tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 27, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT
tried to implement that, that would be a crime. it is supposed to be a legal process. like all good legal processes it increases the sanctions between the act itself and what is called mitigation. other factors that the convening authority might want to consider to say well, it is worse and we think or we understand, so there are things we should be more empathetic for. they will it considered, but separately. first, with the statutes and this is what constitute the crimes. the person you go through, does the evidence, and in this case it would be a very high standard of evidence, did the person commits a crime, yes or no? then when you got to a sentencing portion, you would say, are there mitigating factors we ought to consider that maybe this is worst? or maybe there were issues in the unit or how he left or how he was treated?
and we got to take those into consideration when they consider eith >> we had a republican, a democrat, and an independent but this kind of hits home with my family. my father was in the second world war and my mother has letters about the soldiers be ordered by the generals to execute the japanese prisoners right after they interrogate them. of course it went on in the korean war. it is always the soldiers that take the brunt of this. if you remember, president obama said we had to take it easy in afghanistan with civilian casualties. and the following weekend, the general mcchrystal, who i feel should be in jail, bond that
-- bombed that wedding and they killed 59 civilians there. of course, couple weeks later he was relieved of duty. if you look at the generals order with young girls in the south to abuse those prisoners that came down from the bush administration. why is it always the youngest kids that take the brunt of this? there is a reason we have 23 suicides of these soldiers when they come back from this madness in our country. you can tell this gentleman has emotional issues. guest: that is part of the mitigation process they go through. it is a very comparable to what you do in a civilian situation. you are convicted of robbing a grocery store and when you go before the judge, look, my family was starving. i had no money, i was a desperate. and the judge says, oh, ok. i understand that. they will look at mitigating factors. i will say, that is factually incorrect, military justice
systems apply to everybody. war crimes and things are illegal and we have seen people with action being brought against them. if you think of the mai lai massacre during vietnam, officers up the chain of command had punishments attributed to that and generals have lost their rankings for different offences. so, this is not a system just about disciplining individual soldiers and exempt everybody. everybody up to and including the chairman joint chiefs of staff comes under the ucmj. this is not a new problem. the caller mentioned world war ii. during world war ii, the military convicted 21,000 servicemembers for desertion. 21,000. in most prolonged conflicts, these things happen. we had like 11 million in uniform, so that is a tiny number, but these things happen.
the civil war, the mexican-american war. host: robert, southwest city missouri, you are on the air. caller: i can't understand why this man is being charged with desertion when the commander-in-chief traded five of those ragheads to get him loose. does that mean the commander-in-chief was in charge all the military said that man was innocent, he brought them back home, and often the armies of step in and charge the man with desertion when the most, that i can understand about this, he could be charged with awol which is a misdemeanor. host: apologies for his remark about the culture and heritage of the arabs -- that aside, he makes a point about those that were swapped.
the prisoners at guantanamo bay. guest: this is actually a problem we have come to see in the public. we tend to conflate everything into one issue. there are three separate distinct issues here and we need to deal with them on their own levels. one is, the spin or the way the administration framed this. and what they said, the right answer and why they said that, that -- those are political judgments, rhetorical things. that is one issue. we could have a big debate about that. the second issue, the wisdom of the mechanics of the swap itself. every soldier, we have an obligation to bring every soldier back. it does not matter what they did, so that is irrelevant. how we bring them back, that does matter. and there have been many situations where soldiers have been kept in terrible circumstances because of the good of the nation always comes first. we can about them, we are going to bring them back, but how and when we do that, that, -- the nation comes first. so we could have a debate about
the wisdom of the swap. the third piece, which is how is bowe bergdahl treated under the code of uniform military justice. you could have any opinion on those two issues, completely irrelevant with how you treat this person. answer is, you treat them according to what the rule of law says. the rule of law says this is a crime. you conduct an investigation and if a person is present innocent -- person is presumed innocent until guilty, if they meet the criteria, they are convicted. then you have a judgment about punishment. that is the way it should happen, but to cramp everything together -- the other thing we should realize, the president can pardon people. at the end of the day, the military can do whatever it wants, but if the president elects to pardon someone, they can do that. host: and what happens? guest: they are pardoned. host: and he doesn't serve whatever he might be. guest: i would say that discussion is way premature and
incredibly unrealistic -- if you remember richard nixon for example, when he left office gerald ford became president and richard nixon had not been charged with anything. he was pardoned before. i think it is incredibly unlikely that the white house with step in and do anything like that this point. i think they will at the legal process play out. at the end of the day, if the legal process concludes what president obama is still in office and the next president, they will get a vote on what to do. host: keith madison, arkansas, you are next. a democrat. caller: first of all, good morning. i would like to weigh in on the previous comments of dealing with the code of military i'm a u.s. veteran, and i went through the process while i was court-martialed.
at the time i went through, i went and got a civilian attorney and all that good stuff, but everything was premeditated. i was found guilty, forced out of the military, i lost a whole lot being a sergeant in the military. so, i would like to say to you sir, i strongly disagree with this. i don't believe the sergeant will get a fair shake. simply because the moment he walks inside the courtroom everything is already premeditated. that is the thing that troubles me because i was a victim of that. host: ok, keith. guest: i can't speak to the facts of this case because i don't know what they are. i can speak to my participation in the ucmj, when you get down to the levels, every interaction i ever had, my standard of proof was i would never convict somebody unless i was absolutely, absolutely totally convinced the evidence said that
that person was guilty. and observing uc mj, including going to guantanamo several times since i have retired, i thought that was extraordinary. i went down and witnessed the military proceedings and to me it was interesting because the best lawyers there were the military lawyers that were defending the accused. they were the a-team. government lawyers and prosecutors and the military lawyers, i thought were nearly not as well-qualified and the judge, i thought -- the military judge, i thought they were amazing in terms of -- i mean, you could not tell the difference between a real trial -- that was somehow -- if everything was cooked.
you cannot tell that from watching proceedings. host: oakland, california. caller: i'm originally from belize. c-span viewers listen to me. my husband in the 1960's deserted and he went to belize. thousands and hundreds of thousands of the military when they were drafted went to belize and they are still there. what they did, that changed the citizenship. belize gave them citizenship and the coming over here and going back home as belizeans. you guys are talking about illegal aliens and the same goes for the military when they deserted the army and that is not fair to me. and like what this guy did, it has been going on for years. and nobody has done nothing about it. guest: it is interesting to go back and look at the history of the 1960's, 1970's.
we had a lot of people that deserted and didn't show up for military service. many went to canada and other places. many of them are pardoned. that was a decision the president made. there is also a distinction between not showing up for service and going awol and desertion. desertion happens in the face of the enemy. you can understand why you would have that distinction. if you are in a combat environment, you are there for reason. you are part of a team and you have a responsibility to that team. if you fail, you could put other lives and the mission at risk. the level of severity -- if you think for example, why we hold some crimes more serious than others even though it is the same crime. crimes against children we hold much more severe than identical crime against an adult. that is because we think the the circumstances are incredible
y heinous. host: jeff is next. nebraska, a republican. jeff, good morning. caller: good morning. i really think this guy is toast and he will get life imprisonment. lose his rights, lose all of his -- lose his rank, lose all of his money. because today's service is voluntary. back when you are talking, it -- there was a draft. so now it is all voluntary and this guy voluntarily laid his weapon down, voluntarily walked away, and they went out and actually looked for him because on megan kelly's fox show, they had all six of his members of his platoon sit right there and
say they looked for him, and they know now that six people were killed fighting for this guy. host: ok, the lawyer for bowe bergdahl says there is no evidence that anyone died looking for him. that will play out in court proceedings. guest: the caller has an interesting point. it does not matter if you volunteer for military service or if you are drafted. the uniform code of military justice applies for everyone who was wearing a uniform. it is not care how you got there. as a matter of fact, you swear a n oath. i swore it and it is almost identical to the oath people say when they are sworn in. when you were sworn in in vietnam, world war ii, korea you took the same oath that kids today take. that is the example that it is not a mitigating factor. it is not matter if you volunteer or if you are drafted. host: bardot, independent caller. what is the name of your town? caller: hello, i doubt -- i think many of your listeners
have misunderstood. there is going to be investigation to determine whether the sergeant should be charged at the crime and he has not yet been charged of the crime. if he is charged and if there is a trial, it would be extremely difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt because witnesses will not be available to the defense. so i suspect there will never be a conviction. host: beyond reasonable doubt. guest: i think there are a lot of statements in that call that were not factually correct. there was an investigation and he was charged with a crime. the grand jury does not investigate, but the prosecutor does the preliminary investigation. they get facts, go to grand jury. here is the evidence we have and if you look at those together, there is enough to suspect that this person has committed a crime and should be charged and
go through the legal process to determine if they are guilty or not. now we are moving to a phase where we are going to weigh whether that person was actually committed the crime or not. what is going to happen is, all of the evidence that the prosecutors, using civilian terms, that the prosecutors gathered to determine that charge can be made. they're going to give all that evidence to bowe bergdahl and his lawyers. they will have an opportunity to review the evidence, make a case, and potentially some kind of military tribunal. they are going to get their day in court. whether bergdahl is convicted or not, the tribunal will decide. whether he has reached the standard -- host: a couple more phone calls. tony, you are next. pennsylvania, democrat.
