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tv   U.S.-U.K. Relations  CSPAN  March 7, 2015 11:03am-12:04pm EST

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on madison. >> interludes to his gift to the country and his talent, and what he was able to do to create the first self-sustaining constitutional republic. >> sunday night on c-span q&a. >> former british defense secretary, liam fox, told an audience on monday that any deal with iran that allows him to become a threshold state is a bad deal. he discusses iran, russia, and the upcoming eu came elections at the center for strategic and international studies. mr. fox is a member of that conservative party.
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elections take place in the u.k. on march 7. this is about one hour. [inaudible chatter] >> well, good morning everyone. welcome to the center for strategic and international studies. i am senior vice president here. we are absolutely delighted to welcome dr. liam fox, a member of british parliament for 22 years. looking after the constituents of north somerset. many of us know dr. fox as being the former secretary of state for defense, named by prime minister cameron from 2010 to
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2011. csis claims dr. fox as one of our own. for coming last year for a conference we held in f for genia. i assure you, dr. fox gave us a very lively and spirited debate about what the future of europe will look like. i'm sure some of that will be reprised for us this morning. prior to former secretary of state for defense, dr. fox served for many shadow secretaries for health, as well as foreign secretary and secretary of defense. also a general practitioner, dr. fox can give us his perspective
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on health issues as they relate to england. we are delighted to have our other guests with us. dr. fox, i think i give you a sense of the importance that we subscribe to this conversation. we look forward to your remarks. dr. fox will give his introductory remarks and then we will transition into a discussion. we welcome our audience for a lively debate on the future of the u.s.-u.k. relationship, and i think we will have a broader discussion on the international challenges that we face. with that, i ask you to welcome me in welcoming dr. fox. [applause] dr. fox: good morning, ladies and gentlemen. it is a great pleasure to be back here. it is not a quiet time in global events. i can never remember a more turbulent time in global events. what a time to talk about the relationship between the united
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kingdom and united states. when winston churchill first use d the term "special relationship" -- he did so as a wartime leader. it was basically an intelligence relationship, a military relationship. these somewhat disney connotations that special relationship gained in later years are not for me, the concrete foundations that it has. this is a relationship about our security in a dangerous world. there are so many threats in this very interdependent world. one of the changes that churchill would have been astonished to see was the level of dependency that we now have. we have so many warnings as to how interdependent we have become in years.
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whether it is the terrorist attacks of 9/11, sars, the japanese tsunami, the 2008 banking crisis. what is very clear is that what is contagion and one part of the global economy will spread to the rest. and fact, this whole concept of "over there," is a term that will become somewhat dated as we go ahead. when i was writing the book that i wrote about global security threats, "rising tides," it was pointed out to me that back in 1993, not exactly a very long time ago, there were 130 websites in the world. at the end of last year, there were 654 million websites. which is a change, quantum leap in information. it is also a lot of terrorist in which to hide terrorist
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needles. i want to set out the generic range of risk that we face before i come to some of the specific. the rise of religious fundamentalism, the spread of transnational terrorism, financial imbalances competition , for commodities. that's before we even get to the state on state threat that we face. i began by setting out what the risk i thought were failing states and the ones that i identified was pakistan. i said, pakistan is not out of maligned intent, but instability. most of us, politically, are used to dealing with our opposite numbers. in a country like pakistan where, frankly, we're never really sure who is in charge -- whether it is the politicians, the military, or isi, we have to develop a whole range of relationships. from the british perspective, i
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i was very interested as to why despite 200 years of common india has to partition and has history india has to partition and has been a successful , economy where pakistan has gone backwards. perhaps someday we can discuss. by was interested that , partition, nobody knew what to call pakistan because it did not correspond to any natural historical or geographical entity. in fact, it is an acronym. pakistan is a made-up name made up of the initials of the provinces. i think that is a fair bet that if your country's name is made up, it is not probably the most stable entity. i say that -- this is a worry because here in washington, with all the focus on iran at the present time, people seem to have forgotten that pakistan is sitting on something like 120 nuclear warheads, and they will
