tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN September 30, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
plaintiffs, lawyers and justices in these cases. landmark cases premiers live this monday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span3 and c-span radio. and for background on each case, while you watch, order your copy of "landmark cases" companion book available for $8.95 plus shipping at >> russia's military carried out airstrikes on syria today. we get reaction from ashton carter and john mccain. senator will hear from bob carter who chairs the foreign relations committee. >> the house and senate approved a temporary government spending bill before the midnight deadline. on our next "washington journal"
we will get your comments. ken buck will join us to speak about the republican agenda, speaker boehner's resignation, and the gop republican contest. then ted lieu will speak about government spending. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. "washington journal" on c-span. ashtonnse secretary carter told reporters russian airstrikes in syria were like pouring gasoline on the fire, and questioned whether the strikes were hitting the group, isis. it is 35 minutes.
ashton carter: good afternoon everyone. let me begin with syria. from thisi observed podium, as i had observed privately with the russian minister prior, there is a logical contradiction in the russian position, and now actions in syria. russia states and in tent to hand, and toone support bashar al-assad and his regime. isil without-- pursuing a parallel political transition only risks escalating be civil war in syria, and with it the extremism and instability that moscow claims to be concerned about, and aspire to fighting.
this approach -- that approach is tantamount as i said then, to pouring ethylene on the fire -- gasoline on the fire. in contrast, our position is clear that a lasting defeat of in syria canemism only be achieved in parallel with the political transition in syria. insist onntinue to the importance of simultaneously pursuing these objectives. i would hope that russia would join us in pursuing these objectives, which they claim to share in parallel, rather than in a sequence that cannot succeed. during my phone call with the minister, i told him i was prepared to send the team to meet with russian defense counterparts at a location to be agreed upon to ensure we avoid
any inadvertent incidence of syrian airspace. yesterday i directed my team to proceed with that meeting as soon as possible, and the next few days -- in the next few days. -- goals are the following to facilitate flow of information between coalition forces and russian elements that will help us maintain the safety personnel in the region, which is critical. additionalhat any russian action does not interfere with our coalition's efforts to defeat isil. and to clarify that broader security in the region remains unchanged. as i said before, we will deliver a lasting defeat to isil with a global coalition of over 60 nations, we are taking the fight across the physical, and
ideological battle space. the coalition has constructed hamperingirstrikes, their movement and systematically targeting this terrorist group leadership. continue ton will fly missions over iraq and syria as planned, as we did today, in support of our mission to degrade and destroy isil. as we pursue talks with syria, i want to be clear that these talks will not diminish our strong condemnation of russian ukraine, orn the change security support in response to those destabilizing actions. that subject, and the fact that if russia was to end their international isolation, and be visited a global tower, it must stop aggression in eastern and liveain -- ukraine up to its commitments under the
agreements. let me say a few words about the immediate budget impasse that we find ourselves facing here in washington today. at this hour at least, that we will avoid the trauma of a government shutdown for now. that is not enough. it is not enough for our troops or the defense of our country. this is more, this is about more than just the short-term damage of a temporary shutdown. it is also about the acute relating and lasting damage that comes from a paycheck to paycheck approach to budgeting for the defense of our country. we need to innovate. we need to continue to attract the best people. nexted to develop the generation of capabilities and meet the current generation of threats. again, we face the real risk
that political gridlock will hold us back. budget a negotiated solution in which everyone comes againer at last, we will returned to sequestration level funding, reducing discretionary spending to its lowest real level in a decade, despite the fact that members of both parties agree that this result will harm national security. the alternative to a budget deal , a long-term continuing resolution is merely sequester level funding under a different name. the continuing resolution is, the worse it becomes. a $38ally resulting in billion in resources for military if congress chooses to pursue this path for the full year. the department of defense has done its best to manage through this prolonged. budgetrolonged period of
uncertainty. they are making trade-offs between five, capabilities, and readiness. the world has not stood still. russia and china have advanced their new capabilities and imperatives, such as ensuring a lasting defeat of isil. in this kind of environment, we need to be dynamic and responsive. what we have under sequestration is a straitjacket. we would be forced to make irresponsible reductions and our choices should be carefully selected. making these kinds of cuts is managerial inefficient, and therefore wasteful to taxpayers and industry. it is dangerous for our strategy. frankly it is embarrassing in front of the world. most importantly -- most ourrtant to me come up for
men and women serving in national defense and their families, it adds an undeserved element of uncertainty about the future. finally, as we plan to the force of the future, i note he reports that will be submitted by service leaders today to the chairman with their recommendations on positions they plan to open women, as well as any exceptions to opening all combat specialties to women. these myself reviewed over coming months, i will be focused on the quality of information and analysis behind recommendations. i want to hear from everyone, but i am less interested in who said what, but why they are saying. to be clear, i will carefully review the information and analysis from all services and special operations command to make my final determination.
