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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 30, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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back people's i.r.s. rebates the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. delauro: this denying women's health is crure, it's spiteful, it's wrong and does great harm to this great nation. vote against this bad piece of legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from alabama. mrs. roby: thank you, mrs. roby: not everyone in this country is pro-life like i am, but those whor should not be forced to have their tax dollars fund an organization that aborts more than 350,000 unborn babies every year. federal law has long prohibited public funds from being used to actually perform abortions. however, planned parenthood gets millions in grants and reimbursements for other services that they provide, like
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pregnancy tests, birth control, pap smears and s.t.d.'s. of course, low-income women should have access to these critical services. why is it necessary for those services to be funded at the nation's largest abortion provider? it isn't actually but the abortion industry and its supporters -- it's what they want you to think it is and they talk about women's health because they dent want to talk about abortion or how ugly it is or how painful it is, not just the mother making a decision but the unborn baby who doesn't have a voice or a say. when it comes to funding they like to present tevend abortion doesn't exist and planned parenthood is the only place
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where low-income women can get health care. taking away funding from planned parenthood means attacking womens' health. that's not true. there are more than 13,000 federally-qualified and rural-health centers throughout this country that offer low-cost health care to women. in fact, these sent iris outnumber planned parenthood clinics 20 to one. if those who defend federally funding of planned parenthood truly just wanted to make sure that low-income women have access to health care and not abortion, then why not simply support these noncontroversial community health centers instead? if this argument is really about making sure women have access to health care, then we would all
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agree right here, right now, to support these community health centers. but you see, mr. speaker, that's not what this is about. you see, while federally-qualified and rural health septemberers provide a wide range of medical services, they don't perform abortions. and that's what they really want. they want to preserve the pipeline of funding to the nation's largest abortion provider. this talk of women's health is not -- nothing but a charade and a false pretense that more and more americans realize is phony. i urge my colleagues to support
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colorado congressman ken buck will join us to talk about the republican agenda, speaker boehner's resignation, and the upcoming gop contest. and ted lieu will give his take on the continuing resolution to fund the government through september, and the debate over planned parenthood. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. "washington journal" on c-span. >> joining us from capitol hill is congressman daniel webster, republican from florida and a candidate for speaker of the house. congressman, thanks for being with us.
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>> thank you for having me. >> how is the race going? >> i take everything as it comes. hopefully, we will have success. >> speaker boehner announced that a leadership elections will take place on october 8. are you happy with that date? >> yes, i am happy to share why i am running. that is going to move some of those things up. people are being more inquisitive right now. i am running because i want to have a principle-based, member driven congress, and i don't think we have one now. i think we have one based on power. i saw that in the florida legislature before i became speaker, and i turned those things up side down in the florida house of representatives, and i would like to do the same here. >> based on the power of whom? >> a powerful few at the top make all the decisions.
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you can bills, even if amend them, or debate them, it's up it is, power-based system. i want to spread the base so that every member has a chance to be successful. that empowers the general membership and committees. it empowers individuals so that the policy we make is good policy, because it has been vetted by so many people. important the most part of doing that is you have to take up the most important issues first. the way power works, they hold everything to the end then you run into an expert and a train wreck, and there is only one solution. because you have one solution right at the end, you have to vote yes or no, and we are not solving anything. in the florida legislature, they used to hold the budget and major bills until after midnight
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on the last day of session. then people just wanted to go home, so they voted for them, and a lot of times, a debate on multiple issues of hundreds of in 10 orbills would be 15 minutes, done. i reversed that. saved the road naming for the end. it gives you the opportunity to negotiate, to talk, to stay on an even playing field, including or a president in this case. our poll numbers, which were in better than the house poll now, which are in the teens, got turned right side up. from your standpoint, is
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there room for compromise with those in your own party, and with your colleagues from the other side of the aisle? can you do both? >> yes. but what i can tell you is that power and principal cannot coexist. they can't. you either based things on the principle that everyone's vote is important, or you let a group of people make decisions for all the members, and they are required to stay in line and vote for whatever it is the comes from the top down. if you were to talk to people on the democrat side or the republican side, they would tell you it was a great system, including debbie wasserman bill posey, one a conservative, one pretty liberal. yet, they both liked the way it worked. beeker boehner warned about false prophets within his own warned- speaker boehner about false prophets within his own party. do you think he was referring to
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you? >> i don't think so. this is not a personality issue. this is a process issue. this is a philosophical issue based on whether or not you can operate the house of representatives on principle or power. he was talking about making promises they can't fulfill because they would be working on issues or putting on amendments that we would force the senate to take her so forth. that is not what this says. this is about a process that keeps us out of those situations so that we don't have this exponential train wreck at the end of an appropriations process or end of the reauthorization of a bill, running out of money and having to raise the debt ceiling, all of those things. front,hould be done up early on, and then our options are far, far greater.
