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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 14, 2016 5:19pm-7:20pm EST

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in india, there are similar things going on. the energy minister has done a brilliant job of using competitive bidding to bring down renewable cost, and within less than a year, less than domestic coal power. so he has recently been remarking that the coal expansion he thought he would need will not be so necessary. because renewables are taking over. and as we have a team now at rmi, raising rwandaian noy 24%, i just want to call why you're tension to to what efficient technologies can do in a centralized context. the $1.2 billion without light that charlie referred to typically $2 a less household
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income, are spending $38 billion a year on kerosene. their emissions kill at least 2 million people a year, from that air. now, it turns out that there are sparks in this long night, because in many places now, you can get a package, this is called a waka of a very efficient leds, high temperature lithium batteries and good chip controls. this will shine like that, very brightly, for ten hours on one days charge in the sun or two days in the cloud, or if i crank it down four notches, 150 hours per days charge. it will sit up on a coke bottle, shine down on the table. you can teach your kids to read. particularly, your daughters.
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and this pays back in weeks to months against kerosene. it is like a perpetual an new a. so you get this from an entrepreneurial woman in the village, you finance it through scratch cards or through the smartphone that you recharge here off the usb port. this sort of thing is spreading like wildfire. and i think it is an interesting play, david, on your important point about centralized and decentralized. a lot of the decentralized solutions are bubbling up in places where there is no grid, and you can't afford a grid and people are leap frogging it just like cellphones, and the centralized stuff is also changing economics rather rad c raddicly, because of course, many of the cost in countries like ours is not to generate the
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electricity, it is to distribute it. you can bypass that by doing it on your roof and then make the grid resilience, so major cascading failures become impossible by design, originating in the grid. so there are a lot of other factors in play, but i think the issues you've raised are the one ones, and in that battle, the decentralized systems are gaining the upper hand. >> we need to go to the floor. >> one of the things nice about sitting next to amory, any questions, something will come out of his pocket. >> we have some mikes, lady here in the front. please identify yourself and ask a question. >> i'm mitsy worth, i started the energy conversation to get everybody thinking about energy and amory was one of our first speakers. my question, my observation
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about this is we -- we have enough talent to deal with the technical issues. my question is getting the public to understand what needs to be done and demand it. if three quarters of the u.s. public don't know we have three branches of government, we have a serious education problem. i have a suggestion, which that all people who write what i'm going to call an academic or a dense paper have a requirement to write a version for non--technical, for nontechnical people, which lots of graphs. it is a very complicated stare. >> okay, thank you. >> and my question is how do we make that happen? how do we get universities to require of it academics, students and think tanks? >> thank you. >> very briefly, i'm not sure you want to be completely successful in your suggestion because there are a lot of arc
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dem mick papers out there. but i actually met, i'm pretty encouraged about this. public knowledge about the government functions and so on is a dismal in many extraordin. this used to be a dual industry where you woke up in the morning and did the same thing you did yesterday. and now everything is changing. the attention to this by the younger generation is enormous. i'm encouraged about this. i agree the academic world needs to be more articulate. >> it is up to the president of the united states, and he has failed. >> another question? >> i actually wonder, though, to what extent major changes and other sectors have ever depended
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on having a huge majority of the public deeply conversant with the policy debates as they go on. and when amory's article was published, there was another large monolithic, utility, the bell system. and everybody had either rotary or push-button, hard wired phone, intelligence of the network was all -- somewhere between lily tomlin and the switches. without the public being deeply involved in what then transpired in the 80s and '90s, we've gone to that system to one where the intelligence is here. it is decentralized, migrated out to the customers. the old switches that we used to involved in rate increases, how to support them, largely
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irrelevant now, not completely, but largely. and yet the public wasn't -- the public was responding to the products and services that were available and the prices and yes, they had some awareness and feelings about the changes, elimination of the bell system. but they weren't reading the academic articles, even the ones that were in plain english for the most part. the force came from elsewhere. >> we're going to -- >> this thing has more intelligence, more computing power than the strategic air command the year i got out of high school. >> i'm going to take three questions at a time and we'll get the panelists to respond. >> hi, i'm andy katz. i work forever source energy so we're one of these utilities on a death spiral i guess, but i think still have a job. so just quick preface. i convinced our company to file
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an amicus over price responsive demand, so we won that, and you know, i was inspired by amory as an early tern at the frc. >> can we get to the question. >> my question is talking about smelling the cheese. so what we're finding is the standard market design rules and the organized market that we deal in up in new england has a lot of barriers to the transition to the kind of things that are desire able, the path that we want to be on. i say specifically treating all electrons the say, regardless of how they're produced, the rsos are neutral with regard to that. and then there is a lot of barriers between, it is really a federalism question i think. so i throw it out. what kinds of barriers do you see barriers to achieving these
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outcomes that we want through federalism and the kind of interaction between state and federal policies. >> we have another question here. >> identify yourself, please. >> sure, i am the former operations de operation director at the world bank. excellent panel, as we expected. my question with regards to shale gas, tight structures, you mentioned this as a transitional source. how transitional is this actually? the reason i ask this is we've been having some very -- there was a lot of enthusiasm in the early '80s. as we went on later, these projections became lower and lower, about how much actually is there. there is a price ee lasstity and
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so forth, but what is the real picture. how much is the u.s. and the rest of the developing world, if the technology is transferred, how much can they really benefit from this transitional source. you alluded to it and i think david you also mentioned something. >> we've got to move on. >> question in the back. >> hi, peggy, from eco america. i worked at brookings for eight years. we work with people that people trust, like doctors and rabbis to message exactly the things that air saying. this climate affects our health. the government can do this and we don't need a lot of people on board, okay, i'm getting that wrong, but it needs to be a combination of policy and people understanding. we throw away 40% of the food we buy. my question is how much will come from above with the policy
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and what kind of a campaign do we need to get americans on board the way we did with smoking, the way we did with other campaigns that got this society completely changed and on the right path? >> okay, let's see what the panelists want to say about any of those. >> i think the poll evidence is very strong that there is an overwhelming majority of americans across the political spectrum who want efficiency and renewables and sooner than later, and private sector and government will have to give it to them. when we now have u.s. energy productivity having more than doubled, relentlessly driving down oil and electric demand 68% of the new capacity added last year was renewable, the market is responding nicely, despite the barriers in the way. i don't think it's a problem of lacking grassroots surprise and
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jeffersonian common sense. on the fracking question, i am a member of the national petroleum council, there have been many bad practices that give everyone a bad name. a clients to adopt gold standard, best practice, which inconveniences their competitors more than themselves. if they do that there are eight major issues around fracking, some of which may be satisfactorily resolved, some may not, because eight is a big number. i wouldn't bet a lot of money on their all coming out right. the depletion are complex and difficult. methane leak is particularly worrying across the supply chain and may be bigger than we thought. and i think already, we're seeing even operating costs alone for combined cycle gas plants, wind and solar in many
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places. so then you add to that the price volatility of gas that probably gets worst downstream if you have abundant cheap well head gas, and that volatility you can deduce from the options market is worth enough to roughly double the gas price. it is really not that cheap. so, and then the geology is worst than other countries. i am not very sanguine where that will go. >> if i can add one sentence. the shale gas is not a transition to anything but hell. the fatal flaw of the clean power program and the great failure of our president in the current administration is not to recognize that methane for a 20 year period is 100 times as bad as carbon. they don't count methane. if you switch from coal to natural gas, mother nature
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doesn't notice a difference. so it is a big lie that it is a transition. it is just as bad. we're not making progress if we switch from coal to natural gas. we need to outlaw both for the feature if we're serious about listening to the climateologist. the guys that don't believe in climate, i can for gim thgive t they're just dumb. the guys that engage in hypocrisy, and essentially lies by not recognizing that it is not just carbon. methane is a very, very serious thing, and if it is only 1% leakage, it is about as bad as coal. we don't know, but i can tell you from experience that some of these gas distribution systems and all the five, seven, eight, 10%.
