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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  May 12, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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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?
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>> i'm going to test them against the national interests, test them against principles and values, and what i and my advisers think is doable here. then how do i address the probably? i think that's the way it would work, so it's going to depend upon each specific issue that comes before the commander in chief. >> i'm going to follow up in a second. >> i think it's important for those who will be president to communication their vision of the foreign policy they intend to bring, and it's important to
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do that in some detail. i hope we can have that during the course of this campaign. i think it's important for the next president to communicate that with confidence, because as we both discussed here today, the united states is and has the resources to be the leading nation in the world and should be, and i think it's required to lead leading nation in the world. i think it's important for us to focus on economic growth, and i think there needs to be an important focus on allies. and the value this unique global alliance system has to the united states and will continue to have. i think it's a confident presentation, economics at the center and allies is really the key to how we work in the world. >> how would that be different from your perspective, fairly briefly -- how would that be different from the way you think the world is views the united states today?
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>> well, depends on who the next president is -- >> no, no, no, the select iive you were going to contrast that with how you look at u.s. foreign policy today, what would that be? >> you're talking about right this very minute? the past 20 years? >> do both. >> i think the beauty of this paradigm that i have suggested is you look at each and every foreign policy problem on its own, and then you then decide what range of tools you're going to use to try and address it. you're not -- you're not wedded to either a foreign policy based only on idealism, we're only going to go for principles or values or frankly only on the
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national interest. what i would say once again is if you -- if you're talking about sending america's young men and women into harm's way, you better have a really significant national interest at stake, because as the 3w0dy bags begin coming home, you will lose the policy. if you don't have significant national interest at state. once vietnam, witness iraq in 2003. so i don't know what the view of u.s. foreign policy today is by people on the outside, because frankly we've embraced a number of different paradimes. >> but i think i know -- so the -- i guess the question would be if you seem there's perceptions in some quarters about the retrenchment and pulling back of the u.s.
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leadership. my judgment is that's not borne out by the facts. i think i know where some of this comes from. the fact is that the united states continues to lead aggressively around the world, whether it be in asia where we're engaged it china puts together -- if you look at the middle east, you know, the united states led the effort to address the not proliferation challenge from iran, the united states is leading the counter-terrorism effort in the world, and the united states has increasingly, and i think it's been important to accelerate our efforts with respect to the challenges in syria and in iraq, so i think it's important to underscore the fact and i think we've also taken very important steps with respect to deepening
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our relationship in our own hemisphere. that gets way too many attention. no great pawer or important nation has the kind of strategic base that we do in terms of the americas and the potential. i think it's important to underscore the fact with specifics. i think it is important to fin to accelerate our efforts to address those problems. >> can i say, without this being interpreted as a political statement, which it isn't, because i agree with 99% of what tom has said here today, we need to make the world understand we're going to lead from in front, and not from behind. i think that's an oxymoron. >> senator flake. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i apologize if i'm plowing old ground here. i couldn't be here earlier. we can't deny that it's really changed the order in the middle east. and other activity, and now it's -- it's gained status at least, you know, as a responsible nation state, i guess, i'm going to -- i thought that the reporter on the jcw of poa was closer than most. can you talk a little about this -- what's ahead in terms of iran and the change in the order
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in the middle east. i mentioned we need to be careful and maintain our alliances with the saudis, for example, how do we do that with this new order in the middle east? >> i think we have to reassure not just the saudis, but our other allies in the middle east, israel and the other moderate arab states of the rabidian gulf, let them know we still have got their back. let them know as we said over and over this deal with iran is nuclear only, that it doesn't have anything to do with anything else. it's too bad it doesn't, but it doesn't, and that we're going to be there and we're still going to oppose the participation in terror that iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been lift with for some time, and just reaffirm our support for them and help prop them up.
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they're really not happy with us. they're not happy with us about this deal. now back they when the question was should we go forward or not go forward? i was in favor of going forward, because i didn't think we could bring the europeans along to maintain sanctions. you could argue that we never should have gotten into this negotiation. if you think that iran's bad behavior outweighs the risk -- outweighs the stability that we'll get for ten years of no nukes in iran, then you wouldn't have started this to begin with. we freed up the iranian funds, whatever it is, and they're still free to do the nasty things that they do in the region, and they're going to do
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them, in my opinion. when that issue was before the congress and before the country, i said that i was in favor of gooded forward, because i didn't think we could maintain the sanctions, and i think the sanctions would have gone. those sanctions were very effective in bringing iran to the table, but now i think our obligation is to really let our longtime allies know we're going to have their back, and we're not changing our view, and our opposition to iran's bad actions in the region. >> tom? >> secretary baker described the determination, right? it was seen by president obama and the administration as the principal security threat in the region, and a very serious nonproliferation threat. it was at a stage when we had the opportunity to stop it. we succeeded in negotiation that pretty much stops with a
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reasonable high degree of certainty for a decade and a half. that was the decision that was made, and i think it was the right decision it was not some kind of quixotic exercise where we were in an arms control setting dealt with their you can lard program for an extended period of time, but we still face an iran regime, right? that is engaged in destabilizing confrontational and activities in the middle east, and we have to confront it. i think a number of things. one is that there are two different pieces here. there's the four corners of the deal, which need to be enforced strictly and there needs to be penalty for a diversion from the deal. there are iran's behavior outside the four corners of the
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deal, which would be much more problematic going forward, and it needs to be confronted and confronted directly. and third, we need to have in place, and this is -- a -- we need to have in place a very serious deterrent. iran needs to understand that if in fact they pursue a nuclear weapon, that the united states is prepared to take action necessary, including military action, to keep them from doing so. these deterrence messages are think are very important going forward for the renalen and for the world. >> thank you. secretary baker, you won't remember it, but i met you for the first time in namibia.
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but a -- >> that was a namibian independent. >> a lot has happened in africa, where political leaders don't want to leave after their terms in office in the drc right now and east africa as well, rwanda, burundi. what are your thoughts with regard to the efficacy of unilateral sanctions or other measures that we could take? our influence at times is limited, but we do have some influence. >> it's never as effective as multilateral, but there may be a time for those, particularly in instances like that, looking at it through the paradigm of selected engagement, that this is it a matter of great interest in the united states, concern in the united states, we need to be
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engaged, and how are we going to be engaged? by putting sanctions on these individuals who won't step down. you've got to weigh the pluses and the minuses, do a cost/benefit analysis in effect. what are we going to gain from it? and what is it, if anything, that it will cost us? i don't see any reason why we shouldn't do that, if we think that's the right approach to take. >> well, thanks. we'll be holding some hearings in the subcommittee on the issue, so this is a good preview. thank you for your testimony. >> senator markie? >> ink that you, mr. chairman, very much. thank both of us for being here and your service to our country. senior baker, thank you so much recommend to president bush that you not go to baghdad. that stands the test the historical scrutiny. >> i don't think you were here, senator, when i said shortly after we got out of office, for two or three years, anytime i to
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make a speech, people would say why didn't you take care every saddam when you had the chance? i don't get that question anymore. >> you have to balance, which i think you did, military might with wisdom. you brought that to that decision, and we thank you so much. >> thank you. >> so now as we look at iraq today, we can see the rising influence of el sadda. he was behind this shia takeover of the parliament, ostensibly they're calling for reforms, but those reforms include changing the role in which the sunnis and the kurds play in the government in that country. and we're already basically looking at sunnis in tikrit, wondering when do the shia ever let their control over that city
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go? so they can once again play a role in the government. that would crail problems for the takeover of mosul, for example. the sunnis would say it's worth it to fight the isis sunnis, because we will then be given back control over that will city, on and on. could you give us a view that the role iran is playing in this agenda in rage right now, and what the united states should be doing in order to push back so that the forces of inclusion, so it's not just the shia but the sunnis and the kurds retain roles that are prominent inside the government? >> well, again, tom is probably more up to speed on this, but
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let me say that i think -- this is not a political statement, senator, but i think we left too soon. i said that in response to an afghan question we were fun able to negotiate a status of forces agreement. i don't know if we should have been able to or not, but we didn't, and we left. i'm like tom, i'm very seriously concerned about the situation in iraq today, and i think what you saw with muqtada al sadr's takeover of the green zone was very, very disturbing. it's more of what we saw before. >> do you see it as an extension of the iranian play -- >> i don't think there's any doubt in the world that iran is the most important player, foreign nation, player in iraq today form not the united
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states, nobody else -- iran. they have an influence on the shia government, and have had since that government came to power. of course iraq is a shia majority state. so, yeah, i see a lot of iranian influence. >> so what, from your perspective, should the united states be saying? doing? building a coalition of other countries that have a stake in long-term iraqi stability in order to make sure that this shia perspective, this rad cat shia perspective does not poison any ability to bring the sunnis and kurds long term back to the table toufr a united country. >> i don't know of anything we can do other than to continue to work with the iraqi government. president obama is incrementally increases the presence of u.s. forces there.
