tv James Baker and Thomas Donilon Testify on U.S. Global Leadership CSPAN May 12, 2016 10:03pm-12:16am EDT
[indiscernible conversations] next, a look at u.s. leadership around the world. james baker and tom donilon testified before the senate foreign relations committee. mr. baker says the world would be less stable if the u.s. left the north atlantic treaty association. the hearing runs just over two hours.
>> we will come to order. we are excited about the hearing we are having today. we think our witnesses for taking the time to be with us. i do not think this could come at a better time when the nation is beginning to focus on our place in the world and obviously the presidential races that are underway are going to heighten that focus. witnesses have served in very substantial roles , dealing with daily crises that occur within an administration. the senate foreign relations removed fromich is
that, should be a place to look , and yet arevities able to have some distance to look at some long-range issues that we need to deal with. hearing -- this hearing is a step in that direction. we are thrilled to have you both. what i would love to hear is, first of all, some of your thoughts about our current crises that we have, everything from russian aggression to the middle east to transnational terrorism, upheaval in europe, the north korean sabre rattling. second, in light of these events, it is my hope to explore your thinking as to what core u.s. interests are. that is something that we do not spend enough time focused on. third, i would like to get their perspective on the tools in our toolbox that are most effective
in accomplishing our goals to secure a future, whether it is our military, our economic influence, engagement in multilateral organizations and alliances. what is the right balance? fourth, i would love to hear about our indebtedness and our inability to find a solution to the liabilities that we have and the pressure that places on our ability to deal with foreign policy and to deal with issues around the world in the most appropriate way. finally, both of you -- i know that both of you are deep policy people and have made great things happen for our country to you have to have a little politician in you to do what you do. you are very aware of where the american people are today. where there is obviously -- they are wondering how much we should be doing overseas. a lot of focus on what ought to be happening at home.
all five of those are topics i hope we can address today. i thank you both for being here. i will turn to our distant wish member, ben cardin. appreciate you i for this hearing and i would like to thank secretary baker and mr. tom donilon for your years of public service. this is a real opportunity before our committee so that we can gain from your experience and try to do what we can to make america stronger. thank you both very much for being here today. america'sng is titled role in the world and we certainly have enough challenges and there is certainly a need for u.s. leadership. when i looked at america's strength, i see oliver military, the best soldiers in command, the best military equipment, but to me, the strength of america and its influence is in our
ideals, what we stand for. andstanding for democracy good governance. we look at some of the actions we have taken during my years in congress -- i have been very look atn the osce and a the founding principle that a country's security is more than protecting its borders, economic opportunities, and human rights. to need to, that has been a guiding principle -- when you look at other countries that are flexing their military, to me, they will never succeed in accomplishing a more peaceful world because they do not have the commitment toward democracy. i look at russia, china, north korea. they certainly are not countries that are taking on international responsibility for more peaceful and stable world. what are the tools in order to
our objective? i come up with certain pillars that we need to underscore. we have to work to form coalitions and partnerships. americans are not always patient. i think it is important to work with other countries towards objectives and that means that we have more credibility and effectiveness in a comp notion of a result. i think we need to continue our strong demand for nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons pay her we must make that the use of our military should be used only whenever -- only when every other option has been explored. should be a matter of last resort. pillar is-- the key we need to prioritize and support good governance. democracy, and basic human rights, transparency, freedom of the press, the ability to oppose government without ending up in
jail, to freedom of religion, the status of civil society. fair elections and a government that protects its people. when leaders fail to provide governance, we see the consequences. conflict, where innocent people are put at risk and we see the flood of displaced individuals in refugees. we see a vacuum which is a breeding ground for radicalization and an improvement -- and we pay a heavy price for that. we are all concerned about the fate of ukraine. the corporate is russia and its interference. we have all spoken out and we have gone europe to work with us to isolate russia. ukraine has to establish good governance may have not been able to do. that will be critical for their survival. in syria, we know that the assad
regime does not represent all the people. as a result, we have breeding grounds for isil. a common thread is written through the world. i really look forward to the conversation we are having today with two of the champions in the history of america foreign policy. sen. corker: we are all very thrilled to have you. secretary baker is a model of public service, someone i have lived up to for a long time and i appreciate him taking his time to be with us today. i know he served in the public arena often done multiple times with the great -- tom donilon is someone i have gotten to know over the course of the first years of the obama administration in what i do not know him as well i know he is highly esteemed and we could not
be more fortunate than to have the two of you today. if you could, if he would summarize your comments in about five minutes. we are certainly not going to cut you off. i have read your written testimony in without objection will be entered into the record -- and west summarize look forward to asking questions . if you would star, secretary baker. sec. baker: thank you, mr. chairman. it is a pleasure to be here. .en. corker: microphone is a pleasure for me to be once again before this committee that i have appeared before so many times. i have been asked to keep his remarks brief subtopic and spent our time talking about the issues that you have articulated . let me say a few words to begin about america's current role on suggest astage and
reproach on u.s. foreign-policy that i think is best suited for the country. more than 70 years after the conclusion of world war ii the united states remained the strongest nation in the world. not just militarily. we have a resilient economy, we have the most powerful military, and we have the widest array of alliances. do we have problems? indeed. domestically, our economy continues to sag. we are losing some respect as a global leader that we aren't over the course of decades. as the current presidential election has demonstrated, americans are losing faith in institutions from washington to wall street that even aided our the years.over much of the rest of the world, countries like china, brazil,
and india, are catching up. that is largely because they have adopted or are adopting our paradigm of the free market. that should not be viewed negatively in my view that as a positive trend because it is helping hundreds of millions of people rise from poverty. it is my view, not counting the fact that we have slipped, that we should remain the world's preeminent leader for the foreseeable future. we should accept that responsibility and not shrink from it because if we do not exercise power, a few people will. we have too much at stake in the world today to walk away from it, even if we could. other countries depend upon our leadership. this is most obviously true of our allies in western europe and east asia. frankly, even countries that are friendly anything but seek our engagement. does that mean we are perfect? .f course not
in the major global conflicts, world war i, world war ii, and the cold war, the u.s. played a role in defeating imperialism and totalitarianism. the question is, how should the united states engage in foreign policy? how do we formulate policies that best serve the united states as we begin to approach what many consider to be the end of the unipolar era? , want to say that in my view international leadership doesn't involve a choice between sending in the 101st airborne or doing nothing. we can but politically, diplomatically, economically without putting american boots on the ground. i believe that the united states should chart a course based on a
paradigm that i would refer to as selective engagement. this approach which would continue the internationalism that our nation has embraced since 1945, would recognize that the united states has core interests in the world and that we should protect them. the same time, it would also acknowledge the reality that our power is limited. as a selective engagement blueprint, we can identify america's vital interests and advance them using all the tools available to our foreign policy, including our many strategic alliances, our economic clout, our diplomatic assets, and as of last resort, our military. what are those interests? they range from combating international terrorism to managing the emergence of china as a global power and from stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass distraction to trade.ng free
the approach i suggest does not fall easily into traditional categories of foreign policy. that is either realism or idealism. i think it would contain the best elements of both. it represents one of our most distinctive national characteristics. we are after all a practical people, less interested in ideological. then ideological purity solving problems. while firmly grounded in values, selective engagement would understand and appreciate the complexity of the real world which is a world of our choices and painful trade-off. this is the real world in which we must live and decide and act with due regard of course for our principles and our values. it would require that there be
an overriding national interest at stake, particularly if any military action were contemplated. such a balanced approach, i believe can help us avoid both the cynicism of realism in the impracticality of idealism. it promises no easy answers more quick fixes. offerch an approach does our surest guide in our best hope for navigating this great country of ours safely through this precarious period of unparalleled risk and opportunity in world affairs. look forward to addressing your questions. sen. corker: national security advisor donilon. a privilege it is to be here next to secretary baker. secretary baker is one the most influential public servants of our time. "e title of one of his books,
work hard, study, and keep out of politics." we are fortunate he did not heed that advice. the world today is characterized by a large number of unstable situations. it is a level of volatility we have only seen twice since world war ii. i think the volatility is rooted in four trends. breakdowny systemic of state authority in the middle east. in the years since the arab revolution in 2000 -- 2011, a number of states have become failed states, from libya to yemen to syria and a range of differente become stages of failure. they have lost the ability to maintain a monopoly on the use of force and as a result, vast uncovered spaces exist from
libya to pakistan, created power vacuums and paving the way for the rise of isis. these peoples have put extreme andsure on u.s. partners fueled a migrant crisis in europe. primary cause of this breakdown is a profound failure of governance on the part of arab regimes over decades. this really is the root of what is going on in the middle east today, a profound failure of governance. the second trend is the reemergence of power competition. for roughly 25 years after the fall of the berlin wall, the world and jordan era marked by constructive relationships between the great powers. none of them regarded each other as hostile. that has ended. it ended in 2014 when russia invaded ukraine and annexed crimea. a third source is the global reaction to the profound economic and political
transitions underway in china. china and its rise served as an engine of global growth, and unsurprisingly, the recent slowdown of their economy has had a number of disruptive impacts. on a diplomatic front, the u.s. and china continue to cooperate on a number of issues like climate change and iran and north korea are china's provocative behavior in the south china sea including the militarization of land formations is significantly destabilizing. the u.s. in china have to get this relationship right. over history, the dynamic between established powers and rising powers in terms of outcome has most likely ended in war. this is a classic the city trap. of the in ourbset country's leaders can avoid conflict through steady engagement in a concerted effort to avoid miscalculation.