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be able to produce about 24 nuclear warheads per year from here on. it is the nuclear problem that no one seems to want to acknowledge and talk about in detail. then of course, you have the rise of transnational terrorism. it is nothing new. it changes manifestations. the worry that we have is that this nuclear proliferation, and places like pakistan, will find its way into the terrorist game. people say, well, if it is so easy to make a bomb, and there is so much material out there, why have we not seen one? no one seems to know that in 1995 in moscow, the nuclear material was there, it just was not attached to a bomb. or that in chechnya, we have had material attached to mind. -- mines. the threat is there and it will
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increase. we need to look at the full issue of proliferation in light of the increased terrorist threat. we also need to understand some of the other risk that is coming from left field. one that icons like talk about -- one that i constantly talk about is the risk for competition of commodities. in particular, warfare. people talk about china, but one ften miss parts of the equation. 40% of all people alive on our planet today get their drinking water from a river that arises on the tibetan plateau. why do you think china is so intent on to that? is it the dalai lama or the fact that the world's richest resource of water? unless we know the data, we will not make sensible interpretations of events. and we are likely to make policy mistakes. the rise of religious fundamentalism, particularly islamic fundamentalism, is
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there. we are facing this crisis now with isis. the latest manifestation. i doubt it will be the last manifestation. we need to be very clear about the threat that the islamic state poses to us. first of all, the humanitarian threat, the immediate threat to the population that lives under the control. we have seen what they are capable of -- beheadings crucifixion, setting people on fire for a video camera. things that we thought had been violent, left behind in the middle ages. the second threat of course, destabilization of the region. they would love to see a full-blown religious war. this is in fact part of what they are trying to achieve. then of course, there will be the university of jihad, if we allow them to do so. they will export terror to western democracies if they get the opportunity.
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we have seen cases in the united kingdom of people who have gone to fight for isis and then come home. personally, i do not believe you can have a sabbatical from civilization and then come home. no jihad gap year. you can come back and say you are sorry that you did it. we have to, again, think about the domestic problem. then, nuclear proliferation itself. iran, clearly the big issue. there were so may people describing a breakthrough in the relationship. big disappointment there. for the people in iran, they have not notice much of a difference. the repression, persecution, continues in iran. what people seem to fail to understand is that the shots are still called by the supreme leader.
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if you read, there is a great book with a political consistency that most western politicians would kill for, the belief in purity of the islamic revolution, his hatred for the united states, all very consistent over a long period. i think it is unbelievable that people will look at the evidence in front of them and say, maybe they are not trying to achieve a nuclear weapons program. there is no possible excuse for the levels of nuclear work that they are doing at the present time. other than that they are trying to get a nuclear program, in a clandestine way -- it says to me
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that this is not a country that is open about its intentions. there is a problem here -- a generic problem in the west, we have allowed wishful thinking to take the place of critical analysis because we want something to happen. we have used the data to try to make it look as though that is what is happening. it's not happening. not in the case of iran. why should we worry about a nuclear iran? it provides an existential threat to israel with all the implications of that. secondly, it is not worth the paper it is written on, and if iran gets to nuclear status, why should egypt, saudi arabia, and turkey not want to follow? that means a nuclear arms race in one of the most unstable regions of the world. after all the work that was
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done, particularly in the united states at the end of the cold war, to stop proliferation and stop the soviet union from having nuclear weapons. surely we want to leave something better for the next generation than a nuclear arms race. this is a challenge for all of us. i worry what is happening today in the negotiations. some say that we need to get a deal. i think no deal is better in a -- than a bad deal. what do i mean by a bad deal? i think that any deal is a bad deal that allows iran to become a threshold nuclear state. because of the dangers that i've mentioned. i practically worry that -- about the potential of a bilateral agreement between the united states and iran that does not come from the p site plus one. we need to stand together in the face of international threat and not be divided, and i'm sure that is something we will talk about in our wider conversation.
