tv U.S. Global Leadership CSPAN December 26, 2017 4:53pm-8:02pm EST
hunter and first thing he did when he left office was organized to go on a very large hunting safari in africa and this particular rifle was specifically for roosevelt and it had the presidential seal engraved on the breach and of course, roosevelt was famous for the bull moose party in there is a bullmoose engraved on the spine plate of this gun. >> watch c-span city tour springfield, missouri generate six and seven of c-span stupid tv and on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore ameri america. >> the aspen institute hosted a conversation about diplomacy under the trump administration with former secretary of state madeleine albright, former defense secretary william cohen, former national security advisor susan rice and others.
the discussion is three hours. >> good morning, everyone. good morning. thank you for your patience. i'm nick burns, director of aspen strategy group and welcome to this session on american global leadership in the 21st century. first, i want to thank dla piper for giving us the space is horny. we very much appreciate that. i want to thank all of you for being here, members of our strategy group, in particular senator dan of alaskan who i'm honored to interest you in a minute. let me tell you about our program this morning.
we at the aspen strategy group are 35 years old. we have this radical notion that even in washington there can be an organization that is resolutely nonpartisan. we have been resolutely nonpartisan for 35 years. our founders are bill perry, joan i, a lot. we meet annually in aspen, colorado to discuss and debate big ideas about america foreign-policy and our global leadership in each year we hear a book based on our proceedings for publication in this year's book is available today. if the book were discussing today called the world turned upside down: maintaining american leadership in a dangerous age. we will discuss the book this morning beginning with senator sullivan continuing with our good friend [inaudible] will talk about major changes in how america looks at its global trade position. with richard, about the impact of technology on america's
global military leadership and we will continue the conversation that i will moderate between secretary former secretary bill cohen and forward secretary of state madeleine albright about these issues and will culminate in a panel at 1130 chaired by david ignatius of "the washington post" steve and susan rice. two former national security advisors. we have a full morning and here is the issue at stake. we took on the summer in our conversation in this book focuses on the major question that republicans and democrats have about our future. will the united states maintain its leadership in the world in the decades ahead because that leadership is being assaulted by a combination of factors. first is the rise of right-wing anti- democratic populist movement. even in some ally countries, in poland, and hungry and in the czech republic all members of
nato, all now veering in an anti- democratic direction. we see the rise of marine the pen in france with alternative for deutsche land in germany and some of these inside democratic parties and some of them well-financed in some finance by the kremlin and designed to hollow out the european union and nato from the inside. that is one big factor that we are contending with. second, of course, is the rising power of the two great autocratic countries china and russia. china following president she's party to the party in october challenges the united states for leadership in the asian-pacific reit region in the future. china pushing out and violating the sovereignty of five other countries in the south china sea and challenging japanese sovereignty and administrative control over the islands in the
east china sea in china running russia over international law and making extravagantly the legal claims to the space in the south china sea and the only combination of powers the commanders this contain china's ambitions are the united states and japan in india all democratic countries all increasingly aligned with each other and in europe were facing an equally tough problem. vladimir putin invaded georgia in crimea in eastern ukraine, pressure the baltic states all over the last nine years. the intelligence community of the united states that publicly, about a year ago, vladimir interfered in our 2016 election and there's no question that the russian government is trying to cut the right seats down to size and limit our power in the world and that's a second factor. we will also examine technology because the technological military edge that we have had in the qualitative edge we had is being narrowed, not just by
powers like china but also by the fact that countries like north korea now have the ability to cyber technology to penetrate deep into the heart they have a sony corporation into the database of the united states government. this challenge to us global leadership is also from within and we have a major debate that is reflected on our conversation this summer as it trump came to office with an american for point of view in the police and we had five members of the term administration with us at our conference this summer we were happy to have financial security visor hr mcmaster with us and for other officials and we talked about the need for retrenchment, the need for a stronger defense, the need to have more hard-nosed attitudes on trade and the need to demand more of our allies. on the other side you have critics and we had both sides in our nonpartisan basis say that
president trump is to ambivalence toward our allies and that he's a pending 60 years of american policy on trade and that the immigration and refugee issues are hurting the credibility of the united states in the crackdown of refugees and if there's been a withdrawal of american leadership on assignment in on the trade issue in from un agencies we looked at both sides of the issue in our nonpartisan effort to be fair to both sides and to listen to both sides this summer but i instruct in the public session that we had the summer with former secretary of state condoleezza rice said she felt that the united states had lost its self-confidence as the global leader so we should look at that again this morning. ...
conducted this career at the state department and national security council for the state of alaska. i want to invite senator sullivan to take the stage and join me to welcome him. [applause] >> thank you it is a pleasure to be back. when you are the senator from alaska my staff is also here i want to thank them. i have never been to aspen before in terms of this summer working for secretary rice.
so when you are asked by condoleezza rice to swing by a conference she is cohosting she is such an incredible and important figure for our country. but i had a wonderful time at the event with a little bit of bonding. three teenage daughters. and went with me she went to all the events which is great. and then we drove out to aspen and like millions of high school kids across the country is a huge fan of hamilton the musical. i haven't heard much of it that we were listening to with
the whole drive out but if you were at the aspen media -- meeting this summer in the meetings there were all these numerous inadvertent references to hamilton. so every time that happened we would look at each other and smile. one of the world turned upside down is one song and another one with condoleezza rice all of the big shots and madeleine albright somebody says this is the room where it happens. i looked at my daughter. [laughter] there was even a reference for the real hamilton geeks, somebody mentioned about mcmaster to be the right-hand
man so we were having a lot of fun. you probably didn't know all of these references to hamilton. but to address upfront will the u.s. remain the predominant power despite the challenges my answer to that is yes, probably but we need to focus but what i want to highlight is returning to robust levels of economic growth, strengthening and deepening with those alliances and what i have been focused on with a birds eye view is
the strong legislature in terms of foreign policy. then i will take questions or comments. this was the biggest apprised to me so when i came here i thought the idea of growth, maybe with the exception of national security to grow our economy is what they should focus on. so many challenges get worse but yet my biggest surprise as a u.s. senator three years ago was nobody talked about it.
but the republicans didn't talk about it either so i used to get up and say how come nobody is talking about growth? and on the senate floor. but look at this chart. this explains a lot. from my perspective. bipartisan democrats and republicans but the redline is 3%. we haven't hit 3% gdp and mom -- gdp growth annually in
13 years. what makes america great? this is what makes america great. almost 4% gdp growth annually the average with all the recessions since world war ii. so the entire obama administration that never hit 3%. what happened the 2016 election? boom. so we have to have to have to get back to strong levels of economic growth. with the business affairs bureau under secretary rice but this is more important
than military power this underpins military power but yet we really haven't focused on it. so listening to the narrative people saw this and say how do i explain that? and they call this the new normal. with gdp growth hitting on all economic cylinders. that is the narrative in washington. one of the most dangerous there is if we think one half or 2% is this for the country we will have enormous challenges. so my view is different. i don't think that is the future one of the privileges of being in the u.s. senate if
they have time on their hands to talk to about an issue i reached out to dozens of people. do you believe in 1.5% if not had we get back to robust levels? nobody believes in the new normal which is why the narrative is so dangerous. so we are finally starting to focus on this republicans democrats and the white house those policies we can undertake a member a lot of the ideas you don't hear about in the press chuck schumer,
corporate tax rates, rates, nobody thinks that is a good idea. infrastructure, regulatory permitting perform on -- reform and energy energy energy. u.s. is on the superpower the largest producer of oil in saudi arabia and russia. but to me that is an enormous opportunity to grow the economy energy is one we just scratch the surface it is a win win win on jobs and energy security and the environment. i was in charge of producing hydrocarbons in alaska we have the highest standards in the world.
out there those places and protecting the environment so this issue of strong robust growth with his opening remarks going back to american confidence and so many smart policy practitioners recognize we are best at developing confidence long-term foreign policy with the american people and the country feels confident. nothing like the confidence of a growing economy. hr mcmaster focused on this last week and condoleezza rice
talked about this one of my mentors with respect to foreign policy to be very low -- well-known responsible stakeholder he talks about american confidence dealing with china dealing from a position of strength so that is one area we have to do better. second with regard to strengthening our position with our allies. democrats and republicans have focused on that. even stronger than our military the most important strategic advantage we have is
a nation. we are allied rich and most are allied poor. not many countries are looking to join iran or north korea. to be part of the system. so to deepen the current alliances and expand them. it is a mixed assessment. and then on the importance of our alliances. at the time presidential candidate trump talking about korea and japan alliances as a candidate but also there was a
very big article in the atlantic about the obama doctrine. that made what donald trump say pale in comparison that is pretty remarkable sitting president is smacking everybody but angela merkel. so to me that is what prompted senators to say wait. democrats, president obama, possibly president trump, remember our allies are critically important to us. so with my assessment come i think going back to strong economic growth, energy, that
power brings us closer to our allies. focusing on the asia-pacific and in many ways much more important than the military presence. if we can start turning that around using new instruments of power that could help us with our allies in asia. the president is putting together a team you may have seen the last trip between u.s. japan and australia and india which was a start -- smart strategic move i think we need to look at perhaps a much stronger trilateral security arrangement.
so in that area and with those opportunities with the traditional goal of allies working much more closely together with our common interest pushing back against those hegemonic aspirations. these have positive aspects but the negatives are europe that continues to be skepticism. with regard to the paris climate accord with strategic communications this means discipline and by definition
strategic and we need to do a better job. congress can play an important role which brings me to my third and final point. in terms of setting united states for continued global leadership we have to get back to the difficult work of better executive legislative cooperation and look at history because you are all expert united states is the strongest in the world and we are working together peaking with one voice. it isn't easy but but it is
hard work. it is durable. my short time i see where it works and where it hasn't. and after the 2014 election which was my class to start working with the obama administration on trade promotion authority. the president couldn't get it when his own party was in power that that is when the discussions happened. in passing the senate with 50 votes but we did that. that is an opportunity that is in the law. but with regard to the iranian
nuclear deal and the climate accords from my experience there is zero engagement from the white house. zero. zero. so to the contrary to do everything they could with the gratification of these agreements. so it is a little bit difficult to complain a president who campaigned against these agreements because they were not ratified by the senate is when he came in to do it is not criticized. my view is with the previous administration never came to the senate that the grand nuclear deal is important.
and to understand it. when you don't do that you get traumatic swings of foreign policy. looking at federalist papers by james madison he lays out a critical role the u.s. senate plays with regard given its tenure. with regard to our relations with the steady foreign policy. both parties are guilty and you have the swings.
