tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 29, 2014 7:00am-10:01am EDT
committee and member of the intelligence committee. our focus on foreign policy 8:30.ues just after 8:30 " washington journal" is next. the oig clearly found that it is systemic throughout the ba v.a. oughout the stake andealth is at i will not stand for a department cover-up. ♪ that is jeff miller. he's reacting to the lease of a report from the veterans affairs inspector general, citing systemic problems when it comes to scheduling and wait times at v.a. facilities.
calling for the removal of eric shinseki. writing in an op-ed today in u.s. today -- usa today that he is looking at this questionable scheduling practices. for our first 45 minutes, we will show you the findings in this report that listed problems of long waits at the systemic -- as a systemic problem. we will get your thoughts as well on what should be done about the situation. here are the numbers to call. (202) 585-3880 for democrats. (202) 585-3881 for republicans. (202) 585-3882 for independents. we have set aside a line for veterans. (202) 585-3883. tweet us. make your thoughts on facebook.
you can always e-mail us, too. if you want to see that hearing latetook place i yesterday, you can go to our website to see more. it's a reaction to a report from the inspector general. times at v.a. way facilities. specifically the one in phoenix. here are the pages you can find in the washington post. the phoenix va hospital placed 1700 veterans on an unofficial waitlist. study of 226a veterans and 2013 showed that the average wait time for a first appointment at the phoenix clinic appeared to be 26 days. the average was 115 days. the false way times improved performance ratings at the .epartment of veterans affairs
the appropriate practices are systemic -- inappropriate practices are systemic. they now determine whether the delays led to patient deaths. here are the breakdowns you can find in the washington post this morning if you go to the opinion pages. an op-ed from eric shinseki "i'mlf. the headline, committed to restoring integrity." i've medially directed -- i immediately directed the veterans health administration to contact each of the 1700 veterans in phoenix. we're doing all we can to accelerate access to care throughout our system. i have challenged our leadership to ensure whether we are doing everything possible to schedule veterans for their appointments. toare redoubling our efforts restore integrity to our processes and earn veterans'
trust. calling those systemic problems. he want to get your reaction to it. (202) 585-3880 for democrats. (202) 585-3881 for republicans. independents. for for veterans this morning, (202) 585-3883. inst call is from nick tennessee on our independent line. good morning. caller: we have to realize, people of this country have to , the district.c. of corruption, is really at war with the rest. there is a commitment of the government goes by now. -- government
all, i guess they have to revamp it. the government has become so intrusive and so powerful, it gets bigger and bigger. they put more money behind them. they need to turn it over to the private industry. privatize it would be the best. that goes for every bureaucracy that exists. host: rich from pennsylvania. democrats line. good morning. caller: i really agree with that. i get treated locally at the pittsburgh area. i have not seen a physician in over a year. i do get treatments, but it's from a nurse practitioner. i had a doctor over a year ago told me she was leaving to get upmc.money at yo the v.a. cannot compete
financially to keep primary care physicians. nurse practitioner will see me on a days notice. i'm on a list for some doctor and i've never seen him. they just don't have enough doctors. i have pretty good care. i get my prescriptions. there are not enough doctors to go around. there will never be able to correct the problems until they realize that. host: "congress fiddles while the v.a. burns." the reaction was sharper. prominent republicans medially called for shinseki's resignation, including john mccain of arizona. howard mckeon.
mark kirk from illinois saying that the v.a. ig report on phoenix a ba says that the veterans waited an average of 115 days for appointments, nearly five times longer than reported. this is unacceptable. direction from you is what we are interested in this first 45 minutes. (202) 585-3880 for democrats. (202) 585-3881 for republicans. independents. for look out for that veterans line. (202) 585-3883. georgia. republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. there is only one answer. it's not congress's fault. the reason it is not fixed is because the president doesn't call up the v.a. and tell them to release every bit of information that the congress wants. he doesn't do that.
they are holding back reports from 2013. we still have not got them. they are not doing their job. they're not doing what they're supposed to. congress wants to fix this thing on both sides. democrats and republicans would like to see it fixed quickly. say,bama has to do is "give them everything." host: what fixes do you think are necessary and what would you like to see from congress? seeer: i would like to everything that they are asking for be released to them. everything they want. host: as far as fixes go, what should be done? caller: to privatize the v.a. up next.e is massachusetts. independent line. caller: this happened way before obama came in. president, heme
said there is a mess with the v.a. why did he do something about it? go back to when bush was president. why didn't he do anything? everybody is blaming obama. he did not do this. this was going on way before. host: what should the president do now? caller: do an investigation. go back to when bush was president and see what was going on then. if you want to do an investigation, go back to all of these other wars. it wasn't obama that did all this. they were doing it. .ost: that was ray that hearing started 7:30 last night. if you want to catch it all and see what happened there, it's on our website if you go to c-span.org. to show you part of it, it was dr. thomas lynch of the v.a.
being questioned by members of congress. asked specifically about the veterans waitlist. >> it had been conveyed to me secondhand by one of the members with us on the first visit that the center was using a document to record names of veterans who had been -- whose appointments canceled counseled -- so they could be rescheduled. after the patients and veterans have been rescheduled, the list was no longer required and it was destroyed. contain patient identifiable information. staff is telling me that it was described to them as a transitional document as people were transitioning from paper over to the electronic waiting list. i guess my question is, was the afterestroyed before or
this committee requested a preservation order for all documents? impression that those lists were destroyed before you are preservation order. i was trying to explain before you asked me to be brief that this was occurring between october and november of 2012 and amid 2013. visit,time of my first we thought that the transfer was occurring to the electronic waitlist. we learned during the course of the second visit that the transfer in the use of this document was occurring during the course of rescheduling patients because they were trying to provide care more promptly and because they were trying to consolidate clinical profiles to make the clinic management more efficient. host: more of that hearing available at c-span.org. back to the phones. emma from north carolina. democrats line. caller: good morning. i was calling because i have
determined that it is a systemic 2003 onin the v.a. from in terms of lack of funding and in terms of the overflow of the number of veterans seeking services. republican's goal is to privatize the v.a. as they have attempted to do with all government agencies. that is the goal. the anger they feel towards shinseki is because he told president bush not to invade iraq. he was opposed to it. he has been on the hit list since then. my father was a veteran and he opted not to go there and he went to war in 1945. he opted not to go to the v.a. because it took a long. i was a social worker. host: what do you think the president needs to do now?
caller: he needs to push to shinsekiat has the authority to hire and fire. there are many ways to hide figures. the problem starts with the upper management down. host: what about the removal of the secretary himself? should that happen? caller: no. he has been hobbled by not having the ability to hire and fire. he cannot hold those people accountable. it's like you are dealing with a dinosaur. in order to bring it to modern-day times, he will have to slay some smaller dragons and there. they are not giving him the authority to do that. this has occurred recently. we need medicare for all systems. veterans should not be limited to a few hospitals for treatment. that from twitter. the wall street journal picks up a little bit about what goes on at the ba as far as volume is
concerned. 2013, the health care system had 8.9 2 million enrollees. not all veterans rely on v.a. rabbitften using insurance from medicare and l qualifyand is not al for care. a hearing held on capitol hill -- problems that the v.a. when it comes to wait times called systemic. giving your you are thoughts on this morning. we want you to post your thoughts on twitter and facebook. you can always send this e-mail. from seattle, washington. republican line. caller: hello. goes through the v.a.
he has testicular cancer. the way for his treatment has taken far too long. i don't know how much longer he can last. host: mark is up next. perryville, maryland. our line for veterans. caller: this is mark. i agree with the way times. ait times. i just been passing out. my knees would buckle. i went to my primary health care -- i went with my primary health care to the va hospital. my doctor told me to see cardiology 30 took me over a year to see cardiology. peters happened to be in the
office. said, "why him and can't i see a cardiologist raxco why been over a year -- can't i see a cardiologist?" it's been over a year. there is only one cardiologist probably never get to see him. i went through certain avenues, a patient advocate and i finally got seen. i have congestive heart failure and they merely put a pacemaker in. host: what do you think about this revelation that is coming out about the va? what should be done? caller: i've been tortured seven
times. . transferred from baltimore had an emergency room. yes. you have a cardiologist? yes. i was waiting outside the gates. the first time i used the , they called me up and custom me out like you wouldn't me out -- and cussed like you wouldn't believe. host: what do you think should be done about the v.a.? caller: the v.a. needs to hold the personnel responsible. you need to have a bill that any employee, staff member to
volunteer that know of any abuse or cause any abuse and does not reported in the 72 hours -- does not report it in the 72 hours will be laid off without pay. host: mark from maryland. "the v.a. does not do acute-care . if they never have. what's your in the program, they are great." the white house reaction to the to the press. "the president found the findings extremely troubling. thatecretary has said v.a. willfully and aggressively
implement the recommendations of the ig. our nation's veterans have served our country with honor and courage and they deserve to know they will have the care and support they deserve." carl from mason, michigan. democrats line. caller: i'm not a veteran, but i really feel for these guys. when i say to myself, i'm proud to be american, sometimes i have doubts. the veterans administration is just example of somebody who got caught. there is a lot more of this going on in our entire government. basically,n is to systematically dismantle that organization and rebuild it from the ground up. maybe it will be part private, but it needs to be rebuilt so that everything is revealed and
we will have a more efficient organization in the long run. host: danielle from bronx, new york. you are on. i'm from new york. host: we will come back to you. let's go to james from tennessee. independent line. caller: hello. wrong is there is a bureaucracy. the president does not want to do anything about it and i don't think congress does either. this thing.ntrols until you can fire someone, there is no way in the world you're going to straighten out. you can hold them accountable. should you can't hold the mcconnell. obamacare will be the same way. -- you can't hold them
accountable. they will charge on it for a while and then forget it just like they have for years. it needs to be a private run organization. that is all i have to say. host: you heard that statement .rom the papers after seeing the report released today, i believe secretary shinseki should step down. julio shain who reports for the military times did this wrapup. counting 17 dems calling for shinseki to step down with 36 republicans. all you wantlain about president bush. he deserves it. obama's going into his sixth year. he has no excuses either." if you want to add your thoughts, twitter or facebook. send us an e-mail if you like. but here from anna in chantilly,
virginia. democrats line. caller: good morning. i think the report indicates that the medical provider portion of the v.a. is the only issue that needs to be extracted from the organization. all returning veterans and existing veterans, put them in medicare. host: becky is up next. montana. you list yourself as a veteran. good morning. caller: good morning. i am a female veteran and i'm calling from montana where we have one of the largest populations per capita for veterans. i am aling because veteran who has had to deal with the system. years witnessed for many the problems that they are now
bringing to light as if it's just new. i agree that this problem is not new and it can't possibly be blamed on one man. what the veteran -- let the veterans have the input on how to better the things concerning the veterans affairs. they can't even play nice. the hospital sits right next to the administration building, side-by-side. they won't talk to each other. host: let veterans have a voice in this whole process as it goes forward? caller: let veterans have more than a voice. have alet veterans proper place in actually propelling force a new -- propelling force a new way of handling things. we know what's broken in the system. host: what is the best way to make that happen? state-by-state, where we
have this large population here and yet we have a relatively .mall population of people i have to travel miles to get to the va hospital. i know with the transportation is like and i know what it takes to get an appointment and i know what it takes when i get there to go through. it let the veterans sit down and round table this and say, ok, this is what we have to do to fix this because we have been in it and we know what's wrong and we know what needs to be fixed. host: if you want to know the full report or read it for yourself, go to our website -- go to the website of the inspector general. a.gov/oig. of that the result hearing that you heard from yesterday. we are taking your thoughts on it and we will talk with guests
as we go throughout the morning. let's try daniel from the bronx. sorry for last time. the va hospital, eric shinseki should resign. he doesn't know anything that's going on. have computers and everything and they were shown on the computers that these waiting lists existed. our nation's veterans deserve the best and the most are being denied their health care 100%. this makes no sense whatsoever. they have computers. even said it. he can check the computers. eric shinseki -- he was a lousy person who really was just in it for money. he should -- there is no running away from this. you should resign right now. host: sheila up next from georgia. emma kretz line. -- democrats line. caller: i came home from church
early so i could watch a little bit. there are two thanks. things. one is the doctors. they don't pay them enough. they pay them $185,000 a year for the directors. i don't know what the other managers get. plusts $185,000 a year bonuses. it's ridiculous. we need to pay the doctors more. you hear it all the time that they are not paying more. , they are allowing people and they went all around that last night. the thing of it is, unless you get preapproval, you cannot go
outside. host: you watched the whole hearing last night? caller: i sure did. host: what do you think about the defense put up by the v.a. baicials about carrot the and explaining their reactions to the ig report? -- theyi was really don't seem to know what's going on. they really don't. i don't think they know how to fix it. the lady that called and who was a veteran, she is exactly right. there ineterans up congress. bring them up there. .old a hearing with them a roundtable with them. they know what the problems are. the preapproval thing, they never brought that up.
