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tv   Former Defense Officials Testify on Iranian- Backed Forces  CSPAN  December 7, 2016 2:04am-4:05am EST

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[inaudible conversations] >> this is the meaning on the foreign relations committee will come to to order. now we don't have a quorum yet but we will go ahead and get the front and out of the way so we hope we can move quick way through it. i want to thank everybody for being here. on the agenda for today we have 10 pieces of legislation when treaty when nomination multiple officer liz prefers to consider six foreign service officer list of over 400 personnel returned to the committee. the appointment and promotions and thank all of these officers for their service. we will also consider the nomination of ms. kamala black bear a career foreign service officer and u.s. ambassador to malaysia but i want to thank her colleagues for helping the committee take the steps forward
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on her nomination today. will also consider resolution for ratification that supports montenegrin to the north atlantic treaty organization and i wanted ankara chairman ron johnson for having a great hearing on that especially with so many challenging things occurring at the time and allowing us to be able to move ahead with us today. thank you very much. montenegro has implemented tougher forms to address corruption and other standards. more work by the montenegrin government will be necessary to continue to encourage their process and achieving in upholding the standards set for nato allies. this committee has reviewed the protocol and believe that the end session of montenegrin to the full leadership is in a interesting essays and we will consider h. conrad's providing train trained american families. would like to thank senator kirk congressman rangel and chairman
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royce for being champions of a a -- korean divided families. i'm pleased to lend my support of this resolution projects on agendas as congress 30 expressing concern over the disappearance of david nagin. i would like to thank senator lee for his leadership in this matter and i'm sipri is to support this resolution but express my sympathy to the family and the ongoing uncertainty about about their sunday that i'm confident the united states government will continue to investigate and information that may come to light regarding david's disappearance or any american citizen missing abroad. we will also consider as congress 57 honoring the life of -- from thailand and i'd like to thank senator hatch for introducing this family bipartisan solution could also on the agenda today is s. res. 55 expressing the senate regarding trafficking offense and on the united states for
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mexico and china to the united states has experienced a prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemics is claiming thousands of lives each year. want to thank senators markey and rubio for their work and leadership on this important issue. will also consider s. res. 537 expressing profound concern on the political economic and social mentoring crisis in venezuela urging the release of political prisoners and calling for constitutional democratic processes. i think senators cardin rubio menendez kaine gardner and boxer for bringing this resolution before the committee to the situation in venezuela is tragic and people are suffering. we all hope we can find a peaceful electoral weight out of this crisis. we'll consider s a. to provide the approval of the raymond for the government of the united states and the government of
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norway concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy. this will call i negotiate agreement with norway to the common effect in advance of the completion of the 90-day congressional review period which occurs after we have adjourned. absent this agreement that mr. shall complete a trilateral service agreement with norway and the iaea which is not subject to congressional review or oversight. this committee has reviewed the agreement in a hearing in this boundary agreement not to be objectional. we wish the administration as i'm sure senator markey will echo the retransfer and reprocessing of spent fuel. will also consider h.r. 4939 u.s. strategic engagement of 2016. want to thank representatives engel and ros-lehtinen for their
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work on this legislation but i think senator cardin for working with us to streamline the spell and assured focuses on encouraging nations to seek partnership in the united states h.r. 4481 education for all act of 2016 is also on the agenda. this resource agrees roland providing authority for usaid programs that have been appropriated. without such guidance from our committee for over a decade. this bill authorizes programs to help countries provide quality basic education the lack of which is a significant barrier to economic growth. we will also consider h.r. 2845 american growth and opportunity enhancement act of 2015. it's an important part of earning geisha with africa. this bill as the president to direct more resources towards helping african businesses trade with the united states. and millennium challenge corporation represents the amcor pill this committee approved an
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hour june 23 markup or they want to commend senators cardin isakson coons and fight for bringing this bipartisan legislation to the committee. i also want to thank senator barrasso for his constructive input on how we can improve oversight. our amendment includes senator barrasso's recommendations. i need to take a breath here senator cardin. we will also consider h.r. 1150 hour international or does freedom act but i think senator cardin for working with us to bring this legislation before the committee. this bill as amended reinforces the 1998 law to strengthen the role of the international religious freedoms and enhances the congressional oversight in the state department. this legislation enjoys broad interfaith support and we will be seeking to have this bill
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passed in the senate by unanimous consent so the amended legislation may be taken up and approved by the house this week. lastly, and this is not on the agenda. we have a resolution that i would like to present to senator boxer. this is going to be her last business meeting and we appreciate all you have done on this committee and the united states senate. serving the senate since 1993 senator boxer has been the longest-serving woman in the history of this committee on foreign relations with 18 years of service. i want to thank her for her patriotism and commitment to this institution and our country when i ran for the senate and was elected 10 years ago senator boxer was well-known in tennessee and i just want to say it's been a privilege for me not
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to know u.s. a well-known senator but to know you well. it's been a blessing. we wish you well. [applause] [applause] [applause] mr. chairman if i might just say a word and perhaps yield to senator boxer and then i'd like to say a few things about today's agenda in our committee. one of the great pleasures of my life is serving in the united states senate and the friends i've made that a new senator boxer when she was congresswoman boxer and i knew her incredible talent that we became buddies in
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the united states senate. people from california have been blessed to have an incredible advocate on their behalf on so many issues. the global community has been blessed. their summary things we can talk about with senator boxer and environmental issues. what you have done around the world is just incredible. in afghanistan you have made a huge difference in the lives of so many young children. i really wanted to know how much we all appreciate what you have done. this is a family and we are very proud of our sisters so congratulations for your incredible career. >> thank you so much. i just want to say you know this is such an honor to have this resolution. good lord it so special that you got this done. no one said i signed the protest, that was good.
