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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 18, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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republicans. this from the new york times. votere discovers a useful outreach tool. a gun sweepstakes. the online gun sweepstakes has become one of the most useful campaign camping ou outreach. the concept -- take a group of supporterssible highly motivated around an issue and pique their interest with good marketing. want to have their zack moffett said this is just a more aggressive version of wings that campaigns are already doing. discovers useful voter outreach begun. the story in the "new york times." that is about all the time we have this morning. we want to take you live
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bookings institution where they are about to begin a talk on russia's annexation of crimea. great friday.e a we'll see you back here tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> thank you for coming this morning. to thinkngs we like and we like to tell our
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supporters that are unique strength is our ability to use of analysts to integrate insights and merge with a global picture that can inform the uniquely global concerns of u.s. foreign-policy. crisis inw, the ukraine is an episode which analysis intype of part their its effects on u.s. foreign-policy. we think it has the potential to have some impacts throughout the world. people are arty asking what the crisis in ukraine means for efforts to make peace in syria for efforts to de-nuclear ice -- de-nuclearize iran.
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for this crisis will mean the pivot to asia or what ever you want to call it. we decided that we're going to try to set the stage for the resident's trip to asia by trying to connect the issues of east asia here and ask how the might affectaine what the president hears and does on his trip next week. have, in my humble and very biased opinion, the perfect panel with which to do that. pifer,ar right is steve a senior fellow of europe and georgia of her arms control program. he is a career foreign service officer, retired. among his many posts the most relevant is the former ambassador to ukraine. o'hanlon, aichael
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director of research here at foreign-policy studies and has published many books, more than i have actually read. even this week his most recent out which which is -- is resolving relation to the 21st century. he could wait for the movie but i think you probably should not. of my other side is ken liebert thal. he was. the director of our it torrent and china center and a professor at the university of michigan. the signature chipper asia during the clinton administration. and oh my far left is jonathan theack, a senior fellow at
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thornton center in east asia studies. and an expert on chinese national security strategy and u.s./china relations. to start off, i'm going to ask the panel a few question and see if there are any connections between the issues. i would like to start with you if you do not mind. the crisis and crimea and ukraine is occupying a lots of the time and attention of u.s. officials. i think it is coming into question some of the declared strategic trailer tease of the obama administration including the pivot to asia. do you think the united states will have to reorient its strategic rarities to deal with the crisis? europeans and ukrainians expecting that? >> let me say what kind of a backdrop going back a few years.
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what you have seen since the end of the cold war is the united states having the ability to have to devote less time and attention and resources to europe. that is largely reflecting the success of european policy over the last 20 years. with the enlargement of the european union, you have really anchored the states of central intoastern europe institutions. when this policy was launched, one of the american goal is to get to the point where we did not have to worry about that region so much individually because they would have -- institutional support. you have seen a significant drawdown on the american military commitment here. with the assessment that russia was more of a benign power. that included four heavy divisions in germany at the height of the cold war down to two army brigades in all of europe.
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with regard to ukraine from 2010-now there's a decision to let the appearance and believe. he was looking at the european union at the main have to draw closer to europe. it made logical sense to let the eu take the lead and support that as the way for ukraine to lengthen its strengths with the u.s. lastyou have seen over the several months is an intensification of the u.s. interest and attention on crimea as has been the escalation of the crisis there with in ukraine. specifically after you have the military occupation of crimea. it was seen as fundamentally breaking the rules of the post-cold war order. you did not use military force to take the territory of another country. is that within the administration after february 24 when you had the new acting
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government after the former president fled the country and the reaffirm that the interest was drawn closer to the european there was an expectation that the russians told do something destabilize the government. the russians don't want to see that happen. the expectation was much more. the tools will be the economic levers. they skipped right over that page and went to military occupation of crimea. that has developed the biggest east/west crisis of the post-cold war era. saw a meeting in geneva which has the potential to diffuse the rises. there is no evidence that the armed groups in eastern ukraine have either moved to disarm or evacuate what they have occupied.
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there's an expectation that there will be more american attention. you're saying that in terms of american diplomacy in the time secretary kerry is spending. he is making every day phone calls. it is consuming time, tension and resources. it comes at a time when you see an american policy course which really can be broken down into three areas. support ukraine, punish russia, reassure both. whata support for ukraine you have seen is the vice president going next tuesday. a lots of work to help the government which is very vulnerable acquired some more staying power and legitimacy. imft have worked with the on a package that will require you make some tough economic reforms.
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it could fit ukraine in the situation where a couple years down the road the houses in order. you have seen steps to punish russia. we are down bilateral relations across the board here at the g8 has been ratcheted back to the g7. have apply to individual russians which seems to be having an effect. he said he said his lowering his 2014 to 0.5%. he said capital flight out of russia reach $15 billion. that are projections capital flight could as much as 200 billion. that would be 50% more than russia during the financial crisis of 2008. i think there are more sanctions waiting in the wings. on implementations of geneva.
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the third area potentially has the most path to pivot asia. what is needed in terms of reassuring allies in nato and bolstering nato? solving u.s., you military taping steps. at this particular time, it u.s. air force has this mission. they have no air force. the americans had that mission. it was to go from four to 10 aircraft. it's watching of f-16s went in for exercises in poland and u.s. navy has had a string of ships going into the black sea. you now have a conversation going on about coming in behind americans that when it is time to take over the air force it will be more than four airplanes.
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we are open to a conversation. there is a desire for some ground presence. i would not be surprised in the coming month if you see not large detachments but small groups of nato ground forces on the territory in central europe in the baltic states in a way that will not be seen as offensive provocation but will be reassuring in terms of tripwire. if you go back to 1997, nato was considering and a large amount. they talked about there was no requirement for the substantial combat forces. there is a conversation underway in nato now, how the circumstances have changed in a way that might be changing the policy. will be a question what are the requirements if there are forces that are moved up. where do they come from?
