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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 19, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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spec i would be able to submit some questions for the record. and in less than five minutes that i have, i want to ask about -- you made a pointed reference to the automatic enrollment and the benefits of that. if you have to look at this purely from the point of view of the tax code where we are today and frankly where we hope to be, any recommendations for improvements we can make to the code to make it more effective and make changes to the tax code to make the changes were effective? ..
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on the lower at the end timescale, europe attacks out of office osha welfare programs. i think very few individuals accurately and that tax incentives that they are facing. i think this savers credit, the motivation behind not to give low-income families and incentives to save his well-intentioned, but if you can't sit down -- as someone with a phd in economics can't
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sit down and figure it out in 10 minutes, it is too complicated. i think the fact we have so many different tax favored ways to save makes it complicated. so you know, am i better off in saving, not just the retirement system. if i am an employee and my employer offers a purchase plan, a 401(k) plan and a health savings account and have a limited budget for how much i can say is, it's complicated to figure out where should i put that money, plus we have 529 plans. we've got lots of tax favor ways to save. i think some simplification and some consistency across these different plans would be helpful. the wire for a three b. plan has to have different roles than a 401(k) versus an ira, you know, a lot of it doesn't make sense to me. there are a lot of things to do to make things simpler, more straight a word for both
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employers offering plans and for individuals trying to decide how do i save for health care for education for retirement, mortgage, things like that. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, senator casey. senator portman, you are already on a roll with your church clarification plan celesta promote autoenrollment. so just keep going. >> well, thank you. did our panelists all say they agreed with it? >> we are getting the scores as quickly as possible. it shouldn't involve back people. i'm looking forward to working with you. >> having the hearing today with some of the great testimony. what a terrific panel in thank you for what you're doing. ben cardin was here and then i get a lot of worked together. we have introduced this plan recently, but also soon we will
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introduce a bill on the whole issue of the nondiscrimination testing in the hard freeze and thaw freeze issue as something we actually talked to treasury about in open testimony here and this'll be another good clarification plan that will help. i'm excited about what we been able to do over the years. i'm looking at statistics here. some charts on 401(k)s and iras. i know that some are critical of these programs are dearest to reality with our tough economic times we have entering the financial crisis we've gone from about four to $5 trillion in 401(k)s and iras to about 10 trillion -- over 10 trillion last year. so that not bad given what happened during 2008, nine, 10. we've got to keep it up and figure out how to get more small businesses to provide these plans and that is the key to
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encouraging every small business something so that we have the opportunity. as dr. madrian said, with a simple plan that came out of the work in the house for small businesses. it is actually called simple. but there is more work to be done in terms of the complication in the cost and liability in it. this savers credit has worked very well. going forward we can make that work better. the autoenrollment issue i think when i talk to companies and i know you talked about this earlier, 75% participation on average 298%. that is obviously a great opportunity. there's more opportunity there i believe to expand that to more companies. recently senator warner and i opened a bill and the other support on this to simply in the savings plan move to default
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plan from government bonds to it lifecycle plan. i don't know what you all think about that, but the lifecycle fund seems to make a lot more sense for federal employees here if you you are interested and not, now is a week to weigh in. some will ask you that. what you think of that for the default in the thrift savings plan? maybe dr. reid and dr. madrian, you can start. >> certainly in the private sector, the defaults we are put in place in the rules congress put in so balanced funds and lifecycle funds have been extremely possible, i think they do help sort of date younger investors into saving more heavily in the stock market and even while there was talk about younger investors in the stock market, the lifecycle funds did certainly keep individuals in one case contributing. i think another point here that we would like to make to go into the broader question is the
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concept for smaller employers to help them more easily offer a plan would be a beneficial change in adding to her system as well. >> thank you. i agree. >> i completely agree with the default funds. a huge volume of evidence shows the default fund is extremely persistent and their automatic enrollment. so the default fund is a bond fund, most assets will flow into the bond fund. to hearken back to senator casey's question earlier, how do individual learn and become more financially literate? the best evidence as they learn through experience. if they want individuals to understand how the stock market works and how diversification works in things like that, having them invested in it lifecycle fund which contains a better mix of assets makes a lot of sense. >> o-oscar quickly. there's so many things to talk to the expert panel about. one idea that is out there that
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you know i find intriguing. should we eliminate minimum distribution rules for plans under certain amount, say 100,000 bucks. a lot of people under 70 and a half hours to working as you know. fortunately i just laughed a ceo of the major steel nature and to keep their workers there because they have a serious gaffe. what do you all think about that? >> anyways in which we can help and encourage people to spread out balances over a longer period of time, wizardly find most people wait until withdraw until they had that 70.5. given the fact that life expectancy has increased in the minimum distribution ages not changed is the money looking now whether or not there really needs to be adjusted in other ways, as long as these are, when what we do a sort of product neutral again. i think again we want to make sure that we encourage how you
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are invested, that minimum distribution age is available to everyone. >> i think your conclusion is correct that there are to be some exemptions for minimum distribution requirements after $1000 that can be taken out without being required to be taken out. i would also say on the thrift savings plan, i do think the thrift savings plan is the portion of an option, if you know, where investors can say i want my money say for the last two years before retirement let's say. i don't know what the markets going to do. maybe 50% all over again. we really want protection. late in the period before he retires. he should have a very highly safe assumption. >> that sco is a series of these lifecycle funds. towards the end of the cycle, i need to look at that more carefully and see the last two years. when asked a general question.
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thank you for the indulgence. there is discussion of the know about savings in general and a low rate of savings and how it affects the economy. senator cardin and i believe that and the chairman does as well. so there is talk about a universal savings vehicle. this came up in the bush administration and recently again with discussion about new ideas on a universal savings vehicle that would be available to everyone. for instance if you follow that at all. the tax treatment and the rock type vehicle they are. what do you all think of that as it would relate to retirement savings? if you have the opportunity to say for anything and to pull out for anything, you'd have even more leakage, even less assets for retirement. but it had okay because you increase savings and financial letters and so on. maybe just comment. >> quickly so we can get senator cantwell in. >> i will pass in the interest
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of time. >> i don't know the particulars of the proposals you're talking about. but i don't know that it would make sense to have universal savings plan we put money in and take it out for anything unless you have stronger incentives to encourage accumulation. if you let people take money out for anything, they put more in the first place to cover every day you do need higher limits, financial incentives, every lover out there. you know, if it was a counterpart, we know from behavioral economics that people engage in a lot of mental accounting and organizing their financial accounts. one problem with the retirement savings system right now as we do allow people to take money out. it is not clear whether the 401(k) is a retirement plan or the universal savings plan. >> you had to ask a question. i'll let you go now. if you have any thought on that,
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senator dr. biggs will follow up as well. >> thank you him as an unimportant. senator cantwell. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for this important hearing. 92% of americans are not meeting their retirement savings. i know as we look at our budget for social security and medicare programs like snape, this is going to have an impact on them. so to me, i want to look at ways to encourage more savings and certainly offer more of a lifetime stream of savings. so mr. betts, i was wondering if you could comment on programs like a lifetime guaranteed annuity product as a way to invent americans to further save and a way to help them make more efficiency out of their dollars. this is something that could be further incentive by congress.
