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tv   U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power Warns Against Ignoring Russian Aggression  CSPAN  January 18, 2017 5:58am-7:01am EST

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will join us to discuss the legacy of the affordable care act, including its successes and failures since its start in 2010 as you look ahead for what -- look ahead to what a repeal would mean for consumers. discussion. power, u.s.ator ambassador to the u.n., delivers her final public remarks. she spoke at the atlantic council and washington, d.c. on threats to u.s. interests around the world and challenges faced by the incoming trump administration. amb. herbst: good afternoon. my name is john herbst, director of the dinu patriciu eurasia center. ambassador samantha power to the united nations will talk to us about russia policy. you all have her bio, so i will just say she started as an
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accomplished journalist. a voice of conscious as well as sound diplomacy. with that, i will turn the platform over to her. before if you want to follow the , conversation, it is hashtag #russiafactor. ambassador power, please. [applause] amb. power: thank you so much. thank you. i have had the privilege of serving in the obama administration for eight years. first in the white house and, for the last three and a half years, as u.s. ambassador to the united nations. i have never had a more meaningful job. and now i have just three days left. this is my last major speech as a member of this administration. much as i would have liked to use it to urge young people to go into public service or make
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the pragmatic case to strengthening the united nations, i feel the circumstances require me to focus on a much more immediate subject. a major threat facing our great nation -- russia. before getting to the core threat posed by russia, i want to stress, from the bottom of my heart, that some of the most rewarding and impactful work i have done at the united nations has come in the times when my russian counterpart and i have been able to cooperate. back in 2013, together, we negotiated a resolution to get the most dangerous chemical weapons out of syria. russia, as you all recall, was a key pillar in imposing sanctions on iran for its illicit nuclear
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programs, sanctions essential to bringing iran to the table so we could forge an agreement that cut off iran's pathways to a nuclear bomb. and russia worked really conservatively with the rest of the security council to select the best candidate for a new u.n. secretary, a leader with tremendous vision. while people tend to look to the cold war as a paradigm for understanding the nature of u.s.-russia relations, the reality is for pivotal part of -- parts of our shared history, u.s. and russian interests have frequently aligned. we fought together in both of the 20th century world wars. had it not been for the colossal sacrifices made by the soviet union in world war ii, in which
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they lost many times more people than any other nation, friend or foe, the war would have dragged on much longer. millions more americans and people of other allied countries would have lost their lives. and fascism might well have prevailed in large parts of the world. not to mention that the post-world war ii order may never have been built. russia's immense contributions in that war is part of their proud history of standing up for -- standing up to imperialist powers. in addition, many of the challenges russia faces today, from violent extremism and china's territorial expansionist aims to jobs made obsolete by globalization, are ones we also face here in the united states.
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let me say from the outset, it is very much in our interest to try to solve problems with russia. dialogue between us is absolutely imperative. having said that, anyone who has seen my debates in the u.n. security council with russia knows that i and my government have long had serious concerns about the russian government's aggressive and destabilizing actions. the argument i want to make today goes beyond any particular action russia has taken to its broader strategy and what that means for the security of the united states and the american people. today, i will set out how the russian government, under president putin, has started out
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-- has taken steps that have -- that is weakening the rule-based system we have -- our prosperity is tied to this -- fightd we and by me week, i mean the united states and our closest partners must , come together to prevent russia from succeeding in weakening that order. this means better understanding and educating our public about how russia is challenging this order. this means reaffirming our commitment to the rules and institutions that have long undergirded this order, as well as developing new tools to counter the tactics russia is using to undermine us. this means addressing the vulnerabilities within our democracy that russia's attacks have exposed and exacerbated. to do this, we cannot let russia
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divide us. if we confront this threat together, we will adapt and showings in the order in which our interests depend. terms like "international order" can seem quite abstract. let me be concrete about what is threatened by russia's actions. the order enshrined in the u.n. charter in the aftermath of the second world war was built on the understanding that all of our nations would be more secure if we bound ourselves to a set of rules. this included the rules that the borders between sovereign states should be respected. that even in times of war, some weapons and some tactics should never be used. that while forms of government might vary from one nation to another, certain human rights were inalienable and were
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necessary to check state power. and the nations that break these rules should be held accountable. now, as we all know, a lot has changed in the seven decades since the order was created. when the united nations was founded, there were just 51 member states. a fraction of today's 193. some great, contemporary powers were not yet independent nations. and many countries that did exist did not have a say, much less an equal voice, in developing its rules. in addition, some of the threats we face today, such as violent terrorist groups and cyber attacks would have been unimaginable to the architects of that system. so there are many reasons why the rules-based order conceived in 1945 is not perfectly tailored to the challenges that we, as an international
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community, face in 2017. and it is reasonable to think that we need to update those rules with more voices at the table, some of which we will not agree with. yet evolve as the system may, the vast majority of countries today recognize we all benefit from having rules of the road that constrain certain kinds of behavior to enhance our shared security. rules that must not be rewritten by force. i also acknowledge that there are times when actions the united states takes in the interest of defending our security and that of our allies can be seen by other nations as offensive moves that threaten their security. we need to be alert to this, which is why dialogue is so very important. and some may argue, not unreasonably, that our government has not always lived up to the rules that we invoke.