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and we just need to give people the facts. we're not doing that. >> i don't think we got a good answer to the institutional obstacle question. >> i have a very different view. i mean, there is a commercially infinite quantity of gas in north america. judged differently than the rest of the world. it really depends what are issues, the leakage issues, i'm not sure i'm with david on 10%. a lot of stuff would be blowing up. but i think this is one of the three or four great questions in the energy business right now. transition or cul-de-sac. if i were a gas company, i would be in it for the long haul, very focused on what is the vision i'm articulating how this is an actual transition fuel and investing on that. but the power markets, i am -- i think this whole effort to treat electrons differently will be a disaster. it will make it harder for markets to work.
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what we really want are markets to function. particularly with demand response. if there is one thing that i would focus on, not do this crazy stuff with treating electrons differently but to get the demand part of the picture. we have a lot of demand response in a world you can imagine teg grating huge amount of renewables, and less storage requirements, and a world we don't have demand response and a really different, hardener gee, very hard energy path world. i am not persuaded that most of the regulators are going down that world. it really concerns me. >> i want to rephrase something david freeman said. it needs perhaps to be a little softer. i think there is a misconception in - among many people in the energy world that we can burn it all. we can't. if you want to stay within climate constraints, you can't burn it out. and so if you have an all of the above energy strategy that
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includes supporting fossil fuels, either domestically or internationally with loans for coal plants or anything else, you are not facing the real problem. the real problem is that huge fractions of current crude reserves will have to stay in the ground. so all of the above is incoherent. it makes no sense. and that's the -- there is a kind of -- people are reluctant to believe this, but the literature is very clear. so i think this is what -- this is the essence of what dave is saying. you can't keep building more infrastructure that's going burn fossil fuels, emit carbon, emi natural gas for leakage, because we don't have the climate. the climate can't -- we don't have enough climate for that. that's something that really, the policymakers have failed to face. you can make these incremental changes, but you really, by mid
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century, we have to get off of fossil fuels. >> we're technically out of time but we'll try to go another five minutes. let's take another three questions. i'm sorry, those of you that we may miss. the front here. >> friends of the earth. question, it was mentioned, the south, southern part of the u.s. is on the hard path and we know some of the utilities are really fighting to kill any advances in renewables. so what would the panel suggest for an approach to change the energy path? >> do you have a question all the way in the back, that gentleman. >> good morning, i'm a lawyer, indian lawyer, work with tribal government. i first met amory in 1983 at warren wilson college. and my question is considering
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that we have 567 federally recognized tribes in the u.s., which have sovereign powers, roughly comparable to states, have any of you given any thought how tribe balance governments can play a role? and in the followup question is whether any of you would like to help me on my book project on the subject? >> yes, sir, in the middle. >> resources for the future. an important sort of source of efficiency has been the advent of cost pricing in whole sale power markets and now we're talking about zero. so reform mation, should we be looking to distribution and the way they're organized?
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>> okay, simple set of questions. >> the tribal question has had some very creative attention from bob goff in boulder. and there was a time in the previous bush administration when he was preparing an open letter to the president saying dear mr. president from, watching wind talkers, you know native americans have stepped up. we're doing it again. we're offering to meet them at no cost to the united states by building x giga watts in the high plains, financed by european carbon credits, and the transmission will be financed by our sister tribes that have $11 billion of casino income, but if they put it in the stock market theshs don't know where it is and it is not really invested according to their values. and all we ask, mr. president,
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you get out of our way and let us do it. what do you say. it turns out, a lot of that is happening and tribe does have some very interesting opportunities, because they are not sovereign enough to sign kyoto, but are sovereign enough, and yeah, it is a very interesting zone. of course, many impoverished people off the grid. so there are efficiency renewable projects coming to indian country that are a great example to all of us, and building a lot of important capabilities. there are very, very talented people in those communities. i understand, for example, one of the most impoverished in the country has the highest concentration of certified aircraft mechanics, trained in the air force. a lot of interesting pockets of
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expertise to contribute for us all. >> quickly, on dallas' comment, the -- there is a big effort in some states, new york, california, a few others, to dry 20 do more on the distribution side. i think we made some progress. i'm very skeptical we'll make most of the progress there, and instead, i wouldn't give up on the whole sale markets. it seems to me right now, we have been able to ignore the effect of zero marginal cost because they've been small enough to not material those markets. it has not changed a lot. and amory's arch enemies have been doing this interesting stuff with nuclear promise, a variety of other efforts. we've got to find a way to get the ancillary services functioning properly, otherwise, we will find ourselves with real nightmare on our hands in terms of reliability. what is holding the whole system together right now is utilities and other operators that have
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reliability obligations are kind of keeping the grid functioning. you continue to scale at more marginal course, and that's not obvious. >> i should just add, there are four european countries with modest or no hydro that are getting about half their electricity from renewables and indeed, the ultra reliable east german utility was 49% powered last year by variable are y renewables. so these operators without adding bulk storage have learned to run their grids the way a conductor lead as a symphony ot could go much higher than 50% and they're saying so.
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>> staying with the framework of amory's article, you want ideas, not words. words are just carriers. and there aren't a lot of good ideas about how to change the southern utility culture out there. i've testified in a number of proceedings in florida, georgia, the carolinas. with the singular lack of success. obviously, there are different interpretations one could put on that, but the one i prefer, it is a very difficult culture. it is a hard path culture, a red state culture. dave's answer obviously would work. pass laws and country complies, but those are the states that will fight you and obstruct the passage of the laws as well. i think in the end, what will make some difference is that as
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the technologies evolve and they come down elsewhere, there are plenty of astute customers, residential in that region, who will ultimately insist on the adoption of these technologies, but i just don't see any political steam roll that's going to change those. >> i do have a softer answer on this issue. >> you're from that region. >> the federal government owns a big utility, it is called the tennessee valley authority. when the next president could ask, require that utility to do something in the national interest, since this is a federally owned utility, and show the way to a big utility going down to zero greenhouse gasses over the next 30 years. so assuming that one particular person becomes president, she
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can order the tennessee valley authority to become her green yardstick, and i think it would have a powerful impact on the rest of the south. >> and the greening of the co-op movement is important, too. even say in florida. in the sunshine where solar power is effectively outlawed. higher towers and rotors, slow wind speed have made wind power cost-effective, not just in the high plains, but everywhere. including the entire southeast, which was thought to be a wind desert. the whole u.s. wind resources increase by two-thirds in the last seven years, and that's continuing. it therefore becomes harder and harder for utilities to block that kind of competition with their legacy assets.
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the smart ones are already starting to switch over. we're seeing some of that with duke and north carolina. and customers can also install the stuff themselves. they are just prohibited in states like north carolina and georgia, from third party finance, where there is the bizarre interpretation that if i finance solar on your roof, i'm not selling you money, i'm selling you electricity, so i am a utility. sooner or later, the courts are or the legislation will fix that. watch the north carolina governor race. >> last word. >> a quick point on the logjam in the south. many of the rural co-ops are tied to coal debt. so their coal plant also keep operating until their debt is retired. one of my former students is working on a way to do a kind of debt forgiveness, debt swap, something, that would free them up to make this more soft path decision. so part of this, it is not just culture.
