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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 20, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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for example, we have been in contact with nigerian government to organize a sort of capacity building workshop -- january next year. i will also consider what we can do with pakistan and other countries. >> thank you, mr. secretary-general. as i'm sure you know, there have been some intensive meetings going on in the past few days on the israeli-palestinian conflict and the possibilities of trying to get some action here at the united nations. what would you like to see come out of the security council. what kind of a resolution? >> i understand that active discussions are taking place on the issue between members of the security council and relevant
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stakeholders. this is ultimately a matter for security council to decide. that being said, i would certainly welcome the council's engagement and guidance to advance the middle east peace process. i have been personally meeting and engaging with the leaders of palestine and israel and leaders in the region and global leadership as a member of the quartet and as the secretary-general of the united nations. we are strongly urging again that the israelis and palestinians, the leadership, they should sit down together and resolve all this. the security council can take their actions, but it is ultimately up to two parties,
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two leaders, so that they can discuss all the pending issues. i believe that they have identified all the issues. they know what are the fundamental issues to resolve. i have been urging, and i'm as urging again, that those two leaders should discuss this matter so they can realise a two-state solution, two-state vision where israeli and palestinian people can live side by side in peace and security. this is the two-state vision. and i hope that we will see such peace and stability will come to their people in the new year.
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>> just as a quick follow-up, you mentioned the quartet. it seems to many of -- many people and many observers that the quartet has really failed to produce any significant progress. would -- >> while principal-level quartet has not been taking place for some time, the envoys have been continuously meeting among themselves and to discuss and provide the recommendations for is provide the recommendations for the principal leaders to engage with concerned parties. >> thanks. on -- the u.s. recently released its report on torture over the last 11 years or 12, 13 years. and the high commissioner for human rights condemned that. what lessons do you think should be taken away from this scandal,
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if we can call it that, and particularly in terms of not just the torture or enhanced interrogation techniques that were used but also countries cooperating with secret detention centres and things like that? >> the release of the torture report by the u.s. senate shows that torture is still taking place in many parts of the world, around the world. as you know there are 156 countries who have joined this convention against torture. it is a stark reminder that we still need to do much more to stamp out torture practices everywhere. as i have often said, the prohibition of torture is an absolute principle. there are no situations where it
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should be used, under any circumstances. the release of this report is to be commended. only by shining light on what happens in the dark area, i think, we can stop this torture. this is one of the important principles to promote human dignity and to protect the human right. now, this has started a conversation, not only in the united states and around the world, and i am urging that all the countries and particularly political leaders and security-related officials to do their utmost efforts to protect the human rights and human dignity. now, as this report has been
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released, this should be the start of a discussion on how the international community can completely stamp out this torture practice. >> i have two questions. one is about your trip to ghana. in addition of the fact that you wanted to see the response on the ground yourself, do you have any specific good news to share with the people on the ground who are looking for one thing, which is vaccine or medicine. and my second question is in french, if you don't mind: l'assemblee generale vient de lancer officiellement la decennie des personnes d'ascendance africaine. comment est-ce que vous entrevoyez ces dix prochaines annees et qu'est ce qui a votre avis pourrait changer dans les relations, a la fois du cote des personnes d'ascendance africaine et des auteurs de la traite transatlantique?
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>> your first question, as i have said already, the main purpose of my visit is evident and clear, that i just wanted to demonstrate my strong solidarity on behalf of the united nations, on behalf of whole international community. the people have been dying without much help. therefore, that is why united nations really mobilized in an unprecedented way the massive, massive support, financially and logistically providing all what we can do to treat them. as you know, we have stated our five principles, five proposals
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in establishing unmeer. first, to stop this ebola virus. second, take all necessary measures to provide necessary essential services. and preserve stability in the country, politically and economically, and prevent further outbreaks of this ebola. so, all these proposals and goals are being met. where our strategy has been properly placed, i think we are seeing -- we have been seeing the result. this curve is now bending, but there's no time to be complacent. we have to make sure that the last patient, last case should be cured and treated.
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that's our goal. that's why i'm going there. i'm going to meet all the leaders, five presidents of five countries, and i'm going to meet our staff of unmeer in all these five places. i will try to visit some facilities provided by key countries like united states, united kingdom, french and some other places, local treatment centres, and i will also meet our un staff to share my strong support. then i'll discuss further with the member states what needs to be done. as i said, still we are in need of much more support and logistical and financial support. the speed of this virus is, in a sense, outpacing what international community has been doing.
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this is my main purpose. i will have opportunity of meeting you upon my return. i'll just brief you what i have seen, what international community will need to do more. a votre question, en francais, merci de votre question en francais. a travers le monde, les personnes d'ascendance africaine continuent de faire face a des inegalites en raison de l'heritage de l'esclavage et du colonialisme. elles sont souvent parmi les plus pauvres et les plus marginalisees. elles font face a la discrimination et nous devons faire plus pour leur garantir un traitement equitable, notamment en matiere de justice et de maintien de l'ordre.
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cette decennie est l'occasion de lancer des actions communes et concertees. j'espere que dans dix ans, leur situation se sera grandement amelioree a travers le monde. je compte sur l'engagement de tous, y compris les etats membres, pour faire la difference par des initiatives concretes. vous pouvez me compter en tant que secretaire general, je vais travailler etroitement avec les etats membres en particulier l'union africaine et les pays d'ascendance africaine. merci. >> thank you.
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thank you, mr. secretary-general. the palestinian people have been subjected to the most brutal occupation for 47 years. occupation is illegal, as you know, and you keep saying and you're proud to be the custodian of the un security council resolutions and those of the general assembly. there are many security -- general assembly resolution mandates of people who are under occupation to resist occupation. their land has been confiscated -- my question is, do you agree, sir, that it's time now to speak out for a real contiguent and independent palestinian state and if everything fails in the security council, do you also agree that the palestinian people have the right to resist occupation? >> as you said, there are numerous general assembly resolutions and security council resolutions.
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it's up to the member states. responsibility should rest with the member states to implement and abide by these resolutions, particularly when the security council resolutions are binding ones. unfortunately, because of lack of political will of concerned parties, palestinian people have not been able to enjoy what they should enjoy, as a human being. that's why negotiation is important. but there seems to be, still, lack of political will to sit down together and there's a lag of political atmosphere which are conducive to the resumption
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of dialogue. therefore, it is absolutely necessary that the parties concerned should take very careful and sincere positions to create the certain political atmosphere and refrain from taking unilateral actions. of course, this occupation is illegal. it has been clearly defined by the united nations resolutions, by the security council. therefore, it is -- what is more important is that while international community are now ready to support their cause, it's after all the two parties directly concerned who have to sit down and be ready to engage in dialogue. i have been meeting the prime minister [benjamin] netanyahu and his predecessors and i have been meeting president [mahmoud] abbas numerous times; i have been repeating them.
