tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN May 12, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
the white house want to see doing business with iran? >> what the white house wants is to fulfill our responsibility to international financial institutions. to describe to them exactly what is allowed and what's not allowed when it comes to doing business with iran. that's something that has been part of not just the secretary's job distribution, but secretary kerry has gone to great lengths to describe the rules of the road to international financial intrusions as well. there a couple of things that are relevant to point out. one of the things that these large heads of banks say is that the united states has been forceful in enforcing the sanctions which is why we want to make sure we are on the right side of the law here. that's validation of what we said here many times. we take sanctions seriously and
there institutions that have had to pay big fines for circomventing the sanctions. the second thing i would say is that iran has expressed concerns about the fact that they are not getting the kind of engagement with the international business community that they would like to see. i think our response is simply that there is more than iran can do to encourage that investment because that is looking for a stable business climate in which we can do business. if you are routinely testing missiles, that is not going to inspire the confidence that this is a safe place to do business. that's not going to be persuasive to business leaders that iran is a good place to make an investment.
there is more than iran can do. >> you provide letters assuring these firms that they won't be prosecuted if they go ahead and do business. that's the level of insurance they want. >> i guess i refer you to the state or pressury department or department of justice in terms of what assurances can be provided to the companies about what is appropriate and what's not when it comes to doing business with iran. the you have the secretary of treasury and secretary of state sitting down with business leaders from around the world. i think that is an indication we take seriously the responsibility we have to understand what the rules are. they should know we are going to enforce them. they should know what is allowable under the law that is on the books. that's what both secretary kerry
and secretary lew had. >> they adjusted the file on monday against the lgbt law that is separate from the measure. do you have an update on that review? >> as we have discussed, this is a review that we were working on together as they evaluate what impact this law would have on programs that are funded by the federal government. the white house has been a part of that review and department of justice has been a part of that review. all that was has been separate from the department of justice's conclusion that they needed to take action on the civil rights act of 1964. what has been concluded as a result of that effort is that the administration will not take action to withhold funding while this enforcement is playing out in the court.
these are two separate actions that the government is taking. one questioning and evaluating this policy question about what they have on funding and separately, the department of justice is engaged in a process of enforcing the civil rights act of 1964. while they are two separate processes, the decision on the part of the department of justice to move forward with enforcement means that while the process plays out, the administration will not be taking action to withhold funds. >> the state of north carolina said they will not do the funding? >> there has been regular communication from a variety of agencies, but i can't speak to the details of any of those conversations. >> when i listen to the review of the law, at least four agencies are reviewing the religious freedom law for sdr
discrimination. has there been no federal funds as a result of that statute? >> i will check with my colleagues about the status of that. i'm not aware that the department of justice has notified the state of mississippi about enforcement actions as a result of that law at this point. i will see if i can get you specific guidance on that. >> and the critics who would say that by saying you are not going to withhold funding until the issue is resolved in the courts, the administration is not putting its full force and support of equal rights. >> i think the president has been outspoken in making clear that this is a question of values and when it comes to
fighting for justice and fairness and against discrimination, that is something he is committed to and he made it a priority. that has been clear. as it relates to the more narrow question about the need, the attorney general has been quite clear about the priorities for enforcement she laid out and what impact that has on people in north carolina. it might be feeling like the state government at least is not sufficiently committed to ensure equal treatment under the law. i found those words to be quite powerful and as a native north carolinian, she had a unique
perspective. they will take a minute to review her remarks. francesca. >> this meeting between paul ryan and donald trump and the chaos we have seen playing out. yesterday, the dnc chair told reporters that democrats after their primary would have the same thing happened. they would be unified. many supporters of senator sanders said they won't vote for hillary clinton if she is the nominee and at the same time they are saying that he is saying if she comes out on top, it's not his responsibility to get his supporters behind her. the president as the highest ranking democrat is the leader of the democratic party. i wonder what the president will do to bring the democratic party together when his party's primary ends here very soon. >> the president will be making
a case not just to democrats, but independents and republicans across the country that they should support the candidate who understands the progress we made over the last seven or eight years. the president has been focused on implementing a strategy in the face of extreme republican obstruction to focus on making economic investments that expand opportunity for the middle class. he is using diplomacy and every step of the way, republicans have tried to block it. i think that gives you a good sense of where the priorities are not just of this president, but of the democratic party. he will make that case not just to democratic voters, but voters across the country. because the question facing voters will be whether or not they support a candidate who is committed to building on the progress or there is more work
to be done. there is progress we need to make. we will not be committed to tearing down. >> what will the president do to keep the candidates together and the two kids and the supporters together. today they had this meeting on capitol hill and would the president be willing to have it here for the two candidates and that sort of thing? >> perhaps. when it comes to analyzing the
challenges facing the republican party. i would observe that it's not just a matter of timing that made it more complicated for them to try to paper over the breech or breeches in that party. i feel confident that the president will have a strong argument to make in the fall about who he believes should succeed him in the oval office. the president will root that argument in the need to build on the progress we made thus far. and the president believes there is more we can do. there is more we can do to make our tax code fairer. there is more we can do to strengthen our alliances and advance our interests around the world. the president is committed to
supporting a presidential candidate that is interested in building on that progress. cheryl? >> back to china and steel. today the bipartisan leaders of the steel caucus requested a meeting for the president to talk about illegal steel imports. would the president be willing to meet with them? >> i haven't seen that request. we will take a look at it. the fact that the president spent time on the phone with the prime minister of australia talking about this issue should be a clear indication to you and the members of the bipartisan steel caucus that this is an issue that the president believes this is an important priority for our country and economy. >> and also they wanted to discuss whether china should be recognized as having market economy status as the administration. >> that's a discussion they should have with the commerce department. the commerce department is the who considers that
determination. okay. >> pam? >> on the nordic summit, i know you mentioned climate change. is there anything concrete that you hope will come out of it and this is part of the anti-isil coalition. are they doing enough or would the president like to see them doing more. are they spending enough on the military and doing enough in the refugee crisis? >> i don't want to talk about concrete announcements a day before the leaders arrive so we can talk about that more tomorrow. as it relates to the counter efforts, we certainly spend a lot of time talking to our coalition partners about additional steps they can take to enhance our efforts to degrade and destroy isil. so i'm confident that will be part of the discussion. we know that a number of these countries have generously taken in refugees that are fleeing violence in the middle east.
i would anticipate they would have the impact that had on the politics. also to encourage them as they offer up that much-needed humanitarian relief. >> when it comes to climate change, the united states and the nordic countries have been able to work on in a variety of ways. stay tuned tomorrow for any announcements. mike? >> will the president be meeting with the victims in vietnam? >> i can tell you this afternoon susan rice is meeting with a group of veteran service organizations, leaders of the veterans organizations to talk about the trip to vietnam and japan and she will make clear that in addition discussing some
of the issues that i outlined with margaret related to tpp and the economic relationship with asia, that she will spend time talking with getting a full accounting of pows and mias in vietnam. this is a priority for many organizations and certainly a priority for the commander in chief. as it relates to the agent orange situation, i am not aware that the president has any specific meetings planned with victims of agent orange. obviously our veterans organizations that advocate for america's veterans are concerned about this issue. the president is making sure that our veterans get the benefits they deserve. >> not surprisingly you mentioned tpp is one of the
subjects. this will be the first trip to asia since trump essentially clinched the republican nomination. so we now have both the democratic front-runner as you know and the presumptive republican nominee, trump, against tpp. trump in his recent campaigning is very much focused on the trade and including retaliation against companies that would outsource to places like asia and indiana primary. in the conversations with the counter parties in asia to tpp, what sort of -- have they been concerned that either of his successors will be opposed and what have you been telling them given that congress is dragging its feet on being interested in
ratifying this and you have the democratic republicans who are more against it going into the convention. >> this is -- what have they been telling you. >> this is a surprising development. we saw on the campaign trail for the presidential candidates in both parties. there was not strong support for tpp. that was true last year at this time. yet we did succeed despite that opposition in advancing legislation through the congress. we did that by pain stakingly avoiding snafus and passing in bipartisan fashion legislation that succeeded in allowing us to complete the negotiations. those in other countries that are watching our political system i think understand that there continues to be support in
the congress for the transpacific partnership. they succeeded in navigating the cross currents of the presidential election and building support for those agreements. we did that last year with the promotion authority and we are confident when it comes to implementing the partnership. the last observation i would make should be a pretty forceful argument for members of congress who are supportive and wondering when they should vote on it. i think i make the observation that it is very, very unlikely that the next president will be more enthusiastic of the tpp than this president. that would be a reason for congress to take action before this president leaves office. >> more directly, has the anxiety about potential ratification increased in recent
months. >> that's more time interacting with the parties and the context understands the debate in this country. they understand why the politics of the situation are challenging. i don't think they learned anything new that they didn't know six months or a year ago. we have been having this conversation with the ptt parties for five or six years now. they understand the dynamics here. but the president feels a sense of urgency in working with democrats and republicans to see that transpacific partnership get implemented.
