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tv   Assistant Defense Secretary on U.S.- India Relations  CSPAN  August 30, 2018 3:49am-5:09am EDT

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doris kearns goodwin. ron chernow with his book. and fox news host brian kill need with his book, "andrew jackson, the battle that shaped america's destiny. watch the 18th annual library of congress. live on c-span two book tv saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. the carnegie endowment for international peace posted a discussion about u.s.-india relations, and the bilateral talks scheduled for next week. luded --this is one hour 20 minutes.
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>> it is a great opportunity for us today. , theng us this morning topic as we have advertised is a dialogueion about the that will happen within a week in delhi. it is an event that is important on the political calendar because the relationship has really come a long way since we first began working on the transformation 20 years ago. i am particularly delighted we can snag randy to speak about it.
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issue the action on this in the pentagon. he has had a long career in government in public policy analysis and the business. position, he was the deputy assistant secretary of state for east asia, and the chief of staff and senior policy advisor. bush 43. he also served as the ceo and president of the project whose website you have not seen, i strongly ask you give your attention. randy ran that for a long time before he came to government. he was also the funding partner -- he has covered all the bases from business to public policy
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and government. without fear of contradiction, one of the nations premier analysts of asian security issues. welcome randy it is wonderful to have you. thank you very much, i look forward to the discussion. ashley: i want to start with words of tribute to senator mccain. he actually graced this room at carnegie twice in the last decade, if i remember, speaking on the subject that we are about to have a conversation on. doubt, he was a towering figure in america's look life, and he left the country stronger by his presence, and by his contributions as a soldier and as a public servant. with very strong convictions about the issues we care about. valuesnded us that our
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are really the most important part of who we are as people, and as a country. and that is essential if our vision and our values are to remain. the two locations he spoke at carnegie, he made a strong plea for a strengthened bilateral relationship as the foundation for the success. and so, it is a particularly important thing, i think, that we recognize his spirit in this room as we have this conversation. i want to start this conversation with randy with a 's 2010rom senator mccain speech. i was going through it last night. .o prescient in the vision
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he said in 2010, if united states and india are to forge a strategic partnership, our senior leaders in government two areas ofize cooperation, security and values. in short, the creation of geopolitical conditions that secure and expand the community of countries that value political and economic freedom. i think of that as the leak motif, and i want to start on that to ask you to what we are thinking about the bilateral relationship. it surprised many because of the fears of the campaign of isolation. this has been a subject that has
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been clouded by uncertainty. spend a few minutes laying out what the administration's vision is, and help us think how you see them fitting. randall: thank you. let me start by thanking you for the invitation that giving me the opportunity to talk about this relationship and the upcoming two plus two, and opening with a tribute to senator mccain, somebody who was a great american hero, and met much to so many, particularly those of us in the indo pacific. his leadership was tremendous and counted on, and now there is a hole there that i do not know if it can be filled, but we valued his voice for so long. take you for that as well. i have to say it is a little strange for me to sit here being asked questions by ashley tellis
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about india. ashley tellis is the person we go to to ask questions about india, and have for a long time. i will play along. in the department defense and across the government count on i wills expertise, but play along and do my best here. we have begun to publicly articulate the aspects of the indo pacific strategy, secretary mattis did that primarily with his speech at the shangri-la dialogue recently at the indo pacific is this forum. secretary pompeo, secretary of ,nergy perry, secretary ross all started to articulate the economic and energy and development aspects of that. i do not need to repeat that, but at the core is our belief
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that we are promoting a positive affirmative vision for the region. it is not necessarily anti-anybody or counter anybody, but promoting the principles of a free and open indo pacific. the core of that is we believe countries should have complete sovereign control of their countries to make decisions free from coercion and undue pressure. , open, mean free transparent trade relationships. by open, we are talking about open areas for commerce and navigation, for broad participation in the life of the ,egion, commercially economically. we think this is something that is a u.s. vision and strategy, but one that countries can readily sign up for in a variety of ways.
