tv Intelligence and National Security Opening Remarks and Panel CSPAN September 24, 2016 1:30pm-2:56pm EDT
respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of syria, and the unity of its people. it should begin by establishing a government of national unity comprising representatives from the government and opposition and all inspections. thus creating a constitution drafting committee. once the new constitution is ,pproved by the syrians elections would follow and a new government would be formed under the new constitution. mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, it is truly regrettable that some are exploiting the humanitarian tragedy and suffering of syrians, especially in terrorist-held areas.
it is regrettable that some are politicizing such suffering to achieve certain goals that have nothing to do with humanitarian principles or the interests of syrians themselves. some countries continue to shed crocodile tears over the situation of syrians in some areas, accusing the syrian government of employing a policy of sieges and starvation. all the while, these same countries continue to support an arm the terrorists that siege -- beseech civilians inside and use them as human shields and prevent the delivery of humanitarian eight or -- aid or confiscate it. ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake. no one is more committed than the syrian government to ending the suffering of syrians and
providing them with a life of dignity wherever they may be and without exception. this is a duty and not a favor. we will spare no effort to that end, including in cooperation with the united nations. despite all the difficulties we are facing as a result of the systematic destruction by externally supported terrorist organizations. unilateral the coercive economic and financial measures imposed on the syrian people by the same parties that falsely claim to have the interests of syrians in mind. measures havel adversely affected many vital sectors in the country, including health, education, and
energy. mr. president, ladies and is confrontinga mercenary terrorists on its territory today. but it has long confronted a different kind of terrorism. the terrorism of israel. that has occupied a precious part of our land and the syrian golan since june of 19 city 1967.--1960's seven -- our people continue to suffer as a result of israel's aggressive practices. these practices are no longer confined to the occupied gola n and are currently affecting the security and life of syrians in the southern of a country. israel is intervening militarily and directly to assist in every way possible a terrorist organizations operating in that
area. syria calls on the international community to put an effective to all these practices and compel israel to implement relevant united nations resolutions, particularly revolution 497 on the occupied syrian golan. the united nations should also compel israel to allow the palestinian people to enjoy their inalienable rights, including the establishment of their independent state with jerusalem as its capital and return of palestine refugees to their land in accordance with internationally recognized resolutions. syria reaffirms that israel's aggressive policies do not only threaten syria but the whole region, especially given israel's nuclear arsenal. we have stressed time and again the
need to compel israel to join the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear onpons and other treaties weapons of mass destruction. and to subject its nuclear installations to the oversight of the international atomic energy agency. stresses the right of state to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. we have always called for creating a wmd-free zone in the middle east. efficiently and responsibly eliminated all chemical weapons in syria in cooperation with the joint sommission of the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons and the united nations. in this regard, syria reiterates
that it will continue cooperation with the joint mechanism as well as to continue the syrian relevant investigations in this regard. mr. president, we congratulate cuba and iran on reaching agreements to lift the embargo imposed on them and we look forward to their implementation. we renew our call for removing the illegal economic measures imposed on the syrian people and on other independent people in the world. notably, the people of the d prk, venezuela, and belarus. in closing, we wish you and your people lasting security and prosperity. we hope our organization will be able to regain the trust of the people by holding or upholding the provisions of the charter which calls for respecting the sovereignty and independence of
member states and ensuring noninterference in their internal affairs. this principle, if implement it, would lay the foundation for genuine and fair relations among nations after the greed and arrogance of some have shaken them to their core. thank you. [applause] >> i thank the deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs for his statement. mondayo c-span.org evening for the presidential debates. watch live streams of the debate and video on every question to the candidates and their answers. use our tool to create video clips of your favorite debate moments to share on social media. not able to watch? listen to the debate live on the c-span radio app, free to download from the app store or google play.
live coverage on c-span.org and the c-span radio app. >> next, c.i.a. director john brennan talks about priorities for the intelligence community. this is part of a conference hosted by george washington university. it also included a discussion with foreign intelligence officials who talk about the challenges russia and china pose. >> my name is john brennan. thank you for being here and supporting this important endeavor. i want to first thank president forhen that, b.j. penn, their outstanding hospitality. thank you to all of the staff
and support here at gw university. george washington is a true center of excellence, particularly in the realm of national security and cyber studies. i am thrilled to have some individuals with ties to gw involved in today's proceedings. i'm confident it will be a fascinating day of panel in debate. having gw serve as our setting made a lot of sense for several reasons. for starters, it is nice to return to one's roots. myself asalking about much as i would have enjoyed being an alum. instead, i'm talking about the organization i have had the honor of leading for 3.5 years, the central intelligence agency. we are currently sitting a few blocks from the former headquarters of the office of strategic services, c.i.a.'s predecessor during world war ii. it was later c.i.a. headquarters until 19 safety one. in fact -- 1960's one -- 1961.
