Secretary Kerry Susan Rice and Michael Flynn Discuss U.S. Foreign Policy CSPAN January 14, 2017 2:47pm-3:28pm EST
which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [applause] >> at that same event, national security advisor susan rice talked about the foreign security accomplishments under the obama administration and lieutenant general michael flynn outlined security challenges and priorities. >> ambassador rice is our 34th ambassador. she served on the clinton administration and as assistant secretary of state for african affairs. before her current position she was the u.s. ambassador to the united nations.
please welcome ambassador rice to the podium. [applause] ambassador rice: good morning, everyone. i think it is still mourning. almost. , and, steve, thank you so much. nice to beit's reminded that there is life after being national security advisor. i also want to thank the u.s. institute for peace for inviting me, and more importantly for the incredible work that we do. it's always good to so -- to see so many great friends and colleagues and i want to welcome my successor, lieutenant general michael flynn, not only to this conference, but to his new position. mike, i imagine you will soon appreciate why instead of a baton, i better be passing you a case of red bull.
[laughter] but in allrice: seriousness, the baton metaphor is apt and i want to thank steve team, for the3 assistance they gave to the obama administration in 2008 and 2009. the presidency is in fact a relay race. each administration and parents challenges, and each bequeaths challenges, often unforeseen ones, to its successor. it has been no different for us. when president obama took office , the global economy was in freefall. we were embroiled in two hot wars in iraq and afghanistan. and al qaeda had re-grouped along the borders. allies were continuing to question the discussion to invade iraq and iran was on the verge of acquiring material for
a nuclear weapon. global action on climate change had not matched the magnitude of the threat. president obama knew we had to laser focus on these immediate challenges, but he also always kept the long game in mind. in a rapidly changing world, we needed to position the united states to advance our core interests over the long-term. that meant investing in the foundations of america's strength and influence, especially our economic strength. it meant countering threats around the globe while ensuring that the gains outweighed the costs. and it meant expanding our definition of national security threatsde transnational
of an increasingly complex nature. as president obama always says to us, are we looking around the corner? by looking around the corner, today the united states is positioned more strategically to meet the challenges ahead. that began by getting our economic house in order. while too many americans are still struggling, our economy is far stronger. in 2009, unemployment was approaching 10%. it is now 2.7%. 20 million more americans have health insurance. longest streake of job growth on record. 75 straight months of gains. the poverty rate has fallen at the fastest rate in 50 years, while median household income
group at the fastest rate on record. meanwhile, we have wound down the wars in iraq and afghanistan to a substantial extent. this is not because press and obama has been shy about using american force to protect american lives and interests. rather, it was based on the reflection that we could reinvest in military readiness, to build 21st century capabilities to 21st century threats, and to ensure that our military remains the finest fighting force on the face of the earth. we have averted the prospect of a dangerous and costly new war by imposing crippling sanctions , cutting off every pathway to an iranian weapon.
has the symbol two thirds of its centrifuges. they have filled the iraq plutonium reactor core with concrete. even if it ran were to walk away from this deal, their breakout time has gone from two to three months to about a year, and if they cheat, we are now certain to detect it. another has been a lot of debate about this deal. it is certain that no deal or war would be preferable. also negotiated the new nuclear start treaty, and through a series of nuclear security summits, the president rallied world leaders to accumulate loose nuclear material and keep it from falling into the hands of the most dangerous adversaries.
at the same time, we created a strategy.e we centered our approach around partners, working with international partners to flows.ff foreign fighter buy a hearing to strict oversight, we further grew global support for our global counterterrorism missions. other strategies might deliver faster results, but victories will be short-lived and we will be in this fight for the long haul. it is a fight we must wage and win. osama bin laden is dead and core al qaeda is a shadow of its former self. 68-member global
coalition that has removed key issa leaders, killed thousands and rolled back almost half of its territory in iraq and syria. and while we have suffered havefic attacks, we unparalleled ability to protect our homeland from violent extremists. faced thesehased -- near-term threats, we have strategically rebalanced so the -- ed states can four of our top 10 trading partners and five of our treaty allies. by the end of this decade, a majority of our navy and air force will be based out of the pacific.