but the good news is there is bipartisanship going on in the congress and the senate i am not one to bash the media but to have stories about conflict. and in the senate i was reading a couple years ago that the financial times writing a piece that said the partisanship in the senate hasn't been this high since the civil war. >> this is a ridiculous statement. the reauthorization act. sitting on the armed services
committee. that dramatically brings up the military passes the committee unanimously. did you read that in the paper? but yet when it went to conference it passed by unanimous consent. that is about as bipartisan as it gets so i talked about aspen joe kennedy and i had the opportunity to sit on a panel talking about bipartisanship or domestic home front we have a bill already passed the senate on a
topic that is very timely to bring much more resources to victims of domestic violence. to represent mostly women that we are seeing across different parts of american society that isn't a huge bill but important as the lead guy in the house and the senate and on a more personal fund then we will have dinner with one of my colleagues i consider a good friend sheldon whitehouse. if you know their politics you would say i can't believe they are going to dinner but that happened in fact we have a bill already passed the senate
about cleaning up the ocean debris trying to get past in the house. there is more that goes on but i just think that to position ourselves in a strong perspective to have that cooperation strong growth is imperative strengthening and deepening our alliances is imperative better cooperation on foreign policy national security issues with the executive branch leading the world during challenging times. [applause]
>> he will take your questions who would like to ask the first question? i now teach college i can call on ambassador, welcome so to comment on your views in the work of your is? long -- caucus it is an honor to be asked a question by one of the great leaders of american diplomacy who also has an opportunity to serve with but when i got to the
senate there are caucuses that show demonstration of support in the senate but where they are strong is the army and need be a marine corps caucus air force and coast guard so those constituencies for this very important aspects of american government and if you don't believe that we just spent a saturday in philadelphia at the army-navy game and there is still strong support for our troops for the young men and women that go to those world-class institutions but was interesting to me there was not any type of caucus established group with
a career foreign service officers. leading a group as the assistant secretary i got to know what a great group of professionals foreign service officers are to deploy overseas son were killed in action or sacrificed and to be honest i'm trying to use a diplomatic term, a sense that foreign service is left-leaning but my experience is very professional and they
do great work. going to senator chris van hollen we should get a foreign service officers caucus going to support the men and women. there is also a culture they hate coming up to the hill. so they let us meet to show support the deputy secretary of state meeting with senators who want to show their support but i think our foreign service officers have strong support in the congress and he gets to the issue of executive
legislative cooperation because it breeds that cooperation when we launch that caucus senators like orrin hatch and jim resch very well respected, chris murphy, catherine cortez mass told the nevada senator we will grow that but i think it is an important element of that strengthening cooperation to make sure we understand the hard work and sacrifice foreign service officers do every day. >> the administration's proposal is a budget reduction for state to take it down by
8% it is no secret that morale is very low and there is a dismantling of the foreign service can congress intervene? >> i also have concerns some of that you have to get to the truth i will give you an example there was an article recently that said applications for the foreign service are down 50%. i don't know if there is truth to that but that should because for enormous concern. marine corps recruiting down by 50%? i guarantee we would be have hearings at the armed services committee to say what is happening in the marine corps? with your? the budget i don't think it
cut that dramatic those related aid programs will see that support but this goes to the broader issue of getting congress to understand the great work the men and women and expertise have and when you go overseas people see that but on a regular basis but we are trying to do in the. >> he had time for one or two more questions. >> you are a great credit to the senate.
my question is the authorize the use of military force. i was there in 2001 when we passed the authorization to use military force that document is still the basis at least seven wars have been justified. with the defense department recently testified they don't need more authority do you think that is true or do you think that there ought to be a robust debate in the senate and the house so the american people can have a chance to consider and buy into the activities underway?
>> i will address that in two parts there was a debate recently from rand paul it wasn't multi- day debates but when we were marking up on the senate floor. his amendment said we have authorized the 2001 authorization either need to reauthorize or cut that off. i have a lot of respect for rand paul but i voted against that but we did debate that the main reason is alaska has a group of incredible young men and women based out of
anchorage and are in afghanistan right now. i spoke at their deployment ceremony to say i will do everything i can to make sure you are supported back at home. actually i'm trying to visit them this weekend in afghanistan but my wife is hosting a party for spouses that are deployed. we are serious. so to cut off the authorization of their mission and mission? that is not how we should be addressing this. there are elements of the important topic but realities on the ground soldiers and careens and the last thing we should be doing is to have a
debate we are not sure you are authorized as you risk your life that is a commitment i made this way voted no. so on a related topic of north korea i have been very involved in the senate with the administration publicly and privately the president has put together a strong national security team on north korea what they are doing is a tough issue through numerous administration but this really has been faced with a stark challenge because it is likely kim jong-il will have that capability for the nuclear missile through chicago or new york so there
diplomacy has been very strong one element i've tried to bleed on with the president and his team with regard to north korea a robust missile-defense now part of the nba missile-defense has always been partisan now it is bipartisan i also support secretary mattis the development of credible military options that actually
makes the promisee more effective. so i said publicly and privately that as part of your credible option was it preventative or preemptive? they need the authorization from congress to do that. as a matter-of-fact right now we are not working on a/d resolution but one that the says we support what they are doing but if they move forward preemptive for preventative like the gulf war 1990 that is the article one power congress i have been asking during confirmation hearings members of the administration going to the department of defense do
you believe you need authorization to do this? pretty much all of them and they all said yes that is for the au mf issue will come to a head not all my senate colleagues agree with me on this and i respect their views that i think they haven't read the constitution of the federalist papers in a while in terms of north korea looking at from one angle versus afghanistan with the war on terror but still very valid but it is different from a contextual standpoint. >> i know you are busy but we have a follow-up question to
north korea. on the merits of the issue, it seems secretary tillerson would like to move to deterrence to some type of diplomatic negotiations to stop their program. others think we ought to think about preemptive option -- action so with congressional authorization where is the leadership on the senate for the national security advisor? >> they are both good questions but actually they are interrelated your diplomacy is much more
effective if your adversaries believe it is a continuum with credible military options are part of that continuum there was a lot of things i was supportive of foreign policy but nobody because of a series of events no adversary sought at administration had the will or the desire to possibly use military force and it may have been there -- making there diplomacy more ineffective that is important given the regime how unpredictable they are.
i think the focus of diplomacy is not negotiations with north korea decade after decade proves to be an unreliable partner to negotiate with a never kept one and of any bargain they have agreed to ever. that won't change. you cannot trust the iranians but with regard to china privately and openly with discussions with china but to make that all about north korea u.s. negotiations that is a sideshow because it cannot be trusted they have never shown they can be trusted but china has a converging interest with the
abbe -- availability to do it. on the republican side i have voices very publicly most senior officials agree preemptive as possible is the senate unified? no. there are some prominent center -- senators don't necessarily believe it requires the administration to get the authority from us i happen to think they are wrong
to have a resolution of very well-known senators that say we are being supportive those that are saying it is a disaster we are trying to be supportive the au mf if they can get that brings more credibility but that is a very serious debate in congress and we are not calling for that right now but we should have that. >> please join me to thank senator sullivan. [applause]
>> we will take a minute to move this offstage. are we ready for the next session? >> looking at two issues this summer that are important factors whether or not united states will maintain the global leadership role the first is trade i think we have seen the most significant departure of republican and democratic policy in the trump administration. that is the rejection of the tpp or the free trade agreement or fundamental
changes to nafta and the second is technology where united states needs to maintain the r&d edge so two people are here to talk about those subjects. steve is a veteran of different administrations most recently george w. bush chief security council now president of ford motor company and we had an active debate this summer mike is not here but steve is in the podium is yours. >> good morning. i work for a major u.s. company manufacturer 25 countries around the world and
a trade in volumes of commodities, parts, automobile , when i look at this trade issue i approach it more from the viewpoint of a practitioner than the ideologue or philosopher. much of this is about philosophy and ideology and not enough is about trade reduced to the simplest form it is goods and services across borders with free-trade you are achieving a less constrained movement that is relatively simple but yet we find ourselves in these debate in washington d.c. manifesting themselves even today. so like many of you, i was
stunned to watch one of the candidates from the major political party run for the presidency of the united states not only denounce nafta but threatened to withdraw. like many of you i was surprised when then senator's obama said that and then senator clinton endorsed that with the 2008 campaign in the primaries in the debate in cleveland moderated by tim russert. he proposed to withdraw within six months mexicans and canadians are not agree to comprehensively agree. >> although to his credit
president obama sought to make recruitments with the tpp but still the political expedient predates the trump administration by a long time. it is interesting to study the politics of trade as the pew trust does interesting research but 67% of self identified democratic voters believe the free-trade agreement makes america stronger. interestingly 36% of republican voters endorse free-trade agreements to make united states stronger. the politics are confounding because certainly inside the beltway the free trade agreement as they gain the support with a small handful
willing to support those free-trade agreements but each of those is out of step with their own base those that are in staff is president trump among bill self identified voters those that believe it is good for america but in greater synergy and harmony with the american public. with all the issues generating controversy free-trade may be one of the biggest that will reflect the sentiment of the country. >> to do a diagnostic with the
forecast so let me quickly say with the tpp i understand the distressed that has caused many about what role america will play in the asia pacific but that did not -- die when president trump signed the executive order it did not have the support of congress or the american public and most definitely not the business community. it was too big and ambitious and to justify locking into place the status quo. so it fell victim to geopolitical aim one of the
things that i have learned since i left government is that geopolitics for lousy free-trade agreements. but it makes for great geopolitics. you have to get the economics right first to paper over the differences and competing views you are embedding with major trading partners. the u.s. korean free-trade agreement. with nafta that is a different take. the challenge is the economics don't work for the united states to produce a trade balance that would excite political support i would say
it works quite well to make a far more competitive but it is on disputable more than 60 million-dollar trade deficit with mexico this is what trump is focused on. the problem with sexting on -- fixing nafta so to grow u.s. exports to mexico. as beneficial as nafta is the economics on the revenue side. so the only tool available to fix our trade limiting that is in ascetical. so i have a fairly gloomy expectation of the ability to truly achieve the goal that they want to balance out u.s.
trade. economists would argue the deficits are not indicators of the quality of the free-trade agreement and i completely endorse that point of view but as a caveat they may indicate problems in asia pacific trading partners. let me highlight very briefly what we should consider how to take that trade agenda forward that this is a holistic picture not just trade by regulation and tax reform and growth and i have to believe a
couple of quarters of economic growth will go way on -- a long way to ameliorating tensions but ironically that kind of growth will balloon the trade deficit to treat the dissatisfaction so the ten priorities so to be engaging with partners who agree and support this was the original premise of the tpp those that have a high level of support but in the course of those geopolitical ambitions those that simply don't support free-trade.
they should be on a bilateral basis and to craft the necessary tools to force open those economies. and address currency manipulation according to the peterson institute is adding $500 billion to the deficit on an annual basis and has not been addressed by trade negotiation and corruption is a big issue that undermines comparative advantage to use the tools and tie that to the trade agreement it removes the cover and enforcement
enforcement enforcement. finally, trade negotiations unfortunately among the public and critics while there are some tools we need to do better on capitol hill such as requiring to be shared in detail that is a bit of a stretch but doing trade negotiations in public it dismisses the notion that anything is in here i think why they meet in private is because they are advocating positions that are indefensible to the public. put it out in the open. the easiest way to get support. with the free-trade partner not willing to embrace we can leave them out and give them some time. i wish i had a dollar every time i heard in the long run
it is not the benefit for the country or people cannot sustain that it is a competitive disadvantage. the country is not willing to make those necessary steps to the free trade of goods and services it is okay to say no. finally, geopolitics has to be subordinate. free-trade has to be driven by economics first. [applause] >> thank you very much. trade is an issue where our two parties are divided and the public is divided but before we hear from richard it is only fair because i saw our friend mike walk-in. you are here?
when we had our meeting in aspen this summer he made major presentations on trade it was one of the most interesting discussions but also conceptual differences so i will put you on the spot we will get the microphone to you you just heard the tail end of his presentation but can i give you a two-minute reply? >> i only caught the last and of his speech i assume he has completely changed his views since he read my chapter in the book. [laughter] i agree with steve on a lot of things and we disagree on certain things. if you take the tpp as an example that was the not enough to bring the countries into the free-trade area under
a high standard set of rude -- rules. economics to have to be developed we cannot justify that free-trade agreement on how it benefits the economy but who can write the economic rules of the road. so what we see is what we warned with the tpp other parties would move forward in the ways that reflected their interest in values and bring up market access at the expense of others and that is exactly what we are seeing. t4 move forward in the ways that . . . .