will mention is the geopolitical impact of sustained low oil prices since may 2 thousand 14. the impact has been vast and substantial in will be long-lasting. nations that lack of financial reserves like venezuela and , has been pressured. even exporting nations with comeficant reserves have under economic strain. just the last week we have seen saudi arabia announce a major reorientation of their economy. some look at this increasing volatility and draw a simple conclusion. i reject this thesis that the u.s. and its ability to shape the world are in decline. that america is in decline does not stand up to any rigorous analysis of our national balance sheet of strategic strength. no nation can ask our comprehension -- comprehensive strength.
the extreme pessimism we hear and a general lack of appreciation for u.s. strength is not only inaccurate, it is dangerous. i will close with listing four or five challenges. economic growth. there are not a lot of laws in history that one of the -- no nation can maintain its diplomatic or military primacy without maintaining its economic vitality. our economy is recovering significantly since the 2008 crash but continued economic and security is a feeling call for retrenchment which would go -- which would undercut leadership or to maintain -- investing a national infrastructure, defending our long-termorting demographic advantages of a
sensible immigration policy. the bottom line is that the most important national security challenge for the next president is to maintain and extend economic growth and prosperity in the u.s. reducedsignificantly from al qaeda and we are successfully pressuring isis in syria and iraq to the overall threat has metastasized. frankly, i think it has entered a new dangerous phase. isis is expanding into other regions. paris ands on brussels have highlighted how unprepared europe is to address this threat appeared despite the transnational nature of this thread, european responses remain cloistered behind borders in my own judgment is that the failure of europe to successfully deal with a terrorist threat in terms of information sharing and securing
, is a clear and present danger to the united states. every year, americans rely more on the internet. these advances represent a tremendous moon for our economy that exposes to cyberattacks. obama has asked to national commission on enhancing cyber security a will be putting our report out into separate and it is really a transition report for the next president with a perspective -- looking at this -10 years. next is asia. my judgment is that the next allies systemur in asia remains solid that our allies see even greater engagement. ratifying the transpacific partnership, the tpp, which is the economic centerpiece of our rebalance is central to cementing our leadership in the
region. last, north korea presents the most serious security challenge in asia and the most serious liberation challenge locally. north korea has undertaken a nuclear spent in recent months. in my judgment, the situation in north korea is on a path to becoming a first-class crisis. with that, i will conclude and i look forward to your questions. is a real privilege to be with your -- to be here today. sen. corker: it is a privilege for us to have both of you. thank you for your opening comments. i will reserve my time for interjections in the human senator cardin. i concur on the opportunity to have these individuals with us today -- thank you for your service and statements. i want to drill down on the , and that isu made
the observation of the lack of good governance in the middle east, providing the wherewithal to where we have now moved toward failed states. admittedly, there was outside interference, acid interference in yemen, libya. activities.ron's although that has -- iran's activities prevent has contributed to the lack of governance in these countries. a hearingweek, we had on sub-saharan africa and the terrorist members operating there. it is spreading. the risk of failed states in africa is pretty dramatic. , what shouldhat the united states be doing? in an effort to try to deal with the governing structure -- we have moved from autocratic countries that have not been able to transition into democratic countries under -- in this for a while -- the
autocratic systems were working but long-term they will not work. is there something in our toolbox -- i mean, i look at what we have available to us, our diplomacy budgets and our development assistant budgets that certainly are much smaller than our defense budgets. we have enough resources? are we using them properly? is there a better way to focus on having a more consequential impact on the transition of countries, particularly in that region to a more inclusive government that can prevent the type of violence we have seen? >> you want me to take a shot at that? think, today, it is less a question of what should we be doing perhaps and what we should not have done. sec. baker: when we take down an autocrat, it is great. it is in keeping with our values
and on the whole, generally speaking, can be beneficial to the citizens of the country that imposing upon. what we need to be thinking about what comes next. we shouldn't be so quick to come in and get rid of leaders that we do not agree with 1000% of the time. if you look at what is happening in libya, what we did there pales in comparison to what the europeans did. we did assist. president obama -- tom will know this better, but i don't think president obama want to do that. he was convinced that we needed to contribute and we did and we contributed assets. it was wonderful. great. you do not do that without thinking a little bit about what comes next. we have the same situation in egypt when we bailed out on
hosni mubarak, a wonderful ally of us for a long time and, by the way, good on the arab-israeli problem. so we ended up been a ally' of this country a long time and we ended up with brother hood, and we in a military dictatorship egypt, but at least we have some stability. e have the same situation in iraq. it was good to get rid of saddam should have done a better job of thinking about what would have went into place left.he these states are failed states primarily because we went in and , at least in part, upset the order because we didn't like the people that were running the show and shouldn't have liked them, but we need to do a better job of thinking what comes next before, so my view, and i don't
know whether tom shares this or with respect to syria. it may be a little bit too late. t's too bad that we didn't support what the turks wanted, zone along no-fly the northern border of syria with turkey.rder if we'd been willing to have gone along with that, i don't know why we couldn't have negotiated with the turks, the saudis, the emirates, the in the other friends region, a deal that says, look, furnish the air, intelligence, and logistics, put the boots on the ground and we'll take care of the syrian problem and we won't have the emergence of isis. maybe it's too late to do that. maybe it's not. maybe we could generate some sort of coalition like that, but i think that's the thing we should have done. point, ree with your
particularly with your use of military, without having a game not of what's next, that's what america should be investing. recognizing, though, that long need more open governance, is there something our actionmissing in to give a better chance for a more democratic system to -- >> you can't expect the emergence of a democratic system existence unless you have stability. expect it to not happen if by your actions you are going to eliminate the stability that exists. that's all i'm saying. >> i agree with that. here.ouple of things it's important for us to stress governance as part of our approach to these problems. essentially, you know, the in many in iraq is ways underscores the point. arose uation in iraq because the maliki government
authoritarian government and wasn't inclubhousive. failure, if ernance you will, on the deterioration of the iraqi security forces, and the part of the solution today in iraq, and i'm worried about iraq today. i think we made a lot of in terms gainst isis of our military effort, really serious progress, but we have a looming governance crisis in my judgment. i think our body instivenncts a direction.t i know we're doing that and the are sadors and others working on this, is an important piece of any of our strategies going forward. >> thank you. >> thank you both, very much. paul. r rand >> sen. paul: senator baker, i enjoyed your testimony, especially with the talk of change.ent and regime
the president has admitted it top-off kadaffi in libya. and put massive amounts of resources and create a nation in libya. so i think there are a couple of possibilities. shouldn't do it to again with, and the other is we have massive massive regions. how do we create democracy in the middle east? autocraticf years of rule. one of the amazing things about revolution is, we it,an 108 year tradition of and we had a revolution, and we think we can blow up gaddafi , we have a resolution, maybe need to be better selective, his is the time we shouldn't select to militarily engage.