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we have worked so well together and sometimes we have flocked, once in a while not that often but i can truly say every member of this committee have worked with with on issues and jim on the ethics committee being just dedicated to our work. it doesn't matter what party you are an and my of love from this committee comes from these two gentlemen the chairman and the ranking member working hot -- hand in glove constantly in an age where it's not expect it and we are so thrilled to see it. whoever said politics stops at the water's edge is right. this committee has to be nonpartisan.
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i will close with this week has senators it's hard to talk fast. i have seen many chairman, bob and i have seen john kerry and richard lugar. i can go through the list, joe biden, i could go through the list, wonderful people all, friends all and when i got the ability to move forward on the first-ever subcommittee that dealt with women issues all over the globe it was a wonderful moment. everyone said you know you are right our breath. we need to do this and i know it isn't as if it's just a woman he carries the issue but it's a reminder to everyone that we do see the world through a slightly different lens. jeanne is going to pick up a lot of the particular issues and the
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rest of you as well and other subjects. it has been a joy and i'm going to close with this. i am so loath to say this but it's so perfect. i was disappointed we didn't pass the legislation that i wanted passed today. it's true, we didn't but i know we are going to get it done. ..
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first standing committees were approved by the united states senate and this committee has had a very proud history. i know i speak for all the members on the democratic side and i think also for the republican side to congratulate the chairman on an incredible leadership in the committee. this has been a very difficult time. your leadership has shown the strength and fairness to include all members of the committee and the work of the committee to have been able to get the type of unity that we needed to preserve the appropriate role for the committee and you made it an honor to serve on the foreign relations committee, so i want to congratulate you. [applause]
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i know we have a long agenda and i very much appreciate what is included on this agenda. i think what might be easier i know these are important items and i do want to comment on all that we have done a and then i will comment when we get to the legislation. legislation. >> the first order of business do you have any comments on these, anyone else like to speak to the list? if there is no further discussion i would entertain the notion to improve the list. the question is on the motion for the service. all those in favor? opposed? the appointments are agreed to. next i would like to ask the
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committee to proceed to a vote on the consideration to be u.s. ambassador to malaysia. do you have any comments? >> i support the nomination. >> with an >> with any members like to be recognized? i would entertain the motion. thquestions moved all in favor? the nomination is agreed to and i would like to consider the treaty on the agenda do you have any comments on this treaty? >> let me thank you for bringing this to treaty i want to acknowledge the ambassador was present in the committee room and thank him for his availability to the committee. it was clear that this small country has made significant
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contributions around the world and the necessary internal reforms. this progress appears all the more remarkable with the fact montenegro has been subject to the anti-western propaganda emanating from russia and i congratulate the manner in which the country has responded, and i am very happy that we are making it clear russia doesn't have a veto over the decisions and i strongly urge my colleagues to support. any members wish to speak? >> you are correct they made great strides both militarily as well as legal reform. we had a great hearing and i support the resolution. >> i would echo what has been said but also add that we encourage leadership to bring
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this to the floor before we go into recess and i think the best message we can send it to russia as they are looking at their future plans in europe is the message that we want montenegrin to join and be part of this block that protects all of europe. thank you both for your leadership on this issue. i would entertain a motion to approved by voice vote. all of those in favor, the treaty was agreed to and next week will consider 537. do you have any comments you want to make? >> thank you for getting this resolution through today. it's a resolution i worked with
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senators menendez, boxer and other members of the committee and it is a heart wrenching narrative which the economic unraveling and the determination of the rule of law and rising levels of corruption created situations where they face tremendous hardship so i'm glad we are speaking as a body on this issue recognizing that venezuela is in a crisis and needs international understanding. i just want to thank everyone especially senator menendez and i want to point out to everyone what's happened is nothing short of a coup d'├ętat. the supreme court has been overtaken, is not a democracy any longer. the impact it's having on the region is extraordinary and i encourage my colleagues to read the reports.