we have a sign in our museum that proves that point. originally, the only marker read "government renting office." a number of presidents had difficulty finding headquarters. a president place a call and a more accurate sign went up. i can tell you firsthand you do not want to be on the receiving end of an annoyed phone call from a president. welcome to the conference. it has only been two short years since we held our first conference. i believe we have established a lasting tradition. looking at the agenda, i am excited about the topics and what our panelists will bring to the dais. today, we will delve into great power rivalries, discuss the destructive potential of the the rolege, highlight
of intelligence in addressing humanitarian disasters, and debate the right balance between secrecy and public accountability. you can see we kept our focus for this conference quite narrow. i cannotriousness, think of another setting were such a wide range of deeply significant issues could be so coherent. each panel addresses and of what c.i.a.nt and the intelligence community have to deal with day in and day out. is regional and functional. it is tactical and strategic. today's agenda puts the global nature of c.i.a.'s and the intelligence community's mission on display. the conference's first panel is proof that although our responsible's have evolved over time, some elements of our mission never change. the topic is great power rivalries and their future. the potential for conflict involving the most powerful countries of the world has
always been a focus of c.i.a. looking back at the presidents' daily briefs recently released to the public, these issues were at the forefront of our operational and analytic minds. they remain so for the duration of the cold war and are still a priority today. with the surge of activity by , many in our country shifted their attention to threats from nonstate actors. but all the while, strong nations such as china and nation did not dampen their global ambitions. we still see evidence of that today as their efforts to project power beyond their borders are provoking tension in the south china sea and in eastern europe. today's panel promises to pose tough questions. have we directed to much of our attention away from the weighty issues of great power politics? where are the flashpoints that could turn local conflicts into something much more serious? what can intelligence officials and organizations do to better
understand these rivalries and best equipped our policymakers to address them? is no lesspanel provocative. it is entitled "disruptive technologies and digital dilemmas." it will examine how the rapid emergence of innovative technology is a double-edged sword. the u.s. government and the intelligence community are at the forefront of our nation's efforts to meet this challenge. c.i.a. and the intelligence community have been slow at times to embrace aspects of the digital revolution. concerns about security serve to caution and restraint our instant is yes and -- our enthusiasm. most recently, c.i.a. and the intelligence community are catching up and even shapeiing this moment. i would have loved the opportunity to stretch my creative muscles as a science and technology officer at c.i.a.
i find these fields to be endlessly fascinating and i know our panelists will provide us with incisive discussion of the latest trends. they will be addressing crusoe questions -- crucial questions such as how best to harness and leverage these new technologies in a manner that allows us to optimize our nation's security as well as our civil liberties and privacy. what should we be keeping an eye out for just over the horizon? what is the government's role in all of this? today's third panel, which i have the honor of moderating, is a special one. i will be joined by three of my colleagues, all current serving intelligence chiefs will, as we oflicly discuss the role intelligence, liaison partnerships, and more in a complex and pressing world. espionage dominates the public discourse about the intelligence realm. what is missing is an understanding of how important liaison relationships are two
c.i.a.'s mission. despite the size of the community, there are things we cannot do easily and places we cannot go without risks and publications which is why we rely heavily on liaison relationships. from our closest alliances that have been with us throughout our 69-year history to the more recent global network of partners in the fight against al relationships, around the world are a force multiplier. i do not see how c.i.a. could fully carry out our responsibilities without those foreign intelligence relationships. it supplies not only operational matters but also to a host of other activities. i'm sure my colleagues from the united kingdom, australia, and afghanistan agree. i look forward to hearing what they have to say. i know they will provide unique insights that we at langley
always eagerly await and from which we will always benefit. our fourth panel will focus on the topic the generally does not -- the public generally does not associate with intelligence organizations. that is assessing the potential toll of humanitarian disasters. this discussion will shed light on aspect of intelligence work that really receives the recognition it rightly deserves. instability is a defining feature of the international landscape today. it foments some of the greatest challenges we face, specifically the syria that once was a refugee safe haven is a serious source of massive population displacement. it is a country that has lost at least 35 years worth of development in terms of income, education, and health. more than 13 million syrians need some form of human terry and assistance -- humanitarian assistance. you may not think this quite an similar ones consumed much of my time sca director.
before, have stressed the intelligence community's mission is global in scale and scope. we have offices devoted to covering these issues as well as the hurdles that lie ahead as our government tries to mitigate the effects of such vast destruction and displacement. for example, c.i.a. treats its role on the atrocities prevention board with the utmost gravity as our offices collect, assess, and share intelligence related to threats of genocide. we at c.i.a. and the intelligence community are honored to contribute to this crucial mission and our government's many other humanitarian efforts. as our panelists will tell you, they are critical to our national security interests. finally, our last panel, will look at the often provocative and always essential issues of intelligence oversight, public accountability, and openness. i know there are people who wish
we could return to an era when n.s.a. stood for "no such orncyf" or the existence secret and unacknowledged. that is no longer a feasible is an for democracies reasonable one. the american people have the right to know the types of activities the federal government performs on their behalf. trust isas shown blind a false currency. c.i.a. and the rest of the intelligence community have to maintain the requisite level of public confidence in order to do our jobs effectively. we have seen the consequences when that faith is lost. this does not mean opening our doors wide without regard for repercussions. secrecy is a necessary element of what we seek to do. but not secrecy for secrecy's sake.
secrecy for the sake of security and safety. in our profession, concepts such as need to know are critical. asy are essential because, we have seen, when they are discarded or ignored, people have lost their lives and our national security is harmed. the topic of intelligence activity and the public trust is a complicated one where different people will have reasonable disagreements. as you can see from the panel's makeup, we are not shying away from those differences of opinion. i am positive the results will be enlightening. there is a need for public debate about the serious issues facing our great nation and the world we live in. deeply complex and emotional issues such as cyber and surveillance. these are difficult topics where differences are to be expected. while there are legitimate disagreements to be had about the nature of government involvement in the cyber realm,
what i do know with certainty is there is a role for government to play. the threats and adversaries we face are far too dangerous for the government to simply stand back and admire the problem. c.i.a. and the intelligence community have a vital place in this debate and the larger one about the role of intelligence in our democracy. we cannot return to the passive posture of years ago. we cannot cloak ourselves in secrecy and simply hope for the best. we have an obligation to earn the sacred trust of the american people have placed in us. otherwise without such debate, misperceptions rather than the reality of the intelligence upfession and up -- end driving discourse. thank you for joining us. your participation and perspectives are the reasons why we put this conference together. at c.i.a., we've tried to instill a sense that our employees should be intelligence officers first.