man whok, there was a said he had a heart attack at 6:30 in the morning. i don't think you're the moderator that morning. attack. heart he goes to the emergency room. they did not want to pay the bill because he did not get preapproval. wheno you get preapproval you're having a heart attack at 6:30 in the morning? host: sheila from georgia. she mentioned that hearing that took lace -- took place. defending the ba health system -- defending the v.a. health system -- >> it's absolutely critical that the ba maintains its focus on its mission to serve our
veterans and provide health care. it's important to remember that we have a good system. i think that system is worth saving. the quality of health care does compare favorably with that in the private sector. in the last five years, we have provided health care to over 2 million new veterans. our performance majors have become our goals. understando help us where we need to invest resources. the integrity of our beta-1 we elevated our performance majors to goals. we were told that the scheduling system was challenged, but we discounted the oig reports as exceptions, not the rule. we could and should have challenged those assumptions. apparent while it was happening. , there is athat way forward.
we must charge our directors to assess the integrity of their organizations. this has to be the first step. with integrity, we do have the tools to monitor demand and capacity and to assign resources appropriately. ensure also need to collaborative relationship with congress. this will be essential. the v.a. has faced criticism in the past and is better for it. host: we are talking about the results of that report that came out from the office of the inspector general for veterans affairs, taking a look at weight ait times. discussionk up the again with our guest as we go on to the morning. a couple of stories to point you to from the new york times. the headline, the do-nothing congress hea. the house is on track to produce the lowest set of postals since
the clinton an estrogen. if introduced 18% fewer bills since the last congress. betweenest drop iodgresses in the per .eginning in 1995 times,go to the new york representative from pennsylvania weighing in on gay marriage. in light of the results of the court case decision there. "charlie dent, one of the most moderate republicans in congress ofs now a supporter same-sex marriage, making him
gop lawmakers to take that position his party continues to struggle with that issue or it is life is too short to have a force of government stand in the way up to adults whose pursuit of happiness .ncludes marriage future generations will label same-sex marriage simply as marriage. i have already come to realized that they see the world through that lens." here is leon from new york on our public in line. he is a veteran. -- on our republican line. caller: you've been talking about arizona. what they congressional leaders know about this problem and when know? they
didn't they call these leaders and complain so that something could have been done sooner? host: if you think we had answers to that, what would it do for the situation currently? caller: i believe there is a problem. we are trying to blame one person for this thing. i think our congressional leaders are not doing a very good job with the veterans administration. host: what do you think should be done now that we know what we know? caller: i think they have to out whatings and find really did go wrong and relief people of their jobs. host: let's hear from mike from florida. a veteran. good morning. caller: thank you. good morning.
, look -- thisuys is for every veteran -- when you go in and you've got these problems, you can't just go home and wait for that appointment. that is number one. .e have a ptsd group set that up in every v.a. you go in and complain because it's such a long wait. we as veterans have to take charge. five years to get dental implants. every time, they would reschedule. i moved down to florida and i'm still waiting. 13 appointment and they rescheduled. whether there is a secret list or not, i have no idea. as a veteran, i will never give
up. i'm saying this to every veteran. charge. go in, you take if you can't get to the patient , guys like terry and so forth, we complain about the ba about the v.a. writer. we are entitled to that, guys. every veteran, you take charge. that is what i have to say. they keep for the show and i hope every veteran heard that. talking aboutrs the passing of my angelou this angelou thisya morning. if you go to our c-span.org
not only do you see events like her resume the presidential medal of freedom, but our book tv unit will also highlight some of the interviews and events that took place with her. she received the presidential medal of freedom back in 2011. you see the video thereof that. book tv will also highlight interviews and events that she has participated in. if you go to the book tv website from our c-span website, you can -- that only the events there are events and happenings on our second network as well. aya angelou m that you are seeing from our archives. she passed away yesterday. from florida. democrats line. a veteran. caller: good morning, pedro.
got a little disappointed. i've been going to the vet for quite some time now. fed seven-eight different operations. 29 different medications 65 times a day. that is ms.dication mailed or anything, i call and they next day shipment. i had a doctor called me two days ago and want to know how the shots that he gave me worked out and how the pain was. i have a chronic eye disease. i'm going blind. the check on me. i have a thyroid problem. i get my blood tested every three months and i get the results. host: how would you list the current situation? what is the quality of care? caller: i get treated like a king when i go there. host: what you think about the problems that arise? caller: the problems arise
because people won't be aggressive with their own care. hospital whena you have a problem. i've had open heart surgery. i've gone to a hospital and the preauthorization that they call for is an authorization -- you have 48 people ask you if you are conscious to notify them. not pay forhey will it. there is a pamphlet that is given out and every v.a. at the beginning of every year that tells you everything that you to get everything you need out of those v.a.'s. all you have to do is follow. to a dozen out buddies and none of them have had a problem. i know there are problems and there are some people that are
in it for extra money. but the doctors that i have been treated with are the kindest come in gentlest -- kindest, gentlest with the best bedside manner. i have been to the mayo clinic. host: we will take more of those thoughts and show you the picture from the front page of the wall street journal this morning. president obama at west one. talking to the graduates about their service and laying out several big teams when it comes to foreign policy. conversationsp about those discussions and those themes. the results of the inspector general report is our topic. darwin from minnesota. independent line. caller: i just want to say that i'm a veteran. my brother was a veteran of
vietnam and he died of liver cancer and i'm pretty sure it was attributed to the agent orange. , backd like to say that after vietnam, many people came out of vietnam and out of the military during that time. if they had injuries of any kind, they were urged to file a claim for their injuries. injury.er had a knee forclaim went in for 10% this knee injury. startedy automatically reviewing people for ptsd and four agent orange, my brother was never notified that he was .ble or that he should reapply
eliminate the 10% that he was --ng for bu host: what you think about the situation with the wait times? caller: i've been through the system, too. theys going on is that don't handle it properly when brought out ofe the system. right out of the active-duty and processed. availablephone lines to you. you can send tweets and facebook post. you can send us an e-mail, including this one we get from bill talking about his ba experience. "i hear the concerns about the ba system but i want to know that -- i want all to know that i got great service from the james b haley hospital in tampa for it. i retired in 2004 and have been going since 2008.
the website is difficult to navigate but the ba is moving in the right direction. please let the public know that not all veterans are angry. executive authority makes the headlines. what it does with carbon pollution. the story by carl davenport saying that mr. obama will unveil his plans in a new written by the environmental protection agency that will take place at the white house on monday. cutting carbon emissions by 20%, a substantial amount. it will be the most important step to reduce pollution over the next six years that could eventually shut down hundreds of coal fire power plants across the country. people familiar with the rule set will set a national limit on carbon pollution from coal plants but will allow each state come up with his own plan to cut emissions based on a menu of options that include adding wind and adjoiningr
cap and trade programs. there effectively carbon taxes that place a limit on carbon pollution and create markets for buying and selling government issued pollution permits. mitchell up next from harrisburg, pennsylvania. the morning. -- good morning. caller: i never had a problem va.e at the bus and then get a transfer to go to the facility. re -- they i see the are not military. they are usually brought from her she, pennsylvania. hershey, pennsylvania. i never have to wait. i feel sorry for these other
facilities, but the ones here in lebanon are excellent. they just remodeled it. it's beautiful. host: now that these issues have come to light, what is the next a?ep forward for the v caller: i had one problem in all the years i've been going there. this is the first time it ever happened. i had a missed appointment and i called up and i tried to reschedule it and the lady on said, "i'm sorry, but i can't reschedule you." that blew my mind because that never happened. so be it. maybe she just had a bad day or something. from paul inear radcliff, kentucky. republican line.
caller: i'm a retired military -- i'm quite pleased with the v.a. facilities here in kentucky. i experienced a problem that these other people at these other locations purely half. it's very pertinent -- very important that we don't take a shotgun approach to this problem and try to dismantle a good system. we need to zero in on the areas that have problems and focus our attention in those areas. not all veterans are upset about this. we are upset when they experience these problems, but it's very important -- one caller mentioned that we looked at our congressional people in these locations. that might be the key to solving these issues. if we open the doors to allow our veterans to make complaints
to these facilities, to these locations, to our elected officials and let them be involved in the process. take and try to chop the whole head off of this system. one more call. philadelphia, pennsylvania. republican line. caller: good morning. daysctually away for a few . i thought your topic was very interesting. ya was sad to hear that my angelou has moved on. the other concern is the veterans administration in philadelphia. as has been going on for years. there areterans -- veterans who are not being taken care of very well. anything.y receive
there has been rescheduling. this has been going on since 1969. for the government to just jump up and expose this situation as if it has not been going on -- this has been going on for years. the problem is that most of those facilities have what is called physicians assistants. they don't have actual doctors assigned to each patient. most of these physicians ofistants have a heavy load 400-600 patients. that is quite a lot of patients to be seen for one person. a suggestion -- the veterans administration needs to expand re moretaff and hi medical employees to take the workload off the physicians assistants.
host: thank you for those who participated. continue on this topic as far as v.a. reports and talk about issues of foreign policy, in light of that speech the president made at west point yesterday. our first guest will take up those issues. mac thornberry. we will talk more about foreign assistanth the defense secretary. after this. ♪ i --e of the stories that that resonated with me was the arent when they
deliberating about whether or not they need to inject seawater into unit one. -- the clock is ticking and they are just about down to the wire. the plant superintendent who would have to make the final call knows they need to get water in there very quickly. wants ae, everybody say. the officials and japanese government officials are humming. he gets an order from one of his supervisors that the government has not signed off on this yet and he has already started. he basically calls one of his staff people over and says, ok, i will give everybody a word.
he proclaims its everybody in -- proclaims it so everybody in tokyo can hear. it's a human element in the story. in japan, where ignoring the rules and acting on your own is not rewarded, here was a moment where a guy knew that if he did not act, things would get even worse. >> more about the tsunami and resulting meltdown at the fukushima nuclear power plant, saturday night at 10:00. part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. you can now take c-span with you wherever you go with our free c-span radio app for your smart phone, tablet. listen to all three c-span tv channels or c-span radio anytime.