>> there is almost a million dollars beneath your request. are you satisfied with that? >> we put forth the request we would like to see. it obviously had a lot of details in it and that is back in february. so we certainly would have liked to have seen more prompt congressional action on this. i think at this point given the delays and given the heightened stakes, we welcome any sort of forward momentum in congress. as it results to the specific package you mentioned, we will have to take a close look to see if it's sufficient. congress made a reference earlier to the frustrations associated with the slow moving congress. look, it could note be clearer that congress needs to take
action to help our states and local officials fight the zika virus. that is critical to the public health and safety of the american people and it cannot be done, we don't do everything we need to do to prepare for this virus without congressional action. as i mentioned, this is an emergency. an emergency now. that's not just my observation, but of democratic and republican governors and been made by our public health professionals. this is not about politics, but solving problems. >> the president has really come to get things done. can you talk about how that developed? >> the president has had an
opportunity in a variety of settings to meelt with the leaders of the country. the observation that the president makes about the noertic countries. he describes them as punching above. these are small countries, but countries that make an impactful contribution to our efforts on a variety of issues. we certainly value the contribution that each of these countries has made to fighting carbon pollution. we value the contribution that each made to the counter isil coalition. three of these countries, norway, iceland and denmark are full nato members, but even sweden and finland have a relationship that allows them to coordinate their activities closely with nato. they are all making a contribution to what we described as the cornerstone of
american national security. that's nato. the president is looking forward to hosting them at the white house and paying the reportity he enjoyed last year. he is looking forward to a pretty busy day of meetings on a variety of issues. >> the brief questions. number one, you mentioned mr. trump and would chair special commission on terrorism and does he think that would be a good idea in terms of vetting people and letting those who have no threat to come in. they consider individual who is want to interior the country through the process.
refugees regardless of the way that they worship. they are processed through a system that carefully vets their background and collects information from those individuals and in person interviews. that is then run througha databases maintained by law enforcement and the agencies and intelligence agencies. people who enter is subject to more than any other country. they ensured they are carefully adadhering to. >> the philippines elected a new president on monday.
there is more talk with the philippines in part because of dangers in that part of the world. would the president ever discuss with the president or president-elect the reopening of the clark air base or naval base or the restoration or the holiday he spoke with his then counterpart on a range of issues and there was a talk about that. obviously the philippines has a counter terrorism threat and they have been supportive of efforts to confront that threat. they have concerns about claims that china has made in the south china sea.
we supported the filipino effort to press the chinese to resolve those differences through diplomacy. the filipinos also have a challenge when it comes to maritime security and there is expertise they provided to confront that challenge. they will remember that the president visited a vessel that was owned and was operated by the equivalent to provide security in the philippines. that's an indication of the strong happy that we already have with the philippines and the president would be open to not just continuing, but deepening that security relationship when his election results have been confirmed officially. >> improved the reopening of the bases and the restoration. >> i don't know that there is a
policy decision with regard to that. that enhances the security of our countries and i'm confident that will continue with the next president whether it's him or someone else. >> so the president has not called him? >> the as a results of the election while it took place i have not seen results announced. i know there projections, but not an official announcement. why don't we give you the last chance here. >> can you tell me how the president will measure when he was with hiroshima? >> can you say that one more time? >> how will the president talk about nagasaki.
>> at this point i don't have much to say about the president's remarks he will driver. he does not intend to deliver a major address. he will have an opportunity to visit the site. he will have an opportunity to talk about the experience of the u.s.-japan relationship and make an observation about the transformation just in the space of 70 years or so. while on one hand you might say 70 years is a long time, but innocent 70 years ago the united states and japan were at war. the way we cooperate now on such a wide range of issues that enhances importantly the national security of both of our countries is a testament to the
progress made. it served quite well. the president will have an opportunity to make the observation during his visit to japan. >> the people in nagasaki? >> at this point we will wait for the president's remarks. thank, everybody. see you tomorrow. >> press secretary josh ernest finishing up with reporters. one question was involving the health care law and the federal judge on today ruled for house republicans in their lawsuit against the obama administration over obamacare in a major ruling. the judge and an appointee said the administration does not have the power to spend monocost
sharing reduction payments to insurers without appropriation from congress. they argued it did not need appropriation from congress because the funds were appropriated by obamacare in the same section as the law's better known tax credits that pp people afford coverage. the story on today's ruling on the obamacare issue involving the power to spend monocost sharing reduction. >> james baker, former secretary of state for george h.w. bush testified as a hearing on leadership in the world. they talked about global economic challenges and administration. the senate foreign relations committee held the hearing this morning.
place in the world. obviously the presidential races that are under way will heighten as time goes on. they had to deal with the daily crisis and the foreign relations committee is removed from that and should be a place where we look at those activities and where we will be in the world. this is a step in the direction. again, i know we are all thrilled to have you both. whey would love to hear is the thoughts with our current prices that we have. everything from russian aggression to what's happening in the little east to terrorism.
the north korean rattling and the south china sea. second, in light of these events, it's my hope to explore what core u.s. interests are. that's something that we don't spend enough time focused on. we would like to see what would be more effective. whether it's the military or influence or trade or multilateral organizations and alliances. what's the right balance and the cost and benefits. i would love to hear how they feel at home about the ability to find a solution for the liabilities that we have.
i know that both of you are deep policy people and made great things happen for our country and careers. you have to have a little politician in you to do what you do. you are aware of where the american people are today. they are wondering how much we should be doing overseas a lot of focus on what should be happening at home. they are topics i hope we will address. i thank you both for being here and i will turn to our ranking member. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i appreciate you convening this hearing and i want to thank secretary baker for the incredible years of public service. to me, this is a real student
and we thank you very much for being here today. this hearing is titled america's role in the world. we have enough challenges and there is certainly a need for u.s. leadership globally. i see our military and the best soldiers and command. the best military equipment, but to me, the strength of america and the influence is in our ideals. what we stand for. we are active in that and the founding principal that skurt is more than that a& to me they wil
demand for nonproliferation, we must make it clear that the use of military should be used only when every other has been explored. let's support good governance. democracy and transparency and freedom of the press and the ability to oppose the government without ending up in jail. we see the flood of displaced individuals and refugees. we see a vacuum which is a greeding grounds for radicalization and recruitment
and pay a heavy price for that. we are all concerns about the fate of ukraine. clearly the culprit is russia and the interference and the country. we have all spoken out and got europe to work with us to isolate russia. ukraine has to establish good governance and they haven't been able to do that today. that will be critical and in syria we know that the assad regime cannot have the credibility and doesn't represent the people as a result. not only civil conflict, but breeding grounds for isil. that's not through much of the world's ills as a crisis in governance and willing to ignore the rule of law and i look forward to the conversation we are having with two of the real champions in the history of america on foreign policy. >> well, as we all are very thrilled to have you, secretary
baker is to me a model of public service, someone that i looked up to for a long time and i appreciate him taking his time to be with us today. i know he served off and on pult pell times with great distinction. i got to know him over the course of the first few years of the obama administration and although i don't know him as well, he is highly disdain and we could not be more fortunate than to have him here today. if you would summarize your commends in about five minutes. if you can summarize and we look forward to asking questions. if you would start secretary baker, i would appreciate it. >> it's a pleasure to be here for you.