>> not standing still, and whether it's the e.u. finalizing its agreement with japan so its pork producers in denmark get the access that our pork producers fought so hard for or whether it's australia's beef producers getting access to japan instead of ours, that's happening in realtime. we are losing market share, losing jobs because people prefer to sit on the sideline rather than move ahead with a deal that would have raised standards and opened markets and eliminated about 98% of all
tariffs. >> mike, could you stay with the mic? i'm going to give steve a two minute right of reply here. one of the big issues as we look towards 2018 is the resumption of the nafta talks between the -- among the u.s., canada and mexico. there is speculation, but you would both be better informed than me that the trump administration might even be considering ending nafta and then trying to build up some kind of bilateral arrangement, u.s./canada, u.s./mexico. this would be a significant point of departure, both republicans and democrats, over the last 23 years. whats' your view on that? what's your sense of where the administration's going? >> clearly, i'm not a spokesman for the administration, and so i don't pretend to have any great insight into what's in their heart. i think they put on the table -- first of all, i think we should step back. about 95% of what's been put on the table in the nafta renegotiation is tpp. so for all the criticism of the
administration of tpp, 95% of the text tracks tpp. it's the last 5%, of course, that matters the most. things like sunsetting the agreement after five years or changing the rule of origin which would have a significant impact on the auto sector, among other, among other sectors. and those will determine whether it moves forward or not. i think their first best option is to reach a renegotiated agreement very much along the lines that they have tabled without much room for compromise, but i think they are perfectly prepared to the trigger the withdrawal notice and potentially to withdraw from the agreement with all the disruptive effects that that would have. >> thanks, mike. nothing new in my arguments that you missed -- [laughter] mike and i do agree on quite a bit, and let me emphasize two issues in particular that we do agree upon. first is that it's absolutely critical that the united states plays a strong leadership role in the asia-pacific whether
through trade negotiations or through other means. it's absolutely critical to the interests of the united states in the course of the next century. the second thing that might surprise mike to hear me say but i think if he listened carefully, he would have heard me saying it during the debate on tpp too which i certainly personally and my company for that matter did not want the united states to withdraw from tpp. in fact, we we great that -- regret that tpp didn't move forward. but we don't have regrets that it didn't move forward in its current form. as good as some of the details were, it still fundamentally failed to change the economic model that doesn't work for the united states in the asia-pacific region. and you don't have to take my point of view for this. the intermartial trade commission -- international trade commission does an exhaustive analysis of every free trade agreement to try to understand what the consequences
are and produce that analysis for the united states congress before it considers it. and the consequences of tpp in terms of actually impacting the flow of american goods in the asia-pacific region was negligible. in fact, in the manufacturing sector, the international trade commission -- an independent body, quasi-government agency, a government agency -- found that there would be a net loss in manufacturing exports and a net loss in manufacturing employment in the united states as a consequence of tpp. so the agreement, it's not that the agreement was bad in and of itself, it just didn't do enough. and there were some key issues that were left unaddressed. and mike knows my hobby horse which is currency manipulation. this is one of the most pernicious trade barriers used by our trading partners around the world today. currency manipulation is a simple supply and demand manipulation. if you have a lot of your currency, you pour that into the global marketplace, and you buy up somebody else's, and you put
it in your bank, in your reserves. supply and demand, there's a lot more of your currency out there, so it's worth less. there's a lot less of our currency out there, so it's worth more. very simplistic and probably overly simplistic explanation. but this hugely impacts trade flows. on a product like an automobile that costs $30,000 at an export price, a 25% manipulation is probably 400% of the profit margin on that product. you can't produce in the united states profitably and export to markets like japan when the japanese government is aboutively intervening -- actively intervening in value of the yen relative to the dollar which they have done 170 times in the last 15 years. now, they haven't done it in the last three or four years. in fact, they haven't probably done it since about 2011 or 2012, but the reason is because they're using other instruments currently to produce domestic consumption by weakening -- not
necessarily with the intention of weakening their currency, but with the effect of a massive quantitative easing program that dwarfs quantitative easing that was done in the united states during the great recession. and so i would argue that tpp was a good start, and i compliment the administration, actually, for taking the good pieces of that and making that part of their trade agenda. but tpp fell short of addressing some of the biggest challenges that we have in our asia-pacific trading relationships. and as a consequence, just like today, i think it would have been just as possible that it became a source of irritation and even friction in our trading relationships. i think it would be better to separate out the sheep and the wolves in the tpp group, the ones that support free trade, let's move forward with a tpp agreement. those that don't support free trade, let's bring them on one at a time and really deal with the issues that they're using to subvert global trade.
because it is indisputable that global trade has been subverted by tactics like this in a manner that makes participants in the american economy ask the obvious question. i'm doing everything right. i'm working hard, we're building great products, and yet we're falling behind and losing. you're never going to get those people to support free trade if they're doing everything right and still the wind is blowing in their face. >> this is clearly going to be one of the most important issues for 2018 and '20 as we think about the future of our country. for those of you watching on c-span, this is a book called "the world turning upside down," it's being published today, and mike and steve have important chapters, so i recommend it to you. here's the order of battle. at 11 a.m. we're going to turn to a conversation with former
secretary of state madeleine albright, former secretary of defense bill cohen. until then i'm going to give my friend richard danzig eight minutes -- [laughter] to tell us why the technology tsunami and the liberal world order ought to be something on our radar screens. richard. >> thanks. well, when steve said we were falling behind and winning in trade -- and losing in trade, i had the feeling that we're falling behind on this agenda, but we're winning in terms of the richness of what's being described. i'm a bit the loser in this in terms of limited time, but i want to hit on a very big topic that i think stands alongside the kind of classical analyses of international relations that are naturally triggered by our topic about the liberal world order and what may upset it. and alongside this also is the economic analysis that you've just been treated to. but it seems to me the most fundamental thing in many respects underlying all of this
is the technology tsunami that we're all experiencing. you see this reflected when mike immediately talks about china and the internet and internet governance. we're all richly aware of the i.t. revolution. i just would underscore to you that we shouldn't treat i.t., which is the technology of the moment, as the end of technological history. we are seeing dramatic innovations in biology, robotics, new materials, space, additive manufacturing, data analysis, etc., artificial intelligence. i could go on with the list, but i'd require more than the eight minutes nick has given me. i'd suggest,, though, that these are fundamentally affecting our notion toes of the liberal -- notions of the liberal world order. it shouldn't surprise us that they do. if you look back at the great changes in history, you see technology, the printing press and galileo and the telescope overturning the status quo and
the world order as the church has it. you see in the 19th century the effects of the industrial revolution on our notions of state power and state control. more recently, i believe that the invention of birth control is one of the most fundamental changes technologically and undergirds much of the dramatic revolution that we call feminism that's accompanying our time. so we should recognize the technological change, this tsunami, is not something that simply exists in its own realm. it fundamentally affects all realms. i think to switch metaphors from tsunami to something else, it's an underlying change in the tectonic plates that produces all kinds of what appear to be disparate earthquakes whether if you look at this morning's newspaper it's the proliferation of biology to north korea or the
carpenter case in the supreme court about the ability of the state to seize cell phones and the like. so in the paper, in the book i sketch three things i'm not going to talk about now. i'm just going to briefly mention the fourth. one is that the way in which this proliferation empowers groups, nonstate entities is a familiar song, but i think there's some interesting new things that can be said about it. as technology competes with the state in effect by setting up these nonstate enterprises and empowering them not just in weapons, but also in the equivalent of what any state would have regarded as an astonishing intelligence agency by virtue of what they can harvest from commercial data and the like. a second thing is the way this proliferation balances out u.s. power. as technology that we used to be preeminent and dominant in spreads to other countries and enables them to compete with us -- and this changes the world order in, i think, important ways. and a third which i think is
much less recognized is the risk of accidents and emergent effects as these very complex, opaque, novel systems are developed and interact with one another particularly in the military context in ways that we can't fully anticipate. and i think there are grave risks of unintended effects for us in that arena that i think are also worthy of discussion. the point i want to focus on though in conclusion is a yet more radical one which is the way in which these technologies challenge our very notions of the liberal order. we see how authoritarian states can use technologies to restrict privacy, to monitor individuals and the like. very striking how we all leave trails of dna, dna dust. you will have left your dna in this room when you depart. we also leave trails of digital dust. everyone will know from monitoring your cell phone,
etc., that you were here. i doubt you're in the singular minority that didn't bring a cell phone to this event. these things are in power not only authoritarian states, but also our own state in ways that erode our privacy and the like. they also are going to pose very fundamental challenges to us as different states develop different norms for dealing with these technologies. i can anticipate in the united states very dramatic issues associated with, for example, how we manipulate our bodies, embryos and the like. we are used to the abortion debate and how deeply it has affected us here. what happens when people begin to try and choose amongst embryos, for example, to maximize their intelligence of their offspring, not simply to avoid diseases and the like. what happens when china begins to make a different choice many that regard? -- in that regard? suppose they decide that intelligence is something to be
optimized in the embryos of their population, and americans make different decisions? 200 babies are born every day in america today that were conceived in test tubes. where are we going from here and i have a set of issues associated with that. but most fundamentally and finally, i would just put to you the idea that the very liberal notions of what it means to be an individual and have individual choice, of how in a democracy we put together majorities and make choices or challenged by technologies, we tend to ascribe this to things like, oh, the russian interference with facebook and the like, and we marvel at the technological attributes of that. facebook takes three million ads every day. let's not be too simplistic about how they might screen these things. but think also about the way data analysis combines with your earlier observation about digital tracking that i made. in terms of political persuasion. it's been demonstrated that with
ten facebook likes, information about that, people can -- a machine, using artificial intelligence, can predict your preferences more accurately than your colleagues in the workplace. with 70 facebook likes, they can predict this information more accurately than your friends can. about what you will choose to do. with 150 facebook likes, they can predict more accurately than your family members can. with 300, more accurately than your spouse. well, i'm not amazed that others can predict my preferences more accurately than my spouse -- [laughter] but when you like this analytic capability with our ability to reach individual targets en masse, now as a politician i can select your particular preference this some sub area and target you individually in that sub area. now that may seem to you to be
okay, but what i can do is create highly differentiated messages. i no longer have to put together majorities. i can begin to put together, in effect, a dominant group of people spliced together from a whole lot of individual things instead of speaking broadside to the group. this changes, i think, the fundamental premises of democracy associated with what political speech is with what electoral processes look like and, ultimately, also with what it means to be an individual. and the way in which we are subject all, i think, to manipulation when we're well understood. much more could be said about, but the one thing i well understand is that my time is up. so i'm going to stop and yield floor. thank you. [applause] >> i want to thank steve biegun, mike froman, for their thoughts on trade.