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that may have some implications for the u.s.. if you look at a greater from the president and perhaps from the american military sources, how does that complicate the ability to rebalance toward asia? >> that is the question i was going to ask you. then all of the demands of demands of both time and resources that steve just talked about and to some degree predict ed, we are wondering what you think the effects will be? thise you get into that, is notionally part of the pivot to asia. it will be health all for us to know from your standpoint, the pivot is a long-term policy, where does it stand right now? this actually has started? to what degree has the united states actually rebalance or
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pivoted or. you edit -- . irroeted? >> the rebalance is never a gym addict shift in american resources in the first place. that is both good and bad news for what we are talking about now. i will be curious to hear if ken and jonathan agree with me. it is bad news and that whatever modest momentum we had achieved, which i think was a good idea, the rebalance and not pivoting or pretending we could ignore previous allies or commitments or regions but trying to reinvigorate our commitment to the the, it was never involving that many resources in the first place. week achieved momentum, we sort of lost it larger because diplomatic attention has moved away from from thee in personnel
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obama cabinet and top leadership and because sequestration has put downward pressure on the defense budget. whatever modest reallocations we are looking for is not competing with the fact that there is downward pressure. the pie is getting smaller for the whole world. thee was not much to rebalance to begin with in tangible terms. when you get distracted for a year or two, you lose the momentum you have obtained. the good news is the rebalance thenever really a thing in first place. getting the energy back should not be impossibly difficult. i say this with respect and support for administration policy. i do not think we wanted to overdo the rebalance. i do not think we wanted to get too much in china's face or pretend we could leave the middle east behind. appropriately modest approach.
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one specific way i try to look at this from a military analysis , and jim steinberg and i wrote about this in our out of today's military budget is about $600 billion headed downward as the wars andinue to end sequestration looms again. out of that annual amount, how much have we reallocated as a result of the rebalance? amount that might have been partially or primarily focused on the middle east or europe before, how much of that have we taken and shifted toward the pacific? debate. room for there is no more than $2 million out of that 600. at most a plan to reallocate about 10 billion. that is largely by the navy putting up to 60% of the fleet -of the fleetith -
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or it used to be 50%. naval ships can still go to the persian gulf. they do not have to go along the south china sea. goingre not necessarily to be serving the rebalance all the time anyway. that is why i say 10 billion a year is upward bound. spending twowere hundred 50 billion a year on the asia-pacific previously. there is no good way to come up with a good number. now maybe it is going to be 260 billion. that is in the context of the overall pie getting smaller. if we could even sustain that modest increase, i do not know. that will be a question for the future. justice of the fire may overall sincere, we can get it back. it is good the president is going to asia this week. it is good has plans to go to asia later in the year. his big trade initiative is in trouble for the asian pacific.
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theink in terms of diplomatic attention we can get it back. even if we put modest numbers of ground troops in eastern nato asntries in future months might be appropriate under the circumstances with ukraine, it is not going to deprive us of the ability to shift more of the navy in the air force as we are already doing. i am suggesting we need to continue the momentum the president is trying to build next week. he has lost a lot of momentum he created would be rebalance. crimea and ukraine and putin do not prevent him from reestablishing that momentum if he stays focused on the job. >> thanks, mike. the asia policy has much to be modest about.
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given that, how is the pivot seen in asia today? is it seen as a real thing? sufficient to the needs of the region? >> words and attention matter. $10s not just a matter of billion. one of the things about the is they dimension military commitment for asia when not decline despite downward pressure. issue a priority and conceptualization. i think the obama administration saw the rebalance toward asia asked for help -- as perhaps a big strategic framework statement. reinvigorateto
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attention paid to the asia-pacific region after an after 9/ recognizing this is by far and away the most dynamic region and the world. we. interest requires that enhance our engagement there. and certainly not be seen as neglecting the region. this strategy, integrating economic military and diplomatic components not separately toward northeast asia, china and southeast asia but an approach the entire region.
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they tried to integrate policy toward all of asia. to doe never been able that effectively. it is a very high bar. putting that actively on the agenda was an impressive goal to seek and pursue. all this was to ensure that america would play an ongoing role and devote to sufficient resources to that. the terms used even among the first three speakers here. >> you personally use read. mike used three. rebalance was the original name of the strategy. that frankly was contentious within the administration. there were some not in the white house who wanted to call it a pivot.
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jazzier, sharper. who cares about rebalancing when you can pivot? the difference is substantial in terms of the implication in terms of what you are doing. it sounds at this is the center of everything. the rest is by the body. the third term that has been used that i think should have been used from the start and describes what we are seeking to do was to reinvigorate. we never left asia. we have had he's -- huge interest out there. much attention elsewhere that reinvigorating the effort to asia would have put us in the right position. contention,d of very quickly pivot out. here we have been more balanced. if you look at the popular discourse, it is all about the pivot to asia. when you say pivot to asia and raises three questions that are very much in the mind of various
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audiences in asia about what they should expect and how they evaluate the future of this policy, what this policy will be able to produce. to what extent a success of the in the future depends upon an assumption that the middle east will go smoothly and that europe will not again become a major problem? pivot inof it as a the literal sense, that is an obvious concern. of it as a pivot in the literal sense, that is an obvious concern. overcome helps dysfunction in washington which may make a high executive branch not very credible and
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implementation? can the u.s. deliver on both economic and security elements in a way that is credible to allies and partners in the region but also avoids into makingfalling china the bull's-eye of the policy rather than making china a central component. that is something that sounds like a rhetorical distinction. it is the largest trading partner virtually every country in asia. if you can build china in a constructive fashion, and that is not easy, but if you can say on that side of the line, you really are achieving greater stability in asia and a huge
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u.s. role there. if china is on the other side of the line and asia becomes increasingly divided, countries feel they have to choose one way or another. there is not a single country that would consider that a successful american effort here at the want to have america handle the relationship with china wisely. do not divide asia. junot force us to choose. with that as a background, let me look at where we stand in views of the pettit. developments added to the recent developments in the ukraine. the key promise relies on not having things go wrong elsewhere. it is now quite watchable.
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countries will be looking among other things for skillfully assurance both on the president security commitments and on the tactical skills. the initial news was bad. the president had to cancel his last major trip to asia because the government was shut down. pessimism over the trade promotion authority and the tradey to deliver on the if that is successively negotiated. these are major concerns. they should be seen in isolation. there is widespread appreciation in asia of the economic recovery in the u.s. were now the
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strongest growing economy of the nowstrialized world are encountering a lot of trouble. the president has used executive tohority through the epa actually go establish a pretty good record on meeting commitments on greenhouse gas emission. greater confidence that the u.s. will avoid another government shutdown. there's more confidence that the u.s. is still capable of real economic dynamism. that is huge. their are still concerns about government dysfunction. tpp will be a test of that enormous repercussions. positive or negative depending on where we need to go.