there is a schedule of each of our networks seek and tune in when you want. .ate podcasts of recent shows -- late podcasts of recent shows. download your free app online for your iphone, android or blackberry. "washington journal" continues. host: our guest is the vice chair of the armed services committee and a member of the intelligence committee. he is representative mac thornberry, republican of texas. thank you. can we start with the release of the ig report yesterday? caller: it's not a surprise. it shows us that what we have been hearing is not anecdotal evidence. it is more widespread as the through the system. of course it's deeply disturbing and it confirms the stories we
have been hearing. hopefully, it adds to the momentum to fix the system. host: what do you think that fixes involve? caller: i'm worried that at some point, secretary shinseki will be removed or resigned and labeled a scapegoat. i don't think it will fix things. it's going to take something that is deeper. will the administration be able to make those deeper, cultural sorts of reforms in the system? -- concerned we will do a host: legislation passed to look at administrators and make it easier to remove them. caller: the senate has not been doing much of anything lately.
maybe this report will propel them towards greater action. ofater accountability is one the things that can change the culture. that is a good step. host: you don't think eric shinseki should resign or be forced out? guest: i don't think it's a big deal one way or another. people are looking for scapegoats. if there is political heat coming on this issue. the secretary needs to resign -- that is the knee-jerk reaction. a b he did not do a good job. whether he stays or goes does not fix the system. it's a deeper issue. you have administrators all over the country who have these fake waiting lists. you have the facilities all over the country that were not taking care of the veterans in the way that all of us expect them to. it's something deeper. it's not just a question of mismanagement at the top. host: the president was at west
point yesterday to give a speech on foreign policy. what you think his speech and set about his doctrine when comes to foreign policy? guest: i thought it was a fairly defensive speech. he is getting criticism from both sides of the aisle. it was remarkable -- the washington post editorial board said that his policies have been consistently bad. not exactly your typical obama basher. he is feeling the heat for that. he was trying to be -- he was trying to defend his policies. he came across as defensive. i'm not sure there is some great revelation. the president loves to set up extremes. you're either isolationist or overly interventionist and only he is the one right down the middle with a reasonable answer. that is the tactic he used yesterday as he has used time after time. that is not the way the world
works. setting up straw men on the your to try to justify wha policy that has not had good results is maybe the topic that a law professor uses, but it's not real leadership. it's not what we need. host: coming off the heels of a policy change when it comes to troops in afghanistan. what you think about the number that will eventually be there? -- to getdistracts me to 9800, they picked that number because it sounds a whole lot better than 10,000. i'm afraid we still have this clinical short-term messaging that drives policy rather than what's in the long-term best interest of the country. the other thing that is deeply disturbing to me is that there is a time limit on that. he says come after december, we will have 9800. we will have half that much this next year and we will be
gone by the end of 2016. if you're a tribal leader in afghanistan anywhere trying to decide which side you will be on, the president has just told you, we will be gone matter what -- gone and no matter what by 2016. how does that influence your calculations? moreoes it make it likely that you will side with the afghan government? you know the u.s. will not be there after 2016 to back them up. that increases the danger to the u.s. troops in the meanwhile. why you would set an arbitrary time deadline like that which hurts the success of your mission and increases the danger to the west troops is just the omni. he has done it again. host: what more can be done as far as troop levels and what we can do in afghanistan? should there be an eventual deadline? there we don't need to be
forever. on the other hand, setting a time deadline is a mistake. we are already -- the afghans are already doing all of the combat operations themselves. ist they need from us support. intelligence support, logistical support, advice. that is what our folks are going. we need to be there as long as it takes to get them up to speed so they can stand on their own two legs and defend their country themselves. that in iraq and we left too early and look at the mess that has developed. not only thousands of iraqis dying, but now there is a safe haven in syria. it makes it easier for them to strike europe and us. there is bad consequences that come from leaving too early. if we make this a mistake in afghanistan that we made in iraq , al qaeda will certainly be able to reconstitute themselves as a threat to us. host: how much do you think that
will influence the president -- from do you think that influenced the speech yesterday? guest: i wish the reality of iraq had been a greater influence on his speech. at what i worry about is that he has an ideological determination to be out of iraq and out of afghanistan by 2016 and no facts are going to change that. because it isng not based on what's in the best security interest of the country. it is based on some ideological perception that he has. host: would you say that the results of iraq have been successful? guest: we don't know the last story. there was success. that success has deteriorated as we have left. do you havey thousands of iraqis dying in internal fighting, you have a
reconstituted al qaeda in iraq and you have a safe haven from which to operate. i think a lot of intelligence community folks believe that poses a greater danger to us and europe as far as terrorist attacks. in some ways, the withdrawal from iraq has been a failure and has increased the danger to us of terrorism. this is not about internal iraq. this is about to us. yet, the president follows the same path in afghanistan. host: the numbers are on your screen.
randy is up first from ohio on our democrat line. good morning. caller: hi, i'm a disabled vet. i think this thing about wait times, although it is true -- i have waited three months for an mri. consult outside it took them two years to make it happen. the v.a. doctors have refused to treat me when i was in distress. they have lied on my medical records. lying on medical records and cooking the books is standard operating procedure. for the v.a.. guest: that's deeply disturbing. we have heard these sort of anecdotes before. report yesterday
put some quantification on it. it may be important to say that not every v.a. facility is this way. there are some good people who work in the a who are overcoming the system to take care of veterans and they should be applauded. actwe see what an heroic that is working within the system and getting the job done still. across the country, there is enough instances of this sort of thing that we have to make those deep changes that we talked about. it's not just the wait times. if you are a veteran and a disabled veteran, he sometimes you have to travel long distances to get a procedure. of might travel hundreds miles. that's another thing we need to look at. sometimes it is hard for veterans to go several hundred miles to get an mri or another procedure. that's another part of the system that we have come to accept that maybe we shouldn't. host: this is from twitter --
i don't think america does want to be the world police. at the same time, we have to be the world leader. that does not mean that we should get involved with military force in every situation. the president raises that but nobody believes that. when we don't lead in any fashion, then somebody else fills the void. whoever else fills the void will not make the world more free or more prosperous. a couple of days ago, lech walesa came out with a statement that said the united states is the world's superpower and is not leading. if they are not going to lead, pick a country that will. for somebody with his stature going back to his bravery and what he did for poland, i thought it was remarkable that he would make that blunt a
statement about what he sees about the lack of u.s. leadership in the world right now. host: when the president says he believes an american exceptionalism, do you buy them? guest: i don't know, he also said america is exceptional the way every country is exceptional so he is defensive. he got a lot of flack for that previous statement and he is trying to make up for it. i don't know what to believe. it does not matter what he says. it matters what we do. around the world, more and more countries are discounting the president's rhetoric. what they are watching is what we do if we draw a redline and if we stand by it or not the what are we doing with our defense budget, is it going up or down? what we do is what matters much more than what we say. host: let's hear from james from new york -- morning, a lot of people were discussing the issues and talking about the problems with the v.a. but i have not heard many people
address any solution other than taking general shinsecki out of a leadership position. i have a suggestion. create a piece of legislation that will take some of our returning combat veterans and get them retrained and get them crosstrained into medical administration and get them into the v.a. to work to run the v.a.. they will contribute to the v.a. more so than any other civilian out there and they would be able to provide the same service they have provided to marines and our soldiers and sailors on the ground in combat and take that experience back with them and be able to take that the a and turnaround. it will not happen overnight. it will not fix any of the immediate problems but will assist everyone coming back because they do not get the training they need on the civilian side. none of their combat training trains them to the civilian side. i challenge every legislator out there to create a piece of
legislation that would be able to get those navy medics trained into the v.a. in leadership positions to re-create the v.a. guest:.that's in a trusting idea -- that's an interesting idea. the folks trying to provide health care on the battlefield have a lot of specialized training that would be good to take advantage of. the only thing that comes to mind is the overwhelming bulk of the v.a. cases are not folks from the recent wars. they are a few world war ii, korea, vietnam -- that is the overwhelming bulk of the caseload at the v.a. you get a variety of different issues that they deal with which are different than the young folks who have been involved in the most recent wars. i appreciate the suggestion. i think you are exactly right. changing out the secretary does not fix it. we've got to look for deeper reforms and yours is one
suggestion and another that has been made by veterans in my district is to let veterans go to the civilian health providers. ite them a voucher, like works from a tip that military retirees. we don't have to have a specialized hospital and clinics for the v.a.. let them go out into the regular health care system. there is a variety of things being talked about but it has to be deeper change. host: guest: if you announce ahead of time a specific date, regardless of what happens on the ground, then you change the calculation of those in the afghan government and the tribal leaders who are trying to decide whether you are with us or not and even the taliban and al
qaeda who want to come back into power. why do you give them that information? i'm not for being there forever ever but i'm not for announcing ahead of time that we will be gone on this date regardless. i think it makes it harder to be successful in our mission. host: this is a story from "the new york times." guest: this has been coming for some time. this is a percentage of their declared stockpile. in addition, there are press reports of them using a different chemical weapon, chlorine gas, against their population. that we all had that we could remove all chemical weapons from syria does not appear to be happening.
that's another one of the challenges that the united states and the world has to deal with. host: is it reflective of u.s. policy to syria to date? guest: it's all connected. reports -- i don't note that he was explicit yesterday but the president is going to train more of syrian that conflict is not appear to be moving in any direction. it's pretty much a stalemate. host: let's hear what he said. [video clip] president, i made a decision that we should not support american troops into this sectarian war. i believe that is the right decision. not does not mean we should help the syrian people stand up against a dictator who bombs and stars his own people.
in helping those who fight for the right of all syrians to choose their own future, we are also pushing back against the growing number of extremists who find safe haven in the chaos. resources iitional am announcing today, we will step up our efforts to support syria's neighbors. jordan, lebanon, turkey tom and iraq as they contend with refugees. will work with congress to ramp up support to those in the syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators. we will continue to courtney with our allies in europe and the arab world to push for a political resolution of this crisis and make sure those countries are contributing their fair share to support the syrian people. guest: still lots of questions
-- he did not say exactly how this will work or what he will do or who will do what. it was more a general statements. there are still two big questions regarding help to the syrian rebels that remain. how do you know the good guys from the bad guys? it is difficult to understand who are the so-called moderate rebels, who has an affiliation with more of the radical muslim setcs and so forth. number two, what will you do that will make a difference? we can spend money and we can give training and give weapons. is it going to matter on the ground? it's those two questions that i think have been at the forefront ever since last august when the president first was considering using force or doing something in this situation. i don't know that we know the answers yet. host: he said he would work with congress to bolster support for those opposition forces. guest: sure, i am all for that.
again, what we hear is a lot of we will work with congress and you never hear any more about it. we have had that on several issues. a lot of folks agree that the situation in syria is one of the most dangerous in the world. there are no easy answers. there are no clear answers. i don't mean to suggest that there are. sending u.s. troops is not an answer that anybody supports. it is going to take our best minds working together to try to at least contain the violence and the threat that emanates from this part of the world. i think we have to do better than we have. host: kathleen from chicago, democrats line. caller: i've got two important things to say. first of all, i think it's right for president obama to tell these people, giving them a time
date that we are getting to leave because we have in their 12-15 years. we spent billions of dollars. we were losing life and at this -- and these people don't realize that the united states is going to pull out, president obama said he would have to tell them. hamid karzai has been telling the president to get out of his country for i don't know how long. the main thing is you republicans -- i am glad you are here so i can talk directly to you -- i wish all veterans would listen to me -- just a few weeks ago, we only needed six republican senators to get behind a bill that the democrats presented that would cost $16 billion to help our veterans who you all claim you all love so much. you want our troops to stay in all of these wars. you want them fighting, he want them deployed.