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as president obama made clear when he entered office, while the united states strives to lead by example, there are still times we have fallen short. yet under president obama's leadership, we have shown our commitment to investing in and abiding by the rules in international order. the same cannot be said for the russian government today. for years, we have seen russia take one destabilizing action after another. we saw it not long after mass -- we saw it in march, 2014, not long after mass peaceful protest in ukraine saw them take action to become closer to western europe. when russia dispatched its soldiers to crimea. the little green men, as russia denied any-- russia
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ties to them, rammed into ukraine like a barrel of a gun, which putin used to justify his sham in crimea. we saw it months later, in where russiane, armed, trained and fought alongside separatists. again russia denied any role in , the conflict it manufactured. we saw it also in russia's support for bashar al-assad's brutal war in syria. support it maintained even as the assad regime kept food and medicine from civilians in occupied areas. civilians who were so desperate, that they resorted to eating leave. even as photographs emerged of countless prisoners tortured to death in assad's prisons, their bodies tagged with serial numbers. even as the assad regime used
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chemical weapons to kill its own people. we saw it in 2015 when russia went further by joining the assault on the syrian people, its own troops and planes in a campaign that had hospitals, schools and the brave syrian first responders who were trying to dig innocent civilians out of the rubble. with each transgression, the -- not only were more civilians killed, but the rules that make all of our nations secure, including russia -- those rules were eroded. we saw it in russia's effort to undercut the credibility of international institutions like the united nations. for example, in an emergency u.n. security council meeting last month, then secretary-general ban ki-moon told the member states that the assad regime forces and iranian
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militia were reportedly disappearing men as those forces took parts of eastern aleppo. in response, the representative of russia, which was providing air cover for the offensive, not only claimed russian investigations had found not a single mistreatment or violation of humanitarian law against citizens of eastern aleppo, but also accused the secretary-general of basing his information on fake news. minutes later, syria's representative to the u.n. echoed russia's line, holding up as proof what he said was a soldier helping an elderly woman. the problem was the photo was taken six months earlier in june, 2016, in fallujah, iraq. in the same period, we also saw russia's systematic efforts to
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sow doubt in democracies and drive a wedge between the united states and our allies. russia has done this by supporting illiberal parties, like france's national front. which has a xenophobic, anti-muslim platform. when it was having trouble raising campaign funds, a russian bank loaned $11 million. while that may not seem like a lot compared to u.s. campaigns, it was roughly one third of what the party was able to raise, and it made significant gains. the national front has said it looks again to russian financing for help. little surprise that the party's leader has repeatedly attempted to legitimize russia's attempted
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landgrab of crimea. russia also used hacking to sow distrust in the democratic processes. and undermine the policies of their governments. consider the case of germany. according to german intelligence agencies, groups linked to the russian government carried out a massive may 2015 attack targeting the german parliament, energy companies, telecoms, and even universities. just last month, germany's domestic intelligence agency reported an alarming spike in what it called quote "aggressive , and increased cyber spying and cyber operations that could potentially endanger german government officials, members of parliament, and employees of democratic parties." the agency attributed this to russian hackers. the head of germany's foreign intelligence service said that
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the perpetrator's aim was to quote delegitimize the , democratic process. in other instances, russia's interference has been far more direct. late last year, officials in montenegro said they uncovered a plot to violently disrupt the elections, topple the government, install a new government loyal to moscow, and even assassinate the prime minister. montenegro's prime minister been pushing for the country to join nato, a move russia openly opposed. the plotters reportedly told investigators they were funded and equipped by russians who also helped fund the attacks. -- health plan the attacks. helped plan the attacks. it is in this context that one must view the russian governments efforts to interfere in america's democracy. as our intelligence committee
