tv European Union Summit Preview CSPAN March 23, 2014 2:55pm-4:08pm EDT
actually get a better feel than the embassy gets. whether our government will be able to continue working with them, i don't know. it's going to be the difficulty of getting out there. ch and that's a serious problem. that's why i so much encourage, you know, helping the ngos in afghanistan, whether it's on oversight or green issues, health issues. because they're the ones with the eyes and ears. they're out there. they're community based. that's what we're going to have to rely on. and we're toying with an idea to yutz the ngos. to be our eyes and ears to monitor programs. that's more difficult. tths not the gold standard. we have to, who is watching the watchdogs? who is going to watch the people, you know. so that's a whole process that we have to do. we have to deal with the ngos. we can't forget them. we cannot forget an independent
press. let me just be clear here. the reason -- the reason chicago organized crime and the al capons and the mafias did not only take over country is not only because of brave law enforcement, brave press. and it was the press. if you want to expose problems in afghanistan, we have to support the independent local press. those are the eyes and ears. and if we had more independent press in some countries, maybe we would have better rule of law in some countries. i low that out. >> thank you. i know that we're running over. and i appreciate you taking two more questions if we can. >> happy to do it. and i apologize. i talk too much. >> we have the lady in the front, and then in the third roud. if you could please ask your questions, one after the other,
and keep them short. identify yourselves. >> my name is farrah stockman. i work with the boston globe. i've been to afghanistan several times. i'm wondering if you can say a few words about the commander's emergency response and the military has been pushing so much to this be table to spend money quickly, is it a good idea? >> thank you, and then we go to the lady in the third row. and then maybe you can answer these two. >> thank you so much. i recently did research on governance. the major finding of that research was that corruption may not just be a political crisis, but also a cultural crisis. and by that i mean it may not just be a technical challenge that could be addressed by experts and policies and strategies. but may have adaptive elements to it, in which people would have a greater role to play, and
the fact that afghans paid $1.25 billion in prescribes indicates a clear role that people have in maintaining the flow of corruption. i was wondering if your findings did point towards clues to suggest corruption would have serious cultural roots to it. and if it did, what recommendations could you share on that? thank you. >> okay. let me deal with -- oh, is there another question? on the programs, we haven't done a full blown audit, we have concerns. we've touched on it. many of the programs we've identified that are very poorly done were funded. i think congress itself has has some problems. i think the amount has been decreasing. the bottom line is, control and oversight. and the funding was just for those of you who don't know, it was special funding set up for
the commanders in the field to help them as part of the coin doctrine, another acronym. to try to win the hearts and minds. we've done some audits where we found rather than winning the hearts and minds you've actually lost some of the hearts and minds because it was so poorly done. we're going to send a letter about the bridging solution in kandahar, part of a funding. a diesel power. but the power may go off. and then you've lost all their hearts and minds. with we've got briefed. there's a new bridging solution to the bridge bridging solution. really a solution to the fact that we haven't put the third turbine in. and so you know, it's a beautiful dam. i got a chance to get out there.
surrounded by 200 well armed marines because of the security situation. but my god. we still haven't finished it. it's taken longer than it did for the pharaohs to do the pyramids. we've been doing it since 1952. still isn't done. we don't know if it will ever be done. we issued a report saying we have some problems about funding this thing. all i'm saying is you have the to be careful. good idea, but you have to make certain it's done correctly. the problem is the troops who are monitoring change out every six months or nine months or maybe a year and nobody knows what the heck we did. so going back to the cultural roots, we haven't really focused on the cultural roots. i had -- and i won't mention the
person by name because he's a presidential candidate. but i had a conversation with him some time ago, this gentleman. and he said, look. you know, this idea about cultural. we're culturally more attuned to corruption. he said i spent time and i saw -- i remember reading the story of a truck overturning in manhattan and the back doors opened up and hundred dollar bills floated all over the place and everybody grabbed some. the americans are corrupt? if there's so much money floating around, it's natural. especially if you're very poor and you could make more money in one day than an entire year. it's going to change the culture, the economy, the value system. and that's something we have to look at. we have done an awe dilt on that. but a number of people have told me that.
and that's the thing we really have to know. too much money, too little oversight and too short a time, what do you think is going to happen in any country? i use my daughter every once in a while. and she hates this. you give her a $10 allowance every year -- every week. wow. i'm really cheap. every week you say, here's a thousand dollars. i'm going to give you a thousand dollars. what do you think is going to happen? i don't care if your kid is 13 or 20 or 7. bad things are going to happen. so let's stay instead i give you a $10,000 allowance this week. real bad things we know, as parents are going to happen. what did we do f in afghanistan? we didn't have much oversight. and the general's report.
