tv United States and Russia Relations CSPAN October 1, 2011 4:05pm-5:50pm EDT
administration, senior director of the security council, and sam sharap from the center of american progress who is recognized as an american expert on russia and soviet space. this is clearly a difficult issue. if you look at the u.s.-russian relations during the past several years since president obama came to office, there was significant progress in some areas. i am not sure there was enough progress to say that we have achieved a lasting breakthrough. it is quite clear that on a number of issues, serious disagreements remain.
that is particularly true in the post-soviet space where we have different perspectives. many of us believe we have different interests. it is also quite clear that neither russia nor the united states quite controls the situation. we have a number of countries in the region who dare to have their own interests and act on the basis of what they believe are their interests. those in moscow and washington are not just acting. there also reacting. they're not just creating situations. they are managing situations. it is difficult. it is controversial. so is likely to become more do after this weekend's events in moscow.
i am talking about president putin deciding he will be coming back to power. those of us who have watched the remarkable united russian congress and those of us who were back in moscow during the days of communism felt it was all very well orchestrated. it looked quite impressive. during the, the minister -- during the communist party congresses, they would at least proceed with a vote and elect their candidates. this time, i have to give them credit, they were quite efficient and did not want to waste any time. prime minister putin came to the
podium and said that president medvedev would be leaving the united russian party. no vote, some applause. clearly a lot of people in the hall were surprised because they thought it would be president putin who would be leading the party through elections and would become the canada for the presidency. there was some initial hesitation in the hall, but then everyone applauded. then president medvedev went to the podium and announced that because he would be preoccupied with november elections, it would be prime minister putin who would take the presidency.
even more applause, and no vote, no discussion. everything was arranged. that is what i recall new efficiency, russian style. unfortunately for russia, they could not have that kind of efficiency in the post-soviet space. they are discovering that countries like georgia have a very different point policy. countries like belarus and ukraine, russia has difficult issues with them. how do we deal with that? what does it mean? we have a very distinguished panel. >> i will start.
thank you, all. they keep to the united states institute of peace that supported the project and without whose support it would not have been possible. the project that led to this report was something that was conceptualized in the wake of the august 2008 war between russia and georgia. it grew out of my concern that the former soviet space was of region where there were a number of ongoing conflicts and the frozen conflicts along with others.
any of those conflicts at any time could become unfrozen, escalate, or turn into a situation like what happened in georgia. it was important for the united states and russia to talk together about the region and those kinds of problems and ways to try to manage problems like that so that a small problem did not become a big problem. conflicts would not expand beyond the region where they started to become wider disputes. that was conceptually how the project originated. since the two russian officers are not here, and two very
capable american authors are here, i am going to briefly talk about some of the russian perspectives. those came through in the course of the project. some of the key points of difference between the united states and russia. then at the end, maybe a couple of comments about prime minister putin, president medvedev, and the transition but we are expecting -- that we are expecting to see over the course of the next few months. the first thing i would say in thinking about russian perspectives is probably not news to anyone. it is that there is clear and lasting frustration on the part
of russia with the american role in the former soviet region. there is a resentment of dominance during the 1990's when russia was in difficult circumstances. there is irritation among many about the american presence, particularly the american bases in central asia. there is suspicion of u.s. democracy promotion, its methods, and schools -- goals. there is a regular complaints about u.s. double standards. i apologize to those of you who are here from the state department. i am sure that you hear about these things all the time.
another view that came through very frequently is the sense that russia should have special rights in this region of the former soviet union. president medvedev talked famously a little while ago about russia's privileged interests in this region. that is clearly a widespread sentiment based on geography and on shared history. there were a couple of things that struck me as somewhat surprising in conducting this project. i thought i might share of those. one was especially striking to me. it is a relatively narrow issue. i think it has wider implications.
it is the real russian focus on ck memorandum. this was an effort to resolve the dispute between moldova and transnitzia. russia played an instrumental role in negotiating an agreement. they thought there was a deal. putin was on his way to moldova to witness the signing of this. then the united states and europeans at the last minute kind of intervened and the mcgoverns -- moldovans decided they did not want to do it after all.
it is not an issue people have focused on intensively in the united states or think about. the two russian authors and a number of other people i spoke to really felt that this was a development that had a major impact on then-president putin's thinking about what the united states was trying to do in the former soviet region. it contributed to disillusionment at that time with the united states. the wider implication of this is that we have a tendency in the united states to think about ourselves as the sole
superpower. we do not always focus on the fact that some of the decisions we make can have a disproportionate impact on others compared to the level of priority for us. i am not saying that to endorse the kosack memorandum or that particular solution to the problem. it is something that bears thinking about. another thing i found all little bit surprising was the relative lack of concern among many of the people i talked to and certainly the two authors about china's role in the former soviet region. that is something a lot of people in the united states are very focused on. there was really a sense among a number of russian participants
in the dialogue meetings that china has a very important economic role in central asia but has not really attempted to have any kind of political role, and that is fine with us. many people in the united states might expect that the economic role china has is not necessarily the end of the role it will have and it may evolve into something else. i do not want to talk too long. in the interest of time, let me just mention three points of tension that i see.
i will give you one important american priority i see ending given to the putin-medvedev business. clearly the issue of russia's special rights collides with the american sense that the united states needs to be very active in this region supporting the sovereignty of countries in the former soviet union and trying to promote democracy. i think going forward that has the potential to be one of the most challenging issues. secondly, the war in georgia is not so much in the headlines, but it does remain a point of tension and disagreement in the relationship along with the other frozen conflicts.