>> microphone. >> and other distinguished members, it's a pleasure for me to be once again back before the committee that i appeared before so many times. i have been asked to keep the remarks brief and we can spend most of our time talking about the issues you articulatearticu. they suggested an approach they think is best suited for the country. let me begin by putting america's place in the world today into perspective. more than 70 years after the conclusion of world war ii, the united states remains the strongest nation in the world not just militarily. we have a dynamic and resilient economy and have the most powerful military in the world and the widest array of alliances ranging from nato to asean. do we have problems?
indeed we do. our economy continues to sag. international low we are losing respect as a global leader that we earned over the course of decades and as the current presidential election is demonstratin demonstrating, americans are losing faith from washington to wall street that evaded advancement over the years. countries like chine a brazil and india are catching up, but that's largely because they adopted or are adopting our paradigm of free markets. that should not therefore be viewed negatively, but as a positive trend that it is helping hundreds of millions of people rise from poverty. it's my view not with standing the fact that we slipped a little in recent years and we should remain the world's leader for the foreseeable future. we should accept that responsibility and not shrink from it.
if we don't exercise power, other people will. we have simply too much at stake in the world today to walk away from it even if we could. other countries depend on our leadership. this is true of our allies and east asia and elsewhere. frankly even countries that are sometimes anything but friendly seek our engagement. does that mean we are perfect? of course not. in the major global conflicts, world war i, world war ii and the cold war, the united states played a historic in defeating imperialism and totalitarianism. how should the united states engage in foreign policy. how do we formulate policies that best serve the united states as we begin to approach what many considered to be the end of the era. first of all, i want to say that in my view and this has been my
view throughout my public service back before i was secretary of state, international leadership doesn't involve a choice between sending in the 101st airborne or doing nothing. we can lead politically, diplomatically and economically without putting american boots on the ground. i believe that the united states should chart a course based on a paradigm they would refer to as selective ingaugement. they embraced this since 1945 and recognized that the united states has core interest in the world and we should protect them. at the same time it would acknowledge the reality that our power is limited. using selective engagement as a blueprint, we can identify america's vital interest in the
world and upon including our strategics allowances and our military. what are the interests? they range from combatting terrorism to managing the emergence of china as a global power and stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to expanding free straight. the approach i suggest does not fall easily into traditional categories. that is either realism or idealism. i think it would and can contain the best elements of both. it represents one of the most distinctive national characteristics. we are, after all, a practical people less interested in ideological purity than solving problems. the practice of selective engagement should be informed by what i would refer to as a
pragmatic idealism. while grounded in values, selective engagement would understand and o appreciate the complexity of the real world, a world of hard choices and painful trade offs. we must live and decide and act. for our principals and values. it would require there is an overriding national interest at stake, particularly if any military action were contemplated. such a balanced approach mr. chairman i believe can help us avoid the cynicism of realism and the impracticality of idealism. it promises no easy answers or quick fixes. such an approach offers the guide and the best hope for navigating this great country of ours safely through this period
down of state authority. since early 2011, a number of states have been failed from libya to yemen and a full range and they have become different stages of failure. they lost the ability to control what goes on on the use of force and as a result and paving the way for groups like isis. they threaten the very integrity and the primary cause of this break down is a profound failure on the part of our regimes over a period of decades.
>> the second is the reemergence. they were marked by relationships of the great powers. none regarded themselves as hostile. that period ended and ended in 2o 14 when russia invaded i crane in the next crimea. a third source is the global reaction to the profound economic and political transitions under way in china. and the recent slow down has a number of impacts. on a diplomatic front, they have continued to cooperate on a number of issues like north korea. that said, the provocative behavior including them in the militarization of land formation is destabilizing. the u.s. and china have to get
the relationship right as the professor testified in front of the committee in a number of committees. over history the dynamic between the established and emerging powers in terms of out come ended in war. they set the trap, but international relations is not a subset of fidsices and can avoid the concerted effort to avoid miscalculation. the last thing i mention side the sustained low oil prices and they have been vast and substantial and will be long lasting. indeed in the last week, we have seen saudi arabia announce a major reorientation of the economy.
the volatile and unstable environment can draw a simple conclusion. i reject this thesis. that the united states and ability to shape the world are in decline. i flatly notion. the idea that america is in decline does not stand up to any rigorous analysis of our national balance sheet. no nation can match our comprehensive set of enduring strengths including a resilient and diverse economy, bountiful resources and a unique global network of alliances and a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation and a long history of leadership. the pessimism in some quarters and the general lack of appreciation of u.s. strengths is not only inaccurate it's dangerous because it leads you to foreign policy choices. i'll close listing four or five challenges for the next president. first, economic growth. there's not a lot of iron laws in history but one of them certainly is no nation can maintain its diplomatic or
military primacy without maintaining its economic vitality. our economy has recovered since the 2008 crash but continued economic insecurity is fueling calls for retrenchment which would both undercut u.s. leadership and weaken our economy. to maintain our prosperity there are a number of things we can do including in investing in national infrastructure and defending our edge in r&d and supporting our long-term demographic advantage through a sensible immigration policy. the bottom line here is that the most important national security challenge for the next president is to maintain and extend economic growth and prosperity in the united states. second, terrorism. and i'll finish up here. we have significantly reduced the threat from al qaeda. and we are successfully pressuring isis in syria and iraq. but the overall terrorist threat has evolved and frankly i think the terror threat has entered a new and dangerous phase. isis is moving to an external focus and it's expanding into
other regions and attempting to carry out attacks in europe and around the world. the return of foreign fighters to europe and the attacks in brussels and paris highlight how unprepared europe is. defight the transnational nature, european response has remain ee eed cloistered. putting appropriate resources against this problem is a clear and present danger to the united states. third, cybersecurity. every year americans rely more on goods and services connected to the internet. these advances represent a tremendous boon for our economy but they increase our exposure to cyberattacks by sophisticated nate and nonchair advisers. president obama has asked me to chair a committee and we'll be putting forth our report next december and it's a transition report for the next president to look at this problem for the next five to ten years.