our reports, everybody who looked at it said bad things happened. we have to make certain that doesn't happen again. >> i thought you said you were an optimist. >> i am. >> i would have said she invest it in a savings account. >> i have to talk to your daughter. >> he would have told that a pessimist is an optimist with experience. so i'm so sorry we weren't able to take all the other questions. i'm sure with this audience we could have spent another hour. but there's a limit on your time and on the time of our friends from c-span and the audience at home. so on behalf of my colleagues, i want to thank you for taking this time and being so candid and open with us. it's good to know that you have that $250 sml limit before the
afghan women have made. another member of the delegation, indiana senator joe donnelly, said -- looking forward to coming home tomorrow. the louisiana senator rights, being sanctioned by the good and will not stop me from helping america become an energy superpower. a look at president obama's week ahead. traveling to europe and the middle it's -- middle east. he will also be bit is -- visiting brussels for the first u.s.-eu summit. we will get a preview next. it is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> thank you all for joining us. to tell you if there's a nirvana for european analysts
i've been in it the last several days to be surrounded by the people that i read, i listen to very closely to help me understand world events and they all came to williamsburg and we talked about the future of europe and we talked about the seismic events that occurred while we were discussing it. the annexation of crime crime by russia. so i can't begin to tell what you a pleasure and a delight it is i can share my nirvana with you this morning and we can share three incredibly, thoughtful, insightful journalist who is have agreed to be with us today. we have gideon rachman, the chief foreign affairs commentator and a weekly columnist for "the financial times." we have dr. joseph joffe, the editor of german
weekly "die zeit". and all having journalistic careers. when the president does a visit overseas we do a briefing for the press and tell them what is important and what to look out for. we'll do that with csis scholars tomorrow morning. i thought there could be no better opportunity to talk about the president's trip to europe next week with roger gideon and joe to get their insights what they think is important. i'm sure when the white house was planning this trip very long ago they had no idea that this trip would be this critical, this vital. i think they started out thinking yes, this third summit of the nuclear security summit an initiative president obama started this is part of a important legacy for him. he would visit brussels perhaps
to buttress criticism that he has never been to brussels as president. he made eight trips to europe but never visited the capital of europe and so hitting that as well. then he is off to rome i think for to see pope francis but now to meet the new italian prime minister, prime minister renzi. then he is off to saudi arabia for even more difficult conversation and even more difficult bilateral relationship. but now the world has changed and so this trip has changed. so i thought what we would do is talk, have a conversation with gideon, roger and joe about, not only what's at stake for this mission. i won't call it mission impossible but it will be a tough mission for the president, as he confronts this new challenge but i'd also love your take, the three, on really what the state state of the mood in . we had, this is the first time the president will travel after
the full and devastating impact of the nsa revelations particularly the impact on the german revelations. we have in two months the european parliament elections which will perhaps change europe how democratically they speak to the future of the e.u. there are lots going on. i can't think of three people who i want to listen and their thoughts. with that we'll start with gideon and go to joe and roger weill:up. we'll a clean up here and welcome you into the conversation. with that, gideon. thank you, again. >> thank you, heather, for a very kind introduction perhaps excessively kind but i'll take it. it was very nice of you and arranging the whole forum and it is a great time to be here in washington to figure out how the americans will react to this joint challenge that we now face after the crimea incursion and indeed annexation. i think we have one small thing to thank president putin for which is that he made what would
have been a rather peculiarly timed trip into a very well-timed trip. it was peculiarly timed to have a u.s.-e.u. summit now was a bit strange because as heather mentioned, the whole of the european establishment is about to change. we'll have european parliamentary elections. the commission is going to be reshuffled over the summer. so the people obama is meeting won't be there in a couple months time. i realize that is typical kind of european wind. you said for years you haven't come to brussels, you haven't come to brussels and he comes to brussels and you're coming at wrong time. he was sort of coming at the wrong time. now suddenly this is very relevant trip. the u.s.-ue -- e.u. summit is will have a g7 summit in the margins. the g7 is back. the g8 is no more. that will be an extremely important meeting.