it will be important for both sides to work together to avoid violence in the future. finally, the energy pipelines clearly are another area of tension that has already become a serious issue in the past. russia's assertiveness in terms of its energy diplomacy subsided somewhat in recent years. that coincided with medvedev's leadership but also with some changes in energy prices. i am not sure i would try to attribute that to one versus the other. finally, a very important american interest in moving forward is right next to the
soviet region. that is afghanistan. the gradual u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan and afghanistan's post-u.s. security and stability. it strikes me that it is a major priority for the united states to try to expand as much as possible our ability to transport people and supplies into afghanistan and also our. russia agreed to the two-way transit at the lisbon nato council meeting. the definition of what is permitted is still fairly
narrow. it seems after the last week and everything that has been discussed in pakistan that it would be highly desirable to be in a position to withdraw as much as we can through the former soviet union -- region including central asia rather than having to go through pakistan. briefly on putin and medvedev, i am sure this will be a topic of more discussion during the questions. we have every reason to think that putin has been broadly supportive of medvedev's foreign policy approach, if we can even call it medvedev's policy approach. if you look at the public statements the two of them have made, there is relatively little
difference in how they define russia's interest. at the same time, putin has a different style. he may also give different weight to some russian interests versus others. tipping the balance on some issues could make a difference to the united states. finally, it is very clear that after having already been president once during a time when the u.s.-russian relationship with her a lot of ups and downs that putin returning to the kremlin would be bringing a lot of baggage with him in russia and in the united states, particularly in the congress. that becomes quite important in
ratifying the agreements, approving officials, passing legislation. my last point is that we're all assuming that putin will return to the presidency. medvedev will supposedly be the prime minister. it strikes me this is a time when it is dangerous to make too many assumptions. what happened with alexei crew kudrin, his criticism of putin, and subsequent firing, it makes it clear there are a number of things in that leadership to make it less predictable than in the past. >> what happened to kudrin is
remarkable in two respect. he came to washington totally unaware of what would happen today later. he learned about this development in the u.s. capitol. that would explain his angry response. things are not quite black and white in moscow. it is not like security services are around putin. it is a bit more complicated with more shades of gray. sam is very good in terms of talking about shades of gray. >> thank you for inviting me to present today. our paper tries to rethink u.s.
approaches to the region. that is the 11 former soviet republic of r&r -- that are not part of russia or nato. the kinds of russian behavior that many in the u.s. find objectionable are rooted in geographical and historical drivers. the argument goes that russia metals because of security and economic imperatives, mimicking a similar behavior of the soviet union before it. we argued this assumption about the causes of russian conduct in the region is flawed. it rests on eight deterministic historic logic, it is this way because it was that way before. more importantly because of the question of linkage between the
russian federation and to the states with similar geographical course. one was called the russian empire. the other was founded on an expansionist ideologies that envisioned itself at the forefront of the global movement. the russian federation today is neither an empire or the font of world revolution. it is one of the successor states of the soviet union it happens to be one where the all- union elite largely still control foreign and defense policy. we argue it is the soviet era habits of seeing the others as constituent some units of the same state continued after the soviet collapse. these have it's manifested themselves in the fact that
before 2000, these issues were handled by a separate ministry. we argue that when moscow medals in its neighborhood, it does so not out of security imperatives. out of soviet era habit. if we assume an inherent clash of interests between the u.s. and russia in post-soviet eurasia, u.s. is presented with a stark choice. either a grand bargain or a roll back approach. since the assumption is flawed, u.s. interests and priorities should be examined in a different light. we argue what is needed is a fundamentally imagining of the region itself. a more effective engagement strategy should be based on three principles. first, u.s. policy should be predicated on their respective
merits and not their value as bargaining chips or the relationships to other countries. policymakers should start with what american interests are at stake in a given bilateral relationship. that means paying little attention to announcements of geopolitical oil to. the u.s. should broadening gatos states in the region using all tools. the u.s. should emphasize transparency and when when opportunities while simultaneously rejecting russian notions of the sphere of influence. such a strategy is more than a creative balancing of russia or simple jettisoning of old games. it is a new game the positions the u.s. as a full partner with all states in the region without reference to our or their relationship with russia. it allows us to believe we imagine the region outside of
the historical context. what would determine u.s. policy in the region? there are numerous small states with their own problems and levels of sophistication. there is a rising geopolitical power to the east and a spoiler to the south. there are connections to europe, south asia, and the middle east that hold the potential of dividends in corp. but also alienation. how would a decision maker determine things. how would the u.s. prioritize its relationship? we conclude they will look differently than they do today in terms of which countries received the bulk of the time and attention. we also argue that by taking a new look at the region, which can more effectively facilitate
democratic development. the debate seems polarized between those who see russia as an anti-democratic force and those who argue that u.s. should forget about its value. our values and interests are consistent. despite moscow's heavy-handed tactics, the governments of eurasia are largely responsible for the shortcomings of democratic practices in their own countries. we can see these countries for what they are warts and all. we can focus more effectively on deeper engagement to further alter our interests -- all of our interests. a new look would allow for more effective engagement on conflicts in the region. our focus on russia has distracted us from the underlying ethnic tensions. the russian factor is important but not sufficient to account for the status quo in all
locations. we argued in a look at the region will help the u.s. steel is becoming challenge from china. the experiment conducted becomes applicable. we should not get stuck again in a paradigm with a great power over the region's domestic dynamics. the first step must be to imagine the region. it is a strategy based on one where each state is assessed on its merit, engagement is long- lasting, spheres of influence are rejected, cooperation is emphasized. full and active engagement of all countries is ideal. we can avoid repeating mistakes of previous approaches in our approach to china. it is emerging as the pivotal power of the 21st century. i will leave it at that.