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is issue of whether china the bull's-eye or china is reinvigoration strategy toward asia that we can handle well is one that we want to make it the latter. there is a lots of pressure that pushes the administration tactically to make comments and commitments that the chinese would interpret as the former. one of the real tests in the coming months and years will be how they need to stay on a constructive side. how ukraine plays that will be one of the elements that will shape that assessment. i guess i do want to get into that. that as background,
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how is the president seeing this trip? what is he trying to accomplish? how are the asian seeing the trip? are they integrating the concerns steve articulated in the understanding of what the president is doing? >> i cannot say president obama has shared with me what his goals are. this is somewhat speculative. my to do list will be more my own list rather than his might be. it is important to step back for a moment. in november 2011, that was the formal roll out of the rebalanced strategy. i think the gestational elements were there from the very earliest months of the administration. was then given the germanic rollout with president obama stops inccessive hawaii and australia and then
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indonesia. the background is so much of this discussion and did they is precisely the way infants and words and actions are interpreted. the world today, 2.5 years later, looks quite different. looksnd the united states difference compared to what we saw at the time of the policy rollout. was can say the rebalance an ambitious statement of policy incompletewas a very vision. it remains in critical respects and unrealized vision highlighting just how difficult it is to get some kind of a reconfiguration across the entirety of the united states government. the fact that the asia-pacific region is going to be ever more central to american interests seems and unexceptional, and.
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it is like when a blues law gentlemen said about -- way, the economic gravity is shifting toward the asia-pacific region and we should expect over time that it moves to reflect that reconfiguration. the question prersists, to what end? how is it going to be mes hed against global foreign policy? if i were coming up with a to do list, here is mine. preeminents the goal for president obama to demonstrate that the rebalance has staying power and genuine strategic significance and that word for theode
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counterbalancing the chinese policy. fuller strategic conversation. in this case, country to country, recognizing the visit to malaysia and indonesia is a rescheduled activity from before. we still seem stuck very much and bilateral relationships when our aspirations are to a larger regional vision. i understand there's a lot of multilateral activity in southeast asia, much less of the in northeast asia. ofis still the focal point the economic and diplomatic compared to the growing importance that we attach elsewhere in the region. there is the need for that fuller strategic conversation.
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our own strategy is increasingly in question. in this respect i have to say going back to the exuberance of the roll out of the rebalance strategy it was an oversold reflect that did not realistic possibilities about what you could expect. openly to acknowledge him and i think president obama is very much capable of this, that the rebalance requires some reallocation of resources but that there is a pie. if you're asking questions about what the united states can realistically expect to do, it'll be a function of three alternatives. either we will somehow convince the congress and others to commit more resources to what we do in the region, we will have
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to make do with less, or number three we make very clear to our allies and partners in the region that we expect contributions on their part if we're going to achieve a larger vision for the long term.n the this article can discussion. there is a need for by lateral dutch bilateral discussions -- bilateral discussions on issues that are invariant with the american interest of policy goals. we cannot be a disinterested third party. we find a way to reconcile these differences. i do not see as being able to stand on the sidelines.
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the best may be the nominee of the incredible frigidity between korea and japan. they are america's two most important regional allies. they are both headed right of center government. they barely speak to one another let alone cooperation. the action got them in the room at the same time. as we are all familiar, their deep grievances here. these countries try to define a role for themselves in the world that is to come and finding their interest in great conflict with one another. first the elephant in the room, we have articulated to it here it its name as china. the question is can we actually intelligent of discussion that needs to be held almost country by country about
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longer-term relationships with china, longer-term questions about the international role. it is often asserted that no one to force a choice between the united states and china. at the same time, it would be in prudent for the united states to force a choice between china and japan. both are important to american interests. japan is a long-term ally. risings very much the power. a successful strategy has to find some kind of an inclusive concept. this goes in directions we do not want see. finally a very few quick comments.
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this should not dominate the agenda that president obama discusses on the chip. present uppermost an issue for the region as a whole. it will only become so if recent events prefigure a more lasting strategic alienation between the united states and russia and of course between russia and europe. we could find ourselves there. i do not know that we aren't there yet. that's what we're here to coulds events in ukraine distract the president larger focus on his goals from the asia-pacific region. maybe putin would find it
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useful to rain on the american parade in c attention diverted attention-- and see diverted from this. we will work hard to not let that happen. thank you. >> it was interesting listening to these presentations. one is struck by the fact that with the obama administration was an effort that they were trying to turn the gigantic ship of american foreign-policy in recognition of long-term trends and strategy. the history uniform policy does not actually look like that. we are able only to turn the ship us date through reaction to events rather than reaction to
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conceptualizing changes in the help but thinkot good try by the obama administration but maybe they misunderstood the nature of how america changes is foreign-policy. crisis, which is an opportunity. on said the pivot depended reinvigoration -- reinvigoration depended on, excuse me, i cannot you be terms of straight. it is difficult when the all mean the same thing. he said it depends on the middle east calming down a little bit and europe not flaring up again. it does not seem to have been working out. jonathan said the defense budget
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is fixed. i wonder, with all the crisis of --ing, if we can inc. think of the defense budget where crises come to roost on the domestic side of american foreign-policy. all of these come toking crises roost in the defense budget? can we look for new things to them? -- happen? we have to remember our strength. we have a lot of things going on in the world. it a lot of competition for our attention and resources. you're were kind enough to mention my book. and thank you for holding it up yet again. our colleague bruce jones just put out an excellent book called "still hours to lead."
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it said the so-called decline is robust. or at least we have it within our means to make sure it does not happen. other countries may be rising. it is not me that america has to decline. on top of that we have allies s are $400ed budget billion to $500 billion. i met even factoring in neutral countries are more inclined to work with us than against us. we are in a tremendous position of strength. china clearly is the number two military power in the world at 200 billionwith dollars. jonathan may have his own preferred figures. event, the rise is significant and important. it does cause some concern. we do not want to make china
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feel like it is the bull's-eye. we do not want to view our policy as one as containment. we called our book strategic reassurance and resolve. hedging, plus engagement. --t is the old way if inking of thinking. we need to stay resolute in regard to our interests and allies. at the same time, look for way too--conclusion with china. in which mr.ay obama has handled ukraine and the implications that people has try to draw from that generally been fine. it is not over yet. it is not a happy story. i think the american message has basically been what you have
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done so far is pretty darn bad. it is a mildly unacceptable. crimea was historically, largely russian. we do not have it within them are power to do what he did anyway. ukraine is not a formal ally. who needed to pay a price. to be put on notice that if he gets any more aggressive there will be potentially a much higher price to pay. we're talking through the modalities of how that would happen with german and polish friends who need that gap. beginning to have the conversation. we're doing this in the context of a world which we have collectively put a lot of pressure on iran in the past couple of years.