interestingly i saw originally president putin was expected to come to the nuclear summit and finds himself otherwise engaged. leader of china will be there. and it will be almost a mini u.n. happening in the hague after the ue-e.u. summit. let's backtrack briefly and look at the u.s.-european agenda. what will obama and the leaders be talking about? it won't be just the commission. you will get the leaders of the european nations meeting. some of the old agenda, most of it will survive although recast in this new framework of the events that just happened in russia. i think one of the big questions is, will ptip, the effort to create a transatlantic free trade area, will it get a big boost because of what's happened in crimea? and theoretically one would imagine it would because it
always had a kind of geostrategic or geopolitical rationale behind it. of course people want an extra economic boost after the kind of tough types we've been through on both sides of the atlantic but there was also a sense maybe we on both sides of the atlantic kind of have to rediscover each other and create a large block, oddly not vis-a-vis russia but vis-a-vis china. you heard from both american officials and european officials if the west were to have a chance to continue to shape the global economic agenda and free trade framework, perhaps it was no longer enough to be the e.u. and the us. if we have a economic spin-off it would have political spin-offs. that political agenda has now been ramped up by what happened in russia. however i must say i'm skeptical i think you will see increase in the rhetoric how necessary it is. i don't see it enough to over come the entrenched obstacles
which you have on both sides of atlantic. will harry reid suddenly say i will give obama fast track? i doubt it. maybe americans no better. will the french farmers or other protectionist groups in europe suddenly say, because of what happened in russia we drop our objections to this treaty? i don't think so. so there might be a little boost to it but politics and political concerns are pretty entrenched. so, i doubt we're going to get a huge surge in ttip. heather referred to the nsa and how we will get over that. everyone i suspect will tiptoe a little bit around the issue. i don't think it is particularly in the americans interest to have a long, open discussion about it. i think the europeans having registered their disapproval don't want to turn this into an operatic larly now at this time. it has done damage to america's image as well as britain because
we're complicit in the whole thing and germany where this issue was taken seriously and merkel's phone being bug. i would add, i think that one of the central tasks of facing american foreign policy and obama in particular, and even more important now, in the context of what is going on with russia is to rebuild the german-u.s. relationship. which is the key relationship. and is in much worse shape than i think people realize. the bit they have seen is the rau over the nsa and the stuff in the german papers and cite crosby her standards, statements by angela merkel. i think even before that it was in disrepair because of a rau happened over syria where the germans, failed to sign a joint letter that the americans were putting together backing obama's position, about military action on syria but that provoked a really bitter rau between the principles in the white house
and chancellery which i can tell has not been mended. the fact these people don't get on with each other or speak to each other regularly is a problem and has to be fixed i think, now more than ever because what germany decides to do on sanctions will be almost as important as what the u.s. tries to do. the germans, as well as being the largest economic power are also at one end of the european debates what to do about russia. they have always for economic and political reasons, in another context we call constructive engagement with russia. they continue to have a big economic interests. not just pure, filthy lucre and dividends for energy companies. there are actually direct implications for the living
standards of germans. 30% of their energy comes from russia. our colleague wolfgang who is with us, said to me in a conversation, if they don't get russian gas, germans will freeze because, we're going into the summer but this could be a long standoff. so it is really serious issue for merkel. so how the germans react will be very important. think one of the things that obama will swiftly discover, i'm sure he knows it already but he will see in person, there is as ever no single european position on this i think the europeans realize they have to be an effort at european unity. and the germans in particular will very much want to try to stay on the same page as the poles who are, you know, obviously neighbors. the eastern end of the e.u. but they represent the people who are most alarmed by russians and most keen on a tough response. and the at beginning of this
crisis you saw the polish and german foreign ministers together with france going to kiev together and i think people were very pleased with the symbolism of that because the two end of the european debate, the poles and the germans had a common position. whether that common position can survive this now much more prescient situation is going to be very important and i think the americans potentially can play a constructive role in trying to bring the sides together and to make sure that at least we don't display our divisions in public to the russians because that of course can only encourage them. trying to think how the europe and u.s. will react to this. we know issues they will talk about, sanctions and so on. i think nobody has any appetite
for military response. there will be some discussion about how tough you are and reiterating article five. whether you start moving military assets into the baltic states. whether you begin to offer the ukrainians something rather more substantial than a meal ready to eat as potential assistance. those issues will be very important. therethere will be this questio, what kind of sanctions and how can we make sure we all suffer equally because the, the odd thing about globalization or this economic relationship between developed with russia is that it does differentiate from the situation in the cold where where there wasn't an economic relationship. there weren't huge russian banks with stakes in the city of london and so on. that's changed and it give us leverage over them but it also gives them leverage over us. we have to work out, are we prepared, we can certainly do
them some damage economically but we in doing so would damage ourselves and how do we strike that balance and how much pain are we willing to take and so on? and also, we have to try and begin to think through the russian reaction because, you know, if putin is in full great patriotic war mode one thing we know about the russians is they can take a great deal of privation when they feel national interests are at stake. i don't think we can feel overconfident that these economic sanctions will with russia in internationalistic mode will change course but we have to try to do something. i think a lot of the reaction of the europe and u.s. together will come down to personalities of leaders as it often does. i think it is potentially significant that the two most important leaders, obama and merkel, are both intrinsically
quite people. you saw that in the libyan crisis when obama and merkel were both very reluctant to go for military intervention and that was driven by cameron and sarkozy and quite hotheaded. cameron despite his lange quid air he is faced with a crisis of somebody who wants to act. i think obama is somebody who wants to think. we'll know more about it but he seems slightly paradoxical at home. he seems quite paralyzed. overseas he has been quite activist with marley and so-and-so. he might be in the sort of cameron we've got to do something camp. i think in the end obama and merkel are more important and their instincts just as human beings and leaders have been more intrinsically cautious. so i suspect we're going to get, we're not growing to get sort of churchillian, harry truman type speeches. we'll get something that looks
to be firm and aims to avoid looking ridiculously weak and so on but that's not going to be tough something. i think a bit like, i don't know, some you probably heard scowcroft and bra brzezinski last night. they said we may not get there but keep some sort of space with russians and i suspect that is the ink tinge for the moment will prevail. this is moving situation. who knows what it will look like by the time obama arrives in europe, if there have been incidents and the russians are beginning to look greed i wily at eastern ukraine and the whole situation is different once again. a final point. about how the russians might be reading this and how everybody has based. i think it is important that we look forward and not have a who lost crimea debate. very striking for me in your visits to the city to see that the shape of the u.s. debate
about, well is this all consequence of obama's weakness and he was cautious over libya. that he, on syria obviously drew a red line and erased it. and that's an interesting debate but i think that, if my guess is that actually as much as thinking about america's reaction or lack of reaction or weakness or lack of weakness, president putin will have looked at european weakness. and, european reaction. after all, remember this started as a tussle with the european union over the fate of ukraine. and, a bit like stalin has meant to have said to the pope, how many divisions does the pope have? how many divisions does the e.u. have? the e.u. doesn't really do military power. doesn't think in those terms. thinks of itself as a soft power. has nascent military ambitions and but very, very small stuff. just more generally what putin
was facing as a european union that is incredibly internally focused. obsessed with the euro crisis. that is recovering barely from a very severe recession, a couple of these countries are still, deep, deep economic trouble. european union is facing european parliamentary elections where pop you is, far right, far left could get up to the 25% of the vote. this is not a european union really up for a confrontation with russia. it may have to gird itself and get there anyway but i think if i was sitting in moscow you would think these guys are shallow. they're internally divided. they're obsessed with their own little problems. they're not thinking strategically. they're not really going to be a problem. around for the european union to overcome that, actually fairly accurate assessment and get its act together is going to be a really big challenge but not just for next week. but for the next couple of years and more. >> gideon.
