tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 23, 2016 2:00am-3:26am EDT
international community, feet on the ground, but also in lowering the amount around this conflict. the political process is normandy, you may be following the progress. on the ground, the mandated mission which is mainly what we are monitoring, it is unarmed observers we have. we have expanded, a thousand people, 700 monitors and support.
most of which is now deployed in the eastern regions. it is a mandate that tests battle, been expanded to cover other functions. basically supporting the value of implementation, monitoring areas where we have military equipment being moved. reporting back that some of the subsequent date it was new the line of combat. so it was a warning in relation to a possible violation of the cease-fire. this is also to show that at times when we see division or a portion of the conflict back in europe where we hoped we would not be after the end of the cold war, we would open a new phase of cooperation, we see that border is not being sustainable as we were expecting. we are seeing conflicts. in the post-cold war cities from moldova to georgia, ukraine is a larger expression of that problematic.
we sit at this table around which we have to discuss differences, understand problems. and update the tools. some of them go back to the cold war days. they need to be adapted, modernized, and adjusted to address more challenging nature of the conflict today. that is the agenda we have in the osc, and is a work in progress. ivo daalder: so our report, as professor rotfeld described, we had two reports, one that looked at ukraine, one that made recommendations to improve it. how to even do a better job, because as we concluded, the osc was critical and remains a critical part of this. the second part of the report said that we need to have a
diplomatic strategy that is both immediate and longer-term based on the implementation. we said nothing can happen until then fundamental part of the conflict is resolved. what we are hearing in the longer-term, we should be looking at that. barbara haering: it seems to release the report. in 2015, the situation has become more serious, and maybe it has not been implemented, conflict has been frozen. the risk of these incidents has to radically increased. therefore, our focus today is really to avoid an escalation of
the situation caused by unintended accidents, incidents. this needs a call for a solid stable military cooperation. it meets a joint europe defending principal that we have all agreed. it makes more implication of the united states. the united states has to be at the table. this crisis over the ukraine goes beyond ukraine, beyond europe, and into the geopolitical sect to many countries. that is the immediate focus we have to take. and the long run, we have to find a strategy how to define the security status of countries that do not belong to an alliance.
the report calls them the countries in between. there is a strategy needed that goes country by country. at issue is a particular situation. this is not enough. that is why our report asks for a comprehensive diplomatic initiative to rest these issues in the interest of the principles we have all agreed in the final act and in the paris charter. we should stick to it. this framework is solid. it does not have to be rewritten. it just has to be followed. >> let's take the conversation to both parts of what you just talked about. today, do you know where we are? we concluded and the one thing we agreed, 15 panel members including our russian colleagues, that the situation
is dangerous. we need to focus on that situation in order to avoid it becoming more dangerous and more hot wars occurring. there is already one in ukraine. but more. reflect on that. what we can do, and perhaps what the situation really demands at this point. >> this report is a call to diplomatic action. there is a great complacency today. when we look at the situation today, and the situation in the cold war, no one should regret the cold war. it kept half of europe with limited sovereignty with a tax on human rights. at the same time, one should recognize that today's situation might be more dangerous than the cold war. it is more dangerous because there is no agreed status quo.
everything is up for grabs. in some ways, we should be happy if it means that the people take charge. if it means that incidents can escalate because there is no clarity on the situation of each country, then that becomes very dangerous. that is why we believe in the panel that it is important to take action in the immediate short-term, the tactical situations, where armed forces from russia and nato countries can become embroiled. we saw it when a russian fighter was shot over a sliver of turkish territory. we have been, so to speak, lucky so far that none of those incidents have really escalated. you cannot have a sound security based on luck. we do call for much more
engagement, military to military , to look up how to manage those incidents. how to manage in case of escalation. if we are not lucky, what happens? there needs to be procedures in place so that events do not take control. that is how wars start. we believe that maybe there is not enough thought given to that today. there is the broader picture. the fact that during the cold war, as barbara was saying, you have neutral countries like switzerland and a different status for finland. but, a clear status. you had nato members. you also had -- and that was the end of the cold war. you had an arms control that extended to europe with the
conference in europe. the vienna document. and on the nuclear front the intermediate -- intermittent nuclear force agreement. a framework for predictability and transparency that limited the risks of unexpected escalation. we see those frameworks, frankly, at risk today. there has to be hard work to engage with russia on those issues. of course, we hear and know unfortunately the reality is in many cases you engage and you do not get the response. in our view, that is not a reason not to engage syria lets make it clear to our public opinion that -- not a reason not to engage. let's make it clear to our public opinion the structures that have kept the stability and peace in europe. there, i think, one has to be aware. i am a frenchman.