caller: good morning, sir. good morning, greta. a lot of people seem to be basing their opinion on this the reasons we are in afghanistan. if you are one of those 30 guys sitting in the middle of the desert and you are at the wrong end of a gun, i think politics goes out the window. you depend on your brother protecting your back and you protecting his. to justify his actions waste on -- actions based on the reasons we were there, i don't think his fellow platoon mates were thinking in those terms. i saw the interviews with them and some of them actually seem like they had disagreements with the war, but they understood in order to come home alive, they had to have each other's backs. i think with that man did was wrong. guest: the most important thing, bethlehem pennsylvania is one of
the greatest places in the world. my prejudice to the caller is -- my prejudice is to the caller. the caller raises an interesting point. it is not with individuals in the platoon thought was right or that really matters. the military justice system is designed to operate in that environment. it recognizes that there is chaos and confusion. that there are people taking witness statements may be five minutes after the crime. there may be situations where you can't interview, they get all that. the system is designed for that, but again, it has the same criterion as a civilian system. you have to have a clear definition of a crime. the witness is presumed innocent until they get their day in court and they have rights than -- rights that have to be
protected. host: will they consider time served and how much weight will that hold? guest: that is up to them. the other thing you have to realize, let's say bowe bergdahl is convicted, he can appeal. there is an appeal in the military justice system. host: james carafano, appreciate your time. >> on the next washington journal, legal reporter jeremy jacobs previous supreme court arguments which will decide whether the epa should have considered compliance costs before instituting strict powerplant emissions standards. national review journalism fellow discusses the future of fraternities. they roundtable discussion on the future of union membership in the u.s.. as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation at facebook and twitter.
washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern time on c-span. >> coming up on c-span, actor, director and athletic and microsoft founder bill gates testify about the need for foreign aid. then the senate armed services committee investigates threats by isis and other terrorist groups. later, president obama is in birmingham alabama to talk about abusive actions by payday lenders. friday, the alliance for health reform hosts a discussion on this is date -- on the sustainable growth rate of medicare. live coverage at noon eastern time on c-span two.
this sunday on "u.n. day --"q &a", eric larson on his book "dead wake" about the last journey of the lusitania. >> why was the lusitania allowed to enter the sea without escort and without the kind of detailed warning that could have been provided but was not. this has led to some very interesting speculation about was the ship essentially set up for attack by churchill or someone in the admiralty. it is interesting, i found the no smoking memo and i would have found a smoking memo if it existed. there was nothing from churchill to someone in the admiralty
saying let's let the lusitania go into the irish see because we wanted to get some. -- want it to get sunk. >> microsoft founder bill gates and actor and director ben affleck testified on capitol hill thursday about the need to continue funding for in a. -- foreign aid. senate appropriations subcommittee chair has vowed to fight for foreign aid. this hearing is about two hours. senator graham: the subcommittee will come to order. our hearing is on diplomacy and development and national security. and we have a very incredible panel of great americans and in
their own way in balancing the schedules of these gentlemen had to be very difficult and each and every one of you made a sacrifice to be here. there are other places you needed to go, but the fact to share your testimony, your experiences, your thoughts and experiences about the 150 account means a great deal. as to senator leahy, we have been partners for several years on this account. i enjoyed working with him and tim and this is one area of the government that we are trying to make sure actually works and our relationship has grown over time and we are both committed to making sure that america stays involved in the world in a productive fashion. our panel today consists of mr. bill gates, co-chairman of the bill and melinda gates
foundation, founder of microsoft. ben affleck, founder of the eastern congo initiative and actor. you are doing great work. john megrue, chairman of the apacs and chairman of the born-free africa and working with the u.n. dealing with the mother to child aids transmission. and james stavridis from tufts university. he wore the uniform and i look forward to your view as a military commander about this account. and scott ford is chief executive officer of westrock group and i had the pleasure to see what scott has done in rwanda regarding the coffee market. all of you are welcome and i will let the first statement be by senator leahy.
senator leahy: i think what is probably the most important is that we hear from the people who are here. we talk about diplomacy, development and national security. it's really relevant. probably more so than any time since world war ii. we know what our military can do -- limits to what our military can do and we have this huge economic and military power, but we ought to be showing the rest of the world some of the best parts of our society. i talked to mr. gates earlier and when senator graham and i told our colleagues that they ought to pony up on money on infectious diseases, the country has 320 million americans and at least match what bill and melinda gates are doing, but it
also -- we know we have some problems with development, with funding large contractor n.g.o.'s that might take a lot of money. i'm worried if we don't see what we want to see and with the cuts in the house and senate budgets, we are going to have difficulties. we have to look at what actually makes life better for the people we're dealing with, but also for our own country. i like going into countries where the small country, we find one of our programs is actually about the only medical team
that's ever been there or the areas where we worked on land mines or the school that now has books instead of a one book for everybody. these are things that show us best as america. but i worked with senator graham over the years. he has been chairman and i have been chairman. we tried to make this as nonpartisan a bill as possible and we'll continue to do that. he's a good friend. he understands this program as well as any member of the senate, either party, i served with. senator graham: contrary to popular opinion, the foreign assistance account is 1% of the budget. you can eliminate every penny we spend and not move the debt needle one inch, to those who demagogue that financial aid is the root of all problems, please stop, because you don't know what the hell you're talking about. this account is designed to show who we are as a nation, it's
designed to enhance our national security and it's designed to deal with enemies of mankind such as radical islam, aids, malaria and other diseases poverty. it's designed to build people up so we can live in peace with them and have a better life and make the world a better place. -- a safer place. it's designed to have an american presence that is nonlethal. you cannot protect america by just dropping bombs on people. this account in many ways is the best line of defense in terms of africa. we do not have a large military presence in africa, but in a bipartisan fashion, we have had developmental programs fighting aids and malaria, trying to resolve conflicts in africa and this account has been the front line. and the return on investment on behalf of the american taxpayer from this account, i will match it with any place in the budget. from this account, i will match
it with any place in the budget. i have never seen what a small amount of money can do in a positive way better than here. $50 billion, and it is a large number but in the budget it is a rounding number, but the money we have appropriated each and every year is leveraged for the private sector and each one of these come if the private sector. in partnership with your government, n.g.o.'s, faith-based organizations, the gates foundation, we have created partnerships that every american should be proud of. and the day we stop doing what this account represents is our best days are behind us. we will have chosen a path that no other american has chosen before, one of indifference and isolationism, one of we're not really responsible or the
leading voice in the world. we are. and this account represents that philosophy. it is a good investment on behalf of the taxpayer. what you have received in rates of return, you cannot measure. and an entire generation of young african children saved from aids, turning the corner on malaria and in the congo, what mr. affleck has done is to take hell on earth and make it a bit better. and to mr. ford, what you have proven that the private sector can do is astounding. thank you all. we look forward to hearing your testimony. as we speak today, there will be a vote on the floor of the united states senate for a member of the senate has chosen to reduce this account by 50%. and give that money to the
military. here's what i would say on behalf of the military. they don't want this money. they want this account to survive and thrive. general matthus told me about how this account plays in the world as it is, he said, senator, if you do away with the 150 account and withdraw from the world and these programs go away, you better buy me more ammo. i couldn't say it better myself. so since republicans are in charge, we'll start from the right with mr. gates. -- my right. [laughter] mr. gates: good morning, mr. chairman, senator leahy and other members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to
talk with you about the importance of u.s. foreign assistance. melinda and i in writing our letter for the foundation talked about what great things can happen if the united states and other countries maintain the generosity that they pass through this account. over the next 15 years, there are some amazing things that can be achieved. if we go back to 1960, we have a very dire situation. one child in five died before their fivet birthday. 2 years ago, by 1990, that rate was down to 1-10. since then it has been cut in half to 1-20. with the right investments over the next 15 years, we will be able to cut it in half in again, 1-40. and there are many u.s. programs that are absolutely essential to this decline in
child mortality and to other gains in health and development worldwide. one specific program that makes a huge difference is the vaccine alliance. this public-private partnership creates a market for companies to develop vaccines that protect children in poor countries against the most common causes of death and illness. as an american, i'm proud that the united states government is one of their biggest donors. it has helped immunize half a billion children and prevented over seven million deaths. i can assure you that the parents of those children would be glad to vouch for simple facts, vaccines are safe and effective and save lives. another great example of this is the fight against polio. the number of countries where that disease is endemocratic has fallen from 125 in 1988 to just three today.