why don't you open up the draft for some of your kids? you could not even come together with six republicans and sign onto this bill so you could help veterans that have gone and served and come back and are messed up from top to bottom. your senate said you did not have the funds. all you have to do is take two months, spending $2 billion a week out like you do on these wars and that would have added up to $16 billion what this bill is going to cost for you lovers of veterans. host: we will let our guest respond. don't follow this debate in the senate. they are not able to do much of anything these days. i think that is one of the problems our government has. one thing i think that people need to understand about the veterans situation is it has certainly not been a lack of money that is in any way responsible for these problems.
by any measure, the amount of money going into the v.a. health care system has gone up far faster than the number of veterans entering the system. toever far back you want look, 10 years, five years, whatever it is, the money has been going up much faster. i really have not heard anybody make the case that all of these problem's in the v.a. have been because of a lack of money. it's simply not true. v.a. health-care funding is triple since 2001. it is not money, it's management and, as i said before, it is culture. that is why you got to get deeper to fix these issues. host: chris from illinois, republican line, go ahead. caller: thank you very much for letting me talk about this. the question i have is about afghanistan and why the gentleman thinks we should stay there. what is the benefit after 10
years? what is the reason for americans to stay in afghanistan so long. ? after 10 years, you would think we have achieved the mission. why arend question -- the tribal leaders changing their mind after 10 years if we don't stay two more years? it,t: if you think about the united states lost a lot of lives in europe in world war i and world war ii. after those wars were over, we stayed with tens of thousands of americans to help keep the place stable so we would not have to come back and fight world war iii. if you think about it, we lost something like 55,000 lives in
korea. an armistice was called and we stayed and we are still there today. there has not been another korean war sense that one was over even though there are still high tensions and it's a dangerous place. in several places in the world, yearse been there 50+ with some amount of u.s. troop presence and the reason we have been there is to prevent them -- they're from being another war. think about why we are in afghanistan to begin with. it's not like we needed to go find someplace else for our troops to go. it's because that's were the attack emanated that killed 3000 innocent americans on 9/11 2001. our purpose in afghanistan has been first, to retaliate against the people who perpetrated that attack and we have not gotten them all but more importantly enableondly, it is to
the afghans themselves to provide for their own security so al qaeda cannot get another safe haven from which to operate and from which to launch more attacks against us. the afghans have done incredible work. they have had enormous gains and successes. they are on the forefront of all the combat missions but the job is not done. they are not at a place now where they can do everything on their own. 100,000 --e from right now we have 30,000 -- to 9800 troops who would be there next year. of course they have seen our numbers go down, they know that, but the difference is will we completely leave or are we going to be there with just a few thousand in order to support the afghans'success? success the chances for
and do not increase the danger to the americans who are left behind. host: this is about american sentiment -- guest: i think there is some truth to world -- to war weariness. as americans, we like to a competent job and move onto the next one. i also think that part of this war weariness that people read about is the lack of leadership. we have not had a president who has explained to us why we are there, what the mission is, and what he wants to accomplish. i think it is very striking if you go back to secretary bob gates's book. he talks about the fact that he never believed the president's heart was in the mission.
he was very troubled by that fact that we would send young men and women to afghanistan for this mission and the president did not really support them. he did not have his heart in their success. this lack of leadership i think is largely responsible for this war weariness that the country understandably feels. host: representative mac thornberry is our guest and randy is up next from michigan, and the crowds line. caller: good morning, thank you very much for this program and the folks behind the scenes. my question to the representative, good morning and hi i'm a democrat so i would love to sit down and have a discussion with you over a cup of coffee.
i have to be careful how i speak to you because i get emotional. my question, sir, i would like to see you bring up legislation to reinstate the draft and i would like to explain why. up back in the vietnam era. i am 56. they stopped the draft in 1972. i grew up my whole life and never had the chance to think about college because the only thing i was going to do when i graduated was i was going to either kill someone or i was going to go get killed. three years short of your graduation, i graduated in 1975, that did not give me much time to switch thoughts. i have seen it all on tv. we need to bring it back. bring this back and let these people see what it's like to watch people slide down the side of a hill. this is what we've got to have. guest: i don't bank we are going
to go back to the draft. i don't think there is a military reason to go back to the draft. well in meeting recruitment and retention goals and the quality of the folks who volunteer to serve in the military is just outstanding. some of the most inspirational days that i have had since a member of congress have been walking around in a village in it iraq or afghanistan with their troops 11 that village trying to help those villagers stand up and provide for their own security. is justgs our people do remarkable. i don't think enough can be said about the outstanding quality of the men and women who serve. i don't think there is a reason, military reason to go back to the draft. there's a fair amount of thought that it might be good for the country if every young man and woman had to give a couple of years of national service in
some way. i am somewhat sympathetic with the idea but i don't think it will happen anytime soon. as far as the military goes, the volunteer force is really doing well. i think we will keep it. host: from pennsylvania on our republican line. ♪ caller: good morning, mr. thornberry. i wanted to ask a question -- i watched the president yesterday on his speech at west point which to me was lackluster at best. say that al qaeda was decimated. i don't believe that's true. do you believe it's true? or did the president, once again, spew out some kind of falsehood to the american people? i think he should be telling the truth. troops are being
decimated, our troops. i just wanted your opinion on that and i appreciate all the work you have done and go republican! guest: one pays of evidence i can offer you is a few days ago in oak won't the new york times," the new director of the fbi said that he had severely underestimated where al qaeda was around the world before he took office. based on what we read in the pressprich once he got access to the information about what was really happening, he realized there was a greater number of al qaeda affiliates and that they were far more serious threat to us than he had realized. it is not just al qaeda and the afghan-pakistan region. whichare cels in yemen some of said poses the greatest threat to us and now have a new
threat in iraq and syria that we have been talking about. in westerne aqim haram that boko kidnapped the girls and al-shabaab in somalia. you have al qaeda affiliates that are multiplying. people use the analogy of a cancer that metastasizes and spreads to other parts. that is what has happened here. i'm afraid that the president really wants to push this narrative that terrorists are decimated and that has been a success for him, part of what was going on with the benghazi talking points. the problem is, that's not what's happening in the world. as the new fbi director, there is still a very serious threat and my fear is we leave and thenan too early that core al qaeda group that is still in that region also springs back to life to resume
their plot against mining against us. host: what do you think will be the end result of the select committee on benghazi? what would you like to see happen? guest: i want to get the truth. i think we have gotten pretty much the full story as far as what the military did and why they didn't. it. the intelligence committee did a good role in understanding the cia but what we have not gotten the answer to is the state department, why they denied requests for increased security before and the white house involvement that night. the tipping point really was this new e-mail the white house had held back all of a sudden comes out a few weeks ago and that's what led the speaker to say they are hiding information and we've got to have this greater effort, more concentrated effort. the good people both republicans and democrats were appointed to this committee so i think they will do their job. host: do you think politics will overshadow the end result? guest: there will always be some
politics but there are good folks on both sides and i think everybody realizes that this is not really about politics. this is about what we owe to the people who lost their lives. even more importantly, it's about the people who are still out there serving in consulates and desolate places around the world, we owe them to really understand this and do what we recurrence in a other countries. host: our guest is a member of the intelligence committee and the vice chair of the armed services committee. do you see yourself as chairman eventually? guest: at the right time, perhaps. host: what do you mean? guest: we have a chairman now so sure i would like to be the next chairman but we've got lots of issues right in our plight right now. you need to focus on what is right in front of you. host: josh is up next from fairfax, virginia, good morning. caller: good morning.
thanks for taking my question. you talked about the outstanding quality of the men and women who volunteer for our armed services. it's currently the military's policy that service members can be kicked out just for being transgender. do you think the military should continue to fire honorable service members just for who they are? military is goingk through a number of changes. obviously, the repeal of don't ask, don't tell has been a significant change. leaders see how that is going, they can evaluate what makes sense for further changes. becausetake it slowly the purpose of the military is to defend the country, not necessarily to be on the vanguard of societal change. we have to keep that mission
first and foremost and i would be cautious about changes that may or may not interfere with the calm pushing that mission. we will continue to see what proposals the military leaders want to make and we will keep talking to them about it. host: one more call from david from texas, democrats line. caller: hello? how are you doing, congressman? i'm a retired veteran, 2004. you need to look into that waco. what's going on with the backlog of the back payment they're supposed to be paying these people? they are not trying to pay you. that's all i have to say. guest: thank you for your service and secondly, you are exactly right. what all of this publicity has been about has been waiting lists for the a health care.
there is a home other side of the v.a. and that is disability and retirement and disability payments and other things. the backlog is tremendous. because of is not shortage of money. congress has been pouring money into the v.a.. i mentioned the health care side funding has tripled. so has the disability side of the a tripled since 2001. yet they are not keeping up with the backlog. evidence to my point that this is not just about changing somebody out of the top. there are deeper problems within the v.a. that we have to get to the bottom of. hearing after hearing, trying to get the v.a. and dod to have one medical record that would follow somebody through their active service all the way through when they become a veteran and leave active service. you would not believe how many billions of dollars, how much
time it's taken, to try to get that done and they still have not gotten it done. meanwhile, under the health care bill, we require that in the private sector. are veryeaucracies difficult to reform and if you'd don't make those changes, you will not fix the problem. host: on the house side, there was a build passed on the defense authorization act for funding. as it goes to the senate, what will be the hurdles that will be cross for the two sides as far as their individual bills are concerned? guest: the house bill passed 325-98 so there was overwhelming support and republicans and democrats and the president probably threatened to veto it. butad bipartisan support for some reason he did not like it. there will be some differences. what happens to guantánamo will be one of those. there are a lot of similarities. both the senate committee and
the house have rejected a number of the proposals like increasing fees for retiree health care that the administration came up with. there is a lot of similarities i think there a good chance we will have that all completed and to the president's desk which he will sign this fall. >host: the dod said these issues will eat into money needed for readiness? guest: it is a concern over the long term but they have made the same proposals for years in a row. the house and the senate, republicans and democrats, have rejected them for years in a row so there is a little bit of gamesmanship to hide the true effects of the budget cuts. we have a commission that will report next spring on looking at the complete range of pay and benefits for our military. that's what you need to look at. you need to look at the full picture. if you're going to make changes, you need to do it prospectively for the people coming in.