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we have learned a lot about how to apply them more strategic way . who knows it. he has actually helped us with the iran sanctions. he knows he could be the target of a ramped up level of sentience if he goes further and moves into eastern ukraine. i think this is a balanced message for what china and their allies need to hear about the territories in the east china seas. we should not go to war against china the minute there is an altercation. we need this kind of a balanced approach. we might meet with sanctions there as well. it may not make every japanese friend equally happy. we have to show some restraint and judicious mess and how we use military force to respond to crises that may or may not be the end of the world. the way he has handled ukraine should be reassuring to the extent people want to draw lessons about how we might handle future crises in asia as
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well. there is a lot more to say there. >> i want to get you to disagree with that. there is a lot of talk, particularly in this town, but does not see the obamas a demonstration reaction as that will balance. asy see it as underwhelming speaking loudly and carrying a little fix. wondering, how are the chinese judging the united states reaction to this? are they likely to draw any conclusions for their disputes in the south or east china sea? >> what has happened in ukraine gives china problems anomalous
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every dimension. the chinese hate the notion of having a revolution from below supported by the west and recognize as legitimate by the west. fairly early on some officials and went to support ukraine. said effectively we've got it. who are looking to preserve the option of associating with and peopledemocrats whose values and choices should be respect to.
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as has moved to an actual takeover of power, we have supported the new government there as a legitimate government. albeit a transitional one. moving to an election. the chinese find everything about that wrong. secondly, the chinese always say territorial integrity is important. they do not like the idea of crimea likely having a seen by the central government from the start as illegal. supported by soviet forces. >> you may be right again.
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supported by russian special forces. they were very much a part of the issue. the chinese look at that was some horror themselves. certainly they have a strong policy of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries. to their mind russia has violated that. support in kiev, we also have violated it. there's nothing they see that looks good to them here. if you look at the comments to line iseir bottom clearly that there is no bottom line. >> we should get them to work at brookings. >> that you should respect history, resolve things lyrically and peacefully. do it
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multinational he. oppose the illegal action at the end of the day. there is no there there. i have heard chinese officials say if you cannot a girl out what our bottom line is we have succeeded. this is where they are now. will the way the u.s. has attention make them more aggressive? i really do not think so. that has anyk clear impact or likely impact at all. i think one of the issues that may develop and it really develops an understanding what led to evolve in ukraine and what will evolve and theyrussian relations that
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said prediction is always very difficult. he was absolutely right in that. if this really deteriorates, if our sanctions go from being on putin cronies and russia thanks that lead toctions much less dependence over time on gas from russia and europe, presumably more dependent on us over time. the the chinese are in a very different position. they have seen relations with counterbalance to being overly dependent on the u.s. they see potentially russian gas as more available and cheaper if it does not have an outlet in
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europe. they may be quite prepared to and up the russians slack be seen by the u.s. and effectively making it more difficult to get rested to behave and what we consider to be a responsible way. that can affect dynamics in a lot of ways. that is based on several contingencies, none of which is by any means certain. lessons will not take for its territorial disputes from the u.s. reaction. the argument on that generally is notat if the u.s. able to stand up to russian aggression, the chinese will draw the lesson that the united states will not stand up to chinese aggression in the south china sea. why aren't you worried about
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that? >> it is a very clear distinction. we have long-standing alliances in asia with most of the countries where the territorial disputes with china are most severe. we have stated time and again that we will meet our alliance commit and. we will argue about what that means to meet our commitments we do not have an alliance. we have not tried to make ukraine part of nato. it is a different situation. the chinese are very clear about the differences. >> let's bring this back to europe. what are the europeans looking for?
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are they looking for specific messages? what i would think they would look for this. president looks at this to convey the hands. it is unlikely to see resources expanding. resources be it time or money or military are not in the tent. are there additional commitments to asia that could take away from europe. you have to go one way or another. side, it seems like looking at the pacific legion, the focus will be on
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american air and naval assets. we have these on the backseat. there may not be a huge contingents over that. thing will be today we did not see any illegal groups. for five days around this may be a similar situation. is it time to do something more? not live up to this. one lady asked are you now prepared to move or were?
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those are the things they will be looking at. we live by to go. >> i will make this quick. with respect to the defense budget, we have seen several times in my memory major reconfiguring event that changed the entire framework with which we looked at the defense budget. specific lead the soviet invasion of afghanistan and 911 where the gates opened and american power in all its forms is manifest. i'm not saying we're at that went. i do not know yet whether or not the events in ukraine will have that kind of a configuration. they could. that would be a moment where again the american balance of interest would be redefined.
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it might have some very direct implications for whether or not the united states is able to push ahead with its long-term strategies in asia. ken has arty alluded to the problematic circumstances of the negotiations here. if the united states appears a bit beleaguered and perhaps with states going their own way, then they will have to ask how much staying power it does the rebalance have over the longer term? i am not predicting it. it is more to flag that as a possible issue. we want to make sure that his policy options remain as limited as possible. putin is visiting china next month. his arty making noises about all kinds of expended collaboration with china. we will have expectations of
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china and that regards to they do not simply exploit the situation for their own advantage. he has had five meetings with prime minister abe. the last thing we wish to see is hone inin find a way to on such an important and essential relationship to american interests. i would not preclude a gambit from him to north korea. the russians have been very much a kind of a marginal fact to in the discussions here on the new lunar -- nuclear issue in particular. it is possible that putin in particular will find options to sweeten the deal with pyongyang in a way that gives north korea more running room, a get out of jail free card. that is something that will bear careful consideration in the
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months to come. >> thanks. i guess now we can go to the audience. when you get the microphone, these identify yourself. please be reasonably brief. please ask a question. why don't we start with this gentle man right here? exhibited intelligence review. i would like to go back to and thed on what ken said about chinese reaction. it seems to me the resolution of the crisis and crimea will be absolutely or probably decisive in terms of how the chinese will react to the u.s. reinvigoration powers or the new major agreement. haseems to me that putin been made into a bogeyman. i cannot see any russian leader excluding them from an agreement in which ukraine would become a part of the eu with some carrots
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that had to do with some relationships with nato as well. given the relationship between ukraine and >> the refusal of the u.s. to get some kind of meeting prudent hadsked for -- putin asked for seemed foolish and brought this to a critical stage. how they get out of this is going to be key. sanctions are very good. the russians after leningrad and stalingrad, they are very tough people. if they think they are being attacked, they will consolidate .round putin
