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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 7, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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in fact, the columbus museum of art purchased a painting for the permanent collection. for his life of courage, perseverance, and positive outlook, after so many years living in the shadows of society, i am proud to award wallace the governor's courage governor's courage award accompanied by the first lady. [applause]
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[inaudible] gov. kasich: pretty clear, isn't it? the lord has made everyone special for special reasons. i spoke earlier about the battle that we are waging against drug abuse and addiction. i know we have talked about this three times tonight, so i am proud to recognize the courageous work being done in
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that fight, right here in washington county. makes -- larry minx, thank you, sheriff, for making youth drug prevention a big priority. just on the road, we have another champion. that is dealt preschool superintendent tony dunn. this guy rocks it. you will get every superintendent to start talking, won't you? i know that you will. he has been one of the most active in the start talking program. the fight against addiction took on special urgency in this
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community last summer with the death of hunter burkey, a talented and energetic 17-year-old. hunter was just ready to begin his senior year at the high school with a promising future when it was tragically cut short by a heroine overdose. it.n't know how they do me, buts it is beyond they are doing the best that they can to try to protect others. hunter's mother is also here tonight to share in this award. after her son's death, kelly --nd the pain in the courage strength and the courage to rise above her pain, and the
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undeserved guilt too often felt by parents. who have lost a son or a daughter to drugs. she is standing up and helping others in this fight. she is determined that no other mother should ever have to know the pain that she had to carry. i'm honoring for their -- honoring them further individual efforts and courage, but for all those in ohio, thousands who are fighting against this deadly epidemic every day. the award will be displayed forever as a reminder of the futures that have been cut short, and our resolve to do all we can to fight addiction and abuse. folks, please come to the stage. ladies and gentlemen, please honor them and their work for
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allman.age of kelly [applause] [inaudible]
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gov. kasich: their example -- inspire us within this creativity and leadership we need to go further and build on the strong leadership we have laid for our great state and restore our position as one of the nation's greatest places. that is the vision i have for ohio. have optimism and state will that our
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be a place of freedom and prosperity for everyone. we are getting there. it is happening. the changes that we have made together have taken us very far in a short time, but we are not done yet and we have more work to do. that together, we can keep moving forward. why am i confident? traveled all across this country and i reminded of one thing, again and again, there is no place like ohio, there is no place like home. [applause]
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i have noted sin -- i have known it since i was a young man, traveling across the , with mynia, ohio line uncle harry shouting. johnny weir in the promised land. there is no other place with our resources, our strategic location. and as woody hayes said, our people. the great things that can be accomplished when people work together for a righteous purpose. ohioans,e job done by and by recanted -- by rededicating ourselves to the mission and in the spirit of service leadership, we will keep
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lifting up our fellow buckeyes. mr. president, mr. speaker, members of the general assembly, let's tear down all the barriers, all the roadblocks in our way, and together, we can move ohio further down the path toward that vision of freedom, prosperity, and opportunity that we all share and believe in. together, we can do it. god bless america, god bless ohio, and god bless our futures together. thank you. [applause]
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c-span, homeland security secretary jeh johnson on combating violent extremism. secretary-general on the future of the alliance. after that, road to the white house coverage with donald trump in bethpage, new york and hillary clinton at carnegie mellon university. >> this month. we showcase our studentcam winners. this year's theme is road to the white house. students were asked, what issues do you want presidential candidates to discuss? these students want presidential candidates to discuss lowering the voting age to 16 in their
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video titled, "lower the vote, raise america." >> one of the biggest problems in american politics today is the lack of political participation. in 2012, only 58.6% of eligible voters participated in the election. the abysmal turnout is a problem that should be on the forefront of political debates. in 1971, the 26th amendment expanded voting rights to those over the age of 18. however, those aged 16 and 17, 2.62% of the population, are
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still unrepresented. more than 8 million people. lowering the voting age to 16 will expand democracy, increase political participation, and foster a generation of habitual voters. in the united states, takoma park, maryland was the first u.s. city to lower its voting age. during presidential elections, takoma park has a very high turnout. 60%-80%. in city elections, the turnout is closer to city elections. -- turnout is closer to 20%. >> it is horrible turnout. people do not know there is an election. so, it is really hard to engage voters in that setting. >> in 2013, the city councilman proposed legislation to lower the voting age to boost local participation. >> the idea of
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16-year-old and 17-year-olds voting came up one we were looking for ideas and scotland was considering a referendum and it became an idea where we said, "why not? >> the political landscape has undergone positive changes in -- changes since the decision. >> i can see there is definitely a segment of young people who feel more engaged, who are interested in local politics, and the working of our city government. >> the few elections opened to 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds have already impacted the youth electorate. >> it is fun to have your voice count and to be a part of the big decision. >> it is about habit-forming and seeing that you are participating and your community participating and continuing to
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-- it is about habit-forming and seeing that you are participating in your community participating and continuing to have that habit. >> having the voting limit at 18 has negative drawbacks in itself. >> if you are 18, moving somewhere new, trying to vote absentee back home, you are less connected to the issues, to the area, to the candidates running. if you're 16, you are more likely to have stable roots in the community and that aows you to care more and be more focused and be more interested about what is happening in the local area. >> the national youth rights association argues that people should have a voice on the issues that affect them personally. >> it is amazing how much of the debate is about education, schools, common core, testing, and people who are most affected
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are not involved in the discussion because they do not have the right to vote. >> starting voting earlier has benefits in the long run, as well as immediate results. >> the research finds that you -- the earlier in your life that you cast your first ballot, the more likely you are to make it a habit the rest of your life. >> a common argument against lowering the voting age is that teenagers are too immature or unknowledgeable about politics. >> there is nothing magic about the year of 18. i do not think anyone can say that 18-year-olds can make decisions and a 16-year-olds cannot. i think the age groups are similar. >> in our city of takoma park, it has been shown that lowering the voting age helps to raise turnout in local elections. and it involves youth in politics. having the voting age at 16
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gives teens a chance to start voting at a convenient time and place. >> i think it is a problem and democracy depends on participation and activism is lifeblood of the democratic society. >> it is an idea that a lot of people are going to think about. it may be on a small scale at first. then it could very well take off. it could make a substantial difference. >> lowering the voting age will improve the political system, and is an issue that should be addressed by presidential candidates in the 2016 campaign. >> to watch all of the prize-winning documentaries and the winners of this year's competition, visit >> president obama travels to chicago tomorrow to talk to students at the university of chicago law school about the judicial system.