as secretary of defense i am committed to seeing this through because attracting the best and sing the best -- staying the best means that wherever possible we must open ourselves to the talents and strengths of all americans who can contribute with excellence to our force. as i said before, everyone is able -- who is able to serve and meet the standards required, should have the full opportunity to do so. you, i look forward to your questions on this and any other topics. believeecretary, do you based on what you have seen and heard -- that russia has been targeting isil, or do you believe that they attacked some other opposition forces that have been waging war against us on -- assad. ashton carter: we have been
observing russian activities that we do not want to go into detail about at this time. reason -- one of the reasons why the russian position is contradictory is that exactly the potential for them to strike , as they may well have, in places were in fact that i sold --isil is not present, others are. this is one of the reasons why the result of this kind of be to will inevitably inflame the civil war and syria -- in syria. therefore it is ill-advised to take this kind of action in onlyrt of a solid -- assad without pursuing a political transition their. that is why we are trying to get them in that same position. exposes exactly
what is a fallacy in the russian approach and why it is doomed to failure. i want to make sure i understand -- are you saying then that the strikes were in a place where you believe there were no isil fighters? i want to be: careful about confirming information. it does appear that they were in areas where there were probably not isil forces, that is precisely one of the problems with this approach. you have been dealing with the russians for years, a russian general shows up at the embassy in baghdad, and apparently read your people a note saying that airstrikes will begin in one out -- one hour. what do you make of that? as secretary of defense, is that acceptable relations?
where does this leave you if you sit down and talk to the russian military about a way ahead? is this not the bar? -- bizarre. ashton carter: you are right, this is not the kind of behavior we should expect professionally from russian military. that is one reason why i think it is a good thing to have an avenue of communication that is less unprofessional than a talk aboutere we can professional defense matters. this is something that will occur independent channels, it is important to see we can get russians in a position where they are coming to understand the contradiction in the position that they now half, and the possibility that a political transition and
defeating extremism is something you have to pursue to succeed in syria, maybe they could make a constructive contribution, but they are not on the cap to do path to do that. >> what are your concerns? ashton carter: we are always concerned about the possibility , and avertent incidents lack of communication. that is why it is important to have medication and their. -- in the air. spoken to youru russian counterparts about? getting back to barbara's question, given the fact that there is a considerable risk, are you taking action to circumvent a potential -- ashton carter: the next step and the next dialogue will be in a
professional defense channel. that is precisely our next up. -- step. that is the next step that the defense minister -- when we talked, it is one that our president and president keaton had.itain --putin i think these discussions are good, it does not mean you will agree, it does mean you have the opportunity to clarify, in this case the russians, where i think they are making a mistake. do they speak to your counterpart? ashton carter: i do not rule that out. i think these contacts are good, i have done that many years in the course of my career. that is not the next step, the next up will be detox -- next steps will be these talks. >> there are indications that
the militant -- marines have asked for a waiver in barring some women from some infantry units, is that true? carter: me back up, i want to emphasize there were no recommendations made to me yet. remember the process, the services are doing analysis. what they owed to first the chairman, and ultimately to me by the end of the year is their analysis. , and theires thoughts both about which stuff bespecialties, if any should left close to women, and importantly how they intend to make any adaptations that are required. there are many different aspects to this. it is all important. the only point i want to make at
this juncture, since at least several months before these things make their way to me, i want to get the chairman time to -- of the time that has been planned. the only point i wanted to make is i will be very facts and analysis based. i want to see the grounds upon which any actions that we take at the first of the year will be made. that is the frame. >> in summary, women are less lethal. ashton carter: these things have not come to me. syria, the secretary dids secretary of defense, you have the intelligence that the russians were missing -- moving towards the target? ashton carter: we have been watching their deployment of both -- bothtainly
