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tv   Book Discussion on Exceptional  CSPAN  December 22, 2015 10:36am-10:59am EST

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mercenaries like daesh, al-nusra and other terrorist groups, the syrian government whenever engaging in a dialogue and will continue fighting then until we eradicate them. all honorable syrians are called the producer in the political process on national day in order to develop and build syria, to restore its stability to syrian territory at all syrians have to put ahead of them that the solution can only be a syrian solution through comprehensive, political process in response to the legitimate aspirations of the syrian people for the national dialogue, which brings all under the umbrella of the state in order to establish a secular pluralistic state where all are equal before the law, estate where councils are opened without discrimination and where the syrian people alone would lead their leadership with
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freedom, transparency, without any foreign intervention of influence. in conclusion, my attention was drawn by glaring contradiction in some of the statements of the speakers today. that on the one hand they emphasize that only the syrian people are to decide their future without any foreign intervention at a time when they have delved into issues of sovereignty relating to the issue of prisons in my country, a matter that is the product of the syrian people alone. as is mentioned in paragraph one and i quote, it stresses that the syrian people will decide the future of syria come into quote. this type of intervening is one basis of sovereignty, and my country only exposes the real
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intentions are the policies of those speakers. without the context of the resolution before the ink dry, they started this resolution that they just adopted and agreed, but they started interpreting its provisions in the manner they want. this is not a promising behavior. this does not instill confidence in what we hear and what we do. thank you, madam president. >> that are no more names inscribed on the list of speakers. before i adjourned the meeting i just want to alert council members to the fact that we will shortly likely be starting our subsequent meeting on the iraq turkey situation, and we do not have precise time from the delegations on that but it would be in the very near future. so if delegations could hang
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around we would be grateful. with that the meeting is adjourned. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> wednesday as he spent the charleston, south carolina, church that was the sight of a mass shooting in june host a conference on gun violence. clergy from health experts along enforcement officials gathered to talk about the problem and possible solutions. >> to start off on, put a framework before the question, we no gun injury and death in the united states is far higher than anywhere else in the developed world, by far. over 30,000 gun deaths each year, over 60,000 injuries. think about this.
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some of those debilitating, horrible injuries. 30,000 plus 60,000. that's about 90 a day. 90 every day. we think of some mass shootings. we don't think about the 90 a day, deaths from guns in the united states. more people have died in the u.s. just in the last four years than the number of american soldiers have died in korea, vietnam, afghanistan and iraq combined. think about that. korea, vietnam, afghanistan, iraq combined, four years. the last four years, take the four years before the. it's stunning. questions, why does this happen? does it have to happen? why do the murders occur in this
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church almost six months ago? >> watch the entire event at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> tomorrow on cue and the artist and columnist mali crabapple will talk about her drones of the israeli-palestinian conflict and at the guantánamo bay detention center as well as videos she has made. watch at 7 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> a former u.s. ambassador to turkey joined a panel of foreign policy experts to talk about russia's involvement in serious ongoing civil war. posted by the atlantic council this is an hour and a half. >> thank you, john molina, for getting this all started today. i'd like to welcome, join in welcoming of into the atlantic council. we take great pride in bringing voices from the region then,
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when we discussed regional events. we take great pride also in this multidisciplinary, cross disciplinary. in this case we have the eurasia center and the center for the middle east working together on this fundamentally cross regional issue. even as american diplomats and russian diplomats and middle eastern diplomats are altogether in new york wrestling with the same problem we will be discussing here today. so i would like to just go right to our experts to begin speaking. i should note that both of our runcible discussants here today will be speaking for papers that they will be presenting early in the new year so you're getting a prepublication taste of what will be coming out with. so ambassador half. >> thank you, frank. the paper to which frank refers that will be published i think in the new year rests basically
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on five assumptions. number one, that russia and iran, for separate but entirely compatible reasons, want to keep bashar al-assad in power indefinitely for the foreseeable future, at least in part in syria. second assumption i is that the nature of the military campaign being waged by russian aircraft and iranian assembled militias in syria against armed groups, not isil, fighting the assad regime defines russian and iranian priorities in syria. for both the battle against isil seems to be a pretext for assembling forces aiming to eliminate alternatives both to assad and isil.