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people are literally selling their hair to try to be able to feed their families. it is a catastrophic situation that's come to bear and it's having an impact on the region so i would encourage anyone who hasn't kept up to date to look into the tragedy that is occurring. anyone else? >> i would entertain a motion to approve all three amendments. the question to approve all of those in favor, oppose. are there any further amendments? is there a motion to approve as
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amended. the question is on the motion to approve 537 as amended. the resolution as amended is agreed to. next we will consider 537. senator d. you have any comments you would like to make? >> i strongly support this resolution and i want to thank the senators for bringing this forward and calling upon the counter narcotics cooperation. i'm sure all members of the committee have had meetings around the state and with different groups about the drug problems in every community in america. we have seen the abuses need to synthetic drugs and it's caused
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deaths. fentanyl people are not aware of its strength so we must do more in the jurisdiction of the committee to control the implications. >> for senator and i have introduced this and it's the public health crisis in the united states and we join with senator shaheen on the resolution calling for its passage. just to give you an idea how bad this is right now we will have 2,000 people died from opioid overdose is this year. of them 1500 will have fentanyl in their bloodstream.
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massachusetts is 2% of america's population. multiply that by 50 and this epidemic is hitting the whole country at the rate it is having massachusetts, new hampshire, florida and several other states. that would be 100,000 deaths of which 75,000 would come from fentanyl so what we are trying to do is get ahead of the storm, this classified hurricane already in certain states and ready to hit. it calls for the government to work much more closely with the chinese government which is the source of this substance that has been created and is coming into the country and with the mexican government where it is fabricated and turns into a product and then comes into the
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cities and states in the country so this is something that in my opinion is going to wind dwarfing anupdwarfing any othere were gone and that's why doing this in the context is not appropriate because far more will be terrorist by this. i'm proui am proud to be able tk with the senator in a bipartisan fashion on this amendment. >> any other comments. >> an additional threat is animal tranquilizers and this stuff is coming in the mail basically. i don't mean to single out any companies. it's being sent in from these
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countries and i would encourage everyone to talk to your hospitals and first responders and they will tell you they are seeing dozens of themes and it's also manufactured by the way. we saw the prints died because he took fentanyl labeled as percocet and we are dealing with a serious problem. >> the main thing that is occurring and the fact that it can come in a package of this size is equal to truckloads of other types of materials is wreaking havoc on the society. any other comments on this? if there is no further discussion i would entertain a motion to approve both.
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on the voice vote all of those in favor, opposed. are there any further amendmen amendments? is there a motion as approved? the resolution is amended and agreed to. the next order of business i would ask are the remaining resolutions before the committee and that is 57, 30, 40. any comments? >> i support all of those resolutions. are there any members that would like to speak to any of these
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resolutions? no further discussions i would entertain a motion to approve these. the question is on the motion to approve on block all in favor the resolutions are agreed to and next we will consider the 123 agreement. do you have any comments on this? >> i'm a cosponsor of the resolution under your leadersh leadership. >> anyone else wish to speak on this? >> i do commend norway as one of our closest allies and recognized the need to conduct the research. i am very concerned that we are
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offering affirmative support to one, two, three agreements that do not meet the gold standard. that should be the standard regardless how close an ally any of the countries are in reaching these agreements. disagreement ithis agreement iso provide norway with advanced consent to transfer fuel to the united kingdom and france for reprocessing and that sends the wrong signal considering the technology and i am particularly concerned about east asia and that the negotiators didn't push to remove the advanced consent clause. despite the small amount of material in the agreement, we shouldn't waterdown the
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opposition to the processing. it should be the gold standard. if we don't stand for that we will come back in another 15 or 20 years and ask for the same kind of treatment and we will then have that catastrophic event that was created. i believe there is a profound danger that we are unleashing and i just wanted to state my opposition to this. >> we met on several occasions regarding the agreement and i couldn't agree more. i think we find ourselves in a place where even though this is an imperfect agreement it's better than what will be a place if we just allow the administrative agreement to take place so i share your concerns and i wish all of these were in
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the gold standard fashion that you've expressed. we talk about this on many occasions but this is putting us in a better place and entering into. are there any comments or questions? >> if there is no further discussion i would entertain a motion to approved by voice vote. the question is on the motion approved all in favor, opposed. with that are there any further amendments? hearing none are there amendments? the question on the motion as
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amended all in favor and oppose, are we in the right place? the question is on the motion to approve. with that, the legislation is agreed to and we will move to the strategic engagement act of 2016. do you have any comments you would like to make? >> i congratulate my colleague for his work and it shows the commitment and i support it.
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>> what anyone else likwould ano speak to the legislation i would entertain a motion to consider the substitute amendment by voice vote. the substitute amendment is agreed to. is there a motion as amended, is there a second the legislation as amended is agreed to. now the education for all act. >> thank you for bringing this forward i strongly support it and urge my colleagues to support the legislation. >> anyone ask?
