Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    April 5, 2016 7:01pm-8:09pm EDT

7:01 pm
>> good afternoon. i'm jim falk, president of the world affairs council of dallas/ft. worth. thank you so much for joining us for our international perspectives series co-presented with the world affairs council and the american jewish committee. i'm thankful to joy with pegasus bank. joe, would you please stand in pegasus bank is our major sponsor for this program. and, you know, both of our organizations are very focused on education with high school students and today we have students from horn high school, perish episcopal school and uplift williams preparatory. if i could ask all the students to please stand and be recognized. hope you have hard questions. our program today could not be more timely or relevant. just two days after the tragic terrorist attack in brussels and at a time when thousands of refugees are fleeing syria and the wider middle east.
7:02 pm
we rent krily had elections in germany where chancellor merkel's christian democratic party suffered defeats in two out of three states and in fact the leading newspaper called the results black sunday for conservatives. conversely, certain right wing parties also experienced increased turnout with voters citing the refugee crisis as a major reason for their votes. with such uncertainty, you know now why we're fortunate to have with us dr. constanze stelzenmuller. she's the inaugural senior fellow with the center on the united states and europe at the brookings institute. and she's a renowned expert on european and transatlantic foreign policy and security strategy. she earned her masters in public administration at harvard's kennedy school of government and her doctorate from the university of bonn.
7:03 pm
she is someone with a footprint in two continents. her essays and articles have been published in german and english and they have appeared in a wide range of publications, including foreign affairs, and the financial times. she's also been a journalist and editor. a director and fellow for the george marshal fund and a governor of the ditchly foundation and a fellow for the royal swedish society for sciences. would you please give a warm welcome to dr. constanze stelzenmuller? [ applause ] thank you for being here. >> thank you so much. well, thank you for this fabulously warm welcome. and the beautiful state of texas. it's my second or third visit to texas in my lifetime. as always far too short but i can only say i'm thrilled to get
7:04 pm
out of the beltway. and i just as a way of warning, one of my life dreams has been to spend a summer on a dude ranch so now that i have actually moved to america i have gotten slightly closer to that so if any of you have any recommendations i'm happy to take you up. dear jim, dear hosts, dear ladies and gentlemen, dear students, as to the students, i don't know what you're you've done to merit this punishment. i hope the food is making up for it. as you would have expected the talk i'm going to give you is not the one i was planning to give you a week or even four days ago. title i gave the hosts when they asked me for one was storm over europe which is theatrical enough to get your attention. to the question of whether greece or britain might be
7:05 pm
leaving the eurozone and the course of the year or rather the eu in the case of britain and whether all of this means the end of europe or at least of the european union as we know it. but then, just two days ago on tuesday morning, terrorists detonated bombs during the morning rush hour at the busy airport of the belgium capital of brussels and a subway station. near the european parliament. on wednesday, state department issued a blanket warning for americans traveling in all of europe. and a certain candidate is suggesting that none of this would have happened in f the right people had been waterboarded at the right time. so i rewrote my talk an i'm going to take this terrible incident azumi starting point and i will discuss four questions before i take your questions of which i'm sure there will be many because i'm sure i'll leave many things unaddressed because this truly is one of the most complicated public policy issues in europe.
7:06 pm
so my four questions are, what happened on tuesday in brussels? why did it happen there? what can and what needs to be done to fix the problem of terrorism in europe? and what does this mean for america? and for relations between the united states and europe. and, yeah, i have 25 minutes so it's -- you know, i'm going to have to -- i will -- you will find that i will sort of make certain stark assertions and then please feel free to question in q & a. indeed, i'm going to say out front i have no easy answer s ad i can guarantee you none will get waterboarded nor would you get them if you waterboarded me. these really are complex issues that cut to the most serious questions of national and international governance of our time and i believe that anyone that suggests otherwise is a rat catcher trying to play to a worst fears in order to get us to give in something. money, votes, bank account
7:07 pm
p.i.n. number, whatever. i hope that i can set out propositions for further question or discussion at the end. so let me start with my first question. what happened this tuesday? so three days ago bombs were detonated within an hour of each other during the morning hour at the busy airport and the belgian capital of bureaucracy sells and the central subway station as i just said. the bomb and the airport was particularly large. this is of interest to terrorism experts. and then the wreckage, police found additional unexploded bombs as well as something that looks like the will of one of the perpetrators killed there. as of today, 31 people have died as a result including 2 of the bombers, the fourth actually appears to be still on the run. more than 140 people were left injured. and the perpetrators as far as we know, men, muslims and second generation north african descent. daesh or i.s. as the islamic