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further assumption underlying this work is that for iran, keeping assad empower mainly has to do with assad's willingness over the years to subordinate syria to iran on all matters related to hezbollah in lebanon. keeping hezbollah to fight, israel and politically dominant in lebanon, are crucial iranian national security priorities. assad has delivered. iran feels there are no constituencies to this particular relationship in syria beyond the ruling family and its enablers. it sees bashar personally as embodying whatever residual legitimacy is left to this regime. fourth, for russia, assad's
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continued incumbency proclaims moscow's return to great power status. putin claims that washington has been on a democratization and regime change jihad since 2003 and iraq. he wants to stop a cold in syria. he wants ideally to confront president obama with a binary choice between the barrel bomber on the one hand and al-baghdadi on the other. he wants president obama to beat his 2011 words on assad stepping aside. russia i believe it sees that the unit diplomatic process as a time buying instrument. russian military operations in syria are fully consistent with the goal of forcing binary choice on washington, but it
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will take time to create the requisite military facts on the ground, and extend a process can provide time, although i have strong doubts that russia military will be able to achieve this objective. now, these assumptions, these five assumptions, might either now or in the fullness of time proved to be absolutely erroneous. russia and iran may come to see bashar al-assad as expendable. john kerry may persuade them that a continuing illegal role for this regime is indeed poisons to the prospect of a united syrian front against isil. i think they already know this. it's just that their interests lie elsewhere. this is just my opinion. on the other hand, of the russians, they actually think that the turkmen that are currently pounding in northern
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province really are isil. maybe iran thinks that there is a genuine appetite in syria for subordination that transcends the assad family. so because my assumptions may be wrong i have tried to devise an alternate syria strategy for obama administration consideration that would not, would not be at odds with the current vienna process. may propose alternative is based on come is based on an assumption about the kind of syria resident barack obama ideally would like to hand off to his successor. such a syria i think would have the following characteristics. one, isil would be gone. number two, assad and his entourage would be gone.
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three, serious territorial integrity would be intact. number four, an inclusive national unity government in damascus would consolidate stability, protect vulnerable groups, preserve governmental institutions, including the military and qualified staff, pursue accountability and reconciliation, facilitate humanitarian assistance, and begin the processes of reconstruction, reform, and constitutional overhaul. and finally in this ideal syria that barack obama would like to hand off, refugee return and reintegration would be under way. now, about these five characteristics, or at least making significant progress in achieving them, would form the objective. a strategy i would like to think
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about would involve three elements. one, defeating isil militarily in eastern syria, ideally before another terrorist like incident. this would require a ground combat component powerful enough to close with and kill the enemy. ideally this component would be drawn largely from regional states. at present the appetite is not there. it would have to be stimulated by a sustained and heavy american diplomatic left. it would have to include american skin in the game. it would have to feature sustained american leadership for the duration. the second element of the proposed strategy would center on protecting syrian civilians, mass casualty atrocities of the
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assad regime. doing so would deprive isil of a recruiting tool, fulfill the practical reconditioned for productive negotiations and political compromise, and mitigate the premier humanitarian abomination of our time. diplomacy first, urge a rush and iran to take their client out of this filthy business. -- perjure russia. this i would've would be the focus of today's meeting in new york, although i doubt it will be so. but if the russians and iranians can't do it or will not do it, limited military countermeasures would be justified to make it somewhere between hard and impossible for the assad regime to continue to kill people at wholesale rates. my preferred methodology would involve standoff systems such as
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cruise missiles, and would avoid anything that has the word zone attached to it. third and finally, given the syrian opposition and opportunity with financial and technical support to establish decent and effective governance in areas liberated from isil. if the assad regime chooses the enough to negotiate, it will have an interlocutor. if it continues with collective punishment and mass homicide, he would face a not isil alternative capable of fully of replacing it, albeit sometime during the term of mr. obama's successor. now, none of this, none of this would be easy. all of it would be very problematical. options have narrowed over the years from bad to worse, but if
