced that the russians are going to really put pressure on assad to agree to manage transition, even though in talks we've all been involved in with russians and speaking with russian officials, they all say, one of the first things out of their mouths, we don't really like assad, we're not really committed to him. but they're committed to him being a strategic ally, committed to keeping this regime in power, and it happens to be assad there. and what we were saying about assad, in his view, in terms of staying in power, i just -- i just don't see something happening with regard to these
negotiations. particularly cause the kurds aren't in there, which is a major issue in my view. and so it's just -- i just don't think anything can happen in the short-term. but the key is to keep it going. that's what stefan di mist ura is trying to do, keep a process going, so it doesn't break down as dramatically as geneva 2 did. >> what the regime people say is, we would go to any meeting that di mist ura invited us to, even to the wedding of his son. then they say, well, what are we going to negotiate with, with this delegation that's there? the only militia leader that's there is mohammed el al ush and he owns duma, or half of duma. and we could negotiate to get that half of duma back from him. but none of them own anything. they don't own any territory in all of syria. what are they going to negotiate
with us? they want assad to go, we're not going to give it to them, and that's the end of the discussion. because they don't own any land. >> can i just add something? i talked with one of the top security guys of assad in beirut, it was after geneva 2, and he was the guy in the back room who was running things. this is the guy who was running it. and he was bemoaning this geneva 2 meeting and he said exactly, reflecting what josh said. he said, i can get on the phone and stop fighting on our side on all the fronts. i don't know if they could do that again, because it's become kind of dispersed. the regime forces. but i can get on the phone and i can stop it. who in this delegation can call and stop the fighting on the opposition side more than one little area, one little zone? so it's an issue. >> so in a way, there's a power question on the other side? >> yeah, from the -- but the grouping does represent a number
of groups from throughout the country. but the problem with umbrella organizations is that you're never really sure -- you don't just have one address. and that's difficult. that's actually the u.s. homework in the negotiations, whereas the russians have a different bit of homework. theirs is to make less rigid a historically very rigid regime. >> simon henderson, washington institute for middle east policy. thank you very much. the title of this is "power profile." and at the moment, i don't feel that i know bashar assad any better than what i did when i walked in the room. and what are the adjectives that -- or the single adjectives that you would use to describe him? we've heard he's influenced by the hardliners, the reformists,
his wife. but you probably haven't seen yet and i haven't seen it, but there's presumably a personality profile written of him somewhere in the cia. what does it say? to me, he looks like a chinless geek. but is he indecisive? is he evil? is he delusional? what are the words, the single words you'd use to describe him? >> which again might be useful for president -- president -- >> so i think the appropriate term here, and i've struggled with this over the years, and when i lived in syria, and i earlier used the word "moody," i think that's true. but it doesn't mean that he's not intelligent, certainly, and able to maneuver. i think the term that i've settled on is border line personality. i think he sometimes has bouts where he's extremely rational, and you can deal with it, and other times when i for the life
of me can't figure out what he's doing. and i don't think the people around him can either. >> all right, what words? >> measured and desperate. measured because he doesn't make decisions decisively or dramatically. and he likes to think things over, whether that's an active or passive approach, it depends on the situation. desperate, i think now because i think he realizes that for one, this dream he had of syria being, you know, this internationally recognized country that's integrated into the world community just isn't going to happen. and he realizes that he's -- he has to rely on the russians and the iranians and hezbollah to stay in power. so -- >> how about your words? >> i think he's rational.
he's very limited by his world. he got out to europe once. he's gotten a syrian education, which isn't a great education. and he's -- the job was way too big for him. he's shy. he's a little bit indecisive. but he's allowed the people around him, in a sense to -- he forms a consensus with the major security guys around him. he's got a loyal crew that are working hard, and doing -- but he's in a very brittle regime, where he cannot give up power for the alawites because all the people around him will be killed very quickly. and i think that's the major constraint. he's trying to keep those people alive. and the entire alawite community, the vast majority, agree with him. and you can argue that he's backed them into it, and he should have just flown away and they would have been okay. but that's -- you know, he did save his crew and ultimately he
dragged his entire nation into this conflagration, but he may come out of it with the people of the coast alive. and if he does, then he will see himself as being a victor. >> i think part of your question was also about assad as a family member. who is his family in his view? who are the people that are at the table who are part of the assad family, who he listens to? do we know? >> yeah. we have, you know, we have his immediate family -- i brought this along. i didn't think we were going to use it, but this is on our institute's website. this talks about the members of the assad regime. here you have the red lines are blood relations, the white ones are non-blood and it's broken down by sect. so we know who's in the regime. i think the hardest part is the
visibility inside of the regime, in terms of the relationships between these people at any one time is difficult to ascertain. and therefore it gets down to, if you decide to pressure such a regime or take military action against such a regime, for example, you don't really know what's going to happen. we know who is there. we just don't know what they would do in certain situations. >> and the family -- if we compare to the saddam hussein family, which i think is an apt comparison, because both represent small minorities that have dominated their countries through a single party, ba'ath party, fay loor a long time. the assad family is fairly functional. they're never killed anybody within the family. they've always been polite. even the assad who tried a coup when his brother had a heart attack in '84, got three chances. sent out of the country, came back in, sent out of the country. finally sent into exile with billions of dollars.