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>> senator cantwell, our businesses and helping employers to find and business and manage retirement plans. we don't get into the products they go into them. we have seen current legislation, things that have introduced opportunities into these plans to have annuity-based structures and things to help out of retirement with these plans. our biggest focus really is six and in the access so that more dollars are going in. we would like to see less of the disincentives that prevents small employers from starting these plans so that more americans can be contributing. as they grow, then the employers will put more employer dollars in. so it is really from our our perspective, getting access and contributing sufficiently. we know what retirement, there's a variety of different situations and people need flexibility to make the retirement systems any good the
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right amount of tools for the american person inside the retirement plan is important. >> you like the annuity is, that businesses are often come at you think they are successful quite >> they have a place for the right person who needs that type of structure. but that is not something we work on in our business. >> mr. bogle, any input about annuities quite >> with a mixed income portfolio, the rates are so terribly low. you know, i have always felt there was a place for annuity because it guarantees that eliminates longevity risk and the place are bugged, but those returns are so unattractive today that i think investors and their advisors have to at least vaguely think about whether they are attractive investments. think about a savings plan coming universal savings plan. we know from the history because of inflation in putting money into savings over the long term is a loser's game, probably a
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negative return if the cost of living is adjusted. we have to think differently about short-term investments and long-term investments. annuities have a place, but they come out of the commercial system and go into the public system for the annuity gets a fair return. >> how would you do that quite >> tia does a good job himself. it has to be an annuity that is run for the investors. it really comes down to that cost of horrendous annuities and other life-insurance projects if you forgive my expression. but i don't think anybody would disagree with that. if you take the cost outcome of the race will still be low, but you get paid. for a certain type of investor who wants to ensure the longevity risk of the asset, they are not tracked as auction. >> but don't you think given the crisis we're facing that it is important to have the opportunity fixed quite >> yes, we should have the
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opportunity. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator cantwell. funny to you first saw this has been very helpful. obviously, there are a whole host of issues to be examined. not a topic today, but i feel strongly about getting people to start saving very early in life and that is why we been talking about job savings accounts. here again, common sense approaches you can take. one of the areas that struck me very early on when you talk about people of modest means, their eligibility for various programs can be damaged because somebody sets aside some money and they set aside early on and weigh those kinds of rules to start building a savings early. today, you have to be troubled by where this debate has gone. the general accounting office has told us as well as tax payers, are the nine dozen of them have over $5 in their ira
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accounts in 2011. we've also seen press reports of executives in the high-tech sector with roth iras of over $90 million. see you contrast that with what you all had been talking about for the last two hours, with a median i every account balance in 200 been about $21,000 it's pretty clear there is some important work to be done. so i think i would like to do just in terms of wrapping up his hat the wall almost pretend that the roles are reversed here and you are up on this side and senator hatch and i and all of our colleagues are going to try on a bipartisan basis to stimulate retirement saving. the way the debate is going to start when they get to it as part of tax reform is right now the american taxpayer is put enough about $140 billion each year to subsidize a retirement
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account. this is the second atheist tax expenditure in the code. so you take that and juxtapose it next to at the general accounting office has told us about the make a iras in the $21,000 that people have a median amount in their account. it is pretty clear this committee is going to have some tough choices to make. so what i would like to do is go down the row and ask each one of you for just one suggestion, just one suggestion of where is part of the effort with the $140 billion that is used to assist these accounts, where would you make a change to get a bigger bang for the back payer buck. this is going to be similar to
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what the debate will be here in the committee as part of tax reform, making the choice along those lines. mr. bogle. >> one, you don't get first. >> one thing we would do is eliminate the larger reductions or how the tax credit instead of a tax reduction which will and tax large investors the most. i would not do that in that situation. >> very good. >> i would expand the system to make sure more small employers were easily able to offer plans so a starter k. >> similar answer to remove the disincentives and small employers to start those plans. >> in one way you would like to do that. >> dr. madrian. >> you don't get to $5 billion in your 401(k) or ira by investing up to the limits we currently have and putting it
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into mutual funds. you get there by putting it into employer stock and getting really, really lucky. for every winner with employer stock, there's lots of losers whose companies go bankrupt. i don't think it makes sense to encourage gambling to the tax code by allowing employer stock as an investment option in taxpayer savings plans. >> you support a change in that area quite >> yes. >> dr. biggs. >> i would echo the other witnesses and simplify plan offerings for smaller employers to get at the low income workers, improve the incentives to offer those plans. >> okay. at this point, we have senator nelson on his way. what i would like to do is ask our guests, can you all stay a few more minutes? what we will do when senator nelson returns, he will ask his
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questions in the finance committee will be adjourned. so with your lead, we will spend a few minutes and senator nelson will be here to wrap a. thank you all for your professionalism and for your patience with us on a hectic day. michelle's must still be stranded somewhere. an amtrak land. [inaudible] >> all right. [inaudible conversations] >> senator now send has arrived and has had a hectic day. senator now send, it is our plan that you will ask the questions that are important to you and at
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that point you will assure the committee. it's acceptable? >> okay, mr. chairman. questions important to you because you remember the committee on aging as well. we had a hearing about the extraordinary dad that if kerry and would you believe, by senior, of all the things student loan debt and to the point at which seniors are then, if they can't pay, low and behold their social security is garnished and that brings them below the poverty level because you can garnish down to $750, down to that level in $750 a
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month for senior citizens today is low where then the poverty level. >> senator nelson, you are doing very important work. sorry i am going to have to go. the fact that so many seniors have racked up these eye-popping deaths than ineffectual colors so many retirement decisions in the future is especially important and i look forward to working with you. >> what i wanted to ask the panel is what impact his death have on workers trying to put money aside for retirement? anyone? >> it puts them in an impossible position. the student loan debt is enormous and i don't see how you can save beyond that when you are still trying to pay it off, senator. >> that is right. now we recently had somebody
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talking about our thrift savings plan here. the sun at a very successful thrift savings plan. if you are in a company they would call it a profit sharing plan. here it is called the thrift savings plan. the question was proposed an idea of opening up a thrift savings plan type ntt to averitt one. do you want to give any thoughts on the concept? >> yes, sir. >> senator, i mentioned this in my written testimony. i referenced your colleague who has advocated us. there are obviously practical issues. in this sense the thrift savings landis for government employees that is streamlined look saving. it is an easy plan to administer and handle.
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i favor the idea of giving saving options for low-income workers who are not our pension by their employer. so whether it's way through the tsp or restructure that looks very much like the tsp, that is a very good idea. it's an extremely well-run plan. the book, low cost, offers annuities to convert your balance to a lifetime income. when you look at the tsp, answers questions we have about retirement security. we can design a good plan and you have to actually go out and do it. >> how would you go about setting up administratively a plan like that for anyone who wanted to buy into his >> question is do you have it through those individual employers were they would not bring the plant have a bit to back the money and send it to the tsp, or do you run at something like an ira that individuals themselves would have to do it. having employers do it with the administrative burden may make it less attractive to them but
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easier for the employee. if you run an ira setup, the employee makes the decision. that has no burden on the employers. it's very easy on that end. on the other hand, many employees fail to do it. the question is how do you make it cheap and easy? the problem for small employers, electronic bookkeeping, that is a fairly easy thing to do. your computer does it for you. it's a small employers most likely to read a check i hand each month and the difficulty of how to make it work for them. that goes back to one of the point that began that a key for encouraging retirement savings is making it easier for small employers to offer the sorts of plans. >> senator, the thrift savings plan essentially what the long-term money in the short-term reserves, 100% index funds. they charge i believe the number is 0.025 a year, 2.5 basis
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points for it, which you could argue it's even better than the vanguard at hundred index funds which charges a shocking five basis points, twice as much. the thrift savings plan as they are accounting for their participants and beneficiaries paid in a different source. so they are probably about the same. so i would answer essentially a thrift savings plan in a different guide is already available to any employer of any size in the nation. >> senator, to echo points, if you would open a thrift savings plans basically to potentially millions of employers, you wouldn't have the thrift savings plans anymore in part because the administrative savings they get from one employer with long tenured employees, with large accounts, those deficiencies would obviously go away. as mr. bogle says, there
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sections in the private sector that through mutual funds, you can index funds, low-cost funds as well, and you can call up any one of the phone companies or discount broker and open up an ira or a small employer can work with one of them to open up sort of payroll deduction plan through an ira as well. the private market does have something that actually is working very well. >> i am not able to speak -- >> turn on your mike microphone. >> i'm not able to speak to the tsp plan, but expanding the accessibility of the savings plans is very important. what you have been one of your bills, double expand multiple employer plans, which will allow employers to offer these retirement plans, saving plans for some of these types of investments may be similar to
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tsb. >> yes, ma'am. >> i agree with what the other panelists have said. >> well, thank you all for participating in this. any further thing quiet okay, the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> president to bomb al jazeera news conference with reporters today at the white house here she spoke about a range of issues including the keystone accel pipeline and why he feels it would have little impact on u.s. gas prices should its construction move forward. >> i don't think i've been advised the benefit. i think i described the benefits. an issue on keystone is not
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american oil. it is canadian oil. that is drawn out of tarzan in canada. that oil currently is being shipped out through grail or trucks and it would save canadian oil companies in the canadian oil industry and enormous amounts of money if they could simply type all the way through to the united states down to the goals. once they get down to the gulf, it is marketed and then salt all around the world. so there is no -- i won't say no. there is very little impact,
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nominal impact on u.s. gas prices, what the average american is cares about by having this pipeline come through. sometimes the way this gets sold his wife get this oil income here in the implication is cooler gas prices here in the united states. there's the global oil market. it's very good for canadian oil companies and it is good for the canadian oil industry. but it is not going to be a huge benefit to u.s. consumers. it is not even going to be a nominal benefit to u.s. can immerse. now, the construction of the pipeline itself will create probably a couple thousand jobs here and those are temporary jobs until the construction actually happens. there's probably some additional jobs that can be created in the refining process down in the
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gulf. those aren't completely insignificant. just like any other project. but when you consider what we could be doing, if we are rebuilding our roads and bridges around the country, something that congress could authorize. we could probably create hundreds of thousands of jobs or a million jobs. so that is the argument, there's a lot more direct ways to create well-paying american construction jobs.