i can see the fragility of public opinion in europe. you have a combination of some extreme left and extreme right that are quite happy if the united states in a way disengages. the majority of europeans do not want that. there is a minority that is quite comfortable with that. the whole architecture is at risk. a united states that disengages faster than europe integrates, or disengages as europe integrates, and the european integration has been made possible highest relationship with the united states. if that relationship begins to fray it is connected to the crisis in europe. we have our work cut out for us. we won't find the solution if we
don't work jointly, europeans and americans, on this issue. >> he describes the meta-problem we have. the frameworks we live with for some many years are falling apart, in part because there is a challenge to the status quo. we found that real challenge is focused in particular in that part of europe where the security status of countries like your own and georgia are being contested and are in some ways uncertain. there is a desire on the part of georgia to be a member of nato. there is a commitment of nato to have georgia as a member. we are not there. how does it look from george's perspective? this continued uncertainty about the security status of a country
like georgia, the same for moldova and ukraine, with a direct military presence on your territory of russia? how does it look? particularly how does it look in the short term as well as developments down the road? >> i can say that it doesn't look good is the short answer. i can talk about the four things that you can identify in georgia's position when it comes to security. the four things that you can get from these reports that are relevant i may have to repeat them, but i will be brief. there's certainly no need to change. it is not the principles. it is about one country that violates those principles. most of the violations, the case of georgia, the occupation,
threat of annexation, use of force, threat of use of force, economic sanctions, domestic affairs, we can never list every single item in relation to georgia. it is not about the principles, it is about one particular country, russia, who does not want to play by the rules. we uphold these principles not only in terms of words, but in terms of deeds. there is a principle as part of the european i keel principle for anyone who has the right. that is a fundamental principle in the onc. the istanbul declaration of european security. we have to implement it. it is not being implemented, what is happening is that russia is getting the message that
actually european countries are backtracking on these important principles. while we might be saying that yes georgia has a right to join nato and choose their own alliance, this is not happening in reality. what is happening is that russia is preventing the integration. what is important is that there is no doubt in the positions of nato nations and positions of the capitals that georgia and ukraine in nato, if they wish, is only a matter of time. it is actually something that needs to be followed up. we have been told the doors open , but not where the door is. we have to give them the instruments for integration into nato. the second point is that we need
u.s. stewardship. you cannot overestimate the importance. you need the u.s. for the security of europe, particularly when it comes to georgia. not only when it comes to sovereignty, but in terms of also upholding georgia's quest to join nato. when the united states does not do that, the countries and between, or caught in between as one of our friends said between nato and russia, suffer. the u.s. position is extremely important. one of the recommendations in the report of the panel is that we want to see the role of the united states be bigger in the ukrainian crisis. the u.s. is not part of normandy. that is a strong recommendation. i want to draw your attention to the case of georgia and the united states, the discussions. the problem with the intonation
discussions is the low-level form. we have part of the founders of those discussions, a representative of the u.n. or do you have no high-level engagement from the united states or russia, or from the countries. that prevents the effectiveness of that country. the final point, for georgia it is important georgia is kept on the radar of the intonation of diplomacy. they have slipped off the radar in past years. it is also part of domestic policies in georgia, but we need to remain on the radar. not only georgia, but the conflicts must remain on the radar. once there is a crisis, and it happened in ukraine, showing that it possesses the estimates and tools to intervene. they created a peace mission for ukraine. the problem with georgia is that we do not have the crisis. because we have no crisis the conflict has slipped off of the onc agenda. there is no presents, there is no activity to resume presents. there is a feeling that the conflict has been forgotten.
explodes for us to pay attention, or should we use this time and proactively try to move things forward? >> i think the problem that we always face in diplomacy is that attention is only paid when things are going badly. not when they are going not badly. i would not say things are going well in georgia. the fundamental challenge is there and remains there. 2 things come out of this discussion that i want to spend more time on. one is the danger of the situation we face and the steps we need to take in order to reduce the danger. the second is the role of the united states. let me start with the first one
and open it up to press a little bit. perhaps, secretary-general, you want to start reflecting on this? >> we have airplanes flying wing tip to wing tip. we have airplanes flying over the front and back of ships. a millimeter difference would have clipped a ship and fallen into the baltic sea. we have airplanes being shot down because they crossed territories in nato country. that is how wars start. what procedures, we called for procedures in the report, but
what procedures in the onc question mark is there something in the onc that focuses on the day after or the moment after an accident has occurred? how do you make sure that accident does not escalate to a war that no one wants? what procedures might we put into place specifically within vienna, or outside of vienna, that you think might be able to work? >> we have in vienna all of the players around the table all the time. we have meetings every week on question mark is there something various issues on the agenda. one thing we can do is call everyone and start discussing what happens. we can do that without the special mechanism. we have a framework which we just call in the people and push them to discuss, exchange views, and this can result into a decision.
then we can think of more targets. recently, in spite of all of the divisions we have made a decision that was negotiating a working group chaired by the u.s. ambassador with the russians -- they all agreed in the end. it was cyber security. measures if an attack also includes working groups, specialized working groups, to analyze incidents and dispel concerns that one country might be behind a cyber attack or something similar. it was cyber security. measures if an attack also includes working groups, specialized working groups, to first of all, some kind of preventive code of conduct should be something one would try to invest in. in situations we should avoid behaviors that might lead to incidents. secondly, we could think of and mechanism somewhere.