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it is also that they are tied to these assets. if we could figure out a way to free them from those fossil fuel assets, then change can happen faster. >> an issue there, not just there, but all over the world of stranld stranded equity that needs to relocate into the good stuff. capital markets are already decapitalizing, because you know, if you're in or headed for the toaster, they sniff that out quickly and they don't wait for the toast to get done. they shift to the new thing. i think the capital markets can be our friend here. >> i want to thank amory and all the panelists. it is good to know we've -- [ applause ] >> it is good to know that we've come a long way from john sununu's, they build dams and nuclear power. thank you all very much. [ applause ]
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president obama is getting ready for his final trip. traveling to greece tomorrow, where he'll meet with the president and prime minister. on thursday, he'll make his sixth visit to germany, meeting with angela merkel. the president will attend the asia pacific summit in peru. before returning to the u.s. tonight on the communicators. scott kio. audi of america talks about autonomous cars, the hype from the auto industry they're nearly ready and his prediction when they're going to be on the market. >> if you read the headlines, you see what uber is doing, you see a lot of the proclamations that auto executives are making the in the auto business, we're used to a lot of hype and when it comes to everyday matters, a little bit of markets hype is
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okay, when it comes to matters such as this, i think it is a little bit disingenuous. when someone says autonomous. topics included potential problems with day-to-day governance and providing services in areas that have spent years under isis control. this is an hour and 25 minutes. >> so i want that thank everybody for coming. it's great to have this many people interested the panel, especially one week before what
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i think is a pretty consequential election coming up. perhaps a talk about the islamic state may be a respite for all the news that keeps coming at us on an hourly basis on what's going on in our own political system. we hope you enjoy the talk today. i want to first introduce our panelists before i begin to give a lay of the land and sign post our conversation today. hassan hassan is our first panelist. next to hassan on the left is jessica lewis mcfate, who is the director of trade craft innovation at the institute for the study of the war.
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howard shatz is on the far left. and we're going to -- rather than have prepared speeches today, this is more of a discussion format about current events related to the islamic state, building upon its history, the foundations of where it came from, and what we can learn for policies for the next administration. it's best to start with both hassan and jessica as we look forward as we start here. obviously, in the news we have the battle for mosul going on. for me, personally it's going faster than i thought. it seems to be going pretty well, but i'm not an expert on these sort of topics, so i would like to start with you. how would you judge the current battle and what do you think it
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portends about the war against the islamic state. >> i think iraqis recognize this is not only the most important battle against the islamic state but the one most important for iraqis. this is the first time iraqis and the kurdish peshmerga are fighting on the same side for probably 60 years, so it's a very important offensive and it's -- i think so far it's been going impressively very well. it's going certainly on second. this is the second day iraqi forces are inside mosul, the outskirts of mosul. so far i think it's going very well. the combination of the forces that are supposed to go inside mosul are the right forces.
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so i think so far there's cause for optimism. there are problems we can in the conversation later on. there are fault lines and problems that are starting to appear and emerge in the first few weeks and this is the third week of the campaign. >> certainly, i would like to echo first that the coalition that is attacking isis in mosul is impressive. isis is expert at trying to exploit seams among enemy coalitions and this coalition is going to outlast isis' efforts. i do think they're going to take the city center. there are neighborhoods in mosul from which aqi was never cleared, so the clearing operation for the full extent of the city is a measure of success
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beyond taking the government buildings and the basis back. isis' defensives have been formed in rings. when forces began to approach mosul on the south, the east, and the north of the city, they ran into some defenses. so one of the measures of success in defeating isis' defenses is to interdict let's say 90% of those. one of the challenges means ten ieds get through. the casualties for coalition forces on the advance are still very high because the volume of isis' measures are intense. isis has blocked roads. we're uncovering tunnels. the momentum of the offensive is very impressive despite these
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obstacles. i expect isis is also an expert in urban warfare and they have prepared the city to be a very long and protracted fight, but while their defenses are excellent, the offensive is better and mosul will be cleared. but there of course be challenges not only around the city where other spoilers are trying to take key terrain on the west side of mosul, which can introduce a number of sectarian challenges not only at a local one, but a regional one. isis led a counteroffensive in sinjar. there have been anomalous attacks over the course of the
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proceeding month, so there are places within iraq where i expect we'll see isis try to divert attention. >> howard, i think this is a good place for you to jump into the conversation here because you and jessica brought up isis' predecessor organization. for most people in this room, it's not a secret we have seen this movie before, building an offensive for mosul and efforts to clear it. can you talk a little bit about the origins of this particular threat, the islamic state, it's bureaucratic structures in this area, and an interesting case study about the group itself and its predecessors? >> the islamic state originally grew out of a group founded
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bizarby zarkawi from jordan. then he formed a group in 2004 that score allegiance to al qaeda. they became known in english as al qaeda in iraq. if we go back to the 2004/2006 period, the center of their power was anbar province. and even they had already organized into an effective bureaucracy. the bureaucracy was built on the model of al qaeda, but then it was changed a bit to really be designed to take and hold territory. so what we saw in anbar in 2004, 2006, was the province was divided into six al qaeda in iraq sectors. each of those sectors had a leader, an amir, a well-defined
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bureaucracy, an administrative amir, a military amir. and there was coordination between the center and different secto sectors. the sectors would raise money up and send it to the different centers of anbar province. anbar province would allocate that money and send it down. now, even at that period, the anbar province was sending money up to the iraq level. 2006 zarkawi was killed and two others took over. we're going to be talking about iraq after isis and syria after isis. in 2006, 2007, 2008, the big uncertainty was we didn't know
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if al baghdadi existed and who was in charge. we had the surge. the surge started late 06. the actual surge started 2007. but the uprising, the pushback by the sunni forces started in 2006. and we then see the violence migrating through iraq. the peak of violence was around october 2006. the peak of violence there is sometime in june 2007. it migrates finally up to mosul which is a key node for bringing foreign fighters in and for raising money. and the peak of combat violence in mosul was early 2008, i believe. so that's the first almost of the importance of mosul. the second part of the
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importance of mosul was in the 2008/2010 period al qaeda and iraq renamed islamic state of iraq in 2006 never went away, so they had sleeper cells all around the country. and there was again the same kind of financing that i talked about. the local areas would send their money up to mosul, send 20% up, mosul would reallocate. at that time, 2008 certainly, mosul and the desert areas south of mosul were the only net plus areas in terms of fundraising. so very important in terms of fundraising. where did that fundraising come from? it came from skimming contracts, reconstruction contracts, which to fast-forward is something we should be concerned about going on. it came from shaking down a cell phone company. it came from oil sales. all the things we see today.