parts of want to make sure we understand. -- >> i want to make sure we understand. when you talk about paying less attention to geopolitical orientation, do you mean to suggest that if the country wants to move west to mbe part of european constitutions and is prepared to be independent of russia, this should not be a major consideration for american policy-makers? >> no, we argued the pronouncements of your political loyalty on their face -- geopolitical loyalty on their face should be less of a determining factor. >> if somebody is prepared to send troops to afghanistan, with its be important for you? -- would it be important for you? >> i think you are referring to
georgia. the decision should be made based on the merits of georgia's readiness for membership in the euro-atlantic institutions. >> thank you. thank you for inviting me to participate in the initial volume and in this discussion. i want to make three brief points about russia, the united states, and the region we're talking about today. the first is that the former soviet space does not exist. it does not exist as a geopolitical space despite the efforts of moscow in the early 1990's to preserve a certain common geopolitical environment through the creation of the cis. this is a fiction that moscow
has increasingly abandoned. it focuses more on the constituent parts of the region, central asia, the european parts of this region as opposed to anything like the former soviet space. this is also something the united states needs to adapt in with the way it talks about this part of the world. if you look at the way american administrations have organized themselves over the last decade, there is in recognition of this. we put south asia was central asia in the state department and the nsc.. we have a european region. includes belarus, russia, and
the other states of western and eastern europe. we need to envision it as encompassing the south caucasian states and neighboring region. moving forward, we need to think about u.s.-russian relations in terms of these new geopolitical configurations. the second point is that it is quite clear that aggressive competition between the united states and russia and ukraine, georgia, and central asian poisoned the entire u.s.-russia relationship during the bush and mr. engine. in t is less so now because thee have been efforts made by the obama administration to temper
some of that. the differences and problems did not arise from a misunderstanding from a lack of communication, or lack of transparency. i am not sure how far transparency goes in this respect. your money or your life is a fairly transparent statement, but it is not conducive to building rapport between the two parties involved. there is a fundamental conflict of interest in that situation. a similar problem arises when we talk about russia, the united states, and all the regions of periphery. history is important. history plays an important role in the way societies view their own interests. for russia, this region has been
a spirit of privileged interest as president medvedev once put it. what we call the former soviet space is also the former russian imperial space. it is this region that gave russia's geopolitical strength. it is this region that the elites still think is critical to their own security. i would argue today there is a deep psychological aspect to this and role as a great power. what do great powers do if not radiate power to neighboring regions. russia and moscow have looked at
other penetrations as a challenge to russia's own sense of itself as a great power. we clearly look at this differently. we do not recognize this. influence for any power in that part of the world. we preferred geopolitical pluralism. it acts as a barrier or guard against the re-emergence in eurasia a threat of soviet dimensions. it is clear that up to this moment, it has been directed against russia because the only power that could conceivably rebuild that type of threat of that dimension was russia. we supported consistently the independent sovereignty of all states that emerged as a way of blocking the reemergence of that threat.
we advocated multiple pipelines out of the caspian region and central asia as a way of undermining and eroding russia's control of the energy situation. we advocated democracy and free markets because we thought this would be a pro-western orientation that would give a cyclical on the ground in these countries and a place to monitor and counter what we saw as an amicable actions by the russian state. what we have done in the past decade as russia rebuild its power is try to manage the conflict of interest along russia's border so it did as
little damage as possible to the overall relationship. this leads to the third point. the question about this region going forward is, is there a way that the united states and russia can move beyond what has been the history of competition to one of cooperation? can we do this taking into account the new realities in emerging in a time of tremendous flux in the global environment? with some axioms of this new emerging geopolitical environment. russia and the united states are no longer a strategic rivals. they no longer pose strategic threats to one another as we did during the cold war. this is a point that needs to be stressed, particularly given some of the rhetoric coming out of moscow. russia is known othe longer thec
core that it has been for the last 300 years. you can make a good argument that all those states are more dynamic politically, economically, and demographically down russia is itself. we see the chinese penetrating into central asia commercially. we see the growth and radicalization of movements that penetrate into central asia and the caucuses. russia does not reliably control the north caucasus let alone the southern caucasian states, no matter where its military forces may be. even despite the current disarray in europe and all the questions about the future of the european union, it is quite
interesting that the ukraine is toward europe quit despite what moscow has done to push it in the other direction. russia faces a time where it needs to create stability along its entire borders to give it time to rebuild itself so that sometime in the future under the best of circumstances, it may once again become that dynamic for eurasia. for the united states, the challenge is different and simpler. we need to adjust, rebuild, instruct the security balances that will provide for an overall global equilibrium all along russia's periphery starting with northeast asia, around afghanistan come into the broader middle east, into europe, and even now in the
arctic region which has become a new frontier. it will become a contested one because of changes in the climate. i would argue that the united states is better off and will have a better chance of creating these types of balances if there is a strong russian partner to deal with. it would be one of many in creating the regional balances. i think russia will be better able to create stability along the borders if it recognizes the necessity of a robust american presence along its periphery. the question is whether one can persuade washington and moscow to move in that direction. if we can, i think you can say u.s.-russian relationship will move towards what the bush
administration would of called a qualitatively new relationship based on the common strategic purpose that has the potential to last well into the future. if we cannot persuade moscow and washington of this, i would say there will not be any qualitative improvement. we will change more or less, better or worse on the margins. >> can we persuade moscow and washington? i found your presentation very persuasive. , there were a90's lot of ideas in america about russia and russian democracy. there was a profound article by an american foreign service arctic -- officer. i thought it was a courageous
and profound about what was happening with the russian leadership. instead of democracy, they were getting several different plans competing with each other. some of this article also appeared on tables in the u.s. embassy in moscow. tom graham was there. if tom was in charge of our foreign policy, i guess we would be on the path of making it more substantial. let me make one observation. the difficulty we have with this region is that most of russia's neighbors are not the real friends of russia. there is the notable exception of armenia and kazakhstan.
but most russian neighbors do not have close relations with moscow. most of them -- we are in a situation where the united states does not need to create trouble in the post-soviet region. we have a lot of independent countries, some are democratic and some are not. they're coming to the united states coasking for support against russian meddling in their affairs. this is a serious issue in the u.s.-russian relationship in the region. few people would know more about that than the ambassador of kazakhstan. i am sure he will be able to speak for himself if we can persuade you.