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as a neighbouring -- as neighbours, they have no other alternatives but to leave in peace and security and harmoniously. they cannot have any options to change their neighbours. they have to live together. that's their destiny. >> thank you. in light of the lessons that the international community has learned from the ebola outbreak, i wonder if you can comment on whether and how the world health organization can be reformed to respond more quickly, more
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aggressively, for the next outbreak. >> this is a question which member state will have to discuss among the members. who is one of the specialized agencies and it has its own membership. they have their own way of addressing the issues, how they can reform and how they can change their systems to be more effective and efficient. i am aware of that kind of a sentiment raised in the wake of ebola outbreak. i hope the member states will discuss this matter. as secretary-general, i am always ready to work very closely with specialized agencies, particularly who. thank you very much. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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clicks on tomorrow's "newsmakers come code georgia congressman tom price is our guest -- "> on tomorrow's "newsmakers, georgia congressman tom price is our guest. a the american people made decision and they said the government is too large, too expensive, and too prescriptive in all sorts of areas in our society. senate isit so the now 54% republican and the house of representatives has the largest republican majority
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since 19 28. republicans now control 62% of country,nors in this and if you draw it out even further at the state legislature level, it is almost 70% of the state legislature now controlled by five republicans. that same message we ought to be listening to as a nation -- we hope we can bring some of our democratic colleagues along and say this is an imperative time for the country to solve the challenges we face. i think the nation has been really frustrated that we have not done our job. >> i think the real question is ted cruz along? >> every single member is going to have an opportunity to have input on the budget, to talk to our colleagues about what they believe ought to be the solution that we bring forward.
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it's that kind of open process, deliberative process, logical process, ambitious process that allow individuals to say i know it cannot be everything i wanted to be, but i had an opportunity to affect the outcome and therefore got support. >> you can watch the entire interview with representative tom price tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. here on c-span. >> this month is the 10th anniversary of our prime time program q&a. we are highlighting authors, historians, journalists, filmmakers, and leading public policy makers. from 2005, kenneth feinberg's interview on the september 11 victims compensation fund. from 2007, robert novak on 50 years of reporting in
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washington. higher08, the value of education in america. and from 2009, conservative commentator essie tub. sign 10, a decade of compelling conversations come at december 22 through 26th on c-span. >> next, a discussion of foreign policy. speakers include two officials from the reagan and george w. bush administrations. they look at american relations in the world, the conflict at afghanistan, and of americanre policy in the world. >> we believe this will be a lively discussion on future
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directions for u.s. foreign policy. it is an interesting time right .ow the world is in a state that many are describing as chaotic. it is hard to see how to balance threats from terrorists and ungoverned spaces and large refugee flows to the trajectory being chosen by big powers like russia and rising powers like china that might be looking to change or offend the international order. many of us in washington think -- up and -- upend the international order. many of us in washington think tanks struggle with these issues every day. today we are fortunate to have a unique cross spectrum of views. right now, the left and right are divided not only left and right but within the left and within the right on how america might think about its role in the world in the coming 10, 15, 20 years.
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we are lucky to have people with us your spokesman from all of these different vantage points. -- who are spokesman from all of these different vantage points. this of them was inspired by an article in american prospect. the article looked at realism old and new. of whether the idea the obama administration has sort of been tugged between two different views of america's role in the world, one being the one rooted in american aadership and america having unique role in leading in the world stage. the other being a more pragmatic look at what america's power and to affect great change. , in conversation with
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jim, that it would be a good time to bring in not only his voice but the voice of others who have been writing recently on these issues. all of you know jim well. he is one of the greatest commentators and observers of foreign policy over the last 30 years. books areecent well-known by anyone who looks at american foreign policy and tries to figure out how decisions are made and how we choose areas courses of action. though along with jim today, we are going to have chris preble, vice president at cato for defensive foreign policy studies. he is the author of several books. chris is a well-known and thoughtful critic of american overextension and american interventionism overseas. he often suggests we should focus on truly vital national security interests, that we often exaggerate threats and
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often find ourselves squandering precious resources in efforts around the world that are not only unwise but also unnecessary and very costly to the united states. he's also joined by kim holmes, the distinguished fellow at heritage, longtime vice president and really one of the pillars of heritage's foreign policy and defense programs. kim has recently authored a four-part series in "foreign policy" magazine, saying america needs a new foreign policy for 2016. he talks about a more active american role in the world, stepping away from any notion of retrenchment, and committing the resources that would be necessary for a robust american leadership and for intervention
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in world affairs in order to advance american interests. brian cotules is a senior fellow here. he is the author of "the prosperity agenda" and runs our mideast program but thinks broadly about how america functions on the global stage. he argued against disengagement in a recent article in the "journal of democracy." so we look forward to a very robust discussion today. the panel is going to be moderated by our own larry korb, our senior fellow and former assistant secretary of defense who needs no introduction and who is a frequent and prolific contributor on the debate. i'm really pleased that all of you all are here today, to have what i think will be the first of many debates on the u.s. role in the world, as we start entering a new political season. we're really thrilled that all of these very thoughtful leaders in national security and defense
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and foreign policy have joined us. please welcome our guests. thank you. [applause] >> let me join in welcoming you all here today, which given the folks that we have, it's going to be, i think, a very vigorous, and enlightening debate, given all the challenges that the that the country is facing right now. this event was a result of jim's recent article. by the way, they are out there, copies of the articles that all these people have written.
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and jim, again, you are the one who started this debate, so we're going to let you go first and tell us about the realism, old and new. >> all right. thank you, larry. and i'm glad to be here. i've spent most of my life as a journalist, a writer. i consider myself on foreign policy mostly a critic. i've sometimes told conservative audiences you would not want to hear my views on health care or on taxes. but my role in foreign policy is simply to question assumptions that take hold, most notably on the idea that trade and investment would lead to political liberalization in china. in this piece, i focus on the
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current fixation with calling the united states the indispensable nation. it's a phrase that goes back to the 1990's, usually madeleine albright is given credit for it, although it really started with bill clinton and some of his aides in 1996. and it's not a uniquely democratic -- it's sort of a democratic phrase, but essentially the same idea comes up in the republican incantations of american
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leadership in the world. what i want to do is question whether that's a viable phrase or whether it actually gets in the way of american policy or even american power in the world. the place i want to start is with a disagreement i noticed between the clintons, bill and hillary, or if you look at it differently, between the public and the private bill clinton, because after bill clinton left office, he at one point told his friend, who wrote about it, strobe talbot, who was deputy secretary of state, that he really thought his job as president was to build the world for our grandchildren to live in where america was no longer the sole superpower, for a time when we would have to share the
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stage. and talbot said, gee, how come you never said that when you were president? and clinton, bill, told him, um, that's why you're a wonk and i was president of the united states, because if i go around talking about a time when america is not going to be the top dog in the world, i'd be ridden out of town on a rail. nevertheless, his own administration's phrase "indispensable nation" lives on as strongly as ever. and what i want to ask really is, do we really play that role today? can we play that role for the foreseeable future? and should we? and my answer to all of those questions really is no. do we play that role? yes. but not always.