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tom probably knows the extent and degree of that better than i do, but i think that's probably called for now. i hate to see it. i hate to see us going back in there. we're not going back in full boar. >> in pa lacki had allowed for 10,000 troops to stay in iraq, how due think -- >> i think that would have made a big difference. i think it would have made a difference in -- it wouldn't have made a dimples whether the malaki government did what they should have done. they've never given others a shake. they've been very partisan. this new government is less partisan, i think. let me turn to tom. >> thank you for your wisdom. >> there's a couple things. number one, the governian efforts in baghdad are important as the anti-isis efforts outside of baghdad, because the source
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of isis in iraq is basically a failure of gompance. it's a malaki government, politicizing the iraqi security forces leading to a great deterioration, obviously. we can be successful with respect to our efforts, and i think we will be in terms testify rolling back isis, but it's a short-term success, which will lead to the same kind of dynamic. >> how concerned are you that a body given this pressure that al sadda is now bringing won't have the capacity to create a political space for the other religions in that country? >> i think it's concerning, but we need to support him in that effort. >> are you optimistic. >> the other is oil prices, another whole -- >> and we could do anything about that, except lower them further when the fracking
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revolution continues in america. secretary baker is an expert on that succeed. are you optimistic in other words, in terms of ultimately what will unfold in iraq? can we give the support to a body? can he push back again al sadr, and does he have the will to push back against the iran unions who actually have a stake? >> they have a big stake in it. i think at this point you can only identify the policy priors. i can't judge from this distance, right? i do know what the right policy and prior should be, and it's to support and having more diversion and representative government. outside the so-called caliphate
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area, the theater of war right now in syria and iraq, so i don't think we have a choice but to press against and defeat. at this point we have to break the back of isis's perception. >> like you say, we can't break their back unless after we take over, with sunni support in other cities, then it holds. other it's just repetition syndrome, and so that's -- i continue to believe unless we can think through and apply the right pressure on this iraqi/sadda agenda that ultimately all of our efforts will not just bear the long-term fruit that we're hoping for that region. i just again want to thank both of you for the great service to our country. thank you. >> and now we're pressing up against a hard stop for secretary baker. so senator, if you could go
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ahead, we'll end many after you, sir. >> thank you very much for convening this fascinating hearing. i would like to thank senior baker and national security adviser donilon for your decades of capable and strong leadership in american foreign policy. it's been a fabulous hearing. i appreciate your engagement with us. it has been remarked by many members, the current presidential election has seen candidates question long-held assumptions and commitments and principles that have underlane the policy for some time, and has struck a chord to reflect on the changing snatch of the world, the challenges and threat we face and to assess our role in it. no matter the outcome, the senate and this committee in particular must continue to grapple with the trends you have identified that are transforming
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the international system and decide how to defend our interests and engage with our allies. just two brought questions and invite you to use the remainder of your time first the role of this committee and the senate more broadly. the chairman and ranking member have done a great job on working on a bipartisan basis to strepgten the role of the foreign relations committee which i posit has wane so much as the general partisanship has been a bearer in for being an effective player in the formulation of process. how do you perceive the role of the snand and what concrete,s could we take to be more relevant? if you reflect on that in answering two other questions that would be great. how do we strengthen the national rules-based order that we established after the second world ward that's been so
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important to security and prosperi prosperity, and how to confront the fact there's a belt of fragile countries across north africa and middle east that runs all the way through syria and iraq out to pakistan, in a way that there make a real dimples? >> well, i think that chairman corker has moved this committee back to the role it play as when fulbright -- i first started testifying here before foreign relations when clay burn pell was the champl. i've seen jesse helms, dick lugar, john kerry, joe biden. and it's a very, very important
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committee. if you're interested in foreign affairs, this is a i think the preeminent committee of the congress on that issue. i'm sure ed royce might not agree with me on that. they've both important, but this is an extremely important committee. i think senator corker and ranking member cardin taking it back to what it used to be and i'm delighted to see that, that's the only comment i would make. the second question? >> what should we be do to strengthen the order that the united states led post world war ii. >> i think it's important we live up to our financial responsibilities, that we pay our dues, yes, to the u.n. among others, but i think one of the strengths of america, my opening statement made the point that we are the uniquely preeminent power in the world today, and in
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my opinion we stand to remain that. there's no real challenge to us for the foreseeable future. one of the elements of our strengths are our leadership role in these international institutions, whether it's the imf or world bank or wto or the u.n. it's important to understand that these help america. they help us maintain security for the american people and strengthen america. so i think that would be my answer to you on that. >> senator, thanks for the question. on this committee, i would say three things. one is, you know, the coin offal realm -- or policy ideasings right? i think a steep exploration, and then coming forward with concrete approaches and ideas is really important. i think this committee is doing that in a variety of places. it's important to close the deal, right?
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we looked at the problem and now have a set of possible recommendations and policy ideas that we want to put forward. i think the second is to continue to be in the field, to travel, to learn what's going on. there's no substitute for that, frankly, as you know very well. and the third is, and secretary baker, as i am a -- hold the executive bramplg's feet to the fire. one is to press off seams of foreperson policy problems, where there seems to be, you know, a crack or a -- it doesn't quite fit together, and the other is through where there's been a problem to it willy do
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investigative work, and come back with how it might be done better in the future. those are the three things i would say with respect to the committee. with respect to the rules-based order. the most important thing to do is remind that these institutions have worked well with the united states and they should be supported and continued. >> as a members of the proposes subcommittee that funds state department, i would mention that senator graham has made a number of public comments. we held a hear. many members were present on the question of fragile states. he is i think appropriately highlighting that the cost of restabilizing countries like libya, syria, iraq, and continuing to hold together countries like nigeria and pakistan is going to be substantial. we need to engage in a bipartisan and thoughtful way in advancing why it is in america's interesting to prevent the collapse of other potentially
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more dangerous states. thank you. >> thank you. senator cardin for close comments? >> thank you to both our witnesses again. iran has come up several times. i certainly agree with both your statements about the united states muss reassure or gulf state partners and israel of our commitment to their security. i do just make the observation. we all talk about being strong in regards to the iranian activities that are not directly related to the jcpoa, and i agree with that completely. i am concerned, though, that with iran continuing to say to the international community the united states is not operateling in good faith when we are, whether we're going to be able to take firm actions against iran for its non-nuclear activities and have the support of europe. the connections currently being made in europe, to me could lead to a concern as to whether we
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could maintain that unity. inch really it's a matter of diplomacy and we should stay engaged, and keep calking to those alous, keep them together. we won't be able to do anything unilaterally on that problem. >> thank you both. >> thank you both for your careers, outstanding public service to our nation, your willingness when the time calls to come back and help us as you have today, i think has been a major contribution to us, i know that, and i think to our country. if you could, there would be questions that will come after this. we'll close those as of the close of business friday, if you can't within a reasonable time attempt to respond to those, we would appreciate it, but we cannot thank you enough for
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being here today and for your outstanding public careers. with that, the meeting is adjourned. >> thank you, chairman. >> thank you, john.