melinda and i predict that will be self-sufficient for food production. we are seeing great progress much of it made possible by u.s. assistance. u.s. has a major impact in improving agricultural productivity in poor countries through usais through agricultural research in partnership with our land grant universities. in my written testimony, i discuss a number of u.s. programs that are delivering high returns on investment and having a positive impact to the global poor. but there is another area where foreign assistance will make a huge distance not only for the people of the world's poorest nations, but for the people of this nation as well. as you know, i tend to be optimistic about what the future holds, but there are a small number of catastrophic events that could set back the progress of the past few decades.
the most probable and most frightening of these threats is a large epidemic. as i note in my recent new england journal of medicine, i'm talking about something bigger than the ebola outbreak we have seen. ebola is not a disease that is spread very easily. what concerns me most is the prospect of an even more lethal disease which is also highly contagious. we have seen the flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919 which had a worldwide death toll of 30 million to 50 million. could an epidemic of this scale happen again? yes, it could. and it would spread far more easily than a century ago. i have come to congress on other occasions to ask for the sustainment of u.s. foreign assistance. i have asked for this to prevent needless deaths and suffering.
with ebola, and the very real progress -- prospect of an even more infectious disease, the case is now even clearer. i'm asking you to assist foreign assistance programs not only as a way to help other countries to become more self-sufficient but as a necessary means of protecting this country from a future epidemic. the place to begin is with investments in basic health services in those parts of the world that are most susceptible to outbreaks of infectious disease. whether we are talking about preventing the next epidemic or building upon the enormous health gains, the time to act is now. the need for foreign assistance remains strong and recent events demonstrate its urgency. thank you for inviting me to join you today. i look forward to your
questions. mr. affleck: it's an honor to sit here in this room and speak before you. thank you for having me here. i'm humbled by this panel. thanks for having me follow the greatest and most important philanthropist in the history of the world. but it's an honor to sit next to mr. gates who has done extraordinary things in technology and philanthropy and doing so on your way to bridge. i want to thank you deeply for inviting me to testify. i'm the founder of the eastern congress initiative where grant -- i'm the founder of the eastern congo initiative where grant making and advocacy - organization working with and for the people of the democratic
republic of congo. i want to offer a special thanks to the chairman for holding today's hearings. senator graham and others has proven time and time again to be a champion for smart, effective u.s. foreign assistance. in august 2013, amid new violence, the senator brought a delegation. this marks the largest ever delegation of u.s. senators to visit this war-torn region. thank you for your confidence in the people of congo. and to senator leahy i would be remiss if i didn't acknowledge my co-star in "batman," but i understand you are quite good. good morning, sir. i'm here today to offer a case study on the difference diplomacy is making where investments are transforming communities in need, advancing our nation's interests and creating opportunities both in the countries we assist.
even though you heard about congress and its challenges -- congo, estimated five million deaths due to violence, disease and starvation. 2.7 million remain displaced and sexual violence. but these statistics tell you nothing about congo's future or about the extraordinary and resilient people working every day. despite the many challenges, the people refuse to be defined by the country's past and those who may question the effectiveness of our foreign assistance, u.s. diplomatic and financial investment in congo are working. it accounts for only 1% of the federal budget and 1% of that 1% is important and powerful progress. let me give you an example. in the late 1970's, congo was coffee's leading exporters.
production is less than 10% of what it once was. the families lost a vital source of income. three years ago, we saw an opportunity to revitalize congo sector. we knew with the right partners, we could give them the skills they needed. our government created a partnership. together, only in two years, we have trained and supported coffee farmers across four cooperatetives to increase the quality and quantity of their crop and maximize farmer profits. we brought in global trade specialist that keeps money in the pockets of farmers and their families. but what we have been able to achieve together doesn't end
there. these coffee farmers had no access to farming or line of credit. imagine trying to start a business without any capital. you can't do that let alone another emerging economy. we brought in westrock company to scale their businesses. scott was part of that delegation that visited congo. the final public peace was getting this peace into american homes. and we brought in starbucks. they will travel to the eastern region of congo to begin a partnership with us to develop congo as a key source of coffee. starbucks has purchased 40 tons and may not be a lot for starbucks but a heck of a lot. entirety of the cooperative's export representing millions of cups of coffee.
the largest coffee company is a clear testament. this isn't charity or aid in the traditional sense. it's good business. from a relatively modest investment, farmers' income have more than tripled and can send their children to school and put food on the table and access proper health care. this public-private partnership has transformed the lives of thousands of families. all made possible because usaid agreed it could be done. but this is the beginning. it will launch an economic development fund that focuses on expanding our work not only in coffee but other strategic crops. we will work with 10,000 additional farmers over the next four years to build their business capacity and improve the quantity and quality of their projects and secure direct access to premium markets. this work is scaleable and
republically cabble and in five -- and replicable and in short five years it will have an impact on individuals living in eastern congo. none of this would have happened without ussaid and without private sector partners to operate in one of the highest risk areas. agriculture will be one of the driving investments in the country. it is a driving force. supporting the more than 60% of the people of congo, 40 million people, whose families rely on agriculture as a primary source of income. feed a third of the world's population should not struggle to feed its own people or for basic health care. senators, the next two years represent a critical turning point. with local elections scheduled for later this year and national elections in 2016, we enter into a window of opportunity for unprecedented democratic condition.
-- democratic transition. engagement by secretary kerry and the ambassador have reached congo reach this moment. senator feingold served as special envoy. his leadership and the 15 trips he made during his 18-month tenure was the very direct intervention and we thank him for his service. the u.s. leadership played a vital role. to ensure this progress does not come undone, we urge you to join other groups like human rights watch in calling on the administration to appoint a new special envoy without delay. as we continue to make smart and effective investments, we will foster the next leaders who will carry their country forward to stand as a model for the continent.
senator graham: jennifer and violet are very proud. [laughter] mr. megrue: good morning and thank you, chairman graham, and ranking member leahy and members of the committee for allowing me to come today and talk to you about something which we are all very passionate about which is foreign aid and had a chance to get to know many of you. and so i understand the kind of pushback you get here at times but i would share a business perspective on why i think foreign aid has been so effective and so important. by way of flukes, i'm a business -- by way of introduction, i may business person and spent 0 years in buying companies and owning companies with a team trying to make them bigger and more efficient, but i'm here because it has been more than
the last 10 years working in africa in issues around health care, agriculture, education and specifically the last three years, i started an organization called born free, which is fighting the transmission of--- h.i.v. from mothers to children. i follow three basic rules. i work on things that are fast doable and great leadership that i can partner with. in mother to child transmission, the statistics around that led by the u.s. foreign aid are astounding and in 2003 there were 600,000 babies born h.i.v. positive and 90% of those died in the first five years of life and last year down to 00,000. -- and last year, it was down to 200,000. 6 % increase. this year, it will be less than 150,000, so 75% increase is unheard of in improvements in global health.
