tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN April 22, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EDT
again it still needs insura . again, it still needs insurance protection from the federal government, that's how inherently dangerous it is. the private sector isn't willing to provide the insurance, okay. you need the government with -- to intervene to provide that insurance coverage. >> mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. i would like to recognize, if i were the chair you never would have gotten those extra three minutes and six seconds. it's probably to safe to assume not going to cosponsor this legislation and -- >> i got that figured out. >> any time soon. >> one of our colleagues is not here today, mike -- he use to lead the committee on health education labor pensions for a number of years as he break concern for republican. and somehow or another they managed to get a huge amount done. i use to say to mike, how were
you sort of breach the divide and get much done. he talked about the 80/20 rule, i said what is that, he said ted and i agree on 80% of the stuff and what we decide to focus on the 80% in which we agree. >> good enough. >> i do sponsored legislation that i use to do this on admission reduction and we're making great progress on that. we decide to focus on what we agree. what i want to do is ask this panel and in the spirit of the 80/20 rule is tell us and we'll start with you, what was the 80% where you folks agree or maybe 80%. where is the agreement on this panel, some of the important issues, just take a minute, no more than that. >> i'm not quite sure i understand. >> i'm asking you, where are the points of consensus on this panel, where do you think these guys agree? >> i believe early interaction
is helpful for advanced reactors. i believe a stage approach is also very helpful, i believe some kind of cost share to help with the fees or to change the burden of having that all fees do, they design certification or licensing application maybe not appropriate. >> all right. thank you. >> is it -- thank you, senator. >> i think there is really an important area where we all agree senator marquee laid out some of the challenges faced by nuclear, this is an industry that desperately needs innovation to address those challenges and solar and wind have done really well and benefit from a great deal of innovation in that space. nuclear energy is ready, there are innovators who are ready to take on that invasion challenge and i think we need to have framework to enable that work that we need to do to address those challenges that the
senator outlines. >> thank you. please. >> well, i think we all agree that nuclear power is very important and very necessary for a base load carbon free future for how we generate electricity. i think we also agree that we need a strong effective regulator. i think the industry feels we used earlier the term of gold standard, i think we don't want the nrc to be a weakened regulator, i don't think that's helpful for the industry. we do feel we can have an efficient and strong regulator and regulator that's more transparent from a cost perspective. >> thank you. >> words of consensus here. >> i would hope the consensus is that there needs to be a structured process to ensure that nrc safety reviews of reactors are not spent those resources are actually used to end up with product to generate
electricity and aren't just academic exercises, that's one concern we have with the bill that we hope this panel will all agree with. i also point out, we don't agree with the stage processes that under line the bill unnecessarily will be helpful. >> i just -- i was looking for the agreement. we'll come back to 20% at some other hearing, all right. >> commander mccrane, maybe commander. >> yes, sir. >> thanks for that question. >> navl academy. >> yes, sir. >> favorite rank in the navy. >> thank you. >> let me first agree with my fellow panel member on nrc remaining a strong, credible regulator is essential. and we are committed to our efficiency principle of good regulation and making strides to
become more efficient in this important area. again, the most important thing we do is ensure the safety and security of power plants and materials licensed holders. within that i alluded to the three prong strategy earlier, the multi part strategy, i believe that's in perfect line. nrc needs to improve the infrastructure to make the reactors more efficient, clear and predictable and we're committed to build that framework, to have it in place by 2019. if and/or when an application is submitted for advanced reactors that we can conduct those reviews in a timely, efficient, effective manner. we're on path to do that considering stage reviews, conducting additional out reach with folks at this table as well as other stake holders both domestically and internationally to make sure we're right.
>> i think there's a consensus that we can build -- >> you know, going forward, i do want to also mention, there are small reactors that are contemplated to be built by 2023 as a country we have the capability in building more nuclear reactors by 2025. we can have savings in the building of new reactors if we replicate and learn from experiences that some are -- and i would make a comment, you know, obviously, we need to make sure that the nrc has the resources necessary to protect public health, safety and security. ultimately, it is the nuclear power plants that physically have to defend against the potential isis threats, i would say, for my views as former commissioner, those are the safest industrial facilities in the united states from a
security standpoint and would well be able to defend against the kind of threats we have from that particular adversary. >> let me go back to you and maybe you can give me -- some more time. senator, i didn't take my earlier time, so i'm catching up. >> we'll give you an extra three minutes. >> do you have any more questions senator mark. >> if i may, it will be a comment. do you agree that granting safety exemptions to advance reactor licensees could lead to a net reduction in over all safety? >> yes, just to elaborate on that concern, the industry is pressing for generic decisions to be made on certain policy issues, including the size of emergency planning zones for
advanced reactors, small modular reactors, the level of security that's needed, whether or not the containment needs to be robust against large pressure increases and whether the number of operators needed to staff nuclear reactor complex should be reduced. and they weren't -- these decisions -- they want these decisions to be made based on these expectation or assertion that the advanced reactors are so much safer than current. we don't need these extra level of protection. our concern is that assertion is not always based on full enough body of evidence and experimental data to justify making those decisions. so the net reduction -- so there could be a net reduction safety if exemptions and other relaxations and safety procedures are granted based on a presumption that a reactor is safer without a full examination
of that plan. >> yeah. mr. chairman, laced throughout the bill as it's drafted is an assumption that there are inherent safety features built into advanced design for reactors that make it safer, automatically. and that's a nice assumption to make. it's a nice assertion to make, but that's going to be tested. we have to make sure that any one additional potentially successful safety feature interacts with the totality with the rest of the nuclear power plant. in terms we're not assuming the plant is safe. we don't know that. it's an assumption built into the language of the bill. and so this just goes to the question and there's an 8020 question, you know, what are the biggest issues that we have to deal with here. and 80% of it is just going to still remain, is there enough money for the nrc to do their
job, have enough personnel asking all the right questions having the right supervision and the fees are going to be reduced. are these new technologies actually inherently safer, we have to have the capacity to be able to determine that. will the public be able to ask questions? the industry has always tried to get the public out, you know, but after three mile and after any number of other incidents, the people don't trust the experts any more, they want to be able to ask questions, too. you know, these are going into their neighborhoods, you can't wall out, you know, whole areas of the country from these questions. so these have always been the historically big questions, always been the historically big questions. from my perspective public input is vital, that the new reactor should not be exempted from historic safety requirements and that the nrc budget should not be capped.