excelling at their individual craft but always knowing how the t within skill sets nes the larger goals of the agency and our national security establishment. after today, i hope we all have a better sense of where c.i.a. and the rest of the intelligence community fits within our own national security apparatus and how we can strengthen our performance going forward. from my perspective, professional intelligence has never been more important to the security and defense of the united states than it is today. from what i can tell after 36 years in this profession, the success of our intelligence practice ultimately comes down to the women and men who join our ranks and selflessly serve their fellow citizens. intelligence officers with integrity and courage, devoted teammates who know they are stewards of this profession, are what we and they are all about. i certainly hope many of the students here today will think about c.i.a. and the intelligence community as a
future place for them to pursue their professional ambitions. those selfless qualities are at the core of what c.i.a. is all about. they are the defining characteristics of the ss of intelligence -- ethos of intelligence we strive to uphold a in and day out. it is my pleasure to introduce b.j. penn, former assistant secretary of the navy, trustee of george washington university, and the individual who will serve as the master of ceremonies for this morning's session. thank you. [applause] b.j. penn: wow. thank you, director brennan. and good morning. i would like to welcome me to the campus of the george washington university and to the profession of intelligence conference. i am pleased george washington
university is once again able to as theywith the c.i.a. host the third national security conference. i am b.j. penn. it is my privilege to be her host for this morning's session. i echo the director's comments. he is just really great in my humble opinion. i share his excitement. we have a very aggressive schedule today. the world has changed since my initial exposure to the intelligence community. as with many of you, my initial exposure, i was getting briefed on targets and the threats surrounding this targets -- those targets. sitting on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier at night when we see the aaa firing, the briefers gained credibility.
we started listening to them deeply. we have a wonderful schedule today. there are a lot of people here that will be mentioned later in the program. our goal is to look over the horizon and get a glimpse of the issue that will shape our world today and in the future. express my appreciation to the staff of george washington center for cyber and homeland security and the c.i.a. for their efforts planning this conference. it is really a lot of work. i also want to thank all of our panelists for sharing their experiences and expertise with us today. before we get started, some housekeeping.
please silence your mobile devices and cellphones. you are allowed to take photos of the speakers on stage but not the members of the audience. food and drink are not permitted inside the auditorium. but you are welcome to bring in bottled water. the conference is open to the press. it is being webcast live and recorded. the comments from the stage and conference speakers, analysts, and moderators -- panelists, and moderators are all on the record for direct attribution. each panel will have a discussion and q&a portion. during this phase, please use the microphones carried by the staff throughout the auditorium. in consideration of the speakers time and the time of those attending the conference, please
ask precise, specific questions relative to the panel's topic. let's get started. mentioned as tensions persist with russia and china, the first panel today will ask whether great power rivalry is an enduring danger or a thing of the past. to discuss this topic, we have the following experts with years of experience on china and russia. their full bios are in your program. is frank sesno, director of the school of media and public affairs. deputyembers, c.i.a.'s assistant director, peter clement. former director of c.i.a. and
distinguished artistic in residence at johns hopkins, john mclaughlin. georgetown professor and former c.i.a. and national security council east asia expert, dennis wilder. please welcome them to the stage. [applause] >> good morning everybody. we are going to have some interactivity later. i what to make sure you are here and ready to go. i am frank sesno. it is a german displeasure and challenge -- it is a tremendous pleasure and challenge to engage this topic with this distinguished group of people. as we mentioned, we will come around with microphones later to
take your questions. i would just ask that if you are in the middle, move toward the aisles. someone will have a microphone. give us your name if you can and ask your question and make that assistant as possible so we can cover as much terrain as possible. our discussion today revolves around this notion of great power rivalries, which we spend a lot of time studying in historic and other contexts at institutions like this and where you are. we want to look at a couple of key questions. how do we look at the potential for these great powers and great power rivalries today? do we underestimate that potential? what are the risks and opportunities to leverage those rivalries, should they exist, going forward? and very importantly, how should the intelligence community calculate this and ensure it is navigatetioned to
where these rivalries may take us? perhaps john mclaughlin, you could help us get started with this, in terms of giving us a frame for this conversation. you and i chatted the other day as i was dashing through the airport. you talked about this remarkable century we have been through and and how wedefined have expressed the rivalries. perhaps you can share that with the group as we set the context. >> we seldom step back and look at issues in the larger context. that is what we were trying to do in that conversation, i think. it is important, i believe, to think about this century we have been through which has been in oric century ahist without precedent in modern times. two world wars, 70 years of cold war, the fall of the soviet between 1991 years
when the soviet union fell and the 2008 financial crisis when the united states had a kind of unchallenged position in the world. that ended to a degree in 2008 as confidence in our position in the world was shaken a little bit around the world. in that time, we had the luxury of dealing with issues that looked to us perhaps artificially kind of black and white. the clear a clear mission, world war i, world war ii, the cold war. and then the moment of 17 years when there was not great powers but a great power. now, we arrive at a moment when a lot of the issue start to look gray. when our relationships, first off, let me say, i think great
power rivalry is here to stay at least for the foreseeable future. it is not a thing of the past but it is different the end it that's than it does different than it-- different used to be. we do not have a lot of practice with this type of world. the closest thing you might have might be the interwar. between the two world war wars when there was a kind of balance of power situation but at that time we did not see ourselves as having greater power. remember, 1929, the secretary of state basically eliminated the budget for cryptographic work. that's how much interest there was in intelligence that then. -- back then. but then world war ii, we see ourselves as a world power in then we have the unusual time of the cold war. these relationships are all complex. on one hand, we are disturbed with russia. on the other hand, it would be hard to settle syria without it. we probably could not of gotten
an agreement with iran without it. we are disturbed with china, but it would be hard to manage the north korean problem without it. with economic interdependence. this is an environment where the united states is not very practiced at the kind of great power rivalry we are starting to see. frank: and the interwar time led to the second world war, germany going in the direction it did. john: the munich analogy is over used, of course, but nonetheless, the lessons of that apply today to a degree, but in a very different world. you have a big factor that has changed. great powers now share the stage with so many non-state actors.