i know that we can eliminate mother to child transmission. secondly i mentioned things that are doable. mother to child transmission is doable for two main reasons, one is that the science is very clear and secondly that it's cheap. and having worked on other issues like education and agriculture there are significant debates about how to solve problems, but in the case of h.i.v. medicine is very clear and now very cheap. when you invest your money and others invest their money on the ground, we know it hits the ground effectively and without any debate about whether we are doing the right thing. the last thing i mentioned is great leadership and my experience in business it is the most important thing we go after and i talk about leadership in three areas. first on the ground in africa. we work very closely with government leaders, with health minimums sters and community
health care workers all over africa and you don't get to the kind of statistics that i just mentioned, those kinds of improvements without those frontline people making it happen. and u.s. corporations, i work with many u.s. multinationals, chevron, g.e. and mack and others, who are all investing along side the u.s. government in this particular issue. and not just doing it because of corporate and social responsibility but good business. this is the fastest growing market over the next two decades and committed to making these kinds of commitments. and last is the u.s. government and the leadership that it's providing and i have worked closely with the leaders that usaid and pepfar and i can assure you they are making tough decisions to make sure our money is spent efficiently and for me as a philanthropist, knowing
that that leadership is there keeps us inspired to be able to partner with the u.s. government. i'll share one final thought and that is that we have a clear exit strategy in areas like this. this is not funding that is going to be required from the u.s. forever. three years ago, i was co-hosting a codel and in capetown and brought together some of the largest business people, health minister for a lunch and at the end of the lunch, one of the leading business people stood up and said two things. one, they said thank you to the u.s. government and secondly they said how important our investment has been in south africa getting over the hump and starting to get at this. i said we won't need your help forever.
i came back and looked at the statistics and sure enough in 2003, we were 100% of the h.i.v. response. 2008, we were 50% and now down to about 5% of the h.i.v. funding response and seeing funding response and seeing that these countries feel an obligation to pick up these investments. so i know with continued investment that we will eliminate mother-to-child transmission, and it will be one of the greatest accomplishments of this generation, and the greatest a couple schmidt of this country, and america can be a foreign leader in that, but would i say one thing, i would say now is not the time to blink. i know there are people like myself and other panelists here
and there on the ground who are very grateful that our money is well spent. so thank you for giving me a chance to talk and i look forward to answering your questions. sen. graham: all right, would you like to go next? mr. ford: i am here because i am a member of the u.s. global leadership advisory council for --mr. stavridis: i am here because i am a member of the with global leadership advisory
council and i want to pick up where some of my colleagues have left off, and to say from a military perspective how important this kind of work is. we have a very strong and capable military, so thank you to the congress for that, but we cannot create security in this 21st century simply with power we need the tools of soft power which is what my co-panelists are talking about, and it is really displayed missing -- really displayed missing -- really diplomacy in a nutshell. we can improve at how we launch ideas, and diplomacy and development allow us to do that. so cutting this kind of work, i think, is a mistake at this time. i will give you some practical examples. senator leahy and i, before my time at nato worked together on columbia.
this is an area if you go back 15 years, looked a lot like have syria does today. a complete humanitarian disaster, millions of people displaced, high levels of violence as then was describing and the congo, it was a nap salute disaster. we created something called "plan colombia," which had a military component, but fundamentally developed diplomacy and human rights and all of the soft power parts fitted together with the hard power. today columbia is a nation that has not only in proved vastly, that is in a position to continue forward as an absolute linchpin strategically for the united states in the south american context. my time as a nato commander made me witness the same sort of effect in the balkans. if we think back to the balkans
10-15 years ago, again, it looked a lot like syria does today. 8000 men and boys were killed in a single day, and extraordinary level of violence, rape, torture, yet today in the balkans, when they want to solve a dispute, they don't reach for the rifle, they reach for the telephone to call the european union and the united states. why? because we used some hard power but combined it with the soft power tools. i will give you a third example in the current. it is what we are doing today in afghanistan, where senator graham has served as a reservist in the active-duty arena in afghanistan working on the judicial process there, this is soft power. do we need hard power in afghanistan? absolutely, that unfortunately the long-term requires both, you
need hard and soft power together, and you create smart power, and that is what i would advocate for, and to try to do defense without diplomacy and development, i will simply repeat the quote that senator graham gave us earlier, as my very good friend will tell you if you scrimp on the development and the diplomacy, you are going to end up buying more ammunition, and as secretary gates, who was in our agency before being in our agency was cool we cannot kill our way to victory in these situations. we need hard power, but we need these tools, development and diplomacy, as well. i look forward to your questions, senator. sen. graham: senator booz man from arkansas, we like to hear from you. sen. boozman: i have to run to
the v.a. to talk about opioids, but i do want to thank all of you for being here, and i am very familiar with the work that you have done, you are very great examples of using your time and resources for those who have absolutely no constituency at all. scott, it is a really good thing to see you here, scott does things for his fellow man and as a result, through his efforts and hard work, i think has raised the gdp of rwanda by 15%. he has the worldwide ability to sell their coffee in the international market versus elsewhere, so we appreciate all you have done, as for the other witnesses. thank you mr. chairman. sen. graham: senator bozeman -- bluesman from the great state of arkansas, thank you very much --
senator boozman from the great state of arkansas, thank you very much. mr. ford: i think that this applies to our collective continental benefit, and i was the ceo of a company until we sold it to verizon in 2005, and i worked in africa before that, and i worked with the president of rwanda before that, and we discovered that we are outliers, we had a common philosophy around the role of the state and what it can and can't do and the role of business and what it can and can't do. i will sum it up, the crux of our conversation centered around
a shared belief that we can bring safety and security and political fleet of -- political freedom and even religious freedom, but it is materially limited in the ability to bring economic freedom, it is the final fruit of the tree, if you will. economic freedom that is only created in the private sector when people who have learned how to organize and manage the for-profit's nests and mentor other people in that process. paradoxically, the group that benefits the most from a free market private enterprise system, is not the richest of the rich, they are everywhere in the world, they're actually the poorest of the poor. president you got a -- the president challenge me if i came back to rwanda that could help the poorest of the poor taste the benefits of the free market system he says, because once
they do, they will not settle for a government that will not give it to them. i sold in 2009 and i went back frankly not sure if i could find anything to do in rwanda, but i thought i would honor his request and i will go look and i got to rwanda, and i found out that there was a whole host of things but i ran into the fact that 20% of the people in rwanda make their cash income from the coffee business. there were just two exporters that dominated the coffee trade. i then figured out that they were not paying the highest price for the coffee to the farmers that they could have and that there was room for a third party to come in and pay more to the farmers and still make a profit. i have to make a profit or i don't get to sustain the work. so we started looking through how can we go into the coffee
business, we really did not know much about it, we found an old abandoned, a corrupted mill, and we revitalized and we hung a nation go out and we started a business. in the first six months of our business, we saw the price that the farmers received increased 30%-50%, and that was the power of someone setting a reasonable price in terms of the cost of the product. in addition, we have invested money on helping to improve their yields, helping to improve the quality, and all of this translate directly into income, we were successful in rwanda we extended into tanzania, and that we partnered with falcon coffee out of the united kingdom, and we extended to other parts of east africa, and we were one of the largest specialty exports out of rwanda, and now we work closely with the eastern congo initiative and we asked the
united states group, eastern congo initiative, could we get batman? [laughter] and they said yes, and then we started a coffee roasting business and i am running out of time, thank you for my ability to make the plug, and starting these businesses from scratch in this part of the world gives my wife and my father, they stood with me, and everybody else said i was a madman, but we have seen $100 million of incremental income going into the pockets of the rwandan farmers over the last six years. that is a 50% increase in their standard of living. how do you impact 20% of the united states with a 50% increase in their standard of living? i don't know how to do it and i could not believe it was
possible in the private enterprise system but it was because we got there and there were groups funded, by the u.s. government and philanthropist like mr. affleck and mr. gates, and a german investment group, and all of these groups spending money, to help the co-ops on the ground get their act together, get their accounting together, to be able to function as a community under the rule of law, that is all supported by ngo's and we have been building on that to translate the income differences in the world of the rwanda and farmer. i will say this as a final moment. i recognize in today's panel that we are just one company operating in a limited sphere of influence, i am good with that, but i hope that we serve as just an example of what american private sector actors can look like when we align with like-minded organizations. we can produce benefits that the
poorest of the poor can literally taste, and i think that accrues to i think it accrues to america's credit. if you want to ask questions about that and how it ripples into american policy, i would be glad to answer that, but it is an honor to be here today and i appreciate the imitation. sen. graham: so, we will have that debate later on, and i will take some of your words to the senate. mr. gates, you have been doing this for quite a while in your private role, if the budget cuts are enacted that we are talking about under sequestration scenario a, but we actually adopted what is being proposed under the senate today, how would that satisfy from the point of view of yours? mr. gates: i am very enthused
about the progress that is being made, and it would be a tragedy as we see how close we are on polio eradication if we don't put out those resources now that could easily spread back, and the amount of money the you have from deaths to get back to get to where we are would be absolutely gigantic. if you look at a disease like hiv, millions of lives are being saved, and if you cut those programs back, there simply will not be enough medicine to keep people on treatment. the united states has been an incredible leader there, and it is only through our generosity, though, that that other money is activated. so if we cut back, we will see other funds going away as well. there is quite more generosity
on foreign aid because of the size of the economy, because of the technical expertise that we bring, and the u.s. finds itself in a leadership role that i don't think anyone would be able to step up to that, so it would be a huge setback to maternal health child health, and our lives work. sen. graham: thank you, mr. affleck, i think you have been very involved in the security environment. all of these security programs whether in the private sector or whatever, you have to have a natch -- have enough security what is your evaluation of training the security forces as an american role? i mean, what benefit do we have not just on the hard side-side side -- soft side, but would you
think you would see this as? mr. affleck: i think it is, there is a lack of a security sector, and it preys on the population itself, so people say , we are not going to pay you we you are going to have to live off the lead. this is something that requires leverage from the united states and from local, regional actors to say it includes sort of, trying to end corruption trying to get soldiers paid, and those are difficult things but one of the hardest things about that is to train soldiers property, and we are uniquely suited to do that, and we have been doing that, and the role of unesco is doing that, particularly in light of what we are talking about, which is this nascent public-private partnership to
build sustainable economic models for people, not just making a leave it -- making a living, but for people's capacity to be else, so they can contribute to their society, so they can see a ripple effect of this virtuous cycle, and that aspect of security is really important. you have areas in the north where we are working with coffee collectives that are under threat from an al-shabaab association, and when you have a state, and i am not saying anything new here, where it is failing, it is more vulnerable to that kind of extremism. and you have a state that is more prosperous, they are able to fight that better. speaking to what the admiral said, i am certainly no expert but when people say let's spend money this way before we spend money on bombs, this kind of training that is being talked about is something that we can do. without exception.