bute managing our complex, increasingly durable relationship with china, we have strengthened our relationship with treaty allies like japan and australia, forged partnerships with emerging powers like india and indonesia and intensified our support for regional institutions. i saw these relationships in myanmar. president obama fought to set the rules for the road of trade ,hat ensures fair competition guarantees fair labor standards. we did this through the transpacific partnership. and if we don't define these will of the road, others for us. china is pursuing its own
regional trade agreement. tppure to move forward on eroded american leadership with china standing to gain. even as we emphasize the importance of the engine -- of the asia-pacific, there are multiple centers of growth. for the first time in half a century, americans are flying directly from miami to havana, creating new opportunities for cubans and americans, and -- bringing back all of the cigars that they can carry.
better. and with our peace agreement in colombia, thel longest-running war in this hemisphere can join and. we have brought business leaders together to grow opportunity and support africa's next generation . while reaching out to new newners, we strengthened relationships. we deepened relationships to bolster deterrence in europe. concluded a 38 million dollar package with israel, the single largest in american history and withdated our relationship egypt and we led at the united
nations hitting the toughest actions on north korea and making peacekeeping more effective. borderless the challenges will only increase, emerging states to time of change. -- broadened our conception of national security. we are faced the biggest refugee and migrant crisis since world war ii. we have provided more humanitarian aid than any country in the world and after rigorous vetting, we welcomed tens of thousands to america. not simply as charity or an expression of our values, that in stability of --
and security. we partnered to beat back ebola in west africa. elevated development as a key part of our foreign policy. four times more getting treatment. we reduced corruption and we encouraged much partnership and we have cultivated hundreds of thousands of young leaders from four continents. i am especially proud we put the threat, thaterless of climate change, front and center, rallying to ratify the paris agreement, which has the opportunity to bring us into the future.
thanks in part to our clean energylan, the new efficiency standards, and unprecedented investments in clean energy, carbon emissions are down 9% since president obama took office, while the u.s. economy has grown over 10%. important as our strategic rebalanced, we have positioned byselves for the future strengthening america's moral authority. that started at home when we affirmed the ban on torture and reformed our intelligence gathering. it continues as we stood strongly for the rights and dignity of all people around the world. to citizens in may and march elect their leaders, for dissidents in china and the ladies in white in cuba to speak and organize free from repression.
for the rights of people everywhere to love who they love. these strategic policy decisions, i truly believe the united states is better position to confront the the newes of administration. these challenges are formidable. the global security landscape is as unsettled as at any time in recent memory. of time, letrtness me mention just three challenges your first, americans face a threatserse range of ofm a more diverse range sources than ever before. this includes state actors, such as russia and north korea, and terrorist such as isis, often enabled by new technology.
and it includes transnational threats, like climate change, pandemics, or the illicit flow of drugs and weapons. second, as a global leader in primary stakeholder, the united oftes faces the challenge upholding the national order strained by rising tensions among major global and regional powers. and frankly, deep governance challenges within the states. and through its efforts to interfere in democratic elections that's china's inertiveness, particularly the south china sea, and has tested whether a relationship will be defined by our differences or what we can achieve cooperatively.
plus, against this backdrop, as we have seen in the horrific tragedy in syria, the arab world will likely continue to struggle for stability. perhaps for a generation or more . in the face of these challenges, it might be tempting to turn inward, and therein lies the united states' third strategic challenge. we must protect ourselves and the international order we help to build without subordinating our values or abandoning our andances, partnerships, cooperation that have yielded unprecedented global prosperity and progress. you will understand why henry kissinger once commented "there cannot be a crisis next week.
my schedule is already full." the demands of serving as national security advisor are constant. colin powell describe the job as , traffic cop, truant officer, arbitrator, psychiatrist,ain, and occasional hitman." i like to think of it as thing the quarterback without the glory or the high pay. doubt, general flynn, you will find your own analogy. but the bottom line is, in an uncertain world, you and your team will be shouldering extraordinary responsibilities for keeping america safe and strengthening of global order a war amongvented major powers for the last 75 years. obama --hy president
at president obama's direction, our entire national security team has been working for months to prepare for and facilitate a smooth transition. this goes beyond party or politics. this is what the american people expect and deserve. teamnoted, steve and his set a very high bar, which we have been to meeting -- committed to meeting, and were possible, exceeding. reduced over 100 memos, covering everything from interagency policy to our plans and protocols to address the many nightmare scenarios that could arise. at we have made our entire staff meet with the incoming team. my team has met extensively with
him. the suggestions i have made, i have kept between us because -- not least -- much of it is highly classified. but i will say i am very proud of the professional manner in which we have conducted this transition. we must remain -- remain above the fray. i am proud of the staff we have built. when i returned to the nsc in , -- while presidents must staff the nsc as they wish, we worked hard to right size and reform the ennis the.
