tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 22, 2014 7:00am-9:01am EDT
c-span2. we invite your participation via twitter using hashtag pmqs. prior to question time members are finishing up other business. live to the floor of the british house of commons. >> in the nhs in wales, doctors and nurses and hospital staff are working round-the-clock to deliver good care but they been let down on the welsh politician who have cut the nhs. and that is why it is the british medical association and labour members of parliament who have been calling for a public inquiry in wales. even before that what we should have is the oecd want to carry out a comparative study to get the english nhs and the welsh nhs. i support him during the. does the right honorable gentleman? >> ed miliband. [shouting]
>> mr. speaker, last week 16 leading health organizations representing doctors, nurses and patients warned the prime minister of health and social care services in england are now, and i quote, at breaking point and things cannot go on like this. why is that happening? [shouting] >> absolutely no answer to the question of whether there should be a proper inquiry into the welsh nhs. i will tell him what is happening in the english nhs for which this government is responsible. 1.3 million more outpatients being treated. 6.4 million more outpatients appointments. 2500 more nurses, a thousand more doctors, a record we can be proud of. why? because we invented in the nhs in england. they cut the nhs in wales. >> ed miliband.
>> everyone can see what the prime minister's doing but after five years in office he can't defend his record on the nhs in england. every time he mentions wales we know he is running scared on the nhs in england. now, in england we have the highest waiting list or six years, the longest wait in a&e for 10 years. the cancer treatment target missile for the first time ever. millions of people can't get to see their gp. will he just admit the nhs in england is going backwards, isn't it? >> let's have an oecd inquiry. i support it. does he lacks. >> -- does he? >> ed miliband. for the very early stage far too much noise. the public art impress. let's try to operate up to a certain set up -- the session
has be run on, the session will be run on. ed miliband. >> he doesn't realize he doesn't ask the question that i asked the questions at prime minister's questions. the whole country will have noticed he could not defend what is happening in the english national health service for which he is responsible. and why? four years ago he told us his top to reorganization would improve the nhs. now we know it's 3 billion pounds down the drain. we'll be now admit in public what he is saying in private? his top to reorganization has been a total disaster for the nhs. >> i'm not only happy to defend our record in the nhs with the extra spending, the extra doctor, the extra nurses, all the extra treatment, i want a comparison between the labour nhs in wales being cut, no targets met on cancer since
2008, on a indeed since 2008. i want a comparison. so i will allow the oecd to come in and look at the english health services. let me ask him again, will he let look at the failures in wales? >> ed miliband. >> no attempt even to answer the question, mr. speaker. instead of smearing the nhs in wales he should be saving the nhs and england, mr. speaker. now, the question people are asking is what will the nhs look like in the future? his own conservative chair of the health select committee says alessi changes course it does funding plan for nhs, there will be charges. what he's promised nothing more than inflation for the nhs. we show how we can raise 2.5 billion pounds a year over and above that. why doesn't he admit all he alle offers on nhs is fight for years of crisis? >> what we have seen is he is
totally terrified of labour's failures in wales on the nhs. he will not answer the simplest of questions. now, let me tell them what is been happening over the last five years in the english nhs. let me tell them what his former labour adviser who worked with him in number 10 downing street who now runs nhs england, let's hear what he has to say about the nhs in england. he says this, over the past five years the nhs has been remarkably successful. we are treating millions more patience than five years ago. the nhs has become some 20 billion pounds more efficient, a world leading genomes program is harnessing the best of this countries medical expertise, and the global rankings have ranked us the highest performing health system of the leading industrialized nations. [shouting] this guy wasn't much more
effective labour adviser than either of those two. [laughter] he's trading under tribble will quotes and he quoted one. let me quote him when. this shadow minister who i think sums it. we don't have a policy problem. we've got a massive ed miliband problem, and i think we've seen that in evidence today. >> ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, i have to say, i have to say i don't think he's in a position to give a master class in leadership. two mps have defected. nine of his 2010 mps standing down from and every day he is saying to his policy on europe. he didn't answer the question. one of the ways he could support the nhs is by funding one week after testing with a levy on the tobacco companies. why won't they let him do it? >> what we are doing is treating half a million more cancer patients every year than under labour. but let's see what was at the
royal college of gps said about this policy? they said this, i promise will only serve to create a full expectation that cannot be met, like all his promises unraveling in one go. now mr. speaker, he spoke about leadership. he only had one difficult leadership decision to make this week, and that was to sack his shadow chancellor and the completely fronted. and it tells you the two things you need to know about labour. they do not have an economic plan and they don't have the leadership that can ever deal with an economic plan. [shouting] >> ed miliband. >> on his watch the deficit is going up by 10%. we have the worst cost-of-living crisis in a century. and he is in total denial of the national health service. the nhs is on the ballot paper in may because he is already at breaking point. ollie offers is five more years of crisis. he can't tax the tobacco companies but is lobbyists won't let them. he will tax expense of property
because his donors won't let him. the british public no, you can't trust this prime minister on the nhs. and every day he proves them right. [shouting] >> i will tell them the figures that come out in the last fortnight. a record fall in unemployment. inflation down to a six-year low. the imf sing with the fastest growing economy of any g7 country. that is what's happening. what we can see from labour is failure and weakness, no economic plan, nothing to offer this country. as i put it last week, so but not up to the job of. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. speaker. having founded to small companies myself and knowing what it's like to employ people, with the prime minister commend the small businesses in my constituency who have done so much to reduce unemployment by 31% this year and to create 720
apprenticeships? >> well it is early to as my honorable friend says that the reduction in unemployment and we we're seeing that now in every region of the country and some very impressive figures as she says, a lot of that is coming about because small businesses feel more able to take people on. part of that is the help we've given small businesses, cutting small businesses great attacks and also to the national insurance rebate making sure every small business benefits by 2000 pounds. that is helping them to give confidence to get people worked. >> thank you, mr. speaker. a few months ago i raised with the prime minister the case of my former constituent who was in prison in pakistan, since i did that he is actually been shot in prison by security guards. his family would like him to return to this country under an
agreement. what steps will prime minister take to achieve that? >> the honorable lady is right to raise this case. it is appalling the way this man hahas been treated and it's particularly appalling that as she says he was shot while in prison supposedly being protected by the pakistani authorities. we have raised this case and i raised this case personally with the pakistani, with the leaders of pakistan. we are looking at the case for prisoner transfer but they had to be suspended in recent years because pakistan released prisoners that we returned to them. so there is a problem there. we take this case very, very sicily under raising it every level in pakistan. >> mr. speaker, young people in my constituency want to know that they have the security of job opportunities when they need -- leave college. the number of young people didn't get to work went up by staggering 45% it will the prime minister join me in applauding the companies up and in the country of taken the opportunity under this government to great
apprenticeships leading to see this fall and youth unemployment since records began? >> my right honorable friend is right. in her constituency the youth claimant count is down right over 50%. in terms of apprenticeships we are on target to achieve 2 million apprentices during this parliament which is far better than anything achieved by the previous government. and for the next parliament, the conservative party said we want to achieve 3 million apprenticeships and we set out how we'll pay for that by making sure we continue to reform welfare and reduce the benefit cap. >> research by the medical research council is out over 6000 babies are born each with birth defects caused by alcohol consumed during pregnancy. other countries must carry warnings about the danger of birth defects but so far has refused in britain. will the prime minister change the governments policy and nature britain cares as much as
other countries because i think he makes an important point. like many in piece in this house i met the organization most concerned with fetal alcohol syndrome and, indeed, the parents of those that of adopted children suffering the effects because of excessive intake of a call by the birth parents. i'm happy to look at all the suggestions he makes and at the suggestion because this is a growing crisis in our country and we should do everything we can to stop it. >> it's 10 and that the months since -- [inaudible] many of my constituents are still out of their home. in the importance of the uk economy investment -- [inaudible] can i ask the prime minister to look favorably given that we know this will happen again in the next 50 years on the plan put together of massive investment in our defenses picture with a warning 200 years and that we really require?