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we tend to not notice when we're not playing that role. and the example i would use is ukraine where it looks from over here, where this is a cold war-style dispute between american power and russian power, if you get to europe or you actually look at what's going on, you see that the dominant -- the interlocuter with russia and the country that really counts is germany and angela merkel. and sometimes people think here that she's too accommodating. germany has stepped up the sanctions. their own sanctions, slowly. when they do, putin notices. a we can't do this on our own,
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because actually our trade with russia is much less than germany's. i'm not saying that's a bad thing, but the truth is germany is has much more influence with russia than we do. and that gets to the question of whether we alone are as powerful as we are working with allies. so we can talk about, you know, stepping up sanctions against russia. but in fact we work with germany. and the larger point is that our alliances are the basis of our power, that if we get out too far -- and that's true in dealing with russia, true in dealing with china as well -- if we get out too far in front of our allies, then it weakens our power. and we have had to learn some the hard way, the realities after the end of the cold war. i'm sure that many people in this room think that the
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intervention in iraq was a disaster, and it was. but what you don't see is that one of the disasters was a diplomatic one, because i was covering the bush administration, preparing to write about it in the run up to the war, and i can tell you that they sincerely believed what i call the leadership hypothesis, that if the united states took certain positions at the u.n. and elsewhere, ultimately, the allies, like the french and the germans and the british, would follow. and they honestly believed that. and they were wrong. they were spectacularly wrong, because they didn't quite analyze the fact that after the end of the cold war, the allies were less dependent on us than they were before 1989. the other problem with "indispensable nation" is the more we run around and tell everyone that, the less other countries are willing to do on their own, because the united states is taking care of it. and the more they get a little bit offended. so in short, when bob, the editor of the american prospect, just called me with a random question, would i like to write a piece on what a policy of realism means today, and i said sure, but i thought that progressives sometimes don't quite understand what realism is, since the end of the cold war, younger progressives have taken realism to mean anti-interventionism, because that's what it meant at the time in 2002.
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but in fact, realism has a much broader history of believing in simply balance of power politics, on power diplomacy, at the expense of values. and those were views that i thought that progressives should not buy into. but in thinking about it, i thought that realism in a new way would be a realistic view of an america which is not always going to be the world hedgemon. finally, i do think that on this, for all of the criticism that he gets, that obama has been ahead of his time. i think that he has recognized and will be recognized in history as having tried, whether it succeeds or not, in moving towards a more modest and therefore realistic view of america's future role in the world.
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and i'm sure that i will be criticized by some of my colleagues, but the example i would use is libya, where in describing -- first of all, the intervention in libya came about for two reasons. one is the one that most of you read about, that there was a strong desire for humanitarian intervention and that many people in the administration believed it. the second strand was that the british and the french, particularly the french, were coming to the united states. they were more concerned with libya than the united states was. and they were saying things like, you know, we are helping
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you all over the world, translate afghanistan and troops, and we would like you to help us out on this one. and in that context, the fact that obama allowed the french and the british to have the lead out front there and to show their sum of the financial burden, and they described that as leading from behind, i have yet to understand what the problem was with leading from behind. and the answer to me is that it touched this nerve that we have to be, as the united states, what we were in 1946 or 1956 and in 1990 and '91, after the collapse of the soviet union, and and i think that episode and the reaction to "leading from behind" shows me that we have not yet begun to move off from this fixation that we have and have to be always in the front. thank you. >> thank you very much, jim. in addition to writing this article and book, jim was -- worked for 20 years for the "l.a. times," covered things all over the world and really knows an awful lot about china. he was one of the first reporters we had out there.
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chris prebble, who in addition to being at cato, is a former naval officer. and chris, i was looking at your biography. you came in, soviet union collapsed. we won the gulf war. then you're able to get out. >> they gave out certificates from everyone who served in the cold war, and that's one of my proudest certificates. chock one up for the good guys. i will admit, i'm really thrilled to be here. partly because larry's invitation prompted me to read jim's article for the first time. it had been discussed but i
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hadn't had a chance to read it. so i read it last week. i read it again. my favorite part, by far, is the kind of bottom line, which is this conceit that we are the indispensable nation. he writes it has become downright, well, unrealistic. and even before i got to that line, i started reading the article. and that was the word, unrealistic, that sort of struck out in my heads. it is not unrealistic, in the sense of kind of alice through the looking glass. this is more like a virtual reality. people inside of washington believe their world view is an accurate one. the problem is, and i think kind of the fundamental disconnect, the reason why the current grand strategy is not realistic, is
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because it is so disconnected from the view of reality of people outside of washington. there are so many different polls that show this. but interestingly, i think that a lot of astute observers of u.s. foreign policy have known about this for some time. one of my favorite lines is from a book that didn't get as much attention as it should have, a book called "america at the crossroads." mostly people focused on the fact that this was a neoconservative criticizing neoconservatives on iraq. he sees, it rests on a belief in american exceptionalism that most nonamericans simply find not credible. the idea that the united states behaves disinterestedly in the world stage is not woodly believed, because it is for the most part not true. that most non-americans find non-credible. the idea that the united states behaves disinterestedly in the world state is not widely believed because it is, for the most part, not true and indeed could not be true if they fulfill their responsibility. a core element, it was hard to sustain the belief over time. both for the attitudes here in the united states but also abroad. other was a prediction that
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american foreign-policy begins at home. he predicted that american's role in foreign-policy was if americans not scrutinizing it too closely. we all know what happened in 2005 and 2006. the financial crisis in 2008 has really caused a lot of people to revisit the fundamental propositions of the u.s. foreign-policy. my modest case today is the one approach is to continue to count on this disconnect between the people and the elite. it is not a new phenomenon and frankly it hasn't really mattered it plays out that way and a minute. i think that is a reasonable approach. there is a couple different ways this manifests itself. during the cold war, this presumption of course, it was a bipartisan problem. this is how vital it is. and to not resort to the sort of hyperbole that characterizes u.s. foreign-policy.
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this is from dean acheson's book. i urge people to make a case honestly for american hegemony. i will remind everyone, again, this is from dean acheson's book. when they were making the case for the truman doctrine. senator vandenberg defies that dean acheson scare the hell out of people, and he said i will paint a picture clearer than the truth. in long history of american foreign-policy, speaking in a way that it doesn't expect them to respond well enough or urgently enough unless things are painted to them clearer than the truth. let me lay out three aspects that will bring the american people into the discussion. first of all, is the argument about allies. what is the relationship with our allies?
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what are they purporting to do? are our allies's interests synonymous with what we do? what do they actually do? american exceptionalism, at some level, depends on them being synonymous. can we make the case for hegemonic grand strategy? terrorism is not an existential threat. iran's military spending is 1/77th of the united states.
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in his book, he argued that iran is romania, not germany if this was the 1940's. and u.s. military hegemony and economic leadership around the world. i think there has been a long-standing belief that there are clear economic benefits down to the united states and the american people for playing the role that we do, and i think there is really good research that calls that in the question. point to some of the work that sandra's hair -- that dan dresner has done. i will leave those three on the table and i'm sure we will have a lot of time to discuss.
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>> in addition to this article that is out there about hillary, isis, he has written a terrific book called "the power problem: how american military dominance makes us less safe, prosperous, and free." when you think of heritage, you think of kim. i went back and checked 30 years on and off. he and i were on a panel together in the early days of the bush administration. how come you're not in government? the secretary of state for international organizations, what do you think in terms of what you have heard so far? >> i am delighted to be here with regards to distinguished panelists. i think of was thinking back on the days in the reagan years and the first bush administration. there was a lot more interaction between people who call themselves liberals and conservatives back in those days. we spent a lot of times each in
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our own bubbles. i do that myself and i suspect you all do that as well. i have a feeling there is a yearning that we want to move beyond that. i suspect we want to learn what we have in common more than what divides us. even though i do disagree, we will try to and on something that's a bit more positive.