don't change the rules of the game for the people who have already relied on the commitments we made. host: representative mac thornberry joining us for discussion on foreign policy. coming up next, we will hear from a top adviser in the administration when it comes to international security measures. he is the assistant defense secretary for international affairs and will join us next but first, we will get an update of news from c-span radio. eight 30 2 a.m. -- russian president vladimir putin has signed a deal with his counterparts from cats extent and belarus creating an economic union. moscow says the eurasian of exic union or eeu soviet states will create a shared market and help integrate economic policy and that starts next year. credit said the project is an attempt to revive part of the old soviet union but vladimir putin says the new union will help provide an attractive center of economic development. the belarusian president
predicts ukraine will join the bloc eventually. in ukraine, acting president says 14 soldiers including a general were killed when their helicopter was shot down by rebels. they use a portable air defense missile. the copter went down over the city ofslovensk in eastern ukraine. president obama welcomes representatives of professionals ports leaks, parents, youth athletes, and others to the white house for a summit on youth sports concussions. the president will announce pledges of money and other support from the nfl, the nih and others to begin doing research promoting safety and speedy development of materials better protection. the president said last year if he had a son, he would have to think long and hard about letting him play football. c-span is covering the morning event. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> if you go back and look at
coolidge, he was a conservative hero and his tax rate was a gold standard tax rate. it was 25%. starught like crazy and -- and it started with wilson in the 70's. when you look at what the socialites set about coolidge in washington, how cold he was, remember that they were probably from families that endorsed different policies especially alice roosevelt longworth whose father had a different model of the president. a bully pulpit presidency and here was coolidge prissy and cold and not giving out favors. he looked as though he had been weaned on a pickle. from new england and farmers don't talk a lot or wave their arms about because the cow might kick them.
he was a shy person but he also had a political purpose. he knew if he did not talk a lot, people would stop talking. up president or political leader is constantly bombarded with requests. his silence was his way of not giving in to special interests. he articulated that quite explicitly. your calls,ake e-mails and tweets on taxes, depression-era presidents, and current fiscal policy " in depth" live for three hours sunday at noon eastern. on c-span two. >> "washington journal" continues. is theoining us now assistant secretary for international security affairs, welcome. how do you describe your job to other people? guest: i am the assistant secretary of defense and a cover several regions of the world, europe, middle east, africa, and the western hemisphere.
any defense issues involving any of those regions of the world are my responsibility. host: as far as the way you look at your job and what this administration is doing for those regions, what is top of your list? guest: the inbox tends to dominate my day. most recently, it is events in europe with ukraine and russia. also in the middle east whether it's the conflict inside syria and the effects of that throughout the region, the iranian nuclear program and the egyptian elections. we just had an election in columbia. at any given moment everyday, there's something going on that i need to pay attention to. host: should the administration be doing more in syria? they announced that the president has more about helping train the rebels. what do you make of those assessments? he talked a lot about syria and the effect of syria and the negative effects on the region. we are doing a lot. we are helping our close
partners around syria like jordan, turkey, we have patriot batteries, missile defense batteries and jordan as well. we are also working to help the syrian opposition with nonlethal assistance. what the president said yesterday as he will be working with congress in the coming weeks to boost our assistant to the syrian opposition. host: what's the best way to do that? guest: we are providing a lot of support, urgent support they need that is nonlethal, medical supplies, food and providing them the capability to be more coherent and cohesive as opposition. we're also providing what we call nonlethal combat support, vests,like kevlar helmets, basic equipment. we will talk to congress in the coming weeks about additional measures of support and we will need thereby in an authorization to approve some of that possible military support. host: to find that. guest: there is already to
things we are not providing right now on the legal side like weaponry through the department of defense. that is the kind of things that many of our friends in congress are talking about. we want to talk with them about in the coming weeks. host: can the white house make those decisions? guest: it's probably best if we have congress with us. we need certain legal a door to to do some of those things but also we will need the money. it's is not afraid. it would not be cheap. we provide a significant amount of assistant to the syrian opposition in terms of humanitarian assistance. the united states of the single largest humanitarian donor in the world. that is very expensive and we want to make sure we have the money to pay for that. host: there are stories in the paper about delays in the comes to chemical weapons being handed over from syria. does that complicate u.s. matters? guest: it's a good news/bad news stories for the good news is 92% of the chemical weapons stockpile in syria they had a year ago is now out of syria and it will be on its way to being
destroyed. that is good news. the challenge we have is eight percent of that stockpile remains and eight percent of that stockpile is in a very insecure part of syria. the syrians have some problems getting it out. we are working through the opc and the united nations to help get them out of syria. we want to keep your eyes focused that 92% is out. there are other concerns regarding the use of chemical materials. involvedle,the opcw in chemical weapons destruction is invested in the use of chlorine which was not covered by the agreement we had reached last year. host: why was that? guest: it is outside the scope of chemical weapons. it's the use of industrial chemicals that are not weaponize to but chlorine is a dangerous gas anywhere you use it. the syrians -- there are
indications and suspicions that the syrian military is using chemical cluster bombs are in host: derek chollet the assistant defense secretary for international security affairs. you can ask them questions on those topics. here are the numbers -- you can also send a tweet or send an e-mail. as far as afghanistan, the president's decision, the new number of 9800 or so, what to make of that number? guest: it's an appropriate number and we have been on the downslope in our troop presence in afghanistan since the peak several years ago of 100,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan. it's not only u.s. troops that are in afghanistan. there are 49 other international
partners, nato and non-nato countries that are part of the international security assistance force in afghanistan. the u.s. troop resins has been on the downward slope since that high peak several years ago. we are roughly at 30,009 the president announced his by the end of this year, we will be at 9800 u.s. troops. there will be additional troops in afghanistan from other countries particularly european countries. next week, i will be with nato iny hagel at brussels and we will talk about this. the president announced that we will have a steady withdrawal of u.s. forces starting at the end of this year from 9800 through the end of next year, about half of that to the end of 2016 in which u.s. forces will be out of afghanistan. "the wall street journal" said -- we need to be precise.
this is not a full united states withdrawal. militaryll the u.s. forces and we will still do a lot for afghanistan is a country after 2016. we will have a very large embassy there and the large assistance program. what the president announces the u.s. military role in afghanistan will be ending and that's appropriate. host: our previous guest said you give a deadline like that and more violence will be the uptick. guest: we have seen this before and i had a steady withdrawal for several years of u.s. forces. violence still prevalent throughout afghanistan. it remains a dangerous place but these were not -- these are not dates picked randomly. there are picked with our military commanders and allies. they're also based on our assessment of the state of the afghan security forces. we have been spending a tremendous amount of energy and resources to the old up the afghan security forces so the afghan can take care of their own security.
host: your first call is from market joining us for massachusetts, independent line. caller: good morning, gentlemen. the outline of the speech yesterday by president i understand he will bring the countdown to -- bring the drawdown to 9800 next year -- host: he got dropped. caller: good morning, everybody. let chris christie move into your state. george bush and dick cheney did nothing but lie to us. obama is a pleasure compared to these people. nobody is perfect. anyway, dick cheney was the worst thing that ever happens to the united states. that's my humble opinion and have a good morning. i'm trying to wake myself up. --sthost: from twitter
as the president said yesterday at west point, the decision for president to send in u.s. forces in any situation is the most serious and difficult one for any president to make. it's something we should never take lightly. the president said repeatedly that he believes the introduction of direct u.s. military power in the syrian conflict will not improve the situation and could be more dangerous for our interests. surely from crystal river, florida, you are up next. caller: good morning, everybody. ii, 78 and since world war we have practically become a nation of war mongers and occupiers while our own country is falling apart. why do we do this to no avail? you will have to expand on
that little this. -- on that a little bit. caller: we are constantly at war and the biggest debtor nation in the world and the most hated and yet we persist in our folly. didt: what the president yesterday in his speeches he made a very important statement about his vision of america's role in the world and the purpose of american power. it was a very clear statement that the united states, because of the power we have and the values we stand for, because of the leadership that so many expect others around the world, we are in indispensable nation. that does not mean that every problem is ours to solve but it means that u.s. leadership is required to solve some any problems around the world. my job at the pentagon, every day with many foreign officials from many parts of the world, there is not a single meeting where less is asked of us.
everyone is asking more of the united states. that is a burden and that is something that is often difficult because we are in a position where we often have to say no but that's a special responsibility we have as a country. one of the challenges we have in government and as a people is to understand and try to figure out when it's appropriate for us to be involved in what kind -- and what would that involvement look like. the president said yesterday to the cadets at west point that it's not a question of whether the united states should lead, it's how we should lead. the caller makes a reference to how we have perhaps lead in the past with the use of military power. in some cases it has worked in some cases it has not. what president obama has been trying to do a sketch out a vision for the future of american leadership that is a sustainable and reflects our interest and values. host: john bolton as an op-ed in "the wall street journal."
guest: i strongly reject that statement. whether you look at asia and the rebalance asia and the reassertion of american a third this authority in the asia pacific and the middle east and torica's leadership required deal with small-market duffy several years ago in libya and the leadership of the nato alliance through that, it goes to the response through ukraine where we are working with european partners will have a huge stake. without the united states leadership, i think the world would not be as organized as it has been on ukraine. next week, the president will be in europe in poland and brussels and will be in normandy for the commemoration of the normandy beach landing.
be bringing the world together to try to galvanize common action to do with common threats. host: what's the current policy in ukraine? how much further do we go from that policy when it comes to action? guest: there is just election in ukraine and a new president will be inaugurated in the coming week. the united states has been providing a lot of assistance to the ukrainian interim government , mainly in the form of financial assistance, to help their economy. we are also in conversations with ukraine government on the military assistance and i will be in kiev this weekend to meet with my ukraine counterparts now that there is an of government we've gone through a successful election to talk about what the medium to long-term defense relationship we should have with ukraine. host: sectarian issues will be involved, how do you deal with that? guest: it is worried difficult. ukraine is to have our support to do with this problem on their own. it's not for the international community or anyone else to come in and solve ukrainians filed -- problems for them but we can
support them. there has been news this morning of ukrainian helicopter shot down but i don't have details but that is a reminder of the dangerous situation we have their. host: what does it do for the relations we have with russia? guest: it has been extraordinarily difficult. in effect, our relationship is frozen with russia from a defense department perspective. we have ceased all cooperative activities with russia and the defense realm. we maintain contact with senior leaders to try to deal with problem's but we are not doing exercises or training with russians. one of the challenges we will face moving forward is defining our relationship with russia, testing to see how far russia wants to go and having a cooperative relationship with not just the united states but its european partners. the downturn in russia's behavior and the trouble we are having in the relationship with russia is a real concern for us. host: that's dependent on what they do in ukraine? guest: it is largely dependent
on that and we are watching closely their behavior in other countries on the periphery to avoid any repeat of what we have seen in ukraine. hasia's behavior in ukraine been apsley unacceptable and has been a violation of international law. it is something they have been punished for 90 to continue to be punished. host: brian is up next from michigan, good morning. caller: thank you. being in the land of the free andthe home of the brave concerning benghazi, libya, we still don't know a year and a half later where the president was, we don't know where ms. wheren was, we don't know the guy who had to go to california was. i would like to know a timeline of every minute of where they were and decisions that were made and not made.
the famous debate when obama got a little tight andromney got around him a little bit. that was very telling to me as a citizen. becauseiness of hiding of embarrassment, because of dereliction of duty, is on acceptable. as a citizen, i would not treat you or president obama or the , i don't look at any of us as anything special. we are people. when you have a job to do, they wanted that job, we need to know the facts. benghazi events from 2012 is something that has been investigated by multiple congressional committees and by an independent review board that was cochaired by one of our most esteemed of the mets tom pickering and the former chair
of the joint chiefs. there will be a select committee in the house that will begin its work this summer. yet again, the benghazi story will be looked at. chrisng personally, stephens, the investor who was killed was a friend of mine. i knew him from the state department and it's a real tragedy he was killed. he was killed trying to do the right thing and help the people of libya. libya as a country today that is in row crisis. it is a very insecure place and the place that needs a lot of our help and support. we are not out of the woods yet on libya so i would prefer we would spend their time and energies thinking about libya today and where we need to take libya and work with them moving forward. the benghazi episode while very tragic personally for many of us who worked with chris stevens has been exhaustively looked at and researched. ,ost: do you or your colleagues will they have an input to the
select committee? guest: it is a committee of congress and i have no role in that committee or its work. host: robert from illinois, independent line, go ahead. caller: yes, sir, i am amazed, too, about the fact that we have been in the middle east, iran, iraq, afghanistan, libya for over 10, 15, 20 years. why is the united states providing free security with regard store military, our navy, our army, our art -- our air force force in the persian gulf to provide free security and ways and means of getting oil from that region of the world to other countries? we have been doing it for years and years. they don't pay for it. they are making a lot of money on oil and so are the banks.
