tv Counterterrorism and Homeland Security CSPAN September 23, 2017 9:48pm-11:09pm EDT
national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] "newsmakers," u.s. foreign-policy and president trump's recent speech to the un's general assembly. tomorrow on c-span. sunday night on "afterwards," "new york magazine" contributor suzy hansen on her travels abroad. foreignnterviewed by policy interrupted co-founder. very question of why had i never thought this was a form of propaganda? why had a not thought to is this concept coming from, and what is the job it was doing for individual americans? one thing i was realizing was that this very language we used
we talked about foreign countries had been kind of determined for us a very long time ago because we tended to look at especially muslim countries and countries in the east as, were they catching up with us? were they behind us? what that does is it prevents you from being able to see the country on its own terms. announcer: watch "afterwards" sunday night at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span2's book tv. announcer: lisa monaco served as president obama's chief counterterrorism and homeland security adviser. next, she talks about security threats during the obama presidency and what is ahead for the trump presidency. this is an hour and 20 minutes. >> good evening everyone. welcome to our 2017 lecture of conversation with lisa monaco,
counterterrorism in the trump era. i am the provost here at duke. i am pleased to be here to kick off the year-long commemoration of terry sanford's centennial birthday. i want to welcome any first year students here this evening. it is wonderful you are taking advantage of the program. it is really a valuable part of your duke experience. event tonight is sponsored by the sanford school of public policy, the triangle center on terrorism and homeland security, and the american grand strategy program. thank you to all the faculty and staff who have made this possible. the terry sanford distinguished lecture is made possible by gifts to the university in honor of the late terry sanford. as i'm sure many of you know, terry sanford is a much beloved figure in north carolina and at duke university. he dedicated his life. to ethical leadership and public life. he served as governor of -- his life to ethical leadership in public life.
he served as governor of north carolina, combating poverty and expanding civil rights. he doubled expenditures on public education, supported desegregation when other governors were blocking african-american students from entering university gates. dukehe was president of university, he established at institute for public affairs to serve as an interdisciplinary program to train future leaders. involvedtute and now stands as the sanford school of public policy, which appoints over 80 faculty and mastersers, two programs, a phd program, and multiple centers. the purpose of this distinguished lecture is to bring men and women of the highest personal and professional stature to present to the duke community. our terry sanford lecturer this evening is lisa monaco.
this year she left the government after 20 years of public service. she obtained degrees from the university of chicago and harvard law school. after serving as federal prosecutor for six years, fbi director robert mueller hired her to be a special counsel. deputy chief of staff, and then chief of staff. monaco returns to a senior position in the justice department, and in 2011 was appointed by president obama and confirmed by the u.s. senate to be assistant attorney general for national security. in 2013, president obama appointed her his assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism. in this role she was the chief adviser on foreign and mystic terrorism, cyber security, and endemic and natural disaster response. she served the entire second term of the obama presidency. she is currently a senior professor at the nyu law school for international affairs. or may not know that terry sanford was an fbi agent
for two years. he fought in the battle of the bulge in world war ii, and obtained a law degree from unc. i think he would have been fascinated by lisa's career, and proud to have her speaking at the sanford school. our moderator for tonight's event is the sanford school's own david. now an associate professor of public policy and director of our triangle center on terrorism and homeland security. before we begin, it would be great if everyone would silence their cell phones. please join me in welcoming lisa to samford for this very interesting topic. [applause] >> there's not an inch of space left in this building. do you have a secret social media following? it is fantastic. let me echo the provost, welcome
to duke. lisa: thank you, it is great to be here. host: let's dive right in. start with an issue on everyone's minds these past two weeks, which is the historic storms that have caused such devastation in the florida. and texas and community at the duke go out to all those people who are still suffering, trying to in the from the storms keys and houston. i know that you, even when you 2013,d the white house in six and a half years after katrina, part of your responsibilities were still hurricane recovery issues. i wanted to ask you, what are the big issues heading down the pike that the trump
administration is going to be very serious issues about cleanup recovery, rebuilding, and what should they be doing to prepare for very difficult public policy issues coming their way? lisa: thanks for having me here. thank you, sally, for the introduction. when i was preparing to come ,own here, i also saw that duke in many different forms, is pouring out his heart and help to the communities down there. hats off to this community. i got to sit down with some students and fellows over the course of the afternoon, and i have artie been wowed -- i have already been wowed by the folks here in the work you are doing. it is really a pleasure to be here. irma and harvey were kind of a one-two punch that has befallen the southeast. the immediate issues, i think,
are going to be in restoring power, particularly in south torida, and getting crews in get access to roads, to be able to get basic subsistence material in -- generators, food, water, etc. should go to the administrator of fema and the experts there who really have been doing a magnificent job trying to manage both of these crises and bring the federal government assistance to bear. in the immediate term, it is power, continued rescue operations, getting subsistence materials in there. over the longer term from a strictly white house perspective, and having been in a room that had been juggling a number of different crises, and
not only responding to the crisis, but focusing on the long-term implementation. maintaining focus. this is a challenge for any white house. after the cameras go away, after the breaking news banners go away, there is a lot of hard work of implementing the recovery. sweepeans bringing a full to their. housing recovery was a big issue in katrina. ofhad the then secretary housing in a task force from to thee from the hha army corps of engineers to begin to think about how they would provide housing, rebuild a resilient level, focusing on the of hundreds of thousands of people being
displaced. environmental issues, health issues, toxins in the floodwater. there's a whole range of issues the federal government is going to have to continue to focus on. houseining that white leadership and focus is a real challenge as the crises from foreign and domestic will continue to come. that means setting up a structure that can be led from the white house was very clear goals and objectives to continue to implement, and it is going to be not weeks or days, but months and years for this recovery effort. turn to the second huge issue in the headlines, the security council of course just this week imposed another round of sanctions on north korea. i want to kind of get to the high-level principle here. our position on north korea for a long time has been that kim jong-un should give up its
nuclear weapons programs and denuclearize. i want to ask you from the get-go, is that a realistic position? is there any possibility that kim, who essentially believes that these nuclear weapons are what is preventing him from being in the same boat as saddam hussein and qaddafi, both of whom either didn't get it up their program, he certainly doesn't want to follow in their path. he sees it as a guarantee against that. what conceivable set of policies could actually ever persuade him to give those up, or has that train left the station? lisa: station? lisa: we have to step back and think about, what would be our objective here? let's think about, who is this guy? who is kim jong un?