we have reduced the staff by over 15%. operates with a staff that is smaller than the staff of many think tanks. remain convinced that one of the nsc's rate his strengths is that career national security professionals comprise 90% of the staff. for theirely grateful service and sacrifice. it is not the size of the nsc. the role of the nsc. every president will decide that for himself or herself. i will simply say as others have departments and agencies are the ones you need to lead in formulating and implementing policy.
nsc staff is uniquely placed to ensure that the president receives a truly integrated perspective that takes into account he president's agenda and the risk, cost, and trade-offs of any decision. inherits aflynn vital job at a challenging time and while it is no secret that this administration has pound disagreements with the next one, i intend to make myself available to him -- has profound as agreements with the next one, i intend to make myself available to him just as my predecessors have for me. we are all patriots, first and foremost. threats to our security and democracy should be above partisanship. as president h w bush wrote to president clinton after their own electoral battle, "your success is now our country
success. i am rooting hard for you." general flynn, i am rooting hard for you. in a few hours, i will accompany present obama to chicago for his farewell address in this has me counting my personal blessings. my grandfather was a janitor who immigrated from jamaica in 1912 with my grandmother, who was a made and a seamstress. as a national security advisor to the president of the united states, i was filled with gratitude for this country and the opportunities it has provided me and so many others. i think about the difference i have been foolish to see the united states and our government been privileged
to see the united states and our government make in the lives of people around the world, and i am honored and humbled to have joined in this journey. i will continue to do my part as best i can. , i am years ahead confident that patriotic americans of talent and goodwill will ensure that this country and strong, secure, prosperous, a beacon of hope for all the world. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you, ambassador rice, for those remarks in your service to his country. i would like to ask lieutenant general flynn and ambassador rice to move to this side of the podium and exchange the symbolic handshake representing the hand off responsibility, from one administration to the other. [applause] thank you both.
lieutenant general michael flynn is present like donald trump will pick to be our 25th national security advisor. lieutenant general flynn last serving government as director of the defense intelligence agency. after a distinguished 33-year career of military service. he served several deployments in afghanistan and iraq and he served those positions with great distinction. please welcome lieutenant general flynn to the podium. [applause] lt. gen. flynn: i'm going to think susan again, but i would really like everybody to give her another round of applause. that was an amazing speech. [applause]
i would like to thank everyone for their kind welcome. i would like to thank the many other national security officers and cabinet officers for their kindness and graciousness. former national security advisers and the array of council staffers and the others in the room today -- it really represents the collective wisdom and experience of some of america's greatest national security thinkers, practitioners, and doers. i would wait to take a brief because secretary albright is here today and i would like everyone to pause and give her a for her applause, just
dignity. thank you. [applause] just demonstrated an secretary albright has also grace,rated just by dignity, and elegance, and a --mitment to this country people do not realize the dr.ifices that you see in us, ambassador rice, and what you see in ambassador albright -- secretary albright. , as americans, our greatest asset and the american people, the american people we have in this country, across this country. that said, the gravity of this moment is a bit overwhelming. as i stepped back into isernment for, what i know, a man u mental task ahead -- monumental task appeared transitions are hard enough.
from one united states president to the next our historic and this one is no exception. to me, the most significant was at the very beginning when president john adams was not reelected and had to hand the presidency over to his archrival, thomas jefferson. it could have been constitutional crisis, but it wasn't. why? because we have a peaceful transition of power. adams and jefferson, and their final years, they became great friends and their correspondence is one of the best examples of patriotism and bipartisanship among all of our leaders that have ever existed. , at model to the world least in our history, the united states has set the standard for poweraceful transition of
. we stand today on the threshold of a new era as we continue to navigate the remainder of the 21st century, a century that has provided us with numerous unpleasant surprises. and looking ahead, the century presents even more risk, but also more opportunities. i would like to thank ambassador rice for her help with the transition. the nsa reform measures she has already undertaken in the time she and her team took to help helpus and help us be -- guide us and help us be as will prepared as we can be prior to inauguration day.