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so the other thing is that we knew that some of the leadership had sought refuge in the december edesert areas south of mosul, so they had cells in the cities and leadership was somewhat off the grid both in terms of their records and in terms of location. the other element when i said there were sleeper cells all over is when we look at the financial relocations we have a point in time we have money coming up from anbar, from baghdad. we have money going out to those same places. money going down to basra. and to this, i don't know if there was a cell in basra or this was money going to the big prison camp. and we had money going into syria, so that's another thing
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to take account of. so that's where mosul sits in kind of the importance for this group, and that hasn't really changed. >> something you touched on and i'll bring it up here is the battle for the city itself seems from a military standpoint relatively straightforward and people say it is hard to defend, but the difficult road will be the one that heleads out. i guess south into syria. this is where you run into some of the problems i think you were alluding to, but i'll put my finger on. one of the problems you see and the importance to that road historically for the islamic state, howard, if you want to jump in. all three can address. >> it's a good way to start to
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talk about the bad things happening in mosul. i remember back when the offensive in fallujah was taking place. i was saying mosul is going to be a much bigger problem not because it's a big city. not because it's a military challenge, but also because it's a political flash point. it's a potential political flash point. at the time, people were saying, no, mosul will be easier for fallujah because for a long time fallujah was a problem for iraq whether during the saddam hussein regime or resisting political order in baghdad. but mosul is a problem for many reasons. one is that -- i think we've reached a point in the fight against isis in both iraq and syria -- and we're going to get to syria in a little bit --
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where politics matters more than the military challenge against isis. mosul is a perfect example because so many stakeholders are involved in mosul. many people want a piece of the pie in mosul unlike fallujah. fallujah was a military challenge, probably also a political challenge, but more of a political challenge than a military one. it was up to the iraqi government and the americans to sort out what's the best formula in fallujah. but in mosul, it's not up to the iraqi government or the americans to sort out what's going on there. there's kurds involved in there, the krg, the region government doesn't have the support of everyone inside of kurdistan to back agendas in mosul. for example, you're an expert on
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this, the turkish involvement inside iraq is a perfect example because while the president supported the involvement one way or another, other political oppositionists with kurdistan opposed it. you also have the pek as a major concern for turkey. someone mentioned it is a very problematic area. it's going to be a big flash point. it's northwest of mosul. it's a turk dominated area. turkey said the shia militia should not be there, but the turks are more concerned about the pkk rise. so mosul is, i think, tgoing wel
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for now, but isis will try to destroy the current strategy, which is actually very promising, by trying to fight in mosul for, say, four months. if it does that, i think many of these alliances will collapse. there are already signs of tension between different factions faighting outside mosu. and i think these tensions will multiply. i think isil will be able to hold onto the city for quite awhile. i think there has been a lot of wishful thinking about the city collapsing. somehow that isis members will choose to go to raqqah. that's why we have confused reporting coming from out of washington. some say fighters coming from
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raqqah into mosul and some say fighters are moving from mosul outside. i think these will emerge and become even more intense in the coming weeks and months. >> thank you. >> just to agree, the longer the battle for mosul goes, the more vulnerable the coalition will become, the broader the operation comes with follow-up operations or supporting operations. the more diffuse the operation will become as well, which leaves room for coalition members to become delinked. the road from mosul to syria is perhaps more important for members of the coalition who have disparate interest in those places than it is for isis tactical. the desert beneath that road to
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the southwest of mosul is traversable. we are of course entering the winter season, which makes it slightly less so, but the winter season makes it the biggest constraint upon isis' movement in the desert. so there are ways for isis to escape this operation and reset elsewhere, but i would also say that isis has been preparing for battle for mosul for a very long time in that its troop movements and preparations have already occurred. we're going to see isis elsewhere in iraq where it has established positions already. if i may just add one other point -- >> please. >> -- and perhaps just to mention it now and we can discuss it more during question and answer. there are other threats that stem from the grievances from sunni arabs and elsewhere in iraq that could produce spoilers to the coalition. if the grievances are not addressed, which they're not
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likely to be addressed quickly, there are other elements who are seeking to be champions of iraq's sunni population. not only the baathist organization that was trying to capture the national sunni protest movement before isis came in and controlled cities in 2014, but also al qaeda and syria, al nusra, which has reflagged itself, is already conducting outreach to tribes in anbar. al qaeda is going to make a play to become a silent vanguard of the sunni insurgency in iraq. in the vacuum of control, you could see mobilization of sunnis under a different flag. put that on the list of challenges to make sure we're thinking about and facing. >> anything to add perhaps?
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does it fit into your int intro about the economic importance of the group and are the coalition putting pressure on it and is it linked into the broader struggle now with our current focus on mosul? >> you're talking about the iraq-syria link. >> the link. >> this is actually very important to think about movement being possible through the desert because we're going to see movement back and forth. let me credit the citations. i think as i talk you should just assume i'm probably citing somewhere hassan and jessica and aaron without saying it. we might end up doing a circular citation at some point. but i want to cite a very good work by iraq oil report now, which is showing islamic state fighters leaving the city, going
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towards syria. so stopping those routes or being able to track those fighters is important. the islamic state is very cognizant of issues of air cover. as far back as 2007/2008, we have a strategy document from them where they talked specifically of what to do -- of how effective coalition air forces were, of how they were able to move soldiers and what the group should do to stop air forces from seeing their operations. so whatever they do, they'll be quite cognizant of that. those routes -- so those routes have been historically important moving people. the real first very strong evidence we had of how predecessor groups were finance
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ing -- the other issue about this area, i don't know how much symbolic importance it has now. it was one of the first battlefields where the u.s. really tested and succeeded at a counterinsurgency fight against isis. it is where some of the current islamic state leaders come from. so it's going to be a bit of a flash point, and as hassan said and jessica said, they're very diverse. i don't want to characterize them as one or another. it's always a mistake to group the pmus as one mass, but how they handle civilians, how much of a fight islamic state decides to put up is going to be very
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important. >> just to pick up on some of my own work, my work focuses on the islamic state in turkey and that road leading through. we conceptualize it here and i think most people do as the turkish problem with isis emerged late. if you look back historically into documenting foreign fighter flows, syria was the main entry point into iraq, but you had to get to syria. one of the ways through was exactly the route that are now being leveraged. so this brings us back into how isis should not be thought of as simply as a sort of boots on the ground military force that can be beaten back, but has these tentacles of bureaucracies that
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have outlasted or outlived significant pressure being put on them. and they extend out into the region. and i think it's a good segue. it's not just a battle on the road. that road stops someplace. down in washington, there's a lot of talk of putting simultaneously pressure on the islamic state. we have the pressure being put on mosul. the logic other end put is to go after the raqqah. but a lot of -- and i would say whereas the coalition in iraq is stitched together and i would say it is stitched together pretty well, the syrian case provides a lot of complications because the primary force to go is the syrian democratic forces, the majority of which call themselves the democratic union party, that have a militia,
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kurdish alphabet suit. kurds that are poised to go, there are suggestions that they could go. this raises those same ethnic tensions that isis feeds on. >> i mean, this is going to be a big problem in raqqah. for a long time, i think it was recognized that isis' presence in syria is much shallower than the one in iraq. there's a legacy in iraq. there are alternatives in syria to isis and sunni insurgent groups. that's why i think raqqah is going to be -- the challenge in raqqah is going to be different. again, it's not a military challenge. just like i said earlier. the challenge and the fight against isis today concentrated in the northern parts of iraq and syria. raqqah, there is -- and i feel
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this time and again here in washington. they underestimate how much not hated, but fear and suspicion about the kurdish force inside syria when it comes to the syrian rebels to the local populations there. this is because the syrian democratic forces -- and here we're talking about the ypg rather than the arab components of the sdf. there is a perception these guys want to dominate in northern syria and they want to cleanse and depopulate some of these areas to put back some of the kurdish families that were displaced back in the 70s by the baath party in syria. so there's this fear they have
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an agenda, and this agenda directly involves the population in there. i think washington politicians here underplay that. and they say, you know, let's deal with isis. let's expel isis from raqqah, and then we'll deal with the political mess afterwards. we promise you the kurds will leave raqqah. they're not going to stay in raqqah. this is kind of the cliche here. for a long time, i think until recently, until probably the past one month or two months, there was a debate about really are there alternatives. can we work with someone else other than the sdf? but recently, i think because the current administration is running out of time, they're becoming more unequivocal about who is going to go there. they want the kurds to go there, and this is going to be a problem because we know if raqqah is retaken by the kurds, even if isis is expelled from
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there and there's good news in that in and of itself, i think the sentiment, the local sentiment, is going to be seized by al qaeda and other extremist forces who are local. many fighters who are fighting now in aleppo and idlib, they were driven by isis from raqqah. these guys are going to go back, and there's a concern about a void they will exploit. and that void is going to be the kurdish arab tension. i think that's a big selling point for them, and they're already kind of utilizing that saying the kurds have a separatist agenda and an ethnic cleansing agenda. i don't think there are arab forces on the other hand who are capable of going into raqqah, so there's a dilemma.