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if there is some agreement over and above these agreements that have been made in geneva, they ,ill hopefully lead somewhere russia can be part of the solution. fear thate chinese they are being targeted as well. a prewar situation with more and more military troops on either side of the border, the chinese are going to see themselves targeted as well. i think that is decisive as to what is going to happen. >> that is an interesting comment. thanks. i'm from the mitchell report. i have been sitting here this morning and realizing that i am not quite sure what this panel
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is about. thanks. [laughter] >> is this about crimea? have two or three china experts on the panel. is this china? ?s this the nexus between them if the latter is the case, it comes back to the observation that a smart asia policy is one that makes china a key factor but not the bullet -- bull's-eye. i don't ask that in a critical sense. this is more of an analytical sense. what is it from the standpoint of the panelists that we are driving at today? thrust ofe underlying
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what brought this panel together? i know you don't do this because there was nothing else to do on good friday. >> we can take one more question. then we will come back. >> i have but the state department and most of my experience has been in europe. will forgeat putin ahead and not adhered to this agreement, what if the action were to deploy troops the baltic states? what would the reaction be in china, japan, and korea? >> let's start with steve. if you can address the question of the carrot to putin and
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russia. >> if you look over the last several years, there was a carrot in the sense that while nato was not in a position, if you look at what was going on in ukraine, there was not going to be progress on that front. said they did not want to join and the current government says it as well. , it is aant controversial issue in ukraine. the government is trying to raise good ability in eastern ukraine. the nato question was off the board. the more difficult issue is polls are consistently showing ukrainians want to draw closer to the european union. 'se problem here is in putin
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idea, that is unacceptable. that is where it goes. the european union is not nato. i could understand the russian concern about nato. it seems to apply to the eastern -- european union as well. in terms oference where ukraine wishes to go. , can you address the question about the panel? >> happy to. i think it is useful to try and understand foreign leaders. i think we should not apologize for what putin has done. it is unacceptable. in 1994, russia was signatory to an agreement in bucharest -- budapest. it said we would guarantee the territorial integrity very of
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ukraine. let's not let them off the hook on that. clearly saying this is not a military commitment. it is an implied the somatic -- diplomatic agreement. they have violated many agreements. >> that is one reason why we are having the family -- panel. it was a big jail in international -- change in international politics. that,re was anything to we had gotten to a world where interstate war among established major powers wasn't really happening. that was a good thing. putin is challenging that basic edifice of the international system today. now we see our president going trip to another part of the world with huge power.
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what has happened in ukraine is going to be on people's minds. the tectonic shift is big enough that we need to try and apply the lessons from one place to another. if there we had to ask were resources that the united states had that were adequate to the task of the rebound or if they would be siphoned off again for parts of the world we are trying to rebalance or pivot from. we heard discussion about that. is consensus of this panel there is not a requirement or necessity for what is happening invalidateaine will our ability to concentrate on the asia-pacific. there's a challenge in the asia-pacific rebalance successfully. we want to get the individual pieces right. the third piece of this is the
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one that i tried to comment on. and korean and filipino officials and the reason going to wonder if we are still dependable. sayhave heard most of us that we don't necessarily see a reason why the united states should not be dependable. we think he then states treaty commitments are firm in the asia-pacific. it is a valid question and i am confident that it is on people's minds. is this indicative of a and lessly retrenching engaged united states that is not going to be as dependable in east asia. our asian allies should not have that worry. it is worth talking through and recognizing. mr. obama will have that question posted to him next week
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more than once. >> to build on what mike is the united states is a global power. it is uniquely a global power. one of the ways in which our world is interconnected is through the medium of global power because of what happened and how we react in one region. the lessons drawn from u.s. credibility have implications elsewhere. that is a we are trying to do here. you can tell me later if we succeeded. interesting, is kind of like a balloon. if you squeeze it in one direction, it goes in one direction. the u.s. is a global power.
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the fundamental premise of this panel is precisely how does the united states simultaneously remain relevant in all regions of strategic importance to the united states and can we do it in conjunction with our allies and with other partners or are we and our threshold of some a discontinuous change that will leave the world a much messier place in the future? i don't know if we are at that point during we are trying to be realistic about what we do with our resources. tendencyhat there is a in certain circles to endlessly disparage american capacity and american well -- will. we could talk ourselves into looking much less resolute than i think we actually are. >> i would have word to that.
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pegged this as ukraine and the rebalance asia, it puts a premium on the military side of things. i actually think from a chinese perspective, the most important the coming 12 months will be whether or not the u.s. succeeds in negotiating a high-quality partnership in asia. this would necessarily include substantial market access and concessions by japan, which they have never been prepared to do before. if they can get that through the u.s. congress. are in theo so, we early stages of moving forward on negotiations with similar partnerships with europe. that is huge. what sparked a lot of this crisis in ukraine was the notion
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that ukraine would opt for the european union association and the custom union. these need not be exclusive. multilateralher trade negotiation going on in asia. china is very much involved in that. we are not a part at that. it is a much more superficial agreement. through, this treaty it is a huge boost overtime to our economy and the integration of asia. i will bet a fair amount of money that china will seek to join that.
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many leaders in china now see potentially joining that as providing a political leverage to carry out economic reforms at home that they want to pursue but they face vested interest in opposition. that is a huge win. that demonstrates american initiative and capacity to shape favorable outcomes in a region. it bridges some of the geopolitical divide. focusing on ukraine too much may be -- wouldn't want to focus on the military side of this alone. >> ukraine crisis is a crisis about economic integration. it is about uncertainty. >> it was sparked by that. it is becoming a different kind of crisis. >> let's get back to the audience. thank you.
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point to come back to the by dr. liberal about the extent of brain china on board of -- bringing china on board. how is that possible on both economic and political dimensions? it is easier to convince china that the u.s. asia policy will be beneficial for china. how is that going to be possible to convince china that it is not a code word for counterbalancing china? when the u.s. says it is not taking sides, it is abiding by its commitments to its allies, china does not by the words. the u.s. is taking sides.
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do these two things reconciled with each other? >> thank you. i would like to know if any of you are able to comment on the context of this letter that was distributed to ukrainian jews yesterday. level ofuggest a next more overt anti-semites as him -- anti-semitism? >> let's take the third question right here. >> thank you. i have two questions. we talked about the u.s. military budget a lot. china.not talk about given their economic slowdown, is this budget sustainable?