but i think it's important also, hear your e to comments with assad also because it's the same situation. the other thing i'd like to mix in with that, and see your comment on it, i think ultimately the solution is saying russia could be no part of it. i think russia has a base there, been there 50 years, probably engaging russia on a solution to syria may be part of the answer. >> they absolutely have to be part of it, and so does iran. the idea that we could come to ome sort of accommodation or agreement with respect to the future of syria without having is ridiculous.rs tom, you'd probably agree with that. so i think we have bipartisan agreement on that. that would be -- they've got to be at the table. if you're going to have a -- and that's, i think, what secretary now trying to bring about. some sort of an agreement or tend to on that would
improve the situation. but you're quite right in your comment about selective engagement. that's why i like the paradigm, because you look at each one of these discrete specific foreign policy problems through the interest he national and our principles and values and you say to yourself, okay, where's e this action, it going to lead? what's it going to lead to? the ecide then that that's way the president ought to approach these things. and look at where the vital national interest of the country are at stake. you might decide to go as far as the military. if you don't get to that point, you still don't have the tools of political and economic and diplomatic engagement. like the idea of the guiding principle being a vital sometimesnterest, but
we quickly jump to that as the conclusion, because that's the debate. what is in our vital national interest and i think what congress portant is has a role in this. our founding problems didn't the power to the executives. >> they gave most of it to the president. executive ure of the branch so you have to understand my bias, but the president has as far as certain policy powers, i think the word given to him by the founding fathers, i'm sorry interrupt. >> but i would say even when president obama ran for office that, no president should unilaterally go to war without of congress. president bush came forward 9-1/11, and iraq, with the use of force. what is in our national interest, that means that can -- congress has to retain some authority.
libya, he should have come and ask can. my guess is the debate would have been messy. we wouldn't have gone to libya, gaddafi might have been there, problems orn't have chaos. >> it's always best if the egislative and executive branches are on the same wavelength when you start talking about sending our young men and women into harm's way. so whenever it's possible, the president should come to the seek their approval. you know in the first all-four. bush 41,nced president we had a democratic house and democratic senate and it was do aordinarily unpopular to what we were getting ready to do. the only way we got approval of first to the o go security council, to the u.n. and get a use of force resolution by them. still, president bush brought the matter. to the t bush 41, congress. but i want to tell him something. had the congress turned him
down, i still think he would have done what he did. i don't think we'll ever resolve that issue of who has the ultimate power. the commander in chief or the congress's ability to declare war. >> one of the exceptions that is everybody on ost whatever side of this issue we're on, is that if we're under there are reat, if missiles being launched against us, obviously, the commander in hief would have the power to make an imminent response and the president said this in 2011 unless there's an imminent threat, and i he tioned him on libya and said there was an imminent threat to benghazi. i always thought it was to the united states, not to a foreign. f we make the standard that a threat to an imminent city around the world would be okay for the president to unilaterally begin a war because any city around the world was under imminent threat, i think standard that's absurd. wouldn't you recognize the standard at least to be to the united states or to a military base of ours or to some sort of
asset of ours? you look at, but if article 51 of the un charter, it says that any country that feels they need assistance can call on nother un member state to assist them, and that's exactly into appened when we went kuwait and kick iraq out of kuwait. it wasn't an imminent threat to states.ted there was no threat to the united states at all. we went in, you know, the surest of a great power is if you have to act unilaterally, you do so. lways best to act multilaterally. i know we'd agree on that. that's the best test of a great power, if it has to act unilaterally. we went into panama with okay, they nsent, were brutalizing our service men down there. it over, ade, we took grabbed noriega and brought him back to the united states. so there are circumstances when
that is appropriate, i think. on balance, it's always better for the executive and legislative to be in sync and for the united states to act with allies. >> thank you. and i would just hope it would more likely to be the exception than the rule. couple of things to senator paul's question. number 1 in the analysis as secretary baker said, there are laevlt -- a lot of policy options between doing an invasion and nothing. that has to be the policy up to s, as you measure are our implications indicated. and number 2, the political solution there is first best, and we're working on that obviously with the russians specifically. third, it is important -- and we talk about governance and we talk about a need the other things we to do with the nation. the important to understand that we have a really serious
security problem with isis, and we will not be settling the problem with isis at a peace conference, and the united states is going to have to lead an effort to eliminate that threat, and it's going to have to be through force, unfortunately. baker, obviously, we have all manner of obligations around the world, including obligations to our allies, partners which obligate us to act with force fnecessary. >> the only quick response i would make to that is with isis, we have to ask the question, are they bigger and stronger because of our ining assad n pushing them space to less so ifld they be assad were stronger. >> i don't think we should have done what we did in libya, and i thought the president used a eally cute -- we weren't involved in hostilities moment to do that. way too ought we were
quick to overthrow a long term ally in egypt or be part of that. i couldn't agree more. where i thought senator paul may selectively you do end up in engaging in war, what is the er, best way to ensure that you're successful? sen. baker: i'm biased, but i submit, mr. chairman, that he text book way to go to war is the way president bush 41 went to war in the first gulf war. he was the war what going to do. he went out and got the rest of behind him to the first time ever he got a force of the security council against a u.n. member state. he then came up on the hill, and it was very unpopular at the time, but he narrowly got a vote 52-48 senate by supporting it and the vote of a margin. a larger
he went out and put overwhelming force on the ground to make sure that what he was going to do would be successful. and won the war in whatever it was, a few weeks, minimal he time casualties, and then guess what, he got other people to pay for the war. that's the way to fight a war. million and $70 the united states paid $70 sorry, and the united states paid $10 billion. and the other people who were balance.aid the i submit to you, that's the way to go to war. make sure you need to that when you undertake that effort, that you've got the forces available and necessary to get the job done, do the job, get it done, come home and do no
more. >> senator hen aroundez. hernandez: thank you very much. i appreciate how we can have a on where we lect are and where we're headed. for being here. i think you have both seen policy and its challenges from both sides of he last quarter century, pre and post september 11th. geopoliticalow the developments that have led us to importance and the of ensuring that foreign policy, as exhibited by both gentlemen at the table, ends at the water's edge. in that respect, when i was this committee, senator corker and i and other members of both sides worked most noticeably when we gave, we brought labor day ack over weekend in 2014 and drafted and
authorization of force that gave president obama a to ible option as he went the g-20 summit to get russia to assad, and get people to weapons against their own people. we acted in the spirit of bipartisanship that is incredibly important. i'd like to hear your erceptions, my view, at the core of the foreign policy ebate unfolding today is the principle and sum of intervention. aggressive intervention without clear goals, particularly in the view of the aftermath, as suggested, ker has has led us to war that destabilized entire regions and cost us unimaginable blood and treasure. temperable measurements without nces, can of conseque
affect our influence and ability to shape the world. which is a nism, angerous new view emerging in these presidential debates only permit an environment hat it thrives, because nature abhors a vacuum. what would fill the vacuum of a ecreased role in the world is an incredibly dangerous question. baker in hisretary testimony for the shadow of the and you directly countered the idea that america is in decline. travel throughout the world, i get the perception world that the united states is stepping back from its role as the last super power. and whether that's true or not, it's a dangerous perception that enemies.s our if the current political discourse is the standard by which we ought to judge the differences in the views, i
worry. i certainly cannot believe that building ethnic backsties, or turning our on nuclear weapons is the course that we see is the best for the united states. and frankly, the idea of burden shifting remains equally perplexing to me in a world where the burden is on us to protect our own interest and our values. so i wonder, if both of you, and i look at the rhodes profile, nd i don't know how much truth there is to all of that, but it certainly worries me that messaging is sometimes more important than substance, and that the nature of witnesses that come before this committee to the american people create a misperception or a misleading that i personally never bought into, but i certainly worry about it.
so in the context of all of both wouldder if you as to a foreign burden to hifting other nations. that is it not mean responsible haring of burdens, but the shifting of burdens to other nations, does that not really a loss of for the influence in the world? hat's the role of -- in the pragmatic view of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law? shortchangethink we that because in the pragmatic shortterm process, that creates a potential benefit but in the process, we often let situations fester to bigger problems. and what about the international andr, in the post world war view thatwe came to ea
there were certain international standards the world could come ogether on and agree and violation of those standards skwconsequences. is that dissipating, the concept of international orders that we can expect other countries to join with us and enforcing those international orders and having consequences when those international values and standards are violated? your ke to hear perspectives on those. >> okay. it's r, i don't think unreasonable for the united record, iven our track to ask our allies, particularly, to live up to their commitments, spend 2% of to their gdp of their nato on defense, so that nato is sufficiently strong and so that successfuls the most
security alliance in history which i happen to believe it has been. o i don't think there's anything wrong with that at all, is, he fact of the matter has said, the biggest challenge facing the the biggest , foreign policy challenge or any challenge is our economy. you cannot be strong economically, politically, diplomatically, if you're not not -- militarily, if you're not ally.g economic in his first term, president obama asked me, and a couple of other people, what is the biggest -- what should be my number 1 priority? you were there. and i said, mr. president, in my view, your number 1 thought i- i think he was going to come back with iran or something or north korea or a ething, having been secretary of state, but i've also been secretary of treasury, president, i r.