one point on. we began 35 years ago as a nonpartisan national security group focused on the big arms control, the big arms race with the soviets in the '80s. where we're trending in the next year or two is we have to finish all of us, in and out of government, have to have a much more acute understanding of artificial intelligence and do the emerging digital age, the impact that changing technologies will have on the balance of power between the united states and china, the united states and terrorist groups that will have access to these. and that we as a group mainly of people who come out of government from both parties are going to need a lot of help from people in the biotech community in boston and the information technology group in silicon valley, that we have to have a private sector, public sector fusion to really get our hands around this big, big challenge to the united states. i want to thank richard for giving us a snapshot. he has a chapter in the book. i want to thank steve and mike.
i like this -- i'd like this podium to disappear, and i've kindly asked secretary albright and secretary cocan hen to join me -- cohen to join me. [inaudible conversations] >> so we're awaiting secretary cohen's arrival, and i'm going to filibuster. [laughter] since we are, since the c-span cameras are rolling. met me just, first -- let me just first introduce -- [laughter] let me just first introduce secretary albright and then
secretary cohen. i've had the great pleasure to work for both of these individuals. everyone knows secretary madeleine albright and the extraordinary career she's had both as a professor at georgetown university and also as a public servant. she served as our secretary of state in the second term of president clinton. one of the great pleasures of my career was working for secretary albright as her spokesperson in her first year and then as ambassador the greece. and she is someone who has stood up for our values including democracy and human rights. her whole life story is a commitment to the united states, and i want to ask you all to welcome secretary albright here. [applause] and i also want to ask you to welcome former secretary of defense, former senator william cohen here. he should be welcoming us,
because the cohen group -- of which he is chair -- is right upstairs. i had the pleasure of being a senior counselor for the cohen group, happily so. secretary cohen, senator cohen, representative cohen came to washington in the early 1970s, served on the house judiciary committee during the can impeachment proceedings against president nixon and another time of a leadership crisis in washington. moved to the senate in 1978, was one of those people who became one of the acknowledged experts in the senate on american defense policy and foreign policy, served for several decades in leadership positions in the senate and then became secretary of defense for president clinton and served with secretary albright as part of the leadership team in the cabinet. we couldn't have two better people to discuss this big issue of america's future as a global power, this conference this summer, the book that we're inaugurating today is about
whether or not republicans and democrats can work together to preserve the leadership role that we've had. and so, mr. secretary, since this is your home turf, i want the start with you, and ask i'll ask you and secretary albright the first question together, and that is are you worried that we're -- [laughter] are you worried that we're losing our leadership position to the challenge from russia and china, to the changes in the global economy and also to this big debate inside? are we still willing to be a leader? is there a consensus in the country on that? >> short answer is of course i'm worried. i think everyone in the country should be worried. because we don't, we really haven't decided what our role in this new world of disorder is going to be. and i think starting at the presidential level there is no coherent philosophy that is guying us in terms of -- guiding
us in terms of who are we, who do do we want to be in this world, what can we be, and how do we go about bringing that to pass. so i think it should be of concern because we're not living in a unipolar world or bipolar world or multipolar world. we may be living in a nonpolar world which may be most dangerous of all. but i think for me the concern is that we seem to be ceding international leadership in many different levels. and i think while the president has promoted make america great again, he's doing it on the basis, it seems to me, of transactional activities without a comprehensive plan of how the individual components or transactions actually fit into the pattern that is cohesive and continuous. it depends on where one goes in terms of the impression that other countries have of us.
if you go to japan, i think the japanese prime minister would say he's very fond of president trump and what he's been saying. if you go to saudi arabia, same thing would be said. if you go to our european friends, less so. if you were to talk to the prime minister of australia who's worried that the united states is no longer, can be counted on to carry the leadership role for freedom and democracy and we need to continue to fill that role. so it depends on where you go. my own fear is that we are seeing a wrecking ball being taken to the institutions which we have worked very hard to construct. not unusual. most presidents come in to washington, and they look at the white house or the institutions and say the carpet needs to be repaired, the walls are a little bit thin, let's have some
remodeling done and to upgrade our capability. i don't see that yet. i'm hoping that will be the case. but if you're going to tear down institutions which you think no longer work, then tell me who the architects are, what their plans are, who the masons are, who the carpenters are, and tell me what kind of a, an constitution or building you're trying to construct. and i haven't seen that take place. and so i worry about it. i worry that other countries are turning away from us. chancellor of germany saying germany will have to go forward to the future without the assurance that the united states can be counted upon. that's a very big change in our relationship with germany. we have a similar type of friction with our partners, the british. you go around to our allied partners, and they're worried that there is no consistency,
that -- no predictability. now, the president likes to say i want to be unpredictable. that's what i've done all my life. i hike keeping people on their heels or on their toes, but i like being unpredictable. well, in geopolitics it doesn't quite work that way. the people that i talk to -- and i just returned from india and elsewhere -- they would like more predictability. they want more continuity. they want to be able the gauge the reliability of the policies that we are articulating. and identify who is actually speaking for the president other than the president. so i worry about these. i look at china, and i've been going to china since 1978. i look at what has happened in 35 and 40 years, and i say this is dramatic, it's remarkable, it's transformational, it's admirable and somewhat intimidating that there's a
country that has a vision, a strategic vision. they know where they want to get to. they have very few inhibitions on how they're going to get there. there's no congress to contend with. there's no supreme court to contend with. and so you can see what their goal is, and they have a capacity to carry it out. that's not necessarily true on the part of the united states because we're a democracy. we take time. we debate. but the biggest criticism i hear is there is no plan, identifiable plan in what our role is going to be in the future other than let's make a bilateral deal. and i think that doesn't work in the geopolitical world. i'll stop here because secretary albright needs to comment on that. >> thank you very much. and i was remiss in one fashion in my introduction of secretary albright. i noted that secretary cohen chairs the cohen group. secretary albright chairs
albright stonebridge, so we have to give equal time to our sister consulting firm in washington. i'd ask you the question from this perspective. i just returned from a trip to germany, the czech remix and slovakia. and -- czech republic. and you know this space better than anybody. the czech remix, your native country, we see anti-democratic, nationalist, populist forces taking over two governments, maybe even the czech government. but i came away listening to the europeans, i don't think that they believe that we're any longer the leader of the west the way that every american president -- republican and democrat -- has been deemed to be. is this a fundamental point of departure in how we understand our leadership? >> i'm concerned that it actually is. and let me just say it was terrific always to work with secretary cohen. we proved bipartisanship, and we spent a lot of time together, and it's great to be with you
here. let me just say i think there are an awful lot of contradictions that are out there at the moment and need to be put within some kind of historical context. i am a pre-world war ii person, but mostly my life as a functional human being happened after world war ii, and we had a phase there afterwards when the united states was obviously the winner of world war ii and also in the position of creating the institutions that really govern everything that we've been involved in. and that period saw us in a mortal sight, i think -- fight, i think, with the soviet union. and every policy that the united states undertook whether it was assistance or defense policy or financial issues was done in the context of the world being divided into the red and the red, white and blue. and so then that ends with the fall of the berlin wall, and then we are in a second phase. and i have to say is first at
the u.n. and then as secretary, i was privileged to be a part of looking at what our policy should be, and with bill in the second term within this entirely new aspect of things where the soviet union no longer existed, and the countries that you mentioned all of a sudden become independent. i think we're now in a third face and one -- phase and one that i think, richard, you really pointed out. the technology, i think, plays a very large part in that in every way, in affecting this. and the question is what is the role of the united states within an entirely new construct. and actually president clinton was the first one to use the term indispensable. i just said it so often at the united states that the term became identified with me. but there is nothing about the definition of indispensable that says alone. it just means that the u.s. needs to be engaged. and i fully do believe that for the world to function, the u.s. needs to be engaged. and i am really concerned that
we are becoming the dispensable nation and that if i were president or others were in office -- by the way, the sit room looks quite different than when we were there, they have fixed it -- but i think that the bottom line is that there is a question about how one presents america. i find it appalling that our president at the moment is talking about that we're victims of everything and that nobody wants to do anything with us and all of a sudden everybody's taking advantage of us. that is not the america that i think is necessary at this point. and so i do think that we need to figure out what our role is in this third phase. but specifically to the question that you asked, and that is that i to think most of -- i do think most of the things that have happened are really a double-edged sword. so what happened after -- well, certainly with the fall of the wall but also globalization has
created a interaction among all of us, and i think most of the people in this room we've all been beneficiaries of globalization. the problem, however, is that it's faceless, and people want an identity. and what is interesting is the countries of central and eastern europe next year we're going to be celebrating the creation of most of those countries after world war i. and the bottom line is they were created on the basis of national identity after the end of the us a to-hungarian empire. so with the face of globalization is, especially those countries and obviously others in the middle east, are now into identity politics in so many ways whether it's linguistic or ethnic or religious. and that's fine. i believe in patriotism. what i don't believe in is nationalism and hyper-nationalism that, in fact, creates -- if my group doesn't like your group, then i think it is very dangerous. so that is the main, the double-edged sword. there's also a double-edged
spored to technology. -- swored to technology which is we all like to talk about the woman farmer in kenya who no longer has to walk zillions of miles to pay her bills, she can do it on mobile phone. but technology has done something else which is to disaggregate us to a point where it's difficult to have political parties and try to figure out how we belong, and we all listen to echo chambers of what we already believe in. i tried desperately to listen to things i don't believe in which would make it stay out of my way when i'm driving as i listen to right-wing radio. [laughter] but the bottom line is i think we do need to do that. and some of you heard me say this, and that is the following, and i apologize for plagiarizing because i tell my students not to do that, but i stole this line from silicon valley. people are talking to their governments on 21st century technology, the governments listen to them on 20th century
technology and provide 19th century responses. and so there is no faith in institutions. so there are the issues about where the u.s. stands internationally, what is happening nationally with institutional structure, and i think we are at sea. and i fully agree with bill in terms of saying personally i do teach. i am waiting for the national security strategy to come out since i have them from all the previous administrations, and i teach off of them. because we know how they're made. i mean, it is congresswoman my candidated -- complicated, it is the bureaucracies at their best working to produce documents that get okayed by the principals committee that emerge, and you actually have some clue about where the administrations are going. and we have absolutely no clue at a time that the world is at one of our more dangerous moments. >> thank you very much. and i think that national security strategy is going to be out momentarily from the trump administration. i want to ask you both about the two big autocratic powers that
we have to contend with, russia and china, and then we're going to open this up to questions from the guests here. starting with russia. you both know this pretty exceptionally well. here's a country that has annexed crimea, that has trooped illegally dividing one part of ukraine from other, is pressuring the baltic states, has already kept moldova and georgia off balance, and our intelligence community is united in saying that the russians launched an attack of sorts on our elections in 2016. they intervened in the dutch, french and german elections this past year. if you were both in office now working with president trump, what would you advise that he do to contain the more pernicious aspects of russian power in europe and in our own country but also, by necessity, north korea, iran, afghanistan, find a way also to have a channel open to them?