next is asia. and my judgment is that the next president should build on president obama's rebalance to asia. our alliance system in asia remains rock solid but the allies ask for greater engagement, economically and militarily and ratifying the tpp which is the economic centerpiece of our rebalance is central to cement our leadership in the region. and last north korea presents in my judgment the most serious security challenge we face in asia and the most serious proliferation challenge we face globally. north korea has undertaken in the word of one analyst a nuclear frint seeking an icbm that can reach the united states with a nuclear weapon. it's on the path to become a first class crisis for the united states and its allies with that, mr. chairman and ranking member and i conclude and look forward to your question and, mr. secretary, it's a privilege for me to be here today. >> it's a privilege for us to
have both of you. thank you for your opening comments. i'll reserve my time for interjections and begin with senator cardin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i concur on the opportunity of having both of these individuals with us today and i thank you for your service and i thank you for your statements. i want to drill down on the point that you made, mr. do donilon, and that is the observation of the lack of good governance in the middle east providing the where withall where we've now moved towards failed states and admittedly there was outside interference, in yemen and libya and we know what the syrian problems. we know iran's activities. all that has contributed to the lack of stability and the failure of governments in these countries. and then this past week we had a hearing on subsahara africa and the terrorist networks operating
in subsahara africa and the risk of failed states in africa is pretty dramatic. i guess my point is what should the united states be doing in an effort to try to deal with the governance structure. we've moved from autocratic countries that have not been able to transition into democratic countries for at least for a while the autocratic systems were working but long term they won't work. so, is there something in our toolbox? i look at what we have available to us, our diplomacy budgets and the development assistance budgets are certainly much smaller than our defense budgets. do we have enough resources? are we using them properly? is there a better way to focus on how we can have a more consequential impact on the transition of countries particularly in that region to a more inclusive government that
can prevent the type of violence that we've seen? >> you want me to take a shot at that? i'll be glad to, senator. >> sure. >> first of all, i think it's today less a question of what should we be doing perhaps than what we should not have done and should not repeat. when we take down an autocrat, it's great. it's in keeping with our principles and values and on the whole generally speaking can be beneficial to the citizens of the country that he or she is imposing upon. but we need to be thinking about what comes next. we shouldn't be so quick to come in and get rid of leaders that we don't agree with 1,000 percent of the time. if you look at what's happened in libya, what we did there pales in comparison to what the europeans did, but we did
assist. president obama, tom will know this a lot better than i, but i don't think president obama really wanted to do that but he was convinced that we needed to contribute and we did and we contributed air assets. so, we took gadhafi down. it was wonderful. he was a brutal terrorist. it was wonderful. but you don't do that without thinking about what comes next. we have the same situation in egypt when we bailed out on hosni mubarak who had been a wonderful ally for this country for a long time, and by the way, very good on the arab-israeli problem and so we ended up with the muslim brotherhood and that became a real problem and now we've got a military dictatorship back in egypt but at least we have some stability. we have the same situation to some extent in iraq. it was good to get rid of saddam hussein, but we should have perhaps done a better job of thinking about what we were going to put in place after he left. these areas that are failed
states are failed states primarily because we went in there -- or at least in part -- and upset the order because we didn't like the people that were running the show. and shouldn't have liked them. but we need to do a better job of thinking about what comes next before. so, right now my -- my view and i don't know whether tom shares this or not with respect, let's say, to syria. it may be -- it may be a little bit too late. it's too bad that we didn't support what the turks wanted, which was no-fly zone along the northern border of syria there, the border with turkey. if we'd been willing to go along with that, i don't know why we could not have negotiated with the turks, the saudis, the kuwaitis, our other friends in the region, a deal where we would say, look, we'll furnish the air and the intelligence and
the logistics, you put the boots on the ground and we'll take care of this syrian problem and we won't have the emergence of isis. now, you know, maybe it's too late to do that. maybe it's not. maybe we could generate some sort of coalition like that. but i think that's what we should have done. >> and i agree with your point particularly the use of our military without having a game plan what comes next, that's not what america should be investing. recognizing, though, that long term we need more open governments, is there something that we're missing in our action to give a better chance for a more democratic system to exist? >> you can't -- you can't -- you can't expect the emergence of a democratic system in a society that's been authoritarian for the entire term of its existence unless you have stability. so, you should not expect it to happen if your -- if by your actions you're going to
eliminate the stability that exists. >> i agree with that. >> that's all i'm saying. >> mr. donilon? >> i agree. a couple of things here. it's important for us to stress governance as part of our approach to these problems. essentially, you know, the situation in iraq is in many ways underscores the point. the situation in iraq arose because the maliki government was a sectarian, authoritarian government and wasn't inclusive and it was a profound failure of government with respect to including sunnis. we had a governance failure if you will in the deterioration of the iraqi security forces and part of the solution today in iraq -- and i'm very worried about iraq today. i think we've made a lot of progress against isis in terms of our military effort. really serious progress. but we have -- still have a looming governance crisis in iraq in my judgment. i think the instincts are in the right direction but i think we have serious pressure in the situation. underscoring governance in a situation like iraq and i know
we're doing that and others are working on this is a very important piece of any of our strategies going forward. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both very much. senator rand paul. >> secretary baker, i enjoyed your testimony particularly the discussion of the ideas of selective engagement. and the talk of regime change. you know, the president has now admitted really that it was a mistake to topple gadhafi in libya, but he sort of says it wasn't a mistake to do it, it was just a mistake not to be prepared to create a country out of nothing and put massive amounts of resources and create a nation in libya. i think there's a couple of possibilities. one is maybe you shouldn't do it to begin with, the other is you do it and we have massive resources and we create nations. i think then the question is how do we create democracy in the middle east. but i think if there's no tradition thousands of years of autocratic rule. i think people don't realize in our country one of the amazing things about the american
revolution is we had representative government for 150 years before that and we had an 800-year tradition of that and we had continuity of that and we think we can blow up gadhafi out of that thomas jefferson can be elected. i think it's a naive notion. maybe sometimes the selective engagement should be this is a time we shouldn't select to militarily engage. it's important also and i'd like to hear your comments with assad also because it's the same sort of situation. the only other thing i would mix into that have you comment on it i think ultimately the solution is in syria is saying russia can be no part in it. russia has a base there and has been there for 50 years and probably engaging russia on syria is part of the answer. >> they absolutely have to be a part of it and so does iran. the idea that we can come to come to some sort of acomedation or agreement with respect to syria you got having those two
players is ridiculous. i think, tom, you'd probably agree with that. so i think we can have bipartisan agreement on that. that would be -- they got to be at the table. if you're going to have a -- and that's i think what secretary kerry is now trying to bring about. some sort of an agreement or negotiation that would -- that would tend to improve the situation. but you're quite right in your comment about selective engagement. that's why i like the paradigm. because you look at each one of these discrete specific foreign policy problems. through the prism of the national -- our national interests and our principles and values and you say to yourself, okay, if we take this action, where's it going to land? what's it going to lead? what's it going to lead to? and decide then -- that's the way a president ought to approach these things. and look at the -- where the vital national interests of the
country are at stake, you might decide to even go as far as the military. if that's -- if it's -- if you don't get to that point, you still have the tools of our political, economic and diplomatic engagement. >> well, now, i like the idea of the guidele principle being our vital national interest. but to me i think sometimes we too quickly jump to that as a conclusion, because that's a debate what is in our vital national interest. and i think what becomes important there is that congress have a role in this because our founding fathers didn't want to give all the power to the executive. >> but they gave most of it to the president. i mean, i'm a creature of the executive branch so you have to understand my bias, but the president has certain foreign policy powers i think that were given to him by the founding fathers. i'm sorry to ger ruinterrupt. >> even president obama admitted when he ran for office that no president should go to war without the authority of
congress. george w. bush came twice. my point is, is that in determining what is the in our national interests if we have debate then we can get to what is actually in our national interests. that means that congress has to retain some authority and that we should ask congress' permission before going to war particularly libya. he should have come to ask. my guess is the debate would have been very messy and neighbor we wouldn't have gone into libya and gadhafi might still be in libya. >> i certainly agree with that, senator paul. it's always best if the legislative and executive branches are on the same wavelength when you start talk -- start talking about sending our young men and women into harm's way. so, whenever it's possible the president should come to the congress and seek their approval. you know, in the first gulf war, i'm convinced if president bush 41, we had a democratic house and a democratic senate. and it was extraordinarily
unpopular to do what we were beginning to do, getting ready to do. and the only way we got approval of congress was go first to the security council of the u.n. and get a use of force resolution by them. still, president bush took -- brought the matter, president bush 41, to the congress. but i want to tell you something, had the congress turned him down, i still think he would have done what he did. i don't think we'll ever resolve that issue of who has the ultimate power, the commander in chief or congress' ability to declare war. >> well, one of the exception that is granted by almost everybody on whatever side of this issue you're on is if we're under imminent threat, you know, if there are missiles being launched against us obviously the commander in chief would want to have the power to make an imminent response. when i questioned him on libya, he said, yes, there was an imminent threat to benghazi and i was perplexed by that answer because i always thought an imminent threat was to the