these are the central areas, the big questions that we're going to have to answer in this legislation and it's going to keep coming back to the same questions we've been asking for the last seven years. the questions don't change. and we'll be the ones that have to decide. i thank you mr. chairman for having this very important hearing. we know one thing that these power plants now, 20, 30, 40 years old and to say that you need less health inspector, you've got to go to the doctor more the older you get. there are more things that can go wrong the older you get and to reduce the budget of these aging power plants and densely populated areas all across the country and say at the same time we're going to have lower numbers of personnel, lower amount of fees and revenues that are going in. it's totally contrary to how we think about it. there are issues in nuclear power plants that are the same
as cholesterol going through the veins of older americans, okay. they cause issues that require a lot of additional attention and to say that that's not accurate for technology as it is for humans just relies the reality of what we have learned about power plants in our country. i thank you for the chairman for the additional time to question. >> thank you, senator mark, i'll take my last round right now and then you'll be able to finish up, senator harper. and i just want to make the comment that this legislation does not make assumptions, it sets forward a new process, a more transparent and i think effective process for the decisions you're talking about to be made. it definitely does not give any exceptions to any technology. it puts the nrc directly in charge of improving and strengthening our safety. but i'd actually just like to use my time to ask mr. mayor field and mrs. to respond to
that very issue. >> yeah, i think that the nrc is going to be able to continue to meet its mission of appropriately looking at these technologies and ensuring that they are assured that they are safe. i think it will be able to do so in a way which is risk informed, such that it will be able to judge, is there a need for a large emergency planning zone where the amount of radiation that is in that reactors may be much less. >> this legislation does not choose technologies. >> it does not. >> it does not define standards. >> it does not. it does not. so those tools remain with the nrc. the other point i would make, it's not as if these technologies are entirely new, indeed, most of the advanced reactor technologies that are being brought forward today were originally developed by the atomic commission in doe during the 1950s and 1960s, there's significant amount of research amount of available to
demonstrate the safety of these reactors today and justify the nrc and making changes that will appropriately taylor their regulations for advanced reactor technology fully consistent with public safety. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. >> a couple of comments, clearly, the industry and the folks representing advanced reactors, none of us are interested in reducing safety margins. the conversation and the structure in this bill that provides a licensing process informs that licensing process that these safety margins might in fact be met in a new different way with this innovative technology and that needs to be acknowledged through the licensing process. we're not in any way lowering the bar and lowering the standard, we're meeting and maybe exceeding the standard just in a new way. the other item i wanted to mention, and i appreciate senator is not here, the mandatory hearings that were mentioned earlier, these are uncontested hearings, that means the public does not participate. so these hearings that are
referenced in this bill, in fact, are held between the commission and the staff on construction permit and combined license applications. it's not cutting the public out, if you will, of any conversation. we're very interested in the public being involved in dialogue. >> if there's any public interest, there can be a bill allows for a hearing to be held in that matter. >> absolutely. there's many ways that the public can request a hearing on application be involved. this doesn't take away any of the public engagement involvement. i wanted to make clear, i feel like a different impression, in fact, was left with the committee. >> thank you, very much. senator. >> thank you mr. chairman, you're doing a great job, by the way. i look forward to the day where you chair us more often. >> thank you for that too. >> of course, i could be the chairman. >> we may have to negotiate, in the meantime i will be your wing man and happily. i've got an old car, i stepped
down as governor and became a senator, i went out with my oldest son chris who was then 12 to buy a new car and we drove porsches, corvettes, and we bought a minivan. he said it was bait and switch. i was driving back to delaware, i usually take the train, we drove back in my 2001 chrysler town and country minivan. along the way to dom ter crossed 119,000. things needed to be faxed we had it warranted to pay for that stuff. for a long period, we almost spent no money on it, i use to get it washed every two weeks and change the oil. in recent years, i spent more and more money on my minivan. we got all these old nuclear power plants out there, when they first came on line there were some problems with them and we dealt with that and we
continued to monitor them as time goes by, your body gets old you have to spend more money. we spend more money on my minivan. i will say this, about a month ago, got in after a meeting, it wouldn't start, the battery -- the guy came from aaa he said, you need a new battery. i said, okay. he said, we have a two year and a six year, which would you prefer, i said the six year. some people say that is optimistic. i'm mr. glass half full. i'm trying to figure out, if i'm a utility and i'm paying 90% of the cost running nrc and i receive have fewer reactors because we're shutting down reactors, fewer reactors to monitor, we're not adding, it's not a huge increase. but why do you guys continue -- why does the nrc continue to need all this money. all right, i think you knocked
your budget down by $5 million, that's not very much in whole scheme of thing, i'm trying to figure it out. in terms of cost, the power plants and you ear monitoring them and that's not cheap. you've got, as i understand, the closures, you've got sometimes like if i went to our ford explode about a year or two ago and we're going to retire it and decommission it and they just -- in one minute they squashed my car my exploder and that was it. they gave me a check. we don't do it. it doesn't work that way with this new power plants and it's an expensive power plant. i guess that's a cost for you. all these recommendations that we're implementing and making some progress there, we had a hearing a week or two ago we're not there yet. you've got all of these people with brilliant ideas, i hope, that are saying, look at my idea. take some money to pay for all of this.
so after actually thinking about it a little bit, my sense is that what you're asking for in the budget is not unreasonable, not unreasonable, but -- this guy right here and always interested how we get better results for less money. so i will say you guys have to sharpen your pencils a little bit more and if you can expect us continue to pay through the nos. react to that for me, if you will. >> senator thank you for that. and appreciate the analogy to your minivan, of course. >> don't ever tell my wife. don't ever tell my wife i bought a six year battery. >> nuclear power plant is much more complex. to your point, the nrc is reducing its cost. we're committed to do so. if you look at the trend from 2014, again, we're reducing our cost, our fiscal '17 budget request is another 20 million below what our fiscal '16 request is and commission has accepted. a number of the recommendations
from our project baselining which will enable us to reduce our fiscal '17 appropriation request by at least another 31 million. significant reductions and we're still not done. lowering our cost will translate to reduced fees, both the user fees and annual fees to this industry that we regulate. so while there may be a delay or reaction, if you would, there is a commitment to reducing our fees and it is tangible and i believe the industry will recognize those reduced cost. >> thank you. one more last quick question. talking about work force and that sort of thing, is the budget is reduced in the future to reflect or reduce the workload. can we take a minute to talk about the ramification of cutting nuclear engineers today which might arguably be needed for tomorrow's nuclear advanced nuclear application. >> thank you. one of the more significant challenges and i think any
organization experiences, one that's human capital, dependent upon people to get work done, and that's certainly nrc, is to manage cost reductions, reductions in staffing in a way that you retain your core capability to fulfill your mission. ours is safety and security. we're working very closely as a leadership team, using a strategic work force plan to make sure that the work that we have now, the work that we predict in the future we'll have the people with the right place with the right skills. again, that's what our commitment is and we're working very closely to get that done, including nuclear engineers who are just one capability, one competence that we need within the nrc. >> all right. thanks. >> you're great. >> senator, can i make a comment about plan aging. >> really short because we're short on time. >> they have sought and received an extension to run for 60s
years that has allowed the utilities to make sure those plants are up to date and fully meet the safety's requirement. so like your minivan. they have been making a lot of investments along the way to make sure those are useful, similar to the way u.s. air force with the 1950s air b-52s are in the right shape in their mission, nuclear power plants are doing the same. >> i want to make sure i get my six years worth out of that battery i just bought. >> for the record that will be 83. >> thank you very much. >> 11 under review and six expected to come in. >> thank you. >> so the nrc is a bit more successful than that was -- >> thank you for that clarification, again, thank you all for being with us today and let's continue to look at that 8 # 0% and -- 80% and see if we can build on that. >> thank you senator. and i appreciate your constant focus on trying to find solutions and get to that 80%, i
agree with it. >> i indicated i would give you a chance, but i think you've got your chance to make your comments, do you feel you have not fully had that opportunity yet. >> i think we've heard enough from him. >> go ahead. >> very short time to explain why we think some of the language in the bill could potentially be interpreted as a reduction and safety standards. and that primarily has to do with the language risk of foreign performanced based. and my experience with the nrc and attempts to implement what it calls risk informed regulation often implies trying to justify what's called a reduction of unnecessary conservism. and unnecessary conservetism means different things to different people. my concern is that this bill will put pressure on the nrc to develop processes which will essentially force them to accept
lesser standards for the experimental data and analytical work that's needed to support advanced reactor application. particular, if you have designs that are just based on paper studies, the risk analyses do not have operational data to support the -- to actually validate those studies. and so there's a concern that over reliance on -- or over confidence on paper studies that are validated to meet, let's say, less restrictive safety criteria could lead to over all reduction in safety. that's our concern. >> on the question of innovation that came up, mr. merry field pointed out many of the reactor types that have been -- that are currently being considered were developed by the atomic energy commission decades ago. we agree with that. actually, there's less invasion
today than meets the eye. and i would submit that that argument could also be used to say at the nrc has considerable expertise and experience in those reactor types, and so the -- we think the concern that the nrc is not ready to license nonreactors is somewhat exaggerated for that very reason. for the most part, these are old technologies. >> if i may respond just quickly, when i was on the commission, we did create about 5 million in funding to better understand reactors, but salt reactors and some of the others that are being proposed are significantly different than what the nrc has experienced they do need additional funding and resources to bridge that gap. >> thank you. and i know that we've opened up some issues here that everybody would like to jump into more and i would too but i believe we just had a vote called or will shortly have a vote call.
and so we're going to have to wrap this up. i do want to remind all of the witnesses that senator whitehead has asked to each respond white house, to ask you each to respond in writing to this question about the safety implications of the legislation on the nrc's capacity to protect safety and its regulatory structure and i would encourage you to do that and respond to these issues. each of the senators may have further questions an it's customary for them to submit those in writing. since this legislative hearing -- this is a legislative hearing and we expect committee action on senate bills 2795 next week. i'm asking our city staff to provide those questions to provide those bills to the majority office by 4:00 p.m. tomorrow on friday and i'm asking the witnesses to be sure to respond in writing by 5:00 p.m. on april 25th, monday april 25th. i know that's short time. we'll be moving ahead.
