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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 15, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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investigation and prosecution is while the most powerful tools in our toolbox. in the wake of the oklahoma city bombing, congress passed the so-called antiterrorism and effective death penalty act in 1996. part of that legislation are critical to our fight against terrorism. on the domestic front, this is some confusion. the codebook defines domestic terrorism as illegal activities that are dangerous to human life and take place primarily here in the united states and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of government by intimidation or affect the conduct of a government. what causes some of the confusion is that is not a particular offense that we can charge as domestic terrorism. instead, the use of that
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definition can be used to use certain tools and for things like sentencing enhancements. when we are confronting the offense itself, we have the whole criminal code at our disposal. over the years we have charged violent extremists with a variety of crimes ranging from explosive offenses to arson threats or fraud. we will continue to increase our focus using the full range of authorities to protect the public against these threats. that act provided for certain enhancements for certain terrorism related enhancements. a federal offense prohibited the possession of stolen explosives. that continues to be a significant tool in keeping dangerous explosives out of the hands of those who would use them for violent ends. through the leadership of senator dianne feinstein,
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congress passed the statute that criminalized the distributing a bomb making information in support of a federal crime of violence. this statute allows us to prosecute those who engage in terrorist acts themselves but also those who share deadly skills with others so they can engage in such attacks. in 2005, one individual, a one-time member of the ku klux klan, pleaded guilty to six it offenses for constructing seven pipe bombs and instructing a confidential informant on how to use the bombs to cause the most destruction. sure it's believed the bombs would be used to attack mexican and haitian immigrants in florida and he was ultimately sentenced to prison. although law enforcement is a powerful tool, it's not the only tool.
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we must as a community work to reach individuals early on that path toward radicalization. the ideal solution is one that never reaches my shop for a law enforcement response. programs like gw will be particularly important on this front, to counter violent extremism. we must begin by doing more to empower those that have the best place to affect change. to that end, the attorney general, when she was attending the united nations general assembly events, hosted her own first-ever network of city leaders around the world involved in building community resilience. the network was created in recognition of the role of local communities in battling extremism and the need for more than a top-down approach. an approach that builds up from the communities instead.
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it takes a page from our integrated strategy and combating other types of violent extremism. we are most successful when we partner with and are out in the local communities working together to uphold the law. community members are often best positioned to relate to individuals were begun on a path of violent extremism because they see things we do not see in law-enforcement. in the united states according to one study, 80% of the international terrorism inspired cases inside the united states, there was a connection -- a third-party bystander who was in a position to see the radicalization taking place but in over half those cases that person who saw it taking place did nothing to intervene. if we could increase the number
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of those witnesses who take action to help us stop that path radicalization a good reduce the number of lives lost. there are similar evidence in other studies, cases of violent extremism. not only have a best edition to be influential in stopping people along this path, they may be the first is the potential signs of radicalization. to work with youth programs and take other efforts. these outreach programs should lead to better trust and cooperation on anything ranging from civil rights to violence. we are exploring options to intervene with would be violent extremism before violence occurs
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and to think about trying to encourage those in the nonprofit community to develop best practices on offramps for those would be radicalized toward violence. this program will require continued community engagement and discussion. as we are learning in the international terrorism context, it requires countering the message of hate online. figuring out where the people are. that means where they are not just in physical space but where they are in cyberspace so we know were to reach them and figuring out what messages are most effective to keep them from following the spew of lies and bigotry that encourages people toward violence. often in that effort, some of the most valuable people can be former extremists who can explain why they went down that path in the first instance and why they realized it was the wrong path to take. they are often the most credible
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voices when it comes to being a positive voice back to those who are otherwise inclined to go down this path. southern poverty law center has a history of tracking hate in their efforts will continue to be critical. social media itself can be an avenue for those who want to counter bad guys. it could be a good place to get those stories out for those who have overcome difficult circumstances and avoided hate filled alienation. to conclude, we honor in all of our work and strive to those affected by acts of terrorism. those who were killed and injured as well as those who survived and have proven resilient. the first responders and families touched by those acts. we welcome opportunities like
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this to discuss our work, share ideas and learn new ways of countering this type of violent extremism. we know the seriousness of the challenge we face and the stakes could not be higher. we know that we have to come up with new and innovative ways to prevent these attacks from taking place while doing so in a way that's consistent with fundamental values, civil rights, and civil liberties. we are grateful to have this forum. we are grateful for gw's new project on extremism as it looks to develop data that can guide us in ways to confront this threat. i look forward to your questions and discussion. [applause] dr. vidino: thank you very much. a comprehensive overview of forms of extremism. interesting to see the similarities, differences and the approach the department is taking.
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you provide a 360 degree overview of the hard and soft parts of both the threats and response that comes with it. very grateful that you decided to use this menu to make an important announcement. you discussed some of the issues that are controversial. some of the issues to counter extremism in general ranging from tactics used. to have some interesting questions, i give the floor to heidi. dr. beirich: i want to thank you for what was a comprehensive speech and interesting for me. thank you to gw for putting this on. what struck me is that your description of domestic terrorist threats from the area
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we study, sovereign citizens, antigovernment folks, pretty much the way i would see it as well. we at the southern poverty law center for a while now have felt like the federal government was not responding to the fact that domestic terrorism was an increasing problem, especially lone actor terrorism. i don't think that could be set today at all. the revitalization of the committee started by holder last june, that having met several times, the new post you announced today is important. i think in general, the department of justice has been shifting resources and research into studying domestic terrorism as well as international terrorism and nothing i say here should be taken to imply that islamic expired extremism is not important. i was glad to hear all of that. as the southern poverty law
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center looks at terrorism, one of the biggest issues that we see is basically we are seeing lone actor attacks take place about every 34 days in the united states. that includes our number for that since 2009 includes some extremist islamic attacks as well. the bulk of them have been white supremacists or antigovernment extremists. what we are seeing is a collapse in organized hate groups. the number of hate groups is than falling rapidly. people who are inspired by these ideas don't feel like they should be card-carrying members of these groups. it brings with it leadership battles. all kinds of trouble for these
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activists. what we are seeing is people picking up guns and doing violence against groups they are threatened by. a second part of this is they seem to be being radicalized almost entirely online. dylan roof was one of the best examples of this. he said in his manifesto, my entire world changed the day i came upon that hate site for the council of concerned citizens. a website that makes the presentation that there's out-of-control black on white crime throughout the country. he apparently went down the road of becoming extremely radicalized and eventually murdering people in charleston. i thought i would ask more about this radicalization online. what kinds of challenges doesn't pose in terms of civil liberties? in a way that is different from the 1980's or mcveigh and a small cell.
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mr. carlin: it is a troubling trend. we see it in particular -- i will start on the international arena. what we see now is the islamic state in the levant decided to use social media to him barred thousands of messages a day through widespread propaganda. the number of people who bite on that is small proportionally but it does not take a large number two cause great acts of harm. this is a tactic they are using throughout the world. it is hitting a smaller percentage inside the united states. the result is clear in the types of cases we see.