i and others, have used words like, he is unhinged, trying to send a message that he is not a rational actor. the fact of the matter is he is exceedingly paranoid. he is indescribably violent. but, he is rational. why do i think he is rational? he is rational because, what you just said david, he is focused i and others, have used words like, he is unhinged, trying to been, ons ancestry has maintaining the regime's hold on north korea. and he does view his nuclear capability as his ace in the hole. i'm with jim klapper and other experts, which is to say that denuclearization is not realistic. at least i haven't seen any signs that that is realistic. we should be focused, i think, on deterrence. and i would also say, the key
ingredient of deterrence is a credible threat of military action. so, while i have differed publicly with some of the rhetoric on this, about fire and fury and the like, i do believe a clear, consistent message, such as the one secretary mattis recently delivered, of military options being on the table, as unattractive as they are, is an important element of deterrence. host: if we are going to ultimately have to rely on deterrence, do we have to accept, mentally, that we can live in a world where kim jong un and actors such as him actually has the capability of launching a nuclear weapon at a large american city? is that something we can tolerate? lisa: i think we have to acknowledge that he, and we have
been seeing this steady march, and it has been a steady march, right? he has developed nuclear capability. we saw the most significant test a couple of weeks ago. there are four elements, just to review, for a threat we are focused on in the homeland. nuclear capability, we have seen a very significant test. missile delivery, we have seen repeated, steady march on testing of the missile delivery system. miniaturization. miniaturization of a nuclear warhead that could be affixed to that missile delivery system. and we have seen some, and elite -- something a leaked intelligence report, that one element of our intelligence community, the defense intelligence agency, that believes that capability is there, that miniaturization capability. i would like to see what the full intelligence community says about that but still, very concerning. and the fourth element is
reentry. the ability to put that nuclear capability onto the missile delivery system, and have it reenter from the earth's atmosphere into the target. and that, our intelligence community does not believe is there yet. still, we have seen a steady march and a repeated effort to attain those capabilities. but as somebody focused on the threat to the homeland, we have to be very clear about where kim jong un is on that march. we should be focused on deterrence. we should have a clear view about where he is on the steady march. we should be increasing our defense capability, and are certainly doing that. we should be assuring our allies and partners south korea and japan being first among them, quite obviously.
we should be working on covert and other means to seven ties, -- other means to sabotage, derail, and rollback the gains that kim jong un has made, and apply steady and increased pressure, including sanctions. and i give credit to, and i think the administration should be given credit for the success u.n. hey have had at the in unanimous security council resolutions. but some of the weaknesses of some of whom have already been pointed out. but nevertheless, they have been unanimous resolutions and that has been very important. but we can do some on our own as well. unilateral sanctions from the united states. pressure on china and chinese banks that continue to do business with north korea.
david: this week is also the 16th anniversary of 9/11. we held that this distinguished lectureship many time on this anniversary, so it's a good time to reflect on that issue, which took a lot of your time in the white house, i'm sure. could you reflect for us? if you look on one hand, 16 years, there hasn't been any sort of attack of the magnitude the size of 9/11 here. knock on wood, of course. so on that grounds, u.n. have to say -- you would have to say we have been quite successful. if you woke up on symptom or 12 and 13 and said we went a decade and a half without anything, that would be a good deal. nonetheless these al qaeda, isis, like-minded groups are incredibly resilient and active around the globe. i will give some statistics.
in the state department's report on terrorism and 2016, terrorist attacks caused 25,000 deaths and 33,000 casualties. as we sitnonetheless these al q, isis, like-minded groups are her the events of 9/11, how should we evaluate how the u.s. and the world is doing against this terrorist threat? lisa: it is very important to reflect on it, and no better time than two days after that horrible day. -- two days after the anniversary of that horrible day. you used the word resilient in describing our terrorist actors and terrorist enemies. it is not a word i would use, mostly because i associate that with positive traits. i think of communities being resilient, and individuals who have gone through great tragedies being resilient. not to fight the hypo, professor, i would say we face a very adaptive enemy.