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if there is no further discussion the substitute amendment is agreed to. is there a motion as amended the question is on hr 4491. the legislation is agreed to and now we will consider 2845, the enhancement act of 2015. >> i appreciate this is before us today and i want to thank the senators for introducing the act with me last year. the bill passed the committee
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earlier and it's included in 2845. >> any other discussion? >> thank you for working so closely with the ranking member on a wide range of bills for today's mark. if there is no further discussion i would entertain a motion for the amendment by voice vote. all in favor? opposed the eyes have it and the amendment is agreed to. are there further amendments is there a motion to approve the legislation as amended 2845 as amended the legislation as
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amended and agreed to. last, we will consider hr 1150 the international religious freedom act. >> when you are voting on a bill i can't see anyone voting against it. he's been a champion in the career on human rights issues. i do want to thank the senator for his work on the legislation. there were some concerns that were expressed. i thank him for that and that the person had a concern about reporting on the nonstate actors which engaged the religious persecution as they undermined the diplomatic efforts to hold government accountable for the abuses committed in their territory. i think the legislation strikes the right balance but it's an issue we will continue to monitor to make sure the government are held accountable for actions within their country. i want to acknowledge the
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congressman and the work he's done and i would urge my colleagues to support the legislation. >> would anyone else like to speak to this? the >> thank you for including the language. if there is no further discussion i would consider the substitute amendment by voice vote. the question is on the motion to approve the amendment all in favor, opposed? the amendment is agreed to. as their motion to approve as amended? the question is on the motion to approve. the legislation is agreed to and that completes the committee's business.
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>> one other business i am another committee member has a milestone that is pretty important. senator carvin served 50 consecutive years beginning as a youngster he doesn't like me mentioning it but that's pretty impressive. [applause] you can run for office when you are in your teens. i'm thankful he will be serving on a continual basis and the i think that makes you definitely part of the establishment. [laughter] i wanted to pick up on the brief comment as she was getting her
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remarks earlier about the bill that didn't get past. i see you are taking up her mantle very quickly. this is legislation the house passed without comment recently just without debate and i think it's important because there is evidence that women have a critical role to play in all stages of conflict resolution. we know that when women are supported they tended to give back to their communities and making sure they have a place at the table when we resolve conflicts i think is very important so i know there were some procedural concerns about the legislation, but i just want to put everybody in the committee on notice that this isn't going away just because senator boxer isn't going to be here and it's important for us to pass and it sends an important message to women in countries around the world that
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they need to be at the table as we are deciding their fate. thank you and i look forward to calling senator boxer when she's doing whatever she's going to be doing and share with her that we have addressed this issue. there were some issues we like to workout and we will begin it again. another was an executive order of sorts and we would like to see what the impact of that has been that we understand it's going to be something that hopefully will be resolved together. i strongly oppose the nominati nomination. [laughter]
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that completes the committee's business and i ask consent to staff the authorized to make conforming changes without objection so ordered. with that, the committee will stand adjourned. thank you all and i wish you all a warming meaningful holiday. now a foreign relations committee hearing will come to order.
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[inaudible conversations] the hearing on the foreign relations committee will come to order. i want to thank the witnesses for being here today and sitting through all of that. most of you outlined tangible policies to help us address the threat of proxies apart from efforts from obtaining a nuclear weapon of proxies remaining direct threat to the threats the united states and our allies today -- can you hear that i
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would like to thank the witnesses were testifying both of you outlined tangible options to help us address the threat of proxies. apart from the efforts to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, they remain a direct threat to the united states and our allies today and currently there's at least 100,000 missiles and rockets threatening israel and they continue to pose a threat not only to the long-term interests but also threats to the forces currently deployed and just this past october they fired cruise missiles at the ships. saudi arabia -- saudi arabia continues to feel the effects of the proxies and partners as the attacks across the borders to
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launch missiles that can only be deployed without help. the recent report by the organization called conflict armament research clearly outlined the role played by iran highlighting the supplied weapons bound for yemen and somalia and at the same time they continue to play a decisive role and its demonstrated in an amazing capability there's no doubt they will face a range of threats from the more traditional threat to the newfound influence. one reason i pose a nuclear deal with iran is i defeate defeatedt would end up meeting the de facto policy.