7:08 pm
state is often called, has taken responsibility for the attacks. authorities are saying that four men carried out the attacks, three of whom are dead. the one is still being sought and appears to be a connection with the paris bomb attacks of november 2015. the most recent case of which a european capital city was at the center in fact was the locust of such an attack. because of the size and the skanl the organization of the attacks it appears now increasingly likely that there was a much larger jihadi cell and network behind the four men that is very likely to transcend national borders and while i.s. taken responsibility, it may be quite a while before we learn about the motivation of the four individuals. it seems likely though that the particular act was already being planned but was brought forward because of the arrest and
7:09 pm
ongoing interrogation of a paris terrorist on the friday of last week in brussels so that these attacks brought forward in retaliation or preempt detection. brussels, of course, with its more than 3 million inhabitants is home to substantial muslim minority mostly from northern african countries. also from libya, turkey and further afield in the middle east and also for what its worth has a large minority mostly from belgium's former colonies. the belgian capital, of course, the defacto capital of europe. hosting as it does the organs of the european commission, the commission and the parliament and the council and nato headquarters. it's the seat of many embassies, universities and think tanks, several hundred thousands of europeans from europe's other 27 member states work and live there and thousands of
7:10 pm
americans. the state department has a very, very large mission to the european union with people who have deep expertise in the work of the european union. belgians, of course, often joke they feel like a minority in their own capital. as a city, brussels is kind of an acquired taste. i've been there in times. not least because of his chaotic urban designing. the rules and its truly remarkable overall scruffiness. you have to think new york in the 1970s for a sense of what it's like if you have never been there but it also has the quirky charms that envelope you slowly in a warm embrace. a vibrant culture, friendly inhabita inhabitants, attracting housing and excellent food, something the belgians take extremely seriously. so much like the big apple's, the citizens defend it fiercely. to call it a hell hole is wide
7:11 pm
of the mark. we think of it as europe's beating heart. it's not the only heart but it's certainly a big one. i have been to brussels many, many times and for work and to see friends and those categories increasingly have been overlapping. i was at a conference there last weekend and i flew out of the international airport on sunday, less than 48 hours before the attack. most of my acquaintances and friends are safe as far as i know but two close friend were at the airport when the bombs went off. so, this tragedy was and is not just an abstraction for me or others. it is about our lovered ones, friends, neighborhoods and cities. it's also about europe as a civilization, as a policy and a project. the attacks of tuesday morning like the previous of other cities in europe are an attack on all of europe and all europeans. that brings me to my second question. why did this happen?
7:12 pm
and why in brussels? as i said, it's going to be a while before we learn about the individual motivation of the four guys who carried the suitcases and made them detonate. but the larger question is, of course, why do so many european muslims and belgian muslims appear to be so vulnerable to recruitment by the islamic state? reviled as an anti-islamic death cult in many parts of the world. after all, the brussels attack follow a pattern of bomb attacks by al qaeda and i.s. affiliated groups sbened to strike at the heart of european life. madrid in 2004. london no 2005. paris twice in 2015. to read some of the analysis in recent days most of europe yees muslims are ail innocent yated,
7:13 pm
underemployed and ghetto-ized. i would beg to disagree. they're peaceable, hard working and decent people and often citizens of their countries and who feel very little affinity to the countries their parents or grandparents emigrated from usually to seek a better life for their own children or save their own lives from murderous oppression and despise organizations like i.s. and al qaeda. such communities do exist in europe and they're a problem. the reasons why they exist very vary broadly from one city to another and recurrent factors which often come combined. post coknownalized resentment. alternatively, guest worker status and multi-generational permanence without a road to
7:14 pm
citizenship for inclusion on all but the lowest most median level. or simply, a life of illegality lived in daily fear of being returned to an even worse life. the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings are willing to endure some form of this for decades speaks to the abject misery of the conditions they left behind but it is also a european failure. add to this more than a million refugees currently streaming to europe from wars in syria and afghanistan or chaos, poverty and oppression in libya and you have a truly potent mix for trouble. my guess is that the great majority of these refugees or more are bent -- of these refugees are bent only on sanctuary, not on creating harm. but they are easily abused as cover, no doubt some of them are vulnerable as potential tools and some may be terrorist infiltrators. this is something i think we have to be aware of and i think our security services are.