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>> leader mccarthy is favored to be speaker of the house. you want to dispute that. >> you should be favored, but i can tell you i am the only one who has experience in a principle-based legislative a-day. if the membership wants to stay --h the power-based system legislative body. if the membership wants to stay with the power-based system, they can do that. againstampaign is not an individual. my campaign is against a process . i am for principle. others are for power. to me, they cannot coexist. week before the conference meets, how do you campaign for speaker? what is your process? one-on-one is best. sometimes phone calls. what i just explained to you is something that takes a while to explain to most members.
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-- it takes a while to do that, so face to face is best. >> congressman daniel webster is a republican from florida. he is also running for speaker of the house. thank you for your time. >> great to be on. is c-span'st cam annual documentary competition for students grades 6-12. it's an opportunity for students to think critically of issues of national importance by creating a documentary in which they can express those views. students get involved because it gives them an opportunity and a platform to have their voices heard on issues that are important to them, so they can express those views by creating a documentary. we do get a wide range of entries. the most important aspect for every documentary we get is content.
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we have had winners in the past created by just using a cell phone, and we have others created by using more high-tech equipment. but once again, it's really the content that matters and shines through. the response from students in -- hast have been great been great. they have created videos on issues that are important to them. we have talked about education and the environment, showing a wide variety of issues that are important to students. >> we have definitely come to the consensus that humans cannot run without food. >> prior to the individuals with disabilities education act, or the idea, children with disabilities were not given the opportunity of an education. >> this year's theme is road to the white house. issues the most important
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you want candidates to discuss in the 2016 presidential campaign? it's full on campaign season. there are many candidates discussing many issues. this footage should come to amend and further their point of the and not just dominate should, lament and further in their -- this footage should complement and further their point of view, not just dominate the video. all heard about school lunch including fish sticks and mystery meat tacos. >> there is a vital role that the federal government plays. it's especially vital for students with disabilities. >> you can go to our website to find more information about the rules and requirements. ,ou will also find teacher tips , andmation about prizes
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ways to contact us if you have any sort of questions. year'sdline for this competition is january 20, 2016, exactly one year away from the next presidential inauguration. >> a signature feature of book tv is our all-day coverage of book fairs and festivals from across the country with top nonfiction authors. here is our schedule. in early october, the southern festival of books in nashville. we arekend after that live from austin for the texas book festival. at the end of the month, we will be covering to book festivals in the same weekend. from the nation's heartland, the wisconsin festival in madison. theact on the east coast, boston book festival. at the start of november, we will be back in portland for wordstock.
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and we are live from florida for the miami book fair international. that's a few of the fairs and festivals this fall on c-span2's book tv. next, look at the threat of islamic extremism in russia. we will hear from a former state surveyed affairs analyst from the reagan administration. this is an hour and 40 minutes. there you go. boy, you could hear that. so, this afternoon, we will hear testimony, expert testimony, on a topic not thought to be, but in reality of great concern and importance, the threat of ,slamic extremism inside russia and what that might mean to the united states and global security.