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the year after barack obama took office, i wrote an op-ed called "the new liberal realism." the alliance forming in the wake of the controversies of the iraq war that did not have much to do with one another. at least not that they did with president obama's foreign policy. and i said at the time what was driving president obama was less realism as it was commonly understood as a doctrine. but it was more in a reaction to the perception that the iraq war was a disaster. that we were over extended. it was time to try the opposite. it ended up being very much along the lines of whether you intervene or don't intervene with military forces and that became the driving controversy. and, i think we are still in that, and i think that there are some faultlines in that alliance. i think it has something to do with the fact that many of the objectives and policies that president obama tried to do,
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which were in line with the view of the world, they have been tried and they are not working very well. the president tried to reset relations with russia which he thought was based on the fact that george w. bush had been too harsh against the russians. forgetting the fact that the reason we had 2008 relations with russia is because of russia's intervention with georgia. before that, president bush and may thatcher -- maggie thatcher looked in putin's eye and thought they could work with him. after georgia, he was disappointed and there was a pulling back. i think president obama over interpreted that, being too much of a cowboy and apply that to the policies of russia and it didn't work. in some ways, we did farm out foreign policies to the european union.
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we try to get closer to the european union. it actually sparked russia over the ukraine. we did see our national interest involved in that particular intervention. they also had commercial and economic reasons. the same thing happened in libya. and now libya is in chaos. our intervention there was not followed up on. and it was a disaster. on this whole question of the
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indispensable nation, those of us that work in foreign-policy. in some ways, we over interpret them. they become almost like buzz words. so sometimes, the indispensable nation is used interchangeably with hegemony or used interchangeably with american leadership. and each one of us here probably has a very different definition of what each one of those things means. for example, i'm pretty pragmatic about whether america is dispensable or not.
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the question is, what other nation could perform the task that we perform in the world but us? just as a matter of fact, we are indispensable. there is an overaggressive foreign-policy where we would be hegemonic and all these other things. i think that sometimes the example of the iraq war with respect to germany and france not following the iraq war is used as a case example of this. i was at the state department. at the time, i look at the u.n. issue and i do remember that yes, germany and france had their own particular reasons not to want to support the iraq war. but i also remember going to
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moscow at the time and talking to the russian foreign ministry, they have their own reasons at that particular time to do it. and so did germany and france. whether or not we have a coalition or an alliance system, in fact, we have 37 allied countries in iraq with 150,000 ground troops. ground troops. which is not something anywhere close in the coalition against isis. i don't think it should be dismissed out of hand. the last point i will make is it's not just the issue on russia. i think the president pulled out of iraq faster than his military advisers wanted to. as a result, he's been forced back under dramatically worse circumstances had he stayed. and yet, as i show in my articles by every objective
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standard it's actually greater and worse than it was six years ago. many of our allies are complaining because they don't have the certainty of knowing what u.s. policy is. it is also a component of leadership. been straightened consistent, not just going out and bossing them around and telling them what to do. playing the traditional role of consulting with them and doing what the united states can do to get things done. i don't believe it's a case of simply bossing our allies around. and we define leadership i going out and telling them what to do. i think it is much more subtle than that.
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that is, we have to figure out where we have a common interest with particular allies and realizing that the allies will change. they have their own particular interests. not just france and germany with respect to iraq but other countries that do very much want the connection with the united states strategically and with nato, because we fear russia. we are not as indispensable as we used to be. i will concede that point. but it doesn't mean we are not indispensable at all i don't mean to suggest that you are suggesting this, i think your analysis is much more subtle. but we have to be aware of any kind of-ism. whether it is realism or any other kind of-ism. and to become something by which we can discuss among ourselves the obama doctrine and the like. but at the end of the day, there there will be so many outline principles of the doctrine that you will not get a lot of guidance. i think it is true of your are a
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conservative realist or a liberal one. >> thank you very much, kim. in addition to his article, he has written a really great book "rebound: getting america back to great." our last speaker has been a bulwark over the last decade. he knows more about the middle east than anyone i've ever met. he's worked there, he's lived there, he speaks arabic. >> i want to thank jim and cam for coming, i hope this discussion brings you into this and we are in a time of transformation when we think about national security strategy. in substance and in terms of politics. and i think we've seen the
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politics quite clear. it's not just what happened last week with the budget and the domestic scene, but if you look at things like syria war vote, the one they had on the non-strike event and the lineup on support for the opposition split within both parties. and i think, in part, we talked to the hill quite a lot, we are in this transformative moment. i have a lot that i agree with in jim's article. the first point i want to make is that i struggle to bit with realism and a realistic term because somebody that has studied international relations. essentially, i agree with your main point as i understand it.
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obama himself as a pragmatist. he is not driven by a particular balance of power theory or liberal internationalism. if you read henry kissinger's new book, he talks about this where there is a delicate balance between the two. the main thing that has driven much of president obama's foreign-policy which i think has been transformative is what is the limiting factor? how do we limit our own engagements? i think we needed to learn from the previous decades. we needed to learn why he brought the combat phase of the the iraq war to an end, or the afghanistan war coming to an end later this year, how much more can we do in terms of expending that? it is a realistic assessment. i don't think obama looks at state actors as a fundamental actor, in and of itself. this second thing i think you
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definitely get right and our analysts need to get in sync with where the country is at, is that obama pragmatically recongizes a rise of the rest. when he was running for president, that was an appeal to say ok. i have no problem with the phraseology leading from behind. there are other ways you can describe it, politically, but i think that getting others to have an interest and recognize that, we will be in trouble. because others, as jim notes in his article, germany has a closer interest in dealing with ukraine. sometimes you overstate the case. i think they understand that they had an interest.
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coming back from jordan in the middle east, i think there is a recognition that they have an interest in the anti-isil coalition.
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which i think we will talk about. and i think finding the right fit in terms of u.s. leadership in countries like israel, they do look to the u.s. to call some plays, but not in the way that we are going to shock and awe the region with our military might and force which i think we tried in the previous decade. i mentioned this already but the third point i would say, the bush administration experienced this as well. and where do we actually use the force directly. one of the things you mentioned in your article was the first two years of the obama administration was more realist. the smart power negotiation effort. if you look at the israel e-palestinian negotiation effort, one would say that was
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not terribly realistic or did not produce the results that they hoped. there was a strand of idealism that goes back. it's hard for us to check these high ideals. but i think the one thing that has changed is how the world is changed, fundamentally. adapted to it has somewhat, and, certainly, your oof the indispensable power network is spot on. i think that is nothing new last few decades -- it is the diffusion of power, which i think we see everyday. talk about this because i think it complicates things and how we talk about diplomacy and foreign-policy. is the arab spring or what we're seeing sort of in the streets most every place these days. i do think -- which leads
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sets of of my last two comments -- those changes are, i think, fundamentally different. technology is actually directly value systems and the odds -- two groups that believe were not existential tthreats, i agree with you, it makes it very hard to sort of it in the space that i think obama has tried to do. that's, again, i think the values that are essentially different from ours. that is what my article is trying to do, if you look at it against this engagement. i do not think the obama administration was actually disengaged. i think it's at the right balance of most issues. in some ways, though, i think that most of the value issues we may this is where disagree -- but having been in the middle east and europe last
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week, yyou see that people still look to america. and you see that it hasn't been damaged by some of our past mistakes. some people look at our mistakes in many ways and look it as an ideal. we often l see that make these unforced errors that hurt ourselves. a will close maybe with little bit of optimism. i think, you know, looking at sort of what america is today, especially when i was in europe and the middle east, it is less pessimistic coming back here, i think, when you look at some of how people look towards our country still as an economic engine. and the fact that we are producing more energy. that we are fully back to where we were, i don't think we need to l be -- we pragmatically recognize that --
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be how real trick will to read adapt to these new trends that we talked about, in able to people being their own of a say in politics -- which makes for a much more sort of dynamic environment than sort of east or cold war politics. a much more -- good forces this administration and the next administration to react much more quickly. >> thank you. we have about 15 minutes until over to you folks who have been very patient. let me get by asking jim. do want to respond to any of the comments made by your colleagues? very quickly, on obama's first two years -- i described as realistic -- i do mean the old-style realism. and i mean that when -- when took office, he cited him as the model.