>> i want to congratulate my friend on his leadership on this issue. he brought a group of members apartment to come to me to brief me about the proposals that could be put in place. i know he's been seen -- to see the chance of exchequer. this government has increased spending. many schemes were tested over the last few days with these very high winds and stood up extra and will look carefully at what he says. >> before the scottish referendum the prime minister said it's common sense it does so what is inside the unit can that all options of devolution at all possible. will be unequivocally standbys promise -- [inaudible] being on the table, many devolving full control of scottish spending to the scottish parlor to help create jobs and a more just society? >> i stand by all the policies are made in the run up to the referendum campaign and i think
lord smith is an excellent job of looking at all the options for devolution but i'm sure we can find with forward. but on the basis keeping our promises i hope they will keep their promise when they said the referendum ended this question for a generation, possibly a lifetime. i'm not sure their former leader is to that but i think he shou should. >> mr. speaker, i am grateful to the prime minister for the many visits he made during the flooding crisis our earlier this me but the artist but a rather good work, to decisions. and i invite him to come down again before it gets too wet so that he can announce the sleuth on the river pairs, and he can announce a sustainable funding mechanism for the somerset rivers authority? >> i would be delighted to return to somerset. i'm sure many of my calling will be meeting -- beating a path to somerset apple in the coming months. i am excited what is happening in terms of the dredging. there are no multiple teams out there. they've made a ripped difference.
i think they're proving that dredging particularly on man-made waterways is what we're dealing with can make a ripped difference. my only disappointment is i wasn't allowed to drive the machinery myself for some antiquated health and safety reasons but i'm sure i would be back. >> scam e-mails cost this country 3.5 billion pounds a year, brings misery to elderly and little people right across this country. it's only reported by one in five people. it is the hidden crime. what will the prime minister do to stop this? >> i think the honorable gentleman makes an important point which is of concern to many people. but i think that is the source of issue which the national crime agencies able now to bring together expertise and to combat properly. i think there's also technological advances in terms of spam, filters and other filters people can put on their computers so they get fewer of these e-mails in the first place. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
will the prime minister join with me in congratulating various medical systems in my constituents are still ranked 30 years of high quality manufacturing? and also congratulate oncology systems for plans to expand in my constituency? doesn't not prove that high quality uk manufacturing is on the rise? >> i think my honorable friend makes an important point, which is we are seeing a recovery in some of the most important high skill industries in our country, not least pharmaceuticals, medical services and high-end manufacturing. when we look at the jobs that have been created under this government, some two-thirds have come from higher skilled jobs rather than lower skilled jobs and that is also good because we want to rebuild the manufacturing base of our country. >> mike in your constituents was
disappointed in it a response received from the treachery regarding the hospital in england telling the bbc he didn't answer her question the i'm sure members on all sides of the house can relate to her frustration. [laughter] before the last general election the prime minister promised a bare knuckle fight to protect maternity services that never materialized. will become from today the unit in a hospital in england is the subject to "national review"? >> i want to see is district general hospitals with the maternity services within them. if we look at the west cumberland hospital we have contributed 70 million pounds to the redevelopment of west cumberland hospital, together with 11 million pounds committed hospital which has been open to provide further service. unlike in wales the amount of money going into west government is going up and they should be enough to provide good maternity
services. >> today june o'neill completes its final commissions report. will the prime minister and chancellor continue their support for jim to ensure that a future conservative government delivers on a northern powerhouse of? >> i think jim o'neill has been absolutely first class job with this report and i will be seeing him live today and want to congratulate him on what he is done. i think there's a real opportunity here as the chancellor spoke about to greet a northern powerhouse by looking at how we can use high-speed rail and other infrastructure to link a part great halls and city so we really have a proper balance, a rebalance of our economy. that's what this is about and take jim o'neill's work is also good speed and the prime minister -- [inaudible] given the significance of that, and also --
[inaudible] does the prime minister agree -- [inaudible] >> and under what i would say is i want is a successful british steel industry as much as he does and we've seen some good steps in recent years. i think we should talk and judge them by what they say and by what they do come and we should give every assistance that we can to try and maintain these important businesses and these important jobs pic that is exactly what we're doing. we are looking at all the flexibilities that are under things like the emissions directives to see what more than we can do, and i'm sure the business department now be looking into this person will do everything they can to support this important industry. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, --
[inaudible] recently held its jobs fair with a more jobs on offer than the are actually job seekers. will the prime minister therefore congratulate us for its contribution to a 50% fall in unemployment? and what can be described as a jobs revolution. >> i'm delighted to join my friend in congratulating bluewater. the fact is in his constituency the claimant count is down by 47% since the election and it is notable how many jobs are being created in retail and i congratulate with bluewater has done. the last time i went regrettably it was to make a speech rather than go shopping, but maybe next time i will be able to do both. >> will the prime minister rule out any for the increase while he remains in post? >> our plans don't involve raising taxes on ordinary
people. what we want to do is make sure we hold back the growth of public spending so we can go on cutting people's taxes. [shouting] we have taken 3 million people out of income tax. we've given a tax cut to 26 million people. we cut the tax on every small business in our country. we set a low rate of corporation tax a o of corporation tax a business can come and locate in our country. the people who put up taxes on the people who want to put up spending and put up borrowing. that is the labour party. >> john baron. >> our nuclear test very much welcomes the prime minister is worth the recognition, but given that one of three other the senate's have fallen to a series medical condition, can you update the house as to progress as he promised to do then in july of two establishments payment of 25 and pounds into a
charitable fund to help those veterans most important in need? >> i'm afraid there's not a lot more i can say to my honorable friend today. we are looking carefully at what we can do. as he said we have gone further in terms of recognition of this issue than previous governments. what i would say, if you look across the board at those grievances that are held by those who served in our armed forces, i think this government has done a lot to do with it and deal with incorrectly. the first government to say there should be an arctic convoy of metal and delivered to the first government to say there should be classed for those who serve and yesterday it was an enormous privilege to welcome to downing street all those which serve in the south atlantic in connection with the falklands war but hav have not been a big campaign medals because of the rapid cutoff date for the campaign. that's why another 10,000 people who serve in the south atlantic in difficult conditions under this government are getting the medals they deserve. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
a year ago the prime minister looked a grieving mother in the eye as she baked in to get the british police involved investigating the murder of her son in greece. he said no. this week at the trial we discovered the forensic evidence is compromised. can be prime minister account as to why he sent police to thailand to see a murder case on friday of what he friday of what he wanted to find live up to, to secure justice? >> what i remember is meeting with the honorable lady last year with her constituent and going through all the things we could try to do to help him and my understanding is that she did secure funding from the homicide service for the cost of a legal representative increase at that also cover travel costs against the trout as well key witnesses to give evidence at the trumpet i believe the foreign office are working hard to provide consular service support to ms. matthews and, of course, we will go on helping in any way that we can and i give her back guarantee
today. in terms of the case in thailand i think because of the uncertainties over that case and the fact that two british citizens were murdered, it is right to offer that tie government the assistance of british police took about to go to look at some the technical evidence and i was pleased the type of mr. agreed that last friday. on all these cases i'm happy to help, happy to from the honorable lady what more she thinks we can do india board case that she raises. >> underclass, there were over twice as many young unemployed and many young unemployed and worcester as for a petition started. the situation has been turned on its head. almost three times as the apprenticeships in the city as the our young unemployed but with the prime minister agreed his plan to create 1 million further petitions could help us eliminate youth unemployment? >> my friend is right. that is our ambition is to eliminate youth unemployment i'm making clear its no longer an
option anymore to leave home, claim housing benefit, signed on when you could have a chance of a job or an apprenticeship or symphony. we are committed to helping in every way we can in worcester. i know the labour front including fish out of this secretary doesn't even know where worcester is to refer to it in a radio interview as wichita life that i think is been overdoing the country music and he needs to get in touch with his inner worcester woman. [laughter] >> the prime minister will i'm sure agree that the regulatory structure around hydraulic fracturing needs to be scientifically robust. with that in mind can be explained why in the other place his party rejected amendments that would do just that? >> what i want to see is obviously a robust regulatory and environmental permissions regime which i believe we have, but i do want us to get on with
recovering unconventional gas because i think the greatest proof of how safe this technology is and how good it could be for jobs and energy costs in our country is to demonstrate some wells were it is actually working. and my fear is that any other place and, indeed, many in this place want to cover this new industry with regulation so something doesn't go ahead. >> certain the carpet. >> the prime minister will recall the film tax with existed at the tax code for 10 years from 1997. is he where hmrc are now effectively treating all investors from the period as tax dodgers even those who produce general films and credit jobs as intended? will be instructed ministers to review that approach? >> i'm sure we all have constituency in other e-mails and cases about this but had his every time i have the treasure about it they are very clear that the things are being
