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tv   Reagan National Defense Forum - Global Hot Spots  CSPAN  December 11, 2018 5:43am-7:00am EST

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moderated from the anchor of america's newsroom on fox news. [applause] >> it is great to be here it is a high honor. we have a terrific panel. no pressure. but we hope to engage you over the next hour and ten minutes. former secretary of defense and ci net - - cia leon panetta. general hr mcmaster. former cia director mike morel. have a seat we will get a picture real quick. it is mandatory. [laughter] make sure i follow the rules especially in reagan's house. america's newsroom fox news
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channel we take all viewers you can tweak that if you want. i have always loved this guy that his parents not only immigrated from italy to the united states that they chose monterey california on a walnut farm. [laughter] i call that good research. well done. and director as a fellow buckeye welcome we can talk about ohio later and the general has a book coming out 2020 my questions before or after november 3rd quick. >> before but not what you think it is about. [laughter] >> you can sell more books.
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some people told me that. [laughter] >> i have been at the reagan library twice in my life the first time was with the passing of ronald reagan the second was the passing of george herbert walker bush we were talking earlier today and 41 stood up to saddam hussein first august 1990 but 20 years later we are still fighting wars in that region so just wondering secretary panetta, what is the legacy of president bush in that region of the middle east quick. >> first of all thank you for inviting me here i enjoy the opportunity to come back to the four of. every year it becomes more successful.
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it is a sad day with the loss of president bush. i had the opportunity with the congress to work with president bush on a number of issues. in particular i was chairman on the budget committee on the house side. it was president bush that had us go to andrews air force base. republicans and democrats to try to work on a budget agreement to help reduce the deficit and we did. ultimately that plus the clinton budget led to a balanced budget so that was something i was very appreciative of his leadership. but more important president bush was someone who was honest, direct, truthful, belied in what america was all about, and provided tremendous
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leadership with regards to foreign-policy. he knew foreign-policy as a great director of the cia that we continue to recognize for his contribution to intelligence but more importantly somebody who was a world leader and believe deeply in the role of the united states as a world leader and the steps he took in the middle east to deal with what kuwait was doing was the right step to tak take. we were able to push saddam hussein out of kuwait and the president also had a great sense of when to put on the brakes in terms of our release with the middle one - - our relationship with the middle east in general.
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we continue to face controversy and continue to deal with problems that were there but president bush had the strength to take the position he did and assert united states leadership along with a group of allies, i think actually that was a step in the right direction for the united states. >> we came into the army as a unit young officer under president reagan was serving on the border in germany when east germany lifted travel restrictions to the west and the wall came tumbling down everything changed strategically with american defense nobody could have manage that transition. better than president bush he laid out a very bold vision maybe it wasn't realized but it was the right vision at the time which was the attempt to integrate the former warsaw
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pact countries even russia into a new world order and then to deploy from germany to operation desert storm his leadership was apparent there because we could clearly connect what we were doing militarily to the objective of that war it was very narrowly circumscribed war and you may recall that many people criticize president bush why didn't you go to baghdad? now we know the answer to that but then he realized what we could control but he also realized limits. so he crafted a multinational effort that achieved that objective i felt tremendously fortunate to have led soldiers under those conditions and the contrast between that and the
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doff - - the difficulty where those who had a really hard time connecting the vietnam with the risks and the sacrifices to the achievement of an aim worth those and that is what led me to my research on vietnam but it all began for me in terms of recognizing the new world order and the experience in combat beginning with president bush with his extraordinary leadership. >> think you for that. director morel quick. >> as i look back he may have been the best in terms of delivering foreign-policy leaving the world better than what he found it. his time at the agency was very special at a time of deep morale problems and within a year he turned those around. he was beloved at cia we named
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our compound after him i had special time with him in 2001 when i was president bush 43 intelligence prefer he would often join the briefing so i would have two presidents sitting there. [laughter] and to hear them talk about the world was remarkable i remember one morning we were talking about a particularly difficult policy issue bush 41 said i've done this before i'm going to go play with the grandkids. [laughter] >> this was a decent human bein being. somebody you could immediately relate to and relate to others i will give you one story. the chairman of the committee's are often invited