thank you so much. that was terrific. joe, i'm sure you have some thoughts on the u.s.-german relationship and the role that germany will play throughout this crisis. >> thank you, heather. i don't pretend to know what obama is going to say and do in europe but i, so i want make it easier for myself and just step back and describe the new stage where both he and the europeans are going to be operating and isolate to draw the contrast is to look back at 2008 and before the election when obama had a real triumphant gig, and i mean gig, at the victory column in berlin. he drew 200,000 people which is probably, as much as free concert of the rolling stones would have gotten.
from that, he bestowed the stage then as -- bestrode as a rock star and redeemer. footnote between him and angela merkel who had told him no, you can't do a reagan, you can't speak in front of the brandenburg gate. he had to move off half a mile to the columns. it didn't start off on a good foot between them. but putin as i tell you in a moment has done worse to merkel. he is the rock star and redeemer. as you know mortal redeemers never deliver what they promise some disappointment was about to set in very quickly and if you say go into the pew charitable trust figures you see that approval rates for obama began to decline pretty quickly after the, down by double digits in all of europe and the
middle east by the way. so why, what, but there's, so how do we explain the decline? of course frustrated expectations. earthly redeemers don't redeem but europeans didn't like a few other things like the drone, drone violence which up compared to the bush administration. and of course more recently the nsa snooping in europe. europeans conveniently forget the brits in gshq and french with doing exactly the same thing although on somewhat smaller scale but the brits being in a much better position than the nsa because they set
astride eight transatlantic cables which all end up in london. so nsa snooping, disappointment in somebody who couldn't possibly deliver but people expected him and i think most importantly perhaps was a sense of, hey, this guy, this guy treats us differently than previous american presidents. previous american presidents had spats with them, big spats but never were we faced with a kind of indifference obama seeps to exude and indifference of course became more concrete in these, like rebalancing pivot, europe. it has no longer a problem. we have to play the next power game in asia. so this was kind of a, of
course, where america actually did pivot to not so much towards china the pacific and middle east and you know all the syria and iran and only to buoy with this. this was the stage until two, three weeks ago. now the new stage is really quite interesting because it, it displays two pretty interesting watersheds in the affairs of nations. and the european-american alliance. what surprises me is two things. first, first time there was the american superpower no longer taking the lead as it had done the last 70 years. and so the action kind of fell upon others, notably, notably on
germany. and that is the second surprise because that is not the game plan for germany. hasn't been for the last 50, 60 years. it was happy in its cocoon of alliance integration and not happy, indeed loathe to take a strategic role. i will take this, germans moved to center stage because they're so strong but mainly because the others at this point, are so weak. think about france. and libya -- takes lead in bombing. you don't hear much from paris these days. the brits, who for decades faithful american lieutenants, always buy its side. what do they do? they vote in the commons not to get engaged in syria. which kind of pulled the rug under obama but i think he was happy to have the rug pulled out from under him because he was
pretty leery to actually use force in syria. so, here is that first watershed, the surprise about how the old prayers shaped up and showed up in a new way. the second watershed, we've been talking about, everybody has been talking about the last two, three weeks, what you might recall the return of history. the return of the kind of history which dominated the first part of the 20th and 19th and 18th century. power politics. zero sum games. he constant readiness to use force for all the great players. and, surprise, surprise, after 70 years or so this was the first time borders were changed
or by violence after the verdict of world war ii. lots of borders of course had been changed by violence. two water sheds and surprises. if this is the return ever history as i just outlined. it is turning out, what does the stage look like? look at the two key players i must mentioned. they share similarities though they are far apart in size, economy and so on. i would submit that neither germany nor the u.s. is very comfortable with its role. why so? well the u.s., has been in reaction mode. obama's america has been in retraction mode. i don't have to go through the
details except to stress one key engine of retraction which is this offrepeated phrase by the president, time for a little nation-building at home. i think he said it about a dozen times in speeches. retraction in a way, final victory of george mcgovern and his campaign slogan, come home america. plus of course the opinion figures in this country which tell us pretty much, pretty clearly, we've had it with all this war stuff. iraq, iraq, afghanistan. enormous application of force, enormous expenditure but not much to show forfeit we look at what the middle east is doing. so suddenly the united states is being dragged back into a game