think your number 1 priority of t to be the restoration our economic strength. i still believe that. i still believe that we will not need to dodo what we around the world. we will not this uniquely in preeminent world power. e will not beably to lead internation -- not be able to lead if our onally in economy does not remain strong. to the extent we bear an undue share of the burden of the peace and stability in the world, fair, for american taxpayers, it's not fair for the american people. i don't think there's anything at all wrong with saying that to be the burden ought shared, particularly by our allies. and i don't think that's going
to take us down the wrong road. policy e, our foreign should always be informed by our values.es and democracy, the promotion of democracy in free markets. ut we have to be smart about how we do it, but i really believe that it's not -- it is not unreasonable for us to say to our -- to the people that we have been carrying the load for, hey, it's time for you to come in here and help carry this load. >> just to clarify. i wasn't talking about nato. i totally agree with you. by burden shifting, i'm not talking about the monetary lements, but taking regions like the middle east, let's say, and let's say largely -- >> taking leadership. well, you know, that hasn't worked out very well, in my remember when i we s secretary of state and had been dealing with the end of madrid peace the
conference, war in iraq, war in panama, all of these issues, the unification of germany, and things began to fall apart in our european allies came to us and said, we want the leadership here. we said please, have at it. we've had more than enough on our plate and we turned it over and they split like a quail. -- covey of they all went their own way. sometimes that doesn't work. sometimes you need leadership. rom the uniquely preeminent power in the world. people appreciate it when america leads. us.y harp at there's some resentment. jealousee, but they want to see us lead and they appreciate it when we do lead. >> a couple of things on that point and the burden of leadership and pursuing our world, requires us to have a presence around the world. that presence provides deterrence, which is short of
conflict, which is where we want to be. that presence provides reassurance to allies. and friends around the world. that perhaps, for example, in northeast asia, the example with nuclear umbrella is critical in terms of preserving the norms on nonproliferation on the nuclear side. so we do have an irreducible demand, i think, for our presence and investment around the world. demand signal for u.s. leadership is increasing, not world and around the i think it's important for us to meet that demand signal, and we have a lot of tools in the tool box we can talk about in the course of this hearing and one and ose is deterrence presence and various guarantees we can give and also coalition that is do things like quick savrp sanctions. iran is more familiar than anybody. successful y
sanctions effort with respect to iran coming to the table and agreement with respect to their nuclear capable. that's coalition building, hard time, what they -- what was an important have f it and would not happened without u.s. leadership. without u.s. leadership we would proliferation e agendas, would not provide the balance we need in asia, there would not be global trade agreements. it's the burden that we bear as the most important country in the world and as both secretary baker and i said, a fair assessment of our balance sheet, f strategic assets and liabilities, would lead you to believe with the right policies, leadership, that we'll continue to be the most important powerful nation in the come. or a long time to >> thank you. senator rubio. >> to continue to build on this you could just -- obviously, people in and around the country are log at ur own economic struggles at home, see our commitments abroad
in treasure and lives and in blood and people coming back wounded and so forth. so there's always this fundamental question of why more.'t everyone else do why are we committed to these things? after we 70, 60 years the end of the second world war engaged in asia and providing defense assistance to japan and south korea. anymore? need nato these are rich countries. i would ask both of you to describe a world in which nato lost its way or perhaps disintegrated in a world where south korea lost u.s. commitment. what would the world look strategicat would the look like in asia, for example, f the u.s. nuclear umbrella no longer covered japan and south korea, and what would the world like if they were diminished or disintegrated. stable.ould be far less ou'd have many more -- as he
and i said, we'd have a lot more problems, if that were the case, and these commitments that we promote nd the world, secure. because to the extent that end of - ever since the world war ii, our security lliances with japan and south korea have been the foundation and basis for peace and stability in the pacific. nato has been the foundation and and stabilityeace in europe, and on the euraise-asian continent. >> someone suggested why don't you let japan and south korea get their own nuclear weapons? sen. baker: i think the more countries that acquire nuclear instability more there's going to be in the world, in my opinion. at the way north
korea is using its nuclear that's all it's got. that's its big threat. and it plays it. and ever since the end of world war ii, america has led the fight against the nonproliferations of nuclear that can he weapons kill millions and mis of people. we ought not to abandon that fight. instability. mote >> this is a really important al ght experiment and an an analytical exercise, to think fact if these norms and institutions weren't there. said, , secretary baker for 70 years, we've invested in asia, on which their economic prosperity development has been built. you do the thought analysis, would you have seen that
prosperity in asia, and i think ou would have seen a weaponsation of nuclear in asia and the platform around the socio economic development has been built and nato is another example. of course it's tremendously successful. we sit here today and we take it for granted. memory some ways a prospect. europe is stable, peaceful and prosperous. that's not the history of europe, absent the kinds of institutions in place, it should not be taken for granted these are permanent situations absent, really tending to them on a constant basis. so i think the thought experiment you ask us to do is important and the outcomes are clear. >> it's not a thought experiment. it's been proposed. let me just talk about the -- for purposes of this it's a thought experiment. to be clear, i don't support doing that. revisit this
libya-syria situation for a moment. i think it's misconstrued. we didn't start the uprising in libya or syria. the syrian people stood up gainst assad in the beginning and were met with violence and to moammar p gaddafi. neither one would be able to in the long term unless they did what gaddafi was going assad is to go hold assacring people to onto power. if you had the foresight to say to yourself, these dictators are in trouble. the only way they can hold onto power, is murdering people. is the basic ingredient for islamic jihadists to come in and take advantage of that environment. so i think it's important to remind ourselves these were not
efforts to go in and overthrow dictators. -- people of those countries that stood up against them. in ave to make a decision our best interest if you were to forward.ree steps benghazi, he went in and people.d those etuity. of perp it's an accurate assessment to say we didn't start that. what is eft to analyze the best thing going forward with our national interest and i made the argument at the time stand by those arguments that it was in our national interest to ensure that whatever resistance there was to those dictators would be made up more stable than we can work with because in the absence of those sorts of vacuum would be filled by the radical elements filled by the absence of our leadership. >> that's not what happened, senator. >> i agree, that's not what happened. > yes, the people were beginning to stand up, but we
using it to happen by our military force to go in there and remove those dictators. same thing in iraq. i mean, i don't issing that -- i don't suggest it's not a ipartisan problem, but it's a bipartisan problem. look where we are in all three iraq andplaces, syria, libya. would we have been there, had we not done those things? i don't think we would have. >> you believe assad would have crushed the rebellion against them and recaptured control of country? >> i'm not sure it would have guarantee not but i you we wouldn't have the situation -- for years, we used iran.m hussein against when i was secretary of state, hussein. with saddam we finally ended up fighting a worked with, but we
him trying to bring in the community of nations but he was interests against the of iran. you know what the most important iran is, not the united states with the embassy iran., it's most important outside power in iraq today is iran. and i don't think the libyans -- not my view that the libyan people were going to be able to throw gaddafi over unless we had the europeans, of ourse, they were the real movers, went in there and did it. t you would have a conflic that would have served as a agnet for radical jihadists to come in. >> more of a magnet with the failed state? same.t's the that's the point. we should have elements to stability after the fact. >> we should have. >> we started the conflict. it didn't follow through. we left the vacuum, it's been filled with isis in another part f the country and the same is
true in syria. >> we should have done in all three. >> we agree. thank you. murphy. you, senator chairman.ou, mr. thank you for your time. question of be the american leadership. your ability to lead is only as veness of theffecti tools that are in your kit. so i just want to ask some uestions about whether we are today properly resourced to deal with the way in which our trying to are project their power and i think this is the version of the cardin was ator asking and through the prism of ukraine. russia has militarily invaded ukraine but its end goal is not to march on and own that country to use the power to politically and economically ruin that country. sorts of oing all
other things, bribery, graph, intimidation, imagery, to get what they want. all of our conversation here has been about whether or not we arm the ukrainians with military assets. e've had a responsive and the most significant has been the to oyment of two brigades shore up our allies, and it seems to me as we simply don't have the nonmilitary resources to try to play the game that the russians are playing in a place that we don't have the ability to offer substantial try to ssistance to answer the question of ependence on russian oil, that we leave out a little bit of money for anti-corruption it, but n places like we don't have the ability to do that on a large scale. in which our military strength is still what should we be
hinking about in terps of the other tools that american power, and is the fight in ukraine an example of a place where maybe we just don't have the influencers that we need in order to project that country? hear you didn't mention sanctions, which are they're effect, and quite strong sanctions, and i elieve they're having some significant effect on the russian economy. you know, you're talking to drafted the who memorandum relief. maybe i didn't draft the actual document. it was the end of the cold war. was trying to get the ukrainians to get rid of their nukes. we don't want to get rid of the nukes. i said what are you afraid of? they said the russians. i said we'll fix that, we'll get
the russians to give you an iron clad guarantee to respect your independence. we got it. budapest d the memorandum and look where it is. i don't think we have an absence of tools really. i think that because we cannot ct there -- should not act there unilaterally, but we have to act with our european allies, bringing them along is a lot more difficult than acting along. i think that's why we're having the difficulty we're having, but we should not just sit back, and if you don't like what's happening in other countries, what he tags, which is russia has done here. i mean, that's outrageous, and barrel rolls ing around our aircraft and buzzing sea.ships in the baltic and so i think we got the tools. of whether we have the political will with the european allies to use them. >> i agree.
