tv Assistant Defense Secretary on U.S.- India Relations CSPAN August 30, 2018 4:23pm-5:43pm EDT
then a tour of the national monument. >> people think of this site as abandoned and completely empty. but it is an important site for a lot of descendents of the people who live in the area. people come here to do ceremonies and pay homage to their ancestors because they believe their ancestors are still here. this is still a very important site for many people in the southwest. >> watch the c-span cities tour of flagstaff, arizona, saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern and sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3, working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. >> next, a discussion about
u.s.-india relations and the discussions that old for december 6. some of the topics include the goal of the talks, regional security, and relationships with pakistan, china, japan, and russia. this is about an hour and 20 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to all of you to the carnegie endowment center. i am a senior fellow here at the endowment and this is a great .pportunity for us today assistant for asia-pacific affairs joining us this morning. the topic as advertised is a
about the summit that's going to happen in about . week in delhi it is very important because the relationship has come a long way since we first began working on the transformation about 20 years ago. i am particularly pleased that we could snag randy to speak about it because he has the action on this issue in the pentagon. you know, he has had a long career in government, in public policy. current position, he was the deputy assistant to the secretary of state. , 43. bush as the ceo and
president of the project 2049 institute, whose website i would strongly recommend because of the superb work on east asian security. he also was a founding partner -- he has covered all the bases. everything from business to public policy. he is one of the nation's of asiannalyst iturity issues, so welcome, is wonderful to have you. >> thank you very much. >> i want to start by saying a few words of tribute to senator , because he graced this very room at carnegie twice in , speaking on the
very subject that we are about to have a conversation on. without a doubt, he was a , anding figure in america he left the country stronger by and by hise contributions as a soldier and servant.ic he cared strongly about the issues that we care about. valuesnded us that our are the most important part of who we are as people and as a strengthand that our is essential if our vision and our values are to be protected. and on the two occasions that he , heally spoke at carnegie made a very strong plea for a strengthened u.s.-india bilateral relationship as a foundation for six us in the globe. in the globe.
so, it is particularly , that we, i think recognize him as we have this conversation. with the quote from his 2010 speech, which was remarkable. i was just going through it last night. so prescient and efficient. he said in 2010 that the united states and india ought to forge a truly strategic partnership. senior leaders must prioritize security and values. , secure and expand the community of countries that value political and economic freedom. using that as a lead motif for the conversation this morning i
think is great. to start by asking you relations.eral manyresident surprised because of the fears raised in the campaign about isolationism. a subject.en i wonder if you could lay out what the administration's seetion is in them how you us fitting into that rubric. >> let me start by thanking you for the invitation and giving me to talk withity the upcoming two plus two. and then to for the opening about senator mccain, someone who was a great american hero
and meant so much to so many, particularly those of us who worked in the indo pacific. his leadership was counted on. there is a real hole there that i don't know can be filled. but we certainly valued his voice for so long. so thank you for that as well. i have to also say it is a little strange for me to be beingg here asked questions by ashley tellis 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 ashley's expertise, but i will
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 business forum. secretary pompeo, secretary of energy 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 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. we also mean free, open, transparent trade relationships. by open, we are talking about open areas for commerce and navigation, for broad participation in the life of the region, 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. 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 and modi's speech.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.