there are ways to address situations of this kind. you could materialize it in the russian council, in the osc, where you could build a little bit of context for discussion. some perimeters on how to do it. then you could think of an investigation of something like an accident to avoid the problems we started seeing at the beginning of the korean crisis where the stories were very different. trying to have a team going there, investigating, bringing it back, lowering the temperature after the incident. these are examples of tools that we believe could be useful, but there is a need for the political will to make them happen. in this divided environment, sometimes finding that is a problem. one of the tasks is to raise
awareness as to the potential dangers of situations of this kind and try to garner the support that we need for us to be able to develop these mechanisms. to begin a discussion and develop these mechanisms. >> anyone else want to comment on the mechanism piece and other ideas that we have? >> i very much agree that in crisis management, slowing down the pace of the crisis is of the essence. those mechanism committees, anything that grinds the process looks bureaucratic, but it is good because it is bureaucratic. >> before opening it to the be able to develop these mechanisms. to begin a discussion and develop these mechanisms. floor, let me focus on the united states. we argued in the report that the absence of the united states and britain at the negotiating table in ukraine was unfortunate. we don't say it in the report,
but it was the intent of those pushing it, because of the 1994 memorandum with the united states, britain, and russia signed when nuclear weapons were removed from ukraine. that although there was not a level security guarantee, the absence of 2 of the 4 signatories sent the wrong signal. also because the united states has generally been a part of any discussion on the future of european security. you heard why the u.s., an argument for the u.s., to take a stronger leadership role. let me pose the question, that these are problems that europe needs to lead on because they are european security problems. the united states is not and should not be uninterested in european security, but there is
a dilemma. if the united states takes the lead, the capacity of europe to do so is affected. should we worry about that? is it something we should be concerned about, and should we have, in some way, europe and being proactively in the lead and the u.s. in support of that when it comes to the issue of european security? at least that is an argument one could make. either to see how the panel reacts to that, positively or negatively. >> the fact that the crisis goes beyond ukraine and europe, that is why the u.s. has to be implied as well. actually, i prefer having the u.s. at the table openly then just have 2 tracks of trying to negotiate. i think it is better for the process and better for all of the parties concerned.
looking back at an important element that was mentioned, our report mentions 3 narratives. although we agreed to disagree, we came to the consensus that the situation is urgent. that action is needed. and more or less consensus regarding the measures of the next steps to be taken. having said that, i believe both sides are not interested in an open conflict. that is the basis for a diplomatic action. that is a basis for we have to start rebuilding the dialogue wherever we can. i think our panel is one of the attempts to do so. we have to continue.
>> it is striking that during the cold war there was a complete confrontation, ideological, on all levels between the soviet union and the west. nevertheless, we were able to achieve major agreements. arms control for the soviet union. it was a great achievement. it would be a pity if with russia whatever misgivings one may have with this or that action of russia, if we are not able to develop a real, genuine, diplomatic process with russia. russia remains a great power and needs to be treated with respect. it needs to be engaged. in a number of circumstances, it has been a power. sometimes less than one would
want, but it has been. on the iran side, there is no question russia has played a constructive role. we need to build on that with a very clear vision of what is wrong. what doesn't work. at the same time, if we shut down the diplomatic side of engagement. if we just focus on one element, which is important, too, military strength and deterrence, but the diplomatic side is the other half. at the moment, i believe it is underdeveloped. >> let me stress a point if i can that barbara made. how the united states engages is as important as if it engages. the tendency at times to do so bilaterally with russia, which we are seeing in the ukraine track at the moment, may be sending the wrong signal in two ways. there is nothing that russia would like more to have, if
there is a negotiation, to have negotiation with the united states about europe. my view would be that that is not in the united states' interest. if we are going to have a discussion about europe, europe needs to be a participant. we can find out what the diplomatic niceties is, but at least something that looks like a condominium on the part of the great powers is exactly what we should not want russia to have. we should not participate in that. when we talk about u.s. role, it has to be a u.s. role within the institutional structures that exist. whether it is nato, the oce, or ad hoc where we call for the creation of a contact group to address the issue. the contact group by definition has the participation of russia, the united states, and of key european partners in the process. i think he wanted to come in on
this point. then i want to open it up. >> we have to keep in mind that every time the u.s. disengages or shows neutrality to an important issue in europe, russia gets the message it has won. they become bolder, stronger, and more assertive. the people on the ground suffer. that should be taken into account. also, the domestic political propaganda in moscow is that it is the u.s. to blame whether the u.s. engages or disengages. that is the major line in russian propaganda. even if the united states does not do anything in ukraine, what russia is selling to the people
is that it is the americans fault that things in ukraine are the way they are. it is better to have a strong u.s. diplomatic engagement, but not only diplomatic. also more assertively and militarily. whether it is a field presence or any other kind of appearance, including in countries like georgia. without the feeling that america is present in eastern europe and cares about the security, i do not think that that region will be safe. >> at this point, i want to open it up to the audience. please identify yourself and make sure that you actually ask a question. we are interested in comments, but particularly interested in questions. i want to go to the ambassador from belgium. up front. if you wait for the microphone, thank you. >> thank you, very much. thank you for a stimulating introduction. i'm a question for all of you,
but perhaps on diplomatic issues coming back to the pharmacy. the question is how come we lost diplomacy? why it went away? i see a shift in what is being discussed. what did the russians essentially do to set up a kind of understanding, the first cold war understanding. you called it in order, but we should be somewhat more sober. and someday, where domestic reasons, russia has chosen to upset that understanding and throw diplomacy out the window. seeing now that diplomacy has to come back in the window seems somewhat short. it seems to miss the point that it is exactly that kind of understanding was based on amy
chew audi of cooperation. perhaps not agreeing on everything, but having a basic framework within which you could work things out. it seems like that is not being present. when you plead for a kind of engagement, i'm wondering, where is your propriety? if it is a forceful engagement on our side, probably, that would be an engagement where we give in to certain of the difficult demands of the other side. that is my conundrum. that is my question. >> do want to start? >> i would start by saying certainly this panel and myself,