that is an important distinction in my mind because it reminds us of where we need to go. to get to the heart of your question, how would i gauge our success or failure, i think by any measure we have been successful in diminishing the foreignf a complex, directed attack of catastrophic proportions, such as we faced and suffered on 9/11. and that is owing to the tremendous work across republican and democratic administrations, from the military, law enforcement, homeland security, diplomats, and we as a nation did a number of things to make that possible. we broke down cultural barriers to how we organize ourselves and share information.
we changed our legal structures to make that more possible. and we changed our structures and created new structures, including the organization that i was privileged to lead before i went to the white house, the national security division of the justice department. so, we built an apparatus to enable us to have success against that type of 9/11 style and created new structures, including the organization that attack. now it has diminished. i use that word specifically because it is not zero. affiliate largest currently exists in syria, formally known as al-nusra. i call them al qaeda in syria. it is more of an accurate name. continues to plot and plan against the homeland. so we can't forget 16 years
later, being complacent about the 9/11 style front. a new phase and we have a lot more to do in that new phase, the hallmark of which is the self radicalized individual, the individual sometimes known as a lone-wolf, or homegrown terrorist. we've got a lot more to do on that score. the net that we built that i described post-9/11 is not designed for that firsthreat. those threat actors san bernardino, orlando, the new york-new jersey plot from last summer, charlottesville, those actors don't come into the net that we built if they don't have contact with international terrorist groups, a shadowy group of hierarchical figures operating from caves in afghanistan, communicating with people here.
if that is not the trait, that is the net that we built, and we need to construct a new one. how do you understand and see when something goes wrong in somebody's mind, such that they take a machine gun and kill 50 people in a bar in orlando? so the work that we have to do on this new phase is going to require partnerships, it is going to require innovation, working with the tech industry on the role that social media plays in this, is going to require our communities. our focus post-9/11 was focused on our local partners, state and local law enforcement, and our international partners. this next phase is going to require more from our partners -- from our communities here at home. we have some challenges ahead. david: i wanted to get to the
homeland issues a little later. the great thing about being a professor is you get to push back again. lisa: you do. david: let's look at what bin laden was trying to do. some people say he was just a religious zealot out to kill people. i happen to think that he had a lot of political goals, that he was a political actor as well. he wanted to challenge the whole nationstate system put in place by colonial powers in the middle east. he really wanted to create this clash of civilizations between what he believed was the muslim community and the west. and he wanted to impose a big economic cost on the united states for its role of interventionism in the u.s. and you can look at all these goals, and 15 years later, maybe some progress has been made on some of those things. is this movement that al qaeda started, is it succeeding or is
it being pushed back? is it failing? bin ladhe features of en's goals show up in some of the papers recovered out of nevada. think the picture you lay out is a valid one. there has been tremendous strife and division amongst the movement itself. the very nature of isis comes from a schism with al qaeda central. but in support of your theory, professor -- professor, is what my david: my hypothetical. david: lisa: it is likely what will be borne out, which is that bin laden has passed the mantle to his son, who has released for -- who has released four videos over the last year, or 18
months. so, is he the new leader of the al qaeda movement? i have already mentioned the al qaeda affiliate in syria, as being one that -- in my role in the white house i was exceptionally focused on, which is why quite frankly, and the president was exceptionally focused on it, which is why we begin the campaign against isis and -- isis in syria in 2014. the isis bomb making factory in syria was one of the first targets the united states hit. so, that has never been far from our mind. on the other hand, we have seen this evolution and this disparate metastases of the movement that bin laden tried to promote.
and in many respects, the discipline that he tried to impose on his organization to do complex and lengthy planning for attacks like 9/11. that discipline has eroded, and we have much more opportunistic and freelance operations, some of which we have had success against, some of which we have not. i think it has diminished in itr david: cohesion, if nothing else. let'e you mentioned that. i am sure it took up a large share of your time in the white house. again let's start at a high level spot. did the obama administration and let the syrianes people down by not intervening in 2012, when the civil war was being heavily contested and there was a chance to topple the assad regime? looking back there have been almost half a million people
killed in syria. 6 million people internally displaced. over 4 million refugees. it's only a country of 20 million people, so that means half the population is not living where they were when the civil war began. let the syrian people down by not intervening in 2012, when the civil war was from a humanitarian perspective, it is truly a disaster. did we not fulfill our values by failing to do something, to maybe have a different outcome right now? --a: this was the hardest listening to your question, probably the hardest issue that we don't with as a national security team. and i say that not by way of excuse, but by acknowledging, and i think you are right to a knowledge it in your question, the complexity here was and continues to be something that is incredibly challenging when you think of a situation that has, at any one time, three or
four civil wars going on within it. you talked about values. and it is important to look at hard problems from values perspective. i don't think we should shine from that. -- should shy from that. in the situation room, where we dealt with a lot of hard problems, we talked and wrestled with values, questions more than you might expect, probably more than some people might be comfortable with, depending on the orientation you come from. it is also important to recognize there is not a singular to that description, in other words, it comes in many forms. and the guideposts that president obama laid out for us, was always, what is in the national security interest of the united states? and we came at that by
recognizing that threats against the homeland and our allies and partners was the preeminent challenge we faced coming out of syria, and made that our top priority. what were the threats to us, what were the threats to our allies and partners? what action that we took would be consistent with international law, would be consistent with our humanitarian and moral obligations, which is why we were the largest contributor of humanitarian aid, and i think still are, in syria. so all of that went into the calculus time after time as we went at this. you say should we have intervened at a prior time? the question is, one you always have to ask yourself at that table, and the president always asked himself at that table in