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>> undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, rose gottemoeller, said despite u.s. pressure tensions are retained, russia implements the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. brookings institution hosted. just under an hour and a half. >> it is my pleasure today to introduce under secretary of state, rose gottemoeller, who is going to talk to us about americans are in control e. before continuing with introduction, would like to express the gratitude of brookings and to the carnegie corporation of new york whose generous support makes programs
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like today's possible. when president obama took office in 2009, he set out a very ambitious agenda for arms control, which he laid out in a speech in april to the nine product. over the course of the first year, the administration recorded significant achievements. on april 2010,@a new strategic arms reduction treaty. it issued a nuclear posture review, which set the objective of reducing the number of nuclear weapons in american policy and launched the nuclear security summit process. the president almost immediately laid out even more ambitious goals. on signing the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, he talked about a negotiation to further reduce u.s. and russian strategic forces, but also expand the negotiation to include tactical nuclear weapons and reserve strategic weapons in a way for the first time we've had the united states and russia negotiating on their entire nuclear arsenals. the administration talked about the possibility of ratification
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of the test ban treaty and the brief period when nato and russia discussed the possibility of cooperation on missile defense. thanks for showing has slowed since then. over the last year you of the crisis over ukraine, but before the crisis, it was clear on major questions of arms control, the russians still made the process. on strategic forces, tactical nuclear weapons and missile defense. the obama administration nevertheless has two years ago when we are delighted to have secretary gottemoeller to talk about that. she is a long distinguished career with the u.s. government. we first met in 1990 on the soviet desk at the state department as she went to her first s.t.a.r.t. treaty negotiation. she stared at the national security council, senior positions at department of energy in 2009 assistant secretary for arms control verification and compliance. for among other things she led to negotiations of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty and now holds the position of undersecretary
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state for arms control national security. i should also say in addition to being the u.s. government top expert on arms control and security questions, she's also organize there is the most excellent adventures. 1994 she was the national security council staff working on russia and ukraine questions at the state department. one day she calls me and says steve, strategic command has offered to take you down to georgia to visit the submarine base and to go down to port canaveral and spend a day on a submarine. would you like to come along? is this a trick question? we then had 2.5 days of kings bay was preparing to conduct the inspections it was going to require to accommodate under the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty and spend eight hours on the uss maryland where we visited every compartment to the periscope, drove a submarine of one point.i'm missile. for arms control, this was the dream day.
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we look forward to your conversation and after opening remarks, were happy to open up the questions to the audience and have a discussion. >> steve didn't mention about that day that the fondest memory i have those actually getting a drivers license or driving the maryland. that of course was totally ridiculous, but nevertheless it is something i treasure. you've got a drivers license to it seems to me. exactly, exactly. this time of year is a really special time. i am delighted to be here and see so many colleagues and friends of experts around the audience in thank you very much for the invitation. we've been trying to organize this for some time. this is a good woman to come to you and speak about plans for the arms control agenda over the coming years. first of all, this holiday time
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is a very special time for this administration because so much in the disarmament arena was accomplished right at this time. remember for example in 2009, right after the copenhagen on that, where president obama with then president indicted had a critical kind of meeting in the negotiation of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty and we came back to washington to wrestle with important issues here, which resulted in another important meeting in january when i'm mobile and went to moscow with a team from across the generations the to press forward the process in the negotiations. so this was very important. in 2010 than you s.t.a.r.t. treaty and give its advice and consent. i felt pretty special about this
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time of year for a number of reasons in our arena to the normal good fun that ensues. as all of you might know, i've been traveling quite a bit lately from a trip to the hague to visit the opd c.e. w. on chemical weapons issues, prop to do a speech on again are disarmament agenda going forward and i will replace some of those points today, but also expand on them. this laid the groundwork for the following two days at the vienna conference on humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons use. all of that will be woven into what i have to say today. the third stop on this most recent trip of mine was in ukraine and i had the opportunity to go to kiev. actually the anniversary was the anniversary of the budapest memorandum entering into force on december 4th of 1994.
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so i had an opportunity to speak to a ukrainian audience. as you can imagine, there were sharp question about the import of the budapest memorandum for ukraine. i decry to talk about that during a question-and-answer period. it is yet another reason why this season of the year is a very important one. what i would like to say about ukraine in beginning my remarks today is first of all that we see a government focused on problem-solving and intent on moving strongly forward with the reform that they have i seen fail to fulfill over so many years now. i am very hopeful after this trip to ukraine and hopeful for a not only hopeful, but convinced of their continuing partnership in the non-proliferation treaty regime with strong commitment voice to their non-nuclear weapons status under the npt. so very, very good visit and
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many, many ways. i come back to here in washington with many recent and important impression semaphore to sharing them with you in addition to hearing your thoughts and your questions this morning. i will say here to begin with what i said in prague. first of all, there should be no doubt the u.s. commitment to achieving the peace and security of the world without nuclear weapons is unassailable. we continue to pursue what the non-proliferation treaty with the commitment. these after it has led the nuclear arsenal by approximately 81st and from the cold war era. in real numbers, that means we have gone from 31,250 weapons and are active stock island 1967
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to 4804 in 2013. we know, however that we still have work to do. 4800 for nuclear weapons is still a lot of weapons. as we consider future reductions come our focus must be unachievable verifiable measures at all interested parties, nuclear states a nonnuclear state to like and trust. our past experience both successes and disappointments will inform how and when we perceive each step, building upon the last. when we take stock of the last 30 years, it is clear that our path has been the right one. we've accomplished so much in if we had all been gathered together in this room for a nuclear policy event of brookings in 1985, i don't think anyone in the room could have imagined or predicted how much we were able to accomplish. i was right down the road in
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1985 at 21st in and straight at the rand corporation and i know that i would not have predicted how much we have accomplished. by the way, my next-door neighbor of rand corporation westhead warner, a very good acts. in our field who has passed on recently. i know there are others among this group of miss them as much as i do. his legacy is truly a great one and i did want to say a word in tribute to ted warner this morning because he was a great colleague and a great friend. within that decade of 1985, washington and moscow would include the nuclear forces treaty. the strategic arms reduction treaty, the presidential nuclear initiatives in the purchase agreement. these various bilateral imperial unilateral initiatives led to an array of impressive and long reaching out for, spanning an entire class of vessels carry nuclear weapons, reducing the
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deployed nuclear stock pile for the united is in russia by 11 house and weapons, drastically reducing a lemonade and whole categories of tactical air weapons while removing others to routine deployment and converting russian nuclear material equivalent to an astounding 20,000 nuclear weapons into fuel for nuclear power plants. these efforts were followed by the strategic offensive reductions treaty sometimes called the moscow treaty, which further reduced u.s. and russian deployed strategic forces and of course in 2010, the united states and russia signed the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. when fully implemented, new start will to ploy warheads to the lowest level since the 1950s. new start is enhancing strategic and security stability between the united states and russia. both nations are faithfully implementing the treaty section regime and i note even during
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the severe crisis of the russian federation, russians are continuing in a businesslike way to implement the new s.t.a.r.t. current tensions highlight the durability of the verification regime and the important confidence provided by a data provided by data exchanges and notifications on-site inspections under the treaty as well as security and predict ability provided by mutual events in central strategic forces that are verifiable in nature. none of these achievements could have been predicted back in 1985 were laid out in the long term time bound process. on the contrary, it was the faithful implementation of each individual initiative that provided customers confident in the strategic opportunity to move ahead to the next phase. underpinning all of our efforts, stretching back decades, thinner clear understanding recognition of this minutes here and consequences of the use of these weapons. that is the message the united
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states delivered in vienna last week at the conference on the humanitarian impacts nuclear weapon. we appreciate hearing the testimony and statements of the participant there, including many that the nuclear radiation contamination. while we acknowledge the views of those who call for negotiation of the nuclear weapons ban treaty amid the united states cannot and will not thwart efforts to pursue such a ban. we believe the practical path we have so successfully followed in the past remains the only realistic word to our shareholder nuclear weapons free world. again, should be remembered we share the same goal. we just have different ideas about how to get to that goal. the international community cannot ignore our wish away the obstacles confronting us to slow the pace of progress on arms control and non-proliferation efforts. we must all of knowledge that not every nation is ready or willing to pursue serious arms control and non-proliferation.