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we have him live at 3:30 p.m. et on c-span. homeland security secretary jeh johnson said today that rhetoric -- spoke about countering violent extremism. he touched on the rhetoric in the 2016 presidential race is -- race. this is about half an hour. >> my name is tom wheelock of creative associates. since the tragedy of 9/11, the united states and international partners have been combating the threat of terrorism on multiple fronts. it is a threat that is neither constrained by international borders or limited to a single ideology. president obama has said often that his most solemn responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of the american people. in 2010, he launched a national strategy for counterterrorism.
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last year at the white house summit on countering violent extremism, he outlined our nation's approach, the major points being that we must confront and discredit extremist ideologies, address economic and political grievances that feed extremism, empower local communities, effectively communicate across national boundaries and among religious faiths, all the while remaining true to our values. at its foundation, this strategy encompasses a whole of government approach, with the department of homeland security as a major contribute and implementer. today, we are honored to have as keynote speaker the u.s. secretary of homeland security, the honorable jeh johnson.
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[applause] since 2009, secretary johnson has been a critical member of the president's national security team, and has a deep understanding of the threats and challenges facing the united states. as the pentagon's general counsel, he helped design and implement many of the policies that have kept our country safe. time and again, he has been in the situation room contribute into critical decisions affecting our national security and public safety. as secretary, he has taken strong steps on both counterterrorism and countering violent extremism, and has led transformational efforts to make our nation a safer place. some examples. under his leadership, the department has taken aggressive measures to further improve aviation and airport security. this includes enhanced security at overseas airports and continuous background checks on airline and aviation personnel.
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he recognizes that america's first line of defense against terrorism is our local police, and accordingly last year the department of homeland security provided over $200 billion in homeland security assistance to state and local governments. in response to the growing use of social media by terrorist organizations for recruitment of followers in the u.s., the department used social media to identify youth most susceptible to these messages. at the same time, the department is building bridges to diverse sets of communities, knowing that well-informed families and communities are one of our best defenses against the lure of terrorist ideologies. we often do not hear about the outstanding work of the department, but in the realm of homeland security, no news is
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good news, and no news is the result of hard work, vigilance, and dedication by the professionals and staff of the department of homeland security. mr. secretary, during the difficult times, we thank you for your study and strong leadership of the department, ensuring the security of our nation. ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you the secretary of the u.s. department of homeland security, the honorable jeh johnson. [applause] secretary johnson: thank you very much, tom. thank you for the comments. you, you noted several things that are not just simply lifted off my wikipedia. [laughter] and you noted a number of things that have been significant, in terms of our department's activities over the last several years.
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i was reminded, listening to the introduction, of a "60 minutes" segment on me about a year ago. during this time in the obama administration, leslie stahl in the lead-in captured it as saying, in the first four years as the general counsel of the department of defense, giving the legal signoff too many counterterrorism operations, i was on offense. now in the second term as secretary of homeland security, very often i find myself on defense. but there are various initiatives i have undertaken
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that we are very proud of, including our efforts at outreach and building bridges to communities to our newly created office for community partnerships, which i am proud of and i believe is reflective of who we are as a country, reflective of our immigrant heritage and the manner in which we hope to embrace communities, new ways of immigrants, and the like. and the diversity of our country. now, i do have to just a part for a minute to reflect on the events of last night. people are wondering what i'm talking about. i am talking about detroit versus florida, the marlins game, season opener. i was there to throw the first pitch in florida. it was my third first pitch as secretary of homeland security. i threw out the first pitch at citi field in 2014, the first pitch at the nats game in 2015, and i had the privilege of throwing the first pitch last night in miami. throwing a first pitch, though i used to play baseball, is the most stressful thing that i do.
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[laughter] it is more stressful than any speech, any congressional testimony. because you only have one chance. you can warm up for 30 minutes in the bullpen, and what they tell you when you throw a first pitch, whatever you do, do not throw it in the dirt. throw it over the backstop. hit a fan. totally wild pitch. but do not throw it in the dirt. i have been told that three times, repeatedly, before each of the three times i have done this.
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i practiced, practiced, practiced. it is stressful, because there are no do overs. when i create remarks for a speech, or create talking points, i create them and say, no, that's not right. i revise and work them over and massage them. i might even choose to massage a speech in the middle of the speech. but once the ball leaves your hand, there is no do over, no second chance. it is all in the hands of god. and so, the first pitch for the new york mets, in the dirt. i got the ball. it has the dirt mark on it. the second pitch at nats stadium last year was in the dirt. this is in front of 20,000, 30,000 people. last night, i said to david samson, the president of the club, just before i ran out onto that beautiful mound, that beautiful field. i feel a strike. i feel a strike. i really feel good about this. then i went out there. i did not even hit the dirt this time. i hit the infield grass. [laughter] so, i hope nobody sees that on youtube or espn or anything. it was not one of my more proud moments as secretary of homeland
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security. thank you for being here today. this is one of our more important initiatives, for our government and for this president's administration. we are in, as all of you know, a new phase in the global terrorist threat, which includes not only the prospect and threat of terrorist-directed attacks by operatives who are trained and equipped overseas, someplace, and exported to another country, but the prospect of terrorist-inspired attacks by those who are terrorist-inspired or terrorist-enabled, a new term we use now, terrorist-enabled, not just terrorist-directed. terrorist-inspired or terrorist-enabled.
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and those who would self-radicalized, in response to things terrorist organizations put out on social media, on the internet. it makes for a more complicated world. because those who self-radicalize, as everyone knows, could strike with little or no notice to our intelligence community or our law enforcement communities. yes, when -- yet when someone does self-radicalize, one or perhaps two or three people, there is somebody, almost
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always, who was in a position to know or who did know close to that person or persons. i also know from my experience in homeland security and my prior time at the department of defense, we can kill an enemy but not necessarily defeat an enemy. so our cve mission, as we refer to it inside the beltway, is as important as any of our current homeland security missions, basic security, aviation security, maritime security, cyber security. the work we do here is as important as any other mission we can undertake to keep the homeland, keep our homeland safe. in my view, building bridges to communities is essential, a central part of our mission. i'm gratified to see that within the last several years, our efforts have expanded and grown, and there is growing interest in our efforts.