7:15 pm
but the situation is, of course, heightened by the varying -- sounds technical, but you understand what i mean. of the countries that these people migrate to. from declining industries and joblessness in some two and this is mainly eastern europe of simply complete lack of experience with immigration or ethnic diversity under 40 years of soviet communist rule. all of this, of course, was exacerbated by the divisions created by the global financial crisis of 2008. some countries in europe are seeing and albeit slow recovery and others grappling with the hardships it created. belgium, unfortunately, is something of a special case. daniel benjamin, former colleague of mine, and brookings and indeed at the german marshall fund a few years book
7:16 pm
and teaches now at dartmouth had a piece a couple of days ago saying that 470 belgian muslims went to fight in iraq or syria making it the top supplier of militants in western europe. he also notes another important point which is that belgium's deep dysfunctionalty and conflict between the two ethnic groups -- and paralyzed by a domestic political crisis from 2007 to 2011. not only did belgium not have the kind of government to set up integration policies or stronger security services, for 541 days it didn't even have a government. that was longer than it took to form a government in iraq. so some authors who have far greater expertise than i on intelligence cooperation such as, say, david inspector genegn
7:17 pm
the state of intelligence and police work. i cannot presume to judge their analysis. but i do suspect there's no quick fixes and in fact no fixes at all that will work unless they also address the deeper governance issues. none of this, by the way, to say all of this could only happen and will only happen in belgium. i think most of us in europe including in my own country in germany are looking at all of this and wondering whether we having dodged the bullet this time when will be the day when we don't. so, that leads me organically to my third question, what needs to be done to fix the problem of islamic terrorism? if i had the answer i wouldn't be standing here. i'd be working hard in a cellar in a european capital but i have
7:18 pm
a couple of ideas based on the conversations that i have had and the kind of work that i do. let me start with a sort of an if you will an oblique critique, a lot of -- any -- this discussion has to start, of course, or this discussion always has an element of hypothetical or counter factual when you listen to people writing op-eds now in every paper about what needs to be done. if only the police and intelligence services had been able to deploy more surveillance capables against what was clearly a brewing threat. if only merkel had not opened borders to refugees. if only obama had bombed assad. if only europeans taken responsibility for the middle east. if only all muslims sent out of the country until we figure out what the hell is going on. i think many of these, if onlys are not helpful as sort of
7:19 pm
singular policy prescriptions. and by not helpful i'm being polite. they have a cornell of truth but the roots of the problem are far more complex and i think we do themselves and ourselves an injustice if we pretend there's simple solutions. i think it's already a start if we understand that any approach to containing, managing and minimizing the problem and that may be as good as it gets has to occur at three levels. nation state, europe. and europe ye's relations with rest of the neighborhood and the rest of the world. the national level, to begin with, it's easy, of course, for me as a german to stand here in texas saying belgium needs to address the security problems and do better at integrating the muslim minorities. it does. but as we ought to know, all of us, and certainly germany ought to know from the experience with
7:20 pm
development and nation building at home or democracy building at home which we had to do a lot after 1945, throwing money at what is essentially a governance problem and perhaps in some ways also a problem of political culture will not only not solve the problem it will often make it worse. shocking as this may sound, i think what we now in the west have to understand and face frontally is that we have mistakenly assumed perhaps that western style democracies are essentially and fundamentally stable. rule of law, pluralism and inclusive economy and a functioning social contract are things we can take for granted. and that if they take a dent from time to time they're capable of self repairing or adjusting. i believe that if we're honest with ourselves we have to admit that this is simply untrue. globalization, the 2008 financial crisis and technological change have, in
7:21 pm
fact, brought huge problems and pressures to bear on the nation state. and i have to say that one of the most compelling and moving analysis that i have read of this problem so far is george packer's, the unwinding, a book of 2014, which chronicles the lives of a dozen or so americans over half decade and describes how their lives are affected by things like the subprime mortgage crisis, deindustrialization and a host of other factors. the common theme of all their lives is the cheapening and delegitimatization of policies and politics, the rich and the poor, the hollowing out of the middle class and despite their very best efforts. i cite this not to make a dig at america. that would be cheap. but simply because i believe that this book could have been written about any book in europe and including my own. and i hope that it will be because the problems that packard describes are problems we will have to deal with and
7:22 pm
that for the first time in my life as a foreign and security policy analyst, perhaps not as a trained constitutional lawyer but in my life as thinking about external security and foreign policy, i have come to understand our essential preconditions and limitations on the ability of governments to make an effective and legitimate foreign and security policy. this is where we're at. and it's deeply serious. it's the first time really that people who think about the internal affairs of their countries and the foreign and security policy people are coming together. in fact, let me give you another avenue at this. the case of belgium is somewhat uncomfortably like the case of greece. the reason why the german government and a dozen others in the eu was and is worried about the dire state of the greek economy and the context of the financial crisis is something that experts describe as contagion. now, there's some of that on the transatlantic level as any
7:23 pm
banker here will know because of deep integration of the american and european economies. but it was much worse in europe. the financial crisis was a huge external shock to the system and because of the deep mutual integration of the economies the vulnerability of one state meant the vulnerability of all. greece's critics led by my own country germany were accused of forcing it to save and starve its way out. i didn't much like personally the style of germany's finance minister to be sure and he did have a big valid point and it is what i'm trying to get at here. throwing money at an economy as profoundly dysfunctional and corrupt as greece's was unlikely to lead to lasting reforms. reforms to benefit the normal greek citizens. the truth is that all almost all nations including my own struggling to preserve the functionality of the state and its constitutional order.
7:24 pm
for the smaller, poorer or weaker european states it is not clear this is a contest they can win. just to give you an idea from your own backyard, think puerto rico. you know? heading for a default. this is possible. and it's possible in other places, as well. and it's a result of things falling apart in ways that maybe we haven't paid enough attention to. so that bring mess to the european level which is often invoked when people want to solve probables they can't at the local level. the irony and the dilemma of all of belgium's level is while terrorists, internal security is closely guarded while in the eu's lisbon treaty or while the treaty which as the unifying document if you will, the articles of union for europe, seeing a role in external security, domestic security or justice and home affairs as it's
7:25 pm
called is firmly kept out of the per view of the european union. that said, i also don't went to give you the impression that europeans and indeed the union have remained inactive. 9/11 as i can attest really was a wake-up call and a lot of european states, the uk, france, germany and the belgium in particular upgraded the cooperation and with the united states by the way. the organizations that coordinate police and border security have been quite significantly upgraded so we're very, very far away from where we were 15 years ago. still, there remain serious obstacles within europe to real across the board full spectrum cooperation. national sovereignty concerns, different security cultures and preferences, different balances between security and freedom. different regional threat perceptions and above all very, very different technical, human and institutional capabilities.