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that's why we believe it is so geographically dispersed because it is not coming usually from the local community. that's why you see it in 25 different u.s. attorneys offices. we are also seeing a troubling statistic in that it also affects the youth of the people getting drawn into this type of act. whereas with core al qaeda it might be aimed older demographic. here we are seeing in over 50% of cases we have brought, the defendants are 25 or younger. a third of them are 25 or younger. the criminal justice system is not a great tool for dealing with juveniles. we prefer not to bring federal juvenile cases. we need a way when it comes to those who are getting radicalized online, what happens is they get the broad message
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and then we are seeing designated terrorists overseas having direct conversations with people and it could be in the bedroom of your house and the parents are not used to -- they know who their kids friends are in the school or the real world but they don't know who they are hanging out with online. they end up actually talking to a terrorist overseas or starts walking them down the path of radicalization and that conversation sometimes is taking place on a commercially provided encrypted service. even if we are able to obtain the predicate to get a court order, when you go to serve it you cannot see the content of the conversation. that is a challenge for the law enforcement and intelligence community. in part, relying on research like yours as you look at it. we are definitely seeing an echo
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chamber where there are these places where people share violent thoughts and extremist ideologies online. we are also starting to see that type of connectivity or conversation take place when it comes to those who are motivated by the sovereign citizen ideology or white extremism. i think it is one where those who provide the communities where these conversations take place and know the services best and how to reach individuals need to and have begun to put resources into thinking, how can we prevent people from taking advantage of the services we provide to do what we don't want them to do which is try to get children to commit acts of terrorism. they are going to need to be part of the solution because it is not taking place -- it is not one we can do on the street or in schools. we have to talk to those providing online forums. dr. beirich: which makes me
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think about another thing. twitter, the social media capability of isil is similar to white supremacy in the united states. using the same tools for recruitment pushing whatever version of nasty propaganda might be. essentially functioning in the same way. there is overlap between al qaeda cost magazine being attractive to white supremacists. bomb making techniques and so on. what is there to do to counter this? there are individuals and institutions, especially when it comes to islamic extremism, that are trying to counter twitter postings were recruitment is happening. i wonder if you think there is any analogy to the united states situation. we have the first amendment, certain protections that should exist. it doesn't make it more
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complicated for you all? mr. carlin: i will talk more broadly. the structure that takes place or the statute we use for international terrorism is often the material support to terrorism statute. that is a statute that is predicated on a formal designation process of a group as an international terror cell. once it is designated, support to that group, be it financial come in the form of your own person, providing other types of material or weapons to that group. that statute is not one that we have for domestic terrorism groups and i think it reflects our values. to do that for a group here would mean based on who the group is and what they are doing that the entire group is
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designated as the terrorist group. it exist in international terrorism arena the same way we have different tools available when it is a foreign nationstate behind an attack or conduct. that is one change. another change is the foreign intelligence surveillance act. that relies on a tie to a foreign power. both statutory and constitutional reasons why you would not have the same tools available if it's a domestic actor. that allows us to get certain court processes to obtain court orders that would otherwise not be available. law-enforcement, federal and local, working together. also local community groups here. if you plan on countering the message without talking about
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any particular company, i would hope it is one where it might be easier for us because it is coming so much out of our own culture to find credible voices here who can reach these groups and talk about how they had once gone down that path and now are opposing it. it's an area where we found what's most important is that it does not come from the federal government. as a prosecutor of these cases, i'm not going to be the best voice to reach those whom it be going down the path so it will be working with nonprofits or independent groups who on their own can figure out who those voices are. using our power of persuasion with those in the private sector who might provide avenues for getting those voices out consistent with their own terms of service. then you don't have any first
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amendment issue. it's a private driven community-based response. i think our role in government in part is to make sure we're doing what we're doing here and talking to people about what the threat is that we are seeing. hopefully used as discussions to call people to action. dr. beirich: one of the things the southern poverty law center is concerned about is demographic change in the united states when it comes to extremist groups we track. the country is going to become more multicultural, more ethnically diverse. we know the white population will fall below 50% in the 2040's according to the census. certainly with us for a while because it is part of american
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history, these wets a premise that he is which we have now spent several decades rejecting and changing. the civil rights movement being key to that. i would if there is talk of the department about the challenge going forward. mr. carlin: i think we are definitely concerned about the challenge going forward. that's partly why the international terrorism threat right now rightly picks up a great deal of attention. it is an issue of and, not or. we need to make sure we have the mechanisms in place so that we may continue to remain just as focused on the domestic terrorism threat while addressing the international terrorism threat. that is one reason taking a look at our structure, a single person who will focus on nothing
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but the domestic terrorism issue to serve as a coordinator across different departments in agencies. depending on the group, it might manifest itself in white-collar type crime. it might be violent extremism or those who need expertise on prosecuting the use of explosives. it might be a hate crime or civil rights statute. xxxxxxxxxxx it might be a hate crime, it
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for when you hit that juncture between where idea crosses over to crime. >> i have a question about intervention and offramp. you said how difficult it is to prosecute first amendment issues and what comes to juveniles, the challenges for your department. discussions to create offramp programs, the way we have seen some european countries and boston being one of the pilot cities. i was wondering if you can address the challenge your department faces in developing an alternative to prosecution, what the legal, cultural and political challenges are.
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mr. carlin: im not in a word, but it would be reaching individuals before they come on the radar, and so that is early stage, when someone first gets indoctrinated, and at that point, having someone in the community talk to them, and it is one that should be easy for us, in a way, because we are up against. evil, so the individuals, if they really knew about what, for instance, the islamic state and the levant is doing in syria before they have gone down the pass, we would never go down that path. it is similar with some of these
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individuals in the united states, if they originally fully encountered someone they trusted in the community, they would never go down that path. this is the type of work to take place with the support of the community, and the pilot programs are designed in part to spur that type of activity and, again, to -- let me give you an example, a simple example. when it comes to domestic violence sexual offense cases come you cannot look at the sexual predators anymore without educating people about the threats that our kids face, and it is new, and similarly, it is taking place online, so we need to educate about what we are seeing, it when it comes to do the same thing with respect
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threats. once you hit the criminal justice system, i think it is much harder. now, there are going to be instances no matter what, in most cases, where someone is convicted and has served their sentence. there are going to be released to the community, and when it comes to gangs or offenders, there is the track record of working with these individuals and reoffend. we do not have the same resources in place, routes in the community that have expertise in the community, so i look forward to groups like yours, coming up with that kind of solution in the future, so if someone gets out, and we are looking for a program, this program exists, and there is research done as to whether or not they are effective or not.
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mr. vidino: thank you very much. we will take some questions from the public. if you could identify yourself first, please. yes. turn it on. >> i think i can speak -- first of all, i want to thank all three of you for the handling of this very difficult topic. the organizations you represent. thank you. but as much as i think this has been treated comprehensively, i see one glaring gap. as an intelligence author, i often see this in the military round, as well. diplomacy.
