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tv   Sen. Tom Cotton at AIPAC Conference  CSPAN  March 9, 2018 6:05pm-6:17pm EST

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scanning the ground for israel and finding common ground where we can. that is what i think them for doing. keep up the good work and thank you. >> amy klobuchar, thank you for your time this morning.♪ ♪ [music] >> please welcome back to this stage, claire shipman. >> thank you. earlier we heard from senator amy klobuchar. i will give them a leader and then others of the aisle.
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our next guest over and 15 after -- he has since gone and reputation in the senate as an active voice on foreign policy issues and as an outspoken critic of iran's aggression about the middle east. he joined us today to discuss the critical issues. please welcome senator tom cotton. >> you very much for the very warm welcome! i feel like i have some to present. >> is a member of congress you have been a consistent and vocal supporter of the us israel relationship. i want to ask you what i asked senator amy klobuchar. why is this issue important to you? where does your passion for israel and the relationship come from? >> personally, where it comes from for me is everything i
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know about the modern nation of israel in this connection to the united states. because that's deeply in our history. america has always been welcoming and broken to the jewish people. in a way that you could come to america and be fully american and also fully jewish. which is not always the case in nations around the world. also my personal travels to israel which i have been on several occasions since being elected to congress. more deeply though not just for me but for the united states, it comes from our people. administrations, presidents, secretaries of state and defense come and go. some are more supportive of the alliance and others. but congress is the source in washington of the continued bedrock relationship between united states and israel. [applause] don't clap too much for
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congress. [laughter] the reason is because the people who send us here are the true foundation of that relationship. the relationship between the american people and the israeli people that make it a unique relationship with any nation that we have in the world. and that is why you continue to see overwhelming majorities of both the house and the senate supporting us and israel relationships. >> thank you. you served our country in the u.s. army for nearly 5 years. on active duty. including two combat tours. we want to thank you for your service. [applause] how did that experience helped shape your view of america's role in the world and how did that experience give you some sense of understanding about what israel might be facing in terms of the threat to its borders? >> some people asked me, did
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your time in the army shape your world? nsa is close but it is exactly opposite. i joined the army in large part because of my goal.it was reinforced at a couple of different ways. first of general michael about americans role in the world and what we face. second the specific nature of the threats that the us and israel face. on a general level we live in a dangerous chaotic world. it always has been that and it always will be that. it is great to have strong diplomacy. international accords, treaty allies and foreign policy, geopolitics -- unfortunately has to end there as well. no matter what else you have come if you don't have a military capable of defending your people and protect his interest and allies around the world, then you are not fair to cope with that world.
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[applause] one day the lion may lay down with the lamp but until that day nothing on that day i would rather be the lion than the lamb. but the more specific point is the nature of the threat we face. in 2006 we patrolled a couple of different neighborhoods. what was almost exclusively shiite. the other was mixed so it had more violence. we've faced threats from both sides in the neighborhoods it really reflect the continued threats in the middle east and it is not safe in israel today. on one hand and the shiite neighborhood you had the militias that were supported and often times infiltrated by iranian revolutionary guard corps. and they would even supply a deadly roadside bomb known as a project that can penetrate any vehicle including attend. i never said you had foreign fighters at the time that later morphed into the islamic state.
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that was being supported by sunni extremist groups. going back to their roots in the brotherhood in the beginning. and they are still there today priest on the threat of that extremism in the form of al qaeda for the islamic state. you still have medical shiite activists that are led by and controlled by iran. those threats exist to israel today and they still exist to us as well. that's why it's important that we have our partnership you're not just with our nation but similarly situated nations in the middle east that also face those threats. >> speaking of iran, you are vehemently opposed to the nuclear deal with iran. >> you can say that. [applause] >> president trump has laid out what he sees as the flaws in the deal and how it should be fixed. do you think that the deal can
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be fixed and what do you think the us position is? >> i don't think we can sit down with the ayatollah to try and negotiate. that is not going to be successful to even know where they want to meet. what we can do is united states and in concert with your essay that these are the flaws that the administration negotiated and this is what we are going to do if iran ever goes beyond the number and the kinds of centrifuges it is spinning or the missiles it is testing. that doesn't require us to go back to iran to negotiate a deal. just as if iran takes the actions which unfortunately, there are many cases they are allowed to do under the nuclear deal. we'll take these very severe actions. >> and make it public. >> is make it public. we can pass legislation in congress to reflect that. we have the three european partners that we want to make that as well.
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>> gone the nuclear question iran's regional aggression as you know is continue to expand. we solicit syria and yemen in iraq. do you think that ds has a strategy to counter men in the region? is it an effective strategy? when that will stop them from having a position with syria and israel's border? >> certainly more so than 18 months ago. we are moving in the right direction for sanctions actions that we have taken against organizations. [applause] the personnel, some of the diplomatic relationships that we have built. not just with israel but with nations and the gcc like united arab emirates. the most fundamental point is that the administration sees iran for what it is.
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an aggressive bureaucratic regime that is exporting violence and instability around the region. not a partner, not someone that we can turn the neighborhood over with and hope there is a balance between iran and its allies, saudi arabia and the allies. there is still a practical suitcase. so we have come a long way in the last 18 months. >> finally, and step back for many also sit on the senate intelligence committee. i know the us intelligence community just recently presented their annual worldwide threat assessment. what do you see that you can talk about with us is the greatest security threat based in the united states today.>> terrorism remains a serious threat at all times in our nation to israel, to european nations, but terrorists typically need the support of a nationstate. in one way or another to bring this through destruction. i would tend to look nationstate threats we face. there are two great powers to the nuclear capabilities. they have the ability to destroy our way life, that will be russia and china, russia is
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a declining power. the economy is smaller than italy's economy. smaller than the five scandinavian nordic countries. but it still has a leader willing to take risks as a sino election for 2016. and leslie was boasting about nuclear weapons. as we have seen in ukraine, crimea and actions throughout europe. china on the other hand is a rising power. the economy is still growing at a very rapid clip. it is plowing billions of dollars a year into research. and not just industry but on the battlefield that will allow that to have a huge leap ahead in terms of military technology. besides those two great powers we have two rogue regimes as well. iran and north korea. some people might say north korea is a small problem and east asia for south korea and japan in united states is not the case. last week was publicly disclosed that dan exported a lot of chemical related
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technology to syria. which obviously creates a real problem for israel in the middle east. and then there's iran. if serious problem with nuclear weapons today, iran is an even greater problem for the united states and israel and our allies in the middle east. why is that? look at the geopolitical circumstances do not three is a very small isolated place on the edge of the world. it is surrounded by nations under powerful, more powerful than it. it does not have an aggressive ideology that tries to export. by contrast iran is a very large nation. it is surrounded by 10 to 20 your competitors depending on how the defined themselves to the crossroads, it does have a very aggressive ideology that tries to export. makes the possibility of a nuclear iran. determine the future vastly more dangerous than the reality we face right now. >> we will have to and on a sober note but i thank you very much senator tt

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