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and then, on the happy list of threats that we face, we didn't really think we would be facing a state on state threat to the extent that we are facing today from russia. if ever there was an example of wishful thinking, misplacing critical analysis, it was in putin's russia. we have wanted russia to become a useful partner in the international family of nations that we have simply been turning a blind eye for too long. there are two basic principles followed by putin that make it extremely difficult to normalize relations with russia. the first is that he still clings to the soviet idea that he should have a veto over the policies of the immediate geographic neighbors. we've seen what that has led to an recent times.
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the second is this concept that he believes that the protection of ethnic russians lies not with the country and systems allow -- of law under which they live but with an external power, i.e. , russia itself. these two views are the root of many of the problems that we face. we can see the manifestation of these today in ukraine. i do not believe that you can take putin's word. i think what is happening in the ukraine is truly shocking. the annexation by force of crimea. the destabilization of the eastern borders of ukraine. the fact that while nato carries out normal military maneuvers and exercises, russia is actually testing weapons systems live in eastern ukraine. these are real time testings
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that russia's actually carrying out. we're standing by and arguing about whether we should give the ukrainians the means or not to defend their homeland. just think about it. if we are actually saying, we cannot give ukraine the secure forms or antitank capabilities, or uavs that they need, because that might exacerbate the crisis, that simply says we will , never give anyone the means to defend themselves because that might make the aggressor even more angry. this is a ridiculous policy for us to hold. we need to recognize that the defense of the baltic states for example, begins in ukraine. we are only one miscalculation by putin away from getting an article five from europe, and we
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need to waken up to it. we have been serial appeasers of putin and it has not gotten us very far. when there was a cyberattack, we did nothing. when he cut off ukraine's task we did nothing. when he invaded georgia, and he is still there, we did very little. we made some sanctions. but, appeasement has a bad track record. it had a bad track record before, it has a bad track record today. why should we, the united kingdom, look so much to the united states? because you are the world's biggest economy, the world 's biggest military budget bigger than the next 11 combine which is very reassuring , when you are a close ally to the united states.
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more than that, we need a partnership of values. in all these problems that we face in the world we need to , understand that we are who we are, not by accident. we are who we are by design and by decisions that were taken by those who went before us. we are built on the concept, both our nations, on the ability to exercise free market -- economic liberty in the free market, we understand the values in terms of prosperity and security in free trade. we understand the need for rule of law to be applied independently. and we understand the concept of diversity across race, religion, gender. these are what makes us who we are. we need to take ownership of these and expanding this in a very unstable world. to my american political colleagues, i would say this there has never been a time when we were more able to shape the world.
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in the era of globalization, we need to shape it in our image and by our values. this is not a time for america to look inwards. this is not a time for america to become isolationist. there was never time for america to be more on the pitch than today. i think that is the best place to begin our conversation. [applause] >> thank you. that was wonderful. a great tour de force. i think what we will do in the next few minutes is we will have a conversation, then i will turn you over to the audience. i will warn you that csis audiences are very tough. they ask tough questions. i am a mere warm-up. you gave us a broad tour de force. i think i will focus a bit more
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on europe in our questions. let me start with russia because that is where you concluded. the mortar -- murder of boris nemstov, do you think that is a turning point, will we see a different environment in russia? i think one of his most poignant remarks, literally days before his murder is that he thought they needed to be an awakening in russia, which i think in some ways is the most powerful threat to vladimir putin. did you see these unbelievable images from moscow? literally steps from the kremlin. do you think this is potentially a turning point for russia? dr. fox: potentially. given the level of control and repression that we have seen their. we have seen these false starts before.