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found, and we are familiar we , know that the russian government sought to interfere in our presidential election with the goals of undermining public faith in the u.s. democratic process, denigrating one candidate and helping the other. our intelligence agencies assess the campaign was ordered by president putin. implemented by a combination of government agencies, state under the media, third-party intermediaries and government paid trolls. we know that in addition to hacking the democratic national committee and senior democratic party officials, russia also hacked u.s. think tanks and lobbying groups. and we know russia hacked elements of multiple state and local electoral boards, though the assessment is that they did not compromise vote tallies. but think just a moment what that means. russia not only tried to
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influence our elections, but to access the very systems by which we vote. at first glance, these interventions by russia in different parts of the world can appear unrelated. that is because the common thread running through each of them cannot be found in anything that russia is for. the common thread can be found only in what russia is against. not in the rules it follows. but the rules it breaks. russia's actions are not standing up a new world order. they are tearing down the one that exists. this is what we are fighting against. having defeated the forces of fascism and communism, we now confront the forces of authoritarianism and nihilism. there are multiple theories as
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to why the russian government would undermine a system that played a crucial role that helped it build and fostered unparalleled advances in human liberty and development. perhaps, as some speculate, it is to distract the russian people from the rampant corruption that has consumed so much of the wealth produced by the nation's oil and gas, preventing it from benefiting average citizens. perhaps it is because our rules-based order rests on principles, such as accountability and the rule of law, that are at odds with russia's style of governing. perhaps, it is to regain a sense of its past glory or to get back at the countries it blamed for the breakup of the soviet union, which president putin has called the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.
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it is not my aim here to theorize about which, if any, of these motives lie behind the russian government's actions , which not only threaten our democracy but the entire order upon which our security and prosperity depends. it is instead to ask what are we going to do to address this threat? first, we must continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to determine the full extent of russian interference in our election, identify the vulnerabilities of our system, and come up with ways to defend against future attacks. congressional hearings, the bipartisan inquiry announced by the senate select committee on intelligence, the joint analysis reports on russian cyber
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activities and harassment, and the joint intelligence report prepared at the request of president obama are all important steps to achieving these objectives. the purpose of such efforts is not to challenge the outcome of any races in our recent election. the purpose is to identify the gaps in our defenses russia exploited, as well as other gaps that may not have been seized apollo in -- seized upon in this attack but that russia or others , could take advantage of in the future. and the purpose is to determine the steps needed to close such gaps and strengthen the resilience of our system. because it would be deeply naive and negligent to think of those who discovered invulnerabilities -- discovered vulnerabilities in our system would not try to explain them again and again. and not just russia, but all the
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governments and nonstate actions who see undermining our democracy as a way of advancing their interests. it already has happened repeatedly. there were also hacks in our presidential elections in 2008 and 2012. that these efforts be bipartisan is essential. allowing politics to get in the way of determining the full extent of russia's meddling and how best to protect our democracy would undermine our core national security interests. parties inhy for our our political system to debate issues such as how to expand our middle class or what role our nation should play in the wider world. what is not healthy is for a party or its leaders to cast doubt on the unanimous, well documented assessment of our
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intelligence community that a foreign government is seeking to harm our country. second, we have to do a better job of informing our citizens about the seriousness of the threat the russian government poses. our unity is crucial. when we send conflicting messages, it sends a mixed message to the american people. a recent poll found 37% of republicans hold a favorable view of president putin, up from just 10% in july, 2014. that's an alarmingly high hasortion, for a leader who had journalists, human rights activists and opposition politicians murdered. for one who has ridiculed our constitutional safeguards and try to tip the scales in our elections.