secretary cohen. >> well, the first thing i think that has to happen is we have to remove the cloud that's happening over russia -- hanging over rich shah and russia's involvement and attack upon our democratic system. i think as long as the cloud continues to hangover the white house -- hang over the white house with these unresolved issues, it's going to be very difficult for the president to either take a positive, make a positive approach to the russians. i think everybody in this room would say we need to have a better relationship with russia. russia's a big country. it's 11 time zones. they have nuclear weapons. they can be a cause for great instability and cause instability. so it would be important for us to have a positive relationship with russia. that cannot take place as long as this cloud of doubt is hanging over the white house in terms of what is the nature of this relationship between the president and putin. and as long as this is suspicion
and cynicism about what has either taken place or someone wants to take place, i think it's going to be hard for us to formulate a policy that can do both things; namely, continue to punish the russians for their past behavior in crimea, in georgia and certainly their attack upon the united states, digital attack that's been launched against us at the heart of our democracy. we're not going to be able to do that unless that cloud is removed. so i have from the very beginning tried to talk about this publicly that i thought the president has to take action to remove that by, number one, saying -- asking, i ask the questions what do you own, mr. president, what do you owe and to whom do you owe it. and if you answer those questions and clear away the ambiguity -- now, i don't know
this. here's what i believe. i believe there's a opportunity of russian money in the -- a ton of russian money in the trump real estate. nothing wrong with that. there's nothing wrong with that at all. the russians have been investing in real estate, and when the president was in private enterprise. so the question is but why have any inhibition about disclosing it? and that's where i think the doubt and the sip schism comes. -- cynicism comes. there's something that doesn't quite fit in this picture. that you can criticize the british prime minister, the chancellor of germany, the australian prime minister, call the president of south korea an appeaser and on and on and never once say a word of negative criticism toward putin who has done things at the international and now our national level which are appalling. so i i think it's going to be hard. i would intensify the sanctions against russia. i would go after more of their individuals. i would deny them the one thing
they want most, and that is respect. that is what president putin, for as long as he's been in power, wants russia to be respected. and he should. it's a country with a great history, with great scientists and mathematicians and artists and writers. he wants his country to be respected. well, if you want respect, you have to act respectfully. he's not been acting respectfully, and i think he's been engaged in activities which have been contrary to the established norms that we expect of a great country. so i would not allow him to have that status until such time as there's been a modification of behavior. >> well, i believe it would be nice if the cloud were lifted, but the bottom line is i think it'll just go deeper because cloud is more than a cloud. and i think that we have to be very concerned about what has gone on. i do believe that putin has played a weak hand brilliantly. he is a kgb officer.
we never can forget that. and he has played us in an unbelievable way, and we always talk about containing russia. they are trying to contain democracy by the kinds of things that they are doing, that they have done in the united states and evidently are doing throughout europe as you pointed out. and i think they have made a very strong play for at least equal assessments of what is going on in the middle east. i think they are also -- i, when i was secretary, the foreign minister was known a lot about asserting russian power in the middle east. he would be very proud of what is going on now, because the russians have become equal partners on syria, and they have helped support bashar assad there. he has also very much played the game generally, playing with
israel and a number of different issues. and i think they have played a weak hand well. and we have to be very concerned because they are systematically making it more and more difficult for us to carry out what we need to carry out and have weakened us. and putin has already made clear he's going to run forever, and he -- and one thing that he has done that he's been brilliant about, in the early '90s i went and i did a su say all -- survey all across europe and did questionnaires and focus groups. i'll never forget the focus group outside of moscow. this man stands up and says i'm so embarrassed. we used to be a superpower, and now we're bangladesh with missiles. and what has happened is putin has managed to keep the russian people in a weakened economy by having restored their so-called dignity by doing what he's done in crimea, all the pressures that you pointed out and trying to contain democracy.
>> i want to ask both of you a follow-up question on this. it's how we conduct american leadership and diplomacy in the world. it's a surreal environment when two weeks ago on one day the british prime minister and the archbishop of canterbury felt compelled the criticize publicly the president of the united states. i'm quite confident that has not happened since 1783, the treaty of paris. and then similarly over the weekend you had this situation where the president and his rally in pensacola went after angela merkel and the nato allies publicly. and having just returned from europe and seen the sensitivity of the european allies to this persistent public criticism juxtaposed to the president's embrace of duterte and xi jinping and vladimir putin, what has produced this? and what are the consequences for our credibility as a result?
>> what has produced it? you have a president who was elected who had very little, if any, experience in the political world. and he came with no serious level of, in my judgment at least, curiosity about the geopolitical situation. i was listening to steve earlier, and he said trade first and geopolitics should follow. i'm not sure that's quite right. i think they are almost inseparable. when we're talking about tpp, i'll give you another example. i was in beijing the day after the election last year. i had voted early and went. i was meeting with a high-level chinese official, and we were having dinner at his home -- office, rather. and he asked me now that president trump has been elected, does that mean that tpp is dead? and i said regrettably, yes. and he reached over, and he
touched me. he said, good. good. now, it was good from the chinese perspective, it was not good from our allies' perspective, the asean countries. to a person, they came here in the spring and appeared over at csis and gave a presentation. and they indicated that, number one, we wasted seven years with you, seven years we wasted negotiating this deal. and then, number two, you undermined our credibility with our own constituents. so that was a sentiment that was deeply felt beyond the trade issue. it was one where we were the ones who were going to be the leaders of the architecture for an economic -- [audio difficulty] and now the situation is such where the chinese are determined to set up an economic system which is socialism -- [inaudible] chinese characteristics. and that means, that means they
will take the leadership role, trying to take the leadership role. so trade has an interconnection with geopolitics, and they can't be separated, in my judgment. and what it says is that the president has yet to decide what our role is going to be. you have mr. bannon who's an adviser of his who would like to see a less engaged role on the part of the united states. let the europeans take care of europe. nato has not been doing as much as it should, and he's right. by the way, it's not wrong in suggesting the nato countries have not paid up in terms of making a contribution that they should have made. i made that argument. i think secretary albright has made the same argument. bill -- sorry, bob gates has made it. every secretary of defense including jim mattis. so he's in the wrong many saying
they have to do -- in saying they have to do more. but the way in which you do it sometimes matters more than what you're asking. so if you insult people, if you criticize them publicly as opposed to dealing with them privately, that tends to create friction. so you can see this playing out. the europeans feel that we have disengaged from their affairs. it started during the obama administration when we were going to, quote, pivot from our focus on europe to the pacific. may have been bad words that were chosen on that. the signal that was sent was not a positive one. and so the europeans started to feel that we were distancing ourselves and looking east and not looking west to them. or east as far as they're concerned. so i think the policy -- we've got to decide, we are suffering from war fatigue. that's clear. the american people say, hey, we've been at this a long time
now. we spend a couple of trillion dollars. it's time for us to take care of nation building at home. and that's a sentiment the president has tapped into, and there's justification for that. it's time we do address things at home. but you can't do that at the expense of disengaging from global affairs, because when you do, other countries fill the gap. china's filling the gap in asia, russians are filling the gap in syria, they're moving into egypt, they're establishing innuance in the middle east -- influence in the middle east, and they're also working on north korea as well. so when we pull back, they move in. and that does not work to our advantage. >> well, i do think that i know this president wants to be remembered for being the greatest whatever. he will have, in fact, been the one that diminished american power more than any single president, and i think that that is not a record that one, any of us should be proud of. because i do not believe the
world works if the united states is not engaged. and we're seeing it. and, you know, the chinese are talking about one belt, one road? they must have a very large stomach, because their belt keeps getting bigger and bigger. and they are more and more interested in taking our place everywhere. i've just been to argentina, and we did a lot of discussion about what the chinese are doing in terms of investing all through latin america. they are everywhere where we are not. and so i think this is a time to be very concerned about this. and what i don't understand is the contradiction among the american people in terms of -- i have always, you know, when at sporting events, olympics or wherever we always have to be number one. and all of a sudden we don't want to be a part of anything. and america first is not number one. america first is isolationist. it is a country that does not know how to operate
internationally or, in fact, trying to determine where we protect our people the best. so i am stunned by this, and i'm stunned by a lot of contradictions in terms of, you know, the title of this is the, is there an overturning of the liberal order. i believe that we're in danger which is why a book that i'm writing that is coming out in april is called fascism: a warning. and i think we have to be very, very careful about the things that are going on in terms of people at, in various, the the working class people who feel they've been left out of things, who are very angry, who don't want regulation from washington but do want a strong leader. and so i think that there are very many things that we need to look at history, what's going on here. and i have tried for the last year to be polite. i've had it. because i think we to have to say what is going on here.
because there are some very dangerous aspects in terms of -- some of us have thought, well, this'll go away. but there are so many things being put into place at the moment, and the end of tpp being, you know, the whole thing that has now happened of the chinese running what is left over, i think, is of great concern. what is happening with our budget, i thought you were, you know, i think -- the fact that they're dismantling the diplomatic service is stunning to me. and what has happened is in terms of respect, secretary tillerson now goes abroad having been gamed by what is going on here, and he does not have the respect that he needs to go talk to the europeans or anybody. and so i think we need to say enough is enough here. we need to figure out a way that america -- i am, people ask me to describe myself, grateful american. i came here when i was 11 years old. nothing was more important in my life than becoming an american
citizen and the respect that america, that people had for america. i do not wish to end my life by not seeing america as respected and strong as we need to be to make the world a better place. >> i agree with what secretary albright and i, who have worked arm many arm on so many issues together. i don't think we could have claimed victory in kosovo without secretary albright pushing for our active intervention in that conflict. i want to come back just for a second on this issue of having a philosophy or a geo-strategy as such. i watched secretary tillerson at csis, gave a speech about a month ago. and i was sitting in the front row listening to it, and i was really quite impressed. i'm sitting next to the indian ambassador and, as a matter of fact, during that time, but secretary tillerson laid out a
vision -- at least he saw -- for our relationship. but what really caught my eye or ear, i should say, is that he kind of went out of his way to say china is an important country, but it's india that the united states looks to to the future as our strategic partners, not china. and he went on several times to say that and make that a very definitive point. and i thought it was interesting that he would be that forward-leaning toward india as the president's getting ready to go to china. and then i thought, well, maybe it has been a good cop/bad cop where he's laying a little foundation for dealing with xi jinping that, by the way, we're looking to india, and that's a country that's as big as yours. it's not where you are now, but it hopes to be at some point. tillingerson's speech, to me -- tillerson's peach, to me, laid out the blue prints for u.s./india, india/japan,
india/australia, u.s./australia. that's a quad, so the speak, a relationship between the u.s., india, japan and australia. the indians so far have been willing to think in terms of a trilateral, u.s., india, japan. they've been a little more reluctant on the australia component. not because they don't share similar ideals with australia, but because when you start looking at the quad, it looks more like potentially a containment strategy of china. and the indians do not want to have the united states think that we are playing an india card against china. so we have to be careful in that respect. but to me, it gets back to this fundamental notion of what is many our interest -- in our interest. our interest is to establish relationships with democratic countries who share our interests and our ideals. and to the extent that we can to
that, we're not trying to contain china, but we're trying to send the signal to the chinese we know you're a growing certainly economic power, you're going to be a big military power, but we want you to use that power in a way that's integrated into the international system and not for either aggressive or destabilizing purposes. and so we're going to build these relationships with all of the countries that share our interests and ideals, and we're going to make sure that we hold those relationships close to us. now, the danger i see from what has been happening is we're pushing away some of those allies. we insult them. we do not pay the respect that we deserve, and as a result, they're pulling away from us. we are not cultivating and nurturing the people and the countries who share interests and ideals and opportunities. and that, to me, is one of the great problems we're going to face in the future. >> thank you.