united states not to a foreign city because if we make the standard that an imminent threat to any city around the world would be okay for the president to unilaterally begin a war because any city around the world was under imminent threat i think that would be a standard that would be absurd. wouldn't you recognize the standard at least to be the imminent threat would be to the united states or a military base of ours or some sort of asset of ours? >> well, yes. but if you look at article 51 of the u.n. charter it says that any country that feels they need assistance can call on another u.n. member state to assist them and that's exactly what happened when we went into kuwait to kick iraq out of kuwait. it wasn't an imminent threat to the united states. there wa no imminent threat -- there was no threat to the united states at all. we went in -- you know, the surest and best test of a great power is if you have to act unilaterally, you do so. always best to act
multilaterally. i know we would agree on that. but that's the sure -- the best test of a great power if it has to act unilaterally. we went into panama with nobody's consent. okay? they were brutalizing our servicemen down there and we invade. we took it over. we grabbed noriega and brought him back to the united states. so, there are circumstances when that is appropriate i think. on balance, it's always better for the executive and legislative to be in sync and for the united states to act with allies. >> thank you. and i would just hope it would be more likely to be the exception than the rule. >> just add a couple things to senator paul's question. number one in the analysis as secretary baker said, there are a lot of policy options between an invasion and doing nothing. right? and that has to be part of the analysis as you measure up, you know, how your interests are implicated and match them up with the activities that you
undertake. number two, i agree with respect to syria and president obama and secretary kerry are deeply engaged in there that a political solution is first best and we're working on that with the russians specifically. but, third, it is important and we talk about governance and we talk about a lot of the other things we need to do as a nation, it is important to understand we have a really serious security problem with isis and we will not be settling the problem with isis at a peace conference and the united states is going to have to lead an effort to eliminate that threat. it's going to have to be through force unfortunately. and last i agree with secretary baker obviously is that we have all manner of obligations around the world including obligations to our allies and partners and coalitions which obligate us to act with force sometimes necessary. >> the only quick response i would make to that is with regard to isis we have to ask the question are they bigger and stronger because of our involvement and pushing assad back and creating a space for allowing them to grow or would they be less likely to be a
threat if assad were still stronger. >> i might have my first interjection here. i couldn't agree more. i don't think we should have done what we did in libya. i opposed it. i think the president used a really cute we weren't involved in hostilities movement and i think we were way too quick to overthrow a long-term ally in egypt. where i thought senator paul may go was when you do selectively end up engaging in war, secretary baker, what is the best way to ensure that you're successful? >> well, i'm biased, but i would submit, mr. chairman, that a textbook example of the way to go to war is the way president bush 41 went to war in the first gulf war. he said -- he told the world what he was going to do. he then went out and got the rest of his world behind his effort to do it to the extent
for the first time ever he was able to get a use of force resolution out of the u.n. security council against a u.n. member state. he then came up here on the hill and it was very unpopular at the time but he narrowly got a vote of the senate by 52-48, supporting it, and a vote of the house by a larger margin. he went out and he put overwhelming force on the ground to make sure that what he was going to do would be successful. he went in. he did exactly what he said he was going to do and no more. did not go to baghdad the way a lot of people were pushing on him to do. and won the war and whatever it was a few weeks. with at the time minimal casualties and then guess what, he got other people to fay for the war. now, that's the way to fight a war. that war costs $70 million. and the united states paid $10 billion -- i'm sorry, $70 billion and the united states
paid $10 billion. and other people -- the people who we were helping paid the balance. i submit to you that's the way to go to war. certainly you need to make sure that when you undertake that effort that you've got the forces available, necessary to get the job done, get it done. do that and no more. come on home. >> thank you very much. senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chair, and i appreciate you having this hearing so we can have a 30,000-foot view of american foreign policy and a chance to real flect on where we are and where we are potentially headed and i appreciate secretary baker and security adviser donilon for being here. i think you both have seen american foreign policy and its challenges from both sides in the last quarter century, pre and post september 11th. and we all know the geopolitical developments that have led us to where we are and the importance
of ensuring that foreign policy as exhibited by both of you gentlemen at the table ends at the water's edge. and in that respect when i was chairman of this committee, senator corker and i and other members on both sides worked across the aisle most notably when we gave -- we came back, brought everybody back over labor day weekend in 2014 and drafted and passed an authorization for the use of military force that gave president obama a credible option as he went to the g-20 summit to get russia to engage assad and stop the use of chemical weapons against his own people and i think that was a high water mark for the committee in terms of its abilities and we acted in the spirit of bipartisanship that i think is incredibly important. but i'd like to hear your perceptions from my view at the core of the foreign policy debate unfolding today is the principle and duration of intervention.
aggressive intervention without clear goals particularly in the view of the aftermath as secretary baker has suggested has led us to wars that have destabilized entire regions and cost us immeasurable blood and national treasure. tepid intervention without the credible threat of consequences whether they are diplomatic, economic or military can affect our influence and our ability to shape the world. and isolationism which is a dangerous new view emerging in these presidential debates only in my view create the type of permissive environment in which our enemies will thrive because history has taught us time and time again that nature abhors a vacuum. what would fill the vacuum of a decreased u.s. role in the world is an incredibly dangerous question. so, i see that secretary baker in his testimony foreshadowed what he called the end of a unipolar area and mr. donilon in your testimony you directly
discounted the idea that america is in decline. as i travel throughout the world i get the perception around the world that the united states is stepping back from its role as the last superpower. and whether that's true or not, it's a dangerous perception that emboldens our enemies. if the current political discourse is the standard by which we ought to judge the differences in the views, i worry. i certainly cannot believe that building walls, deporting religious and ethnic minorities, returning to torture or turning our backs on disarming the world of nuclear weapons is the course that we see as the best for the united states. and frankly the idea of burden shifting remains equally perp x perplexing to me in a world where the burden is on us to protect our own interests and project our values. so, i wonder if both of you and i look at the rhodes profile, i
don't know how much truth there is in all of that, but it certainly worries me that messaging is sometimes more important than substance and that the nature of witnesses that come before this committee or that speak to the american people create a misperception or a misleading that i personally never bought into but i certainly worry about it. so, in the context of all of that, i wonder if you both would share your views as to a foreign policy of shifting burden to other nations. that doesn't need responsible sharing of burdens, but the shifting of burdens to other nations. does that not create a potential for a loss of influence in the world? what's the role of -- in the pragmatic view of democracy, human rights and the rule of law? sometimes i think we shortchange that because in the pragmatic
short-term process that creates a potential benefit, but in the long-term process, we often let situations fester that become bigger problems. and what about the international order? in the post-world war and cold war we came to a view that there were certain international standards by which the world could come together on and agree and that violation of those standards would create consequences. is that dissipating, that concept of international orders in which we can expect other countries to join with us in enforcing those international orders and having consequences when those international values and standards are violated? i'd like to hear your perspectives on those. >> you want me to go? >> sure. >> okay. senator, i don't think it's unreasonable for the united states, given our track record,
to ask our allies particularly to live up to their commitments, for instance, to spend 2% of their gdp on their nato -- on defense so that nato is sufficiently strong and so that nato remains the most successful security alliance in history, which i happen to believe it has been. so, i don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. and the fact of the matter is, as tom donilon has said, the biggest challenge i think facing the country today, the biggest foreign policy challenge or any challenge, is our economy. you cannot be strong economically, politically, diplomatically if you're not strong economically -- if -- militarily if you're not strong economically. in his first term president obama asked me and a couple of
other people what is the biggest -- what should be my number one priority. i think you were there. and i said, mr. president, in my view your number one priority -- i think he thought i was going to come back to iran or north korea or something, having been a secretary of state. but i've also been secretary of the treasury, and i said, mr. president, i think your biggest -- your number one priority ought to be the restoration of our economic strength. i still believe that. i still believe that we will not be able to do what we need to do around the world, we will not be able to remain this uniquely preeminent world power, we will not be able to continue to lead internationally if we -- if our economy doesn't remain strong. and i mean back the way it used to be in terms of growth. we're not there. so, that's one thing we have to do. well, to the extent that we bear an undue share of the burden of
stability and peace in the world, that's not fair. for american taxpayers, it's not fair for american -- for the american people. so, i don't think there's anything at all wrong with saying that more of the burden ought to be shared by -- particularly by our allies. and i don't think that's going to take us down the wrong road. of course, our foreign policy should always be informed by our principles and values. democracy and the promotion of democracy and free markets. but we have to be smart about how we do it. but i really believe that it's not -- it is certainly not unreasonable for us to say to our -- to the people that we have been carrying the load for, hey, it's time for you to come in here and help carry -- and help carry this load. >> just to clarify, i wasn't talking about name toto, where totally agree with you. by burden shifting i'm not
talking about just the monetary elements but taking regions like the middle east and saying largely -- >> taking leadership of -- well, you know, that hasn't worked out very well in my experience. i remember when we were -- when i was secretary of state and we'd been dealing with the end of the cold war, the madrid peace conference, the war in iraq, the war in panama and all of these issues, the unification of germany, and things began to fall apart in yugoslavia and our european allies came to us and said we want the leadership here, and we said, please, have at it, we've had more than enough on our plate and we turned it over to them and they split like a covey of quail. i mean, they all went their own way. and so sometimes that doesn't work. sometimes you need leadership from the uniquely preeminent power in the world. people appreciate it when america leads.