none of us would recommend appeasement. one of the key points in agreement between all of us is that the rules -- starting with the helsinki final act, there's no need to rewrite them. they are fine. at the same time, the question is the implementation of the role. not about rewriting the rules. we all agree on that. that is the basis of any discussion. how do you get there is the question. in the report, we decided to explain and have several narratives. not pretending that each narrative is equally valid, but part of resolving the present crisis is recognizing that the way the various actors in the european crisis read the crisis
is very different. it is deep. the way russia reads the crisis, one may have fundamental disagreements with it, but there is a certain coherence in the russian reading of the crisis that it would be wrong to ignore. if you don't understand the point be other side comes from, you are unlikely -- it doesn't mean that you have to come to share that view point, but you have to understand that viewpoint to really engage. that is, in a way, what we are saying by putting the various narratives side-by-side. not caving into one narrative,
but recognizing there is a real problem. that there was some agreement, but these agreements were reached with a perspective that was in the horizon of russia was very different from the horizon of the european union members, or the horizon of the united states. when you move on that road, and suddenly you discover -- not suddenly. gradually discover that the roads don't go in the same direction you have a problem. it is important to walk back in that road and understand at some point we can change course to begin to repair the relations. that is why i believe, personally, that engagement matters and it is not at all appeasement. >> i would add on on the importance of diplomacy and why we stress that important is
because the alternative to diplomacy is military confrontation. our judgment is the world and europe today is more dangerous than it was during major parts of the cold war against we don't have the structures of coordination, cooperation, and dialogue. i would add that a willingness by the united states and europe to engage in diplomacy does, of course, presume a partner on the other side. a willingness in and of itself is important for political reasons. a willingness and openness to dialogue does not mean agreement with the other side. if the other side doesn't want to be a part of the dialogue, we know where the problem is. we know what the problem is, we don't need to be convinced. our publics don't know where the problem lies. having an openness to dialogue, even if it is rejected, serves a
reminder to who we are dealing with and where we have the problem. the gentleman on the corner, then i will come to you. >> thank you. a longtime fan of the osc. for those of us who have been involved in the dialogue since 2008, there is a sense of deja vu in this room. the conclusions that you have reached are similar to the conclusions that we reached in the astana summit that there seems to be a cycle where we have a serious analysis of the problems of european, your atlantic security -- euro atlantic security, and we come to the conclusion that everything is fine and everyone needs to engage more. we talk about the helsinki decalogue as if these are the 10
commandments handed down from the mountaintop. in fact, there is a certain flexibility built into those principles. a yin and yang. you have the self-determination of people. you can choose alliances, but you have the commitment not to enhance your own security at the expense of others. it was designed not as an force meant mechanism, but as a structure for dialogue about how the principles apply in each case. that seems to be the element that has been missing for number of years. the process is where both of the minsk processes, but not at a sufficiently high level where the various parties involved are working toward common understandings of how the principle should apply in georgia, ukraine, and elsewhere.
i would be curious as to whether the panel believes that there is a prospect for changing that for returning the osce to its core mission of taking these 10 principles and reaching common understanding of how they should be applied in individual cases. if not, this might not be the right institutional framework for addressing these challenges. >> do want to take that? >> looking at the case of the crisis in and over the ukraine, you have to state that the osce is the only institution that could become active. it has just become active because of the flexibility around the whining, but only in combination with the secretary-general am of the secretariat general, the chairman in office that are really committed and engaged, making it possible to deploy
people from the secretariat within 24-hours after the decision has been taken. that was the right mixture of the flexibility of approach and commitment. there needs to be a series of improvement regarding the osc. strengthen the secretariat, the secretary-generals, to be able to act when needed. strengthening the troika to be able to act on short notice. and the issue of the legal question now the of the institution. it was for a good thing, a good cause. we still believe the institution , with all of its weaknesses, there are situations where only
this kind of institution can become active. >> in eastern europe, there is no problem in flexibility. the only case where it could be more or less relevant is in the corner. certainly in ukraine, this is not the debate. for the debate is between the election principles that show on one hand the principle of the rights to choose one's own hands, and the principle of, as you mentioned, you cannot enhance your own security at the expense of others.
the problem is the interpretation of this latter principle, particularly the russian interpretation. the russian principle is you cannot do anything if i don't like it. it does not work anywhere. what is important, and what the panel has stressed, and certainly within the internal discussion of the panel, is we need to work with russia to make them understand that countries with their alliances do is not mean they are infringing on rush's security interest. i do not think that baltic states are a threat to russia. georgette will not be a threat to russia. it is a perception, a matter of intelligence in moscow, and not states are a threat to russia. a problem with the principles. i do not think it is correct to say that what we need to do is to think which of the principles apply in which regions, and how to adjust those principles. that is what russia has been
saying, particularly within the discussions of the panel. >> on the side. >> thank you for the panel, and thank you for taking my question. when i look at the panel and observe, i do not believe -- >> more into the microphone. >> i do not think the european union or your generally can accomplish any goals of security anywhere in the world. the diplomacy works and sometimes doesn't work. my question for you all will be when canada pharmacy help and institute programs? one thing that is important is economic security. look at what happened to the middle east. 50% or 60% unemployment. what do you think the young
generation will do? in europe, one nation dictates to the other nation what will be done. security will be done, education, the creative security of jobs, where they can go to work as an average family. what happened in ukraine, where they had no security and no jobs, only corruption that was sponsored by the west. what is your opinion to the role of diplomacy on this key issue? >> i can try to answer that question. i would agree with you that in the end, in europe, the big part of the security is the inner strength of each country. a lot of the threats come from internal weaknesses that are then exploited and become an international issue.