at the aspen strategy group, we are focused on bipartisanship, nonpartisanship. i would say for next question i want to ask you about china and north korea, that there's been a consensus in the george w. bush, barack obama and at least at the cabinet level in the trump administration that, mr. secretary, what you were talking about -- the development of a close strategic military partnership between the united states and india, joined by our alliance with japan -- that at least that triangular relationship, sometimes joined by trail ya, it's not the c word, not going to contain china, but the m-word, manage. limit the ambitions of the chinese running roughshod over their neighbors in the south soh china sea. the problem is we haven't heard that from the president. and it gets back to your first observation, what is the strategic plan. so let me ask both of you on question, shouldn't we give president trump some credit on china and north korea? he has developed a relationship
with xi jinping, he's prioritized that. beginning in march at mar-a-lago. one can argue that the president's gotten more out of the chinese with some of their sanctions against north korea than any, than previous presidents have, that the chinese now are engaged perhaps because they fear that president trump might initiate military action against north korea. are we close to war? do you think that there is a high probability of a preemptive war -- strike by the united states? or do you think this is more kabooky in the sense that we're really trying the drive this to negotiation? i think you could probably make the case for either, but maybe, madam secretary, we'll start with you and go to secretary cohen. >> i mean, i have to the the say i'm not sure i agree that we have developed a better -- or the president has gotten something out of the chinese. i'm not sure that they are doing everything they could as far as north korea's concerned because their concern is more that the place will fall apart. but they haven't cut off some of the major aspects of the support
for the chinese economy. and in the meantime, they're mucking around in the south china sea and, in fact, taking over climate change and a variety of other things. and i do think that the celebrations of xi jinping now are putting him into a greater and greater role. and what worries me, actually, is what you said, is that you think that he's gotten something out of the chinese. so that is worrisome. i am very worried about what's happening in north korea. i am -- believe it or not, i am still the highest level sitting official to have gone to pyongyang to meet with this guy's father. i'm very glad that the united nations has sent over an envoy, and i understand now that dennis rod match's going back -- rodman's going back, and that will be really useful. [laughter] >> and the u.n. envoys are a former diplomat -- >> right. he's a very smart person, and he knows, and the fact that the
u.n. is more interested in it. but i think what makes me nervous is an accident. and i think that part of the problem as we know, you need to have hotlines, and you need to have some kind of mil-mil connections. so i think it is worrisome, and i think it's unclear where the chinese are. what surprises me is that the chinese and the russians -- if, in fact, there is now some hydrogen test or already whether there's some radioactive fallout, that they don't see that affects their people and that they're going to have to be more helpful. but i don't see them, you know, the votes in the u.n. are nice, but they are not dispositive, i think, in terms of some of the sanctions aspect. >> well, i agree with secretary albright. i think the chinese can be doing more. because the north koreans have had -- and this goes back to lbj days, but they've had a guns and butter policy.
they've been able to develop their guns, and the russians and the chinese have been giving them the butter. and, in fact, if you look at the economic situation, the economy of north korea's actually been improving. it's actually growing. there are actually some signs that there's some entrepreneurialship taking place thanks to the support they've been getting from the chinese and the russians and others. so i think the chinese could be -- they're in a position to do much more. they're reluctant to do much more. and they constantly say they fear that if there's a collapse of the north korean regime, that there'll be millions of people flooding into china. i've always asked the question, i think there'd be millions of people trying to get into south korea, which i -- if i were there, i'd head south rather than north. but nonetheless, and you can see that from the defector who took a number of shots to get over the wall, that he was heading south, not north towards china.
i think they're playing the long game with. they feel -- i am speculating now, but they feel that the long game, they benefit. ultimately, by having a divided korea with kim jong un still in power, with the united states still in a state of contention but not military or action at this point, that as the north gets stronger, the south will get weaker because they'll have less and less confidence in the united states by virtue of the perception that we're pulling back and that eventually the north koreans will be able to unify the peninsula under north korean control as opposed to south korean control. ..
>> i think there's a danger we start using words like fire and theory. i think henry kissinger in his white house years said something and it was never quite forgotten. he said, an idle threat is taken seriously can be helpful. but a serious threat that is treated as being idle, can be catastrophic. so the issue becomes that the president is making idle threats which get the attention and a positive response. on the north korean or from the chinese. that is good. but if we continue to make threats which are idle. which are in fact serious we can find ourselves in a situation like we just described when something takes place quickly and escalates almost immediately. my own recommendation, what it
is, we need to go back to south koreans we have been slow in putting in the sad missile system. the chinese have really come down hard on you and paid the economy and try to slow the process down. you need to speed it up. it would be helpful if the president did not go to south korea and tell the south korean president not only are you going to take that you were going to pay for it. and by the way, we are tearing up the free trade agreement. that didn't exactly build a lot of confidence in terms of what the south korean president can do.but we have to ãthaad is coming in. one battery or two batteries. i would put thaad in japan as well. although the system is sea-based and land-based. i would put the thaad system they are sitting japanese will have it. and i would increase the missile capability both in japan and south korea. it is going to be a threat to our people, to our allies to
the japanese, those in guam and south korea. and the people in the region are us citizens. you will going to be put at risk. and to the extent that causes uncomfortableness from the chinese. i think it will do more to bring a solution rather than letting that cape kicking the can forever. >> i think one of the things having described in the new era. no matter who got elected this was going to be. people and institutions at age 70 made some refurbishing. the bottom line is that there were many issues that needed to be worked on that require a healthy and understanding of the situation that seems to be missing. and i think that is what worries me the most is that no matter what, things would
depart. the issues they mention and everything is complex and they require a understanding of some very basic issues. not just that reaction. i really do think that what i hope very much as a team becomes increasingly stronger and operates together and works with members of congress to try and figure out how we live in this third era of the post-world war ii. >> that reports this morning that victor -- will be nominated for the ambassador for softly and i think that is a very fine choice. he's knowledgeable, strong, he knows the region. it will be a good sign. we have not had an investor so we are just about out of tampa have to ask this. but that is probably the most important question for america in 2018. it is such a hard question to answer.how close are we to war? i've been assuming often the secretary james mattis is a real professional, watching seven transport secretary rex
tillerson. i think it might be enough with china to move the north koreans at least towards some kind of diplomatic conversation. because we have not talked to this government as you pointed out for you are the only american senior official. no one in this administration or the last ever met kim jong-un. who seemed that will be necessary event before he thought about a preemptive american attack. we have consistently there are some that believe that we ought to consider a preemptive attack. the question for both the is how close are we to war in 2018? >> i them often asked if i am a optimist or a pessimist. i am an optimist that worries a lot. and i think there is no reason to go to work. i teach at georgetown but
foreign-policy is just trying to get what you want. what are the tools? my course is called the national security toolbox. there are other tools besides the actual use of force. the threat of use of force is something else. like what you said on thaad in the exercise is very important. but i think we also need to figure out how to use the other tools together and try to figure out how to restore our credibility. because i am very glad that he is going but it will not be an easy story there. and so i think it is a matter of how to work with congress to in fact begin to restore credibility that we do not have more because if it is, it will be a very disastrous one. >> i think we should really activate information warfare campaign. i think that we should try and have a korea free radio.
radio free korea. and really saturate the airwaves the best we can to say that president vladimir putin has said that the north koreans will eat grass. if you put more sanctions on them. my answer was, let them eat grass. but also offer them texas beef! that we now export to south korea. and you can say life is good and south korea and not northridge. i would create as much instability as i could on the part of the people of north korea to information campaigns. in terms of going to war i do not think anyone is been in a position at the pentagon state department that would activate the preemptive action. military action the reason this has been kicked down the road since richard nixon is because the consequences of going to war are so horrific.
so if we are talking about tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands, that is the reason the can has been kicked down the road they said it president is correct in saying that i have a mess i have inherited. yes. but as you once said to the widow of a officer that we lost in niger, you knew what you were getting into. you were running for the highest office in the world and problems come with this job. yes, it has been kicked down the road. now the issue is, what are you going to do with it? the danger for me is that we combine our show of military force with not so vague allegations and treats with statements coming out of the white house that we are preparing for "fire and fury" storm. coupled with general mcmaster that says we are closer to war than ever before and then it gets into the realm that can we
start something by accident with misinterpretation but he really -- with submarines and in the region, except her. coupled with the language that we use. if we are going to continue the use of language. and not yet doing anything once again that erodes the credibility of what the president might have in mind. he might be serious. i think that we are closer than me, some of the experts who have said that we are 20 percent. i put it higher. i put it closer to 35 or 40 percent. just because i think we have the language, we are putting more and more hoops and resources into the region. and i think it accentuates the possibility that there could be action taken and
miscalculations and i do not think any military leader will recommend that we fire against them on a primitive basis. i do not believe that. >> i wish we had another hour. i like to thank you for being with us and thank you for your service to the united states. [applause] >> without further ado, we will go to our last panel. we have as members of the strategy group, former members of the cabinet, forming national security advisers and also generalists. nick kristof, david ignatius
are with us. i will turn this over to our moderator. but welcome to steve, welcome to susan. >> thank you, nick. as you have been saying all morning, you'll see in this panel. the reason that the strategy group is unusual is that it does bring together an unusually high level of discipline and it is genuinely nonpartisan. the discussions, this summer is every summer for someone like me, a journalist, gives in its ordinary chance to listen to what really matters. the questions that are going to drive our world going forward. and to hear the smartest people in our country foreign-policy talk about this. a special pleasure to be here with susan rice and steve, both national security advisers and what i call the great chain of
being in national security policy. and for thoughtful leader to thoughtful leader. over the years. i thought that we might begin by asking if each of you were to write a memo, at year end. at the end of this year turned upside down. to take the title of our session this summer. write a memo to your successor, hr mcmaster. looking at where we are, where we have come through in the first year of the trump presidency and we we are going. what would be the bullet points in that memo to hr mcmaster? susan? >> thank you, david. i think i would begin with a little bit of humility. recognizing as steve and i do that this is a tough job that hr mcmaster has.