investigated our abuses and would go to the abuses at the time when people entered into them. i think we do have to be calm, i want is a low tax rates a tax rates that people actually pay. were schemes are being used for avoidance we should be very, very swift and closing them down. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the national audit office blame the lack of coordination across three departments for the governments go to deport hundreds of foreign criminals, many of them highly dangerous. so where does the buck stop? is a with the home secretary, the foreign secretary, the justice secretary, or is it with the prime minister himself a? >> the buck actually stops with me. i'm clear about that. i think the national audit office has produced a very good report into what is a difficult issue that we need to get right. we had to port a 22004 national offenders since i become prime minister. the report is clear that since 2013, for the first time we have a proper cross government
strategy to do with this. it goes into quite a lot of detail about how there are still to me obstacles in the way in terms of human rights legislation that we need to change. now, this week what you've seen from the government this week is that we are now able to deport people first and they can appeal once they've gone back to the country of origin. and we're reducing the number of appeal roads him 17 roots which wither under labour at just four. so we're making progress. the buck stops with me but i would mind if it had cross party support for the actions we need to take. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. will the prime minister to me in welcoming the fact that the 809-pound contract for all the people services in cambridge were aboard to the nhs bitter? it didn't happen nhs in the final five. >> i think my honorable friend makes an important point come which is want to see an
expansion of nhs services, and when the party opposite claims they're some sort secret agenda to privatize, i was the case under the last labour government with a patent of contracts and existed only on private providers. under this government the nhs is being properly run by those who are commission and they make decisions about the future of our health service. >> mr. speaker, when the prime minister opposition he always lectures this part on conspiracy. can ask him when he's going to shine the light -- senate in 1973 the national builders strike? what does the tory party got to hide a? >> i haven't looked at this case brings about a happy to take away and look at what he says but what i would say is actually over recent years we have shortened the period during which papers remain secret and release more and more papers, and i have to look at the kc
raises. >> mr. peter bone. >> mr. speaker, i have recently been campaigning a lot in -- with the actual conservative candidate, the number one issue on the doorstep is eu migration. last year, 214,000 people came to this country from the eu. that is not sustainable. what can be done about that? >> i think my honorable friend and the candidate to him -- who he refers to is right. we need to get a grip on immigration. this government has made very big steps forward closing down 700 bogus colleges. the first time we've had an economic gap on migration from outside the eu. a whole series of rules coming in about benefit claimants abuse and all those issues but i'm convinced there's more that we need to do because i think the british public are not being unreasonable about this. they want control -- the shadow chancellor keeps shutting.
let us remember who it was who said we needed to send out search parties to find more immigrants. let us a number that wasn't delivered completely uncontrolled immigration. it was the party opposite and the shadow chancellor. but on a happier note i'm sure, mr. speaker, the whole house will want to unite in this way and congratulate the former clark sir robert rogers on his well deserved period. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> banging on about europe. banging on. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my constituents have been living in sierra leone over the last five years. unsurprisingly when ebola spread
they spent their savings coming back. i have been trying since the beginning of this month to get them some financial support here. and i failed despite a promise by the health secretary to get a response to me, because they've been rejected on the grounds that they're not habitually residency. as a result today i got a reply saying they would get no support. what is the prime minister going to do about people who are fleeing ebola to come back to the country of the nationality and have no resources and? >> well, i'm happy to look at the case she mentioned the it must be terrified for people who are, bridge citizens have a right to come here who fled that country because of all the things that happen. i'm clear, our first responsibly is to help tackle ebola at source in west africa and i
think it's fair to say that britain is doing more than any other country bar perhaps the united states in terms of marshaling resources, troops, health care professions, trying facility in pittsburgh in terms of her constituents i look carefully at the decision they did it and see what can be done. >> order. >> here on c-span2 will now leave the british house of commons as members move onto other business. hyou have been watching prime minister's question time aired live wednesdays when parliament is in session. a reminder you can see this week's session taken sunday nights at nine teaching and pacific on c-span. for more information go to c-span.org and click on series to get every program with aired from the british house of commons since october 1989. we invite your comments about prime minister's question via twitter using a hashtag pmqs.
>> now a discussion about the obama administration's policy on isis. foreign policy analyst at the hudson institute assess the current campaign and what strategy the us and its allies should pursue. this is one hour and a half. >> good afternoon. thank you for being here. welcome to hudson institute and welcome our c-span audience as well. my name is lee smith, i'm a senior fellow here at hudson and i will be moderating this afternoon's panel, can the obama administration's isis strategy work? i believe we'v we the similar at hudson a really fantastic panel to address remarkably timely issue, especially during the midst of the obama administration's isis campaign, and we will talk about the campaign but one of the other
things i want to do the second is to really fill in a lot of questions that you think are still can't think it's still kind of unclear exactly isis is, where it came from, what its goals are, what its capability are. i think between the three panelists we have a the second i think that we're going to get a lot of answers and a very interesting conversation, and fill in these issues and with of people have not. some going to start introducing them. to my left is andrew tabler from the washington institute. to his left is hussain abdul-hussain, the washington bureau chief. and to his left is michael pregent among other things has served as an adviser to the iraq security forces, having spent a lot of time throughout iraq. i believe mike can address a number of these issues and is going to start this afternoon with a short introduction, his own introductory statements and
then we'll move onto the other panelists as well. thank you for coming. mike, please take away. >> i appreciate the opportunity to be part of this panel. one thing was so when isis moved into mosul, we saw the iraqi secret forces dissolve away. wawas the isis the convinced tht if i but where there was no press, disenfranchised shia-sunni population in mosul. one of the reasons i systems up to come in as offered over the last four months or so is that there was a concerted effort to politicize the iraqi secret force by putting maliki lewis in key positions and the second army iraqi division and also a third iraqi division. we got rid of competent kurdish commanders and his mosul very well, competent city commission you mosul very well. the same security apparatus that was in place or in the search
was able to deny al-qaeda territory in mosul as well as the tigris and euphrates river valley. maliki dismantle that taking 90,000 dead sunnis out of the security apparatus. he replaced commanders in the iraqi army in the north, allowing a permissive environment the what isis was able to do was take a pinch of temporary alliances with insurgent groups, sunni baathist insurgent groups and to move into territory. the one thing w was certain with u.s. policy is we've immediately started spinning up advisor groups to go to baghdad, to go to her bill and go to these operations center to partner with the iraqi security forces. -- irbil. we do not want to look like the air force of iraqi secret forces when it is considered a sectarian iran backed shia security apparatus. so we went into these operations centers, and some of the things some of us have worked with a rack noticed, or cautioned
against was, when you put american advisers in these operations centers, even if they know arabic, they are not fully with the nuances. the shia officers have military ties to the our troops forces in the operations and big these target practices would give primacy. if we were in these we could be in the operations and to the one good thing is the majority of the targets that have been successful in mosul generated out of irbil with invented kurdish and to adults with invented suing intel from the previous now dismantled iraqi national security forces which was stood up with former baathist sunni intelligence officers that wanted to go after al-qaeda, the wanted to go after shia militias. that was replaced with ms in as a leadership and that became something come became part of maliki's sectarian intelligence and security apparatus to so
that's a cassette. key strategic defeat for isis when the lost the mosul drama. the question is as far use airstrikes are not? taken her isis militarily. they were able to take out their position in the mosul dam but paired with peshmerga, they were able to take back territory. that was the first strategic loss that isis had suffered in iraq and syria. in iraq, that was huge. delos the mosul did they want to go to provide services to the mosul dam provides water and electricity to the people who live in northern iraq. they wanted to show that a better capability to provide services and the iraqi government. that was taken away from them. they lost two oilfields. part of the used strategy now, we need to exploit those operation opportunities. when isis loses key infrastructure, we need to be able to say that. one of the things that happened with the use airstrikes, before
the soyuz captured equipment to say it because they would face a lesser air force capability by the assad regime. key leaders at use airstrikes started and to go in mosul dam s.t.a.r.t. ii steery as well also to the sectarian fault lines in baghdad and along the baghdad belts. what was left behind were foreign fighters. another opportunity to exploit isis who actually comprises i suspect these foreign fighters, a lot of them came in wanting to fight in 10 and then moved to iraq to do these things. you have to remember what mosul is to if you to back of the envelope math there's seven and 50,000 sunni military age males in mosul what is it with the central government is going to do, waiting to see what we're going to do but anytime isis has a public demonstration, there's always isis cards with ak-47s watching the crowds. they are worried about what this sunni male population in mosul is going to do.