[laughter] fortunately for bulgaria, you are no longer a direct russian neighbor. ambassador, we are delighted to have you with us and are looking forward to your participation. we have a number of experienced and knowledgeable people in the audience. we want to enable everyone who wants to participate to do so. please try to limit yourself to one question or comment. please identify yourself briefly. who would like to start? >> william hill probably knows more about this than anyone else
on this side of the atlantic. he has a book coming out in a few weeks. it is on the broader context of russian policy. everything you ever wanted to know about the kosack memorandum, he has this book coming out. [laughter] >> thank you for the promotion. >> you mentioned the rise of the islamic movement in central asia and the caucuses. you also mentioned the importance of 300 years of russian history. 100 years ago, there was the rise of a movement in soviet central asia. the communists and dealt with it by crushing it physically, destroying it. but the roots of that movement exist today. i am wondering to what extent that has to be regarded as
something serious and a possible threat to existing governments in that region. and if it is that kind of threat, to what extent it might give rise to the idea of america and russia cooperating in trying to handle that kind of a problem. >> i think if you look at central asian states now, the earlier movements did not disappear totally. they are part of the history. that has been reinforced by certain developments we've seen outside of the region for of a broader middle east in afghanistan and so forth. problems that erupted in the early post-soviet period of somewhat quieted down, but the questions are slowly reemerging
particularly as you look at the state of societies in central asia. there is tremendous poverty, there are great disparities in wealth. also equally important, the likelihood that the two key states are going to go through some sort of leadership transition over the next decade. you add to that afghanistan and the consequences of u.s. drawdown and potential withdrawal over the next couple of years, and i think you do have a volatile mix in that part of the world. i think it is also equally clear that russia does not have the resources to deal with a major uprising in central asia. the central asian states themselves do not have those resources. we would not want to do it on
our own. we would not have the domestic backing. some type of cooperation between russia and the united states, as well as with the states of the region, will have to be the way to deal with the problem over the long term. my sense is that this is what we should be talking about now. when we think about our own situation in afghanistan, a major part of that should be focused on a genuine regional dimension to this. that has been lacking in the strategies we have pursued over the last couple of years. >> i am with the center for research intelligence and analysis. i want to ask a question about history. you mentioned the reaction in
moscow to our reaction to the kosack memo in moldova and how central that was to shaving putin's perspective on what we're trying to do on the russian periphery. you mentioned the approach we took to russia's periphery during the 1990's and beyond based on this kind of geopolitical pluralism. there is a word we ought to be thinking about on the u.s. side that we used through these events. that is "containment." after the soviet union fell, there was a transition that u.s. policy went through. it took the soviet policy of containment and adapted it to the new situation. it was aimed at containing russian influence on the periphery. there was some intellectual
justification for this. it was uncertain whether the soviet union would be able to recreate an entity in this geographic space that might be threatening to us. i wonder if we're now at the point where we need to address more explicitly to what degree we ought to be focused on containing russian influence in these states. can we get beyond an almost instinctive push back when there is some sort of russian involvement? from russia's point of view, that spoke to almost a knee-jerk reaction that when russian troops are going to be on the ground, there must be something wrong and it is in the u.s. interest to push back. can we devise something that is more nuanced and takes into account the perceptions and interests of russia's neighbors about russian involvement?
but also distinguishes between things we could live with and might be in our interests to support and things that are not really in our interest. >> during the entire bush administration -- now we are creating the conditions that make a reset necessary in the relationship. that is a great service to the obama administration. george was in the administration in the vice president's office. >> that was vice president cheney. but there was a knee-jerk reaction at that point. there was clear sensitivity to anything that would lead to
make russia's actions or presence beyond the borders of the russian federation itself. you clearly saw that in central asia. it also came up with the xhosa -- kosack memorandum. the russians found it so disturbing we did this at the last hour. it is not as if they saw this coming. at the moment the plan dropped on the desks of people in washington to look at the military aspects of it, they were immediately on the phones to people in the region trying to reverse the decision and make sure the memorandum was not agreed to in any way. the point i would make looking forward is that russia is not the threat it was to us 20 years ago.
with 20 years of experience, we ought to realize that what we feared in the early post-soviet. is not likely in the next decade. we need to rethink how we think about the russian presence in this part of the world. we have our own interests. we need to pursue our own interests in that part of the world. it does not have to be done in an explicitly anti-russian way. building commercial contacts, having a political presence, all of these things are legitimate. i think the russian government recognizes these as legitimate activities as long as they are not framed in the context of trying to push back russian influence in that part of the world. that type of policy creates a framework for a more productive relationship. i want to make one more additional point. we are in a more difficult
position now than a decade ago. a decade ago, we could pursue this kind of policy and challenged pressure to demonstrate -- challenge to russia to demonstrate it was prepared to act in a benevolent fashion beyond its borders. because of the condition of our own country at that point, the russians turned out not to be prepared to do that. we have many ways to push back and preserve our position. we risk very little in creating the challenge to russia. today because the reasons i do not need to go into today, we do not have the same margin of error we did before. you have to prepare the ground in conversation with moscow much more carefully than 10 years ago. >> there are inherent limits to how far the u.s.-russian relationship can develop in an environment when we do not trust each other.