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do you delay raqqah so much that isis will entrench itself there and kind of go past the momentum in mosul? or do you rush into raqqah by sending these yp grg forces in there? >> i think there's a recognition it's problematic ethnically and longer term politically, but from a political standpoint here and a military standpoint you want to oust them as quickly as possible so they can't congregate and plan attacks against the west. >> the first about the kurdish arab dynamic inside of syria, to give an example of how this has played out before, when the sdf in conjunction with our
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coalition drove isis out of a town between mosul and raqqah on the syrian side of the border, the syrian population fled south into isis-held territory. that's how they felt about the idea of being liberated by a predominantly kurdish force. that dynamic is still a vulnerability. on the other side, it is not only the concern about the lack of capacity of turkish-backed opposition forces who also want to go to raqqah to head off a kurdish operation, but it's also a fact that al qaeda is a part of that coalition of opposition groups. so to have al qaeda-linked groups take raqqah from isis is to enable al qaeda. to me, the reason why the dilemma is becoming so complicated and so sharp inside
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syria is because a lot of our options to deal with isis in the context of so many sectarian and ethnic fault lines and seams that have played out so violently over the course of these last years in syria is the fact that our anti-isis policy does not address al qaeda. so if it doesn't block al qaeda, it enables al qaeda, which leaves us in a dilemma. >> i'll take this dilemma and i'll try to double it. with islamic state, it's always a good idea to take territory from them, and it's always a good idea to do it right. why is it a good idea to take territory from them? because even though much of our focus on their fundraising is about oil, current estimates coming mid year from the u.s.
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treasury which is our most credible source at this point are that they're actually getting higher levels of revenue from taxation and extortion. they have all manner of fines. you would be fined for not having the right beard. you would be fined for wearing your pants below your ankle. you would be charged for a parking space. all these diversified ways to raise money. if you have a city like raqqah, 150,000 to 300,000 people, all of a sudden those are people who can pay fines and fees and help the group raise money. so you want to always reduce their territory. the difficulty, as my colleagues said, is who actually does that. here i'm going to divide this into two stages.
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one is who does the liberating and then who does the holding. two stages. now the kurds, the ypg forces or sdfs, are probably best placed to do that militarily right now as part of the coalition. they're not the best placed, as we've said, to do the holding because of ethnic issues. the other thing that makes it a little more complicated is i think the syrian kurds have no interest in staying in raqqah. it's not their historic territory. they weren't displaced from there. it's too far south. they do want to hold kurdish territory. they are already deemed an autonomous administration. if they don't want to hold it, that leads to the next question of what's the bargain.
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what are they going to demand in turn or what can we, the u.s., force upon them to push them to leave? part of that bargain is going to have to be agreement with turkey and primarily with turkey has the biggest concern about them. so there are going to be all these issues that enter into raqqah liberation. >> i'll pick up here and add. you've had this turkish intervention across the border. operation euphrates shield, and it succeeded in pushing isis off of the boarder. in doing so, it blocked the foreign fighter entry points into syria any longer. there are really no areas in which somebody wanting to join isis can get into syria any
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longer. certain there are ways they can get in. they can pay smuggling, but it was not anything like it was when i was living there in 2013. i'm going to double down on the problems. i promise we'll give the audience something hopeful at the end before we turn to questions. it's like another flash point. the kurds hold either side. now you have turkish-backed forces above it about 20 kilometers. they all can converge here. so all of the threads of the disparate war inside of syria can come together with any means of escalation, turkey-syria,
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turkey-russia, assuming that can be managed. on the ethnic cleavages isis promised on, you have a race between kurds and turks for a town that isis is now holding. i'm going to ask an extremely provocative question before we moving to the positive and uplifting note of policy recommendations. isis is the stabilizing force at the moment. do we have an incentive to try to stave off the interethnic insurgency that would come after isis by focusing on the political challenges of mosul first? >> it's a tough question.
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there are some routes for isis in the area. it's going to be much tougher than elsewhere. al bab will be a whole different level. there is that different forces on the outskirts, and they want to go in or don't want to because i think some secretly want the regime to go into al bab because that will save the americans a lot of blood and treasure and also save northern american blood, but forces backed by the americans. turkey, there's not evidence to this, but i can imagine the turks would like the region to take al bab because that would be a buffer between the kurds
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and their different holdings in aleppo and raqqah. nobody has an answer to that. i think the syrian rebels do not have the capacity to go there. if the kurds go there, it's going to cost them a lot of blood and treasure as well. and distract from raqqah. it's going to be a protracted war. it's a difficult terrain. >> just the broader point that the dynamics of the syrian war are independent of isis. isis drew strength from that conflict. can you defeat isis while the syrian war is still raging, which does by all means draw in not just neighboring states, but
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regional states and put them in conflict such that the movement of tactical engagements can stoke regional volatility? it's a great question. i would not wish to call isis a stabilizing force -- >> i said it was provocative. >> but i think it is possible to design operations and campaigns with it as a necessary condition that the hold force will neither be x or y. it will be something else that will perpetuate a stable moment. now, the hold force that has taken hold from many of the places reclaimed from isis in iraq cannot necessarily met that c cry tierian, so the whole force is perhaps the key element of the campaign such that getting to claim a victory tactically
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against isis of taking back a small town or large city is going to stick to the tune of isis not having a chance of coming back. >> this is great in diagnosing problems, but if you can't treat the problems, what point is it in having everybody -- it's an immense challenge. and we talked about the inherent conflict of being able to push them out of territory to decrease their revenue base, but also to disrupt their plots potentially against the west, which is what we care about most here. so how would you treat these two conflicts? what policy recommendations would you put in place for the next administration whether it be donald trump or hillary clinton? >> iraq and syria? >> iraq and syria. >> easy. i'll start from the segue, the
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previous one, because i think your phrase stabilizing force makes sense. i don't think syria is ready for the demise of isis yet. i don't think we should talk about the day after yet because there are two things happening here. isis is a threat to the west and the way it operates in syria. there's no question about that. so that's a consideration. do you keep isis as a governing body in syria or not? and i think that has to be weighed against something else, and i think it's a very important one. if you expel isis today from raqqah and elsewhere, it's going to open a new conflict in syria. many low intensity, but very dangerous conflict in these areas. that's not to say keep isis, but to say that the necessary forces -- forces
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unfortunately washington was not able to engage yet are the right forces. these forces are the only forces are if they expel isis and if they're trained well to fill the void -- this is a phrase i will keep repeating. fill the void because that's the only way when we talk about isis the day after, filling the void is going to be the key factor for defeating isis. in syria, you demolish isis. who is going to fill the vacuum? i think the kurds should be supported in their areas, should be backed, should be supported, and turkey should not go after them if they operate in their areas. also recognize in the other kurdish forces there are legitimate actors in their
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areas, the kurds who are with the syrian opposition who are not allowed to go to their areas by the ypg. that sense, i think the policy recommendation would be to really double down on preparing the right forces, sunni-arab forces. i'm not talking in a sectarian sense, but a demographic sense, local forces, people that would be welcome in raqqah and in eastern aleppo. in iraq, it's a long story because for iraq there are causes. there are a few factors that make you optimistic about iraq. i think the fact everyone is working together today to fight isis, the fact that some sunnis are fed up with isis and they've seen how isis ruled their areas and governed their areas, they don't want isis to go back to
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their areas, some of the sunnis, not everyone. the fact that many sunnis have already been working with the iraqi government on a local level to build and rebuild their territories whether in tikrit or fallujah and elsewhere are still problems, but i think there are some segments and some sectors of sunnis that are working there. some politicians are already involved with the iraqi government. there are still problems with what the iraqi government with -- they will always oppose it, but they're a powerful force because they can be effective destructors to the political situation there. i think according to the chief of the popular mobilization forces, the chief himself went to jordan and went to dubai and
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the united arab emirates. he met with the rejectionists, what many people call the neo-baathists. they're also preparing an initiative to engage the sunnis, but i think it's a temporary thing. it's an opportunity. i want to conclude by saying that mosul presents an historic opportunity for iraq to resolve and heal the wounds, but i'm not optimistic about whether iraq is capable of doing that. but there is an opportunity of doing that if the u.s. is serious about resolving iraqi problems. they can do a lot with time. >> i think i have two points. one, i alluded to already that there's a huge gap between the anti-isis strategy and our counterterrorism strategy, which is generally how we imagine we are containing the al qaeda
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threat globally. and that gap is leaving a lot of room for the al qaeda movement to resurge. al qaeda and isis are sinn synergistic. our policies really do need to reconfigure our approach to al qaeda as we are dealing with isis. in iraq, i very much agree that the threats of a rejectionist movement leave a lot of room for engagement politically. i've been looking at provincial elections coming up as a way to engage. there could be intersunni competition that could go the other way and produce some real opportunities for mobilization against the state. i think i read the anbar
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provincial court put out an arrest warrant for a leader. there are some big cleavages that are moving now. so long as we are tracking them now and engage those issues now, i think we can help iraq stay on a path to a positive future in the wake of isis controlling its cities. in syria, i would submit the challenge is still very much that al qaeda has penetrated and is on a track to succeed in leading large portions of the opposition and that that is a disincentive to engage them. but no matter how bad or how complicated that situation looks, it can always get worse. and it is getting worse because we are a we are miring that problem rather than engaging. we have to defeat al qaeda in
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syria. >> great. iraq and syria are of course linked, but i think they can be dealing to a certain extent. i'll start with iraq. i think there's grounds for hope in iraq. let me give some history of why we might have those grounds and then go policy implications going forward. first, really consistently, ever since 2003 and even today, most iraqi arabs want a unified iraq and see themselves as iraqis. what the form of that unified iraq is, a strongly federal iraq versus decentralized iraq, that's up for grabs. but number one, they view themselves as iraqi. second, in 2010 or so when we were preparing for u.s.