conversations with our president and our secretary of state, and in my conversations with the minister, they communicated a tensionnd a -- and in anconduct operations -- and intention to conduct operations. that is the way we have learned to conduct. the deacon flexion -- deconflition, is it important for us to communicate to russia that -- does that go both ways? whatn carter: let's see comes out of these conversations about exactly the best way and
information, that is , topurpose of the talks decide what kind of information it is important to exchange to avoid impotence. >> secretary kerry said that russia's involvement with syria would be an opportunity for the united states, do you agree? ashton carter: i said it could be, but not in the forum in which they now conceive. into theo distill that contradiction between on the one hand saying we want to fight extremism, on the other hand, supporting assad. we believe that those are in contradiction. that a position that would of russia'saps two objectives in a different way,
but they would have to change their position is one in which they fought extremism, we also must be fought, but they backed simultaneously a transition from to a government that can end the civil war, and preserve some level of decency and good order in the state of syria. though things -- those things cannot occur in sequence. it occurred in parallel, i think our interest could have some overlap. whenever that happens you have the possibility of cooperating. i hope we get to that point, that would require a change from the current position which is as i said, just not logical. secretary -- >> going back to the timing.
since you just announced the you announced a yesterday, were you not surprised that the russians began their airstrikes before the season started? when he talks to start, how could that not slow down the us-led campaign against isis. you have to de-conflict. carter: they have indicated for quite sometime they would begin to conduct air operations. we have agreed for quite some get thesewe would talks underway just as soon as we could agree on a mutually agreed-upon place and time. we have agreed upon it now. those will get underway within days. i think they will be constructive. part, we intend to continue to conduct the air operations the entire coalition does to combat isil and other
extremist in syria, as we have been doing. we do not intend to make changes in our air operations. >> he said that the russian strikes were not in an area where isis was present, others were. if those others were syrian opposition, as you were saying, what responsibility does the coalition have protect those opposition forces and fighters from airstrikes? ashton carter: it your question point of the whole contradiction here in the russian position, which is that by taking -- by supporting assad, and thereby seemingly taking on everyone who assad,ing -- fighting you are taking on the whole country is syria. that is not a physician, we believe that some parts of the anti-assad opposition belong as
part of the political transition going forward. that is one of the reasons -- that is the central reason why the russian approach is doomed to fail. i hope that they come over to a point of view where they try to pursue their objectives in a different way, that makes more sense first of all, and second of all, is one in which we can share to some extent, and therefore work in a common way, we are not there yet. i think it is worth trying to get to that point. what is the responsibility for that as we heard in the past? thelieve you testified on hill that the coalition has responsibility to protect the opposition forces, particularly those trained by the u.s.. is thearger forces, what coalition responsibility if they are under airstrikes that the russians -- by the russians?
ashton carter: we have conducted andoperations against isil, every other target that is not our practice to conduct air operations against all of those who are fighting assad for the reason that i keep coming back to, which is that to simply and not sod -- assad, to pursue eight political transition is only going to fuel the opposition, and therefore the extremism and violence. >> get you on the record, on the national defense authorization, , are youout the budget going to recommend that they veto a bill? ashton carter: other advisors already have. --indicated it was present
presented in the form it will be presented to him, it will be vetoed. this is the national defense authorization act, yes, that is unchanged. same position. you are recommending vetoing the defense policy bill, isn't that a contradiction? ashton carter: no, what we need is an appropriations l that funds the department -- bill that funds the apartment -- department. at the moment, the authorization bill makes no appropriations at all, as you know. attempts to again -- evade the question of overall fiscal responsibility with the o otherimmick to me and agencies, it is offensive.