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i think continues to be an issue, and we're in a difficult place. i think the comments that were made today are true. i think at the time when turkey was willing to talk with us about a no will have fly zone was a time for us to put that in place and in the northwest triangle of aleppo, dealing with it there. i think we would be in a different place today, but let's face it with russia having come in as they did, much of the way syria is going to end up now
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unfortunately is going to be driven by russia, because they came in with force in a way that, you know, the u.s. would not do. >> would you suggest a leadership in forming a no-fly zone or safe zone in northern syria to -- >> i think we're maybe, if this cessation continues to have problems, i think we're beyond in many ways. we missed our opportunities to really affect things, in a more positive way. so, again, should the negotiations completely fall apart, i think looking at that certainly looking at it again is certainly an avenue. i don't think there's been -- not to be too pejorative here, but i don't think there's been a plan b, and i think that russia, iran and syria know there's never really been a plan b, so the think ultimate outcome unfortunately for u.s. interests is going to be largely driven by
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russia. >> did you see secretary baker's remarks as a recitation of donald trump -- or validating what he talk about in terms of -- if you want to be honest. i remarked he i remarked that the speech was made that i say all degree of realism coming into those statements, and i think that selective engagement that, you know, was discussed today, is not anchored either in idealism or necessarily p realism fully, but sort of a combination of the two. that's what i heard in the speech, and i've said over and over, to me much of what was said is -- reflects what i think
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bush 41, the first bush, and jim bakker today esupposed so i thought it was more of an affirmation. >> you think it's somewhat harkening back to an earlier era of republican foreign policy that became behind the scenes after 9/11, he's harkening back to an older tradition? >> i wouldn't even use the word older. i would say more mature. >> the u.s. high-profile either -- u.s./china -- >> i'm sorry? >> are you worried that the u.s. military presence in south china sea may ants bash u.s./china -- >> i think if we don't do it often -- so it's a big event you report on and everyone else
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does. i think the problem is we're not doing it enough. i think we ought to be within those 12 nautical miles weekly. we have 60% of our naval assets in that part of the world, and so unless it's routine, which it should become, then yes, you have though notion that, as was mentioned here today in the hearing, that things quickly could escalate and be problematic. as long as it's understood that it's a routine thing for our u.s. navy to come one 12 nautical miles, we're not agreeing that these are claimed by anyone, i think we can prevent that from happening. i would encourage it far more often. >> mr. chairman, last question, please, if there's a chance mr. trump's approach to foreign affairs might hurt national security pulling back from nato, telling our allies we're going to be cutting back, how do we deal with that? >> well, i sense -- i think at
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this point you're going to be -- i think you're seeing that foreign policy evolve. so i wouldn't -- i wouldn't worry too much right now. as i've said to others, i would chill. i think it's evolving to much of what you saw secretary bakker said today. i met with a russian leader last night, a chinese leader yesterday. it is causing people to focus more fully. i think that's actually a good thing. at the same time, over the course of the next three months, my sense is that candidates on both sides of the aisle will be more fully laying out where they think u.s. foreign pod should be. again, i like the viewpoints that secretary bakker laid out and much of what tom donilon
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said, they seemed to be in great on a lot of things, but in particular, what i've heard from the campaign is something that does embrace much of what secretary bakker said today. i've been to go. >> who is the russian leader? >> i probably shouldn't have said that, should i? on the american history tv on c-span3. >> there has never been a full public accounting of fbi do mist ig intelligence operations. therefore this committee has undertaken such an investigation. saturday night at 10:00 p.m. eastern, the commission questions committee staffers
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frederick schwartz and kurt smothers detailing fbi abusing includes teameded intimidation. >> king, there's only one thing left for you to do, you know what it is. you have just 34 days in which to do it. this exact number has been selected for a specific reason. it is definite practical significant, 34 days before the award. you are done. then associate fbi director james addams admits to some of the excesses while defending a number of other fbi practices. then at 8:00 on lectures in history. >> the rest of us may in a bad life see a death or two, they see hundreds. and so they're the first to sort of see pattern or shifts in how people are going out of the world. so they are the ones who sound the alarm. >> university of georgia professor steven barry on the role of a coroner and how they shed light on the emerging patterns of death within a society, and spot potential threats to public health.
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sunday evening at 6:30, secretary of state john kerry who served in the vietnam wear and later became a vocal opponent of the war shares his viewsty lyndon b. johnson presidential library in austin, texas. >> our vet advance did not receive the welcome home nor the benefits nor the treatment that they not only deserved but needed, and the fundamental contract between soldier and government simply was not honored. then at 8:00 on the presidency -- >> what other the person sitting at home watching tv watched reagan deliver the speech? it was dwight eisenhower. he immediately called his former attorney general and said, what a fine speech ronald reagan had just delivered. he then called a former special assistant and said what an excellent speech ronald reagan had delivered. dwight eisenhower wrote back a multistep political plan for ronald reagan to follow.
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reagan would end up following eisenhower's advice to the letter. >> author gene koppel son examines dwight d. eisenhower's behind the scenes mentor of of ronald reagan, and the pivotal role he played in the 1960s. for the complete american weekend schedule, go to this sunday night on q&a, historian adam hochshield and his book on the american involvement in the spanish civil war in the late 1930s. >> this coup attempt happened in spain when all over the country right-wing army officers tried to seize power, and in parts of the country succeeded in seizing power in 1936. it sent a shockwave of alater in the world. here was a major country in the europe, the right-wing military quickly backed by hitler and
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muse lynni who sent arms, airplanes, pilots, tank, tank drivers and muse lynni eventually sent 80,000 ground troops. here was the spanish right making a grab for power, and people all over the world felt it auditor resisted. if not here, where? otherwise, we're next. sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. donald trump and house speaker paul ryan pledged to work together despite their dimpleses after a meeting today aimed at unifying a party torn over trump's rise to the cusp of the presidential nomination. in a tweet following the meeting he said great day in d.c. with speaker ryan and republican leadership. things working out really well. the speaker told reporters the process of unifying the party would take time and the two would need more discussion on policy issues. this is about 15 minutes.
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good afternoon. -- no, good morning. right now more americans die every year from drug overdoses than they do in car accidents. let me say that again. we have got more of our fellow citizens dying every year from drug overdoses than of car accidents. today the house continues to work on legislation to address the heroin and opioid epidemic across this country. for those of you who were at our press confirms yesterday, you heard from susan brooks and bob dold, authors of two of these initiatives. all told by the end of this week we are working on 18 bills to deal with this. i actually will be signing one today. s-32, the transnational drug trafficking act. this allows prosecutors to go after drug traffickers in foreign countries if we believe
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their drugs will make it to our shores. that's going to the president's desk today. one reason we call this an epidemic is because it cuts across all demographics. it affects families everywhere in america. take youth athletes. they get injured, prescribed medication. before they know it they are the path to dependency and addiction. yesterday we passed a bill that introduced by pat kneeian of pennsylvania to help. you can also be born with a dependency. this is the saddest story of them all. it happens every 25 minutes in this country. they have trouble to eat other even breathe. yesterday we passed a bill produce -- to help product infants and to make sure that they get a healthy start? the next step here is that we will take all of these bills that we are passing out of the house and go to a conference committee with the sentence. then we intend to send a bill to the president's desk. i hope that each and every one
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of you will be back here when we sign this bill. the opioid epidemic is something we have to get on top of. i'm proud of the republicans and democrats that have come together to address this situation, because it is about people's lives. it's about whole communities being torn apart. i believe we can win this fight and we must. questions? chad? >> reporter: thank you. [ inaudible ] just want to meet had been hillary clinton. >> that's true, we do want to beat hillary clinton. >> reporter: that can't be the only point of unity. you're having trouble passing a budget here in the house, what makes you think you can get on board with some of things donald trump is talking about when it comes to policies? >> let me say this. i think we had a very encouraging meeting. it's no secret that donald trump and i have had our differences. we talked about the differences today. that's common knowledge. the question is -- what is it
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that we need to do to unify the republican party and all strains of conservative wings in the party? we had a very good and encouraging productive conversation on how to do that. it was important we discussed our differences that we have, but it's also important that we discussed the core principles that ties all of us together, principles like the constitution, the separation of powers. on the fact that we have an executive that's going way beyond the boundaries of the constitution and how it's important to us that we restore article i of the constitution. the principle of self-governance. that we are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified to bridge the gaps and differences, and so from here we're going to go deeper into the policy areas to see where that common ground is and how we can make sure that we are operating off these same core
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principles, and so yes, this is our first meeting. i was very encouraged, but this is a process. it takes a little time. you don't put it together in 45 minutes. so that is why we had, like i said, a very good start to a process on how we unify. >> you don't think it's an issue of -- >> jonathan? >> so, mr. speaker, i read that statement as well, and i'm still a little confused. are you endorsing donald trump? if you're not, what is holding you back? do you really have a choice? you ruled out voting for hillary clinton, endorsing her. >> the process of unifying the republican party, which just finished a primary about a week ago, perhaps one of the most divisive primaries in memory takes some time. look, there are people who are for donald trump, who were for ted cruz, john kasich, marco rubio and everybody else. it's very important that we don't fake unifying, we don't pretend unification, that we truly actually unify so we are
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full strength in the fall. i don't want us to have a fake unification process here. i want to make sure that we really, truly understand each other and we are committed to the conservative principles that make the republican party that built this country and, again, i am very encouraged. i heard a lot of good things from our presumptive nominee and we exchanged differences of opinion on a number of things, you know, that everybody knows we have. there are policy disputes that we will have. there's no two ways about it. plenty of republicans disagree with one another on policy disputes but on core principles, those are the kinds of things that we discussed and, again, i'm encouraged. craig? >> yes, do you expect to endorse him? >> i think this is going in a positive direction and i think this is a first very encouraging meeting. but, again, in 45 minutes you don't litigate all of the processes and all of the issues and the principles that we are talking about. i didn't catch that. >> did he offer any assurances that he would change or moderate his tone from the campaign?