ashley: i actually found prime minister modi's speech at 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 shangri-la 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 out. as we do that side-by-side in parallel with india i think, i can use the same phrase, "operationalizing this strategy." we need to fit what the division of labor might be, where the partnership might be where the , opportunities that include both the united states and india may be, and that's basically what we're discussing. ashley: 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 area of economics, sovereignty, military capabilities, the indo pacific concept would be left -- less salient. how do we think of china? how do we think of china? the one country that has tremendous problem in the -- prominence 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 sort of rose-tinted glasses when 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 strategy and we would prefer china embracing the same vision. i think if you are against free and/or open, there is an onus 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 very clear in their public statements, their actions and their behavior. they are demonstrating they have different aspiration 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. 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. we want to be partnering with india and other countries 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 be a factor in most of that
going forward. ashley: the government of india 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 to the effective response. and an effective response would 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 place like africa, or in 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 where synergies exist, if india and the u.s. are involved in development assistance or economic 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 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. so, multilateralizing those opportunities is part of that as well. 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 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? randall: first of all, it is a historic meeting, the first ever 2+2 between our countries. 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. 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 of agreements, but collectively, what they will allow us to do is have secure communications, to have 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 perhaps at my level, a 2+2 at my state department, so that we can have valuable exchanges as they tend to be once a year at best, so we can augment that with other senior-level dialogue. 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. 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 come about our future approach there, but i think what secretary mattis said yesterday and 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 the political process forward. president ghani's initial cease-fire was very revealing in a lot of ways. first of all, they put it off. someone said it was only 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 of all, i think our goals are 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 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 that this is an area 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, but how do you see the 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 into 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 -- 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 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. it is certainly not where we 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 -- the end state should be one that we can all agree on. i think the best thing if we can get some momentum behind this 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 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? randall: well, on most days of the week, i am happy to leave iran to my colleague, robert 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. 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 ultimately mean for a variety of things, potential sanctions, 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 very open, candid dialogue, and 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 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 problem 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 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 is sort of at the micro level -- macrolevel. -- his sort of at the macro level. 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 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. ashley: 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 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 gone out of its 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 the relationships in sync as we move forward? randall: it can be a a challenge and i would just say in support of my colleagues who do the trade and economic issues, we 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 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. 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 1980s when we had members of congress smashing toshiba products on the steps of the capitol, and credible trade irritants and disputes with japan. all the while, 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 security side 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 consoling image, because japan, it was also useful example of a situation that was faced by the united states before. and both the u.s. and japan have become better friends. he 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 peace and security 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 through the civil nuclear deal, the obama administration articularly on the defense side. we used to sometimes referred to ash carter as the india desk officer. but the creation of a major efense 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 eadership 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 he 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 identify yourselves and make the question, comment sort of, pointed and brief, so i 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 catsa and the purchase of the s-400, and doesn't the u.s. plan to seek a waiver for 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 i 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 need to protect or insulate and 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, or anything that we are doing. it is because of russian behavior. congress felt the need to take action to demonstrate not only
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 aiver 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 be used or not used. i think the s-400 in particular, is a system that is particularly troubling for a lot of reasons, and 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 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, but it would be a topic discussed at the highest level by our government and we would make some determination. there would be some weighing of 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
well as wanting the political space and wanted to build up a more strategic relationship with india in that space. yes? >> 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 ssues? 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. taking that to higher levels is certainly a possibility because i think, as you say, these three great democracies 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? as you know, imran khan seems to be a man of virtue but he has so 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 to be bound to collapse very 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? hanks. randall: uh.. upon returning to government in a january, i was reminded that you no longer have to answer hypothetical or future questions, so i think i will heed that advice. there are a lot of heavy that it goes there about future collapse, nuclear weapons. what i said about giving him space was really in the context of the india-pakistan relationship. we would 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 akistan. i don't have a good answer on the economic difficulties and challenges that pakistan finds itself in. what i can say is, if you look t 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 to work with pakistan, either 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 to any outside party including china, and economic peace will probably e 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 buy the s-400, since china has lready 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. andall: officials love questions that start with let me press you further, because he thought you addressed it. let me just 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 we can produce, that is the 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 south east asia, when the four 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 bring to bear in a quick, timely 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 about 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 four are comfortable 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 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. y question is twofold.
india is a democracy and the ongevity 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. your comments on that.
the second is, a lot of the orces 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 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 particularly with respect to the strait of malacca. ran is the other checkpoint, which is the strait of hormuz, 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. this is a subject of intensive discussion at the highest level between the u.s. and india. we have to navigate all of those complexities. 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 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 pretty good 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, eing supportive of the relationship, 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. i donthink we can spend a lot of time trying to game out local 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 olitics. > [inaudible]
>> 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 s the grassroots that will define the validity of the strategy, because jobs, 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. randall: well, you are talking 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 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 cooperation so that we can be seen on the defense side as contributing, possibly, to the development in india. from the defense respect to ave, we see joint projects, -- from the defense perspective, we see that joint projects, collaboration between the defense industry better, creates 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. ashley: yes, sir? >> i am with a news agency in hong kong . in terms of the development in india, how would you compare government operations in specific strategy and the obama administrations of 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 riority 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 better level. 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. we may not be resourced at 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. > i am from the george washington center for asian studies. one of the issues in the upcoming dialogue is the indo pacific. one 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 been a coup and authoritarian government that has overtaken
the political advantages they had. it seems to have slipped, including the maldives returning several helicopters to india and o forth. my question is, is some of these a concern to the united states -- is the maldives a concern to the united states? what 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. as you said, it is still 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.