finally, it contains other provisions also objectionable. i will give you examples. we have -- proposed for several reforms. changes in toy extend from health care poor structure to better spend the defense dollar in areas where better national security benefited -- benefit is obtained. in the defense authorization act some of those reforms are key reforms, billions of dollars of reforms are disallowed. that is not ok with me. that is taking dollars, which i forady regard as short national defense and using them in a way in which we, the department's leadership has for
several years determined is not in the national interest. i need to be able to say to the taxpayer both that we need every dollar we are given, and that we are using it in the best possible way. the national defense authorization act, several provisions of it -- this is not new, this is long-standing, several things do not take into account what has been the judgment of the department. these are not mysteries, we have been clear. we have been clear about all of these things. i do not think there is a doubt about what our position as. -- is. >> i have two questions on syria, the opposition is saying that civilians were killed in the attack by russia today. president is encouraging
a no-fly zone to project -- protect civilians. is that being discussed at the pentagon? you mentioned that he talks will be to avoid incidents and avoid actions that would interfere isil.he fight against does that mean a russian general asked the u.s. to stay out of airspace, is not already interfering? ashton carter: you have several things there. to get the last part, i will say again, we intend to continue our air operations unimpeded. i think you are asking about the possibility that the russian airstrikes may have hit civilians. i cannot confirm that. again, id be, yet kind of action by the russians is ill advised, and will backfire.
we are, on the contrary as you know, very careful to make sure that those whom we are targeting isil or other extremist. we are very careful about trying to away billion casualties. that is something we work hard at. it is something that requires a lot of care and practice and exterior -- experience. i cannot confirm that that occurred, but if it occurred, it is another reason why this kind of russian action can and will backfire very badly on russia. i would like to get them in a different place. do you think the russians are
messing with you? take therter: i russians at their word. their actions now seem to reflect what they said they were can endure -- were going to do. my problem is not that i do not understand, my problem is i think what they are doing will backfire and is counterproductive. they will?elieve secretary, aside from the sequencing aspect that you have talked about, the bombing of isil, and then working on a political transition -- putting that aside, with you and -- would you and your leaders bombing of ia's
soul -- isil and other groups that are state led? ashton carter: i think it is clear -- it ought to be clear to anyone, if anyone wants to join sil or fight against i join in the coalition, 60 countries have made that decision. this is an evil that must be defeated. andare right, it is isil other extremist groups, yes those are the ones that we and the coalition are combating. obviously, we welcome contributions to that. again, if the russians change their approach to one that is -- does not have the contradictions that this one does, that would be a basis of -- a welcome aces of cooperation -- basis of
cooperation. it is easy to understand why the russians are concerned. they have extremism experience. i can well understand. on the other hand, i think that this kind of action is only going to exacerbate that tendency for them to find themselves the bull's-eye. chief, you are predicted there would be more mergers and acquisitions between defense companies. we have been seeing more that recently culminating, there have been concerns that deals like these will eliminate competition. assessment.ing your ashton carter: i cannot comment on a particular case being determined at this time. what imember back then
said then, and still believe is that it was important to avoid excessive consolidation in the defense industry to the point where we did not have multiple vendors who could compete with one another on many programs. to the point where we had so-called vertical integration and companies to an extent that made competition among subcontractors for work on primes less competitive. we do need a competitive marketplace to the extent possible within the defense industry. that itime i indicated at that time, in that role, i feel the same wine -- way now, did not welcome further consolidation amongst a large contractors.
i do not think it was good for our defense market place. you have been saying -- i am giving you an opportunity to clarify. i want to make sure we understand, you believe that the russians are being true to their word. you are taking them as honest? clear,carter: let me be there is no contradiction, they have said quite clearly that they intend to deploy forces in syria, and conduct strikes there. they have done that. if you're asking if i am surprised, i am not because they have been saying for a few weeks they were going to do that. as many in this room have reported, they have been a key bleeding the wherewithal to do it -- accumulating the
wherewithal to do it. thank you. senator john mccain was also critical of russian airstrikes in syria. senator mccain spoke on the senate floor. mr. mccain: mr. president, we now have information that the russians have now launched airstrikes in syria, ostensibly against isis. in reality it is not clear. in fact, there is information that some of these strikes were at homes, and the latest information is that these syrian observatory -- the syrian observatory for human rights reports that at least 27 people were killed and that six children were among the dead. these strikes near the city of homs is not under control of isis of the islamic state.