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>> i think it's important the kind of conversation we had is between the two of us and no offense but i don't want to litigate our conversation through the media because i think when you're beginning to get to know someone you have a good conversation of trust between each other. so, i want to keep the things we discussed between the two of because they're very important and they're personal in some senses. that means we talked about what it takes to unify, where our differences were and how we can bridge the gaps going forward so we're strong as a party going into the fall. juan? >> mr. trump reiterate his desire to see you as the chairman of the convention in cleveland? and is that a role that you still want? >> he did. i am the speaker of the house. i am happy to serve in this capacity at the chair of our convention if our presumptive nominee wants me to do so. i see that as -- it's the delegates who technically make the decision but i would honor the decision of our presumptive nominee and he did express that interest. >> to what extent based on his
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past statements and what he said today do you think he's committed to reducing the scope and size of government and what did you think of his personality? >> his personality i thought -- i thought he has a very good personality. he's a very warm and genuine person. i met him for, like, 30 seconds in 2012, so we really don't know each other. and we started to get to know each other. so, i actually had a very pleasant exchange with him. that's point number one. point number two, look, there are things we really believe in as conservatives. we believe in limited government. we believe in the constitution. we believe in the proper role in the differences of the fration of powers. we believe in things like life. i know not everyone is pro-choice in our party and we accept all comers but we are a majority pro-life party and these are things that are important to us. and we had a good exchange of views on these issues. our leaders met with him and everybody expressed opinions and exchanged ideas and so the point of this is i think we're off to
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an encouraging start. it is important that we get ourselves to full strength so that we can win in the fall because the stakes could not be higher. but it takes more than 45 minutes, mark. >> reducing the size of government you are someone committed to it. >> we discussed those issues at great detail. >> mr. speaker, you have defined modern conservatism along the lines of entitlement rea form, pro-ta pro-trade and immigration. when you say few problems in this joint statement aren't papering over the rather sizable differences in not only how conservatism is defined broadly but how you have tried to define it for this house? >> i represent a wing of the conservative party you could say. he's bringing a whole new wing to it. he's bringing new voters that we've never had for decades. that's a positive thing. the point, though, is can we agree on the common core principles that unite all of us. we will have policy disputes. there's no two ways about that.
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all republicans -- mitt romney and i didn't agree on everything in 2012. so, we will have policy disputes. i'm not interested in litigating the past. i am interested in going forward and seeing where that common ground exists to make sure that we can have a unified republican party that, yes, there will be different republicans that have different views on various policy ideas. the question is can we unify on common core principles that make our party -- and by the way, the principles that built this country. i'm very encouraged that the answer to that question is yes. >> do you intend to endorse before the convention? >> one more over here. >> hi, speaker ryan. >> sorry, the lady. >> you just mentioned the millions of new voters that he's bringing in new people. i was wondering how you actually interpret his success. is it going to mean the real -- i mean, fundamental re-alignment of the party because of these new voters that he's bringing in? just how do you interpret his
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success? >> it's really kind of unparalleled i think. he has gotten more votes than any republican primary nominee in the history of our country. and this isn't even over yet he hasn't even gone to, like, california yet. so, it's really a remarkable achievement. so, the question is -- and this is what we think we can be a party to helping, how do we unify it all so this is really a big and growing movement. how do we keep adding and adding and adding voters while not subtracting any voters. and to me that means a positive vision passibased on core princ, taking those principles and applying them to the problems facing our country today and offering people positive solutions and speaking to feem where they are in life, addressing their anxieties and show we have a better plan. here's what we agree on a hillary clinton presidency would be a disaster to this country and it's effectively a third obama term and the other thing we all know is most americans do not like where this country is
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headed. seven out of ten americans think america is on the wrong track. we agree with that. so, the question is, can we unify around our common principles to offer the country a compelling and clear choice and an agenda going forward so that the men and women of this nation get a real and honest choice about how to fix this country and get us on a better track. and i'm very encouraged that we can put that together. >> mr. speaker -- >> one more in the back. >> thanks for call iing on us i the cheap seats. >> you got here late. >> your statement last week on cnn donald trump said he was not ready to support your agenda. did he change his mind today? i assume you talked about your agenda and did he say he was supportive of that? >> we talked about all of these issues and our policy tees atea meeting to just walk through details. again, this is a process. we just began the process. i'm very encouraged at the first
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meeting of this progress and going forward we'll go deeper into the policy weeds to make sure we have a better understanding of one another. thank you very much, everybody. >> have you done yourself a disservice by not endorsing donald trump? in her weekly briefing today house democratic leader nancy pelosi answered questions on donald trump's visit to capitol hill, legislation on puerto rico's debt crisis and funding for the zika virus. this is about 25 minutes. >> good morning, good morning. >> good morning. >> i guess none of you stayed up late to watch the golden state warriors win again. 125 points. high-scoring game. nice work by the -- by portland, 121 poin. very high scoring. but that ends that series.
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i don't know basketball, it starts at 10:30 at night is getting a little late. some of you were with us yesterday. when our members of our leadership talked about mr. trump's comments being a direct continuation or reflection of what republicans in the house have been saying all along. my question to the republicans who are shocked by what mr. trump has been saying with his crassness and crudeness is since when. since when have you been surprised about this. mr. trump has said islam hates us, complete and total shutdown of muslims entering the united states. and the homeland security chairman peter king said we have unfortunately too many mosques in this country. this is an enemy living among us. on the birther claims trump said he, meaning president obama, doesn't have a birth certificate.
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he had one but there's something on it that maybe is religion, maybe he is a muslim. this is a candidate for the president of the united states. i don't know whether barack obama was born in the united states of america. i don't know that. but i do know this, that in his heart he's not an american. he's just not an american. trump has said about immigrants mexican immigrants are bringing drugs. they're bringing crime. they're rapists. that's what he said about mexican immigrants. steve king no relation to chairman peter king said for everyone who is a valedictorian there's another out there that weigh 150 pounds and they have calves the size of can't lobe . trump said women should face some form of punishment for the reproductive health decisions and their doctors as well.
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he went on to say that republicans right now are putting researchers, doctors and women in danger. the select committee a secret subpoena represents a dangerous republican dissent into anti-women mccarthyism. a brazen campaign of intimidation. this morning you probably have seen it, this morning democrats on the committee sent a letter to speaker ryan calling its abuse -- the committee's abusive conduct and blatant violations of house rules calling for the committee to be disbanded. that's what the republicans have been doing. and the republican establishment appears shocked at what trump has said when it is a direct reflection of what goes on here all the time. with people in power to bring their vitriol to committee, to the floor, to legislation. instead of addressing the needs of the american people republicans are dangerously obstructing action on the real
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crises facing our country. this week the house is acting on a number of good bipartisan opioid bills some with house democrats as lead sponsors. however, republicans are refusing to provide the emergency funding that is needed to make the difference just to have the statements was interesting. it's conversational. but it's not effective without the resources. republicans are refusing to provide the emergency funding that is needed to make a real difference in american communities facing the opioid tragedy. 78 americans die of an opioid overdose every day. our members, democrats and republicans, see this in their communities. that's why they are passing these nice bills. but it's hard to understand why they're not putting the resources for communities to deal with this. yesterday republicans voted to block democrats bill for $600 million in desperately needed fully paid for -- fully paid
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for -- new resources to address the opioid crisis. that was proposed by congresswoman custer of new hampshire who has been working on this issue for a long time. and then, of course, we had zika. already more than 1,000 americans including more than 100 pregnant women have confirmed cases of zika. last month house republicans voted twice to block emergency funding. and it's just a remarkable thing that this is a threat. it's going to even get worse as we get into the warmer weather. and so today at 1:00 p.m. democrats are holding a steering and policy hearing with dr. anthony fauchi of the nih and dr. ann shucat to discuss this. and how important it is to act on the $1.9 billion request of
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the obama administration to meet the zika threat. and as far as opioid addiction, do your job. zika, do your job. flint, flint, challenges the conscience of our country. refused to do emergency funding bill. do your job, congress. do your job. do you have any questions? yes, nancy. >> leader, pelosi, there was a lot of controversy on the republican side over speaker ryan's decision to withhold his support from donald trump at least for now. do you think that that was a brave move of his, a principled move? >> i recall, as i'm sure you do. the speaker withheld his acceptance of being speaker until they came to terms on the republican side. the appearance was that republicans had to measure up to his requirements. the reality was that he had to live up to their requirements. and i think that's what we're seeing again.