they carp at us. there's some resentment. there's some jealousy, but they want to see us lead and they appreciate it when we do lead. >> it's interesting on that point, a couple things, the burden of leadership and some of our interests in the world does require us to continue to have a presence around the world. that presence provides deterrence which is short of conflict which is where we want to be. that presence provides reassurance to allies. and friends around the world. that presence, for example, in northeast asia an example of that and with respect to our nuclear umbrella is absolutely critical in terms of preserving the norms on nonproliferation on the nuclear side. so, we do have an irredeucible demand i think for our presence and investment around the world. and the demand signal for u.s. leadership is increasing, not decreasing around the world and i think it's important for us to meet that demand signal. and we have a lot of tools in
the toolbox we can talk about during the course of this hearing and, you know, one of those is obviously deterrence and presence and various guarantees that we can give. but also, you know, coalitions that do things like sanctions on. iran is a good example of this, and you're more familiar with this than anybody else. with your help and the congress we had a successful sanctions effort in leading to an agreement with respect to the nuclear capability. but that coalition building, hard work over time was an important part of it. and it would not have happened, last thing i'll say, it would not have happened without u.s. leadership. without u.s. leadership we will not pursue the proliferation agendas and will not provide the balance in asia and there will not be global trade agreements without u.s. leadership. it's the burden that we bear as the most important country in the world and as both secretary baker and i said, a fair assessment of our balance sheet of strategic assets and
liabilities would lead you to believe that with the right policies, choices in leadership, that we'll continue to be the most important and powerful influential nation in the world for a long time to come. >> thank you. senator rubio. >> just to continue to build on this line, if you could just obviously people around the country are looking at our own economic struggles here at home, they see our commitments abroad in treasure and lives and blood and people coming back wounded and so forth so there's always this fundamental question of why doesn't everyone else do more, why are we committed to these things. why are we 70, 60 years after the end of the second world war still engaged in asia in providing defense assistance to japan and south korea. why do we need nato anymore. these are rich countries. they should be able to pay for their own defense. i would ask both of you to describe a world in which nato lost its way or perhaps disintegrade disint disintegrated and a world where south korea and japan lost u.s.
commitment. what would the strategic involvement look like in asia if the nuclear umbrella didn't cover south korea and japan? and what would it look like if nato was substantially diminished or disintegrated? >> it would be far less stable. as tom and i both said we got a lot of problems today but you've have a hell of a lot more if that were the case. and these commitments that we have around the world promote u.s. security. because to the extent that things -- you know, ever since the end of world war ii our security alliances with japan and south korea have been the foundation and the basis for peace and stability in the pa pacific. nato has been the foundation and the base for peace and stability in europe, and on the your asian
continent. >> but some have suggested why don't you let japan and south korea get their own nuclear weapons and let them defend themselves? >> i think that -- the more countries that acquire nuclear weapons, the more instability there's going to be in the world in my opinion. if you look at what -- if you look at the way north korea is using its nuclear capabilities, that's all it's got, that's its threat. that's its big card. and it plays it. and ever since the end of world war ii america has led the fight against the nonproliferation of weapons -- of nuclear weapons, weapons that can kill millions and millions of people. we ought not to abandon that fight. that would not promote stability. that would promote instability. >> senator rubio, this is a really important thought experiment, right, and an analytic exercise is to think about what would happen if, in fact, these norms and
institutions and the united states-led operations weren't there, right? and asia i think as secretary baker said for 70 years we've invested in a platform on asia in the economic development has been built. if you do the thought fermt do you see over the last three quarters of a century the spread of democracy in asia? would you have seen the prosperity of asia? and you would have seen a proliferation of nuclear weapo s s the an sense of the united states. in which the economic development has been built. and nato is another example of this. it's been tremendously successful. we sit here today and we take it for granted. it's in some i was a memory problem. we take for granted that europe is stable, peaceful and prosperous. that's not the history of europe. absent the kinds of institutions that were put in place and it should never be taken for granted that these -- that these are permanent situations.
absent really tending to them on a constant basis. i think the thought fermt you asked us to do is a really important one and i think the outcomes are clear. >> it's not just a thought experiment, it's actually been proposed. let me just talk about the -- for purposes of this committee it's a thought fermt. just to be clear, i don't support doing that. i want to revisit the libya and syria situation. it's sometimes misconstrued. we didn't start the uprising in libya and we didn't start the uprising in syria. the syrian people stood up against assad peacefully in the beginning and were met with violence and the people of libya stood up to gadhafi. in both cases neither one of the leaders were going to be able to hold on to power in the long term unless they did what gadhafi was going to do and assad is doing now and that is massacre people in order to hold on to power. so, i think there was a valid argument to be made at the time if you had foresight you would
say to yourself the only way they can hold on to power is to massacre feem apeople and in th middle east chaos and instability in any part of that region is the basic ingredient necessary for islamic radical jihadists to come in and take advantage of the environment. i think it's important when we talk about the situation to remind ourselves these were not efforts by the u.s. government to go in and overthrow dictators. it is the people of those countries that stood up against them. we now had to make a decision about what would be in our best interests if you were able to think three steps forward. if gadhafi had gone in to benghazi and massacre all these people, all you would see is the militias taking up arms and staying and leading to the instability we see now. but it's an accurate assessment to say we didn't start it. we are left to analyze what is the best thing forward that is left for our national interests and i made the argument and continue to stand by the arguments that it was in our national interests to ensure
that whatever resistance there was to the dictators would be made up of people more stable whom we could work with because in the absence of those sorts of elements that vacuum would be filled by the radical elements that have now filled the vacuums in the an sense of obsence of o leadership. >> that's not what happened, senator. >> i agree. >> yes, the people were standing up, but we enabled it to happen by use our military force to go in and remove the dictators. same thing in iraq. i don't suggest that this is not a bipartisan problem. it's a bipartisan problem. but look where we are in all three of those places, syria, iraq, libya. would we have been there had we not done those things? i'm not sure we would have. in fact, i don't think we would have. now -- >> you don't believe that -- you believe assad would have crushed the rebellion against him and recaptured control of the entire
country? >> i'm not sure whether that would have happened or not but i guarantee you i don't think we would have the situation that we have today. you know, for years we used saddam hussein against iran. when i was secretary of state we worked with saddam hussein. we finally ended up fighting a war with him. but we worked with him. trying to bring him into the community of nations. but he was our buffer against the interests of iran. do you know what -- do you know the most important country today in iraq is? not the united states with our humongous big embassy there, it's iran. most important outside power in iraq today is iran. and i don't think the libya -- not my view that the libyan people were going to be able to throw gadhafi over unless we and the europeans, of course, they were the real movers, went in there and did it. >> sure. but you would have a protracted conflict within that country that would have served as a magnent for radical jihadist --
>> more of a magnet now? >> we should have empowered elements there potentially to provide some level of stability after the fact. that obviously didn't happen. >> we should have. >> we started the conflict. the vacuum's now been filled by isis in the northern part of the country. the same is true in syria. >> we should have done that in all three of the places. >> we agree, thank you. >> thank you. senator murphy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this has been fascinating. thank you both for your time. i want to continue to probe this question of what american leadership means today and, you know, of course, your ability to lead is only as good as the effectiveness of the tools that are in your kit. >> yeah. >> and so i just want to ask some questions about whether we are today properly resourced to deal with the way in which our adversaries are trying to protect their power and this is a version of the question that senator cardin was asking.