and arguably, more difficult in the current context and even steve and i faced. i would say several things. first of all, i would encourage him to do his utmost as i imagine he is trying to do. but in particular, difficult context to effect a higher degree of message discipline within the administration. i think one of the challenges that we have seen is we have different members of the senior leadership team at different times, saying quite divergent things i'm very important and sensitive issues. that is not only a function of the president and his tweeting that sometimes seems divorced from what i believe has been considered policy. but also even within the cabinet. at times we hear different things. for example, from the un ambassador than that of what we have for grabs the secretary of state or secretary of defense. i think that in a time when our
leadership is being questioned, and when our stability and consistency is being questioned, having greater message discipline would be very helpful. secondly, i would encourage general mcmaster work with secretary tillerson and others in the administration to staff up the state department with urgency. and to cease efforts to reduce the budget by 30 percent. and to reassure our career diplomats that in fact, the work they do is necessary. i think i have a huge crisis of confidence within the state department. which is not a short-term problem. but with the exodus of the senior ranks and the lack of recruits and the junior ranks i feel that we are facing a generational deficit. and it is one that undermines
our efficacy across every region of the world. i would also urge general mcmaster to give a very careful thought and the conversation that we just having on north korea. to the public insertion that there is a viable military solution to the problem in north korea. all of the reasons that we just discussed previously. i fear that while publicly, no administration should take any option off of the table, that we are boxing ourselves into a narrower set of options on a very complex problem that could leave us in a corner where we do not want to be. and where the outcomes can only be counterproductive. and then finally, think this list could go on but i would also encourage a renewed effort in 2018 to reinforce and
reinvigorate our alliances. traditional alliances in europe, also our relationships in asia. i think we are at different places with different allies but each of them at different times has been buffeted by ambiguity if not downright confusion as to the constancy of our commitment. and i think in this very difficult and uncertain time, it is not helpful to any number of our objectives. let me stop there and let you answer some questions. >> steve, bullet points for hr? >> i would stop and tell him he is doing some things right. when you are in those jobs everyone is telling you that you are doing things wrong. it is nice to start out by saying you're doing some things right. i would say that you set the table pretty well and some policies. you know, i spent a lot of time
in the middle east.i have spent some time in asia. people are feeling pretty good. they feel he has connected pretty well with our traditional allies in the middle east. he certainly has a good relationship with japan. a lot of the concerns people had from the rhetoric in the election have been mitigated because the policies actually adopted have strayed considerably from some of that period of stuff the same that you've set the table pretty well. for a set of policies and strategies. now you have got to put the food on it and you can eat. they will start doing that with the national security strategy. i think i would probably say that the perception from the outside is that the process is not working as smoothly as it needs to at any level. it does not seem to have gotten into kind of a battle and that is of course, an issue for the national security advisor. it is really an issue for the
president. they do not seem to be working together as a team and in a coordinated way particularly at the senior level yet. that is worrisome. i would say to them that one of the things they need to figure out is roles and responsibilities. this sounds a little silly and it may be wrong. i need to say, i was not part of the trump campaign for the transition or the administration. i've never met president trump. so you can decide how much weight to give what i'm about to say. you know, this is a man who is never been in government at any level for a single day. and he does not know how this works. i think there's a problem with figuring out helping the present understand what his role is. what he needs to do and what he needs other people to do and getting some kind of roles and responsibilities clarified. everybody seems to be tromping
a bit over each other and that will not work. another thing i would say is, there is a military cast to the policies. and yet, some of the people who are former military who were in cabinet level positions, they know very well from their own experience that the problems we have with terrorism, the problems in the middle east cannot be solved by military means alone. my worry is that i have not seen them rolling out the kinds of integrated strategies that you need that capitalize on the progress that we have made in iraq and syria against isis. to break basically the caliphate and exclude the forces. you now need to come in behind with a set of policies that help those victimized communities reestablish good governance, economic prosperity and security. and people say that there
shouldn't be any nationbuilding. we are not nationbuilding. but they need help and it is in our interest to give them that help. because if we don't, there will not be long term stability and if we do not have long-term stability, we will be back with isis 2.0. i think that they are not giving evidence to develop the kind of full set of strategies integrating political economic security and military to achieve stability in some of these areas. and that is an important thing that needs to be done. >> one big theme of this world turned upside down in my judgment has been the rise, the validation of the rise of china as a global power. that was symbolized in xi
jinping, followed by the presidents visit to beijing which seems to me to be an american validation of this new chinese role. and i want to ask each of you to reflect on china and the united states. and susan, let me ask you to begin this. the presidents disruptive style putting people on edge, was on display during the transition when he mentioned the phone call with the leader of taiwan. wearing the chinese. that has been posed by an extraordinary embrace. i've strung together over the next is a donald trump is that about xi jinping, it would go on for pages. and in particular, the administration seems to have decided that china is the key
to successful outcomes with north korea. i ask you to assess that judgment. good relationship with china is essential but best to get it by disrupting them, threatening them with trade, sanctions etc. >> david, i think the challenge is -- in my estimation, bilateral relationship with china is the most consequential that we have in the world. it is also one of the most complex and difficult because we have a mix of competition and the potential in some instances the reality of corporation. i think what we have seen from the trump administration is sort of a pivoting to extremes. on the one hand as he mentioned, he came in during the transition planning not just china but many on edge
with his statements on taiwan that suggested a radical recalibration of our historic balancing of taiwan and china. and also some very hot rhetoric about the potential for trade for. and now, particularly culminating in his visit in november we've seen a pivot to as you said, and extraordinarily warm embrace of xi jinping with as he said, more accolades than any other leader with the possible exception of vladimir putin. and yet, xi jinping is governing in a very iron handed way. see have said nothing at all publicly about human rights or the rule of law. we said very little about our
very real economic concerns and the necessity of protecting our intellectual property and are industries that are under threat. and so, i think what we need to do is strike a balance. not when extreme, not the other. china is a country with which we must find avenues for corporation where our interests overlap in we have done so in the past on everything from nuclear security to the pandemic disease and not to mention climate change. the recognize that china's interest and hours converted into their competitors in many important realms. from the asian-pacific bradley and the south china sea. and various other areas we cannot find over china.
we cannot brush under the rug the nefarious practices. on the other hand we cannot create a mortal enemy when we do not have one. that is a violence we have to strike and i think we're not quite fond of putting up your north korea obviously is a very important issue in which we have to work with china. but i think we have to be realistic. yes, china has the capacity to continue to tighten economic squeeze on north korea and we have seen that incrementally do so over the years. including in recent months. we want to encourage that. we want to be able to continue to work with china to ratchet up the pressure in united nations. and it remains a necessity. but also to have a productive dialogue with china about future scenarios that might unfold on the korean peninsula so that we are not surprising one another. but to expect china to go as
far as we might like it to go, to put this sort of regime threatening destabilizing pressure on north korea that american administrations have sought for many years. i think it has been and is increasingly unrealistic to be manifest by china. we cannot expect it to solve the problem for us. it is a country in which we must work on the problem. but with realism and a recognition that china's interest and hours, while they converge they do not converge on the means of achieving it. >> what is your judgment? is the trump administration becoming too accommodating and optimistic about what this china risen, as we describe it, can do to help the united states to frame an order in the world that is congenial for us?
>> i think we are all not really appreciating the magnitude of what china represents. people said, there are people who emphasize the competitive aspects. i think susan is right. people say we have another global rival. the soviet union. they are a great military power but clearly were weak in economic and in terms of influence. china is a formidable competitor. and going talk about the change and disruption of the international order, we have had that since world war ii. one of the big factors is the reemergence you great power competition and china is at the forefront of that. and in some sense it is not just china. he also actually we are seeing a merging or have emerged to major new world powers.
china and india. so it becomes a very complicated geometry. but i think china significance is enormous. one belt, one rod initiative they talk about is a, it is probably in my view, the most remarkable strategic initiative so far in this century. it is basically saying to gnosis and others you think that you can box me in on my close i have an access road that would take all the tr. i will get extra structure and reports -- i will get infrastructure and support. these countries are dependent on china and that they are using these to influence the politics of these countries. that is what is potentially ahead when you look west as china bails out the infrastructure.
this is an enormous challenge for the united states with the international order. i think to manage it, it will take us all working together. i'm very troubled by the withdrawal from the transpacific partnership. not just because of economic significance of it but from the strategic significance. it looks like we are not playing in the region when we have to do just the opposite. we need to be active in the world and in that part of the region in every dimension, diplomatic, economic military. you name it. and we need to not look at it as northeast asia, southeast asia, south asia. it is all asia. and will have to work with japan, south korea, australia, india. all of these countries in a coordinated way. not to draw lines. not to contain china five to
engage china and try to shape the policies because is going to have a decisive influence on the region and the world. and it is our job to try and shape it in productive ways and to engage them in to design a revised international order that is stable. that serves our interest and preserves as much as we can of the democratic foundations to the existing order. as will the challenge. we have to deal with north korea but i do not think we really appreciate and have taken into account the magnitude of the challenge we face. >> i want to note that we will be turning to the audience in about 10 minutes for questions. please do be thinking about what you would like to ask steve and susan. i will turn now to a discussion of a subject that dominates the headlines. our cable news coverage and that is russia.
i want to ask you to focus this looking forward and ask susan to begin. susan, if i remember, president obama was policies toward russia after the crimea invasion, ukraine, syria. i would say to some extent, after russian meddling in the election but you can contact this. i remember the phrase exit ramp. it kept being repeated here we want to leave plenty of food and exit ramp. one had to stop this policy that is damaging and destructive. it seemed to be some optimism that given the sanctions we were applying against russia, that at some point it would become too costly. for vladimir putin and he would
take one of these exit ramps. i have not seen that and so i want to ask you as you look toward 2018, whether you think it is still time to keep those exit ramps open or whether you as you look at policy would think maybe it is time for a different strategic view toward russia. >> let me just clarify how i understood the term exit ramp. and it was initially applied with respect to ukraine.we had organized the european union and ourselves and our g-7 partners to implement increasingly stringent sanctions on russia with the aim of trying to get them to roll back their interference and involvement in ukraine in crimea. also we engage with our partners in europe on a effort to negotiate the minsk
agreements in which france and germany played a role in and we were very much engaged in. if it was implement it would resolve the issue of at least eastern ukraine in a fashion consistent with international law in the interest of the -- we also substantially increased support. financial, economic, political and military to the government of ukraine. and the notion was that the pressure and the sanctions were not meant purely to punish and or as an end. they were to create an opportunity for a diplomatic solution to be found. and the offramp idea was you know, you do not close up the opportunity for your policy to succeed. if in the event the pressure you have applied is having the desired impact, you want to be able to capitalize on that. with a diplomatic opening. and the same theory applied in
the context of syria.that was not the theory going to practice in the context of russian interference in elections. i think those are different circumstances.in the case of ukraine and in the case of syria russia doubled down on policies and i think in recent months, we have seen not the opportunity from tate and offramp but superhighway where there is no constraint to what they might do because not only have we not think raised the sanctions, even though congress mandated that we must. those sections have not been forthcoming from the administration. not only that but we have talked about rolling back existing sanctions. and we have essentially left the diplomacy both in ukraine and in particularly syria to others.
and so, i think we are in a place now where the question is, what are our tools to address both the ukraine and challenge and syrian challenge? and you ask a broader question. and it is temporary rather radical readjustment in our approach to russia. i think it is at least time for clarity and understanding across party lines and a national and bipartisan bases that we face a russia that is pursuing policies that are not in our interest. russia is not our friend. vladimir putin is not worthy of the nobel prize! and it has been suggested by some. he is acting in a way in violation of international law and a violation of the norms of humanity. particularly in syria.
and we need to be united and clear and pushing back on that. i think we need to implement the sanctions that congress has mandated that we need to consider additional sanctions. there are additional steps that we can take which would in fact more complex and the sanctions we have imposed to date. it would implicate not only european interest but in some interest for instance is our interest as well. but they would implicate russia's interest even more. so we should consider that balance. we need to consider to build up the support for the eastern flank of nato and not open the door to russian meddling for rhetoric or through any ambiguity about the constancy of our commitment to the nato allies. and in places in syria and elsewhere in the middle east where russia is running around where they are eating lunch in places like egypt here we need to be clear about where we are
for partners in different regions and make clear that we are not leaving open doors for russia, who that i said the interest is in opposition to ours. to gain advantage at our expense. >> the president has been remarkably consistent through the campaign, through all of the turmoil that surrounds russia and saying that he believes that the interest in the states are served by the better relationship with russia and vladimir putin. and that you can't solve major problems unless you have that. is he wrong? and, how would you assess the question i put to susan? is it time for a change in how we deal with this powerful russia? i am just tacking on a comment i shared with you before. a friend of mine recently said
to me, thinking about all these issues, we need to get russia a punch in the nose! we need to find somewhere in the world and give them a punch in the nose. what do you think about punching in the nose? not but more generally, about this interesting paradox of his russian policy? >> look, i think we can all agree that an improved relationship with russia would be a good thing. russia is active in a lot of theaters. my worry is that when we put in some sense has decided that his role is to be the spoiler in some sense. united states is for it and he is against it. if the united states is trying to do something he will take the opposite side. the ambassador before he at one point said, you americans descendent russia is the enemy. and vladimir putin will just start to show you what it is like to have russia as an enemy.