they don't subscribe to the ideology but they're not going to kill it without some sort of concession from central government. they will not do without getting something for. anything we do as part of a u.s. strategy has to put pressure on a body to fill the ranks of the two divisions that though, the second third iraqi decision at put in 30,000 guided cities that were part of the isf in the past and make them fill the ranks. that's where the u.s. advice efforts needs to be. we need to be a third party guarantor. the reason for sons of iraq were successful and sunni iraqi to get a force was excessive and that's if they had a u.s. a fight with him and are able to call in u.s. airpower, close air support and be able to do these things. we can't simply say that the ranks with sunnis because they will not trust the central government and they think we will offer intimate some point. how to get can want to do the? you got to put pressure on iran,
abadi to allow -- abadi might want to do it now. the iranians don't want him to do. i think this is a fight they ranged and shia militias want. i think i've gone over my time. >> that's terrific. i'm just taking notes on stuff i want to come back to later. thank you very much. hussain abdul-hussain and i co-authored an article in "the weekly standard" about a month ago and i have to say hussain did all of the heavy lifting. i added my name on there to get credit for i think is an interesting article about the origins of isis and who is a part of come from is a part of this and what this larger rebellion looks like but i think hussain is going to start today by talking about the somewhat. >> thank you. thank you for having me. on december 16, general martin dempsey told the armed service committee in the senate that the basic, one of the most important factors in his strategy of
defeating isis is to get some modern sunni tribes to join the coalition against isis. on october 5, 23 new clients and iraq and syria pledged allegiance to isis. which tells us that the tribes so far do not seem to be betting on the united states or on its allies. then, since then we are seen as so many reports and we're seeing so much criticism against the syrian opposition, against the tribes. we call them corrupt. we are saying they're not up to the fight to show the question is, how come all the tribes who fight on our side are the losers, and all the tribes who fight on iran and hezbollah side are the winners?
we spent some years training the iraqi army and a meltdown in a couple of hours in mosul. and do you have iraq backed army with isis just fighting and winning. it took us two weeks to take the mosul dam with you as airpower. the answer to this question is that we do not pick the tribes. they take us. this is very important, which is as goes back to have the tribes behave. there's a tribal code and a tribal structure. a drive is usually known by name and by jean ideology -- genealogy, and even the horses have genealogy. they are known for their territory is usually demarcated. it's called dear in arabic. so the tribes are not as ambiguous as they seem to be. -- dira to the our blue blooded
tribes. there are less is -- junior ranking, second ranking, then there are strong tribes and there are not so strong tribes. what's happened over the past half-century is that old saddam and assad nevada do with these tribes in the tribal areas. and the tribal areas the northeast of streets northwest of iraq and west and east and west iraq and east of syria, they have at least four to six bagels tribal concentrations -- big tribal concentrations. these are very well connected to the saudis, put this in perspective, the saudi royal family comes from the mother of
the parents of the saudi king, king abdullah, his mother comes from shama. these tribes are connected to saudi arabia. they have into marriage, and because of this they were under pressure during the assad days. both tried to and others propped up the junior rankings tribes. these junior ranking tribes i can cite in northeastern syria, and these junior tribes were doing really good at the expense of the blue blooded tribes. by the way, osama bin laden's mother hails from the area. switcheso just to put this in perspective. so we have the mothers of various saudi factions coming together in syria. so we're doing really well.
they hold areas like in the province. how raqqa changed hands from trenton to the rebels visually interesting. the sunni revolution broke out on march 15, 2011, and most of the north and the northeast, lost control really fast. the only town in the province that kept holy, still loyal to assad was raqqa and it remained loyal to assad and some of them of what he 13. that's almost two years. even though raqqa is first the son of raqqa is 300 miles away from damascus. that's almost a six hour drive. it means it was thinly populated with the intensity forces but it meant that the assad elite force could not go into thin because of its a long distance.
ilogistics would be hard, supply lines would be thinly stretched. so all these two years, raqqa remained loyal to assad. then on november 2, 2013, all of a sudden 14 clans from different tribes pledged allegiance to isis. since then raqqa has become the capital of isis. this change was nearly bloodless. the tribal force is known as -- just switched from being pro-assad to pro isis. this tells us there's no such thing as moderate sunni tribes are radical tribes. that tribes are not radical. when the tribes budget allegiance to us that's a different from some individuals joining us. individuals join based on ideology, based on -- receive from whichever crew.
that tribes joined for different reasons. that tribes hedge and they look for the strongest power, and when the tribes of raqqa saw that assad was going to fall, they changed. and then the only strong power that they found was isis. of course, because we were calling them carpenters, teachers and dentist and we are withholding all the arms. so the only strong power that they could join at the time was isis. so this is how these tribes became isis. and by the same token, the tribes of other areas, the arab groups, these tribes in the northwest of iraq joined isis as well. of the six people who formed the military council of isis, five of them come from big tribes,
and three of them were high ranking officers in saddam's army. so now you get a picture of who these people are, how these tribes are fighting on the other side. one last note before i close. the reason why these tribes, the united states got a big chance for the tribes iraq, syria and in lebanon in 2005-2007. the tribes so we were serious in spreading democracy and giving arms and money. we saw lebanon, the jews, the sunnis joined democracy. they've ejected assad out of see the that's a preview of how the tribes treated trannine your five years later they joined at the united states and they fought alongside u.s. troops. they ejected al-qaeda. what happened after that was very interesting.