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being a vocal appointment opponent of putin you name it. it would be nice to think we would get a change. honestly, i'm not that optimistic about it. >> you had a conversation, as recently as yesterday, talking about the level of defense spending. very concerned about british defense ending. a lack of commitment to 2% of gross the mo domestic product on defense spending. is nato ready to confront russia? we have seen some extraordinary military mobilization, snap exercises. i saw some statistics since , david cameron has been prime
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minister, russia has gotten very close to air sovereignty in the u.k. 43 times. are we ready to confront is this militarily? dr. fox: you added militarily at the end. i think our biggest problem is having the will to confront. you can have as much military capability as you want. if you do not have the will use it, a becomes largely redundant. of the two elements of nato, of its political capability and its military capability, it is the political one that i worry about. i think this is where the 2% comes in. it is not just the ability as far as military equipment, it is about the willingness to show our longer-term commitment to the alliance. only four of the nato allies meet the 2%. which, remember is the floor. that is supposed to be the floor of the spending, not the ceiling of the spending on defense. if you look at what is
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happening, for example in the libyan crisis, the nato elements -- european elements of nato would not have been able to carry that out without the united states. we recently did not have the capability. the big problem with a lot of the european members of nato is that so many of them were very quick after the cold war, in particular, to get into nato. they don't recognize what an opportunity was for everyone to get the insurance policy, by asking just a few others to pay the premium for us. we are in the position where there are too many countries taking a free ride on the united states, in particular. which is why i think is very important for the british to show the more leadership to make -- moral leadership to make that 2% commitment. we have given our ward to the
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country that we will play our part in the lines, and we must do so. last week i was in poland and , the war from warsaw looks very different than it does from london or washington. there is a palpable fear there about what is going on. and about the geographic proximity of putin is getting them to awaken up. they are, of course, going to increase defense spending in places like estonia, but they are coming to the threat late in the day. we do need to get our political act together in nato. we did talk about this willingness. i go back to it again. part of the problem with nato is the european union. and the european union trying to take on a defense and security role. that is not what the eu is for. that is what nato is for. if we try to duplicate what nato is doing, inside the european
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union, and worse if it has the divergent of funds away from the scarce funding that we are giving nato into a duplication in the european union, that could be -- to our enemies. >> i will turn to the eu, i want your thoughts on the eurozone and immigration. before i leave russia, in your opening remarks, you mentioned prime minister churchill. what would churchill say today. on the one hand, he described the rise of nazi is them, -- nazism a wartime prime minister to create the defense, no choice between war and shame. you will have war and then shame that comes later. we need a new strategic framework for this challenge this challenge facing the west. how do you strike the balance
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between the values proposition but the political will to meet mr. putin with strength? mr. fox: we need to be willing to confront him. we have seen his modus operandi. we need to have a stronger presence in the baltics. let's be frank about what he is doing here. he is moving some of the baltic states, interfering. he has been encouraging republican serbs in the balkans. setting the illegal referenda in crimea as a president. -- he still has forces in georgia.
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he has now annexed crimea. how many lessons do we need? this is the ability now to cause instability at will in terms of european security. we need to counter that. we need to have a larger and permanent presence in the baltic. we need to beef up the baltic patrols. we need to look at countries like poland and see if we need a greater nato presence there. we need to use the powers that we have to show that we are not going to allow this concept of fear to take hold. for example, we should be sending our naval power into the black sea just to show that we have every right to do that and that this is not a pawn of putin. there are things we can do, but we need the will to do it. >> let me turn to the european union. in some ways, the may 7 election is, in part, not completely
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about the future of great , britain in the european union. obviously, you have been a critic of the eu and britain's role. expand a little bit on what you have been watching over the last several years, whether it is in the eurozone, and how the 19 eurozone members have been dealing with an ongoing economic crisis, certainly in the last few weeks, it has been an unprecedented conversation, but more broadly how the eurozone is dealing with issues like immigration. mr. fox: how long do i have? >> a few minutes. dr. fox: no one under the age of 57 has been able to take part in the referendum. it is one of my most vivid memories.