but nobody in the family has ever been killed by another family member. and we can argue about, you know, before he was a family member, the brother-in-law but once he married the sister, they were good to go, and he was made head of intelligence. he was in. so, you know, there's the mafiosi paradigm, but it's a middle class family. af sad was a dignitary who signed petitions under the french, the father, so there's three generations of being fairly upper middle class alawites, which is very poor, but they came from good stock. saddam hussein was an orphan who was taken in by an uncle who was a criminal, and he became a criminal himself. and he killed lots of his family members. so he didn't hold people together through consensus and
using soft touch as much as the assads did. now obviously once that falls apart, that soft touch, syria was a much softer touch place than iraq was, but now it's fallen apart and it's becoming like iraq. but the family has held together in large part because it hasn't been a terribly dysfunctional family. it listens to the people around them. and unlike saddam's family, which was extremely dysfunctional and crumbled quite quickly. >> mark timet. back to the question of "power profile" you said he had about three years from when basil tdid to when he took over, maybe. if he's tutored by kalil, bus rat, riffat, how could he then have declared the damascus
spring? that's not exactly a reformist group. >> and he had served in lebanon, you know, as well in the armed forces. it's a good question. i think the one thing that struck me early on in going to syria and i started going there in 2000, 2001, shortly after he died, was that he -- somehow the expectations they talked about that he was a westerner, or had been westernized were completely false. he did not spend a lot of time there. why he decided this, i think there are a couple of theories. one is that he thought he was naive, which we talked about earlier. there's also the model of the hundred flowers campaign, right? you let some people out of prison, you see what they say, and you see who goes back in. when actually it was the security apparatus which was probably closest to him.
yopp beyond that, i don't know. >> if i can add, we don't know what was in his head. i actually believe that he intended to incrementally reform the system. but he just ran into this, he inherited a dilapidated system, the old guard, and realized that he just could not make the changes he wanted. and he wasn't able to do so really until five or six years in his tenure in power. and i have this image and some people in damascus at the time, they were telling me, the damascus spring, which radio stations and private newspapers and salons and so forth, prisoner relief, that some of the security apparatus just came around to him and said, you know, hey, this is not how we do things. this is going to cause a lot more problems and therefore damascus didn't do that.
he finally realized that he couldn't do what he wanted to do. >> john negroponte. you have a very difficult task, having overseen leadership profiles or briefed them to the president or other leaders in our government, it's not an easy thing to do. you can get things really right, but you can also get them terribly wrong. but obviously it's worth working at. i have a question about how the israelis see bashar. because my impression over the years has been that their impression of the syrian leadership is more benign. they see it as in their interest that he stay in power. i don't know if that's still their attitude. but how do they view it? >> i've pursued that very question in israel, and i met with, on one occasion, this was before the uprising, you know,
the chief of staff of the israeli military at the time, who thought that he was weak. which tended to be a dominant view when he came to power, that he was weak, and incompetent. was fredo. and i met with his deputy who thought very much differently. that he had some promise, that he could keep this thing together. as the uprising came in, there's been this divide in israel to a certain degree, you know, regarding, is it best to see him go, and therefore iran and hezbollah are weakened? or he's a devil we know type of thing and we want stability? i had one israeli top general tell me, you know, during -- a couple years ago, in answer to that question, and he basically said, and this was recently repeated by another israeli military leader, i think, last week, or something, that we'd rather have isis on our border
than iran. because we can deal with those guys. iran is a much bigger problem. from that perspective. >> my last conversations with -- in israel, is that they have been confused. it was wishing both sides well. and i think that's true. but the problem, isis and jihadist groups are a tactical threat not a strategic threat. the problem is the reliable manpower pools that assad has had to rely on, are organized largely by the iranians on the groun ground. and they're not only iranian. but they don't like hezbollah in the south. that's in their sphere of influence. they say they were promised by