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particularly, this aspect of promoting sovereignty because we know there are threats to that. one of the principal challenges we are facing is the potential erosion of sovereignty coming through predatory economics and intimidation and coercion, through military means. at a minimum, we want to promote that idea and be a partner. we do not seek influence or control of anybody's territory. we feel better off if countries have their own sovereign control and the ability to protect that area how does india fit in? that is a subject and a continuing discussion that will be featured at the two plus two. i would suggest lay side-by-side secretary mattis is speech -- secretary mattis's speech
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at shangri-la and prime minister modi's speech at shangri-la. this is not a situation where we are really searching for common ground and convergence. this is where a situation where as our leadership articulates the vision we see a lot of convergence and believe these are principles we both share and want to promote. so our goal is really do operationalize that with india as a partner. this the sixth i think, -- the specifics i think will take form. some of that will be in the defense area, some of that may be the area development assistance period but that's old working on. at the foundation we can see our leadership roughly has the same vision as articulated by prime minister modi and secretary mattis, and that it's our job to really operationalize that. ashlee: y: i actually found prime minister modi's speech at
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shangri-la quite remarkable, because he emphasized the same teams that we have. but he seemed to draw the distinction between the vision and strategy, and i'm not quite sure what is intended by the emphasis of that distinction, but clearly on the headlines, he emphasized a complete contrast with what the united states was trying to achieve, because i think he sees that as being in india's interest as well. is that the sense you get as you prepare for the discussion of 2+2? randall: yes. i didn't come we see least on the vision, a convergence and a lot of common ground. in terms of the strategy, i think that something that we need to build out. we've been putting this together but it's taken us while to articulate this. secretary mattis speech at single law was a year and a half into the administration and that we have are other agencies articulating that in the indo-pacific business forums. these things take time to build
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out. as we do that side-by-side in parallel with india i think, i can use the same phrase, zing thisnalize strategy." we need to fit what the division of labor might be, where the partnership but become where the opportunities that include both the united states and india may be, and that's basically what we're discussing. : let me come back to this question in a different way. the former indian, deeply engaged in the negotiations of some a nuclear agreements wrote a piece two weeks ago i think in one of the indian newspapers where he made the argument that although the u.s. and india share many strong convergence on the indo-pacific measure, let's not kid ourselves, at the end of the day there is a common challenge. and that common challenge is china. if we didn't have a challenge of the kind posed by china in the
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area of economics, sovereignty, military capabilities, the indo pacific concept would be left salient. how do we think of china? how do we think of china? the one country that has tremendous problem in the region, that has a gravitational field that is attractive in some areas but also repelling because of some of his behaviors. you mention this is not against anything but there is of you both in india and even in the united states that we cannot glasses whentinted you think about china. so how does china fit into our common vision for free and open indo-pacific? randall: i am rarely a accused of rose-tinted glasses when it comes to china, but look, i don't think we want to lose the idea that this is an inclusive
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strategy and we would prefer china embracing the same vision. i think if you are against free and/or open, there's an always is an onus there there to explain exactly what it is you don't like about it because then you're getting right to the heart of threatening countries sovereignty and ability to have a free flow of commerce, freedom of navigation, et cetera. so i think it is not so much, again, countering any particular country, but china's behavior, things that they have articulated -- sometimes, we call china opaque or difficult, but in other ways, there are publicear in their statements, their actions and their behavior. they are demonstrating they have different aspiration and in the indo-pacific region, and its manifest in the economic strategy belt and road initiative, the militarization of the south china sea, a lot of the coercive approaches to the internal politics of others.
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maybe there's a counterfactual where china isn't doing these things have trouble getting countries to align on and indo-pacific vision and strategy , but the world we live in, it is, in fact, helping countries coalesce around this. i suppose that a residual sort of benefit of china's behaviors. our preference would be inclusive strategy that includes china as a constructive participant in regional affairs, but i think that would be better demonstrated by their behavior, not the world we live in. partneringe with india and other countries
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at looking how to have alternatives. you don't necessarily forge or counter something like belt and road initiative. you shine a light but you have to have an alternative and would talk to india about coordinating development assistance and looking at how we can be partners in providing that alternative. same would go in the military and security areas. how do we prove ourselves a preferred partner and a more trusted and reliable partner in countries and indo-pacific region? rather than saying you shouldn't have relationship with china. that's just unrealistic. even china's size, influence and geography. so this is the conversation we're going to have in delhi or i should say, continue to have in delhi and i think china will in most of that going forward. india: the government of certainly does not want to have a relationship that is what it completely alienation with china anyway because china exists on its borders. it has a civilization relationship going back centuries, so on is so forth. -- so on and so forth. but i think there is a common effort being made with respect
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to the effective response. would effective response take a different way in the strategic area, different from the other economic areas. do you have a sense that our relationship that is mature enough that we could begin to think of things that we do not only for the other, but also for third parties that might be implicated in both the strategic and economic realm? so, for example, are we ready to test sort of, work together in a , or inike africa southeast asia, in and the economic realm? in the strategic realm? what do you imagine the two countries actually being able to do? randall: it's a great question, and to do think our relationship -- i do think that our relationship has matured to that point and these are items on our agenda. so we will talk about as i said , the coordination of development assistance. i think we will try to find some key areas where individual countries or regions are facing particular challenges and how we can find common effort or were
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or where synergies exist, if india and the u.s. are involved in development assistance or --nomic activities, trade acai think that is where our relationship is, and i think that we can both promote our respective interests, and our shared interests by doing that. that will would be true in the security area as well. we've seen exercises not just bilateral use in the exercises but multilateral exercises. obviously, you exercise for a reason. to improve readiness and training of your own forces but you think about contingencies, think about real-world possibilities. go, multilateralizin those opportunities is part of that as well.
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ashley: let me ask you a specific question about the 2+2 because it's in this context that the 2+2 has received incredible attention in india, partly because it's the meeting apex meeting between leaders of the two sides and setting an agenda for some time to come. in terms of activities, competence, people potential, so on and so forth. can you tell us something about how this 2+2 will be structured, what's on the agenda for the conversation and just walk our audience what's likely to happen in delhi a week or so from now? all, it is at of historic meeting, the first ever 2+2 between our country's. ies. that is significant in and of itself. i think beyond that we have an opportunity to really advance the relationship in significant ways. you were kind enough to go through some of my bio and my background. i've seen a lot of high-level exchanges. sometimes you meet, talk, you go away and don't have a lot to show for it.