terrorists, multinational corporations and also the fact that social media has empowered small groups of people individuals in a way that is unparalleled in modern history. frank: peter, dennis, what are your takes? >> i completely concur. the great power war is not ever going to go away. there will always be a struggle among great powers. constant competing to get to and -- to some kind of equilibrium. someone totally bent on being a dominant force, don't know if i see that right now. maybe china. >> i think from the chinese point of view, the world changed in 2008 with the asia financial crisis. before that, the chinese sort of believed the world order was in the ascendancy and you remember they talked about a high -- hide and bide strategy of
the chinese. there was a term we used but the chinese say it is much more complicated and they would say it is not as nefarious as some had considered. the chinese needed to get strong before taking a place in the world. the flaws of the western system showed itself. while china is still growing at a remarkable rate. the other thing that happened was a new chinese leader comes on the scene. deng xiaoping made china economically strong. choosin the leader who came to power in 2012 is a man who believes he will take china forward as a great power now.
china is not going to hide anymore in the world order. china has the desire to be the second world power and so one of the things he did almost immediately when it came to washington in february of 2012, he talked about a new great power relationship with the united states. what does that say? it says that for the first time, china is a great power. if this is going to be a great power relationship, china wants to be up here. we have struggled with that since 2012. we do not really consider china a peer of the united dates. desk united states. -- of the united states. of course, china in this great new power relationship with us to back out of situations they believe are they
are business. -- are their business. they do not see the far china sea as our business. i do not see as the east china sea is our business. it is a new wants sort of great power rivalry. a need united states on the economic side, but they also want the united states to recognize there are now two great powers in the world and china is one of them. frank: since you are the russia expert here, if putin wants to be asserted, he has to deal with something the soviet union did not have to deal with before, china. it is a different alliance than it was once upon a time. peter: it is interesting that vladimir putin and china has a budding relationship. vladimir putin has been there several times in the last couple years. xi has been to moscow.
in the 1970's, there is a triangular balance between russia, china, it that kissinger frequently focused on. i want to go to the clear effort to reassert russia's role in the world. there are two things driving vladimir putin. one is to restore the rightful role as a great power. given where the russians were after the yeltsin years. you see this and 70 ways. best in so many -- you see this in so many ways. in some ways, he would like to restore the world in which he grew up. if you think about vladimir putin's coming-of-age in the 1960's and 1970's, his early years in the kgb. the soviet union was the other great power. it was a bipolar world in the world knew it. -- and the world knew it. and vladimir putin seeks to make
sure the world understands there is very little you can do these days in many areas without that russian role. the famous adage, there's no issue that cannot we resolved without a soviet handle or a soviet role. mostly, the middle east. the interventionist areas exactly about that and partly about shoring up the severely beleaguered client state with whom we had a relationship for 30-50 years. it gave vladimir putin a chance to show we had a role to play. they literally insert themselves in this conflict which forced the united states took knowledge that role and here we are negotiating cessation of hostilities, which is touch and go right now. frank: i would like to spend a few minutes on russia and putin and then a few minutes on china. ave these things together in the context of the questions we pose as we discussed great power rivalry. we should think about this. what do you think vladimir putin is up to? what is his objective to let the world know russia is a great
power, but more than that presumably. >> two things, and they are intertwined. first, russia's status in the world and that particularly applies to the area we see very clearly in ukraine. it will be interesting to see what happens as we have secession challenges in central asia where china begins to play an increasingly important role and the other thing, and i'm struck by this, there is a domestic portion to vladimir putin's agenda. when people ask me what he is really up to, it is not just about fulfilling russia's greatness of the world, it is also about defending his regime and specifically legitimizing his brand of authoritarian rule. we kiddingly call it managed democracy.
they just had an election, multiple parties. but in other ways, he is in my view a little defensive. more than a little defensive. what we are seeing domestically is to legitimize his regime he is constantly attacking the west and the u.s. which in his view is hypocritical. so, for example, if you look at the leaks that came out. on the dnc. the russian media was very quick to pick on the fact that, see, the west is always pestering us and look at the system. where is the level playing field, which is something the americans always question the russians about. we see this sensitivity in the other links from the world's other agencies.