in europe it thought it could safely abandon. the germans, unlike the germ mans of the 20th century are not exactly pushing on to center stage. they found out that, they didn't do very well in 20th century trying to grab germany and a -- more misery. they're not kind of rushing in like a latter day william the ii. they have been kind of dragged into it like the united states is being dragged into it. so, you know, hacks like us, we always have to come up with a nice little phrase to amuse or, not to lose our readers so i will do this one. i will call them, i call both of them the two great garbled powers. a bit older and know the movie cannon, may remember greta garbo
and her famous line, i want to be alone. and she had her huge sun grasses on. -- sun glass glass. there is a greta garbo here. i want to be aloan. expressed by mitt romney when obama chided romney, hey, man, haven't you figured out, haven't you realized the cold war is over? well the cold war is back but it is not a cold war in a classic sense but idealogical dimension is missing. now the germans totally abandoned the strategic role in the last two generations. and they kind of saw themselves, what they call a civilian power and one that is lodged in the heart of the e.u. called the empire of peace. we don't do war. we do all kind of other stuff. we trade, we give aid, we help
people build democratic institutions. we're diplomats. we're intermediaries. we don't do war. and so but you know, this is, this is kind of the situation. i mean this is the mind-set with which these two key players bestrode the stage. strategy by hard power is back. zero sum games are back. zero sum games meaning your gain is my loss. and both of them are facing an opponent who i think is probably the most brilliant strategist on the global stage today. this is no czar nicholas i who got russia into crimean war in the 1850s and sustained enormous losses. he was impulsive and vain.
this guy is not impulsive and not vain. he is very smart. he knows an opportunity when he sees one. boy it was hard to resist this opportunity. my turf. i have some historical claim to it. the west is far away. the balance of interests is on my side. local power is on my side. it's, it was perfect. notice i'm not making any moral judgments. i'm just giving you like a theater critique. somebody turned out to be a brilliant, brilliant actor. minimum force, maximum gain and even better, the man has by doing so gained what we call street credit. why is street cred important? once you establish a reputation for the willingness and ability to use force and to be ruthless about it, you don't have to use
force and conquer next time. you just establish a reputation as a nasty bastard and so people will, you don't have to wield power in order to have it. so he may stop here because he has now so much intimidated the ukraine that the ukraine will do his bidding. however, if he goes, if he goes farther, i don't think we're going to do much about it either, because again, it is our periphery but his century. he is close. he is got the determination. he has got the street cred. how in the end will the game unfold? one, i don't think we'll use military force. i'm pretty sure, to dislodge, to dislodge putin. to dislodge somebody is a hello of hell of a lot more dangerous
than to slip in when nobody is looking. too much risk. so both the u.s. and germany will use civilian incursion. you know what it is like. kick them out of the g8. travel bans. freeze bank accounts. the e.u. is now extending again an association agreement to, to the ukraine. and we'll do a number of demonstrations of military power. demonstrations, not use of military power, on the eastern edge of nato to reassure poles and baltics. the problem with this is that the time frames don't match. i mean putin has grabbed the crimea and he will now consolidate. these civilian sanctions outlined will take a long time to, to achieve its goal. it doesn't, you can't redirect
gas flows overnight. you can't redirect frayed flows overnight. and if you look longer into the future it take as while to reverse what is true for the entire west which is long-term decline of defense spending. those chickens have finally come to roost in the united states too. take the great power of germany which spend 24% of gdp and much less than the brits. much less than the french and certainly a lot less than the united states. >> joe, you want to wind up real fast. >> i'm be almost done. so what are we doing here? we're looking at a, maybe there is a new cold war but minus the idealogical component. certainly putin has won the first round and may win the second round if he goes to the
eastern ukraine. and, because the ukraine is more important to him than is to us and i think we're not, we really do not, we find it very hard to reverse some of the trends that, that i mentioned. but if this game persists you can't just let the other guy play the game. we wily nilly have to restart playing the old game of power politics again. >> thank you so much, joe. roger. >> thank you very much, heather. i must say nirvana for european analysts had been pretty high on my list of oxymorons before you suggested that. it might actually exist in reality. so i'm grateful to you for that. i'm not sure i can add a whole lot after those two brilliant
exogesiss from gideon and joe. but this is a very important trip to he europe, much more important than it would have been a couple months back. brussels is not, brussels is a rather anodine dateline. it is not zare sarajevo, it is not paris or berlin. but think the moment has come despite the dateline for some powerful symbolism. i think the body language will be almost as important as anything to demonstrate that, the transatlantic unity is not just some quaint idea from the 20th century but he is still there. and still matters. let's face it. president putin has acted