sen. graham: so the reason i asked that question for a small security investment, but for a mentor training role we can enhance everything you are trying to do in the private sector? mr. affleck: absolutely, you protect your investments, you make people confident. what scott is doing is that he is backing financing and making people want to do things they did not want to do. he is getting investors a legitimate return. in order to do that, you have got to have a window of safety and that is one of the things that we are trying to expand in the drc, and we can create enough so that we can encourage investment in the public-private partnerships that i talked about. sen. graham: this is sort of a commercial for that, and john, if we do the ledger cuts under sequestration that is being
proposed or adopted, or the amendment is being proposed today, what does that do to all of the success that you have had and the child aids commission? mr. ford: not surprisingly, the leadership --mr. megrue: not surprisingly, the leadership that we have talked to take the lead on this so when we make these kinds of investments in infrastructure and medicine and training to pull the rug out from under us and it is the magnitude of the kind of numbers that are being proposed today, it really brings it to a complete stop. it is not the kind of thing that you can just meet her back, it -- just meter back, it just stalls it. in the case of hiv overall
which is not stabilize, it is starting to drop, you will see an explosion right away, so from my perspective, and from the team on the ground, we are really worried about that kind of move. sen. graham: admiral, i know you are not wearing your uniform today, but do you think it would be smart to take the money out of this account and give it to dod, and d think the dod really wants the money coming from this account -- and do you think the dod really wants the money coming from this account? mr. stavridis: i think this would be a bad idea, and let me put a number on this, to sustain an american in iraq is about $1 million a year for an enlisted troop. we can finance, train, and put
effective afghan troops, for example, in the field as we do today, for literally pennies on the dollars, so the efficiency of this i take is very, very important to be underlined, and i also go back to what mr. gates and mr. gruber was saying, along with mr. affleck, which is the cost here that is minimal, you leverage the private sector, and at the end of the day, our security is like an iceberg. the tiny tip of it that sticks up is a high end capability, that the mass of what we can create is frankly in the private sector, so i think for those two reasons, taking money away from development and diplomacy and putting it into defense where we have strong levels of resources would be a sick never get mistake. sen. graham: would it be possible for you to have all of
the ability in coffee business without the government infrastructure that exists? today -- exists today? mr. ford: no, if you don't have a cut of if a structure, guys like me have nowhere to go. sen. graham: thank you. sen. leahy: the chairman mentioned that the budget cuts are going to go even further, and in the house and the senate the numbers were announced, and it is certainly well below the fiscal year, and they are talking about going beyond that. i'm thinking admiral, you mentioned the colombian project as i do remember our time working on that. you may be interested in knowing that i had lunch with president tonto's -- the president down
there and he prays you and the project, so i mentioned that for whatever it is worth. look at the budget from the cuts from last year. there is $50 billion to use the state department, our consulates , our air diplomats, and ongoing programs that we are committed to, treaty obligations like the human -- like the u.n., and let me ask this question to all of you, and let's say there was $5 billion in their up for grabs. we spend it any way we want. any suggestions? we have talked about this many, any times in my office.
where would you spend it? mr. gates: there is amazing numbers of ngos working on areas of health, and i'm sure they don't make any strong case for any increase that would be available, but the basic health structure in africa is very weak today, and as i said, that weakness means it is bad if an epidemic shows up, and we would not see it soon enough to go stop it, and it would spread in the global economy very, very quickly, faster than the spanish flu did back in 1918. sen. leahy: you did an op-ed piece back in the "new york times" a couple of days ago on this? mr. gates: yes, the basic health and surveillance systems in africa must improve, and the current budget lets us do that at a certain rate, and if there
were additional dollars, we would excel in -- we would accelerate that the sick infrastructure. the current policy would prevent an epidemic, but year in and year out, it is amazing to lift people up and accelerate the time at which these countirries will be self-sufficient and will be able to educate their own people and provide health, so health and eight agriculture are pretty basic things, and the formula for how you get better -- so health and agriculture are pretty basic things, and the formula for how you get that are there is important. it is so much stronger today than 10 years ago or five years ago that the extra money could be very, very effective. sen. leahy: mr. affleck, in the
congo, i have numbers -- i have read numbers about things that you say about. he said that you had seen things that pleasantly surprise you. suppose using your experience, we said, we're going to make you the czar of that $5 billion, how would you spend it? mr. affleck: first thing i would do is surrender that title. [laughter] sen. leahy: you are a wise man. mr. affleck: first, you hear it's too dangerous, can't work on the ground. we want to support community organizations. i know i'm the little guy on the panel, the grassroots guy, so i can speak for the little guy. we saw a lot of grassroots organizations. these coffee and cocoa collectors are perfect example of that we saw with the economic development fund alone is
expandable and scalable. all across this part of the country, you have many, many many n.g.o.'s, local congolese groups that are in want only of money. we can submit to the record a survey of what we did, but it's not a question of where the money could go but of need. i will say that i take that your real point is around sequestration and cutting the budget and there's two ways to go. as i said, this is a nascent partnership. it is about having people to commit to it and believe it. it's not like you have a line of people ready to sort of sign up to this exact way of doing things. we asked them to change their practice and so on. in order to create a virtuous cycle, to have a contagion of success. that's what we've seen so far in two or three years.