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to the white house president bush invited us not just to the white house but to the family quarters on the second floor. we had a chance to go up to the family quarters were a lot of these old cardinals and there was president bush and barbara welcoming us to their family quarters. i can tell you unlike other presidents i have known this guy really invested in the relationship between the president and leadership of the congress and it paid off for him well. >> are you naming names today. [laughter] >> if you have good questions we'll get to them in the last ten minutes. gentleman, i've been looking
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for a lot of comments from you over the past eight months i haven't found many. i think you have been reserved. >> what about quiet? >> is life better for you on the inside or the outside of the west wing every day i serve the last 34 years was a privilege and as national security advisor with those extraordinary people and i found that immensely rewarding. i'm at the hoover institution at stanford and i'm loving that as well but what i've had an opportunity to do now i'm just grateful. >> why did and after one year quick. >> it was the right time for it to end. my philosophy from the beginning was to do my best to
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serve the president and the country and when it was time everybody would know that and it was the right time for a transition. >> take - - name one thing you were not able to accomplish quick. >> lots of things because it is a complex world that now manifests with very serious challenges to national and international security it's difficult to point to one thing that you cannot just win that and then move on but with threats and adversaries but i most probably did put in place a disciplined process to assist the president and his cabinet to frame these challenges of national security and identify what vital interest were at stake to about one - - challenge those and to craft clear goals and objectives to engage with
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allies and leaders in the private sector and like-minded countries to integrate efforts. we made a deliberate effort to restore the strategic competence and in large measure were able to do that. with the national security strategy but underpinning that unclassified national security strategy the integrated strategy to advance and protect our interest. >> you wouldn't say one individual thing you wish you would have accomplished or succeeded or whatever word you want to use quick. >> what we emphasize is what we won't talk about those are all in progress like to
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denuclearize north korean or china stops unfair economic practices but that is tied with those behaviors and mercantile policies we want to stop russia's destabilizing behavior with a sustained campaign of propaganda and subversion against the united states and free and open societies in the world. we want to stabilize the greater middle east we need a war that stabilizes the humanitarian crisis but also limits iranian influence in the region and an iraq that is stable that's going in a pretty decent direction now. we need to resolve the problems of south asia or afghanistan but none of these are a one-year answer there
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are no short-term solutions to long-term problems so what many have talked about today of wide it requires of the integration across all departments to be reliable from the perspective of those allies over time to make you should've used the quotation that i used when i left we have a walnut farm and when i was announced as a secretary of defense i said i'm going home to work with a different set of nuts. [laughter] >> on thursday morning when the president was at the white house he said he would meet with vladimir putin and argentina 30 minutes later he said the meeting was off in 13
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months inside the west wing who counsels him from the helicopter to the plane to suggest we should not go forward and argentina? how does that happen quick. >> nash normally the national security advisor that is the one person in the foreign-policy national security rome whose only client is the president. others are heads of departments so what you owe that president is not just your opinion but the assessment and recommendations and across those agencies mom modeling brent scroll cough to say mister president here are your options it's always best to give the leader multiple options i cannot think of one historical experience in which less options were better for somebody.
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>> so john bolton quick. >> i'm not sure. >> talking about america's threat to all three referred to them in some order. secretary mattis was with my colleague here at the reagan library to say north korea is an urgent concern. >> he was given a list of north korea and iran and said iran with urgency. do you agree quick. >> one of the defining characteristics of today by the number of national security threats and challenges that our country and partners and allies face that the president of the united states needs to pay attention to almost on a daily basis it is a long list there are 15 or 20 things on that list none of them are easy. but if you were to prioritize them one at the top of the
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list for me there is a big gap between one and everything else and that is china. what is our relationship going to look like with china? how will that you fault because i believe that will determine more than anything else what the world will look like for the next 20 or 30 years. it's incredibly important we get that relationship right because the range of possible outcomes in that relationship range from cooperation on one specter that you saw between obama and xi all the way to an extraordinarily difficult problem it is the most important issue it doesn't mean we don't work them hard but.