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that was my first google glass question. but start with ken. can you answer the question about the chinese view of rebalance? >> i think the chinese have a u.s.g tendency to see the over time almost predetermined to take an array of measures to slow down and complicate and disrupt china's rapid rise. two fairlyed on fundamental things. is is china's modern history you lose if you bet on the altruism of other countries. at the modern world
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with a bad hundred 50 years -- 150 years. there is a deeply ingrained notion that number one it will never give way to number two without a fight. even if we are not going to will willa war, we try to complicate china's rapid rise. you can construct a narrative on that based in part on, to hear variousashington and voices in washington will support any narrative you want to develop. you can pick and choose and we are very fractured us and vocal. us -- fractuous and vocal. -- ties tohai's
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china. we have done that in a hugely dynamic way. side, wehe military are now expanding our military with direct interaction with china. both sides are committed to expanding that. we are negotiating a treaty with china. chinaof the reforms that is advocating domestically are things we have advocated for them to do for years. we have provided expertise in thinking through some of those issues. there are a lot of ways in which we engage china very broadly. institutionalry -- these are on a very institutionalized basis. i think in addition to that, we
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need to do a little more. we need to do more in terms of articulating our conception for the region. it is not just the principle of obeying international law and respecting territory integrity. evolvinge the region and not just categorical terms. we have a stronger story to tell him that. on the question of anti-semite is him -- anti-semitism? a pamphlet that went around. it said that as of a certain date, all jews in the area would have to register and pay a $50 fee to do so.
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there was a lot of contact with local jewish leaders in that area. a it is an ugly thing. it is not clear that it was put out. this is a kind of open ended game that goes on. you don't have a situation where there is perfect equivalence does itsow china expenditures. i do want to play the numbers game appearance supple. it would seem to me that on the one hand, if there is a sustained slowing of the economic growth rate in china, there will be pressures on their increases in the defense budget. is partly as a function of
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inflation rates in china. they have been forceful in recent weeks and reinforcing the commitment for china to be a stronger power to protect its interest. the fundamental question is not the numbers that we use but as we see china emerged as a much more consequential military power in years to come, what are the purposes to which that power is put? as ken noted, our defense ties with china are one of the quiet success stories of the last year or more. my own impression from conversations with chinese officers is that this is not a momentary consideration. it does not mean to say that china or the pla has warm and fuzzy feelings toward everything the united states military may do.
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one way or another, we will have to adapt and interact with the realities of china being a larger military power. the question is whether or not they can show restraint in how that power is demonstrated and utilized. unless you find a situation that this region is less promising in the event of china exploiting its capacity in ways they insist they will not, this could be very different from the receiving end of that power. >> i have a couple of things to add. think that china is spending two percent of its gdp on military. gdp is measure their open to some conjecture. the issue of purchasing power versus a more traditional peer
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exchange rate conversion. the estimates i've seen range from $7 trillion to $10 trillion a year. it is a number two military power in the world. its rate of increase has been five to 10% a year. 10%. not always the there is ambiguity. are reasons to think it may not always reach that high. it is still going up. ours is coming down. this does raise the question at what point do the lines begin to converge and what does that mean? i will quickly say that one of the things steinberg and i say when they reach half the spending of american military spending, they should think about it.
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we try to balance that with the argument needs to be moderated and made more ecumenical. chinese in some elements of our thinking and planning and operations change the name to something more to mine. -- benign. we are not looking to get in their face. i want to go in to that in detail. china is the number two world military spending power. they spend about $200 billion a year. that may slow down a bit. we will have to see. >> let's go back to the audience. my name is steve.
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one area of your redemption is taiwan. in response to the russian seizure of crimea, could this embolden chinese hardliners with the declining economic growth rate might look for a success -- in theiwan strait taiwan strait. ? i would like to ask and elaborate on that question. given the perceived weakness of the u.s. response to the seizure this is a fundamental change to the world order.
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what are the ramifications of that response for our allies' interest. ? what are the ramifications on our response to the seizure of crimea on our allies confidence maintain oury to interests? >> over here to the right. the gentleman in the blue tie. >> thank you. i am here from western carolina university. we solved the geopolitical importance of the west since the conclusion of world war ii.
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this was exasperated by the end of the cold war in the 1990's. my question is are we seeing a shift in the importance of the west to the east? response from the united states and other western countries been appropriate to russia's action in crimea to power? the shift in >> thanks. those are all questions that we thought the panel would generate. i will take that as validation. would even add a little bit to some of those questions. another thing that putin has done is demonstrate a new model of aggression. his created ambiguity about
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whether aggression is even taking place and having a deniability about it that has made the response more difficult. has china learned any lessons from that? >> i want to take on the china and taiwan a question. on taiwan, i don't think that china sees what russia has done in the crimea as instructive or it can dog as to what in taiwan. the concert is quite the opposite. withoutook over crimea overt force of military force. it also took it over with a referendum.
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you can argue that it was a loaded referendum. i am not aware of anybody who is been to crimea that thought that less than 50% of the people there were pro-russian. 50% of the population was ethnic russian. -- 58% of the population is ethnic russian. 40% of the population wanted some change of status. the referendum was provoked from outside. >> you won't have a similar situation regarding taiwan. china could not absorb taiwan without fierce resistance by the population of taiwan. they could not do it without a major military action across the taiwan strait, which would be obvious to everyone and incur
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large loss of life and change the dynamics of the region. ago thatided some time their best bet by far was to build economic trade and other in a gradualwan, process do that hoping that over time a democratic taiwan will see on balance some form of formal unification. they have a provision in their legislation that allows them in a sense if taiwan declares independence or if over a long. of time taiwan remains outside , it would justify in
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their mind the invoking of that domestic legislation to use force against taiwan. i don't think anybody on the mainland is thinking that that e time will come in any foreseeable future. >> you want to take that? >> on the maritime issues, in a lot of ways, i've been doing some reading on ancient history, that is to say the post world war ii settlement, and it is stunning when you look at how so much of what was configured in the western pacific after the surrender of japan was almost an afterthought. it was never really reasoned through. it is extraordinary to go case-by-case. the problem now, however, you have states, not just china, that all of the actors -- most of the actors who feel their
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coming-of-age. i'm not predicting this. i think there's a world of difference in the east china sea in the south china sea, and the overuse of force. in a variety of ways, for example, we see in the dispute between china and japan, related to what the chinese called -- you have actually seen in attenuation of the amount of patrol activity by chinese .aritime vessels and the like i don't want to say that predict an outcome, but i think there's an awareness of the risks that are imposed, if any of the situations get out of hand, so i can preclude incident an accident. this ought to be a discussion
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topic for president obama as he visits several of the leading in the situations. it is exactly the kind of attention these things really, really require. if we are to avoid -- and we, i'm using that as a collective the statesously, themselves involved must be mindful of the great risks and uncertainties that are entailed in all of this. i don't see us at the edge of a crisis, but i do worry about it. i worry about together about the dynamic between china and japan. the consequences of which, if things went from unpleasant is something worse, would have notound reverberations for only both countries, but for the united states in the region as a whole. >> frank, do you have any final thoughts? >> i will add one thought in regard to the big picture question about the shift in world power and economics. there is no doubt some degree of