if ukraine had been stronger, not militarily, but internally -- if it had sorted out its many issues, certainly the crisis that we have seen develop in eastern ukraine might not have developed the way that it has developed. it is true that in the debate on european security, there is a bit of a theoretical dimension. i would have a friendly disagreement with sergei in that there's not much enthusiasm at the moment for enlarging alliances. i doubt that it will come anytime soon, to be very candid. the reality is that there is a fight about perceptions. a fight about sending political signals, whether one country has a right or not to be able to choose its alliance, a fundamental sovereign right.
that is a concession no one will make. at the same time, in practice, it is unlikely that that right will be tested shortly. the reality is that we do need, and that is where diplomacy matters, we need to protect the principles while at the same time not creating crises that do not need to be generated. >> we are getting to the end of our allotted time. i wanted to give the final word. to come back to some of the issues that were raised and to help us wrap this up in 2 minutes. >> i will try to be as fast as i can. dialogue does not mean
necessarily appeasement. when we are looking at the situation now, and we see many tools in play from sanctions to investments in defense, but we need to keep open a channel to address issues as they come up, and to try to find avenues to solve the problems we have. there is no contradiction in my view. for the parties and the dialogue and the leaders in the discussion. the europeans have a stronger responsibility in this matter. these are the principles. it is a very complicated debate. the principles are there. they have been developed in the context where russia, the soviet union, were interested and preserving the status quo. they were coming from that perspective.
we are now in a different environment. the principles, and they do reflect the general principles of international law, they have to be looked at in the light of a different dynamic in europe. for that reason, that doesn't mean they are less valid. crimea, as he mentioned, it is not only a question of territorial integrity, it is a broader question of how that relates to international commitments. one needs to take a look at the broader picture. finally, we see policies on the agenda complicating and we have to deal with situations with strong polarization. we have a broader agenda of conflict partly generated by geopolitics not necessarily only in the regions we are discussing now, but other areas, that do
create other problems. a debate about migration, conflict and refugees, etc. and other challenges that we have. terrorism, whatever else, trafficking, organized crime, and the challenges with the development. we need a unified strategy from the international community. the strong polarization is making this harder to achieve. it is time for a new diplomacy, in a way. myself, i'm reaching out to a different set of actors. not only the intergovernmental dynamic, which remains essential, but other constituencies. from the financial sector, to the academic circles, and debates like today's are important. it is not only a way for me to communicate with you, but to receive input from others and to mobilize society.
and to reach out to constituencies. we need to learn to work in different ways. at the same time, we need to also be aware of the fact that we need strong leadership and a good understanding of the daunting challenges that are in front of us. >> secretary general, thank you for your closing comments. i want to thank the panelists for this interesting discussion. i want to thank the atlantic council for hosting us. and all of you for being with us today. with that, we are concluded. thank you. [applause] which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> tomorrow, afghanistan's ambassador to the u.s. talks about the transformation of afghanistan, u.s. relations, and regional security challenges, posted by the world affairs council, live at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2.
president obama is visiting days offor three meetings and ceremonies. then on "washington journal," a discussion on his trip. this is about 35 minutes. s. ,ost: we welcome dan de luce for "foreignondent policy" magazine. thank you for being with us. the president in vietnam today. the first stop in a week long to asia. how significant is this visit? very: i think it is significant for vietnam, the united states, and when you think about that relationship, history, it wasn't that long ago that there was an awful war and the u.s. and be enemies were enemies, and now you have a very friendly relationship, and now
there is a possibility the u.s. will even start selling weapons, so it is pretty extraordinary. host: that is the headline -- u.s. likely to lift that ban -- the president also over there. i know some of the ministrations talked before and supported it, including the defense secretary, but others have concerns. guest: it is kind of a case study, what should the president do? should the united states opt for and anic relationship improvement in the strategic position because acp anomalies important in this rivalry in the south china sea with a contrary to china's aggressive moves, but there is another voice in the administration and outside that says, no, there is a terrible human rights record in vietnam, and by lifting the ban on arms sales, you are rewarding the regime without having made
sufficient progress on human rights. president began his foreign-policy agenda in 2009 with the so-called asia-pacific. it is interesting that at the end of the administration, he makes his first trip to vietnam, although the clinton and george w. bush preceded him. guest: in fairness, the president has traveled a lot to asia-pacific regions, india, elsewhere and southeast asia. you are right. this is the first visit by president obama to vietnam, and that whether wondered human rights was one of the reasons he did not go earlier, second they have tried to use the leverage of the visit to push the regime to lift its repressive tactics treatment you saw in the last few days was a prominent political prisoner released days before the president landed, and this is a catholic priest who has been imprisoned for years