anti-doping agency. the russian media was very quick to pick on the fact that this is very interesting after the russians, many of the athletes were banned from the olympics, we now found out that a lot of other athletes in the world, including americans supposedly were legally given a pass because they had attention deficit disorder. if you watch the rest of the media closely, this comes through loud and clear and to me it highlights sensitivity. the other thing vladimir putin seeks to do and this is where it is intertwined, one of the main arguments for defending his system is we promised the people order and stability and we so frequently cite, look what -- he will frequently cite, look what happened in libya. look what happened in syria. in other parts of the world, o in other parts of the world,
we cannot have that in russia. particularly what he saw in 2011 which was a wake-up call to him unexpectedly a large number of people protested. the elections. frank: is an also important thinking about russia to step back and ask ourselves, what have they been through? hundreds of years of having a czar. 70 years of cold war. a real distortion of history. and then the yeltsin area from -- era from 1991-1999. at the end the war, actually an apology after the time of great instability and turmoil. in some ways good for russia because they opened up the media and so far. vladimir putin comes in and has to stabilize the place which i think is the reason for his initial into enduring -- and enduring popularity. whatever the downside, it has become predictable in russia once again. they have a very different view of recent history then we do and -- than we do and
it is easy to refute but you have to listen to them. the first thing with your adversary is to understand where they are coming from. is veryew of history different than ours. when you look at libya, look at syria. >> look at poland, ukraine. >> nato enlargement. >> absolutely. >> they endorse that. they have the feeling, i don't know if it is true, but they will tell you that you promise not to enlarge nato beyond inclusion of germany after germany's unification -- i don't know, i don't think we did that but that is their perception. >> peter, will become back to you and ask you about something the headline in
today's "new york times." "vladimir putin tightens grip." there is a lot of suspense run this, i know. president vladimir putin leveraged his popularity to assert greater control over the malibu parliament with results released monday showing the party gaining a majority. it was made possible in some part by voter turnout just under 48% on election sunday for the 450 seat. what is going on? in vladimir putin's russia? >> 2011 turnout was 60%. one of the challenges in trying to manage democracy is the right balance. i think the russians, the early polling results show was around 40%. they were worried it needed to be closer to 50. at the same time, i think they were worried that too big of a turnout might actually give an edge to some of the other parties to work competing
-- that were competing, although admittedly, the other parties are not that anti-regime. the true opposition parties are miniscule. it is hard to run a candidate and get them on the ballot. i wanted to get back to the issue of what vladimir putin is really worried about. by the way, he publicly said he is considering the reelection bid. i do not know if he said he is formally running in 2018 for up most of us believe he is going to run for reelection but he has got to be thinking about what will happen between now and 2018. there are some interesting indicators -- the day after the election, one of the major russian newspapers reported there may be a major restructuring of the russian intelligence services to put it together with another agency and most would agree the one is the dominant domestic force in russia.
what i see is potentially a continuation of tightening up on society for a number of reasons. one, i think putin genuinely fears instability and disorder. after he was elected in 2000, he described the scene when he was a kgb office there and the civil -- in the civil war. the wall collapsed in germany and there was a large mob that approached the facility where his people were located, the kgb. and he said, i called my stuff for guidance and got told, we do not have any guidance and he was shocked and i think it was also a little afraid and of course, 2011, we see these protests.
they recognize the sham democracy being imposed on them. he is mindful of that and wants to ensure that will not happen again. >> so all this being said, russia wanting to reassert itself and wanting to lock things down politically at home, dealing with plenty of economic and domestic challenges. what does he want? from his confrontation with the united states? what is the point of the cyber meddling? is this about territory, influence? what is his endgame? >> these are my views and not necessarily those of my colleagues at the agency. i always want to be clear about that. we have a range of views. a wide range of analysts.
i am very much struck that putin has grown and matured in his time in office. if you read his millennial speech in 2000, this is a man who realized how weak russia was and that it needed to be more integrated in the world. it was a very interesting and fascinating document. it's burnt a lot of analysis. we are seeing more of the kgb putin we knew from his early years. i think a little bit of what is going on is he is thinking about his legacy. the agitation in crimea, bringing back to russia what he always believed was russia's. i think in his own view now, he feels like he has done something that will mark his place in russian history. he would also like to be the man who restored russia's greatness.
and he definitely believes russia needs to be a strong, competitive military power. the defense spending has gone on an upswing every year since 2000, and there have been huge jumps every year. this year, there is a public debate going on with finance ministry officials about having a cut in the next three years. very interesting. overall, i see them taking a little bit about the future and his role in russian history. he is constantly talking about russian history. mr. sesno: how do you see him looking at his future with the united states and the west, which has become nonproductive for him because of sanctions? mr. clement: i think he access that accepts -- he accepts the reality that there has to be some kind of relationship. in syria, it was clearly about ad, and russias
needed to protect their interests in the region. i also think he forced the u.s. to come to the table and acknowledge him, essentially not just as an actor but an equal at the table. we cannot resolve syria without russia. mr. sesno: what about russian meddling in the baltic states and romania and other emerging but still unstable states of eastern europe? mr. clement: i think it has to do with their obsession with nato. natoreally believe -- expansion, why does nato insist on moving further? the second part is the missile-defense piece. they think they need to be positioned to counter that. mr. sesno: how worried should
the world be about their military arsenal and steps they are taking? >> we have to acknowledge that russia is the primary power in the world it could destroy our city. nuclear arsenal is important for putin. to underline that russia remains a great power. it is particularly important with the view of weakness that russia has. he is playing a weak hand very well. by that i mean that in terms of the economy, russia is a wasting asset. it is still an economy that lives by merrily -- primarily on exporting natural resources. if you look at the price of energy and the fundamental restructuring of the national energy market, that is a personal view, will prices -- oil prices hovering between $40-$50 per barrel, it will
probably not be going much over that. russia historically has needed $100 per barrel because it is their principal export, they need that to make their budget. a combination of sanctions plus the price pressure puts him under a great deal of pressure to probably move to austerity, and he will need additional power. mr. sesno: talk about the shape and origins of the chinese assertiveness. you spoke about it a moment ago, but there are so many different fascinating things happening. if putin is playing a weekend, hand, the chinese are playing a strong hand.