maybe we are justified in not trusting each other. but i think we need to think about that and recognize that and accept the fact that if we think it is necessary to pursue some variants on the containment policy that there are limits to what we can expect from russia at the same time we're taking that approach to them. they are going to react to that. it is going to affect how they view us. if we get past that, russia has important interests in this part of the world. many of those interests are legitimate. there is a question of how russia tries to assert its
interests and what are the specific tools and methods it uses. i do not think russia has always made the best choices in that regard in terms of how it advances its own interests. that this is a little bit related to the previous point. there is an issue of institutions in those countries , and if the country's on russia's periphery had been independent for longer than 20 years and had fully developed and consolidated political systems and institutions and procedures, and operated in an
open and transparent way, then many of the things that russia tries to do now would not really work. but because of the particular situation that many of those countries are in at this particular point, it gives russia, with its particular system, this range of tools and options that it might not have been trying to interact with others. >> also a former state of artificial in the bush administration. -- of former state department official in the bush administration. >> thank you for the question. ofon't discount the value
history. i just put more emphasis on the value of immediate history. i know from reading the manuscript of the book, but nonetheless, it is less about the substance and more about that it went around established processes. it appeared to be hammered out almost in secret, and it was a negotiated in a heavy-handed way. it was classic, soviet-style behavior as opposed to the merits of the document itself. in the end, that is what aroused the reaction that it did. a third point is that i agree with tom that the basis of u.s. policy in 1996 was countering the threat of the re-emergence
of the threat of soviet dimension, or to put it in another way, the purpose of the policy was to bolster the sovereignty and independence of the states. our point is that there was a time limit on that. we are now at the point where we can say that threat is passed. -- is past. that is why we argue that containing russia as the motivation for policy is neither going to be effective nor would it serve u.s. interests. >> a few brief comments and the question. i have long worried that bulgaria was on the wrong side of yugoslavia, but i think the geography was somewhat remedied
through geopolitics. number two, i think that soviet russia has been and always will measure itself sometimes against the united states of america. that is the way of proving its strategic role, geopolitical role, or that is what my observation has been of the years. with nato, russia would more happily talk to the united states of america rather than the nato bodies that have been established or nato as an organization. point number three, energy. obviously this is not the topic for today's panel, but i would love for reaction from the panelists on how they see russia's role in energy now and
in the near future. my impression is that energy goes with mr. putin in any job. i would think when he assumes his old and new responsibilities, language on energy will become more distinct or clear. i will leave it to you to describe the next stage of russia's energy policy. since we have representatives of different administrations, i can say that for years now, america has justly insisted on diversification, including with my own country and which discussions and meetings with bulgarian officials, and yet nothing much has been done on the american side. how do you see the american role in energy diversification, which
is not just an intention but already a formal decision by the european union? there should be kind of a partnership between the eu and u.s. on the front of energy diversification. >> i guess that there are two energy parts. on diversification, the u.s. talks a lot about that, and i think you are correct that it has mostly remained in the realm of talk. certainly there are a lot of other people here who are qualified to talk about that who work for or have worked for companies in that area and worked for the government in that area. but my own view would be that the united states government as an institution does not really
get that involved in what actually happens in the energy sector, the way the u.s. system tends to operate is that companies make their own decisions based on what they are interested in or not interested in as they look at the market's , and the government occasionally tries to encourage particular decisions, and certainly in the case of [unintelligible] pipeline really pressed a great deal. i think that happened for particular reasons, and i am really doubtful that anything like that is going to happen again anytime soon. somebody has to pay for these pipelines and for this idea of
diversification, because you have to build things. the u.s. government is not going to pay, and companies are not going to pay if it cannot be done commercially. if you don't have companies where the government pay, and of course when the government pays, it means the taxpayers pay. it can also try to have consumers pay, who happen to be the same as tax payers, but in a lot of cases, they are not excited about that. i don't really see you very much happening on that front. >> i remember [unintelligible] >> we spent a lot of time in the clinton administration, the bush administration, and i presume in the obama administration talking
about energy policy on pipeline routes. the energy sector is one cannot separate from geopolitical considerations. companies in our system will make the final decision on whether to invest or not. the way the u.s. government phrases the issues in talks about strategic considerations i think has significant impact, and certainly companies take into account what the u.s. government use ours. two creek responses, one on diversification. the u.s. strategic interest has always been, i would argue, in russia or in eroding russia's monopoly on exports out of central asia to global markets. the big contribution the u.s. made to that -- we did nothing
and could do nothing to prevent the chinese from building pipelines across central asia and the chinese markets. as energy markets develop over the next few decades, you are going to see tremendous interest in pipelines going south to feed the growing markets in south asia and india. a lot of political security issues have to be worked out. i always thought that mistake the u.s. government made was putting us only in terms of europe, that the only goal we had was bringing caspian resources into european markets. i will make just a couple of quick points. first, you cannot solve your energy problems without russia, long term. second, you can reduce the role that russia plays in those energy markets. this is happening already, because the energy equation has
changed dramatically over the past decade. we have lng, coupled with the potential of shale gas in the united states, which means the energy is not coming to the u.s. markets the way we thought a decade ago. there is also the potential for the development of alternative energy sources inside europe, the potential for shell gas in europe, that or radically change not the level of dependence on russia, it will change the geopolitical equation to a certain extent. i think the russians are aware of it. what is happening in the arab world right now and north africa also has the potential to reshape this, as you think about what alternative resources are. yes, putin will try to use energy as one of the levers, but it is a much weaker lever that it was a decade ago.