senator, i do think we have the tools. o with respect to europe, there's a nato summit coming up in july, and i think it needs to look at the functions and capabilities of nato taking into account what russia has to.n up russia has been a ultidimensional covert hybrid war effort in ukraine, and we need to ensure nato has the capabilities and assets that it needs to push back on right.kinds of threats, that's not across the border. that's a different kind of we really i think can make some progress on. we have cyber, i think, assets, nato and work with the europeans as well. i do think that we have ways in which to promote the diversity of energy supply in europe and, indeed, our great progress with respect to natural gas production in the united states is already promoting a diversity supply because it's a diversion would betural gas that
otherwise from the united states to go to europe in a diversified supply and i think there's efforts under way in europe to do that. e need to work with the europeans on counter terrorism efforts and i think it's important in europe for us to complete these teach-up negotiations, which is important for europe and us. and i think it's a variety of tools that we have and we have o have a multidimensional look at this. and secretary baker, i think there are a number of things we can and should do to focus on the challenge, especially the and isis from russia and europe. >> with my remaining time, ecretary baker, i bring you back to the middle east for a moment. a lot of discussion here about the u.s. participation in the saudi-led coalition bombing campaign in yemen and worries proxy war is going to expand to territory beyond yemen. what's your advice. i'd be happy to get mr. donilon's advice as well, the
.s. position vis-a-vis, this growing proxy war. should we be evaluating each its own merits? >> i think we should be applying engagement, as of i said, in my opening statement. instances are going to require that we be there, and that we be there militarily. generic matter, i think we need to get closer if we can now to the saudis. they really feel that we don't have their back anymore, and hey've been a pretty good ally for a long time. have they done some things with madrasis and things we needed to shut down? yes. and we've worked at them, both democrat and republican administrations, to get them to ome off that behavior, and they've come off of it substantially. they've been a good ally. important ally in the region. they really feel disaffected now, so i don't see any
reason why we should not be have their back, if you will, not necessarily to extent of military happen to i don't see a problem with our trying to help them deal with the threat hutis in and the yemen. >> we need to get more vested advice, obviously, with respect to the operations under way and we're pretty deeply involved in give them and we support for these obligations. advice. to give better i agree with secretary baker and president obama went to host the summit. it's important for the united states to provide reassurance with respect to our partners like saudi arabia and region. it's always important to have a keen understanding of the threats that they see, and that they feel, and for us to really do a clear-eyed assessment of are as we ternatives
proceed with our policy going forward. chairman.you, mr. >> thank you, senator gardguess neric r. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you very much for the opportunity to hear your testimony today. i wanted to follow up on this question of energy issues and burden that the american taxpayers are carrying and nato and other instances around the globe. secretary baker, i think to paraphrase what you said, i think the essence of what you we talked t, and about european security when it and to energy and russia russia's reliance on energy to fill its federal coffers. we have this requirement with nato in terms of what we expect contributeke them to to the nato alliance. but when it comes to energy and some of the other strategic vulnerabilities that we see in a umber of our nato allies,
energy is one of the key strategic vulnerabilities because of their dependence on russia. should we have policies, as the u.s. and nato, that would help nato applianceur members to develop further es? gy securiti because a number of policies in them from d prevent develop all of their energy resources not allowed by their governments and ngo actors and can the united states to do more to help them shore up this strategic vulnerability? on ou mean by way of taking their own restrictions? i don't know that we can do too much there. if those restrictions are imposed by their state, by i don't know if the united states can do much rather than through persuasion and diplomatic channels to try and get them to concentrate removing those bureaucrat
impediments. that's all i know that we can do. a lot of n asked to -- us have been asked to sign a supporting the idea that the u.k. should not leave he european union, and as a former treasure of secretary and asked ry of state, i was to sign such a letter, and i declined, because if i were a minister over here or president f the united states over here, and foreign ministers of another country wrote me a letter toing, here's what you ought be doing with your own affairs, that, so ort of resent i said i don't think that's the proper role and i don't think get s our proper role to into trying to change the laws f those states, internal laws of those states, other than through persuasion. diplomatic nd
channels. >> i think it's a lot europe can do with respect to energy diversity. hey can do a lot more with respect to building on infrastructure and natural gas world, r places in the including the united states. a more they can work on rational pipeline and distribution system, and we can that and i ce on think we should be advocating or europe to take steps to diversify its energy supply and any monopoly influence that russia might have. and there's been some progress to diversity. diversity -- a lot more can be done. >> thank you. mr. secretary, the speech in 011, you said, allow me to be blunt, some of the united states, not a majority by any vocal ut certainly a minority see china's rise as a threat to international status.
chinese ambitions clash with american position and power. ladies and gentlemen, these observations are wrong. ot only are they wrong, they wrong.ngerously do you believe that statement still holds today, what are our uture risks and how we should handle them. >> i do, senator gardner. believe one of the biggest challenges facing merican policy makers today is how we react to the rise of china as a global power, and i it's extremely important that we get it right. it's important that china get it right too in terms of their relationship with us. with are some areas respect to china where there is a convergence of interest and where we can be semi-cooperative, it seems to me. but there are plenty of areas where we'll continue to have
tensions. we'll have tensionos human taiwan, tensions on tibet, and we'll have tensions south-china g the sea. but we need to cooperate with china where we can, regional security, energy security, perhaps trade. ut we need to manage the differences that are going exist. cooperate where we can, manage the differences where they exist. certainly need to maintain a robust presence, presence, in the pacific, in the form of the fleet, to guard against any chinese efforts to achieve that part of the world and there are a lot of allies in that part g on us to d countin be there for them and i think we can. is, it's not g fore-ordained that the united states and china are going to become enemies.
at least not in my opinion. if we play our cards right. mr. donilon, i know you want to jump in there. the seventh fleet you mentioned the freedom of navigation operations. should we be doing in he china sea and should we be pursuing other asymmetric rite s in addition to the of passage exercise. > we should be doing all diplomacy absolutely but freedom of navigation is important and upon the impress danger that these conflicts exist. japan over theer islands, because we've got a treaty with japan, and f they start shooting at each other over those islands it won't d out there,
be a good thing for us. > i don't think there's really no more serious diplomatic the n going forward than u.s.-china relationship. because of the dynamics between existing power and power, it's a real challenge and a lot of eeds attention. secretary baker said i think this will require us to continue our presence in the region and rebalancing it is quite important in ensuring we have resources of e balances of forces there. and third, we need to make it and i o the chinese, think the chinese government, to we are going to maintain our alliances. acronnistic cold war bases on how's the and engage in the region that has been china.
areas, hree problematic obviously. the south china sea. it's important for us to principles he key that we seek to maintain there, freedom of navigation. resolution of disputes. enforcement of law. i think it's important for us to continue to impress on the conduct or the code of for the established activities with respect to these disputed areas.er press with we can china in dialogue in nderstanding that there's a real danger here of mistaken should ion and, one, we do everything we can to avoid. my conversations with the counterparts in the chinese this ment with respect to area. i said many times, we've got a tremendous amount at stake here, night in the e middle of the night, in the middle of your day, we're going a call and we'll have a
problem around a rock formation know, andhat we don't it'll be a real blow to the relationship. it's something i think the chinese need to think to be out, and we need very steadfast in addressing it. the last thing i'll say as i did in the opening statement. we have a really premier test of nship s.-china relatio going into next year, is the north korea situation. this is the most important security challenge, the most important proliferation challenge we have globally. koreans are proceeding head long with respect to a missile program. and at the end of the day, we're steps o have to take against it. because it's not accessible. of steps we're going to take obviously are going to make china
strategically uncomfortable. this dialogue with china is of the gen and a test relationship going forward. >> let me echo what tom just said. i couldn't agree more. if we're going to have any getting this of done short of some sort of military response, which would at best, it's going to have to be with china. only country in the world that will have any influence on the north koreans. >> thank you, mr. donilon. continue this onversation with boeith of you with what more could be done. trade between china and north korea has actually increase and dreecreased. and that's some powerful efforts. >> thanks for your leadership and that effort. >> this committee has been a long time.is for
we've talked about sanctions. i'd like to follow up a little of on the north korea part this. you talked about how important it is that we address the issue. what steps, specifically, do you think congress should take in on conflict we have going and what the executives should take on north korea, with what's developing there right now? >> well, i think the executives make it clear to the chinese leadership, that this is very grateful and it's of utmost concern to us. if the congress comes to ask for sanctions of any kibed kind, i think congress ought to respond quickly, effectively and affirmatively. because surely, the first a ponse is not going to be military one.