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this conference today is reflective of that. i look around the room and i see all the material outside, the content of the discussions. i'm gratified that so many of us are now dedicated to this effort. building bridges is key. cve is not a law enforcement mission. not a military mission. this is a homeland security mission, which is why i have personally undertaken, on my personal plate, a large part of this mission. i have personally been to boston, new york, brooklyn, columbus, dearborn, l.a., houston, minneapolis, and elsewhere. i will be going to philadelphia the next several weeks. on our mission to build, to partner with communities through our newly created, under the
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leadership of george salines, our newly created office for community partnerships, which leads the current interagency task force efforts at countering violent extremism. let me give you a few of my own observations i would like to leave you with. about the domestic discussion, our domestic debate about cve, and my own observations with regard to our efforts in the united states on cve. observation one. this is a, i'm happy to say, bipartisan effort with bipartisan support. there's bipartisan support in congress for our cve efforts. there are those on both sides of the aisle who want to support and expand upon my department's role in cve.
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there is pending legislation to formally recognize and authorized an office for community partnerships, which has bipartisan support, particularly in our committees for homeland security. observation or comment number two. many people ask me, are you targeting muslims? why are you targeting muslims? my answer to that is that our cve mission is a generic one. we are not targeting a religion, or even a specific group. we have a generic mission, but i must offer several caveats. first, the islamic state, which is the most visible, most
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prominent, and probably most dangerous terrorist organization we face right now, is targeting american muslims, so we must respond in counter to that effort, as a matter of homeland security. which is why when i talk about building bridges to communities, most often i am talking about building bridges to american muslim communities, because that is who the islamic state is targeting. by their nature, domestic-based extremism, violent extremism, those here in the homeland, purely domestic-based with a purely domestic focus, are frankly difficult to engage. i don't have roundtables with violent white supremacists, as you might suspect. it is by its nature a different set of problems.
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we do have opportunities to build bridges with american muslims, and american muslim community leaders who are patriotic americans and who do want to help protect our homeland. and we must, in my view, continue to build the bridges and take advantage of those opportunities. observation or comment number three. there is no one american muslim community, contrary to some of the political dialogue you may hear. contrary to some of the rhetoric, over-simplistic rhetoric, there is no one muslim community, no one hispanic
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community in this country. there are 1.6 billion muslims in the world. one in four people in the world are muslims. it is the second-largest religion in the world, as diverse as christianity. muslims occupy every continent of this planet, including this continent, and there are sects as diverse as christianity. in this country alone, among 3 million muslims, they include african-americans, egyptian americans, indonesian americans, iraqi americans, syrian americans, and many others. i personally witnessed a pakistani american community in boston is very different from a syrian community in houston, or a somali american community and minneapolis. so the american muslim communities in this country are
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as diverse as christianity. there is no one neighborhood or ghetto or city that one could encircle or surveil to surveil american muslims, contrary to some of the political rhetoric that is out there, some of the overheated political rhetoric out there. so, as we build bridges to communities, we have to recognize there is indeed an "s" at the end of that word -- communities. it a broad -- it encompasses a broad set of communities across this country. observation number four. as we build bridges, we do indeed encounter suspicion among a lot of people, who suspect us of being law-enforcement undercover. it's not surprising we would encounter suspicion, but we keep at this. i believe in the 27 months i
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have been secretary, i have seen our efforts bring success. we do encounter suspicion, but people to hear our message and respond to our message. in fact, i know we are having success with our messages when we do encounter suspicion. we do encounter suspicion, but people do hear us. people want to hear us, and people do hear us. my next observation, number five, which i have repeated several times, and i have promised american muslim communities i would repeat several times. it is in fact true. people ever heard me say this before. the overwhelming -- it needs
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repeating -- the overwhelming, overwhelming majority of american muslims, including those who serve in our united states military, by the way, and in our u.s. government, are patriotic, dedicated people who love this country, and who want to help us with public safety and secure our homeland. they know it's their homeland, too. i have been to the adams center in north virginia twice. each time, we begin our discussions with the pledge of allegiance by a boy scout group and a girl scout troop. it bears repeating, though it should be obvious, the overwhelming, overwhelming
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majority, emphasis, of american muslims are patriotic americans like the rest of us. observation number six. you heard tom say part of the president's agenda is to empower local communities. that is correct. as i have traveled the country, i have noted the call for help and resources in communities to support their local, community-based efforts at countering violent extremism within those communities. these immunities the resources, which is why i'm pleased that in this year's budget our congress has provided to the department of homeland security grant money for the first time to support our cve efforts. a modest start, $10 million. i know george wishes we had more. i wish we had more, and i hope we get more in fy '17, but it's a good start. we have opened that door. i hope our efforts at empowering local communities through
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grantmaking expand beyond this year. observation number seven. the tech sector, as many of you know, and philanthropy can help with our efforts to philanthropies can help with efforts to empower communities and support local efforts in those communities. i hope in my reading time as secretary to broaden the conversation to include philanthropies. the tech sector can help, and is helping, providing an alternate message to the message of the islamic state, al qaeda, and
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others. we have seen progress already, and i have been pleased by the fact several companies in the tech sector have stepped forward to provide leadership in this regard. the tech sector is also coming to and becoming more active in taking down terrorist content on the internet. it's a difficult job. it has gotten more complex with advances in technology, but the tech sector is interested in helping us to take down, and will take down if they have the opportunity, content that violates their terms of reference. this is a cve mission, and i hope the government and tech sector can find ways to partner. observation number eight, which i have said now a number of times publicly in news interviews and other places. efforts to villify and isolate american muslims are counter to our homeland security interest
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and counter to our national security interest. given the nature of the global terrorist threat, we need to build bridges to communities, not vilify them, not drive them into the shadows, not isolate american muslim communities. we need to build bridges. so dialogue, proposals, proposals for certain immigration policies that vilify american muslims are counter to our homeland security interest. while i have publicly avoided on numerous occasions participating in this year's political debate, which is hard to do, i have when a proposal or rhetoric, frankly, is counter to our homeland
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security interest, to our national security interest, have spoken out. efforts and dialogue that have the effect of vilifying american muslims are counter to our homeland security interest. i continue to repeat that. the last comment i have, which is one i believe firmly and personally in -- you heard this earlier. our efforts must be consistent with who we are, consistent with our values, consistent with our immigrant heritage. this is something i believe in personally. this is a nation of immigrants. i'm proud of the fact we are a diverse society that embraces each wave of immigrants, embraces people of numerous religions and faiths, and i
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believe that those who know our history can and should learn from it, and those who do not know our history are bound to repeat it. i testified a number of times in congress. i testify a lot. the committee that it testify before most is probably the house homeland security committee. i'm told that the committee holds its hearings in the same room with a house on american activities committee used to hold its hearings.