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we are seeing new and enduring pressures on the non-proliferation treaty, pressures that threaten global stability. we see nations turn away from cooperation, turn away from the common good of non-proliferation matters and clinging more tightly to the nuclear arsenals. as we pushed the nations to accept the global and ethical responsibility, the united states will maintain a safe and secure and effective arsenal for the defense of our nation and allies. this is not a stance that is mutually exclusive of u.s. disarmament roles. it simply recognizes the international security environment in which we find ourselves is one in which we must take account of an pursue further progress in a very difficult overarching situation. we are conscious of the current obligations and responsibilities and we are meeting them. the united states also notes the responsibility towards
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disarmament and i can affirm to you that we will never, never relent in this pursuit. there are people here in washington and people around the world who see the landscape and say we cannot control the spread of weapons of mass destruction were further limit nuclear stockpile. they are wrong. it was in prague that president obama reminded us that such fatalism is a deadly adversary for if we believe the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, some ways we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable. again, the united states cannot and will not accept this. when we fail to pursue peace, the president also said it stays forever beyond our grasp. to denounce or shrug off cooperation is easy, but also a cowardly thing to do. the united states will press ahead, even in the face of many obstacles. while we've accomplished much over the last five years, we
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continue to push forward. we have no intention of diverting from our active efforts to reduce the role and members of nuclear weapons, increase confidence and transparency, strengthen non-proliferation and address compliance challenges. we will do so pursuing all of the available in practical avenues. for instance, the united states earlier this month contributed resources and experts to the successful on-site exercise held by the comprehensive test treaty organization in jordan, the so-called ife 14 integrated field exercise 14. such practical efforts to ensure international community will have an effect of verification regime for the day when the ctb enters into force. the united states has made where we are prepared to engage with russia on the full range of issues affecting strategic stability and there are real and meaningful that we should be taken that can contribute to a
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more predictable, safer security environment. given the united states and russia continued to possess over 90% of the nuclear weapons in the world, this is an important and worthy goal. in june of 2013 in berlin, president obama stated u.s. willingness to negotiate a third of our deployed strategic warheads from the level established in the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. progress required a willing partner in a conducive strategic environment, but this offers on the table. on the broader world stage, progress towards disarmament requires the state to take greater responsibility to resolve the conflicts that give rise to proliferation dangers. it requires sending nuclear buildup in asia that iran join an agreement for storing for confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program in north korea return to compliance with its international obligations. and requires we make opera
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software when we can. this importantly includes in the middle east where we will spare no effort to convene and is your conference on his own free weapons of mass destruction and systems of their delivery here at our assistant secretary for non-proliferation, thomas countrymen is fully engaged in this project as well as our envoy for the non-proliferation treaty, ambassador adam scheinman. further, the united states considers non-proliferation priorities, we continue to consult close leave with our allies every step of the way our security and defense vendors is simply nonnegotiable. we are in a difficult crisis with the russian federation. i begin with. monitors include not only ukraine, but also russia's violations of the intermediate range nuclear forces, the inf treaty, addressing those situations is an ongoing process. was a civic regard to the
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russian ins violation, will continue engaging u.s. concerns. our objective is for russia to return to verifiable compliance to the treaty obligations as the treaty is in our mutual security interests and that of all countries around the globe. indeed, we need cooperation with russia and other nations to address new threats. first and foremost, threat of terrorist with a nuclear weapon or nuclear material. you need the cooperation for their own security as well as for the security of other countries around the globe. as i've outlined here this morning, there's no way to skip to the end and for go the hard work of solving the truly daunting technical and political non-proliferation and disarmament challenges that lie ahead. it is not enough to the political will to pursue the agenda. we have to have a practical way to pursue this agenda. we can all at dollars that verification will become
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increasingly complex as lower numbers of nuclear weapons as we lower the numbers of nuclear weapons while requirements were accurately determining from lines will dramatically increase. everyone who shares the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons should be devoting a lot of time and energy nowadays to address this challenge. with that idea in mind, i announced in prod a new initiative, the international partnership for nuclear disarmament verification. the united states proposes to work with nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapons states to better understand the technical problems to verify nuclear disarmament and to develop solutions. the united kingdom and norway have 30 pioneered this type of work. this new initiative will build on the spirit of that experiment to create a nontraditional partnership that draws on the expertise of taunted individuals around the world, both in government and not of government and in that regard i'm simply
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delighted to nuclear threats initiative will be a part breitner providing intellectual energy and resources to this project. we are excited to be working and we hope to work with more of you on this initiative as well. i do hope we have opportunities to develop an ongoing discourse as we will out the agenda further and hope to your good ideas from you whether on the process side, procedural side or the technology site as well. we truly do want a wide-ranging partnership with the nongovernmental community. beyond the effort we continue to work with the p5 on transparency verification. i am pleased the united kingdom will host its sixth annual conference in early february in london or the regular interaction, and trust building happening now and the foreign is the foundation on which future p. five disarmament negotiations will stand. in closing, i would like to make it clear that the united states
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has plans and we intend to see them through. again, the core of our efforts is the deep understanding of the human impacts of nuclear weapons. that is why i traveled this year to the marshall islands, take your shima shema and two times two utah to talk with those who have suffered nuclear weapons treaty she and economic problems as well. that is why the united states to a delegation last week on the humanitarian in part the humanitarian impart their weapons. the united states understands nuclear weapons are not a theoretical tool. they are real and any use of nuclear weapons would exact a terrible toll. no one in this country or any country should ever forget that. thank you for your attention and i look forward to our discussion. thank you.