why are they getting by with all of that free security? you always refer to the national interest. think we do have national interests at stake in the persian gulf. our military presence in the persian gulf which is very significant, we have 35,000 u.s. military personnel stationed in the persian gulf. we have some of the most highly capable aircraft, aircraft carriers -- it is in our interest to have that presence there because we have real security threats that emanate from that part of the world. secretary hagel several weeks ago was in saudi arabia to help organize a meeting of defense ministers of persian gulf countries in which we talked about the common interest and common threats we all face whether it's the threat of the iranian nuclear program or the threat of the spread of violent history and is him -- violent extremism, the threat of our
closest friends like jordan. we are involved in this part of the world not just because it is a gift we are giving other countries and that something they are getting for free. it's because we have an interest in being there as well. host: "the washington post" editor said -- guest: i reject that editorial as well. the president made it clear in his speech yesterday and has proven during his presidency that he is willing to use military force and that necessary, unilateral military force which -- when he believes there's a direct threat to the united states. the point he is making -- he campaigned on this point -- when it comes to using force in a situation where a national security interests are not readily threatened but nevertheless it's a situation
that the united states could play a role in helping to solve the problem. it's best if we do so as art of the coalition, working with other countries and with the support of the congress and the american people. host: you say he has proven it, give examples. guest: the operation to take out osama bin laden which was a unilateral action, something he did on his own and we cross an international border into a country that is a friend of ours , pakistan, to take out the most dangerous terrorist. host: new jersey,marie, democrats line. caller: good morning. i would just like to ask this question -- i noticed no one ever asks this question. we have been told over and over again that this war has been the longest war in the history of the united states of america. why is that? we have technology now where we don't even have to put boots on the ground.
i agree with the president. we should not be known as the country that is ready to go to eyelash.e drop of an it makes sense. guest: the caller is right, this is been the longest period of war in american history and is why we arereasons seeking to end this era of war. that does not mean that the use of military force is no longer applicable to the challenges we face. in fact, as we have been successful in taking on the al qaeda core, particularly in south asia, we have seen al qaeda offshoots grow in many parts of the world including parts of the world we were not paying much attention to several years ago like in north africa. we still need to have a strong military and have a capable military to take care of those issues when they arise. in thisto turn the page
era of war and it has been a very long, almost 13 years now, since the 9/11 attacks and since first we went into afghanistan and iraq. host: how does drone policy can into this? guest: the president said this yesterday, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles which is the bureaucratic term is still an important arrow in our quiver. it's a piece of technology and capability that the united states relies on a great deal when it comes to gathering intelligence but also for armed equipment, actual legal activity. but we need to be very careful in how we use that in the president has been very clear including in his speech he gave a few months ago, on his approach to using this kind of technology warfare. host: is there a transparency about how this technology is used? tost: the president aspires
more transparency and believes it is important for the american people and the world to fully understand the rationale for how and when we use that kind of technology. host: what keeps him from putting out more transparency? guest: he has been working on it. he has given many speeches to rationalize or show his rationalization for when we use that technology and how we use it. he is seeking to have more transparency but we have to be careful in how we advertise how we do certain things. cghollet, the assistant defense secretary is our guest. jack is next on the independent line. caller: how are you today? i don't really have a big question. it's more of a comment. a lady was just talking about warmongering. your guests said it was the president's vision.
honestly, isn't that like a dictatorship when it's the president's vision? shouldn't it be more the american people's vision? he wants to run a third term. he wants to change the rules for that. are we going to have to effect kick him outim, of the white house? why is homeland security buying all these hollowpoint rounds? maybe you have an answer. guest: on the comment about the president's vision, every president needs to outline a vision about where he sees the world going and where he sees america's role in that world. but as president obama has made clear, it is important for all of us, those of us in washington, but more importantly, the american people, to have a common perspective of where we want to move forward as a country,
because the world is very complicated and there are many problems out there that don't warrant themselves to easy solutions, and we need to as a country need to be brought into our futures together. one of the purposes of a president giving a speech like an west point and getting publicity about the speeches to involve more the american people in the conversation about america's role in the world. why that speech in the final 2 years of the presidency? guest: he has given many important foreign-policy speeches, going back to his speech at west point in 2000 foreign policy speech, but particularly at this moment when we are out of iraq, he has made the announcement of how we will be steadily getting out of afghanistan from the military perspective. now we need to look forward and think about where we have been
but more importantly, where we are going and what that will mean for us as a country in terms of resources and balance of spending, what we are spending abroad, and how we operate in the world and the role of the u.s. military. these a bit tough questions -- these are big, tough questions that no single president or government can answer. that was the point of the speech. how does this affect the person who will sit in the white house in 2016, the decisions made by the president? guest: every new president has to do with decisions made by the previous president. the first 2 years of this administration we were taken up andraq and afghanistan other issues that were front and center inherited from the bush administration. januarypresident in 2017 will and narrowed a country that i believe is forgivable -- will and harriet a country that
i believe is better capable throughout the world and has improved relationships throughout the world and the u.s. military role in iraq and afghanistan over. we will have huge interest in those countries but will not have u.s. troops fighting in those countries. you will have a president in january 2017 who will have, i believe, sustainable posture with counterterrorism with capabilities but more importantly how we use those capabilities throughout the if therel stop host: is an uptick in violence, are the security forces capable of handling that? i would never claim they are u.s. quality but they are very capable, far more capable than anything this country has seen in the past. both afghanistan and iraq will not be perfect also key made that very clear when he spoke in the rose garden the other day.
but afghanistan has made tremendous progress beyond just security, but the afghan spirit of forces will be capable, will -- without assistance -- without assistance, to take care of these problems. host: go ahead, please. caller: i want to ask your guest if he is familiar with henry stimson's syria for with fdr and any analogies that might have -- theory of war with fdr and any analogies that might have with obama. with your guest have any views -- would your guest have any ofws of gates' publication "duty" so soon after he left office.
i read the book and i thought it was less sensational than the media thought it was. guest: well, the caller is stimsonecretary of war -- he was actually secretary of war twice am under 2 different and one of the things that is great about our country is that we have a tradition of bipartisanship in our country. for officialsmmon of different parties to serve in one another's administration. secretary of defense cohen, great republican senator from the state of maine, served with president clinton, secretary of defense in his second term. it is fitting that the caller mentions secretary of war stimson's memoir. a copy ofhagel got those memoirs and there were
several wonderful quotes from those memoirs, cowritten with mcgeorge bundy, who went on to become national security advisor with president kennedy. secretary hegel found many quotes from secretary of war stimson's memoir is fitting. host: walk us through your day-to-day. guest: the day starts early and ends late. most of my days in meetings with foreign officials, counterparts , often timess trying to arrange other meetings . i spend a lot of time in the white house in meetings in the situation room, and i spent a good deal of time traveling. i was in the middle east was inretary hagel and i will be ukraine and it is a very busy job and fulfilling job and there is never a boring minute of the day. host: what about questions on the president's efforts in
israel and palestine? guest: i'm very involved in u.s., israel, and middle east issues from the defense perspective host up the department of defense has had a modest role in the peace process between the israelis and the palestinians, and that is allen, the work of john our commander in afghanistan, question working with israelis and palestinians on the security issues related to the process. we are supportive of these efforts that secretary kerry and our state department colleagues to bring peace to the middle east. we are not having the kind of ,uccess we would like to have but we have a close military relationship with many countries in the middle east but particularly with israel. i spent a lot of time with my israeli college and we talk about our common interests and shared threats. host: buffalo, new york, republican line. caller: thank you, c-span, for hosting this event.
my question is, how much do we know about and what are our strategic concerns about foreign involvement in syria, and what is our position with countries like qatar and iran, which have been providing arms or tacit support for the government? guest: great question. we are very worried about the role of foreign fighters, foreign elements inside syria. we have seen an increasing flow of drugs from europe and elsewhere in the middle east into syria to -- flow of folks from europe and elsewhere in the middle east into syria. we have worked very hard with andr countries like qatar saudi arabia and the united arab emirates to work with them to ensure that all of the systems -- the assistance we are providing those to the right opposition, because it is a kinds of of different
folks fighting for different things, all unified to be against the regime. there are elements of the opposition who are extremists and where worried about that. host: what is the status of iran's program? guest: we are in a 6-month phase where it is frozen while the negotiations are taking place. there was another round of negotiations last week in vienna. there will be another round coming up in the next month. ins is a testing period which we are trying to see if iran can live up to its obligations and if there is an opportunity for a diplomatic solution, but we remain very vigilant and concerned about iran plus nuclear ambitions. from a defense perspective, part of what we were doing with secretary hagel in the middle east is talk to our golf wonders about our military posture in aboutgion -- gulf partner
our military posture in the region. host: how would you describe iran's willingness to cooperate? guest: it is under review. they showed a willingness to sign onto this interim deal. they are isolated and the world as never before. they are under tremendous military pressure. it is because of those elements that we have worked in hard to put in place the last several years. it is because of that pressure that iran has even agreed to that interim set. period toa testing see if they can live up to those allegations. host: luanne from ohio, go ahead. caller: i want to have a common and then go on from there. i appreciate the fact that we're pulling out troops from these other countries, and i really appreciate the fact that we help these other countries, but i
don't understand why president obama cannot go to the house and forced the house to take a vote on the issue, whether it passes or fails or whatever. it needs to be placed and for them to take a vote. host: we will go to over marlboro, but -- upper marlboro, maryland, democratic line. caller: thank you very much. aller -- many of my college graduate friends do not know how the judiciary system works, and that the president cannot do everything. he cannot just override. if the house is blocking it, in a morecan you do robust forum? i believe that needs to be started in elementary school so that they would know how the government works. that some of these
prima donnas should start the draft again and then we would get things done quicker set of people who really need to go -- instead of people who need to go to service to make a living. these very important citizens, children going and dying, they would not want to extend the war. host: do you have anything specific to international security concerns? caller: oh, international security, yes. the president is working on a higher level of intellect. the buggyll down in wagon stage and telecom a what will they -- tell us, what will they know when they hear it? they don't understand what the country or the intellectual person is saying, and they resent it. jealousy and resentment will take this country down. the caller talked about
public service and whether on not we have a draft. we have an all volunteer first -- force, and i think it is the right thing to do, and i don't think we need a draft. a public service is really important. toave had the opportunity perform in public service in several different jobs. the more people that are involved in public life, the better off we are as a country. the challenges we face are so tremendous. it is not only people in washington who can fix these problems. it is the people out of washington who we really need. abraham, thanks for holding up. dallas, texas, independent line. caller: hello, i am abraham and this is dallas, texas. this is a very good program. i've been listening for couple of years. but my question is to your guest
-- who is supplying money to nato, or how much money are we supplying to nato? guest: that is a good question. nato is an alliance of 28 partners. the united states is obviously the most important partner, and we pay the most of any alliance member. but it is an alliance. everyone has to contribute both and resources as well as military capabilities in the alliance. one of the challenges that the alliance faces, something we will be talking about next week in brussels on secretary hagel is in brussels but also as president obama will be talking about when he is at the nato summit. the concern we have with the capabilities cap, where united states capabilities are very high, and despite the defense cuts wherever many, we will still have a military that is more capable than anyone else's by many orders of magnitude.