because he is perceived the european union as weak and, president obama, the united states in general, as distracted, looking elsewhere, pivoting to asia. winding down on the post-9/11 wars in a phrase of retrenchment. and that is the basis on which he has acted. and i don't think we can have any illusions any longer about him. i think we were inclined to think he really thinks the breakup of the soviet union was one of the great, the greatest strategic tragedy of the 20th century and it was such a almost farcical statement that we waved it away. but the fact is if you look at the invasion of georgia in 2008 as a kind of a trial run for this, as his whole perception of the post-cold war humiliation of russia, the need to recreate, if
you like, the soviet space, there is coherence, there's a plan as joe just said. there's a strategic mind at work. and he means what he says. and he cares about it. and if the language he understands is force and i think, unless there is a strong response and a united response above all from the united states and europe together to this and a reassertion of the importance of the transatlantic alliance and of nato, then we could be heading in a very worrying direction. if you look at putin's speech it's really worth reading for anybody in the room who hasn't yet read the whole thing. it's very clear the way he's thinking. he talks no only of the grab for crimea that, unjust way in which
crimea was taken away from russia but he talks repeatedly of eastern ukraine and southeastern ukraine in exactly the same language. so it is far from impossible that crimea will have a sequel and i think we need to be very realistic and clear about that. clearly we're not move and the president has said it, we're not moving in the direction of the use of military force but certainly ukraine has requested communications equipment, intelligence-sharing assistance. other materiel and i think they should get it. i think we should make that clear. as joe said, we should underscore the importance of article v, the fact that is a solemn commitment to the baltic states and make that very, very clear. i think there was a powerful piece in my newspaper today about the possibility of, these
second-tier lieutenant who is were targeted in these sanctions that really was, that combined with meals ready to eat, that just does not cut it, ladies and gentlemen. and i think the lang width -- languid leg crossing by the white house throughout this crisis that doesn't cut it either. this guy doesn't cross his legs in the kremlin. he just doesn't. we need, we need a sense of resolve. this doesn't mean we're hurt telling to war. as soon as you say something like that, people, a lot of people these days immediately, you know, start talking about iraq and afghanistan and these have been long and extremely burdensome wars that have marked the united states and will for many years to come. but, u.s. resolve matters in world affairs. u.s. red lines matter.
and i hope that we will get from this visit, a series of coordinated, my sense of germany is, you know, germany acts with caution and germany is hesitant about leading for obvious reasons but there is real shock and indignation in germany. this is real. it goes from chancellor merkel on down. i mean germany thought it had a relationship with russia wherein it could use its influence to prevent this kind of thing and you know, it did not happen. so i think there is resolve. these two leaders as gideon said are cautious but i think, i think both have a sense that this is a watershed moment. this is pivotal moment. there hasn't been an annexation in europe since world war ii. the german for that is ancelus
we know what happened then. the situation is combustible. i think the best way to make it less combustible is not through weakness but through resolve, cali greated resolve, intelligent resolve but sill that resolve that is to be there. i will be brief because we don't have a whole lot of time. i would like to say a couple of words about the germ man-american relationship which i think is, is absolutely key and i think is in the worst condition i've seen it in for a very long time. it goes down from the leaders. joe alluded to the unhappy beginning with chancellor merkel. you're just a candidate. you can't hold a rally at the brandenburg gate. this did not go down well with the president or his aides. ever since there have been problems. there were huge problems over syria as gideon pointed out. history means that privacy as
central and cardinal value in german society that may be hard for americans to understand and as a result, the whole nsa scandal has had an impact in germany unlike elsewhere. so i think there's a, a lot of work to be done in trying to repair that german-american relationship. i think foreign minister steinmeyer has had some interesting ideas. he has talked about the fact that, you know, while the atlantic alliance may resonate for people of our generation, we have to think about how german youth -- snowden is much more popular among german youth i would submit than president obama today. i mean obama was a rock star in 2008. if there is a rock star in germany today, it is edward snowden. and that is a serious state of
affairs, ladies and gentlemen. and it needs addressing. stein meyer has proposed a kind after cybersecurity summit or conference or dialogue and i think more than ttip or these far off ideas we need something in the nearer term that really addresses these issues. because young people in europe need reminding of what, of what the transatlantic -- the most successful at liance in human history. what it has achieved, what it means and why it's important in light of what president putin has done today. has done of late. there needs to be finally, i think, some real focus on just helping ukraine out right now. the country is in financial chaos. and there needs, there needs to be a program of assistance and it needs to be coherent.