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shift is happening. i want to come back and remind us all of what is in during about our interest elsewhere. europe is still an amazing economic and political bloc of nations, which together with the u.s. and canada, except the most successful military alliance in history and the only one with the global scope or capacity. we get into the habit of talking down about how allies are not doing enough militarily and so forth, and, obviously, as americans, we would like to see them able to do more. they still have 30,000 or had 30,000 clusters in afghanistan, had been a major partner as we have in the persian gulf. it is important recognize most of the world's industrial democracies are still within nato. thus of the hydrocarbon reserves are in the middle east. yes, asia is extremely important, but we have to come back to the basic point, america still a global power. we still are in a very strong
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position. i think there's no fundamental reason to come back to gary's question, why these crises and commitments in ukraine and elsewhere have to prevent this or obama from having a very successful trip next week and american foreign-policy from continuing or reinvigorating the rebalance it will take some effort. they have lost a little of the focus on it in the first year of mr. obama second term, but they can get it back. >> i will come back to the questions about sanctions in geneva. argue more sanctions at this point would be appropriate. maybe give a little time. if by the middle of next week we are not saying further commitments, the west needs to face up to the next up. jeremy is right. the russians have come up with a model. if 45,000 russian troops go into eastern ukraine tomorrow, my guess is it is not a hard decision for europe to apply
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harsh sanctions. putin is trying to stay below that threshold. i think he compromised his position a bit yesterday. he said, there are no russian troops in eastern ukraine. about 20 minutes after he said, well, those guys six weeks ago were russian troops. the question i think will be for the west is, if you get into a situation where five days from now it pretty much looks like today, does the west to include there is innovation of sorts going on in eastern ukraine and that is appropriate to react? that may then have implications in terms of the aspect of this because that probably will pull a bit more the president's attention back toward europe. >> thanks. i think this is the first panel of my experience to talk about both anti-semitism and chinese military spending, naturally managed to connect them. [laughter] i think that is a wide range and we owe some thanks to our
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panelists. join me. [applause]
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>> a quick reminder, if you missed any of this discussion, you can go to and check the video library. this week we're showing five of the supreme court notable oral arguments. tonight, a case dealing with stock options to employees as retirement investments. we will have that beginning at 6:55 eastern right here on c-span. take a look at prime time programming --
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tonight 8:00 p.m. program on c-span his on political predictions. here's a quick preview. theyt people who tell you think they know what is going to happen in 2016 really are smoking something that is now legal here in colorado. [laughter] clues.say there are some there are some clues. we have what i now am going to officially dub the sheldon adelson primary. it was held a few weeks ago in las vegas. you can tell by who chose to participate in a primary who is looking -- not necessarily who lookinged, but who is favore
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for 2016. they went to a forum sponsored by the world's eighth richest man, sheldon adelson, whose principal interests are two -- israel and the prevention of internet gambling, which will, of course, cut into the fact he eighthworld's richest man. so the people who went to las vegas to see sheldon adelson included a many may have heard of, is christie. anyone here heard of him? he has been out of the news lately. he is the governor of new jersey, which includes part of the george washington bridge. [laughter] only half of the george washington bridge, as my good friend points out. not the new york half of which is behaving a bit better. toumber of other people went participate in the abelson primary. they included scott walker, the
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governor of wisconsin. they included john kasich, the governor of ohio. they did not go because they needed a trip to las vegas. walker did not explain what the hebrew pronunciation of his son's name is because he was uninterested in sheldon adelson's support. that is what we call shameless pandering, which is what was going on in las vegas. understood this was, as was the case four years ago when people came to visit donald trump, that they needed if there were seeking the republican nomination for president three years hence, that they needed sheldon adelson support. portion of the a program on political predictions. you can see the event in its
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entirety tonight starting at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. >> it is now my privilege to speakerthe first woman in our history, the gentlelady from california, nancy pelosi. [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you. [applause] thank you, my colleagues. thank you, my colleagues. thank you, leader boehner, mr. speaker. i accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship. [applause] i look forward to working with you and republicans in congress
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for the good of the american people. quick find more highlights from 35 years of house for coverage on our facebook page. c-span, created by miracles cable companies are to five years ago and brought you today as a public service to your local cable or satellite provider. supreme court justices antonin scalia and ruth bader ginsburg were guest on the kalb report thursday in washington. they talked about the freedoms that define the first amendment and how freedom is defined today. this is part of the kalb series of marvin kalb and cohosted by george washington university, harvard university, and the university of maryland. this is about one hour, 15 minutes.
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>> from the national press club, this is "the kalb report," with marvin kalb. >> hello, and welcome to another edition. our program tonight, 45 words, a conversation about the first amendment with supreme court justices antonin scalia and ruth bader ginsburg. it would be an honor obviously to have one supreme court justice as my guest, but have two is indeed a very special
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privilege, especially these two, who generally represent contrasting opinions on the court, and yet they are great friends who dine together, travel together, love going to the opera together. they inspired a new opera called "scaliaginsburg." they are like the old days when political differences would not stop a friendship. justice scalia is the longest-serving justice. appointed by reagan in 1986, he is called an originalist, meaning he believes the constitution ought to be interpreted more or less as the founding fathers meant for it to be interpreted. you want change, he says, change the legislature of change the law.
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his job is to interpret the law. justice ginsburg was appointed to the supreme court by president bill clinton in 1993. her view is the constitution is what has been called a living document, meaning it changes as society changes, one linked together. tradition and precedent matter, but they do not determine her judgment. both justices have devoted their lives to the law, teaching, democracy, and freedom. we are going to discuss freedom of the press, but let's start with what the concept of freedom means. its origin, its meaning, at the time of the revolution, and its meaning in today's america. i have always been fascinated by the fact that the first
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commandment of the 10 commandments in the bible and the first amendment in the constitution both stress the central importance of freedom. the first commandment saying i am the lord thy god who brought the forth out of egypt, out of the house of bondage, and thou shall have no other god. the first amendment guarantees freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of the right to legally assemble, to petition the government for redress of grievances. justice scalia, in your view, is there a link between the first commandment and the first amendment? did one possibly inspire the other? >> oh, i doubt that. [laughter] >> ok. >> i think our constitution was inspired by the traditions of
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the common law, and i think what our framers meant by the freedom of speech, for example, was that freedom of speech which was the birthright of englishmen at the time. i do not think it had anything to do with moses. [laughter] i think what freedom meant at the time was the absence of constraint, the absence of coercion. so freedom of religion, for example, meant that you could not be constrained to contribute to the support of a church that you did not believe in. you could not be disabled from holding certain public offices because of your religion. absence of coercion. and i think it was the same for freedom of speech. >> justice ginsburg, your view? >> marvin, this is the one question you told us you might ask us.