so already we are seeing the true intentions of vladimir putin, which is to maintain a strong position in syria, his foothold in the middle east, and his propping up of bashar assad. bashar assad, who has killed at least 250,000 of his own citizens through the horrible process of barrel bombing, has driven millions into refugee status, with the full and complete support of iran and vladimir putin. i say to my colleagues, over the past six and a half years, president obama has sounded retreat across the middle east. in fact, it was one year ago at this time when the president of the united states said, our
strategy is to degrade and destroy isis. a report yesterday, some 28,000 european and some americans have come into the fight on the side of isis. mosul and ramadi remain in the hands of isis and, of course, the continued advances of isis in syria are well known. in short, a year ago after the president made that statement, there is no strategy, there is no success, in fact we now see the result of this failure, which is a flood of refugees out of syria and iraq because they have given up hope of ever returning to their homeland. our hearts go out to those who are victims and have had to flee their homeland, and we see these refugees, and it breaks our heart when we see a little
baby's body washed up on the beach. it didn't have to happen. it didn't have to happen. everybody knows that when the president of the united states said that we've drawn a red line with syria and didn't do it, it had a profound effect on the middle east, including sunni-arab states as well as shia. everyone knows when the president turned down the recommendations of his secretary of defense, secretary of state, which happened to be secretary of clinton at the time and his secretary of defense, to arm the free cernin syrian army, and hed it down was another seminal moment. this is a series of decisions or nondecisions which has led to the situation we see today where vladimir putin may have inserted russia into the middle east in a way that russia has not enjoyed since 1973 when anwar i sadat, -
anwar sadat threw the russians out of egypt. we're still on course to continue this nightmare by withdrawing all forces from afghanistan as well as, as we see in the last couple of days, the taliban capturing the strategic city of kunduz. kunduz is in the northern part of afghanistan, where it was believed was fairly stable, showing the ability of the taliban and the effects of our withdrawal. but i come back to syria and the russian activities today. after four years in syria, the united states has stood by as bashar assad, his war on the syrian people goes on and on and on. and as it slaughter -- it's been the single-greatest contributor to the rise and continued
success of isil. have no doubt, it was bashar assad that gave birth to isil. the president has said for years -- for years -- that assad must go, but he has done nothing that has brought us any closer to achieving that outcome. my friends, i.t it's not that we have done nothing. but what it is, we have not done anything that would reverse the trend and in any way further the goal that the president articulated a year ago that we would destroy the great -- de-groidegradeand destroy isil. this administration has encouraged our enemies, mistaken an excess of caution for prudence and replaced the risk of action with the perils of inaction. into the wreckage -- into the wreckage of this administration's middle east policy has now stepped vladimir putin. as in ukraine, as elsewhere, he
perceives the administration's inaction and caution as weakness, and he is taking full advantage. over the past few weeks, vladimir putin has been engaged in a significant military buildup in western syria, deploying strike aircraft. and by the way, he's also deploying aircraft that are air-to-air, not air-to-ground. nigmy friends, isis has no air force. the buildup of russian tanks and military personnel. meameanwhile, our secretary of state calls va and asks what's going on? it was obvious when vladimir putin was doing and these airstrikes are a logical follow-on to his ambition, which he is realizing to, one, play a rage role in syria, re-serve the port of vladikia, prop of bashar
assad, and play a major role in the middle east. all of this is not lost on countries in the region. last time i -- today vladimir putin escalated his involvement as russian pilots carried out their first airstrikes in syria. initial reports, as i mentioned, that they are hitting targets which are not controlled by isil. that should control -- that should fool no one because vladimir putin's primary authority and responsibility and ambition is to prop up bashar a sad against all -- assad against all of his enemies. the white house has said -- quote -- "it's unclear exactly what russia's intentions are." my friends, i am not making that up. the white house has said, it's unclear exactly what russia's intentions are. if the white house is confused
about putin's intentions and plans in syria, then the united states is in even worse trouble than many fear because it is not hard -- it is not hard to discern what vladimir putin wants. in fact, from russia's military buildup in syria and i military coalition with syria, iran, and iraq -- remember, iraq is the country where we lost thousands of american lives and now the iraqi government announces sharing intelligence with syria and iran. amazing. amazing. putin's ambitions are obvious, my friends. he wants to prop up assad, play kingmaker and any trans-auction undermine the u.s., to a degree unseen since 1973.