and they just released in three years before his term ends, so that is significant and could show the kind of leverage they try to exert before the visit. host: we welcome your calls and comments in a minute, but walk us through the government. who are the leaders? party.it is a communist there is not a democratic system. it rules vietnam and has since the war, since north vietnam concord south vietnam, and they have a monopoly on power and there are criminal laws, which basically make it impossible to criticize the government legally , and they can put someone imprisoned for any kind of criticism they make publicly about the government, even if they write a letter criticizing local officials about local issues. that person or blogger will be thrown in jail, so they have an undemocratic system, but they are also very anxious about
china, and they have seen the u.s. as an important friend at the moment because they are very upset about how china has been asserting its territorial claims all over the south china sea. host: the scars in vietnam can be seen in those who served in this country in vietnam but also over there. the war was on the front doorsteps. but is it like today? -- what is it like today? guest: a very young population and many of the people do not remember the war can do not hold animosity to the united states, so it is interesting when you talk about enemies and adversaries in vietnam that the vietnamese people, china is much more of an adversary in their minds of the united states. they have been relatively [indiscernible] about the war, all the bombing by the united states, and they have really shown a willingness to move on. t then as resentment
chemical he dropped during the war, but the u.s. has made efforts to try and address that, and they have been funding programs that try to address all the fallout from that chemical that caused so much damage. host: (202)-748-8000 for democrats. (202)-748-8001 for republicans. you can send us a tweet at c-span wj. join us on facebook. a piece this morning in the "new get times" and i went to your reaction to the headline -- the president had to vietnam -- the president heads to vietnam, current needs much beside old antagonism. misunderstanding, violence and wearing a snow had the chance to create a partnership that seemed unlikely, even three years ago. explain. if you think about it,
the first president to travel to the war since the war was bill clinton. host: what an irony that he protested against the war. guest: that was an extraordinary trip and amazing moments, but it was the first step in a long journey and the feeling at the it vietnam would really be willing to open the door to closed relationships with the united states, but their economy is now booming and they do welcome foreign investments. that kind of marxist economic document has faded and they are open to foreign investment. to u.s. now has military military exchanges of vietnam. u.s. naval officers meet with and work with the enemies naval officers. there are some joint operations that the united states does, so
it has come a long way and there is even speculation that cameron day, the major naval hub during the u.s. war there, could possibly be opened up to the united states military for use and to resupply, so that is something to look forward to in the future, but i think it is about strategic interest and the vietnam and u.s. now have shared interest in countering what they see as china's aggressive moves to sort of sense at the south china sea for its territorial claims. host: i will follow up with the next point, our line for .ndependents, (202)-748-8002 for those watching outside of the united states, on the web or on the bbc parliament channel, (202)-748-8003. the numbers are on the bottom of the screen. this is from joe d, when we let it not, there was no talk about
nationbuilding. is that why iraq and afghanistan are so hard to get over? are there parallels? guest: there are parallels and differences. the u.s.ne parallel is military in vietnam was faced with an enemy difficult to fight because they are fighting against insurgency, a guerrilla war tactic and the u.s. military at the time was not accustomed to that at all and it was a difficult and it did not go well. ofre was that kind nationbuilding effort at the time, a lot of the nonmilitary assistance and programs that at the time were designed to bolster vietnam as a politically strong entity, which failed. in iraq and afghanistan, same thing where we have tried to fight injures and sees that are a loose -- to fight insurgency that is elusive with nontraditional tactics,
which can be frustrating and lethal. we have also tried to build up those governments and nations and political structures and we found it yesterday. we are not bombing the way we did in vietnam, so the military tactics and technology has improved. of course, the politics of afghanistan are different and the taliban is not enjoy it popular political support that the viet cong and the vietnamese regime did, so the politics are interesting. host: our guest is "foreign policy" chief national security correspondent dan de luce. he spent a number of years the bureau chief and worked for the guardian newspaper in iran. we'll get the calls in the moment but i want to go to the issue of trade. how important is trade between the u.s. and vietnam? guest: it is significant and
could be potentially significant under the transpacific partnership trade agreement, which has been negotiated but it is not clear if it will be approved by congress here. the obama administration to seize the trade deal as a tremendous opportunity because vietnam has high tariffs on car and u.s. car exports are subject to 70% of cash, motorcycles, same thing, so the trade agreement went through, it to a lot of u.s. exporters and the vietnamese would also benefit because it would support the needs like apparel and footwear, so there is a lot of money at stake. 90 million people in vietnam, the middle class is expanding and that is an impetus with the relationship to build. host: also a popular tourism spot. a beautiful
country. speaking of the war, many u.s. veterans have traveled there and many americans and they are open to talking about the war, giving people wars. i have a cousin who was a marine aviator and he just went out there with his fellow pilots and they met the men they were fighting against and shooting at, and it was a cordial and emotional meeting. you have seen those things happening over the years, so it is an amazing evolution. host: we are glad you are here. let's bring in callers and listeners. we are talking about the president who was in vietnam today. part of the week log asia trip and it includes japan and a visit to hiroshima. ryan in washington. caller: good morning. just listening to all the programs this morning, everything is relevant to the and i am just non-, curious howbeit