and for that the united states and europe must work together. john kornblum who is sitting right here, reminded me of a breakfast that when the president went to berlin last year he made a speech in which he mentioned the european union not once, not once. and you know, this is noted and so there's a lot of work to be done, not only in redressing the u.s.-eu relationship but this whole sense that the united states under the obama administration simply lost interest to a large degree in europe. the president did the dutiful minimum. he did what was dergere and he didn't do more than that i think
we're seeing part of the price today of that, i think, somewhat foolhardy disregard for this pivotal alliance in global affairs. thank you. >> all transatlantics said, amen. we have, about 20 minutes or so before a coffee break for some good questions. let me throw out a few. then we'd like to open this up, if it is okay with the panel, why don't we gather some questions an we'll let you sort of have a final round and closing comments. we keep focusing naturally on the role of leadership here and you've just heard a very sobering assessment of the likely bandwidth politically, economically, for that leadership. so my question is, sometimes the moment makes the leader. they don't come to it willingly. can we foresee that this is a
moment where the transatlantic leadership will come forward? i've been very impressed by chancellor merkel's statements, but again, we can do the rhetoric. that part we do fairly well and have done fairly well so far. we're very, not good at the implementation part. i think the weakness of what we are, you know, actions speak louder than words. in some way ways mr. putin's actions are louder than his words although his words are very loud as well. i would like you, can this be a moment? what does the president have to say in brussels. he is planning a major speech which i'm sure now has been rewritten and will be rewritten on the plane there. so question one, what does the president have to say, what does europe have to say to move, to have this message of transatlantic unity? nato, nato is six months out, less than six months out from a summit on september 4th and 5th. prior to this nato was searching
for its new purpose afghan began and wasn't finding it very quickly. secretary-general rasmussen was here. he was in washington. gave a speech yesterday. again, a very tough speech. does this repurpose nato? in some ways, putin i think, this is all about nato in some ways. this is all about nato getting too close to russia. there is lot of commentary. we've caused crimea. we've caused crimea. we've done this. we pushed too far. we pushed too close to his interests. how does nato have to respond to this? and we're also going to select a new secretary-general of nato. what does that individual need to do? those are some thoughts for you to consider. and now please, colleagues, if you have a question, raise your hand. please identify yourself. speak very loudly in that microphone. because sometimes it's a little hard to hear. keep the questions short so we can get a few in. we're start here, carolyn, with mike. thank you.
>> mike musetta, pbs online news hour. do you think these events will fores the e.u. into more strategic thinking? in washington their lack of strategic thinking in kissinger's columns and scowcroft's comments yesterday, the e.u. is a pinata to bash on. if not full strategic thinking, will it at least increase communications which are formally nonexistent at the moment between two organizations that sit in the same city, e.u. and nato? >> great. we'll stay in this cluster. was there another hand raised? yes, sir. >> american university and transatlantic academy. actually myself posed the question to mr. rasmussen yesterday about the, about nato finding a new role in the world and he said that nato has no new
role in the world. it doesn't have to reinvent itself in the 21st century as it did at the end of the cold war. i certainly agree with mr. cohen on the fact that the u.s. has to show to the european publics the vitality of the transatlantic relationship, particularly to the younger generation like myself who has come to a world where we take it as a precondition, we take it as something for granted. but back to ukraine, i think, that it seems that the ukraine crisis illustrates a crisis of the transatlantic relationship because i think that e.u. underestimated the attractiveness of its own model while on the other hand the u.s. got very late wake-up call. had the e.u. put membership on the table we could have a -- of this -- averted this crisis i think. yesterday, mr. rasmussen called the defense summit something
remarkable, defense summit in december. personally i think it was a remarkable failure. as we're heading towards the nato summit in wales and nato is electing a new secretary-general do you believe it is time to have a serious dialogue, a transatlantic dialogue when it comes to security and defense? and that we need truly strategic relationship between nato, the e.u. and the u.s.? and rethink the relationship between these institutions in based on a pragmatic understanding of the european security and essentially don't you believe it is i am pertive the e.u. develop as new security strategy followed the failed and ineffective security strategy, outdated security strategy of 2003? thank you. >> great, thank you. i'm going to, let's sigh wheel take a colleague here. >> thank you.
as it was said, it is clear that putin has a strategy and he has a vision and this vision is very clear and strategy is very simple. he wants to extend his empire based on the force. brutality basically. it's there. my question and, welcome meant, i don't know, is that what is it that europe and the united states are proposing to this vision? all we hear today is talking about sanctions and i don't think talk about sanctions is the vision. it is kind of reaction. it is okay, you're a bad guy. now we're pogue to cut the whatever, freeze bank account of unenr important people. if it was important people it would still be the reaction. what this u.s. european summit should being exactly about this
vision. whether europe is ready to extend the borders of free world as opposed to empire world that putin is proposing to that part of the world. is the ready to extend its borders what it is beyond today. my question to the panel whether, what do you think whether europe and united states are ready for this extension? or enlargement is announced and parts of that positive vision we are looking forward from that part of the world where i come from? otherwise again what we're looking today is leader of one nation with a very clear vision, with a very strong strategic plan, moving ahead, year by year, picking up the piece that is he lost after that big political tragedy as he called it and there is no vision from the other side. and obviously not question just for this year's summit but it is happening right now. the statement you would expect today but also it is for the
that word, article v. are we prepared to defend article v far and no further? >> thanks, terry. we have two, three questions here, so one in the back and then one there and there. and then we'll wrap it up. >> thank you. my name's -- [inaudible] vietnamese-americans. would this be an opportunity for the u.s. and e.u. and nato to work to expand the energy market for the u.s. so the u.s. can help to establish oil and gas through ukraine and help to supply the e.u., especially germany and britain, great britain, with oil and gas? that way we show that we supporting our allies, and we also show to russia that it's only weapon, energy to the e. u., is now being shaken if it doesn't shape up its own actions if thank you.