putin shortly after the intervention that the russians would not support such campaigns. because the russians are in southern syria. so in exchange for that, in looking the other way, they weren't supposed to support iranian forces, but then they did. and this is a big concern for israel going forward. and i honestly don't know how they're going to deal with it. i would expect with more strikes. >> only a couple minutes left. so a quick question from there. >> hi, jeff smith, center for public integrity. the overall impression i get from the conversation so far, which has been excellent, is, of a lot of players who are stuck. we're stuck. assad is stuck. the russians are stuck. so in a very unfair way, could you please open your crystal ball and tell us what you think will be present five years from now in damascus. just look forward. you've given us a sense of where things are right now, but project forward from where we
are right now. it's an unfair question, i know it's difficult, but i'd still like to hear what you have to say. >> if i could start, i'll complete the painting i started out with. if the united states and the international community had been willing to spend real money in syria, one could have done a yugoslavia where isis conquered easily. we're not going to do that, because we've stuck to our international borders and our plan of power sharing and returning iraq and syria to theirs. that means that we bowed out, really. america is busy destroying the sunnis of iraq with a sectarian shi'ite regime. and we're both cooperating in a sense to destroy the remaining sunni powers that remain this
there. they will be oppressed. it will be unstable. assad will win a large hunk of syria, if not all of it back over the next three or four years, with russian help and iranian help. and there will be a shi'ite crescent that will go for the next 20 years or something, defining that security zone. and america is going to increasingly be anxious about an unstable gulf with low oil prices. and that's where i see a lot of instability. i see us in the middle of this great sorting out. and i think we're going to see great instability and oppression in the middle east for decades to come. >> on that note -- [ laughter ] >> perhaps that's where we need to end since we're at the hour. >> i have one last thing. a colleague of mine saw assad a few days ago.
and one of the big take-aways from his meeting was that assad said openly in the meeting that he was very eager to get a process going, because before the general election here in the united states. which of course if you read president obama's interview in the atlantic, wouldn't be a surprise why. syria has become unfortunately a very controversial issue. barack obama is very staked out on this. the presidential candidates are not as staked out. but certainly hillary clinton has a different -- has a slightly different view, i think than obama, but hardly anything clear that would lead us to a direct military intervention or anything like that. >> that's a fascinating note to end on. and i'm sorry we didn't get to talk more about the american election and so many other things. thank you all so much for coming today and for all the great questions from members. thanks. [ applause ]
empowering people to make good choices. it's like you're getting a seven-course, gourmet, five-star meal of policy and boy, do i just sound like a nerd right there, but it's true. >> to me, c-span is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it happens, whether it's on capitol hill or in the agencies. >> most staffers seem to have a television on their desk and c-span is on. i think it's a gateway for us to stay informed. >> i urge my colleagues to vote for this amendment. >> there's a lot of c-span fans on the hill. >> you can get something like the history of grain elevators in pennsylvania, or landmark cases from the supreme court. >> good morning. >> there's so much more that c-span does in terms of his programming, to make sure that people outside the belt way know what's going on inside it.
>> i am proud to announce -- >> i announce my candidacy -- >> i am officially running -- >> -- for president of the united states! [ cheers and applause ] >> i'm a reporter who covers politics, and for so many of my stories in "the washington post," c-span has been part of my research, providing me with quotes and insights about people. >> there are so many niches within the political blogo sphere and all of those policy areas get covered. >> how many nuclear warheads have russia have aimed at the u.s. and the u.s. have aimed at russia? >> it's a place i can go that lets me do the thinking and do the decision-making. >> watch house meetings, senate meetings, all sorts of stuff. >> good morning, everyone, phone lines are open. start dialing in. >> the interaction with callers on c-span is great. you never know what you're going to get. >> you're right, i'm from down south. >> oh, god, it's mom.