>> thank you so much for joining us. >> it was difficult for me to avoid stepping in. [laughter] the whole topic of this discussion is about us, but i am not speaking on behalf of my government. i try to position myself and speak for myself, and i put myself as an observer -- and outside observer. there are two players to talk about what they should do. it is interesting to listen. first, the first thing that immediately strikes me is, we
would not at all if there were not russia there. >> very diplomatically, i would put it, but basically, if russia were not there, even with its energy and uranium resources, would we matter at all? i have come to the conclusion that we would not matter. that is the core of the discussion. so we have to start from there. the core of the discussion here today and in the book i read very quickly is whether there is a rivalry or something which can and should be managed in our part of the world, and the so- called privileged interest.
tong said the u.s. will reject any once privileged interest. when we speak of are part of the world or your rejection of the privileged interest of russia in our part of the world, we talk about perceptions. you have to understand that russians also have their own understanding and they are angry about their perception of your privilege interest in our part of the world. so there is a rivalry, and we spoke about the culture of suspicion. this culture did not diminished at all, or even when in the other direction. -- went in the other direction. we believe these are the starting points for the discussion. i would rather support three
basic thoughts that would lead to a situation where in the end, we will not be forced to choose. until now we are always forced to choose who is a good guy and who is the bad guy. in moscow, a very simple idea skips the minds of people, that we are not pro russian, we are not pro american. that simple notion simply does not take the minds of academics or political practitioners, etc. this is something that makes us not very happy. what we saw until recently is a transactional approached by the united states. we mattered when we had to deal with the nuclear arsenal. even with the pipeline policies, it was sometimes very frustrating because we explained
that our policy, multiple pipeline policies, but when it came to expansion of the largest northern route, chevron was happy about that and exxonmobil was happy about that. but we had the grumbling here. we believe that what sims said it is what sam said and developing new policy should be based on three simple things. doing on the merits of having this relationship, strong engagement, and looking for new situations. i would not be mad with the concept of privileged interest. history plays a great role.
it cannot compete with russia in historic terms. russia will continue to be a large market for us. it is much bigger than you. let's be frank and we talk about customs. whether the u.s. is a meaningful market for europe or ukraine, no, it is always our immediate space. it was our practical toys to expand our markets for ourselves, but we want to join four other reasons. we support the concept where you and others, and we have to take into account china, india, iran, and many other countries. i am afraid i am sounding very suspicious when i mention iran here in this room, but in our
part of the world, which has its own dynamics, and we believe that everyone has to have privileged rights where they have their own edge. russia has history, russia has demography, russia has a transportation competitive edge, but you have other edges. democracy and security -- you have certain edges in all those areas. this should be your privilege rights and interests, and russia should not see them as something endangering their privilege rights, and you should not seek their competitive edges as something endangering your interests.
if these cultures will start to prevail in overcoming the cultural suspicion, i think we will be better able to understand -- why we do have those privileges. policy toward democracy promotion and sovereignty. the implication is that there is something intrinsic endangering our sovereignty all this time, or when promoting democracy, the implication is that we are very bad. we do not want to do democracy, and this is your task to drag us down the road of democracy. this is absolutely wrong. you have a completely different culture, doing business and running the economy. you have differing geopolitical and technology competitive edges. these are natural strengths of the united states, and we embrace that.
the only thing is that we want to embrace it without being forced to choose. there are certain figures from different quarters and we have to react. i point would be, and again i speak for myself here, i participate in those discussions all the time. we have similar russian discussions and we parties support -- will participate with western and european, etc. it is amazing how we are not an active part of those discussions, after all, we are the subject of those discussions. it is about us, therefore we have to act as players and stakeholders in the discussion and in building this new culture. examples are multiple.
just to illustrate how the u.s. is not engaged and how we are not the subject matter of your foreign policies, the history of our 20 years of relationship. no u.s. president ever visited our part of the world, never. we understand hectic schedules, election cycles, and all of the things. but you then should not demand that the russian president visit more than 20 times, or the chinese president comes every year. it does not mean we should turn our backs to do, because we continue to understand that you are the sources of so many important things for us. and you should try to get into the shoes of ukrainians, georgians, or armenians in order to understand what we can achieve and what you can and should achieve in our part of the world. there are certain signs of
change. i came from new york yesterday, and new york was the platform for a major brainstorming by the u.s. government. this is a nice concept which speaks about bridging sell asia and central asia. a very nice concept, but very difficult to achieve. a uniformink there is structure with our relationship in this government. there is a legal discord over here, but the robust approach in new york is something promising. different players can play an important role in the world. the historic mission of the united states is to balance
other, sometimes may be dangerous forces and open us to the south because of our position in our part of the world. there are budgetary difficulties in this country, which means that resources will not be devoted to our part of the world. therefore, many things are spoken, but all players in our part of the world to come together. we are strong proponents and supporters of the win-win philosophy. for that reason, obama enjoys great recognition and respect in our country. we hope that those things will prevail and will turn into
practical policies, and we hope that russia, china, india, u.s., europe can play a role in building this new silk road approach, working together on water management issues, and transit issues, and trade facilitation issues, on border crossing issues. you just name it. there are plenty of areas where you will be having no time for thinking about suspicions. if you concentrate on those areas of practical interest for our part of the world. >> very insightful and very powerful. i wish we had time to ask each participant to respond to you in a way your comments would deserve, but we have eight minutes left. what i hope to do is give everyone an opportunity to make a brief comment, and then i will ask the panel to respond very
briefly. please identify yourself. >> my first comment about energy does not reflect any u.s. policy said. we had spent 1% of the resources and staff on energy as a security issue as we spend on missile defense as a security issue, we would have the kind of energy policy that the region deserves and that europe has wanted. i think it is comment on our own priorities for put our money and our staffing. i question is the following. the assumption is that u.s.- russia policy involves rivalry or cooperation about each country separately. this is something the ambassador just noted. it is clear the rivalry between the countries is such that it weakens them. they do not cooperate economically. each one sees itself as the
leader of the region or a subject of another country. i realize this is something russia and the u.s. cannot do for the region. maybe russia does not want to, maybe the u.s. doesn't. unless the country strengthen each other, they will use it as a way to play a great game of one neighbor against another, and continue to use the u.s. and russia to gain what is a position of regional dominance. where does this point of view fit in, in terms of u.s. policy, not just a conference on the silk road and talking about how great the region is, but in terms of getting the countries themselves to recognize that their strength will come from inside them, and not from what the u.s. and russia decide.