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withdrawal, the big concern or a big concern was the kurdish arab flash point. well, it was a point, but it never flashed. there was small disagreements, but nothing terrible ever happened between the kurds and the arabs in any disputed territories. if you think back to when the kurdistan region was on its rampage with penn oil contracts and it had the coup of giving six different exploration blocks to exxon, three of which were in disputed territories, well, initially the political class was just outraged. then within six months, maybe a year, certainly less than a year somehow they reached accommodation.
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what happened? what they discussed behind closed doors, i don't know if i want to know, but there was an accommodation reached. there is one other grounds for hope, which sounds counterintuitive, which is the collapse of iraqi oil prices. historically, we see in oil countries when their budgets are destroyed they institute good reforms. the poster child of that was mexico in 1982 after the debt crisis. because of that, we got an independent central bank. iraq is facing that issue now, and it's kind of -- a little bit under the conservatorship of imf and world bank, so there's going to be pressure on good government reforms. now there's a long way to go. this is a government that from 2005 until 2014 doubled its employment and doubled it again
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and probably added ghost employees. and it's a government that even today has done very little for real private sector development other than saying private sector development is important, but there have been some reforms. so that kind of -- for policy implications in iraq, that says the international community should remain certainly engaged in the governance aspect. this is not just a counterterrorism exercise. this is an exercise of helping the iraqis figure out the best constitutional arrangement, maybe mediating between communities, helping with legal reform, and of course naturally all the different groups in iraq will have to agree to those forms, but there needs to be quite intensive engagement in time around. the second aspect. now let me draw on terrific work
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of craig whiteside. we saw in 2007 to 2013 the last time aqi and isi were defeated is sleeper cells remained, and it was quite a specific strategy that they followed, which was clandestine infiltration, assassination of leaders first, and then of legitimate authorities, police and army. during that period, there was actually very little assassination until 2010/2011. very few attacks against coalition forces. policy implication number two, this is policing. this is policing and politics. this is making the population feel confident that they will be protected by the government. this is creating a police force and security services that don't prey on the population and that
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are able to monitor criminal activity. in some ways it's an anti-mafia exercise at this point. so police training, better police, better internal security very important for the future of iraq. so iraq is simple, i think, was the word. syria, it's really hard. for all the reasons we've said. you want to remove isis so they can't continue to raise money. it's a mistake to talk about mosul as being the last stand. we have oil fields there. lots of good revenue raising potential. so you want them out. al qaeda is gaining strength. they're rebranded. they would claim they're not al
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qaeda now, but we're all considering them to still be al qaeda. and because the international community did not fully engage early on in training opposition forces, they've become an important part of those opposition forces. the third element with syria is i don't really think that we settle the issue as long as assad -- certainly as long as assad is in power and then it's debatable if we can settle this if his regime is still in power. i'm not enough of a syrian expert to go that far. because it is a very tough case, the international coalition is focusing on the counter-islamic state and raqqah. i don't have good ideas. >> i'll add one more before we turn it over to questions. i don't think you can unlock a lot of the things in syria on the ground independent of the regime while you still have turks and kurds shooting at each
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other. the interlocking on top of this, the turkish-kurdish cleavage, and how that bleeds over into turkish actions inside syria, you can't unlock to a lot of people on this panel to get local cease-fires between arabs and kurds while the main backer of one side will prevent that. so you need, as the united states, to try to expand the scope of your own responsibilities to try and take upon what is a strand in the thread, a very long and old thread, of this conflict that has spilled over the border into syria, which is the pkk, turkish government fight that is actually raging at the moment. so on that happy note, those are easy policy recommendations to implement.
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we have about 25 minutes left. i think it would be great if we could turn it over to the audience here for questions with the caveat i'm the moderator and i'll use the prerogative to try to limit the questions to one or two sentences and they actually end in a question mark. i'm sure there was a lot of things that were said about things you're interested in, but obviously we'd like to get as many as we can. with that, i open the floor. yes, sir. right here. maybe you can introduce yourself as well. >> i'm with the atlantic council. i'd like to compliment the panel for a very, very thorough and comprehensive talk. my question is this. could you comment on the casualties that all sides are taking that we know about, coalition, civilians, al qaeda, and i should say the islamic state and the command and control that's being used on the coalition side and the involvement of the united states? because it seems to me that is
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very, very, very rickerickety. >> i don't have good numbers on the casualties, but iraqi forces at one point a week and a half ago were complaining about a lack of air strikes because they were taking so many. the way i've metabolized that is to recognize when there were four or five axes on advance of the city, that's a lot of power going into mosul. there are a lot of air strikes being called in and most of them are being covered and yet the casualties on the coalition side are still very high. isis is also executing a lot of suicide operations, so it is also taking a lot of casualties. i have not encountered that many reports yet of troops in contact. these still look like explosive and either mobile or static defenses that are being run into, and i would assume that
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isis is in fallback positions and is trying to use humans as human shields and those who resist. whenever i hear that phrase attached to mosul, baathist c cadre, i think of the civilian and the retired military demographic inside of mosul. it's the one of the three that's taking the most casualties. when it comes to c-2 of the coalition, i was skeptical about how well the c-2 would come together. and it is performing very well. i think the operation in mosul has been well designed in that all parties that are participating have signed onto it. the spoilers are not at this time the kurdish and iraqi force coalition elements or even the tribal forces within the pmus fighting along shia forces.