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the administration has been pushed back a destabilizing action in the region. i hope you can help us consider new ways. i want to thank you both for being here and sitting through the business meeting sharing your intellect and with that i would like to turn to my friend and ranking member ben cardin. >> thank you for calling this meeting on the network options for countering iranian proxies. as you know i did not support the jc boa as it was negotiated. one of my concerns was the issues that it didn't address. the sponsorship of terrorism, the continued ballistic missile testing of its work with russia to shield the shower all saw -- [inaudiblpc tothese need to be n
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consideration as we contemplate the middle east. the state sponsorship of terrorism and its cultivation of violent proxies across the middle east is important for our security and that of our allies and partners that the nuclear program. indian american citizens uniformed have been victims of terror. in the consultations with the leaders it's crystal clear that the terrorism is on equal grounds with a nuclear threat in the organizations that threats to their security. in iraq where we are partnering with the government to defeat isis, iran is directing militia but ar putting at risk the stability of iraq to defend the
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dictator guilty of crime against humanity's and in the violent suppression of the millions. they are working with the rebels to threaten saudi arabia and jeopardize the broad security. in lebanon, hezbollah held hostage the process of forming the government for over two years and they continue to transfer sophisticated weapons that threaten israel security. what is clear is if you don't have two work hard to identify the fingerprints of terror across the region for the leaders in this type of unconventional warfare it is just enough to keep the region off-balance and more than enough to ensure constant unpredictability. the network is a shared a challenge and we must look at the shared solutions the united
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states cannot go it alone and eliminate the proxies. there is no unilateral solutions of the approach must take into account the requirements of international cooperation. in the region that means intelligence sharing and cooperation with our partners and outside the region that means ensuring sanctions on iran have meaningful impact to accomplish a coordinated multilateral approach to countering the proxies and dismantling the threats network the partners must trust us and want to work with us and there must be a baseline confidence in the commitment to their security. they cannot question the leaders and they may one day get frustrated and walk away from the bilateral security on multilateral agreements. this brings me back as i stated earlier i didn't support it as it was negotiated that now we cannot just walk away without
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risking the credibility of the commitments. the leadership role and security of our partners i fear that walking away now amplifies the prospects while leaving the united states isolated. iran could rush for a finish line and there could be no more intrusive inspections and the united states obligations the rest of the world isn't going to follow us for sanctions. i hope to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle when the comprehensive legislation that sets the foundation for the next chapter of the policy. the signal we must send is that we are committed and congress will conduct oversight on its enforcement and while maintaining incredible determined legislation. i was pleased to see the support of the united states senate in the passage of the act that was an important step that we took.
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on the issues congress must continue the sanctions on the entities engaged in ballistic or cruise missile human rights violations and ensure the considerations of iran conducts an act against the unite uniteds or increases its operational or financial support for triggers organizations that threaten u.s. interests or analyze. i've introduced legislation that i think would help move that along with many of our colleagues that we are working on how we can increase our responsibilities to the nuclear agreement but also to deal with their other activities and i think this discussion today will help us in that. >> thank you for those comments and since you brought up the extension i think that the although a huge debt of gratitude to senator menendez. i'm glad they are extended.
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the first witness is a resident fellow at the american enterprise institute. he previously served as the analyst for the department of defense. thank you for being here. the second witness is senior fellow and chief of staff for the national security program at the center for strategic and international studies and a previously served at the department of defense. thank you both. we would appreciate if you would summarize in about five minutes and your testimony will be entered into the record. >> thank you chairman corker and distinguished committee members thank you for inviting me to testify. also my comments on how this fitting into the priorities and how the u.s. policy can best counter it to smoke while the testimony constitutes my own
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research and analysis intervals to discussions as parwith discua working group at the center to aim to analyze the opportunities to detour them after the nuclear deal. i want to stress that it and 2016, we are at an inflection point in the middle east and the nuclear deal has given the republic of new resources and freed tehran to focus on building its conventional capacity to deal with them more directly. they are also sensing some form of victory in the war in syria and iraq and in the aftermath of the conflict, the leadership will be left with an enormous degree of influence stretching from beirut to basra and beyond. beyond. lead by the revolutionary guard corps, tehran will also have at its disposal a transnational proxy army unit with at least a couple hundred thousand personnel many with new hybrid warfare capabilities developed
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on the battlefield in iraq that will pose challenges. the traditional approach is through financial sanctions, weapons ship and into vocational obligations are well intended and still needed. these actions mitigate, contain or rollback the ability that they will not likely t defeat or eliminate the threat posed by these types of groups especially well-established. how should we tailor our approach especially if defeating them is our ultimate goal there are two keys first as understanding the overall political strategy. though they establish the unconventional warfare and then spread the influence they often become the essential parts of the front line determined strategy once established. this exists int in two layers. first is retaliatory the ability to instill fear in significant casualties, the destruction of critical infrastructure or
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economic destruction to dissuade the more powerful enemies such as israel or the u.s.. this calls to the control drawst doctrines. they also give the ability to help manage escalation and retaliation. since they cannot strike the homeland conventionally it tries to threaten to balance the equation. equation. the second layer is passive determined with more states such as its ability to build proxies in iraq and lebanon that are already in the influence. these are groups such as the mobilization forces in iraq and the defense forces that we've seen in recent years. these are built to basically solidify the influenza in the states and to dissuade any future military such as ours or russia from potentially trying to pull the states out of the
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influence. these can potentially threaten the military presence in the country. the second key is being able to distinguish the true prop -- proxies. this should be a an essential component and the main distinguish or is whether an organization adheres to the revolutionary ideology or the guardianship that recognizes the supreme leader is the ultimate religious and political authority. groups that do not acknowledge the authority such as those in yemen or even a militant groups still enjoy significant support and cooperate with the foreign-policy. they cannot reliably depend on organizations to form the frontline of the deterrence against the adversaries were even to consistently execute the leadership.