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then the green movement in iran, which he decided to keep hands off on. i do think that was realism. and you mentioned israel and the palestinians -- that is because that goes back to a debate around the iraq war and before, where the neoconservatives felt -- having felt most of them through the display of that a military power, as they ffar to the gulf war -- fought in the gulf war, opens their beliefs. arafat was scared, and that, therefore, that would work in the iraq war. >> no. >> okay. >> and the other side -- this time of the 2002 iraq they had been arguing in t you cannot get anywhere
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the middle east wwithout something an agreement between israel and the palestinians first. is where that -- and obama takes office very much on their ssite and that. then obama get swept up in the arab spring. you know, my heart was with him. it did not work out well. of really believed in sort the idealist view that democracy was going to sweep the middle east. kim one other response to on europe -- i'm not quite sure -- the eu is the economic agency. obama t -- when you say would have, i mean, delegated it is the opeans -- eu that would have expanded into clean. >> a nato expansion issue, which is what i was saying. >> right, but i'm not sure usa we should've pushed
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eu expansion when the germans and others would not have bought it. >> i give you an example where we sit back and let them take the lead. and it doesn't always work out well. >> chris, let me ask you a question. in your article, you talk about the tension between, particularly, the republicans to save the world, but at home, they don't want the government to do anything. how does that get resolved? >> nats nothing, but less than democrats. i think there's a tension a skepticism of the efficacy of government -- that conservatives and libertarians a strange nd enthusiasm and confidence that government can do lots of great things overseas. to uess the prettiest way say this is folks like me have u.s. doubts about the
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postal service's ability to deliver the mail, yet somehow we believe that the united in tes can deliver democracy a foreign country where we the language, and frankly, are not welcomed. the time, but -- another thing i was struck about was this notion about state failure. and the need to rebuild failed states. well, what is it? if we are going to fix failed averts or at least their decline -- that is nationbuilding. i think that conservatives, many conservatives, and libertarians have some skepticism as to how it works. so i do think there's a tension there. between a kind of confidence in the u.s. government's ability abroad, even hings as they retain their skepticism about doing good things here at home. >> let me ask you -- had a values and ween our
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our interests? for example, we talked a little bit about the arab spring. should we have stayed with mubarak? with ould we have sided those who wanted to, at least in the beginning, move towards democracy? >> well, i hate to say it, but there is no simple answer. there is no doctrine, there is no philosophy that can guide to look ause you have at it at a case-by-case basis. their f our allies have own particular interest that we have to weigh against whatever values we are promoting. to that extent, i do see a need for realistic diffusion of values an interest. but my point that i make in the article is that yyou have to have both. not only because the american people will not support a sort of, you tic, know, imperial reality, because they do believe that america
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does have ideals that they want to live up to. if they want to make the in lives and treasure, they're going to make sure that they are feeling they are doing the right thing. the question is, how does that translate? frankly, our whole middle east policy has never -- never been based mainly on values. it is not only the strategic interest me half an hour access rise l, but now with the of isis and all the other conflicts we have there, we still have to have a systemic interest. i often see -- i served in the bush administration. after the iraq war, the second bush term, he came out the so-called freedom agenda. which all my liberal friends with a passion because they sought as the ideological motivation for the iraq war.
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when, in fact, it had nothing to do with the intervention of the iraq war. they came later and is trying to rationalize after-the-fact to give it some kind of idealistic purpose. >> what liberal friends also said -- and i -- >> i know, but to this day, when you talk about it conservatives making war, is always about democracy at the point of the spear. that is what i mean. the fact is that we will never able to sell a leadership may define ver you us -- to the american people unless there are some values. our alliances are always based on democracies, as well. and so we are partners and of who we are. and that is not a significant. so if it is defining what your fundamental ally structure is,
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they cannot be dismissed as something that is simply being overtaken by events, or because there is a diffusion of power. the real question i have is that i kind of agree with much comments you are making, but the question is, what do you do about it? your response to diffusing the power? do you pull back in the defense budget because you don't think you need to use it? what does that mean about your trade policy in asia? do you let the chinese take because we no longer eepic adventures we had there before? if we let our allies in europe and the middle east sort of take the lead, that means they're going to be asserting their own national interest in some cases. what happened s in libya -- but we end up start following their own parochial interests and calling it leadership. and that is a worry i have. >> brian, let me ask you a comes up a lot
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about the whole responsibility to protect. do think that should be a good, guiding principle? should not? i mean, president clinton said his biggest regret was not doing anything about rwanda. should we have? of well, it should be part the debate, but one aspect people often forget is what you can do realistically and practically. what can be done. and that is one thing that talking me -- we were about it -- a profile of power in the. there's an interesting line where he was asked about libya versus syria. why libya and that syria? how i understood it -- it is because we could. be a pathway toward accepting that something could be done, where our would actually lead to fewer lives being lost, as opposed to more. and i think it is a serious analytical debate today -- to this day -- on syria.
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and i think this is why the obama administration is stuck, it is paralyzed. i think there's a stranded side own head that says we cannot overlook, sort of, the stacks of tens of thousands has done and what he to people. but then there's also the call d of, if you want to it, the realism -- the realists who say they want to end the conflict. so i think that ideal is always out there. sadly, it has only been applied where we could. practical at situation is real. if i could respond to said hing that kim just is almost think it question -- whether barack decided mubarak should go or not. the egyptian people, with its uprising, decided he should go.
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i feel like it connects with what jim was trying to say in his article. we were somewhat of a bystander in that. our statements mattered quite a and what strikes me is that you look at the counterrevolution -- again, with great popular support. to a large extent, the u.s. has been sort of on the sidelines and letting things play out. i think my worry, moving forward in a place like egypt these other tough cases, is that if you don't still have that are struggling of blending real interests and how you values of actually -- the more the ordinary egyptians are being the tens of il by thousands, i just don't think it would work in this day and age. it may actually lead to a wider explosion. you hat is what i think is, know, those tough test cases
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moving beyond the sort of and realistic foreign policy. that is what i think the rubber hits the road. and for the most part, the obama administration has been taken a step back on these issues. >> glad. >> what about iran, for example? apply that to iran' i would do think more if i were in the obama administration highlighting the human rights abuse. i wouldn't scuttle the attempt at diplomacy. unfortunately, i think some oof -- well, some ve camps, because there is bipartisan support. but i would continue to have this on the agenda, whether -- the basic human rights. and highlighting it. and i think president obama has done it from time to time, but i would not turn away from our values.