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in 1949, there was a man named charles s. johnson who testified. in the height of the red scare, he denied he was a member of the communist party and went on to give an impassioned statement about how american negroes are patriotic americans. that those who seek a change in our way of life or government policy are not seeking to undermine the government itself. that man was my grandfather. [applause] those who don't know their history are bound to repeat it. thank you all for participating in this very important mission. thank you for service to your
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country, to your countries in this effort. we, at the department of homeland security, look forward to continue to work with you on this very important project. thank you all very much. [applause] >> mr. secretary, unlike your opening-day pitches, today you through a 100 mile an hour fastball right down the plate. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> c-span's "washington journal," every day with policy and news that impact you.
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coming up on thursday, olivia golden talks about work mandates taking place in 30 states that may cost as many as one million americans to lose footsteps. then patrick mclaughlin, senior research fellow, on their report that ranks 50 states and the district of columbia by the effect of federal regulations on the state's economy. and ryan london on the articles of impeachment filed against governor robert bentley, a following reports of an them -- of an inappropriate relationship with a former staffer. be sure to watch "washington journal" thursday morning. join the discussion. actingrrow, the army's secretary -- brief lawmakers on the service's readiness.
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live at 10:00 a.m., richard urbany testifies at the affairs committee. nato secretary-general yen stoltenberg-- jens says allies are not doing enough. this panel is about an hour and a half. >> good afternoon and welcome, i am fred cap, president and ceo of the atlantic council. we are honored to welcome the
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secretary-general today. i think the size of this audience, and the number of cameras in the room, show a huge interest in your trip. i will get back also to a couple of reasons why the interest might be a little higher than normal in nato on this trip. the atlantic council was founded with the goal of constructing u.s. engagement in the world along with our closest friends and allies in europe and elsewhere. for that reason, we frequently host global leaders visiting in washington, d.c. for us, nothing gives us more pleasure than hosting the secretary general of nato. these are the atlantic council's roots. nato is at the heart of our mission of working together to secure the future and it remains very much at the heart of america's role and purpose in the world. as president obama said today, nato is the linchpin of our cornerstone in the world. delightedlar, we are
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that we will convene ahead of the warsaw summit in july. we are delighted that we will participate as one of nato's official public diplomacy partners at the warsaw summit. the warsaw summit comes at a defining moment that is testing nato's ability to respond to an unprecedented array of global challenges. i will list just a couple. number one, terror attacks in brussels and paris. number two, external challenges from a resurgent russia on europe's eastern front, and the expanding instability from the middle east. third, of course, we face nato as a u.s. presidential campaign issue and see it as a chance to engage the broader public in a reaffirmation of the alliance and enduring values of specific contributions. secretary-general, you have been wise to stay clear of american domestic politics during your
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visit here, but we don't need to do that as the atlantic council. we actually welcome donald trump's interventions on the question of nato, because it has once again focused the united states and the importance of the alliance, the relevance of the alliance as it is today, and the specific undertakings of the alliance. i think it is the right time for this kind of public discussion and public debate. we also believe that beyond the grim recent events in europe, there is significant reason for hope. taking a step back, one sees how far europe has come from a painful history and centuries of bloody conflict culminating in the 20th century's two world wards before the foundation of the alliance. it is important to remember what a miracle today's alliance is.
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europe has never enjoyed such a long and broad measure of peace, prosperity, and democracy as it does today. it is one of history's great accomplishments, made all the more remarkable by the post world war expansion of democratic ideals and institutions. it is an accomplishment, and one well worth defending. we do not stick our heads in the sand. we know many political leaders do not view nato as central to their strategies. much of the public does question nato's relevance in a changing world. in that context, we are fortunate to have a resourceful leader like jens stoltenberg at the head of nato.
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the secretary-general assumed his role faced with the daunting task of reorienting nato through a unique set of challenges. he has held leadership positions from minister of energy to minister of finance and twice served as prime minister of norway. he was instrumental in developing norway's defense policy to tackle emerging threats. he also saw the country through one of the most difficult times in its modern history, the terror attacks witnessed in the summer of 2011. rather than countering hate with anger that summer, he redoubled efforts to strengthen democracy and humanity both at home and abroad. he is a shining example of the sort of leadership we require.
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before we begin, i would like to remind the audience that you can follow today's conversation on twitter at@aceventslive. after his remark, we will open a conversation with a pulitzer prize-winning journalist, karen young. before the secretary-general comes to the podium, to illustrate what sort of a leader he is, as prime minister, he spent an afternoon in oslo working incognito as a taxi driver, wearing sunglasses and a taxi drivers uniform so that he would not be so easily recognized. his exchanges were captured on a hidden camera. he did it because he thought it was important to hear what people thought, and what better way to do that then as a taxi
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driver? i understand you were a far more capable prime minister then taxi driver, but for all of you leaving today, you might want to check twice who is in the front seat of your taxi. mr. secretary-general, the floor is yours. [applause] sec. gen. stoltenberg: thank you for that kind introduction and for reminding me of the fact that i was a taxi driver for five hours. if you watch the youtube video, you will understand that you are very right. it is obvious from that video that it is better for passenger safety in norway that i concentrate on being prime minister and not driving taxis in oslo. i promise i will not try to drive a taxi again. i would rather be a passenger in washington. but i would never drive a taxi in washington.
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that would be a great danger. it's great to be here, and it's great to see so many people in the audience. i welcome all of you. i see many from the diplomatic community. i would like to thank the atlantic council for working on this event and especially thanks for making this possible, and also because under your leadership, the atlantic council has worked tirelessly to promote efforts with the transatlantic cooperation. in today's world, transatlantic cooperation is needed more than ever. nato can focus that cooperation. half of the world's gdp and half of the world's military might in
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a unique alliance that brings to bear the strengthen unity of north america and europe. that is what i want to discuss with you today. why it matters. how it is shaping our response to the actions of a more conservative russia, and how it must define the way we tackle challenges. the transatlantic alliance has its roots in common culture and values. these are bonds which carried us through the cold war.
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today, nato continues to serve the interests of each and every member. security, prosperity, and open societies. none of these values are guaranteed by nato alone, but all would be at great risk without nato. a safer and stronger europe means a safer and stronger united states. that was the rationale behind the decision to create the alliance, and it is just as valid today. because nato is as much an american organization as it is a european one. this was the spirit in which the alliance responded when the united states was attacked on
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9/11. the only time the alliance has invoked article five of the washington treaty, which makes clear that an attack against one ally is an attack against all. that collective decision led to nato's biggest ever operation in afghanistan, where hundreds of thousands of soldiers from europe, canada, and nato countries have served alongside u.s. forces, and where many have given their lives. without nato, transatlantic cooperation would be weaker, europe and north america less safe, and the world a more dangerous place.