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we just came back from turkey, and they have the same threats. we have the problems in taiwan, japan, south korea. what i am suggesting is i do not know how anybody can go about this -- my alma mater, to try to get like-minded groups across the globe who are dealing with d groups across the globe who are dealing with these same issues to look at what types of solutions they are coming up with and the problems they face versus problems we do so you do
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not waste time on those, but also just generally, with our ongoing efforts, the greatest minds in the globe, not just the u.s. mr. vidino: thank you. >> my name is ron taylor. mr. vidino: hit the green one. >> my name is ron. thank you all for the great questions and just putting this discussion on. i will avoid the commentary of my question, but anyway, i'm trying to think of what could complement the program and programs in the additions that you excellently described, and there are a couple of things,
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there is a question here. certainly, one is we always went -- want to take that extreme person to discover that rising threat as soon as we can, and that is the goal of a certain type of activity. and as you say, we want to avoid labeling groups and things like that. you want to find the people who do the bad things and stop them before they do it. in the professional security profession, and in the personal safety profession, there has been a lot of work recently on dealing with insider threats, to i look at insider threats infrastructures could include, you know, school systems, education systems. there is, as you know, we all know there is a rising -- violent actions in the school
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systems pre-and we have seen it -- we have seen it in oregon, connecticut, colorado, and would there be utility with the approach is that the fbi and we all have with trying to treat, you know, trying to detect and discover these rising threats from the perspective of looking at insider threat approaches? as you might address infrastructures. that is kind of a question, but kind of a vague -- kind of a vague question, but there is a lot of work behind it, so i would just leave it there. mr. vidino: let's take one more. you. >> hi, i am with the american bar association standing committee on law and security, and in social media, starting to put resources towards the -- towards preventing networks from being abused, and a specific question, if there are currently, or if there are plans in the future for a public-private partnership with
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the social media networks, either information sharing or addressing the mutual interests? mr. carlin: i will meld all three questions. in terms of learning from each other on how to combat the terrorism threat, lessons learned with violent extremism. that is a very important effort, i was just a couple of weeks ago with the president and other officials at aty series of united nations event, it was just about a year ago and , for the first time you had a unanimous security council with a resolution requiring countries around the world to have statutes on their books that would allow them to have action to prevent individuals from joining foreign terrorist
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groups, and we also met there, and secretary kerry was chairing it with a group called the global countering terrorist forum, it is a group of over 60 countries designed specifically to share best practices on these terrorism threats, having an undercover operation which is consistent with the liberties and civil rights, how to use classified information in a legal proceeding, also while protecting the rights of the accused, and we talked about best practices and violent extremism, so i think that has been incredibly valuable, and for those of you doing research in this area, i encourage you to look at some research in these products, like a memorandum.
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this ties into the social media question, but also the threat posed by spies, economic espionage, and there is a great effort in retooling to confront the national security cyber threats that we are facing, and in conjunction with that, we created this division and are breaking down a wall with law enforcement and intelligence. when it comes to insider-type threats, we realized, we also in this area need to get better at sharing across the federal-private line. you cannot have cyber protection without talking to companies and alerting them to what the threats are. similarly, when it came to the we startedhreat, , last week and announced
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focusing full-time on domestic terrorism and using a biometric hand reader to get into the office. there are devices in the wall to prevent eavesdropping, and we would not normally have conversations like this in a public forum or a meeting of the public sector, and realize given the way the threat has changed that that has to be a part of the job of not just the person in my role but built into our division and pushed out to all of the u.s. attorneys across the country, because day today, -- day to day they are the ones , interacting with the local schools, and so they need to be out sharing threat information in a way that was not traditionally part of the job. so we started this new outreach program, and it does involve talking with the providers and
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making sure they are aware of what we are seeing in terms of the threat and working through how we can confront it. mr. vidino: next. >> you heard the president in the wake of the most recent shooting in oregon, we asked to compare the number of deaths from gun violence to terrorism, which, of course, greatly outnumbers those, and the implicit message seem to be that there isn't over emphasis on -- there is a over emphasis on terrorism, that you can have one problem that is bigger, which does not mean that the second problem that is smaller is not a problem by any means, and it shows that certainly domestic terrorism is an issue, but i just wonder if, because that point is one i have heard with
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the intel, and they talk about the over estimate. they will often say the threat from russia or china or cyber is great. i just wonder from your perspective, do you think -- in resources, in messaging, perhaps even in the way we cover it in the news that we exaggerate the threat, to some degree, which is not to say it is not a threat, but to exaggerate? or on the other hand, did you bit when youtle said that? and i think you know where i am going with this. in our coverage, that we get this balance right. from a law enforcement perspective, a national security perspective?
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mr. carlin: the president i know, a privilege to work for, is very much focused on preventing terrorist attacks in the united states and against our citizens overseas, and so, he remains dedicated and expects us, as, again, the president did before him -- we focus on this -- to be focused on this threat and to use all resources provided to us to make sure that there are not citizens killed here by those filled with hate, so when it comes to preventing that threat, i think one reason why we have seen and hope to see the numbers of people killed by these actors to stay low, because of the dedicated efforts of individuals, not just at the department of justice or at the fbi but across the intelligence
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community and the members of our military overseas and our diplomats. it's something's where -- it's something where we have used all of our tools the treasury , sanction war diplomats or military tools, dashboard diplomats or military tools, and we need to remain dedicated, because they still want to do those attacks, and if we were not out there deterring, i think they would be investing in it. there is an issue, domestic terrorism. when i go and meet with the families of those who have lost loved ones or are dealing with rehabilitation from a terrible injury, they do not care what the motive was, and maybe i say that too broadly, but they keep
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asking me to do is prevent other families from having to go through those circumstances again, and so i always worry when it comes to terrorism. it's a balance with this job. something the 9/11 commission put out in its report that talked about the responsibility of officials to talk about the threat candidly before the attacks occur, and i always worry because the goal is to inspire terror, affect the civilian government, and to do a job, do it right, and nobody would be talking about it, and that is winning against terrorism, and you have to balance that against -- part of what we are doing is educating people, for instance. if it is a threat occurring on social media, getting a message out there that people need to be aware of what their children are
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doing on social media. we work to get it right, and we do not always do, and i worry sometimes that this is in such a way that it induces fear that the terrorists are attempting to accomplish, and i think we have to be careful about the way we talk about it. >> i agree. >> from the university of ottawa. thank you for putting this together. you talk about community engagement, and they wonder if -- and i wonder if we can expand on that, and what in your experience have you found in terms of engaging the community, through the public school system for example, where we already
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talk about the dangers of drugs and sexual predators, who teach -- we teach our young people. would it be -- to what extent would it be effective with extremism and developing anti-extremism ethics in the life of a young individual? heidi: are there schools that reach out to superintendents and principals about the value of -- value and richness of diversity, and perhaps it can be done in conjunction with the u.n. program. thank you. david: yes. david baylor. i have been with the department of interior for 30 years. i just want to say that last may at a management conference, i
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asked the director of intelligence at interior what they are doing to look at the growing threat of white supremacists and antigovernment groups and noticed that the growth tracked with the election of president obama, and he indicated that, based on information from the fbi that the splc numbers were not reliable and that actually the numbers were used to market and raise contributions to the group, and i asked him, is that your opinion or fact, and he said, "that is my judgment." can you address the value of splc's work in helping you deal with domestic terrorism and
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extremism, and number two, can you get them involved again? because they talk about earth first. they really do not talk about domestic terrorism, antigovernment work, and that threatens the u.s. >> hi, jim long. we are heading into a presidential election. are you seeing increased threats on that front in terms of suspicious activity, and what are you doing, in particular, that is special and different from other efforts in terms to counter that if there are more threats? mr. carlin: to address the full range of questions.