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[applause] >> rose, first of all, thank you for the overview. when overview. levitate the moderates prerogative impose a couple questions and then open it up to the audience. we have about an hour to grill you now. the first question is a general question. when you look at the overall u.s.-russia relationship over the past year, obviously there is this crisis over ukraine that has been a big shadow. you did mention that despite that, the russians have worked in a cooperative way, a businesslike way, but you've also had a series of exchanges
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pitied than the moscow, how has that affected those exchanges? d.c. and impact on those? >> i think quite honestly, there are a lot of speculations out there that things have gone severely worse since the crisis in ukraine. i would say that some of the hesitation we saw from the russian federation about the disarmament that has emerged before the crisis over ukraine. there were concerns in many of you remember there were a series of issues they said were of the urn to them before they wanted to engage in further strategic arms reductions negotiations including missile defenses, presence of nuclear weapons in europe, convention conventional global strike, which i saw essentially a sort of a blocking
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function to any further discussion of nuclear disarmament measures in the period immediately after new s.t.a.r.t. treaty entered into force. another key russian talking point throughout that appeared in the run-up to the craze says was essentially a would have to proceed with further negotiations. they will be fully implemented on or a fifth 2018. we don't really have that far to go. nevertheless i've been arguing regularly to my russian colleagues that not only is the berlin proposal in their security impressed as well as fires and no country enters into an arms control treaty including our own unless it is in their national security interests. but furthermore, it is the kind of proposal that could be implemented, that we could implement new s.t.a.r.t. and immediately build out and
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implement the berlin proposal. i just wanted to make people aware that we have i would say hesitations and barriers in the way even before the ukraine crisis emerged. since the ukraine crisis emerged, the situation has been complicated by the severity of that terrible crisis. however, i would also say that i think there is some interesting continuing finds out they are of pragmatism and a businesslike attitude. mentioned the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty implementation, but in addition to that, tremendous success of the implementation of the theory of chemical weapons product, getting 1300 tons of chemical weapons out of syria in the period 18 september 2013 at september 2014. it's what the very height of the ukraine crisis, we continue to work very successfully with moscow as follows with a u.n.
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task force that was implementing this project to get those chemical weapons out of the country. there is still more work to do. we are dealing with our concerns about capabilities the syrians may not have declared, but nevertheless that is a good sign of a continuing businesslike attitude. and the third area has been one for my colleague but the undersecretary of policy and that is the so-called p5 plus one talk including iran, where there's a business like attitude for russians then they continued to help that move that agenda forward. so it is an interesting big picture i would say. ..
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and furthermore i talk about the very careful compliance assessment process that we carry out, the defense department has the lead for those assessments but nevertheless it is with close consultation with other agencies of our government and so we say that we have a process in place and become to a careful determination. we say to the russians, don't
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you have such a process as well and essentially that as part of my discourse with the talk about the necessity of compliance, being considered as a whole of government type of issue. i will put it that way. i will say also for this group i know there has been a lot of interest in this and taking from the answers we have heard from the nongovernmental community we are putting together a fact sheet that will provide you some unclassified information about why we clearly believe that this treaty system is in compliance with the imf treaty. i wish i had to hand out to you today. it's still being worked among our interagency team but you will have it on the street shortly and it will be available on our web site so i will make sure that that's available for everybody. but i'm completely confident that we are in compliance with their imf treaty obligations based again on a very solid interagency process.
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>> let me go ahead and open up the floor to questions from the audience. if you please state your name and affiliation and keep it short and there should be something with a question mark at the end. >> good morning madam secretary. since you are speaking about the dangers of nuclear weapons i wanted to ask you about the organization and in specific i wanted you to comment on a news article by professor theodore postel published in the latest issue of the "nation magazine." so i don't distort the views i just wanted to read you the first messages with your permission i would like you to comment on those. close analysis reveals a technically sophisticated effort for a direct confrontation with russia. and point number two
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modernization track is a disturbing indication that the u.s. natori believes a nuclear war against russia. any thoughts on this? >> i disagree profoundly with both of those points at one point i've made repeatedly to my interlocutors in moscow is that we have been down this road before in a reaction cycle. the last thing we need now is to repeat the mistakes of the cold war with resources our national intellect into programs of this kind that of course if necessary they would be in our national security interests. but we don't see them as necessary at this time. what is necessary is some judicious modernization of nuclear forces and it's interesting i would say at the moment there's disconnect with russia after the period of the
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1990s where a lot of the russian strategic nuclear arsenal was essentially going out of the guaranteed period of service service. the cold war era missiles such as the ss 19. this is nato terminology obviously. they passed out of their service life though were russia has had a mass obsolescence to deal with so the first decade of the 21st century russia has been focusing on the modernization of strategic forces and putting resources into that. the second decade of the 20 century underway with united states putting resources into judicious modernization of our strategic forces. there's a bit of a lag time here but i would say moscow and washington have been making decisions about what i consider to be judicious modernization following cold war era systems going out of their service life.
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>> rose thank you for a wide-ranging brief. what are the challenges out there that you mentioned? is the growth of nuclear arsenals in asia and i was wondering if you could expand a little bit on that particular problem and how you're part of the is thinking about dealing with that long-term problem and more specifically if you can give a sense of the quality of our discussions with the chinese on these particular issues. not just in the p5 context but bilaterally on the question of strategic stability. >> first of all i will say a word in support of the p5 process because i remember the very first meeting in london in september 2009 which i considered a proto-meeting.
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it was the meetings that if you have been in government he recognize when people exchange their talking points and it's kind of stilted to be honest. but in a five-year sense there has been a steady increase in the amount of german traction in these meetings and a maturation and new sophistication i would say in the interactions among all of the p5. i very much welcome the first proto-meeting and now returning at the end of the first cycle to a meeting in london. i know the discussion will be very rich and very interactive and actually we are a think putting a lot of issues on the table with regard to strategic stability. having a chance to air them and exchanged views on the fp five which has not happened historically. so i do think it's quite an historic venue and one that i very much welcome. in terms of our bilateral interaction with the chinese i want to talk about several
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levels. first of all i want to give due credit to the community for the track to entrap one point by discussions going on with regard to china and a lot of the organizations have been carrying them out in one way or another. there were lots of interesting new developments in those settings with the chinese being willing to talk about the details of verification regime and that type of thing where they have not been able to historically touch on most topics or have been simply in a listening mode and not willing to really come out to participate in projects. these kinds of second track activities are reflected also on the government side in some particular practical i would say developments. as i mentioned the isp 14 in jordan a couple of weeks ago, i was there for the vip day and got to see a number of the various sensor systems that have been brought. one of the most -- was a gas
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detection system that the chinese technical teams had work done and brought. they had it there and they were showing how it would operate and many of us not knowing anything technically but there was an entire chinese technical team there. they regard for the technology that they have brought by the rest of a isp team so that was good to see on an international basis. for those of you who know the ambassador he was there representing china and he was one of the negotiators so to see him there again he was interacting with all of us of course but interacting with the technical team that was there was very fun and very gratifying actually. i would say i have seen with china the kind of willingness to engage that i did not see before i came in to government in the last five years i think that
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there has been a real intensification in their efforts to engage both unofficially and officially with some true practical results. >> good morning. scott with inside the pentagon. the international partnership i was wondering if that's something that would need funding and fy16 budget and i was also wondering if and when we might see results from the partnership and what kind of perception you have heard from our national partners on the partnership? >> are you talking about the global partnership? >> the international partnership for nuclear disarmament. >> i beg your pardon. we are starting small with this. we have some particular early projects we are engaging in. we are working very closely with the u.k. and norway who have the early project on warhead
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verification. we want to emphasize and focus on warhead verification because it is something honestly we have never tackled as a chew international matter. part of the rationale here is to convey to nonnuclear weapons states the complexity of this upcoming stage of a nuclear disarmament agenda. that is monitoring and verifying their reduction and elimination of warheads and monitoring pulled stuff. that's a very complicated matter because of the huge sensitivity obviously of warheads all sinners and -- arsenals. it has to be handled in a way that it does not allow the information to get out and contribute to an april proliferation threat. as a first order of business we'll be concentrating on building on the norway u.k. experience in building after that. i should give full credit to some bilateral work that was done during the 1990s under the so-called warhead safety and
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security exchange agreement between the united states and russia. at that time there were some really decent work that was done on information barriers and that type of thing so again there are other foundation stones that we can build on. i don't want to limit it because that's a set of projects that were successful at the time but they are now over a decade old. i think i'm going to also look at more recent experiences such as the u.k. norway project. >> good morning madam secretary. brad bradley with -- i wonder if there's a date set for the next discussion with rush about imf and what that engagement with retail on the u.s. side? >> i would never ever talk about our quiet diplomatic -- and a detail that i can assure you the interactions are ongoing.