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my parents campaign on opposite sides. my parents still have the same views that they held. lord mandelson said and britain that, europe is a too important of an issue to be left to the electorate. which i think tells you all you need to know about the mindset of the bureaucracy and brussels. and in an era in which people are caught across political systems, seem to be losing faith in the political system itself. giving people a say over their own destiny is how i think you can restore faith. the euro zone. well, a lot of our european partners are now becoming serial economic self harm is --
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harmers. the whole concept of the euro, which we decide to stay out of, has i think been a disaster. i remember on the night we were voting on this in the house of commons, john major said to me who in their right mind would go into anything in life that does not have an exit? we are now discovering with the greek situation what happens when you don't have an exit. the euro, i think, was always flawed. there were two models they could take. first of all, to say, it is so important for this concept, we will do everything to make it work. they did not do that. or they could have said it is , purely an economic project and only the countries that make the grade are allowed to join. they did not do that either. in fact, the wrong countries were allowed to join, countries that were not close to making -- and then being allowed to join
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they diverge, rather than converts, creating instability in an already flawed architecture. we are living the consequences of that today. what you're getting is monetary policy effectively applied across the continent that suits germany, the largest economy and i'm afraid members are too -- our memories are too long and , history too short. the reason that i mentioned my parents positions on the your fee and -- european referendum is because they thought we should join the common market. i worry now that what we are getting in the euro is the free -- re-creation of those tensions economically that will lead many of us to the same
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disadvantageous positions that we had before. how do you go about de-risking the euro is the biggest question. you can go back to the national currencies and abandon the euro, that will not happen. you can throw out the outliers in southern europe in particular, greece, spain, portugal, probably italy. that is not going to happen. the third is the throughout the largest outlier, germany. clearly that will not happen , because they like the euro. it is a devalued currency for the size and strength of the german economy. germany has done very well out of that. the fourth way is for the countries inside the eurozone to move towards full towards economic, political, and monetary union. i spoke to a member in brussels
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recently, who said, you are right those are the four options, we will take none of them. what we will do is continue to take the risk of effectively and hope that they bomb goes off on someone else's watch. i regard the euro now as being the single biggest threat to global economic instability. what is happening in greece will be replicated in the future because the basic problem is not being sorted out. the most important issue for european politicians is the de-risking of the euro. 58% of young spaniard are unemployed. how long do you think you can tolerate those levels of unemployment being foisted on a population on what is a political project. this is not a sensible way to be running either the economics or the long-term social stability in europe and i wonder how many europeans on the current term -- trend will be sacrificed before european leaders waken up to the truth of what is happening.
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>> setting aside the eurozone which has its own rhythm -- are you undervaluing the incredible benefits that the united kingdom has received eating part of the single market? trade between the u.k. and the eu has increased. can this conversation about the uk's role within the european union, are you not completely under emphasizing the economic benefits and london as a financial center, that is benefiting? mr. fox: we were told that if we did not join the single currency, that would be the end of london as the economic center. it did not quite work out that way. i take a very simplicity view of this which is money goes where money can be made and money can be moved. money comes to london for both of those reasons. money can be made because of our free market, especially at the
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moment. it can be moved because of our system of commercial law. that will continue to make it attractive whether we are inside the european union union or not. i've not really noticed norway or switzerland for suffering for not being members of the european union. of course there are gains for being inside it. what i would like us to have a debate that looks at the ledger in terms of its pluses and minuses, but in a very realistic and hardheaded way. britain would have to look to see whether britain to leave the european union, what that means in terms of our trade, the rest of our european partners export much more to us than what we export to them. the other 27. the balance is very much in one direction. so, i think that we do need to have this debate, but i really rather dislike some of those who