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so, looking to the u.s. policy recommendations as long as they continue to impose the united states and sees washington as a threat it will seek deterrence through the proxies. unconventional weapons or whatever feasible means it can support. the united states can take steps to mitigate the proxies. four or five principles include first exposing the psychological foundations of the strength and later efforts by the u.s. to name and shame the groups in this foundation of the deterrent and strength and second, contain and push back from the proxies. third, the local supports the proxies. the heavy-handed approach stoped that we can take advantage of. fourth, stem the formation and help shape the environment where
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we can. this is important in places like yemen where they are not quite there and they are fully supported and adhered to the ideology. we can prevent them from becoming fully part of the operations. finally, we should support the full government approaches as a threat act of 2016. the legislation such as that recognizes that need. the bottom line the u.s. cannot alter the logic of the creation of proxies to detour the conventional advantage. the real changetheir real change leadership of the interim we can however mitigate the growth and the psychological power they have and with that i would conclude my statement. thank you.
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>> chairman corker, ranking members of the committee it is an honor to testify you today with my colleague on options for countering the proxies. the testimony draws from the report on deterring iran. i will focus my remarks on three topics today, the strategic approach, building the deterrence strategy and recommendations to the new congress and the next administration. we are a power that seeks to fulfill a number of goals to change the status quo. these include ensuring survival of the islamic republic, deterring adversaries enhancing its power and influence and securing a place of economic importance in the international community. aware of the conventional military inferiority versus its adversaries that leverages a range of capabilities and concepts of operation including proxy forces to achieve its objectives. this also encompasses other activities including missile
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development engaging in maritime operations, exploiting cyber vulnerabilities and employing information operations it and it ensures escalations against the united states and its partners fall short of large-scale work. through this approach, iran can pursue its goals and enjoy the possibility can subvert the rifles and deter them from taking actions that could trigger a backlash from the groups and infiltrate and influence the state institutions incrementally in the countries with deep governance. moreover, the war in syria and iraq provided a ground for the growth of the proxies in the supported groups. this approach also disadvantages it on so destabilizing activities as an international pariah remains the same in pairing its economic development. they are also hindered by a
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principal agent problem versus the proxies that do not always act in accordance. it is significantly in the capability development, yet the united states has largely been unable to detour the incremental extension of regional power and threshold testing across a range of military activities and indeed in the last five years, the threats network has grown td the regional partners doubt the sincerity pressing back against the destabilizing activities. the next congress and administration have the opportunity to try to pathway forward but protects u.s. interests, strengthens deterrence and sets up the conditions for changing the behavior. the united states may choose to elevate its objectives in its approach given the unique challenges in the threat network. the strategy will have its
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limits. the changes in the government that united states will not be able to change the supporting proxy groups. it may prompt them to reassess its commitments and especially if they impose new terrorism related sanctions that mimic the nuclear weapons if the action isn't calibrated, iran is likely to respond with attacks on information operations insider attacks. working in close coordination the united states can take a number of steps to limit the activities into stem the growth in thof the region. these include direct and indirect operations to disrupt the activities and interact support for proxies calibrated in their red wines, conduct cyber disruption, avoid inflating the capabilities and
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intentions, expose the front companies and financial activities outside of the borders to discourage interference, exploit the sentiment in the region through amplified information operations sustained financial pressure on the proxies and minimize the space it can exploit in the region by building the capabilities for the security forces and supporting the resiliency initiative in the countries. even the u.s. strategy that seeks to amplify pressure cannot be punitive or it will prove escalatory and its limits in changing the behavior. the united states should link incentives to the changes that iran makes. congress and the administration have an opportunity to chart a pathway forward. i hope that today's hearing can and pour them that process.
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thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> i will keep my remaining time for interjections for senator menendez. when an agreement was being made i know some of us were in the switzerland of the deal where many of the meetings took place. one of the things they would say is that the revolution is over. iran is a different place. obviously the description that you laid out counterattack and the reason we have proxies is to further the resolution but i wonder if you distinguish witnesses could just very briefly yes or no do you believe the revolution is over or not? >> for the current leadership, it is not. what i usually argue is that for this particular leadership gets
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the political infrastructure that allows them to retain power and they can change the ideology if they want to but they haven't figured out what that would look like for them to maintain power. i think everyone that follows the region in this town and academia and around the world asks that question are they going to have a china in the 1970s moment, the moment where they will change the ideology. they worry about that and debate that internally. i think they are scared it's going to happen and that they will go through the purchase where everyone dies kind of moment that happens and four right now the revolution still matters and it's what keeps them in power.