>> and i'm your mother, and i disagree that all families are like ours. i don't know many families that are fighting at thanksgiving. >> and welcome to book tv's live coverage of the 32nd annual miami book fair. >> c-span 2, on the weekends, it becomes book tv. >> and it's been a wonderful way of accessing the work of those folk who are writing really great books. >> every weekend c-span3 becomes american history tv. you're a history junkie, you've gotta watch. >> whether we're talking about a congressional hearing, or we're talking about an era in history, there's so much information that you can convey, if you have that kind of programming. >> whether it's at the capital or on the campaign trail, they have a camera. they're capturing history as it happens. it brings you inside of these chambers, inside of the conversations on capitol hill, and lets you have a seat at the
table. you can't find that anywhere else. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> yes, i am a c-span fan. >> and that's the power of c-span. access for everyone, to be part of the conversation. turkish president erdogan discussed the challenges his country faces, including terrorist attacks, the syrian refugee crisis, and relations with iran at a talk hosted by the brookings institute in washington, d.c. this is just over an hour and 15 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. welcome to brookings. welcome to our statemen's forum.
our speaker and our guest of honor, president erdogan, is in washington at the invitation of president obama, to participate in the nuclear security summit. president erdogan is kind enough to be with us at brook, this afternoon because it is part of our tradition and part of our mission to invite world leaders to address the issues of the day. and it's a particular pleasure that the first lady of turkey would be with us once again as she was back in 2013. these discussions are intended to be in the spirit of informing the global public and promoting civility of debate and respectful, constructive, and candid public discourse. we need as much of that as
possible in the case of u.s./turkey relations right now. turkey has long been an especially important american ally, critical to american foreign and security policy. it has been an ally for 65 years. this is especially a difficult period for turkey, as it is for much of the world. turkey faces internal and external challenges which all of us, whatever our own perspectives and concerns, hope will be resolved in a way that contributes to regional peace, strengthens bilateral ties between our two countries, and upholds the democratic values of the transatlantic community. we look forward to hearing from
the president, his perspective. then my colleague, ambassador martin indyk will conduct a conversation with the president, followed by an opportunity for him to take a few questions from our guests. mr. president, thank you once again for being back at brookings. [ applause ] [ speaking foreign language ]
>> translator: director of the brookings institute, valuable guests, ladies and gentlemen, i would like to greet you with respect. brookings is celebrating its centennial this year. it's a pleasure for me to meet you once again in this very reputable think-tank. i would like to start my remarks by reminding you of the fact that there has been a terrorist attack targeting our security forces. i denounce this. regretfully, we lost seven members of the security forces, lost their lives and have 14 injured police officers and ten civilians injured. i would like to convey my
condoleannces it those who lost their lives and wish recovery for those who were injured. i am very sorry about these attacks, but those attacks will never keep us from fighting terrorists. [ indiscernible ] we are determined and we are -- people are determined to make sure that terrorism is no longer an obstacle to the progress in our country. terrorists are being protected in one pretext or the other. and unfortunately keep attacking our country.
we can't tolerate this anymore. the european countries and other countries, i hope will see the true face of the pkk organization and other terrorist attacks. dear friends, today i am meeting you to discuss the global problems and my opinions about the approach of my country to all those challenges. recently humanity has achieved its most advanced point in history in terms of science, technology, medicine and many other fields. we have quite a wide range of interest, ranging from deep space into the sophisticated mechanisms of the digital
revolution and internet that will make life easier. however, this brings about new challenges, including security. for example, climate change, juxtaposition of income, poverty, hunger, irregular migration and terrorism are all problems that have an impact on the entire world and they're all related with each other. and they are all equally important. the international community needs to discuss how we can find a comprehensive solution to the global problem. however the global problems problems aren't discussed by the
international community. on the contrary, the international community doesn't -- today turkey is located in the intersection of the most specific geographical political fault line. most of the important crisis that keep the world busy are being experienced around turkey. we have a border of more than 900 kilometers with syria and 300 kilometers with iraq. and on the other hand, we also have a very long border with russia. so we are surrounded by troublesome territories. the crisis around us have
separated us from our humanitarian approach and will never deviate us from that approach. on the contrary, we believe that such humanitarian approach is a must in order to constitute our stability and peace in our region. and in the background, we base our approach on our ancient cultural and historical background and on the other hand we have made very particular achievements in the last decade. at the beginning of the sept ce, we were a country that was a recipient of foreign aid. i'm sure brookings institute has such data in its archives. today, turkey is the country that offers the highest humanitarian aid in ratio to its gdp. we are third in our humanitarian
aid and we are the first in ratio to our gdp. if we can do any help, then we always use your means to help people in need, even in distant geographies like africa, we are perceived as an honest partner and we are sought when there's a solution to the challenges they're facing. and we believe that for a better world and for more welfare around the world, we have to pursue such policies. ladies and gentlemen, beside the very evident fact, there are some groundless allegat