the situation room, what does the day after look like? this was an issue that president obama was quite public about saying in the libya context, we did not wrestle with enough upfront. people say, was there a time when assad would have been more vulnerable for removal? but, in favor of what? what would come after? what would the institutions of the state look like, after the fact? so there is a number of values that go into those discussions at the situation room table. you have to have one that you privilege. the president made our guidepost the national security interest of the united states, and we went after that relentlessly in the campaign against isis and al qaeda in iraq and syria, and deployed our other tools, all in
service of a diplomatic outcome in that country which, unfortunately, i don't see us closer to that and when i left the white house. david: i want to get to the isis campaign, but i want to ask a couple of questions about syria. and the issue was syria's use of chemical weapons, the first time in 2013. president obama made the redline and decided on the alternative, to cut a deal with russia to help get large stockpiles of chemical weapons out of syria. however, four years later, another chemical weapons attack. does that show that that wasn't really a very good deal, if there was yet another -- assad was not deterred from using it nor did he give up his stockpiles. was that a mistake to not use
force to punish syria by doing that? lisa: i think that, phrasing it in terms of good deal or bad deal, no one should be under any illusions, because we certainly weren't and president obama certainly wasn't, that putin was an honest actor in any of these dealings. that? lisa: i think that, phrasing it his goal has been, in hisbad intervention there, has been to protect his client state in the form of bashar al-assad, to maintain access to the warm water base, and to assert and project russian power in the region. but mostly to protect his client state. what happened in the summer of 2013 was by no means something entered into, thinking that you have got an even deal, for a player on the other side who is on the level. i don't think anybody has any
illusions about putin in that regard. the fact of the matter is, in the face of congress refusing to even take a vote on the president's request, president obama's request for authority to conduct the strike he wanted to take, and that he believed very strongly that that action in the absence of any security council resolution, or international law, that there ought to be congressional approval and there ought to be congressional weighing in on this. congress refused to even vote on the question. so, entering into the arrangement and the agreement with russia and others in the international community was i think an appropriate way to handle that. but there is no illusion that, to get at the heart of the question, that russia is an
actor that was playing on the level. david: fast-forward, four years later, the same thing happens and president trump decides to use airstrikes against syria. and when he did so, an assistant secretary in the obama administration, she tweeted, "finally after useless handwringing in the face of atrocities." so, did trump do the right thing in his response? lisa: i think what he did was a positive step. why? was the rightk it use of that power to enforce the norm against the use of chemical weapons. but, i think we should be asking and should be focused on, in service of what broader strategy? the answer to your question is yes.
as an enforcement against the norm of use of chemical weapons, i support it. i also think we need to understand and know in service of what strategy was that done? and importantly, look, we have got partners in the region who have long wanted us to take exactly the type of action that president trump did. i would like to know how could we, and how did we, how could we use that as leverage with partners that we need in that region to do a number of things that hereto for they have been reluctant or very slow to do. david: let's get to some of the things we might want them to do. the campaign that president obama put together, i am sure with your assistance, to address isis, has-- address really taken fruit.
isis has lost its stronghold in mosul. it has almost fully lost its stronghold in raqqa. its claim to be a caliphate will soon be vastly diminished. if this was winning the war, then what needs to be done to win he peace in this region? i'm wondering if you could talk about iraq and syria. who is going to govern these spaces that have now been vacated by isis? the reason isis was able to sweep through iraq is because people found isis a more attractive alternative than the iraqi government, at the time, to be governed by. so now that isis is being moved out of that area, how does the peace get won in these regions? lisa: like any good professor, the answer is in a kernel of
what you said there. i think it has to begin in both iraq and syria with addressing some of the causal factors in the first instance. let's take iraq. isis was born of the grievances, the sunni grievances that went unaddressed by the malaki government. to put a fine point on it, you had sunni populations, some form sunni areas in iraq that have the following choice -- i go to fight for a notrnment that is addressing my grievances, hasn't done anything to indicate that i can be part of an inclusive eal with a, or i d group that would like toeal wita group that would like to kill,
maim, chop off the head of my family members. they are left to that choice. they roll through places like and other areas -- like fallujah and other areas to swell their ra and othernks wite that don't feel like they had much of the choice. one of the reasons before the isis campaign began in earnest in 2014, one of the conditions before our entry into that campaign and deployment of forces was to figure out, are we going to have a partner that we can work with? and is that partner going to be rooted in an inclusive government? or at least making steps towards that road? that came to pass. we saw a number of signs of that in the 2014, which created the conditions in president obama's view to begin that work
in earnest with the iraqi government and security forces. the winnings of peace has to have the ingredients that were disorderat allowed the to fester in the first place. that is, continued inclusive governance. he has to shia base address. we have seen iran and its proxies making continued malicious activity in the area in iraq, syria, in other places. inclusive government has to be very -- governance has to be the first ingredient. some 100,000 in iraq who are having steady but clear gains. we will have to continue to support them in many respects, and work with them and a sure them that we will be in it for
some time to come. david: you do not mention the third group in iraq, which would be the kurds. ethnically different from the arabs but religiously similar to the sunni. they turned out to be the best fighters, are among the best fighters against isis, and were working with us just as closely as the iraqi army. they are having a plebiscite this month on independence. the u.s. is actually opposing that. desire aftere this having isis ravaged one of their main cities and threatened to go through the capital, how can aey be denied in essence chance to be independent and express some form of sovereignty? lisa: brett mcgurk makes a
chance to be independent these remarks recently, and i think he's got it right. a voice for the counter isis coalition under president obama and president trump. there is no better and longer career expert on these issues. brett said recently that now is not the time because of the precarious point at which we are just trying to focus on the stabilization operations after mosul and trying to make sure that that continues apace. his point was now is not the weeks fore next two this vote. and i think he is right. we are at a particular sensitive time. the goal has been in the obama and trump administration to be clear we are working with the iraqi government. i think we have to continue in that vein for a little while.