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take russia. last year, i spoke in washington about its destabilizing behavior. its military buildup and its aggression against ukraine, and i outlined how nato is responding. we are making significant progress. nato is becoming more agile, and we are increasing our readiness. we are reinforcing our collective defense, the largest collective defense since the end of the cold war. nato's response force is now three times bigger than it was before. we have set up a chain of new headquarters in the eastern part of the alliance, boosting our ability to plan, exercise, and reinforce if needed. the european reassurance initiative launched two years ago has been key.
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i met with president obama on monday and thanked him for his strong leadership and strong commitment. i welcome his plan to quadruple funding for the european reassurance initiative. this will increase our ability to strengthen the alliance. this increase of the european reassurance initiative would mean more u.s. troops and equipment on european soil, more opportunities for americans and europeans to participate in joint exercises, more positioned equipment and better infrastructure. together, this bolsters our defense and our ability to respond with strength and speed. but transatlantic security does not rest upon american shoulders
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alone. europeans play a major role in policing nato's airspace. europeans are providing the majority of forces in the balkans, and for over a decade have contributed one third of the forces in afghanistan. they are also increasing defense spending after a long decline. in fact, last year, defense cuts in europe came to a halt. 16 european allies spent more on defense than the year before, and they are adding capabilities such as the latest generation fighter aircraft, helicopters, and maritime patrols.
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these are important first steps toward fulfilling our pledge to spend a percentage of gdp on defense and the capabilities we need. i determined that all allies make good on that pledge because the burden must rest on all of our shoulders. ladies and gentlemen, we face a new strategic reality, and we must be prepared for the long haul. after the warsaw summit in july, we will seek to further strengthen our collective defense. we will have a multinational force in the eastern part of the alliance to make clear that an attack against one ally will be
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met by forces from across the alliance. we will enhance our resilience with hybrid warfare and fighter jets and make sure the nuclear component of our deterrence posture remains credible and effective. we will advance our goal of a europe whole, free, and at peace with montenegro invited to join the alliance. we will reconfirm our long-term commitment to afghanistan, and we will take measures to respond to north africa. because homeland defense is not just about what we do at home. it is as much about what happens beyond our borders. we have a crisis of a magnitude not seen since world war ii. groups like isil taking hold of
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spaces and spreading violence across the region and beyond. inciting attacks on our streets from brussels to istanbul, from paris to san bernardino. these are attacks on our open societies, on the values we share, so our response must be strong, and it must be united. the international community is rising to the challenge. i strongly welcome the efforts of the us-led local coalition to counter isil.
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we must be willing to project stability beyond our borders. if our neighbors are more stable, we are more secure. to be clear, protecting stability has several elements. to defeat and destroy isil, we need to use force. military action is essential if we are to deprive isil of its strongholds in syria and iraq and stop the horrific violence it is inflicting. but projecting stability also means using armor forces to train others to fight. in the long run, it is more sustainable to enable local forces to protect their countries than it is to deploy large numbers of our own troops.
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that is an important lesson we have drawn from past operations. training matters. in the fight against terrorism, building local capacity is one of our best weapons, and earlier we can do it, the better. because a few months can mean the difference between a fragile state and a failed state. so, while nato has to remain an expedition alliance able to deploy forces outside our territory, nato's also become a more effective training alliance. we need to upgrade our capacity building efforts and enhance our cooperation with regional partners. today, i want to put forward three specific ways i believe we can do that.
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first, nato needs totrengthen its ability to advise and assist local forces. for that, we need to make training a core capability of the alliance. we have trained local forces across the world for more than 20 years. from sending advisory teams to deploying military and police trainers on the ground, including an dangerous environments. we know how to generate a multinational force of trainers, maximizing every contribution from allies and partners of all sizes. but today, we need a more robust approach, a responsive capability so that we can plan, coordinate, deploy, advise, and
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support training missions faster, and bring together the necessary troops for capacity building and training. as we currently are doing in afghanistan. i went to kabul, and i met with the men and women of the air force, pilots and mechanics trained by nato. they were all very proud of what they are doing. i also met a group of remarkable young women who are working hard to become pilots in the african air force. it is that resolve that makes me optimistic about what we can achieve. until a few years ago, there's hardly any afghan air force at
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all. last year, the afghan air force flew 20,000 missions, providing transport, resupply, medical support, and engaging the enemy. they are part of the 350,000 strong afghan security forces will do by nato trainers over the years. and they are now responsible for the country's security. we continue to support them, but we have ended our combat mission, and this demonstrates what we can achieve by building local capacity. we also recently launched training and capacity building initiatives in georgia, moldova, and jordan, and we will soon begin advisingn counterterrorism and helping to
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improve the capacity of their armed forces. with libya, we have an advisory council in tripoli. this is an important step in establishing national accord and setting the conditions for furthering national support. nato also stands ready to assist libya. they will need our help. so, this is clear. nato needs to make training a core capability for the alliance. my second proposal is that nato should step up our support for iraq.
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the ability of an iraqi government to restore security is critical to the stability of the whole region, and a stable iraq is key to the battle against isil. last week, nato started training iraqi officers in jordan. our program was developed in close collaboration with the counter isil coalition. we should continue these efforts and, when appropriate, expand them. i met with the prime minister and discussed the challenges his country is facing and why training and capacity building is an essential part of the solution. we should provide that help and we can do that in many different ways.
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one example is dealing with improvised explosive devices. improvised explosive devices was the biggest killer of forces when they retook ramadi from isil. our current training program responds to this urgent need, and we should do more for iraq. my third proposal is that we take our cooperation with regional partners and international organizations to a new level. to protect stability in the region, we need to work with those who know the region best.
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a few weeks ago, the secretary-general of the gulf cooperation council came to nato headquarters. we discussed the security challenges in the region and what more we could do together. the gulf cooperation council is enhancing its ability to conduct large-scale operations. nato is essential to maintaining a military structure. we are also exploring what more we can do in areas such as counterterrorism, energy, and maritime security, and cyber defense. my aim is to bring forward cooperation with the gcc at the warsaw summit in july.