7:26 pm
again, if this seems weird to you, think of the difference between, say, texas and vermont. you know? you at least have the same language although i wonder sometimes. but the -- it is in fact i sometimes think that given the fact that we have such different historical experiences that, we have different languages, it's astounding how much we have been able to accomplish together an one of the reasons for that, of course, is the shared memory of war and deprivation and the shar shared memory of poverty and the shared memory that some of our cultures and not just the eastern european post-soviet unions but spain, greece and portugal which were right wing, in some cases proto -- nearly fascist dictatorships have become democracies in the course of being members of the european union or in order to become them. i mean, these are remarkable achievements and i think what
7:27 pm
gives life to the project still. so, you know, it's easy to stand here or in italy like italy's premier renzi and say we need more european integration, an intelligence service, a union. it's really appealing idea. lovely. a very good thing. i personally am is a sort of prague gnattic integrationist myself. i believe if we want to preserve the european project under the conditions of globalization and the external shocks we are seeing, financial and refugees and wars and other, we are going to have to have deeper integration, policy and rules. on fiscal policy, energy, managing immigration and refugees and defense and, yes, domestic security and we'll need this in order to survive as a project. but anyone who champions this cause or tells europeans this is what they have to do has to be aware such ideas have fierce
7:28 pm
opponents within europe. for example, in poland or hungary which, you know, didn't escape communism, you know, in their thinking to become part of yet another super national enterprise and some people for good or bad reasons think of as not much different than the warsaw pact. i personally think that's unfair but there's people, i know that, who think that way. and of course, one has to understand that if we do go ahead with this, this could add impetus to the forces that want to break out of the eu, most notably the brits to hold a referendum on eu membership in the summer or who indeed want the eu itself to break up and there's some people who want that, too. there are, in fact, serious discussions under way in some of the old original western european countries, in such as belgium, netherlands,
7:29 pm
luxembourg, some people in germany, some people in the north and the baltic states wondering in case of the brexit is form a smaller tighter unions where cultures and threat perceptions are sufficiently close for us to forge ahead with deeper integration. i worry deeply about this to leave other poorer, more vulnerable countries behind and very difficult for them to catch up. so i'm personally not a big fan of this but this -- this kind of thinking shows you how complicated the questions are. so any politician that wants to promote this thing, deeper cooperation or deeper integrati integration, has to proceed with extreme caution and make that case persuasively. now, a couple of words on europe and its neighborhood. it's also i think self evident that europe can't hope to resolve the issue of islamist terrorism without itself playing a larger role in the stability of north africa and the middle
7:30 pm
east. this is happening already. several european countries are participating in the efforts to deny a foothold in syria and iraq. the jer nans, my own country, have been training and arming the peshmerga in iraq. anyone know the history of the country? that's a startling development. but, you know, this is not the time to engage, obviously, in a comprehensive critique. don't worry. of what's going on in the middle east but i will make two sobering observations. one is that our efforts to hit hard at i.s. and at the same time come to a peaceful settlement in syria, in other words, to take the power off the refugee issue from the place of origin, have forced us, the u.s., but also europe, into bed with extremely problematic partners. saudi arabia, turkey, russia. we are making compromises with some very, very unpleasant
7:31 pm
people and undermining our legitimacy as actors. let there be no mistake. arguably one of the reasons we're now dealing with an increased return of so-called foreign fighters, returning to europe to sow unrest, is the fact that the coalition somewhat successful in denying the attempts to establish itself as a territorial state which is what it needs to lay claim to founding a caliphate. so, what does this all mean for relations between the u.s. and europe? my final question. i have a lot -- i wrote down a lot of won i can points that i think i'm going to spare you aware of the passage of time. i'm going to be trying to -- i'm going to try and be short and succinct. if for any of you who read the dan benjamin piece in politico or otherwise studied this you will be aware that the u.s. has a far more limited and manageable domestic islamist
7:32 pm
problem if at all than europe for the simple reason that american muslims tend to be far better integrated. there has been more work done on doing that. i think there's a greater attempt at building trust between muslim communities and governments and local communities. and there is, of course, also very little truly uncontrolled immigration. so, your problem, our problem is not quite your problem. we don't share the same issues in quite the same way. you're also entitled i think and this is something i have felt for a very long time. you're entitled to ask of us we take care of our own problems more than we have done in the past to stop the frequent riding, to shoulder a greater burden not only for our security and we ought to be grateful for bearing for us in most of the cold war and you have a right to expect us to help you bear the burden of protecting the international liberal orders all
7:33 pm
of our prosperity and peace depends on around the world. that said, and or let me add a final. you also have legitimate security interests elsewhere in the world and an interest in saying, you know, you europeans take care of your own neighborhoods. we have other things to do elsewhere. where for the time being we can't expect you to help us. all of that is fair enough. i also -- i have complete sympathy for ordinary american who is are tired of war and wary of new entanglements. but i would also say and i suspect that's not an offensive proposition to anybody in this room. unless you actually take the line that america should pull out of america entirely and leave us to ourselves, there are potent reasons for america to stay engaged in and with europe because many of our concerns are your concerns, too. stability in the middle east. stability of energy supplies.