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>> i agree with v. characterization. there have been tensions in the policy that is quite strong today but also a dose of pragmatism and economic development and desire to have incredible standing in the international community. you see them overtime trying to balance those elements of the policy and there is a push and pull that occurs in the leadership to try to strike that balance. so i think that the sweet spot they have to find is to constrain the behavior of the ideology and harness the potential of pragmatism. >> senator menendez?
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>> for a couple of decades now, iran has sought to extend it through the region and i know that champions insisted with a hold on the nuclear program we would be able to expand resources to combat these more conventional threats and i was looking forward to doing that. however, in the past two years we have seen iran test test us a variety of ways. either the production of heavy water in the agreement is in and of itself the ability to produce a precedent for a set of circumstances that gives them access to other developments of the program. yes once we bought it and now
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they transfer it in the second case but the reality is it's a violation of the agreement but beyond that in a more conventional way, the engagement in the ballistic missile technology and the violation of the security council resolutions, their engagement on terrorism has not stopped. the engagement in iraq is tremendously challenging in terms of our national interests as well as partners in the region and so it just seems to me i hope in the next congress colleagues that want to deal with the non- nuclear issues will be in a way that's incredibly important to the national security. i think the extension of the sanctions show that despite
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coming iran might walk away from the agreement of the sanctions were not to walk away so it's interesting notwithstanding all the blustering that the reality is the sanctions have in fact not having moved away which then brings me to what do we do as it relates to all of these actions. so i would like to get a sense of you you mentioned the fact that we introduced in this congress. what elements of th that most particularly do you see as helpful, and what can we do with our international partners to enforce the sanctions on the conventional weapons and ballistic missiles.
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>> in particular, i've always supported taking a very comprehensive look at what iran is doing from the conventional efforts, support for terrorism, the group itself, human rights, the entire field. i think in particular in 2016, the updates to the bill including something i personally advocated for including a comprehensive strategy for the u.s. government person that defends state treasury is producing a coordinated strategy which when i was in the government was very difficult to have. we didn't have a sense of all of the different elements of the u.s. national power. even if you didn't have a fully coordinated effort at least all
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were talking to each other and recognizing what we are doing under the thumb and on counter finance and what we are doing on our military posture in the region is working well with our diplomatic efforts. we were not necessarily always talking well to each other so i think that in particular would be a huge help and i think when it comes to recognizing the balance, if i can be a little provocative here, what it took to affect the nuclear program, our efforts on sanctions and pressure we also brought to bear to bring iran to the table but beyond this there were incentives involved. all of that when you look to bring them to negotiate that was
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something that was fundamentally a program that wasn't existential. it was very important to them but they didn't have a nuclear weapon yet and so therefore it wasn't part of their deterrent strategy yet therefore it is something that could be traded away at the table. it was something that would have been negotiated. the reason i try to convince in my testimony about the importance of the substantial issues, whereas something like proxies have become ex- essential to iran. lebanese and hezbollah to deter israel. the ballistic missiles or something they already have and therefore in order for us to pressure them to restrain
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themselves on something like lebanese and hezbollah is going to require an effort with us and our allies frankly a much greater effort than it ever took to get them to the table as much as we may not like that agreement. not to be such a pessimist about it, but it's an enormous challenge for us. it's just so important to remember when you're faced with something like this it's important to understand how important it is and if we are going to do it we have to bring a whole lot to their fridg purcf one other question. >> i appreciate your naming and
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shaming but i have to be honest i don't get the sense they are going to stop. when we talk about incentives, iran and testimony you suggest the possibility of including the international organizations. i'm just not sure that a country that violates just about every international norm should be invited in the international organization because that doesn't necessarily change attitudes if you look at russia they violated international norms and they are supporting a dictatorship and i'm not sure that invitation to such entities is the greatest in the world pursuing the course of money to the proxies and other entities is incredibly important. thank you, senator rubio.
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>> we were all happy earlier to see the citizens that have been held and returned irrespective of the circumstances which that happened that were less than ideal. one of them was an american that has been missing now for a long time. we have seen his son was arrested october 15 they were both convicted in october and sent ten years in prison and so my question is, and i would like to hear from both of you on this topic is in fact iran using the unjust attention from american citizens as a tool of statecraft to receive additional benefits from the united states in the future? and if so would incentivize the circumstances in the releases that we saw earlier in the year? ..