i can tell you that taking away those checks, pulling the sheet out from under that will have the opposite effect. there will be a vicious cycle. people will say, you can't work with them, can't believe what americans say this kind of process is never going to work, we'd rather revert to traditional aid where we stand around and hope someone -- senator leahy: i don't want to put words in your mouth but if that happened and you had to try to replicate it a few years from now -- mr. affleck: all the cost we'd spent would be gone and it would be twice as hard to try to do it again, to try to rebuild the infrastructure, to regather the personnel, to try to reassemble what we'd built and overcome a history of mist trust a history -- mistrust, a history of disappointment and a history
and frankly, people had gone elsewhere. whether it's to do more or less artisanal agriculture or in the case of eastern congo, having joined a militia or working in an illegal mine. there's a lot of places people could be working if they're told there's no longer a job for them farming cocoa or farming coffee. senator leahy: my time is about gone, i don't know if any of other three witnesses want to take a stab at this. or all three, what ever you wish? mr. megrue: sure, the area i see the greatest leverage in our investment is investing in health care infrastructure and not in physical equipment but in talent. the africa systems are sorely understaffed. what we've seen is by providing what is essentially inexpensive talent, we can around very specific issues, whether it's malaria, tuberculosis, h.i.v., etc., their rate of improvement is extraordinary. so in states like river state in
nigeria where we've seen a 300% increase in 12 months of mothers on treatment, or another state where we've seen 160% increase, that's done by inserting people that health commissioners can use to mobilize their people and train their people in the right way. mr. stavridis: senator, i'd say very quickly i'd take a significant chunk of it and do what you see in this panel using state and aid that have the bureaucracies, leverage the private-public partnership and you see at state and a.i.d. small numbers of people who are expert at doing that. then i have to give a shoutout within this account for the peace corps. i think it's undervalued and underfunded. our largest cohort every year works in the door and they're peace corps volunteers.
i hear their stories and know their impact in the world. it is so wildly disproportional to the tiny amount of resources they get. thank you. mr. ford: i'd just -- you don't have to spend it all, you could put it to work in credit. credit is the life blood of commerce and credit is what is dried up and missing. the u.s. banks have withdrawn completely from financing anything like what we do. our coffee business are funded by individuals, happens to be from the state of arkansas and the state of texas, who just care. and otherwise it's the chinese that have come in. so if you've got access to that kind of money, credit could use it too. senator leahy: preach to the converted, all of you do. sen. graham: amen. senator daines. senator daines: i want to thank you, i want to thank you each for your passion, your
compassion, your generosity, your kindness as well as your vision. i am grateful for that this morning. mr. gates, i heard rumors you had a background in technology and i have great respect and watch what had you have done for our country and the world. before i came on the hill, i spent 20 years in the private sector as part of cloud computing. people back then thought cloud was to do with the weather. we found out it was something different than that. i'd be curious about your thoughts of how do you see technology affecting global health over the next 15 years? you've called that the big bet for the future. mr. gates: the main thing, how quickly these innovations that are initially designed to be used in rich country, how
quickly they can become very powerful tools in the poor countries that we're talking about. we're looking at using cell phones to track the supply of medicines. it's been difficult to run supply chains in these countries. so often when you want malaria medicine or h.i.v. medicine or reproductive health tools, they're just not available. and so we're going in right now together with usaid and others and looking at this supply chain capability and saying we should know whenever there's a stock out. and as soon as you have that kind of information system you're able to raise the reliability very, very dramatically. a lot of challenges in health care have to do with workers showing up and the quality of their work. by simply tracking the activity, having them take a photo when they come in in the morning,
to show that they are there having them taking a photo of what's in the clinic, that it's well maintained. we see a way to very efficiently improve the quality of the services delivered. and so this digital realm is giving us the unbelievable gift of patient tracking, supply tracking, labor quality. then of course over in the biological realm, creating new vaccines, new drugs, giving us the tools that will give us a chance to say that malaria after we finish polio, will be the next disease that we'll go after eradication. without that help of new technology, many of the goals that we have just wouldn't be realistic. because of breakthroughs that are -- some funded by n.i.h. some funded by foundations like ours. most funded by the commercial sector where it's simply a reuse of the same cell phone or
internet technology. that's why we can be so optimistic about what a little bit of aid money can do to help these countries. senator daines: you mentioned polio. as a rotarian i've been excited to be part of that effort and what you all did there, we're very, very close to eradicating polio in the world. how can that story of the eradication of polio be a model for future success, when we look at other public health issues that need to be tackled in order to bring parts of the world out of poverty and into economic success and stability? mr. gates: polio has been an amazing campaign and rotary has been the life blood of keeping the energy there. even as it proved to be more difficult than was expected back in 1988. today, we haven't had a case of polio in africa for over six months and the only two countries we've seen cases in in the last six months were pakistan and afghanistan.
even there where it's difficult, the government, the army, the n.g.o.'s are coming together , and so we are very optimistic that in the years ahead we'll see the end of polio. there are a will the of lessons about how you orchestrate people and it's a commitment of the polio eradication campaign that we'll not just get rid of this disease but leave behind far stronger health systems, for example, in the case of nigeria, as we did polio eradication there, we saw that the basic structure of the way they budgeted, the way they managed the supply chain, wasn't handled very well. and now through polio funded initiatives that's being put on a much, much stronger basis. and so the success of polio will let us pick other diseases including malaria, to go after with the confidence that we've learned how to do it. senator daines: thanks, mr. gates. mr. megrue, i was struck by your
testimony as well as being a voice for the voiceless, the h.i.v. babies now born h.i.v. free. regarding the public-private partnership that's been described, we'll be discussing the funding and expanding our thinking beyond the funding side of this, what other barriers do you see we could work to remove or incentives to create, to foster more of what you all are doing? mr. megrue: i think there's two pieces of that corporate investment and philanthropic investment. the u.s. does have a chance to accelerate the match funding ideas they've experimented both with other governments as well
as with corporations and large foundations like mr. gates's. because there is a big leverage point to have leadership like the gates foundation can provide to make sure not only -- which he does with his investments but that he can do in a highly leveraged way with the u.s. government's funding. so we see that in many countries, we're working right now and moving into kenya, uganda, and angola and other places. but the u.s. government's investment and time and energy there has been central to creating the kind of dialogue that allows us to leverage what somebody like we can do. senator daines: thank you. mr. ford, given your background as well as in the private sector and jumping into what you've done, any thoughts on that as well, other barriers we could work to remove, incentives to create to foster what you're doing? mr. ford: it's a bit of a
stretch but the u.s. banking system from what i can see, i know a lot of bankers, we did the largest l.b.o. that had ever been converted to a sale in the history of the u.s. in one check. i knew about every banker in the country. none of them would go with us to africa and they all pointed to the regulations facing them that caused them to say we don't know how to comply and so we don't know what they are and we're withdrawing. i had them tell me that face to face, one after another after another. how that factors into what we're talking about here today is not clear to me but it's the reason we had to revert to gap fund big -- funding individuals with projects like this. senator daines: thank you. mr. chairman. sen. graham: senator merkley. senator merkley: you started talking about the vaccine initiative.
the basic numbers translate to about $25 per vaccine. i've heard the international vaccination effort described as the single most cost effective way to influence global health. is that a fair way to put it? mr. gates: absolutely. there's two things we do by vaccinating children. one is that we save lives. and as you said that comes down to less than a few thousand per life saved. but also for every life we save, there's about four children who would have grown up malnourished, that is, their brain and body would not have fully developed. if you look at the burden on the countries here, it's not just the level of deaths, it's the level of sickness. even when those kids do get a chance to go to school or eventually participate in the economy, the fact that their health has been so poor completely holds them back. and so the vaccine investments would make the top of the list in terms of enabling them to support themselves.