i think we understand that. do we're going to have to something, because as mr. racing said, they are toward nuclear capabilities that constitute a serious threat to us and to our security treaty, allies, japan and south korea. >> a list of things. one is sanctions obviously in the resolution of the u.n. 2270 and we l step forward did this in cooperation with the chinese. here are loopholes in those sanctions with respect to sales and those like that, should be closed. my loop holes on sanctions, taking experience from the iran situation, where we basically putting it over the course of a half a decade of series of sanctions that were regime and tening, ultimateli, that's what brought iran to the should bei think that
he goal, that they see it as regime threatening. and put in the appropriate missile defense systems in korea to protect us and our allies in the region. we're moving to do that. we've opened up discussions with in a uth koreans, putting system. we need do more on that. hak and her dent vision, she's taken concrete back including pulling he south koreans, to support her vision of a peaceful korea dwraeaggressively. and fourth from the executive ranch side, to undertake and deepen the peninsula, it's an undercomfortable conversation with them, but when you're presented with the fact that the united states is going to have o do a number of things to protect itself, they're not going to be aimed at beijing, uncomfortable,lly
that's going to head towards a disagreement gic with the chinese. won't be se steps aimed at china. china will have to come to the us a lot work with harder on imagining a future with the peninsula and working aggressive way. anctions, missile defense, politics and a deeper conversation with the chinese about the situation. keyid this is going to be a test for the u.s.-china relationship in the coming year. >> thank you very much for those answers. i would like to shift back. we've had a lot of discussion about syria and afghanistan and there, what happened and one of the things we've alked about, and i in a way compliment the chairman and senator cardin for holding a hearing like this, is at certain stock at should take
where we are and the lessons we've learned. when you look at those three countries and you look at the amount of aid we've people are think talking about greater than the marshall plan, when you look at we've got and where e are today, what do you think lessons are that we should have learned. in particular, i'd like to focus in on afghanistan, since we've difficulty there stabilizing that. the m not sure that i am best person to answer that for you, senator. tom left government far later he dealt with afghanistan. i never had to do that. simply say that it's now the longest war that we've ever fought. we're still there. but i would suggest that the one thing we ought not to do is to make what i think was a mistake
in iraq, by withdrawing our forces too quickly. -- i certainly support president obama's decision to we ought to do everything we can to promote an agreement between the government and the taliban and and do everything we can to get that done and enhance that, that's what we are to do. those are my thoughts. with respect to our undertakings, we haven't really stopped the threat from al qaeda , and it underscores had underscores the difficulty of the situation and it means we have to ask the hard questions about how we have
fought war in the last decade and a half. we really have to drill down on that a prepare the next president as a sort of lesson learned as to how we can move forward. we have had some successes but we have had strategic difficulties. i agree with secretary baker as to where we are today in afghanistan with the taliban and. we will need something like the current level or like the current level of u.s. forces that we have there. it is important to underscore that we did make significant progress against al qaeda and with theefended people opportunity to build society, but you have to have some sort of humility with this as well. the humility to reform societies that are so different than ours is really limited ultimately. so we identify the threats to us, we do what we can with those on the side, but i think the
lessons learned and the exercises in how we fight wars is useful thing for the next president to look to. thank you very much. i am going to have my second interjection before senator flake comes in. we just recently allowed our troops to go against them which was pretty phenomenal and there is no question that pakistan is undermining us every day with their support of the network, which is the greatest threat to the afghan government and to the our military of and in uniform. let me just discuss selective engagement in which secretary baker has phrased it. nilon, what would be your view on foreign policy? i think it is
simple. the united states should always ask before it engages militarily, what are the consequences involved, and the situations earlier will dictate what we do and what steps we take. third, the response to every problem in the world is not u.s. military action. but i thought you would agree. let me take the next step. the world is watching right now. i mean, we are the greatest power on earth and so the world is watching as this presidential race evolves, certainly europe aswatching and china is well. i can tell their demeanor has changed greatly over the course since i met with them last in february as they watch what is occurring. what is the best way for us to communicate strategic engagement? know, there can be inconsistencies there, right?
because we are going to be looking at our core national interest. as you look at the best way for our nation, if you were advising folks who now are going to be the focus, if you will, of u.s. foreign policy over the next six months, as to how they might communicate that with the world, how would that be? how they would communicate the principle of this? mr. corker: that is correct. mr. baker: if we have a new president, we would say this is the form policy paradigm that i'm willing to follow and i would take a look at each and every one of these issues that have come before me and i am going to test them against the national interest and i'm going to test them against our values and test them against what i and my divisors think is doable here -- i and my advisors think we is doable here and i am -- think that is doable here and i am
going to address it militarily as well. it is going to depend on each specific- each instance that comes before the commander in chief. i don't know if that answers your question. mr. corker: i'm going to follow up with mr. donlion in just a second. mr. donilon: it is important for people to be able to communicate their vision. it is important to do that in some detail during the campaign, i think, and i hope we do that at some point in this campaign. i think it is important for the next president to communicate that with confidence, because as we both discuss this here today, the president of the united states has the resources to be the leading nation in the world and should be the leading nation and the world and i think it is important to communicate that we will have a focus on our economic growth because it is
important for the world and i think there is a very important focus on allies and the value that this global, unique global alliance system that we have has to the united states and will continue to have. it is a kind of theme but i think it is a presentation with economics at the center and allies are really the key to how we work in the world. mr. corker: and how would that be different from your perspective, fairly briefly, but how would that be different from how you think the world is viewing the united states today? mr. donilon: well, you are going to have, well, it depends on the next president -- , no, it's: no, no selective engagement. talking tbaker: well, are you about right this very minute or
foreign-policy in the past 20 years? thisnk the beauty of paradigm that i have suggested is that you look at each and every foreign-policy problem on whatwn and then you decide wedded to either a foreign-policy based on idealism where we are only go to go for principles or frankly only on the national interest. what i would say once again is that if you are talking about sending america parts young men and women into harm's way, you better have a really significant national interest at stake because as the body bags begin coming home, you will lose the policy. if you don't have issues at stake. inness vietnam, witness iraq
2003. and so, i don't think, i don't know what the view of the u.s. foreign-policy today is by people on the outside, because, frankly, we have embraced a number of different paradigms. that is the best way i could answer your question. mr. donilon: germany, i think i know you're coming from. i guess the question would be, if you assume that there is a perception in some quarters about re-entrenchment and pulling back of the u.s. leadership, my judgment is that is not borne out by the facts, but of course, the fact is that the united states continues to lead aggressively around the world. whether it it is implementing a balanced asia or in china or dealing with others in constructive ways and if you look at who is leading in terms of putting in place trade agreements like they ttp and
putting together the most important trade agreements around, if you look at the middle east, the united states led the effort to move forward with the liberation effort in iran. hasunited states increasingly, and i think it is important to accelerate our efforts, with the challenges of syria and iraq. i think it is important to underscore the facts, and i also think we have taken some very important steps in respects to ourening our influence in own hemisphere. that gets too little attention in terms of the united states. no great power, or no great nations world, does the kind of work that we do. so i think it is important underscore that the fact that the american leadership has specific facts, i think it is important to accelerate our efforts in iraq and syria with our efforts which will go beyond
president obama's presidency, that is the kind of conversation i think we should be having with the world. confident, based on the facts, and rooted in u.s. leadership. just say this i without being interpreted as a political statement, because i agree with 99% of what tom has said here today, we are going to lead from in front and not from behind because i think that is an oxymoron. thank you. senator flake? you, gentlemen, and i apologize if i am covering old ground here because i couldn't be here earlier. deal with iran, the purpose was to blunt of their program, but it has really kind of changed the order in the middle east. iran has been a pariah since 1979 the cousin of its pursuit of weapons and now it has gained
as as, at least, responsible nation-state, i guess rid how we are going to treat them by relieving sanctions. i thought the vote was a closer call than most. i ended up opposing it because iran's other activities that i didn't think we could address. but could you talk a little ahead, in, what is terms of change and the order in the middle east? you mentioned before that we need to be careful and maintain our alliances with the saudi's, for example. how do we do that with this new order in the middle east? mr. baker: i think we have to reassure not just the saudis but our other allies in the middle east and other moderate arab states in the arabian gulf and let them know that we've still got there back, let them know that as we said, over and
over, that this deal with iran is nuclear-only, it doesn't have anything to do with anything else, it's too bad it doesn't, but it doesn't, and we are going to be there and we're going to oppose the participation in that iran as a state sponsor of terror has lived with for some time and just reaffirm our support for them and help prop them up because they are really, they are really not happy with us. they are not happy with us about this deal. now back there when the question was whether we should go forward innot go forward, i was favor of going forward because i didn't think we could bring the europeans along to maintain things.