>> a brief comment and a question. i was in china a couple of months ago, and the chinese said this is russia's sphere of influence. you reject the idea of historical determinism. but there is such a thing as geographical determinism, because that is the way the world is. russia is a neighbor to all these countries and will be a neighbor forever. as constant and enduring interest. we happen to be there now because of the war in afghanistan and because these are the energy concerns. but we can come and go, and we probably will. if i were sitting in the kremlin, and mr. putin will be there now presumably until 2024, i would understand, just be patient, because the u.s. is here and it will go again. do you really think in 20 year'' time, the united states will be
as involved or concerned about the different parts of the former soviet space as it is today? or will week retreat, as we have done historically? -- or will we retreat? >> i want to encourage each of you to make it very, very brief. >> i will pose this question for all to contemplate. it is in the u.s. and europe's interest that -- does the notion of corroding russian export monopoly lead us to point of diminishing european energy security by encouraging the pipeline? a challenge the notion that in 2011 a great power needs to
control its neighboring areas in the same way that great powers did in the 19th century, precisely because landlords will not be happening anytime soon in that part of the world. we are looking at a different range of threats that don't require the same degree of imperial control that the russian empire had or that the soviet union did in its periphery. certainly, russia has more at stake than the united states. that is just a function of geography. geographyink determines the mode of policy implementation. policies cana's evolve, and they have evolved. >> the argument i was making was that in fact, we ought to be working, russia, the united states with the countries of these various subregions on a more general way of working together, so the silk road
infrastructure that ties these roads together economically and commercially is important. if you are thinking about security, obviously you need to talk about the security aspects of this. i would argue on afghanistan that the long-term solution is a regional security architecture that will include russia, china, iran, india, pakistan, afghanistan, uzbekistan, and so forth. you can only get there by sitting down and having a type of discussion. this is not the united states and russia deciding on their own to cooperate or compete. finally, russia is not the neighbor of be uzbekistan and kyrgyzstan and so forth. then your neighbors are afghanistan, pakistan, and india. -- the near neighbors. we cannot always assumed that
russia will be there forever. >> i think we have this tendency in washington -- i think your point was very important. we have a tendency sitting here to view the united states and the american government as the architect of all of these different things that are happening as a practical matter in many cases. governments, factions within governments, factions inside countries that are not in government, groups of expatriates' that don't even live in the country anymore, they are all coming here in trying to influence the united states to do various different things for very different
reasons. if you look at a case like iraq, it is clear that that can be a real problem for the united states in different ways, and something we would be well served to get more of a handle on. angela, i basically agree with what was implicit in your question. i think it is doubtful that the united states is going to be able to sustain this kind of presence on a long-term basis. i see that as a real reason to be talking to russia and talking also to countries in the region, cause a stone and others -- cause expand and others, and not creating by default these
expectations and miscalculations, and not deceiving ourselves, either. i think that can also be a rather costly. i was in china in august at a conference sponsored by beijing university on u.s.-china cooperation in central asia. they seemed to be quite interested in what was happening in the region. i imagine there are a lot of different people in china and they all have different interests and perspectives, but the ones i was around were clearly following things very closely. >> thank you very much. it was an interesting conversation. i think it went better than i expected. [laughter] thank you to our panelists,
participants, and thank you to c-span for covering it. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> maryland representative chris van hollen, ranking member of the house budget committee, and a member of the joint deficit- reduction committee talks about how the joint committee is doing with this task of identifying $1.20 trillion in budget cuts and other budget, spending, congressional, and political issues. newsmakers, sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> the head of the american association of university professors says that tenure and
added dick -- academic freedom or in jeopardy and need to be protected. >> tenure creates an atmosphere on campus where people can speak freely, not just in their teachings, but in terms of university governance. if you don't like a proposal that the board of trustees makes, you have to be able to speak freely about it. administrators should be able to do that as well. that is part of what academic freedom protect. without that, you really don't have the expertise of the faculty available to you. >> cary nelson, sunday night on "q&a". >> less than a year after dia's creation, it faced its first great test with the cuban missile crisis brought the world to the edge of war. >> this week marks the 50th anniversary of the defense intelligence agency, established
in 1961. the director of the dia advises the defense secretary and the joint chiefs on all military intelligence issues. learn more about the dia from intelligence experts on line at the c-span video library. it is washington, your way. >> next, a hill reporter talked about possible changes to the 2012 primary calendar, now the private -- now that court has moved up its primary date to january 31. -- now that florida has moved up its primary date. josh lederman joining us now. nevada and south guest: carolina and new hampshire have all the out that they would move there is even earlier to maintain their status at the head of the pack and tried to maintain the influence that mr. van hollen was just talking about.
everyone knew or could have predicted for the was going to lose half of their delegates because they were violating the national republican party rule by holding their contest early. the ironic thing is that it the other four states move their primaries or caucuses even earlier to keep their place, they would also violate their roles and it also lose half of their delegates, according to rnc officials. host: what is the tactical reason for moving the date? guest: when you get to the convention, which will be in florida, everyone will probably know who the nominee is, and so that as the steppe where everyone does the the process. the influence comes from what dan hollen was saying, the man mentum that comes from early
stage, you can raise money and carry that momentum into the next day. even more important, all the candidates have to come to your state and campaign for your voters. host:, walk josh lederman us through a timeline? guest: we could see a primary or caucus in late december which with the war rants into the calendar. you will see be -- campaigning over christmas day. probably throughout january, a number of other contests. host: will people accept that much politics during a holiday when people do not pay attention to these kinds of things?