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level to talk about regional -- in this case, i think we're meeting at this high level to talk about regional issues and strategic issues but also can have a set of actual concrete outcomes. it's a very good combination of strategic high-level dialogue and concrete outcomes that will serve as enablers for advancing the relationship well beyond the meeting in delhi on september 6 and 7th. so the conversation on strategic issues, regional security issues , certainly our shared interest in responding to china and how to respond to that -- shared interest in understanding china, and how to respond to that, will be front and center. other aspects of promoting the free and open indo-pacific, how we approach southeast asia. i think will talk about afghanistan, our shared interest in that and driving it to a political settlement. but some of the concrete areas and maybe i will just stick to the defense areas, we are working on a set of enabling agreements. it's a bit of an alphabet soup
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of agreements, but collectively, what they will allow us to do is have secure communications, to ,ave technology protected information as well. getting those enabling agreements in place will allow security assistance cooperation to go forward, will allow us to exercise training in more meaningful ways. so again those are really key concrete outcomes that will set us on a good course for the future. i think will expand the scope of some of our exercises, increase the complexity and the elements that would be in these exercises, that is a very good outcome. we are going to talk about augmenting the 2+2 to include a 2+2 at myy level,
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state department, so that we can theyvaluable exchanges as tend to be once a year at best, so we can augment that with other senior-level dialogue so . that's a very good outcome. the elevation of india to strategic trade authority here one status is a very important outcome because again that's enabler, tier one, enabler for trade and technology cooperation because it lists some of the restrictions on our ability to do that. so there's just a number of things that again, will really set us up on a great course going forward. ashley: the augmentation idea is critically important because it's hard to imagine the strategy of defense and his counterpart in india being able to meet as frequently as we want. troubles of the calendar. but if we can at the working level, have a continuous dialogue, i think that would be extremely productive. so kudos for doing that. let me come back to the strategic aspect at two levels. one is the region itself.
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india lives in a sort of, trouble neighborhood, and we certainly have a common project with respect to success in afghanistan. in the last few weeks in afghanistan, they have been troubled with taliban activity, the terrorist attack and so forth. where do you see the president's decision to sort of stay the course in afghanistan? how do you see the future of u.s.india cooperation in light of that decision? what are the expectations of india at this point? randall: i will leave the strategic policy decisions to the president and secretary pompeo, ambassador bolton for come about our future approach there, but i think what secretary mattis said yesterday general nicholson, our outgoing commander there have said is, looking through all of this recent activity we nonetheless see signs of the committee opportunities to move
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the political process forward. president ghani initial 's initial cease-fire was very revealing in a lot of ways. first of all, they put it off. was onlyaid it three days, but in fact, they were sort of, localized fires that were put out. there's a growing interest in on the taliban side maybe for accelerated reconciliation. so we're seeing some signs that a political process is moving. president ghani is pursuing another cease-fire and we will see if the taliban will be willing to step up to that. so i think where we could be good partners with india, first arell, i think our goals shared and come in here. we do want to drive just a political settlement. india has a lot of experience in the and multiethnic and multiracial just democracy and matches almost complexities very well. manages all those
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complexities very well. there's things that afghanistan can surely learn from that but then there's the more country, the economic and development assistance election, training and potentially monitoring. some logistic support that make it into the security area, although i think our indian friends have some limitations that they want to honor and respect for regional security interests there. so i do see thaa where we can cooperate and that will be an agenda item at the 2+2. ashley: what about pakistan? a great deal of the prospects of success in afghanistan are determined by the choices that pakistan makes, which is one to take into the issue, with the dimension of pakistan as a factor in u.s.india relations see the do you
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triangular relationship between the u.s., india and pakistan? randall: i probably don't want to say a lot of that because we want to give the new prime minister of the new government in pakistan, space to explore where there may be opportunities to improve relations with india . many new governments come in to power and want to do that and then run smack dab into reality and all the difficulties. but in terms of separating what was said during the campaign and what he has said since the election, we want to give him space to find the opportunities to improve things with india area i think on the questions about how this all relates to afghanistan and shared interests, there's a question we -- there is no question that we need pakistan's help in encouraging, persuading, pressuring the taliban to come to the negotiating table to deal with a national unity government
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under president ghani and talk about a future where they are included, but not through force, but through a political process. we have made decisions on curbing assistance and putting constraints on our relationship with pakistan as a means to try to persuade them to adopt that course and to use their influence on the taliban. we are still evaluating as to the impact of that. weis certainly not where wanted to be, but it is something that i think we will stick with. certainly, the and state should be one that we can all agree on state should be one that we can all agree on. i think the best thing if we can get some momentum behind this
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initial cease-fire, sorry, the second cease-fire offer and have that lead to some political dialogue, i think it would go a long way in reducing suspicions among all these other actors and placed. ashley: that by definition would be a long-term process, right? it's not likely to come to any happy conclusions? randall: it may be. i mean, we've moved our afghanistan approach to the conditions-based approach, not a timeline. but if secretary mattis were sitting here i assure you he would say 17 years is long enough to be involved in the war. we need this to end. we want this to end. we are not on a timeline. it is conditions-based but we do see through president ghani's initiatives some of the reaction from the taliban to the initial cease-fire. we do see an opportunity there that we really want to seize. so, it may be long-term ultimately, to get afghanistan to a place where we all wanted to become a but this is a potential inflection point that we want to seize. ashley: can i move the aperture, take a broader for a second? ii want to talk about the
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country to india's west, which is of concern to india, and that is iran. the concern is obviously anchored in the change of course that the administration is pursuing. i suspect this is an issue that will come up in the 2+2. indian concern about iran, of course, has to do with changes in u.s. policy and the implications for india's own relationship with iran. what are we asking india on iran? what is the administration trying to get? well, on most days of the week, i am happy to leave , robertmy colleague karen, my counterpart at the secretary of defense, but you are right, it is very much -- it very much does bleed over to my area of responsibility and it will be a topic of discussion i believe at the 2+2.