7:34 pm
the stability of northern africa. the relationship with russia. what happens to russia. all of these are first orders of strategic concerns for america, of course. our ability to deal with that, our ability to share the burden, our ability to take on a greater responsibility for all of that is not just a strategic interest for us. it's also one of yours. it's where we have significant overlap and, of course, since one of the hosts of this talk is also the american jewish committee, i would add the security of israel is a concern and interest we share. it's a burning concern and one where we would want to work together, of course. i -- for those of you who do business with europe, i don't have to remind you that the economies are integrated through investment, jobs, plants, fact ris, you name it. what happens in europe has an impact on the american economy and, indeed, vice versa. and of course, finally, i mean, i feel it doesn't really need to
7:35 pm
be said but i'll say it anyway. we share important values. there's nobody else that i think shares your values in quite the same way we do and vice versa. i think in many, many ways we're truly bound at the hip and i would say even in a day and age where hard power doesn't go as far as it used to in the world, that having good allies who share the same values and who can handle, resolve problems effectively is a good thing to have, even for the super power america particularly in reasons in direct concern of you and regions of concern for you. so in sum, i think there's a great deal to talk about and cooperate about and to be worried about together. and i think there is a great deal that we can ask you for advice about, that we can use your help for. but to me, one thing is -- one thing is certain. if only if europe resolves its
7:36 pm
own security dilemmas will we ever be able to join the united states in providing security and stability on a more global level. we can use your advice an your help and we need to coordinate with you because so many of our interests overlap. one final point i think is valid for all of us. what the terrorists want more than anything else from us is for us to overreact severely. to in other words act, to deny our own values. to deny the values that inform our constitutional orders. the values that make us legitimate at home and abroad. so that they can use that as an excuse for the next attack. if we betray those values while fighting them, we have already lost the game. thank you very much, and i look forward to your questions. [ applause ] >> we'll take questions from the audience but before we do that, we have a tradition here to give
7:37 pm
a student the first question. and sabrina from parish episcope pass co -- episcopal school. she says there's talk of nato. >> i wonder where that comes from. >> is nato will still important to europe and if so why has it not played a more decisive role? >> thank you. that's actuallily a really good question and we, of course, all know where that particular quote came from. but it's not as though the candidate was the first to question the value of nato or of alliances to america. i mean, there's a whole school of realist thinking in american political thought that goes back to the beginnings of the cold war that questions that. so i think it's legitimate question for you to ask and it's legitimate to expect us to have an answer for it. unfortunately, the first sentence of my answer is, it's
7:38 pm
complicated. so, nato was invented as the military arm of the transatlanti alliance to deal with one threat and one threat only and that was the threat emanating from russia during the cold war to contain it, to deter it. at the time, when security studies what was what i used as a student to comparative overkill studies, you were counting divisions, warheads and tanks and trying to calculate how much you were going to have to need to deter the other one from acting first and taking out key part of your own forces. with the resurgence of agreegs from russia in the last two years, particularly the annexation of crimea and the fomting of war in ukraine and in
7:39 pm
europe, through what the intelligence experts call hybrid warfare, trolling on social immediating, the undermining of the legitimacy of politicians and media, that has acquired both new urgency but a slightly new -- i mean, the emphasis has shifted slightly. you know? we do still need old-fashioned territorial defense. we do still need to be able to deter the russians from ever thinking that they could possibly ever cross the line into nato territory. that is the biggest and fattest red line that there is and there can be absolutely no question that it is nonnoeshtdible which is why and head to summit in warsaw in early july this year there are people planning feverishly to make sure that nato member states preparations are adequately serious and that's conveyed to russia. so, nato still has a purpose
7:40 pm
there. and it's really important. and if nato weren't there, i don't want to think what things would look like and what the political geography of europe would look like. that said, i also think that within that context europeans need to carry more weight. to some degree we are. the jer ngermans saying they're increasing the defense budget by a fairly staggering amount and i'm not going to bore you with details but there's a real deal of force put behind the effort. the question of using nato against terrorists is a little more difficult because as i've tried to explain, the terrorist problem is a domestic problem in europe. so, nato isn't -- is -- i mean, natoddressed at border threats. and terrorists are essentially a threat to deal with for intelligence and police. there's not much that you can do
7:41 pm
with tanks. the other problem is that there have been internal discussions i think in nato between member states about whether it would make sense to use nato as a framework for attacks on isis, to keep it from gaining a foothold in the middle east and essentially terrifying the rest of the region into submission. and i think the coalition of the willing that is currently running that operation is an expression of an unspoken decision to not go down that route because nato's membership is so large. with its -- what is it? 27 member states i think or 28. sorry. this is embarrassing. i think it's 28. it is far easier to marshal support politically for something as obvious as a territorial threat on nato's
7:42 pm
borders than for strikes by fighter planes and special forces and supported by intelligence deep in the middle east. it's -- that is politically in many ways so sensitive. it's also so sensitive for other middle eastern governments i suspect you would not find a great deal in riyadh, doha or tel aviv for a nato operation that went after i.s. so. that was a somewhat won i can explanation for your question but that's -- i mean, the bottom line is there's a really good reason for nato to still expect. it's not reasonable to resolve all security questions you and we share. >> let's take questions from the audience. >> so what is going to happen to all of these refugees that are scattered in so many areas over europe?