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the new nato regional cooperation center in kuwait also provides us with a way to reinforce our partnerships. the center will be a focal point where nato gulf partners will work together in areas such as military to military cooperation, strategic analysis, and civil emergency planning. the king abdullah special training operations center in jordan is certified, according to nato standards, and this is where the training of iraqi officers is now taking place. we must do more to complement bilateral efforts and to strengthen the capacity of regional organizations. because this is the best way to leverage their expertise, their
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resources, and their cultural awareness in support of our training missions. and to enable our partners in the middle east and north africa to play a great role in achieving regional security. everywhere i go in the region, leaders tell me they want more cooperation with nato. we must answer their call. ladies and gentlemen, the challenges from the middle east and north africa pose a direct threat to our security, our common values, and our common interest. we must all work together to respond. we need to strengthen our own defenses and to make our partners stronger as well. the threat from isil and other
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terrorist organizations will be with us for a long time, so we must bring all tools to bear, and nato is a powerful tool in which all our nations have made great investments. for almost 70 years, nato has brought europe and north america closer together, providing security for both sides of the atlantic. i know that i can count on continued leadership of the united states. i also know that the regional interests of europe and the united states are best served by a strong north atlantic alliance. because the security of europe and north america is indivisible, and it is only by standing together that we will
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remain safe and secure. thank you. [applause] karen: thank you, mr. secretary general. you have given us a lot to think about. nato secretary's general are frequent visitors to washington. i don't think i have ever seen a visit where so much attention was paid.
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you have had better attendance that has ever happened for a visiting nato secretary general obviously, it is an important time in the country as americans are trying to figure out who will lead them into the next heart of the 21st century. your remarks on the subject of nato's future addressed key questions of relevance on why it matters, questions that have obviously been front and center in the political debate. i want to talk about some of the specific initiatives you outlined, but first, i would like to ask you, as a european, who spends much time around european leaders, about the debate here. president obama has repeatedly cited growing comes earns posed to him about some of the wackier suggestions being made by presidential candidates. secretary kerry last night said european leaders have repeatedly expressed concerns to him.
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many have specifically talked about the transatlantic alliance and suggestions about the value of nato. so, i want to ask you if you have heard the same concerns, and when europeans are sitting around without americans in the room, and you let your hair down, is that what you talk about? how much concern is there? mr. stoltenberg: well, i have lost my hair, so that doesn't happen. [laughter] first, i welcome that there is
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more attention to nato and nato related issues. that may be because of the election campaign. i will not be part of the election campaign. for decades, election campaigning was an important part of my life. but that is my previous life. now i am in another kind of business, which is not election campaigns, especially in the united states. it is up to the american people to decide who will be the next president, and i will in no way be part of that discussion or that campaign, but when i can say is that when i travel to different countries in europe, i see a very strong support for transatlantic cooperation and a north atlantic alliance. we understand that in the united states there are concerns that too many europeans are investing
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too little in defense, and that is why we have made a decision to increase spending. that is why political leaders and allies and other countries urged that. to not reduce is not a big achievement, but compared to previous defense spending, it is the first step in moving toward the right direction. 2015 is the first up in the right direction after just one year. you asked whether europeans are concerned. they are concerned in that many of them understand they have to
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contribute more to our collective defense and that we don't have a fair burden sharing now, and that is why all 28 allies agreed to step up in the agreement we made. karen: well said. obviously, there are concerns in this country as well as in europe about how some of the conversation has been framed about nato. but the overall question, beyond the question of burden sharing, about nato's relevance, is not a new one.
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i think you have addressed that in your remarks, but more broadly, in the years since the cold war ended, you have had a lot of foreign-policy experts questioning whether nato should survive, and most of those concerns were based on the end of the soviet union. you spoke of the largest reinforcement of collective defense is the end of the cold war. certainly, some of nato's eastern members argue that the cold war never really ended. a general spoke recently of a shift in nato doctrine from assurance to deterrence, which i think in some ways is arguably a return to the past. i wonder if you could talk a bit about russia and what you think the actual threat is that russia poses to the alliance right now. what are putin's goals? are his actions arguably our response, as some argued years
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ago, to nato's expansion right to russia's borders. is there a limit to russia's desire to expand its own sphere of influence, or do you think they see it as a defensive mechanism? mr. stoltenberg: i will say some words about russia in a moment, but i will start a commenting on the introduction to the question, because there is concern whether part of the debate in the united states provides reasons for concern in europe, that the united states is not focused on europe, that the united states is not going to continue to be part of our transatlantic alliance and so on. first of all, i would like to say that the first time i visited the united states was in 1980.
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i was 21 years old -- no, not 21 years old. i visited the united states with my father and we traveled for a week around the united states. and then, the main issue was the concern that the united states was not going to support europe. that was in 1980. we have been concerned for many years, but we are still going strong. so, we are concerned, but at the same time, we see that we have to deliver every day as a strong alliance, the strongest ever in the world. we are able to deliver deterrence, collective defense, and we are able to stand together when it is really needed.
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so, for instance, has i mentioned in my speech, the first and only time ever we invoked collective defense goals was after attack on the united states, and then europeans stepped up to help and support our ally, the united states. and one third of the forces, as i said, in afghanistan, have come from canada, europe, and european nato countries, and more than 1000 european and canadian soldiers have lost their lives in afghanistan, and many more have been wounded. so, it's just a strong example of how our european allies ban together with the united states when needed. yes, i would like us to do more, but the alliance is working, the alliances delivering, and we
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have initiatives around the world, and we have done it every day since 1980 when i was concerned the first time. so, i am permanently concerned but quite successful. then, about russia, we don't see any imminent threat against nato allied countries, including countries in the eastern part of the alliance. but what we see is a more assertive russia, responsible for aggressive actions in ukraine and willing to use military force, the willingness to use capabilities to intimidate neighbors, to change borders in europe, annex crimea, destabilize ukraine, and having troops in georgia, moldova, and so on. and this is, of course, of a
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concern, and that is why we responded. and when i say we, i mean the united states and europe together. before, we did not have forces in the eastern part of the alliance. now we have forces there on a rotational basis, and we have substantially increased our ability to redeploy forces if needed. so, again, i am concerned, but as long as we are able to adapt, and because we are able to adapt, we are responding to those concerns and making sure that all nato allied countries are safe because nato is there. karen: but do you have a sense of what the ultimate goal is of russia's actions? after you strategized to provide this deterrent capability and show of strength, what is your
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sense of what they are hoping to achieve? mr. stoltenberg: it is always dangerous to speculate, but what we see is that russia is trying to reestablish a sphere of influence around its borders. that is why they are behaving as they are in georgia and ukraine. and that's not acceptable because they are violating national law, disrespecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of independent nations, countries in europe, and that's also the reason why it's important that we respond. at the same time -- and we are responding by the biggest collective defense since the end of the cold war, but at the same time, i always underlined that nato is not seeking confrontation with russia.