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the objective of the obama administration is to hand to its success of the kind of syria i described, it cannot in my view, rely on the good intentions of russia's president, and iran's supreme leader. it cannot leave syrian civilians defenseless. and it certainly can't wait for and isil plan, mass slaughter, operation in the united states to defeat these people in syria. at the very least the administration should bequeath to its successor a syria in which isil is gone, syrian civilians are protected from regime atrocities, and a decent alternative to the regime itself is taking root in areas liberated from isil, and expanding into rebel controlled areas of northwest and southwest syria. and authority that can build and
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all syrian nationalization of force which could it maybe eventually oust the regime that made isil possible in the first place. the regime has continued existence sustained isil. if my assumptions about russia and iran are wrong, they would oppose none of this. indeed, if my assumptions were wrong, they will promote the inclusive syrian government they signed up for at vienna and will send their client packing forthwith. thanks. >> doctor, what about those assumptions? >> thank you so much. first of all thank you so much for inviting me here. my task was much easier because i was asked to speak about the causes and the aims of the
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russian actions in syria. so i can sum up my frustration with choke point and maybe i can if i have time -- [inaudible] so if one looks on major driver, some of them are mentioned already. so first of all it's of course the chance for mr. putin to confront the united states and to compound th the policy of individual which you propose for many years beginning from the operations in iraq and then even before mr. putin came to power, it was russian position of operations of the western policy. so he and mr. putin definitely see the possibilities to stop the american intervention and the american movement, to counter it so this is i think the first direction behind this action. the second one i would say that
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russia for long ceased to be global power, superpower. and all the actions in eastern and central europe and integrating. they are also making, regional power. i think mr. putin wants to intervene in syria and claiming russia is once again a global power just to draw attention to his homeland as the original player. of course, actions in syria are not the global actions and superpower. but nevertheless, it's some kind of claim four a new regional state. so it is just calling for -- once again. the next point of course is that using the possibility that western countries are definitely challenged by terrorist threat, mr. putin wants to find some
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common ground with both united states and europe of the anti-terror, counterterror agenda and find out some ground to restore the relationship between russia and the united states and in the west in general which are in very -- are in very bad shape after conflict in ukraine. these are three drivers. there's more concrete issues. five of them domestic, three international. domestic first of all it's of course mr. putin wants to do a small war outside russian border and even outside the states for planning and for showing his fellow citizens that russia -- and it is now once again active in the real world arena. the second point is of course a change of focus on economic issues, difficult for mr. putin during his first 10 years in power to political ones and geopolitical and military issues. because economy is not doing so
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well as everybody knows, since mr. putin returned to the kremlin, the gdp growth rates are falling down from around 4.9% in the first quarter of 2012 when medvedev was president to turning red now. and we have i think around 4% of gdp slumped this year. so mr. putin needs to turn attention from the economic issues to political issues and to military one. but this is also an element of this strategy. the third one is of course to take, to turn attention of russian citizens to new ones, because everything which happens not in ukraine is not so encouraging. and mr. putin aside any strategy to go out from eastern ukraine. so, therefore, it needs another hot point in the world to
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present himself as a hero there. and two related issues is first of all, during several years the military in the russian where not intricate shape because first of all they were humiliated during -- and then they were involved in ukraine and major operations. not publicly announced was involved in ukraine. it was in all, some kind of hidden operation and, therefore, now past the possibly for the first time in many years to be openly, to test military capabilities, to protect in this way, to protect russia outside. so this is also to please the military and to contest accomplice which is quite important to provide around


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