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>> i have two questions on korea and north korea. do you see any prospect in 2015 and north korean nuclear issues. do you see if there will be any development of progress? thank you and the second question is he referred to south korea. and on that. [inaudible] >> first of all with regard to north korea, we are very interested of course in returning to the process of
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denuclearization on the korean peninsula that process can only take place if north korea reestablishes its bona fides before the international community. we really need to see some concrete indicators that they are serious about negotiations and they are serious about the process of denuclearization. we will continue to press them on that matter. our ambassador stiller full-time envoy focused on that area and we are serious about trying to continue to make progress in that area. but pyongyang is going to have to take some steps to convey that they are serious about moving forward. the other, and i would like to make about that is that i think that if we have a negotiation in the p5+1 context and we are all
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hopeful that negotiation will produce good results in the next coming months and i certainly hope it will bring good results in the review conference in april and may. i hope that we'll have a salutary effect on the north korea situation and that it will be a kind of signal that it's time to move forward and also on the korean peninsula with regard to north korea's weapons. we will see how that works but i hope that there will be some momentum that results perhaps from a number of different directions in the coming months. that is one that i think is worth watching. >> on your second question are you referring to one to three? so agreement with the rok. i don't want to comment on confidential diplomacy that is going on right now but i will say we have progress in the
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negotiations and i don't see any reason why we should not be able to complete the order. again i don't want to talk about any details of meetings and so forth. >> thank you. thank you very much rose for your overview. thanks for pressing ahead on the tough issues and challenges. a question about the upcoming review conference and the humanitarian impact and dialogs. first d.c. the united states participating in that meeting? as you know one of the motivations for that meeting has been a disappointment about the progress on the disarmament action steps agreed to in 2010 and one of the issues that was raised at the meeting was concern about the incompatibility of the potential use of their weapons with international humanitarian law
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and the laws of war. are you thinking about or planning on engaging with some of the nonnuclear states through the p5 process to discuss how the other states have reduced the roles of nuclear weapons and is the united states willing to think about providing its rationale for how the u.s. plans are compatible as the 2012 nuclear review reports suggest? >> first of all the guiding principle here is a policy that i have often repeated but is often repeated by her president. that is the legacy of the
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practically nearly 70 year nonuse of nuclear weapons won't be extended forever. we must continue to do everything we can to make sure that nuclear weapons are never used again and that is at the heart of u.s. policy in this regard and certainly is at the heart of the emphasis on nuclear weapons in our own national arsenal and her own national doctrine that was put forward in the nuclear posture and an implementation study from the nuclear posture review. so we will continue to be definitely willing to broach the points that were made in the npr and the follow on to it, the implementation study and to talk about it not only in official circles such as the p5 but also talk about it publicly as well. it's actually a good reminder to
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continue turn mind international community of the very significant in my view policy steps and initiatives that the administration has undertaken to really put in place the structure for the emphasizing nuclear weapons and our doctrine and policy and our overarching military arsenal so a good reminder and i think definitely that something we are ready to do. >> thank you. leander with the russian press. specifically on the imf treaty in a hearing with congress last week europe pressed to make the statement that yes it is the
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united states thinks that russia is noncompliant in the treaty so very specifically, what exactly, what exactly is the reasoning for its noncompliance? it is at the iskander missiles? is it the x. 101 cruise missiles and where exactly location wide is the noncompliance? is a cry me a? is at leningrad or some other place so just to get a little specific. >> first of all i wasn't pressed in a hearing last week on that matter. we have been very open and public since july since we published our compliance report that russia and our view is not in compliance with the imf treaty and the reason is that ground launched cruise missile that has been tested that is in development in the russian federation.
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i should be clear for this audience if you're not familiar with imf it's a total ban on intermediate-range nuclear missiles and nonnuclear missiles for that matter between the ranges of 505,500 kilometers. so it doesn't matter whether they are deployed or not. to see if they are being tested or if they are in development or not compliant with the imf treaty and it's that concerned we raise in the compliance report in july of 2014 and have been continuing to raise with the russian federation. it's said john -- ground launched cruise missile. it's not they iskander for the x100. i have seen some of those reflections in the press and it's not that one. i think it's really really
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important to focus down on a good discussion of this matter. that is my basic point. the russians have made certain allegations against the united states. we have already raised up this morning. we believe we are in complete compliance with the imf treaty and we are willing to talk about that with the russian federation but we need to hear from the russian side as well. that's the most important thing from our perspective. this can't be a one-sided conversation. >> thank you. madam undersecretary i am with physicians for social responsibility and at one point i want to totally emphasize that we have asked you to send a
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delegation to the vienna conference and thank you on behalf of our members all over the country and their allied organization who are asking you to do so. thanks to you and thanks to secretary kerry and president of, for making the decision. i know wasn't easy. another thing is about the nonproliferation treaty. i think policy may be out of step with the urgency about the situation which was expressed at the vienna conference especially by people like eric schlosser author of command and control who essentially is telling us we are living on borrowed time and therefore since it's been 44 years since the united states promised to pursue disarmament in the mpt there are some in patients in the sense that we are not moving fast enough. so with regards to that i know you feel we are engaging in judicious modernization but i
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think at the npt you may find other nations and people here in united states also sounds that a 355 billion-dollar expenditure over the next $10 -- 10 years is not judicious and is not indicative of a nation is moving to live up to its article vi. so my question is really a favor. would you ask the president to put the brakes on the modernization program in order to improve the optics with regard to the npt review? >> let me say a few things. first of all about our decision to attend the vienna conference, we really thought it was an excellent opportunity to make the case that i made to you this morning and to have a really good discourse and debate with the entire community with a broad spectrum of views and i welcomed the opportunity to hear other views in this room this
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morning. but these will be a continuing course of discussion and debate. there's no question about it but our core rationale for going to vienna was to make sure that our story was out there too because i do want to make sure that from our perspective and 85% reduction in the u.s. arsenal strategic, nuclear weapons in 1967 is a significant step on the road to disarmament and we are continuing further elimination every single day. i just don't accept the notion that things have stalled and i want that message to be very clear for this audience. we will continue to press that message forward and we can debate it. it's a matter of whether or modernization is judicious or not. i'm sure it will also be strongly debated. i welcome debate but our reason for going to the conference, while the practical one is we
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felt it very important to get our side of the story out there and i hope we will have an opportunity to continue with open-mindedness among the community to hear what we have to say as well. so i think that i will answer your question. thank you. >> i provide contractor support. with that in mind i wanted to ask you about the partnership for verification and it's been determined if others in the states are going to be involved in that effort and if it's going to be an interagency effort? >> it's been an interagency effort to get to this point because we clearly could make a big international point announcement at this time unless we thoroughly aired it among the interagency. for those of you observing government you know how delicious that activity is. but it's very necessary so it's
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definitely been an interagency effort to get to this point. i said in my remarks we want to work with nonnuclear weapon states as well as nuclear weapons states so we are at this point open-minded about who will be participating. i also want to say however that we hope to invigorate the work on verification matters among the p5 because we also think it's very important that the nuclear weapons states develop a sophisticated understanding of these matters. in the last year we have had success in establishing a p5 working group that meets in vienna at the same time working group b is the verification working group that deals with the test ban treaty and looks at technical verification issues in that context. i think it's fine for the p5 to begin work focusing on