7:43 pm
>> well, i sometimes wonder whether i know what the current policy is on that because it's so difficult to understand just what is happening at what level. and i think that's true even in europe. it's also true that a number of european or eu level approaches have simply failed, such as an attempt to -- spearheaded by the germans to get every eu country to agree to take in refugees. where particularly eastern european countries have simply said, no, we're not going to do this and the polish government which had promised to take in i think 600 said, actually, you know what? we're not doing even that. so at any given moment this is a bit of a kaleidoscope. but the -- i think it's going to be a mixture of a number of approaches. of trying to integrate people whom we think we can integrate
7:44 pm
and there are good reasons for that doing that. including demographic. we are trying to close down the illegal trade route. i mean, the trafficking route across the mediterranean which has led to so many losses of human life, trafficedgically, s we'll ask turkey to take back refugees that came illegally and for every refugee that returns, who came on the illegal route, we'll take one who has been -- who escaped to turkey. that's an attempt to dry up the trafficking network. there are so many obstacles to that on so many levels most analysts are saying it's never going to work. i'm hoping it will, actually. i think it's of many plans that i have seen, this is actually an intelligent way of trying to get at this. but the reality is that we are
7:45 pm
only we are going to be able to integrate a small minority of the people that arrive, that a number are going to be sent back. either immediately or after hopefully conditions in their countries of origin become less violent. just by way of example, if that sounds cruel to you, this is what happened after the yugoslav war. hundreds of thousands of refugees, i say this on the day those of you see the news would have seen that one of the orchestraters of the boss kneeian genocide sentenced to 40 years in prison today and i can say deservedly because i covered those -- i covered those hearings and he truly is one of the worst war criminals that europe has seen in a century. but those refugees came to europe in the hundreds of thousands from war torn yugos v yugoslavia in the '90s.
7:46 pm
germany took in 300,000 which by our standards the biggest we had taken in historically at least as refugees and small number of those remained. the largest went back after the dayton agreements, the u.s. broke erged peace accord in 1995 which enabled people to go back. some of them were pushed to go back in all honesty. i accompanied some of them as a reporter. but the reality is also that the dayton peace accords have led to something good. kree yeah sha is one of the parties of war, one of the states that developed in the course of the break-up in the war is a me believe of the european union, the 28th, in fact. and serbia, which also was a major, major war party is well on the way to membership. so, sometimes -- as unlikely as it may seem at the time that one speaks of these things, it is possible for conflicts to end and peace to return.
7:47 pm
and i admit in syria that is more hard to imagine than in many, many other places which is why i suspect that we may have to work a little harder at integrating syrian refugees than any others because the neighboring states of syria, turkey, jordan and lebanon are filled to bursting point. in fact, buckling under the strain and i think we need to take some off those otherwise we'll have additional problems on our hand. this is not resolved in my view pulling up the drawbridges. that's impossible in europe. we have -- our borders too long, complicated, not defensible. >> we have time for three more questions. joe, we'll get you last. right over here and then ayman -- >> seems unfair for the host. >> i have spent a lot of time in europe, both in the military and also in international executive and you said something a while ago which i think is strategically important, that's the matter of shared values. shared values should be looked
7:48 pm
at very carefully, both in europe and in the united states. but going specifically to the problem we're facing today, i am reminded of a very famous meeting that took place shortly after world war ii by chancellor agnaur and i believe president de gaulle at reams. at the end of the conference, the two of them walked to the cathedral hand in hand, knelt at the altar and asked god for forgiveness for all the conflicts between france and germany. that was significant in that it was the beginning of a further conference which called for germans graduating from top schools in germany to spend their last year in france and for french men spending their college years in france to spend their last year in germany so that they could get to know each other for the first time. i for instance in germany and in france and met people in both areas who had never gone outside
7:49 pm
of their own villages. to them the germans -- >> we have just -- >> anyhow, the question i have is this. should not france and germany be the leaders in getting this effort together in europe and moving forward? >> true. well, i can only attest that what you describe is still alive and well, at least in the civil society level today. i'm a beneficiary of that. i grew up speaking german and english because i'm a foreign service brat. german foreign service and my parents thought, by the time i was, you know, ready for elementary school, i would be bored with english so they put me in bilingual french german school in bonn and so i've been going back and forth and the relationship between germany and france on that level is incredibly close. the same thing by the way is true of poland. you know, just by way of
7:50 pm
anecdote, my father was once for a while a junior speech writer for the chancellor. and he was a hero in our household because he went to his knees in warsaw and beg for forgiveness. god knows -- the nazis left paris untouched. but they tried to obliterate warsaw. the stuff we did to the poles and eastern europe is unforgettable. for there -- that's not to say we didn't try to do bad things to the french. anybody who is french, don't think i'm saying that. if you have been to warsaw, that is also a hugely important relationship for us. and the reality is that for many people in europe, including people of your age, people who were in high school or university, the mobility cross border movement, common currency, cross border friendships, going to university
7:51 pm
in different places, working in different places is a reality they take for granted. they don't know how much suffer rg we suffering went into that. they ran europe for a long time after the war, but it's no longer enough to run europe. people -- it's not accepted anymore. there are reasons why it doesn't work that are internal to the relationship on the political level. but frankly, the spanish, the poles, the swedes wouldn't accept that and with good reason. they can expect there to be a more democratic way of decision making in europe. the problem right now that we as germans have and that the german government has is that both the uk and the french are going through inward looking moments. as a result, we are for the first time in our post war history presented with a situation where we have become the de facto motor of europe. and we are both -- people won't
7:52 pm
want us to lead and resent us for it. they both desire us to do this and they fear us. and this is a very difficult thing to square. and i could give you a long list of points where i think we failed and a shorter list of points where i think we have succeeded. i do not think this is tenable in the long run. >> over there. >> in the unlikely event that great britain should decide to withdraw -- in the coming election on june 23rd to withdraw from the european community, what will be the damage to the rest of the members? >> well, the question was, in the unlikely event -- you don't think it's likely the british will isleave. what will be the damage for the european project and to britain, i would add.