if you can respond to those questions quickly, we would appreciate it. all questions for the record regarding the general topic of advanced reactors will be due within the usual two-week deadline. i want to thank you all for coming and sharing your views and this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator. [inaudible conversations]
understand suicide and trying to prevent suicide so that these things don't erupt into a terrible tragedy. >> on sunday afternoon at 1:30 eastern book tv will air become to back programs of recently announced winners. tj styles this year's history recipient recalls the life of george custer. general nonfiction winner, joby war wick takes a look at black flags. go to book tv.org for the complete weekend schedule. right now through conversation with retired general james about security and military challenges in the middle east. he's speaking at the center for strategic and international studies. oversees u.s. military operations in the middle east. >> so -- i will get the announcement out to you when that happens and i hope you'll
join us for that, as well. you know, you're all here because you know him for me to take keeping you from hearing -- hearing him. one of the most remarkable authors i've had the privilege of working with. he was executive secretary at the time i was comptroller. the executive secretary, that's the limb f-- it's hugely under appreciated and really is that glu th glue that holds us together so we don't look as dumb as we are when we have to get together. jim was the architect and master of keeping it working both for secretary perry and for secretary cohen. we t got to meet at that stage and then we've had many opportunities since then. just delighted and honored that he's here. he's on his way to the gulf and
so he gave us the privilege of stopping off just for a little bit of time to talk with us, to try to understand what is going on. i must say, it feels very jittery to me to have kind of a certain -- we've got this new parallelism between iran and syria, iran and saudi arabia, long-standing allies that are all of a sudden being put side by side with countries that have been opponents for quite a while. this is a very curious time. i think we'll need to listen carefully to a man as wise as jim matis to understand how should we be thinking about this. could i ask you with your warm applause thank you to jim matis for him coming here with us today. [ applause ] thank you, dr. henry. and to be here with you today
ladies and gentlemen with two deputies, former deputy of defense in the room, obviously, can be a little bit intimidating and marines were taught to be intimidated about nothing. we'll go through this. thank you. okay. rebecca is in charge here, as you all just noticed. but we're talking about the mideast at an inflection point and i would just point out right now that among the many challenges mideast faces, i think iran is actually foremost and yet at the same time it appears here in washington that we've forgotten how to keep certain issues foremost, you remember a few months ago you couldn't pick up the newspaper without iran in big letters above the fold and today it's like it just disappeared off the headlines. and you have to wonder how that happens. and i think that it's important, i come from uber on the west coast, here we have csis, two
think tanks that are quite capable of keeping focused on issues and coming up with good policy recommendations. we only pray the rest of us outside this town that someone good is listening here to the good recommendations that come out of here. i am routinely copying down thing that csis puts out and finding a lot of value in my own thinking and shifting my own thinking, csis doesn't just make assertions, it also includes discussions where you actually come out with something that's perhaps a little better each time you go through a cycle. i want to speak to the challenge of iran and i'm going to put right up front what i hope to convince you of here today, if you need to be convinced of it. the ie rainian regime, in my mind, the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the middle east. for all of isis and aqi -- al
qaeda's mention everywhere right now, they're an immediate threat, they're serious, certainly sere ri and what it's spewing out is a very serious threat. the palestine israel issue continues to bubble, but nothing, i believe, is as serious in the long term enduring ramifications in turns of stability and prosperity and some hope for a better future for the young people out there in iran. just a recall, let's go back to 1979 and the revolution -- committee revolution comes in and installs islamic regime and slogan "death to america" is basically their call sign, as we would put it in the military. the take over of our embassy, they hold the diplomats hostage for over a year, and somewhere it's argued by different folks with varying levels of, i would say, knowledge, somewhere between 79 and 83 iran declares
war on the united states for all intensive purposes. it become very obvious in 1983 when they blew up the embassy n in -- they killed hundreds and it continues on. in 1984 during president reagan's administer, secretary of state schultz declares iran a state upon sorry of terrorism. it's interesting without going through all the data that supports that since that in 2012 the current administration state department notes that lebanese, hezbollah and iran have achieved level of operations not seen since the 1990s, that's the current assessment of iran's support of terrorism, first established in our government in 1984 as a matter of fact. we fast forward, now, last july,
2015 in vienna, china, france, germany, the russian federation and united kingdom and united statesed hold out the jpsoa or joint plan of action, otherwise known as the iran agreement. what i want to just talk about for a few minutes here is the purpose of that agreement. i want to characterize iranian behavior since it went into effect and talk just a little about why we entered into it and about the way ahead. the purpose of the agreement, i think, is pretty well understood although at times i think i could have made a better argument for it. it goes back to 2002 when the u.s. administration determined that iran's nuclear weapons program, not nuclear program, for all their denial and deseept, it's a nuclear weapon's program, they decided back in the bush administration that that program took precedences that iran could develop a
nuclear weapon. this strategic goal is simple. it's how to make the world safer by preventing delaying that program. on iran and the goal was put it very bluntly, to force iran to come to the negotiating table and to internet and -- and come under an internationally supervised nonmilitary nuclear program. in 2013, president rohani elected, supposedly a moderate i read. i'm hard pressed to use that word i think it lacks definition when you talk about people approved to run for office by the supreme leader in iran. basically, his government, the government negotiated the interim nuclear agreement and jpcoa is the result and former implementation abegan amid january this year. they removed the iranian, sent
it out of the country, we all know that. at the same time besides what iran was doing, united nations rescinded seven prior security council resolutions that imposed economic sanctions. now, supposedly their removal was subject to immediate reimposition in the event and i quote here, significant nonperformance by iran. so the relief was given on those unscr's based on a pause in one program, but the money they were given could go into a number of other programs. but now we find why, in the region from tel aviv. we have a. israeli view of this agreement and american view. because iran has five military threats, one is the latent threat of the nuclear weapons program, the other one is you all remember we're going to put
minds in the water. we have cruise missiles. the next ballistic missile threat which they've been very obvious about what they're doing at this time and in improving the ballistic capability. there's the cyber threat. if we talked three shs four, five years ago i understand it's not a big threat. today i would liken it to children, juggling lightbulbs, one of these times they'll do something really serious and force a lot of foreign leaders to have to take it into account. then there's one that we call qmse and only the military can come up with something like that, okay, could force, jerusalem force, in other words, moys, there are surrogates and proxies you know them as lebanese, hezbollah and others. it was summed up in state departments 2012 report that i just mentioned to you earlier,
that they've actually increased a temple of operations. so when we relieved them of the u.n. security council resolution economic sanctions in a number of areas, that money was not going to stop going to the nuclear weapons program, they made very clear they would continue their foreign policy. so the american administration's argument was iranian nuke was such a dangerous game changer we had to subordinate everything else to delay on nuclear program. they have not changed the way they go about business on their side. the israeli tourists who are murdered years ago, they attempted to kill ambassador less than two miles from where we're sitting right now. they would have pulled it off but for one mistake. they made one mistake they messed it up. so how do we delay it. it came down to two options, it was the military option, probably could have delayed it
for a year or two before we would have to take more military action, or there was the diplomatic option where they were aiming to delay it much longer. we're talking about a decade or more. without the pause and despite iran's denial and deception, it was clear that iran could get a weapon, this was what our intelligence agency believed and that would jeopardize our security interest, it would risk the global economic black male, if they were to interrupt the oil lines of communication there on the gulf and it would endanger the survival of allies, both israeli and partners, so our objective was that we had to stop this. the previous uncr rescinded also were stated in there that they couldn't test ballistic missiles in the past, okay. under the new wording in a late concession in the negotiation for the iran agreement, what we said was they could not test ballistic missiles developed
expressly designed expressly to carry nuclear weapons quite simple, they could say they're not designed to carry nuclear weapons so we can now test them. so we were caught on that one. those ballistic missile tests that occurred some time ago were characteristic of iran's response to the agreement. iran has shutdown its plutonium reactor. i think they poured cement in the core. they did send it out 25,000 pounds. it remains the belligerent actor in the middle east. as the commander with countries like syria, lebanon, iraq, pakistan, afghanistan, yemen, every morning i woke up and the first three questions i had were -- had to do with iran and iran and iran. their consistent behavior since 1979 through today shows no sign of changing. in fact, i think the state
department is characterized it well when they said, they have actually picked up their tempo of operations. the ballistic missile test being one. they have also conducted cyber attacks on the united states resulting in seven u.s. indictments. they have doubled down on support to the murderist regime. they're very much aware, they're keenly aware that if assad falls that's the biggest strategic set back for the mula's there in iran. they've increased the flow of arms, explosive into iran and arms into yemen. in the last three months, february, march, april, the french navy, the australian navy and the u.s. navy has all seized armed shipments each month. if anyone has ever flown over that area in the world and you see the hundreds of vessels on any given day at sea carrying commerce, smugglers, smuggling is legitimate out in that part of the world as you know and