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will say, we could not stand on our own two feet. britain could not exist outside the european union. it is nonsensical. what i would like to see is a for negotiated deal. i want to go back to the common market. i want to coordinate with our partners, when it is necessary to do so but i want to accept the levers that britain could use in our national interest where it differs from theirs which it does on a whole range of issues. >> one political party that has benefited from the anti-european, and the u.k. -- anti-immigrant stance is -- on may 7 the commentary class
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has been speculating that what we witness will be a real mess. a hung parliament, a difficult coalition framework, where the small parties, particularly the scottish national party, the ukip, may be determining what a future british government looks like. how does the average american understand what that looks like? dr. fox: what does look like it is happening at the moment is the two main parties are increasing strength again at the expense of the smaller ones. for all the talk of the breakthrough, in a country like britain, it is very difficult
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for parties to break in. i think, and you will see, with some justification, as a former chairman of the conservative party, i believe when you have an economy where we have created 1.8 million jobs, 1000 jobs per day since we've been in office, with historicly low interest rates, low inflation rates, and people feeling the growth in the economy feeding into their pockets, it is hard to believe that they would throw out a government. i think the labor party leader is uniquely unqualified to leave d the country. i think that when it comes to the election, people look at the economic record of the government and the fact that in
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david cameron, they have an experienced prime minister at a time when national security is not looking great. i think they will decide not to make the change. i think conservative will be the biggest party. i think we will be close to an overall majority. i remember, the first election when i was elected in 1992, the scenario not that dissimilar to this one. when in fact, john major one the -- won the highest number of votes than any prime minister in history. >> as a member of parliament you served on the constitution committee and had a great deal of focus on constitutional affairs. for those of us watching the scottish debate, last fall's referendum, which was quite a heart stopper, not quite sure how that would evolve, and now we see where the scottish national party will -- we think, do very well on may 7.
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it may cause labor to not do very well. what does this mean for the united kingdom? is it becoming more disunited? will this election poll at the -- pull at the very fabric of the united kingdom? mr. fox: tony blair's proposals for dissolution were in balance and would have repercussions. we argued at the time, it was my responsibility at the time to and i argued that what was , happening was of recipe for the rise of nationalism. i did not think it was such a heart stopper, the referendum. your faith in the bookies would have been well placed. they said 57% of getting a no vote. the trouble with it is on the independent side, who lost the referendum, think they won and
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have been continuing to push more and more in that direction. that has been a problem. it is also now very apparent that the labour party looks like it will do very badly in scotland, and i think it is a problem of their own making. what does that mean if a grouping -- that will depend on the outcome. the nightmare scenario is a labor mp. the reason that is a nightmare for me because money will move away from my constituents up to the border to scotland. the real worry is that the smp are a unilateralist party. they want a nuclear free
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country. i wonder what price the leader would pay. that worries me more than anything. it should worry our american friends. >> my last question and then i want to bring our audience into it. i want to ask you a question that i get asked very frequently. does the united states still have this close exclusive relationship with the united kingdom as it has had in the past? does the united states still consider it sells a european power? is it so engaged as a was in the transatlantic relationship, or hasn't decided that we will -- or has it decided that we will look at our relationship in asia? mr. fox: i we thought the concept of the pivot was
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bizarre. clearly, the united states does have to focus on pacific affairs. it does not have the luxury of choosing which way to look. global security, for the reasons we are discussing, because of our interdependence is not something you can decide which geographic area you will not worry about and which area you will disregard. it's not like that. as events in ukraine are showing. the u.s. is still the global superpower, economically and militarily, with that comes responsibility. we need the u.s. to be in the game. i wonder what signal mr. putin got that america would not be as focused on its trans atlantic area, but it was going to focus on the pacific. i wonder what signal he took from that and if that has actually been adventitious to wider security.