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islamic terrorists have declared war on the modern civilized world. their barbaric actions in syria remind us daily of their depravity. they must be stopped, and they must be defeated. the future of america, russia, and yes, western civilization, depends on that. the lives of millions will be in jeopardy if we don't do what is right today. nature of thisl fight, it is in the interest of our national interests to understand the growth of parts of theother world and in other countries such as russia. it is alarming to read reports living in peaceful
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and free democratic countries --ng attract it or recruited attracted or recruited into radical islamic terrorism. this frightening reality is happening in europe and elsewhere. media reports indicate that over 2000 russian born fighters may have traveled to the middle east to join isis. our collective inability to stem this tide is both shocking and unnerving. this afternoon, i look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses. i know dr. erin. we are pleased to welcome back as a witness. unique insights regarding the spread of muslimsm into populations in russia. we do not normally associate russianavior with ethnic groups like the tartars and others, but we do need to know what those details are. we will learn about this and
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other things in your testimony. of the bostonth bombing in may of 2013, i lead a congressional delegation -- -- i lead aus congressional delegation to russia where we met with the russian government and intelligence officials and discussed the threat of terrorism and how our governments could potentially cooperate. i have been disappointed that due to the up evil in ukraine, moore has not been achieved in in ukraine, moore has not been achieved in this area. extremists continue to plot attacks in the united states and russia. it seems plain to me that if we work together we will be better able to protect our people, stop attacks, and kill violent terrorists, something i am
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personally in favor of. as a matter of policy. me note, our discussion today about russia and the question of finding possible areas of cooperation in down plays or overlooks the disappointing situation in ukraine. as a result, our government has imposed sanctions on russian officials and institutions. even with that millstone around our next, our two governments still managed to achieve -- our our two governments still managed to achieve cooperation in other areas, such as the international space station. perhaps we might also make a joint effort to stop the spread of islamic extremism and the terrorism that flows from it. objection, all members will have five legislative days to submit written questions or
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extraneous materials for the record. i will introduce the witnesses after opening statements. tements. [no audio] itsow russia has shifted attention to increased support of the bashar al-assad regime and increased role in the syrian conference. at the u.n. is weak, putin continued -- at the u.n. this continued to support
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a thought. -- bashar al-assad. this directly contradicts with u.s. diplomatic roles. bashar al-assad transition out of power. it is unclear whether russia's motives are self-serving or stem over hering concern those fighting in north syria who could pose a serious problem to moscow should they return to russia. to hearing from our esteemed panel of witnesses on the possible outcomes and solutions to the current challenges. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. brooks has no opening statement. how about mr. weber? weber: no, let's go.
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[laughter] chairman: he's great. witnesses tok the summarize your prepared hopefully, and then we can have a dialogue and have s.estions and answer first, i am going to introduce the witnesses. dr. leon aron is a resident scholar and director of russian studies at the american .nterprise institute he joined the organization that oversees operations of international broadcasting, such as voice of america, and he is a widely published author who earned his phd at columbia university. saradshyan is the director
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of the u.s. russian initiative to prevent nuclear terrorism. he worked as a journalist in russia for 15 years, where he covered several major events, including the terror attack in islam. katz, a have mark professor of government at george mason university. he has authored many books and articles. he is the author of books and , for example, "leaving without losing," "the war on terror after iraq and afghanistan." outstanding, thank you. he earned his phd from the
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massachusetts institute of technology, so we have an esteemed group of witnesses today, and we appreciate you being with us. again, summarize and five minutes and we will have a good dialogue. aron, you may proceed. dr. aron: thank you very much. on the morning of july 19, 2012, in russia'sg out largest autonomous republic and home of its largest muslim ethnicity. the bomb went off under the chief. he was badly injured.