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that is where we may have some disagreements, but again, i don't think we should invade countries and impose that sort of democracy and iran. think it would be great to have president obama and senior officials talk more about it. in terms of what i was saying about the changes. >> do want to say something? >> i would like to get to the audience, and then you can make these points as we go. when i call on you, if you would stand up and wait for the microphone. but tell us who you are and if you are with an organization. >> i am brooks yager. in the bush administration, and later as the deputy secretary for energy environment. so my interest is more on the of foreign al side policy, but i -- i guess,
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for ecting and being 65 just the second, i do not find that the debate between the idealist and the realists is very helpful. have seen, over -- since the kennedy administration -- is the failure of two systems. first, liberal interventionism. which failed miserably in vietnam. then republican interventionism, which was disastrous in chile. seems to me that i would like to hear more reflection from the panel -- i loved and yone's comments, particularly chris preble's actually -- >> okay, please get to the point here. >> what is the real problem we are facing? is the real challenge the evolution of democracy in places like china'
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is the problem a resurgence of china? what is the landscape we're trying to play into when we are more g we need to be realistic or less realistic? >> thank you, sir. anybody want to comment first? jim, why don't you -- -- maybe this is stating the obvious, but the landscape to me is divided in which there -- contentious powers russia and china, specifically -- and then a broad series of transnational threats. that those blem is two -- you know, in a way, russia and china are similar problems. we could all come up with lots
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of differences, but -- and the transnational threats are similar problems. and we have to cope with both. obvious, in military terms, of course, are vastly different military problems. we cannot give up but we want with major powers militarily. dealing a hard time with both, particularly the transnational threats. >> sure. i like the way he frames that -- the two types of interventionism. there is hat, for me, an interventionist biased, not just on foreign policy issues, range of and policy issues. in part because policies have a lot of unintended consequences. foreign-policy e
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around, i believe the united states is secure. of security amount that our ancestors would envy; even a re, there is higher bar, for me, a broad. it doesn't mean never, but it means rare. must we -- united states -- be the intervener? do we assume that, if an outsider from is needed, do we need to be involved? the answer is no. the problem, however -- and of my book -- tle the problem is that because we have sheltered our allies for so many years, they -- they agreed to let us defend them, and we do. not be surprised
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power hey do not have the to carry out. have to be honest with one another in this people and the american that the purpose of american policy has been to discourage from developing their own capabilities. i said, yes, i tend to believe a good idea, too. but i do not believe it is a good idea forever. somewhere along the line, i countries to have have capabilities and didn't require the united states. >> yes, that last point, i couldn't agree with more. the fact is that we do want our allies to do more, but we don't necessarily have to do less. because that is a bargain that often doesn't work. if you go to our allies and say, well, we want you to do more. uk more of a burden.
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they almost always come back and say, okay, we're going to do like you are. answer your question -- what worries me the most is that there's all of this diffusion of power. there's all this uncertainty in the world. there is the rising -- you know, china and russia. we all know what they are. but it is a very confusing landscape. the thing that concerns me the most is that because of our political and ideological debates, mainly because of the bitterness that over the in the debate iraq war, is that we are going to be making some serious mistakes. because we have a tendency, as country, to overlearned -- or sometimes learn the wrong lessons -- when we make a mistake. 1970's, we am in
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pulled back and we had the chaos in the 1970's. then we learned from that lesson from reagan that we need to be very strong. then we do the gulf war, and it is like a cakewalk. it was very easy. drive conclusion from that; therefore, we can use military power in the middle east. . and so we do the iraq war that the iraq war turned out to be the way we don't want to be comes what we do? we do the exact opposite -- we disengage and pull back. the mistake, i think, of pulling back military interventionism. then at the same thing. am probably just as pragmatic and reluctant as you might be to use military force in this environment. the i do not draw
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conclusion from that we should be entrenching of power across the board. we should not be trying to engage diplomatically in asia. showing up in be our ings aand reassuring allies in europe, and also in the least, that we -- tthis is just old-fashioned diplomacy. i do think that one thing that from the iraq n war is that we have to be damn careful about using military force in places like the middle east. >> should we have gotten involved in syria? >> not with military force. i think the same problems apply there that apply to libya. it was a situation where i could not see the use of force turning out very well. problem was that, actually, the responsibility to a model was set up as
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for libya that cannot be applied to syria because there are strategic overriding iinterest. the act, as far as many europeans were concerned, libya was not just about human rights, it was also about commercial interests. more of a stance on the threat and the issue that you are focused on, in of climate change -- this is a great example of where i the obama administration -- often, they are segmented. i try to follow all of it. when you look at -- he tried, initially, on the grand international scheme. now they're being pragmatic. pragmatic build coalition building blocks. thing about her progressives -- that we accept change. we realize that there is actually a thing called climate change.
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and we should try and harness opposed to th it, as going back to a decade or two. and the thing, transnational threat, i think defining the strategic context really hard thing -- i mean -- for anyone to do. is why the obama administration is delayed. this in the world. >> yes, sir? yes, this young man here. >> thank you very much. my name is jeff tyson, a recording fellow. i was wondering if you touch on development of future foreign-policy. i have heard that somebody like for hillary clinton might be inclined to elevated. i have also heard that somebody like hillary clinton might make the state art of
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ddepartment. >> the problem from the get-go was that it was formed in the and formed with an ideology about using humanitarian efforts to nation build. that is pretty much an outdated economic philosophy these days. and, aid has struggled for an identity. lot of those concerns aabout health policies and the like. sometimes it can get combined democracy and ke liberal values, but it hardly ever get straightened out. mainly because of the way it was born. sshould be ink aid part of -- certainly not a cabinet position -- but i do
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think it makes sense that you is e an economic policy that more in sync of what our goals are. but you cannot do that because the way usaid is constructed. they have had their own independence from what the ambassador wants. it has been this way for many years. but i do not want to put it inside the state departments are just become so agency that point of view inside of state bureaucracy, rather try to have a a eakdown and, perhaps, even breakdown of usaid three have strategic thinking of the policies they recommend. >> any comments? okay, yes, sir. over to the side. >> i am aaron -- know who you are.