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i know some have said that this focus on russia that we are bringing is simply the party that lost the recent presidential election being sore losers. american worry every that a foreign government interfered in our democratic process. it is not about the leader we choose, it's about who gets to choose. who gets to choose our leader? that privilege should belong only to americans. we must also forcefully reject the false equivalency between the work that the u.s. government and the russian government are doing in other countries. there is a world of difference between supporting free and fair elections and investing in independent institutions in advance human rights and transparency, and on the other sow just trust,
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misinformed citizens and swing elections toward a liberal parties, as russia is doing. third, we must reassure our allies that we have their backs. we must ensure that russia pays a price for breaking the rules. that means maintaining our robust support for nato, and making clear, our nations steadfast commitment to treat an attack on any nato member as an attack on us all. we expect all of our nato allies to do their part in keeping the alliance strong, which includes meeting the pledge made in 2014 to spend at least 2% of their gdp on defense. a commitment that we in the obama administration have pushed relentlessly for them to fulfill.
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we also need to increase cooperation and intelligence sharing to detect and defend against the next generation of ,acks and cyber threats particularly as france, germany and the -- the netherlands look forward to national elections, this year. that also means maintaining sanctions placed on russia, including those imposed by president obama in response to russia's meddling in our election. some have argued that the most effective way to get russia to start playing by the rules is by easing sanctions. if only we reduce the pressure, they claim, russia will stop lashing out against the international order. they have it backwards. easing punitive measures on the russian government when they have not change their behavior will only embolden russia. sending the message that the best way to gain international
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acceptance of its to stabilizing actions is simply to wait us out. that would not only encourage more dangerous actions by russia, but also by other rule breakers like iran and north korea, which are constantly testing how far they can move the line without triggering a response. similarly flawed is the argument that the united states should put recent transgressions aside and announce another reset with russia. the obama administration tried this approach in our first term. of 17 is not 2009. -- 2017 is not to thousand nine. in 2009, we were able to find common ground on issues such as counterterrorism, arms control and the war in afghanistan. important, russia was not occupying crimea, feeling an
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anding conflict in ukraine bombing hospitals and first responders in syria. nor had russia interfere directly in the u.s. elections. -- interfered directly in the u.s. elections. to believe a mistake all we need to do to defend ourselves is to rely on the same tools we have been using. in ourust close the gaps nato, it shore up would be a mistake to believe we will be able to protect the rules-based border. we have to do more, because russia has an edge in one respect. it turns out it is easier to break institutions down, then to build them up. it is easier to so skepticism than to earn people's trust. is a lot fake news
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easier than reporting the facts required for real news. in international affairs in 2017, it is often easier to be bad than good. example, on september 16, 2016, as you might remember, a humanitarian convoy was bombed in the syrian city of -- killing at least 10 civilians and destroying 18 trucks filled with food and medicine intended for desperate syrian civilians. because the strikes were carried out any region where only the assad regime and its russian allies were flying, the attack was widely reported as being likely carried out by the regime or russian forces. rather than accept any
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responsibility or even tried to get to the bottom of what had happened, the russian government did what it always does in the face of atrocities with which it is associated, deny and lie. the russian ministry of defense originally said no airstrikes had been carried out and that its expert analysis of video footage of the strike showed that the aid convoy had been destroyed by a fire. president putin's press secretary then said that terrorists had been firing rockets nearby, suggesting they were the ones who had struck the convoy. that a u.s. claimed drone had been detected above the convoy just minutes before it was struck, contradicting its initial claim that the convoy had not been hit from the air. two days, three stories, all false. russia's willingness to lie turned reporting on the attack
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the one hand, on the other hand stories. even respected outlets and russian controlled networks played a critical role in this effort, rapidly disseminating those lies while questioning the accounts of witnesses. editor once said, not having our own foreign broadcasting is the same as not having a ministry of defense. when there is no war, it looks like we don't need it. when there is a war, it is critical. in other words, lying is a strategic asset. it did not matter whether russia's accounts were accurate or even consistent. all that mattered was that russia injected enough counterclaims into the new cycle to call into question who was responsible. by the time the u.n. issued a report on the incident, one of
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three months later, concluding that the convoy had been struck by an airstrike that can only have been carried out by the assad regime or russia, the finding and russia's cover up received deny and lie. at times, it can start to feel that the only way to outmaneuver an adversary unbounded by the truth is to beat them at their own game. but that would be deeply misguided. if we try to meet the russian government in its upside-down where right is left and black is land where right is left and black is white, we will have helped them achieve their goal, which is creating a world where all truth is relative, and where trust in the integrity of our democratic system is lost. we don't need to gin up our own propaganda networks, bankroll our own army of trolls, and inundate social media platforms with even more fake news targeting our adversaries. we have to fight misinformation with information.