you could argue that we never should have gotten into this negotiation. if you think iran passion -- i outweighs thevior instability we will get for 10 years of no nukes in iran, then you wouldn't have started this to begin with. i mean, we freed up all of those iranian funds, whatever it is, $1 billion, 1.5 billion dollars, and they will continue to do all of the nasty things in the region and they are going to continue to do them. but when i was before the congress and before the country, i said that i was in favor of going forward with it because i didn't think we could maintain the sanctions and i think the sanctions were gone. those sanctions were very effective at bringing iran to the table, and now i think our obligation is to really let our long-time allies in the region know that we have their back and know that we are not changing
our view and her opposition to iran's bad actions in the region. mr. flake: tom? mr. donilon: if we can determine the situation, right? if we could convince president obama of the national security threat in the region, it was at a stage where we had the opportunity to stop it and we with aed in negotiation, pretty much reasonable high degree and i think it was the respect toion with very serious security issues that we face. now it was not some sort of quixotic episode, though, the purpose of it was, as secretary aker said, it was a transactional, not transformational, exercise.
we dealt with their nuclear program for a period, and extended period, of time. that regime is engaged in destabilizing and confrontational activities in the middle east and we have to confront it. i think a number of things. one, i think there are couple of pieces here. there are four corners of the deal which need to be enforced strictly and there needs to be a penalty for diversion of the four corners of the deal. there is i ran outside of the four corners of the deal, which is going to be much more problematic for us going forward. we need to confront them directly in working with our allies and partners. and third, we need to have in -- this is --s is we need to have in place a very serious deterrent. iran needs to understand that, in fact, if they pursue a nuclear weapon, contrary to the
undertakings they took in connection with the deal, that the united states is prepared to take the action, and any action necessary, including military action, in preventing them from doing so. this is important not only will be forward for the region, but for the world. mr. flake: thank you. secretary baker, the first time i met you, back in 1989, was in namibia. and you hadn negotiations, if i remember, during that time. a lot has happened. mr. baker: that was the nvidia -- the namibian independence. mr. flake: that's right, there are a lot of situations and africa where the leaders don't want to leave office, like the drc and east africa like a rwanda andike burundi. what are your opinions on
diplomatic sanctions we could take? are limited influence at times can be difficult, but how should -- should we wield this? mr. baker: looking at this through the paradigm of selective engagement, if we said, "ok, this is a matter that is of great interest of the united states, of great concern of the united states, we need to be engaged." and how do we be engaged? you need to ask these individuals to step down. it need to weigh the pluses and the minuses and do a cost-benefit analysis and what is it, if anything, that will cost us? anyi don't see there is problem with doing that if that is the right approach to take. mr. flake: right. we will be holding some hearings
on the subcommittee, so this is a good preview. thank you for your testimony. mr. corker: thank you very much. senator markey? baker,key: secretary thank you so much for recommending to president bush that you not go to baghdad. that stands the test of historical scrutiny. mr. baker: i don't think you were here senator when i said, shortly after we got out of office, two or three years after i gave a speech anywhere, people said, "why didn't you take care of saddam when you had a chance ?" i don't get that question anymore. mr. markey: you brought wit and wisdom to that and we thank you so much. and now as we look at iraq today, we can see the rising alsada.e of
takeoverhind the shia of the parliament. he was a stunningly for reforms ostensibly for reforms, and those were firms -- those reforms play towards the government and we are basically takrit andsunnis in they are wondering if they can play a role in the government and that we create problems for the takeover of mosul, for example, so the sunnis in that city would say, it is worth it because the isis sunnis we will he then given back our control of the city, and on and on.
can you give us the view that this agendaing in in iraq right now and what the united states should be doing in order to push back so that the forces of inclusion, so not just the shia but the sunnis and the moves that are prominent in the government? mr. baker: again, tom is probably more up to speed on this because he dealt with it more recently, what let me say, and this is not a political statement, senator, what i think we left too soon, and i said that in response to an afghan question. we were unable to negotiate a status enforcement agreement. i don't know whether we should have been able to do it or not. but we didn't and we left. is -- iraq is -- like tom,
i am very concerned about iraq today. and i thought what we saw with the takeover of the green zone was very, very disturbing because it is more of what we saw before. mr. markey: and you see it as an extension of an iranian -- mr. baker: yes, and i don't think there is any doubt in the world that i ron is the most important player, the most important nation-player in the world today, not the united states, not anyone else, but i ran, a have an influence on the shia government. is aurse, iraq shia-majority state, of course, so yeah, i have seen a lot of iranian influence. mr. markey: so what, from your perspective, should the united states be saying, doing,
in terms of long-term iraqi stability in order to make sure that this shia perspective, this radical shia perspective, does to bringn any ability the sunnis and kurds long-term back to the table to have a united country? mr. baker: i don't know anything we can do other than continue to work with the iraqi government. president obama is incrementally increasing the presence of u.s. forces there. tom probably knows the extent, the degree to that, better than i do, but i think that is probably called for now. i hate to see it. i hate to see us going back in there. we are not going back fullbore. allowedey: if we were to have 10,000 troops to stay in iraq, how do you think that would have affected this? mr. baker: i think that would have made a big difference, i really do. i think it would have made a
difference -- it wouldn't have made a difference in whether or not the government did what they should have done, which was to give to the kurds and the sunnis and give them a fair shake. they have never done that. they have been very, very partisan, ever since the beginning, and his new government is less partisan, i think. let me turn this to tom. mr. markey: thank you for your wisdom. mr. baker: number 1 -- mr. donilon: number one, this is just as important with the efforts inside of baghdad as compared to outside of baghdad, because in iraq, this is a failure of government. it was the government taking a sectarian approach to government, politicizing the iraqi military forces, and we can be successful in respect to our efforts and i think we will be in terms of rolling back isis and defeating them, but it will be a short-term success if we have a noninclusive government
again, which will lead to the same kind of dynamic. mr. markey: how concerned are you that a body, given this pressure that they are now bringing, won't have the capacity? saying, theyyou're need to create a political the other religions? mr. donilon: i think it is concerning, but we need to support them in this effort. another concern is the lower oil prices. mr. markey: we can't do anything about that except lower them further when the fracking resolution -- revolution continues in america, so that is the more likely situation and mr. baker is more of an expert on that. in terms of ultimately will unfold in iraq, can we give support? he they push back and does have the will to push back against the iranians with the instability in the country? mr. donilon: they have a big
stake in it and i think at this point, you can only identify the policy priority. i can't judge the distance, right? policyow what the priority is, and that is supporting the body and making sure they are more diverse and having a more representative government. , you know,t to isis what happened, of course, is that isis has now entered a new, i think a dangerous phase, which is moving towards an external agenda, and this is outside of the caliphate agenda, outside of the theater of war, and we don't have any choice but to press into them, but at this point, we have to break the back of isis part perception. mr. markey: like you said, we can't break their back unless after we take them over, if the sunnis put mosul and other cities. then we go back into the same
cycle. again, i continue to believe that unless we can think through and apply the right pressure, especially to the iranians, especially on this iraqi agenda, ultimately, all of our efforts are just not going to bear the long-term fruit that we are andng for for that region again, i just want to thank both of you for the great service to our country. thank you. mr. corker: i know we are pressing up against a hard stop secretary baker, but we will end up after you, sir. ,> thank you very much chairman and thank you very much to chairman corker and the ranking members. i would like to thank secretary n for and thomas donilo --r very dedicated hearings dedicated years.