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brave? no, i don't think there's anything brave about it. but, again, i don't usually go into what's happening on the republican side. that's up to them. the people have spoken. they have a -- they're about to have a nominee. it's up to them to figure it out. but my point is that what would be courageous about it? that the speaker is saying he doesn't want to be sornts assoc with donald trump because of his comments? i've never heard him make a comment about the outrageous vitriol about republicans in congress. is it about disagreement on the budget where the ryan budget is one that would voucherize medicare? is that part of the debate today? is it about policy? is it about politics? i just don't know. i'm not in those meetings. i would be the last to know. but all i can say is i hope -- i
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hope that one thing that comes out of it is a decision to lift the debate to a different place, worthy of the office of president of the united states, worthy of the american people. and that would be progress. because right now they've taken this discussion to such a low place it's no wonder people are frustrated with the political process and with government in general. so, again, the success of it would be if there were a decision to say let us just go out there and talk about what our vision is for america. elections are about the future. what is it that we have to say about the future, rather than engage in the politics of personal destruction and mistaking cruelty for wit. they've had their fun. now, let's get serious. yes, sir. >> as i understand there are two sticking points in the puerto rican bill.
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at least two. one involves waiving the federal minimum wage and the overtime rules as well as this land transfer. would democrats support the bill with those provisions as the republicans drafted them remain in the bill? >> i don't know what your source is, but the debate on puerto rico has been a little broader than that. we've had -- it's an issue of what will work in terms of restructuring. how the makeup and the scope of the board is in furtherance of having the restructuring work, issues that relate to language about pensions and minimum wage, et cetera, are also part of that discussion and relate to the makeup and the structure -- the scope of the board. and the land issue is there, but that doesn't relate to the restructuring. so, it isn't -- it just doesn't
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come down to that. but we are making progress. we're having very constructive conversations. i think we're going to have to pretty soon come down to something because another deadline is racing toward puerto rico. but, again, these negotiations have been going on, conversation, everybody going on in good faith and i'm optimistic that we'll come to some agreement soon or realize we can't. but i'm optimistic that we can. >> you don't expect a bill to be filed today? >> it could. it could. it was supposed to be filed yesterday. put off to today. it could be filed today. i don't mean right this minute, but the day is young. yes, ma'am. >> are there conversations on the science side about adding a zika supplemental to the military va spending bill? >> yes. >> are there similar conversations on the house side? >> what is happening on the senate side is completely inadequate, 1.1billion.
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the administration has address for $1.9 billion and so as i've said before to all of you that's not half a loaf, that's half a shoe. you can't get there from here. the scientific documentation calls for $1.9 billion. and that's what we need to see in a recovery -- in a supplement -- emergency supplemental or some other vehicle. >> would democrats consider adding that as a floor amendment? >> i'm sorry, ardi inadding wha? >> $1.9 billion. >> we do it almost every day with the parliamentary opportunities we have. we just keep calling upon the speaker to address the emergency needs of the american people. if we were talking a year ago we wouldn't be talking about zika, would we now? it's an emergency. it's an emergency and it's a very big threat. now, we don't want to be
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instilling fear. what we're saying is there's a way to deal with this. let's get it up front instead of coming after it after it's out of the barn. the opioid, i mean, this is in the here and now. it's actually been in the here and now for a while. we need emergency funding. if they say, well, we can take it out of something else, we have caps. you take it out of something else we're in a lam situation on the committee of jurisdiction there. what are you going to take it out of maternal and child health which is one of the suggestions that has been made. so, we need emergency funding for that. and flint, if anything would challenge the conscience of a nation, the well-being of these children, by a decision that was made by the governor of the state, we have a responsibility. and we're even saying, we'll just do matching. we'll just do matching funds there. but do your point specifically
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on zika, the 1.1 doesn't do the job. and the job needs to be done. yes, ma'am. yes, sir. >> you mentioned flint, the senate talks about providing the money and resources [ inaudible ] is that something that democrats would be open to in the house or do you view it as something that needs to be on a spending bill or where would you like to see it? >> first of all, i don't know how much money you're talking about, do you? >> a couple hundred million. >> the question is, is that money or is that authorization and that's really what the problem is. with opioids we're authorizing all the time but we're not allocating -- appropriating one penny. and so what we're talking about is the legal tender to be able to meet the need, not just a policy that is in a bill. so, if they're talking about
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appropriation, then that's one thing. if they're talking about an authorization, that's interesting. but it doesn't do the job. >> where do you think it should go? do you think it should go on a spending bill? >> i think it should be an emergency. do we know about -- some people knew about flint a year ago. not enough -- it's not in the budget agreement because the budget agreement has caps. so, it has to be emergency funding. and then we have to take a look more broadly from an authorizing standpoint at what our needs are nationally in terms of our infrastructure that relates to water and lead and et cetera that our children are being exposed to. but that's another issue. not straigeparate but a broadere that relates to flint, but it's really sad. if you've been there to see the impact that the lead has on the
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children and that there are answers. but they take some resources. yes, sir. >> the dhs last week had some new numbers about migration at the southern border and it reveals that in the first six months of the fiscal year the number of kids and families being apprehended are on par with 2014 when there was the border crisis, much higher than they were last year. wondering if you have any sense of why that's happening, of whatever they had done last year to depress those numbers is not working this time around. and you had a lot of criticism of how those kids were being handled. >> uh-huh. >> and also politically if you feel that another border surge this summer would play right into somebody like donald trump who is painting this picture of a border out of control and wants to build a wall and all those other pingthings. >> first of all, it's important to note what we're talking about here are refugees and asylum seekers. this is a bit of a different. i don't think that's what
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somebody like donald trump to use your term is talking about. he's talking about migration into the united states. and actually the migration into the united states is negative by over 150, 60, 170,000. more people are going into mexico than from mexico coming into the united states. it's important to know that. does the situation in central america, the northern triangle of countries there, of violence, of well-founded fear of violence and persecution, is that a factor with all of these people. well, you have to decide on a case-by-case basis. but that was one of the purposes of our trip to latin america last week was to say, this is a regional hemispheric challenge that we face. we have to address the situation where exists in the northern
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triangle, in the countries in central america. we spoke to the president of mexico at some length about what can happen to screen people in mexico so that they don't make the trek across mexico to find out that they do not even make the first cut to be an asylum -- to seek asylum or to be a refugee. being a refugee is one of the toughest standards -- has one of the toughest set of standards for entry into the country. so, these are two different things. and we have to handle the refugee, asylum seeker, unaccompanied children and some with their moms in a way that is, again, regional to work with the mexican government to go to the source of the problem and see how we can allocate resources there rather than having the challenge here in our own country.
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because that is really what is better for these children, and they are all god's children. >> but based on the rising numbers, do you anticipate a surge this summer like we saw in 2014? >> well, i was hoping that we could, as i just mentioned, in addressing how we can have assistance from other countries in the region, we talked about it in peru and in chile as well as to what their absorptive capacity could be for the asylum seekers and refugees. not economic, people seeking a better life. that's a different story, and that has its own legal process. so, it's really just about those in that special category that we're talking about. i would hope that the number would be -- it's a very dangerous crossing to cross the desert. a child, a young girl.
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there's some really sad stories. i just sent a letter to the president, again, as did my colleagues about our concerns about how we meet the needs of these people in their own countries or in transit and even before they get here. but also when they get here. it's a big challenge. and, again, as the whole world is facing, not the whole world, a good part of the northern hemisphere is facing a refugee challenge, well known to us from syria and iraq, et cetera. we have some responsibility to absorb some people, and i think we can do a little better job in how we make those transitions. it's challenging, again, in recent times -- this is within the past few years, that a new situation has emerged largely because of what's happening in their countries of origin.
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so, we have appropriated last year resources to go to those countries to address some of those concerns and we have to make sure that works. yes, sir? >> there is not an agreement with the democrats and the gop doesn't have the votes to move the puerto rico bill. when the obama administration should implement [ inaudible ]? >> the president has done just about everything that he can do by executive action. some of this requires congressional legislation, and that's why we're engaged in this conversation. but i would be a little more optimistic and hopeful that we can find common ground. there are some issues that are central to the workability of the legislation and some that
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are not directly related and we have to at some point make a distinction there. but in the meantime, what we want to do is have a restructuring proposal that works, a board that is respectful of the people of puerto rico and enables the restructuring to work and weighs in on the pension, pay and overtime considerations in a way that is respectful as well as resolving the land transfer that is there. so, it's, again, we keep making progress, but the clock is ticking. and i don't want to even be thinking in terms of what if it doesn't happen, because a bill needs to happen, and the people of puerto rico and the pensioners and everyone else in my view are better off with legislation.