>> but they are not playing it as well. i don't carry a diplomatic passport anymore. mr. sesno: professors don't get them. mr. wilder: to go back to the construct of looking at the long-term, i once had a chinese professor say to me, mao said china has stood. the professor said he was lying. we were crawling in 1949. we were the sick man of asia. remember that term? he said now, today, we are standing up. we are reaching our destiny. the last century was yours, the current century is ours. there is a chinese thinking that
this is the inevitability of history. if you look at gdb, china -- gdp, china will be the largest economy within a few decades. they will pass us at some point as the world greatest economy. gdp per capita is a different question, but overall gdp. what they see right now, it is somewhat similar to putin, which is why i think you see them having a lot of common thinking, what they see is that we are trying to keep them from achieving this goal. they talk about containment all the time, and american say, ,- and we americans say "containment? we buy your goods, how can we be containing you?" they mean strategic containment. they believe that we want to create a revolution in china the
way that we did in, in their eyes, in ukraine. they see as trying to keep taiwan out. pivot is the equivalent to the chinese of nato. it says to them we will put a lot more force in your area of the world because we don't trust you. we prefer our structure of the past in east asia. our close relationship with japan, south korea, with soucy southeast asians. -- southeast asian states. one of the things that's interesting is the expansion in the south china sea occurs in the same year that putin takes crimea. mr. sesno: you see it as their crimea? mr. wilder: it is an assertion, yes. of their authority over that piece of water. mr. sesno: how did they read the u.s. response? mr. wilder: i think they were disturbed.
china is still learning how to be a great power. we effectively used the situation to bring the arts closer to us. china lost ground. have been their good friends like malaysia, indonesia. these countries were confused by why china all of a sudden was being aggressive toward them. it sort of lays the chinese threat issue in a way -- i know the chinese diplomats were uncomfortable. but domestically, he got huge points for this. they were telling the u.s., this is ours. mr. sesno: china is also asserting itself economically around the world in ways that russia has not. where they are spending money.
mr. mclauglin: i don't know if dennis would agree with this, but one of my themes is that we are in a much more competitive world than we are accustomed to. if you look at what china has done with the asian infrastructure, about 60 countries have joined. most of our allies. what they are beginning to do with their one belt, one road proposal connecting china with the middle east and europe, these are big transformational ideas that rival anything the united states has come up with in terms of changing the dynamic. one point, what these two countries are doing now, there is broader meaning. they are essentially challenging what we consider the global order. there is a certain several that
putin has broken in ukraine crimea, at least two treaties that we consider sacred. the chinese in the south china sea and east china sea are challenging vegetables we have -- challenging the principles we have relied on for maritime domains for global order. the global order that came out of world war ii. from the united states perspective, that is what is at issue here. mr. sesno: some of what i was talking about with the new silk road, the incredible dominance and role that china is playing, takes superpower rivalries and takes it to a place we did not see when we had our last issue with this with the soviet union. what does that say? how do you view that rivalry, threat, relationship?
ideaina has put out a big with the one road. i remember in the bush administration, we were talking about how do we create a vertical line to central asia, how do we connected in a dutch connect -- how do we in ant central asia impactful way down to pakistan and the oceans? we experiment with it and really did not go anywhere. the chinese come in with this one belt, one road, and they said they are connecting everything. they have a huge ability of building railroad infrastructure. they're building what these countries desperately need. they have an overcapacity right now. they have a huge steel overcapacity, their industries are way overproducing for their domestic. mr. sesno: is that a rivalry with the united states? mr. wilder: it is a challenge, absolutely. they are challenging us. they are saying we are the new
power and we will connect these other areas and we will connect europe. they want to connect between shanghai and brussels. mr. sesno: a larger issue here. mr. mclauglin: it feels like the chinese are starting to tiptoe into the political realm, not quite taking global responsibilities but showing up in port visits. they have had a large peacekeeping operation -- >> they are building their first overseas base in djibouti. every time i met with them, they would say we are better because we do not station our troops in foreign countries. that certainly has gone away as a talking point on the chinese side, and they are now the biggest contributor and
peacekeeping force around the world. they are offering a great deal of money, and i would also say -- it is overlooked -- chinese private enterprise. all this direct foreign investment around the world. if you want to take a look at the most fascinating corporation in the world today, it is alibaba. there is a new book out called "the house that jack built." jack ma. alibaba is all over the world. their version of paypal called alipay. jack ma has a vision of a global e-commerce system. the idea being that there is no borders for e-commerce anymore. these are big, visionary ideas you not here in the united -- you do not hear in the united
states these days. mr. sesno: let me put this to you. how do great power rivalry's ies change when we move into the digital domain? when we move into the jack ma's and alipay's and cyber attacks and invisible transactions that happen in real time, instantaneously, globally? that is a different kind of power rivalry, isn't it? >> it is. first of all, china has the opportunity to reach people now in other parts of the world that it never had before. and to steal ideas. one of the things we will struggle with on the traits i is -- on the trade side is what is the new trading order, what are the rules for
data flow? there are a huge numbers of of issues on the commerce i that best e-commerce best on the e-commerce side -- on the e-commerce side that we are only beginning to touch. mr. sesno: other panels will get into cyber business, but your take? mr. clement: i can't say a lot about the russians been particularly innovative, they are stuck in the mono economy. if i look at what is going on in the future, and this is why i think putin is not necessarily the strongest guy and what i think he is concerned about the strength of his political position, the economy is a huge weakness. i am struck again, looking at the russian press, they are talking about increasing the retirement age because they have a budget crunch. they're going to move the retirement age for men from 60 to 65, and women to 60.