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i was puzzled by it, because as i read the 10 commandments, the first four of them are not about freedom, they are about human obligations to god. thou shalt have no other god before me, no graven images, keep the sabbath holy, everything, obligations that people owe to the almighty. but i also mentioned to you that your question comes at just the right season, because this is passover, and the passover is indeed a celebration of the liberation of a people, and there are many words in the jewish texts that celebrate freedoms. i would take the passover service rather than the stern first four commandments as
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advancing the idea of freedom. >> i knew i would be wrong -- [laughter] i knew that to start with. >> i thought you would be wrong on the law, not on theology. >> what i would like to get at is what your senses that the people who wrote the constitution had in their minds when they talked about freedom. you mentioned common law. common law was not explicit about freedom. many different interpretations were there, and what i am trying to get at is before we get into the specifics of freedom of the press, i would like to know what the concept meant in your understanding. >> i do not think the common law was that diverse as far as what every aspect of freedom consisted of. the freedom of speech was very clear that did not include the
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freedom to libel, that you could be subject to a lawsuit for libel. and that type of coercion was not considered incompatible with the freedom of speech. now, some aspects of it i suppose we were more vague, but some things were pretty clear. >> and, justice ginsburg, the concept of freedom is very prominently featured in the constitution. it is right there in the first amendment. and the writer tom paine had a simple explanation. he wrote, "it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated." it does seem to me, and i will get back to this again and again i think, that if you are going to feature the concept of freedom right up there at the top, you have to have had something in your head about the
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importance of freedom to what it is that you are doing at the time it was beginning to build a democracy. >> there's a point justice scalia made in his opening remarks. he said he sees this first amendment as protection against constraints, government constraint. and there i think our expression of the first amendment is quite different from the expression in the declaration of the rights of man, the french document. the first amendment is saying hands-off, government. it does not say everyone should have the right to speak freely. that is what the declaration of the rights of man says. everyone shall have the right to speak freely. that's not what this has. it is congress shall know all that abridges the freedom of speech or press. it is directed to government,
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and it says, government, hands. these rights already exist, and you must not touch them. >> i'm sorry, please. >> it should not be painted as the foundation of the american democracy, this concept of freedom. do not forget the bill of rights was an afterthought. it was not what they debated about in philadelphia in 1787. a couple of the states that ratified the constitution made it clear that they expected there to be a bill of rights added, but it was added in 1791, on the proposal of the first congress. what they thought would preserve a free society was the structure of the government. that is what they debated about in 1787.
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and if you think that is false just look around the world. every foreign dictator in the world today has a bill of rights. it is not a bill of rights that produces freedom. it is the structure of government that prevents anybody from seizing all the power. once that happens, you ignore the bill of rights. keep your eye on the ball. structure is destiny. >> the eye on the ball being keep your eye on the structure of the government. our structure is so different from that of most of the world. there are very few countries that have a bicameral legislature of a genuine one, including england. they do not really have a real bicameral legislature. the house of lords cannot do anything. laughter] when they pass it a second time it becomes law. none of the parliamentary countries that have a separately elected president, the chief executive of all the countries in europe is the tool of the parliament.
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there is never serious disagreement between them. when there is, they kick them out. they have an election and appoint a new tool. i mean, we are so different from the rest of the world, and it is that it has more than anything else preserve our liberties. you would not want to live in most of the countries of the world that have a bill of rights which guarantees freedom of speech and of the press. you would not want to live there. >> i have to disagree with my colleague in that respect. >> i'm glad that you can do it. [laughter] >> i do not think the rest of the world is regarding our legislature at the current moment as a model to be followed. [laughter] [applause] and, second, however it was understood at the beginning, yes, the structure of government was to protect our liberties,
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but there was always the idea of -- think of our first great document, the declaration of independence. also, it is true that the great protections that the press now has came rather late. the first amendment was developed in a serious way around the time of the first world war that began. the freedom we enjoy today, to speak and to write, was not a big-ticket item in the supreme court until rather late. >> well, it was a big-ticket item mostly because until the middle of the 20th century, it was not thought to bill of rights applied to the states. it was only a limitation on what the federal government could do,
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not a limitation on what the states could do. that is why we never had until the middle of the 20th century these cases about whether you can have a creche in the city square, a menorah, maybe a santa claus on top. we do not have any of those silly cases. it was only when the bill of rights was imposed upon the states that we begin to happen. a lot of their search to we have on speech that would be imposed by states would not have been thought to violate our bill of rights, maybe the states bill of rights, but not ours. >> i'm wondering at the time that the structure of government was set up close to 200 years ago, what is it that the founding fathers had in mind when they thought about freedom and one definition advanced by john stuart mill i found very compelling, but i do not know
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whether that is whether they had it in mind. he spoke about absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical, speculative, scientific, or theological. i am wondering whether that is what madison and monroe had in mind at that time, or whether they had a more narrow vision of freedom. justice ginsburg? >> i would not call it narrow, but there are no absolute rights, even though you read the first amendment it sounds that way. it says, shall pass no law. of course, there are laws that congress can pass. so the idea of an absolute right , i do not know any right that does not have limitations. >> even at that time in the minds of the founders? >> i think so. >> explain why in the first amendment after listing the
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phrase freedom of speech, the founding fathers on the necessary or wanted to add four crucially important words -- "or of the press." freedom of the press is what they were talking about. why did they add that phrase? why was it necessary, justice scalia? >> it is a natural addition. it means the freedom to speak and to write. it was not referring to the institutional press, the guy running around with a fedora hat with a sticker that says "press," i am not sure that they need to refer to the institutional press in those days. the freedom to speak and to publish. and that clause has been interpreted, not to get any special prerogatives to the institutional press. it gives prerogatives to anybody who has a xerox machine. it gives prerogatives to anybody who has a xerox machine. >> what do you mean,
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institutional press cannot forgive me? what does that mean? >> i mean those organizations whose is this is writing and publishing -- nbc, cbs, you. [laughter] >> i like that. >> one idea we did not take from england was the office of the censor, who censored books, and that was part of putting in this protection of the press, and we have never had it in the united states government and office of the censor. people in england and the continent think of verdi -- >> oh, you have to bring opera into it. >> was it understood that there were limitio


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