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>> interesting. i have given you your warm-up. i'm ready to unleash the audience. please raise your hand. if you could identify yourself please, with your name and affiliation. we have about 15 minutes. i would ask for the comments to be short. the questions to be very consistent. with your permission, i will bundle the questions. we have one there in the front. >> thank you very much for a realist view, or a tory view of the world. my question follows on asia. i was going ask about the pivot. does the u.k., or eu, or nato, see asia as an outsider purview? how you see asia? >> thank you. we will stick to the side for a moment. >> thank you. you have spoken quite a bit about diplomacy and defense, and the need to build political will in those areas. i'm wondering if you have any
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thoughts on the third d, development. and how the relationship between the usaid and united states, and department for international development in the u.k. has transformed, and how you think it should transform in the future. and if that is a significant aspect of what you are talking about. >> one more. >> dr. fox, thank you for joining us today. united states central command. quick question. it seems like one of the emerging narratives about the debate of the future of nato is that there are some member states, focused on the east, i think ukraine fits that. how do we, the united states and united kingdom, help to change that narrative from an "or" to an "and." >> great. asia, is it is out nato's
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purview. development. and the south versus east. great question, can nato do both? mr. fox: the very first question i think goes to the heart of this discussion. increasingly, you have to understand the implications of globalization. we can't simply disregard other parts of the world simply because they are not close to is us geographically. i think the 20th century was defined by the block. defined by our geography. we cooperate with countries that were close to us. in terms of physical geography rather than countries that were like us, in terms of our values or political system. increasingly, the world is shrinking because of the effect of globalization. as i said at the beginning, we
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cannot afford to disregard risks that are rising in asia, anymore than we can disregard risk in europe. they will both affect is very quickly. i think politicians have a problem with this. if i'm allowed to say that. i think politicians on the right resent the loss of sovereignty that inevitably comes with globalization. and politicians on the left this like the unavoidable implication of risk that has to be paid for. our systems of government also with a very unique way in which we have silos, and say, that is economic policy, trade policy, for policy, secure policy. they fail to grasp globalization interdependence and the risks that come with that.
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we have to look more widely at risk and emerging risk, and recognize that whether we like it or not, it will happen. the question is how well we prepare for it. i think if someone had called his book the end of history he would have better hit his mark in terms of how we are moving. you cannot choose the conflict. this is the problem with security, and saying, we will reduce our spending because we think the world is becoming a safer place. conflicts choose you more than you get to choose the conflict. that is one of the lessons of history and we have to be ready for the unexpected. libya showed some real shortcomings. it also showed the dislocation i think, of our military action and our plans for longer-term political stability. in fact really since the , marshall plan, i cannot think of an example where we have both military action and reconstruction stabilization --
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where we got it right. we have a lot of thinking to do there. where does a come in? it is very useful in terms of being able to help out in the short term. that is its main value. my own view is that if you want to alleviate global poverty, you do that through free-trade. i think capitalism has actually given a much greater step up to the world's poor than any amount of aid. i do think specifically, well targeted aid is very useful. i do not just mean in terms of physical or monetary poverty, i think that we should be using our aid budget to get a change in behavior and values. in particular, i think our taxpayers who provide us money live by certain ethical values and i think that we should be using our aid budget more. to get a change in behavior. for example, i think countries
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that exhibit religious intolerance, that do not give women equal rights, do not send girls to school, we should be trying to use our aid as a lever in those cases. we should be trying to apply the values our people live by to those countries that we give a id to. in the aid debate, it has been focused on public health, as a doctor, obviously, very important, and the alleviation of poverty, but i thing is also be involved in the promotion of our values. if you go back to what i was saying at the very beginning that we are who we are by design and not by accident, if you believe that, as i do, then you have a more was thoughtfully the other people are able to benefit from those values too which i see our aid program being very
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important. you do not diminish the need for hard power by having soft power. >> one quick question and then i want to turn to the audience again. i have been meeting to ask you this question. we've followed very closely the house of commons vote on syria. clearly, u.s.-syrian policy has been a great conversation topic here, the lack there of, or in if we have a coherent policy. has it been a turning point in how democratically the unite d kingdom looks at foreign policy challenges, or was that in some way a way of trying to litigate the past and past decisions about tony blair's decision on iraq? mr. fox: it was an aberration and mistake. i would not take it as reading too much into how britain sees its role. this was a house of commons that
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was recalled from its summer holiday, three days before they had to. people on their family holidays do not take very kindly to that. there was not much preparation done briefing them. a lot of it was about domestic politics, and i would not be too -- read too much into it. however, i think the damage, irrespective of the reasoning that produced the outcome of that vote, has been very substantial. i think there are two things you shouldn't do in politics and life. don't make promises that you know you can't keep, and secondly, don't make threats that you are unwilling to carry out. if you make deadlines, and then they are crossed and you don't do anything about them, then you must make sure that your next redline is not tested. it was not only about the specific issue.