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>> i would break it down in three ways of urgency with north korea for power russia and then china. >> i don't think jim mattis probably has it right in terms of the three at the top of the list but as michael said we're dealing with a lot of flashpoints today i have never seen this many flashpoints since the end of world war ii. it isn't just isis. it's iran and in the middle east. north korea. russia. china. cyber. and other threats as well. a series of very dangerous flashpoints. and to even begin to prioritize and then to
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celebrate 100 years from world war i the reality is if you look at that. 1916 and 1914 there were serious threats territorial disputes and french alliances and failed leadership the result was because of that there was no capability to deal with these challenges and the reality is we have to have the capability yes we have to deal with china on a geopolitical basis because of the economic ties and the president hopefully is trying
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to do that this evening with the tariff issue. and in terms with the singapore meeting there has not been any progress on denuclearization and at the same time there has been no progress we have north korea and intelligence tells us they are continuing to develop their naked one - - nuclear capabilities and avoiding the sanctions and a number of steps. i worry about the point of north korea is continuing to develop the missile capability
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if at some point they test the intercontinental ballistic missile was some kind of nuclear weapon at the top , then that will bring down in a critical way all of the groundwork that has been made to establish relations to immediately. >> the the real danger is what the secretary pointed out already and what they will try to do potentially to be open to the possibility so kim jong-il wound to keep his nukes and get as much payoff as he has in the past with the relaxation of sanctions and
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then lock in the status quo while he continues the program. so any administration when president trump came and would have to make serious adjustments how did that work out? maximum pressure has a chance what we said from the beginning is what we can't do is alleviate the pressure based on the promise of progress. it's tough to keep south korea on board with that. this is one of the most important aspects to keep that pressure going. and the stakes are very high not only because of the icbm it has never developed weapon
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how can we be assured there isn't a proliferation problem? so what about the regime? for them to say i need a weapon? i think this is a grave danger to keep our attention on it and then to maintain and kim jong-il wound keeps the possibility of military option. it isn't diplomacy and then bore it is diplomacy integrated with military options with economic pressures and diplomacy that all have to be together. that is what we have to do is convince kim jong-il wound that you are safer without them. that's the best chance. >>. >> it is really important to
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look at the problem from the other guy's perspective it is one of the jobs of the intelligence community how the other guy sees it. how does kim jung-un look at this? to potential paths. one is on the road he is on to maintain the strategic weapons program and to stay on the path deal with the sanctions were isolated by the international community or even to chip away at the sanctions that he is doing right now but on the other path we seem to be offering to
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negotiate a way those weapons in return for what? open relations? engagement with the rest of the world? a better economic future for your people? he does not see that as a good deal but as his death. he sees an opening to the world so when he looks at that , number one it looks much better than number two which is why i say he will never give up his weapons. >> that is also as bad as number two. >> i also believe it's really really important to have a conversation with him to negotiate but we should not kid ourselves how difficult this will be and you have to keep the pressure on. >> also that context was father and grandfather. >> always look from the
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perspective of the other this is something we don't do very well policymakers don't listen so from the north korea and perspective there are now generations of brainwashing with the ideology there was deprivation and a sign of racial superiority. we have to take all of those into consideration. >> earlier today james mattis called putin a small lawn - - a slow learner. [laughter] is that the case or is he something else? >> i don't know if he is a slow learner to be truthful. he understands if he reads weakness he will take advantage of it. that is putin is all about.