it has been fascinated here in this hearing. political season has shown the president of candidates have questioned many policies and this has given an opportunity to work -- to reflect on the nation and our role in the world. no matter the outcome, this senate and this committee must continue to grapple with the trends that you identify are transforming the international system and decide how we will advance our values. so with that in mind, let me ask just two broad questions and allow you to speak to it as you will. first, the role of this committee. the chairman of the ranking member has done a great job of working on a pipe arson -- member have done a great job of
working on a bipartisan agenda because congress has been an agenda in our effective form policy work. my question is, how do you perceive the role of the senate and what concrete actions do you think we could take to strengthen the role of the senate in policymaking? and if you reflect on that in answering two other questions, that would be great. how do we strengthen the international, rules-based order that has been so important to security and prosperity, and how can we confront the fact that ofre is this whole else fragile countries across north africa and the middle east that runs arguably from mali and mauritania and all the way to afghanistan in a way that would make a real difference? what is the role of the senate, how do we strengthen it, and how do we strengthen the whole world order and how do we strengthen in thate world order one region in the remaining six
minutes? mr. baker: i think chairman corker has moved this committee back to the role that it played when j william fulbright -- j. others fulbright and chaired it. i first started testifying here with a lot of chairman, and i johnseen jesse helms and kerry and joe biden and it is a very, very important committee. if you are interested in foreign affairs, this is the preeminent committee of the congress on that issue. i am sure ed royce may not agree with me on that, but they are both important. this is an extremely important committee and i think chairman corker and ranking member gardner are taking a back to what it used to be and i am delighted to see that. that is the only comment i would
make with respect to that. what was the second question, ' i think it is important that we live up to our financial responsibilities, that we pay our dues, yes, to the u.n., among others, but i think one of we strengths of america is are the uniquely preeminent power in the world today, and in my opinion we stand to remain that. there is no real challenger to us in the foreseeable future. one of the elements of our rolegth are our leadership in these national institutions, whether it is the imf, the world bank, or the u.n.. it is important to understand that these help america. they help us maintain security
for the american people, and they strengthen america. that would be my answer on that. senator, thanks for the question. on this committee, i think three things. one, these are policy ideas. and coming forward with concrete approaches and ideas is really important. i think this committee is doing that in a variety of places. but it is important to close the deal. we have looked at the problem, and we now have a set of recommendations and policy ideas that we want to put forward. i think the second is to continue to be out of the field, and to travel, and to learn what is going on. there is no substitute for that. there is no substitute for members of this committee going out and seeing what is going on on the ground and getting a feeling for the history and dynamics of places around the world. hold the executive
branch to speed to the fire. two different ways to do that. press on the seems of foreign-policy problems, where there seems to be a crack, or it does not really quite fit together, and the other is through where there has been a do someand investigative work. come back with recommendations for how it might be done better in the future. those are the three things i would say to the committee. with respect to the rules-taste order, i think we should remind the american people and our leaders that these institutions have worked for the united states and should be continued. a member of the appropriations subcommittee, i will mention in closing that senator graham has made a number
of public comments. we held a hearing. many members were present. on the question of fragile states. fragilee question of states, he is highlighting that the cost of stabilizing countries like libya, syria, iraq, and continuing to hold together countries like nigeria and pakistan is going to be substantial, and we need to engage in a bipartisan and thoughtful way in advancing why it is in america's interest to larger,the collapse of potentially more dangerous states. i am thankful for holding this hearing. >> thank you. senator clark? clark: i certainly agree with both of your statements about the united states reassuring article stated -- reassuring our gulf state partners and israel of our commitment to security. i do just make the observation, we are strong in the regard to
activities not directly related to the jcp alike, and i agree with that completely. i am concerned that with iran continuing to say to the international community, the united states is not operating in good faith, and we are, whether we will be able to take actions against iran and its nonnuclear activities and have the support of europe. because the connections currently made in europe, to me, could lead to a concern as to whether we could maintain that unity in a post-jcpoa world. important that is an issue we need to confront starting right now. it is a matter of diplomacy. we ought to stay engaged on it starting right this minute, and keep talking to those allies, keep them together, because we are not going to be able to do anything unilaterally on that problem.
thank you both, we appreciate it. >> we thank you both for your toeers, your willingness come back and help us on the time comes. i think it has been a major contribution to us and our country. you for that. if you could, there will be questions after this. if you could attempt to respond to those within a reasonable time, we would appreciate it. but we cannot thank you enough for being here today and for your outstanding public careers. with that, the meeting is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
embedded there, vice versa. to be an issue, and i think that we are in a very difficult place. i think the comments that were made today are true. i think the time that turkey was willing to talk with us about a no-fly zone, the time to put that in place, and the northwest triangle, dealing with it there, i think we would be in a very difficult place. with russiat, having come in as they did, much of the way syria will end up will be driven by russia, because they came in with force in a way that the u.s. would not do. [indiscernible] maybe if the cessation continues to have problems, i think we are beyond -- in many ways, we missed our opportunities to make things
more positive. should these negotiations completely fall apart, i think that looking at that again is certainly an avenue. i don't think there has really been a plan b. i think that if russia and iran -- i think that russia and iran and syria know there has never been a plan b. i think u.s. interest will be largely driven by russia. >> did you see secretary baker's remarks as the reputation of -- the trumps foreign reputation of donald trump's foreign-policy somewhat validating it? i saw a lot of affirmation, if you want to be honest. after the speech was made that i thought -- i saw a
degree of realism coming into those statements. the selective engagement discussed today is not anchored either in idealism or realism fully, but sort of a combination of the two. that's what i heard in the speech. i have said over and over, to me much of what was said reflects what i think bush 41 and jim baker today espoused. i thought it was more of an affirmation to be candid. policyr: you think is goes back to an earlier era of republican foreign-policy which became behind-the-scenes after 9/11, harkening back to an older tradition? >> i would not even use the word "older."
i would say "more mature." reporter: [indiscernible] >> i'm sorry? reporter: do you think this may exacerbate u.s.-china relations? i think the problem is we are not doing it enough. i think we are to be within 12 nautical miles weekly. we have 60% of our naval assets in that part of the world. unless it is routine, which it should become, then yes, you thingsis notion that quickly could escalate and be
problematic. as long as it is understood that it is a routine thing for the u.s. navy to come within 12 are not agreeing that these are claimed by anyone. i think we can prevent that from happening. i would encourage it far more often as we get into the hearings. please.: last question, if there is a chance that mr. trump's approach to foreign affairs might hurt security -- pulling back from nato, telling allies we will cut act -- how will we deal with that? corker: i think you are seeing that foreign-policy of all. -- default. -- that foreign-policy evolve. i wouldn't worry right now. i think it is evolving too much of what you saw secretary baker say today, i really do. with a russianet leader last night, the chinese
leader yesterday, it is causing people to focus more fully. i think that is actually a good thing. at the same time, over the course of the next three months, my sense is that candidates on both sides of the aisle will be more fully laying out where they think u.s. foreign policy should be. again, i like the viewpoint that secretary baker laid out, and much of what tom donnellan said today. they seem to be in agreement with a lot of things. whatrticular, i think that i have heard from the campaign is something that really does embrace much of what secretary baker said today, and with that i've got to go. thank you. reporter: who is the russian leader? sen. corker: i probably shouldn't have said that, should i?
republican presidential candidate donald trump was in washington, d.c. meeting with leaders in the gop, including house speaker paul ryan. his meeting with mr. trump, next. and is seen it -- and senate minority leader harry reid weighed in on the presidential race. then, a discussion about donald trump's relationship to the bush family, and later, presidential -- former president bill clinton campaigning in kentucky for his wife, hillary clinton. president obama will host a summit for the president of finland and the prime minister's of norway, sweden, denmark, and iceland tomorrow. afterwards, the white house will host a state dinner for the nordic leaders. we will have coverage of the dinners live at 7:00 p.m. eastern. house speaker paul ryan said his meeting with republican presidential candidate donald trump was productive, but would
not say if he will be endorsing mr. trump. speaker ryan spoke to reporters at his weekly news briefing at the capital. speaker ryan: good afternoon -- excuse me, good morning. right now, more americans die every year from drug overdoses than they do in car accidents. let me say that again. we have got more of our fellow citizens dying every year from drug overdoses than they do of car accidents. today, the house continues to work on legislation to address the heroin and opioid epidemic across this country. for those of you who were at our press conference yesterday, you heard from susan brooks and bob dold, authors of two of these initiatives. all told, by the end of this week, we are acting on 18 bills