and maybe let me pose it through the prism of ukraine. russia has clearly militarily invaded ukraine, but its end goal i think is not to march on kiev or to militarily own that country but to use its military power in order to politically and economically ruin that country and it's doing all sorts of other things whether it be bribery, graft, intimidation, energy bullying to try to get what it dwawants there. and yet all our conversation here has been whether or not we arm the ukrainians with military assets. we've had a panoply of responses but the most significant has been the deployment of two brigades to shore up our allies. and it just seems to me as if we simply don't have the nonmilitary resources to try to play the game that the russians are playing in a place like that, that, you know, we don't have the ability to offer substantial energy assistance to
try to answer the question of dependence on russian oil. that, you know, we bleed out a little bit of money for anti-corruption efforts in places like kiev but we don't have the ability to do that on a large scale. so, in a world in which our military strength is still unchallenged, what should we be thinking about in terms of the other tools that project american power that will eventually win the day? and is, you know, the fight in ukraine an example of a place in which we maybe just don't have the influencers that we need in order to protect that country? >> well, i didn't hear you mention sanctions which consider having an effect and they're quite -- they're quite strong sanctions and i believe they're having some significant effect on the russian economy. you know, you're talking to somebody here who was -- who drafted the budapest memorandum or at least maybe i didn't draft
the actual document but we negotiated that at the end of the cold war. the ukraine -- i was trying to get the ukrainians to get rid of their nukes, okay? and they said, no, no, we don't want to get rid of our nukes. in this new environment what are you afraid of? we're afraid of the russians. we'll fix that we'll get the russians to give you an ironclad guarantee that they will respect your territorial integrity and independence. and it was called the budapest memorandum and look where it is. i don't think we have an absence of tools really. i think that because we cannot act there, should not act there unilaterally that we have to act with our european allies and bringing them along is a lot more difficult than acting alone. i think that's why we're having the difficulty we're having. we should not just sit back. if you don't like what's happening in other countries,
roll the tanks, which is what russia has done here. i mean, that's outrageous and now they're doing barrel rolls around our aircraft and buzzing our ships in the baltic sea. and so i think we got the tools. it's a question of whether we have the political will with the european -- with our european allies to use them. >> i agree. senator i do think we have the tools. with respect to your roeurope ta nato summit coming up in july and ithy it needs to be a broad look of nato taking into what russia has been up to. they are been up to a hybrid war effort in ukraine and we need to ensure that we have nato that has the kinds of capabilities and assets it needs to push back on those kinds of -- those kinds of threats, right? that's not tanks coming across the border. that's a different kind of threat. i think we really can make some progress on. we have cyber assets that work
with nato and the your ro beenes well. i think we can promote the diversity of energy smiupply in europe and our great progress of natural gas in the united states is promoting a diversity of supply because the diversion to put natural gas that would otherwise come to the united states can go to europe to diversify supply and i think there are efforts under way in europe to do that. we need to continue to work with the europeans on our counterterrorism efforts and i think it's really important in europe for us to complete the tpp negotiations which important economically for europe and for us. i think it's a variety of tools we have. we have to have a multidimensional look at the policy. i think there's a number of things we can and should do to focus on the challenges, essentially the challenge from russia and isis in europe. >> with my remaining time, secretary baker, can i bring you
back to the middle east for a moment. a lot of discussion here about the u.s. participation in the saudi-led coalition bombing campaign in yemen and worries that this proxy war is going to expand to territory beyond yemen. what's your advice? and i'd be happy to get mr. donilon's advice as well on the u.s. positioning vis-a-vis this proi growing proxy war. should we be evaluating each conflict on its own merits. >> i think we should be applying the principles of selective engagement as i said in my opening statement. some instances are going to require that we be there and that we be there militarily. just as a generic matter, i think we need to get closer if we can now to the saudis. they really feel that we don't have their back anymore. and they've been a -- they've been a pretty good ally for a long, long time. have they done some things with
these madrassas and things that we needed to shut down. yes. and we've worked at it. both democrat and republican administrations to get them to come off of that behavior. and they've come off of it substantially. but they've been a good ally. they are an important ally in the region. they really feel disaffected with us now. and so i don't see any reason why we should not be there for them, have their back if you well. not necessarily to the full extent of military action. but i don't happen to see a problem with our trying to help them deal with the threat from iran and the houthis in yemen. >> we need to give them our best advice obviously with respect to the operation they have under way and we're deeply involved in that and we give them support. but we need to give them our best advice with respect to specific operations but i agree with secretary baker and
president obama went to riyadh to host a gcc summit. it's important for the united states to provide i think reassurance with respect to our partners like saudi arabia in the region. you know, it's always important to have a keen understanding of the threats that they see and that they feel and for us to really do a clear-eyed assessment of what the alternatives are as we proceed with our policy going forward. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you very much for the opportunity to hear your hearings -- your testimony today. i wanted to follow-up a little bit on this question of energy issues and the burden that the american taxpayers are carrying and nato and other instances around the globe. secretary baker, you mentioned it's not fair to carry an undue burden of world security i think to paraphrase what you said. i don't want to put words in your mouth. i think that's thence of what you talked about. we talked about european security when it comes to energy
and russia and russia's, of course, reliance on energy to fill its federal coffers. we have this 2% requirement with nato in terms of what we expect or would like them to contribute to the nato alliance. but when it comes to energy and some of the other strategic vulnerabilities that we see in a number of our nato allies, i look at energy as one of the key strategic vulnerabilities because of their dependence on russia. should we have policies as the u.s. and nato that would help drive some of our nato alliance members to develop further energy securities? because a number of policies in europe would prevent them from developing all of their energy resources are not allowed by their governments or ngo actors and can the united states do more to help provide them with that and help shore up this strategic vulnerability? >> you mean by way of taking on their own restrictions? i don't know that we can do too much there.
if those restrictions are imposed by their state, by their -- i don't know that the united states can do much other than through persuasion and through diplomatic channels. to try -- to try and get them to concentrate on removing those bureaucratic impediments. that's all i know that we can do. you know, we've been asked to -- a lot of us have been asked to sign a letter to supporting the idea that the uk should not leave the european union. and as a former treasury secretary and secretary of state i was asked to sign such a letter and i declined. because if i were -- if i were a minister over here or president of the united states over here and a foreign -- a foreign ministers of another country wrote me a letter saying here's what you ought to be doing with
your own affairs, i would sort of resent that. so, i just said i don't think that's the proper role. and i don't think it's our proper role to get into trying to change the laws of those states, internal laws of those states, other than through persuasion, persuasion and diplomatic channels. >> i think there's a lot europe can do, though, with respect to its energy diversity. they can do a lot more with respect to building on infrastructure in order to receive natural gas from other places, other places in the world including the united states. i think they can work on a more rational pipeline and distribution system. and we can provide advice on that and i think we should. i disagree a little bit, i think we should be advocating for europe to take steps to diversify its energy supply and to reduce any monopoly influence that russia might have. and there's been some progress
with respect to diversity of supply but a lot more can be done. >> thank you. mr. secretary, in a speech in 2011 you said allow me to be blunt. some of the united states not a majority by any means but certainly vocal minority see china's rise as a threat somehow to america's international status. they believe that conflict between our two countries is inevitable as chinese ambitions clash with american position and power. ladies and gentlemen, these observers are wrong and they are not only wrong they are dangerously wrong and the reason is very simple. the analysis grossly underestimate the broad areas where chinese and american interests converge. >> uh-huh. >> do you believe that statement still holds today? what are our future risks and how we should handle them? >> i do. i happen to believe that one of the most important -- one of the biggest challenges facing american policymakers today is how we react to the rise of china as a global power. and i think it's extremely important that we get it right. it's important that china get it
right, too, in terms of their relationship with us. there are some areas with respect to china where there can be a convergent -- where there is a convergence of interest and where we can be semicooperative it seems to me. but there are plenty of areas where we're going to continue to have tensions. we're going to have tensions on human rights. we're going to have tensions on taiwan. we're going to have tensions on tibbet and we're going to have tensions now involving the south china sea. but we need to -- we need to cooperate with china where we can, regional security, energy security, perhaps trade. but we need to manage the differences that are going to exist. so, cooperate where we can. manage the differences where they exist. but we -- we will certainly need to maintain a robust, continue to maintain a robust presence, military presence, in the pacific, in the form of the
seventh fleet to guard against any chinese efforts to achieve th hegemony in that part of the world and there are allies that are counting on us to be there for us. i think we can. all i'm saying it's not foreordained that the united states and china are going to become enemies, at least not in my opinion at least if we play our cards right. >> i want to add to that. we obviously have been -- the seventh fleet you mentioned our freedom of navigation operations, what more should we be doing in the south china sea in addition to this question, mr. donilon, and should we be pursuing other asymmetric actions, diplomatic channels in addition to our right of passage exercise? >> we should be doing all the diplomacy we can absolutely, but the freedom of navigation is very important and we need to impress upon the chinese the danger that these activities
present, particularly where you have a conflict between china and japan. japan over the so-called senkaku islands and we've got a security agreement with japan and if they start shooting each other on the islands out there, it's not going to be a good thing for us. let me turn -- >> senator, i think there's really no more serious diplomatic burden that we're going to have going forward than to manage the u.s./china relationship. because of history and the dynamics between a rising power and an existing power is a great challenge. it's a great burden with the policymakers on both sides. second as secretary baker said i think it will require us to continue our presence in the region. i think following through on the rebalance effort is quite important. ensuring that we have appropriate resources and the right balance of forces there. third, we need to make very clear to the chinese and we
have, i've spent as much time with the chinese leadership as anybody in the u.s. government over the last few years, to make absolutely clear we're going to maintain our alliance. some on the chinese side see them as cold war relics but it's the basis that we engage in the region and will continue to and one of the great beneficiaries has been china. two or three issues -- problematic areas, obviously. the south china sea is important for us to underscore the key principles that we seek to maintain there, freedom of navigation, peaceful resolution of disputes, the enforcement of international law. we do that through our presence and the navigation exercises. i think it's important for us to press in the region for a code of conduct to be established with activities with respect to the disputed and other areas. i think that we can press with china in dialogue and
understanding that there's a real danger here of mistake and miscalculation and one that we should do everything we can to avoid. you know, my conversations with counterparts in the chinese government with respect to this area i said many times, you know, we've got tremendous amount at stake here, right? and some night in the middle of the night, in the middle of your day, right? we're going to get a call and we're going to have a problem around a rock formation or island which name we don't know and we can't find on a map and it will be a real blow to our relationship. i think the chinese need to think hard about in terms of their more aggressive actions here and we need to be more steadfast in addressing it. and the last thing i'll say and i said in nigh openimy opening we had a premier test of the u.s./china relationship going into next year is the north korea situation. this is -- the most important security challenge we have in asia as i said in my testimony. the most important proliferation challenge we have globally.