>> stanley kober. we've said that there has been no forcible change of boundaries in europe since the second world war, and that's true. but there was in asia. the vietnam war. north vietnam sent practically its entire army south and conquered south vietnam, incorporated into united vietnam. we have reconciled with vietnam. we now recognize it, presidents have visited. what are the lessons of the vietnam war that would apply today? >> thank you. [inaudible] united american diaspora. mr. cohen said perfectly, i think, the trial run in 2008 with georgia, i think the bucharest summit where we needed to make clear on enlargement we failed. in ukraine i think we're seeing
the mistakes with georgia and hopefully those are not happen with macedonia. but i do want to know last month 40 members of congress sent a letter to kerry urging clear support for integration for macedonia, a partnership for peace with kosovo. where do you see the u.s. position on this in light of the nato summit? will we see a clear decision on nato end largement? -- enlargement? >> well, panelists, that was a wonderful array of questions. so i think, gideon, if you're ready, i think we'll just work our way down the line. >> okay. well, lots of questions, i'll try and answer as many of them as i can. on the question that was asked -- [inaudible] does nato need a new role, i guess they're beginning to look at their new role as their old role. it comes back to the question of how do you deal with russia. nato enlargement, i think people will be very cautious about that
in the current mood because we're suddenly realizing, we are focusing on exactly what article v means. are you prepared to -- in the end, you have to fight for these countries, and you have to ask yourself, are you prepared to do that? i think that they will -- my guess is they won't rush to expand nato in the current mood. be things get much worse -- if things get much worse, then maybe there'll be a sense that that is a step that has to be taken, but i don't think it's high up the agenda right now. the question of the e.u.'s strategic failures, and you said that it's fashionable to bash the e.u. here which puts me in an unaccustomed position of trail trying to defend -- actually trying to defend the e.u. i think there's a misunderstanding of what the e.u.'s all about. to see it simply as a kind of geostrategic player, actually, for most people merchandise the e.u. that are operating or
citizens of the e.u.; that's fairly low down the list of what the european union's about. it's common markets, an area of free movement of people, and it's a currency area. its goals traditionally have been cupid of economic and social. -- kind of economic and social. the strategic aspect is relatively new and not to really been thought through, you're correct about that. and i'm not sure that we necessarily want to now -- one thing the europeans are really good at is spending years on agonized debates about the purpose of the union. i'm not sure now is necessarily the time to have a debate about the e.u.'s strategic purpose. i think they toe is -- nato is an institution that exists and that works and really that, i think, is the institution that's going to have to do the strategic thinking about how to deal with this, with the kind of military aspects and the strategic aspects of all this. the question of e.u. enlargement to ukraine is felt, i know here,
as to the massive missed opportunity by the european union. why didn't they do this years ago? viewed from european capitals, the answers are quite, you know, simpler, that there was very little appetite for further enlargement amongst the populations of the european union after the last enlargement that the, what's actually involved in incorporating a country into the e.u. is massively complicated, and it's a process of many, many years. so i can see what the scowcroft and the kingennier -- kissinger's are getting at, but it is more complicated than it seems from this side of the atlantic. energy and gas, i think that's going to be very important, and i think that could be one very positive thing about this crisis if it gets the americans to kind of resolve the debates about the exports of the clear energy bonanza in the u.s. that would be good news i think,
actually, for measuring as well, but also certainly for the your boons. and just a last concern europeans and just a last thought on, you know, this theme that's underlied a lot of what we've been talking about, that putin has play 3 a fantastic hand and we've been, you know, hopeless and don't really know what we're doing. i mean, i think it's too early to say this is a master stroke on the part of putin. i mean, it seems to me if you look back at the history of the last 20, 30 years, one of the lessons is that countries that use military force generally it looks quite good the day after or the month after, it often doesn't work out too well. so for russia going into afghanistan in 1979 was arguably the death knell of the soviet union. i'm not sure that the interventions in hungary/czechoslovakia look so great in the light of history. he may get away with crimea in the sense that there's an
element -- it's a strongly pro-russian area, so you may not get an insurgency. if he goes into eastern ukraine, i think that would be a disaster for russia in the long term even though it might look strong in the short term. and even for us as we think about our responses to this kind of thing, you know, obama's not wrong to think, actually, american military interhavingses in recent years -- interventions in recent years haven't worked out so well and perhaps one should think about other responses before you start rushing to put on your military fatigues. and so i think that, as i say, that he who uses force in the modern world, it's kind of a certain are the row thrill, but it doesn't actually work out that well generally. >> great. roger, we'll just walk down the line. >> thank you. well, on nato i have colleagues on the op to ed page -- o