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as we gear up to the election, i know that the fbi, department of homeland security, and other groups will look carefully to track whether there are threats linked to the election, as they have leading up to prior elections, and if there are specific threats, we will work to get that information to those affected by the threats but also a broader warning to the general local law enforcement community. we are already trying to gear up in that regard. with the questions of the schools or the role of the schools, i think it is a valuable area to look at, and those of you that stay after,
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there are some other folks from the department of justice who are focused on that part of the countering violent extremism, but it is already i know the case -- having addressed a conference of local mayors and also u.s. attorneys -- that they are starting to work together with how we can get this message into the school system as they have in other arenas, and in terms of the department of interior, they are a member. the domestic terrorism council, definitely at the meetings, and they need to be because of the threats, as you actually -- accurately point out. and in terms of groups, i will defer to the fbi, but i will say based on our briefings, as i said in our opening remarks, we
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think this threat demands to be addressed in creative ways and having groups that dedicate themselves to examining what the threat is and reporting at it, it often puts them at personal risk, because these are groups that will identify individuals and threaten them with violence or otherwise file these frivolous legal motions, so at the poverty law center and other groups in the space, i look forward to gw entering this space as well and doing empirical research, because as jim was saying from cnn, there is a lot of research in terrorism, and it helps much when trying to confront that, to
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confront that threat, but there is not as much research with the with these -- with these whites a premise does -- whites from assist or sovereign citizen groups, and it would be equally helpful in confronting the threat. >> we have an upcoming report on isis in america, and we actually looked at all of the cases, and we look at the social media, and i think we have five minutes left. >> with the associated press. some of the specific cases have historically fallen into the civil rights division, the fbi, with the charleston shooting, and the shooting outside the jcc. under this new model you are describing today, would they
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take more of an equity or state where cases have historically been civil rights matters or a hate crime? >> i think we effectively work them together doubt, -- work them together now, but this will give an example of the martin luther king jr. attempt bombing of that parade, and it is a case where he looked across and investigated -- we often do not know what the motive is. there are a lot of theories out there that that might be a group motivated, or a white extremist group, so you were together, -- so you work it together given , your different expertise and the different statutes you can authorize to make sure you are
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leaving no investigative stone unturned, and then you can look and see given the conduct and the evidence that we have developed, which legal pool is -- legal tool is best used to hold this person to account -- accountable? for example, in the mlk bombing, there were charges brought related to a hate crime, related to the explosive device, and there was also domestic terrorism related sentencing, so it is what is not important. from my perspective, to make sure we are able to utilize the expertise, the tools across the department, and that is where i hope that we are continuing our focus but having someone looking at that, what are we seeing on the trends? do we need new legislation?
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do we need new policy question sometimes, that is very important. >> the gentleman in the back, yes. >> from cnn. are you seeing efforts, as with isil and other terror groups? >> one question i had was about lone actor terrorism, specifically. there has been a trend for copycat attacks, and this goes from bombers to gun users, so i'm going to ask what can be done specifically to reduce that? mr. carlin: i will start with that one. that is a hard question. it bears a little bit on the question earlier, where there you have to cover some of these
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events, and publicly charge them, but unfortunately, it means that some of the methods get out into the community. i think it is a good area of research as to why most people when you learn about these events, their reaction is that it is horrifying, and you could not possibly imagine why someone would do it, with similar tactics, but for some, there is a small audience for whom it does. research as to why that is the case and what might be the avenues to get in early to those individuals and keep them from committing violent acts would be very important. you do see lead over in unusual ways. one case out of new york where it was individuals who were motivated by islamist extremist they did their internet research on tactics, they looked up the bombing
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methods that were used in the oklahoma city bombing. overlap.e this where it's important to have a discussion, because what we are seeing now, through thousands of years of military history, the ability to communicate instantaneously, for command and control offices, along with recruitment, and to do so anyway that is not editable by the adversary, is something that commanders have long sought. we are in an age now where american ingenuity, research and development has produced those products, distributes them for free, and there are many positive benefits for that, but it also means that, whether it's the international terrorist group overseas, or some of these here,t espousing groups
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can, for free, have this that is technology great for recruiting and operating terrorist acts. what you've heard from others is that this is a -- it poses a real challenge for intelligence and law enforcement. it is linked to a new technology. build, design, came up with this technology and together, working with the best and brightest in private sector, we work together on ways to combat the use of it, whether it's child predators, or terrorist groups. here.have to close it i appreciate you all coming here. it was a very stimulating
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conversation. it was a real pleasure for you to come here today with the big announcement. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> the c-span bus continues its road to the white house tour. visitors to the bus learned about our campaign coverage and online resources. coverage fromive the fair saturday and sunday on c-span2. this monday, on c-span's new series, landmark cases. by 1830, the mississippi river have become a breeding ground for colorado and -- for cholera and yellow fever. problem,s this louisiana allowed only one government run slaughterhouse, crescent city, to operate in the city district and the other houses to them to court. follow the slaughterhouse cases of 1873. we are joined by paul clement, former solicitor general and michael ross, author of the book, justice of shattered
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dreams, to help tell the history of this time in the south, the personal stories of the butchers, and the state of things for new orleans. be sure to join the conversation as we take your calls, tweets, and facebook comments. , c-span3,y, on c-span and c-span radio. for background of each case while you watch, order your copy of the landmark cases companion book, available for $8.95 plus shipping at cases. >> known as the city of good neighborhoods, this weekend, our c-span cities to work, joined by time warner cable, explores the history and literary life of buffalo, new york. we will visit the mark twain room at the buffalo and eerie county public library, whose centerpiece are pages of the original handwritten manuscript
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of adventures of huckleberry finn. then we will picture -- then we will feature timbo's book. became over cross the atlantic during the famine and the years after, things were not great. they would take one relative to find out about the possible -- the applicable jobs along the waterfront, working in the grain elevators or the mill, then go back to ireland. you would not become rich, but you were going to have steady employment, so they came to this neighborhood, called the first ward, it has its name because it is when buffalo was first created in 1832, it was divided into five political wards and this area, along the waterfront has always been the first ward. onon american history tv, september 6, 1901, president william mckinley was assassinated in buffalo.
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we will to were the buffalo history museum -- we will to ur the buffalo history museum, they discover the history of the buffalo waterfront and how it has adapted from the nation's green center to modern redevelopment -- grain center to modern redevelopment. smithis all owned by rick over on ohio street. the site is being regenerated for many different purposes, for art and music, we do history tours. there is the at coproductions down here, opera, poetry, all sorts of different uses for the silos. >> see all of our programs from buffalo, saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern. the c-span cities to her,
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working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. >> president obama today announced that 5500 u.s. troops will remain in afghanistan 2016, the 2016 -- beyond and the current number of 9000 troops would remain in afghanistan for most of 2016. they will continue training and advising afghan security forces to carry out counterterrorism strikes. there is the president, followed by sue -- defense secretary ashton carter's briefing. >> good morning. december, more than 13 years after our nation was
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attacked by al qaeda on 9/11, americas, admission and -- in afghanistan came to a responsible and. that milestone was achieved next ofthe courage, this skill our military, our diligence and civilian personnel. they served with extraordinary skill and valor, and is worth remembering the more than 2200 patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice. i visited our troops in afghanistan last year to thank them on behalf of a grateful nation. i told them they could take great pride in the progress they have helped achieve. they struck devastating blows against the al qaeda leadership in the tribal regions, deliver justice to osama bin laden, prevented terrorist attacks, and saved american lives. they pushed the taliban back, so the afghan people could reclaim the communities, send their daughters to school, and improve
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their lives. trained afghan forces, so they could take the lead for their own security, and protect afghans as they voted in historic elections leading to the first democratic transfer of power in their country's history. the american forces no longer patrol afghan villages or valleys. engage in are not major ground combat against the taliban. those midwest -- those missions belong to afghans who are fully responsible for securing the country. before,i have said while americas, admission may be over, our commitment to afghanistan and its people endures. as commander-in-chief, i will not allow afghanistan to be used as a safe haven for terrorists to attack our nation again. are engaged ine two narrow but critical
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missions. training afghan forces, and supporting counterterrorism operations of al qaeda. compared to the 100,000 troops we once had in afghanistan, fewer than 10,000 are rain -- remain. i meet regularly with my national security team, including commanders in afghanistan to continually assess the situation on the ground and determine where a strategy is working, and where we might need greater facility. i have insisted consistently that our strategy focused on the development of a sustainable afghan capacity and self-sufficiency. when we have needed additional forces to events that goal, or we needed to make adjustments in terms of our timetables, then we made them. i want to update the american people on our efforts. since taking the lead for
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security earlier this year, afghan forces have continued to step up. this has been the first fighting season were afghans have been on the road and they are fighting for their country bravely and tenaciously. afghan forces continue to hold most urban areas. when the taliban has made gains, as in kunduz, afghan forces, backed up by coalition forces have been able to push them back. this does come with a heavy price. thousands of afghan forces have lost their lives, as have afghan civilians. forcessame time, afghan are still not as strong as they need to be. they are developing critical capabilities, intelligence, logistics, aviation, grant and control. -- command and control. meanwhile, the taliban has made
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gains in rural areas and can still launched of the attacks in cities like kabul. we understood that we as -- that as we transition, the taliban would try to exploit some of our movements out of particular areas, and that it would take time for afghan to 30 forces to strengthen -- afghan security forces to strengthen. we has seen the emergence of an cence.resents -- pres in some places, there is risk of deterioration. on 4 -- fortunately, in the president and chief executive, there is a national unity government that supports a strong partnership with the united states. during their visit this year, the president and i agreed to continue our counterterrorism cooperation and he has asked for continued support as afghan
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forces grow stronger. following consultations with my entire national security team, as well as the international partners and members of congress, president donnie and , i amexecutive of villa announcing the following steps which i am convinced offer the best possibility for a lasting progress in afghanistan. tost, i have decided maintain our current posture of 9800 troops in afghanistan, through most of this -- most of next year. their mission will not change. our troops will continue to pursue those two narrow tasks that i outlined earlier, training afghan forces and going after al qaeda. maintaining our current posture through most of next year, rather than a more rapid drawdown, will allow us to sustain our efforts to train and assist afghan forces as they grow stronger.