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i think he has been reading weakness into the united states position going back a number of years. not just with this president but the prior administration as well. once he senses weakness and can take advantage of it that is what he did that's what he did with crimea, ukraine, syria. the cyberattacks on the election system. the issue will be whether or not what he did in the black see if anyone will check in. he cannot get away with that behavior. if it doesn't happen then he will continue to exert an aggressive approach to dealing with his neighbors and other issues as well but you have to
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deal with putin from strength. not weakness and make very clear to putin where the lines are that cannot be crossed. and if you think she will abide by those then you can sit down and negotiate. but if you don't believe those lines are real that is when you have trouble with putin. because he is much more aggressive and we are in a new chapter of the cold war. so i regret the president did not meet with putin. i think the opportunity at the g 20 meetings is to sit down and directly confront an adversary with regards to the
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concerns of you have. that is what diplomacy is all about. and that sends the wrong signal to putin. >> bob gates god it right when you look at his eyes you see kgb. he is a thug. he is a bully he only believes in relative power. he doesn't believe what everybody in this room believes that it's possible to have a negotiation and up with win-win he only believes it is win lose. he is not the great strategic stress player on - - chess player he is a tactician and entrepreneur and risk taker but particularly dangerous type of risk taker burke when
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he takes a risk to succeed even a bigger risk so whenever he does something and his mind is successful i worry about what comes next. i cannot agree more with the secretary on the importance of sustaining from him but from his perspective it is important to realize that he believes he fundamentally believes we are trying to undermine him politically. the cia works every day to undermine him he believes the cia caused a protest in the streets of kiev in 2014. not true at all because to be in context with what he tried to do to us. that doesn't excuse it but explains it and by doing what he has done he has undermined the strategic futures of his own country the only future that russia had was an
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integrated economic future and by doing what he had done since georgia he has thrown that potential future away. he has hurt his own people. >> let us also say that our relationship has gotten worse in the past year. >> and you said 25 years ago into engage in conflict we always talk about interest fear we are behind the 2013 uprising or the next revolution the sense of honor if you go back to the speech he gave it a new year's eve 1999 at the turn-of-the-century.
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he wrote on the white paper this will take about 15 years to begin to compete again. he added crimea and added ukraine. here is a strategist that he operates tactically and opportunistically that has a vision based on fear and the need to regain russia a sense of honor so over the years we have tried secretary clinton feels there was a reset button but we just have to look at the world as it is. and do exactly what secretary panetta said that we will confront that destabilizing behavior at the outset of these aggressive actions.
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>> there is one thing he really fears is a revolution the arab spring style movement he is afraid of that he is afraid to say we don't like the way the direction is going we want a greater say and we don't agree with you with the aggressive foreign-policy to make his approval ratings are not super reliable. [laughter] >> that's true everywhere. [laughter] but those are about where they were in 2014 so was that incident against the ukrainian navy related to his domestic approval rating and that is how we should pressure him.
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>> on a related matter , general mcmaster the evidence is incontrovertible of interference of the election of 2016. what in your view is not in dispute? >> with that conflation of three questions. did they do it? yes. everybody knows that. did they really care who won the election? that is still open to debate because i think russia has a lot of experience to rig elections it didn't work for them most of the time but if they were trying to achieve the primary objective regardless of who one to polarize limpet communities against each other to reduce confidence of who we are with
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our democratic principles. >> do you think that happened or was that a creation of the media? >> i think it is both. you wrote a great book called the power of the square but what they did this is moscow. but now it is superpowered by social media and social media algorithms if you like something then you will like this even more and then even more radical employee more to the left. guess what? russia's efforts dispersion increase after the election. >> they got what they wanted with public discourse they are
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happy with the result. >> we have not fully come to realize that cyberwarfare is the battlefield of the future and it will continue to develop there were all kinds of cyberattacks taking place. china was using cyber. russia, iran, north korea all using cyber. the problem is that i don't think we ever really anticipated the bold cyberattack that rush
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implemented in that election. i think we missed the boat frankly. >> what we began to find out what was happening we were caught with our pants down and rather than having an effort of what they know and to back off that there was an attitude we don't quite know what the election we have to be careful. and it encourage them to continue to implement that aggression. >> what the goals were or the purpose was very basic russia always tries to undermine the united states of america. they are terror cells anything that will weaken us that will
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disrupt society that is what the russians want and they are successful at it. i will say that at least it's my sense that we are still unprepared to deal with that kind of assault. >> with the secretary's comment about being surprised is absolutely right and that is a strategic failure. i was not there at the time i don't know how quickly he pick that up but if you look at the last ten years dni and director cia there is always a big section on cyberthat talks about cyberespionage with the intellectual property risks to
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critical infrastructure, there was never ever any mention of weapon a seeing social media. it was lack of imagination. >> but it grew quickly in all fairness by facebook and twitter and is graham have gained traction. >> also what are the most important elements of political subversion and propaganda in the past? that's not the case it goes to the overall objective that describes this as the firehose of falsehood and and congress with my counterpart the only
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thing congress can do is to sanction you because of this. but there is an opportunity to come together to recognize the threat of working together. >> with saudi arabia what do you do? and the relationship? >> secretary pompeo made the case they are bad actors go to the wall street journal and on wednesday taking two sentences the important stability of the middle east saudi arabia is working to secure democracy to keep baghdad tethered to the west and not to run. those sentences say a lot about the strategy of this administration. and what they would like to see in terms of development in that part of the world.