guest: to some extent, this is a repeat of what we saw in 2008. we ended up having contest in january even though they are typically in february for the early stages and starting in march for most of the other states. my guess is that the primaries are in january, that will have to be the way that it is. people will have to campaign and people will be upset about it. a lot of reporters will not be happy to work over christmas and new year's, but that is the decision of florida made. host: what is the likelihood that and a couple of weeks we hear something? guest: we will hear something even sooner. that deadline to say when you
are holding a contest is october 1. because of costs last-minute scramble, some states may make their decision later. but i would guess that in the next two weeks, we will hear more. >> tomorrow on "washington journal," the demographics of poverty in america and how it has changed since the economic downturn and help it is measure. we'll talk about poverty related programs, what they are, hellman's the cost, and their efficacy in reducing poverty. we'll hear about one of the many community programs designed to fight party. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> less than a year after dia's creation, it faced its first
great test when the cuban missile crisis brought the world to the edge of war. >> this week marks the 50th anniversary of the defense intelligence agency, established in 1961. the director of the dia advises the defense secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs on all military intelligence issues. learn more from its directors' and intelligence experts at the c-span video library. >> in his weekly address, president obama urges congress to pass his jobs bill. he shares a few stories from americans he says will benefit from the legislation. then we will hear from freshman congressman morgan griffith of virginia who talks about house republican plans and that reducing government regulations, which she says are hampering job creation. >> hello, everyone.
it has been almost three weeks since i sent the american jobs act to congress, three weeks since i sent them a bill that would put people back to work and put money in people's pockets. this jobs bill is fully paid for. it contains the kind of proposals that democrats and republicans have supported in the past. and now i want it back. it is time for congress to get its act together and pass this jobs bill so that i can sign it into law. some republicans have said they agree with certain parts of this jobs bill. if so, it is time for them to tell me what those proposals are. if they are proposed to the jobs bill, i would like to know exactly what they are against. are they against putting police officers and teachers and firefighters back on the job? are they against hiring construction workers? are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in america? economists from across the political spectrum have said that this bill will boost the
economy and spur hiring. why would you be against that? especially at a time when so many americans are struggling and out of work. this is not just about what i think is right. not just about what a group of economists think is right. this is what the american people want. everywhere i go, they tell me they want action on jobs. every day i get letters from americans who expect washington to do something about the problems we face. destiny wheeler is a 16-year-old from georgia who wants to go to college. she wrote to me saying, nowadays it is hard for me to see myself pushing forward and putting my family and a better position, especially since the economy is rupp and my starting situation is so poor. yet the american jobs act is we hope that i might start to receive a better education, that one day job opportunities might open for me to grasp, and that one day my personal american dream can be reached.
destiny needs us to pass this jobs bill. allison has been looking for a job for about two years. she writes, i have faithfully applied for work every week. after hundreds of applications, i received interview requests for about. i am sick of all the fighting in washington, d.c. people are hurting and hungry and need help. past the jobs bill. >> alice johnson needs our help. kathleen dixon said need pictures of the aging bridge she drives under when she takes her children to school every day. she worries about their safety and rights, i am angry that we claim cannot maintain basic infrastructure. how can we ever hope to preserve or regain our stature in this world if it cannot find the will to protect our people and take care of our basic needs? >> i also heard from kem favre, who told me about the small corporate business her husband
owns in new jersey. she writes, my husband worries every day if checks might bounce. he uses our home loan to put money into the business so they will be covered. please pass this jobs bill. this is the job-creating we need right now. it breaks my husband's heart when he has to let people go. pass the bill. kim said it best, pass the bill. one republican it was quoted as saying his party should not pass the bill because it would give me a win. this is not about me or them. this is about destiny wheeler, alice johnson, and kathleen dickson's children. these are the people who need a win, and i will be fighting for this jobs bill every day on their behalf. if anyone watching feels the same way, don't be shy about letting your congressman know. it is time for the politics to end.
let's pass this jobs bill. >> i morgan griffin. it is an honor to address you. with our economy struggling and red tape still piling up, but these nuisances have become full-blown government barriers to job creation. according to recent national survey, nearly seven out of 10 americans believe new regulations will result in job losses or higher prices on goods and services. they are right on both counts. that is why the most rigid republican majority in house is focused on lifting the burden of excessive regulations. we all recognize the need for reasonable regulations to protect the public. there are good regulations that protect our interment ensure public safety. there are also unreasonable and unnecessary regulations that hurt jobs in some of our nation's most critical industries. the government recently finalized rules that would
impose costly burdens on the producers of cement, which is the backbone of just about every construction projects. if these rules were to take effect, roughly 20% of the country's cement plant would shut down. thousands of jobs would be sent overseas permanently, just like that. in alabama, in ragland, these new rules led to the suspension of a $350 million cement project. it was on track to create more than 1500 construction jobs. washington is trying to handed down rules that would affect boilers. these regulations would impose billions of dollars in new costs, make many goods and services more expensive, and put more than 200,000 jobs at risk. i was startled to learn that because of these rules, celanese place bell back or
close a plant that employs hundreds of people in my district. i understand the investment required by these rules are irreversible. for those businesses that cannot make these investments and decide to stop producing the product at a particular location, the job losses are also irreversible. the good news here is, excessive regulations are reversible and fixable. todd elliot testified on behalf of celanese at a hearing on capitol hill. it is very important for the congress to understand the be complete in a global marketplace. he said if our costs become too high, we lose competitiveness and jobs. we encourage you to pursue cost- effective regulations and help create jobs our nation so badly needs. republicans are listening to the american job creators. the house is working on a series of bills this fall aimed at cutting red tape and stopping the excessive regulations that
hamper job creation. next week, we will take up bipartisan bills that address the concerns employers have about both the cement and boiler rules. the bill i sponsored recognizes the need for reasonable boiler regulations and does not try to haphazardly cancel these rules. instead, we are saying the government should go back to the drawing board and come up with a more reasonable approach that protect the public without imposing unnecessary costs on employers and workers. these bills would save thousands of american jobs, and they are bipartisan. members of both parties support these ideas right now. president obama, who has said he is willing to consider stopping excessive regulations, should call on the democrat led senate to follow the house in passing these jobs bills. let's take this opportunity to widen our common ground and do whatever we can