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another was killed. appointed only a year before, both men were modern clerics strengthen the moderate up, one of the five major branches of sunni islam. under theade of cars black-and-white banners of raced throughts downtown shortly after the attack. i think the july 19 attack, in retrospect, could be viewed as a watershed. two days after the first chechen war, the russian jihad may be reaching a tipping point at which the center of gravity of military islamic fundamentalists is shifting from north caucuses to the more densely populated european and russian heartland. russia's second-largest muslim sroup is very close to tartar
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both ethnically and geographically. russia has an estimated muslim population of 20 million. it could be ominous. let me mention five underlying factors, all of which continue to operate today as risk factors that increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks in russia and heighten russian vulnerability to such an attack. number one, russia has not been able to invade the pan-european is to islam at muslimn of the european population. two, the exposure after the fall of the soviet union of an estimated tens of thousands of russian muslims in the course of theological studies in the middle east. in their return, some of the newly minted imams have increasingly turned away from
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moderate views. according to russia experts, imams preach at dozens, over 1000 mosques. russia is now home to millions of guest workers, muslims from central asia. an estimated 2 million. there are in estimated two and a half million of only registered migrants from central asia and now alone, making the russian capital the largest muslims to the in europe. often without work permits, marginalized culturally and ethnically, and often subjected to abuse, extortion, and racist violence, many of the men understandably turned to the faith and the faith of their grandparents as a means to sustain their dignity. unfortunately, as reported in russian media, at least some fall under the influence of
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radical clerics and recruiters from isis. according to reports from russian media, most if not all fighters from central asia have been recruited at construction sites in russia, including rat -- especially moscow, including those fighting in syria. all were recruited outside uzbekistan. number four, given the permeability of borders, the recruiting and proselytizing efforts at has been doubled and tripled by isis in central asia, given the flow of people, such efforts are likely to result in increasing radicalization of the elements of the central asian dias breath -- central asian diaspora.
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adding to other risks of putin's decision is also the fact that the probability of retaliatory terrorist strikes inside russia are increasing. final point, the secretary of the russian security council at the moment, russian authorities do not have the means to stem the flow of volunteers to isis. the russian foreign ministry estimates there are around 2400 russian speakers among the jihadist's in syria, while total russian nationals and those from the former soviet union in the ranks of isis could be as high 5000. russian is the third most popular language in isis after arabic and english. how long will it be before veterans of i say this coming back -- of isis coming back to russia decide to fight for a russian caliphate? let me conclude with this.
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i the overwhelming majority of muslims everywhere, most russian -- like the overwhelming majority of muslims everywhere, practiceian muslims peacefully, a poor violence, and are good citizens and patriots. yet as we have learned since 9/11, the radicalization of even a small minority not registered in public opinion polls can cause incalculable damage and loss of life. if the evidence i outlined today does not amount to a significant increase in national or international terrorism, i will acknowledge and celebrate my error. but having been remiss in technology adding al qaeda and ofin acknowledging the rise
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al qaeda and isis, i would rather be safe than wrong. mr. saradshyan: thank you for inviting me to participate in what i believe is a very important event. i will represent my view for the prospects in countering terrorism, and i will start with an observation made by winston churchill, who is often quoted as saying that russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. ofyou remember the remainder that saying, which is that perhaps there is a key, and that key is russia's national interest. there is no strict t chick strategic document or statement that would offer a hierarchy of national interest,
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but i have taken the liberty to distill certain statements into a hierarchy. at least three of seven vital national interests in russia are affected by the political violence in the middle east. -- this could prevent terrorist attacks on russia, save lives, and prevent weapons of mass distraction from getting to these countries. at least three of these interests converge with u.s. national interests as for mated by the commission on american national interest -- formulated by the commission on american national interests. an interestes share
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in ensuring that the dual threat is contained. that comes to countering the rise of isis, continuing to his -- dismantle or keep al qaeda on the run as well as denying any terrorist organization access to weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons. i should note that although there are 30,000 recruits reportedly from foreign , and many aresis estimated to come from the west, russia and its allies are more exposed to the threat posed by isis if only because of proximity. out, theon pointed latest estimates eight when a hundred russian nationals are in 2400 russianates
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nationals are in isis. we should not discount al qaeda, which has its own unit from russia and the republics of central asia. .hat unit counts about 1500 imagine what would happen if all these individuals came home, whether because isil prevails or because isil was defeated but these individuals were not apprehended or eliminated. isil andnote that both al qaeda have maintained ties with insurgents and terrorist .etworks in the north this summer saw isis establish a .rovince in the north caucuses the emirate caucuses, the terrorist