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it is the independent spinoff operations that could break apart the plan. >> and c-2 for the audience? >> command and leading the thing. [ inaudible ] >> the question is, american involvement, who is engaged on our side? resolve is the command i would point to. there are special forces missions. there are air component missions and partner capacity building efforts. all of them are engaged. partner capacity building forces are forward in a, i think i'm tracking the lowest battalion level. so, i can't necessarily speak to whether or not u.s. forces are on the advance, i don't know. but we are heavily integrated into the indigenous forces who
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are the ground elements. >> anything to add? >> i have a couple things on casualties. we should expect very high islamic state casualties. historically, when we look at their rosters, they continue to pay families of fighters who have been killed. we are able to identify from the roster, how many are killed. we saw an anbar in 2005-2006, a third of them had been killed. comparing mosul rosters from 2007-2009, a higher proportion had been killed. they are almost expendable to leadership. we are seeing casualties inside mosul being executed. we should expect residual casualties. isil has been wiring cities as it leaves, so people want to go home. so, they will, even if they are told they shouldn't go home, they will go home, open a
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refrigerator and pick up an object and there will be an explosion. i haven't tracked it all, casualties on iraq or other coalition forces. >> i can address one aspect outside the iraq operation. it was largely kurdish affair with the special operations. that, you know, there were hundreds of kurdish casualtieca upwards between 300 and 400 with injuries well over 1,000. it's unknown how many the islamic state took. they don't advertise this. the documents we could use to track it will probably be out in ten years to look back and get a better sense. it gives you a sense of let's take rutga as a model. this will not be an easy affair. this will require a significant amount of ypg forces to do it
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and willing to take casualties to do it. when you get back to my policy recommendation, kurdish grievances in addition to the relation between arab kurd tell with ypg you have to leave a town where you lost a large amount of your people. it becomes politically problematic even if they don't want to stay. they will put allies in there and try to control the city. not without reason because what we are asking them to do. next question from the audience? in the back. >> hello, andy with international religion and diplomacy. >> can you speak up a little bit, sir? >> you all spoke on the problems with having isis have ground control with taxation and funding there after. also problems with with having foreign fighters having avenues
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to enter syria. what about the foreign fund thag is involved? what do we do after isis is routed and defeated and removed from current positions when they have funding? do we expect as the international community sees defeat, they will lose funding or will be a funded terrorist organization with serious capabilities? >> howard, you want to take it? >> if i can ask you after the answer, expand upon how we can begin to have local forces do it. >> sure. so -- so foreign financing is something we really haven't had to worry about much. they, historically and today have not raised a lot of money from foreign donors. the al qaeda model, the wealthy gulf arabs funneling money to afghanistan and pakistan doesn't really apply to islamic state.
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let me refer to documents. what we saw in -- i'll go three periods. i'll star with anbar, 2005-2006. they are meticulous in recording 5% of their revenues were marked as donations. differentiate between foreign and domestic. we assume they were domestic. if we look at the ledgers from mosul, the peak of their -- the second peak of their power in iraq and headquarters in 2008-2009, we get the same proportion from donations, certainly less. then, if we fast forward to the islamic state, 2014 to the present, we can break down their sources of revenues into money they held from banks in territories they captured. that was the largest single injection and oil revenues, that's local.
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that's from -- that's originally from smuggling out through turkey and we think kurd stan. that stopped early on. most oil revenues have come from internal sales and collusion with the assad regime exchanges. oil revenues and taxation and extortion and smaller amounts kidnapped for ransom and archaeological artifacts. they did get money from overseas fighters and there were other scams they would use. but, really compared to the bulk of the revenues, very small. >> one of the -- one of the questions that's been raised as we think about what is the future of islamic state look like after it's ejected is, does it then turn to foreign funders? we could be wrong. can't predict the future. baked into their doctrine is don't raise money from foreign
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governments because they will tend to control you. so, my guess is that we still won't have to worry that much about foreign governments. the second thing is, thinking from a purely kind of very cynical view, i think it is in the interest of the gulf countries and other doe no, sno they are not donating to islamic state. they are part of the finance group, which is a multi-national group that looks at islamic state finances. it's hard for them to justify support for islamic state. it is easier to justify support to al qaeda. they can say al qaeda is -- no longer part of al qaeda. it's a legitimate part of the anti-assad coalition and we support that. you can see them saying that.
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it's much harder to see them not cooperating and counter isil fight. i don't think we'll have a problem with foreign donations on a large scale. >> just want to agree on that. even al qaeda and syria resists foreign support. they would say, look, i'm not going to look, you can put it in my pocket, but i'm not going to take funding from outside. they worry a lot about infiltration, about people within or other groups that would be influenced by the donors. i agree. isis is more extreme on that. they do a lot of vetting for people, even within their organization that have deep pockets. >> speaking from the turkish perspective, one of the successes of the coalition that doesn't get mentioned a lot because we follow the military day-to-day is the counter
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financing task force. some things you see in turkey in addition to the border being cut off, before that, subsequent efforts to block the border was efforts to try and control establishment of local bank accounts along the border to prevent say somebody who transferred money to a local account, get the money. as they go across, the islamic state takes everything from them. that is a potential source of revenue. it doesn't get a lot of credit, but the counterfeit financing task force is quite important. sir? right here. >> thank you very much. alexander. great panel. i heard hassan hassan talk about on schedule. officials in the u.s. talk about on schedule, then later talk
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about fighting for four months, if i got that right. my question is, on schedule, that assumes there is a schedule from beginning to end. so, what would be the schedule for planting the flag in mosul? i mean, i'm just curious. we keep hearing about it. what's it going to look like for jessica lewis, you mentioned -- i'm curious what happened after? they fled. they fled south, that was 2015. what happened later? is it still empty? that might shed light into how it might play in other places. thank you. >> yes, sir, thanks. >> this is what the iraqis and americans are saying. they are on schedule. it's been a little bit, i think two or three days more than two weeks into the fighting and i think it's been, you know, the americans were saying mosul
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forces did their job on schedule. they cleared important areas. the counterterrorism force, for example, was expected to have difficult terrain among the southern frontier. they have done a great job in that area. for example, i was supposed to be a difficult, tough fight. they took it a couple days. they had to pose for day two, but they reached it. the problem is -- and this is -- this relates to the problem of casualties. there's a problem, a point to be made about transparency and the u.s. obviously and iraqis want to show that this is a very clean fight and they want to go in there as smoothly as possible and control the reporting. not in the sense that -- but
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they utilize the fact that the reporters cannot go so far into the front lines. so, i think there is -- there's that problem. once they reach the center of mosul or say they reached the center of mosul and try to de-escalate or reduce the media coverage, it seems like mosul is going well. that's a problem because we always have to be attentive to the local dynamics and what's happened inside, whether people are agitated by the forces or welcoming the forces because we have seen a lot of disinformation throughout the fight. i always don't pay attention to the numbers because i think the u.s. exaggerates the numbers. isis also does exaggerate the numbers from the other side. there's a lot of disinformation. a lot of reporting, i could
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watch fact checking reporting about isis. there's so much already happening. rebellion, that never happened. that's a lie. that's not how isis works. some of the reports two years ago. seems like it's taken from a page somewhere. so i think always take the report with a pinch of salt. so far, so good. >> my answer is fairly short. it's a wonderful question what's happening over the last year. i actually haven't looked, but for exactly the reason you framed, it could tell us thousand situation would play out a year later. i am going to do so and would be happy to share with you. >> i don't know the answer to that, either. anybody else have a question? i saw your hand in the back corner. in the back corner, behind the column. there you go.