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we will avoid a new cold war. actually, we are striving for a more cooperative and constructive relationship with russia, but we believe we have to be strong, we have to be firm, we have to be predictable to establish a basis for a political engagement and dialogue with russia. i have mentioned many times before, but my belief is there is no contradiction between strong defense and political dialogue. actually, as long as we are strong, we can also engage in political dialogue, and in the long run, russia has to understand that they can gain more from cooperating with us instead of confronting us. karen: you spoke about a new strategic reality that nato is facing and the primary threat to security right now seems to be violent extremism and the spread
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of it. you outlined what is not necessarily a new role for nato, but certainly a broader expansion of that role in making it into a core capability for nato, and that is the training a partnership institutional aspects of it, and you set up three ways of doing that. the first one was to build capacities on the front line against violent extremism. obviously, that is what nato has been doing in afghanistan is the end of the combat mission. but i wonder if you are concerned now about what is happening in afghanistan. the new commander there is getting his own recommendations ready for the administration
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about what the u.s. military presence should be after the beginning of 2017. current plans offer for it to be on must cut in half, the u.s. presence, the general nicholson has spoken recently about how the training program really has been set back because of the level of fighting during 2015, which is one of the worst years they have had in a long time, not only ground forces, but forces in the air. would you expect nato forces -- assuming u.s. forces remain at their current level, would you expect nato components that are still active in afghanistan to do the same? what do you think is the likelihood that they would be, as some u.s. forces have been, dragged back into the fighting as it becomes more difficult? as the fighting season starts to ramp up again. mr. stoltenberg: the situation in afghanistan is not easy.
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it is quite difficult. i visited afghanistan just a couple of weeks ago. the afghan national army has good forces and soldiers. the taliban and is trying to control different parts of the country, and we have many other groups, al qaeda, different terrorist groups, isil in afghanistan. it's in no way an easy situation. having said that, i think it's import to remember that it has not been easy in afghanistan for decades. the starting point was not a peaceful, stable country. the starting point was a country which was a safe haven for international terrorists, with
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the taliban controlling the country. but we have achieved with a presence there for many years is we have been able to build a strong afghan army which is capable, professional, and strong enough to take responsibility for security in the whole country. so, we were able to end our combat mission because we enabled them to do the fighting. i think we should continue to enable them, continue to support them, and therefore, i think it was the right decision of president obama to maintain force levels through 2016. at the same time, the u.s. and the president have announced they will go from 9800 to 5500 by the end of the year. what we have not yet decided in
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nato is what the other allies will do. that is something we will address at the summit in july. regardless of what we finally just i when it comes to the scope of the mission, we have already decided we will continue to support the country through 2017. we have not decided on force levels or the scope of our presence. so, i am not able to answer you precisely about what our presence will be, that i can say we will continue to support them, continue to train them, and continue to fund them. you have to remember that we are supporting the afghan army and
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security forces in two ways. we provide training and assistance with troops, but we also fund the national army. other nato partners are also contributing. and we are concerned in europe that we are spending less than 2% of gdp on defense. in afghanistan, they spend 25% of gdp on defense, but of course, that is only possible because the main funding is coming from the united states and european allies and partners. so, we will continue to support afghanistan. we will continue to fund them and to have a presence, because i very much believe we have to enable forces in the region to stabilize their own countries, and that is better than
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deploying a large number of combat troops. karen: just to continue on the theme of training as a core capability, you spoke about iraq and the expanded role nato could play there. there has been some suggestion that the coalition itself is sort of a coalition of the willing, and ad hoc structure without any particular structure, and that perhaps this is a role that nato could play, that nato could take over some of the organizational aspects of training as well as putting the various components in place to do it, and that nato could actually serve, in the way it has in afghanistan, as kind of a secretary of war. in some ways organizing the
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activities of the coalition there. could you talk more about that? mr. stoltenberg: the advantage of using nato as a tool is, for instance, building capacity, training, as we have done in afghanistan, if there was anything wrong with it in afghanistan, it is that we did not start the training earlier. we should have started to build capacity earlier and had the afghans take responsibility for their own security earlier. but the advantage of using nato is that nato has the structures and mechanisms for generating forces. we meet several times a year to generate forces to our missions
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in afghanistan, africa, and other places. if we want to do training in iraq, we can do that. it is a stronger commitment when you are part of the nato alliance to provide these forces than the commitment to being part of a coalition of the willing. because a coalition of the willing has a question of why you are willing. i think also, we can provide more support for the united states. second, we have the command structures, the different training centers. we have some in europe. we work in jordan. we will soon have a center in kuwait. training, capacity building, everything from building institutions, defense
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ministries, headquarters, institution building to training soldiers in a dangerous environment. and third, we have the expertise and the experience. i mentioned improvised explosive devices. nato knows how to counter ied's because we have done that for many years in afghanistan. we can take that experience and apply it in, for instance, iraq. but, of course, nato will only do things which our allies ask us to do, and we have to find a balance between fighting, and i think the coalition should continue to do that, but i think nato can do more coordinated with and complement it with what the coalition is doing when it
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comes to training. many small and medium-sized countries, nato allies and partner countries, it is oft extremely expensive and difficult to do training on a bilateral basis. for instance, in iraq, because when nato does the training, we have one agreement, one infrastructure. we have special operations forces to do some training. in norway, just to negotiate all the legal arrangements you need to deploy forces in iraq, if nato is already there, you can just deploy that framework. it is more cost effective to plug into a nato framework.
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so yes, i believe we can do more, but it has to be correlated with the efforts of the coalition and it has to be complementary and done in a way which would serve the purpose of the mission. karen: would you advocate taking over the existing bilateral training programs? the canadians, the italians, there are lots of different separate training programs that actually are doing different things with different groups of iraqis to a large extent. mr. stoltenberg: i would rather speak about scaling up what we have started to do. i would like to scale up that. i think it is important to do this in coordination with the
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coalition. i think we should do that, then evaluate the experience and decide if we should do more. the scale of the scope, i think we have to decide step-by-step and then have a pragmatic approach. because i think that, of course, we also need to continue to do airstrikes. i am not arguing that nato should take over the fighting. there are not so many allies doing that, the united states, u.k., france and others, but we need high-end airstrikes to help the iraqi forces liberate mosul, but when that is liberated, how do you hold it?