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yes, sir? >> -- relief is -- >> yes. >> madam leader, can you sort of as a former speaker and someone who may hold that job again, can you describe how you see the dilemma that paul ryan faces with this presidential nominee here? can you talk about being torn between, you know, serving your conference and your party and your -- and what the voters want? >> no, i don't think we ever had a situation where we had a presidential candidate that we -- the members of our caucus wanted to separate ourselves from because he was saying there had to be a complete and utter and total shutdown of muslims coming into the country, that islam hates us, that we had a presidential candidate who accused the president of the united states of not having a birth certificate and if he had one it probably said he was a muslim. nothing wrong with being a muslim, mind you, but in donald trump's view. we didn't have a presidential candidate that went on and on
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about women in a disrespectful way. what we did have and when i was speaker and i chaired the convention were two great candidates for president in the end, hillary clinton and barack obama. barack obama emerged as the president of the united states and we're very proud of him. so, we were never faced withing? like that. right now we have two great candidates. bernie sanders is broadening the universe of people who are paying attention to the political process, whereas before they may have been community oriented and civic minded but not really paying attention to politics, mostly younger voters, and we're proud of what he is doing and we're very proud of hillary clinton and what she will bring to the oval office when she's president of the united states. so we don't have anything similar. >> is it realistic to think paul ryan can separate himself from donald trump in any way? >> can we separate himself from
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his members of congress? let's go over that, then, as we i leave here. can he separate himself from steve king who said for everyone who is a valedictorian there's 100 of others who have calves the size of cantaloupes or separate himself from his own select committee anti-woman mccarthyism committee that is having a brazen campaign of intimidation as we criticize trump for his calling for women to face some form of punishment and their doctors, too, if they terminate a pregnancy. the list goes on and on. the concern that has been expressed by speaker and others about their unease with donald trump doesn't seem to apply to their own members. i think many of their own members understand that donald trump is saying exactly what they say here. i just hope the american people
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understand that. because this is pis bigger thans one person. although the republican establishment, whatever that may be, is deciding that the inflammatory vitriolic rhetoric of donald trump is something new and shocking to them. it's really the day-to-day comments that we hear here. so, thank you very much. go golden state warriors. can you believe that basketball is going into june? how did that ever happen? thank you all. >> thank you. >> not for the wizards. "book tv" has 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend and here's some programs to watch for this weekend. on saturday at 10:00 p.m.
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eastern don watkins author of "equal is unfair" -- >> the reason i say inequality is not a problem what we're concerned with is not how much money do you have but how did you get it? did you get it through something that was fair or a process that was unfair. if you try to equalize the people that earn their money honestly that's something we're challenging and saying that's not a fair way to treat people. >> in the book he says the american dream is threatened not by income inequality but by limiting success. he's interviewed on sunday afternoon. on sunday afternoon an iraq and afghanistan war veteran and now vets for freedom he talks about roosevelt's citizen address in a public address and offers his revision for america today. >> this book is not about me or about roosevelt, it is a call to action. it to me is meant to inspire, motivate and remind americans of
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every generation what makes america special. and that it is worth fighting for and some of us carried a rifle. and many in this generation still do, but you don't have to carry a rifle to be in the arena. and it's our job to instill in every generation the principles that perpetuate what is as all of you here know an experiment in human freedom. >> erin mchugh and her book "political suicide." >> what should be a series of thoughtful activity is instead filled with budgetary and ethical disappearing acts and most certainly clowns. instead it becomes three rings of horror. we're sofa teagued by the time the mud is slung, the skeletons have come out of the closet and election day is over that we're often exhausted by our new legislators before they've even had a chance to start their jobs. >> she recounts memorable political missteps in american history. go to for the
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complete weekend schedule. the campaign 2016 bus continues its travels to honor winners from this year's student cam competition. the bus made a stop at cherry hill high school east in new jersey to recognize six-time student cam winner madeline baum for her second prize video. she was honored in front of her classmates and community members before being able to travel aboard the bus. and then it went to scranton, pennsylvania, to honor the second prize winning video national immigration issues. dunk the ceremony, they donated $500 of their $1,500 winning to a local community. following this event the bus drove to clinton township in new jersey to celebrate the second prize winning video the next big problem. over 250 classmates, teachers, family members and elected officials including leonard lance joined in the ceremony. a special thank you to comcast
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for helping to coordinate these community visits and you can view all the winning documentaries at now a hearing on counterterrorism efforts in sub-saharan africa. officials from the state department, u.s. agency for international development, the united nations development program and the national democratic institute testified before the senate foreign relations committee. this is 2 1/2 hours. call the senate foreign relations committee to order. we thank our witnesses for being here and look forward to your testimony. as much of the world concentrates on the isis threat and instability in the middle east, the committee takes this
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opportunity to consider efforts by the united states and other partners to counter extremism in the sub-saharan africa area. long-term development has been the norm across much of africa including here -- i tell you what, even with large letters i can't see anymore. including here in our committee with the recent signing of the power africa legislation which we're all very proud of and appreciate the way the administration has led on that effort also. that we hope will help bring investment to a key sector for economic growth and opportunity. whereas in the middle east we have been reacting to abhorrent state and terrorist violence and the uprooting of millions of people in africa we've had the opportunity of years of influence through diplomacy and development and partnerships to improve outcomes. however, violent extremism is not a new phenomenon in africa. three sub-regions have exploded
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with terrorist elements some decades old. al shabaab and its predecessors have long troubled somalia and east africa including attacks on american embassies in 1998. al qaeda and the islamic maghreb have evolved since 9/11 into a vicious regional threat across the sahel and gond and they have fought the algerian government since 1991. boca haram which has declared allegiance to isis will stop at nothing to carry out its grotesque attacks against civilians and communities across nigeria and the chad basin. all three conflicts have brought international attention and resources because the terrorist elements involved are seen as aspiring to the kind of international terrorism perpetrated by al qaeda and isis and some are beginning to show increased sophistication and attacks. beyond the three conflict and
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terrorist ridden regions are several crisises brought on by many factors the most egregious of which appears to be the complete lack of government responsibility for its citizens through corruption and greed rather than any lack of resources. this includes most recently south sudan and the central african republic and, of course, the decades-long atrocities in the democratic republic of congo. all three of which have cost billions of dollars to mitigate through massive peacekeeping operations. while the world seeks ways to address the direct threat of emerging terrorist groups, we have had a chance and still do to improve the prospects for many countries in africa by leveraging long-term relationships and development. i'm also concerned that there are efforts to gain traction and destabilizing other countries we consider relatively stable now.