this week at the united nations president obama said -- quote -- "the united states is prepared to work with any nation including russia and iran to resolve the syrian conflict." it requires self-delusion of tremendous scale to believe that russia and iran have any interest in resolving the syrian conflict. they seek only to keep the murderous assad regime in power. russia's intervention in syria will prolong and complicate this horrific war, and the main beneficiary will be isil, which has fed off the ethnic divisions fostered by the assad regime. it is tragic, my fellow men's, that -- my fellow americans, that we've reached this point. a syrian conflict that has killed more thank 200,000 people, celt created the worst
refugee crisis in europe since world war ii, spawn add terrorist army of tens of thousands ages no and now creata platform for a russian autocrat to join with a syrian theocrat to prop up a syrian dictator, it did not have to be this way. this is the inevitable consequence of hollow words, red lines crossed, tarnished moral influential, leading from behind, and a total lack of american leadership. my friends, today in the "washington post" is an article by david i ignacious. mr. ignacious quotes ryan crocker, one of the great diplomats that i have ever had the honor and privilege to know. ryan crocker says -- quote -- "russia has played a horrible hand brilliantly. we folded what could have been a
pretty good hand, argues ryan crocker, a retired u.s. diplomat who has served in nearly every hot spot in the middle east and is among the nation's wisest analysts of the region. 'the russians were able to turn a defensive position into an offensive one because we were so completely absent." ryan crocker is right. i would also remind my friends that because of american inaction, the countries in the region are making their own accommodations. syria -- excuse me, saudi arabia , u.a.e. and qatar have all been to russia in arms deals. the saudia arabians have bought $17 billion worth of republicans from russia. the u.a.e., $7 billion. qatar, $5 billion. would that have ever happened 10 years ago? of course not.
but they see america leading and they are accommodating. -- but they see america leaving and they are accommodating. and we have -- and we have, of course, refused in many respects to give the kind of weapons particularly that the -- that the kurds need. mr. president, i won't go on too much longer. i will -- i will summarize by saying that this is a very, very, very sad day for america in the world. the world is watching. it's not confined to the middle east. we see vladimir putin continue to dismember ukraine and now some phony separatist elections are going to be held in the area that he now controls. the chinese leader made some nice comments about how they would stop the hacking that is -- that they have been able to compromise our most important industrial, military and other secrets. we'll see if that happens.
but they're also continuing their expansion of the islands in the south china sea. throughout the world, an absence of american leadership is very visible and very understood by nations throughout the world. and today we see vladimir putin attacking with his airplanes not just isis but others who are enemies of bashar assad. but i would also like to add that these airstrikes are indiscriminate in nature and there has been no attempt whatsoever to stop the horrible barrel bombing, as general david pa tray -- david patreas just recommended before the armed services committee a few days ago. so this is a terrible day. and it's a time for american
leadership. and it's time that president obama woke up to the realities in the world and reassert american leadership. and that does not mean that we're going to send thousands of ground troops back into iraq or syria. but it does mean that we develop a policy. in the case of -- i am told that these bombings that the american government has said that american planes should not fly and that we have somehow approved of these airstrikes. i do not know if that's true or not. i hope that it's not true. what we should be saying to vladimir putin is that you fly but we fly anywhere we want to, when and how we want to and you'd better stay out of the way. that's the message that should be sent to vladimir putin. so i hope that the american people understand how serious this is and that this rogue
dictator named vladimir putin, who is a thug and a bully, can only understand a steadfast and strong american policy that brings american strength back to bear. we are still the strongest nation in the world. now it's time for us to act like it. mr. presiden met with the minister of syria, we begin with remarks from john kerry. want to thank you for the chance to address this council. i appreciate the fact that russia's presidency has chosen to focus on this .