7:53 pm
god, you know, i sometimes worry that -- i think in my worst nightmares i wonder whether europe could have a civil war like the americans did. i hope we don't. i hope that's not the price for union. what i do think -- certainly, nobody will go to war against the brits. i don't want this on c-span that i suggested this. but to be serious now, of course, we want the brits in the eu. my god. their sense of global -- of global mission, their understanding of global trade, their understanding of global cultures, their forward leaning foreign and security policy, all of that has been a key part of making europe a foreign and security policy actor taken seriously. their attitude to free trade, all of that are valuable elements in european culture. what i also as a lawyer fear
7:54 pm
that a lot of the advocates don't really understand is how deeply britain has been shaped by and integrated into the european union and what it would mean de facto to rip this organ out of a living or beganism. that would be substantial. i think that most brits or brits who aren't specialists in european law, which i studied once, think that this is unsigning a treaty and then we're free to sail the high seas. that's not the way it works. it's more like a state of the union here leaving the union and striking out on its own. and i suspect that none of you think that that would be a really great idea, unless, of course, it's texas. i understand that. >> during your comments, you referred to that the united states has made some
7:55 pm
compromises. and i think you mentioned three countries, turkey, russia and saudi arabia. >> so have we. not just the u.s. >> i was just wondering, you didn't mention iran. i was wondering, would you include iran? >> where can i run? >> compromises problematic. >> i am obviously aware a meeting hosted, iran will be a topic. will look at the watch. i am on the side that thinks this iran deal is -- while it has a lot of issues is probably the least worst deal that we could have gotten. and i think that the alternative that was being quite seriously mooted in some quarters, which was a pre-emptive strike on iranian nuclear installations, would have been disastrous. but i can assure you that for a while that was a very serious
7:56 pm
matter of debate in foreign policy circles. i have been going to the conference in israel for a number of years. believe me, it was mooted seriously there. it was also something that -- if any of you know the israeli debates, that a lot of israelis didn't feel happy about, including a number of retired chiefs. so it's a matter of debate even in the israeli community. i think that it will not have escaped anybody's notice that european governments are falling over each other to make deals with the iranians. that's not terribly pretty. i still think that iran has a society and an economy that despite their incandescent anti-semitism has a theory -- sorry. has a long historical tradition of tolerating and welcoming
7:57 pm
jews, not of israel, i grant you that. but iranian jews are -- have been another matter. i have a greater hope for iranian society than for saudi society based on a very superficial non-expert sense of what appears to be going on there and what my more expert friends tell me. that may be sort of slim argument for those of you who find the whole idea of the agreement offensive and those of you planning to vote for ted cruz. and whose line on this i know. look, this is like with russia. i think we need to stand up to russia and we need to stand up to them. the conundrum of life in the region is that -- unlike you, we are not on another continent. we have to find a way of protecting israel and of living with iran. we have to find a way of
7:58 pm
protecting ukraine and living with russia. we know where our sympathies lie. but we can't just, you know, up anchor and leave. sadly. so that's the conundrum of making policy in europe. it's sometimes leads to uncomfortable moral compromises. but rest assured that there is a great deal of conversation about these issues with america. and i don't think my -- my sense is that we are pretty much in line on many of the practicalities. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> i'd like to thank you for taking such a challenging topic and doing it with such depth. i know we will be following your writings and your remarks for a long time. >> thank you. >> on behalf of all the members here of the world affairs council and the american jewish committee, i would like to present you with a scarf.
7:59 pm
>> thank you so much. this is lovely. i will say that i just -- i was saying to joe earlier that my only -- the only thing -- the only thing i know about the jewish community in texas is from the literary productions of one kinky freedman which i read while i was going to university at harvard. which i have to say i found completely mind blowing and extremely funny. but i suspect it's not representative or fully up to date. so i'm willing to be informed. thank you. [ applause ] >> let me remind everyone, if you have not registered for our program next tuesday with peter bergen, cnn national security reporter, please do so. thanks so much. have a great afternoon. i am a history buff. i do enjoy seeing the fabric of our country and how things -- just how they work and how they're made. >> i love american history tv.