by a 2% daschle, a sign of a healthy military is if a country spends 2% of its gdp on military spending, and there are few nato allies above that threshold. largestre we the contributor? guest: absolutely, buy resources as well as capability. host: the united states will directly -- guest: sure, and they have served. the libby operation was a nato operation. was a libya operation nato operation. it was colleagues from france, denmark, several nato countries directly involved or they provided support to that military operation. that is the point of having nato. if we didn't have nato we would have to invent it. so many of these problems we're facing around the world, whether in europe but also throughout the middle east and north
africa, require common action. no one country, despite how powerful the united states is, no one country can solve these the ones alone. host: massachusetts, independent line. caller: thank you. as a citizen and businesswoman, i think i am always disheartened and disappointed and even infuriating, why some of our european partners, specifically germany, doesn't help us more boldly. i was thinking -- maybe you might not want to answer the question in the sense that could germinate pursuit -- could germany pursued the middle east insteadl and set of -- of not pursuing or buying the russian oil, just to make sure that --
callerwell, the codesigner broader issue, -- caller touches on a broader issue. there are many levels of european countries stepping up but we would like to see more. germany is a country that, it should be noted, is with us in afghanistan. they have agreed to remain a leader in afghanistan after the , workingis year alongside us and the italians and many other countries. that is a sacrifice for them, too. we need to see a country like germany playing a constructive role. chancellor merkel was here last month and saw president obama and the white house and she is an important leader in the european continent, particularly on the russia crisis. host: did he sign the agreement?
it is not sign the agreement. the conference was premised on the fact that we would get a wouldral agreement that protect our forces in afghanistan. the good news is that the 2 leading candidates to be the next afghan president said that they would find -- a sign the agreement were they to win. the bad news is that we have not had it signed yet and president karzai has made clear he will not sign it but the successor has said they would sign it. host: a story about afghans themselves. "for many afghans, although it means they will lose their greatest asset, u.s. military that is poured money and manpower into a war that the theyan is far from over, had not thought it would happen
so quickly." guest: we have been steadily reducing our military presence in afghanistan. what we tell the afghan government and people is that we will still be supporting you. it would just not be military support. we will have a significant embassy, a significant assistance program, and with the president describes as a normal u.s. presence in the embassy, which means bilateral security , helping the afghans with training and capabilities they would be interested in acquiring. fair reducing our military role and afghanistan and that is entirely appropriate. we will remain very engaged in afghanistan. washington, d.c., you are next. caller: yes, hello. toould like to -- i'm trying
-- host: why don't you hold your thought and we will go to kevin in tennessee? caller: hello, good morning, derek. guest: good morning. caller: i had a quick question about foreign policy. it seems that obama plus administration is implement foreign policy here in the trued states, is that ? guest: i guess, caller, i'm not sure what you're asking. caller: it seems that a lot of the measure action that takes place with foreign policy, concerning different countries, it seems to now be taking place here in our own country, with the building of thousands of ma camps, and as the
earlier caller stated, the department of homeland security has been invested in contracts in over one billion rounds of hollowpoint ammunition. guest: well, of course, the department of defense is focused on defending our country, defending our homeland, but also defending our interests around the world and building our defense partnerships. comment theust a caller made, although that is not whether caller -- what the caller intended, the nexus of foreign policy in this globalized world, what habits at home matters around the world and what happens around the world matters here at home. ,here is not a clear divide even though when it comes to some the bureaucratic institutions in washington, there is a claim divide. -- clean divide stop host. host: let's hear from tina in washington. caller: oh, yes, i appreciate
having a levelheaded president instead of someone who is hotheaded in the white house, and the inclusion of other world leaders when it comes to the policies and the wars is the approach that we need and the opposite approach has been taken in the past considering when the inspectors went into that iraq war, and because they didn't find anything, and no one took their opinion as the truth we went to war. syria, when the president did this supposed red line and i hear a lot of people harping on that now, but i seem to remember by theobstructed congress of vote because they wanted to use other methods to work first. they wanted to stop him from
taking other action. caller, in reference to syria, about whether congress should authorize the use of , i was when any officials who spent a lot of time on capitol hill talking to members of congress about what we were seeking. in augustnot a vote because we were able to go before it was necessary and that is enabled us, working with international organizations and critical partners, to get 92-90 3% of the chemical weapons out of syria. there is still about 7, 8% ago and we need to get that out. but that is a huge achievement. we had no answer for this year chemical weapons problem by year ago and now that we are looking at 92-90 2% of the chemical weapons out, that is a good news thing.
that was only possible because of the threat of u.s. military force. it was the threat of force that the president made clear he was going to use. it is because of that threat that we were able to get a diplomatic solution that we were able to get hopefully soon all of the number go up and out of syria and that makes us safer. , assistant chollet secondary events for security affairs, thank you for your time. guest: thank you very much. host: you heard about the report from the v.a. looking at wait times and related matters. several members of congress amid democrats and republicans both, are calling for the resignation of erikson -- erick shinseki. here is your chance to weigh in.
that we will take up discussion in question, but first, an update of news from c-span radio. >> the number of americans seeking unemployment and of its phil asked me to the lowest level in 7 years. department shows that weekly applications for unemployed and eight it dropped 27,002 a seasonally adjusted 300,000. forapplications are a proxy laughs so would suggest that the companies are cutting fewer jobs. so cop -- proxy for layoffs it suggest that the companies are cutting fewer jobs. it was the economy plus first quarterly decline since the
first three months of 2011. reflects slower stockpiling by businesses and a cut in his investment and a wider trade deficit. release oftration's thousands of immigrants convicted of crimes is the focus on capitol hill. homeland security secretary jeh for an is asking internal review of the releases and he says he will work with progressions and customs enforcement to ensure public safety. you can hear his testimony before the house judiciary committee at 10:30 a.m. eastern time on c-span radio or watch the hearing live on c-span2. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. the problem now is future peace. that is your job in germany. while your conduct and attitude while on guard inside germany, you can lay the groundwork of peace that can last forever, or
just the opposite. you could lay the groundwork for a new war to come. as americans had to do this 20 is ago, so other american soldiers, your sons, might have to do it again another 20-odd years from now. germany today appears to be beaten. hitler, out. swastikas, gone. propaganda, off the air. concentration camps, empty. you will see ruins. you'll see flowers. you will see some mighty pretty scenery. it for you. you are in any country. be alert, -- you are in enemy country. be alert, suspicious of everyone. you are up against something
more than tourist scenery. you are against german history. it isn't good. >> in the first of a 5-part look at hollywood directors who made government films in world war ca" looks ateri frank capra and we will include commentary from author and part ofst mark harris, american history tv this weekend on c-span3. for over 35 years, c-span brings public affairs events in washington directly to you, putting you in a room for congressional hearings, white house event, briefings and, mr -- and conferences, with complete gavel to gavel coverage of the u.s. house as a public service of private industry. tvpan, created by the cable industry 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. watch as in hd, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. "washington journal" continues. host: a story from politico
looks of the congressional reaction coming from the release report, theg inspector general report looking listst times and wait coming out of the f phoenix facility. . "among those pushing for secretary shinseki's dismissal are the senate toss most vulnerable democrats. democrats senators mark udall of colorado, john walsh of montana, and kay hagan of north carolina release separate statements saying the secretary must go. late wednesday night, senators al franken and jeanne shaheen added their voices to the chorus of democrats asking for shakeup of leadership at the v.a." also weighing in, senator mark udall as well
of thehat is just some reaction coming from congressional members when it comes to the report, but specifically taking a look at the calls for resignation of eric shinseki. we want to get your thoughts this morning, if you agree with the legislators or not. here is how you can weigh in. host: if you want to give your thoughts from up first is tricia minneapolis, minnesota, on our republican line. caller: good morning, and yes, he should go. he is at the top and for him to
say he didn't know nothing -- this has been going on for years. the president knew about it and they sit there and lie and get on tv with smiles on the faces laughing at people. i blame the voters because they ofd to vote these people out office. they are crooks, letting illegals into the community. they are crooks of the time and they need to go, and the people of america, you need to vote them out. host: north carolina, independent line. he identifies as a veteran. good morning. caller: good morning. i appreciate your show. it is very enlightening. the korean war was classified as a police action. you have a person by the name of shinseki. he has to have people he delegated to inform them of what was going on.
and if he has incorrect information, he is not exactly responsible for that. host: so should he stay or go in that opinion? caller: i think you should stay -- i think he should stay, because every executive or body on the top is to blame for people working for them, it's a lost cause because you blame the person on the top -- host: with the information -- caller: you don't get to the reason why this is happening. will in alexandra, virginia. caller: i am in iraq veteran and i spent 23 years in the military from 2003-2004. i think shinseki should stay, you should remain. he has work to do, he is real methodical like president obama, handles each problem as it arises.
might express with the v.a. was really good. i retired with no problems. all these senators like john mccain, asked them questions like were you contacted, what is in your e-mail, what is in your inbox? if i had a problem with the v.a. i would go to my congressman -- host: with the information from this ig report do you think you'll be difficult for shinseki to move forward and fix the problems? caller: no, he needs to do his job. somebody's making mistakes, you don't do everybody. the headline in "usa today talks about that ig report. the story highlights the reaction of members of congress, saying that one of the starters reactions on wednesday came from senator patty murray of washington, "a member of the senate veterans affairs committee, who said shinseki end tomediately 'put an
what seems to be a pervasive culture of lying, cheating, and mismanagement' at the va. the embattled chief describe what investigators found as 'reprehensible.' saidhite house, jay carney president obama had been briefed on the findings and found them extremely troubling." caller: i'm a veteran and i have been waiting for years and years for them to make a decision on plane, and they put you in delays so of drawnout that you cannot get it resolved. host: so as far as the person at
the top, what should be done with eric shinseki in light of all the information that's come out? caller: he should stay and fix the problem. host: lisa -- actually, let's go do a tweet. eric shinseki does have an op-ed in "usa today" this morning. all we can to accelerate care within our system and in the communities where veterans reside and i am challenging our leadership to do everything possible to schedule that runs for their appointments -- to schedule veterans for the requirements." again, you will find that in the pages of "usa today." louisville, kentucky, democrats
line. caller: thank you for your show. eric shinseki ought to have a chance. he just really received the job and this problem has been going on for a long time and i believe his department was like to about about wait-- lied to times. i think it is on the individual level, especially in the hospital administration of it, and those people need to be they finded if anything wrong and i hope the american people let him do his job. next from honey creek, iowa, a veteran. omaha v.a.sed the system for my health care. i did have problems with the premise seeing my primary care or anything like that -- and didn't have any problems with appointments seeing my primary care or anything like that. it has really improved and i
think shinseki is doing the best pecan with the information he has. job he can best with the information he has. with the banks ripping off the market people they did not call for the heads of jamie dimon or anyone else. shinseki will do a good job if people just let him do what he has to do. host: effort in congress for the republican version of health care, and is in "the wall street journal" this morning. or said republicans would vote on health care alternative and a 4 months later , the public and leaders are working with lawmakers to reach a consensus on what it would republican leaders are working with ach akers to re
consensus on what it would include. s continue to mislead the american people when they say that republicans have no alternative to obamacare. group'snot true,' the chairman said in a letter to house republicans ahead of the meeting." california -- sorry, push the wrong button, lost him. illinois, veteran. caller: good morning. how is everybody? i was calling because i am a veteran, a vietnam veteran, and i'm in the health care system. i have worked for the v.a. since i was 14 years old. although these problems they are talking about exist -- all of these problems they're talking about exist, but they have existed for years. we are able to give somebody a look. it has changed since shinseki
has been in office. it has changed and they need to let him do his job and give him the authority to do his job. they need to let him do his job because we are getting what we need. now we are getting it. upper for, yeah, -- but before, yeah, but let him continue. i am afraid that if they change things now it is going to change and going to go back to the way that it was before. i don't want that. i wanted to continue -- want it to continue. host: james from twitter host: just some of the thoughts that viewers have expressed on the release of the veterans affairs inspector general or looking at wait times and veteransituations --
affairs inspector general report looking at wait times and related situations. members of commerce calling for the removal of secretary of veterans affairs --members of congress calling for the mobile of secretary of the veterans affairs eric shinseki. murray, a reporter for nbc. you can make your thoughts known as well, not only whether shinseki should stay or go, but tweet,rk murray's whether there is a replacement who could serve at the position. host: richard from missouri honor democrats -- on how democrats line. he is a vet. caller: i think they ought to keep the guy in there and the whole system needs to be redone.