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when they were designated in 2011, the treasury department noted that rockets or missiles had been transported in the islamic national guard officers occasionally take possession of guard court related cargo. in addition to that we have seen other related airlines, we have
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no assurances that iran is not going to use these boeing planes in the way that they've used other aircraft. i understand some would argue what would be a violation of the contract. i don't know where they intend to enforce that or what court they're going to take that too. given your background on iran, when they receive this aircraft from boeing, is it you are the view that we should expect to see the likelihood that this will be use the same way they've been used in the past. are they going to assist the ir rgc and other designated entities? >> i would expect, given the history with such aircraft, there will be some that will be used in that manner and some for commercial purposes. iran has a long use of dual use of old capabilities and technology it acquires. i would be surprised if they
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don't. that would be my answer. >> i think this is very holistic approach to iran, such that we can sequence the moves that we would like to make in shoring up our deterrence, while while at the same time incentivizing behavior changes such that they are synchronized. in constructing a framework that way, you can construct a risk that you are highlighting if we are too consider certain incentives. concerning commercial transactions lead to iran using those products for dual use purposes in ways that are contrary to u.s. interests. perhaps in the greater context of our strategy, that does not
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make sense and so i would encourage the next ministration in the next congress to evaluate programming that we already have under way, initiatives that we have already started, but in the context of a grander strategy that seeks to strengthen our deterrence and secure our interest and protect our allies and partners. >> thank you both your testimony one of the areas that concerns me in regard to the oversight by congress of the nuclear agreement was expressed legislation that i referred to earlier that was cosponsored by many of my colleagues. that is for congress to understand where the sanctioned relief resources are being used by the iranians. if they are used to enhance their economic fairness to its citizens, i think all of us would say we should well support
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that type of efforts. if it is used to enhance their support for terrorism, or to use it to advance ballistic missile programs, then obviously that's a different story. can you explain how these resources have been used by the iranians and if you've seen any other uptick and their activity. >> i think most analysts would agree that the majority of the sanctioned relief, for example oil sales and foreign direct investment that has gone in to a non- terrorism, non- proxy, non- irg related activities, but they
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are trying to ensure that it will be dedicated to their activities, something they're trying to get insured as a regular percentage with some of these transfers. >> any type of incoming deal that iran is striking with foreign countries from any industry, auto, air, energy sector that basically the eye rgc is looking for its cut. they are going to get a certain cut of that. >> did that come from the iranians or the investor? would come from whatever the deal is signed of irc funding within the budgetary system. they have all sorts of gray
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budget capacity. that is still being argued and there's a lot of back-and-forth happening in the iranian budget about who's going to get what coming out of -- >> have they gotten their cut on these projects? >> i don't know if they've actually finalized that. that is what they have been arguing for in the recent budget fights. we also know that some of the actual transfers of money that have been coming in since the deal was implemented have actually doubled the military's budget for a one-year term because of the transfers that have come in for the one to time deals. whether that will continue in two subsequent years is undetermined. basically the eye rgc is getting a one-year bump, this year, that's that's quite significant.
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whether that will continue into the outer years is uncertain. so we are seeing a very significant influx. a lot is going into sustaining up what you would consider "funding which is going into sustaining operations in syria and iraq. how that will turn into building a new air force are capitalizing their navy or building new proxies in africa or south asia, those are questions. >> i think we all would acknowledge that prior too the agreement, nuclear agreement, iran's economy was in pretty bad shape. they were really having a major impact. we can also acknowledge that iran has been actively engaged in its proxy activities and whether they could have done that with or without the reason resources we don't know, but they're actively engaged in proxy campaigns. how can we learn the lesson for how we impose sanctions and
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figure out a way that we can make the regime on ballistic missiles and on sponsoring terrorism and human rights violations more effective to be consequential to change behavior in iran. >> thank you senator, great question. i think we can certainly extract lessons learned for how they are leveraging the funding from the sanctions relief and apply it to future cases of sanctions, perhaps building and off ramps, or learning from the snapback effects that were used in the nuclear negotiations and too better understand how money flows and operates in the iranian system and basically creates trigger mechanisms, indicators indicators that we can look for such that sanctioned relieves or sanctions
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put in place for future missile development, that action can be taken to revoke any sort of relief. i think building that into the system up front as we design a holistic approach would be wise. >> thank you. i want to follow up on the connection between the eye rgc and the money trail. we had a question earlier is revolution dead. by definition, it's in their name. their existence depends on this being a dependable, the fact that the pla years ago had a significant portion of china's economy, they have up to 20 or
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30% of a ransom economy which means they have an ongoing source of revenue to support terrorism around the world. we know from the treasury department's own support, the shiite militia is in iraq and they've killed more than 500 u.s. soldiers. they who the rebels in the list goes on and on. boko haram and across the entire region, we know they play an important role. the question is, how how can we in a post- deal environment user sanctioned ability to get out the flow of money. i don't disagree with you, but they're there's still money to cut. we are opening up economic
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sanctions and we know they have assets in other countries. this is not just a one time deal. they will get a bump this year, but they will continue to get increased availability of cash or spendable money into their activity. my question to both of you is how would you advise the next administration, what's our role, how how can we play a hendren, how can we hinder their ability to further support terrorism around the world. >> i think what you get to, and you're absolutely right, this one time bomb is a one time event that won't necessarily continue on. thing about the last question. i think what we are looking for is how do you create an iran th


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