8:00 pm
presidency,artifacts. >> that's probably something i would really enjoy. >> with american history tv, it gives you that perspective. >> i'm a c-span fan. tonight on c-span3, supreme court nominee merrick garland visits capitol hill to meet with the senate. president obama talks about efforts to stop the tax inversion loophole. then members of a federal digital technology task force on the failures of government information systems. and a former israeli ambassador talks about israel's foreign policy. supreme court nominee merrick garland met with three senators today, including susan collins, one of a few republicans to call for confirmation meetings. after the meeting, senator
8:01 pm
collins spoke to capitol hill reporters. >> you are still here. i'm shocked. does this mean you want me here? okay. i have just concluded a more than hour long meeting with judge garland. it was an excellent meeting that allowed us to explore many of the issues that i would raise with any nominee to the supreme court as well as some of the criticisms that have been levied against him. the meeting left me more convinced than ever that the process should proceed. the next step, in my view, should be public hearings. but for the judiciareudiciary c so the issues we explored in my office can be publically aired. and so that senators can have a
8:02 pm
better opportunity to flesh out all of the issues that we discussed. i would be glad to take any questions anyone might have. >> are you going to approach leader mcconnell about your request and how much influence will you have with him and chairman grassley to relent on the no hearings, no vote? >> first of all, it's my understanding that senator grassley has agreed to meet with judge garland. so let's see if after that meeting senator grassley still holds to the position that there should not be hearings. i believe that the majority leader and senator grassley are very sincere in their belief that the next president should make this decision. i don't happen to agree with that. and i believe that we should follow the normal order and proceed with public hearings. >> senator collins, what about this meeting made you more
8:03 pm
convinced that the process should go forward? is it talking about his qualifications or what? >> i found the judge to be extremely straightforward. he answered all of my questions. it was a lengthy meeting. i brought up issues ranging from second amendment cases to executive overreach to the role of the court to perceptions of the court. and he gave very thorough, impressive responses to all of my questions. >> senator collins -- >> if you had an opportunity to vote for mr. garland, would you consider voting for him or would you vote for him? >> would i in fact -- >> would you vote for him if you had the opportunity ? >> it's premature for me to reach that conclusion. whenever there has been a nominee to the supreme court, i always wait until after the public hearings are held before
8:04 pm
reaching a decision. that's only prudent, because after public hearings, you have a far better sense of the nominee. we covered a lot of ground in our hour-long meeting. but obviously, public hearings with many senators posing questions allows for far more in-depth review of the qualifications, decisions, philosophy of the nominee. >> how disappointed are you at the stance of no hearing stance? >> in my time in the senate, i have always found that whether it's legislation, nominations or treaties, that we are best served by following the regular order that produces better bills, it makes sure that nominees are fully vetted and
8:05 pm
that, to me, is the way that we should proceed. i am not optimistic that i will be changing minds on this issue. but i think if more of my colleagues sit down with judge garland that they are going to be impressed with him. >> senator collins, can i build on that answer by asking you whether as a result of today's meeting you will try to recruit more republican senator support for these meetings? >> i have already spoken out at the republican caucus and expressed my views. so my views are not a secret to my colleagues. i would encourage all of my colleagues to sit down with judge garland. i believe that that's how the process should work and works best when we have these one on one meetings followed by public hearings. >> senator, beyond the principal of regular order, what about the
8:06 pm
strategy -- can you comment on the strategy of mcconnell in terms of how risky it is that hillary clinton could become president and nominate someone much more liberal in talking to him, do you feel like he would be a good choice for republicans if that happens? >> i don't want to comment on the majority leader's strategy. that's really a question that should be directed to him. i will say that from the conversation that i just had, i found that judge garland was -- he has humility about him. he has clearly thought very deeply about the issues confronting the courts. there was not any question that he could not handle. and he has a long record of accomplishment as a jurist on the d.c. circuit for 19 years.
8:07 pm
it would be ironic if the next president happens to be a democrat and chooses someone who is far to judge garland's left. but we really don't know what's going to happen in this very strange political year. so i think what we should do is follow the normal process with the nominee that has been sent up by the president. and that, to me, is the best way to proceed. >> last question. >> you said that -- do you think he could change your colleagues' minds in the meetings and cause them to call for a hearing? >> it's always hazardous to predict what one's colleagues are going to do or how they're going to react. all i can do is report on my meeting. and i found judge garland to be
8:08 pm
well informed, thoughtful, impressive, extraordinarily bright and with a sensitivity that i look for to the appropriate roles that the constitution assigns to the three branchs. thank you. >> thank you. c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, jonathan swann, national political reporter for the hill. he will join us to discuss tuesday's primary results in wisconsin. he will look ahead to this weekend's contest in colorado and wyoming as well as the key race in new york later this month. then kyle pomerlo, economist for tax foundation, a tax research group, he will be on to talk about tax proposals put forth by democrats and republicans running

7 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on