others going on. the idea that we're catching all the armed shipment, that's a flight of fantasy, we're not catching them all and there's nobody in the intelligent services or the navy that i think would say so. the republican guard commanders is openly boasted of the control over four capitals, beirut, demas kus, baghdad and sanan -- oops on sanaa saudi arabia and em rites led -- hopefully the u.n. brokered negotiation in kuwait started today. we'll put an end to that. but also ensure that iran is kept out of there and the point coming into the red sea. jordan have been specifically targeted publicly targeted by the force commander, our old friend who is openly calling for the annexation and by the way, to many in many is not just the
island. it's also the eastern province of saudi arabia. the republican guard general proposes israel off the map, sounds familiar, it is because of what they've been saying for a good many decades and the supreme leader, i think summed it very well when he says those that say the future lies in negotiation not in missiles are either ignorant or traders. that is the supreme leader. i think we can take him at his word. that's what he believes. when president obama trying to keep this effort alive, when president obama characterized iran regimes responses to the jcpoa as respecting the letter but violating the spirit of the agreement, the chief of staff, the ie rainian armed forces, general -- said we studied the details of the nuclear agreement "and we don't have any information about its spirit. that's about as abrupt slap in
the face to any effort on our side to try to be fair brokers on this as you can come up and i will say, i can go on, by the way, i don't want to bore you here, that ends, i think for now, any moderate ie rainian response. so where is the u.s. right now. the u.s. is in a strategy free mode, washington is confused, i believe, and not invested in stratd strategy. we're shifting our focus from one region. we remember the pacific that left our friend in the middle east and europe very concerned that kind of word is seldom used in strategy. it might make good operational thinking but i don't think it's a good idea on a strategic level for a country with worldwide responsibilities. you remember we are very concerned about crimea, we're not concerned about it any more. it's the eastern basin and eastern ukraine. we have been attacking isis and iraq a little bit, then we shifted to syria. then we're gradual es scalation
and then it was separately islands and the -- i'm not trying to get off track here. but my point is that we've got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time and it appears that we're going with a hit and miss approach that has us constantly shooting behind the duct. so the jcpoa coming back to the arm's agreement. that's all it was. it was design today increase stability and decrease proliferation to improve our global standing in the process. but the out come is an increase in a regional arms race, saudi arabia recently passed russia as the third largest spender on military weapons in the world. our secretary of defense was sent out some called it the secretary of reassurance right after the agreement was signed to the israeli and capitals in order to make certain they knew we were willing to sell them more weapons because we recognized the increased danger as the money that had been
released by the u.n.s.c.r. and the lack of economic sanctions, that money was now going to go in, maybe not to one program, at least not for a year or two, the nuclear one, but there was nothing to indicate that the money was not going to continue to flow to the other threats. the impression in the region was that the u.s. was withdrawing. the best case -- i've -- i was just out in the region a couple of weeks ago, i head back over tomorrow. the best case, ladies and gentlemen, in the mind of many of many of the people in the region is that the u.s. is simply indifferent to the challenge of dealing with iran if you live next door to it. the worst case is, in some people's minds, that we have made common cause with iran, russia and assad and that, you'll have to keep leading down. but in a region that's rief with conspiracy it's something that has to be addressed and right up front. that's not our intent. isis right now, by the way, i
consider isis nothing more excuse for iran to continue its mischief. iran is not an enemy of isis. they have a lot to gain from the turmoil in the region that isis creates and i would just point out one question for you to look into, what is the one country in the middle east that has not been attacked by isis? one. and it's iran. now, there's -- that is more than just happenstance i'm sure. i think, too, that with the u.s. congress, there was a sense in the u.s. in what is u.s. was doing where the congress was pretty much absent for all of their saying they didn't like the agreement and taking steps to demonstrate that, they have done nothing to strengthen any stand-by economic sanctions that should iran cheat that we could put in place. they have not touched that. maybe because they don't believe europe would be with us that that should not prevent the
congress from passing a spirit of the congress saying here's where we stand. they have not increased the intelligence budget, collect on iran, something which i think is necessary for us to do. and we have not seen any authorization for the use of military force against isis which would, again, demonstrate american stability and focus on the region if they don't like the one that the president sent them there's nothing wrong with that. they can turn around and pass a umf they believe in their shaert the right thing to do and show the unity of the congress. in fact, they appear to be more willing to sit outside and criticize the president than to put themselves on the line and say, here's where we stand. the bottom line on the american situation, though, i think is quite clear that the next president is going to inherit a mess. probably the most diplomatic word to use for it. so you got to ask why would the u.s. take such a gamble with this agreement? number one, the president could
be proven right. the mullahs may want it both ways and what do i mean by both ways? if you look at the control north korea has over their people, they would like to be north korea. looking at the economic vitality of the south has that can help keep the mullahs in power. they want it that way. there's a built-in contradiction of opening the country to the world and same time trying to keep close control and so they may lose that and over the midterm to longer term then you could see iran moving more into the actions of a responsible nation and not just a revolutionary cause as is written into the constitution. but is revealed in the recent interview of jeff goldberg president obama is a very different sort of president seeing the actions in a different light and certainly some people in the administration have a remarkable ability to ab solve themselves of responsibility for anything.
i would just say that for a sitting u.s. president to see our allies as free loaders is nuts. and you know what? what's happening, i was telling the doctor upstairs and working out one morning on my machine and i saw this goldberg article come across. i saw his -- print button and got back and working out a little bit. went back and going through the e-mails and pulled it off the printer and reading real -- you know, scan before you do something with a highlighter and all. and at first i thought dog gone it there's the administrative incompetence to secretary perry and secretary cohen long ago. i somehow got something that trump said stuck inside something that president obama said. i thought, how did i do that? i went back through it. it wasn't trump but the president saying the allies free riders and that sort of thing. i would just tell you that i'm going to be surprised if prime minister cameron ever speak to our president again but i would also say i'm going to be surprised if president obama's
proven right in his trying to make this effort work. with the regime that's holding hostage the iranian people. and i think that somehow people -- we all live on hope. we're all men and women, we all hope for something better tomorrow, better for our children. but i think that -- thinking our hoping that iran is on the cusp of a modern responsibility nation is a bridge too far and if nothing else, we need to have an insurance policy here. but why would we sign up? another reason, mabel it's the best we could get. i was in a meeting late one night with one of our partners in the gulf and when it was done he asked for the staffs to leave and he and i sitting alone and he said to me, ladies and gentlemen, he said, it must be a very long table. i'm looking wondering what he's talking about here. he said, well, general, i keep hearing that the military option is on the table. thises a couple years before the
agreement. and he said, it must be a very long table because i'm squinting and couldn't see it on the table. i got my binoculars out and must be a very long table an i cannot see the military option. he was joshing me. i knew him well enough for many, many years in the region that we could be that open with one another. but the bottom line is i think from washington to brussels, from london to teheran, from abu dhabi to tel aviv, the idea for u.s. to go in a fight in the middle east at this point in time was probably just not in the cards. and so, maybe just if we we were in that kind of a situation maybe this agreement was the best we could come up with. a third possible reason is maybe the folks in the american administration think that the moderates can win. i think you have to be careful on that. it goes back to not the economic self interest can grow strong enough but remember at the same time the security forces are
going to be getting stronger, as well, with the infusion of money. and they have proven themselves quite capable, the coercive forces, of keeping the people in line there using beatings, imprisonment, rape and other things that we have witnessed them using here in the recent past a. eni think, too, the time for it to take the economic policies to take root and to turn over, kind of a new mood in teheran amongst the leaders may take quite sometime. so again, why do we need an insurance policy to get through this period? i think that the imperfect yet intrusive u.n. iaea, it is not perfect but intrusive and read the agreement twice. 159 pages long. 30 or some pages just names of
people pulled off the sanction list, not all that intimidating, actually. but if you read through that, it is very clearly drawn up at the expectation that iran will cheat. i mean, when you read this, that's the sense you get. from the other nations that forced those issues. so if nothing else, we'll have better targeti ining data shoul come to a fight some point in the future. but i think that in terms of strengthening america's global standing among european and middle eastern nations alike the sense is that america becomes somewhat irrelevant in the middle east and we certainly have the least influence in 40 years. so on a way ahead, we are going do have to recognize we have an imperfect arms control agreement. second, that what we achieved was a nuclear pause, not a nuclear halt. wu're going to have to plan for the worst. the old military adage that hope for the best but plan for the
worst comes to baear and light f the other four threats and a 12-year delay of the nuclear program each is going to have to be addressed in action and in planning. in other words, if we're going to have to do something about missile defense, we will have to do something about cyber monitoring that cost millions of dollars, tens of millions of dollars, maybe hundreds of millions 0 of dollars and do something about their maritime efforts and the u.s. 5th fleet is critical to that and certainly going to have to counter the terrorist activities. we do have sometime. i think to get our act together. i think iran has a lot to gain for 18 months to 2 years playing it by the rules and not taking too many chances if any significant chances as they try to get the economic benefits. at one point, i thought secretary of treasury lew was pretty firm that there would be no access to the american financial institutions and now i hear that's not as firm perhaps