senator merkley: so the u.s. contributed, or pledged $1 billion, as you mentioned. was that the amount you hoped for or should we have done more? mr. gates: we were very pleased the u.s. made an increase. in that case, every five years the -- that fund gets replenished. we're a big contributor to the fund. we got a lot of other countries to step up in a big way. actually, the u.k. is the single biggest contributor to that we're the second, u.s. government would be third. so there's always room to do more but we were pleased with the increase. senator merkley: thank you. that was diplomatic and well stated. [laughter] mr. affleck, you've been traveling to east congo since 2007, i believe, how did you get
engaged in the challenges of central africa? mr. affleck: you know -- i've done plays, i should be able to project. [laughter] back then there was a lot of activity going on, and i didn't know about it, and i didn't want to be a dilettante, i started doing a lot of reading and studying and meeting with folks and then i was shocked to see the degree to which the scale of which wars in central africa particularly in congo, the great war of africa, was dwarfing what was going on in sudan. not to diminish that, obviously but that it was -- i figured a if i had never heard of it and b, it was as big a tragedy as was being described, you know that ought to be a place i should get involved. and so i started, whitney williams and i, started this organization, started traveling there and we went around to about 11 countries around congo and started looking at it and thinking without the assumption that, well, i'm a celebrity i must be able to help, i thought,
well what can i do? what can be done? ultimately we decided that we want to foster a lot of these community-based groups that weren't able to get the money from the united states. we wanted to be dexterous and we wanted to be nimble and really once i had been to congo a few times there was no turning back. you see a people suffering as much as these folks are suffering, fighting as hard as they're fight, i thought i'd get there and find people cowering and on the ground, instead you find people going to the market, trying to get a job, trying to take care of their family in the midst of, senator graham was there, and grenades going off and stuff. life flourishes and people try. people exhibit kindness and compassion and want to take care of their families. so i was moved by that, that spirit, that i thought this was the place i wanted to try to do everything i can. senator merkley: i want to celebrate the model of, is there
something i can have an impact on? we are part of the global community and to take it as seriously as you've taken it, to look for real solutions, you've said in your testimony something that caught me offguard. i would have said really? and that to was a country that could feed a third of the world. could you expand on that? mr. affleck: it's got the second biggest rain forest in the world. congo is a massive country. a lot of it is underpopulated this huge jungle, hydroponics there could power southern africa. it's also extremely wealthy in copper, tin, charcoal, lumber, it has every conceivable natural resource. that may be one of the great tragedies of it, six or seven countries there during the war trying to grab what they could
diamonds and -- it's just -- it's an incredibly -- it has incredible potential and you know, it suffered from king leopold and the belgians and others, it's had a lot of bad luck but it's got a tremendous amount of hope and upset. and the people are great people. they're taking step into democracy. they're taking to the streets to demand that democratic changes are transparent. it's an exciting time. but it requires our engagement our continued engagement, a new envoy, continued engagement from the secretary and you know, to support these commitments that both folks in the private sector and they are -- the commitment to usaid there is important and morally important that we maintain the continuity of these commitments.
senator merkley: thannk you for your huge contribution and i appreciate that russ feingold put forward his expertise to bear. there are elections in a few months? mr. affleck: there are elections. they initially attached the elections to a census, sort of got it through the lower house. they're having this decortage -- they're having this thing to carve up the district the long way into provinces, and people are suspicious because they are not ready for it, so they are postponing presidential elections, and the long and short of it is, diplomacy doesn't cost a nickel, and we
need to be engaged diplomatically. there's lots of suspicion in many african countries of some of the former colonial powers. there's nothing but a lot of respect and admiration for the united states and our people and we ought to avail ourselves of that diplomatically. senator merkley: thank you. is tremendous, and for the balance of the panel, each of you are doing really important valuable work. so often international aid is framed as why should we be helping overseas when there's challenges here at home? it's a question worth asking. let's look at it the other way given the gravity of issues around the world shouldn't the u.s. as a leader be engaged? and doesn't it contribute to the relationships and the partnerships that help address world security issues as well and you mentioned, admiral about the soft power side. while we're going positive things for the quality of life we're doing things that are valuable to the united states. thank you for all of your work.
sen. graham: senator murphy. sen. murphy: your work is inspirational. hopefully we will have, in part, a shaming effect on the united states congress as we engage in a debate that will make your work harder. mr. affleck, i wanted to continue talking about, the world food program had run out of money to serve syrian refugees and the consequence of which was pretty clear. these were individuals who had no choice but to feed themselves and their family, so if they weren't getting that sustenance from a legitimate source like the world food program, then it was groups like isis itself where they were going to be forced to turn to for a paycheck and for a square meal for them and their family system of as we were battling isis, we were making decisions to underfund humanitarian resources that had
the effect of driving people to the very organizations that we are trying to eliminate in the region. and i imagine this plays out in the congo, where you have choices to be made. you have militias from the large resistance armies, m-23, that are offering help to these people in the form of small paychecks and sustenance and if they don't have legitimate sources of income i imagine that that drives recruitment to a lot of these illegitimate sources and create more of these problems that we are trying to solve, so i would love to hear you talk more about how this plays into the dynamic in congo. mr. affleck: you see a correlation between increased security and increased development. like hezbollah in southern lebanon when they step in and fill those roles, it creates problems. and if you look at, i was talking about the f.d.l., they
essentially are present in areas where our coffee manufacturers and cocoa farmers are present. now if this all goes away, right, if the funding is removed, if we're not there, it creates a different environment. people have to flee, whether it's them or the dplr or the many, many militias, oftentimes people are forced to join militias to protect what meager things they have. and if they just have a job or a purpose, they will stick with it, frankly, under really, really difficult circumstances and it is when people run out of options that you can work for slave labor in some mine or be exploited or engage in the kinds of activity that we collectively understand as abhorrent or virtually sort of slave labor. it's really, really important that we support the civil society that's burgeoning in these countries and support
the economic growth so people have a place to go. i think you make a very good point and you know, congo, as it becomes better developed will no doubt become more peaceful. sen. murphy: admiral, one of the challenges we have is figuring out who to fund. we have an interest to fund people with the best purposes which means we have to fund really well organized nonprofits but in the end we have an interest in good governance and so there are reasons to run the money through local governmental institutions. i know the answer is different in each place, but as we look at some of the most dangerous places in the world, parts of africa that we're talking about today or the middle east, what's your recommendation and guidance as to the source of this funding?
mr. stavridis: thanks, senator i think you hit the nail on the head, it is different in each of these venues but as a general proposition using an agency like a.i.d., millennium challenge or state as a betting authority can be very helpful. secondly, depending on the individual state and most recently, for example, afghanistan, we've had a lot of controversy about whether this should flow through kabul or go directly out into the field. there are even microclimate, you will, wherein you can be confident in sharif in the north, relatively confident in the west but you ought to be a little more concerned as you get down toward orazcan province or into kandahar. so the point is, there's no substitute for local knowledge and local expertise. you should turn first to the u.s. government as a vetting authority. and i want to close by saying i'm very encouraged by some of the reforms that rod shaw put in place at a.i.d. to increase that
capability of this particular and a very important aspect of things. senator murphy: i want to close with a question to you, mr. gates. you are obviously a technology expert as senator daines noted but you also know something about marketing. we're in a position where most americans think we are spending and yes we're spending only 1% but if you go back to the peak of foreign aid, the marshall plan, at that point we were spending .3% of g.d.p. on foreign aid. a program that i think everyone agrees has a good deal to do with the world order we're living in today. we got a 94% decline in foreign aid spending as a percentage of
g.d.p. since 1950, and yet people still believe that it's much bigger, a much bigger share of the budget than it is. what's your quick recommendation as to how we change people east perception? what are the two or three most salient points from a marketing perspective to make people understand, make our constituents understand, that we've got to be dramatically increasing the share of the federal budget, or at least the portion of the federal budget we're spend on well run programs? mr. gates: most people grossly overestimate what portion of the budget is going to these things. if you ask them, what portion should go, they'll say, two or three percent, our response is great, we'd settle for that in a second. that would be a gigantic increase. in terms of share of budget or share of the economy, the u.s. is relatively low compared to other countries. in fact, the u.k. as an example raised their level up to be over three times what our level is at a time where they had very substantial deficits. and it was a decision that the relative impact of the aid dollars was very, very high. it's unfortunate that the historic picture people have is
clouded somewhat by aid given in the cold war where it's more about the bad guy who is our friend than the humanitarian impact. today the aid budget is not burdened by those things. and we're able to go in with the same business-like thinking that i applied at microsoft and said, hey, is this money being spent the best way it possibly could? and the percentage of the usaid budget where our foundation is doing something in partnership with the u.s. government is very, very high. so we get the analytic capabilities of usaid that are better today than ever combined with ours and other people and so there's a lot of learning that's going on, areas like agriculture and livestock. it's very exciting the new things, we are finding how to get new seeds out and we raise the productivity and how to create self-sufficiency and so if people knew how small it was
and how careful we are to make sure that there's impact, i think we get strong support for the modest level that we're hoping to maintain. senator murphy: thank you to all of you. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. graham: senator moran. senator moran: mr. gates, nice to see you again. we've had a conversation for several years about the eradication of polio in my role and capacity on the labor h appropriations subcommittee. it seems we're making significant progress, thanks to your organizations working with rotary international but there's been outbreaks of polio in kenya, i understand. how close are we and what more is it going to take to finally put this circumstance to an end? mr. gates: yeah, the first half of 2014 was a concern because we had cases that had come up in syria cases that had come up in somalia, and they spread to
ethiopia and kenya. fortunately those outbreaks are now under control. the country we thought would be the last, nigeria, hasn't had a case since july 24. and so if we're lucky, if we go another six months without finding a case, then we'd be quite sure. africa may have seen its last case. and so the focus now in pakistan and afghanistan is very intense, taking some of the same tactics that worked in nigeria and we have a period of relative stability where the area up in where the taliban controls that kids weren't being vaccinated because the pakistani army is in there, we are able to vaccinate enough children to make a difference. so we're hopeful that the polio budget, which is a combination of a foreign assistance account and the c.d.c. budget, that has made a huge difference. there was an increase there.