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i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today. the lessons that they have drawn from their direct engagement in these regions and i hope to better understand what the underlying factors are that contribute to the terrorist threat in the region and what u.s. efforts have been made to build a better response across the whole of government and with partners in the international community. with that, i'll turn to our distinguished ranking member, ben cardin. >> well, chairman corker, thank you very much for convening this hearing on terrorism instability in subsahara, africa. i agree with your assessments. the amount of violence in this region escalating is a major concern. and requires the attention of this committee. of the united states senate and the american people. i also agree with you that there are multiple reasons for the instability and crisis in this region. but that there is a common theme
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of poor governance and that's an issue that provides a vacuum and that vacuum is usually filled with instability and recruitment of extremists. so, i very much agree with you this is an area of growing concern, in regards to the amount of violence that is taking place, and one that requires us to put a focus on the governance structures in the countries of sub-sahara, africa. and it's true. it's from west africa to the lake chad basin to east africa and west africa circumstances in mali. we find the marginalization of ethnic groups that have become now a home for at least five active terrorists groups breeding ground for terrorist recruitment. the u.n. mission in mali is the most deadliest peacekeeping mission that we have anywhere. that is should be a sign that
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things need to change in regards to mali. we had the parties coming forward for a peace agreement. well, we need to see immediate attention to that and see whether, in fact, that peace agreement can be implemented. in the lake chad basin, in nigeria is of particular concern. boca haram is linked -- which has pledged its allegiance to isis, we'll see if, in fact, that alliance takes place or not. but we do know it is extremely deadly, the number of deaths have escalate ed dramatically. 2.4 million displaced people, 5.6 million in need of food and those numbers are shocking in their size but i think the world became engaged in this when 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped and
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yet their fate today is still not known. in east africa in somalia we have to pay careful attention. we know that. and in all of these regionses there a common denominator of lack of good governance. this year in somalia is set to be a critical one for the consolidation of the somali state. a constitutional referendum and a completion of the federal system are supposed to occur. absent of the establishment of a fully functioning, transparent, inclusive government it will be difficult if not impossible to eliminate the threat posed by al shabaab. while the threats have been clearly identified, what is not evident is whether or not the united states is consistently applying a comprehensive approach, that adequately addresses key drivers of radicalization such as political and economic marginalization and corruption and poor governance and whether steps have been
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taken to build the type of capacity in the african countries to counter the violent extreme activities. i hope today's hearing will help us under the package of programs and activities we are bringing to bear to combat terrorism and violent extremism in africa and what if any efforts the administration is making to fully intetrait principles of democracy, anti-corruption and good governance into our approach. security assistance alone will not win the battle. mr. chairman let me quote from deputy of state tony blinken who recently said, quote, it's a fight over time that will be won in the classrooms and house of worship on social media and community centers and at sites of cultural heritage and on the sports fields and within the homes of the people in every corner of the planet, end quote. given how significant underfunded the programs have been in the past several years i don't see how we could be reaching that threat where it is. but there are two steps we can
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take right away to do so. first, it's a point i've been making to the administration for nearly a year. it's critical that we increase investment in democracy and governance. in fy-'15 we allocated approximately $1 billion for security assistance and only $170 million for democracy and governan governance. i hope that you have -- the hope as you discuss allocations for fy-'16 with the appropriators i will indicate you will meet the $312 million democracy and governance in africa called in the omnibus report language and i hope we have a chance to talk about that. secondly, the united states must signal to our partners that our support does not come at the expense of respect for democracy and human rights. i fear we have sent the wrong signal to the government of ethiopia about our priorities in this area by failing to support human rights and democracy
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activities in that country. to cite one example it's critical we take the prime minister up on his offer from last july to work with us to improve democracy in ethiopia. in addition we should ensure that the assistance includes support for military and civilian institutions and support accountable for counterterrorism countries with weak democracy and human rights records. mr. chairman, i hope during the course of the hearing we'll hear from the administration officials exactly what is our coordinated strategy. yes, we want to fight extreme. we want to do that. we have to have the military security assistance but if you don't have in place the type of governance that represent the concerns of the population there will be instability and a void in which extremists will capitalize on. i look forward to our discussion. >> thank you very much for those comments and, again, we thank our witnesses. i want to introduce all three of you and if you would speak in the order that you're introduced, i would appreciate
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it. the first witness is linda thomas greenfield assistant secretary for africa affairs at the department of state. the second witness is linda atem. assistant administrator for africa at usaid. thank you for being here. the third witness is justin syberell. need a little help here. acting coordinator for counterterrorism at the department of state. we want to thank you all for being here. for your service to our country and if you could summarize your comments in about five minutes that would be great. without objection, your written testimony will be entered into the record. so, thank you. >> mr. chairman, ranking member cardin and distinguished members of the committee, let me thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i have a very brief oral statement, and i provided a more comprehensive written statement for the record.
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africa is home to the world's youngest and fastest growing population. it presents significant opportunities for transformation and growth as well as many challenges. the overall trends in sub-saharan africa point to accelerate accelerat accelerated democratization and development and economic opportunity. although africa remains the world's least developed continent average real per capita income increased steadily over the last decade and a half. however, in spite of these positive trends, instability and conflict persist in parts of africa. this instability has a direct bearing on u.s. national interests and those of our closest allies. terrorists, narcotic traffickers and a range of transnational criminal organizations exploit state fragility and conflict. conflict destabilizes states and
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borders, it stifles economic growth and it robs young africans of the opportunity for education and a better life. while attacks in brussels and paris and even san bernardino offer tragic reminders that terrorism can happen anywhere, africa has critical vulnerabilities and capacity gaps that must be addressed. therefore we are working with our partners to increase abilities to prevent and respond to such threats and to address the conditions that perpetrate the cycles of instability and conflict across the continent. addressing instability in africa requires a comprehensive and a balanced approach as you have stated. we cannot focus solely on the security aspects of the solution. military, intelligence and law enforcement tools are vital to defend the range of threats, but they cannot replace robust diplomacy and the hard work required to strengthen democratic institutions.
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to stimulate economic growth, trade and investment and promote development, education and broad-based economic opportunity. the state department, usaid and the department of defense known as the three "ds" and several other agencies offer unique expertise and capabilities and it is essential that each organization has the tools to contribute to our common objectives of building immediate and long-term stability in africa. as you stated, senator cardin, civility begins with building strong and stable democratic processes. addressing individual and collective grievances created by lack of governmental accountability, corruption, denial of basic human rights and feelings of political inclusion is not just the right thing for governments and civic leaders to do, it is a security imperative. stability in africa ultimately
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requires leaders with the will and the capacity to respond to the needs and aspirations of their people. we continue to stay focused on supporting free, fair and transparent elections that are inclusive and representative. we've seen major electoral successes during the past several years but there have been some setbacks as well. however, democratic governance is not only about elections. national and local governments must deliver essential services for their people. civil society and a free press must be empowered. independent judiciaries must enforce the rule of law and professional security must respect human rights. president obama -- president obama has also highlighted that the most urgent task facing africa today and for decades ahead is to create opportunity for the next generation. young people constitute a majority of africa's population and stand to gain or lose
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tremendously based on the continent's social, political and economic trajectory. they also represent the next generation of african leaders. they must be empowered to contribute to their country's future so they are not enticed by extreme i ideologi extremist ideologi ideologies. where there are no educational opportunities, where there are no ways to support families and no escapes from justice and the humiliation of corruption that feeds instability and disorder and makes these communities rife for extremist recruitment, unquote. we know that groups like boca haram, al shabaab, al qaeda and associated groups often ensnare their foot soldiers by simply offering cash or promises of
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financial reward for themselves and their families. it's vital that governments sometimes in partnership with the private sector use every available resource to offer educational and vocational opportunities that provide alternatives to these lethal traps. we also recognize that strengthening the security and justice institutions of our african partners is vital for long-term stability on the continent. so, as a consequence, we're partnering with african countries, with organizations, with people to develop capable, professional security services, improve security sector governance and enhance regional coordination for more effective responses. once again, i thank you for the opportunity to speak to you. and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. go ahead. >> good morning, chairman corker. good morning, ranking member cardin, and all the members of the committee and i also thank you for this opportunity to
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discuss u.s. aid's work on this very important topic. throughout africa u.s. national interests and our efforts to promote resilient democratic societies and to increase economic opportunities for people are increasingly threatened by the instability and the spread of violent extremism. we believe and as this committee has already stated that development programming can be a powerful tool to prevent conflict and instability. conflict and instability impede development. they slow investment. they prevent children from attending schools as we've seen in northern nigeria and they place additional burdens on the already fragile health care systems and they undermine political systems. we also know that the activities are designed to reduce opportunities for extremists to exploit social injustice and economic inequality and the lack of political integration and we need to actually make sure that these activities help to advance development programming throughout the countries. today i'll try to discuss how
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our programs which are based on strategic thinking and evidence-based approaches seek to prevent violent extremism in africa but i'll point out the programs that seek to reduce social inequalities and corruption and institutional weaknesses that can often foster instability. when we look at the drivers experience has taught us that responding to military conflicts that erupt in fragile states by deploying large peacekeeping missions and large scale and far too long term humanitarian responses are very costly. for that reason whenever u.s. aid designs a program or country strategy we use our analytic capabilities and knowledge of the local context to reduce the drivers of fragility. they consider the push factors that drive support for violent extremism such as social fragmentation, perceptions of unjustice and a sense of marg
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margin marginalization. and we try to help to shape the intervention to promote good governance and rule of law and respect for human rights and sustainable inclusive development. we don't have one single answer as to what causes violent extremism. a decade of analysis has shown there's a strong correlation between state fragility, feelings of injustice and marginalization as being drivers of violent extremism. we issued a policy and this policy recognized development's unique role in mitigating the drivers of extremism and advancing u.s. national security. usaid activities are designed to mitigate the drivers by increasing resiliency. at the individual level we target marginalized communities particularly youth through outreach programming and development activities.
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at the local level we focus on peace committees to build stronger more resilient communities. at the national level usaid has an important role to play in strengthening government institutions and their ability to deliver basic services but also to encourage inclus and better transparency. youth are a key demographic in our programming and while there's no one profile of what at risk youth look like, the slum areas with university graduates who have participated in conflict can be at the greatest risk, therefore, our programming focuses on this important demographic. in kenya 75% of the population is under 30 years of age. we offer targeted training to at-risk youth populations closing the gap between young people who are out of work and employers who are short of employees with skill. generation kenya plans to place more than 50,000 young people in stable careers by 2020.