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fiction with facts. but documenting and spreading facts -- just like manufacturing fake news -- takes resources. a report by the u.k. parliament found that the russian government spent between $600 million and $1 billion a year on propaganda arms like rt. so we need to be spending at least as much -- and arguably much more -- on training and equipping independent reporters, protecting journalists who are under attack, and finding ways to get around the censors and firewalls that repressive governments use to block their citizens from getting access to critical voices. this brings me to the fourth and final way to address the threat russia poses to the rules-based international order. we must continue to seek ways to engage directly with the russian people -- and -- coming back to where i started with the russian
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government. it can be easy to forget that virtually all the tactics the russian government is using to undermine democracy abroad are ones they fine-tuned on the russian people, to devastating effect. after all, when russian soldiers are killed fighting in a conflict in eastern ukraine that their government denies it has any role in -- it's russian mothers, widows, and orphans who are denied the benefits and recognition they deserve as the family members of slain soldiers. the mafias that the russian government uses to sow corruption abroad profit most off the backs of the russian people. and it is russian journalists and human rights defenders who have been harassed, beaten, and even killed for uncovering their government's abuses. so we must be careful to distinguish between the russian government and the russian people. we cannot let america's relationship with a nation of more than 140 million people --
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people who have made remarkable contributions to the world, who have a proud, rich history and culture, and whom we fervently wish to see prosper -- be defined solely by the nefarious actions of a tiny subset in their government. and yet we have less contact with ordinary russians than at any time in decades. this is no accident. in the past few years, the russian government has closed 28 u.s. government-funded american corners which offered free , libraries, language training, and events about american culture to russian citizens, and has shuttered the american center in moscow, which hosted over 50,000 russian visitors per year. it has also expelled u.s. government-supported and independent non-profits, such as the national endowment for democracy and the open society foundation, which had spent decades fostering civil society
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and the rule of law in russia. as the kremlin closes off these outlets for reaching the russian people, we must find others to take their place. we also cannot give up engaging with the russian government. we should do this in part because collaborating on issues of shared interest will allow us to show, not just tell, what we know to be true -- that our nations have a lot more to gain by working to build up a system of shared rules and principles than tear it down. and in part because by working together, we may be able to rebuild the respect and trust needed to tackle unprecedented global threats that we face today -- many of which we cannot solve without one another's help. let me conclude. in 1796, our nation's first
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president, george washington, used his farewell address to issue a stark warning to the american people about the danger of foreign governments trying to interfere in our democracy. he told his audience -- "against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, i conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens the , jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government." more than 220 years later, washington's warning feels strikingly relevant. for if anything, the vulnerabilities that washington saw, in his words, "to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction,
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to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils," have only multiplied with modern technology. and unlike in 1796, it is no longer enough for us simply to protect our own democracy against foreign interference. we also have to protect the integrity of the entire rules-based international order, on whose foundations our security and prosperity rest. yet while so much has changed since washington issued his warning, the essence of the threat has not. it goes to the creation of america itself a nation born out , of a simple, yet revolutionary idea. that it was the american people, ordinary citizens and not a government, domestic or foreign,
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who should enjoy the right to shape our nation's path. that is a right that we have had to fight to defend throughout our history. and while in recent decades we may have felt confident that no power would dare try to take that right away from us, we have again been reminded that they will try. just as the threat is fundamentally unchanged since washington's time, so is our most effective way to confront it. and that is by renewing the faith of the american people in our democracy. our democracy's vitality has long depended on sustaining the belief among our citizens that a government by and for the people is the best way to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, to preserve the freedoms they value most, and to expand
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our opportunities. it is not that we have a perfect system, but a perfectible system -- one that the american people always have the power to improve, to renew, to make our own. that faith is the engine that has powered our republic since its creation, and it is the reason other nations still look to america as a model. and it is precisely that faith that the russian government's interference is intended to shake. the kremlin's aim is to convince our people that the system is rigged. that all facts are relative, that ordinary people who try to improve their communities and their country are wasting their time. in the place of faith, they offer cynicism. in the place of engagement, indifference. but the truth is that the russian government's efforts to cast doubt on the integrity of