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verification because that provides a lot of very good technical information that can in the future be broadened out in another direction as well. the verification initiative is a great new approach i think but i don't want you or anybody to say that we are abandoning our effort to discuss these matters as well as it's one of the most important rationales for the p5 process as we see it. >> that is the first time i've ever heard is the interagency process described is delicious. >> jeff price fbi. two questions i'm sure to check ability. can you share best practices and confidence-building measures with countries outside of the p5 and second types as well as numbers and i wonder more broadly if you have any thoughts on prospects for constraining or
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discouraging land-based murders in the longer-term? >> that's one point i wanted to make about our own stabilizing activity over the last generation has been our move to dean merck the icbm force and we see that as one of the core steps in the direction of a more stabilized strategic relationship. so yes as a general matter we constantly focus on the necessity of avoiding multiple warheads on missiles because they create highly valuable targets and that is what we'll want to avoid if you want to have a stable strategic relationship. that is our discourse on these matters internationally and we will continue to do so. with regard specifically to south asia i want to say again we have had i think really great track two, track 1.5 initiatives
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going on and i commend those in the room who have been involved in them. they have been very interesting and sometimes productive from what i've been able to see when people are brief tour told me about them or send me reports and so forth. i think there have been some really solid discussions. bringing up exactly the issues you talk about the classical issues of strategic stability. we do have discussions of these matters on an official level as well. we have a strategic dialogue with india and we have snapped talks with pakistan. i forget what snape stands for. security nonproliferation and strategic stability talks which take place as well as pakistan. we have opportunities to raise these issues officially as well. i will tell you one of my goals in the coming year is to broaden this discussion from any kind of regional -- these issues such as
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conventional global strikes they affect the whole eurasian community and they affect the whole international community. i think we need to be talking about them in a broader community of countries who were either deploying or attempting to deploy capabilities as with any of the other systems you might name including something like a rogue system. i think having an opportunity to broaden the discussions and owned them up for many particular regional setting is very important as a direction for policy. i hope we can accomplish it. >> good morning madam secretary. i'm interested in your statement on convening middle east nuclear-free zone conference and
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would ask you to elaborate on practical goal setting. how prepared is israel to engage and be transparent in some measure and how prepared is egypt in terms of its current government structure to engage and how much of a hindrance to all of this is the issue? >> you know frankly i think there has been, we have had a preparatory process going on in the past six months. i don't want to get into the details of diplomatic exchanges but it's been quite a positive preparatory process that i think is doubtless some of the initial anxieties over this middle east free zone conference that emerged from their embassy review conference in 2010. we have brought the four actors together, the arabs the israelis and the iranians have participated. in terms of p5+1 talks i don't see that as being a big negative
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influence on this. the necessity now is on interest in this batter to get together and agree on an agenda. our view is if the states get together and agree on an agenda there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to convene the conference prior to the review conference in april and may. i have reason to say there is significant progress in 2010. our view is we are right on the cusp of moving to convene a conference. we hope that the party can act together and it's in everybody's interest to agree on agenda so that's where we stand. >> hi, thanks for your time this morning.
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you mentioned that the russians have been unwilling to discuss further reductions until new s.t.a.r.t. is implemented. what are the prospects for the berlin proposal last year, hitting its mark between now and 2018? thank you. >> again i think a lot depends on in this case brought her political issues. i did take note that president putin when he made his speech at valve i which was very critical of the united states in many many ways, but there was one key paragraph where he said that it is necessary to continue nuclear arms reduction negotiations. so i hope that this is indicative of some russian flexibility in this regard. of course we have to make the case in our own political environment that it is a good
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thing to do to continue to pursue strategic arms reduction with the russian federation at the time of profound crisis over ukraine and other significant issues. my view of this matter is that historically throughout the ups and downs of u.s. soviet relationships throughout the cold war continuing to pursue strategic arms reductions was in our interest, in the interest of the ussr at that time and the entire global community in the context of a nonproliferation treaty and our responsibilities to pursue disarmament under that article vi commitment. i believe that there is both a solid historical rationale for proceeding despite the severe crisis bilaterally and i believe that there is a strategic interest requirement as well or strategic interest rationale i
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would say that these further reductions would not only be in the u.s. interested in the russian interest as well. >> could you address the impact of the conditions in russia and the united states and nuclear talk negotiations? >> yes, believe you are talking about the modernization program. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> i understand now. the question is in regard to
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whether the economic crisis in the russian negotiation may affect their further modernization efforts. and what the impact might be. again this is a little bit out of my job -- but i was reading the financial times has an interesting array of commentary on what's happening with the russian economy right now. one of the points that was made is that putin several weeks ago found out the russian federation national budget for fy15 and 16 with the assumption underpinning it that oil will be -- oil would be at $96 a barrel. today as we know oil is going up and down some but i think the trend is pretty much down heading below $80 a barrel. it's an assumption that is not going to be viable for
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supporting the russian economy. again it's not up to me and certainly i'm not in our own treasure department of finance ministry but i do think there is bound to be some impact on the goals that the russian federation has laid out for strategic force modernization. i just cannot tell you what those impacts will be. historically it has meant -- it has been a selecting priority. there has been a lot of talk about different kinds of weapons systems on the russian side in the press. i can't comment as to whether any of those are officially endorsed or not but it's inevitable there will be some holding of the program to modernize russian strategic forces due to the economic difficulties. that is really all i can say on that matter. >> hi, doug with the center for
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and public integrity. as the clock is ticking down on its down on it and moscow are interest in pursuing further decision -- negotiated cuts and arsenals at some point will the administration reconsider linking the size of the u.s. stockpile with the size of russia's stockpile and just accept the nuclear posture recommended in the judgment that the u.s. can get by with a small arsenal to be secure? >> i believe the questions about unilateral reductions. i will say is i have said repeatedly including in public testimony that unilateral reductions are not on the table. not on the table is all i can say.
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>> thank you. >> good morning. tim from the defense threat reduction agency new s.t.a.r.t. on-site inspection branch. first of all madam secretary thank you for all your hard work. as a member of the d.c. are a antitreaty implementor i often sit back and look at something so might affect the treaty of five, six and 2019 as we see a lightning of the sanctions been announced as early as friday do you believe that these administration is willing to sacrifice on all the hard work that your office has done over the years and arms control to include the treaty to continue with sanctions or do you think the two topics can remain separate to continue on a separate path so the treaty as well as your efforts in the future may continue? >> thank you. >> thank you and let me express
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my appreciation for the threat reduction agency and the entire team of inspectors to go out and also on our side the air force, the navy people who expect the teams coming from the russian federation. 18 m. times a year the russians are coming here to our naval base is looking at submarines and looking at her icbm force. it takes a lot of work as you can imagine to prepare for those inspections. that's on air force navy side as well accompanying the russian teams but when we go 18 times a year to russia to look at the strategic basis and the nuclear navy and the long-range aviation bases its the inspectors that are at the forefront. you guys are really implementing the treaty so thank you and my appreciation for your continuing work. i will say i think the crisis was at the moment that the ukraine crisis was bursting on
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the scene, some of you may recall it was march 8 which is international women's day. that's a big russian holiday so i was astonished to see when i woke up in the morning a reference in the newspaper that russia was considering pulling a plug on implementation of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. you can imagine i got on the phone immediately with my counterparts in moscow. that report was linked to an unnamed source in the ministry of defense. so i got on the phone immediately and i said what's going on? i was told we will look into this and get back to you. within five days i had a call back and again not just to me but an official announcement of the russian federation that they would be continuing to implement the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty despite the crisis that has been going on in ukraine.