the average russian mail dies at 64. dies at 64, by the way. i'm thinking you will not have a big retirement plan. the point is, they are starting to count nickels and dimes. they're talking about cutting the defense budget, they recognize that they have a big problem, they are still suffering from sanctions. there is no idea of growth. they have a huge problem with corruption, stolen money and money that is going abroad. mr. mclauglin: with regard to china, the economic model is beginning to sputter. i was going to interject on that point. mr. wilder: we can overstate what is happening in china today. one of the problems they have is the export led economy that was
so effective for them, south japan, with the world financial crisis and slowing growth in the world, china has to move away from that model because there are not the markets there used to be. those markets are not going the way they were. the chinese, though, are a little reluctant to move too fast away from that because what comes next is hard. real reform of the chinese economy, moving upscale in the manufacturing area, and singin and xi jinpinghas an
has an election next year. this will be where he selects his public bureau standing committee. they need the chinese economy to be stable between now and then, but there are cracked showing. -- cracks showing. they have been running up debt, because they have been doing very large stimulus packages. they have been successful, but they lead to the kind of overcapacity in things like steel and the rest of the work gets angry about it, and president obama had to talk about it when he went to china. the question is, can china make that leap? can they make the leap from the command economy and has today, the half command, half market, to a much more competitive economy? and that is an open question. mr. sesno: that also involves political dimension in that one party rule is based on command. economy does well. it is a social contract. we are always accused of fighting the last war, think
back instead of thinking forward. let's say wait a minute, maybe we are thinking wrong. in the 21st century, robbery and -- rivalry and threats will be on a completely different playing field. is there something to that? what is the playing field? mr. mclauglin: i think there is something to that. the way it would summarize it is that the united states is still the most powerful country in the world, but the margins of our lead are contracting. what that means in terms of policy is that the problems in the world cannot be sold without -- the big problems in the world cannot be solved without the united states, but the united states can no longer be solving them alone or be dictating to others exactly how they get solved.
so the premium in these coming years for united states, i think, as the leading power in the world, will be coalition building and aligns management. mr. sesno: when we think about terrorism and cyber terrorism and the chinese able to make big investments at home and around the world. mr. mclauglin: i think our leadership is changing and it has to change. i've written a lot about u.s. power, and at the end of the day when you added up, all of the -- add it all up, all of the factors in power, the united states still comes out ahead in almost everything. innovation, demographics, so forth. the strength of our military. it is a different model that we will be faced with given that we are now working in a world that is a kind of balance of power world was rivals that do not -- with rivals that do not agree with us, but with whom we share important interests, both russia and china.
we look at our traditional partners in europe, for example, where we have always been able to turn and have a reliable -- someone has our back them up or is following us. we also have some central focal pressures building. take the brexit, for example. you can drive straight line between the problems in syria and the brexit. immigration was a principal driver of brexit. if brexit stimulate similar movements in europe, and you start to see the eu come apart, it will be a very different world that the united states has dealt with for the last 80 years. a different leadership that is more agile, coalition building, alliance management.
we don't have a lot of practice at that. mr. sesno: let me go to questions for each of you and then out to the audience for questions. i want each of you very briefly to name one or two flashpoints that you are looking to with concern, potential flashpoints, looking to the future in this superpower rivalry or this great power rivalry we are talking about. mr. clement: for me, it would be ukraine. some people still wonder about putin's real agenda, is he intent on slicing off the east of ukraine, or is this part of a tactical -- mr. sesno: he is not done yet, you think. mr. clement: people debate this. that is one we are watching it closely. it has an impact on the baltic states and nato, and is energizing the alliance to recognize there may be a problem
here that we can no longer take it for granted. mr. wilder: i think north korea and how the united states and china handle that situation. in our view, we would like to get rid of north korea, that is why it is hard to get the chinese on board with that concept. they still believe that is where we are going. north korea is going to have a nuclear tipped program soon. -- icbm with the next decade. -- going to tipped icbma nuclear tipped within the next decade. probably sooner. how do we deal with that problem? i think the next president has got to address it quickly.
the second one is taiwan, which is that of the scope for a while. they no longer have the independence party in power. the president has done a good job of being careful, but chinese patience can run out and i worry that they will want a new understanding of the taiwan question. mr. mclauglin: if i had to pick a couple, leaving aside terrorism, one would be an extension of what peter said, putin tempted to not move physically into one of the baltics, but to provoke some ukraine like uprising in the ethnic russian population, which would confront nato with a difficult circumstance. the second would be, not in the headlines every day, but maybe the most dangerous spot in the world is the east china sea or south china sea, where i don't know how many times the japanese have scrambled aircraft the last year, i think it is close to 100 times.
a miscalculation there, where we have at least 2-3 treaty allies, thinking of the philippines and japan, could confront the president with a very difficult situation. mr. sesno: let's move to your questions. i think we have a couple of microphone runners. where are they? if you have a question, there is one in the front row. let's start here. if you could stand and just ask your question. go ahead. >> question for you. we've heard a lot of chatter in the press about the russian hackers wanting to interview the -- interfere with the election. how seriously do you take it? what kind of message are they trying to send?
mr. clement: that is the million-dollar question. it is one that i don't talk about publicly because there is an ongoing investigation. what i will say, i think clearly the russians have taken advantage of disclosures became that that came -- disclosures that came out of these hacks. i think putin sees this as a way of trying to legitimize his own people, we are not different to anybody else, everybody does these things. mr. sesno: the cold war is over and the cyber war has begun. are these the opening salvos? what the heck are the russians up to? mr. mclauglin: i think they are experimenting to see what they can get away with. the whole problem with the cyber war talk is that it is like the nuclear talk in the 1950's.