we got disengaged and national security advisor to vice president joe biden was handling this. at the time he reasoned that what's more important is for prime minister maliki to keep pumping oil, to edge iraq out of the oil market. of course, this conference all kind of conspiracy theories that we were there for the oil. and the tribes that okay, america's not serious. they came, they left. we need a power that is here to stay. that's either iran or isis. i don't think the tribes will be joining us anytime soon, or if the ones, or the ones that were joined not be the stronger ones. thank you. >> thanks, hussain. that's a very depressing assessment. thanks very much. that was really informative and terrific. the next speaker is andrew tabler, very old friend and colleague and also one of the premier, if not the premier serious expert here in washington and in the united
states. that's one of the things that andrew will be touching on syria as well as some of the things, including the administrations larger vision of isis and a lot. we might not get to all of that in the introductory statements but we'll come back to that later. >> lee, thanks for the introduction. it's a honor for me to be up here with you all today. and thanks for attending. i see a number of friends in the audience as well. so in terms of the administration strategy itself to deal with isis, as well as the supplies to iraq and syria, the strategy generally is an iraq centric approach. the inkblot so to speak starts there, and the reason i use the inkblot analogy isn't just because of the different parallels with the surge in iraq during the war, but also just dealing with what is, what isis
call for the islamic state, this sort of massive territory between encompasses a lot of the euphrates valley. in iraq at the military campaign which involve airstrikes of course, as well as arming of certain factions inside iraq. and u.s. support to try and rescue certain minorities in particular traffic and you. these gentlemen to my left can explain this a lot better than i can. that combined with an overall political strategy in that you want to try and get, they're aiming to get a more inclusive iraqi government. that is more permissible and i can entice some of the tribes and others, particularly from the sunni population which makes up the base of isis, back into the iraqi government so that it functions again. and in this particular case, in the case of iraq, i'm not surprised the administration is starting there. the u.s. has a lot of experience
there. while there've been a lot of problems over the last two years they iraqi system, at least you have hope of some change. it might not be real change. it may not be changed as fast as we would like to get we have the hope of some change. prime ministers can come and go. they are parties might not come and go but certain figures can to certain fixed positions can change. it's easy, easier for americans to relate to. and it's because of that i think we've seen the administrations emphasis on iraq, both from experience and possibilities there. in syria it is a completely different situation. u.s. action against isis, as far as i can tell, is not part of any kind of strategy other than to degrade isis over all. there are some caveats to this. for example, trying to hit isis
political and mitary facilities. so to degrade its power primarily an iraq. also to hit some of the rudimentary oil refineries which have been set up in the river valley and also the euphrates river valley. that's logical. isys cells refined products, crude oil, to sustain part of its operation. that's quite smart. but in terms of the overall strikes, the administration is in a bit of a bind, particularly with isis is advancing like around carbonic. we saw an uptick in strikes the last week. that's a react to post but his overall problems in street is you don't have the hope of a political process. there isn't one. the reason why there isn't one is because the war in syria has hardened up positions among the different parties on the regime
side as well as on the opposition side, and made an outcome there really a remote possibility at best. i think that's part of the problem that the obama administration in intervening in syria is trying to intervene so it doesn't tip the balance one way or the other. of course, the united states has a stated policy that president assad should step aside since august 2011. a whole slew of legal sanction go along with it that have been supported by not only the members of the bureaucracy and former, very prominent former members of the administration, but also on capitol hill. but over the course of this, and syria crisis, actually achieving that objective has meant increased u.s. involvement that the president himself is unwilling to put forward. basically the president has been
on the horns of a dilemma for about a year, and this dilemma is largely as follows. either the united states increases its effort with its allies to get rid of the assad regime, okay, and there's a lot of urgent ways you can do that. events and have a generally that's what we're looking at here. that would allow for some kind of process, a transition that would fold, they could fold the opposite in to bring the country back together again. and the other part of this dilemma is just letting things go as they are and acquiescing to what are called cease-fires. and they are cease-fires with a small c. major cities inside the country and villages. they start people out, cut off water, drop barrel bombs. then you leave a little sliver of territory in the end for the fighters to run out by the regime of the museum, activists
are arrested and tortured, sometimes to death, and his cease-fire model was held out as the way the regime is going to come back earlier this year. they had two tracks. one, peace talks in geneva which went nowhere, and then the cease-fire while. a lot of people were betting on the cease-fire model tightly. they thought the regime had wind at its sales, and it also was a little bit easier and more than they thought to do with. and that's because we have to be honest about this, the members of the syrian opposition also have tremendous falls under men's division that makes working with them very, very complicated. and the overall problem has been that the nature of the syrian battlefield, that if one is battling against president assad, but they generally are
not, the groups have not consolidated. they are leads have not consolidated. so, therefore, you of al-qaeda affiliates fighting alongside nationalist battalions. they do this on a regular basis. they're doing it right now in southern city. when they work for a common purpose, they're very effective in pushing the assad regime like actually southward towards damascus. the problem of course in that is how do support such a chaotic and unorganized space? if not impossible, but it's difficult in that any arms or anything that introduced in that department could fall into the hands of al-qaeda affiliate. that would be bad. not only bad in a general sense, but really bad in the legal sense. no politician wants to touch it, including the president. so he was betting on assad coming back and carving out as much territory as possible, eventually the rebels would give up and then it would be some kind of lame political process at the end of this to call it a
reconstituted country. that formula changed with the isys outbreak in june. fundamentally changed. and so now the problem that we have is that the assad regime is incredibly weakened. there are a lot of problems internally, and they're losing ground, particularly in the south but other areas of the country. they been trying to retake the larger city of allow the -- aleppo. ..
edition by a year-and-a-half. we deal with nine groups if not more and their supplies of weapons including weapons on a regular basis. in an overall political since they are not organized towards one end and the title 50 program will be folded into the title 10 program. in the meantime we are striking these targets and isis is not giving way and we don't have an opposition force for that vacuum so it is in that situation we will see the regime lashed out to retake some areas. as well as tribes trying to
assert themselves but to read take it i don't think you'll have one source in a coherent way. at this point if we keep on going in the direction we are going in terms of syria approach to syria i am afraid boots on the ground are all more likely possibility going forward both in the next two years and the next administration because i don't see one side or the other being able to clean up this problem once basis is degraded from the air. that will be the main problem this administration faces on the way out and the next administration faces on the way in. >> that is terrific. a terrific introduction. i want to be able to come back to some specific issues like the fight between isis and the
kurds, a want to spell out the more general picture. one of the things the panelists are saying. helen would like to put it together. i believe isis is part of a larger sunni rebellion which is the function of the function of the policies of maliki the government and bashar al-assad's war and behind that is the islamic republic of iran. the iranians have forces on the ground, the united states after the 2001 withdrawal, much more limited, much more limited leverage. what i would like to fill out is a sense of what are the chances the administration can now address the issue that we all agree on, one of the fundamental problems, how do we get the
sunnis with their it is the sunni tribes, that mike was speaking about how to get them to buy in that much leverage, to try that first. >> we lost a lot of leverage with the sunni population when we assured them they would turn into the iraqi security forces and ended jobs within the ministries. that didn't happen. a good friend of mine who recruited lot of these individuals was often met with hugs and kisses in jordan. last time we met them he had one of the individuals grab the unicorns out of his pocket from other u.s. army battalions, what good ideas, they are broken promises. we are predicting we i'd there,
we are not doing it 100%. doing airstrikes at night, targets of opportunity as opposed to having a concerted effort at this point, you and not going to take mosul with air strikes, you have to take it with the sunnis who are in mosul. how does flee u.s. get them to fight? and in eighth, you are not going to. the iraqi government, so much iranian influence i don't know how many of you know this but iraqi security forces went 45% shi'ite to 95% shi'ite in the last four years. all the militias have been deputized and shiite militias are part of these national guard regional units we are supposed
to stand up and fight, a isis. the problem is militias don't differentiate between sunni military now and basis is counting on that. and violent responses who are legitimate iraqi security forces said the six iraqi army division, the first iraqi army division tried to reinforce the iraqi army division, and there is no trust their and the sunni military has fallen and that legitimizes baghdad concerns that we can't trust the sunnis and iraqi security forces. >> does that auger positive feigns for american policy. >> the election of general allan? >> they were begging him to come
back to reset the awakening. and if they weren't from isis, the very sunnis we need to to fight isis and that was until we started seeing the powers initially general allan was going to be the guy in charge of this. there was a curb in foreign fighter flow of operations, fred finance and the coalition building, the coalition partners, you don't tend to provide air strikes or. on the ground but stop the foreign fighter flow in turkey and other countries. and were able to come in into the fight and that is a problem. general allen is the right guy to do this.