their labor is so much more appealing than the chinese labor . can you tell us what the cost difference of that is? good question.a i do not know the answer to that. throughout southeast asia, labor is much cheaper than in our market. the biggest factor is not the cost of labor. it has been the tariff, the trade barriers, so the u.s. exports would be very competitive if they could be allowed into those markets, and vietnam is one of those markets where there have been significant trade bearings. as i said, u.s. auto exports are subject to something like 70% tariffs and our market is almost -- the u.s. market is much more open, so the trade deal, the argument for the trade deal is that those kind of tariffs would be removed. the flipside is that there are
other people saying, we do not get enough out of the agreement, and even hillary clinton, who actually masterminded the beginning of this trade negotiation now opposes it because the idea is there is not enough protection and the u.s. will not come out ahead, so there is a debate about this. other thing is that the it and am under the disagreement has to allow independent trade because it is a communist authoritarian system and their really not proper unions, so that would be a huge reform and that is an argument for the trade agreement, that it would push the anon in a more open direction, but it is unclear if they will carry through on that. timeline ofk presidential visits. 15 years ago that president bill clinton in 2000 was in vietnam. in 2006, president
george w. bush, and this week, city and itt in the will include stops and took it, japan for the g-20 summit. herschel joins us from cincinnati, ohio. caller: good morning. we visited vietnam and 2013 and we are friends of the african union, so there are a lot of vietnamese who are african-american and a lot of vietnamese who are african. what do you think is the chance that there will be a strategic agreement so that we would counter pose vietnam against china, seeing that they are willing to fight china and they and if they before, a?ered us a base to create public-private partnership we were at the united nations yesterday and we spoke at the side event for the indigenous people of the world, and the vietnamese were
there and the african union, so what is the chance that there will be a strategic agreement the two vietnam and the united china that counter poses based on the transpacific partnership, which uses japanese funding, taiwanese funding and south korean funding? host: thank you for the call. guest: i think the u.s. and vietnam are moving toward this strategic partnership you are talking about. i do not know whether there is one particular piece of that where we can say it is clinched, but there is no question that through a series of steps and a series of moves, statements, that the u.s. and vietnam have shared interests in countering china, and yes, china and vietnam have fought before, and most recently in 1979 with a brief fight over the border because china was alarmed at the
vietnam invasion of cambodia. ,espite china's huge advantages it did not come out well for china and vietnam beat them back, so that has not been forgotten. host: four dan de luce, our next call is linda from georgia -- glenda from georgia. caller: have you been to vietnam? the new market you keep talking make a quarter in our and they will only be able to shop at the dollar store, and they will be buying from american residing -- companies residing in amsterdam and building and developing their products to china. i just cannot believe what you market people talk about.
it depends on the product, the company, the market . this is the debate we are having in the united states right now. it isis no question that a growing market. but you have seen in asia-pacific over the decade is relatively poor countries have become prosperous. if you look at where it was 50 years ago and where it is now, it is extraordinary. the u.s. exports products to these markets and some u.s. companies profit off of that, and some u.s. immunities benefit . obviously, there is a debate to be had about what advantage the u.s. cause in particular situations. it is a trade-off. i do not think it is black and white. it is hard to generalize. the argument is that you take
your chances, you bet that more trade in the end will benefit block yourrying to economy to other countries. host: john, good morning. westfield, massachusetts. caller: good morning. correctly, thes theory was the thinking that got us involved over there, and how that all panned out and politicians make the same wars, and theese middle east, getting involved in something that you should stay away from, would you talk about that, please? host: thank you, john. guest: well, this is an interesting sort of ending or new chapter when you look back at the very dark and difficult
chapter that the vietnam war represents. you speak about wars in the middle east, one of the challenges the obama administration has had is really trying to focus more attention and resources and priority on the asia pacific region. the is where budget of global economy is centering, so u.s. interests are focused there, but wars in the middle east and the rise of the islamic state has made it difficult for the administration to stay focused on asia and places like vietnam because there were are these immediate emergencies that pull the u.s. back into the middle east. host: aj and, good morning. illinois, democrat line. -- adrian, good morning. illinois, democrat line. caller: thank you for having me. they are reporting this morning that this trip is nothing more
than a policy toward an outside to know his thoughts on this. host: what news outlet? caller: fox news. host: thank you. yes, this is a line of criticism that you have from the right of center. it is different than the situations of iran and cuba, but yes, the president has been adopting a consummate terry approach -- a consummate n approach toh -- a iran, and they decided that years of embargo had not succeeded in producing any change on the ground in cuba, so it was time to take a different approach. with vietnam, i don't think there will be any apologies from the u.s., but there will be a discussion about how the two countries can forge closer strategic interest, and then in
turn, at the same time, use u.s. influence to try and push the amount toward a more open human rights record and free political prisoners. host: in the call with reporters on friday, ben rhodes telling reporters who were listening basically that he will not apologize and he will say that hiroshima is an example of the dangers of four and then trying to move ahead. guest: that is right. clearly saying they will not apologize for truman's actions. guest: they made that clear, but there has been aligned at this president has been too friendly to governments, but you are right, there being very careful how the awarding the level of what transpired there. host: i wanted to make that clear with the audience. ran from pennsylvania. good morning. -- randy from pennsylvania.