it is not a good place to begin. the question is, can we change russia behavior so that anyway that is consistent with our terms? so that it can be a partner. we have a long way to go. we have a long way to do that. how do we get there? a couple of things it seems to me. you see a lot of this in terms of ukraine and what he's doing there. my view for what it is worth, vladimir putin is not a great strategist. he is not particularly reckless but he is a brilliant opportunist. he sees an opportunity and he steps in and takes advantage of it. and he saw that in syria. you see it in other instances. and he will make a move. and then he will see whether his intervention to siege and whether he is resistant. and if it starts to flounder and if he doesn't or if he is resistant to pull back. he is resisted -- what do you
need to do? two things. for one, you need to take things off of the table. and deny him opportunities for that is what we are trying to do for example in the baltic states and in central and eastern europe. we are trying to strengthen nato's presence, to put troops on the ground to make it clear that the baltic states are off the table. the balkans are off the table. they are not going to be an opportunity for vladimir putin to do what he did in ukraine. second of all, where he does act, i do not know if it is punching in the nose, but you have to act in ways that he pays technically and cannot achieve his tactical objectives and saving is actually been strategically defeated. his aspirations in ukraine i think were much more ambitious in terms of basically taking a large swat and a country on the eastern side and have it very
much pro-russian. he is now got -- and he is paying a price in terms of sanctions and in terms of isolation. at some point it will come time to test and see what he is willing to have a settlement of ukraine to reduce an investment and do it on terms are acceptable to the ukraine and acceptable to the rest of us. i do not know. we ought to test that position. if it is not an option, then we need to increase sanctions and we need to do things like harming the ukrainians with lethal weapons. you know, this guy is going to be a problem and he needs to be engaged on each of these kinds of scenarios. it is a combination of hardening attainment city cannot make mischief and confronting him when he does act. finally, the thing we have not figured out is that campaign is using to so division within our
society. a citizen of the united states and europe. and we have not figured out how to counter that in any way. and we are not doing it effectively. this is part of the ideological struggle. we have xi jinping in china that says is state capitalism, and alternative for the western democratic premarket model. and vladimir putin certainly seems to believe the same thing. and we are actively trying to convince the world ãthey are trying to convince the world that this is a superior model. and we are not responding in a sensible way. before i turn this to the audience for your questions. i'll ask one last question of my own. pull the camera back of the well to a basic to the basic question we were struggling with last august. in aspen. every member of the group grew
up in the shadow of the world that was created after world war ii. the idea of american power that was embodied in the work of president truman, george marshall, the liberal american order. liberal international order. as we describe it. and so i want to ask as a final question, how lasting each of you think that the damage to that order is? and what the best ways to defend that broad idea, maybe you can start susan. as the damage you're going to be lasting or will this revert to its previous shape after this period of tumult and the
presidency of donald trump? >> we have to distinguish between the various forces pulling at the liberal world order. some of them might be considered predominantly exogenous coming from outside. and we have considered a number of those the direction of europe. china, the new economy. russia's role and each of those has an origin of its own which i think we need to be realistic about. i think steve! about how significant this china is, is a very valid one but i do not think that it is, i do not think it represents a mortal threat to the united states. if we manage it carefully. then there are the endogenous origins or causes of the fraying of the liberal world
order. and those are things i would argue come from within ourselves as the principal leader and creator of this liberal world order. and these things are relatively new. these are shocks that have been added to the exogenous factors and i think we can work to manage and temper and accommodate and limit the exogenous aspects of this. but obviously we have the greatest control theoretically over the endogenous aspects of this. i do not know that we have fully grasped the significance of what i would term the application of american leadership internationally. which we have seen take on new forms as we walked out of agreements that we ourselves committed to. whether it is paris, ttp or put in jeopardy the iran deal or
now, take decisions on things that jerusalem which leave us substantially isolated internationally. there are many different ways in which we have ceded this stage and left a vacuum of american leadership which only accelerates the opportunity of china and others to fill the void. but we also have our own domestic internal divisions which are so debilitating. which facilitate the kinds of disruptive efforts to the russians that they engaged in during and arguably since the election. when we ourselves are so polarized and unable to agree even on the fact that we are debating, much less on where we are going. we are threatening our own ability to come back. and so the answer to your question i think in, if we were
playing with all of our cards on the table, with a degree of national unity and strength and clarity of the role as a leader in the world i think these executive challenges can be managed and we can see demolition of the liberal world order and may not be identical as was and 45 or 90, but it can be 1/21 century version that substantially upholds our interest and values. but if we do not get our domestic house in order and decide what kind of leader we want to be and do it from a position of national unity, then i think a lot of bets may be off. >> steve, you always say to me in our conversations that we need to remember that this president is an insurgent. and i have grown to understand and think about that point. with that in mind, let me just ask you directly.
is the old order finished? is it over? and if it is possible that it is so, what might be coming to replace it? >> well, you know, there will always be in order of some sort. that is to say they will be a relationship among states. the question is whether it will be like the order we've had since the end of world war ii. which is basically the creation of the united states and our allies based on democratic principles and open economies. it has been very successful. not just for the united states but the world in terms of providing an unprecedented period of prosperity and security. the alternative to that is a different kind of order. you can have -- it is one of the answers to the question to susan. it is not that the order will
fade away. but it depends on policies. if we tried to exclude and not adopt the order to the changes we have seen, it is more likely to fade away. if we do not embrace china and tried to incorporate china in an effort to adapt that international order, for example, not standing aside when they create the agent infrastructure and investment bank. we should have embraced it. we should have been part of it. we should have tried to so influence as part of it to make sure that it met international standards of transparency and accountability and helping those who receive funding and integrated it into the international order. we should be doing the same thing with the one belt, one road. if we do that, i think china would be preferred to be inside at the table adapting the existing order and we can
preserve it. if on the other hand, we do not, and we try to stiff on china, the risk is that china, russia and others will form in some sense, an international order based on authoritarian principles. not on win-win but on competition but that potentially becomes a safe haven for all of the bad actors in the world who want to get out from under the international order that makes them subject for example to things like sanctions. it is a space for the north koreans and the iranians and moneylenders and terrorists and an alternative structure if you will which will not be the place anyone or any of us would want to live and will be competitive with the international order that we have seen. i think it depends on our policies. one of the things i would add to the memo to mcmaster is, everybody thinks because he withdrawn from certain agreements, you are withdrawing from the world.
i do not think that is the intention. and they have to come up with an explanation of a theory of engagement that they can sell the american people. last, one of the things that we made at the strategy group, we can say all you want about reconstituting and adapting the international order but it has also lost the support of the american people. and there's a group of people who gave expression in this last election feel victimized by globalization. threatened by immigration. abandoned by the political leaders and betrayed by people like us. and those are the ones who really say international order should go away. we have got to address their grievances, there are ways to do that. i wish we had a tax cut that really helped the middle class and infrastructure program that would give people in their 50s and 60s who only have 20th-century skills jobs and then a real job training to adapt the new economy.
put a ribbon around i think you would've gotten bipartisan support for it. we've got to address those grievances. to make people comfortable, to continue to be a platform and supportive of american engagement in the welfare that we need to adapt the international order. we've got to address the exactness factors and endogenous factors were those that involve the domestic. we have to do both or we will not save this. >> let's turn to members of the audience. if they have questions. please identify yourself. and just identify yourself. [inaudible] >> what advice would you give the president on jerusalem? [laughter]
>> i think is a little late on jerusalem. so, i think they're off to a pretty good start. they have embraced our traditional allies both arab and of course, israel as well. and made it clear we are on their side and behind their back. but they have focused effort and built on what was done in the obama administration to go after isis at great success in iraq and syria. i think that is good. a lot of rhetoric about checking iran. a lot more rhetoric than reality. and i think it is a relatively unadjusted problem but we have not really got a strategy for. i think they are off to a fairly good start and i think the other thing we really need to do is, madeleine and i did a study and talked about a lot of
bottom-up activity. in terms of young people and women who are forming businesses and social organizations. we need to be supporting them and we need to support the governments that view them as allies in building a better future for the people. and we see that concessions like tunisia, you see it and saudi arabia. it is what they are trying to do with the country and for the country vision 2030. we should be supporting those efforts. madeleine and i in a study we did, we came away actually optimistic in the sense that there are things to work with in the middle east that offer a prospect of a more peaceful and prosperous middle east. we have to help them wind down the civil wars in that we have got to support those governments that are making positive steps to reform their economies and engaged their people and developing a common
future. we do those things and have a little luck, the middle east over time can turn in a positive direction. >> susan, any thoughts about jerusalem for the larger question? >> i was in the following is where we need to be going. i think the first of all, it will address the broader middle east in the first instance. it would be bad to happen this deal and not threaten it because we would be the ones isolated. the iranians will be the one free to pursue a program unfettered. we will be isolated from the european allies. secondly, i would say we need to continue and not take our eye off the ball. of sustaining the gains that we've made against isis. i think there is -- we much better generally speaking it executing military campaigns
then we are dealing with the post-conflict political and economic and social reconstruction. i think steve's point earlier about staying engaged in iraq and syria and building behind the military victory so that we do not see isis 2.0. that is absolutely vital and it is not clear to me that we have a theory of what the post-conflict outcome will be in syria. i would also suggest that with respect to the peace process or potential peace process, that the move in jerusalem, while it may be done, it was not helpful obviously. if the aim was in fact to put on the table, a peace plan that results in the potential for a two state outcome, i think what
it has done is make it very difficult. if not impossible for the palestinians to approach the proposal with anything like a positive attitude. and maybe that was the point. but if it was not, i think it has had the inadvertent and or the consequence of making that effort more remote. and then finally, and here steve and i may take a different point of view. i think we have definitely need to continue and sustain our efforts, if not intensify them to counter iran's nefarious activities in the region. but not with absolute lined carte blanche support for the sallies and their partners in the region. because i think that we have underestimated the ability of the young saudi crown prince to
engage in behavior outside of his borders that is detrimental. not until interest but ultimately to the saudi interest. i think we are risking -- by our unqualified and un-tempered choir for everything that comes out of riyadh. including its very destructive policies in yemen. i think we need to make clear to our good friends and partners in saudi and the gulf that we share their concerns about security and the threat that iran poses in the region. but there is a smart way and a dangerous way to deal with that. and a way that may make ultimately the iranian problem more dangerous over time. even if it gives us some short-term sense of
gratification. and we need to be a little bit smarter about how we calibrate our support. because i think it is over torqued at the moment. >> time for one more quick question if there are any hands. i'm not seeing any. then he turned his back to our director. this conversation makes me look forward to the next summer in aspen! reporting back to you after that. >> let me thank david and susan and steve. madeleine albright, bill cohen, steve, those are the people that have left from this morning. a really good conversation, i hope you will consult our book, the world turned upside down. it is nonpartisan. we are trying to pursue solutions for the country. thank you for all being here and thank you for our panelists. [applause] ...
plant. the tv is in prime time each week on c-span2. >> nobel peace prize winner has written the book, a world of three zeros. his vision of the world with zero poverty, and zero carbon emissions. he sat down for an interview. this took place at the new york public library in september. >> good evening. director of public program here at the new york public