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without going into a lot of detail, because i think we did hear from the indians, this is still a relatively new development, and what that might for a variety of things, potential sanctions, as et cetera. i think we will go to the table and look forward to hearing from the indians about their relationship there and what they see as key priorities to try to preserve if they can, but obviously, the president made the decision he did on iran because of concerns about the agreement, and about having in our view, a need for something much stronger in dealing with iran's not only nuclear program , but their behavior. so we need to sit and have a , andopen, candid dialogue see if we can come on the other side, but we understand india will raise these issues and would welcome that and will have that discussion. ashley: there is discussion also on indian minds and that is
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russia. the administration is struggling to come to terms with the whole problem of russian interference in the domestic politics. while the president at the same time has made various overtures of outreach to russia. the specific concern to india at the moment is the threat of sanctions, particularly on russian-indian defense trade. i imagine this is one of the issues i will have to be discussed at some point. how does one work with india to achieve a common goal which is, to sort of strengthen india's capacity in it indo pacific, without letting india's relations with russia become a in a u.s.-india relations? randall: it's a complex issue so let me just say a few things. we understand the historical nature of the relationship and the legacy of that relationship as it applies to the defense ministry and the military, so a
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lot of legacy platforms and the need to support those. i think what we want to do is have a conversation with india that is not about the past and their legacy, but about the future. look at the nature of this regime. look at crimea, ukraine, i called the longer list when i was in manila, the chemical attack in the uk. and look at russia's own future, their demographics. this is, i think, not a country that you really want to have a strategic partnership well into the future. we can be a more reliable, better partner so that a sort of is sort of at the micro level. -- macrolevel. his sort of at the macro level.
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to deal with issues like potential sanctions, i think we need to be very careful here. secretary mattis did, in fact, go to capitol hill and often used india sort of, as a flagship, an example as to why we want away for the secretary of state because i think that create a certain impression that we're going to completely protect the interrelationship, from any fallout from this legislation the matter what they do. i would say that's a bit misleading. we would still have very significant concerns is india pursued major new platforms and systems. i cannot sit here and tell you that they would be exempt, that we would use that waiver, that will be the decision of the president if he is faced with a major new platform and capability that india has acquired from russia, that would be the president's decision. i cannot sit here and tell you that a waiver will be used in that case. so that's the specific thing that we will have to navigate. i think overall, one of the reasons secretary mattis used india as a flagship example is
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he knows where he wants the relationship to go within india. he wants it to go forward, to improve, strengthen, be more capable as a partnership, and he doesn't want these impediments. so whether it's finding ways to persuade india to go a different course, rely on us as a trusted partner and supply a defense -- supplier of defense equipment, whether it is giving consideration to a waiver. we know the direction we want to go and we don't want these to be impediments. i hope we get the opportunity to actually have this strategic conversation. because it is truly fundamental. if india understand russia's own evolution and recognize its own limits for india's own self-interest, that would be productive opportunity for us to see how we can break through some of the logjams of an operations. randall: well sir, i think we
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will endeavor to do that. ashley: i have two last questions before i go to the floor. one has to do with the change that is occurred in the trump administration with respect to economic policy not only towards india, but towards a range of other countries. but the specific question to india is a following. the department of defense has way to emphasize the importance of the strategic partnership, as has the administration, the national security strategy and national defense strategy documents. but how can we sort of work with india, when in the economic arena, we still have a series of difficulties while we appear to be making much greater progress in the defense space? because the trump administration has made economics so important and central to its engagement with the world, how do we sort of, keep both these elements in
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the relationships in sync as we move forward? randall: it can be a a challenge and i would just say in support who do theagues wede and economic issues, need that channel, that ongoing dialogue to be successful because these are long-standing irritants. i would say this is not just the trump administration. maybe the trump administration is taking this head on, and applying different tools, but you know better than, some of the long-standing trade irritants. i would say from a defense perspective the economic and tribulation can be supportive, additives, conflict and what we can do on the defense and -- supportive, additives, complimentary to what we do on the defense and security side, and that is optimal environment.