good morning. $4000, our gdp is 53 thousand dollars, what could we possibly make or what could be a non-possibly afford to buy of hours? host: thank you. guest: it is the country where gdp is growing and the middle class is emerging. if you went to vietnam when bill clinton visited, you would have bells from bicycle traffic. now, it is the buzz of motorcycle and moped engines. and their exposure to western products has dramatically increased. there is construction all over the country and cities, so there
is income and they are buying and thatin south korea i made in japan. host: is there any form of capitalism in vietnam? a tweet from a viewer. guest: it is a state run economy, so i'd say the rough analogy is like china is now, sort of how china evolved. that is where china was maybe 10 years ago, so it is state run, no political freedom, but they are inviting foreign investment and it is state directed. host: fletcher from virginia, independent line. good morning. caller: how are you doing? host: fine, thank you. thank you for phoning in. caller: yes, sir. thank you particular call. i would mainly like to make a statement in reference to the free trade agreements and the fact that they are selling this
false goods. it is only allowed american corporations to set up and rogue countries, reduce their product, no epa, and then turn around and bring their products back tax-free. have thenment's protection of the u.s. military to protect their assets. i am a little upset that we continue to do this. the distribution of both that obama talks about is not distributed to the ghettos. it is distributed around the world. guest: we're back to this free-trade debate. i do not have a right to belong to answer on this. i think the flip side of that is that not all trade agreements are about allowing the us-based corporation to move part of its operations to another country. lowering farest
so that u.s. manufactured goods can be sold in other markets, so you open up another market and allow free competition. the flipside is that the u.s. asked to allow in more imports in some areas than other .ountries, so it is a gamble do you come out ahead if you have a more open trade or not? is the particular trade agreement giving you a positive advantage or not? these are detailed debates and you have to get into numbers and more details that affect whether you are going to say yes to a trade agreement or not. host: what about u.s. companies? which companies are doing business in vietnam and having products made in vietnam that are sent back to the u.s.? i know clothing is a big business. guest: it is. where the u.s. operates abroad,
vietnam is not one of the bigger market compared to other places. reason why vietnam is of such interest is because it is growing. you have a young population, demographic that has more money in its pocket, and u.s. companies want to reach that, so it is less about wanting to operate where there are low wages. in this case, the u.s. wants to get their product into that motorcyclesars and in one of them. a lot of the people in the cities are driving motorcycles and u.s. motorcycles are subject makes itriff and it impossible to compete, so that would be why the u.s. companies and u.s. administration is so focused on vietnam. host: we have a few more minutes with our guest. , line for8000
democrats. (202)-748-8001 for republicans. we were talking about the armed embargo and now beginning to sell arms to vietnam. what is the timeline? what to expect to hear this week with the president and what happens next? guest: it is very interesting whether we will here or not. it is coming down to the wire. just before the president left the white house, he was trying to arrive at a final decision whether to lift the ban on arms sales. it lifted partially in 2014, but they said we could sell some what bernie related -- some weapons that are related to maritime and this should be an entire lifting of the ban. what was an interesting thing is right before he left yesterday, the vietnamese released one of the most prominent political prisoner, who has been in and out of prison for decades, and
he has been campaigning for freedom of expression, so the fact that they released the prisoner released others over the past year, that is vietnam's way of trying to show that we are ready to work with them and improve our record. if the ban is lifted, it would mean that the u.s. could sell some type of radar, surveillance and if the vietnamese want to keep track of what the chinese are up to in the south china sea, so they would be very interested in u.s. technology, and the pentagon has also expressed a willingness to work with them on that. host: from massachusetts, jim, good money. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. my question or actually, my dad or is over there right now. she is a teacher, teaching english.
she says it has been remarkable to her that there does not seem to be any resentment among the vietnamese toward the united states over the war. host: that ghost year earlier point. guest: exactly. very good point. i have heard that so many times from so many people. has this impression when they spend time there. i think for americans, it is surprising. you do not expect that. amountows you how the has evolved, who they see as the real adversaries, and if you asked them about china, it is different. it is also the demographic. it is a young population and the wars very much ancient history for a lot of the people there and even the parents of the children that your daughter may be teaching. host: you can read the work of dan de luce online at foreignpolicy.xom -- foreignpolicy.com.
dan, good morning. caller: good morning. i want to know why these jobs go to the foreign countries when the united states people need jobs and that is where there is violence because there is no jobs. guest: there are many reasons why there are not enough jobs going around in the u.s. unemployment rate is low in the country right now, but there is a problem with well-paying jobs and there is a debate going on right now whether this kind of agreements,e trade and it started under the clinton administration in the 1990's, the north american free trade agreement was something championed by president clinton, and now there is a second look being taken as your question gets at -- are these trade agreements really benefiting the whole country, all of the u.s. population or not? the other side of this is
setting aside the trade disputes . the global economy is changing, and technology, new technology has arrived at such a fast pace that it ends up displacing a lot of people, so whether or not you have a particular trade agreement or not, there is a huge dislocation for a lot of people because jobs that existed are just got now because of the way technology has changed in the way we do things, manufacture, so that is another factor that -- apart from the free trade agreement. host: and a 12 hour time difference between washington and vietnam, correct? guest: yes. host: it will be monday morning when the president arrives their time and then to tokyo for the g-7 summit. good morning. you are on the air. caller: good morning. i just wanted to note, do they
think it is worth it for vietnam to be able to purchase american automobiles, is it worth it for our companies to sell those products if we are going to be receiving so much debt? our country is facing a huge debt crisis, so i want to know his opinion. does he think the trade agreement will be worth it and as he think free-trade benefits america or american citizens overall? guest: i am a journalist, so i will stay neutral, but i will to you the two schools of thought. the vietnamese government is interested in this trade agreement, and like other countries in south east asia and asia, they want more opportunities to sell their goods to the u.s. and to other countries in the area, and they also are ready to open up the gates to more imports from the u.s.