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organization operating in the north caucuses has had long-standing ties with al qaeda d and its leaders have praise their leader. no surprise that russian foreign officials including the security minister and secretary of the security council have described isis as the main threat to russia and the main threat to security, respectively. on the u.s. side, there is less agreement of whether isis represents a top threat. so, since neither the united states or russia can tolerate the existence of isis in the middle east and both countries need to come -- counter al qaeda and keep it on the run, i would
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argue there is definitely grounds for potential cooperation. that is impeded by different ,pproaches toward syria although i believe, and russian officials have said officially that russia is not married to bashar al-assad. i believe in the long term there is a possibility for transition. u.s.-russian cooperation could be limited to jointng isil in iraq in operations, which is something u.s. and russian special forces have done on a low scale in afghanistan. providing moree arms and more training to the iraqi forces and kurds fighting isil, and of course, it could include disrupting financing,
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which is not a counterterrorism tactic, per se, but which is an important element of countering these organizations. counterterrorism alone would not suffice. there are certain root causes and contributing factors i will not list but are in the statement. both russia and the united states need to address them. if they think how to defeat terrorists, not only in the middle east, but within their , i would point out social economic deprivation, historical grievances, poor governance, and political instability. i would point to the spread of ,iolent ideologists particularly militants.
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finally, in the motivational causes, i would point to an abuse of population. if there is anything that grievances, it's the abuse of populations in the hands of authorities. between the united states and russia against terrorism in general, isis and al qaeda in particular, can not only significantly advance international efforts to contain the organization's expansion within iraq and adjacent can also help stop a new cold war between theern roche -- russia in wake of the ukraine crisis, although there is no bargain. the ukraine crisis will have to be resolved regardless, but that cooperation, let me repeat, will help stop the slide toward a new cold war. thank you. mr. katz: mr. chairman,
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distinguished members, thank you for the chance to speak to you today. i would like to address the syrian aspect of this issue. unlike ukraine, where moscow has declared that its motive for intervention is being undertaken to counter the west, russian officials have characterized their support for bashar al-assad is actually in western interest, even if western governments do not seem to understand this. it serves a common goal of combating the islamic state. vladimir putin recently described bashar al-assad as an important ally in the fight against the islamic state. withoutd that participation of the syrian army and authorities in the fight against islamic state terrorists cannot be expelled from the country or the region on the whole. the russian foreign minister regime as ae assad
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crucial ally. he said they have a capable ground force of fighting terrorism and to give up an opportunity and ignore the syrian army as a partner in the fight against islamic state means to sacrifice the entire regions of security to geopolitical moods and calculations. while the west may not like bashar al-assad, commentators are saying his authoritarian regime is preferable to one islamic state would establish. furthermore, in order to stop islamic state from taking over more or the rest of syria, the western insistence that bashar al-assad must step down as foolish and would weaken the forces fighting islamic state. work with the regime against the common threat and not against them. this argument is based on the premise that the regime is
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actively fighting islamic state. there have been numerous reports though that the regime and islamic state have not been fighting with each other, or not doing so very much. by the ihsoted study insurgency center noted that the counterterrorism operations skew heavily toward groups whose names are not isis. just 6% are likely targeted isis through 2014. in february of this year -- directly targeted isis through 2014. of this year, various forms of cooperation between the assad regime and islamic state were described, including buying oil, how serious to main mobile phone operators provide service and send repair teams to isis controlled areas, and how
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damascus allows food shipments to the isis capital. the u.s. embassy in damascus accuse the syrian government of providing air support to an advance by islamic state militants north of aleppo. in july, turkish intelligence sources claimed that an agreement was made between the -- the assad regime and islamic state in the north. why? both have an interest in weakening their common foes. other syrian opposition groups being supported by turkey, saudi arabia, qatar, and others. the numerous reports that this is happening, as well as the compelling nature of the friendf my enemy is my logic, points to their credibility. if these are true, certain
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implications follow. areslamic state and assad not really fighting each other -- islamic state is losing and assad is losing ground, that is primarily due to the forces from turkey and the surrounding states. assad is most likely to use forces most threatening to damascus and not against islamic state, which is less threatening to it. russian calls to the west to work with assad in the fight state are really intended to elicit western as well as to divide western governments that fear islam asked eight more than the assad regime on the one hand from -- islamic state more than the assad regime. all of that suggests that the
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recent increase in russian military involvement in syria is motivated much less by the desire to combat it islamic state of then by the desire to protect the assad regime from its more proactive opponents rather than to blunt middle eastern actions aimed at supporting them. thank you. thisman: thank you all for view of what is going on and what we should do. i hope maybe by the end of this hearing we can come to some conclusions. you are much wiser than i am. dr. aron, dr. katz basically called into question whether assad is actually as -- anti-isis as we have been led to believe.