the north koreans are proing headlong with respect to a missile program and nuclear program and at the end of the day, we are going to have to take steps to protect ourselves obviously against this because it's not acceptable to any to h ourselves. it's unacceptable for them to have a weapon that can reach the united states, and this dialogue with china i think on this quite urgent and a real test of the relationship going forward. >> i couldn't career more about the north korean comments. if we have any chance at all of getting it done short of some sort of military response, which would be unappealing at best, it's going to have to be with xhin. china is the only country in the world that will have any real influence on north korea. >> secretary bake and mr. donilon, thank you for that. this committee would love to have a conversation with both of you about what more could be
done, particularly in light of the fact that trade has actually increased and notdecreased. that's powerful leverage they seem to be heading the wrong direction on. >> thank for you your leadership and effort. senator udall. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we talked about sanctions. i would like to follow up on the north korea part of this. you talked about how important it is that we -- that we address the issue. what steps specifically do you think congress should take in this conflict we have going on, and then what the executives should take on north korea. with what is happen there right now. >> well, i think the executives should -- should make it clear to the chinese leadership that this is somebody that we view very gravely, that it's a matter
of utmost and serious concern to us. if the executive comes to the congress and asks for sanctions of any kind, i think the congress ought to respond quickly and effectively and affirmatively. the first responsible will not be a military one. i think we all understand that, but we're going to have to do something, because as mr. donilon has said, they are racing pellmell toward nuclear capability that constitute a serious threat to us and to our security treaty allies, .en and south korea. >> mr. donilon? >> i would go through a list of things. one obviously the recent of, and we did this in cooperation with the chinese. there are loopholes in those sanctions respect those loopholes should be closed.
my judgment on sanctions, you know, taking my experience from the iran situation, right? where you know, we basically put together over the course of a half a decade that were regime threatening, which brought iran to the table. i think that should be the goal, that they see it as regime threatening. the second the congress supports and administration continues to put in place the appropriate missile defense systems in korea to protect us and our allies in the region. we have opened up discusses with south koreans on putting in a thad system. third is to support president park and her vision. to support her vision of a unified peaceful vision, and then fourth, i think on the
executive branch side, to really undertake an effort to deepen our conversation with the chinese about the future of the peninsula. it's an uncomfortable conversation with them, but when you're presented with the fact that the united states is going to have to do a number of things to protect itself. they're not going to be aimed at beijing, but beijing will see them as strategically uncomfortable. that will head towards a strategic disagreement with the chinese. again, those steps won't be aimed -- these are aimed at about i don't think jane and china will have to come to the table with that understanding and work with us for imagine -- working with us in a much more aggressive way. i think sanctions, missile defense, politics, and a deeper conversation with the chinese about the situation. as i said, this is going to be a key test for the u.s./china relationship in the coming year. thank you very much for those answers. i would like to shift back.
we've had a lot of discussion about syria and afghanistan and iraq and what happened there. one of the things we have talked about, and i in a way compliment the chairman and senator cardin for holding a hearing like this. is at certain points we should take stock as to where we are and what lessons we have learned. it seems to me that when you look at those three countries and look at the amount of aid that we have spent and i think people are talking about greater than the marshal plan, when you look at what results we've gotten and where we are today, what do you think the lessons are that we should have learned in the -- and in particular i'd like to focus in on afghanistan, since we've had so much difficulty there stabilizing that. >> i'm not sure i am the best
person to answer that for you. tom's left government far later than i did, and he dealt with afghanistan. i never had to do that, but i will simply say, you know, it's now the longer war that we have ever fought. we're still there, but i would suggest that the one thing we ought naught to do is to make what i think was a mistake in iraq by withdrawing our forces too quickly. i'm certainly support president obama's decision to leave forces in afghanistan, and i think unfortunately that we're going to be there after good bit longer. we ought to do everything we can to promote an agreement with the government and the taliban. anything we can do to get that done and enhance that is what we ought to do, but those are my thoughts. >> senator, i think it's an important question. so with respect to our
undertaking in afghanistan, we have in fact really diminished the threat. itunder scores how difficult these challenges are. i do think it would be useful for our military in preparation for the next president coming in is to ask the hard questions. one of the lessons about how we have fought war in the last decade and a half and really drill down on it and prepare for the next president. a set of lessons learned as to how we -- we've had some successes, but obviously a number of errors, and we've had some strategic difficulties. i agree with secretary baker, where we are today, though, given the pressure from a resurgent tal ban, i think we'll need something like the current level of u.s. forces we have there for some time to come. it is important to underscore we
did make significant progress against al qaeda. we did provide the afghan people with an opportunity to build a society, but you have to have some humility about this as well. the ability of this dance as to reform societies that are so different from ours is really is limited ultimately. we need to identify the threats, do what we can, but i think there's lessons learned, exercise about how we fight war. is useful thing for the next president to look forward to. >> thank you. in afghanistan i will say that al qaeda is coming back, and we just recently allowed our troops to go against them, which was pretty phenomenon, and no question that pack assistant in
all of this has been hard i think for most of us to stomach. let me ask this -- selective engagement is the way that secretary baker has framed it. mr. donilon and i, what would be your take on that view of u.s. foreign policy? >> what the interests are involved, what's -- the degree of interest will dictate what we do and what steps we take. third, the response to every problem in the world is not a u.s. military action. >> i thought you would agree, so let me take it to the next temperature. the world is watching right now. the world is watching as this
presidential race evolves. certainly europe is watching. i had a leader in yesterday, and i can tell the demeanor has changed since i met with them last in february. what is the best way for us to communicate strategic engagement? there can be inconsistencies there, because we'll be looking at the core national interest. as you look at the best way for the nation, if you were advising folks who now will be the focus, if you will, of u.s. foreign policy over the next six months as to how they might communicate that to the world, how would that be?