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not only during this fighting season, into the next one. second, i have decided that instead of going down to a normal embassy present in cabell by the end of 2016, we will maintain 5500 troops and a small -- ar in cash of bases small number of bases. admission will not change, our troops will focus on training afghans and counterterrorism operations. these bases will give us a presence and reach our forces required to achieve their mission. in this sense, afghanistan is a key piece of the network of counterterrorism partnerships that we need himself asia to terroristn deal with threats more quickly and prevent attacks against our homeland. third, we will work with allies and partners to align the steps
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i am announcing today with their own presence in afghanistan after 2016. we are part of a 42 nation coalition and our nato allies and partners continue to play an indispensable role in helping afghanistan strengthen its security forces, including respect for human rights. because governance and development remain the foundation for stability and progress, we will continue to support the president and the national unity government as they perform critic -- pursue critical reforms. new provincial governors have been appointed and the president is working against corruption to strengthen institutions and uphold the rule of law. yesterday,hem efforts that deliver progress and justice for the afghan people will continue to have the strong support of the united states. we cannot separate the importance of governance with
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the issues of security. the more effective these reforms happen, the better off the security situation is going to be. discussed american support of an afghan led reconciliation process. by now it should be clear to the telepath and all who oppose afghanistan's progress that the the real way to achieve full drawdown of americans in afghanistan is through a linux -- lasting political settlement with the afghan government. likewise, sexual or the taliban another terrorist must and -- likewise, sanctuaries for the taliban and other terrorists must end. them to return to peace talks and do their part in pursuit of the piece that afghans deserve. in closing, i want to speak directly to those whose lives
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are most likely affected by the decisions i am announcing today. to the afghan people who have americans' much, commitment to you and a secure, stable and unified afghanistan remains firm. nations have forged a strategic partnership for the long-term. as you defend and build your country, today is a reminder that the united states keeps our commitments. uniform,n and women in i know this means that some of you will rotate back into afghanistan. what the end of our combat mission, this is not like 2010 when nearly 500 americans were killed and many more were injured. still, afghanistan remains dangerous. 25 brave americans have given her lives this year. -- given their lives this year.
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i do not send you into harms way lightly. i know the wages of war of the wounded warriors i have visited in the hospital and in the grief as your commander in chief, i believe this mission is vital to our national security interests in preventing terrorist attacks against our citizens and our nation. people, i know that many of you have grown weary of this conflict. as you're are well aware, i do not support the idea of endless war. against marching into open-ended military conflicts that do not serve our core security interests. given what is at stake in afghanistan, and the opportunity for a stable and committed outlay that -- ally and partner with us in the prevention of future threats, and the fact
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that we have an international coalition, i am firmly convinced that we should make this extra effort. in the afghan government, we have a serious partner who once our help. the majority of the afghan people share our goals. we have a bilateral security agreement to guide our cooperation. every single day, afghan forces are out there fighting and dying to protect the country. they're not looking for us to do that -- do it for them. i'm speaking of the afghan army that who grew up to see bombings and attacks on innocent civilians who said because of this, i took the decision to join the army to try to save innocent people's lives. for the police officer trained to defuse explosives. i know it's dangerous work he says, but i've always had a dream of wearing a uniform -- of afghanistan, saving my people and defending my country.
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for the afghan commandos, the hardened veterans of many missions who said if i start telling you the stories of my life, i might start crying. he serves because the faster we bring peace, the faster we can bring education and a stronger our unity will grow. happen wille things afghanistan be able to stand up for itself. my fellow americans, after so many years of war, afghanistan will not be a perfect place. it's a poor country that will have to work hard on its development. there will continue to be contested areas. afghans like these are standing up for their country. if they were to fail, it would endanger the security of us all. we have made in august investments in a stable afghanistan -- we have made
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enormous investments in a stable afghanistan. this modest but meaningful extension of our presence, while sticking to our current narrow missions, can make a real difference. it's the right thing to do. may god bless our troops and all who keep us safe and may god continue to bless the united states of america. this decision is not disappointing. continually, my goal has been to make sure that we give every opportunity for afghanistan to 60 -- to succeed while we are succeeding in our core missions. as i have said, my approach is to assess the situation on the ground, figure out what is working and what is not working,
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and make adjustments where necessary. the first time those adjustments have had to be made, this will not be the last. what i am encouraged by is that we have a government that is serious about trying to deliver security and the prospect of a better life for the afghan people. we have a clear majority of the afghans who want to partner with us and the international community to achieve those goals. we have a bilateral security arrangement that ensures that our troops can operate in ways that protect them while still achieving their mission. we've always known that we have to maintain a counterterrorism operation in that region in order to cap down in the reemergence of active al qaeda networks or others that might hurt us. with theonsistent
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overall vision that we've had, and frankly, we anticipated, as we were drawing out troops that there would be times where he had to slow things down or fill gaps in afghan capacity. this is a reflection of that, it's a dangerous area, so what we are trying to balance is making sure that afghans are out there, doing what they need to do, but that we are giving them a chance to succeed, and that we are making sure that our force posture in the area for conducting those narrow missions that we need to conduct, we can do so relatively safe. there are still risks involved, that first protection, the ability of our embassies to operate effectively, those all factory in. we had to review these approaches. the important thing i want to emphasize is that the nature of the mission has not changed.