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we certainly have history and are able to walk and chew gum at the same time. i'm old enough to remember the difficulties we had with japan in the 1980's when we had members of congress smashing toshiba products on the steps of the capitol, and credible trade irritants and dispute the with disputes with japan. purity while, our relationship was evolving at a very -- our security relationship was evolving at a very good pace, driven by our security interests. we are able to compartmentalize if we have to. i think the realities of the security environment will create a national convergence and give us opportunities to respectable it's happening on side. i'm not saying that's what we want, but i think our interests are very compelling and persuasive on the defense and that i think we will be able to continue that comment to him and environment. -- continue our momentum in that environment. ashley: that is actually a
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japan,ng image, because it was also useful example of a situation that was faced by the united states before. and both the u.s. and th japan have become better friends. the last question i have before it opened to the floor is, going into 2+2 how would you judge the health, take into account all these difficulties in some cases, opportunities and others? where do you see us today? do we have the foundations in place for building something that is truly substantial or the indod security in pacific over the next decade? -- or peace and security and in the indo-pacific over the next decade? randall: we are quite bullish as a u.s. government and department of defense in particular. and i should've said this earlier, we are really the beneficiaries of decades of great work, the bush administration, your contributions, ashley, working
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through the civil nuclear deal, the obama administration particularly on the defense side. we used to sometimes referred to ash carter as the india desk officer. but the creation of a major defense partner concept under the obama administration. so this is sort of evolutionary in its nature, but i think all that good work, what amounts to is the creation of the foundation you are talking about an asking about. i think we benefit from leadership on both sides that are willing to take some risks. having articulated a vision, talk about how to operationalize a strategy. we are quite bullish as i said. we will be able to navigate some of these challenges, i believe, and come out the other side with being able to say that our administration continued the momentum that previous one started and some pretty optimistic. ashley: well, i wish you and your colleagues all the best of
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the next couple of weeks as you will have these conversations, and for whatever comes after. i'm going to open the floor to our guests. if you could identifs and make the question, comment , so if, pointed and brief can give as many people are chances possible. yes. >> how india is getting caught up in the sanctions against russia, but you didn't talk as much about the sanctions against iran, so i'm hoping you could give us a little more detail in how you plan to navigate those sanctions, particularly with regard to the oil. i also wanted to press you in terms of qatar and the purchase s-400, and doesn't the u.s. plan to seek a waiver for
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the s-400 for india and if yes or no, what is the precedent that sets? randall: nice to see you, face-to-face. we have had communications. i'm going to resist the urge to talk more about iran as a said, we need more of an opportunity to sit down with our indian friends at this high level and have a good exchange on where india thinks it's interests are, and aspects of the relationship with iran that they feel that they need tell protect -- that they and to protect or insulate we will be able to explain our point of view on that. but again, it is a relatively new development, leaving the potential imposition of sanctions as relates to that. so i will leave that for the future to talk about after the 2+2. on russia, catsa, s-400, obviously we have this legislation, catsa, not because of anything india is doing
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, or anything that we are doing. it is because of russian behavior. congress felt the need to take action to demonstrate not only in words and in spirit why we think this machines activities are so troublesome, but to take concrete action to kind of a consequence and punishment for this behavior. i think most people know it was flawed legislation for the reasons that some of our partners, friends and allies themselves might end up paying a a price that was not intended. congress was very good at working with us to create this waiver opportunity and now we have a little more flexibility for the secretary of state and the president to make those determinations. as i said, i can't sit here today and tell you if india with its acts, that the waiver will
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be used or not used. i think the s-400 in particular , is a system that is particularly troubling for a lot i think that our strong preference, india is a friend, a sovereign country. they will make their own decisions, but our preference is to seek alternatives and see if we can be a partner to indy and india in addressing those defense needs. if they choose to go down that route, like i said i i can't sit here and tell you today that the waiver would necessarily be used be a topiculd discussed at the highest level by our government and i we would make some determination. ofre would be some weighing the concerns that the acquisition creates and how that could impact a variety of things, including the future of our defense cooperation, it could put strains on that, as
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well as wanting the political up a and wanted to build more strategic relationship with india in that space. yes? ashley: please, wait for the microphone. >> thank you for coming. i am from the reagan foundation, heritage foundation. in my opinion, 2 of the most important allies we have, are japan and india, no doubt about that. do you envision trilateral summit type of things in terms of security, including economic issues? thank you. randall: we do have trilateral interactions with the u.s., japan and india. i joined my state department colleagues early this year in delhi for a trilateral discussion at our level.
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taking that to higher levels is certainly a possibility because i think, as you say, these three great democracies ally on quite a bit of issues. -- a line on quite a bit of issues. align on quite a bit of issues. ashley: yes. >> i'm with the pakistani spectator and you mentioned something about getting some space to newly elected pakistani president ram nath kovind. do you think your department of defense's willing to use its influence to give pakistan, the loan that it needs to prevent its economy defaulting? han seems to imran k be a man of virtue but he has so
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many limitations. he really cannot, only america can print. he cannot provide jobs to millions of young kids who are uninvited to this country. he cannot get money to pay on his foreign debt. in other words, pakistan seems very bound to collapse soon, so my second question is, in the case that it happens, then what role do you foresee for india? because no other country has better intelligence, human intelligence about pakistan than india does. i know your department has a very elaborate plan to recover the atomic bomb in case of pakistan collapses. does your department see any important role for india to help , your department to help the united states recover those things? thanks. upon returning to government in a january, i was reminded that you no longer have
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to answer hypothetical or future questions, so i think i will heed that advice. that ite a lot of heavy goes there about future collapse, nuclear weapons. what i said about giving him space was really in the context of the india-pakistan relationship. certainly like to give him space to make the right decisions, but i think our approach of cutting assistance and pressuring pakistan on their relationship with the taliban, persuading them to come to the table, dealing with terrorists networks, that would be sustained. when i say, gives space, it is not changing our approach, or our policy, it is really meant in the context of developing opportunities between india and pakistan. i don't have a good answer on the economic difficulties and challenges that pakistan finds itself in.