>> empowered how? >> we are willing to go back at. and maliki, do whatever we want. >> administration did not allow gentlemen to go forward to do this. to be effective. with general allan being in charge of the sandy, dray he put together we have relationships we established with the iraqis, sunnis, shi'ite national's and other groups in the iraqi government wants to see iraq stayed together to be part of this. one thing we say is we need to do the same thing isis did, establishing temporary alliances with mosul to take territory away from isis. five guys in the room that he each other if there's a snake
across the stage, and afterwards if we both kill the snake together, not as bad as we thought you were. we need to do things like that. the problem is we say things that resonate in the sunni population centers and the end data is two months away, something for the administration to say air strikes will end on this date edison is that happens you won't get sunni to do anything difficult and absent putting pressure on iran to get a body to absorb sunnis in the security apparatus to won't happen and again soones, why would they trust -- >> come back to the idea of putting pressure on iran by regarding isis which seems to be something the opposite is happening but in the meantime i said i wanted -- you, ended your introductory statement very depressed optimistic. what would it look like?
how could the united states put enough people in the room to kill the snake? what does that look like regarding the tribe? what would have to happen? american military leadership and political leadership, you expressed skepticism regarding anthony. >> i agree with what michael said and i will try to give it that tribal dimension with anecdotes from 1261. they fled the region, took back -- kept sweeping for room and in the levant there was a town that -- he nick an army, there would have beenmet an army, there wou have been a battle and the jews
-- to fight on each side still -- is a need to work with winners. this was important for them. in 2006, the washington post, at that time was the time when the berlin wall had come and he said he was ready to join the u.s. campaign to spread democracy. year after is that when hezbollah swept through his area and that of the sunnis, he called them and set i confirm news from washington that americans are coming to our rescue and are you crazy? we will swim from here to destroy it. can't do that on the united states. this is the same lesson -- went
michael says this is because -- the tribal mine says, the personal is very important and the can't keep sending the same people all the time. they have to change but we have to understand and learn from the mistakes. anthony lincoln handed before us to maliki and iran. and maliki got the salary, the arming on there and and and yesterday saying we sending anthony lincoln again to the people who did not trust him anyway. hi am not saying we should do that to the old team but when the tribe is over we have to prove that the u.s. and the coalition is on the winning side and they have an interest in joining and they can trust the united states and this will be
long term. if this is something about the short-term, two year thing taking on isis and the capability, this is only for the sake of the united states. they will not fight if this is counter terrorism only. they will fight if this means beating the other tribe that has been beating them, that is how tribes fight. by the way, what you have seen now in kaboni, we call from isis, and the kurds, this predates isis and the syrian revolution. these guys all the time, you know this in mosul, the sunni arabs have been there since the iraqi state. we have to take these things and entertain these and have some
allies and see them. and in 1982, and security paycheck. and they are fighting in syria. on the run from shi'ite police men, they are trying to get some supports from isis. >> what are the odds of success? two different ways to put it. what i the odds of success in defeating isis and what are the odds of success in quelling a sunni rebellion and letting the sunnis know that in spite of the in spite of tossing saddam hussein the sunnis are part of iraq. what are the chances of either?
>> so far isis has been in the tribal area. they have not had a big successes for mobile. some of those people isil tribal. we are talking tribal areas so the tribe would be instrumental. to defeat isis, we have to get the tribes nestle past, for example, one of the stronger tribes who are pro assad. you might know one of them. the syrian ambassador in iraq defect it. and they wanted to join the opposition and they are both in 4 said they know how to fight except like i said we call them -- there are no arms or radicals or whatever. being july when isis was
expanding and winning pledges of allegiance from public tribes, they killed 800 men. these guys who are trying to join us. we have to show resolve and long term and then you will see the tribes and money and you will see the tribes coming to our side. >> a good transition. i want to pick it up in syria. how do you earn the trust of the tribe? how do you earn the trust of iraqis ines if people would look to syria and say this administration has sat on its hands, 200,000 arab sunnis have been slaughtered.
christians and kurds, sunni live seem to matter, and the administration is insulting the f s a saying doctors or pharmacists or partners in syria with administration policy to not intervene in the war. how do you get sienese in syria or iraq or anywhere in the region to buy in. >> i can think of a couple ways. one would be to first of all it is important for the administration to realize it is in a hole. not trying to be flippant but we have to understand, september of 2013. 95% of the declared stockpiles
out of syria, not all of it, that is a good thing that came met tremendous political price for our relations in our reputation in the entire world and that is larger than the discussion. send a terrible message to the sunnis inside syria. this is a problem because syria is 75% sunni. it is easier to do this when and not just of when the number of see anys in a country like iraq is smaller. you can probably divide them. in the case of syria you would need a political and military program. the sunnis inside syria would like a replacement to the minority will dominated assad regime, shi'ite offshoots supported by iran. the point transition away from
it. that is one thing we can help them with. we have a stated policy to go in that direction anyway and they haven't seen it. second in order to achieve that, tactically and strategically and in terms of costs. i understand that. you have to get the city powers to finance this operation which they say they have been willing to do but the problem is unlike our iranian adversary iran has a good force and they're good at what the president calls the proxy game. they are very good at it. sunni allies in the region are not except for the jihadists. it is hard to get the difference to any powers to work toward
that common end and they want the united states to be that are better to point things in that direction and willing to finance it. now the president has said no way. that strategy would make sense in terms of ending the war in syria and eliminating isis, it would make more sense if the number sunnis inside syria were smaller like 25% of the population. it was not a huge amount and we haven't been able to find that alternative that takes into consideration sunni aspirations if they don't join jihadists on a tactical strategic level as these gentlemen outlined. also, don't hold animosity against the united states and carry out terrorist attacks. that means not only helping in this overall fight in terms of syria but not putting the country in a situation where it lays down a red line and doesn't
enforce it. that will lose american power all over the world and cost us tremendously among the syrian opposition and send many more people over to the jihadists because the racine as the strong lois horse . the way to solve this is simple. the president's reaction perceived by the american people and those in the region as american aggression in the region. this is well known. is not controversial at all and there was political fallout from that and he was elected and because over time what happened is we have seen his passivity overall, throwing your hand in the air saying we can't do anything. what is required at the moment is a smart policy based on something americans do very
well, working with allies in a smart way and creative ways using their resources to defeat a common foe. we have been doing this for years and this is what is required to truly defeat isis. if we don't do it now, we will not see isis not only during this administration but it will be harder during the next administration. >> that is great. one of the things it reminds me of, there is a lot of talk about moderates and extremists, one of the things you were talking about in terms of the tribe. i want to come back to is that. one thing that strikes me is whenever -- is not just this administration. the bush administration did the same, not to encourage the position of moderates and for moderates to stand up against extremists and also outlined everyone is outlined here, the
united states has done a terrific lead bad job backing moderates in the field. to back moderates rhetorically is one thing but to let the extremists negative in weather that is isis or the islamic republic of iran and hezbollah these are big e issues to put your money where your mouth is, one of the things we are getting at that has not been happening. i want to come back to kaboni. you were saying this divide preexists isis. talk about that and talk about your sense of isis's military capabilities and what it takes militarily to handle it. >> in kaboni, one of the ways to keep track was to use the same tribes to not sort of beat them but the animosity between these
two, the animosity is not just in ancient times over these mundane things but we know there is a line between these two. these tribes to beat these herds repeatedly and when the assad power was on the decline occurred as did not pick apart against assad, the ones in kaboni, striking this whole thing and now the offensive you see from these isis fighters is to an extent not related to syria proper. this started from the first day the assad power weakened. detention and the reason why the kurds formed these militias,
itself defending militias -- just to keep -- by the way in 2007-2008, assad did the same thing. he on the tribes against the jews because it was educating the jews against assad. with isis they can pick up the isis flag and pretend this is ideology. >> the arab tribe. >> it predates what is going on here. >> very interesting. if there is anything you want to add about kaboni, that is a place you have seen isis's military capabilities come out. >> back to the military question. with kaboni when we started airstrikes in syria we were only doing that at night time so isis developed a battle rhythm where they were actually -- airstrikes are over and let's move this
equipment and we were not doing anything during the daytime. because we didn't want to lose u.s. pilots. we were afraid of assad's air defense capability. problem we allowed isis to capture u.s. equipment and syrian equipment and support the fight in kaboni in the open so airstrikes were happening during the daytime. of that equipment was already in kaboni. and the targeting effort is a target package generated by kurds and you saw them move from iraq in to see area. rival kurdish groups fighting a common enemy has come here and go back to isis's military capability, we give isis too much credit for a lot of things. it was done with all the sunni insurgent groups that didn't like the fact that the military
now was she and they were telling him what to do. charismatic sunni leaders were put in jail because of the accountability and terrorism law. you, note terrorists to jail. and marginalize political opponents. this -- and good forces. we are doing that with isis, and the temporary alliances, they've played together and cautious of giving isis too much credit. the baghdad belts on the airport.