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how do you find the balance mister secretary with these relationships that you know are less than perfect? >> that is what diplomacy is all about for god sakes. we don't have a choice between destroying the relationship or doing nothing. it's about balance and how do you approach this? to uphold the values that this country has always had a set of values relating to human dignity and rule of law and how we treat people what the united states is all about. that is the core to provide leadership in the world. when it is clear saudi arabia i did what they did to make it very clear to the saudi's i
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just think it's really important for the president to work with the congress to develop those targeted sanctions that send a message that this kind of behavior is unacceptable it doesn't rely on a relationship with saudi arabia. frankly we would get a hell of a lot more respect if we made that clear. we will continue to work with you and be cooperative, but we cannot tolerate this kind of behavior that is the way the united states is supposed to act not to run from the case that we will not even pay attention to this murder? we cannot do that or we undermine the proposition. there is a way to do this that frankly balances both of these objectives but right now i get
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the sense that congress will do what they want to do to send a message of the president will not pay attention for whatever reason. all of that sense exactly the wrong message to the world. >> with the congress and senate has done with the war they are fighting against jen long - - yemen earlier today talking about accountability that we need to do both and acting with yemen is in our best interest and that is his position. has that been relayed? >>. >> but this is the message to go to the saudi's.
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and what are the expectations? but also to make clear what they ought to be of each other. and with those like minded countries we all need to do more. everybody is very troubled about this horrible murder but also why is saudi arabia buying 400 missiles from russia? why is the crown prince high-five vladimir putin when the russians are the key enablers of iran in the region? if they are really concerned about iran in the region where they imposing those? there are a lot of conversations about expectations but that they are deemed more reliable.
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but that administration saw the disengagement as unmitigated good with that humanitarian catastrophe and then enabled iran across the region with the jcp away one - - jp coa it was the opposite they took the payoff and then to up the budget of the revolutionary guard corps. but the reason the matter what you think about this for those reasons they are hedging with russia was a don't think we are reliable in the wrong long-term to say forget it we
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will disengage. >> this is their perspective. >>. >> they are afraid of that withdrawal that the united states will eventually see a different type of iran of a strategic transcript and they are scared to death of that. and secret negotiations and on one hand. the only saudi that i could ever talk to the only one that i have ever seen that understands they need to reform their economy and
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religion if they will save that nation from going off the cliff. >> he is young. impulsive, paranoid, he doesn't listen with a small circle of advisers. they are all young. nobody with gray hair around him. [laughter] and a string of bad judgment calls from yemen to qatar to kidnapping the lebanese prime minister, locking up businessmen to khashoggi, women in jail advocating for a policy he put in place? a string of bad judgments. at the end of the day whether he will end up being the father of modern saudi arabia or end up being gorbachev the guy who actually takes off is
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an open question. >> general the first trip for this administration overseas? did they embrace it? was it too close to quickly? this is not the united states with the regime it was brutal murder. you are right in the beginning there was a relationship of tremendous promise. but the number one reason there was the explicit recognition of the king and all of those there that saudi arabia had created a monster
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beginning in the seventies with the promulgation of the jihadist ideology and with those terrorist organizations and extremist with that message it is okay for those that fall outside of the narrow definition of islam to create the pipeline to that. there was concrete progress to those assurances of working together on the ideology and the finance flows to the extremist groups. we did make some progress in both areas. it is striking and in that context and then to achieve
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that progress to help create a global problem. >> those are all important issues. but the reality is we know what happened in that consulate in turkey. there has been this argument there is no smoking gun. there's a lot of people in prison there is not a smoking gun because you had overwhelming evidence of a crime being committed. there is overwhelming evidence not only by the cia but turkey and all of those looking at this issue. rather than trying to excuse the president of the united
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states ought to accept the presentation made with a high degree of confidence the crown prince was absolved in this issue and then use that as a way to say we will take steps to make very clear this behavior is acceptable at the same time recognize it is important to work with saudi arabia in terms of dealing with issues in the middle east. we can walk and chew gum at the same time. that's not a problem. other presidents have done that. we have to send a clear message to an ally that they screwed up. but they remain allies to continue the relationship. this is not all or nothing. >> the military budget there