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what i can say is, if you look at other examples where countries went all in or largely in with china, the results have not been particularly good and there's been an erosion of sovereignty and an erosion of control. there are many examples of that. so if our friends in pakistan want to talk about a way out of that, or want to talk about ways to strengthen their economy, and the deal without, and short we would be open to that and trying either with pakistan, bilaterally or through international institutions, to try to get them on a better path. we are not interested in a failed pakistan by any stretch of imagination. we want them to be successful. we want them to have sovereign control and not cede that you to any outside party including china, and economic peace will probably be seen to that.
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-- will probably be key to that. >> i am a columnist for the economic times in india. i wanted to press you further on the question of s-400. would the u.s. be willing to offer something that india could use, if it doesn't want india to s-400, since china has already got deliveries, the first few deliveries on the s-400. now the question is about the quad. do you detect a certain hesitancy on part of india? because the prime minister did not even mention it in his speech in shangri-la. randall: officials love questions that start with let me
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press you further, because he thought you addressed it. [laughter] say, at it general level, yes, we are willing to talk to india about meeting defense requirements and alternatives. there may not be an exact system that is theproduce, exact specifications and capabilities, but not to have platforms, but to address such requirements and capabilities. so i can say that we would certainly be willing to enter into the conversation with india, and we have, how we can be a good partner in addressing what their real requirements are. in terms of the quad, i come at this from a little different perspective. i believe the quad was born on december 26, 2004, which was the date of the great tsunami in , when the four
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countries that responded were india, australia, japan and the united states and we responded because we are like-minded. we saw the tragedy unfolding and felt compelled to act. we had capability to break the quick, timelyin a fashion, and we have the willingness to cooperate with one another. so in a way, it was born in reality and in operation, before it was born in concept. i think now we are talking this as a potential vehicle for how we can address a range of our interests in the indo-pacific. i think we find general receptivity, particularly when talking about economic issues, developmental assistance and the like. but i think it will move in a pace and scope that all formats all four are comfortable
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with, and sometimes it does. sometimes it's been japan, it's it has been others, sometimes it is in india. i think we will work through all that. if you stare at an iceberg, you don't necessarily see the movement but if you look away and looked back again, i can see quad discussion is moving how this quad discussion is moving forward and in the right direction. maybe not at the pace we'd like, but i think we'll get there. >> i started the defense practice for one of india's largest industrial groups. my question is twofold. india is a democracy and the longevity of the administration of the party is really dependent on local economics. india is going through a massive issue of employment. so if any strategy needs to succeed between the u.s. and india, it has to include the local perspective as well.
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your comments on that. the second is, a lot of the forces driving the geopolitical climate is china. and china's relations with india have never been that good, but russia and iran are gravitating towards china because they see , you know, certain, how should i say, access materializing in the geopolitical framework. how do you plan to counter the chinese threat, if you want to i call it that, it's not really a threat. unfortunately, china has a copy-paste model and their biggest hurdle in my opinion is their inability to be innovative, which is where the u.s. really thrives. so how will he be able to use india, because india is very strategically located, and by with respect to the
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strait of malacca. iran is the other checkpoint, which is the strait of h so please give us your comments. that would be interesting. randall: the second one first. you said how are we going to use india, that's what he said. subject of intensive discussion at the highest level between the u.s. and india. thosee to navigate all of complexities. that is being a practitioner, that is the real world you live in, you have to develop policies, come up with activities, so we will work through all that, it is a complex. we know that india has a better relationship with china this year than last, last year it was pretty bad, and they have talked
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about having a normal year, we support that. by the way, we want a good relationship with china as well. secretary mattis and has gone to bat in beijing, they had some discussions. we had a disagreement on the south china sea issues, but we all ultimately want more stable relationship of china, so we will work with our friends in india to try to navigate all that and develop common approaches. i don't know that i can get into much specificity at this point but i am confident that we can get there. your first question on local politics, domestic politics, being supportive of the i think all we can do as a partner is articulate where we think the relationship is important, what we think the capacity to work with one another may be, and articulate a future vision for the relationship. at octave we can spend a lot of time trying to game out local
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politics in india, we will have to leave that to the central government in delhi, but i think we can make the case at a national level where this is important and rely on our friends in at the national government to deal with the politics. >> [indiscernible] >> from the economics of the country, that is all i was saying. therefore, in the has to be a lasting relationship, the has to be an economic as well as a defense element. so i would just like you to clarify, because ultimately, it is the grassroots that will define the validity of the strategy, because jobs,
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technology, industry is not really, india is basically a consumption story but we are not supporting that consumption with local investment in industry. you know, there has to be some element of it in your discussions, i feel. are talkingl, you about issues that are sort of the on my purview at the pentagon. i can agree with you that the economic component has to be strong and that it is key to sustaining broad support at local levels for the relationship, going into the future. the reason we are interested in expanding defense and special cooperation, why we have programs, for example, we have what used to be diux, now dl you diu, because we are no longer are experimenting. we have the opportunity to have an indian liaison officer there. we are looking at ways to expand of defense and industrial can betion so that we seen on the defense side as
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contributing, possibly, to the development in india. from the defense respect to --e, we see joint projects, from the defense perspective, we see that joint projects, collaboration between the defense industry better , creates better opportunities for interoperability which is enabling for training and exercising so on and so forth , but there is a domestic benefit for india if we're involved in that kind of collaboration. from the defense department, i can only appreciate your comment and say that i agree it's important, but i would leave that to my colleagues elsewhere in government, to really focus on that dialogue. yes, sir? i am with lenny's agency in hong kong -- in terms of the wouldpment in india, how
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you compare government operations in specific strategy? of the obama administrations rebalancing strategy? how would you compare the two? are there any differences, or randall:? when i was part of the loyal opposition in the obama administration, i was very supportive of the rebalance, am not sure they landed on how they would land on the pivot rebalance, because i certainly thought that the specific was a priority and overtime, that should be reflected in our defense posture and our capabilities, and i think the obama administration did thinks to move us in that direction. i think one of the biggest advantages we have is that we have congress now resourcing the department of defense at a level.