and so i don't know where that stands. obviously that would have a big impact on slowing iran's benefiting economically if we were to hold the line on that. there is nothing by the way i've reread it. nothing in the agreement that forces us to do that. that, again, is the spirit of the agreement. why, if they're unwilling to live up to spirit of the agreement and go by the letter i think we should take counsel of that and be slow to give something for nothing based on an alleged spirit we cannot see from teheran. i think, too, we have to be careful of red lines in the middle east. if we give one in the future, we are going to have to make good on it. and so, let's be careful what we're going to do and ensure that we keep israel and its overmatched situation that in the region we work with our partners and the gcc. whether it be on ballistic missile defense integration, which secretary clinton tried very hard to get initiated some
years ago. certainly, to work on the other efforts and the navy should be maintained at a very robust treng in that region because navies can be very stabilizing in what they're doing. and they carry fewer of the penalties of having ground forces stationed out there which is challenging in itself. we're going to have to work better with our allies, too. we can't have the leaders of the partners picking up newspapers and reading about what it is -- what we have been doing diplomatically in private talks with their adversaries and actually our adversaries, as well. we would never do that. if it was in europe i don't think we would do that with japan or south korea when dealing with north korea. and yet our partners out in the middle east too often have had to pick up the newspaper to find out we just done something else that put them in their idea -- in their mind in a more difficult situation. i think one point i want to
make, though, is there's no going back. absent a real violation, i mean, a clear and present violation that was enough to stimulate the europeans to action, as well, i don't think that we can take advantage of some new president's republican or democrat and say, well, we are not going to live up to our word on this agreement. i believe we would be alone if we did and unilateral economic sanctions from us would not have anywhere near the impact of an allied approach to this. i think, too, we are going to have to hold at risk the nuclear program in the future. in other words, make plans now of what we do if in fact they restart it. and again, go back to congress, say, we need an oversight committee. it should have people from the intelligence committee, the foreign affairs committee and armed services committee together and it should be
something that maintains oversight of this agreement and keeps the issue high and under the oversight of the legislative branch to make certain that the executive branch is, in fact, maintaining the priority it deserves. and i think, too, we have to broaden and deepen our links to the anti-iran spy agencies in the region with all of our friends and make certain we're all working together to keep an eye on what it's up to. cyber monitoring center. i think could catch iran redheaded because, again, they're not that good at it and we can catch them when they try to mess around in the cyber arena. we have caught them before. i think, too, radio farsi has to be dusted off. the iranian people need the know up front every day we have no argument with you. our concern with the mullahs, the revolutionary cause that doesn't have your best interest in place. if you go back to radio free europe and the cold war it was very, very effective and if we
don't know how to take our own side in the fight. radio, twitter, facebook and others right now. i think in our future talks with iran they should be like the talks with the u.s.s.r. before gorbachev. in other words, keep our allies fully informed. recognize iran is not a nation state. it is devoted to mayhem. and also, make certain that we don't end up with real high expectations from any talks with iran. just keep it a little modest there. it's going to be a -- the middle east, the future's going to be ghastly. it is not going to be pleasant for any of us and we will have to return to a strategic view such as we had years ago. because we know that vacuums left in the middle east seem to be filled by either terrorists or by iran or their surrogates or by russia. recognize that the violent
terrorist two different brands, the sunni is the al qaeda -- okay. that's one that's clear and present and fit him from afghanistan, pakistan to where the french are treating them roughly down in mali. i mean, a lot of effort to cussed on them but so far to date the iranian brands have basically been left untouched by counter terrorism effort. so in the future, just to recognize that in order to restore deterrence, we have to show capability, capacity and resolve. this is an international arms control and not a very good one and although there's advantages, recognize the advantages, as well. but it's not a friendship treaty. some people have tried to make it a friendship treaty say it's worthless. well, as a friendship treaty it would be worthless but it's an arms control agreement that fell short of a lot of hopes but it's not completely without some merit. we -- we have allies out there. we allies who want to rally the
our side. don't forget sitting with king of jordan one day. we were working on his -- his refugee problem with the syrian refugees. an i've seen refugees all around the world from the southeast asia to africa to the dalmatian coast. i have never seen -- i've bun up in the refugee camps. never seen refugees as traumatized as those coming out of syria. i was told by our ambassador to work with the king on what we could do to help in the camps. reduce the chance of cholera and that sort of stuff. i'd known him for a long time. we were talking just the tw of us. we got done and i asked him, so, what's it like to be a king? just kind of interested in it. don't draw anything from that, by the way. and he said, well, you know, working on this, working on that. by the way, the french and british had to pull out of afghanistan. i said, yes, your majesty,
domestic political searches. they couldn't maintain the campaign. he said there will be a jordanian soldier in afghanistan until the last american soldier comes home. ladies and gentlemen, you cannot buy allies like that. you cannot buy them. and if we're going to want allies the stand by us in our time of trouble, then we will have to stand by them when they face trouble, as well. when iran says, jordan, you're next, we should take them at their word. don't patronize iran saying they don't mean that. yes, in fact, they mean what they say. the next stop by the way that trip was the country that we in central command call little sparta because they stand by us thick or thin, desert shield, somalia, dalmatian coast, bosnia. always been there. the united arab emirates. i was talking to the crown prince. he said, i understand the french and british are pulling out. what will you do? i said, i have to ask for people
to back fill. we have to -- we're deep in the fight right now. and he said, well, he said, to reduce your demand on the american forces, i'll send six more fighters many, another reinforced special forces company of 150 special forces well trained fully kited out ready to go fight under your command. again, ladies and gentlemen, you can't find allies like that if you don't stand by them in their difficulties. so, they may not be perfect. if we're waiting for perfect allies, we are awfully alone in this world and for what i seen in our own country, we are not perfect ourselves. figure a way to work together. let me stop there and open time for questions here. >> thank you. >> thank you very much for that presentation. i'm john ultraman, the chair in global security and strategy and the director of the middle east program. i have a few questions before we
go to the audience. which is already chomping at the bit. one question, i mean, you talked about iran's asymmetric threats in the region, its activities supporting terrorism, supporting hostile states. was it a mistake to make a nuclear agreement and seem to take the focus off the other activities in the region? because as you know, many of our gulf allies say that nuclear issue isn't our issue as a former foreign minister in the gulf told me, if somebody already has a gun pointed at your head it doesn't matter if they have a cannon pointed at your back. was the whole approach to put so much effort on the nuclear program and nonproliferation a mistake for u.s. interests in the middle east? >> the short answer is, no, it was not a mistake n. this town, we seem to have forgotten the
tremendous effort that went into nuclear nonproliferation in decades past. and to our -- i'm sure it's going to be to our regret an your children's regret we did not maintain that focus. so i think in the case of iran it was not a mistake to engage on the nuclear issue, even if we were to give it primacy. that i think is debatable but even there i wouldn't say it's a mistake. the mistake would be to implement it in such a way that we appear to take our eye off the other balls. that's the mistake. that's a choice. a then's a choice we did not have to make and so there's a way to balance this in terms of creating more stability in the region. unfortunately, we probably have not executed in that manner yet. i mean, it's still subject to a choice every day by our government. >> about eight years ago a presidential candidate named hillary clinton suggested extending a nuclear umbrella to gcc allies against iran.
do you think that's something we should consider and under what circumstance -- if so, under what circumstances should we pursue it? >> yeah. you know, it's interesting. i work with george schultz out at hoover and he calls us -- walks in every morning we're out there an he calls us younger officers in and only at hoover am i one of the younger officers. and he talks about what it was like coming home from world war ii as a marine in the pacific and that generation looking around and 50, 60, 70 million dead. economic prizatiivation all ove world. they say we're part of this world whether we like it or not. no more going back, pulling out on the league of nations. they create the united nations to talk. they create brentenwood so we don't have economic conditions going to drive us into depression and war again. they -- three years after that
terrible war against the nazis and the fanatic pacific war, the marshal plan has passed and we are actually helping our former foes recover. i mean, could you do that today? i don't know. but most importantly, the united states makes what the australian ambassador to washington told me one time here a couple of years ago. the single most self sacrificial act in the history of the world. i'm trying to think what is that? you have to look at it through a non-american's eyes. he said, you could have turned your back on europe after two world wars and said we're going with the middle east and asia, south america. we're done with you guys. instead, the american presidents truman, eisenhower, democrat and republican, say, and the congress, working together in a nonpartisan way, we're going to commit 100 million dead americans to keep american
europe safe. today, could we do that again over the middle east? i don't know that we have the political unity in our own country to stand up for something like that in the same way. so i'll leave the answer to the questions on to the audience. >> along those lines, the number one oil producer in the world now is united states. >> oil producer. >> a number of people say that allows us to change the way we look at the world and the middle east. do you think there's anything about the way the u.s. looks to the world and thinks about global security, is there anything that's changed because our oil production has made us into a global oil superpower? >> i would just give three imperatives for us to stay engaged in the middle east. the first one is oil. we may not be tied to middle east oil so much but believe me from washington to new york, san francisco to miami, our economy is tied to the world.