from the old days, they need to get modern with this thing and cover everybody, really. host: what is the strongest case you would have for keeping him in the position? caller: well, somebody has got to be heading the thing. who are you going to get? he is a general come he is running troops, use a responsible person. let him fix it. like i say, congress needs to redo the whole deal on veterans pro tonotes at a veteran someplace else to say that a veteran has to go some place else. host: senator gary murray set -- senator hattie murray sent out a tweet as well. host: not calling for his
resignation, but several members of congress have. it includes a link to read if you wish to do so. a new study showing that overall, total fertility rates births per1.86 women, the lowest since 1986. that figure puts the u.s. on the same course as many western european nations and japan, where the birthrate is falling below what the microsoft the replacement rate -- below what demographers call the replacement rate. the u.s. has a total fertility births.2.1 independent line, veteran. caller: i'm pretty sure that shinseki should stay. they just identified this problem and he has not had a chance to work on it. when they talk about the 1700
vets in the v.a., how many of their cases were service-related injuries? the v.a. really handles mostly service-related issues. it is really tough to turn anybody down because you have to determine whether it is and i'm notted, sure how many were service related. some of these things were end-of-life things that were going to happen anyway. givenk we need to consecutive chance and that all the -- i think we need to give shinseki a chance and all the politicians asking for his resignation shows they don't understand the problem-solution thing. all they are going for is kill the messenger, kill the person trying to do something about it. host: do you think it weighs down the efforts to resolve the problem? caller: i think they are making more than what this really is,
as far as the media and everything like this. it is a problem and getting an appointment with the v.a. has always been a little bit of a .roblem ever since the 1970's it is something they needed to work on and i think shinseki has worked on some of that, talking to my other friends who have retired. once you are in the system, it works really well. it is determining whether it is service connected is the longest way that they had -- longes t wait that they have. someone who develops cancer or a life ending disease at the end, they want to get help and it is good to ask the v.a. maybe because of the agent orange thing. it is a good thing. republic" arizona clearly making the story of the release of the information the top of their pages. you see the pictures of jeff flake and john mccain talking
about this issue. "wait time logs altered." again, part of a larger narrative, the release of this report yesterday by the inspector general's office, and specifically we have shown you tweets throughout the morning of reaction from members of congress. some say that he should stay, some say he should go. host: let's hear from sue, columbus, ohio, democrats line. anler: i am the mother of active-duty murray and public health nurse for 42 years. i think the secretary should
stay. i haven't had an opportunity to read the report that my experience with military health care has been excellent and my colleagues in the v.a. system feel that the quality of care has really increased over the last decades. people forget that it was the reason we have a surge of veterans needing help care is because of the war that bush started with a bogus rationale of weapons of mass instruction. and also, the congress, , any kindly the house people, toor wealthy make a budget that is to pull for the v.a. -- budget that is doable for the v.a. peoplezed health care, have to we frequently first specialized services.
i think the reaction is strictly for political reasons. florida, republican line, veteran. caller: good morning, sir. the v.a. crisis is a sad situation. i'm a veteran myself, and the lying, cheating, and mismanagement is not acceptable from a leader and a high position as such. he needs to be relieved of his responsibilities, sir. thank you very much. are just somehose of the box this morning. if you want to participate in our facebook page, not only can you leave a statement or comment, but you can participate in a poll as well. fashion to the same way as the question we are asking you this morning. host: as far as those weighing in with yes, 42 people. people.
you can leave a statement and participate in that poll or you can tweet us your thoughts. host: off of twitter host: up next, nashville, tennessee, independent line. caller: i agree with the previous tweet. givee leave shinseki in, him a chance. but if you are to replace them, please give mcchrystal a chance. he has proposed in his latest book national service not only in the military, but also in education and health care. i would propose to go further. return to civics, include
agriculture and the environment. it is shameful, the childhood poverty. we need to feed the children in order to get them educated. thank you for taking my call. host: tony from amarillo, texas, democrats line. caller: hello, i just don't shinseki's resignation -- i think that they andt keep cutting funding then asked the man to resign. if they are going to complain about the whole situation, let them fund it. host: sentra -- caller: provide the funding there and then let the man do his job. host: there was a hearing late last night taking a look at the ig report, and one of the events from that was from a republican
representative from colorado. here is some of his comments from yesterday. [video clip] >> before i question the witnesses, i must first call for the resignation of secretary shinseki. i was waiting for information to be gathered to make my judgment and now it is in. based on the interim inspector general report that came out today, our veterans in phoenix and maybe other cities have not been treated properly. reviewport states, "our at a number of growing v.a. medical facilities have concludd that inappropriate practices are systemic throughout vha. the tragic possibility that veterans who have died on the waiting list have died because of the waiting list is still open. the oig will hopefully answer this in their final report, although not in his interim report."
even if the secretary did not know in advance of these believengs, and i don't he did, these violations should not have happened on his watch. i believe that secretary while ons service active duty was honorable, but success in the military does not automatically translate into success in the policy and political realms. a reporter for "military times" has sent out a tweet. host: there is a link to more information about leo shane, reporting for the "military times." we are asking if secretary shinseki should stay or be removed. palm desert, california, republican line. caller: hello. my mother was a vietnam v -- my brother was a vietnam vet who
had agent orange, and while he was in the hospital in , in theon, spokane area he -- ther term, doctors treating agent orange were washed out, for the most part. when my sister complained to her congressman in arizona, my brother said, "please, don't call them again, because they're hassling me over it." the care act then was not good. my brother was rushed to a hospital from his home in a life or death situation by helicopter and he had to pay for the helicopter $3000. ndra, as far as leadership is concerned, what should happen with the secretary of veterans affairs? caller: i think he should stay. it is not him, it is the whole
system and it has been going on for a very long time and he is probably doing the best he can with limited resources. host: do you think he can change the situation? caller: i think with congress getting on the ball and the king for solutions -- looking for solutions -- agent orange is not even been declared a disease. somebody who can get a lawyer support. host: the v.a. report that we have been referencing, here are some of the highlights courtesy of "the washington post," saying it was the phoenix va hospital placing 1700 veterans on , and that way lists hi "may be the basis for allegations of creating secret witness." studygh records from a showed that the average wait time for her first appointment
at the phoenix clinic a bit it be 26 days, the average was 115 days. inappropriate practices were systemic, and the inspector general has not determined whether the delays or scheduling practices lead to patient deaths. david up next from ohio, democrats line. caller: how are you doing today? host: fine, thank you. what are your thoughts on the leadership -- caller: he should stay, but i just want to make a comment. my son is in the united states army -- host: before you do that, why should he stay? caller: well, like everyone said, no one's gave him a chance. i'll tell you now that the republicans, they don't give no one chances, heh heh, first of all. secondly, they don't take blame for nothing. this shouldn't even be in the news.
the reason why it is in the news is because of the republicans making it an issue. dot way they don't have to the real job. host: may have caught this at the top of the program, but the story of bills and legislation that have been produced in this congress. do-nothinga congress? well, pretty close." the lowest number of legislative proposals since the clinton administration. "it is the largest drop between congress between the period from 1995, when republicans overturned decades of democratic rule in the house. the number who have produced 5 or fewer pieces of legislation has jumped to 81%."
ron from new jersey, republican line. caller: yeah, how are you doing? it doesn't really matter if you are service related or not. as long as you are a veteran you should be able to go to any veteran hospital. these veteran hospitals are not set up like real hospitals also why are they sending people all over the place for procedures, number one? why does the veterans administration have 700 lawyers, more than any other hospital? it is like they are try to ride roughshod over certain cases and deny until you die, everybody is right, this stuff has been going on for a long time -- host: what about leadership? caller: i think that shinseki should stay, because somebody has to stay and straighten this stuff out, and like everybody is saying and it is not his fault. it goes into the trenches. it took me a month just to get an id card, ok?
i had to drive over to a philly facility, and they kept saying, "the camera is broken," this thing, and i said "don't you have any it guys?" "no, it's our budget." i'm a homeless come out of work veteran, and i said "hire me." texas, hello. caller: i think shinseki should stay. i got out of the vietnam war in 1969. the government did not organize post-traumatic stress until 1999. i was exposed to agent orange about ptsd, and i did not get my .00% disability until 2008 the problem is not shinseki's problem -- host: if he is leadership why is
it not his problem? caller: he can be the leader but he can only do what the house of representatives tomorrow just the money, what they do -- house of representatives, which is the money, what they do. we have an outpatient clinic in austin and it is top-of-the-line but you know, it only has one mri. they asked of the republicans for 3 and they gave it one, and it is a bus to service 30,000 people in austin. to service 30,000 people in austin. host: bloomington, indiana, your next. miles on our line for veterans. caller: thank you, and good money, c-span. i think general shinseki should stay on. i am an iraqi war veteran and i've been in the v.a. system for a long time. i have seen the improvements firsthand. i just had an operation and it went very well and they treated
me very well. i don't know where else you can get that kind of health care. specifically say why the general should stay. caller: i have just witnessed the improvements he has made in the short time he has been here. the va has made a real effort to address these issues, and like a lot of the callers have said, this has been going on for a long time and it is a funny thing and the fault lies with congress, not the president. it is a knee-jerk reaction to get general shinseki based on this. these things have been happening for a while and it is time to fix it. host: annie from ohio, independent line. should hi, i think he stay until the magnitude of the situation is gruesomely does not adjusted to resign and get a full pension -- magnitude of the heuation is repaired so that
does not just get to resign and get a full pension. host: thank you for your comment. we go to the house of representatives. they are about to gavel in. another addition at 7:00 tomorrow. we will see you then. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., may 29, 2014. i hereby appoint the honorable kerry l. bentivolio to act as speaker pro tempore on this day . signed, john a. bane -- boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 7, 2014, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip but in to five minutes, no event shall