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>> hi, my name is -- i'm with the arab institute. my question is, currently there is a record of 64 million refugees worldwide with with a significant portion coming from syria and iraq. how should the international community support iraq and syria in neighboring states including lebanon and jordan in achieving stability with the high number of refugees after isis is defeated? >> great question. does anybody have thoughts on the refugee issue? >> i'll go ahead. it's a great question. it's a very difficult question. i don't think there's one coherent answer. there's been -- so, let's start going in stages from kind of immediate assistance to longer range. immediate assistance, there's a
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lot of pressure on lebanon, jordan, turkey, the main receiving countries. it's -- they didn't ask for this burden, they happen to be in the neighborhood and received the burden. for the immediate, i think international assistance in terms of shelter or food, especially schools, education for children is merited. i don't think that international assistance has been at the level that it should be. we can be very cold and say, well, the adults, it's kind of too bad what happened to them. we have an entire generation of young, middle easterners who could be the doctors, engineers, artists of tomorrow and are, instead, the refugees with an uncertain tomorrow. that's the immediate issue. second, i'm going to assume, based on fact, that most
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refugees want to go home. but, we also know that refugees tend to stay refugees longer than they think they will. now, we face a difficult issue, which is that -- do we try to help jordan and lebanon and turkey integrate those refugees, make sure they have work permits and fully take part in society? that would be good for refugees. it could be in the long run good for those economies because they have more workers, especially young people. it could be good for both. at the same time, you have cultural issues and social issues. that is one decision point we have to consider. if we don't help them integrate, then the question is, where do they go? well, europe has decided it's had enough. at least it's had enough this quickly. and the united states is slowly taking the middle eastern refugees.
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we take other refugees. that kind of is a -- the only other option for them is to speed -- to bring stability and security back to their home regions. so, that is somewhat happening in iraq. that goes back to the policy implications. a governance reconstruction, the idps and refugees, most of them will tend to go back, if they haven't been away too long. syria, i think if you want to put it in humanitarian terms, we have a strong argument for greater international involvement in the war to the extent that it can bring stability to parts of syria. it's going to be very hard to put it back together. the question is, are there areas we can stabilize in syria? more cooperation with arab forces, arab opposition forces,
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more cooperation with the kurds. we can stabilize the people go back to. so, i think that's way above all of our pay grades, i think. but those are the dilemmas governments have to look at with them. i talk about the middle east refugees. the other 50 million -- is it 10 million displaced from syria, 3-4 million displaced in iraq. that's enough to deal with for now. >> just add something quickly. there seems to be an interesting week in terms of refocusing that question of refugeeses, particularly from syria. i want to point to two items, one that lebanon has new political leadership this week and the feeling about syrian refugees is quite contrary to what you made about options to the benefit within their adopted
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countries. i think lebanon is very much headed in a direction right now that could make that problem more acute. so, i'm refocusing right now upon regional hugs where refugees are collecting and less upon europe. the other place where i point is morocco. morocco is having a weird protest movement right now that i think also speaks to the fact that one of the original arteries for syrian refugees escaping was to algeria and from algeria where they couldn't stay on their visas from syria, that weren't ease stoi get, they went to morocco. those are places where the refugee issue has been stable is becoming unstable and therefore i want to highlight there can be more than just a broad brush
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statement about how to help them. i very much agree, giving them back to a vital position in their home country is the ideal, i think, in the immediate term. we are going to have to deal with places we haven't been talking about later. >> i think with the final question, you have been very patient. then we can wrap up. we have about five minutes left. the final question from this woman right here. >> thank you. my question is about al qaeda's movements. traditionally, they were focused on the establishment of the state as a distant promise, a unifying force for al qaeda's ultimate goal, globalized insurgency movement. given the recent movement in syria, is that changing? is al qaeda trying to become more of a model of state presence sectarian conflicts?
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how is the -- like what are al qaeda's ultimate goals in the syrian conflict? >> about four minutes and i'll wrap up. >> i think in syria so they banned in al qaeda. they are still -- they have the philosophy of al qaeda, the original one, which is that their mission is to poplarize the idea of jihad. you need to make normalizing it with the community and encourage people to join jihad rather than force a governing body on them. they rely a lot -- they focus a lot on consensus. unlike al qaeda, sorry, unlike isis, although the idea of a state and how they pursued it in iraq goes back to a letter sent
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in 2006 when he congratulated him on the formation of the council, which was an al qaeda group joining of the iraqi forces to look more iraqi. he said this should be to establish a state in the sunni areas in iraq and that could develop and then you expand the jihadi way into secular countries around the region. after that confrontation with with israel. the four steps that he pursued or laid out were pursued by isis. i think it's still a hybrid between the two. they want to establish a governing body, but don't want to establish a state yet. >> just adding two points. it is interesting to me he put out a statement directed at members of isis who might clooef
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toward al qaeda. he was fabulous. he was a very pro message, really capturing the idea that iraqis can be part of al qaeda, again. so, just to juxtapose the two in relationship, that is how he is handling the legacy. playing on the fact he had been part of al qaeda's movement. the other, reinforcing, al qaeda does not imagine itself to be the governing entity. it imagines itself to be the silent vanguard. but, it's affiliates, by another name, can be governing entities. it would be consistent with the current program for an affiliate that doesn't bear the al qaeda name to govern. i do think that's ultimately the direction they will head. >> i think with with that we ended right on time so everybody
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can get back to work today, including us. i want to thank the panelests. thank you for attending. president obama is getting ready for his final trip as the chief executive of the united states traveling to greece tomorrow where he'll meet with the country's president and prime minister.
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thursday, he makes his sixth visit to germany for meetings with angela merkel and leaders from france, uk and italy. friday, the president will attend the asia pacific summit in peru before returning to the u.s. republican donald trump is elected as the next president of the united states. the nation elects a republican controlled u.s. house and senate. follow the transition of government on c-span. we'll take you to key events as they happen, without interruption. watch live on c-span. watch on demand at next, the latest research in using the bodies own immune system to fight cancer. the national press club hosted this event in washington, d.c. this portion is about 40 minutes.
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good morning. welcome to the national press club where news happens and has happened for over 108 years. i'm deputy chair of the club and moderator of the newspaper press conference. imknow therapy empowers the human immune system to overcome cancer and other disease zs. over the last few years, researchers discovered the human immune system that includes disease fighting proteins locates, recognizes and attacks invaders like the common cold. the immune system is not always able to eliminate them when they form. they can use a variety of tact c
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tactics to outlive the system. they are far less likely to produce the side effects likely for cancer treatments. thanks to the research in seattle, founded by two brothers in 1975, dr. bill hutchinson, a seattle surgeon and a baseball hero and major league pitcher who died of lung cancer in 1945, they discovered ways to tap into the disease fighting power and give it the upper hand against cancer. the most significant breakthroughs have happened at fred hutch. they were the first to show rare disease fighting cells, t-cells can be extracted and put back in the patient. they are the first to show t-cell infusion can help shrink tumors. america talked about ending cancer at frech hutchison
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center. gatherings in all 50 states and national day of action. the forum convened positions from fred and his partners, uw medicine and seattle childrens to discuss how the combined research can save more lives and reduce suffering. this event was the largest push for joe biden's initiative that seeks medical advances in five years. at the event they announced other partnerships including making clinical trials more accessible to patients, bring together researchers and engineers for the most advanced capabilities to analyze data for clinical models in cancer across the national laboratories and create an open access resource for sharing cancer. the goal of this is to double
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the rate of progress toward a cure to make advances and diagnosis treatment and care within five years. here are two doctors working on the front line with an important announcement in seattle. dr. gary gilliland is president of the research center and cancer genetics. he spent 20 years on the faculty of har vard, professor of medicine, stem cell and regenerative biology. his book is on blood cancers. he's called for immune therapy because it's where bone marrow transportation -- the immune system can fight cancer. dr. david maloney is an oncology. leading a clinical trial that is


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