i think we will -- we have been discussing this with our friends in india, and it very well may come up in the 2+2, but i think, a number of things you can count on, when he to shine a light on what is happening there, because that is a good is well understood or well known outside he small circles of the people ho 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 or political liberties there and the future of the people they re, they have concerns about
their own influence and access, 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 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 uestion. 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 tarted to emerge about the chinese negotiating for a 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 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 v, great to see you again. i have a question, could you please give us a broader picture about how the u.s. and india military cooperation move forward, and specifically on military sales. we know that india wants to get the u.s. emo system, the electronic catapult system for heir aircraft carrier, and also, how likely, how possible is it that the u.s. would want to sell the 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 hat. we 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 timeline a decade ago, to about $18 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. 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 and uptake 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 riority of that.
>> today's wall street journal carries an article saying that both china and russia are working hard to surpass u.s. conventional defense capacity. they want to create an equal situation there. the space difference system is of importance. india made good progress on the space side. do you see any potential for india and the u.s. to cooperate on developing space-based infrastructure? andall: it's a very good question. the first point i would make is ou'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. having that in our national defense strategy is empowering for bureaucrats like me, but for our combatant commands, so you're thinking very hard about ow 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. you will see a steady flow of that, our military strategy will be coming out at some point in it not the two distant future. so that is the general point. the specific point, i think we'd be interested in exploring possibilities in the area of
space. am sure you are following the developments on our side and the interest in creating possibly a separate service is what ecretary mattis will discuss with congress, but a space force and separate command, is probably the interim step. 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. is cybersecurity 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, hared 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 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. we've created a cyber command, so i think it is an area where we need strong partners with good ideas. i think we will be compelled to talk about that either in this forum elsewhere, given the challenges we face from china.
when he to do better on cyber. another strategy come out. we have created a cyber command. it is an area we need strong 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 under the specific rubric of defense. >> ciber is something we are not particularly organized well for you. the creation of cyber command 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 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 into the calculus much because e have seen consistency,
understanding the value of this relationship and trying to push the envelope of where the potentials are. i would add, in congress, it 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. that leads me to think it is not a partisan issue. there is a large consensus and the united's dates about wanting 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 your comments on iran about possible 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 argely focused on the end of -- the indo pacific. secretary mattis and pompeo have global responsibilities. they think globally in a way i don't always do. i would assume if those topics come up at the 2+2 or beyond we ould have interested parties because we see the u.s. india elationship at grounded by a
shared vision and interest. we come from two large democracies, 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. 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 hat. what is different is that china continues to develop and improve, change so our reports reflect that. we try to do a very objective, non-politicized description of what china is doing to advance ts capabilities. just the facts.
but i think the facts are that china has been making rapid progress in certain areas. that is what you get when you devote double-digit increases to your defense budget for over a decade. you get improvement and spent. the power report looks at things that previous one didn't. hypersonic, 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. >> let me thank 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 ourse and do the work that you are doing. i want to thank you as a citizen and of course i want to thank you on behalf of carnegie for 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. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
>> tonight, president trump will be speaking at a campaign rally in support of republican senate candidate mike brawn who is running against democratic senator joe donnelly. our live coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and we continue to bring you events honoring the life and career of senator john mccain. who died saturday at the age of 81. right now his casket is being flown to andrews air force base in marle and we expect a brief arrival ceremony around 7:30 p.m. eastern. we'll have that live here on c-span. earlier today, there was a memorial service held in phoenix. the arizona republican's long-time senate colleague, former vice president joe biden, was one of the speakers.