look, similar response, though, in terms of what so-called is peace going to be rooted in? that is in local control in these areas isis has been pushed out of. one of the reasons the syria problem has been so hard that and unlike in iraq, we have a partner in iraq steadily growing more and more capable in the form of the iraqi security forces. no such partner exists or existed in syria for a good, long time in this campaign, and we have gone through many iterations of trying to support and build up a partner force, as has been written about.
we are having success with syrian defense forces, and a him group of both arab and syrian kurdish forces. the challenge is going to be getting, and it has to be arab forces that control those places where isis has been pushed out. that is a big challenge -- which is one of the reasons i mentioned before -- i would like to see, and we would like to have seen our arab partners bring more to the table. host: if they don't, does that mean the u.s. is going to be there, essentially trying to protect the sunni populations from the kurds, the assad government, the iranians? what is the role of the net -- the united states in this? the trumpink administration has been quite clear that is not going to be our role and it is going to have
to be local arab forces that move in there. the reports are the training that we have been doing, and those efforts are proceeding very swiftly, very strongly, and the training we are doing is oversubscribed to hear the experts and to hear brett mcgurk tell it. host: so, if isis is disintegrating in iraq and syria, we have these questions about these people that left europe to comment fight, and we -- to come and fight and we know , it is in the tens of thousands, and we have seen these truck attacks, which seem to be very difficult to defend in many cities in europe -- two questions about that. will this be increasing the threat over the next years both in europe and the united states, and second, have the europeans really upped their game enough to deal with the threat level
they are facing now? lisa: this is a big, big challenge. to, kind of, go back to your pullback question of where are we two days after the 9/11 anniversary -- what does the threat look like? diminished, but not zero of catastrophically, internationally directed, 9/11-style attacks. the lone wolf, homegrown, self radicalized-style attack we have seen here, and adding to the mix the threat of foreign fighters in a, kind of, hybrid attack, like we saw in barcelona recently, brussels, and other places. here, i do worry considerably about the continued foreign fighter threat. just to put this in some perspective, at the height of the conflict and over the course
of the conflict, we have had estimates from the national counterterrorism center of about 40,000 foreign fighters from about 120 fighters that have flown into the conflict. those numbers are drastically down, but two words of caution -- one, the numbers are based on information that we know, which sounds a little bit, "duh" that is a basic conclusion, but that is only because we have gathered and contribute to foreign-fighter watch lists, and the like from our partners. that is the information we know and can deduce who the foreign fighters are. there is a great wealth of information that i worry that we don't have, and the other issue is -- so we shouldn't be overly confident, i think, in those numbers, but i think we can be confident that they have gone down.
now, the europeans and counterterrorism coordinator said he thinks there are about 2500 foreign fighters still in the united states. there, we have to be exceptionally concerned that they will be more capable than they believe they are going to travel back to their source country. they're going to be more capable than when they left. they're going to travel to join the caliphate. so, the question you ask about european capabilities is really a critical one. we are at the 16th anniversary of 9/11. we have talked this evening about the changes we made. we underwent a sea change in how we think about this problem. we changed our orientation in how to deal with the present. in how to deal with
intelligence. we changed our structure. the europeans have not had that moment -- a strange as it may seem, even though they have suffering a steady diet of these attacks. the deficiency in sharing amongst european countries, and sharing this information among us has to be an area of focus . low we talk about -- lull we talk about between law enforcement and intelligence communities that contributes to missing the documents from 9/11, that exists. our focus ought to be more rapid exchange of information and intelligence with them, but really working with our european partners, the french, the belgians, others, to break down that wall, because they are
facing a real risk of those returnees who have a lot of marketability. -- more capability. host: so, we're going to seem turn to questions from our audience. a lot of people are listening -- or watching and listening on our live feed, and they can tweak in -- tweet in a question @dukestanford. we'll give this a try. is there a microphone there? is there another microphone over here? we will be able to take a bunch of questions from our audience. let me turn from very far abroad to pretty close to home for us in the acc, southern university, and that is what happened in charlottesville and uva. as you know, i have studied a lot of the preventative efforts we are making to try to save the
face the threat in the united states, principally under the obama administration, when these efforts took on a more robustness, and, quite frankly, the vast majority of the resources seem to be directed at working with muslim communities to deal with the al qaeda/isis-related threat to the homeland, and there was not that much you could find directed toward the other threats -- the right-wing extremism, the white supremacy. the trump administration has even gone further, and canceled some of the programs -- the small numbers of programs the obama administration had gotten going. so, i guess i would like to ask you, what should our federal government be doing to try to counteract these groups that have a first-amendment right to believe what they want? they have a first-amendment right to protest, to put up
websites, but they don't have a amendment right to try to first intimidate people with violence, engage in violence. what should be done about that problem? lisa: first, i think we need to recognize that the problem is not confined to the muslim communities, certainly, and i think we made real strides to try to constantly reinforced -- reinforce that point in the obama administration. a lot of ink has been spilled on nomenclature, countering violent extremism. part of that was an effort to be very clear that violence in in service of service of hate, regardless of its ideological backing, and whatever form it comes in should be unacceptable in a rule-of-law society. so, one thing is being very clear about what is part of the problem.