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the cessation of our combat role has not changed. 25 military and civilians who were killed last year, that always weighs on my mind and 25 deaths are 25 to many, particularly to the families of the fallen. what wasd relative to involved when we were in a active combat role and i totally engaged in war in afghanistan, it was a different snario. whereou have a situation we have clarity about what our mission is, we have a partner who wants to work with us. we will continually make adjustments to ensure that we had the best possibilities for success, and i suspect that we will continue to evaluate this going forward, as will the next president and as conditions
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improve, we will be in a position to make further adjustments. i am confident this is the right thing to do and i'm not disappointed because my view has always been, how do we achieve our goals while minimizing the strain and exposure on our men and -- men and women in uniform? encourage constantly and show the afghan people this is their country and they have to defend it that we will be there to support them. thank you everybody. >> images walk you through quickly what's when to play out here. secretary carter has a brief station -- statement. he has time for about one or two questions, then he is to meet with the south korean minister of defense. i was sick around to answer any additional questions you have at
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that time. -- i will stick around to answer any questions you might have. >> thank you, glad you are here. overthe last 14 years, 2200 americans paid the ultimate price to keep the united states secure while helping the people of afghanistan realize a brighter future. we have welcomed many of those brave americans home at dover and visited many more wounded at walter reed. today's decision from the president to adjust our true presence in afghanistan honors that sacrifice and gives us the chance to finish what we started. over the years, i have witnessed and contributed to that effort, which has been so superbly executed by u.s. and coalition forces. when i became secretary of defense, i made it one of my top priorities to ensure the long-term sick death of that
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mission -- long-term success of that mission. part of that job was to travel to afghanistan, i wanted to see firsthand what was happening in this country where the united states and the men and women of the department of defense had invested and sacrificed so much. what i have learned over the last eight months is that afghanistan is on a better path, but more work lies ahead and america's national security remains very much at stake in that part of the world. today, after considering input from me, our top military our nato allies, and the government of afghanistan, the president has announced his decision to maintain our current force posture of 9800 troops through most of next year. by january 2017, u.s. forces will draw down to 5500 troops
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and will be deployed at several locations around afghanistan, including kabul, bagram, kandahar, and jalalabad in support of two important and enduring missions. out counterterrorism efforts, and our train, advise and assist support to the afghan security forces. we are adjusting our presence based on conditions on the ground to give the united states and our allies the capability to sustain a robust counterterrorism platform, denying a safe haven for terrorist organizations. this will keep americans safe are back home -- safer back home. -- and the partnership we have formed with the president and chief executive of the. afghan forces have proven themselves to be capable and resilient fighters and are able
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to provide security for afghanistan. they have performed admirably this fighting season, the first where the responsibility to fight the taliban has fallen squarely on their shoulders. taliban advances in part of the country underscore the reality that this is and remains a difficult fight. we understand that afghanistan still needs assistance. for nato's resolute support mission, we are working closely with the after 10 national defense and 30 horses and afghan security ministries to ensure -- and setting the conditions for stability in this region. this extends beyond our u.s. military presence and includes important financial contributions we will need to make in support of the afghan security forces in the years to come. presence andtary's
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financial sustainment will enable the afghan security forces to continue their andlopment as an agile, sustainable set of forces capable of meeting security challenges and partnering with us against terrorist exploitation of the region. it sends a strong message to the international communities of the united states -- intent on fostering stability over the long-term. we anticipate that the u.s. commitment will in turn, garner membersandment of other of the coalition that u.s. forces have operated with. i've initiated consultations with key allies for their continued support in this mission. will reduce our footprint in afghanistan, but not our commitment to the country and its people. back in march, during his first official visit to the u.s., afghanistan's present came here
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-- president came right ear to the pentagon and did something important to all of us here. to the men andou women of the u.s. military for the sacrifices they and their families had made over the last 14 years. he also visited arlington national cemetery to her -- to remember the fallen. today, we deliver our own message to him and the afghan people. we are with you. we support you. wewill not give up the gains have fought so hard to achieve. thank you, and now i will take some questions. criticsdo you say to who suggest that the 5500 level do both theh to counterterrorism missions and the train and advise missions? is that enough, and do you see that number as an enduring and long-term level for some years
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to come out? >> we do look at it as enough. we did a lot of homework on this and it's the reason for that number of troop level but also, the locations that is important. to make sure we all keep track of the funding, also which is vitally important. those are the ingredients of continuing to prosecute the mission in a way that can be successful. that is what we judge, myself and german dunford and general campbell, now to the second part , which is ation going to be 5500 forever? i can only say this, that is our best estimate now of what we should plan for and are planning for and budgeting for 2017.
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these are decisions a future president will take. in that timeframe, i presume we will make judgments the way that president obama has, nearly to take into account circumstances time andertain at the make whatever adjustments seem necessary at the time. and withur best guess our advice to the president for what would be sufficient and a good basis for planning for 2017. >> the president has already talked about the end of the u.s., at mission in afghanistan -- u.s. combat mission in afghanistan. does that mean the u.s. will no longer provide combat support to the afghan forces, such as the airstrikes in kunduz a few weeks ago? >> it's not a part of the tosion on a day to day basis
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engage in combat. our mission is, and will continue to be counterterrorism, operations such as for example, the one we conducted with the afghans just a week ago in helmand which was successful in destroying a major part of the remaining al qaeda presence in afghanistan. secondly, the train, advise and assist part of the mission. the commander does retain the forority to use u.s. forces force protection. secondly, in support to afghan security forces. you asked about kunduz, just to remind you there, we don't know yet everything that happened there.
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general campbell has acknowledged that a mistake was made. , have ordered him to conduct and he is committed to conduct, a full and transparent investigation, and we will find out everything there. your question on the competition, the combat mission has ended, and our mission now on a day-to-day basis is to train, advise and assist, and counter -- counterterrorism and other types under of missions to protect her own forces. >> have you personally seen the gun camera video from that airstrike, or either heard or read transcripts of any cockpit audio? >> i have gotten periodic reports, but i am waiting until the full investigation is done. this is a situation where we need to put all the facts together, make sure that every participant has an opportunity to be interviewed.
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data,is i want the full story we have promised the world that we would give the facts when we have the facts. and we have them, so we can give them in a way that is competent. second, if those need to be held accountable, they need to be held accountable on the basis of those facts. >> admission on remnants of al qaeda. is the islamic state also the target for u.s. forces? with that threaten the u.s. homeland-- the president said the standard of success will be a lasting political settlement. in his words, with a lasting political settlement. to your understanding, is that the understanding of success,
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u.s. troops will remain until there is a lasting political settlement? sec. carter: counterterrorism is going to be part of the enduring mission there. whatever it takes to protect our country and make sure that afghanistan doesn't again become a platform from which terrorism arises, i'm confident we will take appropriate action. i would dare say i am confident that future presidents would do the same. we have to protect our people. we are going to do it. with respect to the mission, the president was speaking of the prospect for reconciliation between the afghan government and the taliban. that is certainly something to be hoped for. said,ld provide, as he for a lasting political settlement in afghanistan.