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i hope that position will hold. it's consistent with the history that i spoke about a moment ago that despite some very rough patches during the cold war, some very serious ups and downs in our relationship that we nevertheless continue to implement arms control treaties and agreements are up at period. some of you with long memories will remember when the soviets marched into afghanistan in 1979 they pulled the plug on the so-called salt to agreement at the time and we did not move forward to ratify and implement that. nevertheless some point within the republican administration in the kremlin agreed to proceed with implementing the salt to implementation and that was in a parallel agreement informally even during the years when the soviets had invaded afghanistan. so that's just an example
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historically of what i'm talking about with serious problems bilaterally. we have continued to see implementation of arms control peace and agreement affecting the nuclear forces in our mutual interest and i hope that will be the case here as well. >> good morning mattern's -- good morning madam secretary. i work in expert control. he spoke this morning about work to be done in the p5 and the partnership with respect to verification. i wonder if that work anticipates a multilateral organization to eventually implement verification as disarmament moves as it ultimately must into the molds
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were -- multilateral area of versus bilateral or whether the anticipation is that these efforts will develop techniques that can then be used by the iaea in the course of verification of disarmament. >> thank you. that's a very interesting question. first of all i will say from my perspective the u.s. policy verification of arms control is a national function for the foreseeable future although when here's my second we do obviously cooperate with international organizations. i mentioned being at the cbt on-site inspection exercise in jordan. they put a lot of resources and a lot of people into the implementation of that on-site x. -. we worked with organizations in
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the iaea work closely as well. i see for the foreseeable future as a national responsibility. however and here's something i wanted to note. i think there has been some really interesting work done historically on what will happen when we get close to zero. this is not a matter for national policymakers right at the moment but i would welcome continuing work on what would be required institutionally, procedurally, technologically when we get very close to zero. i think historically there have been good studies done in this area and the academic community and the scientific community is continuing to consider these issues because i think it backs up. our emphasis is on the practicality of getting to zero. how can we practically get to zero and to do that we are going to have to do some hard thinking about what it will take whether
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it's institutionally procedurally technologically and certainly in the realm of regional security as well. that's a different topic that we could spend a morning session on but nevertheless talking about the and bolts of the arms control regime i think there can be good work done on that topic again. >> good morning. matt mckenzie. thank you so much for being here today. yesterday the moscow times reported that russia is considering deploying rail-mobile nuclear missile systems and i wondered if you had any comment on that reporting? >> that is where we were in the 80s and it's been urging the russians to again consider
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what's going to be stabilizing and what's not going to be stabilizing moving forward. i did mention modernization as far as being judicious, for example there are new s.t.a.r.t. numbers for delivery vehicles that are well below the 700 limit. the limit of new s.t.a.r.t. when it's fully implemented in 2018 will be russian delivery vehicles. we don't see them searching up and i'm delighted we have that kind of central limit to provide a ceiling for how they can modernize. but i think the rail-mobile system is a good example of one where there are some questions about its economic feasibility as well as the strategic feasibility rationale. it's not up to me to make those decisions but we would certainly i think urged consideration of
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the strategic stability impact of such a system especially if it's to deliver a merv missile. >> there was a question during the new s.t.a.r.t. ratification where intercontinental ballistic missiles were being covered. >> if it's and intercontinental strategic system it would have to be brought under the treaty essentially. >> madam secretary good morning. john dunne i'm inspection team. i would like to couple of questions together based on some of the discussions we have hea heard. you mentioned that 90% of the world's nuclear armaments are in the hands of the united states and russia.
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unilateral disarmament is not on the table from the united states perspective. a recent statement from putin that he values future disarmament but there has also been statements from russian officials that they are not interested in any further bilateral steps by the united states beyond the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty and future disarmament needs to be in a multilateral forum. >> thank you for raising that. it's one of the conditions they have laid out on this earlier phase. >> my question is given that 90% are in u.s.-russia hands first of all i guess you've just confirmed one of the questions that the multilateral -- does in fact exist based on your discussions with your interlocutors in moscow. have you had discussions with other nuclear states that indicate what their threshold is and what the united states and russia does need to attain for their participation in a multilateral efforts?
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>> historically there has been again i wouldn't say official positions out there but there've been a lot of expert comments that when the u.s. and russia get deployed warheads and it would get more interesting but i'm not saying these are official positions of beijing paris or london by any means. i would just note that the number of 1000 in u.s. and russian arsenals has been out there and something that countries have had in their ngo communities and the communities we have commented on. one thing about this multilateral point, i have always stressed that i don't even see how you would structure such a negotiation because there is such an imbalance that the united states and russians do have over 90% nuclear weapons of the world. how do you structure an association between two parties
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with very high numbers and three parties with rather low numbers. it doesn't make practical sense to me and i would like to hear from russia how they would structure such a negotiation. i don't know what they mean when they say they want to move to multilateral negotiations now and it will be an interesting topic for discussion. thanks. >> thank you. diane perlman, conflict resolution and george mason i break it to go to the npt meetings. just a response to your comment about what we need to get to zero, one of the things we need to do more of is underlying conflicts and the causes and the fear and the desire for nuclear weapons to perceive rational believes in what nuclear weapons
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provide. i've been going to some, i went to the u.n. conference on climate change with mediators beyond borders and one of the things we have been doing is getting language in the treaty dealing with the complex, mechanisms for dealing with complex. what are your thoughts if we could deal -- we have many ways of dealing with the complex and we usually deal with the symptom of getting rid of the weapons rather than the needs or the conflicts that people feel like they need these. could you comment? >> thank you diane and i know a lot about their work. i have had a chance to talk about before in the setting and others. one thing i will say is we recognize in working on the regional security matters as intensively as possible, secretary kerry has been out on the road nonstop and we have
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been very much focused on the middle east and the hopes for rejuvenating the middle east peace process. we have the regional security piece of it very much in mind and constantly work it as a matter of national policy. my comment is we need to do both. again i would not argue and it would play into the hands of those who say you are not doing enough on disarmament if we somehow backed off or sat on our town -- hanson didn't try to make practical progress every way we can whether it's generating the conditions for a more sophisticated and difficult verification regime in the future like putin monitoring warheads. that's the whole meaning of our verification initiative and also as i mentioned getting nonnuclear weapons states involved so they recognize what kind of difficulties are in that regard. but you have to do both at once i think.
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>> i will give myself the option of the last question. rosie talked about the russians being serious in terms of implementation of new s.t.a.r.t. and obviously since they calculated that it's in their interest but you also say the russians have been prepared to go beyond that and i think you used the term blocking further reductions. is there a central -- [inaudible] usually above and a third country is 300. is there a sense to why the russians at this point, reluctant to engage in a discussion in going forward? >> prior to the ukraine crisis i think it was a complex mix of interagency factors on their side and perhaps and i'm speculating here but perhaps a sense that they had quite
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decided where they wanted to go with their own modernization program so not wishing to engage in a nuclear reduction negotiation in that context. since the ukraine crisis emerged i think there is an additional political layer of complexity here prayed i think there is a different attitude, slightly different attitude in moscow in the area further reductions to the point that i made moments ago. that is that to fight the ups and downs in a relationship we believe that we should continue in a responsible way to pursue further arms reductions and russia. it's the best way we see an end to the deal with the threats of terrorists getting their hands on every weapons. that is what president obama said in his prague speech that the only way to deal with terrorist wielding nuclear weapons is to get rid of weapons and they disallow material. we haven't talked about the
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nuclear summit summit at all of this point but i'm proud of the fact that we have gotten rid of the equivalent of three metric tons of fissile material from countries around the world over the last five years since the nuclear security summit started. the russians have been great partners in that effort. that's another area where we have had a great partnership with the russians despite the ups and downs in the relationship. it's a very mixed picture and i think it's a bit more complicated now by their political, their political stance in the context of this bilateral crisis which is not exactly the same as ours despite this bad period and this bad patch. it's a very serious crisis and we should never have continue pressing forward but the hesitation was there beforehand and i guess i would say hesitation beforehand was more institutional interagency and perhaps budget driven on their side and since the crisis has
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emerged it's taken on some political aspect to it as well. >> rose you have covered a lot of ground and we are grateful. please joining me in thanking her. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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