and if the world's economy was to see the oil coming out of the gulf disrupted, 40% of the globally traded oil of this globally traded commodity we would get a terrible impact, not only on the world economy but it would immediately impact here at home. so, there's an economic reason to stay engaged out there. there's also a diplomatic reason and if we want the nations with us on so many other issues we can't ignore them when they've got serious issues. a third would be security. are we really so long from 9/11 that we've forgotten what it was like to look over at the pentagon with smoke pouring out of it? i'd suggest we're not that far removed from it. no nation on its own provides security in this world. no nation in a globalized world, actually ever, but certainly not today can do this on its own. so, if we're going to have them stand by us then we are going to try to stop maniacs from attacks us again like on 9/11, then we'd
better be working with the folks in the region and look out for our own interests, beyond the moral to the strategic again. >> one last question before i go to the audience. we'll get your questions ready. as you know, everybody in washington's talking about budget constraints. >> yeah. >> is there anything we're doing in the middle east now in the security field that you think we can afford not to do anymore? you've talked a lot about plussing up. building relationships. is there anything we can stop doing that we're doing now? >> you know, worth more than ten battleships or five armored divisions is sense of american political resolve and i think the more resolution we sew, the more unity we show with our allies certainly we have to do some ourselves. even farm boy or farm girl knows if you want pump water out of a water pump you have to put some priming water in to get an air
lock to bring it up. the idea that we can tell others, here, you do all the fighting and we are going to sit back and be up above and give you intelligence, we'll fly overhead with restrictive rules of engagement and all and you do all the dirty work, probably isn't going to work. so i think that we could probably get more from our allies instead of grudgingly or belatedly doing things that need to be done and being more forthcoming on it and holding constant high level discussions, remember. any coalition against the kind of enemy we are up against takes two pieces. it's got a political piece and a military. the political is dominant. the military piece is subordinate and hopefully acting in accord dance with the political agreement and right now i think lacking this kind of political coherence at the top we're having to do some things that we probably wouldn't have to do if we could show more firmness and more conviction in what we're doing. all the troops on the ground are
just a front for what stands behind them. and without a unified congress, a unified american position with our allies that is a much weaker front than it would be with that sort of support. >> is there a syria -- i mean, a way to apply that to the strategy in syria right now? >> yes. i think get the political coalition put together up front and make clear where we stand on it. >> okay. >> that doesn't mean 100,000 troops for 10 years or doing nothing. it means using strategy and figuring out how to go forward. >> thank you. sir, you, on the right. >> thank you very much. and thank you, general, for your remarks. i'm john gizzi of news max and news max television. i'll -- i guess i'll point to the elephant in the room. general, you have been mentioned so often very much like your fellow scholar soldier james gavin was a generation ago to run for president either as a republican or as an independent.
have you given any thought to it? and how serious are the rumors about it? >> no. i haven't given any thought to it. >> how serious are the rumors? >> that's -- i think people like you know that better than i do. >> sir? over here. just on the -- in the blue shirt, yeah. >> okay. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, general mat tis. it's second time i'm listening to you. first time that you were at heritage. i'm a doctor. there's a lot of criticism inside usa as well as there's criticism about this nuclear deal, even inside iraq. inside iran. and could you tell us, what was the compulsion on the parties which would negotiating that they had to come up with a comprehensive deal with so many
loophole faens the deal collapses what happens next? >> if the deal collapses, what happens next? >> i think if the deal were to collapse today it would depend on whether or not the economic sanctions could be reinstituted in a compelling manner. the amount of effort that the state department put into those many years ago was extraordinary. we're now at a point where people are clamoring to get into the iranian market. if you were unable to reimpose the economic sanctions, then i think you would be basically on a road to perdition because the lines of effort inside teheran are so contrary to the best interests of israel and of the arab states around it that it
would lead to a collision. and how you would define a collision, whether it would be open war or a much higher level of terrorism, whether it would be economic black aides, i ian, as you know saudi arabia recently said no ship that's made a port of call in the last three ports in iran can carry any saudi oil. so there are a number of things going on right now that might give us a little hint of what would be coming but i think we would be in unchartered territory at that point with probably only bad things to happen. >> all the way in the back next to the light stand. >> mohammed. would you please tell us something about the military to military relationship with egypt? and do you recommend the resumption of the bright star military exercise? >> what was the last -- >> relations with egypt and would you recommend resumption
of the bright star exercise. >> yeah. egypt is a very, very interesting case. one third of the arab people's live there. it has been an ally. it broke with the soviet union. it's been an ally since. it's fought alongside us in "desert storm." it's maintained the security, the suez canal. you put all this together and israel's gone through very tough times and they did have a democratically elected president, morsi. >> egypt. >> excuse me. egypt had a democratically elected president morsi. he was basically thrown out i believe by a public impeachment that the military then shouldered him aside. and then president al sisi came in. obviously, we're concerned about any political system has to have a counterwi ee eer weight and w
not there's political dissent. but that said, right now, the only way to support egypt's maturation as a country with civil society, with the support and we should have bright star reinstituted and perhaps not with tank battles but counter terrorism type training. that sort of thing. but i think that when a president comes out two years in a row at alazar university calling for revolution in rhetoric in order to reduce the amount of negatives about the muslim religion, i think it's time for us to support him and take our own side in this. i'm a strong believer that egypt is a critical nation in terms of the future for stability in the middle east. >> thank you. right here on the aisle. >> there's an echo up here, you
know. >> general mattis, i'm colonel moragi. i had an honor to serve under you and i want to ask you a question, sir. given what you mentioned about iran and influence and four capitals and given our engagement in iraq, how do you see us walking the rope between supporting the iraqi government with the significant iranian influence in lieu of more fighting against isis, sir? >> yeah. it's a tough -- it's a very tough situation. when i was once complaining about my job as i did routinely in the last job, as a matter of fact, i once was asked by the vice president jokingly, you know why you got the job, jim? he said because we couldn't find anyone else dumb enough to take it. i was complaining about it one time and a former prime minister in europe said, hey, jim, if you can't ride two horses in the circus get out of the middle
east circus. welcome to reality. one of my last visits to iraq i heard the same message from a number of people in the government in the shia-led government and it was help us avoid the sufficient kaocating f iran. so i think there is a way to work with iraq where we do not decide to just cast iraq off because we've all read about it enough, heard about it enough. it's enough complexity. just be done with it. i think in this case what we're doing right now in iraq while it may not be sufficient is certainly on the right path. >> i saw a hand all the way on the aisle at the end. yes, ma'am. >> thank you. lee an dhra bernstein, sputnik international news. question about u.s. presence in the region. you seem to indicate that more
of a naval presence would be the way to go to reassure allies. i'd just like you to elaborate on that and when you look at increasing a u.s. presence, whether at sea or on the ground, combined with more u.s. weapons going to allies in the region, where do you see that heading? what's the -- really, what's the worst possible outcome? >> yeah. let me also at least address the best possible outcome and i can do it with an example. several years ago i was reading again all the reports coming out of teheran calling for mining the gulf. remember those days? going to put mines and you remember all that word about we have coastal defense cruise missiles. boarding the ships. mostly about mining. i'm floiing become an pick up the phone and called a fleet
chander and i said u.s. 5th fleet, i want you to put together an international anti-mine exercise. not an anti-iran exercise. so here's where i want to point out why a maritime strategy is a way to actually stabilize the area, not bring it closer to crisis. if you have forward deployed forces. if you don't have those and you have to send them in there, that can be destabilizing. but we have the 5th fleet out there. i thought we'd get the usual specifics. france, britain, italy, united arab emirates, saudi arabia, bahrain, kuwait, you know, something like this. in fact, the first year we ran it, we got 29 nations. 29 nations included nations like estonia, canada, singapore, japan, gentleman beauty. not all bellicose nations. two limits, political and military. every one of those navies, as a matter of fact, i was looking
for antarctica for a penguin to there and say i have the continents aligned here. basically all the navies worked together under the command and the coordination of the only navy in the world that could have drawn all those nations together. and they all worked together practicing clearing points from the persian gulf. arab gulf. end result was that after a couple of years, about a year later, they realized i think in teheran they were creating an international coalition against them. how much have you heard in the last year, ma'am, about mining the waters out of teheran? no. i haven't either. and by the way, it's gone up as high as 39 nations now involved in the annual international anti-mine exercise. i think there's a way that -- to answer your question, just use that example and then you can apply it wherever so long as what we're doing is trying to stabilize the situation. >> we have time for one more
question. yes, sir. right there. yep. >> yeah. mark thompson, "time" magazine. general, it's been more than three months since iran seized ten of our sailors and held them overnight. a lot of americans have forgotten, the navy's report still is not finished. but the sailors came home safe. iran, of course, used it for propaganda purposes. so who won in that clash? >> well, i don't know. i don't know. i don't think it's clear either way and i think the question's valid one because out of such small incidents comes an image of either stability or
instability of compatibility for to be calling on, for example, our partners in the region to find a way to share the neighborhood with iran when the united states state department declared iran a state supporter of terrorism. i think it put you in a very difficult position when an incident like this happens to determine just where we stood at that moment and where we stand as a result of what came out of that moment. i think it would be just speculative on my part but obviously it was not something that i could just chalk up to a win on the united states side. >> thank you very much. please join me in thanking general mattis and wishing him safe travels. [ applause ]
ahead of next week's primaries donald trump has a rally in harrington, delaware, today. you can watch it live 4:00 p.m. eastern on companion network c-span. live at 7:30 eastern c-span2, hillary clinton with a rally in donemore, pennsylvania. saturday night at 10:00 eastern, we'll take a look some of the speeches by president obama during his two terms at
the white house correspondents' dinner, one of washington's premier evens. this year will mark his final attendance at the dinner. >> turns out jeb bush identified himself as hispanic in 2009. which, you know what? look. i understand. it's an innocent mistake. reminds me of what i identified myself as american back in 1961. >> join us saturday night at 10:00 eastern. and be sure to tune in for the live coverage of this year's white house correspondents' dinner saturday april 30th on c-span. recent lay hearing on how isis profiting from its theft and looting of antiquities in historical artifacts. pennsylvania congressman fitzpatrick chaired this hearing. it's about two hours.