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going forward, usaid will expand the program working hand in hand with communities, local and national governments and the private sector to ensure its success. in niger our peace through development project produces and delivers original radio content which is aimed at countering extremist narratives through accurate reporting and peace messaging. it reaches over 1.7 million people in 40 of the most at-risk communities. we'v directly through in program engaged nearly 100,000 people through civic education, moderate voice promotion and youth empowerment themed events. these programs we believe increase citizens engagement with the government and decrease incentives for young people to take part in illegal or extremist activities. in conclusion, instability is often the product of generations of neglect and corruption and its resolution, therefore, will be the product of generations of concerted focus, legitimate engagement and met expectations.
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because trends in extremism are fluid we know we must constantly reassess our priorities and progress and policies to ensure that the work is actually based on the realities of today through program assessments, implementations and evaluations we're learning what works and what does not work. we're improving best practices and we're helping individuals and communities to address the drivers of instability and violent extremism on their -- on their own through the work of our missions in the field and through usaid supported activities and resource centers. our commitment is evidence of the number of individuals dedicated to this problem set but we know that we can't do it alone. sustained engagement with strong partners in the u.s. government through the departments of state and defense, through the work that your committee is doing here and with donor governments as well as with our partners in the religious communities, local governments, civil society organizations, all of these different groups on the ground who will be key to combatting extremism today and they'll be key also to securing peace and stability for years to come. i thank you and i look forward
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to your questions. >> thank you so much. >> mr. chairman, ranking member cardin, and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. before you today. as outlined in our statement for the record, a number of terrorist groups remain active in sub-saharan africa, including al shabaab, al qaeda and the islam islamic mag rib and islamic state west africa province. regional military forces with united states and international assistance have made progress against all of these terrorist groups. terrorist safe havens in somalia, northern mali and the lake chad basin have been degraded significantly. however, in the face of this pressure, these groups have shifted to more asymmetric tactics, including attacks against soft targets. we've seen this dynamic in west africa recently. over the recent months, aqim
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have carried out a series of attacks against international hotels and tourist sites in mali, area keno faso and kotivor, killing scores of people, including an american citizen. similarly in west africa, we've seen shabaab become increasingly aggressive in attacking high-profile targets in somalia and across the border in kenya. we are also concerned by the risk that isil's presence may grow on the continent. as we've seen elsewhere in the world, isil seeks to co-op existing terrorist groups as well as local insurgencies in conflicts to advance its agenda. we are watching these dynamics closely. we are working with partners to contain and drive back isil-affiliated groups, wherever they may emerge. the united states is committed to building and sustaining partnerships across south africa to counterterrorism and maintain stability. partnerships are at the core of our approach and this is reflected through the
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partnership for east africa counterterrorism and the transsahara partnership. mr. chairman, the united states is providing significant support for regional military operations. through our diplomacy, the department of state continues to encourage regional leadership and cooperation to sustain these efforts. military efforts alone are insufficient, however. as we deal with the evolving threat environment, the success of our counterterrorism efforts in africa increasingly depends upon capable and responsive civilian partners. police, prosecutors, judges, prison officials and community leaders who can help address terrorist challenges within a sustainable and rule-of-law framework that respects human rights. in this regard, the department of state is training and mentoring law enforcement units from more than 15 african countries. we are building their capacity to prevent and respond to terrorist incidents, conduct terrorism-related investigations and improve land, border and
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aviation security. we are also providing significant assistance for african prosecutors in courts to expeditiously handle terrorism cases. we are working to enhance the capacity of prisons in africa to effectively handle terrorist inmates in accordance with human rights standards. mr. chairman, we greatly appreciate the funding provided by congress in fiscal 2016 for the department's counterterrorism partnership fund, allowing us to expand our assistance for law enforcement and efforts in key african countries. at the same time, the department and usaid are increasing our focus on preventing the spread of violent extremism in the first place, to stop the recruitment, radicalization and mobilization of people, especially young people to engage in terrorist activities. we are expanding engagement with african partners to better understand the drivers of violent extremism in order to design effective responses. this includes promoting greater trust and partnership between communities and law enforcement.
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the president's fiscal year 2017 budget request includes increased resources for countering violent extremism programs including an additional $59 million as part of our overall request under the counterterrorism partnerships fund. this would enable us to expand programs in africa to engage communities and youth susceptible to violent extremist recruitment. mr. chairman, there is no single solution to defeat terrorist groups and promote stability in africa. the challenges are significant, but we believe we have committed partners in africa who are making progress. we believe we will be most effective in the long run with a comprehensive approach that promotes regional cooperation, the rule of law and good governance. we continue to look for ways to enhance this approach and we appreciate the strong support of congress for these efforts. thank you. >> thank you all. let me just start by setting context here. if you look at the regions that we're discussing today and you look at the numbers of deaths,
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displacements, the scale of what's happening in these three regions and other places throughout africa really over the course of time is as large as the scale of terrorist activities in the middle east. is that correct? >> i would say so, particularly if we look at the case of boko haram. the number of people who have been killed and affected by boko haram are as large as, if not larger than the number of people who have been killed by isil in the past year. so there is a devastating impact, and it's reflected in the numbers of people killed and impacted by terrorism in africa. >> and no disagreement from the other witnesses? >> no. >> let me ask you this. obviously, there is tremendous focus on the middle east. we've had a lot of hearings here, and most of us, on the other hand, have traveled
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throughout africa and seen the tremendous threat to stability there. why do you think the world focus is more so on areas like the middle east and less so like the regions we're talking about right now in africa? >> well, i'll offer my thoughts, mr. chairman. i think with the case of isil, i mean, they emanate from al qaeda in iraq, and so there's been a focus in particular on that conflict ongoing. that has, of course, devastated those societies as well and continues to. that, of course, builds off the historic origins of al qaeda from the middle east and that region. so i think from a terrorism perspective, the focus generally has been on that region as the core area where these groups have emanated from, but it does
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n not, as assistant secretary thomas greenfield just noted, when you look at actual violence, the groups in africa are committing extreme acts of violence. boko haram in particular is a group that has targeted civilians deliberately. and their deaths on an annual basis, we will report these in the annual country reports on terrorism. boko haram is consistently in the top ranks of terrorist groups in terms of committing violence and destabilizing an entire region. so the challenges and the threats are as great in the african continent, but i would agree with you that the focus, generally speaking, tends to remain on the middle east and those countries. >> but for what reason? >> well, i mean, i think that, you know, for isil, it is appropriate to focus on the core area where that group has emanated from, and that is the main effort in particular against isil. against its presence in iraq and
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syria. and in many ways, when we look at the spread of isil, preventing that will depend on defeating the group in its core homeland. and so, therefore, the focus in that regard on that core area is appropriate. >> any other comments? >> i would just say that much of the terrorism that we saw in the past on the continent of africa tended to be focused on africa, so there was not the comparable threat to the homeland from terrorists in africa as we see in the middle east. but i think we've all come to the conclusion that terrorism anywhere affects us everywhere, and we have to address it not just in the middle east but in africa as well. >> so the core, central beginnings, if you will, of this threat emanated from the middle
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east, so you know, hitting areas where especially they're establishing caliphate has been important. and then secondly, the groups in africa have not been seen as a threat to western entities. would that be a fair assessment of the focus? >> i would say initially, but i think we're seeing more and more that this does have an impact on us when we look at the attacks in mali and rikinafaso. americans were victims. >> and i would just add that these groups evolved out of the particular context in africa but have been joined up with transnational terrorist groups. so al shabaab, which began out of the islamic groups in smalla, later affiliated with al qaeda, and of course, was part of al qaeda's global agenda, and that's been a significant concern of the u.s. security
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community because of the foreign fighter element that had traveled to somalia, including american citizens. so that's been a focus. and the concern is that al shabaab, representing an al qaeda affiliate, does also advance -- attempt to advance the al qaeda agenda. similarly with boko haram recently there's been an affiliation with islamic state. so that gives us great concern to look at the group to determine whether or not they will because of that affiliation begin to change their focus toward more targeting of international interests, western interests, or even externally. >> okay. i'm going to save the rest of my time for interjections. ranking member cardin. >> well, thank you. and i thank all of our panelists for their incredible work in a very challenging assignment. and as i said in my opening statement, as the chairman said in the opening statement, there's no simple solution to the violence that's taking place, the terrorism that's taking place. and clearly, we need a secury


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