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we are fully supportive of that effort. we are supportive of an afghan-led, not led by us, reconciliation effort. that is certainly the outcome to be hoped for. that would lead to a lasting political settlement in afghanistan. in the meantime, we are committed to helping the afghan security forces defend themselves as long as there is a opposition to the government. obviously one hopes that comes to an end. that is not in our hands. it's a military hands. the present is pointing to the fact that he would have to be part of the reconciliation process. how will you judge the success of the revised plan by the time that president obama leaves office? metrics will you use to determine the success of the revised plan? in light of today's
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announcement and the previous adjustments made to the plan, do you think it was a misstep to have announced the predetermined timeline for withdrawing u.s. troops in afghanistan? sec. carter: to the second part, you always need a plan at a certain time. we ask for that. we ask, tell us what we should assume, what we plan for. we submit budgets 2 years in advance. we have force flows to adjust, construction to do, people to prepare for deployment, train for deployment. it takes a certain amount of time and planning. that said, i think the president has shown that he is willing to the part from the plan when circumstances suggest. there have been a host of circumstances since last year, of which one notable 1 -- just to pick one, was the length of the transition between the karzai government and the
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national unity government. ed was a long and unanticipat and set things back in time. that is a factor. you said, however success over the next year and a half? there are a couple ingredients. how successful we are with our afghan partners at suppressing inrorism, carrying out eliminating al qaeda. a second big indicator with the help afghan are doing, both in terms of their combat , and another critical ingredient for which next year is very important -- the building on their own enablers. their air force, the a 29's,
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helicopter forces. these will be some of the things that we are aiming to achieve over the next year. i think the president's decision reflects the fact that it will be easier for us to achieve those things which afghanistan needs at a force level of 9800 than it would be if we wound down faster. that is one of the reasons. gordon? >> i will go by gordon just for old time's sake. --t week sec. carter: i need to see the defense minister on the republic of korea, if anyone wants to join us. plan, we arewdown hearing these not calendar-based plans at the end of 2016.
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it sounds like it is a calendar-based plan. if the commander at the time next fall, at the end of 2016 says eh, we don't want to go down to 2500, how big of a lift would it be to reassess that? sec. carter: i can't say that. it's a long time from now, a different set of circumstances. obviously, and this gets back to the question that jim asked, at any one time you make a plan that sounds reasonable. this seems like a reasonable forecast. presidentful that the was willing to, and effect, eager to make an adjustment to a plan that was a year old, enlightened -- in light of circumstances that changed. that is the nature of this kind of development. here inassume people
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the department of defense and people in the rest of the government will always be willing to make adjustments to plans. especially in a matter as great as this, based on intervening circumstances. to me, that is just common sense. okay, thank you all very much. good to see you. >> appreciate it. >> just for the record, the secretary did not just invite you to this meeting. [laughter] i apologize. we will give you a readout after the meeting with the minister from south korea. patience.all for your i know i am not as compelling as the secretary on this topic, but i will do my best to answer questions. let me start. extra troops will
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be staying in afghanistan longer, will they be extended and what sort of planning is for the next units that will be deploying? >> these are some of the decision that will have to be looked at of the next couple of weeks as this gets implement it. -- as this gets implemented. we are at 9800 retail. the expectation is that that will be the number through most of 2016. some of those decisions will be made by commanders on the ground, in consultation with service chiefs, with the secretary as well. i can't say exactly how those rotations might be affected at this particular moment. >> is there a chance that troops currently in afghanistan will see their time service extended? >> we need to assess ourbilities on the ground, nato partners and allies be bringing to the effort as well. once we have a better sense of what everyone's contributions
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will be, we will know whether or not some of those decisions need to be made. the secretary said that the competition has ended in afghanistan, but then later said the counterterrorism mission is going to be part of an enduring mission. if your forces conduct 328 airstrikes alone in 2015, how is comeback -- how has combat ended? all evidence suggested that it hasn't. >> catherine -- counterterrorism has been going from the start. highlighted by what we just did in the past few days. this is an ongoing effort and remains the focus of the u.s. military in afghanistan. in it will continue. but it's a different effort than what we are talking about with regard to combat operations specifically. >> if you are fighting al qaeda
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presence in afghanistan, how has combat ended? >> it's a header terrorism effort. -- counterterrorism effort. we are trying to draw a distinction between what we are doing there in terms of counterterrorism, and the efforts of the afghan security forces to secure its country from the taliban specifically. >> is there a difference between a combat and counterterrorism? >> we talked about it a lot. when there is a counterterrorism mission, specifically the remnants of al qaeda that want to do harm to the u.s. this is an effort to keep americans safe by taking the fight to the troops. >> switching topics for one more question, does the u.s. military have any opposition to help u.s. backed rebels in assyria? -- in syria? >> we have gotten this question a lot. we have provided support to rebels in syria. we are providing air support.
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he will continue to provide that support ongoing. [indiscernible] >> what was the assessment within military advisers in the meetings with the secretary and if wem officer -- now had drawn down, what are some of the concerns? >> we are looking at it from a different perspective in the sense that commanders on the ground, general campbell and others, so this successful training and assisting of the afghan security forces. and they want to build on that. they want to make sure we don't lose those gains. the afghan forces have made significant strides. these are people who are in a
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very difficult fight. quite frankly, some of them have lost their lives. a significant number in afghanistan. this is a tremendous sacrifice on part of the afghan security forces in face of a serious challenge. we are trying to provide support for them so that the gains they made can be extended. they have new capabilities moving in. this was a determination made by secretary carter and general campbell and others that this is the best way to build on those gains, to put afghanistan on the most secure footing going forward. i would like to look at it, and we should look at it in terms of august being made as opposed to a hypothetical what-if if we were to draw down. >> it's not hypothetical. was kunduz not a warning sign? was that a facilitating event that decided we need to keep these forces? >> no, it was not. these were deliberations that have been going on for some time. kunduz highlights the ongoing
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difficult fight still underway. this is not a response to what has happened in kunduz, this is a wider effort to try and put the afghan security forces in the best possible position going forward to secure the country for themselves and prevent the kind of situations we have seen in kunduz, and prevent those kind of things from happening on their own. but the afghan forces taking a lead and dealing with this on the run is what we want to make happen. >> but you're saying the potentially crippling force-- fore are providing support a force that is getting better and better with time. the secretary mentioned aviation capabilities just now coming to the afghan security forces. these are the kinds of things we want to build on and provide. putting them on the best possible footing going forward. >> my question is a bit of a follow-up. can you elaborate on the reasons why the mission has been extended?
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it seems that the afghan security forces are not strong enough, but yet general campbell testified earlier this month that the terrorist threat is significant and serious, and in some cases, is expanding. which of those two factors weighed on the decision? >> they both way on this decision in the sense that -- weigh on this decision, even though we think that back in security forces have made progress, at the same time there is a counterterrorism effort that the u.s. has a national security interest in. making sure that remnants of al qaeda and extremist groups in afghanistan do not have the ability to find a safe haven there. we will continue to focus our efforts on those groups. at the same time, we provide the assistance that the afghan security forces need. we will work closely with the afghan government. we were there at the invitation of the government. they have been strong partners. we support the efforts of resident ghani.
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-- president ghani. it is a two track effort. >> at what point are we going to get a breakdown in that 5500? g, how muchaininin air support? you are you mentioned -- you already mentioned the basis. how many contractors will be needed? >> we will need to do from our partners in terms of the country since they are willing to make. the secretary had conversations partners, who are already contributing to afghanistan. this needs to come to meant what they do -- this needs to compliment what they do and vice versa. we need to know what everyone brings the table before finding the breakdown. these be decisions from commanders on the ground, that i expect you'll get in the coming weeks and months. that is why we can't give the exact detail and to have a better idea what these contributions are. >> the secretary said you
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already had early conversations with nato allies. can you tell us if there is push back or if they are on board with intervening forces as well? >> i will let them speak for themselves. but from our visit to nato last week, to brussels, there was a certificate conversation about afghanistan -- a significant conversation about afghanistan and the effort to support their government. the secretary left his meetings in nato very confident that our allies would be stepping forward with their own contributions, making their own countries and on behalf of this effort. but again, he will leave it to those partners and allies to speak for themselves as to exactly what they can bring to this effort. >> can i follow up on that quickly? if they don't step forward, will be 9800 be enough to complete the mission without any help from allies? >> we are confident that our other allies and partners will
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bring a significant contribution to this effort. >> the secretary said this was an opportunity to finish what we started. i'm curious if you can give us a sense, given how it started, what role pakistan has had in these discussions -- to what extent has that come up? issues arethese two not separate, one would think that as an ally on the war on terror, they would be key to going forward. has this been part of that discussion, or is nato trying to figure every forward with the afghan government? involved with the afghan government is trying to take a comprehensive look at this picture, trying to involve pakistan in a conversation has been important is well. that is just one component of
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this larger picture. looking at the situation on the ground right now, this is where the president and his secretary and military leadership here have come to the conclusion that we can best support the afghan government going forward and also maintain counterterrorism missions as well. importantpakistan is to that conversation going forward. it's not the only part of the conversation, obviously, as well. >> i like to follow up on tom's question and your answer to it. you said one of the things you are looking at is what partners will bring. i'm having a hard time understanding how you come up with the 5500 number if you don't know what the coalition it members are giving. if the u.k. offers 1000, does that mean that another 1000 to the 5500 goes to some thing else?