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is a debate whether $733 billion or reduction in two years i heard gentlemen say how do you know the right number? how do you know the right numbe number? >> and from that defense point of view is more. that is how the defense department approaches these things and why not? but the problem is that i support funding for the defense department and we have to maintain a defense that is the strongest military on the face of the earth and you have to continue to do that but don't kid ourselves that there is a real danger lurking in
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the obvious. a 20 trillion-dollar debt that will expand even more and we are now at a point like at an annual deficit diminish our resources for the future to blow up our economy. so do we face that now to say we have all this money in the future and pass it to the future for our children or will be confront that now? that is the real challenge. but the reality is that republicans and democrats and president trump, nobody wants
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to confront this issue. nobody wants to confront it. nobody talks about what you have to do to deal with that deficit. wisecracks because it's tough politically a deal with entitlements and discretionary spending and defense in taxes. you are serious about doing it but not everybody has the leadership so play this game to hope we can continue to borrow the money, what we need to do is have a comprehensive budget agreement and then allows the defense department what this will look like rather than raising it now which is the worst thing.
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>> do you have an answer to the right number? >> i know what that budget looks like. [laughter] >> with technological capability of what they have allowed us to do and what the enemies have done it with the adversaries have done to develop disruptive technologies with that differential advantages. if you think about it this is world war i smaller forces have had a bigger impact i think that relationship is changing the fundamentals to the satellite capabilities with electronic warfare with imagery so the size of the
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force is more important and we have done it over the years to cut back to apply to those weapons systems which are now prone to catastrophic failure in the path they are on to invest more exquisite weapons could lead to exquisite relevance. we need different systems less expensive industry can help tremendously that don't depend on exclusive communications and to figure out a way i think in the force . . . .
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you've been quite vocal about the chinese government and what a relationship should and should not be with technology, information sharing etc.. is he right 15 years from now that how well they do on the trade deal they are negotiating at the moment whether they can make gains in intellectual property to get that under control for the future perhaps 15 years from now if you stabilize that relationship?
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as our interest we have had the good relations with china while they've been taken advantage of us not competing. they were forced to transfer the intellectual property as they finance projects throughout the world well below the rate and take over that infrastructure where they ar they coerced the s to adopt their view of the world while they maintain their grip on power to have the in concentration camps the million people in the true orwellian
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state and so we have to recognize we have to compete against a different system that is offering a different vision to the world on a broad range of issues. the mandate of the party in the post-ideological period substituted nationalism and to maintain their grip on power they have to have state enterprises that are inherently unfair in a way that is
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structural and isn't going to result this policy. there's going to be a sustained competition or a long time, and i think what we have to do in the like-minded countries and with the industry is say do you really want to do business with them and make a profit in the short term. they are going to use it to produce products below the market rates and dump them into the economy and run you out of business so who do you want as a trusted part this is what business with china looks like and this is what doing business with us looks like.
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looks like south korea and what they are today this is what you get when you work with the united states. the legacy of this administration is not going to rest with china. i think the larger question is going to b be with an administration that used chaos to deal with a number of areas whether it is pulling out of the ttp or whether it is the climate change issue or iran pulling out of the agreement.
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it's going to be whether or not the administration in view of the chaos is going to develop a long-term strategy to go through all of these issues not just china but all of these issues but his long-range strategy to deal with iran in the situation what is the long-term strategy to deal with trade in a global world in which it is and the long-term strategy in terms of dealing with issues like the debt. those are the questions that will determine. whether or not it's going to be left with chaos and whether the administration is going to figure out the strategic goals and strategies that will deliver
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on trying to produce a more stable world. >> i just want to come back to china to see the reason that this competition is so importa important. is there anybody here who believes that the chinese will treat the rest of the world any better than they treat their own people and you can already see examples of it in places where they spend a lot of time. they are aggressively out there selling their model of capitalism and authoritarianism and the more they lead the more they will be successful at selling those models and that is why it is so critical.