we then did not know then what what we would do with nuclear weapons or what would mean to the world, it took some years of negotiations to develop an arms control regime. we've not even begun to approach an understanding like that with cyber, and probably never we'll ill, because it is not a uniquely state problem, you cannot get everyone's intent. we will have to feel our way forward. mr. sesno: there is a big difference between this and nuclear. this thing is subversive and invisible and meddling. but to what end? what do they want to do with this? mr. clement: i see it as an extension, if we are talking -- talking about russia. what the russians have always done.
putin was an intelligence officer. been --y have always japan makes cars, we innovate things, the russians do operations like this. [laughter] mr. mclauglin: this is what they do. they're very good at influence operations. what we now call gray war, hybrid war. that is not something that fits neatly into our deck of cards. and so, i think they have a new tool to do what they have always done. if you go back and look at their activities during world war ii and their activities during the cold war, they did not have cyber, but they had a kind of attempt to interfere in politics of others. mr. sesno: another question from the audience. there is one here.
if you'd move down, thank you very much. sorry for inconveniencing your seatmates. francesca: i have an article here from nbc news and they say that the relationship between china, the u.s. and russia can be compared to the high levels of tension in the cold war times. do you think this is an accurate representation of our current situation or the near future? mr. sesno: do you want to start, john? mr. mclauglin: it can be compared to the cold war times. people increasingly are talking about the russia-u.s. relationship is starting to feel like a cold war relationship because we are going to a higher and higher level of tension. the main thought i have when i read that sort of thing is that, again, thinking of the next president, the next administration, one of the first questions we have to answer is where do we want this to end?
what is our vision of where this ultimately ought to settle out? in the cold war, there is a difference. in the cold war, we knew where we wanted it to end. we did not necessarily want the breakup of the soviet union, in , the bush administration tried to prevent that. we certainly wanted to defeat the idea of a global communist system, which we did. i don't know that we have as clear a vision in this current confrontation with russia. where do we want this to end? what do we want that relationship ultimately to be in something other than an idealized vision that we can never realize? i think that is how i react to that, and that would be the principal problem politically, policy wise for the next administration. mr. clement: i think there is an interesting parallel between the
1970's andhe early the current situation. the recent example i would cite, when the russians annexed crimea, one of the first things putin did was turn to china, and very quickly director there were a series of deals. he was looking for market because you realize i have to plan ahead, maybe my european customers are not going to be there. i've got to maintain my position in this triangular relationship. he quickly turned to china.
it was like the 1970's. mr. wilder: on the chinese side, i think there is important distinction. china wants nothing to do with conflict with the united states. they fought us in korea and vietnam. their future is not about a conflict or pressing the united states that hard. what they want is for the united states to honor their sphere of influence. to back out of their sphere of influence from a political standpoint. but all the students that come here, we have 400,000 chinese students per year in american universities and graduate programs. mr. sesno: a lot of them right here. in our program. the chinese are very eager. this is something in the same context. the chinese have been voracious consumers of american expertise and knowledge, they want to come to our program to learn about media and believe it or not, the government communicating with the public. mr. wilder: absolutely. mr. sesno: do you see that appetite diminishing?
nser times?nts ar mr. wilder: no, and idea was put -- an idea was put forward in the fourth industrial revolution. it is the cyber revolution. the chinese are interested in that idea. what did jack ma do the other day? he bought a start up in kansas city. what does that company do? retinal identification. why? there is so much fraud on lipay, he needs a system to make sure that the
deals on alibaba are legitimate. this is what the chinese are doing now. they're scanning the world for new ideas. mr. sesno: another question from the audience. someone on the aisle. we have a couple of minutes, if you could be brief. >> in regard to nato, you talked about the questions russia has about the enlargement of nato. but can you discuss the question that russia must be thinking about, how it can try to influence nato, the european partners and nato, to try and we aken the tieswe that go on between the united states and nato in a very changing world? mr. clement: great question. think we see a very active russian program right now to try to sow discord in nato.
a lot of europeans are asking themselves, how committed are we? are we prepared to do what it takes at a time we have a migration crisis? i want to bring in the syria angle. one of the things that struck me, because the russians are faced with the sanctions, and i think over time they are beginning to bite more and more, how do you get europeans off the sanctions train? you intervene in syria and find a way to end that war, and i think that is with the -- what the negotiations are about. then you take credit for helping to stem the tide of the migrants in europe. and then you say, look at what we've done for you. you need to work with us. this is a silly argument, we need to be reasonable, rational
people. and i totally buy the sphere of influence argument. everyone needs to recognize that russia has certain prerogatives from a security perspective of having neighbors that they feel have conflicts with russian security needs. donald trump: once more, we will have a government of, by and for the people. >> we are stronger together. no matter what, remember this. love trumps hate. campaign 2016 continues on the road to the white house with the first presidential debate monday night live from hot university in hempstead, new york. beginning at 7:30 pm eastern with a preview of the debate. at 8:30, the predebate breathing for the audience. -- hofstra university. the 2016 presidential debate on c-span. watch anytime on demand at www.c-span.org or listen live on the free c-span radio app. ahead of the first
presidential debate, the new york times editorial board is putting its support behind hillary clinton. the newspaper released an endorsement earlier today highlighting her experience as is and and or and secretary of state. and secretary of state. "our choice, hillary clinton, has a record of service and pragmatic ideas. the other, donald trump, discloses nothing about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway." it goes on to call trump the worst nominee in modern american history. donald trump is on the campaign trail this week and making a stop in roanoke, virginia. tomorrow atthat eastern on c-span.