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our democracy would not have been so effective if some of those doubts had not already been felt by many americans. by citizens who are asking whether our system still offers a way to fix the everyday problems they face, and whether our society still gives them reason to hope that they can improve their lives for the better. in this way, and we need to reckon with this, the attack has cast a light on a growing sense of divisiveness, distrust, and disillusionment. but we know here in america, and only what we are against, we know what we are for. so just as we are clear-eyed about the threat russia poses from the outside, and unified in confronting it, we must also dedicate ourselves to restoring citizens' faith in our democracy on the inside -- which always has been the source of america's
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strength, and always will be our best defense against any foreign power that tries to do us harm. i thank you. [applause] congratulations. that was copper ends up, indeed. you raise a lot of very, very important questions. i would like to explore some of these things with you. perhaps the with most important part of your speech, which was your summation the nastylinked intervention of the kremlin in our presidential campaign with
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some vulnerabilities in american society. and you said, in fact, putin's intervention cast a light on these things. --what would you suggest this is a must a metaphysical question -- what would you suggest we should do to make ourselves stronger internally so we're not susceptible to outside actors, malevolent actors, trying to influence our political outcomes? amb. power: thank you. i should have said at the outset to you, for having me, and for accommodating the time change. >> to accommodate a star -- amb. power: three days. only aou're asking that core question about the subject of my speech today, but a poor question that all of us as citizens are asking with great
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urgency. for some, more urgency from the election than before, but this divisiveness,is the polarization, the echo chambers that we increasingly whicht, the way in technology has allowed us to cater to our preferences, but thus to avoid inconvenient new fax that are at odds with our preferences over existing opinions. these divisions, the ways in which new studies are showing that people who have strong views, whether it is on abortion were climate change or, you know, even infrastructure and how we approach infrastructure if they have strong views, then you give them new data by what is seen by independent sources.
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they tend to believe by march more strongly what they believe before even if it is conflicting data. i mean, whoa, what is that going to mean. but i think, you know, there is also in alienation from that,utions and i think number one, we need to be ,rossing lines and as citizens taking on the responsibility of seeking out views that are contrary to our own. but those of us privileged enough to be in public life or in public service, which is a privilege of lifetime, i can tell you, as one who is about to move out of it after eight years, we have to do right by the people who put their faith in us. there's no question part of the alienation is from the vast sums of money from the sense that people who aren't able to mobilize resources of that nature, there's not necessarily a place for them in modern politics. that is not going to get solved anytime soon, looks like,
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unfortunately, but also just instead of everything being an excuse to sound off and to affirm a prior believe to just look our policies delivered for people. are we curious even to find out? here in theoming coming months and a lot that is uncertain and i don't want to weigh in on any particular policy or make any predictions about how things are going to go, but maybe out of the fact that a single party controls the branches of government, maybe there can at least be some opportunity to deliver more. we are disappointed that so much of what we saw -- sought to deliver was blocked. indeed as the president and
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others have noticed, some of the people who have done the blocking have benefited, so that's unfortunate most up maybe for everyone, no matter what side of the aisle you are on, for this alienation that people feel and the polls we've been looking at for years declining, trust in institutions, and i'll let we know about how much more extreme each of us are becoming in our corners, you know, maybe that can be a common enterprise. indeed come a on some of the topics i talked about today, you do see more bipartisanship this week on looking into the russian hacking and so forth then we saw a few weeks ago. some maybe in issue of this magnitude could be a means of people coming together and maybe we just need to find if you like that as our training wheels. >> thank you. i will ask you to question it was meant to be my first question. what you said in your speech was very congenial to those at the atlantic council, and we have
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been working on these issues for the past several years. you may be point, which i think was absolutely dead on, that mr. putin has his aim on the rules-based international order of the past seven years, even the past 25 years as amended at the end of the cold war. you also correctly noted that to make this argument -- little abstracts of people don't understand it. but here's my point. it seems to be almost self-evident that the extraordinary stability, particularly of the last 25 years, no great power -- not even a cold war -- the extraordinary prosperity of the past 25 years, which has benefited us all come has been a result precisely of this order. how do we convey that so that the next time a coal is taken 37% of the republicans do not think that mr. putin is a benign actor? amb. power: i think we start by having more of this conversation.