as much as isis, and the thing is when they have a common enemy, an iraqi kurdish forces anytime isis asserted primacy of these groups, there were schisms to do things. if this is a line, this is a road. group support basis until they get their. and affiliated groups terminate, they don't want to return to power. the thing about partition, sunnis want the whole country back. a special status, they are happy to responsible hands with the
kurds. the shiites are happy with what they and the kurds are happy with what they have, a sunnis wanted all. there were factions within the sunni rebellion, they want legitimacy, they want to be part of iraq's future and to return to legitimate positions in government, to actually hold sway over what is being done and defend against an air external threat, that being iran. >> a question for andrew but first -- >> to ask quickly, this explains why turkey has been behaving the way it has been behaving. it predates all the isis counter terrorism things and it is on our terrorism list, these tribes we have no interest -- >> exactly why it is -- >> a group that is fighting --
belongs to the pkk which is the kurdish insurgent group that has been fighting turkey since the 1980s and the turks consider them terrorists. american terrorists are fighting turkey terrorists and we ask them to join us in fighting on the american terrorists and they said no. these are terrorists as well. instead of striking isis they were striking the kurds who are fighting isis so this becomes complicated but the reason is it predates the whole situation we have now. >> that is great. one of the things i want to have fled we will come back to iran. one of the things i want to ask you is what right now is the administration's and isis campaign in syria, how is that affecting assad's campaign regarding the rebels said?
my understanding is it is giving him room to attack different rebel units now that the americans at going after a isis. if you want to fill that out? >> american air campaign against isis could benefit the s&p assad regime because the spot regime and the fis a nominally consider isis to be an enemy. the assad regime is its usual position in that it buys refined petroleum products in particular from isis because they can't refine enough of it. at the same time it does fight basis. it is not true that it doesn't fight isis. it does and they clashed, they
don't fight them very well. >> the regime -- >> doesn't do very well against jihadists in general. they don't fare that well. there are a lot of reasons for that. we can adopt another part of the discussions so what has happened is the assad regime, there has been a sort of quid pro quo. american jihadists are flying every day over syria. syria's formidable air defense system is not shooting at them. the question is what do they get in exchange? what they get in but exchange is the united states is not actively trying to overthrow the assad regime. they're focusing on more moderate units, they are not all national. focusing their attention on
them, trying to gain ground. the assad regime is in the country and could try to go out into the euphrates valley but i don't think they are going to but it is easier for them to make a run in circling aleppo. they circlet first and started it out and then get everyone to agree to a cease-fire. and so i think what we are likely to see if the administration's approach continues is the assad regime gaining in some areas, isis and the essay but will be unable to go into the main heartland of isis where isis is located and administer any kind of ruling to take care of those areas. >> that is its and the efficiency. >> there are a lot of problems,
is well known you can hear this from lebanese circles, the regime forces are very tired. it is hard not just psychologically but also just militarily, for three years a group of minorities to just savagely no down a majority of the population and shoot your way out of it. it is hard to do that, hard to convince people so we had seen a couple minority factions in syria say no i don't want to serve in the military. there have been protests in those areas last week where they said we don't want to volunteer for these deaths squads. the reason is there is an important point. let's look at the figures, the death toll figures in syria. the press will break and down between regina and opposition but look a little closer.
usually will find them lower down. the number of national defence forces, they are almost all minorities and increasingly christian, they are enrolled in this militia and their percentage of the death toll is going up rapidly. it is leading to a lot of communities protesting against the regime and its policies. they are the ones who are having to put their necks on the line. with hezbollah and others inside the country. you see that numerically fed has a real limit because the population is not only bigger they have more kids than minorities. statistics bear it out. that is the problem the regime has and there's a desperate at the moment in trying to finessed
themselves with america's current air campaign to save themselves in narrow areas but the problem the united states has is unlike this bold formula between cease-fires and overthrowing the assad regime is we are looking at a state partitioned. i don't see the assad regime moving into the euphrates valley or the opposition factions getting together agreeing on one flag and taking damascus. that is a big problem that will take a lot more than what we are doing. >> i want to come back to that because you mentioned the national defense forces. what is the kind of pressure we can put on iran to get the iranians to convince the sunnis to have a full role in their own government? this seems to be from reports,
it seems to be the opposite. what is happening is the administration may be providing certain concessions in the nuclear talks because they are eager to have the iranians by in on isis. it seems to be going in the wrong direction. the first thing i want to ask is i want to ask you what kind of pressure could we put on the iranians if we were predisposed to do and what i want to ask the two of you, we may have a few minutes for questions, how did we get here? seems in washington the main strategic issue is isis, when in reality the main strategic issue has been, since this president took office, has been the iranian nuclear program, iranian nuclear weapons program with all this concentration on isis, it seems the iranians have slipped to the back of the screen to talk about that a bit.
>> is you the that the middle east the last 20 years russia had a consistent strategic method, china had a consistent strategic message when it comes to the middle east. iran certainly has. the one country everybody is looking to fix these things has not had a consistent strategic message in the middle east. with how much we support somebody, that is a problem. the commander in 2008 said it is better to be an enemy of the u.s.. and we support this much because we support is real. and the strategic methods, and others put pressure on iran to
put sunnis and the government of this isis for this serious enough to go after it, and this noones, and the only people who can clean the ideology are sunnis, it can't be westerners who are trying to do this. one of the main things is you believe the central government is an iranian puppet. we are not going to be able to change that. we have to get iran to change that. and the nuclear concessions, and i am concerned the nuclear things are a strategic issue we can deal with two years from now in order to kill this short tactical targets or 50 meter target.
that concerns me and when the meet with officials it is not about can you push to get more sunnis into the security apparatus for release to any political rivals from detention. or release key cities in detention right now that could send messages to the sunni community so the foreign minister of defense, and former republican guard division commanders were simply arrested -- i shouldn't say that -- were arrested because of their affiliation with the bath party. when you see a charismatic sunni leader that is able to generate or have message is resonating sunni communities, using the terrorism law and accountability and justice law, it was affiliated needs to go away for a while. >> the iranians care about isis? let the arabs kill each other.
led the mosque site. >> to deal with, they are a little concerned. if we think about the way we're handling here and so far and what is happening bind close doors. and we go to -- if there is possible power to share and the iranians say we will replace you in the region. we love you too. and the united states has been swinging back and forth, to replace them with a guy who is
not bringing up issues in human rights and egypt. this swinging back and forth supporting democracy, and to be consistent, to my mind the best successful policy we have over the past ten years with a surge to say if iraq and al qaeda and that was ordered by president bush when taking all sorts of political heat. or what was right or consistent. and air power is fine. we use air power only if it is against regular armies.