we have come together to encounter extremist organizations. this is not a debate about goals, i do not think. we all of those the aggressions -- aggressive ambitions of such organizations as al qaeda and groups that are imitating them. atrocities they commit, we all want to end the suffering they continue to inflict. there is no debate about that. the question that we face is, how do you best do it? there are basic principles that
we believe to guide our strategy. first, and confronting terrorism, we have to take a conference of approach that was quite eloquently talked about by the heads of state of the summit that president obama hosted. i was a great discussion, thought there were very articulate statements about how one approaches the root causes. we have to deny safe haven, disrupts the flow of foreign fighters, block access to financing, and exposed the lies that terrorist groups propagate. that is particularly challenging in this world of constant media and access. we are living in a different world. have learned how to exploit that media in all kinds of ways. we also need to exert pressure in support of peace. perhaps one of the most important components of error response ability -- of
responsibility, where instability feeds the chaos and fear in which extremist organizations thrive, we see that now with the presence of isil in libya. this is the fundamental strategy that we have laid out for countering violent extremism. we have adapted this and are strongly engaged in it. we welcome the large number of nations that joined as international actors in the counter isil commission and other regional organizations. obviously, more needs to be done. we have been able to counter some foreign fighters and kept them from traveling, but still, too many have been able to travel and been able to reach the destination. we have been able to slow down and stop some of the elements of
financing, there is still too much money that is able to reach --rorist activities actors and actors. our goal is to take urgent actions against immediate threats, while also facing up to all richer measures that prevent the recruitment of future generations of terrorist and enhance economic opportunities so that radicalization is less likely. this is an enormous challenge for all of us, we know it. there are countless countries 60, 65% of the population in some cases are under the age of 25, ader the age vast majority, under the age of 18 and a majority of many countries. unless they find options, their minds will be stolen, their opportunities rob forever by --
robbed forever by bad actors. we also and it -- need to improve government so radicalization is less likely. too many places see too much corruption. corruption robs the populations due and do -- possibility. in each of these areas we intend to work hard with all of you and others not here to prove -- improve our chance for success by working with the concerned elements of civil society, including ngos, religious readers, and the private sector. meanwhile we have to continue our efforts to alleviate immediate hardships that the terrorists are causing. while we have been pushing humanitarian relief in the areas, the international community absolutely has to do more. we are staring at the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding not in one or two
places, but multiple places, simultaneous. the humanitarian disaster we are witnessing in and of itself should be enough reason to take il. this has been a major topic of our discussions these past days, it has to remain a core concern. every nation can do more. two un security council resolutions, 2139 and 2165 clearly require, and everyone voted for it, clearly require humanitarian access to the siege sieged areas, they call for the use of starvation as a weapon of war. i would like to add some thoughts on syria specifically, isil an russia. the united states supports any genuine effort to fight isil and
al qaeda affiliated groups. andussia's recent actions those now ongoing reflect a genuine commitment to defeat that organization, then we are prepared to welcome those efforts, and find a way to deacons like our -- way to deacons live our operations. we must not, and will not be confused in our fight against isil with support for assad. also madewe have clear that we have grave concerns said -- should russia strike areas where al qaeda targets are not operating. strikes of that kind would question russia's real intentions. we have informed russia that we are prepared to hold these talks
as early as possible, this week. let me be clear, the united states as a coalition will continue our ongoing air operations as we have from the beginning. we have conducted a number of strikes against isil targets in syria over the last 24 hours, including one hour ago. these strikes will continue. , the coalition that we have built, more than 60 countries strong, has been taking on isil for more than one year, by liberating kobani, , where nowikrit residents have been able to return to their homes. , protectingscle dam endangered minorities, killing isil leaders and facilitators
and taking away the northern border of syria for isil east of the euphrates. at the same time emily have a campaign to cut terrorist financing, and exposed lies that isil is perpetrating. speak, some are heroically liberating villages from isil under the cover of coalition airstrikes. in addition, we continue to admire the courage over four long years of struggle by the opposition to assad let me. those that the request of neighboring states for collective self-defense under article 51 of the u.n. charter, that foundation has not changed. we will continue our mission
with the full sanction of international law. pursuant to these procedures in syria over the past year, the coalition has been conducting nearly 3000 airstrikes against isil targets. we are now in position with france, australia, canada, and this is what we will do. over the coming weeks we will be fights in turkey to apply constant pressure on strategic areas held by isil in northwest syria. we will be sustaining our support to anti-isil fighters. these efforts will put greater pressure on iso's operational areas and we will ensure through precision airstrikes isil leaders do not have sanctuary anywhere on the ground in syria. i cil