and, look -- i think we in the obama administration made a series of changes in how we structured this. the first was to try and treat this as a matter of concerted outreach with communities. you know, we have to also recognize -- in addition to recognizing what is part of the problem set, it is how are you going to best get at it? i think we realized early on this is not a top-down, prescriptive problem you can solve. the solutions have got to come from the community itself. this goes back to what i was saying about the challenge we have in this new phase in the fight against terrorism, which is the threat is not susceptible, in all respects, to the net that we built after 9/11. communities have got to be part of this infrastructure and part of this solution.
they have got to be part of our efforts here, because they are the ones who are going to be able to identify and also provide off ramps to individuals who are becoming radicalized to violence. it is a lot tougher problem and a lot tougher for law enforcement and intelligence community. recognizing what is in the problem set, recognizing how best to come at it through communities, and then how do you organize yourself to do that? in the obama administration we saw it as a challenge of outreach in many respects. if you think about how the federal government is set up, we have our widest array of presence, in many aspects, in our law enforcement presence. maybe that was a mistake because many communities chiefly among them, the muslim community, felt
like we were securitizing the relationship with the muslim community or the other communities we were trying to conduct outreach to because our chief, kind of, spokesman, or point of outreach was the chief -- the u.s. attorney in many areas, the chief federal law enforcement officer in the area. we changed that over time, and set up an interagency task force to function more as a coordinator and kind of, hub for best practices with schools, public health administrators, afterschool researchers and the like. we have that in the department of homeland security. it is that that has been cut from a budgetary perspective and grants to those for different groups, including those focused on combating hate
from white nationalism and extreme far right groups -- that some of those grants have been pulled back, quite regrettably. >> do we have any audience questions? go ahead. say who you are first. >> my name is matt king, and i am a senior here at duke, and i wanted to know from your time at the white house, working with our allies overseas, who are the friends that were just great relationships, and who were the friends you wish you didn't have? [laughter] lisa: to say i am no diplomat would be to state the obvious. look, we have a range of relationships, quite obviously. some are closer than others. our relationship with the u.k. on counterterrorism matters was critical. i was on the phone with my
counterpart in the u.k. when i looked up at the tv and saw that bombs had gone off in boston. it was my third week on the job, by the way, in the white house. because we were so constantly talking to each other i had a button on my phone that was a secure phone that connected directly to him. that is a unique relationship, probably closer than any others. but one of the things we learned after 9/11 is we have to be able to form degrees of those relationships because the intelligence sharing, the partner operations, we are going to have to come not only from our closest and best allies, but we're going to have to work with others. that presented some problems in some areas, and presented challenges with some folks. i think to the very good credit of the intelligence community, and i would say, drawing on my
fbi experience -- one of the things bob mueller did was to really focus on -- i logged a lot of miles with him traveling internationally, not just to our closest allies, but building up those intelligence and law-enforcement relationships which proved very important on discrete threats. see how diplomatic i was? [laughter] >> thank you, ms. monaco. we had a debate about ethics and talked about the just war theory among other things in one of -- and one of things we focused on was a significant increase in the use of drones over the past 10 years. i would like to hear about what kind of conversations took place when making the decision to
extend beyond just targeting known al qaeda terrorist to other offshoot organizations when making drone strikes, and then, perhaps not even from a legal authorization to use force perspective, but from an ethical point of view, how far do you think we can go in continuing to justify individual attacks on al qaeda terrorists given that we have already taken out osama bin laden, and it has been 16 years since 9/11? lisa: so, sounds like a fascinating course. teaching national security law and policy, so i can relate to some of your questions. look, it is a complicated set of questions. let me give a little bit of a frame for how president obama approached this issue. we operated from the premise that we were going to work partners to disrupt threats to
the united states and to u.s. persons abroad wherever we could, but where that threat was posed, and our partner was unwilling or unable to address that threat, we would act unilaterally, consistent with law, and with our values. and it was very important to president obama to have that framework around our operations, and he made sure that we were putting those operations and conducting those operations in the context of something we called the presidential policy guidance, which basically said we are going to have a floor here. we have to make sure the target is a lawful target, first and foremost, but then always ask ourselves, is the action that we are taking -- the gravest action any nation can take -- is that required because this is a continuing, imminent threat to
our country, to u.s. persons, and apply the highest standards. it was important to him that we apply the highest standards to those actions, and this is outside the areas of active possibility that i'm talking about the context of terrorist threats outside of traditional, hot battlefields. he said we are going to ask ourselves questions to make sure that we apply the high standard that we can apply -- near certainty that that lawful target that poses a threat to us, an imminent threat to us, is present, and that no civilian will be killed or injured in the conduct of that operation. setting out that framework. and it was important, he believes, to have that framework to guide and apply rigor to those very weighty decisions. guided, first and foremost, by protecting the united states and
our people, but also so that we can set some type of standard and norms for the use of the technology that was proliferating and continues to proliferate. and also so that we could apply some transparency about how we were making these decisions, and pushback, quite frankly, on terrorist propaganda about our operations. so, the, kind of, short answer to your question, i suppose, is when you are faced with those most weighty decisions and the gravest power that a government can exercise, it was very important to president obama that we do so consistent with the rule of law and in a framework that would stand the test of time for not only the united states, but for others around the world who might also be using this technology.