old and familiar challenges every asserted themselves and new ones have emerged, lending this time a feeling of great uncertainty, and in certain parts of the world, reverberating upheaval. given the time in which we live, these trained first century challenges are among the toughest we have faced in decades -- in many decades. this is why we are absolutely committed to leading a national security council with our president elect's vision to make america great again, that has its primary mission, its primary mission, the safety of the , and thepeople security of our nation. that mission is to be supported
by an overarching policy of peace, of strength. as we examine and potentially re-baseline our relationships around the globe, we will keep in mind the sacrifices and deep commitments many of our allies, our partners have made on behalf of our security, our prosperity, as well as the security and prosperity of other freedom loving nations around the world. alliances are one of the great tools we have, and the strengths of those alliances magnify strengths. one of the strengths -- one of the strengths -- is the .napologetic defense of liberty ofs is the core element american exceptionalism and why america must and will remain a superpower. the exceptionalism that defined america from the start became the standard by which every other free people measure themselves and the standard by which we should measure
ourselves. america might have its ups and downs. but the assumption have long been that american power would always be there, reliable, strong, present, and ready. we have always been the indispensable nation and we always will be. to that end, we must consider the elements that make us indispensable. i will touch on a few. this requires extraordinary foresight and vision that is able to transcend political ideologies, a matching long-term strategy that lays out a roadmap to keep us on track despite massive hurdles we may encounter on that path. to determinecesses validity and meaning that form our strategy. of lastly, some means measuring -- whether it is
working or not -- and being accountable to ourselves. we have never -- we have never lost our sense of america or what it means to be american. faced with some of the darkest days of civil and foreign wars, economic depression, and the many recessions we have gone through, weak leadership at home or hostile threats from abroad, the american people always maintained their faith in the uniqueness of our democratic experiment, which produced the greatest force of economic growth and innovation and the greatest model for liberty the world has ever known. this will not ever change. this -- this is the essence of american leadership. whether we like it or not, the world needs us, and in fact
demands it. what has changed is the nature and character of america's enemies. and the new and dangerous technological environment in which they operate. that is why we are committed to having the national security council continue to serve as the ,ulcrum of national security and national security decision-making, in the most effective way policy -- possible. on the national security council, we will serve for primary functions. will advise the president on national security issues. we will formulate national security policy in coordination with the interagency process. we will monitor how policy is carried out. and the staff of many national events that we are likely to encounter and i would add one additional function. i want to add that president-elect trump -- we need
to help him work with our partners in congress on both sides of the aisle, despite the difficulties we will face. serving as the national security advisor is an awesome responsibility and it gets to the very essence of protecting and defending the american people, our homeland, and our constitution. given our responsibilities, it is our mission to ensure the president and the american people continue to be well served. in order to achieve that, we are absolutely committed to continuing to carry out this necessary reforms begun by previous administrations. all of this will be done in a spirit of working toward common national security goals, particularly protecting american values and principles. as we confront the serious threats facing us, we also
recognize what makes our country exceptional is what we are defending every day, and that's freedom. fear who wenever are or shy away from the values and the principles that america represents. again, we have a lot of serious challenges in front of us. make no mistake about that. but we will face them. we will face these challenges, re-energizedth a sense of responsibility and purpose. lastly, finally, i will tell you and i, whereland very excited. we are ready to get started. we are very much looking forward to working with you throughout the room today and throughout this great country. thank you so much, and god bless america. [applause]
>> thank you both for your thoughtful remarks and that symbolic gesture that is an important hallmark of what makes this country so special. we are now going to take a break for lunch, and you will notice we do not have any programming schedule during this time. we would encourage you to mingle, to sit with people you have not met before, to enjoy our lovely building and each other's company. to facilitate these conversations we have provided tables and seating and a variety
of locations. on the third floor in the international women's common, above us on the second or in the leland aetrium, and in all of the conference rooms in the area in behind us in the tent, which we have a coffee break -- i have been on the board here for four years. i could not find all of these places. not to worry. there are staff around who will direct you to a quiet corner where you can meet and have direct conversations. so, please, enjoy your lunch and we will see you back here in a little over an hour. thanks very much. [applause]