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the only way to win is with a coalition of nations together. a couple of great questions but one last question i'm going to talk a lot about public service especially today with president bush and his passing last night. what is one thing you thought what is the hardest part of your job you wanted the public to understand maybe you couldn't communicate or get them to understand. when you are sitting on the beach there's got to be something i tried to do this but i kept bumping into this or that or the other. and if people could see that from my eyes maybe they would appreciate the job you did.
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>> i think the toughest part of the job. that is the toughest thing into the toughest problem people have, and i've seen this in the white house that ultimately people refrain from speaking the truth to the president because they are afraid of doing it and so they don't and that is frankly one of the biggest problems. i think it's important to speak the truth to the president and to anybody else. i think it's important that you say what you think in terms of policy and what needs to be
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done. the president has a right to make the decision. but you as somebody that operates in the administration or any capacity, you have to have the courage to be able to say you are wrong mr. president, this is what needs to be done. >> what should be the endgame strategy and how is that different from what we've been doing the last 18 years? >> we haven't had a strategy in afghanistan we have had 17 strategies. obviously it is a very difficult problem on the determined enemies in the future course of events and what is required in afghanistan is to try to achieve
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an outcome that's worthy of our effort and connected to our vital interests of the vital terrorist organizations want to kill our children don't gain access to territorial resources and use best plan resource, organize and conduct of those attacks. so what afghanistan needs to be is it needs to be afghanistan. it doesn't need to be switzerland needs to be afghanistan. it's going to take the internal communities in afghanistan coming together around a vision they believe their interest will be advanced and protected. they played a less productive role. this is pakistan in particular. one of the things that's different about the strategy now is you can't have it both ways anymore. you can't act like you were a non- nature nato ally and
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receive the benefits and then kill our soldiers and help facilitate mass murder attacks in afghanistan by the use of the proxies and groups you don't go after because of the groups selectively. the third thing that has to happen is afghanistan has to be strengthened against the capacity of the taliban that flies across the border. there's been progress made is tough and afghans were taking too many casualties to sustain and defend their has to be sustained commitment. the reason it was ineffective as a neglected the fact that war is a con test of the will and as the administration sent troops to afghanistan they announced the withdrawal the same day. i thought that means convincing your enemy they've been defeated
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or in this case to convince them they can't accomplish their objectives. it was completely disconnected in what we were doing militarily when we said we wanted to achieve politically. we created all of these myths and drew a line between the al qaeda and taliban. it's a training center set up for al qaeda to generate the whale in the contest of the wills one of the tests is you have a just end in mind. it wasn't even defined we were not doing anything to achieve it so what were they dying for?
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i think now the strategy is designed to give to a sustainable outcome. it was a key element to achieve politically so it is a fundamentally different approach. going back to the speech the president made i think it lays out the strategy. will we stick to it and have the will, people ask can you win in afghanistan and yes you can get to a sustainable outcome with your interests. the question is can we win any cost accessible to the public i think we can at the height of the war. now it is 22 billion a year and it could go down further burden sharing. the coalition is now down to 14,000. the troops matter i don't think they should but it's a level
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that is sustainable and consistent with our vital interests and just considering what happens if afghanistan would collapse. think about these terrorist organizations that said we defeated the united states, nato and the west. what they can do to destabilize the region including pakistan think iidentities and our intero sustain the effort and we have a strategy in place that can achieve that outcome in the long-term. >> we are running out of time. the question is americans under the age of 30 grew up without the experience of the cold war or major great power competition do you think that has impacted how they view national security and america's role and if so,
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how? i would add to that notwithstanding i spent a lot of time talking to kids on national security and the understand it. we've got to have a different approach in terms of letting people understand they go something back to the country. i understand the concerns about that but i do think in this country we've got to think seriously about the national service system that requires every young person to give two years of their life to this country in some capacity whether it's to the military, education, conservation, i don't give a damn what that is, what we need
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tthat we needto go back and have understand they go something back to the country and they have a responsibility to give back. [applause] thank you. [applause] thank you. great to be with you.
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hosted by the hayden center for international security this is 90 minutes. [inaudible conversations]

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