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even as you were talking and as i was talking, we also have to take note of the fact that while you and i may hailed the order such as it is and imagine the counterfactual's of a world without rules were a role -- world where you have way more rule breaking going on at any given time, in fairness, to the people who are not feeling so great right now, you know, the isil's rise inof the number of displaced people in the world, which is the greatest since world war ii, climate change, i mean, there is a sense also that the rules-based order is in delivering sufficiently new more than our national or local systems are delivering. this is a self fulfilling prophecy because when you are blocked on the un security council because one of the permanent members won't even allow you to have a seven day pause to get food into aleppo,
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then your citizen and saying, man, that un security council, what a broken institution. in one country has the power because the permanent membership and the veto to dictate what the premier body for international peace and security says and does. so that is an issue. but as we have taken the fight somethings we work on like cyber that needs vastly more attention and resources on and that is countering violent extremism, so as to avoid the inspired attacks which have become more and more frequent rather than the top 10 organized attack that we begin familiar with from al qaeda and so forth. but making the international system, having some success stories and some bright spots, you know, it even if it is something small like the gambia
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making sure the president-elect actually is able to take office. it is a tiny country. but for the u.n. and for all of us to be able to come together on something very small, finishing the job against isil as a territorial matter, takingmosul and rocca and showing what coalitions, but coalitions that are examining targets according to how they stack up against the laws of war. mosul is aneasons simple, we're not cover bombing them like the russians and syrians bombed aleppo. we know it is a victory that just alienates people and will end up creating isil 3.0. in a measured, complicated, and very challenging way, we are proceeding as methodically as we can in support of the brave
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iraqis who are taking this fight to isil. i think success breeds success. as one bright spot, it is a little dark, but as i mentioned russia, we have selected a new you in secretary-general who is all about results. he is right there in cyprus within days of taking over the job to try to get that across the finish line. if you could end one of the most longest protracted conflicts of our time, that would be -- again, when we invest in diplomacy, which we need a better balance for, we need to invest more in mediation and political solutions at the u.n. than merely in peacekeeping and some of the tools that you and i have worked on. but i think there is a reason that even absent or alongside interventions of the nature i have described, people feel the international order needs to deliver better. so again, but the mistake would
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be certainly as there is going to be a lot of political transition in this coming year would be to think there's a workaround or some door number two where you can avoid the u.n. it is the only body were all of the countries of the world come together and given the nature of threats, whether terrorism,, change, pandemic, you name it, this is the body that we need to invest in to strengthen. offeredur speech, you four policy prescriptions. the last one was to engage with the russian people. how do we do that? you maybe more of a neck's birth and i. i think we have dramatically for just one example scaled back the kinds of programs we had 25 years ago on information side. if voice of america, the
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radio-free europe brand, which we hear from somebody people in eastern europe and in russia, you know, made such a different shape of their outside world, it wholly different scale of investment in that, but also i mentioned that we even have here today some russian journalists who are in our country and coming through and learning about this country. the more we can do exchange programs -- again now has not , been a great time to expand tieshe people to people because that is done by government at a governmental level with the other government. but as we think about life after transition, investments in these kind of programs, dedicated efforts of this scale that we used to bring to this enterprise i think would be extremely important. in and both information then the classic changes. there's not that much new under the sun. and the technologies for all