c.d.c. is an amazing organization, a great partner. i was down there spent today with tom frieden, talking about ebola and how we work together. very impressive and the extra resources are making a difference. sen. moran: congratulations on your success and thank you for your commitment. let me ask just the panelists generally, what has been the consequence of the effort by the united states and the world community in regard to ebola? what are lessons that are learned? what does it tell us we ought to know to prevent circumstances such as this from occurring with this disease or any other medical health affliction? what can we learn from the world response to the arrival of ebola in west africa? mr. affleck: i think that is
you, bill. [laughter] sen. moran: my press staff will be disappointed that i didn't get an answer from ben affleck. mr. affleck: you made the right call. mr. gates: everything we do to build up stability, reaching out to the poorest, most rural areas, when you don't have good primary health care, that means an epidemic can get started without the global awareness to go in there and intervene at the early stage. infectious diseases are exponentially explosive, the six months that we missed in guinea because we didn't know -- in that's what led it to -- to it being a gigantic outbreak. the cdc has done a phenomenal job. the u.s. military came in with the logistical capabilities that
were lacking. it was invaluable. we are likely to see sometime in the next 20 years and far worse happened a -- a far worse pathogens and ebola. it really underscores the investments we've made and they need to do better on the surveillance from -- front. >> there is a role, i think, for military. this is a classic example of soft power. the military have not only were power capability, but enormous logistical muscle, capability directly affecting the medical field.
i think there is little for the military. i will add steve is really the key, particularly if a pandemic more's the way mr. gates is talking about. there are examples of delaying the real world but infection that tell us we need to be ready for this. >> i appreciate you indicating that, because i think the initial response from many americans when the idea of the military going into battle ebola was, that is not we -- what we trade and military men and women for. why are they being called on to do that? >> a good way to think of that is an on and off switch. we don't find this magnificent military just to be in combat or to sit in or in a ship time at a
peer -- tied to a pier. it is a balance between hard power, but also to bring this logistics and intelligence to their in a crisis like this. it's a very cost-effective way to use our military. >> i would use this opportunity to thank kansas guards members who were called to duty in the problem -- in the fight against ebola in africa. i would reiterate what you said about cdc. all federal agencies are subject to criticism. i am a fan and supporter of dr. frieden and the efforts in ebola and many other aspects of what cdc is doing, including prevention in the united states. thank you to the panel for being here.
>> thank you, chairman graham, and i would look to follow on the line of questioning. i have the opportunity to visit liberia for the third time in december, to visit with our troops, missionaries doctors many of the troops from the 101st, and to see the work they were doing on the ground and the impressive impact of the collaboration between significant private sector donors, between consonant-wide organizations and between grassroots community groups. i would like to explore two points. mr. gates, as he referenced, we may face a pathogen more lethal and more rapid in its spread then ebola. it is likely we will. we've made significant progress in vaccines, as well. we've made significant progress in vaccines as well, developing a field test for ebola and
making progress in vaccines for ebola brings hope about this particular episode coming to an end within the next few months. in addition to the importance of having an african c.d.c. for early warning, how do you see the path forward on vaccine development and strengthening the capabilities for rapid characterization and rapt deployment of vaccine in the face of a more lethal pathogen? mr. gates: it's amazing to me how lit they will world has prepared for a serious epidemic. the u.s. has done more than any other country, but even there we haven't done enough. the ebola vaccine and the treatment called zmapp was partially ready but the time it took even using very unusual regulatory approval and trial processes, the time was too long for likely to have any impact on this particular epidemic. and so our state readiness wasn't as strong as it needs to be.
we do need to draw in other countries to contribute to these efforts. we do need to take the various agencies of the u.s. government to work on this and make sure we have an overall strategy. one thing i called for is that we ought to do in the same way we do war games to simulate challenges, tugging at us on the military front that we ought to do germ games where we look and see how we would respond. the last time that was done in the united states, 2001, dark winter looked at a smallpox epidemic and the resources proved inadequate. in that case. so there's a good foundation, there's a lot of good science, n.i.h. is the lead for the many of these things. and so the idea that tools could be created quickly that is a possibility. but we're not there yet. to give -- to say that we're prepared. >> i think there's important lessons for all of taos learn here both about the strength of community health system the
capabilities of community responders, and the huge cost we ended up having to invest and the significant loss of life that could have been avoided. i hope we take your advice and work together in a responsible way. let me talk about natural resource exploitation. as you know well, ben, the eastern congo has been exploited for natural resources. wildlife trafficking has caused problems in the congo basis and other plays on the continent. illegal mining and extractive misuses of natural resources. we're increasingly focused in a bipartisan way in the congress on how that funds extremism and transnational, both criminal and terrorist organizations. i'd be interested, mr. affleck if you'd speak to what you've seen in eastern congo about this, and admiral stavridis, how these things have been put on the radar for national security issues.
mr. affleck: senator, thank you very much for the work you have done. one of the great unsung heroes on these issues. maybe partly sung. i don't know how sung you are. senator coons: i sing offkey so not very well sung. mr. affleck: as you point out, there's a tremendous amount of oh resources there, gold, it goes on and on. almost all of them are dominated by militia groups and quasi-military groups, that has the same effect of encouraging people who are not doing great things. i talked ability the adf in the north, there's the fdlr, the people who committed the genocide in rwanda and the organization they've funned and maintained inside congo which they're taking on halfheartedly. what happens is, when these industries are unregulated they're controlled essentially by local mobsters who have
allegiance to higher level organizations and you have a country that's consistently been in the top 10 list of failed states. so you have a security sector situation that's wide open to be exploited and manipulated. i think there's two things to do. one is to try as best we can to help them regulate these industries which is going to meet with a ton of resistance. and two, to try to really examine, look at these group see where the money is doing some of them, one is an extremist muslim group. others are just as violent and hideous but subscribing to different religions. the truth is, it's there. it's happening. and none of these extremist organizations, none of these
militias survive even though the cost of ak-47 there is 40 bucks, none of them survive without these resources. even -- i don't know if you saw the movie, that park which is fighting for its life literally, one of the things that's undermined them is a huge charcoal trade which is ill list and makes money. timber. things that wouldn't expect. all the resources that are there are being swallowed up by illegal organization who pay tariffs to the various powers that be and it's one of the things bedeviling this country and preventing it from achieving real progress. senator coons: absolutely. thank you for your leadership on combating this and making it better known. admiral, how are we doing in bringing together resource in the fight against wildlife trafficking and illegal mining? mr. stavridis: as mr. affleck correctly points out it's the corruption and the financing that comes out of it that then undermines these fragile democracies and creates ungoverned space and leads directly to security challenges which are global.
and of course it's not just in the congo, it's in latin america and the caribbean, it's in afghanistan. it's in the caucuses. and we tend as always to look first to the hard power solution but this is a case where many of the soft power things we're talking about career ating jobs, education, opportunity, you play the long game and you have a better chance of creating security. i'll close by saying another aspect of this is the routes that come out of it system of if you're moving natural resources that you've stolen or you're moving cocaine or opium, these routes create the opportunity to move weapons, extremists and at the really dark end of the spectrum, weapons of mass destruction. that's another shrimp on the barbie of concern i'll throw out there.
thank you. mr. coons: mr. chairman, would i be overstaying my welcome if i asked a last question? >> not at all. mr. koontz: mobile telephone technology as transformed the possibility of connection to the modern economy through mobile banking. realtime knowledge about everything from incidents of violence, campaign -- incidents in kenya were first documented using an open source platform. some realtime knowledge about the spread of ebola and being able to do tracking was significantly facilitated through cell phones which have now penetrated 70%, 80% of of many of the countries of africa. how do you think we might partner with african nations to both unlock the potential of access to resources and empowerment of small holder farmers and women's cooperatives and how might we strengthen the ability of citizens to engage in the fight against corruption against wildlife trafficking against extremism through the platform of mobile commube cases?