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of the obama administration was trying to do all this during sequestration, which was very hard, because not only are the real resources not there is also the perception that sequestration created in the region. you know, what our uptake through the pivotal rebalance be sustainable, given budgetary constraints, etc.? so we have congress really committed to resourcing our defense needs, we want to be good stewards of that and the do the right thing, to prove that we are worthy and there is a payoff for the american taxpayer. that is what we are looking to do. at may not be resourced the same level every year but we have a really good programs such as that maritime security initiative, other programs of a similar nature, so i think that is our biggest advantage. we are working hand in glove with congress to resource this effort.
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>> i am from the george washington center for asian studies. theof the issues in upcoming dialogue is the indo pacific. won a simmering crisis has been going on since february in the indo pacific, is the maldives. and seems to me that some of the concerns you raised about free and open all come together in the maldives, given that there has an eight cool and alternative area -- that has coup and authoritarian government that has overtaken the political advantages they had. it seems to have slipped, including the mounties returning several helicopters to india and so forth. my question is, is some of these a concern to the united states
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-- is the maldives a concern to the united states? have you taken from india's action or reaction to this crisis, given that there are elections coming up in september? will that be on the agenda in the upcoming talks? randall: thank you for raising this, it is an issue of concern. is stillid, it simmering, so i don't want to go into great detail or specificity about potential responses, because it is a dynamic situation to some extent. beennk we will -- we have discussing this with our friends in india, and it very well may think, in the 2+2, but i a number of things you can count on, when he to shine a light on becausehappening there,
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that is a good is well understood or well known outside the small circles of the people who deal with these issues, but there should be broader concern. it is not only about the unfortunate people there who have seen it judges thrown in jail or opposition leaders jailed or exiled. it is a matter of a broader regional problem when you fold in a china piece to that. they don't have any particular concern about freedom of or political liberties there and the future of the people they are, they have concerns about access,n influence and so we need to shine a light on all of that. and, bring in the experiences of others and look at djibouti, sri lanka, look at other issues examples where countries brought the chinese in under certain conditions and certain understandings and that quickly evolved in a direction where china was exerting undue influence and eroding the sovereignty of countries in question.
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now the leader may not care, he may be making a deal that is going to financially benefit him and make sure that he can maintain political control, but i suspect that the people will care greatly, which is why shining a light on this is so important. we saw a lot when stories started to emerge about the chinese negotiating and the base, there was a backlash there, so shining a light on that is important. beyond that, looking at particular measures and what we might be able to do on th visas, on economic consequence. those are all things that are under consideration, but as you noted, it is a dynamic and simmering situation, so i would not go into a lot of detail at this point. >> i am with hong kong phoenix tv, great to see you again.
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youve a question, could please give us a broader picture about how the u.s. and india military cooperation move onward, and specifically military sales. we know that india wants to get emo system, the electronic catapult system for , and aircraft carrier also, how likely, how possible is it that the u.s. would want fa-18 to india for their aircraft carrier? thank you. randall: i think the security assistance aspect of our relationship is going to have an upward trajectory. we certainly want to convey to our indian friends that we want to be a partner of choice when it comes to their defense and security needs. there are several prongs to that.
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overalwe have to get these enabling agreements in place so there are certain things you are talking about we are not in a position to do right now because the enabling agreements are not there, so we need to do that. we need to make clear where we can provide capability and alternatives to what they are considering now, and we had a previous discussion about their air defense needs, so clarifying what we can do as a good partner there. we need to build confidence and trust over time. we've gone from zero defense sales, i forget the exact time about $18ade ago, to billion, but we are still growing comfortable with one another, learning about our very complex fms system and how we support those programs. so again, i think the trajectory will be upward.