host: president trump, when he campaigned, said he would loosen the rules of engagement, let the generals do what they wanted, and essentially unshackle the military. since the seven or eight months he has been in office, he has maintained this framework, or it has been jettisoned? lisa: i think it is useful to distinguish two things. the question here was about -- or i responded with the policy that we adopted and operated under when it comes to addressing terrorist threats emanating from what we called outside of areas of active hostility -- so, outside the hot battlefields of afghanistan or iraq and syria. with regard to your questions, and the statement from the president, and for instance, the isis campaign, i think it is an pretty clear from the military, and others have been, that there is been a greater delegation of
authority for the exercise of special operations raids, decisions to deploy troops further down range, as they say -- in iraq and syria, and that delegation has gone on. and that that has been quite fruitful in terms of the case of of operations. brett mcgurk said that some 30% of the territory that has that isis has been pushed out of occurred in the last seven or eight months. i think you can not argue with those kinds of metrics that that delegation has had something to do with it if you look into the -- listen to the commanders. and i am not opposed to that, because i think every commander-in-chief should be able to take a look at how is
-- he is managing the operations, right, and sitting down with the commanders to decide how are we going to do -- handle the decision-making in our national security apparatus. but i want to make sure if there is no process to the decision-making -- in other words, if the experts are not being consulted, if there is not a clear process for deciding where should that authority be delegated to. so, the long and short of it is i think the delegation down has probably born some fruit, and that is a good thing in terms of what it has done in the isis campaign. but there has got to be some rigor around deciding where you draw that line. >> i am a very nervous first
year, in professor schanzner's course. present obama said ideologies are not defeated by guns, they are defeated by better ideas. rooting out the ecological reasoning specifically with the behind violence specifically with the, lone wolf actor you mentioned. previously, how do you quantify if they are effectively achieving this in the future? that is a clear challenge for us. you mentioned metrics. this is one of the biggest question marks in how much we use this program and how much we expand things like that countering violence and extremism task force that we set up in dhs.
one of the ways that we came to thise at better metrics in is to do more, and see and research what that yields. we have not done enough research. we need a lot more research on what causes radicalization. we have some theories, right, and experts in this, whether it is law enforcement, social science, and others. they have their theory, but i think we have more to learn what causes radicalization, what does it look like, and what are the best ways of going about combating isis and its narrative? what will be the most resonant counter-narrative to what i just put out? what will be the best for different types of communities? we have to do more so we can
learn more. the answer is not to shut those things down. >> my name is ted linhart and i am a student at the law school. touching on the trump strategy in afghanistan, his recent quote of the world in disarray, it was suggested there are two possibilities in afghanistan. one is focused on counterterrorism, and the second is focused on building institutions, presumably with more boots on the ground. given your understanding of the situation in afghanistan, which strategy do you think best serves american interest, and what you make of the trump administration's strategy there? lisa: the answer is going to be both, which is in essence, what i think we were doing, and i think president trump has
continued, and doubled down on in his most recent speech. building up security institutions whether it is , afghanistan, or yemen, or -- i think those institutions have to be in place if that state is going to be able to respond a capable counterterrorism force that can address the threat before it comes to the homeland. i think the obama administration, the bush administration, think we should be working with partners to address the threat before it comes to us. you have to have a partner who can exist in a secure enough environment for them to operate.
the same security apparatus in those countries have to feel confident they are going to get paid. otherwise, why would they continue to put their lives on the line? it is all a continuum. i heard president trump say we are not doing nationbuilding anymore. lisa: i heard that. post: what does building up institutions mean? isn't that nationbuilding? lisa: you can look at some of the things we did in contrast in trying to do the work of the state in iraq. and doing for the
to supporting,d training, advising, and assisting those apparatuses. nationbuilding -- there is a distinction between working with partners in building up their capacity. in the latter, you have to have enough risk tolerance depending .n the situation you are in and the situation in that country. we have to have sufficient risk tolerance to support those security forces to be willing to go on that joint raid with them to give them the confidence in to conduct -- to conduct that counterterrorism operation.