>> the task force to investigate terrorism financing will come to order. the title of today's task force hearing is preventing cultural jenno sid, countering the plunder and sale of priceless cultural antiquities by isis. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recess at any time and without objection all members will have five legislative days to submit materials to the chair for inclusion into the record. without objection, members of the full committee not members of the task force may participate in today's hearing for the purpose of making an opening statement and questioning the witnesses. the chair now recognizes himself for three minutes for an opening statement. i want to everyone for joining us today for the eighth hearing of the house financial services committee task force to investigate terrorism financing. and i would like to thank
chairman henserling and waters and my colleagues for their unwavering support as we continue to investigate the threat of terror finance. since it has surfaced, isis is remains substantially different than many terror organizations in the ability to self-finance due to the diversified revenue streams, pulling in funds from ransoms to oil production. one of the most discussed methods is the exploitation of art and antiquities from syria and iraq. while not as lucrative as oil or extortion, iraqi officials believe that i.s. could be generated $100 million from the sale and trafficking of antiquities alone. recent events have attributed this illicit practice exclusively to i.s. but make no mistake the plunder of art has regularly been utilized by transnational groups operating around the world. it is estimated that the profit of the traffic and sale of the cultural properties may range
between 3.4 billion and $6.3 billion annually. this crime has and will continue to be a global problem which requires a coordinated international effort to combat. furthermore, this issue hits close to home. the fbi has credible reports that u.s. persons have been offered cultural property that has appeared to have been removed from syria. the united states must do its part in curbing the demand for the cultural and artistic pieces by taking a another look at customer due diligence and improving coordination with our international partners. this is a revenue stream exploited by illicit actors around the world, and it cannot continue unabated. i believe that today's hearing with this expert panel of witnesses will help illustrate the scale and severity of this issue, as well as offer measures to best combat and diminish this despicable practice. at this time i would like to recognize this task force ranking member, my colleague and mr. lynch from massachusetts for four minutes.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. i also want to thank chairman hencerling and ranking member waters as well as vice chairman pittinger for holding today's hearing and would you like to welcome and thank our distinguished panel of experts this morning for helping our task force with this important work. today's hearing will focus on how the united states can counter the plunder and sale of priceless culture antiquities by the islamic state and others. the relevant themes of today's hearing, while focused on the antiquities, are analogous to what we have seen throughout our task force hearings, especially those concerns related to trade-based money laundering. to cut off the flow of financing to terrorist organizations, we need better information sharing on all fronts and this includes improvements in information sharing between government agencies, between countries and with the private sector. we also need to be able to track the true owners of property, whether that property is an ancient artifact or a high-rise
apartment building. we need to cut off trade routes that terrorist organizations use to funnel elicit goods. the same strategies we need to come bas antiquities trafficking can be used in a broader strategy to combat isis. for example, in a previous hearing on trade based money laundering, this task force discussed the routes isis used. we're learning that many of these routes run through turkey and jordan. prepared remarks for today's hearing, yaya fanusie indicated isis is using similar routes. in addition, he notes that lebanon as well as the balkan route are being used to smuggle antiquities and other illicit commodities. that's ample opportunity to
exploit the routes with low risk of being caught. we need to do a better job policing the routes so isis no longer smuggle antiquities and other contraband out of the territory it controls. furtser more, curtail the laundering of antiquities out of the isis controlled territory so these goods cannot be integrated in legitimate markets. as lawrence shin dale and dr. patty gerstenblith say, the ability to profit from the sale of antiquities because of a problem of trade-based money laundering in the art industry. we need to bring together greater rules of transparency to this industry, so that antiquities trafficking is no longer profitable for terrorist organizations. and as dr. gerstenblith suggests, to track the art in the united states, require export declarations for art worth more than $10,000. and also, consider a tariff on
imports of these items. i look forward to hearing the testimony from our witnesses, so we can further examine the issue in greater detail and yield back the balance of my time. >> i now recognize for an opening statement, the vice chairman of the task force mr. pittener of north carolina for two minutes. >> thank you. i would like to also thank ranlging member lynch, hencerling and waters and professional staff for an esteemed group of witnesses we have here today. over the last year, we have gained important insight into the threats facing our nation. how they're funded, and the many obstacles we faced to intercepting these funds. recently i had the opportunity to travel to south america to witness firsthand the problems they face with regard to elicit financing operations in the emerging presence of iran, less boll la and other terror financers. while the problems are great, i was inspired by the dedicated
officials in argentina, panama, colombia and paraguay. we must continue working with these countries and sharing resources and expertise to ensure they do not become overwell by organizations. today, we address isis financing through illegal antic pi sales. isis remains the world's most dominant and bare baric terror organization. according to our government's national security strategy, it is the objective of the united states to degrade, and defeat isis. while this administration's overall strategy remains questionable, both parties can agree that preventing the flow of dollars to fund isis and its caliphate must remain a top priority of our government. with hearing congress is signaling the importance of identifying and combatting each element of financing. exportion, cross border cash smuggling, trade-based money
laundering or antiquities sales. thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this important hearing. such a pertinent issue and i yield back. >> now recognize the gentle lady of arizona for one minute. >> thank you, chairman and ranking member. terrorism is a threat to the country's security and global stability. terrorist networks constantly develop new ways to finance their deadly operations and threaten america. the iz lawmakeric state is one of the world's most violent and well financed terrorist group. in the last year, with greater pressure, i.s. ratcheted up the extraction and sale of antiquities. in 2015 i.s. generated millions of dollars. funds to raise from looting as well as through imposing taxes and requiring permits for criminal smugglers who operate in i.s. controlled territory. the impact of these actions goes beyond the financing of terrorism. the destruction or sale of these antiquities is also part of
i.s.'s world view in which anything outside of its perverse and disgusting vision of islam must be destroyed. loss of these treasures is a tragedy. to keep our country safe we must be one step ahead of i.s. i appreciate hearing from our witnesses about addressing this threat and defeating i.s. i yield back. >> we now welcome our witnesses. mr. robert edsel is first witness today. the author of several nonfiction backs including "rescuing davinci," "the monuments men." "nazi thieves" and as well as "saving italy." he's co-producer of the film "the rape of europe pa." most famously, academy award winner george clooney directed and starred in a film based on "the monuments men" which was released on february 7, 2014.