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could you give us your assessment? i am sure mark went deep into that. i was concentrating largely on the spread of fundamentalism and militancy inside russia from the north caucuses. intuitively, gangsters , aslly find common language stalin did with hitler, for example. so i would not be surprised if that is the case. in any case, they do come to blows, but first they take care progress of liberals. again, that may not apply directly to the free syrian army, but historically, i would think that is probably quite accurate. as somebody who has been studying vladimir putin and his ideology and his goals, i agree that even regardless of what
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putin's plans are with respect -- two bashar se al-assad per se, i think they are secondary. i think the most important thing to putin in syria is what i call the implementation of the putin doctrine, which is the recovery of geopolitical assets lost by the soviet union in the fall of the soviet state. he wants to establish the presence of russia in the middle east as the dominant outside player. that's the first thing. the second thing, let's not or no assad, the only thing going for the putin regime is putin's personal popularity. you look at the public opinion polls. how does he get this popularity? the thirst and
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hunger for reestablishing russia as a great power. this is what happened with crimea. this is what happened with ukraine. and now, this is what happening in syria. i think this is the key motivational force, the key motivation for putin to be present in syria. and one less -- last thing, again, which has nothing to do with his support for a solid -- for bashar al-assad, there is a -- yourious concern mentioned churchill before. to her chills definition for the soft underbelly of russia, which is -- apply churchill's definition for the soft underbelly of russia, which is central asia. this is another issue that i think motivated putin.
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have howrob walker: we many minutes before we vote question -- chairman: we have how many minutes before we vote? seven. i am going to yield to you now and we will come back immediately after the two votes. >> i will win to you come back. chairman: all right. we are in recess until immediately after the second vote. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] chairman: i will finish my questions after mr. saradshyan
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has a chance to -- ok. look, again, it was a wonderful diversity of opinion here and a whole new concept, which i had not heard. then, from your testimony, you are suggesting that bashar al-assad is not anti-radicals as as we have been led to believe, and that he would, if we -- and with mr. putin's involvement, is not going to direct them toward isis, but toward his own nonaligned movements. dr. katz: obviously, he is theyed to jihadists, and
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are opposed to him, but the way they look at the question is in a highly machiavellian manner. who is threatening him most now? it is not isis so much as other opponents. therefore -- and who threatens ?sis in many respects in other words, it's a competition among other syrian opposition movements. they have a common interest at present that both would like to see the other opposition movements weekend. that does not mean they will be friends later on. they are probably both preparing for the day they will turn on each other, but at the moment, it seems they are not so interested in fighting each other. they both prefer to weekend -- chairman: so those two groups are not interested in fighting each other and at least one of them is interested in fighting bashar al-assad, and bashar al-assad will then focus on, if we help him only on that group, saying iso you are
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soul -- isis forces at this ssad'sare not attacking a s military bases? by the way, i voted against arming that third force. i thought it would turn out the way things did in iraq. you are suggesting that group leading the fight against bashar al-assad. manyatz: it's many, groups. it's not even as complicated as a three cornered conflict. there are loads of actors involved here. but what it does seem is that at the opposition groups that are not isis that are most bashar al-assad,
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therefore, it is not surprising that he is concentrating his efforts on these particular -- but we have seen reports of defections by that third force, supposedly, to isis. in fact, one of the major leaders of that group defected, and the report i read is that he now commands a force that has is made-- half of which up of people from chechnya. thekatz: my memory is that moderates defected to a group that is hardly better, but is not isis. actor int a major terms of external actors supporting the syrian opposition. obviously, it's the saudi's, turks, qataris, and others, and