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their downsides, which we have talked about, make it possible for there to be all kinds of contact day-to-day among young people and even in middle school and high school and well beyond before you even get to university exchanges. mr. herbst: i don't want to put you on the spot, but i will not quite -- well anyway. [laughter] there's an effort that might kill two of your birds with one stone. senators portman and murphy, so i bipartisan effort, increase of this capacity but this legislation. this is both republicans and democrats working together and addressing the critical need. what do you think about that? amb. power: i have to look at the bill in question because i know chairman royce and others have seized with this for a very long time. look, i cited the poll from about president putin with 37% among republicans. i cannot vouch for the poll, but
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that was 10% in july 2014. there hasn't traditionally been an issue with bipartisanship on this account. this is a very new phenomenon. i hope that initiatives like that, again without weighing in on the specifics, that particularly in light of what i've just described and what we have all experienced over the last few years, but not just because of that, but also because it is so in our interest to have a strong relationship to enhance mutual understanding. my speech lays into what russia has been doing very sharply. i want to stress that my time in new york and the point i made at the beginning, which is when the u.s. and russia are on the same page on something, which is why we invested so much in trying to come to agreement on whether we could do joint targeting in syria against terrorist actors,
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when we are on the same page or rowing in the same direction, that is when the security council becomes so much more functional. that is when the international order pays dividends not just for the people vulnerable out the world who need the system to work, but also for our common security. which because we are big countries is much more at stake , in the general mill you of the international system when things go awry that for some countries. mr. herbst: let me ask one last question. there has been talked and i would just call it talked about the possibility of an early putin-trump summit to conclude some sort of megadeal. what thoughts or cautions board vice would you have on this possibility? amb. power: i think for the last hour i offered my thoughts in so far as high-level engagement is
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going to be critical. particularly in an authoritarian or populist authoritarian system like the one in russia. it is sort of one-stop shopping on one level. however, we have to come into conversations as a general rule and certainly with president putin, understanding our interest understanding the gaps andat we want to shore up, understanding the costs of allowing a government, particularly a very powerful one and one with the security council seat, but the cost of allowing history to be erased. history cannot be erased. the costs are too great to too
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many people, and the jeopardy to our interests is too formidable. i think, of course high-level , context are going to happen and should happen. of course, again, we root -- we innocent administration root wholeheartedly for a different kind of era, but it cannot be one that glosses the past or that papers over the fact that you are talking about dealing with the leader who has his own opponents intimidated and in some cases killed. i mean, this is not your average -- this is not a symmetrical, this will never be a symmetrical relationship absent seachange. i think the elements of what we need to keep in place are there.
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one of those elements is dialogue. but not from a position of weakness or from forgetting history. mr. herbst: thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and time with us today. amb. power: thank you so much, john. thank you so much, everybody, for coming. [applause] >> today, confirmation hearings for president-elect trump's
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cabinet continue at 10:00 a.m. on c-span 2. scott pruitt testifies before the senate environment and public works committee. at 10:10 a.m., the senate foreign relations committee hears from south carolina governor nikki haley, president-elect trump's nominee for you and ambassador. see a live on c-span 3. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. live today on c-span, "washington journal" is next. at 10:00 a.m., the confirmation hearing for cumbersome and tom price, president elect trump's nominee to be the health and human services secretary. at 2:15 p.m. eastern, president obama holds his final news conference. coming up in an hour, a look at
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the successes and failures of the affordable care act. our guests are james good product of the american enterprise institute and the center for american progress ,topher spiro. ♪ host: good morning. 18,s wednesday, january 2017. today will be another busy day on the senate side of capitol two confirmation hearings scheduled to happen simultaneously at 10:00 a.m. donald trump's nominees for health and human services secretary, the epa, commerce secretary and you.n. ambassador. yesterday, president obama announced he will grant clemency to 300 individuals, inclg

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