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>> i'm a graduate student at american university, and i'm running my thesis on millennial foreign-policy. as cold warriors retire and the millennial sort of step into these policymaking are going to -- i consider myself a millennial, right? how will the u.s. foreign policy system work with our style of who we are and how we see the world? issues rhaps, what key -- what kind of issues will motivate us? >> all right. >> i don't know, but i would urge you to -- to not assume that you all are going to have same point of view, and the way that generation xers don't have the same point of view. referenced this exchange --
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the starting point of my book quite two people who are close in age and grew up in a time period, but -- but madeleine albright in: power different e done more from one another. will o, i think that there be reactions to u.s. interventions in iraq and afghanistan that will cause to be very nial's wary of military intervention. there will be others who look and he experience in iraq afghanistan and say that this teaches us that we need to do it right, we need to do a a tter, we need to have larger nationbuilding corps. it is k that -- interesting to sort of ponder this, but i would be very surprised of a unitary millennial point of view on
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foreign-policy. in my book -- i was starting with the new obama administration to look for the generational outlook. and i would mention two things. one of them, i thought, turned out to be far less significant than the obama people thought at the beginning. and the other, more. the first is -- in this new there stration coming in, were certain millennial's world is -- the interconnected -- over and over and over again. except i can never quite find out how this changed the considerations of foreign-policy. it did one good thing, which was that there was an emphasis communications, whether it was in iran or china or anywhere else. the idea of promoting openness on the internet, which -- wwhich was one of the tangible
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things hillary clinton did was, i thought, important. but in general, yes, the world was connected, we have some of the same foreign-policy issues that we did. the millennial outlook -- the old problems of the cold war are seen as something of in the past. and the new problems of rising was saying think i beforehand that ben rhodes told of in the first year or two the administration -- i keep reading about rising powers, rising powers. copenhagen at the summit where obama managed to run into serious problems with the chinese and the indians and so on. he said those didn't look like rising powers with me, those were real powers. and -- and so that part is different. are lots of re
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different french or german diplomats that worry about there is less -- less of a focus on europe. this is a relative statement. >> i'm with the naval postgraduate school. enough annot thank you llistening to this. first of all, i think there is a problem with linguistic terms. the problem with the term realism, aand then there are others that think realistic. and it doesn't seem to be realistic. they are used, but most people don't understand what you're talking about. >> that is why we have this -- wish somebody would basically make a definition that we can all start using. secondly, i am struck by the issue of governance. we somehow don't think about governance.
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we waltzed into iraq and rid of the en we got army-- let's figure out how to run themselves. government is really hard, and nobody talks about it. i have two more comments. >> we have a lot of other people here. him in september -- i fell out of my chair when he real issues are understanding and relationships. it a try because i think you are right about the terms. to me, when you are being realistic, you are basically telling the truth and trying to what the objective facts are. realism is to me. prefer is actually prudence -- in terms of what the guidance for u.s. foreign
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policy should be. we should simply be careful and assess what we're doing, and not get carried away and some court of ideological crusade. frankly, t is, engaging too much or engaging too little, i think to be should simply look back as they are and try to come up with a policy to match that reality. but getting back to the question about the i agree with chris that you are probably going to be hardly different than any other generation. at the end of the day, despite the rest of us, you will be shaped by events. and you will have to respond to events, just like president having to respond to iraq right now. much of foreign-policy you do not have control over. the world is as it is. you have to react to it. we have most of your control long run, coming up
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with the capabilities and the training and the understanding what you do -- when you have these unexpected either attacks or change of events. that is what much of a debate is all about. it is one of the reasons why chris and i disagree on military capability. she probably, correct me if i'm wrong, as an instrument. whereas i see it as a matter of deterrence. that if you don't have it, people will perceive you as wheat, and therefore, you will be challenged. and you may have to respond with a weaker capability. that is just the way i look at it. that is not interventionism. just capability and deterrence. but that is, i think, a debate with having. >> actually, can i clarify? i do believe in having a strong military.
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the difference is and that having the capabilities that you need to defend a terrorist attack is quite different, perhaps, from the military you need to defend against attacks others who have not developed a military capabilities because they are under your security umbrella. the reason we place our troops world is not to defend the united states, it is to deter attacks against others. >> can i answer? >> go ahead. >> to the point, i think that the defense of isms -- for realism is one term that come in the basic context, means that there is energy in the world system. in that ism -- informs your policymaking -- then it will guide how it you will respond.
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-- if you believe that peace or war comes from different believe l systems you in democratic peace -- than that will form your foreign policy. now, they are not neat little boxes. is one i have ever met realist -- even -- you ask me and say, if that means you don't trade with the chinese? no, no, not really. because if you actually believed in that, you wouldn't be trading with the chinese. you might have the effect of making them stronger, right? in the defense of isms, and what these terms mean, i think it can help us sort out how people -- presidents -- will approach foreign policy problems and what they will -- of the hierarchy -- where they were placed a priority on different things. >> to really quick points. one on the millennial point. for your generation --
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and we have our decent with our generation -- multiple avenues for americans to engage with the world. several friends who have continued in the civilian agencies and become very frustrated. for all the talk about smart -- condoleezza rice tried to reform the department. there is an enormous amount of frustration and those moves. they could go in and have an impact. though agencies need reform, i more and k you'll see more people going into other avenues of u.s. engagement in the world. real quick on governance -- spot on. i went to iraq in 2003. i was against the war, but i believed it was important to take saddam hussein from power. governance is a nice label, but the main point i wanted to say that it touches upon
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politics and the strands that i was talking about -- these diffusers of power. i think there is this notion that if we just a ground with tens of thousands of troops, held it together -- we would have held it together like expensive duct tape. it was the inattention to the that tary and is and actually contributed to the spike in sunni radicals. not many singles politics, trying as a point those to make -- eeven the word i just used here, managing -- we do not manage things, but keep an eye to it. they, themselves, will shape the margins. that is where i think obama is often right. as, often, too standoffish, but he understands that people need to write their own history. great if we ould be could talk a bit more.
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we're not going to re-invade and reoccupy, which is a good thing. >> the only thing i would say to the millennial's is don't try irony and vladimir putin. [laughter] >> we could go on and on, but the last question, sir. >> i am unaffiliated. i spent most of my life in it earch, and the way i see is that america has influenced the rest of the world by the new products. it has a large impact. the question i have is that you spend $2 trillion in afghanistan and iraq -- had you spent more of that money in higher education and research and infrastructure, with the better off merica be or not? >> let me take that comment, give each of you a comment wrap it up. let me say, if i could i heard you at today, how about the phrase -- don't do stupid stuff. [laughter]
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we will let jim go last. >> i think you answered your own question, sir. turn back the clock. i think the real question we have is how we move forward? we may disagree a different but how do sympathize the points from this to come up with something? because i think they have done, to a large extent. they are done with the adventurism and the mistakes that were made. are many people that, -- five years later -- we are in a much stronger position bed where we were in 2008, 2009. when we think about where we world, and the multiple avenues of influence -- but also what we can do of government to -- to
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continue to sort of think it to the rest of the world is essential. >> thank you. >> history never stands still. i have the impression that we point, or the cusp, where the bitterness that by the iraq ated war was starting to feel a little bit. set of s now a whole new historical experiences over the last six years that we have to also process and understand. and then as the millennial and as new s come up generations, we will have new problems. i hope this will be an opportunity for us, as i said in my opening remarks, to focus more on what we agree on than what we disagree on. i think the uncertainty that exists in the world right now of tying her hands. we don't have the kind of clarity in our foreign policy that i think we need. with lot of it has to do
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squabbling among ourselves over also the ll means, but setting -- and also part of this debate over the iraq war -- calling each other a lot of names and not moving forward. >> okay, chris. >> i guess i will second something that brian just said. when people ask about u.s. foreign policy, there's a presumption that the u.s. foreign-policy is what the u.s. does and interacting with foreign governments. in fact, the most successful have is the cy we interaction between individuals, private citizens, businesses who have interacted with people every day who are non-american. is foreign policy, too. i think we have to have a holistic approach this because talk about exceptionalism -- yeah, i believe the united states is an exceptional nation. we have been a shining example that people have wish to emulate in the past.