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how do you train to control it? and then you need trained, skilled, professional, local forces, and if that is not nato forces or u.s. forces, french or german forces, it has to be local forces. maybe we should start training them now, not to wait, because if you wait, it becomes more difficult and more expensive. that's also the case when it comes to another group of countries. jordan is a stable country, an island of stability in the sea of instability that is the
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middle east, but jordan is under pressure. tunisia is the same. they are under heavy pressure from terrorist organizations, and we should help them now. we should not wait until they are really into deep trouble and then help them. prevention is better than intervention. that's a golden rule. we should help them now, not wait until later on. capacity building is also about building capacity before a country slides into conflict or crisis, and then if the country is in crisis, we should help them build capacity to get out of that crisis. that is what we should do in iraq. karen: what about syria? do you see any role for nato? mr. stoltenberg: it is a great advantage for the coalition that so many nato allies and nato
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partners have been able to draw forces because nato has developed what we call interoperability, experience to work together in high-end, dangerous military operations, and we have developed that through nato exercises, standardization, and of course, operations like in afghanistan, and this experience, this interoperability develops among nato allies and partners, extremely useful for the coalition in syria now. then, of course, we are also responding to the conflict in syria by supporting turkey, bordering syria and iraq. we have assurance measures, and everything we do to stabilize the region is also relevant to
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syria. karen: i would like to open the floor to questions now. are there microphones? yes. identify yourself. hopefully, ask a quick question so we can have a lot of response here. yes, sir. go ahead. >> pleasure to hear your comments, secretary-general. i was wondering -- you talked about how nato can work closer with regional allies. i wondered if you see a role for nato partners -- i'm thinking of sweden and finland, for example, in particular, you who have unique capabilities. is there a role for them here, and with that be a way to closely integrate them into nato and even getting them sort of --
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persuade them for membership in the long term rather than having sort of the classic russia debate? would this be a way of making them more closely integrated into the nato network? mr. stoltenberg: i absolutely see a role for sweden and finland, joining our efforts to build capacity in north africa, the wider middle east region. sweden and finland are already contributing, and i welcome that very much. that is one of the advantages of nato. we have proven our ability to mobilize partner countries. in afghanistan, sweden and finland have participated and
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contributed a lot, so i welcome that very much, and i would like to see more of that. again, this is important for the mission, when sweden and inland are dissipated, but you also have to understand the way we are developing our ability to work together, interoperability is through big operations like afghanistan and perhaps also other places. yesterday, i visited fort bragg and met with the 82nd air force division. they told me about how they have been able to develop interoperability, the ability to work together by being stationed in afghanistan and work with nato allies but also sweden and finland. if this will have any impact on the membership debate in sweden, i don't know. but i have said before that i have lost two references in norway trying to convince unions to join nato. so you should not ask me for advice on how to convince the
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swedes to join nato. [laughter] that is on the level of taxi driving. [laughter] karen: yes, sir. >> i'm with kurdistan tv. what are russia and iran's role in syria? thank you. and your opinion of peshmurga forces. mr. stoltenberg: the peshmerga forces play an important role, and many allied countries are providing training for peshmerga forces as part of the efforts to degrade and destroy isil. that is an example of how we are building local capacity. we do that already, but what i'm arguing in favor of doing that more and in a more organized framework and with greater
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impact. russia's role in syria and also iran is with the regime, and they have declared that very clearly, and they had done that by deploying military forces in syria, and even though there has been some reduction in the russian presence, russia still has substantial military forces in syria -- air forces, ground forces, naval forces. the main role of russia in syria is to support assad. karen: wow, so many of you. yes, ma'am. i told you nato was a hot topic. >> i want to ask about how do you evaluate your relation with
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gcc in terms of cooperation. can nato assure them stability and security in the region with respect to iran? the other question is how much can you give nato in projecting stability in the region? mr. stoltenberg: well, as i said, i very much believe we can expand cooperation with the gulf cooperation council. this is the united arab him itih fighting isil, with building
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capacity in a country like iraq. for me, we have to do many things at the same time, and we have agreed that we will start to step up and, hopefully, we will be able to make decisions related to this in warsaw. karen: yes, lady in the back in red. >> i'm from the polish embassy. i wanted to ask a quick question, first regarding political deals with russia. what obligations must be fulfilled for full resumption of nrc work? the second question is as for the realignment of nato efforts to increase the presence on the eastern flank with the american
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eri initiative. and the last one -- is there an appetite in nato to look in the arctic? mr. stoltenberg: first, the nato-russian council -- it is important to underline the following, and that is after the illegal annexation of crimea in 2014, nato decided to suspend all practical cooperation with russia, but it decided at the same time to maintain our political dialogue with russia or maintain channels for political communication, so the nato-russia council has never been suspended. actually, we had two meetings
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after the annexation of crimea. the idea that practical cooperation has been suspended, political dialogue has been in place, so the challenge has been not to have a decision to have the nato-russia council because it has been there all the time, but the challenge has been to agree on the agenda for a new meeting, and we are in t process of discussing that with the russians, and, hopefully, we will be able to agree on the agenda and to convene a meeting. let me underline that for me, dialogue is not an expression of weakness. it is an expression of strength. it is because we are strong, because we are confident that we are not afraid of talking to the russians.
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even during the cold war, we talked to them. i think it is in our interests to talk to them on many different issues, especially related to military activity. i think it just underlines how important it is that we do our utmost to have military to military communications, transparency predict ability, to avoid that kind of incidents. we have to try to avoid them and make sure that they do not spiral and come out of control and create really dangerous situations. dialogue is not weakness. dialogue is strength. sorry, there was two more questions. i forgot them. we decided at our defense ministerial meeting in february 2 have -- increase our military presence in the eastern part of the alliance.
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exactly the scale and scope is not yet decided. we are working on that now, but what we are aiming at is a multinational force, sending a very clear signal that an attack on one baltic country or one of those nato allied countries will trigger a response from the whole of alliance. the arctic -- it's cold there. [laughter] the other thing is that, you know, when most people say arctic, many people think of the north pole, but half of my own country is in the arctic. half of norway is in the arctic. i have seen many nice people of their and some polar bears. the reason i'm saying this is that nato is present in the arctic.
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the main nato forces in the arctic is danish forces, icelandic -- not so many icelandic. and of course, we have also nato exercises. forces from many nato allied countries. nato is present in the arctic, and we have to follow the developments very closely because we have seen a russian military buildup in the arctic. at the same time, we have the arctic council where the united states is a member, canada is a member, russia, norway, many other countries. we have also a degree of cooperation in the arctic
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related to search and rescue, environmental issues with russia russia. i think it is extremely important we continue to do that and do not increase tensions in the arctic but try to calm the tensions. karen: i'm going to ask people to limit themselves to one question. the questions have been good. but maybe we can take two or three if you limit yourself to ust one. >> turkey. here are so many voices saying that nato would be better off without turkey.
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they're saying they're collaborating with ice siss. is fighting the kurds who are fighting ice siss. how do you comment on that?


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