there is a constant battle that we face as a nation. i do think there is a distinction to be drawn, but i don't think you can really separate out the counterterrorism capability from existing enough in a state that has enough security institutions to allow it to survive and thrive. host: do you have a question from our online audience? >> yes, we are live streaming this event. some are tweeting in questions. i will ask one on behalf. he wants to know, could the current risks in the united states be capitalized on us by terrorist organizations? lisa: yes. it is a great question. a former colleague of mine wrote a piece talking about how our polarized environment, whether it is rhetoric, politics, does
contribute to and feed into the divide that our enemies, and our terrorist enemies would like to see, and if that is not reason enough to get us to come at this differently, i am not sure what is. host: a question from the top. >> hi, thanks so much for being here tonight. i also want to say it is really awesome to see a woman that is so successful in national security. i really appreciate that. my name is aaliyah. i am a sophomore, a student in counterterrorism law and policy class, and i know hindsight is 2020. i am curious, in terms of north korea, if you felt that there was more you could have or would have done with the obama law administration to address the nuclear threat there? lisa: thanks for your question. the professor may have stopped
the audience -- [laughter] you are right with the hindsight 2020 -- there are pivotal actors like china, who really do -- experts are fond of saying all roads to the solution of this goes through china. they are the single biggest trading partner with north korea. they are the ones that are most concerned about dissolution on the peninsula there. could we have calibrated more or less at various times the pressure that we as the united states -- as opposed to a multilateral form -- apply to china? potentially, but you can't be -- this is one of the great things about this area that we're all talking about and many of you are studying -- it is not easy, right?
you cannot look at these things in isolation. it is going to be a multilayered problem at any point in time that you are looking at any one of these questions. i think you are right at the start, hindsight is always 20/20. host: i want to sum up by asking one final question. i am sorry we are not going to get to all those students that i planted in the audience on this. i did not tell them what to say. the questions about careers, being a student here, in national security, interested, possibly, in a career, and of course you had a long, fruitful career starting from the start in public service -- what should they be thinking about doing now to, kind of, or themselves for -- prepare themselves and for , those that are going to be getting their well-earned degrees -- either graduate degrees or undergraduate degrees in may, and let's say they don't
have the same ideological bend as the current administration, should they factor that in when they are trying to decide whether to pursue at least federal public service right now, or what should they think about? lisa: so, on your last part of the question -- look, this is -- it is a highly personal decision about how you weigh what is important to you from a policy perspective, and where you are going to work if you go into public service at the federal level or at any level, but in the current environment. i think you should know what your lines are, right? is there a particular issue that is so important to you that you couldn't be part of a policy lavrov -- implementation or a policy development along a
certain line, and no what those lines are. have a hard conversation with yourself about what you want to be a part of, but don't be scared off of public service because the current moment is one that is scary to you or depressing to you, or makes you uneasy. i think the recipe for those things invariably is to engage -- to think about it, to get yourself educated, to engage with ideas you disagree with. now i will get to the first part of your question, really. folks that i talked to earlier today heard me say a little of this, but, you know, i like to tell people who ask how to get this or that job, and what should i be doing now -- i will give you a liberating answer. rest assured, you are not forgetting to do something right now. you're not missing a particular path, because there is no one
path. you have to be open to opportunities that come your way, even if they look like they were outside of your plan. that ought to be a clue that it might be fruitful, right, and expose yourself to different ideas and different pursuits -- two ideas that you disagree with. follow people on twitter that you disagree with. engage with ideas that get you out of your comfort zone. don't stay in your own chamber, because you may find that there is a whole different world that you are interested in to engage with more, combat, fight against, or refined your thinking. be open to different possibilities. don't think there is one track. that is what is great about being in a place like duke. you can find out all of those things now. host: with that wonderful answer, i am left with two more tasks.
the first is to give you a very small token of our appreciation, and i imagine that when you wake up in the morning, and you turn on some of the -- whether it is cnn, "morning joe," or whatever you watch, and you see your successors,ce, -- whether it is h.r. mcmaster, or tom bossert dealing with the press and getting hammered with the press, that you have a nice, big cup of coffee, and you say to yourself i am glad it is not me, and when you are having one of those cups of coffee, i hope you'll remember us from the duke sanford counterterrorism program , and enjoy your travel mug. my second duty is to thank lisa monaco for enlightening us this evening. [applause] lisa: thank you.
>> the senate finance committee holds a hearing on the latest republican health care plan and affordable care act repeal. bill sponsors include lindsey graham and bill cassidy. they are scheduled to testify. live coverage of the hearing begins at 2 p.m. eastern on c-span-two. it is that time of the year to announce our 2018 student video documentary competition. the word toad middle school and high school students and their teachers. we are asking the students to u.s.e their vision of the
constitution and create a video illustrating why is important. open to allion is middle school and high school students, grades six through 12. groups of up to three can produce a five to seven minute video. $100,000 will be awarded in cash prizes. of $5,000 will go to the student or team with the best entry. the deadline is january 18, 2018. help us spread the word to student film makers. for more information, go to our website. north korea's foreign minister responded to president trump's remarks about north korea's leader and reiterated the threat of the possible missile attack on the u.s. mainland. his remarks are just over 20 minutes.