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it was about how many of our allies, as well as our enemies perceive our willingness to enforce the policies that we set out for ourselves. that is a very dangerous world to get into. >> i think we have time for it two more questions. one there. >> im and exchange -- i'm an exchange officer british exchange officer working in the pentagon. i want to ask about information operations, regarding russia in particular. i would like your opinion on how costly it was to cut the russian bbc world service in 2011. as far as i can tell, the only reasonable means of countering rt, russia today, as an information network, it was extremely costly as far as being reversed. >> national defense university.
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among the big difference issues that u.k. will face in 2016 is that main gate decision on replacing -- how strong of support within the conservative party is there for a like for like replacement? very quickly, since you were the defense minister at the time you signed the defense treaty with france, are you satisfied with the level of british-french defense? >> all right. >> that is how you have to end up with the last five minutes. >> about guessing on the concept of the parents in general, we seem -- concept of veterans, -- deterents, they are not --
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they are becoming completely adept at extracting information. we seem to have failed of understanding potentials that it gives us. i'm entirely with you on that and we need to really -- in terms of strong support for replacement, the biggest argument against in is why would you spend so much money on a system that you will never use? they fail to understand the concept which is that we are using it every day. as a deterrent. i point out that we are very happy to spend $9 billion or
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three weeks of the olympics, but we are reticent about spending $20 billion for protection from nuclear blackmail. it seems to me that we want to think hard of our priorities on that one. clearly, we have to take into account of the heavy initial costs in the program for the nuclear deterrent. i think it is factored in and a big cost, and honestly, the defense budget is by four drivers. the first is, the international security environment which is deteriorating and suggests you uplift in the budget. secondly, it is driven by the commitments already, a 2% native commitment, to a great and nuclear deterrent and what we decided to take in 2010, which
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will not be able to take again and our surveillance capability, that would have been about $1 billion on the budget just for that. then you have the fiscal position which is improving dramatically. because of the long time plan that we put forward. and then the fourth one, is the international obligations and your willingness to having rolled in global affairs. i think that we have given as a member of the alliance, we need to keep that work and i think if we want to be able to propagate the values and systems that i have been talking about, we have to be willing to provide the means to protect them. i can see no option really that can arise in the budget. i fail to see how you can actually produce what we did in the future of 2020 without
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increasing the budget, nevermind setting in that just setting in the gaps. i think it is inevitable that the budget will go up and politicians will turn a necessity into a virtue. it is always a great opportunity to have a great discussion with you. >> you have given us a lot to think about. we will focus on the outcome of may 7 and see what the future holds for british politics, but although the u.s.-u.k. relationship is complicated and evolving common is vitally important and we are delighted you could spend some time with us and please join me in thanking him. [laughter] -- [applause] >> the political landscape has changed with the 114th congress. not only are there 43 new
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republicans and 15 you democrats and 12 new republicans and one new democrat in the senate. there is 108 women in congress including the first african-american republican in-house. keep track of the members of congress using congressional chronicle on the congressional chronicle page has lots of useful information including voting results, and statistics about each section of congress. on c-span, c-span two, c-span radio, and >> this week, the senate fell short of the towing of -- of the xo pipeline. it fell four votes short 62 to 37. here are some of the debate leading up to the boat. we begin with massachusetts senator. this is about one hour. >>


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