raised in dallas, texas, he graduated from st. marks school of texas and southern med dysuniversity. he's awarded the tx it is medal of arts award, the president's called to service award, hope for humanity award, presented by the dallas holocaust museum. in 2014 presented with a records of achievement award from the foundation for the national archives which recognizes an individual whose work fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the united states through the use of original records. he serves as trustee of the national world war museum in new orleans. yay fanusie at the center of sanctions and elicit finance at the foundation for defense of democracies. he spent seven years as an economic an counter terrorism analyst in the cia. where he regularly briefed white house level policy make ergs, u.s. military personnel and federal law enforcement. after government service, yaya worked in a small consulting firm leading a team of analysts
on a recovery effort involving a global corruption ring. he then operated his own consulting practice, training firms, specializing in analysis and business due diligence. yaya received an m.a. in international affairs from the columbia university's school of international and public affairs and a b.a. in economics from uc berkeley. dr. patty gerstenblith is a profession at the bepaul university of school of law. a distinguished research professor and director of its center for art, museum and cultural heritage law. she's founding president of the lawyers committee for cult call heritage preservation, dreblt tore of the u.s. committee of blue shield and senior advise tore the aba's art and cultural law committee. in 2011 she was apointed by president obama to serve as the chair of the president's cultural property advisory committee in the u.s. department of state. previously, she was editor and
chief of the international journal of cultural property. the doctor received the bachelor of gilmore college and j.d. from northwestern university. dr. amr al azm is an associate professor of history and anthropology in ohio he was educated in the uk, reading archaeology of western at the university college london and graduated with a docket ral degree in 1991. he was the director of scientific and concentration lab or the irs at the general department of antiquities and museums in syria and taught at the university of did mass kus until 2006. from 2006 until 2009 viz iting assistant professor at bring ham young university. he is an active member of the syrian opposition and serves on the executive committee of the day after project.
mr. shil dell, chairman of the u.s. new york head quartered corporation, a division of the nasdaq traded ar go group, international insurance company. title insurance corporation orlando leader of ownership to nonreal estate assets from multiple sectors. he regularly advises, speaks and writhes internationally on the legal title risks in the global art and collectibles market for a range of stake holders and participants. he holds a bachelors from the university of wisconsin madison and a doctorate of emory university school of law. the witnesses will now be recognized for five minutes each to give an oral presentation of your written remarks. without objection, the witnesses' written statements will be made part of the record following the oral remarks. once each of the witnesses have finished presenting their testimony, the members of the task force will have five minutes within which to ask questions each. on your table there are three
lights. green, yellow and red. yellow means you have one minute remaining. red means your time is up so the nike ro phone is sensitive. we'd did the witnesses to make sure that you please speaking directly into it. and with that, mr. edsel, you're recognized for five minutes. thank you, sir. >> can you turn the microphone on, please? >> i'd like to extend my thanks to chairman fitzpatrick, ranking member lynch and the members and staff of the task force for including me in these important deliberations. evidence that isis sanctioned the lotting and sale of antiquities to generate revenue is a game changer. it compels us to think about the responsibility of the art trade and collectors and the role of the federal government differently than ever before. we cannot say we weren't warned as recently as 19 l 1 monuments man mason hammond only to see
duty in italy and germany and an important adviser to general eisenhower staff urged all those willing to listen, quote, planners for future hostilities tend to think tend to think in terms of the last conflict. any consideration of the different ways in which the first and second world wars were fought. if this generation wishes to leave to its children the cultural treasures it's enjoyed, such planning should be encouraged. events in iraq in 2003 and most recently syria, have painfully demonstrated he was right. the monuments men saw firsthand the destruction of cherished religious treasures is the starter gun that proceeds again side in the human suffering that follows. it proved true in nazi germany, in al qaeda controlled areas of afghanistan and now in isis administered portions of syria and iraq.
ignoring this early warning sign denies our nation the chance to act. we can only react. organizations that are charged with preserving our cultural heritage are relegated to bearing witness to its destruction. steps we as a nation have taken to protect our homeland have not kept pace with developments in the art world, nowhere near. the global explosion of wealth these past 20 years is creating more buyers with greater resources chasing prized objects. consider that a painting by picasso that sold for less than $200,000 in 1956 recently sold for 180 million. a sculpture for 140 million. a drawing by rapheal for 50 million. the sums are staggering and yet regulatory authorities have
not applied the same controls in the art market. this creates a weakness that isis and others, tax cheats, those in possession of paintings can exploit. the very profitability of art and antiques, sometimes their relatively small size facilitate movement. just last week, the panama papers revealed a nazi looted painting by modigliani was among thousands of works of art stored in special tax zones known as freeports. this art nether world provides privacy for the honest, the lack of transparency cloaks tax cheats thieves and those converting cultural treasures to
cash to fund terrorism. the art trade is a largely self-regulated antiquated business model. until the advent of the internet in the late 1990s, few in the art world paid attention to provinens, a fancy word for who owned something in the past, unless it enhanced the value of the object. looted art traded hands, some of it openly, although there has been improvement and the scrutiny of objects sold at public auction. there remains a high degree of willful ignorance by some collectors eager to add to their collections. worse still is their lack of knowledge about the history of what they already own. some don't want to know. who can be against infusing the opaque system of the art world with increased transparency. tax cheats, those who possess stolen works of art. smugglers, terrorism networks, privacy alone cannot be an
argument for doing nothing when the stakes for the common good are so high. in closing, the policy of the western allies and the work of the monuments men establish the high bar for cultural treasures. it was a source of pride for general eisenhower who said, it is our privilege to pass on the coming centuries, treasuries of past ages. what will be our legacy. >> you're now recognized for five minutes. >> members of the task force. on behalf of the foundation for defense of democracies, thank you for the opportunity to testify. >> before delving into the issue of islamic state antiquities trafficking, it's important to collar phi the groups actions. one of isis' aims is to win over locals who may be on the fence
to submitting to jihadist rule. although exactly how much isis earns from looting artifacts is unknown. this appears to be part of isis' economic strategy. not just for funding the group itself, but for creating ways to bring funds to its population. isis has been dubbed the world's richest terrorist army,s legal antiquities trade gives the group significant strategic advantage against existing counter finance efforts. history enthusiasts and art aficionados in the united states and europe. representatives of the societies which isis has pledged to destroy. this poses several challenges to policy makers, there may be opportunities for us as well. isis has access to roughly 5,000
sites and probably has earned several millions of dollars from antiquities trafficking. some of the looting appears to be conducted by economically devastated environment where isis taxes and confiscates other earnings and possessions. this illegal trade of artifacts generally doesn't risk provoking outside military attacks. it's not likely that the excavation sites are going to be bombed or provoking local rebellion. the pipelines that move antiquities to market turkey and lebanon are the best documented among these. european border stays play an important role. these pipelines are well known for other illicit commodities, but less understood in the context of antiquities. greece and bulgaria is a known path for migrants and probably plays a role in selling antiquities.
transactions are proven difficult to track through traditional customs enforcement and financial intelligence the challenges are great. the following are some recommendations that may help some policy makers address the trade. even a handful of strategic terror designations imposed on the worst offenders would likely have a chilling effect on sellers and buyers, given the financial risks and fines associated with sanctions. to making antiquities looting law enforcement priority. it's unclear who in the u.s. government is responsible for countering antiquities trafficking. reform can come about declaring this a national security priority. the u.s. government must designate a lead organization
and provide adequate authorization and resources. three, incorporating cultural property crime awareness into the intelligence community and u.s. special forces training. threat finances already emphasize importance taught at the joint special operations university, such courses do not appear to highlight antiquities. despite their role in terror finance. antiquities trafficking should be included in future course work. expanding registries of art and antiquities. they're commonplace, new technologies make it possible for art and artifacts to be tagged and tracked in realtime. over time, by tagging a large number of objects with unique identifiers, a better chain of custody could be created. these recommendations are just a few of the steps that will undoubtedly be a long complex and multifaceted battle. law enforcement and intelligence officials should pay close attention. not just because they need to know precisely how much money
isis brings in, what is important is the trade itself reveals something about islamic state's infrastructure, it's links with partners and middlemen. all of this is critical to understanding how the u.s. and its allies may defeat the group. thank you. >> chairman fitzpatrick, ranking member lynch, and members of the task force. thank you for this opportunity to speak with you. as was mentioned, i surfaced the chair. i am speaking to you today in my personal capacity and on behalf of the u.s. committee of the blue shield. blue shield is the cultural equivalent of the red cross, and is used to mark protected cultural sites. the creation of no strike lists. of cultural sites.
we lease with the department of defense. syria and northern iraq are rich in historic remains stretching over many millennia. this is where the king ruled at the beginning of the second millennia -- and where the hebrew profit jonah preached repentance 1,000 years later. historic remains represent the greeks, romans, business an teens and many faiths including judaism, christianity and islam. minority groups as well. syria is home to six world heritage sites. when an archeological site is looted. the artifacts are destroyed. thereby permanently preventing us from fully understanding and reconstructing our past. unfortunately, the looting of archeological sites is big