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i think we are, and i think we still can be. that is where i would like to more of the focus, instead of the u.s. foreign policy divided by military force and military prowess. would just sum up this discussion that there are disagreements, but they are respectful. it shows me exactly the point i was trying to make, which was fixated on get slogans like indispensable the on, it actually gets in way of discussion. the other slogan -- and this one is more from the republicans -- i cover the i heard dministration, them say -- i believe on a city on the hill -- regularly. they never use american exceptionalism. that was a word he used by scholars at such and such a university to describe reagan.
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how that caught on as a slogan for republican presidential candidate is beyond me, but that is, again, an example of what we need to get beyond. >> listen, i want to thank you all very much. i want to thank the audience for coming. and also tell you, we finished right on time. so thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the pentagon today announced four detainees were held at guantánamo bay. they were returned to request of at the the afghan president.
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the pentagon also noted that informed of the transfer, in accordance with statutory requirements. currently, 132 detainees remain at guantánamo bay. >> here are some of the programs will find this weekend on the c-span networks. tonight at 9:30 pm, actor seth discusses politics and humor at the harvard institute of politics. pm, ay evening at 8:00 townhall editor katie apvlich on what she perceives as the hypocrisy of liberals on their war on women. and william argues that the top are missing the mark in education and that students should learn lessons in how to think critically, be creative, and have a goal in life beyond the material.
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anthony morning, "book tv" visits west lafayette, indiana to visit several of the city's authors. history tv" on n c-span3, today at 6:00 pm on the civil war, a talk about the life of irish american soldier patrick cleburne, and his role in the confederate army. and sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm, in a 1974 investigative by san francisco's kron tv on the history of police brutality in neighboring oakland. find our complete television schedule at let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. collis, email us, or send us a tweet -- call us, email us, or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter.
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>> before concluding all the slative business for year, the senate this week considered several judicial and executive branch nominations. was anthony ominees blinken. he was confirmed. shortly before that vote, senator spoke about his nomination. among them, arizona senator, john mccain. my i rise to discuss opposition to the pending vote mister anthony tony bliken, who is not only unqualified, but in fact, in my the worst of very tions that -- of a bad lot -- that this president has chosen. my ope that many of colleagues will understand that not often do i come to the to oppose a nomination
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from the president of the united states because i believe that elections have consequences. in this case, this individual been dangerous to america, and to the young men and women who are fighting and serving it. but he been an advisor, has been, " run on almost every the r security issue for past four decades". at the annual meeting on may 6, of 3, he discussed a number the administration's achievements, iincluding one ending the war in iraq responsibly. two, setting a core strategy for the withdraw from afghanistan. three, decimating al qaeda's senior leadership. and for, repairing alliances and america's standing in the world.
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that is as orwellian as any statesman i have ever heard. the conditions are a far cry achievements that she describes. in his capacity as an has been a he functionary and an agent of a u.s. foreign policy that has made the world much less safe today. let's just review some of the elements, in particular, and his role in conceptualizing and furthering it. u.s. foreign policy is in shambles. it is, at best, strategic. worse, and i strategic. it lacks any concept of how to retain our foreign policy goals. to foreign policy failures, including the continued slaughter of syrian people by president assad.
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the betrayal of our key allies, especially in central europe -- not to mention israel. failing to achieve a status or would agreement that help to maintain iraq's security and stability. following unwise strategies in will see the we same moves in afghanistan that we have a iraq if date driven withdrawal, rather than a status driven situation. and in our negotiation with weapons has ear failed to produce any efforts towards an agreement. i could go into many other fields, such as the geneva supposed to hat was help -- arrange for the transition of power. the abject failure of the israeli- palestinian peace talks. and what would either be an of nuclear lure
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weapons agreement, or an agreement that will be disastrous in the long run. there are two common sayings administration officials, not me, that have defined the president's foreign leading from behind and don't do stupid stuff. these approaches have resulted in a failed foreign policy that -- aand america americans -- less safe. even president obama's most have begun pporters to question the president's foreign-policy decisions. in an article titled " damage to obama's foreign policy", the "washington post" author -- -- key supporter -- wrote that
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driven inistration was by messaging priorities, rather than sound interest-based . policy so what does he have to say about all these issues, my friends' give you a few. on iraq -- i am not making this mister blinken said -- iraq is less violent, more democratic, and more prosperous. more the united states deeply engage there, tthan at any time in recent history. less violent, more democratic, and more prosperous. at a white house breeding, he these are nd all quotes -- president obama and vice president biden come to office with this commitment to and the iraq war responsibly.
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under the leadership of and vice obama president biden, the president asked to oversee our iraq policy -- we have follow that path to the letter. he went on to say -- that every step along the way, many the violence t would return and iraq would slide backwards toward secretary of war. get this, he said -- those predictions proved wrong. over the past three years, she went on to say, violent -- he say, violence has decreased -- weekly security average s fell from an
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of 1600 in 2007, 2008, two fewer than 100 today. went on to say -- in december, after more than eight wrenching years, president obama kept his promise to end the war responsibly. while iran and iraq will inevitably more intertwined tthan many of its neighbors went on to say -- oone thing we have learned, eight years in iraq, is that the vast majority including the , prime minister, are first and foremost iraq in nationalists. everybody knows the iranians most robably the influential nation in iraq, certainly under malki. 2013, he said -- if we still have troops in iraq today, the numbers would have
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been very small. been engaged have in combat. they could or at would have done something about the violence that is going on now in iraq seems to me detached from the reality of what the mission would have been had they stayed in any small number. now, you don't have to take my word for it. word of secretary and s, secretary panetta, any knowledgeable person about iraq. i will answer to the course for the record, including crocker who said -- of course we could have left a residual force behind. both panetta and gates said the same thing. at no time was there a public statement by the president of the united states that they wanted to very seriously. in fact, they trumpeted the fact when the last american at that time -- now we have many back -- but when they what a agging about
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great day that it was. news with chris wallace, september 28, 2014 -- finally, the un nt obama spoke to this week, but i want to ask general assembly last year in which is in rear ending a decade of war. how could the president have been to run? blinken -- the president is exactly right. we are not sending hundreds of american troops back from iraq or afghanistan or anywhere else. we're not going to be spending trillions of american dollars. wallace -- he said all our troops have left iraq. in fact, he has just sent 1600 troops back into iraq. he said we have dismantled the qaeda, yet the course is an offshoot of the qaeda and, in fact,
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follows the direct leader. bliken -- they fled. because we're so successful, they fled. they remove themselves. they went to syria. at the carnegie endowment for peace, october 30, 2014, the white house sought to leave a residual iraq, but the iraqi government simply refused. he argued the final decision to withdraw all u.s. troops was not the result of a failure to negotiate. it is something we work very but fha said, occupation -- after a 10 year occupation, they do not want us to stay in iraq. were focused on isil -- but
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run problem began to out the solution -- out run the solution feared by the conflict in syria. iraq the one can only draw one of two conclusions. one, that he is abysmally ignorant or simply not telling the truth. by the way, here's what ryan crocker said on iraq. quote -- as a former ambassador to iraq 2007-2009, do you think it was a mistake not to push heart for the status of force agreement with iraq before the u.s. pullout?" i would remind my colleagues, ryan crocker, probably the most


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