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i don't want to get into specific details, those will all be discussed. i think on the exercise training side, we're going to see about in the complexity and scope of those exercises and our ability to do that in a multilateral environment, as we said, so we are very cautious as i said earlier, and defense security cooperation will be a priority of that. >> today's wall street journal carries an article saying that both china and russia are surpass conventional defense capacity. they want to create an equal situation there.
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the space difference system is of importance. india made good progress on its the space side. do you see any potential for cooperatethe u.s. to on developing space-based infrastructure? randall: it's a very good question. the first point i would make is you've articulated the main reason we produced a national defense strategy that we did. pillar number one is to make great power competition a priority, in how we approach our defense posture, requirements, doctrine etc. and prepare to deal with competitors. that, in our national defense strategy is empowering forbureaucrats like me, but our combatant commands, so
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you're thinking very hard about how to be prepared for whatever china and russia might do on the prevention side as well as the strategic side. it's been an effort that has enjoyed senior leadership, president trump and doors the -- endorsed the strategy, as we talked about. flow of see a steady that, our military strategy will be coming out at some point in it not the two distant future. so that is the general the point. specific point, i think we'd be interested in exploring possibilities in the area of the space. i am sure you are following the developments on our side and the interest in creating possibly a separate service is what secretary mattis will discuss with congress, but a space force and separate command, is probably the interim step.
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that's being done for a reason, because we realize the growing challenges in space and having good partners with capabilities is truly going to be of interest to us as we go forward. >> i am from the u.s. interest security forum and cyber force. i think severus security is a mutual topic of discussion and do you plan to have this 2+2 ? randall: i don't know how specific, or what level of detail we would get into on cyber security, but as we talk about regional security challenges and you obviously gravitate towards some common, shared concerns about china and north korea for that matter, there is definitely a cyber component to that. it's something that again, we are looking broadly for
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partners who have not only the shared concerns, but the capabilities and ideas about best practices. we need to do better, and we're going to have another symposium on cyber for the department. it is an area we need strongd partners with good ideas and we will be compelled to talk about that in this form or elsewhere. >> let me at two that we have had a battle with the homeland security for many years. the interesting question to consider is whether there is a defense component. whether we need to bring that specific rubric of defense. >> ciber is something we are not
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particularly organized well for you. commandtion of cyber and the defense components of that has positioned as to talk to partners in the defense base about it. >> to him with the international energy partnership. you mentioned how important it is to give space to india -- pakistan given their recent elections. i want to ask you a bit about how our strategy in india can be affected by our own election given that every four years there is a chance our leadership who determines our approach in eating our objectives and
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meeting objectives themselves can change. i wanted to ask you about how that timeline given bush to obama, obama to trump affects your strategy. >> where i sit, it doesn't enter because calculus much we have seen consistency, understanding the value of this relationship and trying to push the envelope of where the potentials are. congress, itin used to be the largest caucus in the india caucus which is bipartisan. i have participated in this russians with them and with secretary mattis. when you go into one of those meetings it is tanning room only. it is not me to think a partisan issue. there is a large consensus and the united's dates about wanting
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to build this out gives me confidence we would do that. >> the same is true in india as well. good reason. thank you very much. benjamin, no current affiliation. could you say something about aboutomments on iran u.s.-india collaboration or lack of it in the middle east, i am thinking specifically of egypt, palestine, israel, syria, turkey . i think the conversations that i have been in often and preparations we are making largely focused on the end of the.
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-- the indo pacific. secretary mattis and pompeo have global responsibilities. they think globally in a way i don't always do. assume if those topics beyond we the 2+2 or would have interested parties because we see the u.s. india relationship at grounded by a shared vision and interest. we come from two large , so if we can partner with one another in those areas, i'm sure leadership would be interested in that discussion. >> one last question. the young lady there. >> thank you. recently the dod release the annual congressional report on china.
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this report is quite different in the reports we have seen before. can you share more of your thoughts while preparing for this report? the methodology and so on? not sure i would have shared that characterization, but it is interesting that you note that. what is different is that china continues to develop and improve , change so our reports reflect that. objective,o a very non-politicized description of what china is doing to advance its capabilities. just the facts. are thatnk the facts china has been making rapid progress in certain areas. that is what you get when you devote double-digit increases to
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your defense budget for over a decade. you get improvement and spent. the power report looks at things that previous one didn't. anti-ship holistic missiles. we didn't have to talk about a decade ago. i wouldn't have characterized it that way, we are reporting the facts. you for not just taking the time, which i am thankful for, but for the extraordinary effort and commitment that you brought to this position in the job at a time when there is considerable flux and to be able to stay the course and do the work that you are doing. i want to thank you as a citizen and of course i want to thank foron behalf of carnegie
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spending the morning here. you are welcome anytime you want to come back. let's do this and run the gauntlet again. >> we would love that. and we thank all of you for coming to this morning. stay tuned. [applause] we got a preview of what is likely to happen in the next week and ensure we will have an opportunity to pick up the threads and continue this discussion. thank you very much and have a good day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪ >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, former
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trump speechwriter fh buckley will discuss his new book. also author and former bernie sanders campaign manager jeff weaver talks about the future of the democratic party. be sure to watch washington journal life at 7:00 eastern. join the discussion. >> the cato institute hosted an event comparing the 50 states on economic regulations and freedoms. it includes the authors of a newly released report. this is an hour.


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