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they have their own agenda. i am a sure if it was ever possible to create this moderate third force -- not sure if it was ever possible to create this moderate third force. chairman: could you tell me what group was the third group you are thinking about or was it i sil that just captured the ibdlib airbase? it was a huge victory for -- i assumed it was isis at the time. it was a major defeat for bashar al-assad's forces. dr. katz: i am not sure which one it was who captured it. i just remember -- isis and so, if it was not this third force, the basis of your -- that would go totally contrary to the basic of your
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testimony today. dr. katz: i would like to refer to the u.s. embassy damascus statement from earlier in june indicating that the u.s. issues the syrian government of providing air support to it fans islamic state militants and opposition groups north of aleppo. advanced islamic state militants and opposition groups north of aleppo. there seems to be an alliance in many respects between bashar al-assad and isis. if he has to give anything up, he would rather see it go to isis at present there and his other opponents. chairman: but that airbase was at of the major atolls -- present rather than his other opponents. chairman: but that airbase was one of the major attacks. if it was isis, that contradicts
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your theory. dr. katz if it was an isis attack. chairman: correct. i will look into it. the group that did it was a nusra.a -- was el dr. katz: that makes sense. chairman: and that is a radical islamic a group? contrary does that go to what you are testifying? -- dr. katz: they are a radical group. chairman: does that go contrary to what you are testifying? dr. katz: i think what we are seeing is that as assad regime weekends, ultimately, we will see a conflict between it and isis. they are not going to kiss and
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makeup, because they are both radicals. chairman: with that, mr. saradshyan, and then -- with that, go ahead, and i will have some questions later. be a littlehelp it confused about everything that was said here. first, let me make an observation. for the last few weeks, we have been hearing about how the syrian army has been weekend and -- weakened and everything else. i thought that was a setup for the russians to come in to syria. today, i understand the russians -- i wrote ite down here, the free syrian army. .ut that wasn't isis
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so what does all of that mean? i mean, i assume that they were there to fight isis. i guess i will get all three of your opinions since they were so diverse when you first gave your statements. katz: yes, in today's "washington post," we have seen reports and wish -- in which the russians claimed they made an but then isis opposition leader claimed the airstrikes targeted civilians, not isis, killing 37 people. the people in the area are opposed to isis says the vice president of the coalition, speaking by telephone. his account could not be independently verified. this is the heart of the matter. putin claims he is there to fight isis, but he is really there to protect the bashar al-assad regime against forces
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him protect -- that oppose most strongly, which are not isis. until he going to put asleep avoid those forces -- punctiliously-- avoid those forces. dr. aron: putin is there to show that russia does not abandon its allies. what complete contrast to people are saying about us. dr. aron: make your own conclusion. escapeint does not putin, definitely. immediately, almost coincidental, iraq now is cooperating with russia on intelligence matters, and we are
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ourworried what secrets iraqi -- i guess allies -- are going to give russia. it was a headline today. so, putin is there to show the russia does not abandon its allies. on a more strategic level, if i may reiterate, it is for putin to regain a very important geopolitical asset. russia is back in the middle east russia's back. it is an extremely important political imperative for him to show whatever economic difficulties i have, russia is a great power again, whether it is in ukraine, whether it is in the middle east , and god knows what is going to be next. so these to me is i think how putin calculates it. frankly, so long as the regime
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he supports is in power, i think that is putin's strategic goal. is ay has to bomb secondary -- who he has to bomb is a secondary matter to him. >> what do you think? >> i haven't seen reports of haverussian warplanes done. my understanding is that russia's interests in syria require that russia has a say the future of this country. notion that russia would , ib any of assad's opponents think, is mistaken. russia has hosted negotiations between some members of the syrian opposition and syrian officials. russia has discussed, according to those


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