>> the administration -- does the administration for toward isis. the messaging campaign, the messaging campaign or is it a policy. >> and in lebanon he ordered the building of two mosque, one in his hometown, wadded the non muslim jews -- and probably hedging. the sunnis are on the rise. he doesn't believe the u.s. has a viable counterterrorism or counter a isis threat. if he thought otherwise, probably that is not a threat and we can survive. >> i will ask the same question. how did we get to this place where three years ago or a little more than three is ago, march of 2011 the syrian
rebellion started and the strategic, and was close faux pas to help have been taunted for would be a good thing because it would weaken the iranians. more and three years later, we are where we are, a concern with isis. and talk about it, not just what happened in the reason but what happens in washington. >> the best article i have ever seen of of the administration's approach. >> more recent, like footprint, can't remember. and the minimalist approach, what the president is doing is ramping up things slowly in a minimalist way, hoping for the
best outcome and is hedging. this is not new. the problem we have, a parent to the american people. and a very chaotic civil war inside syria. >> if we arm the rebels earlier -- we would. would we have larger advance a factions, yes, we would. the problem i see is a minimalist approach will not take care of isis and that is a problem for the united states. the other problem is our minimalist approach to syria isn't going to end the war.
the iranians and hezbollah who they support in lebanon and a lot of shia militias intervene in syria. it is a whole other fascinating story in all this. they intervened to prop up the syrian arab army and develop the national defense forces in syria to train minorities to kill majorities in the population and shoot them into submission. and that intervention is due to a couple things. it is their resolve to prop up their ally, part of a larger issue. and the civil the/instability paradox. when a country gets nuclear-weapons or nuclear capability or approaches that capability, and israel and the
united states because it makes sense. the relation is suddenly stable. your tendency to wage proxy wars in the countries around you goes up dramatically, stability instability paradox. they're pushing into areas that have traditionally been arab or arab speaking for centuries and that doing it in unbelievably strong waves. unfortunately what they have done, started out as a war between tyrannical governments against a peaceful uprising in the company, it turned on. sunni countries in the region i did set, they are desperate to break this iranian she activity, through iraq, syria and over to lebanon in a regime sense and the way to do that is
unfortunately to fight them, that is the dynamic. and this is a larger war in the region and we can have all the meetings we want with the saudis and turks and everybody else about shutting off the cap to this or that. they were not about to do it. they don't see things the same way we do. and jihadists who are against the united states on these and governed spaces and create a lot of mayhem for national security. >> the way the president has put in a number of interviews is
sunni/shi'ite conflict of dad and proxy wars are bad and the people in the region have to look around, sorry, that is will we have been doing for a long time. you heard hussain talking about conflicts between sunni/arab tribes, it is not starting with isis, it has gone on for a long time so the administration needs to address serious issues whether it likes it or not. it has to look at it. and people in the region see it. i will open it up for ten minutes and see if there is a question and if you would wait until -- we have someone in the room with a microphone, thank you. this gentleman right here sitting right there, if you would wait, introduce yourself and ask your question. >> thank you so much for the
meeting and the presentation. i am an american and i will ask you the question of every minority in that region, basically in the future we are going to have u.s. troops on the grounds for obvious reasons. they will definitely work with iranian affiliated groups and this would legitimize their work. how does that affect the long-term stability in the region in lebanon and syria? >> did you say american -- yes. >> the point is at this point, we know that the surge was based on three elements.
the first two elements are missing. before we hand over to tribes or minorities or anybody else, talking to the iranians there was a joint effort in iraq, a joint effort that just gave air power, air cover and these militiass took a she account from isis and ayatollah khamenei was the first to take his picture in this area. at the end of the day, they go to their native people whether they are jews, sunni or shi'ite. if we succeed with isis, whether it is the jews or the tribes, to my mind that could work.
>> do you want -- >> good for me. >> the woman in the front row here. >> i am penny starr. i want to ask michael, you talked about maliki saying to general david petraeus come in and we will let you do anything you want. we heard from the obama administration of the war was going to end at a specific time and even with the status of forces agreement we could stay any longer. that seemed to contradict that. >> we were the only ones in 2009, after it the surge, we went from 57 attacks per day in baghdad 2005-2006 to ten attacks nationwide after the surge. at that point, we will treat the
iraqi government like an independent government, a sovereign government. we were the only ones doing that the iranians were heavily influencing maliki not to sign the status forces agreement. that doesn't mean we couldn't have pushed harder and done more things and we should have. the only thing you could depend upon when joe biden came to baghdad was rocket attacks. and then couldn't going to the castle for three and hours and in he would leave and there would be rocket attacks in the meantime. he was given the portfolio to push this, make this happen. how do we keep a force here? by doing an advise and assist with military training and we could have stayed under the caveat of something else but we chose not to because the projections weren't offered to american soldiers. he would be tried by this iraqi
government and couldn't put any soldier in that danger but more could have been done. 57 attacks. >> do you want to elaborate when you say more could have been done? >> if you want the f-16, the artillery, special forces and intelligence capabilities, you are not going to have it and you use the kurds and the sunnis that you had leverage in those communities to put pressure on the central government to do that. we rely too much on the shi'ites in the government to make those decisions without using leverage and we took our hands off. this is a sovereign government, let's see what it does and it basically had a playbook. you got to remember it was able to sit there for ten years and watch lawrence of all radio walk-in for a year. the guy whoidlk-in for a year. the guy who didn't want to be walking for you. the guy who thought he could have a two hour dinner conversation with him and he would be able to change your
mind. americans come in and say what to need to tell americans to get what i want. i need more money. you need to back the support we go after these targets. we could have done more. there were a lot of great americans who tried and the lot of great americans who said don't try. let's see what it does. >> not being without being facetious i will ask all of you to wrap up here. the answer we believe this is important. the president also has a point as well. how long are the american people supposed to commit resources, their sons and daughters and loved ones and money to iraq? we can say if you don't you wind up with a phenomenon like isis. is isis really a threat to the united states? yes. they put nuts on airplanes and come here but we may have that anyway. so what is -- what is the
importance of committing resources to iraq? we shouldn't have withdrawn resources and now we need to again, what is the argument? if >> we cleaned the freeze recently operation inherent resolve. if the iranians coined the same operation phrase it would be believed, it was demonstrated in syria. they demonstrated their willingness to fight in iraq but the way we approach with this limited approach sounds more like incoherent resolved. as soon as we fight it, they don't believe us, they don't believe we are there for the long hall. >> could have been on the payrolls. there is no need to go to the corner, and the money iran is
committing to this fight is peanuts compared to what the united states is saying. and not as much money and resources. and to beat isis, secretary of state goes and talks to the point. that sent a message to the sunnis we are beating us is by talking to our enemies that we have to keep these things in mind. visually or otherwise with the catch ourselves in ways that that is happening. >> do you want to take a stab at this? >> i had the opportunity to get that done this year. by the russian defense ministry,
it was very interesting. it was fascinating the messaging. they think that president obama is some sort of natural this. they think president obama is behind what they call the color revolution all over the world, ukraine, what have you, in syria. this low minimalist approach, he gets people to rise up against their government's and then it starts a civil war and sent it is a pretext for u.n. resolution which allows american intervention to flip the country over to its side. that is the way it projects its power. >> organized chaos. >> i thought to myself we were all -- i remember afterwards, a russian colleague of mine, you really think there is a plan? i can assure you this is not
planned. >> what i mean is i think the problem that we have is very simple, it is very difficult, autocracies in general are better at predicting their power than democracies. it is amazing. even though we really on a personal level to the people in these countries and their aspirations but we are not good at projecting our power because -- not to get what i want because they know how to divide us. they know who to invite over. what do you do -- invite the following journalists over. the american government is behind all these things going on, and we need to back an ex hydrant to shoot the way out of the problem and the one thing the arabs spring did in this, challenge that notion. it is about stability,
stability, and in the case of syria weekend definitely say -- looked at the middle east, the arabs spring being reversed in egypt and other places. egypt is a nation states, along nation state with a strong military with a long tradition. you have all these other wheat states of the problem i see with the stability argument is it would make a lot more sense and the russians would make more sense if you didn't have the reality that their central government and military said too weak to take hold of it. ..