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could you help me understand how you come up with the 5500 number if you don't know what the other coalition partners will be doing? >> fair to say that general campbell and the secretary, in his conversations, has a good picture of the level of commitment from these other countries. we will not speak for them. but they haven't factored that larger picture into this decision. we don't have the exact level of detail, you are right, but we have a good picture of the willingness of these other countries to step forward. they have been willing to do so in the past. many of them made public statements on their own about willingness to go forward. in terms of the exact breakdown, in terms of their capabilities, some are playing very specific roles now. those things wallace get a better sense -- those things will give us a better sense of how these forces -- for example,
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force protection, and how many will be counterterrorism. we will get more of those details, we just don't have them at this moment. >> get estimates of that kind of down? -- will you get estimates of that kind of breakdown? >> i cannot until we can do for to our nato allies for them to explain what they plan to do. then we can get a better idea. carter--ary is there any new agreement from that meeting? the secretary is in a matter of moments going to be with the minister of defense for south korea.
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we will have a more complete readout on both meetings at the conclusion. i know the secretary felt it was a great opportunity to reform the alliance between the u.s. and south korea, the ironclad commitment the u.s. has two south korea's defense. -- to south korea's defense. you will get more readout after the conclusion of these talks. we will wait with the secretary to not only meet with the minister of defense, but the president as well. i don't know if you saw the photo op this morning, but we don't do that often at the department of defense. it's a beatable weight to welcome a strong -- it's a beautiful day to welcome a strong ally of the united states. >> the secretary mentioned he's waiting for all the facts on kunduz. i am curious, when are we going to get any information on these reports from kunduz? we were told last week it would be a couple days. we understand it will take a while. the preliminary report by nato
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was told a couple days, and it's turned into a few days, and now it's been a few weeks. when we get this information? >> i asked the same questions myself. my understanding is that it will take a few more days. the beginning of next week we could have preliminary initial findings. you made a good point, the 15 6 investigation will take more time. this is an initial assessment looking specifically at the issue of civilian casualties. the expectation we have is that early next week hopefully you will be able to get details to you. general campbell and his team will share some of those at that time. >> do any of the coalition forces [indiscernible] i think colonel warren shared
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the details with you about the air drop yesterday, that it went successfully and that ammunition and other equipment was dropped. i believe on the 11th, on sunday, and it was recovered at that time by some of the syrian-arab forces and kurdish forces as well. i do have the breakdown where exactly they went. >> so you confirm that the kurdish forces also picked up some of that ammunition in syria? >> my understanding is that it was between syrian-arab forces and that there were other opposition groups that may have been able to recover some of the weaponry as well. kurdish forces as well is my understanding. >> do you have any information about recent operation strategy? >> i know that what the secretary has continued to say, and that is that the u.s. will continue to fly fair and operate
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in whatever international law allows that includes, as he said the other day, no exception to the south china sea. we will continue to look at all and options available to us in the south china sea and that part of the world. i will not relate specific operations that are underway were contemplated at this time, just to state the larger principle about the united states'willingness and a capability to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows. >> i don't believe the secretary got to this question. after the u.s. began its withdrawal, obama announced a timeline.
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we have seen a prolonged spike in violence. they you when reporting that the taliban has a wider reach than ever in 2001. we see the taliban temporara rily taking over cities like kunduz, attacks on hospitals. if the assessment from this building -- is the assessment from this building is that the pace of withdrawal is responsible for some of these setbacks, and that's part of the readjustment? >> what you heard from the secretary and president today is that the adjustments made here reflect the assessment that certain levels, the training and advising of security forces would best be moved forward by maintaining this troop level at this particular moment in time while still setting the target that the president did for 5500 by the time he lives office -- by the time he leaves office. that will foster the capabilities necessary for the afghan security forces to protect the country on their own. they had the first fighting
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season on their own. they are going to have a second one. this will give military leadership. this will give them the best opportunity to secure the country on their own and make it a more stable country moving forward, and a safer country for the people of afghanistan. >> just to clarify, based on the facts on the ground, those setbacks -- any type of assessment that the pace of withdrawal was seen as insufficient or were there concerns that the pace the withdrawal continues at the pace it was set it, that we would see more setbacks? >> the secretary mentioned that security forces still needed additional assistance and training. they are just getting capabilities online. i just mentioned aviation. u.s. capabilities and nato capabilities in place at this
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particular moment in time would be helpful, with the advantageous to the afghan government. the afghan government has asked us for this kind of assistance. as the secretary mentioned, there are circumstances separate that contributed to this position. when was the period of time before the unity government formed. we did not factor that in before. to answer your question, this is the best way to build on the progress that the afghan security forces have made. also, to be candid, to make sure there is not a setback going forward. a dangerous place. people are losing their lives in afghanistan. afghan security forces are in particular. again, an effort for the u.s. to provide that assistance and move the afghan security forces onto a surer footing going forward.
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that is the assistance we are trying to provide. i have time for two more because i have to go to this meeting as well. you intevac. -- you in the back. >> minor staining is that contractors have doubled what -- my understanding is that contractors have doubled the current level of troops in the u.s. do you think contractors will be at that level, even with the drawdown? >> i can tell you with certainty. i'm happy to take the question. contractors have been part of the effort in afghanistan for some time. i would venture to say that contractors would be part of this effort going forward. i can give you a specific number. if you would like, i will circle back to what that's number is now. i don't have it up at the podium . last one in the middle. breakdownar, will be he expected to be the same? were there any mission areas targeted that need more attention or troops, like more
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trainers or vice versa? nancy and tom's questions, the breakdown can be determined to best buy commanders on the ground once they determine what our nato allies are bringing to this effort as well. be folks inertainly the counterterrorism effort and a separate group of people whose main focus will be on training and advising the afghan security forces. there will be others for force protection purposes to make sure our forces on the ground remain as safe as possible in afghanistan. with that, i'm going to be late. last one. >> is there any purpose with the russian incident? been any- have there other close calls between u.s. aircraft in syria? >> militate from -- no update from what we told you yesterday. we are close with the russians
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regarding flight safety in syria. some details have been worked out after yesterday with the call. there has been more process -- progress workout yesterday. >> heather any been -- has there been any more close calls since saturday? >> to my understanding, there have been no more close calls, any encounters that i have been made aware of that would cause us to have killer concern. --particular concern. we are hoping safety protocols to be put in place as quickly as possible so we don't have to worry about this going forward. i have to go, sorry. i've got to go, sorry. >> thanks everyone. athere on c-span, we're live the center for strategic and international studies, waiting for remarks by south korean president park guen-hye.


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